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The Glorious Legacy of the Ottomans

The Glorious Legacy of the Ottomans

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Published by aykutovski
To succeed of an objective study on such a sophisticated and often misinterpreted case like the Ottomans necessitates having not only knowledge, but also insight and ability in philosophy. Another necessity is to overcome the typical conditionings about the case, and the emotional approaches peculiar to most of the Islamic countries like Turkey. Objective propositions should be voiced regardless of conventional studies, which are generally populist and practical for self-seeking ethnic, religious and political ideologies. Blessing of inspiration by God for one's wisdom and virtue always has its supreme and respected place all in thankfulness though
To succeed of an objective study on such a sophisticated and often misinterpreted case like the Ottomans necessitates having not only knowledge, but also insight and ability in philosophy. Another necessity is to overcome the typical conditionings about the case, and the emotional approaches peculiar to most of the Islamic countries like Turkey. Objective propositions should be voiced regardless of conventional studies, which are generally populist and practical for self-seeking ethnic, religious and political ideologies. Blessing of inspiration by God for one's wisdom and virtue always has its supreme and respected place all in thankfulness though

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Published by: aykutovski on May 09, 2009
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THE GLORIOUS LEGACY OF THE OTTOMANSAND TODAY’S TURKEYA SOCIO-POLITICAL COMPARISON
Muzaffer KatarAbant Izzet Baysal University,Bolu, Turkey2007
"In the name of Allah who is Rahman and Rahymm"(1) would utter the Ottoman King on theThrone, the traditional starting key of Quran readings, which passes only once and belongs tothe heir of King David, Solomon in Quran, and which is the foretold messianic salvation.(2)
 Introduction: A General View of the Study
To succeed of an objective study on such a sophisticated and often misinterpreted case like theOttomans necessitates having not only knowledge, but also insight and ability in philosophy.Another necessity is to overcome the typical conditionings about the case, and the emotionalapproaches peculiar to most of the Islamic countries like Turkey. Objective propositionsshould be voiced regardless of conventional studies, which are generally populist and practical for self-seeking ethnic, religious and political ideologies. Blessing of inspiration byGod for one's wisdom and virtue always has its supreme and respected place all inthankfulness though.Turkey (3) was the successor of the great Ottoman Empire in the head and heartland of theEmpire. Therefore, there is no chance to think of the two states of having very different possessions and diverse characteristics of values, institutions and culture. Haim Gerber explains this as "The past was not simply swept away with the fall of the Ottoman Empire butremained hidden and potent in all sorts of niches, institutions and memories, many of whichstill elude us"(4). Diversities of the two states would generally be due to changing standardsof human life and society in course of the time in general. However, we must say that Gerber'stheses could be proved only from a negative point since we, as the inheritors of the Ottomans,have great doubts and heavy sighs about the situation of today's Turkey in all aspects.The legacy for today's Turkey of the Ottomans who executed a detailed mission in the historydespite all its polygenetic and multi-disciplined order has great potent to study in a very widerange of scientific categories. This great potent may inevitably turn the study into ‘the highOttoman legacy that the new State has not been able to inherit, and criticizing today's Turkeyas a modern state from the perspective of the Ottoman legacy'. Therefore, what aimed in thissmall but very precious article is to discuss the most crucial concepts from a possiblecomparative point of view, and to make any new contribution to the readers with their insightof the issue of the Ottomans, Turks, Turkish Republic, and their interrelated roles played inthe history and today. 
 
How to Understand the Ottoman Case
First of all, who were the Ottomans, appeared all of a sudden just in the junction of the eastand the west, developed such a great civilization on a seemingly Islamic fundamentaliststructure behind of which all a human virtue and wisdom lied, and survived so long in spite of its complex structure? Within its heterogeneous character, where does the name ‘Ottoman' belong to or come from? Is it an ‘Osman', if ever of original Turkish, an ‘Ottoman', or aGerman ‘Otto-man', or an ‘Othman'? Did they implement a cryptic or occult office with thefate of "circumcised Turks"(5) "who were almost to perish"(6) in the course of the history; or with the holy land, Anatolia, home of the promised peace? Since they were obedient believersof the Islamic religion, appeared in Holy Mecca, why did they not ride over the ArabianPeninsula, but ride over Europe and make the Byzantine Constantinople the center of theIslamic Empire? Whose agents were these glorious but humble people: of the west or the east,of the Turks or the Rome, or of a unique divine mission?Alternatively, at the crossroads of the east and the west, and on the headland of the Asia, didthe Ottomans stop the era of "savage invasions"(7) and save the west from the invasions of eastern vandals? Otherwise, as a cryptic mission, did they change the quality of the barbaricmethods of production of life, soften them slowly slowly, and introduce peace and beauty of the settled life to the last vandals of the east who were driven, or rode away to the west?This brainstorming does not initiate to be negative with the any of the sides. It is sure thatOttomans did not spoil the law of the enlightenment of the heavens under the flag of Salem/Islam religion; the scepter had not been departed from brave Turks over all Asia for acouple of millenniums; Islam had been the lawgiver for many centuries sinceMuhammad(8)/Machammaddim(9) of the Holy Salem religion, and the seal of the prophetshas arrived; and many Judaic and Christian people around the Ottoman territories happilyhurried up to gather under the peace flag of Islam, which were composed of ‘three crescents'together symbolizing Holy Islam/Salem religion.It was a great success that we Turkish nomads, having ridden from the Mongolian steps,established one great Ottoman Empire and civilization in the 13th century AD on the easternlands of the wild Romans a hobby of whom was to give alive men to lions; and also"developed a powerful fleet in Aydin"(10), a city on the coast of the Aegean Sea.Many popular conventional writers have assumed the Turkish and the Ottoman concepts of  being the same and always put forward subjective, populist, shallow and conventional propositions within ‘Turk and Ottoman' studies as the case is hardly ever so easy but somemisinterpreted from this perspective. Therefore, instead of a couple of populist, shallow, and practical theories, which generally deny the virtue and heritage of Ottomans on ‘thefoundation of Turkey'; or of those which exalt the Ottomans blindly without realizing any of their real meaning, we must be able to make some new, meaningful, and perceiving referencesabout the identity of the Ottomans and their impacts on modern Turkey.
How to Identify the Ottoman Ancestors of the Turks
Turks were one subject of the heterogeneous Ottoman structure, but what was the dominantcharacter of the Ottomans? Before writing about the Ottoman legacy for today's Turkey, weare first to try an attempt to understand ‘whose heritage were the Ottomans' to mean a sensewith both the owners of the Ottoman civilization and the study.
 
That the most people, learned or not, propose that ‘"the state language was Turkish"(11), sowere the Ottomans' is not true, or they do not know any language because nobody can say thatthe language the Ottomans used was Turkish, nor was half of it. In spite of the fact that therewas a frame of Turkish grammar in use, most of the means, words, groups etc. of the Ottomanlanguage were not Turkish, but Persian and Arabic, the sister of Hebrew whereas the originalTurkish language never developed and lost its power. It is interesting that the Ottomans,whose intellectuality was formed by Hebrew and Greek culture, used a Turkish sentenceframe within their language. Thus, the circumstance leads us to ask another question: Whatwas the reason of Ottomans to use Turkish sentence frame(12)?To have a clue about the origin of the Ottoman dynasty, we may first try a simple onomasticstudy of the first four names of the Dynasty, that anyone who has some awareness in Turkishand languages in general can easily notice that the origins of these so-called Turkish namesare not originally Turkish at all.The origin of the name of the founder of the Ottoman Empire, ‘Osman' must be a veryGermanic, Christian name: ‘Osmond' or ‘Osmund', which means ‘god protector' from oldEnglish os ‘god' and mund ‘protector'(13). The origin of ‘Ertugrul', Osman's father must bethe very Roman, Germanic, European, and Christian name: "Arthur, Artur, Arturius,Artio"(14). The origin of ‘Hayme', the mother of Osman is a certain Hebrew name of whichorigin is ‘Hayim/Haim', which means "life"(15). And, the origin of ‘Orhan', son of Osmanmust be "Or-khan" or "Or-Cohen" as the most possible variants (16).Besides these traditionally Judao-Christian names, none of the names of the later Sultans wereof original Turkish. It is also known that almost all their friends, the ranked officials like pashas, commanders, and high ulema/the learned scholars of the Empire were not Turkish, butconverted, or seemed so, from Christianity or Judaism into Islam. They whether wanted to behonored by being Turk, or burdened and realized a cryptic mission with Turks.Also, both the Islamic flag of Ottomans, which has three crescents, as the symbol of ‘Papa,The Holy Spirit and the Son', and the flag of Turkey, the legacy of Ottomans, composed of afive-ended star and a crescent on red background are designs of Judao-Christian teaching.(17)You can see many examples like these within the world of the Ottomans.(18) ‘Roman'Mawlana Jalaladdin was the world-wide famous philosopher of the Empire who gave beautiful samples of mystics with his ufo-like ‘whirling dervishes', while the worldwidefamous architect of the Empire was originally a "Christian Greek"(19) ; Architect Sinan, beauty of whose also ufo-like Islamic mosque tombs were as fabulous as the Christian Churchtomb of the Hagia Sophia built by Christian architects.Millions of Jews have been transferred to Anatolia from all Eurasia during both the Ottomansand the Republic.(20) According to Yalçin Kucuk, "Jews were the natives of this land."(21) Italso calls our attention that Ottoman Sultans never got married to ethnically Turkish brides tohave heirs from for the throne.(22) Another debate about the identity of our Ottomanancestors may be: "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from betweenhis feet, Until Shiloh comes, and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples."(23)In addition, some ‘privileges' for Turks do not elude us such as the "duty of beingsoldiers"(24) while non-Moslems were not taken for military service, whereas the bureaucratswere all chosen from non-Moslems; what give us clues about the Ottoman Empire. We alsofind, as in the sample miniature on the cover of ‘The Ottoman Empire (2002) by Colin Imber',

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