Archers from Institute of Turkish Archery met in historical Okmeydani (arrow-place)
where was the first archer's sports guild at 31st May 2009, Sunday. This
area was not used for archery over the last 100 years. Purpose of that area
has forgotten cause of wars, earthquakes and civil occupations. And now
Turkish archers try to remind people about this place and its famous past.
Turkish Archers met in the area in their traditional clothes and made some
target shootings. With their original technique and traditional based equipments
they attract interest of local people and many national TV's and media showed
interest in and tracked that event in live.
Institute of Turkish Archery's authorities also gave short brief about Okmeydani
and group's workings to TV's.
Archery has been performed as a regular and planned branch
of sports in Ottoman Empire since the second half of the 15th century. Thus,
there were 34 big arenas specifically assigned to archery activities in
the Ottoman period. These places were provided in several cities and were
called 'ok meydani' ("oq-meidany" arrow-place). Those were the places where
the contests and trainings were held while they served as grand facilities
where the sportsman live and had their own allocations, managers and staff.
There were standing sportive activities under a scheduled order in those
The most notable of these arrow places was Istanbul Ok-meydani. It was officially
donated to archery activities by Mehmed II. (Conqueror) just after the conquest
of Istanbul in A.D. 1453. The borders and purpose of use of the field were
set clearly by the Sultan's firman in order to prevent violations such as
burial of the dead, entrance of ungulates, construction of houses, agricultural
activities. But today, thousands of peoples live in that area and only small
parts of guild and some ruins left.
Municipality has a plan to restore that area and re-build Guild's main buildings
and shooting area.