By Carter Vaughn Findley
From the author’s preface: elegant Porte--there has to be few phrases extra redolent, even at the present time, of the fascination that the Islamic center East has lengthy exercised over Western imaginations. but there also needs to be few Western minds that now be aware of what this time period refers to, or why it has any declare to recognition. One present-day heart East specialist admits to having lengthy interpreted the expression as a connection with Istambul’s best suited traditional harbor. This person will not be distinct and will probably declare to be fairly good trained. whilst the elegant Porte nonetheless existed, Westerners who frolicked in Istanbul knew the time period as a designation for the Ottoman govt, yet few knew why the identify used to be used, or what point of the Ottoman executive it accurately detailed. What was once the genuine chic Porte? used to be it a company? A development? not more, actually, than a door or gateway? What approximately it was once very important sufficient to reason the identify to be remembered? in a single experience, the aim of this ebook is to reply to those questions. after all, it is going to additionally do even more and should, within the procedure, circulation fast onto a airplane really assorted from the exoticism simply invoked. For to review the bureaucratic advanced accurately often called the chic Porte, and to research its evolution and that of the physique of fellows who staffed it, is to discover an issue of super importance for the improvement of the executive associations of the Ottoman Empire, the Islamic lands ordinarily, and in a few senses the full non-Westerrn international.
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Extra info for Bureaucratic Reform in the Ottoman Empire: The Sublime Porte, 1789-1922
Rather, they existed at much lower levels of institutionalization, and with much greater interaction between ~Iuslims and non-Muslims, than has commonly been assumed. Each community, of course, had its own religious leaders, who might or might not form a centralized hierarchy. The investiture of these leaders, at least of the more important ones, required the confirmation of the state; but this did not necessarily entail the granting of the extensive powers and privileges assumed in the conventional accounts.
Har. Cevdet Tasniji, a classification in BBA, subsection on foreign affairs Conf. Pro Confidential Print; designates confidential documents found in FO in printed form deft. defter, registe r DSA Dahiliye Si£ill-i Ahval Tasniji, registers contaInIng official biographies, classified in BBA as pertaining to the Ministry of the Interior Dstr. 1 Diistur, collection of legal texts officially published by Ottoman Government, first series, containing texts dating from 1839-1908; cf. bibliography for additional details on the various volumes and appendices.
The old interpretation appears to have overestimated the elaboration of communal structures, the scope of communal privilege, and the formalization of the relations that existed between non-Muslim religious leaders and Ottoman officials. The sources of the error lie in self-serving accounts emanating from some of the non-Muslim religious leaders, and in the projection into earlier periods of conditions resulting from reforms of the mid-nineteenth century. As an added irony, the very application of the term millet to non-Muslim, as opposed to Muslim, communities of the prereform periods appears mistaken.
Bureaucratic Reform in the Ottoman Empire: The Sublime Porte, 1789-1922 by Carter Vaughn Findley