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The Atlas of Ali Macar Reis
16th century Ottoman nautical charts figure significantly in the history of cartography. Dating from the time when the Ottoman Empire was approaching its zenith of wealth and power, these charts are a valuable source of information about the history of the period. The work of the Ottoman privateers who then held sway over most of the Mediterranean, these charts cover a geographical area far beyond the bounds of the Ottoman Empire. As rulers of an expanding empire, the Ottoman sultans took a close interest in mapmaking and may well have commissioned their sea captains to draw the charts. When Piri Reis presented his first world map to Sultan Selim I, conqueror of Egypt, in 1517, the sultan is said to have declared, “How small is the world for a conqueror.”
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