All posts by Don Jaide

The moors of anatolia and aegean islands: Black Turks and black Greeks – the lausanne treaty 1924

Turks with African ancestors want their existence to be feltAfro-Turks, descendents of African citizens of the Ottoman Empire, have come together under the African Solidarity and Cooperation Association (ASCA) to revitalize one of their oldest traditions: Dana Bayram?, the Calf Festival in ?zmir.While preparing a barbecue in the crowded picnic area of ?zmir’s E?refpa?a district, they sing old Turkish pop songs and eat Turkey’s indispensable picnic food: stuffed grape leaves cooked with olive oil.As in any typical Turkish family, the men are preparing the “mangal” barbecue while talking about soccer matches or recent political developments. The heroic acts of their grandparents in the War of Independence also feature prominently in discussions. The old women chat with one another and wear headscarves, as do most older women in Turkey.Who are these people? Mehmet, Ali, Ay?e, Rabia, Arzu, Emine, Hatice and Hüseyin, to name a few. Everything is typically Turkish except for one detail: They are black. Afro-Turks, as they prefer to be called, are the descendents of African citizens of the Ottoman Empire. They have come together under the African Solidarity and Cooperation Association (ASCA) to revitalize one of their oldest traditions — a holiday celebrated by their grandparents: Dana Bayram?, or the Calf Festival.According to Deniz Yükseker, a professor in Koç University’s department of sociology, gave a speech on the culture of Afro-Turks during a conference held at Ege University. Dana Bayram? was celebrated from 1880 until the end of the 1920s. “Leaders of the Afro-Turk community, known as ‘godya,’ used to collect money in order to buy a cow. On the first Saturday of each May, they sacrificed this cow. Failing to make this sacrifice would cause draughts, according to popular folklore,” Yükseker explains.She adds that in those years, Dana Bayram? was celebrated in ?zmir for three weeks. Things have changed over time and this year’s celebrations only lasted two days. On the first day, Yükseker presented at the conference on the history of Afro-Turks and a photo exhibit prepared by Özlem Sümer showed snapshots from daily life as experienced by the community. The second day saw a large picnic at which Bo?aziçi Gösteri Merkezi and Ege University’s Music Band performed. Melis Sökmen, a famous jazz singer whose grandmother is from Ghana, joined the band and gave a small concert.During this year’s Dana Bayram?, the focus was on having fun and a cow was not sacrificed. “Some of our friends said that it would be fine to sacrifice a sheep, but maybe next year,” says ASCA Chairman Mustafa Olpak. He points out that Dana Bayram? used to be an opportunity for their ancestors to have a family reunion. The festival served as a venue at which members of a family dispersed by slavery would come together.Gülay Kayacan, who works for the History Foundation, an institute that researches and publishes articles on Turkish history, says that some of the Afro-Turks are descendents of slaves who used to work on farms or in houses. Slaves working in agriculture were concentrated in areas where cotton production was high. It is for this reason that most Afro-Turks today live on the Aegean coast and some in the Mediterranean region.“Some 10,000 slaves, black and white, were brought into the Ottoman Empire every year. During the constitutional monarchy period (1876-1878), slavery was abolished and former slaves settled in areas where they used to work. Some of them were even given land by the government,” Kayacan says.Kayacan is the coordinator of the History Foundation’s “Voices Coming from a Silent Past” project, supported by the European Union Commission Delegation in Turkey. She underlines that their oral history project aims to form an archive that will aid in researching the cultural, economic and social status of Afro-Turks today and to place them in the mosaic of history. To this end, the foundation is recording the personal histories of the Afro-Turk community.“Unfortunately, most of the elders of the Afro-Turk community who could remember the stories of immigration and the cultural aspects of the community have passed away. Written documentation is also scarce, so we are trying to preserve this undocumented past before it is too late,” Kayacan says. According to personal accounts collected so far, the ancestors of Afro-Turks came from various countries, including present-day Niger, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Kenya and Sudan. In fact, the Embassy of Sudan sent a representative to participate in this year’s Dana Bayram?.Kayacan also notes that some of the descendents of former slaves remain poor. Educational opportunities for them have been scarce and they are generally not property owners. The number of Afro-Turks graduating from universities is below the national average and most women tend to be agricultural workers if they live in villages or housewives if they live in the urban areas. The women that have found opportunities to become educated work as mid-wives or nurses.Not all or the Afro-Turks’ ancestors were slaves. Some came from the island of Crete following the Lausanne Treaty, signed in 1924. This treaty called for a population exchange between the Greek Orthodox citizens of the young Turkish Republic and the Muslim citizens of Greece. Most of the black on Crete were Muslims, so they were subjected to this population exchange. Like many others who were moved through this population exchange, they settled on the Aegean coast, mainly around ?zmir. Eighty-year-old Emine Konaçer’s mother and Olpak’s family were among these immigrants.Konaçer’s mother spoke only Greek, which explains why Konaçer is bilingual. She and her husband have four children, including Mehmet Konaçer (48), a physical education teacher.“When I was young, our neighbors would sometimes speak in Greek on our street in Ayval?k and I used to shout at them: ‘Citizen, speak Turkish!’” he says. At the time, the Turkish government had launched a program calling on all citizens to speak only Turkish.Mehmet Konaçer enjoys dancing the traditional folklore dances of the Aegean area and he performed a dance for the crowd at this year’s Dana Bayram?.As with every teacher, his students coin nicknames for him. “They first used to call me Clay [after the famous African-American boxer Cassius Clay, later known as Muhammad Ali]. But nicknames come and go. As other blacks become famous, the nickname my students choose for me changes,” he says.Konaçer is married and has two children. As is the case with multiracial children, they take on the features of both parents. This is the case with many Afro-Turks as the small community has many interracial marriages. Some Afro-Turks are blond and some have green eyes, like Konaçer’s cousin, Hüseyin Hançer.Being “different” has, however, also led to discrimination. The society at large holds many misconceptions about Afro-Turks.“Our interviews show that Afro-Turks living in villages do not feel discriminated against. They are not labeled as the ‘other’ or excluded. In a village, everyone has known one another since birth. Cities, on the other hand, are a different matter altogether, though Anatolia is still a land that is able to absorb a variety of cultures,” Kayacan says.Ay?e Sözer, a young Afro-Turk, says that Turkish society does not have a racist approach, but that sometimes the Afro-Turk community does experience “exaggerated interest” and social discrimination from society.“I am asked many odd questions; for example, some ask if I get whiter by taking baths. Sometimes people stare at me and end up tripping or bumping into a pole. I have learned to not get angry at people, but when I was at the university, my roommate left our dorm room because she said she was afraid to live with someone that is black,” Sözer says.Sometimes people have a hard time believing that Afro-Turks are Turks. On one occasion, Sözer was shopping in Denizli and the shopkeeper, mistaking her for a tourist speaking in perfect Turkish, tried to complement her by saying she speaks Turkish better than him, a native Turk.Not being considered a “Turk” can at times be problematic. Most Afro-Turks live in the Aegean region, famous for human smuggling. This has cast suspicion on the Afro-Turk community.Locals in the Aegean region also have some superstitious beliefs about “black people.” Some believe that if they see a black person and pinch the person next to them, their wishes will come true. Sözer recalled one case in which two ladies pinched each other upon seeing her. She was understandably upset. “I told the ladies that if they really wanted their wishes to come true, I also had to pinch both of them! They accepted and I pinched them very hard,” she says, laughing.Another superstition some hold is that the kiss of a black person can bring luck. “When I was small, I was asked to kiss many girls because there was this superstition that if a girl does not get kissed by a small African child, she would not find a husband,” Olpak says.Apart from being the focus of some superstitions, most Afro-Turks say they have never been humiliated or discriminated against by the society. However, overcoming prejudice while looking for someone to marry is not as easy as one would hope. Kayacan notes that sometimes the family does not approve of their son or daughter marrying an Afro-Turk.Afro-Turks are often called “Arabs” in Turkey. They also refer to themselves as Arabs, at times. This has led to a situation in which “Arab” means “black.” Ege University Professor Ahmet Yürür explains. “For the Turks, Africa was only the northern part of the continent: from Egypt to Morocco. This part was of course under Arab influence. Turks were never really interested in the south of the continent. This is why this community has come to be called ‘Arab,’” he says.Yürür suggests that Turkey can build bridges between itself and Africa with the help of Afro-Turks. But even establishing an association was difficult, Olpak says.“Our people did not even know of the word ‘association.’ They were suspicious at first, but in Turkey, all ethnic groups have solidarity associations except for us. We had some difficulties at first because we lived in a closed society,” he says. This is not to say that Olpak is pessimistic. The Dana Bayram? is evidence that the Afro-Turk community is being revived.Olpak has authored two books: “Slave Woman Kemale,” which tells the story of his own family, a slave family from Kenya that lived on Crete and had to migrate to Turkey, and “The Shores of Slaves,” in which Olpak presents a collection of stories by other Afro-Turks.“I am a third-generation Afro-Turk. My grandparents were slaves. The first generation lived through the sad events, the second generation tried to forget and deny these events, but the third generation wants to know what happened and how,” Olpak says, adding: “We are black and we are from here. We are a part of this rich Anatolian culture and we are ready to make an effort to be noticed by the society. I believe that in this way we will be able to contribute to the tolerant culture of this beautiful land.” Olpak has a wish for his community: to celebrate Dana Bayram? on the national level one day as a festival of tolerance.Link: http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/detaylar.do?load=detay&link=14152211 May 2008, SundayAY?E KARABAT?ZM?R

13th Century African Coin Found in Australia

An uninhabited island off the coast of Arnhem Land may seem worlds apart from medieval Africa, but believe it or not, they’re more connected than you’d think.

In 1944, a RAAF serviceman found several coins on a deserted beach on one of the Wessel Islands, off the Northern Territory coast, but the exact location of the discovery remained a mystery.

Now, almost eight decades later, amateur historians believe they’ve found another coin — this time on Elcho Island, which is also in the Wessel Island group.

The 1944 coins were linked to the east African city of Kilwa, off modern-day Tanzania.

If confirmed to be the same Kilwa coin — thought to have been produced post-1400 — the new coin would be among the oldest foreign artefacts ever found in Australia. …

Kilwa Coins in Australia

Cheddar man was Black

Cheddar Man is a human male fossil found in Gough’s Cave in Cheddar Gorge, Somerset, England. The skeletal remains date to the Mesolithic (ca. 9100 BP) and it appears that he died a violent death. A large crater-like lesion just above the skull’s right orbit suggests that the man may have also been suffering from a bone infection.

Excavated in 1903 in Gough’s Cave in Somerset, Cheddar Man is Britain’s oldest complete human skeleton. The remains are kept by the Natural History Museum in London in the new Human Evolution gallery.[1]

Intense speculation has built up around Cheddar Man’s origins and appearance because he lived shortly after the first settlers crossed from continental Europe to Britain at the end of the last ice age.

It was initially assumed that Cheddar Man had pale skin and fair hair, but his DNA paints a different picture, strongly suggesting he had blue eyes, a very dark brown to black complexion and dark curly hair.

The discovery shows that the genes for lighter skin became widespread in European populations far later than originally thought – and that skin colour was not always a proxy for geographic origin in the way it is often seen to be

Analysis of his nuclear DNA indicates that he was a typical member of the western European population at the time, probably with lactose intolerance, dark skin, blue eyes, and dark curly or wavy hair.[2]

Nuclear DNA sequence data

Nuclear DNA was extracted from the petrous part of the temporal bone by a team from the Natural History Museum in 2018.[3] The genetic markers suggested (based on their associations in modern populations whose phenotypes are known) that he probably had blue eyes, lactose intolerance, dark curly or wavy hair, and, less certainly,[3][4] dark to very dark skin.[2][5] These features are typical of the European population of the time, now known as West European Hunter-Gatherers. This population forms about 10%, on average, of the ancestry of Britons without a recent family history of immigration.[2]

The mitochondrial DNA of Cheddar Man was of haplogroup U5b1.[2] Some 65% of western European Mesolithic hunter-gatherers had haplogroup U5; today it is widely distributed, at lower frequencies, across western Eurasia and northern Africa. In 1996, Bryan Sykes of the University of Oxford first sequenced the mitochondrial DNA from one of Cheddar Man’s molars.[7][8][9]

There was no genetic link with the other skeletons from Gough’s Cave, which are 5,000 years older than Cheddar Man. For much of this intervening period, the last glaciation of Europe had made the area unsuitable for human life.

Genetic change in Britain since the Mesolithic:

Britain was periodically settled and then cleared during ice ages until the end of the last glacial period about 11,700 years ago, since when it has been continuously inhabited.

Until now, though, it hasn’t been clear whether each wave of migrants was seeded from the same population in mainland Europe; the latest results suggest this was not the case.

The team homed in on genes known to be linked to skin colour, hair colour and texture, and eye colour. For skin tone, there are a handful of genetic variants linked to reduced pigmentation, including some that are very widespread in European populations today. However, Cheddar Man had “ancestral” versions of all these genes, strongly suggesting he would have had “dark to black” skin tone, but combined with blue eyes.

More @
Cheddar man

CheddarWiki

T. Miles: So what happened to the original swarthy black Britons? – A ship called the “VETERAN”

The aboriginal Britons (England, Wales ,Scotland) were described by Tacitus, ancient Roman as swarthy, short and curly haired.

So what happened to those original swarthy black Britons?

In 449 AD the Northern Germanic invasion of Briton pushed the surviving British population West to Cornwall, Wales and Ireland and North to Scotland.

In 1688 AD the Stuart king James II was replaced by parliament with William III and Mary II. They produced no children and succession to the throne got complicated. The Irish and Scottish were later recruited by another Stuart cousin born in France known as “Bonnie Prince Charlie” to help him capture the British throne.

This war was called the Jacobite rebellion. When they lost that battle many Scots and Irish were rounded up by the English and imprisoned and later deported to the Caribbean. A close inspection of these ships logs describe these prisoners.

For example on the 5th of May 1747 a ship called the “VETERAN” captained by John Ricky, left Liverpool with Irish and Scottish prisoners. The ships log describes a percentage of these prisoners as being Brown skinned, swarthy or Black.

The prisoner numbered 132 on the “veteran list” was said to be George Hume a writer in the legal profession. He was aged 30 from Edinburgh and described as a “black man”. From what I can tell he was the most educated prisoner on the ship.

Prisoner 1519 Andrew Langer numbered 86 on the veteran list was described as a 40 year old, dark complexioned 5 foot 6 inch tall weaver from Dublin.

Prisoner 3314 James Urquhart, numbered 78 on the veteran list was described as an 18 year old with a brown complexion and said to be a 5 foot 5 inch Labourer from Aberdeen.

Prisoner 2602 James Neilson from Aberdeen was entered in as swarthy complexioned. Whereas Prisoner 1138 Charles Grant from Abernethy was listed as brown skinned, Prisoner Dunbar James from Moray was described as black.

Prisoner with Veteran List Number 96 Donald McDonald from Edinburgh was described as swarthy. James Reed with Veteran List Number 122 was described as prisoner with dark visage, so also was Prisoner 2797 George Reed from Banff who was described as dark. There were several more dark skin and swarthy Scottish and Irish prisoners on that ship; and a quick look through this list will quickly provide any researcher the correct perspective.

These prisoners were originally captured on the 30th December 1745 and imprisoned in York castle, Lincoln castle among other locations.

The ship sailed near Antigua on the 28th of June 1747. However for reasons unspecified the prisoners were taken by the Diamond privateer Paul Marsale and released in Martinique on the 30th June 1747.

See link below for more information: Black Scots
http://www.jacobites.net/uploads/2/4/3/9/24396590/list_of_prisoners_transported_on_veteran.pdf