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By Fikret Adanir, Suraiya Faroqhi

This dialogue of historiography about the Ottoman Empire could be seen within the context of the discipline's self-examination, which has been inspired via contemporary conflicts in south-eastern Europe and the center East. The members examine the style during which the historiographies confirmed in quite a few nationwide states have seen the Ottoman Empire and its legacy. even as they speak about the hyperlinks of 20th-century historiography with the wealthy ancient culture of the Ottoman Empire itself, either in its metropolitan and its provincial types. The fight opposed to anachronisms born from the nationalist paradigm in historical past no doubt constitutes crucial universal function of those in a different way very different reviews. all through, the individuals have distanced themselves from the nostalgia for "the prior greatness" of definite rulers of yore, and aimed for a indifferent, source-based evaluation of old advancements. they've got made a awake attempt to debunk historical myths, even though, human weak point being what it's, their successors most likely will accuse them of being answerable for new myths of their flip.

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124 Omer Liitfi Barkan, "Tiirkiye'de toprak meselesinin tarihi esaslan", Ulkii 11 (1938), No. 61, 53. 126 The Contributions It is in this research context, which highlights centralization and its opposite, as well as legitimacy, power-sharing, identity and nationalism that we must view the studies forming part of the present book. It has been long in the making, much too long for comfort. About nine years ago, a panel at the Congress of German Historians brought together an international group of scholars interested in the manner in which Ottoman history was perceived, mainly but not exclusively in the twentieth century.

75 In certain places, such as Damascus or Mosul, local dynasties were able to monopolize governorships for several generations. By contrast in Egypt or Iraq, power lay in the hands of grandees who owed their ascent to their membership in a Mamluk political household. 76 Recent research thus has led us to stress the integrative powers which the Ottoman center retained even when it was politically very weak in the years around 1800. Ottomanist historians, for the last ten or fifteen years, have been attracted to this remarkable strength-in-weakness which kept the Empire going, more or less, until the end of World War I.

96 Moreover, mixing men from different regions often resulted in a growing uniformity of customs back home. Spaghetti spread throughout Italy after conscripts had encountered them during their military service, and in Germany after 1870, the Christmas tree ceased to be regarded as a Protestant peculiarity after Catholic exsoldiers had brought the custom back to their villages. This assimilatory effect, which made itself felt all over Europe, was well-known to Ottoman policy makers at various levels, and when a possible 93 Fatma Miige Gocek, Rise of the Bourgeoisie, Demise of Empire: Ottoman Westernization and Social Change (New York, 1996), 114.

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