The Ottoman Empire
By Ellie Barry-Cormier

Government AspectsMap
Map of the Ottoman Empire, gray/brown colored area is their territory.

EconomyThe Ottoman economy in the 1500s to the 1600s was destabilized by the presence of silver, and the black market created from it. Europeans would buy Ottoman goods for silver through the black market, since the Ottomans tried to trade within their own lands only. Since the black market trade didn’t generate taxes for the government, they lost money and had to start borrowing from traders that used the black market. Because the government relied on these black market traders, they couldn’t enforce laws on them until the Koprulu reforms. The Koprulu reforms managed to balance debt, and demolish the corruption within higher rankings. They managed to stop the falling economy so that the Ottomans could continue to survive another century of stability. (Tignor)
PoliticsThe political scene of the Ottoman Empire in the 1500s to the 1700s was a mix of highs and lows. During the early 1500s, Suliman the Magnificent was in power and lead the Ottomans through stable times. However, after his passing in 1566, his incapable son took the throne and hurt the empire more than helped it. The Ottoman Empire entered a period of political decline and corruption until the Koprulu Reforms, which stabilized the empire for about another century. The Koprulu Reforms weeded out corruption among the high-ranking government officials, and prevented the fall of the Ottoman Empire until the first World War. (Tignor)

Culture Aspects

Social SituationThe social aspects of Ottoman life were mostly religion based. The people, especially under Suliman's regin, were in a mostly peaceful time. Women were treated as object-like housewives whose main purpose was to bear children and clean the home. Men brought in money for the household and fought in wars to protect their home. Women also served within noble classes to enter the royal harem and not only produce heirs for the Sultan but also to persuade the Sultan himself to benefit the woman's family. Women also served as agreements between families, symbolizing connections and sometimes trade and power ties. The video summarizes Ottoman culture, economy, and religious structure.Education
In the Ottoman Empire, only men could become educated or selected as janisarries, boys who started off as a payment from their family, then given higher education and trained to become a member of imperial court. These janisarries received the best education available, then in return, worked loyally to the Sultan. Some janisarries rose to high positioning within the government and were able to change the society, like Mehmet Koprulu. He not only started the Koprulu reforms, but also put his son in such a position to continue to carry out the Koprulu reforms after his death.

This picture/diagram of an Ottoman Mosque shows the muslim hajj to Meeca and how sacred it was to them. (Artstor)

This Ottoman scroll shows the fierceness of the Ottoman Empire and their elaborate skill in drawing/sketching of the life around them. (Artstor)

This painting on an Ottoman scroll shows how much the people cared for the Quran as, even in misery, they still carried it with them. (Artstor)

This painting shows an Ottoman coffeehouse where many political and economical debates/conversations were held. It shows how well off the middle class of Ottoman society was because they were able to afford such luxuries. (Artstor)

This skillfully made Ottoman sword shows how the Ottomans were able to meld art with practical use for fighting in battles. (Artstor)

This vase shows the skill of Ottoman craftsmen, and how they were able to blend art and their language to create a beautiful piece of pottery. (Artstor)


Literary Text

The translation of the above is as following: Then, you are those [same ones who are] killing one another and evicting a party of your people from their homes, cooperating against them in sin and aggression. And if they come to you as captives, you ransom them, although their eviction was forbidden to you. So do you believe in part of the Scripture and disbelieve in part? Then what is the recompense for those who do that among you except disgrace in worldly life; and on the Day of Resurrection they will be sent back to the severest of punishment. And Allah is not unaware of what you do.
The Quran shows how the people of the Ottoman Empire would behave towards others because they believed that by doing so, they could go to paradise. This passage specifically teaches the Ottoman peoples that they need to be peaceful, especially towards one another so that they can go to paradise.

ReligionThe main religion of the Ottoman people was Islam, as is today. The people were dutiful to their religion in all manners of life, and were accepting of others and tolerant as the Quran instructed them to be. They built giant mosques like the Sulimanye Mosque in Istanbul. All of these were to show the wealth and power of the Ottoman Empire and how dedicated they were to Allah. Even though they were very dedicated to their religion, they were still tolerant and accepting of other peoples. However, the Ottomans raged several wars on Christianity because they believed Christian peoples had been misled.
ArchitectureThe pictures bellow of the Sulimanye Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey show not only the power of the Ottomans and Suliman himself, but also how far the Ottomans went for their religion, to the point of building such grand structures. The mosque, perched on a hill towering above the city, displays to travelers and residents of the city how powerful and amazing their government was and how much control they had. These pictures are from the Sulimanye Mosque Tour website, and further information can be found here:


What I Learned...

Through this project I learned how to better use technology like wikispaces to organize data and present it in an easier fashion. I didn't know before how widgets worked, however now if I were to asked to do something like this again, I'd be able to do so with ease. It was difficult to do certain things, like preventing widgets from being in the middle of text or putting in widgets of my choosing, but I think I've successfully figured out how to manage. I enjoyed diving deeper into Ottoman culture and doing deeper research on their society, and finding out details of the Koprulu reforms and the Islam religion. I struggled to find an appropriate text for the Ottomans, however I believe the Quran best suits the purpose of this assignment. For some reason the captions on some of the pictures were purple, which I tried to change unsuccessfully, however it still looks okay. Although I was unable to put it into Google books, I think the original Islam text looks better and is more presentable. Overall, this project taught me alot about the Ottomans and using wikispaces for projects.

Citations the Ottomans. Accessed November 12, 2011.
The Sulimanye Mosque Tour. accessed November 13, 2011.
Tignor, Robert Worlds Together Worlds Apart New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2011
Musli, Iznik Mosque Lamp. glazed ceramic, 1549. British Museum, London, United Kingdom.
Ahmed Tekelu, Yatagan, steel, walrus ivory, gold, silver, rubies, turquoise, and pearls, 1525. The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Unknown artist, Persian Paining in an Ottoman Page, 1560. Topkapi Palace Museum, Istanbul, Turkey.
Unknown artist, Painting of an Ottoman Coffeehouse, 1580. Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, Ireland.
Unknown artist, Turkmen-style Drawing in an Ottoman Page, 1510. Topkapi Palace Museum, Istanbul, Turkey.
Unknown artist, Leaf from Futuh al-Haramain (Description of the Two Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina), Ink, colors, and gold on paper, mid 16-th century. The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
"Ottoman empire part 2."