Zeven eeuwen Osmanen
Dit jaar is het zevenhonderd jaar geleden dat Osman I de eerste heerser werd van een dynastie die tot in deze eeuw over drie continenten heersten. MokumTV komt met een speciale serie over de Osmaans-Turkse sultans en kaliefen, Turks Huis Westerpark organiseert een lezingencyclus en de tentoonstelling De Osmaanse Schatkamer. Het is niet ondenkbaar dat de oud Osmaanse Mehter, de Moeder van alle millitaire kapellen, dit jaar een optreden in Amsterdam zal geven.

WATERBEDDENCONCURRENT

 

Kies uw Sultan:

Zijne Keizerlijke Hoogheid Sultan Yildirim Beyazit I

Zijne Keizerlijke Hoogheid Fatih Sultan Mehmed II

Zijne Keizerlijke Hoogheid Sultan Süleyman I

Zijne Keizerlijke Hoogheid Sultan Selim II

Zijne Keizerlijke Hoogheid Sultan Murat III

Zijne Keizerlijke Hoogheid Sultan Mehmed IV

Zijne Keizerlijke Hoogheid Sultan Selim III

Zijne Keizerlijke Hoogheid Sultan Abdulaziz de Olieworstelaar

Zijne Keizerlijke Hoogheid Sultan Murat V

Zijne Keizerlijke Hoogheid Sultan Abdulhamid II

Zijne Keizerlijke Hoogheid Sultan Mehmed V Reshat

Zijne Keizerlijke Hoogheid Sultan Mehmed VI Vahdeddin

De emir der Gelovigen Khalif Abdülmecid II

 

1299-1999

Het is dit jaar 700 jaar geleden dat het Osmaanse rijk werd gesticht. Turks Huis organiseert in dit kader een aantal projecten met nadruk op de eeuwenoude banden die er bestaan tussen de Nederlanden en het Osmaanse Rijk en de erfgenamen hiervan. Zo is er reeds een lezingencyclus begonnen met Turks/Osmaanse experts, organiseren we voor de derde keer in successie de Europese kamipenschappen in het oud-Osmaanse olieworstelen. Hoewel Atatürk de Osmanen verjoeg uit Turkije, wordt de stichting van het grootste keizerrijk uit de wereldgeschiedenis alom herdacht.

De Turken komen oorspronkelijk uit Midden-Azië en Noord-Mongolië. Hier maakten ze deel uit van de Altaïsche volkeren. De vondst van de Orhan-monumenten in het noorden van Mongolië leverde tot nog toe de oudste geschreven Turkse teksten op. In deze op grafstenen gebeitelde teksten, die uit de 8e eeuw dateren en de sporen dragen van een typische nomadencultuur, worden heldendaden, de liefde voor de natuur, paard en ruiterschap enz. beschreven. De teksten hebben de vorm van een epos, een spreekwoord of een klaaglied. In de gesproken literatuur speelden dichters een belangrijke rol. De voornaamste uitingen van de orale literatuur zijn legenden, lofdichten, balladen en spreekwoorden.

Vanaf de 11e eeuw vestigden de Turken zich in het huidige Turkije. Nadat Osman in 1299 de dynastie der Osmanen (Ottoman in het Engels, Ottomanen in het Duits) had gevestigd, kwam dit rijk tot grote bloei en strekte zich uit over drie continenten. In deze periode was het Perzisch de taal voor de kunst en met name voor de literatuur. Het Arabisch was de taal voor godsdienst en wetenschap. Als gevolg hiervan werd de Turkse taal verrijkt met Perzische en Arabische woorden: zo ontstond het Osmaans, de taal van de elite. Het volk bleef het oude Turks gebruiken. Uit deze 'tweetaligheid' kwamen twee literatuurstromingen voort: de Divan-literatuur en de volksliteratuur. De Divan was een boek waarin dichters hun gedichten bewaarden. Divan-literatuur bestaat voornamelijk uit poëzie, met als thema's liefde, wijn, eenzaamheid en het zijn of niet-zijn. De Divan-literatuur in prozavorm bestaat uit werken over geschiedenis, reizen en brieven. Tot de volksliteratuur behoren de gedichten van de mysticus Yunus Emre, de verhalen over Nasreddin Hodja, de verhalen over de legendarische Keloglan, een kwajongen met een kale kop en grote oren die allerlei streken uithaalt. En natuurlijk de verhalen over Karagöz en Hacivat. Deze laatste twee figuren vinden hun oorsprong in het Turkse schimmenspel dat heden ten dage nog steeds wordt opgevoerd. De verhalen spelen vaak in op de actualiteit en hebben vaak een moralistische boodschap.

Hoewel er reeds het nodige onderzoek is verricht, is het nodig dat voor de specifieke invulling over de banden tussen Nederland en Turkije verder onderzoek zal worden verricht in (met name) de archieven van de Turkse stad Izmir (het oude Smyrna). De Nederlanden bezaten hier een uitgebreide diplomatieke handelspost. Resultaten van dit onderzoek zullen samen met delen van de lezingencyclus door Mohamed el-Fers te boek worden gesteld in een speciale uitgave van Turks Huis (distributie uitgeverij Jan Mets Amsterdam)..

Daarnaast zal er in samenwerking met MokumTV een educatieve videoband over 'De Osmanen' worden vervaardigd. Hierin o.a. unieke filmbeelden uit het MokumTV-archief van de laatste sultans van het Osmaanse keizerrijk. Deze band zal ook als MokumTV-serie worden uitgezonden, waarvoor reeds zenddtijd is gereserveerd op twee kanalen.

Verder zullen wij een tentoonstelling organiseren met een aantal echte en fascimiles uit de Nederlands-Osmaanse archieven, portretten van sultans en de Nederlanders aan het Osmaanse hof, materiaal over de Hollandse graven die in Turkije geboren werden of stierven etc.

Onderdeel van het project is ook het opzetten van een Nederlandstalige website met nieuw, vaak uniek, beeldmateriaal en verdere informatie. Een eigen site voor elke Osmaanse sultan uit de geschiedenis met nadruk op de eventuele banden die er met de Nederlanden werden onderhouden.

The growing and fall of the Ottoman Empire

Early in the 14th century the Turkish tribal chieftain Othman, or Osman, founded an empire in western Anatolia (Asia Minor) that was to endure for almost six centuries. As this empire grew by conquering lands of the Byzantine Empire and beyond, it came to include at the height of its power all of Asia Minor; the countries of the Balkan Peninsula; the islands of the eastern Mediterranean; parts of Hungary and Russia; Iraq, Syria, the Caucasus, Palestine, and Egypt; part of Arabia; and all of North Africa through Algeria.

The Early Empire, 1300-1481: The dynasty that Othman (1258-1326) founded was called Osmanli, meaning "sons of Osman." The name evolved in English into Ottoman. The Ottoman Empire was Islamic in religion. During the 11th century bands of nomadic Turks emerged from their home in Central Asia to raid lands to the west. The strongest of the Turkish tribes was the Seljuks. In time they established themselves in Asia Minor along with other groups of Turks. Following the defeat of the Seljuks by the Mongols in 1293, Othman emerged as the leader of local Turks in the fight against the tottering Byzantine Empire. The final conquest of the Byzantines was not achieved until 1453 with the fall of Constantinople (now Istanbul), but by that date all the surrounding territory was in Ottoman hands. The initial areas of expansion under Othman I and his successors Orkhan (ruled 1326-59) and Murad I (ruled 1359-89) were western Asia Minor and southeastern Europe, primarily the Balkan Peninsula. During Orkhan's reign the practice began of exacting a tribute in children from Christian subjects. The boys were trained to become soldiers and administrators. As soldiers
they filled the ranks of the infantry, called the Janizaries Janizaries (also spelled Janissaries), the most fearsome military force in Europe for centuries. Murad I conquered Thrace, to the northwest of Constantinople, in 1361. He moved his capital to Adrianople (now Edirne), Thrace's capital and the second city of the Byzantine Empire. This conquest effectively cut off Constantinople from the outside world. Adrianople also controlled the principal invasion route through the Balkan Mountains, giving the Ottomans access to further expansion to the north. During Murad I's last victorious battle against Balkan allies, he was killed. His successor, Bayezid I (ruled 1389-1402), was unable to make further European conquests. He was forced to devote his attention to eastern Asia Minor to deal with a growing Turkish principality, Karaman. He attacked and defeated Karaman in 1391, put down a revolt of his Balkan subjects, and returned to consolidate his gains in Asia Minor. His successes attracted the attention of Timur Lenk (Tamerlane). Encouraged by Turkish princes who had fled to his court from Bayezid I's incursions, Timur Lenk attacked and overwhelmed him in 1402. Taken captive by Timur Lenk, Bayezid died within a year. Timur Lenk soon retired from Asia Minor, leaving Bayezid's sons to take up where their father had failed. The four sons fought for control until one of them, Mohammed I, killed the other three and took control. He reigned from 1413 to 1421 and his successor, Murad II, from 1421 to 1451. Murad II suppressed Balkan resistance and eliminated all but two of the Turkish principalities in Asia Minor. The task of finishing the Balkan conquests and seizing all of Asia Minor fell to Murad II 's successor, Mohammed II (ruled 1451-81). It was he who completed the siege of Constantinople in 1453 and made it the capital of the Ottoman Empire. The whole Balkan Peninsula south of Hungary was incorporated as well as the Crimea on the north coast of the Black Sea. Asia Minor was completely subdued. In addition to conquering a large empire, Mohammed II worked strenuously for consolidation and an adequate administrative and tax system. He was assisted by the fact that the whole Byzantine bureaucratic structure fell into his hands. Although Islamic, Ottoman sultans were not averse to using whatever talent they could attract or capture.

The Golden Age, 1481-1566

Three sultans ruled the empire at its height: Bayezid II (1481-1512), Selim I (1512-20), and Suleyman I the Magnificent (1520-66). Bayezid extended the empire in Europe, added outposts along the Black Sea, and put down revolts in Asia Minor. He also turned the Ottoman fleet into a major Mediterranean naval power. Late in life he became a religious mystic and was displaced on the throne by his more militant son, Selim I. Selim I's first task was to eliminate all competition for his position. He had his brothers, their sons, and all but one of his own sons killed. He thereby established control over the army, which had wanted to raise its own candidate to power. During his short reign the Ottomans moved south- and eastward into Syria, Mesopotamia (Iraq), Arabia, and Egypt. At Mecca, the chief shrine of Islam, he took the title of caliph, ruler of all Muslims. The Ottoman sultans were thereafter the spiritual heads of Islam thereby displacing the centuries-old caliphate of Baghdad. By acquiring the holy places of Islam, Selim I cemented his position as the religion's most powerful ruler. This gave the Ottomans direct access to the rich cultural heritage of the Arab world. Leading Muslim intellectuals, artists, artisans, and administrators came to Constantinople from all parts of the Arab world. They made the empire much more of a traditional Islamic state than it had been. An added benefit of Selim I's efforts was control of all Middle Eastern trade routes between Europe and the Far East. The growth of the empire had for some time been an impediment to European trade. In time this led European states to seek routes around Africa to China and India. It also impelled them to face westward and led directly to the discovery of the Americas. Selim I's surviving son, Suleyman, came to the throne in an enviable situation. New revenues from the expanded empire left him with wealth and power unparalleled in Ottoman history. In his early campaigns he captured Belgrade (1521) and Rhodes (1522) and broke the military power of Hungary. In 1529 he laid siege to Vienna, Austria, but was forced to withdraw for lack of supplies. He also waged three campaigns against Persia. Algiers in North Africa fell to his navy in 1529 and Tripoli (now Libya) in 1551. In more peaceful pursuits he adorned the chief cities of Islam with mosques, aqueducts, bridges, and other public works. In Constantinople he had several mosques built, among them the magnificent Suleymaniye Cami named for him.

Imperial Decline, 1566-1807

During Suleyman's long reign the Ottoman Empire was at the height of its political power and close to its maximum geographical extent. The seeds of decline, however, were already planted. As Suleyman grew tired of campaigns and retired to his harem, his viziers, or prime ministers, took more authority. After his death the army gained control of the sultanate and was able to use it for its own benefit. Few sultans after Suleyman had the ability to exercise real power when the need arose. This weakness at home was countered by a growing power in the west. The nation-states of Europe were emerging from the Middle Ages under strong monarchies. They were building armies and navies that were powerful enough to attack a decaying Ottoman military might. In 1571 the combined fleets of Venice, Spain, and the Papal States of Italy defeated the Turks in the great naval battle of Lepanto, off the coast of Greece. This defeat, which dispelled the myth of the invincible Turk, took place during the reign of Selim II (ruled 1566-74). But the empire rebuilt its navy and continued to control the eastern Mediterranean for another century. As the central government became weaker, large parts of the empire began to act independently, retaining only nominal loyalty to the sultan. The army was still strong enough, however, to prevent provincial rebels from asserting complete control. Under Murad III (ruled 1574-95) new campaigns were undertaken. The Caucasus was conquered, and Azerbaijan was seized. This brought the empire to the peak of its territorial extent. Reform efforts undertaken by 17th-century sultans did little to deter the onset of decay. The Ottomans were driven out of the Caucasus and Azerbaijan in 1603 and out of Iraq in 1604. Iraq was retaken by Murad IV ( (ruled 1623-40) in 1638, but Iran remained a persistent military threat in the east. A war with Venice (1645-69) exposed Constantinople to an attack by the Venetian navy. In 1683 the last attempt to conquer Vienna failed. Russia and Austria fought the empire by direct military attack and by fomenting revolt by non-Muslim subjects of the sultan. Beginning in 1683, with the attack on Vienna, the Ottomans were at war with European enemies for 41 years. As a result, the empire lost much of its Balkan territory and all the possessions on the shores of the Black Sea. In addition, the Austrians and Russians were allowed to intervene in the
empire's affairs on behalf of the sultan's Christian subjects. The weakness of the central government, as manifested by its military decline, also showed itself in a gradual loss of control over most of the provinces. Local rulers, called notables, carved for themselves permanent regions in which they ruled directly, regardless of the wishes of the
sultan in Constantinople. The notables were able to build their power bases because they knew of the sultan's military weakness and because local populations preferred their rule to the corrupt administration of the faraway capital. The notables formed their own armies and collected their own taxes, sending only nominal contributions to the imperial treasury. Selim III (ruled 1789-1807) attempted to reform the empire and its army. He failed and was overthrown. When Mahmud II (ruled 1808-39) came to the throne, the empire was in desperate straits. Control of North Africa had passed to local notables. In Egypt Muhammad Ali was laying the foundation of an independent kingdom. Had the European nations cooperated, they could have destroyed the Ottoman Empire. In 1826, five years after Greece began its fight for independence, the Janizaries revolted to stop reforms. Mahmud had them massacred and constructed a new military system in the style of European armies. He also reformed the administration and gained control over some of the provincial notables, with the exception of Egypt. By the time of Mahmud's death the empire was more consolidated and powerful, but it was still subject to European interference. Mahmud's sons, Abdulmecid I (ruled 1839-61) and Abdulaziz (ruled 1861-76) carried out further reforms, especially in education and law. Nevertheless,
by mid-century it was evident that the Ottoman cause was hopeless. Czar Nicholas I of Russia commented on the Ottoman Empire in 1853: "We have on our hands a sick man, a very sick man."

The Sick Man of Europe, 1850-1922

The conflicting interests of European states propped up the Ottoman Empire until after World War I. Great Britain especially was determined to keep Russia from gaining direct access to the Mediterranean from the Black Sea. Britain, France, and Sardinia helped the Ottomans during the Crimean War (1854-56) to block the Russians. The Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78 brought Russia almost to Constantinople. The Ottomans were forced to sign the harsh Treaty of San Stefano , which would have ended their rule in Europe except that the European states called the Congress of Berlin. It succeeded in propping up the old empire for a few decades more. Abdulhamid II (ruled 1876-1909) developed strong ties with Germany, and the Ottomans fought on Germany's side in World War I. Russia hoped to use the war as an excuse to gain access to the Mediterranean and perhaps capture Constantinople. This aim was frustrated by the Russian Revolution of 1917 and withdrawal from the war. Ottoman defeat in war inspired an already fervent Turkish nationalism. The postwar settlement outraged the nationalists. A new government under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal, known as Ataturk, emerged at Ankara. The last sultan, Mohamed VI, fled in 1922 after the sultanate had been abolished. All members of the Ottoman Dynasty were expelled from the country two years later.

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All sites © 1999 by Mohamed el-Fers. VRIJWARING: Aan deze documenten kunnen geen garanties worden ontleend/DISCLAIMER: The documents are provided as is. No warranties are made as to its correctness.