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The legend of the flying Turk was likely borrowed from the story of ibn Firnas attaching feathers to his arms and flapping his arms up and down, which is similar to the Greek myth of Icarus.

Mehmed Zilli (also known as Evliya Çelebi) (1611 – 1682) was a traveler and storyteller who wrote a few sentences about the city of Istanbul celebrating (the anniversary of ?) the legendary “flights” of the Çelebi brothers.
“First, he [Hezârfen Ahmed Çelebi] practiced by flying over the pulpit of Okmeydanı eight or nine times with eagle wings, using the force of the wind. Then, as Sultan Murad Khan was watching from the Sinan Pasha mansion at Sarayburnu, he flew from the very top of the Galata Tower [87 meters above the water] and landed in the Doğancılar Square in Üsküdar [3400 meters away]”.
The story is obviously fictional. A man could not fly by moving a dead eagle’s rigid wings up and down. Eagles have much less weight, powerful wing muscles, and all birds fly by changing the shape of their wings to “swim” through the air.

A wind would not cause someone to circle a building many times.

The 2nd legend is that Lagâri Hasan Çelebi (brother of Hezârfen Ahmed Çelebi) attached 7 eagle wings, and rockets filled with 60 kilograms (130 pounds) of gunpowder to himself, announced “I am going to talk to Jesus”, took off into the air, landed in the sea, and swam back to shore. Not only is this legend fictional, but the reference to talking to Jesus indicates the legend is about a Christian, not about a Muslim.
The (England) en.wikipedia website makes the false claim that Hezârfen Ahmed Çelebi was a Muslim rocket scientist.
President Erdogan of Turkey in 2016 made the statement that the Turkish “rocket scientist” may have reached the moon.


The ancient Greeks lowered men below the sea in diving bells.

Primitive submarines were first built in the mid 1500’s.

According to a report attributed to Tahbir al-Tayseer in 1562, two Greeks dove and surfaced in a primitive submarine in the river Tagus in Spain near Toledo, an event witnessed by the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. His report does not mention any Turkish submarine.

Turks claim that around the same time, an Ottoman Turk in Turkey invented and used the first submarine. Although it is possible that a Turk built a submarine before the Greeks in Spain did, it is more likely that the Turks merely invented a legend, falsely giving Turkish architect Ibrahim Efendi credit for what the Greeks in Spain had done.

En.wikipedia gives credit to the Greeks in Spain, and does not mention the Turk. The Turkish wikipedia claims the Turk invented it first.

According to en.wikipedia, the first practical submarine that could be powered by arm power and could dive and surface by adjusting the amount of water in a primitive buoyancy tank made of leather was invented when King James I of England paid a Dutchman named Cornelius Jacobszoon Drebbel to build the submarine in 1620.

Image by Jacob Peter Gowy, via Wikimedia Commons.
image credit

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