Mapping of North-Western Anatolia by the Lénard Expedition
- Institute for Hungarian Studies, Hungary
Keywords: Lénard-expedition, Anatolia, ethnographic map, refugees
Abstract. In 1918 the Hungarian Government sent a group of experts and scientists, to investigate the coastal region of Northern Anatolia with a view to promoting future Hungarian-Turkish economic relations. The brief of the expedition was to carry out technical, geological, economic and ethnographic surveys. They left Haydarpasa on 21 September 1918, and arrived a month later in Ereğli, where they decided to return home. While some of the group returned by ship to Istanbul, the rest travelled overland and studied an area south of the coastal district. The material collected by the expedition was hidden in a safe place in Istanbul. On 1 December the party was interred as prisoners of war, only being able to take a ship to Trieste on 7 January 1919 from where they travelled by train to Hungary. One manuscript of an ethnographic map with a scale of 1:200000 was brought back by István Györffy. This is by far the most detailed ethnographic map made of this part of Anatolia where many Balkanian and Caucasian refugees were placed by the Turkish Government. A digital copy of this map at a scale of 1:338000 was made in 1999 showing the same data. It details the origin of the population, differentiating between the native-born and immigrant Turkish populations. Although the expedition was terminated prematurely and therefore the map covered a smaller area than was intended, it is unique. The whereabouts of the second manuscript map and the rest of the material collected on the expedition is unknown.