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Prometheus2 Post time: 2012-12-14 15:07
Wrong. The middle East has always been fraught with wars and conquest. The most peaceful times wer ...
Your ideas are very simplistic, the European colonial powers, where a great disabling influence, creating boarders foreign laws and culture for their new colonies to plunder. Destroying the local culture and local laws. This is only a start. Ottoman Turkish was the official language of the Empire. It was a Turkic language highly influenced by Persian and Arabic. The Ottomans had three influential languages: Turkish, spoken by the majority of the people in Anatolia and by the majority of Muslims of the Balkans except in Albania and Bosnia; Persian, only spoken by the educated; and Arabic, spoken mainly in Arabia, North Africa, Iraq, Kuwait and the Levant. In the last two centuries, usage of these became limited, though, and specific: Persian served mainly as a literary language for the educated,
Before adopting Islam (a process that was greatly facilitated by the Abbasid victory at the 751 Battle of Talas, which ensured Abbasid influence in Central Asia) the Turkic peoples practiced a variety of shamanism. After this battle, many of the various Turkic tribes—including the Oghuz Turks, who were the ancestors of both the Seljuks and the Ottomans—gradually converted to Islam, and brought the religion with them to Anatolia beginning in the 11th century.
The millets were the major religious groups that were allowed to retain their own religious laws, traditions, and language under the general protection of the sultan. As early as the reign of Mehmed II, extensive rights were granted to Phanariot Greeks, and Jews were invited to settle in Ottoman territory. This non-assimilative policy became a weakness after the rise of nationalism.
The lifestyle of the Ottoman Empire was fragmented, as the millet concept enabled many to coexist in a mosaic of cultures. The culture that evolved around the Ottoman court was known as the Ottoman Way, which was epitomized with the Topkapı Palace. There were also large metropolitan centers where the Ottoman influence expressed itself with a diversity similar to metropolises of today: Sarajevo, Skopje, Thessaloniki, Dimashq, Baghdad, Beirut, Jerusalem, Makkah and Algiers with their own small versions of Ottoman Provincial Administration replicating the culture of the Ottoman court locally.