History 2606E Lecture Notes - Lecture 15: Askeri, Devşirme, Turkification
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Lecture 15 – The Ottoman Empire in the Middle East, 1517-1921
•Chronology: Pre-modern, modern and contemporary
o400 years under Ottoman rule
o100 years of Arab, Turkish and Iranian independent states in the Middle
oThe last 50 years
•Introduction to the Ottoman Conquest
oAfter 400 years of living as part of the Ottoman Empire the Middle East
has been broken again in the 20th century into its fundamental geographic
and ethnic components; Arabs, Turks and Iranians, all sharing one
oThe approach here is one of continuity
As medieval Islamic societies transform themselves into the pre-
modern, modern, then contemporary Middle Eastern societies
oMiddle East is currently divided into independent states
oThere are common denominations to the region nit there is no political
Is there cultural unity?
oIn fact the dividing issues are as numerous of the ones which unite its
states, minorities, linguistics, religious, physical resources and geographic
oThey have common history as well as cultural heritage which this history
gives to the people of the Middle East
Does it give them the sense of belonging together?
•Was the Middle East unified before the arrival of the Ottomans?
oThis will be significant when we evaluate the impact of the Ottoman
oDid the Ottoman conquest unify the Middle East?
oBy the time of the conquest, the Middle East has already embedded
political units with definitive geographical units
oWas the Ottoman Empire the cause of the Middle Eastern decline?
Need to measure and evaluate the role of this prolonged rule over
the current situation
•Additional Methodological Observations
oLooking for patterns of Islamic history:
Global versus regional
Cultural patterns: were Islamic societies dynamic, pluralistic, or
were they dogmatic and stagnating?
Did ideas circulate freely?
His did they create a culture from the top or the bottom?
Were they equal in wealth distribution?
oWhat were its economic achievements and did they ensure progress or
Urbanization? Status of women? Religious tolerance?
oElements of unity and variety: geographical conditions, ethnicity, religion,
oThe question of the political institutions: how accessible, how
authoritarian, local politicization
•Most important issues:
o1. There will be some major themes running through the discussions of
this period: Secularization and Westernization are the more important
ones, but are they the determinant issues in the Middle East today?
o2. The rise of Nationalism and its transformed into military dictatorships
o3. Economic developments or lack thereof
•Be aware of the Historical Sources
oPlenty of primary sources available
oIn additional to local Turkish sources, chronicles, court documents,
administrative legislation and accounts of taxes and production
oThere are Ottoman, European and local communities archives
oLarge amount of Western sources: diplomatic reports, journals,
newspapers, parliamentary discussions, etc.
•The Ottoman Empire and It’s Glory
The Seljuks and the Ghazi state
Fighting the Byzantines
Fighting the Mongols
The Turks were a confederation of nomadic tribes Turcoman
coming from East of the Caspian Sea
By the 10th century they have converted to Islam through the
influence of holy men, merchants or prisoners that they have taken.
They were encouraged by the Seljuk government in Baghdad to
raid the Eastern provinces of the Byzantine Empire
In 1070 in the Battle of Manzikert they defeated the Byzantine
army and opened to the road to Anatolia (Turkey)
•Triggered the Crusades
•2. Conversion to Islam
•3. Ethnic migration
•Processes began to occur with the first Turcoman kingdom
established in Anatolia which lasted until 1243
•Sending nomads westward to occupy and control further
stretches of land. After the defeat of the Mongols they
created several Turcoman Ghazi principalities led by Sufi
•Migration process is in full force
oFirst Ottoman Emirate