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A Brief History of the Late Ottoman Empire by M. Şükrü Hanioğlu

By M. Şükrü Hanioğlu

On the flip of the 19th century, the Ottoman Empire straddled 3 continents and encompassed striking ethnic and cultural variety one of the expected thirty million humans dwelling inside its borders. It was once possibly the main cosmopolitan nation within the world--and in all likelihood the main unstable. a short historical past of the overdue Ottoman Empire now supplies students and common readers a concise historical past of the overdue empire among 1789 and 1918, turbulent years marked by way of extraordinary social swap. relocating previous ordinary remedies of the topic, M. Skr Hanioglu emphasizes extensive old traits and approaches greater than unmarried occasions. He examines the imperial fight to centralize amid strong competition from neighborhood rulers, nationalist and different teams, and overseas powers. He seems heavily on the socioeconomic alterations this fight wrought and addresses the Ottoman reaction to the demanding situations of modernity. Hanioglu indicates how this background is not just necessary to comprehending sleek Turkey, yet is necessary to the histories of Europe and the area. He brings Ottoman society marvelously to existence in all its facets--cultural, diplomatic, highbrow, literary, army, and political--and he mines imperial records and different files from the interval to explain it because it truly used to be, now not because it has been portrayed in postimperial nationalist narratives. a quick background of the overdue Ottoman Empire is a must-read for somebody looking to comprehend the legacy left during this empire's ruins--a legacy the realm nonetheless grapples with this present day.

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Indd 28 8/23/2007 8:16:00 PM At the Turn of the Nineteenth Century 29 strictly religious lines, identity was closely linked to physical markers, especially clothing. The dominant faith, for instance, determined the color codes appropriate for non-Muslims, stipulating which color of robe or shoe a scriptuary was forbidden to wear, such as bright green robes or yellow shoes. As members of a privileged religious class entitled to bear arms, Muslims typically owned various types of weapons, ranging from daggers to rifles.

Indd 12 8/23/2007 8:15:57 PM At the Turn of the Nineteenth Century 13 their final defeat in 1818, they refused to allow the sultan’s Mahmil (Mahmal), the special litter that carried the Ottoman sultan’s yearly offerings to Mecca and Medina sent to Mecca at the time of the pilgrimage, to enter in the holiest city of Islam. In their words: it was “not permissible for us . . 18 In the event, however, it was the Governor of Egypt, Mehmed Ali Pasha, who dispatched his sons İsmail (Ismā<īl) and Tosun (Tūsūn) Pashas to Arabia, defeating the Wahhābīs on the battlefield in September 1818.

The strict timetables of Islamic ritual necessitated private means of chronometry, which were in fact ubiquitous. Watches, quadrants, and hourglasses were commonplace, supplementing state-sponsored mechanisms of timekeeping. 63 The inventories of the first five were recorded in Hicrî 1164 (1750–51), while those of the others were registered in Hicrî 1215 (1800–1801). In the Ottoman system, the total worth of a given estate was equal to the aggregated worth of all possessions of the deceased, including physical belongings, property, cash savings, loans to other individuals, and slaves and concubines.

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