The Ottoman-Turks left an indelible mark in history. They formed a great number of states, one of which was Ottoman, which originated in 1299 in Asia Minor and disseminated its influence on three big continents – Asia, Africa and Europe in a short time. This state subsequently became one of the great empires of the world and existed for over 600 years, taking its rightful place in world history. Thus, we are going to discuss the reasons for the military successes of the Ottoman-Turks in creating a third (but non-Arab) Islamic empire, and types of relations that the Turks had towards their non-Turkish subject populations and minorities.
Discussing main reasons for military successes, first of all, it is necessary to emphasize that the Ottoman-Turks were very powerful, but in addition to its military abilities the Turks were given a special talent of organization. It is a well-known fact that by the end of the Ottoman Empire its special gift was buried in the bureaucracy which led to the fact that the empire became obsolete under the sign of a dying bureaucracy. But thinking about reasons of its military successes we see that its departments and agencies had met the requirements and needs of people at the beginning of its existence. At that time the Ottoman Empire was a model of good governance. Thus, this property was skillfully used by a number of prominent sultans, and it has reached the summit during the reign of the menacing and responsible Sultan Suleiman, who was known as the Magnificent, and laid the foundations of the empire, in its grandeur it is comparable only to Rome (McCarthy, 1997).
In this part of the paper it is also necessary to mention that the most distinguishing feature of Ottoman Turkish rule was a kind of Ottoman toleration towards different religious beliefs of their non-Turkish subject populations and minorities such as Arabs, Balkan and Middle-Eastern Christians, Armenian Christians, Jews, Kurds, and Persians. It is obvious that the Turks of the Ottoman Empire were Muslims, but they were not trying to force their religion on others. It even seems that their toleration was rather unique for those times, because Christian and Jews, for instance, had an opportunity to visit their own churches or synagogues, being a part of own religion and loving their own God. The tradition of such unbelievable Turkish toleration can be explained not only with religious beliefs, but it also includes in itself a component of practical thinking. According to Goffman, we can see that “the practicality of Ottoman toleration was also remarkable. The system of the millets was pragmatic and useful, as well as moral. Yet it was exceptional that any government of the time would so set aside its prejudices to benefit the country” (Goffman, 2002).
Thus, taking everything into consideration we can conclude that the government of the Ottoman Empire has many distinguishing features which made it popular all over the world. Thus, in conclusion we can say that the Ottoman-Turks not only wanted, but they were also able to use positive experience of others countries for their own prosperity. In addition, the Turks have adopted the experience of thousands of years of governance in the Byzantine Empire that was built on the exploration and personal successive ties of diplomacy, as well as an established organization of any kind of work for centuries.
Goffman, Daniel. The Ottoman Empire and Early Modern Europe. Cambridge University Press, 2002.
McCarthy, Justin. The Ottoman Turks: An Introductory History to 1923. Longman, 1997.