After The Fall Of The Ottoman Empire
In the wake of the fall of the Ottoman Empire, no one had a good word to say. The Balkans remembered that it was a brutal oppressive state. As long as European liberals denounced it as a government of a foreign tribe, Arab nationalists claimed it had foiled Arab potential for centuries. Turkish nationalists saw it as a dangerous memory that threatened the movement. New Republic. The ideologies of Islam and Ottomanism have lost their credibility.
However, the political system that lasted for 600 years, i. e. , longer than the Roman Empire in the West or the British Empire, and maintained itself on a large area, must have some advantages. For Muslims, it was a matter of pride and pride: they cherished their early victories and the comfort of standing as a defense against the non-Muslim world. For non-Muslims, this was until the nineteenth century better than any obvious alternative. For men with abilities, they were an arena in which they could move easily, in search of a better life. A large and diverse group of peoples (in 1914 still 25 million) enabled different languages, cultures and religions to live together in a degree of harmony. It was an empire with a talent for war and government, and a great imperial secret: empires depended on the minimum government for their survival. Once they begin to interfere significantly with the lives of their citizens, people begin to think that they can better manage their own affairs. The reform movement, which was intended to ensure the survival of the empire, may be a major cause of its destruction. But the new states that left the empire found that the nationalist ideologies, which opposed the Ottoman Empire, were difficult tools through which multinational states could be ruled.
The Ottoman legacy was important during the following years. The men were educated in the Ottoman system and grew up in the ideas of the reform movement that took over the affairs of the Turkish Republic and were political leaders in the Arab countries. The movements of the population and the transformations that took place under the empire have left great problems for the successor States, particularly with regard to the Muslims living in the Balkans. But the empire was not studied or understood primarily because its language was deserted. Ottoman Turkish, for those who read it, remains a key, like Latin and ancient Greek, to study not only an empire but a distinct civilization.
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