From smoke to Wi-Fi: A brief history of communications

Published 15.10.2017 21:34
Updated 15.10.2017 21:36
From smoke to Wi-Fi: A brief history of communications

The times have changed and so has the way people communicate. In honor of World Post Week, we take a look at the history of communication mediums and the importance of postal services

People used to utilize various mediums of communication, depending on the distance and geographical conditions. Over time, the way people communicate has changed quite dramatically.

While humans previously communicated by using smoke, fire, doves, drums and even the reflection of sunlight on mirrors, earthlings are now communicating instantly with 4G technology, which has increased the speed of the internet tenfold.

Among archaic forms of communication, the postal service has had the most profound impact on people's lives.

The postal system, which began with tablet letters written in nails on clay in the Sumerians, gained great political and military significance with the letters sent by King Hammurabi to administrators of foreign states during the Babylonian period. On the other hand, during the Assyrian period, which took the stage of history in the following years, commercial letters were frequently used in the postal and communication system, while in the wars fought during the old Hellenistic period, the skulls of the slaves were scalped and news written on them to send to the army commanders.

It was the Persians who established a regular postal and correspondence organization in a modern sense. During the time of the Persian Empire, in modern-day Iran many new roads were built and accommodation facilities known as the "Çaparhane" were built at certain distances. Pedestrian and equestrian postal workers were delivering news from one accommodation facility to the other. This regular correspondence and postal organization was adopted by the Greeks and lasted until the time of Alexander the Great and the Roman Empire.

Islamic world communicates with Barid Organization

The postal system of the Muslims was known as the Barid Organization. Known to have existed during the time of Prophet Muhammad, the organization was officially established for the first time during the time of Caliph Umar. During the Umayyads and Abbasids, this organization was strengthened and enlarged.

The letters sent by Muhammad to invite foreign statesmen to the religion of Islam and state correspondents were among the most important official written documents of this period.

Communication in Turkish history

In Turkish history, different tools were used in the field of postal and communication services.

In the Turkish states, from the Great Hun Empire until the Ottoman Empire, military communications were provided with flags during the day and with drums and pipes at night.

One of the tools used as a form of communication during this time were "fire towers," known as "Karguy." While Turkish messengers took the letters of their rulers to neighboring state rulers with horses, the general assembly invitations were also forwarded to the Turkish beys. The Mamluks and Ayyubids benefited from pigeons for commercial purposes, while the Seljuks who perfected the Barid Organization used official postal workers called "çapar" and "peyk" as well as the pigeons.

During the rule of the Ottoman Empire, however, an advanced postal and commu

nication organization came to the fore. This service, which is based mainly on the messenger and "menzilhane" (postal station), was used only in the execution of the state's affairs up until the Tanzimat period. In 1840, the Postal Ministry was established during the reign of Sultan Abdülmecid.

The postal service had great use in winning the Turkish War of Independence. Especially during the transition from the National Movement to the Republic, the course of the wars was changed with encoded telegrams which led to the victory of the courageous Turkish army. The foundation of the Republic of Turkey was laid after Mustafa Kemal Atatürk directed the Lausanne Peace Conference with encoded telegrams.

With the foundatıon of the Republic, Turkey's postal services were nationalized and foreign postal offices were closed, and the communication network was placed under state control. In this period, postal services were improved, and investments in both domestic and overseas letter transport were increased.

In the following period, a common telephone network was introduced in post offices. Regulations establishing certain standards in postal and telephone services were established and the development of communication satellites, automation and other services continued.

Internet speed increases tenfold

Nowadays, as technology develops rapidly, communication happens instantaneously.

The new 4G technology, which offers more data capacity with high mobile internet speed in Turkey, was activated as of April 1, 2016. With 4G technology, which increases internet speed tenfold, video calls are clearer and social media sharing is much faster.

The new technology that the world will see in 2020 is known as 5G. According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a download speed of 20 Gbps and upload speed of 10 Gbps will be achieved with the new 5G technology, which will serve 1 million users within a 1-square-kilometer radius. In this way, even in crowded environments and cities, everyone will be able to take advantage of high communication speeds.

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