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Contents / Medals and decorations
From the aigrette given to Admiral Nelson in 1798 to the War Medals of World War I, the history of Ottoman medals and decorations is as complex as it is interesting. The story of Ottoman medals and decorations is tantamount to an historical novel with illustrations, harboring all manner of fascinating information among its pages. Sultanate and regime; military and political propaganda; wars, peace treaties and alliances; honor, pride, envy; cultural and administrative change; in short, 120 years of an empire's history. 'Pride and Privilege: An Exhibition of Ottoman Orders, Medals and Decorations', an Ottoman Bank Museum project, realized by Prof. Dr. Edhem Eldem of the History Department at Bosphorus University and designed by Bülent Erkmen, made us privy to that history up to the end of December. Going beyond a mere display of objects, the exhibition enabled us to hear their stories as well. Taking the exhibition as his point of departure, Prof. Dr. Edhem Eldem has authored a book of, in his own words, 'somewhat uncontrollable growth'.
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