Ottoman Empire

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The Sublime Ottoman State
دولت عليه عثمانیه
Devlet-i ʿAlīye-i ʿOsmānīye
1299–1922
Flag of the Ottoman Empire (1844-1922).svg
Flag
(1844–1922)
Coat of arms of the Ottoman Empire (1882-1922).svg
Coat of arms
(1882–1922)
Motto: دولت ابد مدت
Devlet-i Ebed-müddet
("The Eternal State") [1]
Anthem:  various
Ottoman Empire 1683 (orthographic projection).svg
OttomanEmpireMain.png
The Ottoman Empire in 1683
Status Empire
Capital
Common languages
Religion
Demonym(s) Ottoman
Government
Sultan  
 c.1299–1323/1324 (first)
Osman I
 1918–1922 (last)
Mehmed VI
Caliph  
 1517–1520 (first)
Selim I [12] [note 2]
 1922–1924 (last)
Abdulmejid II
Grand Vizier  
 1320–1331 (first)
Alaeddin Pasha
 1920–1922 (last)
Ahmet Tevfik Pasha
Legislature General Assembly
 Unelected upper house
Chamber of Notables
 Elected lower house
Chamber of Deputies
History 
  Founded
c. 1299
1402–1413
1453
1876–1878
1908–1920
23 January 1913
1 November 1922
  Republic of Turkey established [note 4]
29 October 1923
3 March 1924
Area
1451 [13] 690,000 km2 (270,000 sq mi)
1521 [13] 3,400,000 km2 (1,300,000 sq mi)
1683 [13] [14] 5,200,000 km2 (2,000,000 sq mi)
1844 [15] 2,938,365 km2 (1,134,509 sq mi)
Population
 1912 [16]
24,000,000
CurrencyVarious: Akçe, Para, Sultani, Kuruş, Lira
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Blank.png Sultanate of Rum
Blank.png Anatolian beyliks
Blank.png Byzantine Empire
Blank.png Kingdom of Bosnia
Blank.png Second Bulgarian Empire
Blank.png Serbian Despotate
Blank.png Kingdom of Hungary
Blank.png Kingdom of Croatia
Blank.png League of Lezhë
Blank.png Mamluk Sultanate
Blank.png Hafsid Kingdom
Blank.png Aq Qoyunlu
Blank.png Hospitaller Tripoli
Blank.png Kingdom of Tlemcen
Blank.png Empire of Trebizond
Blank.png Principality of Samtskhe
Blank.png Despotate of the Morea
Blank.png Zeta
Blank.png Principality of Theodoro
Turkey Blank.png
Hellenic Republic Blank.png
Caucasus Viceroyalty Blank.png
Bosnia and Herzegovina Blank.png
Revolutionary Serbia Blank.png
Albania Blank.png
Kingdom of Romania Blank.png
Principality of Bulgaria Blank.png
Eastern Rumelia Blank.png
Emirate of Asir Blank.png
Kingdom of Hejaz Blank.png
OETA Blank.png
Mandatory Iraq Blank.png
French Algeria Blank.png
British Cyprus Blank.png
French Tunisia Blank.png
Italian Tripolitania Blank.png
Italian Cyrenaica Blank.png
Sheikhdom of Kuwait Blank.png
Kingdom of Yemen Blank.png
Sultanate of Egypt Blank.png

The Ottoman Empire ( /ˈɒtəmən/ ; Ottoman Turkish : دولت عليه عثمانيهDevlet-i ʿAlīye-i ʿOsmānīye, lit.'The Sublime Ottoman State'; Turkish : Osmanlı İmparatorluğu or Osmanlı Devleti; French : Empire ottoman) [note 5] [17] was an empire [note 6] that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and Northern Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt (modern-day Bilecik Province) by the Turkoman [18] [19] tribal leader Osman I. [20] After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe and with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire. The Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the conquest of Constantinople in 1453 by Mehmed the Conqueror. [21]

Contents

Under the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman Empire marked the peak of its power and prosperity as well as the highest development of its government, social, and economic systems. [22] At the beginning of the 17th century, the empire contained 32 provinces and numerous vassal states. Some of these were later absorbed into the Ottoman Empire, while others were granted various types of autonomy over the course of centuries. [note 7]

With Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul) as its capital and control of lands around the Mediterranean Basin, the Ottoman Empire was at the centre of interactions between the Eastern and Western worlds for six centuries. While the empire was once thought to have entered a period of decline following the death of Suleiman the Magnificent, this view is no longer supported by the majority of academic historians. [23] The empire continued to maintain a flexible and strong economy, society and military throughout the 17th and for much of the 18th century. [24] However, during a long period of peace from 1740 to 1768, the Ottoman military system fell behind that of their European rivals, the Habsburg and Russian empires. [25] The Ottomans consequently suffered severe military defeats in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The successful Greek War of Independence concluded with decolonization following the London Protocol (1830) and Treaty of Constantinople (1832). This and other defeats prompted the Ottoman state to initiate a comprehensive process of reform and modernization known as the Tanzimat. Thus, over the course of the 19th century, the Ottoman state became vastly more powerful and organized internally, despite suffering further territorial losses, especially in the Balkans, where a number of new states emerged. [26]

The Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) established the Second Constitutional Era in the Young Turk Revolution in 1908, turning the Empire into a constitutional monarchy, which conducted competitive multi-party elections. A few years later, the now radicalized and nationalistic Union and Progress Party took over the government in the 1913 coup d'état, creating a one party regime. The CUP allied the Empire with Germany hoping to escape from the diplomatic isolation which had contributed to its recent territorial losses, and thus joined World War I on the side of the Central Powers. [27] While the Empire was able to largely hold its own during the conflict, it was struggling with internal dissent, especially with the Arab Revolt in its Arabian holdings. During this time, genocide was committed by the Ottoman government against the Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks. [28] The Empire's defeat and the occupation of part of its territory by the Allied Powers in the aftermath of World War I resulted in its partitioning and the loss of its Middle Eastern territories, which were divided between the United Kingdom and France. The successful Turkish War of Independence led by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk against the occupying Allies led to the emergence of the Republic of Turkey in the Anatolian heartland and the abolition of the Ottoman monarchy. [29]

Name

A Dutch map from 1635, referencing the "Turkish Empire" (TVRCICVM IMPERIVM). AMH-5633-KB Map of the Turkish empire.jpg
A Dutch map from 1635, referencing the "Turkish Empire" (TVRCICVM IMPERIVM).

The word Ottoman is a historical anglicisation of the name of Osman I, the founder of the Empire and of the ruling House of Osman (also known as the Ottoman dynasty). Osman's name in turn was the Turkish form of the Arabic name ʿUthmān (عثمان). In Ottoman Turkish, the empire was referred to as Devlet-i ʿAlīye-yi ʿOsmānīye (دولت عليه عثمانیه), [30] literally "The Supreme Ottoman State", or alternatively ʿOsmānlı Devleti (عثمانلى دولتى). In Modern Turkish, it is known as Osmanlı İmparatorluğu ("The Ottoman Empire") or Osmanlı Devleti ("The Ottoman State").

The Turkish word for "Ottoman" (Turkish : Osmanlı) originally referred to the tribal followers of Osman in the fourteenth century. The word subsequently came to be used to refer to the empire's military-administrative elite. In contrast, the term "Turk" (Türk) was used to refer to the Anatolian peasant and tribal population and was seen as a disparaging term when applied to urban, educated individuals. [31] In the early modern period, an educated, urban-dwelling Turkish-speaker who was not a member of the military-administrative class would often refer to himself neither as an Osmanlı nor as a Türk, but rather as a Rūmī (رومى), or "Roman", meaning an inhabitant of the territory of the former Byzantine Empire in the Balkans and Anatolia. The term Rūmī was also used to refer to Turkish speakers by the other Muslim peoples of the empire and beyond. [32] As applied to Ottoman Turkish-speakers, this term began to fall out of use at the end of the seventeenth century, and instead of the word increasingly became associated with the Greek population of the empire, a meaning that it still bears in Turkey today. [33]

In Western Europe, the names Ottoman Empire, Turkish Empire and Turkey were often used interchangeably, with Turkey being increasingly favoured both in formal and informal situations. This dichotomy was officially ended in 1920–1923, when the newly established Ankara-based Turkish government chose Turkey as the sole official name. At present, most scholarly historians avoid the terms "Turkey", "Turks", and "Turkish" when referring to the Ottomans, due to the empire's multinational character. [34]

History

Rise (c. 1299–1453)

As the Rum Sultanate declined well into the 13th century, Anatolia was divided into a patchwork of independent Turkish principalities known as the Anatolian Beyliks. One of these beyliks, in the region of Bithynia on the frontier of the Byzantine Empire, was led by the Turkish tribal leader Osman I (d. 1323/4), a figure of obscure origins from whom the name Ottoman is derived. [35] Osman's early followers consisted both of Turkish tribal groups and Byzantine renegades, with many but not all converts to Islam. [36] [37] Osman extended the control of his principality by conquering Byzantine towns along the Sakarya River. A Byzantine defeat at the Battle of Bapheus in 1302 contributed to Osman's rise as well. It is not well understood how the early Ottomans came to dominate their neighbors, due to the lack of sources surviving from this period. The Ghaza thesis popular during the twentieth century credited their success to their rallying of religious warriors to fight for them in the name of Islam, but it is no longer generally accepted. No other hypothesis has attracted broad acceptance. [38] [39]

The Battle of Nicopolis in 1396, depicted in an Ottoman miniature from 1523. Battle of Nicopolis.jpg
The Battle of Nicopolis in 1396, depicted in an Ottoman miniature from 1523.

In the century after the death of Osman I, Ottoman rule had began to extend over Anatolia and the Balkans. The earliest conflicts began during the Byzantine–Ottoman wars, waged in Anatolia in the late 13th century before entering Europe in the mid-14th century, followed by the Bulgarian–Ottoman wars and the Serbian–Ottoman wars waged beginning in the mid 14th century. Much of this period was characterised by Ottoman expansion into the Balkans. Osman's son, Orhan, captured the northwestern Anatolian city of Bursa in 1326, making it the new capital of the Ottoman state and supplanting Byzantine control in the region. The important port city of Thessaloniki was captured from the Venetians in 1387 and sacked. The Ottoman victory in Kosovo in 1389 effectively marked the end of Serbian power in the region, paving the way for Ottoman expansion into Europe. [40] The Battle of Nicopolis for the Bulgarian Tsardom of Vidin in 1396, widely regarded as the last large-scale crusade of the Middle Ages, failed to stop the advance of the victorious Ottoman Turks. [41]

As the Turks expanded into the Balkans, the conquest of Constantinople became a crucial objective. The Ottomans had already wrested control of nearly all former Byzantine lands surrounding the city, but the strong defense of Constantinople's strategic position on the Bosphorus Strait made it difficult to conquer. In 1402, the Byzantines were temporarily relieved when the Turco-Mongol leader Timur, founder of the Timurid Empire, invaded Ottoman Anatolia from the east. In the Battle of Ankara in 1402, Timur defeated the Ottoman forces and took Sultan Bayezid I as a prisoner, throwing the empire into disorder. The ensuing civil war, also known as the Fetret Devri, lasted from 1402 to 1413 as Bayezid's sons fought over succession. It ended when Mehmed I emerged as the sultan and restored Ottoman power. [42]

The Balkan territories lost by the Ottomans after 1402, including Thessaloniki, Macedonia, and Kosovo, were later recovered by Murad II between the 1430s and 1450s. On 10 November 1444, Murad repelled the Crusade of Varna by defeating the Hungarian, Polish, and Wallachian armies under Władysław III of Poland (also King of Hungary) and John Hunyadi at the Battle of Varna, although Albanians under Skanderbeg continued to resist. Four years later, John Hunyadi prepared another army of Hungarian and Wallachian forces to attack the Turks, but was again defeated at the Second Battle of Kosovo in 1448. [43]

Expansion and peak (1453–1566)

Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror's entry into Constantinople; painting by Fausto Zonaro (1854-1929) Zonaro GatesofConst.jpg
Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror's entry into Constantinople; painting by Fausto Zonaro (1854–1929)
An Ottoman miniature of the Battle of Mohacs in 1526 Battle of Mohacs, with Suleiman I in the middle.jpg
An Ottoman miniature of the Battle of Mohács in 1526
Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha defeats the Holy League of Charles V under the command of Andrea Doria at the Battle of Preveza in 1538 Battle of Preveza (1538).jpg
Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha defeats the Holy League of Charles V under the command of Andrea Doria at the Battle of Preveza in 1538

The son of Murad II, Mehmed the Conqueror, reorganized both state and military, and on 29 May 1453 conquered Constantinople, ending the Byzantine Empire. Mehmed allowed the Eastern Orthodox Church to maintain its autonomy and land in exchange for accepting Ottoman authority. [45] Due to tension between the states of western Europe and the later Byzantine Empire, the majority of the Orthodox population accepted Ottoman rule as preferable to Venetian rule. [45] Albanian resistance was a major obstacle to Ottoman expansion on the Italian peninsula. [46]

In the 15th and 16th centuries, the Ottoman Empire entered a period of expansion. The Empire prospered under the rule of a line of committed and effective Sultans. It also flourished economically due to its control of the major overland trade routes between Europe and Asia. [47] [note 8]

Sultan Selim I (1512–1520) dramatically expanded the Empire's eastern and southern frontiers by defeating Shah Ismail of Safavid Iran, in the Battle of Chaldiran. [48] [49] Selim I established Ottoman rule in Egypt by defeating and annexing the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt and created a naval presence on the Red Sea. After this Ottoman expansion, competition began between the Portuguese Empire and the Ottoman Empire to become the dominant power in the region. [50]

Suleiman the Magnificent (1520–1566) captured Belgrade in 1521, conquered the southern and central parts of the Kingdom of Hungary as part of the Ottoman–Hungarian Wars, [51] [52] [ failed verification ] and, after his historic victory in the Battle of Mohács in 1526, he established Ottoman rule in the territory of present-day Hungary (except the western part) and other Central European territories. He then laid siege to Vienna in 1529, but failed to take the city. [53] In 1532, he made another attack on Vienna, but was repulsed in the Siege of Güns. [54] [55] Transylvania, Wallachia and, intermittently, Moldavia, became tributary principalities of the Ottoman Empire. In the east, the Ottoman Turks took Baghdad from the Persians in 1535, gaining control of Mesopotamia and naval access to the Persian Gulf. In 1555, the Caucasus became officially partitioned for the first time between the Safavids and the Ottomans, a status quo that would remain until the end of the Russo-Turkish War (1768–1774). By this partitioning of the Caucasus as signed in the Peace of Amasya, Western Armenia, western Kurdistan, and Western Georgia (incl. western Samtskhe) fell into Ottoman hands, [56] while southern Dagestan, Eastern Armenia, Eastern Georgia, and Azerbaijan remained Persian. [57]

In 1539, a 60,000-strong Ottoman army besieged the Spanish garrison of Castelnuovo on the Adriatic coast; the successful siege cost the Ottomans 8,000 casualties, [58] but Venice agreed to terms in 1540, surrendering most of its empire in the Aegean and the Morea. France and the Ottoman Empire, united by mutual opposition to Habsburg rule, became strong allies. The French conquests of Nice (1543) and Corsica (1553) occurred as a joint venture between the forces of the French king Francis I and Suleiman, and were commanded by the Ottoman admirals Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha and Turgut Reis. [59] A month before the siege of Nice, France supported the Ottomans with an artillery unit during the 1543 Ottoman conquest of Esztergom in northern Hungary. After further advances by the Turks, the Habsburg ruler Ferdinand officially recognized Ottoman ascendancy in Hungary in 1547. Suleiman I died of natural causes in his tent during the Siege of Szigetvár in 1566.

EmperorSuleiman.jpg
Tizian 123.jpg
Suleiman the Magnificent and his wife Hürrem Sultan, two portraits by 16th century Venetian painter Titian.

By the end of Suleiman's reign, the Empire spanned approximately 877,888 sq mi (2,273,720 km2), extending over three continents. [60] In addition, the Empire became a dominant naval force, controlling much of the Mediterranean Sea. [61] By this time, the Ottoman Empire was a major part of the European political sphere. The Ottomans became involved in multi-continental religious wars when Spain and Portugal were united under the Iberian Union. The Ottomans were holders of the Caliph title, meaning they were the leaders of all Muslims worldwide. The Iberians were leaders of the Christian crusaders, and so the two were locked in a worldwide conflict. There were zones of operations in the Mediterranean Sea [62] and Indian Ocean, [63] where Iberians circumnavigated Africa to reach India and, on their way, wage war upon the Ottomans and their local Muslim allies. Likewise, the Iberians passed through newly-Christianized Latin America and had sent expeditions that traversed the Pacific in order to Christianize the formerly Muslim Philippines and use it as a base to further attack the Muslims in the Far East. [64] In this case, the Ottomans sent armies to aid its easternmost vassal and territory, the Sultanate of Aceh in Southeast Asia. [65] [66] During the 1600s, the worldwide conflict between the Ottoman Caliphate and Iberian Union was a stalemate since both powers were at similar population, technology and economic levels. Nevertheless, the success of the Ottoman political and military establishment was compared to the Roman Empire, despite the difference in the size of their respective territories, by the likes of the contemporary Italian scholar Francesco Sansovino and the French political philosopher Jean Bodin. [67]

Stagnation and reform (1566–1827)

Revolts, reversals, and revivals (1566–1683)

Ottoman miniature about the Szigetvar campaign showing Ottoman troops and Tatars as avant-garde Szigetvar 1566.jpg
Ottoman miniature about the Szigetvár campaign showing Ottoman troops and Tatars as avant-garde

In the second half of the sixteenth century, the Ottoman Empire came under increasing strain from inflation and the rapidly rising costs of warfare that were impacting both Europe and the Middle East. These pressures led to a series of crises around the year 1600, placing great strain upon the Ottoman system of government. [68] The empire underwent a series of transformations of its political and military institutions in response to these challenges, enabling it to successfully adapt to the new conditions of the seventeenth century and remain powerful, both militarily and economically. [23] [69] Historians of the mid-twentieth century once characterised this period as one of stagnation and decline, but this view is now rejected by the majority of academics. [23]

The discovery of new maritime trade routes by Western European states allowed them to avoid the Ottoman trade monopoly. The Portuguese discovery of the Cape of Good Hope in 1488 initiated a series of Ottoman-Portuguese naval wars in the Indian Ocean throughout the 16th century. Despite the growing European presence in the Indian Ocean, Ottoman trade with the east continued to flourish. Cairo, in particular, benefitted from the rise of Yemeni coffee as a popular consumer commodity. As coffeehouses appeared in cities and towns across the empire, Cairo developed into a major center for its trade, contributing to its continued prosperity throughout the seventeenth and much of the eighteenth century. [70]

Under Ivan IV (1533–1584), the Tsardom of Russia expanded into the Volga and Caspian region at the expense of the Tatar khanates. In 1571, the Crimean khan Devlet I Giray, commanded by the Ottomans, burned Moscow. [71] The next year, the invasion was repeated but repelled at the Battle of Molodi. The Ottoman Empire continued to invade Eastern Europe in a series of slave raids, [72] and remained a significant power in Eastern Europe until the end of the 17th century. [73]

The Ottomans decided to conquer Venetian Cyprus and on 22 July 1570, Nicosia was besieged; 50,000 Christians died, and 180,000 were enslaved. [74] On 15 September 1570, the Ottoman cavalry appeared before the last Venetian stronghold in Cyprus, Famagusta. The Venetian defenders would hold out for 11 months against a force that would come to number 200,000 men with 145 cannons; 163,000 cannonballs struck the walls of Famagusta before it fell to the Ottomans in August 1571. The Siege of Famagusta claimed 50,000 Ottoman casualties. [75] Meanwhile, the Holy league consisting of mostly Spanish and Venetian fleets won a victory over the Ottoman fleet at the Battle of Lepanto (1571), off southwestern Greece; Catholic forces killed over 30,000 Turks and destroyed 200 of their ships. [76] It was startling, if mostly symbolic, [77] blow to the image of Ottoman invincibility, an image which the victory of the Knights of Malta against the Ottoman invaders in the 1565 Siege of Malta had recently set about eroding. [78] The battle was far more damaging to the Ottoman navy in sapping experienced manpower than the loss of ships, which were rapidly replaced. [79] The Ottoman navy recovered quickly, persuading Venice to sign a peace treaty in 1573, allowing the Ottomans to expand and consolidate their position in North Africa. [80]

By contrast, the Habsburg frontier had settled somewhat, a stalemate caused by a stiffening of the Habsburg defenses. [81] The Long Turkish War against Habsburg Austria (1593–1606) created the need for greater numbers of Ottoman infantry equipped with firearms, resulting in a relaxation of recruitment policy. This contributed to problems of indiscipline and outright rebelliousness within the corps, which were never fully solved. [82] [ obsolete source ] Irregular sharpshooters (Sekban) were also recruited, and on demobilisation turned to brigandage in the Jelali revolts (1590–1610), which engendered widespread anarchy in Anatolia in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. [83] With the Empire's population reaching 30 million people by 1600, the shortage of land placed further pressure on the government. [84] [ obsolete source ] In spite of these problems, the Ottoman state remained strong, and its army did not collapse or suffer crushing defeats. The only exceptions were campaigns against the Safavid dynasty of Persia, where many of the Ottoman eastern provinces were lost, some permanently. This 1603–1618 war eventually resulted in the Treaty of Nasuh Pasha, which ceded the entire Caucasus, except westernmost Georgia, back into Iranian Safavid possession. [85] The treaty ending the Cretan War (1645–1669) cost Venice much of Dalmatia, its Aegean island possessions, and Crete. (Losses from the war totalled 30,985 Venetian soldiers and 118,754 Turkish soldiers.) [86]

During his brief majority reign, Murad IV (1623–1640) reasserted central authority and recaptured Iraq (1639) from the Safavids. [87] The resulting Treaty of Zuhab of that same year decisively divided the Caucasus and adjacent regions between the two neighbouring empires as it had already been defined in the 1555 Peace of Amasya. [88] [89]

The Sultanate of Women (1533–1656) was a period in which the mothers of young sultans exercised power on behalf of their sons. The most prominent women of this period were Kösem Sultan and her daughter-in-law Turhan Hatice, whose political rivalry culminated in Kösem's murder in 1651. [90] During the Köprülü Era (1656–1703), effective control of the Empire was exercised by a sequence of Grand Viziers from the Köprülü family. The Köprülü Vizierate saw renewed military success with authority restored in Transylvania, the conquest of Crete completed in 1669, and expansion into Polish southern Ukraine, with the strongholds of Khotyn, and Kamianets-Podilskyi and the territory of Podolia ceding to Ottoman control in 1676. [91]

The Second Siege of Vienna in 1683, by Frans Geffels (1624-1694) Vienna Battle 1683.jpg
The Second Siege of Vienna in 1683, by Frans Geffels (1624–1694)

This period of renewed assertiveness came to a calamitous end in 1683 when Grand Vizier Kara Mustafa Pasha led a huge army to attempt a second Ottoman siege of Vienna in the Great Turkish War of 1683–1699. The final assault being fatally delayed, the Ottoman forces were swept away by allied Habsburg, German, and Polish forces spearheaded by the Polish king John III Sobieski at the Battle of Vienna. The alliance of the Holy League pressed home the advantage of the defeat at Vienna, culminating in the Treaty of Karlowitz (26 January 1699), which ended the Great Turkish War. [92] The Ottomans surrendered control of significant territories, many permanently. [93] Mustafa II (1695–1703) led the counterattack of 1695–1696 against the Habsburgs in Hungary, but was undone at the disastrous defeat at Zenta (in modern Serbia), 11 September 1697. [94]

Military defeats

Aside from the loss of the Banat and the temporary loss of Belgrade (1717–1739), the Ottoman border on the Danube and Sava remained stable during the eighteenth century. Russian expansion, however, presented a large and growing threat. [95] Accordingly, King Charles XII of Sweden was welcomed as an ally in the Ottoman Empire following his defeat by the Russians at the Battle of Poltava of 1709 in central Ukraine (part of the Great Northern War of 1700–1721). [95] Charles XII persuaded the Ottoman Sultan Ahmed III to declare war on Russia, which resulted in an Ottoman victory in the Pruth River Campaign of 1710–1711, in Moldavia. [96]

Austrian troops led by Prince Eugene of Savoy captured Belgrade in 1717. Austrian control in Serbia lasted until the Turkish victory in the Austro-Russian-Turkish War (1735-1739). With the 1739 Treaty of Belgrade, the Ottoman Empire regained northern Bosnia, Habsburg Serbia (including Belgrade), Oltenia and the southern parts of the Banat of Temeswar. 1720 Huchtenburg Eroberungs Belgrads 1717 anagoria.JPG
Austrian troops led by Prince Eugene of Savoy captured Belgrade in 1717. Austrian control in Serbia lasted until the Turkish victory in the Austro-Russian–Turkish War (1735–1739). With the 1739 Treaty of Belgrade, the Ottoman Empire regained northern Bosnia, Habsburg Serbia (including Belgrade), Oltenia and the southern parts of the Banat of Temeswar.

After the Austro-Turkish War of 1716–1718, the Treaty of Passarowitz confirmed the loss of the Banat, Serbia, and "Little Walachia" (Oltenia) to Austria. The Treaty also revealed that the Ottoman Empire was on the defensive and unlikely to present any further aggression in Europe. [97] The Austro-Russian–Turkish War (1735–1739), which was ended by the Treaty of Belgrade in 1739, resulted in the Ottoman recovery of northern Bosnia, Habsburg Serbia (including Belgrade), Oltenia and the southern parts of the Banat of Temeswar; but the Empire lost the port of Azov, north of the Crimean Peninsula, to the Russians. After this treaty the Ottoman Empire was able to enjoy a generation of peace, as Austria and Russia were forced to deal with the rise of Prussia. [98]

Educational and technological reforms came about, including the establishment of higher education institutions such as the Istanbul Technical University. [99] In 1734 an artillery school was established to impart Western-style artillery methods, but the Islamic clergy successfully objected under the grounds of theodicy. [100] In 1754 the artillery school was reopened on a semi-secret basis. [100] In 1726, Ibrahim Muteferrika convinced the Grand Vizier Nevşehirli Damat İbrahim Pasha, the Grand Mufti, and the clergy on the efficiency of the printing press, and Muteferrika was later granted by Sultan Ahmed III permission to publish non-religious books (despite opposition from some calligraphers and religious leaders). [101] Muteferrika's press published its first book in 1729 and, by 1743, issued 17 works in 23 volumes, each having between 500 and 1,000 copies. [101] [102]

Ottoman troops attempting to halt the advancing Russians during the Siege of Ochakov in 1788 January Suchodolski - Ochakiv siege.jpg
Ottoman troops attempting to halt the advancing Russians during the Siege of Ochakov in 1788

In Ottoman North Africa, Spain conquered Oran from the Ottoman Empire (1732). The bey received an Ottoman army from Algiers, but it failed to recapture Oran; the siege caused the deaths of 1,500 Spaniards, and even more Algerians. The Spanish also massacred many Muslim soldiers. [103] In 1792, Spain abandoned Oran, selling it to the Ottoman Empire.

In 1768 Russian-backed Ukrainian Haidamakas, pursuing Polish confederates, entered Balta, an Ottoman-controlled town on the border of Bessarabia in Ukraine, massacred its citizens, and burned the town to the ground. This action provoked the Ottoman Empire into the Russo-Turkish War of 1768–1774. The Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca of 1774 ended the war and provided freedom of worship for the Christian citizens of the Ottoman-controlled provinces of Wallachia and Moldavia. [104] By the late 18th century, after a number of defeats in the wars with Russia, some people in the Ottoman Empire began to conclude that the reforms of Peter the Great had given the Russians an edge, and the Ottomans would have to keep up with Western technology in order to avoid further defeats. [100]

Selim III (1789–1807) made the first major attempts to modernise the army, but his reforms were hampered by the religious leadership and the Janissary corps. Jealous of their privileges and firmly opposed to change, the Janissary revolted. Selim's efforts cost him his throne and his life, but were resolved in spectacular and bloody fashion by his successor, the dynamic Mahmud II, who eliminated the Janissary corps in 1826.

Selim III receiving dignitaries during an audience at the Gate of Felicity, Topkapi Palace. Painting by Konstantin Kapidagli. Ottoman Sultan Selim III (1789).jpg
Selim III receiving dignitaries during an audience at the Gate of Felicity, Topkapı Palace. Painting by Konstantin Kapıdağlı.

The Serbian revolution (1804–1815) marked the beginning of an era of national awakening in the Balkans during the Eastern Question. In 1811, the fundamentalist Wahhabis of Arabia, led by the al-Saud family, revolted against the Ottomans. Unable to defeat the Wahhabi rebels, the Sublime Porte had Muhammad Ali Pasha of Kavala, the vali (governor) of the Eyalet of Egypt, tasked with retaking Arabia, which ended with the destruction of the Emirate of Diriyah in 1818. The suzerainty of Serbia as a hereditary monarchy under its own dynasty was acknowledged de jure in 1830. [105] [106] In 1821, the Greeks declared war on the Sultan. A rebellion that originated in Moldavia as a diversion was followed by the main revolution in the Peloponnese, which, along with the northern part of the Gulf of Corinth, became the first parts of the Ottoman Empire to achieve independence (in 1829). In 1830, the French invaded Ottoman Algeria, which was lost to the empire; between 500,000 and 1,000,000 Algerians were killed, [107] [108] while French forces suffered only 3,336 killed in action. [109] In 1831, Muhammad Ali Pasha revolted against Sultan Mahmud II due to the latter's refusal to grant him the governorships of Greater Syria and Crete, which the Sultan had promised him in exchange for sending military assistance to put down the Greek revolt (1821–1829) that ultimately ended with the formal independence of Greece in 1830. It was a costly enterprise for Muhammad Ali Pasha, who had lost his fleet at the Battle of Navarino in 1827. Thus began the first Egyptian–Ottoman War (1831–1833), during which the French-trained army of Muhammad Ali Pasha, under the command of his son Ibrahim Pasha, defeated the Ottoman Army as it marched into Anatolia, reaching the city of Kütahya within 320 km (200 mi) of the capital, Constantinople. [110] In desperation, Sultan Mahmud II appealed to the empire's traditional arch-rival Russia for help, asking Emperor Nicholas I to send an expeditionary force to assist him. [111] In return for signing the Treaty of Hünkâr İskelesi, the Russians sent the expeditionary force which deterred Ibrahim Pasha from marching any further towards Constantinople. [111] Under the terms of the Convention of Kütahya, signed on 5 May 1833, Muhammad Ali Pasha agreed to abandon his campaign against the Sultan, in exchange for which he was made the vali (governor) of the vilayets (provinces) of Crete, Aleppo, Tripoli, Damascus and Sidon (the latter four comprising modern Syria and Lebanon), and given the right to collect taxes in Adana. [111] Had it not been for the Russian intervention, Sultan Mahmud II could have faced the risk of being overthrown and Muhammad Ali Pasha could have even become the new Sultan. These events marked the beginning of a recurring pattern where the Sublime Porte needed the help of foreign powers to protect itself. [112]

The siege of the Acropolis in 1826-1827 during the Greek War of Independence Siege de l'Acropoles.jpg
The siege of the Acropolis in 1826–1827 during the Greek War of Independence

In 1839, the Sublime Porte attempted to take back what it lost to the de facto autonomous, but de jure still Ottoman Eyalet of Egypt, but its forces were initially defeated, which led to the Oriental Crisis of 1840. Muhammad Ali Pasha had close relations with France, and the prospect of him becoming the Sultan of Egypt was widely viewed as putting the entire Levant into the French sphere of influence. [111] As the Sublime Porte had proved itself incapable of defeating Muhammad Ali Pasha, the British Empire and Austrian Empire provided military assistance, and the second Egyptian–Ottoman War (1839–1841) ended with Ottoman victory and the restoration of Ottoman suzerainty over Egypt Eyalet and the Levant. [111]

By the mid-19th century, the Ottoman Empire was called the "sick man of Europe". Three suzerain states – the Principality of Serbia, Wallachia and Moldavia – moved towards de jure independence during the 1860s and 1870s.

Decline and modernisation (1828–1908)

Battle at bridge Skit, November 9, 1877 (by Henryk Dembitzky): Romania (United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia), fighting on the Russian side, gained independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1878 after the end of Russo-Turkish War. Battle at river Skit 1877.jpg
Battle at bridge Skit, November 9, 1877 (by Henryk Dembitzky): Romania (United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia), fighting on the Russian side, gained independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1878 after the end of Russo-Turkish War.
The Bulgarian martyresses (1877) by Konstantin Makovsky, a Russian propaganda painting which depicts the rape of Bulgarian women by the bashi-bazouks during the April Uprising, with the purpose of mobilising public support for the Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878). Unrestrained by the laws that governed regular soldiers in the Ottoman Army, the bashi-bazouks became notorious for preying on civilians. Konstantin Makovsky - The Bulgarian martyresses.jpg
The Bulgarian martyresses (1877) by Konstantin Makovsky, a Russian propaganda painting which depicts the rape of Bulgarian women by the bashi-bazouks during the April Uprising, with the purpose of mobilising public support for the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878). Unrestrained by the laws that governed regular soldiers in the Ottoman Army, the bashi-bazouks became notorious for preying on civilians.
Ottoman troops storming Fort Shefketil during the Crimean War of 1853-1856 Turkish troops storming Fort Shefketil (cropped).jpg
Ottoman troops storming Fort Shefketil during the Crimean War of 1853–1856
Belgrade, c. 1865. In 1867, Britain and France forced the Ottoman military to retreat from northern Serbia, securing its de facto independence (formalised after the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878 and the Congress of Berlin in 1878.) The ruined gateway of Prince Eugene, Belgrade.jpg
Belgrade, c. 1865. In 1867, Britain and France forced the Ottoman military to retreat from northern Serbia, securing its de facto independence (formalised after the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878 and the Congress of Berlin in 1878.)
Opening ceremony of the First Ottoman Parliament at the Dolmabahce Palace in 1876. The First Constitutional Era lasted only two years until 1878. The Ottoman Constitution and Parliament were restored 30 years later with the Young Turk Revolution in 1908. Opening ceremony of the First Ottoman Parliament at the Dolmabahce Palace in 1876.jpg
Opening ceremony of the First Ottoman Parliament at the Dolmabahçe Palace in 1876. The First Constitutional Era lasted only two years until 1878. The Ottoman Constitution and Parliament were restored 30 years later with the Young Turk Revolution in 1908.
Sultan Abdul Hamid II going to the Friday Prayer (Friday Procession) Friday Procession.jpg
Sultan Abdul Hamid II going to the Friday Prayer (Friday Procession)

During the Tanzimat period (1839–1876), the government's series of constitutional reforms led to a fairly modern conscripted army, banking system reforms, the decriminalization of homosexuality, the replacement of religious law with secular law [116] and guilds with modern factories. The Ottoman Ministry of Post was established in Istanbul in 1840. American inventor Samuel Morse received an Ottoman patent for the telegraph in 1847, which was issued by Sultan Abdülmecid who personally tested the new invention. [117] The reformist period peaked with the Constitution, called the Kanûn-u Esâsî . The empire's First Constitutional era was short-lived. The parliament survived for only two years before the sultan suspended it.

The Christian population of the empire, owing to their higher educational levels, started to pull ahead of the Muslim majority, leading to much resentment on the part of the latter. [118] In 1861, there were 571 primary and 94 secondary schools for Ottoman Christians with 140,000 pupils in total, a figure that vastly exceeded the number of Muslim children in school at the same time, who were further hindered by the amount of time spent learning Arabic and Islamic theology. [118] Author Norman Stone further suggests that the Arabic alphabet, in which Turkish was written until 1928, was very ill-suited to reflect the sounds of the Turkish language (which is a Turkic as opposed to Semitic language), which imposed a further difficulty on Turkish children. [118] In turn, the higher educational levels of the Christians allowed them to play a larger role in the economy, with the rise in prominence of groups such as the Sursock family indicative of this shift in influence. [119] [118] In 1911, of the 654 wholesale companies in Istanbul, 528 were owned by ethnic Greeks. [118] In many cases, Christians and also Jews were able to gain protection from European consuls and citizenship, meaning they were protected from Ottoman law and not subject to the same economic regulations as their Muslim counterparts. [120]

The Crimean War (1853–1856) was part of a long-running contest between the major European powers for influence over territories of the declining Ottoman Empire. The financial burden of the war led the Ottoman state to issue foreign loans amounting to 5 million pounds sterling on 4 August 1854. [121] [122] The war caused an exodus of the Crimean Tatars, about 200,000 of whom moved to the Ottoman Empire in continuing waves of emigration. [123] Toward the end of the Caucasian Wars, 90% of the Circassians were ethnically cleansed [124] and exiled from their homelands in the Caucasus and fled to the Ottoman Empire, [125] resulting in the settlement of 500,000 to 700,000 Circassians in Turkey. [126] [ page needed ] [127] [128] Some Circassian organisations give much higher numbers, totalling 1–1.5 million deported or killed. Crimean Tatar refugees in the late 19th century played an especially notable role in seeking to modernise Ottoman education and in first promoting both Pan-Turkism and a sense of Turkish nationalism. [129]

In this period, the Ottoman Empire spent only small amounts of public funds on education; for example in 1860–1861 only 0.2 percent of the total budget was invested in education. [130] As the Ottoman state attempted to modernize its infrastructure and army in response to threats from the outside, it also opened itself up to a different kind of threat: that of creditors. Indeed, as the historian Eugene Rogan has written, "the single greatest threat to the independence of the Middle East" in the nineteenth century "was not the armies of Europe but its banks". [131] The Ottoman state, which had begun taking on debt with the Crimean War, was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1875. [132] By 1881, the Ottoman Empire agreed to have its debt controlled by an institution known as the Ottoman Public Debt Administration, a council of European men with presidency alternating between France and Britain. The body controlled swaths of the Ottoman economy, and used its position to ensure that European capital continued to penetrate the empire, often to the detriment of local Ottoman interests. [132]

The Ottoman bashi-bazouks brutally suppressed the Bulgarian uprising of 1876, massacring up to 100,000 people in the process. [133] The Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878) ended with a decisive victory for Russia. As a result, Ottoman holdings in Europe declined sharply: Bulgaria was established as an independent principality inside the Ottoman Empire; Romania achieved full independence; and Serbia and Montenegro finally gained complete independence, but with smaller territories. In 1878, Austria-Hungary unilaterally occupied the Ottoman provinces of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Novi Pazar.

British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli advocated for restoring the Ottoman territories on the Balkan Peninsula during the Congress of Berlin, and in return, Britain assumed the administration of Cyprus in 1878. [134] Britain later sent troops to Egypt in 1882 to put down the Urabi Revolt – Sultan Abdul Hamid II was too paranoid to mobilize his own army, fearing this would result in a coup d'état – effectively gaining control in both territories. Abdul Hamid II, popularly known as "Abdul Hamid the Damned" on account of his cruelty and paranoia, was so fearful of the threat of a coup that he did not allow his army to conduct war games, lest this serves as the cover for a coup, but he did see the need for military mobilization. In 1883, a German military mission under General Baron Colmar von der Goltz arrived to train the Ottoman Army, leading to the so-called "Goltz generation" of German-trained officers who were to play a notable role in the politics of the last years of the empire. [135]

From 1894 to 1896, between 100,000 and 300,000 Armenians living throughout the empire were killed in what became known as the Hamidian massacres. [136]

In 1897 the population was 19 million, of whom 14 million (74%) were Muslim. An additional 20 million lived in provinces that remained under the sultan's nominal suzerainty but were entirely outside his actual power. One by one the Porte lost nominal authority. They included Egypt, Tunisia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Lebanon. [137]

As the Ottoman Empire gradually shrank in size, some 7–9 million Muslims from its former territories in the Caucasus, Crimea, Balkans, and the Mediterranean islands migrated to Anatolia and Eastern Thrace. [138] After the Empire lost the First Balkan War (1912–1913), it lost all its Balkan territories except East Thrace (European Turkey). This resulted in around 400,000 Muslims fleeing with the retreating Ottoman armies (with many dying from cholera brought by the soldiers), and with some 400,000 non-Muslims fleeing territory still under Ottoman rule. [139] Justin McCarthy estimates that during the period 1821 to 1922, 5.5 million Muslims died in southeastern Europe, with the expulsion of 5 million. [140] [141] [142]

Territorial Evolution of the Ottoman Empire (1299-1922) Territorial Evolution of the Ottoman Empire 1299-1922.gif
Territorial Evolution of the Ottoman Empire (1299-1922)

Defeat and dissolution (1908–1922)

Mehmed V was proclaimed Sultan of the Ottoman Empire after the Young Turk Revolution. Le Petir Journal, Proclamation of Mehmed V.jpg
Mehmed V was proclaimed Sultan of the Ottoman Empire after the Young Turk Revolution.

Young Turk movement

The defeat and dissolution of the Ottoman Empire (1908–1922) began with the Second Constitutional Era, a moment of hope and promise established with the Young Turk Revolution. It restored the Ottoman constitution of 1876 and brought in multi-party politics with a two-stage electoral system (electoral law) under the Ottoman parliament. The constitution offered hope by freeing the empire's citizens to modernise the state's institutions, rejuvenate its strength, and enable it to hold its own against outside powers. Its guarantee of liberties promised to dissolve inter-communal tensions and transform the empire into a more harmonious place. [143] Instead, this period became the story of the twilight struggle of the Empire.

Declaration of the Young Turk Revolution by the leaders of the Ottoman millets in 1908 Declaration of the 1908 Revolution in Ottoman Empire.png
Declaration of the Young Turk Revolution by the leaders of the Ottoman millets in 1908

Members of Young Turks movement who had once gone underground now established their parties. [144] Among them "Committee of Union and Progress", and "Freedom and Accord Party" were major parties. On the other end of the spectrum were ethnic parties, which included Poale Zion, Al-Fatat, and Armenian national movement organised under Armenian Revolutionary Federation. Profiting from the civil strife, Austria-Hungary officially annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1908. The last of the Ottoman censuses was performed in 1914. Despite military reforms which reconstituted the Ottoman Modern Army, the Empire lost its North African territories and the Dodecanese in the Italo-Turkish War (1911) and almost all of its European territories in the Balkan Wars (1912–1913). The Empire faced continuous unrest in the years leading up to World War I, including the 31 March Incident and two further coups in 1912 and 1913.

World War I

Admiral Wilhelm Souchon, who commanded the Black Sea Raid on 29 October 1914, and his officers in Ottoman naval uniforms. M 113 5 amiral Souchon et ses officiers.jpg
Admiral Wilhelm Souchon, who commanded the Black Sea Raid on 29 October 1914, and his officers in Ottoman naval uniforms.

The Ottoman Empire entered World War I on the side of the Central Powers and was ultimately defeated. The Ottoman participation in the war began with the combined German-Ottoman surprise attack on the Black Sea coast of the Russian Empire on 29 October 1914. Following the attack, the Russian Empire (2 November 1914) [145] and its allies France (5 November 1914) [145] and the British Empire (5 November 1914) [145] declared war on the Ottoman Empire (also on 5 November 1914, the British government changed the status of the Khedivate of Egypt and Cyprus, which were de jure Ottoman territories prior to the war, as British protectorates.)

The Ottomans successfully defended the Dardanelles strait during the Gallipoli campaign (1915–1916) and achieved initial victories against British forces in the first two years of the Mesopotamian campaign, such as the Siege of Kut (1915–1916); but the Arab Revolt (1916–1918) turned the tide against the Ottomans in the Middle East. In the Caucasus campaign, however, the Russian forces had the upper hand from the beginning, especially after the Battle of Sarikamish (1914–1915). Russian forces advanced into northeastern Anatolia and controlled the major cities there until retreating from World War I with the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk following the Russian Revolution in 1917.

The Armenian genocide was the result of the Ottoman government's deportation and ethnic cleansing policies regarding its Armenian citizens after the Battle of Sarikamish (1914-1915) and the collapse of the Caucasus Front against the Imperial Russian Army and Armenian volunteer units during World War I. An estimated 600,000 to more than 1 million, or up to 1.5 million people were killed. Marcharmenians.jpg
The Armenian genocide was the result of the Ottoman government's deportation and ethnic cleansing policies regarding its Armenian citizens after the Battle of Sarikamish (1914–1915) and the collapse of the Caucasus Front against the Imperial Russian Army and Armenian volunteer units during World War I. An estimated 600,000 to more than 1 million, or up to 1.5 million people were killed.
Genocides

In 1915 the Ottoman government and Kurdish tribes in region started the extermination of its ethnic Armenian population, resulting in the death of up to 1.5 million Armenians in the Armenian genocide. [150] [151] The genocide was carried out during and after World War I and implemented in two phases: the wholesale killing of the able-bodied male population through massacre and subjection of army conscripts to forced labour, followed by the deportation of women, children, the elderly and infirm on death marches leading to the Syrian desert. Driven forward by military escorts, the deportees were deprived of food and water and subjected to periodic robbery, rape, and systematic massacre. [152] [153] Large-scale massacres were also committed against the Empire's Greek and Assyrian minorities as part of the same campaign of ethnic cleansing. [154]

Arab Revolt

The Arab Revolt began in 1916 with British support. It turned the tide against the Ottomans on the Middle Eastern front, where they seemed to have the upper hand during the first two years of the war. On the basis of the McMahon–Hussein Correspondence, an agreement between the British government and Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca, the revolt was officially initiated at Mecca on 10 June 1916. [note 9] The Arab nationalist goal was to create a single unified and independent Arab state stretching from Aleppo in Syria to Aden in Yemen, which the British had promised to recognise.

The Sharifian Army led by Hussein and the Hashemites, with military backing from the British Egyptian Expeditionary Force, successfully fought and expelled the Ottoman military presence from much of the Hejaz and Transjordan. The rebellion eventually took Damascus and set up a short-lived monarchy led by Faisal, a son of Hussein.

Following the Sykes-Picot Agreement, the Middle East was later partitioned by the British and French into mandate territories. There was no unified Arab state, much to the anger of Arab nationalists.

Treaty of Sèvres and Turkish War of Independence
Mehmed VI, the last Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, leaving the country after the abolition of the Ottoman sultanate, 17 November 1922 Sultanvahideddin.jpg
Mehmed VI, the last Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, leaving the country after the abolition of the Ottoman sultanate, 17 November 1922

Defeated on every front, the Ottoman Empire signed the Armistice of Mudros on 30 October 1918. Constantinople was occupied by combined British, French, Italian, and Greek forces. In May 1919, Greece also took control of the area around Smyrna (now İzmir).

The partition of the Ottoman Empire was finalized under the terms of the 1920 Treaty of Sèvres. This treaty, as designed in the Conference of London, allowed the Sultan to retain his position and title. The status of Anatolia was problematic given the occupied forces.

There arose a nationalist opposition in the Turkish national movement. It won the Turkish War of Independence (1919–1923) under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal (later given the surname "Atatürk"). The sultanate was abolished on 1 November 1922, and the last sultan, Mehmed VI (reigned 1918–1922), left the country on 17 November 1922. The Republic of Turkey was established in its place on 29 October 1923, in the new capital city of Ankara. The caliphate was abolished on 3 March 1924. [156]

Historiographical debate on the Ottoman state

Several historians such as British historian Edward Gibbon and the Greek historian Dimitri Kitsikis have argued that after the fall of Constantinople, the Ottoman state took over the machinery of the Byzantine (Roman) state and that in essence, the Ottoman Empire was a continuation of the Eastern Roman Empire under a Turkish Muslim guise. [157] The American historian Speros Vryonis wrote that the Ottoman state was centered on "a Byzantine-Balkan base with a veneer of the Turkish language and the Islamic religion". [158] The American historian Heath Lowry and Kitsikis posit that the early Ottoman state was predatory confederacy open to both Byzantine Christians and Turkish Muslims, whose primary goal was attaining booty and slaves, rather than spreading Islam, and that only later Islam became the primary characteristic of the empire. [159] [160] [161] Other historians have followed the lead of the Austrian historian Paul Wittek who emphasized the Islamic character of the early Ottoman state, seeing the Ottoman state as a "Jihad state" dedicated to expanding the Muslim world. [158] Many historians led in 1937 by the Turkish historian Mehmet Fuat Köprülü championed the Ghazi thesis that saw the early Ottoman state as a continuation of the way of life of the nomadic Turkic tribes who had come from East Asia to Anatolia via Central Asia and the Middle East on a much larger scale. They argued that the most important cultural influences on the Ottoman state came from Persia. [162]

The British historian Norman Stone suggested many continuities between the Eastern Roman and Ottoman empires such as the zeugarion tax of Byzantium becoming the Ottoman Resm-i çift tax, the pronoia land-holding system that linked the amount of land one owned with one's ability to raise cavalry becoming the Ottoman timar system, and the Ottoman measurement for land the dönüm was the same as the Byzantine stremma. Stone also pointed out that despite the fact that Sunni Islam was the state religion, the Eastern Orthodox Church was supported and controlled by the Ottoman state, and in return to accepting that control became the largest land-holder in the Ottoman Empire. Despite the similarities, Stone argued that a crucial difference was that the land grants under the timar system were not hereditary at first. Even after land grants under the timar system became inheritable, land ownership in the Ottoman Empire remained highly insecure, and the sultan could and did revoke land grants whenever he wished. Stone argued this insecurity in land tenure strongly discouraged Timariots from seeking long-term development of their land, and instead led the timariots to adopt a strategy of short-term exploitation, which ultimately had deleterious effects on the Ottoman economy. [163]

Most of the Ottoman Sultans adhered to Sufism and followed Sufi orders, and believed Sufism is the correct way to reach God. [164] Because the matters of jurisprudence and shariah were state matters, the state-sponsored Sufi religious dominance came into play. Non-Sufi Muslims and Arabs were neglected and not given any position in the Hejaz. [165]

Government

Ambassadors at the Topkapi Palace Jean Baptiste Vanmour - Dinner at the Palace in Honour of an Ambassador - Google Art Project.jpg
Ambassadors at the Topkapı Palace

Before the reforms of the 19th and 20th centuries, the state organisation of the Ottoman Empire was a system with two main dimensions, the military administration, and the civil administration. The Sultan was in the highest position in the system. The civil system was based on local administrative units based on the region's characteristics. The state had control over the clergy. Certain pre-Islamic Turkish traditions that had survived the adoption of administrative and legal practices from Islamic Iran remained important in Ottoman administrative circles. [166] According to Ottoman understanding, the state's primary responsibility was to defend and extend the land of the Muslims and to ensure security and harmony within its borders in the overarching context of orthodox Islamic practice and dynastic sovereignty. [167]

The Ottoman Empire, or as a dynastic institution, the House of Osman, was unprecedented and unequaled in the Islamic world for its size and duration. [168] In Europe, only the House of Habsburg had a similarly unbroken line of sovereigns (kings/emperors) from the same family who ruled for so long, and during the same period, between the late 13th and early 20th centuries. The Ottoman dynasty was Turkish in origin. On eleven occasions, the sultan was deposed (replaced by another sultan of the Ottoman dynasty, who were either the former sultan's brother, son or nephew) because he was perceived by his enemies as a threat to the state. There were only two attempts in Ottoman history to unseat the ruling Ottoman dynasty, both failures, which suggests a political system that for an extended period was able to manage its revolutions without unnecessary instability. [167] As such, the last Ottoman sultan Mehmed VI (r. 1918–1922) was a direct patrilineal (male-line) descendant of the first Ottoman sultan Osman I (d. 1323/4), which was unparalleled in both Europe (e.g., the male line of the House of Habsburg became extinct in 1740) and in the Islamic world. The primary purpose of the Imperial Harem was to ensure the birth of male heirs to the Ottoman throne and secure the continuation of the direct patrilineal (male-line) power of the Ottoman sultans in the future generations

Inside Harem, the private residence of the sultan in Topkapi Palace Istanbul asv2020-02 img15 Topkapi Palace.jpg
Inside Harem, the private residence of the sultan in Topkapı Palace

The highest position in Islam, caliphate , was claimed by the sultans starting with Murad I, [12] which was established as the Ottoman Caliphate. The Ottoman sultan, pâdişâh or "lord of kings", served as the Empire's sole regent and was considered to be the embodiment of its government, though he did not always exercise complete control. The Imperial Harem was one of the most important powers of the Ottoman court. It was ruled by the Valide Sultan. On occasion, the Valide Sultan would become involved in state politics. For a time, the women of the Harem effectively controlled the state in what was termed the "Sultanate of Women". New sultans were always chosen from the sons of the previous sultan.[ dubious ] The strong educational system of the palace school was geared towards eliminating the unfit potential heirs and establishing support among the ruling elite for a successor. The palace schools, which would also educate the future administrators of the state, were not a single track. First, the Madrasa (Medrese) was designated for the Muslims, and educated scholars and state officials according to Islamic tradition. The financial burden of the Medrese was supported by vakifs, allowing children of poor families to move to higher social levels and income. [169] The second track was a free boarding school for the Christians, the Enderûn , [170] which recruited 3,000 students annually from Christian boys between eight and twenty years old from one in forty families among the communities settled in Rumelia or the Balkans, a process known as Devshirme (Devşirme). [171]

Though the sultan was the supreme monarch, the sultan's political and executive authority was delegated. The politics of the state had a number of advisors and ministers gathered around a council known as Divan. The Divan, in the years when the Ottoman state was still a Beylik , was composed of the elders of the tribe. Its composition was later modified to include military officers and local elites (such as religious and political advisors). Later still, beginning in 1320, a Grand Vizier was appointed to assume certain of the sultan's responsibilities. The Grand Vizier had considerable independence from the sultan with almost unlimited powers of appointment, dismissal, and supervision. Beginning with the late 16th century, sultans withdrew from politics and the Grand Vizier became the de facto head of state. [172]

Yusuf Ziya Pasha, Ottoman ambassador to the United States, in Washington, 1913 Yusuf Ziya Pasa.jpg
Yusuf Ziya Pasha, Ottoman ambassador to the United States, in Washington, 1913

Throughout Ottoman history, there were many instances in which local governors acted independently, and even in opposition to the ruler. After the Young Turk Revolution of 1908, the Ottoman state became a constitutional monarchy. The sultan no longer had executive powers. A parliament was formed, with representatives chosen from the provinces. The representatives formed the Imperial Government of the Ottoman Empire.

This eclectic administration was apparent even in the diplomatic correspondence of the Empire, which was initially undertaken in the Greek language to the west. [173]

The Tughra were calligraphic monograms, or signatures, of the Ottoman Sultans, of which there were 35. Carved on the Sultan's seal, they bore the names of the Sultan and his father. The statement and prayer, "ever victorious", was also present in most. The earliest belonged to Orhan Gazi. The ornately stylized Tughra spawned a branch of Ottoman-Turkish calligraphy.

Law

The Ottoman legal system accepted the religious law over its subjects. At the same time the Qanun (or Kanun), dynastic law, co-existed with religious law or Sharia. [174] [175] The Ottoman Empire was always organized around a system of local jurisprudence. Legal administration in the Ottoman Empire was part of a larger scheme of balancing central and local authority. [176] Ottoman power revolved crucially around the administration of the rights to land, which gave a space for the local authority to develop the needs of the local millet. [176] The jurisdictional complexity of the Ottoman Empire was aimed to permit the integration of culturally and religiously different groups. [176] The Ottoman system had three court systems: one for Muslims, one for non-Muslims, involving appointed Jews and Christians ruling over their respective religious communities, and the "trade court". The entire system was regulated from above by means of the administrative Qanun, i.e., laws, a system based upon the Turkic Yassa and Töre , which were developed in the pre-Islamic era.[ citation needed ]

An Ottoman trial, 1877 1879-Ottoman Court-from-NYL.png
An Ottoman trial, 1877

These court categories were not, however, wholly exclusive; for instance, the Islamic courts, which were the Empire's primary courts, could also be used to settle a trade conflict or disputes between litigants of differing religions, and Jews and Christians often went to them to obtain a more forceful ruling on an issue. The Ottoman state tended not to interfere with non-Muslim religious law systems, despite legally having a voice to do so through local governors. The Islamic Sharia law system had been developed from a combination of the Qur'an; the Hadīth, or words of the prophet Muhammad; ijmā' , or consensus of the members of the Muslim community; qiyas, a system of analogical reasoning from earlier precedents; and local customs. Both systems were taught at the Empire's law schools, which were in Istanbul and Bursa.

An unhappy wife complains to the Qadi about her husband's impotence as depicted in an Ottoman miniature Zibik.jpg
An unhappy wife complains to the Qadi about her husband's impotence as depicted in an Ottoman miniature

The Ottoman Islamic legal system was set up differently from traditional European courts. Presiding over Islamic courts would be a Qadi, or judge. Since the closing of the ijtihad , or Gate of Interpretation, Qadis throughout the Ottoman Empire focused less on legal precedent, and more with local customs and traditions in the areas that they administered. [176] However, the Ottoman court system lacked an appellate structure, leading to jurisdictional case strategies where plaintiffs could take their disputes from one court system to another until they achieved a ruling that was in their favour.

In the late 19th century, the Ottoman legal system saw substantial reform. This process of legal modernisation began with the Edict of Gülhane of 1839. [177] These reforms included the "fair and public trial[s] of all accused regardless of religion", the creation of a system of "separate competences, religious and civil", and the validation of testimony on non-Muslims. [178] Specific land codes (1858), civil codes (1869–1876), and a code of civil procedure also were enacted. [178]

These reforms were based heavily on French models, as indicated by the adoption of a three-tiered court system. Referred to as Nizamiye, this system was extended to the local magistrate level with the final promulgation of the Mecelle, a civil code that regulated marriage, divorce, alimony, will, and other matters of personal status. [178] In an attempt to clarify the division of judicial competences, an administrative council laid down that religious matters were to be handled by religious courts, and statute matters were to be handled by the Nizamiye courts. [178]

Military

Ottoman sipahis in battle, holding the crescent banner (by Jozef Brandt) Walka o sztandar turecki.jpg
Ottoman sipahis in battle, holding the crescent banner (by Józef Brandt)
Selim III watching the parade of his new army, the Nizam-i Cedid (New Order) troops, in 1793 Nizami-cedid-ordusu.jpg
Selim III watching the parade of his new army, the Nizam-ı Cedid (New Order) troops, in 1793
Ottoman pilots in early 1912 Turkish pilots in 1912.jpg
Ottoman pilots in early 1912
The Ottoman Imperial Army in 1900 Soldiers 1900.png
The Ottoman Imperial Army in 1900

The first military unit of the Ottoman State was an army that was organized by Osman I from the tribesmen inhabiting the hills of western Anatolia in the late 13th century. The military system became an intricate organization with the advance of the Empire. The Ottoman military was a complex system of recruiting and fief-holding. The main corps of the Ottoman Army included Janissary, Sipahi, Akıncı and Mehterân. The Ottoman army was once among the most advanced fighting forces in the world, being one of the first to use muskets and cannons. The Ottoman Turks began using falconets , which were short but wide cannons, during the Siege of Constantinople. The Ottoman cavalry depended on high speed and mobility rather than heavy armor, using bows and short swords on fast Turkoman and Arabian horses (progenitors of the Thoroughbred racing horse), [179] [180] and often applied tactics similar to those of the Mongol Empire, such as pretending to retreat while surrounding the enemy forces inside a crescent-shaped formation and then making the real attack. The Ottoman army continued to be an effective fighting force throughout the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, [181] falling behind the empire's European rivals only during a long period of peace from 1740 to 1768. [25]

The modernization of the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century started with the military. In 1826 Sultan Mahmud II abolished the Janissary corps and established the modern Ottoman army. He named them as the Nizam-ı Cedid (New Order). The Ottoman army was also the first institution to hire foreign experts and send its officers for training in western European countries. Consequently, the Young Turks movement began when these relatively young and newly trained men returned with their education.

The Ottoman Navy vastly contributed to the expansion of the Empire's territories on the European continent. It initiated the conquest of North Africa, with the addition of Algeria and Egypt to the Ottoman Empire in 1517. Starting with the loss of Greece in 1821 and Algeria in 1830, Ottoman naval power and control over the Empire's distant overseas territories began to decline. Sultan Abdülaziz (reigned 1861–1876) attempted to reestablish a strong Ottoman navy, building the largest fleet after those of Britain and France. The shipyard at Barrow, England, built its first submarine in 1886 for the Ottoman Empire. [182]

A German postcard depicting the Ottoman Navy at the Golden Horn in the early stages of World War I. At top left is a portrait of Sultan Mehmed V. Ottoman Navy at the Golden Horn.jpg
A German postcard depicting the Ottoman Navy at the Golden Horn in the early stages of World War I. At top left is a portrait of Sultan Mehmed V.

However, the collapsing Ottoman economy could not sustain the fleet's strength for long. Sultan Abdülhamid II distrusted the admirals who sided with the reformist Midhat Pasha and claimed that the large and expensive fleet was of no use against the Russians during the Russo-Turkish War. He locked most of the fleet inside the Golden Horn, where the ships decayed for the next 30 years. Following the Young Turk Revolution in 1908, the Committee of Union and Progress sought to develop a strong Ottoman naval force. The Ottoman Navy Foundation was established in 1910 to buy new ships through public donations.

The establishment of Ottoman military aviation dates back to between June 1909 and July 1911. [183] [184] The Ottoman Empire started preparing its first pilots and planes, and with the founding of the Aviation School (Tayyare Mektebi) in Yeşilköy on 3 July 1912, the Empire began to tutor its own flight officers. The founding of the Aviation School quickened advancement in the military aviation program, increased the number of enlisted persons within it, and gave the new pilots an active role in the Ottoman Army and Navy. In May 1913, the world's first specialized Reconnaissance Training Program was started by the Aviation School, and the first separate reconnaissance division was established.[ citation needed ] In June 1914 a new military academy, the Naval Aviation School (Bahriye Tayyare Mektebi) was founded. With the outbreak of World War I, the modernization process stopped abruptly. The Ottoman aviation squadrons fought on many fronts during World War I, from Galicia in the west to the Caucasus in the east and Yemen in the south.

Administrative divisions

Eyalets in 1795 Ottoman Empire (1795).png
Eyalets in 1795

The Ottoman Empire was first subdivided into provinces, in the sense of fixed territorial units with governors appointed by the sultan, in the late 14th century. [185]

The Eyalet (also Pashalik or Beylerbeylik) was the territory of office of a Beylerbey ("lord of lords" or governor), and was further subdivided in Sanjaks. [186]

Administrative divisions in the year 1317 Hijri, 1899 Gregorian Ottoman Empire Administrative Divisions.png
Administrative divisions in the year 1317 Hijri, 1899 Gregorian

The Vilayets were introduced with the promulgation of the "Vilayet Law" (Teskil-i Vilayet Nizamnamesi) [187] in 1864, as part of the Tanzimat reforms. [188] Unlike the previous eyalet system, the 1864 law established a hierarchy of administrative units: the vilayet, liva/sanjak, kaza and village council, to which the 1871 Vilayet Law added the nahiye. [189]

Economy

Ottoman government deliberately pursued a policy for the development of Bursa, Edirne, and Istanbul, successive Ottoman capitals, into major commercial and industrial centers, considering that merchants and artisans were indispensable in creating a new metropolis. [190] To this end, Mehmed and his successor Bayezid, also encouraged and welcomed migration of the Jews from different parts of Europe, who were settled in Istanbul and other port cities like Salonica. In many places in Europe, Jews were suffering persecution at the hands of their Christian counterparts, such as in Spain, after the conclusion of Reconquista. The tolerance displayed by the Turks was welcomed by the immigrants.

A European bronze medal from the period of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror, 1481 Mehmed the Conqueror (1432 -1481).jpg
A European bronze medal from the period of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror, 1481

The Ottoman economic mind was closely related to the basic concepts of state and society in the Middle East in which the ultimate goal of a state was consolidation and extension of the ruler's power, and the way to reach it was to get rich resources of revenues by making the productive classes prosperous. [191] The ultimate aim was to increase the state revenues without damaging the prosperity of subjects to prevent the emergence of social disorder and to keep the traditional organization of the society intact. The Ottoman economy greatly expanded during the early modern period, with particularly high growth rates during the first half of the eighteenth century. The empire's annual income quadrupled between 1523 and 1748, adjusted for inflation. [192]

The organization of the treasury and chancery were developed under the Ottoman Empire more than any other Islamic government and, until the 17th century, they were the leading organization among all their contemporaries. [172] This organisation developed a scribal bureaucracy (known as "men of the pen") as a distinct group, partly highly trained ulama, which developed into a professional body. [172] The effectiveness of this professional financial body stands behind the success of many great Ottoman statesmen. [193]

The Ottoman Bank was founded in 1856 in Constantinople. On 26 August 1896, the bank was occupied by members of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation. Ottoman Banks Archives and Research Centre.jpg
The Ottoman Bank was founded in 1856 in Constantinople. On 26 August 1896, the bank was occupied by members of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation.

Modern Ottoman studies indicate that the change in relations between the Ottoman Turks and central Europe was caused by the opening of the new sea routes. It is possible to see the decline in the significance of the land routes to the East as Western Europe opened the ocean routes that bypassed the Middle East and the Mediterranean as parallel to the decline of the Ottoman Empire itself. [194] [ failed verification ] The Anglo-Ottoman Treaty, also known as the Treaty of Balta Liman that opened the Ottoman markets directly to English and French competitors, would be seen as one of the staging posts along with this development.

By developing commercial centers and routes, encouraging people to extend the area of cultivated land in the country and international trade through its dominions, the state performed basic economic functions in the Empire. But in all this, the financial and political interests of the state were dominant. Within the social and political system they were living in, Ottoman administrators could not see the desirability of the dynamics and principles of the capitalist and mercantile economies developing in Western Europe. [195]

Economic historian Paul Bairoch argues that free trade contributed to deindustrialisation in the Ottoman Empire. In contrast to the protectionism of China, Japan, and Spain, the Ottoman Empire had a liberal trade policy, open to foreign imports. This has origins in capitulations of the Ottoman Empire, dating back to the first commercial treaties signed with France in 1536 and taken further with capitulations in 1673 and 1740, which lowered duties to 3% for imports and exports. The liberal Ottoman policies were praised by British economists, such as J. R. McCulloch in his Dictionary of Commerce (1834), but later criticized by British politicians such as Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, who cited the Ottoman Empire as "an instance of the injury done by unrestrained competition" in the 1846 Corn Laws debate. [196]

Demographics

A population estimate for the empire of 11,692,480 for the 1520–1535 period was obtained by counting the households in Ottoman tithe registers, and multiplying this number by 5. [197] For unclear reasons, the population in the 18th century was lower than that in the 16th century. [198] An estimate of 7,230,660 for the first census held in 1831 is considered a serious undercount, as this census was meant only to register possible conscripts. [197]

Smyrna under Ottoman rule in 1900 Ottoman Smyrna.jpg
Smyrna under Ottoman rule in 1900

Censuses of Ottoman territories only began in the early 19th century. Figures from 1831 onwards are available as official census results, but the censuses did not cover the whole population. For example, the 1831 census only counted men and did not cover the whole empire. [84] [197] For earlier periods estimates of size and distribution of the population are based on observed demographic patterns. [199]

However, it began to rise to reach 25–32  million by 1800, with around 10  million in the European provinces (primarily in the Balkans), 11  million in the Asiatic provinces, and around 3  million in the African provinces. Population densities were higher in the European provinces, double those in Anatolia, which in turn were triple the population densities of Iraq and Syria and five times the population density of Arabia. [200]

View of Galata (Karakoy) and the Galata Bridge on the Golden Horn, c. 1880-1893 Bridge and Galata Area, Istanbul, Turkey by Abdullah Freres, ca. 1880-1893 (LOC).jpg
View of Galata (Karaköy) and the Galata Bridge on the Golden Horn, c.1880–1893

Towards the end of the empire's existence life expectancy was 49 years, compared to the mid-twenties in Serbia at the beginning of the 19th century. [201] Epidemic diseases and famine caused major disruption and demographic changes. In 1785 around one-sixth of the Egyptian population died from the plague and Aleppo saw its population reduced by twenty percent in the 18th century. Six famines hit Egypt alone between 1687 and 1731 and the last famine to hit Anatolia was four decades later. [202]

The rise of port cities saw the clustering of populations caused by the development of steamships and railroads. Urbanization increased from 1700 to 1922, with towns and cities growing. Improvements in health and sanitation made them more attractive to live and work in. Port cities like Salonica, in Greece, saw its population rise from 55,000 in 1800 to 160,000 in 1912 and İzmir which had a population of 150,000 in 1800 grew to 300,000 by 1914. [203] [204] Some regions conversely had population falls—Belgrade saw its population drop from 25,000 to 8,000 mainly due to political strife. [203]

Economic and political migrations made an impact across the empire. For example, the Russian and Austria-Habsburg annexation of the Crimean and Balkan regions respectively saw large influxes of Muslim refugees—200,000 Crimean Tartars fleeing to Dobruja. [205] Between 1783 and 1913, approximately 5–7 million refugees flooded into the Ottoman Empire, at least 3.8 million of whom were from Russia. Some migrations left indelible marks such as political tension between parts of the empire (e.g., Turkey and Bulgaria), whereas centrifugal effects were noticed in other territories, simpler demographics emerging from diverse populations. Economies were also impacted by the loss of artisans, merchants, manufacturers, and agriculturists. [206] Since the 19th century, a large proportion of Muslim peoples from the Balkans emigrated to present-day Turkey. These people are called Muhacir . [207] By the time the Ottoman Empire came to an end in 1922, half of the urban population of Turkey was descended from Muslim refugees from Russia. [118]

Language

1911 Ottoman calendar shown in several different languages such as: Ottoman Turkish, Greek, Armenian, Hebrew, Bulgarian and French. 1911 Ottoman Calendar.jpg
1911 Ottoman calendar shown in several different languages such as: Ottoman Turkish, Greek, Armenian, Hebrew, Bulgarian and French.

Ottoman Turkish was the official language of the Empire. It was an Oghuz Turkic language highly influenced by Persian and Arabic, though lower registries spoken by the common people had fewer influences from other languages compared to higher varieties used by upper classes and governmental authorities. [208] Turkish, in its Ottoman variation, was a language of military and administration since the nascent days of the Ottomans. The Ottoman constitution of 1876 did officially cement the official imperial status of Turkish. [209]

The Ottomans had several influential languages: Turkish, spoken by the majority of the people in Anatolia and by the majority of Muslims of the Balkans except in Albania, Bosnia [210] and the Megleno-Romanian-inhabited Nânti; [211] Persian, only spoken by the educated; [210] Arabic, spoken mainly in Egypt, the Levant, Arabia, Iraq, North Africa, Kuwait and parts of the Horn of Africa and Berber in North Africa. In the last two centuries, usage of these became limited, though, and specific: Persian served mainly as a literary language for the educated, [210] while Arabic was used for Islamic prayers. In the post-Tanzimat period French became the common Western language among the educated. [10]

Because of a low literacy rate among the public (about 2–3% until the early 19th century and just about 15% at the end of the 19th century), ordinary people had to hire scribes as "special request-writers" (arzuhâlcis) to be able to communicate with the government. [212] Some ethnic groups continued to speak within their families and neighborhoods (mahalles) with their own languages, though many non-Muslim minorities such as Greeks and Armenians only spoke Turkish. [213] In villages where two or more populations lived together, the inhabitants would often speak each other's language. In cosmopolitan cities, people often spoke their family languages; many of those who were not ethnic Turks spoke Turkish as a second language.[ citation needed ]

Religion

Abdulmecid II was the last caliph of Islam and a member of the Ottoman dynasty. Portrait Caliph Abdulmecid II.jpg
Abdülmecid II was the last caliph of Islam and a member of the Ottoman dynasty.

In the Ottoman imperial system, even though there existed a hegemonic power of Muslim control over the non-Muslim populations, non-Muslim communities had been granted state recognition and protection in the Islamic tradition. [214] The officially accepted state Dīn (Madh'hab) of the Ottomans was Sunni (Hanafi jurisprudence). [215]

Until the second half of the 15th century, the empire had a Christian majority, under the rule of a Muslim minority. [176] In the late 19th century, the non-Muslim population of the empire began to fall considerably, not only due to secession but also because of migratory movements. [214] The proportion of Muslims amounted to 60% in the 1820s, gradually increasing to 69% in the 1870s and then to 76% in the 1890s. [214] By 1914, only 19.1% of the empire's population was non-Muslim, mostly made up of Jews and Christian Greeks, Assyrians, and Armenians. [214]

Islam

Selimiye Mosque, Edirne. Selimiye Mosque 3.JPG
Selimiye Mosque, Edirne.

Turkic peoples practiced a variety of shamanism before adopting Islam. Abbasid influence in Central Asia was ensured through a process that was greatly facilitated by the Muslim conquest of Transoxiana. Many of the various Turkic tribes—including the Oghuz Turks, who were the ancestors of both the Seljuks and the Ottomans—gradually converted to Islam, and brought the religion with them to Anatolia beginning in the 11th century. Since the founding of the Ottoman Empire, the Ottomans followed the Maturidi creed (school of Islamic theology) and the Hanafi madhab (school of Islamic jurisprudence). [216] [217] [218]

Muslim sects regarded as heretical, such as the Druze, Ismailis, Alevis, and Alawites, ranked below Jews and Christians. [219] Druze have been persecuted by Ottomans, [220] and Ottomans have often relied on Ibn Taymiyya religious ruling to justify their persecution of Druze. [221] In 1514, Sultan Selim I ordered the massacre of 40,000 Anatolian Alevis ( Qizilbash ), whom he considered a fifth column for the rival Safavid empire. Selim was also responsible for an unprecedented and rapid expansion of the Ottoman Empire into the Middle East, especially through his conquest of the entire Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt. With these conquests, Selim further solidified the Ottoman claim for being an Islamic caliphate, although Ottoman sultans had been claiming the title of caliph since the 14th century starting with Murad I (reigned 1362 to 1389). [12] The caliphate would remain held by Ottoman sultans for the rest of the office's duration, which ended with its abolition on 3 March 1924 by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey and the exile of the last caliph, Abdülmecid II, to France.

Christianity and Judaism

Mehmed the Conqueror and Patriarch Gennadius II Gennadios II and Mehmed II.jpg
Mehmed the Conqueror and Patriarch Gennadius II

In the Ottoman Empire, in accordance with the Muslim dhimmi system, Christians were guaranteed limited freedoms (such as the right to worship). They were forbidden to carry weapons or ride on horseback; their houses could not overlook those of Muslims, in addition to various other legal limitations. [222] Many Christians and Jews converted in order to secure full status in the society. Most, however, continued to practice their old religions without restriction. [223]

Under the millet system, non-Muslim people were considered subjects of the Empire but were not subject to the Muslim faith or Muslim law. The Orthodox millet, for instance, was still officially legally subject to Justinian's Code, which had been in effect in the Byzantine Empire for 900 years. Also, as the largest group of non-Muslim subjects (or dhimmi) of the Islamic Ottoman state, the Orthodox millet was granted a number of special privileges in the fields of politics and commerce and had to pay higher taxes than Muslim subjects. [224] [225]

Similar millets were established for the Ottoman Jewish community, who were under the authority of the Haham Başı or Ottoman Chief Rabbi; the Armenian Apostolic community, who were under the authority of a head bishop; and a number of other religious communities as well. [226] Some argue that the millet system is an example of pre-modern religious pluralism. [227]

Social-political-religious structure

Society, government, and religion were inter-related in complex ways after about 1800, in a complex overlapping, inefficient system that Atatürk systematically dismantled after 1922. [228] [229] In Constantinople, the Sultan ruled two distinct domains: the secular government and the religious hierarchy. Religious officials formed the Ulama, who had control of religious teachings and theology, and also the Empire's judicial system, giving them a major voice in day-to-day affairs in communities across the Empire (but not including the non-Muslim millets). They were powerful enough to reject the military reforms proposed by Sultan Selim III. His successor Sultan Mahmud II (r. 1808–1839) first won ulama approval before proposing similar reforms. [230] The secularisation program brought by Atatürk ended the ulema and their institutions. The caliphate was abolished, madrasas were closed down, and the sharia courts were abolished. He replaced the Arabic alphabet with Latin letters, ended the religious school system, and gave women some political rights. Many rural traditionalists never accepted this secularisation, and by the 1990s they were reasserting a demand for a larger role for Islam. [231]

Ethnic map of the Ottoman Empire in 1917. Black = Bulgars and Turks. Red = Greeks. Light yellow = Armenians. Blue = Kurds. Orange = Lazes. Dark Yellow = Arabs. Green = Nestorians. Subject Nationalities of the German Alliance (1917) (cropped).jpg
Ethnic map of the Ottoman Empire in 1917. Black = Bulgars and Turks. Red = Greeks. Light yellow = Armenians. Blue = Kurds. Orange = Lazes. Dark Yellow = Arabs. Green = Nestorians.

The Janissaries were a highly formidable military unit in the early years, but as Western Europe modernized its military organization technology, the Janissaries became a reactionary force that resisted all change. Steadily the Ottoman military power became outdated, but when the Janissaries felt their privileges were being threatened, or outsiders wanted to modernize them, or they might be superseded by the cavalrymen, they rose in rebellion. The rebellions were highly violent on both sides, but by the time the Janissaries were suppressed, it was far too late for Ottoman military power to catch up with the West. [232] [233] The political system was transformed by the destruction of the Janissaries in the Auspicious Incident of 1826, who was a very powerful military/governmental/police force that revolted. Sultan Mahmud II crushed the revolt executed the leaders and disbanded the large organization. That set the stage for a slow process of modernization of government functions, as the government sought, with mixed success, to adopt the main elements of Western bureaucracy and military technology.

Town of Safranbolu was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites in 1994 due to its well-preserved Ottoman era houses and architecture. 20180107 Safranbolu 1945 (39101010504).jpg
Town of Safranbolu was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites in 1994 due to its well-preserved Ottoman era houses and architecture.

The Janissaries had been recruited from Christians and other minorities; their abolition enabled the emergence of a Turkish elite to control the Ottoman Empire. The problem was that the Turkish element was very poorly educated, lacking higher schools of any sort, and locked into the Turkish language that used the Arabic alphabet that inhibited wider learning. A large number of ethnic and religious minorities were tolerated in their own separate segregated domains called millets. [235] They were primarily Greek, Armenian, or Jewish. In each locality, they governed themselves, spoke their own language, ran their own schools, cultural and religious institutions, and paid somewhat higher taxes. They had no power outside the millet. The Imperial government protected them and prevented major violent clashes between ethnic groups. However, the millets showed very little loyalty to the Empire. Ethnic nationalism, based on distinctive religion and language, provided a centripetal force that eventually destroyed the Ottoman Empire. [236] In addition, Muslim ethnic groups, which were not part of the millett system, especially the Arabs and the Kurds, were outside the Turkish culture and developed their own separate nationalism. The British sponsored Arab nationalism in the First World War, promising an independent Arab state in return for Arab support. Most Arabs supported the Sultan, but those near Mecca believed in and supported the British promise. [237]

The original Church of St. Anthony of Padua, Istanbul was built in 1725 by the local Italian community of Istanbul, but was later demolished and replaced with the current building which was constructed on the same location. St. Anthony of Padua Church in Istanbul 06.JPG
The original Church of St. Anthony of Padua, Istanbul was built in 1725 by the local Italian community of Istanbul, but was later demolished and replaced with the current building which was constructed on the same location.

At the local level, power was held beyond the control of the Sultan by the "ayan" or local notables. The ayan collected taxes, formed local armies to compete with other notables, took a reactionary attitude toward political or economic change, and often defied policies handed down by the Sultan. [238]

The economic system made little progress. Printing was forbidden until the 18th century, for fear of defiling the secret documents of Islam. The millets, however, were allowed their own presses, using Greek, Hebrew, Armenian and other languages that greatly facilitated nationalism. The religious prohibition on charging interest foreclosed most of the entrepreneurial skills among Muslims, although it did flourish among the Jews and Christians.

After the 18th century, the Ottoman Empire was clearly shrinking, as Russia put on heavy pressure and expanded to its south; Egypt became effectively independent in 1805, and the British later took it over, along with Cyprus. Greece became independent, and Serbia and other Balkan areas became highly restive as the force of nationalism pushed against imperialism. The French took over Algeria and Tunisia. The Europeans all thought that the empire was a sick man in rapid decline. Only the Germans seemed helpful, and their support led to the Ottoman Empire joining the central powers in 1915, with the result that they came out as one of the heaviest losers of the First World War in 1918. [239]

Culture

Depiction of a hookah shop in Lebanon, Ottoman Empire WaldmeierLebanon.gif
Depiction of a hookah shop in Lebanon, Ottoman Empire

The Ottomans absorbed some of the traditions, art, and institutions of cultures in the regions they conquered and added new dimensions to them. Numerous traditions and cultural traits of previous empires (In fields such as architecture, cuisine, music, leisure, and government) were adopted by the Ottoman Turks, who developed them into new forms, resulting in a new and distinctively Ottoman cultural identity. Although the predominant literary language of the Ottoman Empire was Turkish, Persian was the preferred vehicle for the projection of an imperial image. [240]

New Mosque and Eminonu bazaar, Constantinople, c. 1895 Flickr - ...trialsanderrors - Yeni Cami and Eminonu bazaar, Constantinople, Turkey, ca. 1895.jpg
New Mosque and Eminönü bazaar, Constantinople, c.1895

Slavery was a part of Ottoman society, [241] with most slaves employed as domestic servants. Agricultural slavery, such as that which was widespread in the Americas, was relatively rare. Unlike systems of chattel slavery, slaves under Islamic law were not regarded as movable property, and the children of female slaves were born legally free. Female slaves were still sold in the Empire as late as 1908. [242] During the 19th century the Empire came under pressure from Western European countries to outlaw the practice. Policies developed by various Sultans throughout the 19th century attempted to curtail the Ottoman slave trade but slavery had centuries of religious backing and sanction and so slavery was never abolished in the Empire. [226]

Plague remained a major scourge in Ottoman society until the second quarter of the 19th century. "Between 1701 and 1750, 37 larger and smaller plague epidemics were recorded in Istanbul, and 31 between 1751 and 1801." [243]

Ottomans adopted Persian bureaucratic traditions and culture. The sultans also made an important contribution in the development of Persian literature. [244]

Education

Beyazit State Library was founded in 1884. Beyazit State Library (14667026514).jpg
Beyazıt State Library was founded in 1884.

In the Ottoman Empire, each millet established a schooling system serving its members. [245] Education, therefore, was largely divided on ethnic and religious lines: few non-Muslims attended schools for Muslim students and vice versa. Most institutions that did serve all ethnic and religious groups taught in French or other languages. [246]

Literature

The two primary streams of Ottoman written literature are poetry and prose. Poetry was by far the dominant stream. Until the 19th century, Ottoman prose did not contain any examples of fiction: there were no counterparts to, for instance, the European romance, short story, or novel. Analog genres did exist, though, in both Turkish folk literature and in Divan poetry.

Ottoman Divan poetry was a highly ritualized and symbolic art form. From the Persian poetry that largely inspired it, it inherited a wealth of symbols whose meanings and interrelationships—both of similitude (مراعات نظير mura'ât-i nazîr / تناسب tenâsüb) and opposition (تضاد tezâd) were more or less prescribed. Divan poetry was composed through the constant juxtaposition of many such images within a strict metrical framework, thus allowing numerous potential meanings to emerge. The vast majority of Divan poetry was lyric in nature: either gazels (which make up the greatest part of the repertoire of the tradition), or kasîdes. There were, however, other common genres, most particularly the mesnevî, a kind of verse romance and thus a variety of narrative poetry; the two most notable examples of this form are the Leyli and Majnun of Fuzûlî and the Hüsn ü Aşk of Şeyh Gâlib. The Seyahatnâme of Evliya Çelebi (1611–1682) is an outstanding example of travel literature.

Ahmet Nedim Efendi, one of the most celebrated Ottoman poets Nedim (divan edb.sairi).JPG
Ahmet Nedîm Efendi, one of the most celebrated Ottoman poets

Until the 19th century, Ottoman prose did not develop to the extent that contemporary Divan poetry did. A large part of the reason for this was that much prose was expected to adhere to the rules of sec (سجع, also transliterated as seci), or rhymed prose, [247] a type of writing descended from the Arabic saj' and which prescribed that between each adjective and noun in a string of words, such as a sentence, there must be a rhyme. Nevertheless, there was a tradition of prose in the literature of the time, though exclusively non-fictional in nature. One apparent exception was Muhayyelât ("Fancies") by Giritli Ali Aziz Efendi, a collection of stories of the fantastic written in 1796, though not published until 1867. The first novel published in the Ottoman Empire was by an Armenian named Vartan Pasha. Published in 1851, the novel was entitled The Story of Akabi (Turkish: Akabi Hikyayesi) and was written in Turkish but with Armenian script. [248] [249] [250] [251]

Due to historically close ties with France, French literature came to constitute the major Western influence on Ottoman literature throughout the latter half of the 19th century. As a result, many of the same movements prevalent in France during this period also had their Ottoman equivalents; in the developing Ottoman prose tradition, for instance, the influence of Romanticism can be seen during the Tanzimat period, and that of the Realist and Naturalist movements in subsequent periods; in the poetic tradition, on the other hand, it was the influence of the Symbolist and Parnassian movements that became paramount.

Many of the writers in the Tanzimat period wrote in several different genres simultaneously; for instance, the poet Namık Kemal also wrote the important 1876 novel İntibâh ("Awakening"), while the journalist İbrahim Şinasi is noted for writing, in 1860, the first modern Turkish play, the one-act comedy "Şair Evlenmesi" ("The Poet's Marriage"). An earlier play, a farce entitled "Vakâyi'-i 'Acibe ve Havâdis-i Garibe-yi Kefşger Ahmed" ("The Strange Events and Bizarre Occurrences of the Cobbler Ahmed"), dates from the beginning of the 19th century, but there remains some doubt about its authenticity. In a similar vein, the novelist Ahmed Midhat Efendi wrote important novels in each of the major movements: Romanticism (Hasan Mellâh yâhud Sırr İçinde Esrâr, 1873; "Hasan the Sailor, or The Mystery Within the Mystery"), Realism (Henüz on Yedi Yaşında, 1881; "Just Seventeen Years Old"), and Naturalism (Müşâhedât, 1891; "Observations"). This diversity was, in part, due to the Tanzimat writers' wish to disseminate as much of the new literature as possible, in the hopes that it would contribute to a revitalization of Ottoman social structures. [252]

Media

Architecture

Ottoman architecture was influenced by Persian, Byzantine Greek and Islamic architectures. During the Rise period (The early or first Ottoman architecture period), Ottoman art was in search of new ideas. The growth period of the Empire became the classical period of architecture when Ottoman art was at its most confident. During the years of the Stagnation period, Ottoman architecture moved away from this style, however. During the Tulip Era, it was under the influence of the highly ornamented styles of Western Europe; Baroque, Rococo, Empire and other styles intermingled. Concepts of Ottoman architecture concentrate mainly on the mosque. The mosque was integral to society, city planning, and communal life. Besides the mosque, it is also possible to find good examples of Ottoman architecture in soup kitchens, theological schools, hospitals, Turkish baths, and tombs.

Examples of Ottoman architecture of the classical period, besides Istanbul and Edirne, can also be seen in Egypt, Eritrea, Tunisia, Algiers, the Balkans, and Romania, where mosques, bridges, fountains, and schools were built. The art of Ottoman decoration developed with a multitude of influences due to the wide ethnic range of the Ottoman Empire. The greatest of the court artists enriched the Ottoman Empire with many pluralistic artistic influences, such as mixing traditional Byzantine art with elements of Chinese art. [253]

Decorative arts

Ottoman miniature lost its function with the Westernization of Ottoman culture. Topkapi Sarayi in time of Selim I - left.jpg
Ottoman miniature lost its function with the Westernization of Ottoman culture.
Selimiye Mosque calligraphy Selimiye Mosque, Dome.jpg
Selimiye Mosque calligraphy

The tradition of Ottoman miniatures, painted to illustrate manuscripts or used in dedicated albums, was heavily influenced by the Persian art form, though it also included elements of the Byzantine tradition of illumination and painting.[ citation needed ] A Greek academy of painters, the Nakkashane-i-Rum, was established in the Topkapi Palace in the 15th century, while early in the following century a similar Persian academy, the Nakkashane-i-Irani, was added. Surname-i Hümayun (Imperial Festival Books) were albums that commemorated celebrations in the Ottoman Empire in pictorial and textual detail.

Ottoman illumination covers non-figurative painted or drawn decorative art in books or on sheets in muraqqa or albums, as opposed to the figurative images of the Ottoman miniature. It was a part of the Ottoman Book Arts together with the Ottoman miniature (taswir), calligraphy (hat), Islamic calligraphy, bookbinding (cilt) and paper marbling (ebru). In the Ottoman Empire, illuminated and illustrated manuscripts were commissioned by the Sultan or the administrators of the court. In Topkapi Palace, these manuscripts were created by the artists working in Nakkashane, the atelier of the miniature and illumination artists. Both religious and non-religious books could be illuminated. Also, sheets for albums levha consisted of illuminated calligraphy (hat) of tughra , religious texts, verses from poems or proverbs, and purely decorative drawings.

The art of carpet weaving was particularly significant in the Ottoman Empire, carpets having an immense importance both as decorative furnishings, rich in religious and other symbolism and as a practical consideration, as it was customary to remove one's shoes in living quarters. [254] The weaving of such carpets originated in the nomadic cultures of central Asia (carpets being an easily transportable form of furnishing), and eventually spread to the settled societies of Anatolia. Turks used carpets, rugs, and kilims not just on the floors of a room but also as a hanging on walls and doorways, where they provided additional insulation. They were also commonly donated to mosques, which often amassed large collections of them. [255]

Music and performing arts

Ottoman classical music was an important part of the education of the Ottoman elite. A number of the Ottoman sultans have accomplished musicians and composers themselves, such as Selim III, whose compositions are often still performed today. Ottoman classical music arose largely from a confluence of Byzantine music, Armenian music, Arabic music, and Persian music. Compositionally, it is organized around rhythmic units called usul, which are somewhat similar to meter in Western music, and melodic units called makam, which bear some resemblance to Western musical modes.

The instruments used are a mixture of Anatolian and Central Asian instruments (the saz, the bağlama, the kemence), other Middle Eastern instruments (the ud, the tanbur, the kanun, the ney), and—later in the tradition—Western instruments (the violin and the piano). Because of a geographic and cultural divide between the capital and other areas, two broadly distinct styles of music arose in the Ottoman Empire: Ottoman classical music and folk music. In the provinces, several different kinds of folk music were created. The most dominant regions with their distinguished musical styles are Balkan-Thracian Türküs, North-Eastern (Laz) Türküs, Aegean Türküs, Central Anatolian Türküs, Eastern Anatolian Türküs, and Caucasian Türküs. Some of the distinctive styles were: Janissary Music, Roma music, Belly dance, Turkish folk music.

The traditional shadow play called Karagöz and Hacivat was widespread throughout the Ottoman Empire and featured characters representing all of the major ethnic and social groups in that culture. [256] [257] It was performed by a single puppet master, who voiced all of the characters, and accompanied by tambourine (def). Its origins are obscure, deriving perhaps from an older Egyptian tradition, or possibly from an Asian source.

Cuisine

Enjoying coffee at the harem Enjoying Coffee Pera Museum 2 b.jpg
Enjoying coffee at the harem
Turkish women baking bread, 1790 Francois-Marie Rosset - Femmes Turcs turques de Serquin, leur maniere de faire leur pain - Syrie - 1790.jpg
Turkish women baking bread, 1790

Ottoman cuisine refers to the cuisine of the capital, Constantinople (Istanbul), and the regional capital cities, where the melting pot of cultures created a common cuisine that most of the population regardless of ethnicity shared. This diverse cuisine was honed in the Imperial Palace's kitchens by chefs brought from certain parts of the Empire to create and experiment with different ingredients. The creations of the Ottoman Palace's kitchens filtered to the population, for instance through Ramadan events, and through the cooking at the Yalıs of the Pashas, and from there on spread to the rest of the population.

Much of the cuisine of former Ottoman territories today is descended from a shared Ottoman cuisine, especially Turkish, and including Greek, Balkan, Armenian, and Middle Eastern cuisines. [258] Many common dishes in the region, descendants of the once-common Ottoman cuisine, include yogurt, döner kebab/gyro/shawarma, cacık/tzatziki, ayran, pita bread, feta cheese, baklava, lahmacun, moussaka, yuvarlak, köfte/keftés/kofta, börek/boureki, rakı/rakia/tsipouro/tsikoudia, meze, dolma, sarma, rice pilaf, Turkish coffee, sujuk, kashk, keşkek, manti, lavash, kanafeh, and more.

Science and technology

Ottoman Imperial Museum, today the Istanbul Archaeology Museums Ottoman Imperial Museum (Today- Istanbul Archaeology Museums).jpg
Ottoman Imperial Museum, today the Istanbul Archaeology Museums
Girl Reciting the Quran (Kuran Okuyan Kiz), an 1880 painting by the Ottoman polymath Osman Hamdi Bey, whose works often showed women engaged in educational activities. Osman-hamdi-bey-girl-reciting-qu-ran-1880.jpg
Girl Reciting the Qurān (Kuran Okuyan Kız), an 1880 painting by the Ottoman polymath Osman Hamdi Bey, whose works often showed women engaged in educational activities.

Over the course of Ottoman history, the Ottomans managed to build a large collection of libraries complete with translations of books from other cultures, as well as original manuscripts. [55] A great part of this desire for local and foreign manuscripts arose in the 15th century. Sultan Mehmet II ordered Georgios Amiroutzes, a Greek scholar from Trabzon, to translate and make available to Ottoman educational institutions the geography book of Ptolemy. Another example is Ali Qushji – an astronomer, mathematician and physicist originally from Samarkand – who became a professor in two madrasas and influenced Ottoman circles as a result of his writings and the activities of his students, even though he only spent two or three years in Constantinople before his death. [260]

Observatory of Taqi ad-Din in 1577 Istambul observatory in 1577.jpg
Observatory of Taqi ad-Din in 1577

Taqi al-Din built the Constantinople observatory of Taqi al-Din in 1577, where he carried out observations until 1580. He calculated the eccentricity of the Sun's orbit and the annual motion of the apogee. [261] However, the observatory's primary purpose was almost certainly astrological rather than astronomical, leading to its destruction in 1580 due to the rise of a clerical faction that opposed its use for that purpose. [262] He also experimented with steam power in Ottoman Egypt in 1551, when he described a steam jack driven by a rudimentary steam turbine. [263]

In 1660 the Ottoman scholar Ibrahim Efendi al-Zigetvari Tezkireci translated Noël Duret's French astronomical work (written in 1637) into Arabic. [264]

Şerafeddin Sabuncuoğlu was the author of the first surgical atlas and the last major medical encyclopaedia from the Islamic world. Though his work was largely based on Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi's Al-Tasrif , Sabuncuoğlu introduced many innovations of his own. Female surgeons were also illustrated for the first time. [265] Since, the Ottoman Empire is credited with the invention of several surgical instruments in use such as forceps, catheters, scalpels and lancets as well as pincers. [266]

An example of a watch that measured time in minutes was created by an Ottoman watchmaker, Meshur Sheyh Dede, in 1702. [267]

In the early 19th century, Egypt under Muhammad Ali began using steam engines for industrial manufacturing, with industries such as ironworks, textile manufacturing, paper mills and hulling mills moving towards steam power. [268] Economic historian Jean Batou argues that the necessary economic conditions existed in Egypt for the adoption of oil as a potential energy source for its steam engines later in the 19th century. [268]

In the 19th century, Ishak Efendi is credited with introducing the then current Western scientific ideas and developments to the Ottoman and wider Muslim world, as well as the invention of a suitable Turkish and Arabic scientific terminology, through his translations of Western works.

Sports

Members of Besiktas J.K. in 1903 MedyaBJK.jpg
Members of Beşiktaş J.K. in 1903
Members of Galatasaray S.K. (football) in 1905 GS Kuruculari.jpg
Members of Galatasaray S.K. (football) in 1905

The main sports Ottomans were engaged in were Turkish wrestling, hunting, Turkish archery, horseback riding, equestrian javelin throw, arm wrestling, and swimming. European model sports clubs were formed with the spreading popularity of football matches in 19th century Constantinople. The leading clubs, according to timeline, were Beşiktaş Gymnastics Club (1903), Galatasaray Sports Club (1905), Fenerbahçe Sports Club (1907), MKE Ankaragücü (formerly Turan Sanatkaragücü) (1910) in Constantinople. Football clubs were formed in other provinces too, such as Karşıyaka Sports Club (1912), Altay Sports Club (1914) and Turkish Fatherland Football Club (later Ülküspor) (1914) of İzmir.

See also

Related Research Articles

Janissary Elite infantry units and standing army of the Ottoman Empire (active 1363–1826)

A Janissary was a member of the elite infantry units that formed the Ottoman Sultan's household troops and the first modern standing army in Europe. The corps was most likely established under sultan Orhan (1324–1362), during the Viziership of Alaeddin.

Young Turks Political reform movement in the Ottoman Empire

Young Turks was a political reform movement in the early 20th century that favored the replacement of the Ottoman Empire's absolute monarchy with a constitutional government. They led a rebellion against the absolute rule of Sultan Abdulhamid II in the 1908 Young Turk Revolution. With this revolution, the Young Turks helped to establish the Second Constitutional Era in 1908, ushering in an era of multi-party democracy for the first time in the country's history.

Devshirme 1400s–1600s Ottoman forcible enslavement practice

Devshirme was the Ottoman practice of forcibly recruiting soldiers and bureaucrats from among the children of their Balkan Christian subjects. Those coming from the Balkans came primarily from noble Balkan families and rayah classes. It is first mentioned in written records in 1438, but probably started earlier. It created a faction of soldiers and officials loyal to the Sultan. It counterbalanced the Turkish nobility, who sometimes opposed the Sultan. The system produced a considerable number of grand viziers from the 1400s to the 1600s. This was the second most powerful position in the Ottoman Empire, after the sultan. Initially, the grand viziers were exclusively of Turk origin, but after there were troubles between Sultan Mehmed II and the Turkish grand vizier Çandarlı Halil Pasha the Younger, who was the first grand vizier to be executed, there was a rise of slave administrators (devshirme). They were much easier for the sultans to control, compared to free administrators of Turkish aristocratic extraction. The devshirme also produced many Ottoman Empire's provincial governors, military commanders, and divans during the 1400s–1600s period. Sometimes, the devshirme recruits were castrated and became eunuchs. Although often destined to the harem, many eunuchs of devshirme origin went on to hold important positions in the military and the government, such as grand viziers Hadım Ali Pasha, Sinan Borovinić, and Hadım Hasan Pasha.

History of the Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire was founded circa 1299 by Osman I as a small beylik in northwestern Asia Minor just south of the Byzantine capital Constantinople. The Ottomans first crossed into Europe in 1352, establishing a permanent settlement at Çimpe Castle on the Dardanelles in 1354 and moving their capital to Edirne (Adrianople) in 1369. At the same time, the numerous small Turkic states in Asia Minor were assimilated into the budding Ottoman sultanate through conquest or declarations of allegiance.

Rise of the Ottoman Empire Rise of the Ottoman Empire to prominence (1299-1453)

The foundation and rise of the Ottoman Empire is a period of history that started with the emergence of the Ottoman principality in c. 1299, and ended circa 1453. This period witnessed the foundation of a political entity ruled by the Ottoman Dynasty in the northwestern Anatolian region of Bithynia, and its transformation from a small principality on the Byzantine frontier into an empire spanning the Balkans, Anatolia, Middle East and North Africa. For this reason, this period in the empire's history has been described as the "Proto-Imperial Era". Throughout most of this period, the Ottomans were merely one of many competing states in the region, and relied upon the support of local warlords Ghazis and vassals (Beys) to maintain control over their realm. By the middle of the fifteenth century the Ottoman sultans were able to accumulate enough personal power and authority to establish a centralized imperial state, a process which was brought to fruition by Sultan Mehmed II. The conquest of Constantinople in 1453 is seen as the symbolic moment when the emerging Ottoman state shifted from a mere principality into an empire therefore marking a major turning point in its history.

Decline and modernization of the Ottoman Empire Period of the Ottoman empire

In the late eighteenth century, the Ottoman Empire faced numerous enemies. In response to these threats, the empire initiated a period of internal reform which came to be known as the Tanzimat, which succeeded in significantly strengthening the Ottoman central state, despite the empire's precarious international position. Over the course of the nineteenth century, the Ottoman state became increasingly powerful and rationalized, exercising a greater degree of influence over its population than in any previous era. The process of reform and modernization in the empire began with the declaration of the Nizam-I Cedid during the reign of Sultan Selim III and was punctuated by several reform decrees, such as the Hatt-ı Şerif of Gülhane in 1839 and the Hatt-ı Hümayun in 1856.

In the Ottoman Empire, a millet was an independent court of law pertaining to "personal law" under which a confessional community was allowed to rule itself under its own laws.

Auspicious Incident 1826 disbandment of the Ottoman Janissary corps

The Auspicious Incident was the forced disbandment of the centuries-old Janissary corps by Sultan Mahmud II on 15 June 1826. Most of the 135,000 Janissaries revolted against Mahmud II, and after the rebellion was suppressed, most of the Janissaries were executed, exiled or imprisoned. The Janissary corps was disbanded and replaced with a more modern military force.

Ottoman Caliphate Last Islamic caliphate of the modern era, under the Ottoman Empire and dynasty (1517–1924)

The Ottoman Caliphate, under the Ottoman dynasty of the Ottoman Empire, was the last Caliphate of Islam in the late medieval and the early modern era. During the period of Ottoman expansion, Ottoman rulers claimed caliphal authority since the conquest of Mamluk Egypt by Sultan Selim I in 1517, which bestowed the title of Defender of the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina upon him and strengthened the Ottoman claim to caliphate in the Muslim world, although the title of “caliph” had been claimed by Ottoman rulers starting with Sultan Murad I.

Ottoman Old Regime

The history of the Ottoman Empire in the 18th century has classically been described as one of stagnation and reform. In analogy with 18th-century France, it is also known as the Ancien Régime or "Old Regime", contrasting with the "New Regime" of the Nizam-i Cedid and Tanzimat in the 19th century.

Young Turk Revolution 1908 restoration of constitutional rule in the Ottoman Empire

The Young Turk Revolution was a constitutionalist revolution in the Ottoman Empire. The Committee of Union and Progress (CUP), an organization of the Young Turks movement, forced Sultan Abdul Hamid II to restore the Ottoman Constitution and recall the parliament, which ushered in multi-party politics within the Empire. From the Young Turk Revolution to the Empire's end marks the Second Constitutional Era of the Ottoman Empire's history. More than three decades earlier, in 1876, constitutional monarchy had been established under Abdul Hamid during a period of time known as the First Constitutional Era, which lasted for only two years before Abdul Hamid suspended it and restored autocratic powers to himself.

The Russo-Turkish wars were a series of twelve wars fought between the Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire between the 16th and 20th centuries. It was one of the longest series of military conflicts in European history. Except for the war of 1710–11 and the Crimean War, which is often treated as a separate event, the conflicts ended disastrously for the stagnating Ottoman Empire; conversely they showcased the ascendancy of Russia as a European power after the modernisation efforts of Peter the Great in the early 18th century.

Turkification, Turkization, or Turkicization, describes both a cultural and language shift whereby populations or states were forcefully assimilated or adopted a historical Turkic culture, such as in the Ottoman Empire, and the Turkish nationalist policies of the Republic of Turkey toward ethnic minorities in Turkey. As the Turkic states developed and grew, there were many instances of this cultural shift. An early form of Turkification occurred in the time of the Seljuk Empire and Sultanate of Rum in Anatolia, which had been a diverse and largely Greek-speaking region after previously being Hellenized.

Köprülü era c. 1656–1703 Ottoman period dominated by grand viziers of the Köprülü family

The Köprülü era was a period in which the Ottoman Empire's politics were frequently dominated by a series of grand viziers from the Köprülü family. The Köprülü era is sometimes more narrowly defined as the period from 1656 to 1683, as it was during those years that members of the family held the office of grand vizier uninterruptedly, while for the remainder of the period they occupied it only sporadically.

Abdul Hamid II Ottoman Empire Sultan from 1876 to 1909

Abdul Hamid II or Abdülhamid II reigned as the 34th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire - the last Sultan to exert effective control over the fracturing state. The time period which he reigned in the Ottoman Empire is known as the Hamidian Era. He oversaw a period of decline, with rebellions, and he presided over an unsuccessful war with the Russian Empire (1877–1878) followed by a successful war against the Kingdom of Greece in 1897.

The Sword of Osman was an important sword of state used during the enthronement ceremony of the sultans of the Ottoman Empire. This particular type of enthronement ceremony was the Ottoman variant of the Bay'ah. The sword was named after Osman I, founder of the Ottoman dynasty.

Sürgün

Sürgün or verb form sürmek was a practice within the Ottoman Empire that entailed the movement of a large group of people from one region to another, often a form of forced migration imposed by state policy or international authority. The practice was also a form of banishment or exile often applied to the elites of Ottoman society, the Pashas. It was most famously used as a method of ethnic cleansing in the Armenian genocide perpetrated by the Young Turk government in 1915, in order to deal with a perceived threat from Armenian nationals receiving military support from the, Ottoman hostile, Russian Empire.

During the decline and dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, Muslim inhabitants living in territories previously under Ottoman control, often found themselves as a persecuted minority after borders were re-drawn. These populations, who enjoyed the status of a privileged minority under Ottoman hegemony, were subject to expropriation, massacres, and even ethnic cleansing.

Transformation of the Ottoman Empire C. 1550 to c. 1700 period of the Ottoman Empire

The Transformation of the Ottoman Empire, also known as the Era of Transformation, constitutes a period in the history of the Ottoman Empire from c. 1550 to c. 1700, spanning roughly from the end of the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent to the Treaty of Karlowitz at the conclusion of the War of the Holy League. This period was characterized by numerous dramatic political, social, and economic changes, which resulted in the empire shifting from an expansionist, patrimonial state into a bureaucratic empire based on an ideology of upholding justice and acting as the protector of Sunni Islam. These changes were in large part prompted by a series of political and economic crises in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, resulting from inflation, warfare, and political factionalism. Yet despite these crises the empire remained strong both politically and economically, and continued to adapt to the challenges of a changing world. The 17th century was once characterized as a period of decline for the Ottomans, but since the 1980s historians of the Ottoman Empire have increasingly rejected that characterization, identifying it instead as a period of crisis, adaptation, and transformation.

References

Footnotes

  1. In Ottoman Turkish, the city was known by various names, among which were Kostantiniyye (قسطنطينيه) (replacing the suffix -polis with the Arabic nisba), Dersaadet (در سعادت) and Istanbul (استانبول). Names other than Istanbul became obsolete in Turkish after the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, [5] and after Turkey's transition to Latin script in 1928, the Turkish government in 1930 requested that foreign embassies and companies use Istanbul, and that name became widely accepted internationally. [6] Eldem Edhem, author of an entry on Istanbul in Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire, stated that the majority of the Turkish people circa 2010, including historians, believe using "Constantinople" to refer to the Ottoman-era city is "politically incorrect" despite any historical accuracy. [5]
  2. The sultan from 1512 to 1520.
  3. Mehmed VI, the last Sultan, was expelled from Constantinople on 17 November 1922.
  4. The Treaty of Sèvres (10 August 1920) afforded a small existence to the Ottoman Empire. On 1 November 1922, the Grand National Assembly (GNAT) abolished the sultanate and declared that all the deeds of the Ottoman regime in Constantinople were null and void as of 16 March 1920, the date of the occupation of Constantinople under the terms of the Treaty of Sèvres. The international recognition of the GNAT and the Government of Ankara was achieved through the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne on 24 July 1923. The Grand National Assembly of Turkey promulgated the Republic on 29 October 1923, which ended the Ottoman Empire in history.
  5. "Sublime Ottoman State" was not used in minority languages for Christians and Jews, nor in French, [17] the common Western language among the educated in the late Ottoman Empire. [10] Minority languages, which use the same name in French: [17]
    • Western Armenian: Օսմանյան տերութիւն (Osmanean Têrut´iwn, meaning "Ottoman Authority/Governance/Rule"), Օսմանյան պետութիւն (Osmanean Petut‘iwn, meaning "Ottoman State"), and Օսմանյան կայսրություն (Osmanean Kaysrut, meaning "Ottoman Empire")
    • Bulgarian: Османска империя (Otomanskata Imperiya), and Отоманска империя is an archaic version. Definite article forms: Османската империя and Османска империя were synonymous
    • Greek: Оθωμανική Επικράτεια (Othōmanikē Epikrateia) and Оθωμανική Αυτοκρατορία (Othōmanikē Avtokratoria)
    • Ladino: Imperio otomano
  6. The Ottoman dynasty also held the title "caliph" from the Ottoman victory over the Mamluk Sultanate of Cairo in the Battle of Ridaniya in 1517 to the abolition of the Caliphate by the Turkish Republic in 1924.
  7. The empire also temporarily gained authority over distant overseas lands through declarations of allegiance to the Ottoman Sultan and Caliph, such as the declaration by the Sultan of Aceh in 1565, or through temporary acquisitions of islands such as Lanzarote in the Atlantic Ocean in 1585, Turkish Navy Official Website: "Atlantik'te Türk Denizciliği"
  8. A lock-hold on trade between western Europe and Asia is often cited as a primary motivation for Isabella I of Castile to fund Christopher Columbus's westward journey to find a sailing route to Asia and, more generally, for European seafaring nations to explore alternative trade routes (e.g., K.D. Madan, Life and travels of Vasco Da Gama (1998), 9; I. Stavans, Imagining Columbus: the literary voyage (2001), 5; W.B. Wheeler and S. Becker, Discovering the American Past. A Look at the Evidence: to 1877 (2006), 105). This traditional viewpoint has been attacked as unfounded in an influential article by A.H. Lybyer ("The Ottoman Turks and the Routes of Oriental Trade", English Historical Review, 120 (1915), 577–588), who sees the rise of Ottoman power and the beginnings of Portuguese and Spanish explorations as unrelated events. His view has not been universally accepted (cf. K.M. Setton, The Papacy and the Levant (1204–1571), Vol. 2: The Fifteenth Century (Memoirs of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 127) (1978), 335).
  9. Although his sons 'Ali and Faisal had already initiated operations at Medina starting on 5 June [155]

Citations

  1. McDonald, Sean; Moore, Simon (20 October 2015). "Communicating Identity in the Ottoman Empire and Some Implications for Contemporary States". Atlantic Journal of Communication. 23 (5): 269–283. doi:10.1080/15456870.2015.1090439. ISSN   1545-6870. S2CID   146299650.
  2. Stanford Shaw, History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey (Cambridge: University Press, 1976), vol. 1 p. 13
  3. Atasoy & Raby 1989, p. 19–20.
  4. 1 2 "In 1363 the Ottoman capital moved from Bursa to Edirne, although Bursa retained its spiritual and economic importance." Ottoman Capital Bursa. Official website of Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  5. 1 2 Edhem, Eldem. "Istanbul." In: Ágoston, Gábor, and Bruce Alan Masters. Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire. Infobase Publishing, 21 May 2010. ISBN   1-4381-1025-1, 9781438110257. Start and CITED: p. 286. "With the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the establishment of the Republic of Turkey, all previous names were abandoned and Istanbul came to designate the entire city."
  6. (Stanford and Ezel Shaw (27 May 1977): History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Vol II, ISBN   0-521-29166-6, 9780521291668. p. 386; Robinson (1965), The First Turkish Republic, p. 298 and Society (4 March 2014). "Istanbul, not Constantinople". National Geographic Society. Retrieved 28 March 2019.)
  7. Flynn, Thomas O. (7 August 2017). The Western Christian Presence in the Russias and Qājār Persia, c.1760–c.1870. BRILL. ISBN   978-90-04-31354-5.
    • Learning to Read in the Late Ottoman Empire and the Early Turkish Republic, B. Fortna, page 50;"Although in the late Ottoman period Persian was taught in the state schools...."
    • Persian Historiography and Geography, Bertold Spuler, page 68, "On the whole, the circumstance in Turkey took a similar course: in Anatolia, the Persian language had played a significant role as the carrier of civilization.[..]..where it was at time, to some extent, the language of diplomacy...However Persian maintained its position also during the early Ottoman period in the composition of histories and even Sultan Salim I, a bitter enemy of Iran and the Shi'ites, wrote poetry in Persian. Besides some poetical adaptations, the most important historiographical works are: Idris Bidlisi's flowery "Hasht Bihist", or Seven Paradises, begun in 1502 by the request of Sultan Bayazid II and covering the first eight Ottoman rulers.."
    • Picturing History at the Ottoman Court, Emine Fetvacı, page 31, "Persian literature, and belles-lettres in particular, were part of the curriculum: a Persian dictionary, a manual on prose composition; and Sa'dis "Gulistan", one of the classics of Persian poetry, were borrowed. All these titles would be appropriate in the religious and cultural education of the newly converted young men.
    • Persian Historiography: History of Persian Literature A, Volume 10, edited by Ehsan Yarshater, Charles Melville, page 437;"...Persian held a privileged place in Ottoman letters. Persian historical literature was first patronized during the reign of Mehmed II and continued unabated until the end of the 16th century.
  8. Ayşe Gül Sertkaya (2002). "Şeyhzade Abdurrezak Bahşı". In György Hazai (ed.). Archivum Ottomanicum. 20. pp. 114–115. As a result, we can claim that Şeyhzade Abdürrezak Bahşı was a scribe lived in the palaces of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror and his son Bayezid-i Veli in the 15th century, wrote letters (bitig) and firmans (yarlığ) sent to Eastern Turks by Mehmed II and Bayezid II in both Uighur and Arabic scripts and in East Turkestan (Chagatai) language.
  9. 1 2 3 Strauss, Johann (2010). "A Constitution for a Multilingual Empire: Translations of the Kanun-ı Esasi and Other Official Texts into Minority Languages". In Herzog, Christoph; Malek Sharif (eds.). The First Ottoman Experiment in Democracy. Würzburg: Orient-Institut Istanbul. pp. 21–51. (info page on book at Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 26 (PDF p. 28): "French had become a sort of semi-official language in the Ottoman Empire in the wake of the Tanzimat reforms.[...]It is true that French was not an ethnic language of the Ottoman Empire. But it was the only Western language which would become increasingly widespread among educated persons in all linguistic communities."
  10. Finkel, Caroline (2005). Osman's Dream: The Story of the Ottoman Empire, 1300–1923. New York: Basic Books. pp. 110–1. ISBN   978-0-465-02396-7.
  11. 1 2 3 Lambton, Ann; Lewis, Bernard (1995). The Cambridge History of Islam: The Indian sub-continent, South-East Asia, Africa and the Muslim west. 2. Cambridge University Press. p. 320. ISBN   978-0-521-22310-2.
  12. 1 2 3 Rein Taagepera (September 1997). "Expansion and Contraction Patterns of Large Polities: Context for Russia". International Studies Quarterly . 41 (3): 498. doi:10.1111/0020-8833.00053. JSTOR   2600793.
  13. Turchin, Peter; Adams, Jonathan M.; Hall, Thomas D (December 2006). "East-West Orientation of Historical Empires". Journal of World-Systems Research. 12 (2): 223. ISSN   1076-156X . Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  14. Dimitrov, Nikola; Markoski, Blagoja; Radevski, Ivan (2017). "Bitola–from Eyalet capital to regional centre in the Republic of Macedonia". Urban Development Issues. 55 (3): 67. doi: 10.2478/udi-2018-0006 . ISSN   2544-6258. S2CID   134681055.
  15. Erickson, Edward J. (2003). Defeat in Detail: The Ottoman Army in the Balkans, 1912–1913. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 59. ISBN   978-0-275-97888-4.
  16. 1 2 3 Strauss, Johann (2010). "A Constitution for a Multilingual Empire: Translations of the Kanun-ı Esasi and Other Official Texts into Minority Languages". In Herzog, Christoph; Malek Sharif (eds.). The First Ottoman Experiment in Democracy. Würzburg: Orient-Institut Istanbul. pp. 21–51. (info page on book at Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338).
  17. A ́goston, Ga ́bor; Masters, Bruce Alan (2008). Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire. Infobase Publishing, NY. p. 444. ISBN   978-0-8160-6259-1. "Osman was simply one among a number Turkoman tribal leaders operating in the Sakarya region."
  18. "Osman I". Encyclopedia Britannica. Osman I, also called Osman Gazi, (born c. 1258—died 1324 or 1326), ruler of a Turkmen principality in northwestern Anatolia who is regarded as the founder of the Ottoman Turkish state.
  19. Finkel, Caroline (13 February 2006). Osman's Dream: The Story of the Ottoman Empire, 1300–1923. Basic Books. pp. 2, 7. ISBN   978-0-465-02396-7.
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