Ottomans - from brave warriors to western puppets

By Brother Ozcan  -  (MV contributor)

The Ottoman Empire derives its name from its founder, the Turkish Muslim warrior, Osman.   Ottoman Empire (or the Turkish Empire) ruled over a vast region for 600 years (1300 - 1922)  with its capital in Bursa, Turkey. 

They were a warrior dynasty with the army being their most important institution.  The empire spread across three continents - from Hungary in Europe to Aden in Yemen, and from Algeria in the west to the Persian borders in the east.  

A very brief recap of their rise and decline:

From the 1300s to the 1500s, the Ottoman Empire had some very great leaders and acquired tremendous successes.  Sultan Mehmed II conquered Constantinople (Istanbul)  in 1453.  Sultan Selim defeated the Safavids of Iran in 1514,  Anatolia in 1516 and the Mamluks in Syria and Egypt were also defeated in 1517.  Ottoman control was established in the eastern and western Mediterranean regions in 1534 by Suleiman I,  annexing Iraq and Algiers to the Ottoman Empire.    Prior to that, between 1520 and 1528, Suleiman captured Belgrade (Hungary). 

Decline of the Ottomans began from the 1800s.  It was known as the era of reforms but not quite in reality.   They decided to abolish the old army and instead to build up a new European-style force.  This led to big changes within the bureaucracy and subsequently in the Ottoman society itself.   The new army was costly to maintain.  Taxes needed to be increased.  Requirement for a modern education system was felt to educate the army and state officials.  Establishment of the new army was followed by reforms and development in various public sectors.  Eventually the empire ran short of money and needed to borrow from European financial institutions.  By late 1800s, the empire was unable to pay the interest on the money it borrowed and came under complete European financial control.

The total collapse of the Ottomans was the outcome of WW1.  They fought on the side of the Germans. The defeat of Germany brought the end of the Ottomans.  In 1918 when the British began their offensive in Iraq and Syria, the Ottomans were forced to sign a treaty by which they lost everything.  The following year in 1919 the armed nationalist movement by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk began against the Greeks in Anatolia who were defeated and driven out in 1922.  On November 1, 1922, the Ottoman empire was abolished and replaced by the Republic of Turkey led by Mustafa Kemal, a secular fascist.  

The unfortunate truth - fall from grace to disgrace:

As for Ottomans, they certainly weren't western puppets until the beginning of the 19th century, but unfortunately they eventually became one. The desperate attempt at westernization did not start with Ataturk.  It actually started much before him.  Since the last 150 years  (or maybe longer) the Ottomans and now Turks have had a massive inferiority complex and a strong urge to adopt anything western. During this late Ottoman era many people, mainly from the rich and the elite, were sent to countries like France to study and when they came back they had become totally westernized. They started hating their own culture and some even Islam.

These western-educated Ottomans had basically destroyed the whole empire. They also tried desperately to erase all Turkish words of Arabic origin that remind people of Islam. There were people who actually tried to wipe Islam completely off in Anatolia. In the 1930's some Turkish textbooks in schools were portraying Islam as a backward Arab and man-made religion - they went that far. Many people who were religious rightfully didn't send their kids to school in that era. The 1940s were even worse if I remember correctly; people couldn't gather to study or even talk about Islam or Allah at all. Muslims were severely oppressed by the state and the Turkish Gendarmerie breaking into people's houses and so on. There are still old people who remember those days with horror.

Mustafa Kemal took over in the mid 1920s and his anti-Islamic policies within Turkey were draconian.  But since the Turks had already drifted away from culture orientation decades prior to his rule,  Mustafa Kemal's takeover didn't seem much like a "revolution" to many of his countrymen.

Therefore, westernization and 'reformation' known as 'Tanzimat' in Ottoman Turkish, started long before the Ataturk era - to be precise in 1839. Most people think that Ataturk came to power and suddenly people became secular or anti-Islam which is really not the case.

One example of westernization of the Ottoman/Turkish elite was Nurullah Atac (1898 -1957).  In plain terms, he was a kafir, a real enemy of Islam, and amazingly even an enemy of Turkish culture, music and arts. Let's say a western wannabe of the very worst kind.  He worked for decades to erase Turkish words of Arabic origin, such as 'kelime' (kalima) etc. for the sole reason that they might remind the Turkish people of their Islamic past. And during Muslim holidays like Eid Al-Fitr he would write on his door; "We don't accept visitors during the holidays of Muslims". He was that arrogant and hostile. 

Expulsion of the Ottoman dynasty from Turkey - Nov.1922.

An Ottoman Pasha - 1890 Istanbul.

The siege of Constantinople by Sultan Mehmed.

Ottoman women.

Nurullah Ataç (1898-1957), a later time fascist elite of the Ottoman bureaucracy.
Looks like a Zionist or a Nazi.