PREFACE

Today manufacturers of gold and silver articles in Turkey are allowed to stamp them with their own carat marks. Yet while
it is no longer obligatory to have gold and silver articles marked at the Mint, this institution maintains its historic function
as assay office, and today continues to test and mark items on an optional basis.

As Mr Kürkman explains in this book, during the Ottoman Empire's centuries of expansion it was obligatory for gold articles
and silverware to be assayed and stamped by the Imperial Mint. I am delighted to see Ottoman gold and silver marks
catalogued here for the first time. This study of assay and makers' marks fills an important gap in our knowledge, and
will be an invaluable reference work for researchers and collectors alike.

One of the many expressive idioms in the Turkish language is "to dig a well with a needle", expressing the concepts of patience,
stoicism and diligence. This study by Garo Kürkman is the fruit of just such qualities, as I have witnessed at first hand.

I congratulate him on this study of Ottoman gold and silver marks, which his dedicated work has made available to readers
and scholars interested in this field.

If any marks have escaped his attention I hope that subsequent researchers will bring them to light, so contributing to the body of
knowledge presented in this book.

Salih YARDIMCI
Director of the Mint