Travellers in Ottoman Lands: The Botanical Legacy


The two day symposium on the 13th & 14th of May 2017 at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is organised by the Association for the Study of Travel in Egypt and the Near East (ASTENE) in conjunction with the Centre for Middle Easten Plants (CMEP). Contributions are welcome from a wide range of disciplines and interests. It is envisaged that the Seminar will cover many fascinating subjects on (though not restricted to) the following main themes:

– Travellers’ accounts related to the botanical legacy of any part of the former Ottoman Empire (e.g. present-day Turkey, the Levant, Egypt, the Balkans, Arabian Peninsula etc.)
– The flora of the region, including their heritage, preservation and medicinal uses
– Bulbs of the region, especially tulips, and their cultural significance; Tulipomania
– Ottoman garden design and architecture
– Floral and related motifs in Ottoman art, including textiles, ceramics etc.
– Culinary aspects of the botanical legacy of the region
– Literary, pictorial and photographic depictions of any aspect of the botanical and horticultural legacy of the region
– Orientalism as applicable to any of the seminar’s main themes.

Please email your offers of papers to together with a working title, a brief abstract of not more than 250 words, and the names of authors and their affiliations. We also welcome the offer of pre-organised panels of up to four speakers on specific themes. Participants will be informed about the acceptance of their paper by 15 February 2017. Seminar Bursaries are also offered: please contact for information.

Download the Poster here

The Seminar Booking Form and the Draft Seminar Programme will be available on Eventbrite in early January 2017 with the deadline for bookings being 15 April 2017. Tickets will also be available at the event. *** SOLD OUT ***. Any enquiries should be addressed to


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  1. Muhammed KÖSE

    Hello mister, will the seminar be published

  2. Muhammed KÖSE


    We have been already submitted an abstract to conferrance namely “The two researchers who made examination on plants in the balkans according to the documents in the ottoman archives of prime ministry: Antonia Baldacci and Dr. Edward Formanek” but we did not receive any response yet. Could you give any information about our process please?