Methods for encryption in early 19th-century Ottoman diplomatic correspondence


CRYPTOLOGIA, vol.46, no.6, pp.498-524, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 46 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/01611194.2021.1919943
  • Journal Name: CRYPTOLOGIA
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Academic Search Premier, PASCAL, Aerospace Database, Applied Science & Technology Source, Communication Abstracts, Compendex, Computer & Applied Sciences, Metadex, zbMATH, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.498-524
  • Keywords: Ottoman empire, cryptography, ambassador cipher, monoalphabet
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


Ottoman cryptography, a phenomenon that did not officially exist in Ottoman State, emerged with the development of Ottoman diplomatic bureaucracy in the 19th century. In this article, as well as discussing early applications of official Ottoman cryptography, the traces and features of these efforts which began in the year 1797 have been revealed in the light of encrypted archive documents. Ciphers and encoding/decoding methods of Ottoman diplomats were also investigated in this study. Besides, the initial steps of cryptography amongst the Ottoman-Turks are presented and their characteristics have been assessed in this article.