This article addresses the interrelated changes taking place in education during the transition from the Ottoman Empire to the Republic of Turkey in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In particular, it focuses on the ways in which schools altered their approach to space, time, and economic priorities in order to align themselves with the shifting conditions of the period. It proceeds by examining a series of tensions between the desiderata of state and society, the collective and the individual, the secular and the religious, the national and the supranational, before assessing the diverse range of responses they elicited.
Space, Time, and Text
Benjamin C. Fortna
The Example of a Gypsy/Roma Group in Modern Iran
Elena Marushiakova and Vesselin Popov
This article presents the community of the Romanies/Gypsies called the Zargar, who live in contemporary Iran. For centuries the Zargar had not been aware of the existence of other Gypsies. Only nowadays, with the means of modern telecommunications, including the Internet, have representatives of the Zargar 'discovered' that there are other Roma in the world, and they have begun looking for their place within the international Romani community. Lacking a clear memory of their own past, the Zargar are trying to construct such a history and an extended identity, while establishing contact with their 'kin' in Europe.
‘Jews’ in Late Tudor England and the Ottoman Jews
José Alberto Rodrigues da Silva Tavim
Elizabeth I had people of Jewish origin in her personal circle, such as the famous physician Rodrigo Lopez, who was a relative of an influential Jew called Álvaro Mendes. Mendes was born in Portugal, and later took refuge in the Ottoman Empire, where he was known as Salomon ibn Ya’ish; we know that he exchanged correspondence with Elizabeth I, and the queen always favoured him in her missives to Sultan Murad III. The queen knew that Mendes received, while a Christian, a knighthood in the Order of Santiago, since she dubbed him ‘Eques’ in her correspondence. So even if ibn Ya’ish lived exiled in the Ottoman Empire, Elizabeth I still considered him a ‘Westerner’. The question that arises is: to what extent did this pragmatic diplomacy of Elizabeth I with Islamic states where some ‘Western’ Jews appear as pivotal elements shape their image in Elizabethan England, especially in the eclectic circles in which Shakespeare lived?
L’urbanisme et la Civilisation selon Ebüzziya Tevfik (1849–1913)
This article examines an eminent Ottoman journalist's writings on urbanism. Ebüzziya Tevfik, a polyvalent intellectual of the late Ottoman Empire, was a pioneer in the field of printing and was also known as a prolific writer. In the aftermath of the Young Turk Revolution of 1908, he penned some 26 articles on urbanism. This corpus reflects Ebüzziya Tevfik's perception of urbanism as a question of civilisation.
Eleni Gara, M. Erdem Kabadayı, and Christoph K. Neumann, eds., Popular Protest and Political Participation in the Ottooman Empire. Studies in Honor of Suraiya Faroqhi, Istanbul: Istanbul Bilgi University Press, 2011, x + 364 pp., TL 25.00 (hb), ISBN 978-605-399-226-4.
Eric R. Dursteler, Renegade Women: Gender, Identity, and Boundaries in the Early Modern Mediterranean, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011, 239 pp., US$55.00 (hb), ISBN 978-1-4214-0072-3; US$25.00 (pb), ISBN 1-4214-0072-3.
The Ottomans were descended from one of the many clans of Turkish nomads who swept westwards from the steppes of Central Asia and decisively defeated the enfeebled Byzantine Empire at the battle of Manzikert in 1071. The tribesmen converted to Islam and then slowly expanded their grip on Byzantine territory in Anatolia.
Empire was never an important concept in Ottoman politics. This did not stop Ottoman rulers from laying claim to three titles that may be called imperial: halife, hakan, and kayser. Each of these pertains to different translationes imperii, or claims of descent from different empires: the Caliphate, the steppe empires of the Huns, Turks, and Mongols, and the Roman Empire. Each of the three titles was geared toward a specific audience: Muslims, Turkic nomads, and Greek-Orthodox Christians, respectively. In the nineteenth century a new audience emerged as an important source of political legitimacy: European-emergent international society. With it a new political vocabulary was introduced into the Ottoman language. Among those concepts was that of empire, which found its place in Ottoman discourse by connecting it with the existing imperial claims.
This article discusses the historical value of Ottoman women’s periodicals published in the aftermath of the 1908 Revolution, which marked the beginning of the Constitutional Era (1908–1918). Through specific examples of women’s writings in the press, it illustrates how these periodicals can shed light on the previously unexplored aspects of this period. The article argues that women’s journals allow scholars both to recover the identities and stories of hundreds of women, which would have been lost otherwise, and to challenge the mainstream historiography, which has traditionally presented a one-dimensional portrayal of the Constitutional Era by privileging men’s voices and experiences over women’s. It demonstrates that women’s journals not only reveal a dynamic, flexible, and complex milieu, in which women could and did act as agents of both social and political change, but also signify the multifaceted transformation the Revolution of 1908 caused in Ottoman society in the early twentieth century.
The Ottomans' Leverage with Imperial Studies
This article aims to explore the consequences of including Ottoman studies in the larger field of imperial studies. It strives to combine a close reading of the Ottoman imperial epithets with considerations of how the Ottomans may contribute to theorizing empire as a model. In particular, the article engages in a discussion of whether the "sublime sultanate" developed into a colonial pattern of empire over its final century of existence. As it turns out, the Ottoman practice of administration did not come down to a simulacrum of European colonialism; the article points instead to a semiotics of empire that took its cue from a multidimensional logic of governmentality. Accordingly, archival idiosyncrasies are taken to imply the contrary of an Ottoman exceptionalism. They serve rather to highlight that concepts carry with them a vast repertoire of meanings to be activated in practice.
Muslim Women and Public Writing in Habsburg Bosnia and Herzegovina (1878–1918)
This article focuses on the public writings of Muslim women in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Habsburg period. From the beginning of the twentieth century, several Muslim women, mainly schoolgirls and teachers at Sarajevo's Muslim Female School, started for the first time to write for Bosnian literary journals, using the Serbo-Croatian language written in Latin or Cyrillic scripts. Before the beginning of World War I, a dozen Muslim women explored different literary genres—the poem, novel, and social commentary essay. In the context of the expectations of a growing Muslim intelligentsia educated in Habsburg schools and of the anxieties of the vast majority of the Muslim population, Muslim women contested late Ottoman gender norms and explored, albeit timidly, new forms of sisterhood, thus making an original contribution to the construction of a Bosnian, post-Ottoman public sphere.