Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic - Essay Example

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The researcher of this essay aims to analyze Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic.Turkey stretches its history way back to the ancient times and was at its height during the Middle Age as the mighty Ottoman Empire but has to evolve and adapt to the changing political realities…
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Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic
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Download file to see previous pages Prior to the transition to the Turkish Republic, the old Ottoman Empire embarked on a series of reforms to “save” the old Ottoman Empire through the efforts of Selim III, Mahmud II, Abdulaziz and Abdulhamit II that hoped to reverse its decline. These men were called the Men of Tanzimat or men of reform in their effort to reverse the decline of the old Ottoman Empire. The efforts to reform the old Ottoman Empire that hoped to reverse its decline included military reform during the time of Selim to improving the educational system and bureaucratic reform in the hope of restoring the glory of the empire. When these reform efforts still failed, the last Ottoman caliph Abdulhammit II resorted to an autocratic rule and adopted religious ideology in his hope to unify and reverse the decline of the old Ottoman Empire. But instead of reversing the decline, Abdulhammit II instead set the conditions for the inevitable fall of the old Ottoman Empire with his lavish lifestyle that dragged the empire into bankruptcy and was eventually deposed in 1909. The final nail on the coffin of the old empire’s demise was when the old Ottoman Empire sided with Germany in the First World War where the country was divided into pieces to become Turkey that it is today. This change to a Republic political life was not a conscious choice of the old Ottoman Empire as it always struggles to maintain the caliphate political system embarking on a series of reform from rehabilitating its military to improving its educational system and bureaucracy but it was already too late. Not even the adoption of a western concept of a Constitution saved the empire from disintegration. In sum, the old Ottoman Empire was forced by both by internal (bankruptcy, ineffective bureaucracy) and external (siding with Germany who lost in the First World War I) circumstances to change and adapt with the modern world.  The strong western ideology had also influenced the old empire to adapt to modernity and along with it, is the abandonment of caliphate political system and autocratic form of government to constitution based republic form of government.  Despite these changes in Turkey’s political life and structure, the old traces of the former Ottoman ideology can still be found in modern Turkey.  Among this Ottoman ideology that remained in Turkey and in the Middle East is the strong sense of Islamic nationalism which used to bind and unify Turkey before.  Its sense of the greatness of being a great empire did not diminish with present Turkey as it is considered as one of the progressive countries in the Middle East and in the world albeit it is only a fraction of its former might when the former Ottoman Empire was at its height.
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