The Ottoman History and the Paradigmatic Principles of History -XVI- (*) (Mustafa Özcan, 11.02.2016)


The Ottoman History andthe Paradigmatic Principles of History -XVI-

I believe the section with fifteen titles in the series, in which a conceptualevaluation was made by considering various aspects of the general history, reached a sufficient volume. As I am sure the valuable readers can supply the missingconceptual areas, I think time has now come to start looking for trends, implications, principles, paradigms that could be distilled from the Ottoman History for the general history.

On the other hand, I believe it would be a very productive intellectualendeavor to observe the Ottoman Empire, which appeared to be imperial rather than imperialist when discussed with a summative view, in terms of searching for the paradigmatic principles of the history.

I assumethat the firstimage visiblein a brief look to be taken at the Great Ottoman State, as it is officially called, from the broadest historical perspective would briefly be a three-tier social structure and that it would be possible for that to be described briefly as follows:

We can say that there wasan understanding, in the Ottoman’sprominent imperial feature, in which it was essential toexecute the sovereignty of the Dynasty, which was the Toplayer in the first hierarchy, in the lands conqueredin the mission in line with the apparent goalof spreading Islam in the Christian Continental Europe that it saw as the war zone. That is to say, as was the case with all empires in history, Islam seems to have been applied as a means in order to maintain the hegemony of a Dynasty onthe basis of religion. However, this feature of the Empire appears to have remained as a fact not clearly expressed.

Looking further down the socio-political system of the Ottoman in the context provided above, the following picture is faced with in parallel to the sharing-based stratification that occurred in the society;

It wouldbe appropriate to mention the coterieof Ottomanpashas andnobles and those whorepresented the military as the ones generally included in the second “Toplayer with Timar under the Dynasty. The thing that is dominant in this segment, namely, the expectation of this segment, is somewhat more differentiated from the Dynasty and it aims basically at increasing its stake in sharing the booty coming from the plunder, pillage, and spoils in the conquests. The expectation for the distribution of the material benefits that will be obtained from the annual rackets and Timar allowances of the property added to the Ottoman Land should also be mentioned in this regard. The thing that these two Top rulers expect from the producing subjects, the broad masses that are below them, constituting the bottom layer in the Ottoman Land, is their participation mostly in burden not boon.

In order for the achievement of this apparent goal in the direction of maintaining the phenomenon of Global State of Islam, the producing Muslim subjects are expected to embrace and adopt this phenomenon. Thus, the people are asked to be ready in serving the sacred purpose by taking part at the forefront in the war always by participating as footsoldiers and privates in the battle; and this phenomenonis also seen as their duty.  

At this point, I would like to have a socio-psychic link provided to the subject by referring to the following words of the subjects, a well-known and highly succinct satirizing expression.

Ottoman with loose slacks, 
Ottoman with medium-size saddles,
Not planting, not harvesting, 
Ottoman partnering in eating.(*)  

Mustafa Özcan (11.02.2016)

(*) To be continued.

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