website of Jelle Verheij, historian

Historical Photos

"Geographische Charakterbilder"

The photos reproduced here are from a set of photos from his 1906-1907 expedition, published under the long title of "Geographic character pictures from Asiatic Turkey and the southern Mesopotamian-Iranian border mountains (Pusht-i-Kuh): a presentation of the surface structure, population, settlement and economy" (German: Geographische Charakterbilder aus der asiatischen Tuerkei und dem suedlichen mesopotamisch-iranischen Randgebirge (Puscht-i-kuh) : eine Darstellung der Oberflaechengestalt, Bevoelkerung, Siedlung und Wirtschaft.)

"Geographische Charakterbilder" is a rare and relatively unknown work. It contains 176 photos on 88 separate, unbound sheets, showing scenery, people and monuments in what is now South and Southeast Turkey, Northern Syria and Iraq. The photos are of great value for students of the history of the Middle East.

Hugo Grothe (1909)

Albert Louis Hugo Grothe (1869-1954) was a German politician, geographer and traveller. He took a keen interest in various fields like economical development, anthropology, archeology and geology. Between 1896 and 1912 he undertook several journeys in the Ottoman Empire, each of which he published about.

- in 1903" "auf türkischer Erde. Reisebilder und Studien" ("on Turkish soil. Travel pictures and studies")

- in 1911: "Meine Vorderasien-Expedition von 1906 und 1907" ("My expedition in the Middle East")

- in 1913: "Durch Albanien und Montenegro" ("Through Albania and Montenegro")

As his father worked in the construction of the Berlin-Baghdad railway, he took a close interest in the promotion of German interests in the Middle East. Reports from British representatives in the area show that they were highly distrustful of Grothe's intentions and amongst others feared that he was interested in the detection of petroleum.

Zeytun (today named Süleymanlı), Kahramanmaraş province

For a slide show of Grothe's pictures click on the sample below