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By Selim Deringil

How did the past due Ottoman Empire grapple with the problem of modernity and live on? Rejecting motives in accordance with the concept that of an "Islamic empire" or the drained paradigm of the "Eastern Question," Selim Deringil makes a speciality of imperial ideology and attracts out the notable similarities among the Ottoman and different overdue legitimist empires like Russia, Austria and Japan. Deringil’s brilliant narrative strains the Ottoman state’s pursuit of legitimization in public ceremonies, within the iconography of constructions, track, the honors procedure and the language of the chancery; in its proto-nationalist reformulation of Islamic criminal practices; in its efforts to inculcate, via an increased schooling procedure, the belief of an "Ottoman citizenry"; and within the efforts of the Ottoman elite to offer a "civilized" picture overseas.

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Extra info for The Well-Protected Domains: Ideology and the Legitimation of Power in the Ottoman Empire, 1876-1909

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On this occasion the roads were prepared by 'covering them with a thick white sand'/1' How did these ceremonies appear to the wider population? Hagop Mintzuri, an Armenian baker's apprentice, later wrote in his memoirs that he remembered the sultan's arrival at the Sinan Pasa mosque in Besiktas for ceremonial prayers at the end of the fast of Ramadan; First the Albanian guards, dressed in violet knee-breeches, who were not soldiers or police and did not speak Turkish, would fill the upper part of our market square.

Secondly, there were the more specific and personal manifestations of imperial munificence such as decorations, specially donated copies of the Qur'an, imperial standards and other ceremonial trappings. Third were the religiously symbolic items acquired by the palace such as calligraphy purported to belong to Islamic great men and other artifacts of similar significance. T h e fourth falls into a somewhat different category. It concerns the symbolism of language in Ottoman official documentation.

Symbolism and Power in the Hamtdian Regime 23 A physical manifestation of this shift towards a modern, public persona of the monarch was nineteenth-century mosque architecture. The classical Ottoman mosque was altered to suit the ceremonial protocol of European usage with the addition of a two-storey structure to the main building to serve as ceremonial public space to give a more secular character to the buildings, Aptullah Kuran has pointed out that the space in the imperial mosques designated as the personal prayer chamber of the sultan greatly increased in size from the late eighteenth century: '[The] appearance and evolution of the sultan's prayer platform, or loge, went beyond the prerequisites of architecture...

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