Topkapi Palace Piri Reis Map – Chapter 1,
Just after the Republic was announced Topkapi Palace was turned into a museum on Ataturk’s orders. This huge palace which had been the home of Ottoman sultans for nearly 500 years contained hundreds of thousands of objects and documents. It was necessary to prepare an inventory of all of them, and a team of experts led by the late Director of Museums Halil Ethem Eldem was given this duty. They began to make an inventory of everything one by one. Months and years passed and the job was still not finished. On December 9, 1929, a museum expert discovered two maps drawn on gazelle skin among these documents which had not been handled for hundreds of years. The maps were very old, their edges worn and they had begun to fade. The maps were taken to Halil Ethem’ Eldem who realized as soon as he looked at them that they were the maps drawn by the famous Turkish captain Piri Reis in 1513. They showed the shores of Western Europe, Africa and eastern America, the new continent which had recently been discovered. Ataturk was immediately informed of this important discovery and he asked to see them. A few days later Halil Ethem Eldem arrived in Ankara with the maps clutched to his breast and showed them to Ataturk. After experts had examined the maps Ataturk ordered that their discovery is made public and scientific studies made of them. A short whole later the Turkish Historical Institute published the maps translated into both modern Turkish and foreign languages, exciting the interest of the entire world. Newspapers discussed the maps of Piri Reis for days. There were even those who suggested that perhaps previously unknown Turkish sailors had discovered America first.
You will continue to find the details of the map of Piri Reis in chapter 2.