Islamic Studies Millet System in the Ottoman Empire
by
Efrat Aviv
  • LAST MODIFIED: 28 November 2016
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195390155-0231

Introduction

The term millet in the Ottoman Empire referred to a non-Muslim religious community. The Turkish term millet (from Ar. milla; Ott. Tur. pl. milel; mod. Tur. pl. milletler) originally meant both a religion and a religious community. In the Qurʾan, millet frequently refers to the “millat Ibrahim,” or religion of Abraham, and rarely as milla, for only Judaism or Christianity. There are also references to millet as “religion, confession, or rite” from 1158 to 1833 in various internal and international communications, mainly between the Ottoman Empire and non-Muslim empires. Occasionally, millet was translated in the West as “sovereign nations,” especially in terms of rebellion. Commonly, millet was defined as a “religious community.” Millet has its roots in early Islam, and the Ottomans used it to give minority religious communities within their Empire limited power to regulate their own affairs, under the overall supremacy of the Ottoman administration. According to the Qurʾan, Christians and Jews were people of the Bible, known as dhimmi, who were not forced to convert to Islam but allowed to live under the Muslim arrangement with certain prohibitions while practicing their religion and paying the cizye and military exemption tax. The Ottomans allowed the “religions of the book” to be organized in millets: the Orthodox Christians or Rums, the Armenians, and the Jews. Non-Muslims had to be part of a millet to be considered citizens of the empire. In the 19th century, millet additionally came to denote such modern concepts as nation and nationality. Nineteenth-century reforms in the Ottoman Empire changed the structure of the millet organization. The regulations of the Greek community (millet-I Rum) were drafted and approved in 1862, and for the Armenian community (millet-I Ermeniya) in 1863. Submission of proposals for the reorganization of the Jewish community (millet-I Yahudiyan), as required by the Khaṭṭi humayun (imperial decree) of 1856, was delayed due to internal dissension. The “Organizational Regulations of the Rabbinate” (ḥakham Khane niẓamnamesi) was approved in 1865 (Haham Başı). The regulations reveal a desire to limit the powers of the ḥakham bashi. They remained in force as long as the Ottoman Empire existed; only under the republic did they lapse de facto without being officially replaced. In recent years, there has been an academic discussion regarding the general attitude toward non-Muslims in the empire, and the millet in particular, either as an example of tolerance or oppression, using the Ottoman millet system theory as a model of interpretation. It should be noted that in the late decades of the Ottoman Empire, the term millet was used for the Muslim community as well, not just for the non-Muslim communities. In addition, the communities did not see themselves as such, and neither did the Ottomans. They were religious communities. There was no word for “minority” in Ottoman Turkish. The term was introduced with the treaty of Lausanne along with the modern Turkish azınlık. Thus is it considered as an anachronism if used before 1923.

General References to the Millet System in the Middle East

Arberry 1969 provides important background information for considering the millet system by outlining the interaction between the three major religions in the Middle East, with the focus on Islam. Similarly, Bates and Rassam 2001 provides a context in which to consider the millet system by outlining the geography, history, and social structures of Islam. Ma’oz 1999 argues that Christians and Jews were discriminated against and seen as illegitimate denominations, a suggestion that is contested by some scholars, such as Anver Emon, who, in Emon 2012, claims that legal systems face similar challenges when governing a populace in which minority and majority groups diverge on the meaning and implication of values. Thus, treating Islam as an intolerant religion in terms of the millet system is wrong. In addition, Aral 2004 claims that the state in the Ottoman case did not seek to take control of the “public sphere” unless politics set in. It was only after the Tanzimat reforms of the 19th century that the state came to predominate in the public sphere, thus narrowing the scope for civic action. However, Yeór 1985 counters such arguments by documenting the prejudices and segregation of Jews and Christians who were classed as dhimmi. For example, Yeór deals with the “Invalidity of the Dhimmi’s Oath” (p. 56) as an example of the prejudice that was applied to Jews and Christians who refused to bow to Islam.

  • Aral, Berdal. “The Idea of Human Rights as Perceived in the Ottoman Empire.” Human Rights Quarterly 26.2 (May 2004): 454–482.

    DOI: 10.1353/hrq.2004.0015Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This paper argues that both the Ottoman sultan as well as the courts took great care to observe Sharia law, understood of course from a Sunni perspective, which accorded extensive rights to the individual, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. These rights included the right to life, property, fair trial, and social protection, as well as specific rights for women.

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    • Arberry, A. J., ed. Religion in the Middle East: Three Religions in Concord and Conflict. 2 vols. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1969.

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      The book discusses cooperation between the three faiths and their multifarious sects, throughout history. The book aims to give a factual account of these three religions and their sects, in concord and conflict, from a historical perspective. The focus is on the significance of Islam, considered to be the dominant religion of the Middle East since the 7th century.

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      • Bates, Daniel G., and Amal Rassam. Peoples and Cultures of the Middle East. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 2001.

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        An excellent overview of the Middle East region. It introduces us to the geography, history, and different social structures of Islam. The millet system was developed to protect the rights of tolerated clients within the Muslim community.

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        • Emon, Anver M. Religious Pluralism and Islamic Law: Dhimmis and Others in the Empire of Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.

          DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199661633.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

          The Islamic legal treatment of non-Muslims is symptomatic of the more general challenge of governing a diverse polity. The pursuit of pluralism requires impositions and limitations on freedoms that are considered fundamental to an individual’s well-being, but which must be limited for some people in some circumstances for reasons extending well beyond the claims of a given individual.

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          • Eryılmaz, Bilal. Osmanlı Devletinde Gayrimüslim tebaanın yönetimi. Istanbul: Risale, 1996.

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            The book (The administration of the non-Muslim subjects in the Ottoman state) discusses the status and the rights of non-Muslims under the Ottoman rule from Tanzimat to the Turkish republic.

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            • Ma’oz, Moshe. “Middle Eastern Minorities: Between Integration and Conflict.” Policy Papers 50 (1999): 5–9.

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              According to Ma’oz, Christians and Jews were considered to be inferior, living outside accepted standards. As a result, they were often discriminated against by the state. In contrast, other scholars may argue that the position of minorities under the Ottomans was lenient compared to minority treatment elsewhere in the world, such as in certain parts of Europe.

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              • Yeór, Bat. The Dhimmi: Jews and Christians under Islam. Rutherford, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1985.

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                Indispensable to the Western observer for a full understanding of the complexities of the conflicts in the Middle East, this study analyzes and documents the historical, social, and spiritual realities of the dhimmi peoples—the non-Arab and non-Muslim communities subjected to Muslim domination after the conquest of their territories by Arabs.

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                General References to the Millet System in the Ottoman Empire

                Davison 1982 proposes that the modernization of the Ottoman Empire was due in part to the millet system and the contact non-Muslims had with Europe. Finkel 2005 masterfully summarizes six hundred years of Ottoman history, showing how a band of Turcoman warriors from eastern Anatolia rose to prominence, building an empire that eventually became the most powerful up to that time. Contributing to our understanding of changes at the local level, Green 2005 discusses the interaction between the Ottoman state and regional forces. For factual information on minorities, Güler 1997 uses Ottoman archives to provide census data. İnalcık 1994 includes numerous references to the millet system while providing a detailed account of economic and social factors that shaped the Ottoman Empire from its inception to its collapse. Itzkowitz 1972 provides an in-depth and comprehensive view of Ottoman history. Itzkowitz delineates the fundamental institutions of the Ottoman state, the major divisions within its society, and the basic ideas on government and social structure. McCarthy 1983 provides insight into minorities in the Ottoman Empire and the relationship between Muslim and non-Muslim. It also makes what could be considered a controversial proposal that there were extenuating circumstances that led to the “Armenian Genocide.” Shaw 1976 and Shaw and Shaw 1977, on the other hand, explore the method the sultans used to oversee communities of Muslims and non-Muslims, a method that, as far as possible, allowed them to live without excessive outside interference. Woodhead 2012 also provides evidence of a generally tolerant attitude toward the millets. To gain an insight into the powerful forces operating within the Ottoman Empire, Weiker 1968 highlights the dilemma faced by the rulers who, on the one hand, saw the need to modernize, and yet, on the other hand, were inhibited by their own conservatism to initiate the reforms needed.

                • Davison, Roderic H. “The Millets as Agents of Change in the Nineteenth-Century Ottoman Empire.” In Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Empire: The Functioning of a Plural Society. Vol. 1, The Central Lands. Edited by Benjamin Braude and Bernard Lewis, 319–337. New York: Holmes & Meier, 1982.

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                  Davison asserts that, to a degree, the millet system helped to modernize and reform the Ottoman Empire due to the contact individuals in non-Muslim millets had with Europe. On the other hand, he suggests that the acceptance of some modernization on the part of non-Muslim millets caused Muslims to reject such changes on religious grounds and anti-Western sentiment.

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                  • Finkel, Caroline. Osman’s Dream: The Story of the Ottoman Empire, 1300–1923. London: John Murray, 2005.

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                    Finkel surveys six hundred years of Ottoman history and shows why this history is important in understanding the modern Republic of Turkey and modern Islam.

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                    • Green, Molly, ed. Minorities in the Ottoman Empire. Princeton, NJ: Markus Wiener, 2005.

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                      This volume joins a long line of “paradigm-shifting” scholarship. It contributes to the understanding of the relationships between local and state actors. For the most part, the themes addressed in this collection stress the local context and interplay between the Ottoman state and regional agents of change.

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                      • Güler, Ali. Osmanlı Devletinde Azınlıklar. Istanbul: Turan, 1997.

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                        The book (Minorities in the Ottoman state) offers data on minorities (such as the Tahrirs, population censuses) based on Ottoman archival records.

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                        • İnalcık, Halil. An Economic and Social History of the Ottoman Empire, 1300–1914. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

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                          This book provides a richly detailed account of the social and economic history of the Ottoman region, from the origins of the empire around 1300 to the eve of its destruction in World War I. It examines developments in population, trade, transport, manufacturing, land tenure, and the economy, also in wide reference to the Ottoman millets. Published in paperback in two volumes in 1997.

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                          • Itzkowitz, Norman. Ottoman Empire and Islamic Tradition. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1972.

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                            This book presents the full sweep of Ottoman history, from its beginnings on the Byzantine frontier around 1300, through its development as an Empire, to its late 18th-century confrontation with a rapidly modernizing Europe. Throughout, Itzkowitz emphasizes the Ottomans’ own conception of their historical experience and their attitudes toward minorities, thus penetrating the superficial view of some Western observers of the Ottoman world to reach the core of Ottoman existence.

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                            • McCarthy, Justin. Muslims and Minorities: The Population of Ottoman Anatolia and the End of the Ottoman Empire. New York: New York University Press, 1983.

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                              A very important work of research describing the position of minorities in the Ottoman Empire throughout the years, until the end of its reign. The book especially describes the relations between Muslims and non-Muslims.

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                              • Shaw, Stanford J. The History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey. Vol. 1, Empire of the Gazis: The Rise and Decline of the Ottoman Empire, 1280–1808. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1976.

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                                Describes the ever-changing Ottoman Empire in which a small, multinational ruling class led by the sultan allowed both Muslim and non-Muslim communities to live according to their own traditions and religious practices with as little interference as possible from outside forces.

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                                • Shaw, Stanford J., and Ezel Kural Shaw. The History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey. Vol. 2, Reform, Revolution, and Republic: The Rise of Modern Turkey, 1808–1975. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1977.

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                                  This volume further traces the revolutionary changes that took place during the 19th and 20th centuries, eventually leading to the establishment of the modern Republic of Turkey.

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                                  • Weiker, Walter F. “The Ottoman Bureaucracy: Modernization and Reform.” Administrative Science Quarterly 13.3 (1968): 451–470.

                                    DOI: 10.2307/2391053Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                    This paper discusses attempts by the rulers of the Ottoman Empire to modernize society by modernizing the bureaucracy in order to implement much-needed reforms. However, the reformers were so strongly committed to Ottoman values that they could not bring themselves to initiate the radical social and political changes required for modernization. Therefore, the changes made in the bureaucracy only increased the ascriptive orientation of society and sustained authoritarian rule.

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                                    • Woodhead, Christine. The Ottoman World. New York: Routledge, 2012.

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                                      In this book the millet is seen as an example and expression of the pluralistic and tolerant approach of the Ottomans. The millet system is viewed as a social-cultural-communal framework for the various minorities within the empire.

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                                      The Definition of the Term Millet

                                      Braude and Bernard 1982 provides a very thorough treatment of non-Muslim groups in the Ottoman world, and includes several provocative articles on the millet system. The authors show that the term millet never appeared until the late Ottoman period, and that the word ta’ife was used in reference to non-Muslims. In Braude 2000, the author maintains his argument that the millet system did not exist in the 15th and 16th centuries, partly in response to criticism from Ursinus 1989. Goffman 1994 defends Braude’s position and asserts that the earliest usage of the term millet did not appear until the first half of the 17th century. However, Kenanoğlu 2004 claims that there are two pre-17th-century instances of the use of millet, but only in a religious sense. Konortas 1999 supports Braude’s view, stating that the word millet began to be used in the 18th century to describe non-Muslim communities. An important chapter dealing with the millet appears in Papademetriou 2015 on pages 19–63. It begins with the episode of Sultan Mehmet II’s installation of Gennadies as patriarch and argues that much of the current understanding of relations between the Ottomans and non-Muslims is based on a 1798 document. Ursinus 1989 discusses the beginning of the usage of the term millet and claims that the occurrence of the term, even when not implying a change in the administration of non-Muslims prior to the reform period (Tanzimat), might indicate a defensive reflex on the part of the state vis-à-vis the intensification of Western European missionary activities. Ursinus provides counter-examples regarding the use of the word millet proposed by Braude. Under the heading “Millet,” Ursinus 1993 discusses the philological and historical meaning of millet during various Ottoman periods. In tracing the origin and history of the Ottoman Empire, Vucinich 1979 specifically mentions millet on pages 59, 60, and 94. Some scholars refer to the Muslim community as a millet as well, but according to the division between the ruling group askeri (military) and the reaya (flock).

                                      • Braude, Benjamin. “The Strange History of the Millet System.” In The Great Ottoman-Turkish Civilization. Vol. 2, Economy and Society. Edited by Kemal Çiçek, 409–418. Ankara: Yeni Türkiye, 2000.

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                                        As a response to Ursinus’s criticism, Braude claimed that the usage of the term in the way Ursinus proposed was restricted to the mühimme registers of the 17th century, and that such was not the case in sources outside Constantinople, such as Sharia records. Therefore, he maintains his argument that the millet system did not function as a regulating system for non-Muslim communities in the 15th and 16th centuries.

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                                        • Braude, Benjamin, and Lewis Bernard. Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Empire: The Functioning of a Plural Society. New York: Holmes & Meier, 1982.

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                                          Braude and Lewis use an interesting way to define tolerance, by defining it from the reverse. They wonder whether tolerance denotes a lack of discrimination or a lack of persecution. Braude’s main argument is against the existence of an administrative system for dealing with non-Muslims in the classical period of the Ottoman Empire, which is what is generally assumed of the extended autonomy given to community leaders.

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                                          • Goffman, Daniel. “Ottoman Millets in the Early Seventeenth Century.” New Perspectives on Turkey 1.1 (1994): 135–158.

                                            DOI: 10.1017/S0896634600001011Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                            Goffman contributes to the discussion surrounding the usage of the term millet in the 17th century by proposing that the term was variable and “polychrestic,” like Ottoman society itself. Goffman shows that the millet system paradigm conceals more than it reveals, as in, for example, the bonds between the empire’s different religious communities in the early 17th century and the government’s “apparent indifference” to these bonds.

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                                            • Kenanoğlu, Macit. Osmanlı Millet Sistemi: Mit ve Gerçek. Istanbul: Klasik, 2004.

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                                              This article (Ottoman millet system: Myth and reality) claims that there are two allegedly pre-17th century examples of the use of the term millet, which have only a religious meaning. The main conclusion of the work is that the authority of the Ottoman Empire over its non-Muslim subjects was complete, and the role of the patriarchate was negligible. Kenanoğlu puts forward the concept of ruhani mültezim and proposes that the patriarchs and chief rabbis assumed the role of mültezims in the Ottoman Empire.

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                                              • Konortas, Paraskevas. “From Tâi’fe to Millet: Ottoman Terms for the Ottoman Greek-Orthodox Community.” In Ottoman Greeks in the Age of Nationalism: Politics, Economy, and Society in the Nineteenth Century. Edited by Dimitri Gondicas and Charles Issawi, 169–179. Princeton, NJ: Darwin Press, 1999.

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                                                The article examines the changes the millets went through until they became “minorities” in accordance with historical events in the Ottoman Empire. The author also agrees with Braude that the Ottomans did not use the term millet to describe the social organization of the Greek community in the empire right after the conquest of Istanbul, and that the usage of the term to describe non-Muslim Ottomans started only in the 18th century. The idea that a milletbaşı did not exist before the 19th century is also defended by Konortas.

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                                                • Papademetriou, Tom. Render unto the Sultan: Power, Authority, and the Greek Orthodox Church in the Early Ottoman Centuries. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.

                                                  DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198717898.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                  The chapter dealing with the millet (pp. 19–63) is very important, as it demonstrates how the historiography of non-Muslim confessional groups has been the victim of anachronistic analysis. It evaluates previous conclusions concerning the millet system paradigm and argues that much of the 20th-century discussion of Ottoman relations with non-Muslims depends directly on a 1798 document translated and published by M. D’Ohsson’s in his Tableau Général de l’Empire Ottoman.

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                                                  • Ursinus, Michael. “Zur Diskussion um ‘millet’ im Osmanischen Reich.” Südost−Forschungen 48 (1989): 195–207.

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                                                    Ursinus provides counter-examples to the usage of the term millet as proposed by Braude, and opposes the idea that before the beginning of the period of reform the term was used in Ottoman-Turkish sources to mean “the community of Muslims.” Ursinus provided examples from the mühimme defterleri of the dîvân-ı hümâyûn in which millet refers to the non-Muslim subjects of the Ottoman Empire, from the end of the 17th century.

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                                                    • Ursinus, Michael. “Millet.” In Encyclopaedia of Islam. 2d ed. Vol. 7. Edited by C. E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W. P. Heinrichs and Ch. Pellat, 61–64. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 1993.

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                                                      A discussion of the term millet and its philological and historical meaning in different periods of Ottoman history. For instance, the usage of the term in the early modern period is quite inconsistent and vague and most likely corresponds to its Qurʾanic meaning of religion, rather than to the administrative corps.

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                                                      • Vucinich, Wayne. The Ottoman Empire its Record and Legacy. New York: Krieger, 1979.

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                                                        Covers, among other things, the origin of the Ottoman state, and how the empire was built. The term millet is specifically discussed on pages 59–60, and 94.

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                                                        Attitudes toward Minorities

                                                        Adalian 2001, considers the Ottoman attitude toward minorities specifically during World War I. For a more expansive consideration, Davison 1990 explains how the West affected general attitudes toward non-Muslim populations who surrendered to Muslim domination, referred to as dhimmi. Earlier, in 1954, Davison 1954 focused on one aspect of the Westernization of the Ottoman Empire from 1856 to 1876. A further consideration of the impact of Western civilization on the Ottoman Empire is skillfully presented in Gibb and Bowen 1957. Aspects of Greek communities under Ottoman rule are explored in Giese 1931, while Pentazopoulos 1967 focuses on the problems that arose with the millet system. Özbilgen 2007 describes the role of state officers in enforcing the verdicts of religious community courts. For an objective view, consider Schick 1986, written while the author was attending Harvard.

                                                        • Adalian, Rouben Paul. “Comparative Policy and Differential Practice in the Treatment of Minorities in Wartime: The United States Archival Evidence on the Armenians and Greeks in the Ottoman Empire.” Journal of Genocide Research 3.1 (2001): 31–48.

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                                                          This article deals with the Ottoman attitude toward its minorities during World War I in comparison to its attitude during prior decades.

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                                                          • Davison, Roderic H. “Turkish Attitudes concerning Christian Muslim Equality in the Nineteenth Century.” American Historical Review 59.4 (1954): 844–864.

                                                            DOI: 10.2307/1845120Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                            This paper discusses one aspect of the reform and Westernization of the Ottoman Empire during the years 1856 to 1876, the later Tanzimat period, and the influence of the four Tanzimat statesmen: Reshid, Ali, Fuad, and Midhat.

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                                                            • Davison, Roderic H. Essays in Ottoman and Turkish History, 1774–1923: The Impact of the West. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1990.

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                                                              The Western effect on attitudes toward the dhimmi.

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                                                              • Gibb, H. A. R., and H. Bowen. Islamic Society and the West: A Study of the Impact of Western Civilization on Moslem Culture in the Near East. 2 vols. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1957.

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                                                                This classical piece claims that Islamic society as a distinct civilization is now in crisis due to its confrontation with the more advanced and powerful West. Historiography tends to attribute wide power to the patriarch vis-à-vis the Ottoman administration, starting from Mehmed II. Gibb and Bowen promoted this idea by proposing that Mehmed II formally organized the dhimmis into three recognized millets: Orthodox (granted administrative privileges), Armenian, and Jewish.

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                                                                • Giese, Friedrich. “Die geschichtlichen Grundlagen für die Stellung der christlichen Untertanen im osmanischen Reich.” Der Islam 19.4 (1931): 264–277.

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                                                                  One of the first modern works to examine the multiple dimensions of the Greek community under Ottoman rule.

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                                                                  • Özbilgen, Erol. Bütün yönleriyle Osmanlı: Adab-I Osmaniyye. Istanbul: lz, 2007.

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                                                                    Özbilgen notes that the verdicts of religious community courts were enforced by state officers.

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                                                                    • Pentazopoulos, N. Church and Law in the Balkan Peninsula during the Ottoman Rule. Thessaloniki, Greece: Institute for Balkan Studies, 1967.

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                                                                      One of the most comprehensive studies on the problem of the millet system.

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                                                                      • Schick, Irwin Cemil. “Osmanlılar, Azınlıklar ve Yahudiler.” Tarih ve Toplum 29 (1986): 34–42.

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                                                                        Irvin Cemil Schick was born in Istanbul in 1955. He lived in the United States from 1973 and his interest in Ottoman history developed when he was at Harvard. His article (Ottomans, Minorities, and Jews) provides an interesting objective viewpoint.

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                                                                        Millet and Economics

                                                                        There was a strong link between the millet system and the economics of the Ottoman Empire. This fiscal motivation is explored by Apostolopoulos 1985. Ercan 2001 provides illuminating information regarding tax collection from non-Muslim minorities. Economic law relating to non-Muslims is discussed by Ercan 2001, and Kaligian 2003 discusses agrarian reforms affecting the Armenian millet. Veinstein 1997 also supports the view that the millet system was directly connected to the transformation of the fiscal system in the 18th century.

                                                                        • Apostolopoulos, Dimitris. “Les mécanismes d’une conquête: Adaptations politiques et statut économique des conquis dans le cadre de l’Empire Ottoman.” In Économies méditerranéennes équilibres et intercommunications, XIIIe-XIXe siècles: Actes du 11e Colloque international d’Histoire, Athènes, 18–25 septembre 1983. Athens: Fondation nationale de la recherche scientique, 1985.

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                                                                          Attitudes toward the millets should be discussed in relation to the Ottoman conquest’s main motives. According to Apostolopoulos, the main objective was fiscal, and thus they preferred incorporating political and economic structures into their growing state.

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                                                                          • Bağış, Ali İhsan. Osmanlı Tarihi Ticaretinde Gayr-ı Müslimler. Ankara, Turkey: Turban, 1983.

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                                                                            A description of economic life, including tax collection from non-Muslim minorities in the Ottoman Empire, especially in the 19th century.

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                                                                            • Balta, Evangelia. “The Exploitation of Otherness in the Economic Advancement of the Rum millet.” O Eranistis 24 (2003): 139–160.

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                                                                              This article presents the course of the economic advancement of the Greek millet before the Tanzimat. It describes the economic ascent and the first steps that defined the Greek millet in national terms rather than in religious ones.

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                                                                              • Ercan, Yavuz. Osmanlı Yönetiminde Gayrımüslimler. Ankara, Turkey: Turhan Publishing House, 2001.

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                                                                                Ercan examines the internal structure of the patriarchate and the church, and also the synagogue. He devotes the later part of the book to occupation by non-Muslims as well as family and economic law as relating to non-Muslims.

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                                                                                • Kaligian, Dikran M. “Agrarian Land Reform and the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire.” Armenian Review 48.3–4 (2003): 25–45.

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                                                                                  The Armenian millet discussed from the economic aspect of agrarian reforms.

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                                                                                  • Veinstein, Gilles. “Fetihten Sonraki Osmanlı Millet Sistemi üzerine Bazı Düşünceler.” In 1. Uluslararası İstanbul’un Fethi Sempozyumu: İstanbul, 24–25 Mayıs 1996, 137–143. Istanbul: İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyesi Yayınları, 1997.

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                                                                                    Veinstein argues that İnalcık’s conclusions regarding the transformation of the 18th-century fiscal system is connected to the debate on the millet system. He agrees with Braude’s theory that the millets, in the sense of a self-ruled unit, were able to emerge in the Ottoman Empire only after the appearance of the objective conditions for such an emergence, changes that were established only in the 18th century.

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                                                                                    Millet and Nationalism

                                                                                    The rise of Turkish nationalism was affected by Turkish attitudes toward minorities. This correlation is considered in Berkes 1998. Kaya 2004 specifically examines the Tanzimat period until the establishment of the Turkish republic. Three publications—Karpat 1973, Karpat 1982, and Karpat 2001—discuss the transformation of the Ottoman state, the reconstruction of Ottoman identity in relation to its minorities, and the connection between millets and nationality in the post-Ottoman era. Kushner 1977 further discusses the effect of minorities on the aspirations of Turkish nationalists.

                                                                                    • Barkey, Karen, and George Gavrilis. “The Ottoman Millet System: Non-Territorial Autonomy and its Contemporary Legacy.” Ethnopolitics 15.1 (2016): 24–42.

                                                                                      DOI: 10.1080/17449057.2015.1101845Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                      This article describes the main features of the millet system and examines the legacy it imparted to several successor states: Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, and Turkey. The article argues that nonterritorial autonomy of the millet system was best suited not only to the geographical dispersion of minorities but also to the strategic goals of the Ottoman Empire. Barkey and Gavrilis claim that the millet system, if adjusted to the 21st century, could solve the minority problem in the places discussed.

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                                                                                      • Berkes, Niyazi. The Development of Secularism in Turkey. Abingdon, UK, and New York: Routledge, 1998.

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                                                                                        Berkes deals with the principles of secularism and their effect on attitudes toward minorities in the Ottoman era and toward the establishment of the Turkish republic. See pp. 96–97.

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                                                                                        • Kaya, Önder. Tanzimat’tan Lozan’a Azınlıklar. Istanbul: Yeditepe, 2004.

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                                                                                          Kaya examines the developments that the minorities went through from the Tanzimat period until the establishment of the Turkish republic, including their identity, political rights, and nationalism.

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                                                                                          • Karpat, Kemal. An Inquiry into the Social Foundations of Nationalism in the Ottoman State: From Social Estate to Classes, From Millets to Nations. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1973.

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                                                                                            Investigates the transformation of the Ottoman State.

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                                                                                            • Karpat, Kemal. “Millets and Nationality: The Roots of the Incongruity of the Nation and State in the Post-Ottoman Era.” In Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Empire: The Functioning of a Plural Society. Vol. 1, The Central Lands. Edited by Benjamin Braude and Bernard Lewis, 141–169. New York: Holmes & Meier, 1982.

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                                                                                              An important work dealing with the post-Ottoman era but based on Ottoman attitudes toward minorities.

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                                                                                              • Karpat, Kemal. The Politicization of Islam: Reconstructing Identity, State, Faith, and Community in the Late Ottoman State. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.

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                                                                                                Karpat discusses, among other issues, the position of the minorities before the fall of the Ottoman Empire in regard to the Ottomans’ political and religious identity and how the latter affected its minorities.

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                                                                                                • Kushner, David. The Rise of Turkish Nationalism, 1876–1908. London: Frank Cass, 1977.

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                                                                                                  Kushner discusses the mutual relations between the Ottoman Empire and its minorities, which aspired to their own nationalism in the 19th century.

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                                                                                                  Legal Process and Toleration

                                                                                                  The Ottoman Empire was generally viewed as considerate and tolerant toward religious and ethnic minorities. The intricacies of the millet system in this context is discussed at length in Barkey 2005. Barkey 2008 maintains that it was this open and tolerant attitude that helped the Ottoman Empire last as long as it did amid an inhospitable environment. Respect for the rights of minorities was integral in this policy of toleration, and Blaisdell 1930 investigates the legislative process that underpinned it. Faroqhi 2004 maintains that Ottoman tolerance was based mainly on cleverness and good will, and the millet system was central to this strategy. Goodwin 1998 examines the organization of the millet system and the significance of regional rather than ethno-religious divisions. However, Ortaylı 2007 takes issue with the use of the word “tolerance,” since it does not have an equivalent in the Ottoman Empire. What happened in the West did not happen in the East, so the term “tolerance” cannot be translated with the same meaning. Therefore, he proposes the use of the Arabic tesamuh. The term “tolerant oppression” is introduced by Svetoslav 1997 to describe the way in which the lower classes were tolerated while the elite were oppressed. Öztürk 2014 focuses on the inability of the Turkish legal system to rid itself of arcane practices. Ercan 2001 sees a correspondence between the frequency of Turkish studies on non-Muslim communities under the Ottomans with current international political issues involving Turkey. An additional insight into the role of the millet system is offered by Yavuz 2003, in which it is asserted that the millet system allowed not only the state but also religious hierarchies to exercise a measure of control over the internal affairs of the community. Barkey 2015 claims that pluralism prevailed in the Empire, which was expressed in the judicial system. Karpat and Yıldırım 2010 claims that the Ottoman policy of ethnic and religious tolerance enabled a diverse population to peacefully coexist within the borders of a Muslim empire. Karabell 2007 argues that tolerance and pragmatism were the keys to the Ottoman Empire’s long existence.

                                                                                                  • Barkey, Karen. “Islam and Toleration: Studying the Ottoman Imperial Model.” International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society 19.1–2 (2005): 5–19.

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                                                                                                    The article explores the relationship between religion and politics in the context of debates on Islam and religious fundamentalism. The Ottoman Empire is used as an example of a policy that succeeded in maintaining religious/ethnic toleration. The relationship between the Ottoman state and Islam is discussed through the subordination of religion to the state and the dual role of religion as an institution and a system of beliefs.

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                                                                                                    • Barkey, Karen. Empire of Difference: The Ottomans in Comparative Perspective. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2008.

                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511790645Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                      This important book describes the history of the Ottoman Empire in a comparative-sociological framework and attempts to answer the question: How did this empire last as long as it did in an environment that was far from hospitable? It concludes that the key to the success of the Ottomans was the open and tolerant empire, which had incorporated and integrated a variety of ethnic and religious groups, institutions, and practices.

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                                                                                                      • Barkey, Karen. “Religious Pluralism, Shared Sacred Sites, and the Ottoman Empire.” In Choreographies of Shared Sacred Sites: Religion and Conflict Resolution. Edited by Elazar Barkan and Karen Barkey, 33–65. New York: Columbia University Press, 2015.

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                                                                                                        Barkey claims that the Ottoman Empire’s system of legal pluralism provided the communities of the millet with a course of action to resolve disputes and feel confident that the state ran a just judicial system.

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                                                                                                        • Blaisdell, Donald C. Representation of Minorities and Guarantees of Minority Rights: In the Former Ottoman Empire, Cyprus, Egypt, the Ottoman Sanjak and the Mandates of Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Palestine. New York: n.p., 1930.

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                                                                                                          This source deals with the legislative process conducted in various Ottoman provinces, which applied rights to the minorities in these regions.

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                                                                                                          • Crews, Robert D. For Prophet and Tsar: Islam and Empire in Russia and Central Asia. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009.

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                                                                                                            This books mentions that Imperial Russia crafted relations with its Muslim population according to the model of the Ottoman Empire’s millet system.

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                                                                                                            • Ercan, Yavuz. Osmanlı yönetiminde gayrimüslimler: Kuruluştan Tanzimat’a kadar sosyal, ekonomik ve hukuki durumlar. Ankara, Turkey: Turhan, 2001.

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                                                                                                              Yavuz argues that the frequency of Turkish studies on non-Muslim Ottoman subjects has gone hand in hand with the current political problems. For example, the conflicts between Turkey and Greece on matters like the Cyprus issue, the Turks of Western Thrace, and the continental shelf rights in the Aegean, Ercan says, precipitated the studies on the relations between Greeks and Turks in the past, which have been of insufficient quality.

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                                                                                                              • Faroqhi, Suraiya. The Ottoman Empire and the World around it. London: Tauris, 2004.

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                                                                                                                To control a vast territory where the population was primarily Christian, the Turks needed to be tolerant and just. The millet system kept the subjects of different religions, traditions, and languages separated as much as possible, so as to avoid religious conflicts and revolts against the sultan. Therefore, avoidance of non-Muslims was recommended and encouraged by Muslim religious specialists, while Christian priests and Jewish rabbis made analogous recommendations to their respective congregations.

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                                                                                                                • Goodwin, Jason. Lords of the Horizons: A History of the Ottoman Empire. London: Chatto & Windus, 1998.

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                                                                                                                  Goodwin emphasizes the Ottoman’s tolerance toward its minorities and mentions that the division into millets was sometimes a regional division rather than an ethno-religious one.

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                                                                                                                  • Karabell, Zachary. Peace Be Upon You: The Story of Muslim, Christian and Jewish coexistence. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2007.

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                                                                                                                    Karabell examines the history of Islam and claims that pragmatism prevailed in most Muslim states from then on, for nearly fourteen hundred years. Pragmatism as well as tolerance, which is a pillar of Islam, were the main principles that enabled the long Ottoman rule.

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                                                                                                                    • Karpat, Kemal, and Yetkin Yıldırım. The Ottoman Mosaic: Exploring Models for Peace by Re-exploring the Past. Seattle: Cune, 2010.

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                                                                                                                      A collection of readable essays that explore the Ottoman tolerance from its roots, its legal pluralism, and peaceful co-existence through the role of Ottoman law in the establishment of Pax Ottomana.

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                                                                                                                      • Ortaylı, İlber. Osmanlı Barışı. Istanbul: Timaş, 2007.

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                                                                                                                        Ortaylı argues that the term “tolerance” is inappropriate for the Ottoman case, as it does not have an equivalent in the Ottoman Empire. Since what happened in the West did not happen in the East, the term “tolerance” cannot be translated with the same meaning. Therefore he proposes using the Arabic term tesamuh and criticizes those translating “tolerance” into Turkish as hoşgörü, saying that hoşgörü is not an institutional but a populist term.

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                                                                                                                        • Öztürk, Fatih. Ottoman and Turkish Law. Bloomington, IN: iUniverse LLC, 2014.

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                                                                                                                          This book is written from a constitutional law point of view; it addresses the question of how fundamental rights in a liberal democracy can be protected, approaching the rule of law from the international perspective. It draws attention to the inability of the Turkish legal system to rid itself of arcane practices and traditions, thus providing an impetus for Turkey to move toward a more modern approach.

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                                                                                                                          • Svetoslav, Stefanov. “Millet System in the Ottoman Empire: Example for Oppression or For Tolerance?” Bulgarian Historical Review 2–3 (1997): 138–142.

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                                                                                                                            A Balkan historiography of the millet system is offered by the Bulgarian scholar Svetoslav Stefanov. He introduces the term “tolerant oppression” in which the lower twenty-four classes enjoyed tolerance, while the elites faced oppression and ceased to exist within a century.

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                                                                                                                            • Yavuz, Hakan M. Islamic Political Identity in Turkey. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.

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                                                                                                                              Yavuz claims that the millet system not only allowed the state to control communities through religious institutions, but also allowed religious hierarchies to control internal dissent and combat heterodoxy.

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                                                                                                                              Christians

                                                                                                                              The millet system comprised various distinct Christian communities, one of which was the Nestorians. Anzerlioğlu 2010 deals with the turbulent history of the Nestorian Christians under the Ottoman Empire and their identity as a millet. İnalcık 1998 (cited under Greeks) provides insight into the workings of the Greeks and the Greek Orthodox community, while Karpat 1989 focuses on Bulgarian Christians. Masters 2001 asserts that historical interpretations of the relationships between Christians, Jews, and Arabs under the Ottoman Empire must be carefully scrutinized due to the Western bias against Muslims. Roudometof 1998 (cited under Greeks) examines the Ottoman Balkans in the pre-1820s when most of the urban strata, mercantile groups, and religious and secular elites were either ethnic Greeks or acculturated into the Greek ethnie. It shows that both the peasantry and the literate and urban Greek-Orthodox groups were “Greek” in the sense of being Orthodox, while Millenarianism and Orthodox universalism were both common among the Ottoman Orthodox Christians. Sonyel 1985 explores the role of Christian minorities during the fall of the Ottoman Empire, while Tellan Bayraktar 2011 provides a fascinating insight into the changing fortunes of the Rum Orthodox Patriarchate of Istanbul during the 18th century.

                                                                                                                              • Anzerlioğlu, Yonca. “The Revolts of Nestorian Christians against the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Turkey.” Muslim World 100.1 (2010): 45–59.

                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1111/j.1478-1913.2009.01301.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                This article discusses the upheavals of the Nestorian Ottomans as well as the Nestorian’s identity as a millet.

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                                                                                                                                • Behrens-Abouseif, Doris. “The Political Situation of the Copts, 1798–1923.” In Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Empire: The Functioning of a Plural Society. Vol. 2, The Arabic-Speaking Lands. Edited by Benjamin Braude and Bernard Lewis, 185–205. New York: Homes & Meier, 1982.

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                                                                                                                                  The book describes the life of the Copts under Ottoman rule. It concludes that the Copts, who had no comparable external allies, remained the most isolated of all Ottoman Christians.

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                                                                                                                                  • Karpat, Kemal. “The Situation of the Christians in the Ottoman Empire: Bulgaria’s View.” International Journal of Turkish Studies 4.2 (1989): 259–266.

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                                                                                                                                    Based on Balkan archival work, the Bulgarian Christians and their relations with the Muslim Bulgarians, as well as the Ottoman authorities, are discussed in this book.

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                                                                                                                                    • Masters, Bruce. Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Arab World: The Roots of Sectarianism. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University press, 2001.

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                                                                                                                                      In this collection of articles and essays, political parties, military interventions, international relations, and cultural developments are given wide coverage, alongside studies on literature. According to Masters, Westerners were typically biased against Muslims and often distorted reality regarding the relationships between Christians, Muslims, and Jews under the Ottoman Empire. Therefore, historical interpretations (or misinterpretations) must be intensely scrutinized when discussing the position of Jews and Arabs under the Ottoman Empire.

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                                                                                                                                      • Sonyel, R. Salâhi. “The Role of the Christian Minorities in the Efforts by the Great Powers to Dismember the Ottoman Empire.” Belleten 49.195 (1985): 647–665.

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                                                                                                                                        Minorities and their reaction during the fall of the Empire.

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                                                                                                                                        • Tellan Bayraktar, Elif. “The Patriarch and the Sultan: The Struggle for Authority and the Quest for Order in the Eighteenth Century Ottoman Empire.” PhD diss., Bilkent University, 2011.

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                                                                                                                                          The Rum Orthodox Patriarchate of Istanbul underwent a series of changes that were the result of 18th-century economic and social developments in Ottoman society. This study investigates the changing fortunes of the patriarchate in the 18th century through a contextualization of these events in their Ottoman background. This dissertation has a very useful review of main sources and various approaches concerning the term millet.

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                                                                                                                                          Greeks

                                                                                                                                          Until the conquest of Constantinople, the majority of its population was Greek Orthodox Christian. They were called “Rum” by the Ottomans, who also included Millet-I Rum, Serbs, Bulgarians, Vlachs, Romanians, and other Christian minorities. The Greek element was in control of the millet through its stronghold over the ecumenical patriarchate. After 1453 the sultan gave recognition to the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, accepting him not only as the religious leader, but also as the national leader of the Greeks and various ethnic groups that belonged to the Greek Orthodox millet. It is important to note that after 1453, the sultan almost replaced the Byzantine emperor among the subservient Christian population. This recognition was made possible because the Ottomans did not legally differentiate between religion and nationality, and therefore the patriarchate was able to hold this key position, as all Orthodox Christians throughout the empire were viewed as one entity. Due to the importance of the patriarchate, several sources deal with it, including Papadopoullos 1990, İnalcık 1991, and Kofos 1986. Sources dealing with the Greeks under Ottoman rule include the classical works Vakalopoulos 1970 and Clogg 1976, and also Lavvas 2006 in Greek. In the 19th century, when nationalism revived in Europe and the Eastern Question arose, the three major European powers, Great Britain, France, and Russia, objected to the way the Ottoman Empire dealt with the minority Christian population and exerted pressure on it to grant equal rights to all citizens throughout the empire. Many sources deal with the Greek national movement as well as its relations with the Great Powers, such as Hassiotis 1999 and Roudometof 1998. On July 24, 1908, Greek hopes for equality in the Ottoman Empire brightened with the removal of Sultan Abdul-Hamid II (1876–1909) from power and the restoration of the country back to a constitutional monarchy. The Committee of Union and Progress had led a rebellion against their ruler. The pro-reform Young Turks deposed the sultan and replaced him with the ineffective Sultan Mehmed V (1908–1918). On the nationalism of the Greeks, see Gondicas and Issawi 1998 and Fortna, et al. 2012. Several sources deal with the Greek millet’s relations with other millets and the Ottoman attitudes toward them, such as Feroz 1982 and Georgelin 2008, while others examine the fiscal relations between the empire and the Greeks, such as İnalcık 1991.

                                                                                                                                          • Clogg, Richard, ed. The Movement for Greek Independence 1770–1821: A Collection of Documents. London: Macmillan, 1976.

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                                                                                                                                            A collection of essays on Greek society and history before independence. Several articles deal with the relations between Greeks and Ottomans/Ottoman rule.

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                                                                                                                                            • Feroz, Ahmad. “Unionist Relations with the Greek, Armenian and Jewish Communities of the Ottoman Empire, 1908–1914.” In Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Empire: The Functioning of a Plural Society. Vol. 1, The Central Lands. Edited by Benjamin Braude and Bernard Lewis, 401–434. New York: Homes & Meier, 1982.

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                                                                                                                                              The article describes the roles and activities of the three communities during the Young Turk revolution.

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                                                                                                                                              • Fortna, Benjamin C., Stefanos Katsikas, Dimitris Kamouzis, and Paraskevas Konortas. State-Nationalisms in the Ottoman Empire, Greece and Turkey: Orthodox and Muslims, 1830–1945. London and New York: Routledge, 2012.

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                                                                                                                                                This book takes a different approach by analyzing patterns and differences between Greece and Turkey that have largely gone unnoticed until now. This has been made possible by consulting new archival information, so instead of treating the two host states individually, comparisons are drawn between the policies of Greece and Turkey and the activities of various minorities in the political, religious, and social spheres.

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                                                                                                                                                • Georgelin, Hervé. “Perception of the Other’s Fate: What Greek Orthodox Refugees from the Ottoman Empire Reported about the Destruction of Ottoman Armenians.” Journal of Genocide Research 10.1 (2008): 59–76.

                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1080/14623520701850310Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                  A work of comparative research discussing the similarities and distinctions between the Armenian and Greek millets during the collapse of the empire.

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                                                                                                                                                  • Gondicas, Dimitri, and Charles Issawi, eds. Ottoman Greeks in the Age of Nationalism: Politics, Economy and Society in the Nineteenth Century. Princeton, NJ: Darwin Press, 1998.

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                                                                                                                                                    This collection of essays derives from the 1989 Princeton Conference on the Social and Economic History of the Greeks in the Ottoman Empire: The Greek Millet from the Tanzimat to the Young Turks. The authors explore several themes: the multifaceted achievements of Ottoman Greeks as they gained prominence in the political, economic, and social life of the Ottoman Empire during its last phase; the tenuous relationship of Ottoman Greeks with the newly established kingdom of Greece; and the development of a Hellenic national identity in the context of the national revolutions in the Balkans.

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                                                                                                                                                    • Hassiotis, I. K. “From the ‘Refledging’ to the ‘Illumination of the Nation’: Aspects of Political Ideology in the Greek Church under Ottoman Domination.” Balkan Studies 40 (1999): 41–55.

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                                                                                                                                                      Three major historical questions are briefly discussed in this study: (1) How much was the anti-Westernism of the Greek Orthodox Church conducive to the cultural isolationism of the Orthodox world (at least the Greek sector)?; (2) How much can the initiatives of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, as well as its individual functionaries, be described as ecumenical, or at least pan-Balkan, at a political level?; and (3) How far, geographically and ethnologically, did the Great Church influence the processes of ethno-genesis in the Orthodox communities under its jurisdiction.

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                                                                                                                                                      • İnalcık, Halil. “The Status of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch under the Ottomans.” Turcica 21–23 (1991): 407–435.

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                                                                                                                                                        İnalcık claims that when the situation required it, the Ottomans went beyond the protection stipulated by Islamic law and practice. He emphasizes the Islamic principles with which the Ottoman administrators acted. He holds that recognition of the Orthodox Church as part of the Ottoman state was the most effective component of the Istimâlet policy, the policy of tolerance toward non-Muslims.

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                                                                                                                                                        • İnalcık, Halil. “Greeks in Ottoman Economy and Finances, 1453–1500.” In Essays in Ottoman History. Edited by Halil İnalcık, 231–249. Istanbul: Eren, 1998.

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                                                                                                                                                          A very important and innovative work of research that describes in detail the financial life of the Greek community.

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                                                                                                                                                          • Kofos, Evangelos. “Patriarch Joachim III (1878–1884) and the Irredentist Policy of the Greek State.” Journal of Modern Greek Studies 4 (1986): 107–120.

                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1353/mgs.2010.0011Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                            This source presents the correspondence between Joachim III and the Greek ambassador at Constantinople, Andreas Koundouriotis, based on Greek diplomatic and consular reports, and on correspondence of the Association for the Advancement of Greek Letters, all to be found in the Archives of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Through this source, various characteristic of the relations between the Greek community and the Ottoman authorities are revealed.

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                                                                                                                                                            • Lavvas Georgios P. Epitomi istoria tis architektonikis. Salonica, Greece: University Studio Press, 2006.

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                                                                                                                                                              This source is a classical book dealing with the history of Greece and the Greek people.

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                                                                                                                                                              • Papadopoullos, Theodoros. Studies and Documents Relating to the History of the Greek Church and People under Turkish Domination. 2d ed. Aldershot, UK: Variorum, 1990.

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                                                                                                                                                                This book covers the time period between 1453 and 1800, from the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans up to the early phases of Greek independence, relating to the history of the Orthodox Church. Three articles that were published after the book was first released have now been included in this revised edition. The original edition was published in 1952 by De Meester (Brussels).

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                                                                                                                                                                • Roudometof, Victor. “From Rum Millet to Greek Nation: Enlightenment, Secularization, and National Identity in Ottoman Balkan Society, 1453–1821.” Journal of Modern Greek Studies 16.1 (1998): 11–48.

                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1353/mgs.1998.0024Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                  To understand the Enlightenment’s impact on Ottoman Balkan society, we must consider the relationship between class position and ethnicity. After 1750, the influence of the Western Enlightenment led to secularization, liberalism, and an undermining of the religious worldview of the Eastern Church. With the French Revolution, this trend intensified. Greek-Orthodox intellectuals reconceptualized the Orthodox Rum millet. Still, their visions of a future state included all Balkan Orthodox Christians.

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                                                                                                                                                                  • Vakalopoulos, Apostolos E. Origins of the Greek Nation: The Byzantine Period, 1204–1461. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1970.

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                                                                                                                                                                    This classic work examines the process the Greeks have gone through from their Byzantine identity through to the new Hellenism to nationalism. The book discusses the elements of the continuity of Greek culture throughout the Eastern Empire’s history, including its ethnic composition and linguistic dominance, and its artistic, intellectual, and religious characteristics. The author analyzes the internal causes of the disintegration of the empire.

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                                                                                                                                                                    Armenians

                                                                                                                                                                    The position of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire remains a controversial issue. Barsoumian 1979 explores the economic contribution Armenia made to the Ottoman Empire, and Georgelin 2008 (cited under Greeks) analyzes the similarities and differences of the Armenian and Greek millets at the end of the Ottoman Empire. Hovannisian 1972 notes that Armenians enjoyed a measure of peace and stability under the millet system while the Ottoman Empire remained strong. However, much has been written about the causes of the Armenian genocide. For example, Avedian 2012 maintains that the Turkish republic not only failed to stop the wrong acts perpetrated by its predecessor, the Ottoman Empire, against the Armenians, but even continued in the course set out by the Young Turk government. In Gatrell 2013, an attempt is made by both Turkish and Armenian scholars to document what actually happened during the closing days of the Ottoman Empire. Gibson 2003 provides a disturbing insight into how government departments develop a mindset of legitimacy in the lead-up to genocide. Hovannisian 1975 documents events in April 1915, when many Armenian leaders from Constantinople were deported or murdered. Examining the period twenty years earlier, Özbek 2012 provides important supplementary information regarding the tax collection system that helped create the right conditions for state violence against Armenian communities. To give another perspective, Hofmann, et al. 1986 examines the idea that Armenian and Kurdish leaders tried to work together in order to create leverage with the Ottoman government.

                                                                                                                                                                    • Artinian, Vartan. The Armenian Constitutional System in the Ottoman Empire, 18391863: A Study of Its Historical Development. Istanbul: Isis, 1988.

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                                                                                                                                                                      This study examines the historical developments of the Ottoman Armenian community, the role the Armenian community played in Ottoman daily life in correlation with the authorities before 1839, and the role and importance of the missionary activities and the changes the community went through during and after the Tanzimat.

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                                                                                                                                                                      • Avedian, Vahagn. “State Identity, Continuity, and Responsibility: The Ottoman Empire, the Republic of Turkey and the Armenian Genocide.” European Journal of International Law 23.3 (2012): 797–820.

                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1093/ejil/chs056Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                        A controversial research on the Armenian millet before and during World War I, which gained academic responses (see, for example, Pulat Tacar and Maxime Gauin’s “State Identity, Continuity, and Responsibility: The Ottoman Empire, the Republic of Turkey and the Armenian Genocide: A Reply to Vahagn Avedian,” European Journal of International Law 23.3 [2012]: 821–835).

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                                                                                                                                                                        • Barsoumian, Hagop. “Economic Role of the Armenian Amira Class in the Ottoman Empire.” Armenian Review 31.3 (1979): 310–316.

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                                                                                                                                                                          An important essay describing Armenia’s economic contribution to the Ottoman Empire.

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                                                                                                                                                                          • Barsoumian, Hagop. “The Dual Role of the Armenian Amira Class within the Ottoman Government and the Armenian Millet (1750–1850).” In The Central Lands. Edited by Benjamin Braude and Bernard Lewis, 171–184. New York: Holmes & Meier, 1982.

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                                                                                                                                                                            This source deals with the amiras, a title given by the sultan to the strong laic Armenians, bankers or officials, who were financially connected to the Sublime Porte, and their relationships with the patriarchy and Ottoman rulers.

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                                                                                                                                                                            • Gatrell, Peter. “A Question of Genocide: Armenians and Turks at the End of the Ottoman Empire.” European Review of History 20.5 (2013): 903–906.

                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1080/13507486.2013.832878Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                              Turkish and Armenian scholars work together to reconstruct what happened between Armenians and Turks during the closing days of the Ottoman Empire.

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                                                                                                                                                                              • Gibson, Stacey. “The Role of Structure and Institutions in the Genocide of the Rwandan Tutsi and the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire.” Journal of Genocide Research 5.4 (2003): 503–522.

                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1080/1462352032000149477Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                Gibson’s study seeks to increase understanding of the events and circumstances that led up to a state leaning toward committing genocide, and the level of legitimacy certain government departments and institutions acquire during the progression toward such an event.

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                                                                                                                                                                                • Hofmann, Tessa, Gerayer Koutcharian, and Lam Dorothea. “The History of Armenian-Kurdish Relations in the Ottoman Empire.” Armenian Review 39.4 (1986): 1–45.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  Authors argue that Kurdish and Armenian leaders tried to establish conciliatory relations at times in order to provide a common front against the Ottoman government.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  • Hovannisian, Richard G. “The Armenian Question in the Ottoman Empire.” East European Quarterly 6.1 (1972): 1–26.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    Hovannisian notes that while the Ottoman Empire was strong and still expanding, Armenians benefitted from the millet system and enjoyed a measure of peace and stability.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    • Hovannisian, Richard G. “The Deportation and Massacres of the Armenian Population of the Ottoman Empire 1915–1922.” Armenian Review 28.2 (1975): 180–192.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      The deportation and murder of Armenians, starting with scores of Armenian leaders in Constantinople on the night of 23–24 April 1915 is documented.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      • Hülagü, M. Metin, Şakir Batmaz, Gülbadi Alan, and Süleyman Demirci, eds. Hoşgörü toplumunda Ermeniler: Osmanlı toplumunda birlikte yaşama sanati: Türk Ermeni ilişkileri örneği. 4 vols. Kayseri, Turkey: Erciyes University Press, 2007.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        This highly important source is a wide collection of various articles on the Armenian community in the Ottoman Empire. The community is examined from political, historical, economic, cultural, and religious perspectives.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        • Özbek, Nadir. “The Politics of Taxation and the ‘Armenian Question’ during the Late Ottoman Empire, 1876–1908.” Comparative Studies in Society & History 54.4 (2012): 770–797.

                                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1017/S0010417512000412Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                          This study fills a gap in the research regarding the massacres that occurred between 1894 and 1897 by focusing on the tax regime and the methods of collection that played a role in creating conditions for increased violence by the state in the Armenian communities.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          • Salt, Jeremy. Imperialism, Evangelism and the Ottoman Armenians, 1878–1896. London: Frank Cass, 1993.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            The book provides information on the Armenians under the Ottoman regime from the millet under Muslim rule through the Eastern Question and reforms to the struggle for independence. The book examines the Great Powers’ interests and diplomatic relations with regard to the Armenian issue.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            Jews

                                                                                                                                                                                            Two publications, Gerber 1978 and Gerber 1981, examine the economic life of Jews in the 16th century. To understand the position of Jewish converts in the Ottoman Empire, Baer 2008 provides insights into their legal, religious, and social standing, while Beckingham 1987 focuses directly on conversion. Ben-Naeh 2006 considers the impact of the millet, while Cohen 1984 highlights the parallels between Moslems and Jews and the affinity between them under the Ottoman Empire. Ginio and Podeh 2014 elaborates on themes developed by Cohen and discusses various political, social, cultural, and economic aspects of the Ottoman Middle East, including the relations of Ottoman Jews with surrounding societies. Hacker 1990 examines changes within the Jewish communities, involving free and forced transfer, a subject taken up earlier by Karpat 1989, which analyzes the impact of Jewish migration from one community to another within the Ottoman Empire. For a comprehensive overview of Jews living in the Islamic world, Lewis 1984 provides valuable insights regarding tolerance and intolerance.

                                                                                                                                                                                            • Baer, Marc David. Honored by the Glory of Islam: Conversion and Conquest in Ottoman Europe. Oxford: Oxford University, 2008.

                                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331752.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                              Discusses Jewish converts’ legal, religious, and social position in the Ottoman Empire.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              • Beckingham, C. F. “A Jewish Franciscan in the Ottoman Empire.” Asian Affairs 18.3 (1987): 257–268.

                                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1080/03068378708730277Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                Examines the conversion phenomenon within Jewish Ottoman society.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                • Ben-Naeh, Yaron. “Blond, Tall, with Honey-Colored Eyes: Jewish Ownership of Slaves in the Ottoman Empire.” Jewish History 20.3–4 (2006): 315–332.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1007/s10835-006-9018-zSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                  The millet and its impact on national, religious, and ethnic questions from a Western diplomatic viewpoint.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Cohen, Amnon. Jewish Life under Islam: Jerusalem in the Sixteenth Century. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1984.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.4159/harvard.9780674283589Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                    The affinity between the Islamic world and the Jews is examined, with an emphasis on the Ottoman world.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Gerber, Haim. “Enterprise and International Commerce in the Economic Activity of the Jews of the Ottoman Empire in the 16th–17th Centuries.” Zion 43.1–2 (1978): 38–67.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      Looks at the economic life of the Jews in the 16th century.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Gerber, Haim. “Jews and Money-Lending in the Ottoman Empire.” Jewish Quarterly Review 72.2 (1981): 100–118.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.2307/1454234Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Like Gerber 1978, this article examines the economic life of the Jews in the 16th century.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Ginio, Eyal, and Elie Podeh, eds. The Ottoman Middle East: Studies in Honor of Amnon Cohen. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2014.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          By using various textual and visual documents produced in the Ottoman Empire, this collection offers new insights into the matrix of life during the long period of Ottoman rule. The different parts of the volume explore the main topics studied by Amnon Cohen: Ottoman Palestine, Egypt, and the Fertile Crescent under Ottoman rule; Ottoman Jews and their relations with the surrounding societies; and various social aspects of Ottoman societies.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Hacker, Joseph R. “The Ottoman System of Sürgün and its Influence on Jewish Society in the Ottoman Empire.” Zion 55.1 (1990): 27–82.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hacker discusses the forced and free transfer of Jews within the Ottoman system and its effect on the different local Jewish communities.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Karpat, Kemal H. “Jewish Migration within the Ottoman Empire in the late 19th Century.” Cathedra 51 (1989): 78–92.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              This source discusses the impact of Jewish immigrants who migrated from one community to another within the Ottoman Empire, based on censuses and archival records. It also discusses the Jewish community in Palestine.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Lewis, Bernard. The Jews of Islam. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1984.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                A pioneering work discussing Islamic references to Judaism and Jews.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                Jewish History

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Bahar 2008 provides a history of Jews within the Ottoman Empire from the perspective of Jewish historians, while the historical sources themselves are examined by Birnbaum 1994. A detailed account of Jewish life is provided by Levy 1994 and Shaw 1991, while a much earlier work, Lewis 1952, used data from Ottoman archives to provide insights into Jewish history. Rodrigue 1992 focuses on the powers of adaption and resilience shown by Jewish communities in the Ottoman Empire at the turn of the 20th century.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Jewish Leadership

                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Jewish community’s leaders and their responses to events in the Ottoman Empire give a broader understanding of the millet system. Bornstein-Makovetsky 1974 examines the relationship between the Ottoman judicial system, millets, rabbis, and the Jewish religious court. A later work by this author, Bornstein-Makovetsky 1989, examines the medieval Ottoman Jewish community in the light of rabbinic writings. Still later, in Bornstein-Makovetsky 2002, he deals with the response of Jewish leaders to conversions. Epstein 1980 examines the period of the 15th and 16th centuries during which Jews were encouraged to come and settle in the Ottoman Empire in response to a letter sent by Rabbi Yitzhaq Zarfati of Erdine, in which he praised the favorable attitude of the Ottomans toward the Jews. Levy 1993 looks at the period from 1835 to 1865 and the nomination of the chief rabbi. For a comprehensive consideration of the Jewish judicial, economic, and social systems in the Ottoman Empire, see Shmuelevitz 1984, which is based on a special class of Rabbinic literature, the Rabbinic Responsa.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Bornstein-Makovetsky, Leah. The Structure of Law-Courts in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries in the Communities of the Ottoman Empire, as Portrayed in Rabbinical Literature. Jerusalem: Institute of Asian and African Studies, 1974.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Looks at the Ottoman judicial system and its subjugation of the millet system, as well as its approach toward rabbis and the Jewish Beth Din (religious court).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Bornstein-Makovetsky, Leah. “Structure, Organisation and Spiritual Life of the Sephardi Communities in the Ottoman Empire from the Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries.” In The Sephardi Heritage: Essays on the Historical and Cultural Contribution of the Jews of Spain and Portugal. Vol. 2, The Western Sephardim. Edited by R. D. Barnett and W. M. Schwab, 314–348. Grendon, UK: Gibraltar, 1989.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Bornstein-Makovetsky examines the religious life of the medieval Ottoman Jewish community, mostly based on Responsa and rabbinic writings.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Bornstein-Makovetsky, Leah. “Jewish Converts to Islam and Christianity in the Ottoman Empire in the Nineteenth Century.” In The Last Ottoman Century and Beyond: The Jews in Turkey and the Balkans 1808–1945. Edited by Minna Rozen, 83–127. Tel Aviv: Tel Aviv University Press, 2002.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The chapter deals with the phenomena of conversion and the Jewish community’s leaders’ responses to these conversions, based on rabbinic writings.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Epstein, Mark Alan. The Ottoman Jewish Communities and their Role in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries. Freiburg, Germany: Schwarz, 1980.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Examine Jewish leadership and its assimilation within the Empire.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Levy, Avigdor. “The Establishment and Development of the Institution of Haham Bashi in the Ottoman Empire (1835–1865).” Pe’amim 55 (1993): 38–56.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Discussion of the official nomination of the Chief Rabbi. In Hebrew.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Shmuelevitz, Aryeh. The Jews of the Ottoman Empire in the Late Fifteenth and the Sixteenth Centuries: Administrative, Economic, Legal and Social Relations as Reflected in the Responsa. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 1984.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A very comprehensive work discussing the Jewish judicial system, but also economic and social system, in the Ottoman Empire, as well as the latter’s approach toward the Jewish community, based on Responsa of Ottoman rabbis.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Jewish Communities

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A consideration of specific and distinct communities within the Jewish system sheds light on the role of millets in the Ottoman Empire. The Sabbatean movement is considered by Baer 2010. Ben-Naeh 1998, on the other hand, considers Jewish confraternities such as the Hevrot, which became prominent in the Sephardi communities. Doğan 2014 uses letters from American missionaries to provide information about the Ottoman Sabbateans, while Lehmann 2005 discusses European Jews and Francos within the Sephardic community. Olson 1979 provides interesting and fresh insights about Jews and Janissaries in the Ottoman Empire. To gain a deeper understanding of the communal, social, and intellectual life of medieval Jewry in Islamic countries, Frank 1995 contains fifteen articles that discuss the diversity and creativity of the medieval Islamic world and its interaction with Jewry and other religions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Baer, Marc David. The Dönme: Jewish Converts, Muslim Revolutionaries, and Secular Turks. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2010.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              An excellent volume dealing with the Sabbatean movement that emerged in the Ottoman Empire. The research refers to, perhaps, all previous findings regarding the movement, and by analyzing new material reaches new conclusions.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Ben-Naeh, Yaron. “Jewish Confraternities in the Ottoman Empire in the 17th and 18th Centuries.” Zion 63.3 (1998): 277–318.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ben-Naeh examines the influence of the Jewish confraternities such as the Hevrot, which, the author suggests, became widespread in the Sephardi communities in the Ottoman Empire and a common feature of Jewish urban communities.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Doğan, Mehmet Ali. “Evangelizing ‘the Jews’: Western Missionaries and Their Encounters with the Sabbatean/Dönme Community in the Ottoman Empire.” International Journal of Turcologia 9.18 (2014): 65–82.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This article considers American missionary activities among Ottoman Sabbateans as revealed through letters and reports from missionaries who worked in Salonica.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Frank, Daniel, ed. The Jews of Medieval Islam: Community, Society, and Identity: Proceedings of an International Conference Held by the Institute of Jewish Studies, University College London, 1992. Leiden, The Netherlands, and New York: Brill, 1995.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Fifteen articles examining the Jews as dhimmis under Ottoman and Muslim rule.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Lehmann, Matthias B. “A Livornese ‘Port Jew’ and the Sephardim of the Ottoman Empire.” Jewish Social Studies 11.2 (2005): 51–76.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Looks at the “European Jews” and Francos within the Jewish Sephardic community.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Olson, Robert W. “Jews in the Ottoman Empire in Light of New Documents.” Jewish Social Studies 41.1 (1979): 75–88.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Olson considers new material about the connection of Jews and Janissaries in the Ottoman Empire as revealed through dispatches (written between 1740 and 1742) from a British resident in Istanbul and the British foreign secretary.

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