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Italian sailors leave a trace in Sozopol

Date: 15.12.2005

In 15th-17th the Ottoman Empire waged permanent sea wars against the Republic of Venice. But it is not the captives' blood that was admixed to the Bulgairians' veins, because there were scarcely any captives in this war at all: Turks and Venetians killed each other without mercy even after the battles were over. The truth is that the Turks, who were novices in sea affairs, used to offer generous wages to Italian sailors and shipbuilders. As early as the 16th century, the Venetian ambassadors to Istanbul announced that the Turks were closely watching the wages offered to the sailors in Italy and generously offered them a much higher pay to work for them. As a result a whole neighborhood called New Calabria emerged in the capital of the Ottoman Empire. There were similar neighborhoods in all the Black Sea towns, because the Ottoman galleys were built there.

The Italians used to marry Bulgarian and Greek women and their children mixed with the local population. Thus the Italian language left a lasting trace in the jargon of the Sozopol fishermen.


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