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The Ottoman Architecture and The Effect of the Turkish and Persian Cultures on it - Essay Example

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With the government building and Central Square as its center, the town spread out along the coastline. To the west, where the small nucleus of a late Ottoman town had been laid out around the turn of the century, the grid of streets was more compact, but the roads were still rectilinear rather than winding and irregular…
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Download file to see previous pages (Meeker, 2002) There was a time when the residences of officials, the military posts, the primary and secondary schools and education centres, and the public health and social services agencies were all located here.
Turkish nation's cultural and historical links to its Ottoman past is not new, however the absence of a native Turkish (and Ottoman) historical school of thought opened the way for the easy penetration of Persian ideas and interpretations concerning even the most basic aspects of Ottoman and Turkish history, society and culture. As a result, wholesale acceptance of Persia and Iranian ideas began in the late Ottoman state and accelerated in the Republic. (Goffman, 2002)
Nevertheless, scholars long regarded the Ottoman civilization and its predecessor as derived solely from Islam either in Arabic or Persian garb, even though the Ottoman Islam always possessed distinctive regional and ethno-cultural characteristics. Islam was the Turks' most durable link to their Central Asian origins and to the Arab-Persian world, but the unique Turk-European characteristics of the form of Islam that developed in Rumeli and Anatolia were from the very start the real "national" feature of the Ottoman state. (Kerpat, 2002)
The Ottoman era along with the Seljuk period began forming an original and interrelated era of historical, cultural, artistic and political civilization. The Ottoman was embedded with all the features that a civilization upholds, all the distinct intellectual, philosophical, ethical, artistic and political characteristics, specific organisation modes and its own material culture (architecture, food, dress, etc.) with particular tastes, values and outlooks. No doubt the Ottomans did not acquire sufficient consciousness of their distinct civilizational characteristics, which are required to analyse and write about. Might be they were not aware of their valuable rituals and intellectuals or these characteristics were not important for them. Some writers have written down like this that they were so much indulged in their religious values that they ignored such characteristics. The truth behind this perception is skeptical but that does not mean that they lacked such characteristics of a civilization. Their main inspiration was to follow the art and architecture of Turkey and Persia, as they were used to it.
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The question to be debated is why the Ottomans did not seem to be aware of their own artistic, literary, and architectural achievements, many of which surpassed their Arabic, Persian and Byzantine models. According to the 'Orhun' inscriptions, the early Turks had shown some interest in their ethnic identity and "national" solidarity and in writings such as the Divan- Lgat-it-Trk of Mahmud Kasgari, which described the Turks as a distinct linguistic and cultural entity, so the standard answer is that the Ottomans immersed themselves so much in Islam as to forget their ethnic identity. (Goffman, 2002) But this explanation cannot be accepted at face value. Rather, the Ottoman government purposefully ignored the Turkish features of society and stated and emphasized their Islamic characteristics in the second half of the fifteenth century in order to consolidate the Balkan conquests and integrate the newly converted Bosnians, Albanians et al. into the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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