Turkish Family Poses in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

turkey

A Turkish family is posing in their traditional garb for photographer L.A. Sawyer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Cabinet cards capture history and this photograph represents the building of America through immigration. How did this family adapt to life in this country? What issues did they face? Lots of questions and no answers. We can only imagine or read about the struggles of other immigrant families. The inscription below the photograph appears to indicate that this family comes from Bitlis, Turkey. Bitlis is located in southeastern Turkey, southwest of Lake Van and 4600 feet above sea level. It is rich in history, having been controlled by Arab dynasties, Byzantines, Persians and Mongolians. By the 14th century it became part of the Kurdish dynasty and was very autonomous until 1847 when it became part of the Ottoman empire. During World War I, the city was occupied by the Russians. The occupation had adverse impact on Bitlis; it reduced its population and damaged their weaving and dyeing industries.

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Published in: on December 23, 2008 at 3:37 am  Comments (1)  
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  1. The surname is Armenian. Bitlis was a predominantly Armenian city in the 19th century. I’m guessing this card is dated to the 1870s or 1880s. I guess the family emigrated about that time or they came over for business. The things photos can and can’t tell us. Have a look at my blog. I have a lot of Turkish photos and a few cabinet cards on it.


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