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Ottomans, Turks and the Balkans: Home Documents Ottomans, Turks and the Balkans: Post on Dec views. Except for brief quotations in a review, this book, or any part thereof, may not be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

A Belt of Large Dumplings: The Definition of the Balkans 29 3. The Representation of the Balkans 42 4. The Balkan Peoples and the Balkan States 72 5. Dates have been given in both Hicri A. In cases where it is impossible to establish whether the Ottoman date is Hicri or Mali, the Miladi A.

Surnames have been given in brackets when the period referred to preceeds the surname law of Kate Fleet, who supervised the Ph. She not only taught me about how to do research but also showed me what a good academic should be. She never ceased to be interested in my work, was always there when I needed her and never lost patience with me.

I should like to thank Professor Palmira Brummett, Dr. Stefka Parveva and Dr. I am most grateful to the Skilliter Centre for Ottoman Studies which opened new horizons for me, not only because of its invaluable collection but also because of the stimulating environment which it provided. I should like rdirne thank Newnham College very much both because it has the Skilliter Centre and also for its friendly and supportive environment.

I am also edirhe grateful to the library of edirrne Trk Tarih Kurumu and for the efficiency and kindness of the personnel working there. In particular I should like to thank Mustafa Snmez. Even when the Babakanlk Osmanl Arivi was at its busiest, the staff continued to be most efficient. This made my research times in the archives both enjoyable and productive. Methodius in Sofia, too, were extremely helpful.

Finally I am deeply indebted to my family who have trusted and supported me throughout. The Balkans, symbolising far more than territory, was at the very heart of what made the empire.

Its loss plunged the Ottoman intellectual elite into a search for what had gone, and drew the Ottomans into a complex of sensations, shame, grief, anger and a questioning about their own identity. Beaten by their own subjects, their great empire brought down by former shepherds and servants,2 the Ottomans felt an overwhelming sadness for the alienation of a land that had been theirs for centuries and regret for the blood which they had pointlessly shed for it.

The trauma of the loss of anglamas Balkans was shattering for the Ottomans and its reverberations were felt in the early Republic and beyond. It coloured the mind-set of the new Turkish elite and shaped their way of thinking about their neighbours, about Europe and about themselves. However much political relations with their Balkan neighbours might be good, the edge of bitterness and anger remained, and surfaced whenever a conflict appeared. Balkan nationalism does not resemble the nationalism of other nations.

Balkan nationalism has a antlsmas, bloody history full of raids, assassinations, bombs and banditry. Balkan nationalism is rapacious, barbarous. These nationalisms continuously stretch out their claws against each other between the bars of the frontiers and tear each other to pieces.

However barbarous they were when they jointly attacked us, they were equally vicious, as we saw after the Balkan War, when they were at each others throats.

Angered over the loss of the Balkans, the Ottomans and later the Turks also suffered an acute sense of injustice, that the Balkan peoples, for whom they had done so much, should have turned on them in this way, and that the Europeans should have always taken their side, despising the Turks as barbarous and uncivilised. This the Europeans continued to do well into the Turkish Republic.

The standard histories such as Ahmed Cevdet Paas Tarih-i Cevdet Cevdets History or Mustafa Nuri Paas Netayic l-Vukuat The Consequences of Eventswere written by historians from within the establishment, Ahmed Cevdet Paa, for example, being the official court historian vakanvisand thus reflect the establishment view of history and of the Balkans.

These histories are also important in that they became the standard reference works for later generations. Apart from these standard histories, there are the history text books written for schools, both those written by famous historians such as Mehmed Fuad KprlAhmed Refik Altnay and Ali Read who were very important historians both of the late Ottoman and early Republican eras, and historians who were not well antlakas such as Ltfiye Hanm.

These texts eeirne very much to the needs of state education and were thus a reflection of what the state wanted to inculcate the population with, and were very efirne for the development of national identity.

The Transition to a Multi-Party System published in The second kind of sources examined is literary works of fiction.


Such works were written either with a didactic purpose, such as the stories of mer Seyfeddin, or were the outcome of the authors personal experience, as was the case, sdirne example, of Halide Edib Advar or Yakup Kadri Karaosmanolu. For these authors too, conveying a message was much more important than writing a literary piece.

Used in conjunction with the histories, these sources further enable one to develop a more nuanced understanding of the intellectual environment in which the representation of the Balkans was shaped. Antlama is obvious that when dealing with memoirs, the third type of source considered in this study, caution is necessary since memoirs are subjective and are often written considerably later than the period which they are describing, and thus use language and concepts that belong to this later period.


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Nevertheless, such sources are of considerable importance for an understanding of the perceptions of the period, even if coloured by the later experiences of the author who was inevitably influenced by the 189 in which he was writing. In contrast to the first three types of sources used in this study, the histories, literary works and memoirs, the fourth group, official documents such as official correspondence, instructions issued by the government in stanbul or Ankara, reports to stanbul or Ankara, embassy correspondence and translations from the foreign press, were not designed to inculcate a particular understanding or put across any specific message, but eidrne the working documents of the state.

As such, they are essential for an understanding of government perception and indicate to what extent the picture given by the histories, the literary works and the memoirs wdirne reflected in official state policy.

Historical Outline The period of the late nineteenth century, from the last years of the Tanzimat, the period of reform and modernization initiated by sultan Abdlmecid in with the declaration of the Antla,as Hatt- Hmayunu, to the early years of the Turkish Republic, witnessed a series of transformations and convulsions which turned a year-old empire with territories stretching from North Africa across the Middle East to Europe, into antlanas new nation-state struggling for survival in the aftermath of the cataclysm of the First World War.

It was in this climate that the Ottoman, and later the Turkish, intellectuals developed their perceptions of state and identity and sought for ways to survive within the changing political scene.

While this period, from around with the coming to the throne of Abdlaziz, to the end of the Second World War, is usually taken as being two distinct and discrete eras, the pre-and post periods, divided by the fault line formed by the creation of the Turkish Republic, from the point of view of intellectual history this period should be seen rather as one continuum in which ideas flowed from the Ottoman to the Turkish period and were modified in time but which did not undergo any sudden or abrupt transformation.

There was thus no schism intellectually between the pre- and the post eras. Unhappy with the level of bureaucratic authority and with 18829 direction which the Tanzimat reforms had taken, this group called for the promulgation of a constitution.

After a period of political difficulty, Abdlhamid II came to the throne promising to proclaim the constitution which he duly did in A sultan of great political ability, Abdlhamid however had no intention of allowing his authority to be restricted by the constitution and soon found a pretext to prorogue it.

From now on, throughout his long reign, Abdlhamid sought to legitimise his rule, control opposition and ensure the survival of the state. Nevertheless, he was faced with mounting opposition from the Young Turk movement, which called for the re-establishment of the constitution and edifne, and was opposed to the autocratic rule of the sultan.

Many of the Young Turks fled to Europe antlaas, in the case of Mizanc Murad, to Cairo, from where they continued their vocal opposition, publishing journals and newspapers in which the Ottoman sultan was attacked. The Young Turks gradually gained support, significantly among the army officers who, inthreatened to march on stanbul from Thessaloniki and thus forced Abdlhamid to bring back the constitution and recall parliament.

Abdlhamids position, however, was now extremely weakened and in he was forced to abdicate in favour of his brother, Mehmed V While opposition to Abdlhamid built up among the intellectuals, he was also faced with the stark reality of European control which left him with very little room to manoeuvre either in order to prevent the shrinking of the territory of his empire, or to control his economy and to use what financial resources edirrne had for the economic development of his state in the way he saw fit.

Following the Russian advance which took Russian troops to the outskirts of stanbul and which ended anglamas the most unsatisfactory from an Ottoman point of view Treaty of San Stefano, the Congress of Berlin restructured the Ottoman empire. This Congress, run entirely by the European powers and at which neither the Ottomans nor those from the new Balkan entities had any effective say, produced an independent Serbia, Romania, Montenegro and an autonomous Bulgaria.

Ottoman History – [PDF Document]

Economically too, the Ottoman empire was caught in the vice of European control. After the abdication in of Abdlhamid, power was de facto in the hands of the ttihad ve Terakki the Committee of Union and Progressalthough this party did not establish ant,amas in undisputed control until after the elections of The post period provided a new climate for intellectual expression.

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It was a period in which the intelligentsia tried to redefine Ottomanism, which had been the 8129 ideology of the Young Ottomans and utilized in the Abdlhamidian era, to create an effective sense of identification with the state.

This attempt gave way to a move to emphasise instead the Turkishness of the state. The post period was also one of mounting dangers due to the clash between the Great Powers.

The Balkan states united in to attack the Ottomans who were only rescued from complete disaster in the Balkan Wars by the failure of this Balkan alliance which abtlamas apart when Bulgaria and Serbia went to 8129 over the territories won in the first Balkan War.

The Balkan Wars represented a massive psychological shock for the Ottoman intellectuals whose despair is evident in the writings of the period. The outbreak in of the First World War, which in fact signalled the sntlamas of the end not only for the Ottoman empire but for the political order of the day, was seen by Ottoman politicians, in particular Enver Paa, who, together with Cemal Paa and Talat Paa, controlled the government in the war years, as an opportunity for the Ottomans to escape the European stranglehold and gain territorial rewards.

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Instead, the empire ended, carved edorne by the victors. In the immediate aftermath of the war, the Ottoman empire was in ruins. With the encouragement in particular of the British, the Greeks invaded Anatolia ininitially with great success. The sultan in stanbul, Vahideddin, who came to the throne as Mehmed VI incooperated totally with the Allies and put up no opposition to the dismemberment of his anflamas and the granting of a small remnant as a rump Turkish state in north-west Anatolia.

Opposition to the stance of the sultan, and then to the Allied occupation of stanbul which took place ingrew and hardened around the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatrk who was to drive the Greeks out of Anatolia during the Kurtulu Sava National Liberation War and to establish an alternative government in Ankara.

The Treaty of Svres, which was edirrne in with the Ottoman government antlajas stanbul and which divided up the territorial spoils among the victors, was replaced by the Treaty of Lausanne and the new Turkish Republic was declared. The new government was faced with two major tasks: For edirnr it was essential that the country remain at peace, and the government made great efforts to ensure that Turkey stayed out of any military conflict in the international arena.

Turkey did not enter the Second World War, for example, eddirne Much of the infrastructure of Anatolia 189 been destroyed and a major programme of railway construction, agricultural development and industrialisation was introduced. The population had been reduced and debilitated dramatically not just by war but also by diseases such as malaria, syphilis, tuberculosis, cholera and trachoma.

The government undertook an extensive health programme aimed both at treating these diseases and educating the population about disease prevention. The government was concerned not merely with the physical condition of its people but also with their minds for it aimed to transform the population into modern, educated Turkish citizens by means of education and propaganda designed to instil a sense of national identity.

All these changes and reforms initiated by the Republican government infiltrated into every aspect of the life of the population.

The intellectuals in this new nation-state had been involved in the post search for an effective identity in the rapidly changing environment of the Ottoman empire in the period immediately before the outbreak of the First World War.

The same intellectuals, who now emerged from a decade of continuous warfare, were faced again with the need to create an identity, this time not for an empire but for a new nation, for although the Turkish nation-state now existed physically, it did not yet have what might be termed a mental existence.

Carr once wrote when we attempt to answer the question, What is History? It could even be argued that the answers to such questions, moreover, are required more to meet the needs of the present than to shed light on the events of the distant past in its own right.

In fact, as the well-known Turkish writer and literary historian of the early Republican era, Ahmet Hamdi Tanpnar, wrote in his Be ehir Five Citiessince the past always exists, we have constantly to work through and come to terms with it in order to live as ourselves, that is with our true essential being and identity.

Fuat Baymur in his book on teaching history: History has an important role in the awakening of national identity, in its nourishment and its taking root.

Indeed it is through this that a connection between us and our ancestors is established. We know about their style of life, thinking antlamaas feeling, and their struggles, we understand what we owe them, we have learned our duties towards the next generation. As Schopenhauer said, a nation can only attain [national] consciousness through history. Then, again as has been rightly said, if the past lives inside us, edirn nation will be able to have a future.