Ottoman Empire - Essay Example

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Even though Ottomans tried to extend their power to the entire Arab world, they were keen in preserving the values and beliefs of Islamic religion. They…
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Legacy of the Ottoman Empire The contributions of Ottoman Empire to the development of Arab world in general and Turkey particular cannot be neglected. Even though Ottomans tried to extend their power to the entire Arab world, they were keen in preserving the values and beliefs of Islamic religion. They never tried to dilute religious principles and beliefs for economic and political gains. The contributions or the legacies of Ottoman Empire in political, economic and cultural circles are still helping Arab world in many ways.
One of the major legacies left behind by the Ottoman Empire is their tolerance towards other religions (McCarthy, p.218). It should be noted that Ottoman Empire was made up from different ethnic groups such as Turks, Arabs, Greeks, Serbs, Bulgars, Armenians, Assyrians and Kurds. Moreover, different communities of Christian religion and Jews were existed in the Ottoman Empire. However, Ottomans never tried to inject Islamic beliefs and principles among people of other religions. In fact, Turkey under ottomans did succeed in isolating religion from politics (McCarthy, p.217). In other words, the tolerance shown towards other religions is definitely a legacy left behind by the Ottomans. For example, at present, Turkey is believed to be the most secular country in the Arab world. Moreover, no other Islamic country is currently successful in implementing democracy as Turkey does. As a result of that, Turkey is very close to acquire a permanent membership in EU which would further enhance their possibilities of economic progress.
According to McCarthy (p.217), the Ottoman Empire was successful in improving the transportation and communication infrastructure. They built roads, railroads, and telegraph lines as a measure to improve the economic activities inside their territories. At the same time, they made plenty of architectural wonders which are still reminding the aesthetic legacy left behind by them. Plenty of mosques and buildings that were constructed by the Ottomans are still available in Arab countries such as Turkey, Balkans, Hungary, Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria.
The institutional and structural reforms undertaken by Ottoman Empire are still relevant. The bureaucratic traditions and the structural reforms undertaken by the Ottoman did continue in the Arab world even after the Ottoman era. Centralized control was the major ideal of bureaucratic reforms under Ottomans (McCarthy, p.216). In other words, bureaucrats were accountable for the activities done by them, under the Ottoman Empire. It should be noted that corruption may increase in countries where bureaucracy is free from the centralized control. Ottomans were aware of this principle and they did everything possible to increase the accountability of bureaucrats.
According to McCarthy (p.219), the destruction of Ottoman Empire was a big loss to the Arab world. In his opinion, the elements of religious fundamentalism started to increase in the Arab world after the destruction of Ottoman Empire. Nobody can deny this argument made by McCarthy, considering some of the unfortunate incidents happened in the world in recent times.
To conclude, Ottoman Empire left behind many legacies related to politics, economics and culture. The contributions of Ottomans in the development of Arab world cannot be neglected under any circumstances.
Works Cited
McCarthy, Justin. “The Ottoman Peoples and the End of Empire”. Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic (February 2, 2001). Print Read More
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