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This chapter examines the social history of slavery in the early Ottoman Empire. Arguing that the range of forms of enslavement and forced labour practiced in the Ottoman Empire cannot be described by the current ‘universal’ definitions of slavery, this chapter looks at the role of slavery in Ottoman dynastic politics, the social history of military and administrative slavery, and the slavery of skilled workers as central to the economic production of the early modern urban centres of the Ottoman Empire. The chapter concludes with an examination of the legal categories that were applied to different forms of slavery and manumission, and presents to the reader to a range of primary and secondary sources for the research of slavery in the Ottoman Empire.
Chapter 4 examines the Kemalist appropriation of Ottoman history, beginning at the moment the empire itself ceased to exist and building up to the 1953 quincentennial of the Ottoman conquest of Istanbul. From the 1930s, Turkish historians used a narrative of fatal decline to not only justify Kemalist reforms but also facilitate the selective incorporation of the Empire’s triumphs into Turkish nationalist history. By 1953, the Kemalist appropriation of the Ottoman past had reached a point where it was possible to celebrate Fatih Sultan Mehmet II as a secular, pro-Western sultan who laid the groundwork for Turkey’s membership in NATO.
Chapter 5 explores the visual and rhetorical styles through which Ottoman history was modernized. Faced with enduring Western Orientalism, Turkish authors, architects, and illustrators took a number of distinct stylistic steps to celebrate their history while presenting their relationship to it as an unequivocally modern one. The explosion of popular history magazines and historical novels during the 1950s provided a forum in which the act of reading about the past could itself become a performance of modernity. Whether blending popular history with pulp fiction or encouraging Turkish citizens to approach their country from the perspective of Western tourists, Turkish authors pioneered approaches to re-appropriating their own past that remain popular today.
Within weeks of the Great War’s outbreak, American Jews rushed to send relief for Jews caught in the crossfire of crumbling empires. To aid Jewish war sufferers, American Jews founded the Joint Distribution Committee. To move aid in wartime, American Jews worked with the US government, the largest neutral power. Cash aid traveled to Jews in war zones through the US diplomatic pouch and family connections. Preexisting Jewish organizations in Europe delivered the monies. The war promoted the growth of new American charitable organizations, and these organizations took their American visions abroad to help others, with the support of the US government, which had no government programs like USAID in place at the time. American Jews joined America’s expanding state at the critical juncture of the war, wandering into the center of American foreign policy and less official humanitarian relief initiatives to carry out basic relief to Jews abroad. They became more “American,” while relying on the Jewish diasporic network and immigrant practices.
This study examines the transplantation and evolution of business law in the late Ottoman Empire and the early Turkish republic, drawing broader implications for the economic and political determinants of legal transplantation for late industrializers. We show that the underlying political economy context was influential in shaping the way commercial law was transplanted and evolved in Turkey. Extraterritorial rights in the nineteenth century eroded the incentives to demand legal change by providing alternative legal rules to the non-Muslim commercial elite; the nation-building efforts of the twentieth century cultivated a new Muslim business class that was reliant on the state's goodwill for success and could not effectively push for more open access to novel forms of business organization.
Between 1945 and 1960, the birth of a multi-party democracy and NATO membership radically transformed Turkey's foreign relations and domestic politics. As Turkish politicians, intellectuals and voters rethought their country's relationship with its past and its future to facilitate democratization, a new alliance with the United States was formed. In this book, Nicholas L. Danforth demonstrates how these transformations helped consolidate a consensus on the nature of Turkish modernity that continues to shape current political and cultural debates. He reveals the surprisingly nuanced and often paradoxical ways that both secular modernizers and their Islamist critics deployed Turkey's famous clichés about East and West, as well as tradition and modernity, to advance their agendas. By drawing on a diverse array of published and archival sources, Danforth offers a tour de force exploration of the relationship between democracy, diplomacy, modernity, Westernization, Ottoman historiography and religion in mid-century Turkey.
Missionaries, finding that Islam and Judaism were impervious to their conversion efforts, concentrated on “improving” the non-Western Christians in the Middle East. The chapter traces the multiple Christian denominations stemming from pre-Islamic times and their status under Islam, including the Ottoman Empire. In the nineteenth century these Christians were receptive to Western educational efforts. Relations soured with the rise of nationalism and the drawing of territorial boundaries following World War I, resulting in the decline of the Christian population in the twentieth century.
Hamit Bozarslan, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris,Cengiz Gunes, The Open University, Milton Keynes,Veli Yadirgi, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
This chapter examines the formation and development of modern Kurdish political activism in the final decades of the Ottoman Empire’s existence. It charts the evolution of the movement through an examination of contemporary documentary evidence, including newspapers, publications and archival materials. Over the course of the period between 1880 and 1923, there was a slow but steady uptick in Kurdish political agitation. However, while growing numbers of Kurdish elites came to see themselves as part of a Kurdish ‘nation’ and began to advocate for Kurdish ‘rights’, there was little consensus on how or within what type of framework those rights might be secured. While some looked towards the creation of an autonomous or even independent Kurdish nation-state as a panacea to the Kurdish question, many early Kurdish intellectuals remained committed to the continuation of the Ottoman state. Indeed, it was only in the aftermath of Ottoman defeat during the First World War that support for Kurdish statehood emerged as the dominant trend within Kurdish intellectual circles. However, ultimately the geopolitical circumstances that came into being with the empire’s collapse served to foreclose nationalist aspirations.
Hamit Bozarslan, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris,Cengiz Gunes, The Open University, Milton Keynes,Veli Yadirgi, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
From the arrival of the Ottomans and the Safavids to Kurdistan until the removal of the Kurdish emirates in the mid-nineteenth century, the Kurdish nobility was actively involved in regional and trans-border politics. The struggle between the Ottomans and the Safavids, especially during the first half of the sixteenth century, when the division between ‘Iranian Kurdistan’ and ‘Ottoman Kurdistan’ was consolidated, was pivotal in shaping the political landscape in Kurdistan. However, for the successive centuries some of the Kurdish lands would keep changing hands after each war between two states. At other times Kurdish lords would switch their loyalty for another ruler or simultaneously pay tribute and tax to both states. Tools of politics used by both states and the Kurdish emirs varied from time to time but remained mainly the same in essence. While the Ottoman Empire and Iranian dynasties planned their imperial project on Kurdistan the Kurdish nobility played an active role in regional and trans-border politics. The policies of both states had lasting effects in the region while Kurdish lands remained a ‘buffer zone’ between two states until the mid-nineteenth century, when finally the Ottomans and Qajar Iran removed the Kurdish notables from their position and incorporated their lands into the central administration.
Why is the ecological potential of Sharia’ not exploited for the protection of our planet today? This chapter reports the analyses of philosophers, economists and historians on the causes of the decline of one of the most important institution of the Sharia': the Waqf. From these analyses it is easy to understand why the environmental Waqf stopped functioning.
In the summer of 1914 it had been more than forty years since the last major European war. That period had witnessed unprecedented economic growth and the flourishing of culture. Lasting peace was conducive to prosperity, technological progress, and social change. Between the Franco-Prussian war of 1871 and the outbreak of the Great War in 1914 trams appeared on the streets of European cities, and the bigger capitals – London, Paris, Berlin, Budapest – acquired underground metro lines. New factories were built and the urban proletariat grew so rapidly that politicians began to vie for its support. Although the European powers pursued overseas campaigns, the latter’s impact on the daily life of Europeans was limited to articles in the morning press. Nor were peace and development the sole preserve of the West. In Central and Eastern Europe, too, war was not within living memory for the vast majority of citizens.
This chapter presents the significant influence that British administrative law had on Israeli administrative law – starting with the law of Mandatory Palestine, and then dealing with the gradual process of independence which has developed since the modern State of Israel was founded in 1948. The influence of British administrative law has been one of the most enduring legacies of British Mandatory rule in Palestine. At the same time, the Israeli Supreme Court has allowed itself a significant degree of independence in developing on these traditional principles. This process of independent development has intensified since the 1980s, and even more so following developments in the area of constitutional law since the 1990s.
This chapter explores how Jews and the indigenous inhabitants came to see themselves as members of national communities. It begins with a description of “culture of nationalism” –– a collective belief in society that the assumptions that undergird nationalism are part of the natural order. It then describes how the indigenous inhabitants of Palestine and the Jews of mainly Eastern Europe, embedded within empires undergoing transformations that imbued them with structures associated with modern states, came to see themselves as a homogeneous grouping. In the case of the indigenous population of Palestine, that grouping was imperial in scope. The Jews of Eastern Europe, however, were “othered” by the majority community, and thus came to see themselves as a people apart.
This chapter looks at the effects of World War I on Palestine and the Zionist movement. During the war, the entente powers viewed Ottoman territories as spoils of war, although they differed on who would get what. This was because the secret treaties they signed with each other and pledges to others were mutually contradictory and/or ambiguous. One pledge, the Balfour Declaration, promised the Zionist movement a home for the Jewish people in Palestine, thereby giving political Zionism the victory it needed to ensure the survival of the movement. After the war, the entente met to decide the future of Ottoman territory and came up with the “mandates system,” which created a new political form comparable to a temporary colony. Britain received the mandate for Palestine. The Jewish community there cooperated with the British and established structures compatible with the mandate. The indigenous community rejected both the Balfour Declaration and the mandate. As a result, it lacked the structures that might have prevented the nakba (catastrophe) of 1948.
The last century of the Ottoman state’s existence witnessed the transformation of the term “Ottoman” from an elite, class-based, and exclusive designation to one including and identifying all whose allegiances were tied to the state. Despite this semantic shift, the verdict is still out on the question of late-Ottoman inclusivity. Indeed, exclusivist is a term more frequently coupled with policy and law. Though the former can be considered exclusivist in many instances from the late 19th century through the dissolution of the empire, the designation does not fit the legal framework and terminology that articulated belonging. To recognize this, it is imperative to approach the 1869 Ottoman Nationality Law from a comparative perspective, especially, though not strictly, with reference to Great Power laws, since these legalities are the yardstick by which Ottoman rational modernity has been measured. This article considers access to actual and potential membership in various nationality laws in relation to their Ottoman counterpart and concludes that the exclusivist designation is questionable. Instead, Ottoman law does not present an anomaly and was in many instances both more expansive and more inclusive than others—even if it has been subjected to a different vocabulary than contemporaneous laws with similar stipulations.
This article investigates the Ottoman state's endeavor to create the “second Egypt” by consolidating its imperial authority along the coastline and hinterland of Cyrenaica from 1897 to 1904. It examines the strategic settlement of Cretan Muslim refugees in territories situated between Benghazi and Derna and in al-Jabal al-Akhdar following the Cretan insurrection of 1897–98. I argue that Cretan Muslim refugees-turned-settlers served as skilled agriculturalists and experienced armed sentries who were integral to the Ottoman state's plans for economic development and expansionism in Cyrenaica. Focusing particularly on ‘Ayn al-Shahhat and Marsa Susa, this article contends that the establishment of Cretan Muslim agricultural colonies served to undermine the political and economic position of the Sanusi order by appropriating the order's properties and access to resources. This work offers a new perspective on how the Ottoman state reasserted its sovereignty in its frontier territory in Cyrenaica by harnessing the power of migration.
Although Ottoman cities long have been recognized as sites of significant ethnic and religious heterogeneity, very little scholarship exists that documents or analyzes patterns of residential sorting, be it segregation, the physical separation of groups from each other in the urban landscape, or its opposite, integration. GIS mapping of the Ottoman censuses of Jerusalem illuminates these urban patterns and reveals the importance of scale when considering this question. Even the most “integrated” neighborhood on the aggregate level reveals “segregated” zones of clustering and concentration at the smaller scales of quadrant, street, and building. At the same time, the proximity and exposure of residents to each other reveals how very porous boundaries were in the neighborhood. In order to understand how and why the city developed such a complex spatial pattern, qualitative sources like newspapers, memoirs, and court records are a necessary supplement to demographic records. This approach allows for a comprehensive outlining of the economic, legal, religious, and cultural factors and forces contributing to both segregation and integration in an Ottoman city. It also points to a multidisciplinary reconstruction of the social space of an historic neighborhood.
This article explores the so far little explored animal dimension of the significant social, economic, and ecological transformations that occurred in Western Anatolia in the late Ottoman Empire. It focuses on how the use of the hybrid, one-humped “Turcoman” camel transformed the way in which trade and transport operated in the region. In light of Ottoman, Turkish, and European sources, it suggests that the camel was a visible yet often underestimated actor in the incorporation of Western Anatolia into global markets and integrating the camel as important history-shaping actor into the historical narrative allows us to better grasp the complex relationships that existed between humans, nature, and technology and to change the way we think about the Ottoman Empire.
This study first considers how master secretaries of the Ottoman Imperial Council went beyond their field of scribal business and began to have a share in carrying out the empire's foreign policy by putting it into words. Next, it deals with the specific genre of documents that took shape step by step as one chancery office worked up an incoming writ and forwarded it to another bureau. It thereby shows how we can indeed unearth new knowledge on political history by looking into these outputs of the chancery's practice of writing and keeping financial transactions between dignitaries, superintendents, petitioners, and departments. The study then tackles in what ways one can link these trends to the early modern growth of the chancery and the branching out in government, and how the state's lordship rights and making, as well as keeping, logs were understood in those times. A document belonging to the handled genre is reproduced, transcribed, and translated at the end.
The present article is a study of provincial administration in the nineteenth-century Ottoman Albania and Kurdistan. It examines the transformation of provincial administration in Dibra and Hazro after two towns’ hereditary rulers were exiled. Focusing on the employment patterns of the notables in exile as well as the ones who occupied the posts in the absence of the former, this study challenges the binary framework mostly employed in conceptualizing the making of the modern Ottoman state. Particularly, the employment of the notables exiled to the distant parts of the empire necessitates a revision in the presumptions about the origins of appointed Ottoman officials. By focusing on the partnership operating by means of employment, this study argues that the making of Ottoman state follows a trajectory of flexible centralization based on the partnership between the government and notables, terms of which were constantly negotiated.