Foreign relations of the Ottoman Empire - Wikipedia
The Ottoman Empire was a crucial part of the European states system and The Ottomans collaborated with Francis I of France and his. Why was the Ottoman Empire called “the sick man of Europe”? .. which had maintained friendly relations with the sultans in order to develop a. In the early modern period, a timespan ranging from the late fifteenth century to the late eighteenth century, when Western Europe was just beginning to increase .
Among these were Bibles and classical Greek works. Giorgios Amirutzes of Trabezond produced a world map for the sultan by making use of Ptolemy's Geographike. Mehmed II's personality, politics and his interest in the Western world led to the spread of the image of the Turks in European art. The first portrait of the sultan produced in Europe has the inscription El Turco and it is based on the image of the Byzantine Emperor Johannes Paleologus found on a medal struck on the occasion of the council that convened in Florence in with the purpose of uniting Eastern and Western churches.
Mehmed II, who followed developments in Renaissance art and science, wanted to immortalize his own image with medals and portraits, like the Greek and Roman rulers and the Renaissance humanists whose portraits were objects of diplomatic and cultural exchange. He requested artists from several rulers in Italy. This Venetian medallist stayed in Istanbul in the mids and struck medals with portraits of the Conqueror.
After the peace agreement made with Venice, inpolitical and cultural exchanges with the Venetians had increased. The Sultan asked the Doge of Venice for a bronze caster who could make medals and a painter.
Gentile Bellini came and worked for the Sultan in Istanbul, struck a medal with the Sultan's portrait and produced other portraits and city views. Moreover, it is thought that the Sultan sent this medal to Lorenzo dei Medici with whom he had good relations. Bellini's most important work is the oil portrait that is now at the National Gallery in London. According to recent research, the crowns on both sides of the arch in the portrait symbolize the Ottoman Sultans preceding Mehmed II.
The seventh crown that of the reigning Sultan Mehmed is found on the embroidered cover. The important point is that Mehmed II obtained what he wanted and the portrait medals he commissioned and their copies made in Europe ensured the spread of the image of the Sultan in Europe.
The activities of the European masters undoubtedly influenced the local artists working at the Conqueror's ateliers. A portrait of the Sultan attributed to a local artist, Sinan Bey, shows how borrowings from Western painting were transformed into Islamic norms.
Bellini as well as many other fifteenth and sixteenth century painters, led by the Venetian painters, used figures dressed in Turkish costumes in their paintings depicting scenes from the Bible. It is known that in this period the Ottoman fabrics and carpets were imported to Italy by Italian merchants.
Moreover, fabrics similar to these were produced in some of the Italian cities. Murad, who had been put on the throne by Turkish notables who had joined the Ottoman state during the first century of its existence, soon began to resent the power they had gained in return; the power of those notables was also enhanced by the great new estates they had built up in the conquered areas of Europe and Anatolia.
The Ottoman Empire and Europe
He took advantage of the death in of the Hungarian king Sigismund to reoccupy Serbia except Belgrade and to ravage much of Hungary. He then annexed Serbia inbeginning a policy of replacing the vassals with direct Ottoman rule throughout the empire.
Hungarian control of Belgrade became the primary obstacle to large-scale advances north of the Danube. By its terms Serbia regained its autonomyHungary kept Walachia and Belgrade, and the Ottomans promised to end their raids north of the Danube.
In Murad also made peace with his main Anatolian enemy, Karaman, and retired to a life of religious contemplation, voluntarily passing the throne to his young son Mehmed II. The Byzantines and Pope Eugenius IV sought to use the opportunity created by the rule of a youthful and inexperienced sultan to expel the Ottomans from Europe, organizing a new Crusade—joined by Hungary and Venice—after the pope assured them that they were not bound to honour the peace treaty they had signed with Muslim infidels.
A Crusader army moved through Serbia across the Balkan Mountains to the Black Sea at VarnaBulgaria, where it was to be supplied and transported to Constantinople by a Venetian fleet that would sail through the straits, while using its power to prevent Murad from returning from Anatolia with the bulk of the Ottoman army. Though the Crusaders reached Varna, they were left stranded by a Serbian decision to remain loyal to the sultan and by Venetian reluctance to fulfill its part of the agreement for fear of losing its trade position in the event of an Ottoman victory.
Further quarrels among the Crusade leaders gave Murad time to return from Anatolia and organize a new army. The Turkish victory at the Battle of Varna on November 10,ended the last important European Crusading effort against the Ottomans. Only Albania was able to resist, because of the leadership of its national hero, Skanderbeg George Kastriotiwho finally was routed by the sultan at the second Battle of Kosovo Constantinople became their first objective.
To Mehmed and his supporters, the Ottoman dominions in Europe could never reach their full extent or be molded into a real empire as long as their natural administrative and cultural centre remained outside their hands.
Mehmed built Rumeli Fortress on the European side of the Bosporus, from which he conducted the siege April 6—May 29, and conquest of Constantinople. The transformation of that city into the Ottoman capital of Istanbul marked an important new stage in Ottoman history.
Moreover, the possession of Constantinople stimulated in Mehmed a desire to place under his dominion not merely the Islamic and Turkic worlds but also a re-created Byzantine Empire and, perhaps, the entire world of Christendom. Bowe To pursue those objectives, Mehmed II developed various bases of power.
Domestically, his primary objective was to restore Istanbul, which he had spared from devastation during the conquest, as the political, economic, and social centre of the area that it formerly had dominated. He worked to repopulate the city not only with its former inhabitants but also with elements of all the conquered peoples of the empire, whose residence and intermingling there would provide a model for a powerful and integrated empire. While thousands of Christians and Muslims were brought to the city, Greeks and Armenians were disinclined to accept Muslim Ottoman rule and sought to secure new European Crusades.
Mehmed thus gave special attention to attracting Jews from central and western Europe, where they were being subjected to increasing persecution. The loyalty of those Jews to the Ottomans was induced by that of their coreligionists in Byzantium, who had supported and assisted the Ottoman conquests after the long-standing persecution to which they had been subjected by the Greek Orthodox Church and its followers.
Under Ottoman rule the major religious groups were allowed to establish their own self-governing communitiescalled milletseach retaining its own religious laws, traditions, and language under the general protection of the sultan. Millets were led by religious chiefs, who served as secular as well as religious leaders and thus had a substantial interest in the continuation of Ottoman rule.
Mehmed used the conquering army to restore the physical structure of the city.
The Ottoman Empire and Europe: Cultural Encounters | Muslim Heritage
Mehmed also devoted much time to expanding his dominions in Europe and Asia in order to establish his claim to world leadership. To that end he eliminated the last vassal princes who might have disputed his claims to be legitimate successor to the Byzantine and Seljuq dynasties, establishing direct Ottoman administration in most of the provinces throughout the empire.
In addition, he extended Ottoman rule far beyond the territories inherited from Murad II. From to he concentrated mainly on southeastern Europe, annexing Serbia —55 and conquering the Morea —60in the process eliminating the last major claimants to the Byzantine throne. When Venice refused to surrender its important ports along the Aegean coast of the Morea, Mehmed inaugurated the second Ottoman-Venetian war — In he annexed Trebizond and the Genoese commercial colonies that had survived along the Black Sea coast of Anatolia, including Sinop and Kafa, and began the process by which the Crimean Tatar khans were compelled to accept Ottoman suzerainty.
In he occupied and annexed Bosnia. When Albania continued to hold out, helped by supplies sent by sea from Venice, Mehmed sent in large numbers of Turkmen irregulars, who in the process of conquering Albania settled there and formed the nucleus of a Muslim community that has remained to the present day. Mehmed, however, skillfully used dynastic divisions to conquer Karaman inthereby extending direct Ottoman rule in Anatolia to the Euphrates. Mehmed, however, was able to defeat each of those enemies.
He then turned to Venice, initiating several naval raids along the Adriatic coast that finally led to a peace inwhereby Venice surrendered its bases in Albania and the Morea and agreed to pay a regular annual tribute in return for restoration of its commercial privileges.
Mehmed then used his new naval power to attack the island of Rhodes and to send a large force that landed at Otranto in southern Italy in Success appeared imminentbut his premature death in brought the effort to an end.
Nevertheless, Mehmed had laid the foundations for Ottoman rule in Anatolia and southeastern Europe that was to survive for the next four centuries. In addition to conquering a large empire, Mehmed worked to consolidate it and to codify the political, administrative, religious, and legal institutions developed during the previous century by promulgating a series of secular laws kanun compiled by subject into law codes called kanunnames.
The immensity of the task, however, and his diversion in numerous campaigns delayed the process to such an extent that it was completed only during the midth century. Mehmed also had only limited success in building the economic and social bases of his empire. His most important problem was securing enough money to finance his military expeditions and the new apparatus of government and society.
The tax systems inherited from his predecessors did not provide the required resources, particularly because most of the conquered lands were turned into estates timar s whose taxes went entirely to their holders in return for military and administrative services. Mehmed therefore turned to a number of financial expedients that achieved their immediate objectives, but at the cost of grave economic and social difficulties. He regularly withdrew all coins from circulation and issued new ones with a larger proportion of base metal alloys.
Foreign relations of the Ottoman Empire
To enforce acceptance of the new issues, he sent armed bands around the empire with the right to confiscate without compensation all the older and more valuable coins that were not being voluntarily exchanged for the new.
The debasement of the coinage soon caused inflation, which greatly disturbed the industry and trade that the sultan had hoped to promote. In addition, in his search for revenues, Mehmed created monopolies over the production and use of essential goods, distributing them among the highest bidders, who in turn charged excessive prices and created artificial scarcities to secure their profits.
Finally, Mehmed established the principle that all revenue-producing property belonged to the sultan. It was only by playing those groups off against each other that Mehmed was able to maintain his own position and power and to continue his conquests. Ottoman institutions in the 14th and 15th centuries Changing status of the Ottoman rulers Ottoman dynasts were transformed from simple tribal leaders to border princes uc beys and ghazi leaders under Seljuq and then II-Khanid suzerainty in the 13th and early 14th centuries.
Those title changes reflected changes in the position of the Ottoman ruler within the state and in the organization of the state itself. As uc bey and even as bey, the Ottoman leader remained little more than a tribal chief, sharing administrative and military leadership with the Turkmen tribal chiefs surrounding him.
Like them, he was owed the loyalty and obedience of his followers only so long as he led them to victory and only in relation to his military functions. Beyond that, he was only one among equals in the councils that decided general internal policies; the tribes and clans remained autonomous in their internal affairs.
The bey was accessible to the tribe and clan leaders as well as to their followers. He could intervene in disputes among the clans, but jurisdiction was temporary and restricted. Muslim law and jurists had little influence, whereas Turkish tribal law and custom prevailed. In such a situation the idea of rule was very limited. Administration was conceived mainly in financial terms, with each clan or family or tribe accepting Ottoman military leadership largely for the financial rewards it could bring.
Ottoman chiefs collected the booty in conquered lands and had the right to collect taxes from lands left in their possession after conquests. Because the bey was dependent for his power and revenues on the assent of his followers, his authority was limited in scope and in time. As the territory of the Ottoman principality expanded, however, and the Ottomans inherited the administrative apparatus left by the Byzantines, that simple tribal organization was replaced by a more complex form of government.
By the time the Ottoman rulers became sultans, they already had far more extensive power and authority than had been the case a half century earlier. The simple tribal organization of the Ottoman bey could suffice only while the state was small enough for the individual tribal leaders to remain on their lands to collect their revenues and fight the nearby enemy at the same time. As the empire expanded and the frontiers and enemies became further removed from previously conquered territory, the financial and administrative functions at home had to be separated from the military.
Taxes had to be collected to exploit the conquered territories and support the officers and soldiers while they were away. The treasury of the sultan had to be separated from that of the state so that each would have an independent income and organization.
Institutional evolution Throughout the 14th and 15th centuries, therefore, the Ottoman state gradually reshaped its government and military institutions to meet the needs of administering and defending an expanding empire. That process naturally was influenced by those states that had preceded the Ottoman Empire, not only in the areas it came to rule but also in the lands of its ancestors.
So it was that the developing Ottoman state was influenced by the traditions of the nomadic Turkic empires of Central Asiaparticularly in military organization and tactics. In the court hierarchythe central financial structure, and the tax and administrative organizations developed in the European provinces, the Ottomans were influenced by the Byzantines and, to a lesser extent, by the Serbian and Bulgarian empires.
Most, however, continued to practice their old religions without restriction. A particularly important source of Christian influence during the 14th century came from the close marriage ties between the Ottoman and Christian courts.