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By Gabriel Piterberg

Within the area of six years early within the 17th century, the Ottoman Empire underwent such turmoil and trauma--the assassination of the younger ruler Osman II, the re-enthronement and next abdication of his mad uncle Mustafa I, for a start--that a pupil suggested the period's three-day-long dramatic climax "an Ottoman Tragedy." less than Gabriel Piterberg's deft research, this era of obstacle turns into a historic laboratory for the historical past of the Ottoman Empire within the 17th century--an chance to monitor the dialectical play among background as an incidence and event and heritage as a recounting of that have. Piterberg reconstructs the Ottoman narration of this fraught interval from the foundational textual content, produced within the early 1620s, to the composition of the country narrative on the finish of the 17th century. His paintings brings theories of historiography into discussion with the particular interpretation of Ottoman historic texts, and forces a rethinking of either Ottoman historiography and the Ottoman country within the 17th century. A provocative reinterpretation of an immense occasion in Ottoman heritage, this paintings reconceives the relation among historiography and historical past.

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Sample text

But what Tug˘i presents as an arbitrary decision on payments, Peçevi exposes as an attempt by Sultan Osman to make the janissaries undergo a yoklama (administrative inspection) under the pretext of granting donative. This, Peçevi observes, annoyed them. It should be clarified that the yoklama in this context was an administrative device whose application might be a political risk, for in it the payrolls were checked against names to make sure that only active and serving soldiers, and veterans entitled to pensions, were paid rather than members of the janissaries’ civilian networks.

Pressures by various groups and factions yielded a period of sixteen months that witnessed five different grand vezirs: Kara Davud Pasha, Mere Hüseyin Pasha (to whom we shall return in the following chapters), Lefkeli Mustafa Pasha (another son-inlaw), Gürcü Mehmed Pasha, and Kemankes¸ Ali Pasha. Eventually the empire’s high officials decided to dethrone Sultan Mustafa, whom they again deemed feebleminded, and in the accession that followed Prince Murad, Ahmed I’s oldest living son, became Sultan Murad IV.

Recruiting a local army, he extended his rule to adjacent provinces and harassed the kul; it is alleged that his motivation was to revenge the killing of Sultan Osman, for which he held the kul responsible. Under pressure applied by the kul and reports on Abaza’s growing power and audacity, it was decided in Istanbul to send a force against him. This force, however, failed to encounter Abaza and returned to Istanbul without making serious contact. The Abaza affair was to end only in the 1630s under Murad IV.

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