TREBIZOND AND UKRAINE

Yuri KOCHUBEY*

ABSTRACT
The article deals with historical ties of the Ukrainians with Trabzon. Some episodes of the Medieval epoch are mentioned as well as events during World War I when the Russian army occupied Trabzon.The main attention is payed to the stay of three Ukrainian Orientalists – F. Schmit, F. Krymsky and M. Makarenko as members of a Commission created by the Russian Academy of Sciences for registranion and protection of cultural and historical monuments in Trabzon.
Key Words:
Trabzon and Ukraine, Ukrainian Orientalists, Turkish-Ukrainian relations.


TRABZON VE UKRAYNA  ÖZET

Makale, Ukraynalıların Trabzon ile olan tarihsel bağları ile ilgilidir. Orta Çağın yanı sıra Birinci Dünya Savaşı sırasında Rusya’nın Trabzon’u işgal ettiği dönemden de bahsedilmiştir. Özellikle Rusya Bilimler Akademisi tarafından Trabzon’daki kültürel ve tarihi anıtların tespit edilmesi ve korunması için hazırlanan komisyonun üç Ukraynalı şarkiyatçısı olan F. Schmit, F. Krymsky ve M. Makarenko ile ilgilidir.
Anahtar Kelimeler:
Trabzon ve Ukrayna, Ukraynalı şarkiyatçılar, Türk-Ukrayna ilişkileri.

In the history of Ukrainian-Turkish relations are pages that are so little studied and for this reason remain unknown to the public. Such is the page where it goes about liaison between Trabson and Ukrainians. Let’s not talk about older times, and dwell on the period when the Ottoman Empire
established itself on the shores of the Black Sea. Ukrainians had close contact, not always friendly with the Crimean Khanate, which was in feudal dependence on the Turkish sultan, and with Turkish fortress cities on the Black and Azov Seas. Peaceful coexistence and trade exchanges were followed by Tatar raids for slaves in Ukraine and by attacks of the Ukrainian Cossacks on Crimean and Turkish cities, including overseas. There are testimonies of this in Polish and Turkish sources. Especially often sea raids of Cossacks were occurring in the early sixteenth century. Suffered most Turkish villages, located on the west coast of the Black Sea region and the Bosphorus, near the capital of the empire, what, as sources indicate, especially “History” by Naima very worried Sultan. There are evidence records and memoirs of Polish commanders who deployed with their troops in Ukraine. The Cossacks acted contrary to the orders of the Polish kings, who did not want to spoil relations with the Turkish state, but prevent them they could not.
A serious concern in the capital of the Ottoman Empire caused the events that unfolded in Trabzon and Sinop: Cossacks in their small boats (chaikas) managed to cross the Black Sea and attack Trabzon. Great Ukrainian historian Mikhailo Hrushevskyi (1866-1934) in his fundamental “History of Ukraine- Rus” (vol. VII) reported three such maritime raids. As an objective historian, he rightly described such attacs as piracy. On raid of 1614 he wrote: “It was them (the Cossacks – Yu.K.), about two thousand, it means about forty chaikas. Having crossed the sea directly under Trabzon, they started to devastated coast region full of rich towns and villages that lived here safely, without fear from nowhere, for from nobody other neither from the Cossacks they did not experienced here no trouble and peril, since Turkey seized Asia Minor “(rpymeBctKHH, 1995, 334)
About 1616 expedition, he wrote that the Cossacks, violating a truce between the King and Sultan went to Trabzon, but the chaikas during a storm were thrown on the beach. Then they reached Tapezund by foot, took it and plundered. (rpymeBctKHH, 1995, 356) Perhaps the last attack of the Cossacks realized in 1625, destroyed many cities and towns, as the historian indicated, but did not take Trapezund Castle (rpymeBctKHH, 1995, 334). So information on a significant Black Sea city Trabzon became known in Eastern Europe. These campaigns resonated in Ukrainian literature. So, Sydir Vorobkevich (1836-1903) wrote the poem “Trapezont fall”, and the Polish-Ukrainian writer Karol Heynch (1810-1860?) in 1842 created a fulfledged drama in verse entitled “The Return of the Cossacks from Trabzon”, which was performed in Zhitomir and Berdichev. (rP yPE, 1988. – C. 356-7, 405)
Undoubtedly, it would be very interesting and useful to compare data on these trips-attacks which have Ukrainian and Polish archives and publications, with documents from Ottoman archives and works of Ottoman historians of the past and possibly current research, if any. This also applies to other important
episodes of our relationship. It was also written in his time by the Ukrainian historian V.V. Dubrovsky in the 20ies in the past century, when the issue of cooperation of Turkish and Ukrainian historians appeared. Then in Ukraine and Turkey were established commissions to explore the problems of the history of relations between the two countries. The developments in the Soviet Union – a totalitarian ideological pressure – have prevented the implementation of plans conceived.
The second important episode in the history of Ukrainian-Turkish relations concerning the Trabzon is directly related to the First World War. It is known that during this war some of the Turkish territory was occupied by tsarist Russian army, including the Trabzon and its environs. It is natural that among the Tsar’s soldiers there was a large number of Ukrainians. Similarely to the situation on the fronts of the Western theater of military operations, on the Caucasus front under the influence of leftist propaganda soldiers began to participate in political activities. Ukrainian soldiers were engaged in such activities too: they founded their organization – a Hromada (community) that has become even printing its organ — “Bulletin of the Ukrainian community of Trabzon” edited by H. Khomenko.( KPHMCBKHH, XrneHKo, 1991, 190-193 ) The Trapezund community was tied with other Ukrainian groups that emerged in different parts of Transcaucasia. Great momentum for its revitalization gave revolutionary events in Russia: abdication of the Tsar of the throne, the collapse of fronts, creating the Central Council in Kiev, Ukrainization of some regiments, idea, although not always clear, of Ukraine’s independence gained strength. Activities of Ukrainians in Trabzon were so active that it is in this city from October 29 to November 4, 1917 was held Ukrainian Military Congress, which, according to some reports, even issued a “Bulletin”. To investigate these events is important that their participants have left us a priceless testimony – their memoirs. Some of them were published after the Second World War in exile. First should be mentioned two publications — a direct participant’s recollections of events in Trabzon, by later known scholar, historian and bibliographer Lev Bykovsky (1895-1992), who finished his days in Denver, Colorado, USA. To his pen belong two books (in Ukrainian): “At the Caucasus- Turkish front. Memories of 1916 – 1918 pp. (Winnipeg-Denver, 1968) (EHKOBCBKHH, 1968) and “From Pryvorottia to Trabzon. Memories (1895¬1918) (Munich-Denver, 1969). (EHKOBCBKHH, 1968) By parts were published also memoires of an eminent exile personality Vasil Ivanytsa “Paths of Life. Memoirs, I (on the Caucasus Front) (Buenos Aires, 1958), there were other materials. About Trapezund events mentioned in his “History of Ukraine, 1917¬1923” a prominent historian prof. Dmytro Doroshenko (1882-1951) (vol. I, New York, 1954). With revolutionary developments in Russia and Ukraine military operations on the Caucasus front, practically ceased. In accordance with memories of Ukrainians their stay Trabzon left positive impressions of the local Turks, at least because, as wrote L. Bykovsky , “Turks are generally
honest people!”. He recorded in his book, and this episode: when the situation changed and the Turkish army launched the offensive at Trabzon, the Ukrainian military who remained in the city to avoid bloodshed, decided to send a cable addressed to Turkish command that in the city there no Russian soldiers but Ukrainian army only, and it is not in war with the Turks and timely will leave for Ukraine. They received the following answer: “Turkey is not in war with Ukraine, and therefore offensive on Trabzon stopped!”.( EHKOBCBKHH, 1968, 114) After some time a ship arrived and Ukrainian sailed home. This, in short, is the picture of stay of Ukrainians in Trabzon during the First World War, which relate to military events.
But there was another aspect of the meeting of the Ukrainian with Turkey in Trabzon, which has not yet found the coverage of historical literature. The fact that after the invasion of Russian troops in eastern Turkey Russian Academy of Sciences has decided to send in Trabzon a special commission, whose official task was to register and protect against destruction Cultural and historical monuments , which could suffer as a consequence of war. On other plans of the Russian scientific esteblishmentu one can only guess.
At the head of the commission became a prominent Russian scientist byzantologist, long-term (1894-1917) director of the Russian Archaeological Institute in Constantinople Academician F.I. Uspensky (1845-1928). The Commission was sent for little terms in different composition, but the head was always Acad. F.I. Uspensky.
It happened that three Ukrainian scientiststo were a part of these expeditions. They at that time enjoyed a high academic standing and respect in the academic community. Already in the first group, along with artist- photographer W. Kluge came prominent expert on artistic heritage of Byzantium and the whole Asia Minor, and art theoretician F.I. Schmit (1877¬1942). Prior to the Russian revolution of 1917 and immediately thereafter he worked in Kyiv and Kharkiv, and later became Director of the Institute of History of Art in Leningrad. In Trabzon he was commissioned to investigate the church of St. Sophia, converted into a mosque at one time. Academician F.I. Uspensky described in great detail the achievements of F.I. Schmit in the study of the church: he opened ancient mosaic floor, opened and cleared of plaster a significant part of the frescoes in the altar of the temple and on the walls …”, “a plan of the temple was drown and he made several pictures with paints, as well as measurements and drawings. The most important fact should be recognized that the wall paintings discovered original features that give new meaning to medieval art”. It is listed in the report by F.I. Uspensky to the Academy.1
However, Acad. F.I. Uspensky notes that he “had a chance to buy” (!) a significant number of manuscripts in Arabic and Turkish, part of which was immediately sent to Petrograd, and “three cases also had to arrive in Petrograd”.2 Also a lot of archival materials, various kinds of official papers, kept under guard in one of the mosques, were collected.
Prof. A.Y. Krymsky was involved in the work of the Commission as an expert in Turkish language. He arrived in Trabzon along with his assistant, Ukrainian Orientalist P.N. Loziyev on June 15, 1917. In this same group was included another famous Ukrainian expert on arts – M.O. Makarenko (1877-1936) who worked 17 years in Petrograd in the world famous Hermitage, and was the author of “A Short Guide” of this museum (Petrograd, 1916).
As noted academician F.I. Uspensky in his other report, on the work in summer of 1917: “Professor of the Lazarev Institute of Oriental Languages A.Y. Krymsky took 0n himself arrangeing and description of manuscripts, books and archival documents gathered in the mosque Orta Hisar….member of the expedition M.O. Makarenko study of the walls of the city and of the Trapesund Acropolis “.3 In the report by Acad. F.I.Uspensky report was filed also a report by A.Y. Krymsky, where he noted: “any uniques here are absent, but generally it is a valuable manuscript collection”4. Among the books described by him, as one can see from the report, were present historical works (Saadeddin, Naima, Salim-zadeh, Cevdet, etc.). And divans of poetry (Galib, Ismet, Nabi, Nephi, Surruri etc.)..
A.Y. Krymsky had a quite sympathetic attitude to the local Muslim population, strongly condemned the vandalism of Russian soldiers. This is especially evident as he treated the Turkish official and private archival materials, which he considered as necessary to keep from encroachment and destruction of those residents who did not run away with the arrival of the Russian army and plundered property of the fugitives. It goes about such documents as bill of sale, promissory notes, mortgages, liabilities, receipts and the receipt of money and so on. He wrote: “For the Muslim population fled when it returns to the Trabzon, our archive will render a irreplaceable service, will bring enormous benefits, will be a blessing”.5 We know that the restoration of property and other rights without the documents practically impossible.
According to Leo Bykovskyy who met A.Y. Krymsky exactly in Trabzon, the scientist was against exporting documents to Russia, “because the population deprived of these documents that showed the land property arrangements in this territory will falls into disorder, of what will take advantage various adventurers … In general, the professor complained, he was used in the Commission as an expert of the Turkish language, but his opinion was not taken into account. I realized then why the professor was not satisfied with his participation in the work of the Commission” (EHKOBCBKHH, 1968, 72). In concluding his report, he wrote: “With gratitude we remember Trapezund Turks and representatives of charitable Transcaucasian Muslim society. They treated us with extraordinary kindness”.6

Just a brief report on its work Trabzon filed M. O. Makarenko. He reported that explored the fortress walls, by the character of masonry determined period of its construction. In the Palace Church he recognized the image of St. Eugene, patron of the city. He noted: “After cleaning it I took up the study of painting and techniques of this image which was done as well as all images of the ruins, by pecial technique, which sharply differs from the technique of fresco painting”.7 In addition he made watercolor drawings of fragments from the image of St. Eugene and about 50 photos. One can say, the report is purely technical. After returning to Ukraine, in Kiev, he presented a lecture “Trabzon and its monuments of art and antiquities”.8
Stay of A.Y. Krymsky, which was not only scientists, but also a poet and prose writer, Trabzon left a trace in his poetic creativity. Inspired by the beautiful nature of the area and significant historical landmarks, as well as news of the revolutionary events in Ukraine, he created a cycle of poems “In Trapezunt. Memories of Moscow’s occupation in 1917”, which was published in 1918 in review “Chas” (Time) and in 1922 in his poetic collection “Palm Branches” (part three). But he made a postscript: “Author was sent toTrapezunt by the Russian Academy of Sciences in the summer of 1917 to protect ancient monuments against Vandalism of savage Moscow soldiery”. (KPHMCBKHH, 1922, 1)Later, in Soviet times, this cycle was not published in full.
This brief elaboration on Trabzon and Ukraine shows what a wide field lay before Ukrainian and Turkish scientists for further joint work on research of “white spots” in history of our relations.

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