What was the biggest rival of the European states? There were fighting between eachother. However, with the Ottoman Empire, game is changed. Because there was religious war.
Turkish TV series became popular in Balkan, European states, Middle East, Asia, Russia even I know someone in Hawai (USA), and they watched this serial. Which was “Muhteşem Yüzyıl” in Turkish, Magnificent Century in English. European states called Sultan Süleyman (Suleiman) as a “magnificent”. In east, they called “Kanuni” means lawgiver/lawmaker etc. Because, for West; Sultan Süleyman was magnificent. His strength, his strategies etc. For east, he ruled very fair. This is the reasons.
However; while biggest enemies become biggest friends, biggest friends also would be biggest enemies.
Today, there is Turcophobia in the a lot of countries. If you are a Turk, you are both symbol of Turk and Islam for Europe. Because most of the Balkan countries, ruled by Ottoman arround 300-400 years and they won independence war against Ottoman. So, every independence war is legendary for that nation and every “enemy” is the worst enemy. I went to some of the old Ottoman territory and I saw the situation. There is fear, hate and respect.
Also my grandmother and grandfather were born in Bulgaria and they came to Turkey while they are at the beginning of 20 years old. Why? French revolution triggered the nation state movement and Balkan countries also influenced. Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, Macedonia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Albania, Croatia, Romania, Slovenia… They started their independence war and they won.
Also, this “Magnificent Century” watched by these countries. I personally like Balkan culture. Balkan people. I’m not looking that much hostile. However, if we talk about states, things are changing slightly.
I study “international relations” at the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in EMU. When I enter a class; usually there were arround 35-40 (sometimes 20) students. Only 4-5 of them were Turkish origin. I met with people from Macedonia, Albania, Tunisia, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Abkhazia, Nigeria, Irak, Pakistan, Italya, Ukraina etc..
TRNC is in the Cyprus island and de facto country. Only Republic of Turkey recognize TRNC. Cyprus island was Ottoman island, however Ottoman rent to British forces. Because Ottoman was in the war. World War 1 changed everything and British just took and colonized Cyprus. Before that, Cyprus was part of Venetians.
So, we were old Ottoman territory, they born and live old Ottoman territory. Also wer were political science student. That means, conversation will be about Ottoman at some point. We talked.
Turks are Everywhere
To understand these days, we should read objective sources such as encyclopedia. Also when we read historical books etc, we should crosscheck from “other” books to understand problems. Because all nations, as you can understand; teach very nationalist educational books in the schools. Also all people have prejudice to different religion and nations then their culture and religion and neighbor culture and religion.
For example, when I went to Belgium, I lost my way and while I walking; suddenly I saw “Mehmet Kasap” (Mehmet Butcher), “Ali Berber” (you can understand)… I understand that, I’m in the Turkish part of Brussels. I also know a lot of people live in Germany, France, Spain, Netherland and they are Turk. There is interesting thing about them. When they go to the country, it was arround 1970s, 1980s… They brought their culture and style. There were reaction between local people and Turkish migrants. Local people didn’t accept Turkish culture, so they protect their culture. They didn’t changed, they didn’t accommodate. By the way, Turkish culture also changed in the homeland. Migrants in Europe? They didn’t change. When they turn back to Turkey, we called “Almancı” (Alman = German) and it also reffers little bit negative meaning for us.
To explain that, I can give that example; why my grandmother and grandfather came to Turkey? Because they were TURK in the Bulgaria. When Bulgarian people celebrate “independence” (from Ottoman of course), in the school; they say these are (showing my grandmother), good Turks… Later, Bulgaria force to change Turkish name to Bulgarian name. My relatives went to Belene Camp and officials torture them. At that time, Bulgarian regime was communist. A lot of Turkish people, turn back to Turkey. However, still I have relatives in Bulgaria. There was a problem; in Bulgaria, my grandparents were Turk, however when they came to Turkey, local people said “you are Bulgarian”. Because again, “culture was different”. It is same for “Almancı”. They are Turk in Netherlands, France, Spain, Germany, Bulgaria etc… However, when they come to Turkey, they are also “Almancı”. Cultural problems.
It is not good. Unfortunately, we are doing this. We are saying wrong things to event Cypriot Turks, Bulgarian Turks; even who go to Europe from Turkey… This is most annoying habits of my people (for me). We are always underestimate other nations, people and we are saying really bad words. Probobly, you can check from Youtube videos.
It works, both way… I, also read bad words from ignorant people in the internet. I personally don’t care. They don’t know history, they don’t research very well, they don’t know political theories. However, a lot of avarage Turkish people, started to write something to them…
Turks are representing barbarism and Islam according to Europe. I know Europeans’ historical books. I also know French and British states strategies in MENA (Middle East and North Africa), specially after they colonized them. I’m interested propaganda and psychological war more than 12 years old. So, it is easy to understand somethings.
Ottoman dynasty was closed. Specially for Harem. According to Islam, woman are not dress like Magnificent Century in the street or even in the Ottoman Palace. No one can see Sultan’s wife/s etc. However, in European historical books, there are too much fiction. Some traveller (I forgot the name) came to Ottoman land (also İstanbul) in 16th century. He wrote something about Ottoman and also Harem. Think about yourself, how can meet with president of Turkey? How can write about Turkish Presidential building in this century? It is same thing.
There are important historian such as Halil İnalçık, İlber Ortaylı who knows more than 4-5 language and they also entered Ottoman Archvies and they checked other sourses such as Vatican arcchives. Because they know even ancient Greek language. Ottoman, Arab, Greek, Russian, Turkish and English languages… When you read Halil İnalcık biography, you will understand.
Comparing that kind of historicians, it is wrong to read traveller as a “Ottoman dynasty expert”. I can understand that, there wasn’t too much information about Ottoman, Harem etc. So, even this traveller books are important. However, it is 21th century and there are too much information about everything. Also Ottoman archives are open for you. When you learn Ottoman alphabet and Turkish+Arab+Persian languages; you may understand.
Europeans afraid from Ottoman. So, there are really interesting statues about Ottoman. You may see top of the Vienna St. Stefan Cathedral (I’ll not explain, just check). Even there are “Türkenkopf” in houses, that means Turkish head. There are Don Juan statue in the square of Regensburg (Germany), he is to tread on cutted Turkish head. Or Gent in Belgium. Roman German emperor, Carl’s house; he is also tread on the cutted Turks head. However, just check the history, what happened in the real life; with Sultan Süleyman.
Did you realized something? Religion.. When you check religious place in Europe, you will find hostality, real BARBARISM. Also just check the Ottoman Minatures. you can’t find any cutted head in any place. Because we have respect to even our enemy.
V. Charles and Tunisia
Charles V (Şarlken or Karl in Turkish), Holy Roman Emperor… When you check European states’ historical book, you probobly find very honorable words about him. While they say Ottomans and Turks ar barbarian, they never talked about Carles’ Tunisian attack.
Minature is showing Charles’ plunder of Tunis at 1535. They killed arround 30.000 people including woman and children and they took arround 10.000 prisoner. I have to said that, these Tunisians in that time, while Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa resisting in the castle; Tunisians release Cristians from prisons. Arround 8-10.000. He was also have less number of units and it changed the game. Then he escape and after that, Tunisians pay their action with their lives.
It is same for Palestinians. While Ottoman fighting 32 fronts, Palestinian just believe British words and they started to kill Ottoman soldiers. From that day to nowadays, they are paying their action with their lives and property. When Ottoman territory shrink, France and British just colonized them. Just check old ones…
Palestine, Tunisia, Iraq, Syria, Cyprus, Libya, Serbia and also other British and French colonies (not old Ottoman territory) such as India, Algeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nigeria etc (you may add); all of them have political, economical or cultural problems.
About Barbarian Claim
Most of the European countries and their propaganda in the old Ottoman territory say that; Turks ar barbarian. Ottoman ruled a lot of countries which were have different culture, religion and ethnicity. We ruled arround 300-400 without problems. Check French and British colonies and also USSR (Stalin tried to managed with force) and how many years, they could manage to succseesfully?
When you read Ottoman history, you may think that; how Ottoman managed to ruled these countries and regions. I just add English subtitles. Zülfü Livaneli (musician, writer, scriptwriter, director and politicians) explain a meeting with Henry Kissenger. Open English subtitle:
As a political science student, I must say that; this is frustration, disappointment. Because we learn our political strategy from European or American academician etc. Our political science and other books are usually wrote by West culture and European or sometimes American academician. It is nice to know and learn European culture, history and theories but we also should learn our culture. For saying, “we are equivalence on EU education system”, we are learning their syllabus. We should discover, learn and teach our culture. Then regions. There are Persian for example. Really important culture. Also there is South Korea etc. We just focus Europe and America. I believe that, this is sad.
Exploitation and Colonialism
When I talked some friends who came from Middle East or North Africa; they just said, Ottoman was exploit our people. They collect goods etc. Also there was Yeniçeri system (Janissary). Ottoman had “vilayet” system which is smilar with federation. That means, they were autonomous (Vassal etc). However, they were not completely independence. There is tax system; these regions were send goods and goldens.
When you think that ages, there wasn’t colonialism. Ottoman just conquest and they pay their tax. Thats all. Ottoman Empire provide protection and specially Kanuni(!) Sultan Süleyman and following Sultans were fair for them. When you check structure of Ottoman Empire, you may find traces of Rome Empire. These are really important points for that reason I’ll now write with details because I’m not historian or experts. Just check the “Devlet-i Aliyye” book of Halil Inalcık (or other books about Ottoman).
How Sultan Süleyman Was Fair?
When you go to Nürenberg, visit the “Justizpalast” which means Justice Palace. There are 10 statues from the history who protect the justice. One of them is Sultan Süleyman (Uğurluel, Talha. Kanuni. Timaş).
Why I explain this? When we turn back to Tunisia; one of my friend said that, “Ottoman exploit the region”. I just gave Tunisia example. How many years Tunisia ruled by Ottoman? 300 and little bit more. How many years French ruled Tunisia? 75 years.
French is commercial and educational language! Not Turkish! When you check the Tunisia, you will find that France influence more than Ottoman. That questions came from a guy who live in Balkan state. I asked, how many people speak Turkish language in your country? Arround %3-4. How many people speak French in Tunisia? Arround %63.
It is same in everywhere… I think, even this is shows of how people live freely under the Ottoman Empire. Free and fair.
Ottoman didn’t push for Turkish culture, I could accept, they pushed for Islam. Because that was about “religious war era”. However, we lived with Armenians, Greeks, Arabs etc more than 300-400 years. Then French revolution triggered nationalist movement in Balkans. They were free and Ottoman did not asimilate these people. Sultans gave freedom and authority to churches. For that reason, they quickly organized against Ottoman. Of course some countries also support them.
When they saw, these movement succseed; they also support Arabs against Ottoman. Just check the some names such as Gertrude Bell, Lawrence etc… They also succssesful in their achievement.
If Ottoman ruled by brutal force; we can’t continue with 300-400 years. Also these people like as such as France and British admiration! We now what they did in the past, however they are liked by their colonies. Such as Tunisia. They brought institutions etc but they just exploit these countries. When they occupy a country; they quickly divide groups to people. Because while they are stay one nation, it might creat problems for them. So; they just used ethnic minorities, religious differences etc. While groups fighting eachother, they exploit their colonies.
Armenian Genocide Claim
Most of the people said, “Armenian genocide”. Nope, there is claim by Armenia. Turcophobia, Islamophobia and also hate of Erdoğan and political pressure to Turkey triggered parlamentery decisions. They just confirm with their parlamentary but it is not binding. This is just political decision. Armenian lobby is really strong in the world. This is the only thing for them. They don’t have power, they are not good at anything. They are just holding Armenian genocide claim…
Unfortunately, people are using stereotyped words without any knowledge. We open our Ottoman Archives for everyone. If you historian or expert, you may get special permission for all archives. However who said there is Armenian genocide (Russia, French, Armenia etc), they don’t open their archives. Some historians came to our archives and they changed their opinion. They said, this is not genocide.
Here is the differences; as a Turkey, we accept, there were some unintended consequences. Even Turkey apologize for that, NOT FOR GENOCIDE CLAIM OR SOMETHING! I’ll explain what was the situation but first, what is genocide?
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (9 December 1948)
Again it is a really sensitive subject. Historians, international law expert etc should discuss. I’m just trying to write Turkish perspective with Ottoman evidence. I could (probobly I’ll) write missingly but I will try to explain something.
First of all what is genocide?
In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts
committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical,
racial or religious group, as such :
(a) Killing members of the group;
(£) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(e) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to
bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(rf) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
In 1914, we were fighting with Russians. While we are at war with them, Armenian gangs helped the Russians and they started to harm Turkish soldiers from back of the front. That means they both kill soldiers and they harm to supplies.
We can clearly say that, there was Armenian revolt against Ottoman. In 24 April, 1915, Ottoman closed Armenian committees (which were Hınçak and Taşnaksütun) because they were helping these Armenian riot. 235 people arrested about it.
In 27 May 1915, Ottoman confirm “Sevk ve İskan Kanunu” (Dispatch? and lodging or causing to settle? Law). They aim to relocate Armenians from Ottoman location to another Ottoman location. Armenians were helping Ottoman’s enemy. That was required.
With the decision of the Ottoman Ministerial Council on 30 May 1915; for protect Armenians live and goods, aid for moving, giving goods and lands, giving tools, building houses by state, checking their health by everyday and more and more order published.
Also, if someone attack Armenians; immediately they will go to cort (Divan-ı Harp Mahkemesine = War Court).
While they are moving; some fanatics attacked convoy. Also a lot of people death by weather conditions, hunger and disease.
At the same time; cause of Russian occupation and Armenian riot gangs, 800.000 Turks moved from the region. A lot of Turks death by same reasons which are weather conditions, hunger and disease..
When you think just Armenian case, it will be mistake. Ottoman and Turkish forces fight in 32 fronts in 4 years. European states called us as a “sick men”. Because we were in fall age of Ottoman. It was hard to find money, goods, tools etc. Even Ottoman couldn’t protect Turksh, in that case.
Armenian and anti-Turk states just giving high numbers. You may understand that, Germany try to find a “road friend” on this topic because it is dark ages for Germany (Nazi regime). Also France… If you said, “there is no Armenian genocide” in French, there is punishment for it. So where is the freedom of speech? Human rights? And Also France should explain what they did in Algeria.
These minorities supported by Ottoman’s enemies. Still same plan is working. Who knows? If I won 2030 elections, I might support Turks in the Europe for a create seperatist movement?
As A Result
When a traveller came to Ottoman territory, s/he can say that (Actually one of them wrote); even snot are important for Turks, they are keeping them. However, if you learn Turkish culture; you know that, we carry (or we were) handkerchief (napkin from fabric). We will not clean our nassal with our clothers or we will not trow to ground our snot.
I personally saw how Bulgarians and Greek Cypriots have Turkish hostility. Of course, our books also have nationalist speeches. However, when we talked about history; it is also science as much as chemistry, physics, mathematics, biology. It is social science.
I always facing with Turkish hate in Europe. While Turkey trying to join European Union, they refused. Because of some fear or their Turcophobia or something. Now we are facing with AKP government and things become more problematic. I personally don’t want to join EU. We should follow EU laws and regulations but we should stay out of union.
However, you should understand that; we have thousands of years culture on state, government and war. Yes, we are suffering about diplomacy and specially international law. We are losing because we don’t have good international lawyers and government are just hate to meritocracy. Still, we will survive these days then we will be more stronger.
Game will be change.
I’ll be president of Republic of Turkey at 2030!
Then, things will be different.