Open up a world of Turkish inspiration with a Cornucopia digital subscription

Buy a stand-alone digital subscription and get unlimited access to dozens of back issues for just £18.99 / $18.99 a year.

Print subscribers automatically receive FREE access to the digital archive.
Please register at www.exacteditions.com/digital/cornucopia with your subscriber account number or contact subscriptions@cornucopia.net

Buy a digital subscription Activate free digital access (print subscribers only) Go to the Digital Edition

The art of letter writing

The art of letter writing Tim Stanley on a celebration of Şeyh Hamdullah and the 500-year-old calligraphy tradition that almost vanished

  • The illuminated first page from a landmark book on mental health, Sustenance for Body and Soul by Abu Zayd al-Balkhi (850–934). The manuscript was copied by Şeyh Hamdullah for Mehmed the Conqueror. It represents his style early in his career (Süleymaniye Yazma Eser Kütüphanesi, Ayasofya 3740)

There is no doubt that Şeyh (Sheikh) Hamdullah is the most famous calligrapher in the Ottoman tradition, and there has long been a desire in Turkey to link him with Süleyman the Magnificent, the most famous ruler of the Empire. For this reason it is often said that he died after Süleyman’s accession in 1520, although his demise probably took place a few years earlier. Over five centuries this difference has shrunk in importance, and so now we can celebrate the career of this great calligrapher that ended with his death roughly 500 years ago…

To see the full article, see the Connoisseur pages of Cornucopia 62.

Other Highlights from Cornucopia 62
  • Sweet endings

    Fruit poached to perfection, the fragrant ‘hoşaf’, or compote, is a simple, soothing finale to any meal

  • Living the Ottoman Dream

    Berrin Torolsan is enchanted by the House of Hindliyan. Photographs by Tim Beddow


  • Behind palace doors

    Philip Mansel on a book that tells the story of the Pera-born dragoman Mouradgea d’Ohsson, the ultimate cosmopolite who lifted the lid on the Topkapı. This special 24-page feature, Cornucopia includes 28 of the images from Mouradgea’s magnum opus, Tableau général de l’Empire othoman


  • Adventures of the Three Donketeers

    Anatolia on foot 40 years ago, by Christopher Trillo, with photographs by the author and Stephen Scoffham


  • In the Realm of the Ice Queen

    Central Asia, a plant-hunter’s paradise, has long held Chris Gardner under its spell. For two decades the Antalya-based botanical writer and photographer has traversed countless miles of steppe and mountain in search of the hardier cousins of many of his favourite Turkish plants

  • The Fabric of Life: Ergun Çağatay’s Epic Journey

    Caroline Eden tells Ergun Çağatay’s remarkable story



  • King of the Gobi

    John Hare on how the two-humped wild camel was saved from extinction

  • ... And a magnificent Süleyman

    A newly discovered 16th-century painting of Süleyman the Magnificent, sold by Sotheby’s London this spring (and subseqently donated to the Istanbul Municipality by an anonymous businessman), is the most ‘immediate’ portrait of him until the last years of his life. This is Süleyman in his pomp. By Julian Raby


  • Life after Life

    An affectionate tribute to Suna Kıraç by Özalp Birol


Good places to stay
Related Issues
Cornucopia Digital Subscription

The Digital Edition

Cornucopia has joined forces with the digital publishing platform Exact Editions to offer individual and institutional subscribers unlimited access to a searchable archive of fascinating back issues and every newly published issue. This brand new resource is available cross-platform on web, iOS and Android and offers a comprehensive search function, allowing the title’s cultural content to be delved into at the touch of a button.

Digital Subscription: £18.99 / $18.99 (1 year)

Subscribe now

Print subscribers automatically receive FREE access to the digital archive. If you are already a subscriber, please register at www.exacteditions.com/digital/cornucopia with your subscriber account number or contact subscriptions@cornucopia.net