Saving the Ottoman Empire NOTE1: PLEASE READ ALL THE INSTRUCTIONS.. THE TWO ATTACHED PDFS CONTAIN VERY VITAL INFO.. NOTE2: ZERO PLAGIARISM PLEASE Saving the Ottoman Empire: Yusuf Akçura (1876-1935) and Three Forms of Nationalism Please read Yusuf Akçura

INSTRUCTION1 INSTRUCTION2
 

Saving the Ottoman Empire

NOTE1: PLEASE READ ALL THE INSTRUCTIONS.. THE TWO ATTACHED PDFS CONTAIN VERY VITAL INFO..NOTE2: ZERO PLAGIARISM PLEASE

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
Saving the Ottoman Empire NOTE1: PLEASE READ ALL THE INSTRUCTIONS.. THE TWO ATTACHED PDFS CONTAIN VERY VITAL INFO.. NOTE2: ZERO PLAGIARISM PLEASE Saving the Ottoman Empire: Yusuf Akçura (1876-1935) and Three Forms of Nationalism Please read Yusuf Akçura
Just from $13/Page
Order Essay

Saving the Ottoman Empire: Yusuf Akçura (1876-1935) and Three Forms of Nationalism

Please read Yusuf Akçura’s 1904 article, “Three Policies” , carefully. In your writing assignment, you will introduce Akçura and review his ideas in a historical context.

CONTENT:

Here is a sample outline for your paper

  • Opening Paragraph
  • Briefly introduce Yusuf Akçura and describe the historical developments that shaped his ideas.
  • How does he describe Ottomanism, Turkism, and Islamism in reference to regional and global developments? What are, according to Akçura, advantages and disadvantages of each ideology? Give specific examples.
  • Which form of nationalism (Ottomanism, Islamism, Turkism) does he prefer and why?
  • In your concluding paragraph, you will explain what you think about three forms of nationalism? Do you agree with Yusuf Akçura? Which form of nationalism, do you think, could have saved the Ottoman Empire?

FORMAT:

Your paper should be:

-in an essay format
minimum 3 pages 
-typed and double-spaced in 12-point Times New Roman font 
-printed one-sided

Please DO NOT use direct quotations from the texts or any other (published or online) sources.WRITE YOUR PAPER IN YOUR OWN WORDS.

You don’t have to cite any works in this paper. I know that you will rely on our textbook and the Document 7.

Tips on Writing Reflection Papers

A reflection paper is not a summary of the course readings or a stream
of conscious mind dump on paper.

1. As the diagram suggests, a reflection paper is your identification of the main
themes of the readings integrated with your classroom experience and how both
affect your thinking and practice.

2. A reflection paper is your chance to add your thoughts and analysis to what you
have read and experienced.

3. A reflection paper is meant to illustrate your understanding of the material and
how it affects your ideas and possible practice in future.

4. Begin by jotting down some of the reading material and class experiences that
stand out in your mind. Decide why they stand out to you.

5. It may be helpful to use the restorative questions to generate some of your
thoughts and feelings about the course experience.

6. Using the first person singular (“I”), relate the readings and classes to your
previous knowledge and experience.

7. Consider if and how what you have read and learned changes your thinking.

8. Review the readings and class notes to be sure you’ve included all the
relevant information you can and made all the connections you can.

9. Give your reflection paper structure with an opening paragraph, main body, and
conclusion.

10. It may be helpful to write the body of the paper first by using Steps 4-7, and then
decide what your opening paragraph should say. The opening paragraph may be
brief, but it should offer some overall statement of your perspective based on what
you’ve learned

Main themes Classroom

Experience

Integrate

Effects on:
Thinking

Practice

UcTarz-i Siyaset (THREE POLICIES),

  • Yusuf Akcura (1876-1935)
  • Editor’s Introduction

    Akcura’s Uc Tarz-i Siyaset (Three Policies) appeared during 1904 in the newspaper TURK (Nos.
    24-34) in Cairo, then under British rule. The work was re-printed in 1912 in Istanbul, as a
    pamphlet. In 1976, Uc Tarz-i Siyaset was re-issued with the late E. Z. Karal’s introduction, also
    containing two of the original responses to the work: by Ali Kemal and Ahmet Ferit (Tek). Due
    to the prevailing censorship in Istanbul, a number of periodicals opposing the rule of
    Abdulhamid I

    I

    were being printed in Cairo. One such paper of the era was AL-NAHDAH
    published by Ismail Bey Gaspirali (1854-1914), who was related to Akcura by marriage.

    The issues discussed in Three Policies have occupied the thoughts of a large number of
    individuals belonging to almost all persuasions, and the administrative strata of the majority of
    political entities of its time. The perspectives from which Akcura viewed those issues are also
    very wide, and the conclusions he reached essentially foretold what was to become. The
    concerns Akcura articulated are still valid for most of the region.

    About the Life of Yusuf Akcura

    David Thomas

    Akcura was born in 1876 in Simbirsk (Ulyanovsk) on the right bank of the middle Volga. His
    father died when he was two; five years later he and his mother emigrated to Istanbul where
    henceforth he was to live. He received his early education in the schools of the Ottoman Empire
    and in 1895 he entered the Harbiye Mektebi (War College) in Istanbul. Upon graduation he was
    assigned to the Erkan-i Harbiye (General Staff Course), one of the most prestigious posts for
    young and ambitious cadets and one of the essential steps up the ladder of the Ottoman military
    hierarchy. Before he completed his training, however, he was accused of belonging to a secret
    society opposed to Abdulhamid and was sent into exile at Fezan in the interior of Libya, from
    where, in 1899, he and Ahmet Ferit [Tek], his close friend since their days together in the War
    College, escaped and made their way to Paris.

    Akcura remained in Paris four years. It was a period which exerted a decisive influence on his
    thinking and which was to turn him completely away from a military career and reorient him for
    the remainder of his life toward intellectual and academic pursuits. He was given the opportunity
    to gain first-hand experience of European, specifically French culture, and to perfect his
    knowledge of French. At this time he became politically conscious and began to understand the
    motive forces and power of nationalism.

    In 1903 Akcura left Paris and returned to his ancestral home in the Russian domains where he
    composed what was to become his best known work, THREE TYPES OF POLICIES. In this
    essay which appeared in 1904 in the paper Turk published in Cairo, Ackura advanced a number

    of arguments which, when taken together, were in fact a proposal to the Turks of the Ottoman
    Empire, urging them to recognize their national aspirations, to forget about being Ottomans and
    to adopt a policy of Turkish nationalism as the focus of their collective loyalty and identity. For
    their time these ideas were revolutionary. Among the Ottoman Turks they were either universally
    ignored or rejected and it was only during the period of the Second Mesrutiyet (Constitutional
    Monarchy) (1908-1918) that these notions were taken seriously and elaborated by Akcura and
    others into an ideology of Turkish nationalism.

    In pursuit of this, Akcura founded the journal TURK YURDU which, from 1911 to 1917,
    became the foremost publication in the Turkish cultural world advancing the cause of
    nationalism “for all the Turks of the world.” In it, Akcura elaborated his own comprehensive
    doctrine of Turkism which was radically different from that advanced by Gokalp. His ideology
    of Turkish nationalism was distinguished by its definition of the Turkish nation in terms of
    ethnicity, its recognition that the Turks must develop a national economy to sustain national
    consciousness and its insistence on reform of all institutions of Turkish society in accordance
    with a program of total Westernization.

    In the Turkish Republic, Akcura assumed a position of intellectual leadership. He continued to
    influence the ideological evolution of the new Turkish political entity, the Turkish Republic,
    through his position as an influential university professor and popular teacher, and through his
    ideas on the writing of history as well as his historical studies. He died in Istanbul in 1935.

    About the Life of Yusuf Akcura
    David Thomas
    Akcura was born in 1876 in Simbirsk (Ulyanovsk) on the right bank of the middle Volga. His
    father died when he was two; five years later he and his mother emigrated to Istanbul where
    henceforth he was to live. He received his early education in the schools of the Ottoman Empire
    and in 1895 he entered the Harbiye Mektebi (War College) in Istanbul. Upon graduation he was
    assigned to the Erkan-i Harbiye (General Staff Course), one of the most prestigious posts for
    young and ambitious cadets and one of the essential steps up the ladder of the Ottoman military
    hierarchy. Before he completed his training, however, he was accused of belonging to a secret
    society opposed to Abdulhamid and was sent into exile at Fezan in the interior of Libya, from
    where, in 1899, he and Ahmet Ferit [Tek], his close friend since their days together in the War
    College, escaped and made their way to Paris.
    Akcura remained in Paris four years. It was a period which exerted a decisive influence on his
    thinking and which was to turn him completely away from a military career and reorient him for
    the remainder of his life toward intellectual and academic pursuits. He was given the opportunity
    to gain first-hand experience of European, specifically French culture, and to perfect his
    knowledge of French. At this time he became politically conscious and began to understand the
    motive forces and power of nationalism.

    In 1903 Akcura left Paris and returned to his ancestral home in the Russian domains where he
    composed what was to become his best known work, THREE TYPES OF POLICIES. In this
    essay which appeared in 1904 in the paper Turk published in Cairo, Akcura advanced a number
    of arguments which, when taken together, were in fact a proposal to the Turks of the Ottoman
    Empire, urging them to recognize their national aspirations, to forget about being Ottomans and
    to adopt a policy of Turkish nationalism as the focus of their collective loyalty and identity. For
    their time these ideas were revolutionary. Among the Ottoman Turks they were either universally
    ignored or rejected and it was only during the period of the Second Mesrutiyet (Constitutional
    Monarchy) (1908-1918) that these notions were taken seriously and elaborated by Akcura and
    others into an ideology of Turkish nationalism.

    In pursuit of this, Akcura founded the journal TURK YURDU which, from 1911 to 1917,
    became the foremost publication in the Turkish cultural world advancing the cause of
    nationalism “for all the Turks of the world.” In it, Akcura elaborated his own comprehensive
    doctrine of Turkism which was radically different from that advanced by Gokalp. His ideology
    of Turkish nationalism was distinguished by its definition of the Turkish nation in terms of
    ethnicity, its recognition that the Turks must develop a national economy to sustain national
    consciousness and its insistence on reform of all institutions of Turkish society in accordance
    with a program of total Westernization.
    In the Turkish Republic, Akcura assumed a position of intellectual leadership. He continued to
    influence the ideological evolution of the new Turkish political entity, the Turkish Republic,
    through his position as an influential university professor and popular teacher, and through his
    ideas on the writing of history as well as his historical studies. He died in Istanbul in 1935.

    THREE POLICIES

    Yusuf Akcura
    (Translated by David S. Thomas)

    It seems to me that since the rise of the desires for progress and rehabilitation spread from the
    West, three principal political doctrines have been conceived and followed in the Ottoman
    dominions. The first is the one which seeks to create an Ottoman Nation through assimilating
    and unifying the various nations subject to Ottoman rule. The second seeks to unify politically all
    Muslims living under the governance of the Ottoman State because of the fact that the
    prerogative of the Caliphate has been a part of the power of the Ottoman State (this is what the
    Europeans call Pan-Islamism). The third seeks to organize a policy of Turkish nationalism (Turk
    Milliyet-i siyasiyesi) based on ethnicity.

    The first of these principles had an important influence on the general political policy of the
    Ottoman Empire, whereas the last appeared only recently in the writings of certain authors.

    I

    The desire to bring into being an Ottoman nation did not aim at a lofty objective nor high hopes.
    Rather the real purpose was to grant and impose the same rights and political duties on the
    Muslim and non-Muslim peoples of the Ottoman dominions, and thus to realize perfect equality
    between them and to grant complete freedom of thought and worship. The aim was thus to create
    an Ottoman Nation (Osmanli Milleti) a new nationality united in a common country similar to
    the American nation in the United States of America by blending and assimilating to each other
    the above mentioned peoples in spite of the religious and racial differences [existing] among
    them. The ultimate result of all these difficult processes was to be the preservation of the “High

    Ottoman State” in her original external form, that is within her old boundaries. Although the
    continuance and strengthening of the power of a state whose majority was Muslim and Turkish
    in its major part was beneficial to all Muslims and Turks, this political principle would not
    directly serve them. For this reason the Muslims and Turks living outside the Ottoman lands
    could not be so interested in this policy. The point is that it would only be a local and internal
    matter.

    The policy of creation of an Ottoman nation arose seriously during the reign of Mahmut the
    Second.(1) It is well known that this ruler said: “I wish to see the religious differences among my
    subjects only when they enter their mosques, synagogues, and churches…” Around the beginning
    and the middle of the nineteenth century it was natural that this policy was thought preferable
    and practicable for the Ottoman dominions. At that time in Europe the idea of nationalism,
    through the influence of the French Revolution, accepted as the basis of nationality the French
    model based on the principle of conscience rather than that of descent and ethnicity. Sultan
    Mahmud and his successors, self-deceived by this principle which they could not thoroughly
    comprehend, believed in the possibility of blending, and molding the subjects of the state who
    were of different ethnicities and faiths into a united nation, by means of freedom, equality,
    security and fraternity. Some examples which could be observed in the history of the integration
    of nationalities in Europe also strengthened their conviction. In fact did not the French
    nationality originate from a compound of German, Celtic, Latin, Greek, and other elements?
    Were there not many Slavic elements digested in the German nationality? Is not Switzerland a
    nation despite differences of ethnicity and religion? It is not improbable that these Ottoman
    statesmen, through an inadequate understanding of the nature of the policies pursued by the
    Germans and the Italians, who were striving for their political unity at that time, presented these
    movements as evidence to support the correctness of their policy.

    The idea of an Ottoman national unity was observed especially during the time of Ali and Fuat
    Pasha. Napoleon the Third, the apostle of creating nations according to the French principle of
    the plebiscite, was the most powerful supporter of these Westernized pashas. The French
    inspired reforms during the time of Sultan Abdulaziz and the lycee at Galatasaray which this
    reform symbolized were all results of the time when this system was fashionable.

    But when Napoleon and the French Empire fell in 1870-1871 which symbolized the victory of
    the German interpretation of nationality, that of assuming ethnicity as the basis of nationality,
    which, I believe, is closer to reality, the policy of Ottoman unity lost its only powerful supporter.
    It is true that Mithat Pasha was to a degree a follower of the two famous ministers mentioned
    above but his political program which was more complex in relation to theirs disappeared very

    quickly. As for the program of present-day Young Ottomans, who pretend to follow the work of
    Mithat, is very vague. I believe therefore it would not be a mistake if one assumes that the
    illusion of organizing an Ottoman nation passed away with the French Empire and, like it, can
    never be revived again.

    When the policy of creating an Ottoman nation failed, the policy of Islamism appeared.(2) This
    idea which the Europeans term Pan-Islamism was recently developed out of Young Ottomanism,
    namely by a group who partially adopted a policy of forming an Ottoman nation. The point to
    which many Young Ottoman poets and politicians ultimately arrived, having begun first of all
    with the slogans “Homeland” and “Ottomanizm” –that is Ottomanizm composed of all the
    peoples living in the homelands– was “Islamism.” The most influential cause of this
    metamorphosis was their experience of Europe and their closer observation of Western ideas.
    When they were in the East they stuffed their heads with the ideas of eighteenth century political
    philosophy –one of them was a translator of Rousseau– but they were unable completely to
    comprehend the importance of ethnicity and religion and especially they were unable to
    understand completely that the time had passed for creating a new nationality; that the interests,
    if not desires, of the various elements under the rule of the Ottoman state were not in accordance
    with such a unity and blending and hence that the application of the French conception of
    nationality was impossible in the East. When they were in foreign countries, however, they saw
    their own country with greater clarity from afar, and they were successful in understanding the
    gradually increasing political importance of religion and ethnicity for the East. As a result they
    realized that the desire to create an Ottoman nation was an illusion.

    Thereupon they became convinced of the necessity to unify completely all Muslim peoples using
    all possible means, starting first with those living in the Ottoman dominions and then with those
    living in the remainder of the world, without regard to differences of ethnicity, but taking
    advantage of their common faith. In accordance with the rule that “religion and nation are one”
    which every Muslim learns from his earliest years, they believed that it was possible to put all
    Muslims in the form of a unified nation in the sense given to a nation in recent times. In one
    respect this would lead to dissolution and separation among the peoples of the Ottoman
    dominions. Muslim and non-Muslim Ottoman subjects would now be divided. On the other
    hand, however, this would be the means of uniting all Muslims in an even greater unification and
    assimilation. This policy, in comparison to the previous policy, was more extensive, or in current
    terminology, it was world-wide (mondiale). This idea which in the beginning was purely
    theoretical, appearing only in the press, gradually began as well to have practical application.
    During the last years of Sultan Abd l-aziz’s reign the word Pan- Islamism was frequently heard in
    diplomatic conversations. The establishment of diplomatic relations with certain Muslim rulers
    of Asia were undertaken. After the fall of Mithat Pasha, that is after the complete renunciation of
    the idea officially of creating an Ottoman nation, Sultan Abdulhamid the Second strove to follow
    this policy. This ruler, in spite of the fact that he was the irreconcilable adversary of the Young
    Ottomans, was, to a degree, their political disciple. The Young Ottomans, once realizing that the
    non-Muslim subjects did not want to stay within the Ottoman Commonwealth, even if they were
    granted complete equality in rights and freedom, had begun to express their enmity toward these
    non-Muslim subjects and towards their Christian protectors. The present-day policy of the
    Padisah exhibits a striking resemblance to Young Ottoman ideas after this change in their
    outlook. (3)

    The present-day ruler tried to substitute the religious title of Caliph for the terms Sultan and
    Padisah. In his general policies, religion, i.e. the religion of Islam, held an important place. In the
    curricula of the secular schools the time allotted to religious instruction was increased; the basis
    of education was religious. Religiosity and pietism –even if it were external and hypocritical–
    became the most important means for attracting the protection of the Caliphal favor. The
    imperial residence of Yildiz was filled with hojas, imams, seyyids, sheikhs, and sherifs. It
    became a custom to appoint men with turbans to certain civil posts. Preachers were sent among
    the people to inspire firmness in religion, strong loyalty to the office of the Caliphate –to the
    person who occupied that office rather than the office itself– and hatred against the non- Muslim
    peoples. Everywhere tekkes, zaviyehs, and jamis were built and repaired. Hajis won great
    importance. During the pilgrimage season, pilgrims passing through the city of the Caliphate
    were honored by the blessing and favor of the Ruler of the Muslims. Their religious allegiance
    and loyalty of heart to the office of the Caliphate was sought. In recent years envoys have been
    sent to the countries of Africa and China thickly populated by Muslims. One of the best means of
    carrying out this policy has been the building of the Hamidiye-Hijaz Railway. Yet with this
    political policy the Ottoman Empire resumed the form of a theocratic state that it had tried to
    abandon in the period of the Tanzimat. It now became necessary [for the state] to renounce all
    freedom, the freedom of conscience, thought and political freedom, as well as religious, ethnic,
    political and cultural equality. Consequently, it was necessary to say farewell to an European-
    type constitutional government; to accept an increase of the already existing enmities and
    antipathies arising out of the diversity of ethnicities, religions and social positions, which
    ultimately led to an increase of revolts and rebellions, as well as to an upsurge in Europe of
    enmity against the Turk. In fact that is just what occurred.(4)

    The idea to bring about a policy of Turkish nationalism based on ethnicity is very recent. I do not
    think this idea existed in either the Ottoman Empire up to now nor in other former Turkish states.
    Although L on Cahun, the partisan historian of Chinggis and Mongols, has written that this great
    Turkish Khan conquered Asia from end-to-end with the ultimate intention to unite all the Turks.
    I am unable to say anything concerning the historical authenticity of this assertion. Furthermore,
    I have not encountered any trace concerning the existence of an idea to unite the Turks during
    the Tanzimat and in the Young Ottoman movements. Probably the late Vefik Pasha, when he
    showed interest in a pure Turkish language by writing his Dictionary, was fascinated for a while
    with this utopian idea. It is true, nevertheless, that recently in Istanbul a circle, scientific rather
    than political, has been founded to pursue the idea of Turkish nationalism. It seems to me that an
    increase in the relations between the Ottomans and the Germans, and the growing acquaintance
    among Turkish youth of the German language and especially the historical and philological
    studies done by the Germans, have been very influential in the formation of this circle. In this
    new group, rather than the light, frivolous, and political style characterized by the French
    tradition, there exists a soundly-based science which has been obtained quietly, patiently, and in
    a detailed fashion. The most prominent members of this group are Semseddin Sami, Mehmet
    Emin, Necip Asim, Velet Celebi, and Hasan Tahsin; while Ikdam, up to a point, seems to be their
    organ. The movement is developing rather slowly because the present-day government
    apparently does not look with favor on this mode of thinking.(5)

    I do not know whether followers of this idea exist in places other than Istanbul in the Ottoman
    Empire. Yet Turkism, just like Islamism, is a general policy. It is not limited to the borders of the

    Ottoman Empire. Consequently it is necessary to look at the other parts of the world inhabited by
    the Turks. In Russia, where most of the Turks live, I know of the existence in a very vague form
    of the idea of the unity of the Turks. The nascent Idil literature is more Turkish than Muslim in
    character. If external pressure had not existed, the regions of Turkistan, Yayik and Idil, wherein
    the great majority of the Turks are found, could have provided a more favorable environment
    than the Ottoman dominions for the flourishing of this idea. This idea may also exist among the
    Caucasian Turks. Although the Caucasian Turks have had an intellectual influence on the
    Azerbaijan Turks, I do not know to what degree the Turks of Northern Iran have embraced the
    idea of Turkish unity. In any case the formulation of a policy of nationalism based on ethnicity is
    still in its infancy and not widespread.

    II

    Now let us investigate which one of these three policies is useful and practicable.

    We said useful, but useful to whom and to what purpose? To this question only our natural
    instincts, in other words our sentiments which reason is still unable to analyze and justify, can
    give an answer. “I am an Ottoman, a Muslim, and a Turk. Therefore I wish to serve the interests
    of the Ottoman state, Islam, and all Turks.” But are the interests of these three societies, which
    are political, religious, and ethnic, common? That is to say does the strengthening of one imply
    the strengthening of the others?

    The interests of the Ottoman state are not contrary to the interests of Muslims and Turks in
    general, inasmuch as both Muslim and Turkish subjects would become powerful by its gaining
    power, and at the same time other Muslims and Turks [outside] will also have support.

    But the interests of Islam do not completely coincide with Ottoman and Turkish interests,
    because the strengthening of Islam would lead in the end to the separation of some non-Muslim
    peoples from the state. The rise of the conflicts between the Muslims and the non-Muslims
    would lead to a partition of the present-day Ottoman commonwealth and its weakening.(6)

    As for the interests of the Turks, they also do not completely coincide with the interests of the
    Ottoman state or with Islam, since the division of Islamic society into Turkish and non-Turkish
    parts, will weaken it, with the result that this would release discord among the Ottoman Muslim
    subjects and lead to a weakening of the Ottoman Empire.

    Therefore a person belonging to each of the three societies must work for the interests of the
    Ottoman state. Yet in which one of these three policies, which we are discussing, lies the interest
    of the Ottoman state itself? And which one of these is practicable in the Ottoman
    Commonwealth? III The creation of an Ottoman Nation is the sole means for preserving the
    Ottoman Empire within its present-day borders. Yet, does the real strength of the Ottoman state
    lie in its preservation within its present-day geographical form?

    In the case of an Ottoman nation, it is believed that a composite nation will come into existence
    from among the various religions and ethnic groups based upon liberty and legal equality. They
    [the people] will be united only by the ideas of homeland (The Ottoman Dominions) and nation

    (The Ottoman Nation). The conflicts and animosities arising from religious and ethnic
    differences will cease, and in this fashion the Greeks and Armenians, like the Arabs will be fused
    into a unity. The Ottoman Turks who are the basic foundation of the Ottoman state will be
    content with the spiritual benefits of attributing the name of Osman Bey, their first leader, to
    their homeland and nation and especially by seeing the empire which came into existence
    through the efforts of their ancestors not partitioned any further. Perhaps they may even be
    forced to drop this name altogether because in this free state, in which the former conquered
    peoples constitute a majority, the name “Ottoman,” which to them is a symbol of their former
    subjugation, may be abolished by their will!

    The Ottoman Turks may continue their actual predominance for a limited duration of time thanks
    to their sovereignty exercised through past centuries, yet it must be remembered that the duration
    of the force of inertia in the social realm is no more than the one observed in the realm of nature.

    As for the generality of Muslims who live in the Ottoman nation, since they will constitute the
    majority, the complete power of rulership in the administration of the state will pass into their
    hands. Consequently, if it is recognized that spiritually and materially the Islamic element will
    derive the greatest benefit from this composite society, then we also must admit that in this
    Ottoman nation religious conflicts remain, a real equality does not exist and the various elements
    have not truly been merged into one.

    To say that in the creation of the Ottoman Nation the Turkish and Muslim population and their
    power will not be increased is not to say that the power of the Ottoman state will be decreased.
    Nevertheless our basic question is the power of the state. Power will certainly be increased. The
    people of a state organized in a rational, closely-knit fashion, in short, as a block, rather than
    being in the state of continuous disputes and conflict (anarchy), will certainly be more powerful.
    But the basic problem is whether or not the elements belonging to different ethnicities and
    religions which up to now have never ceased being in conflict and contention with one another
    can now be united and assimilated? We have seen above that experiments of this nature in the
    past have ended in failures: in order to understand henceforth whether or not success is possible,
    let us survey the causes of this failure.

    1. Muslims, and especially Ottoman Turks, did not themselves wish this combination and
    assimilation. Such a policy would have put an end legally to their six hundred year-old
    sovereignty, and they would descend to the level of equality with reayas whom they had become
    accustomed over many years to regard as subjugated peoples. As the most immediate and
    material result of it they would be forced to let the reayas enter the government and army
    positions that they had customarily monopolized up to that time. In other words, by leaving an
    occupation looked on as honorable by the aristocratic peoples, they themselves would be forced
    to enter into trade and industry which they looked down upon and with which they were little
    acquainted.

    2. Likewise, the Muslims did not wish this inasmuch as this powerful religion which looked after
    the real interests of its followers from a very material and human point of view, did not accept
    complete legal equality of Muslim and non-Muslim: the Zimmis were to remain always on a
    secondary level. As for liberty, although it is true from every aspect that Islam, among all the

    religions, has been the most liberal, nevertheless as a religion, having its origin in the
    supernatural, it regards every custom not entirely of its own principles and customs, derived [as
    they are] from absolute truths, as contrary to the true path. It would not accept, therefore, merely
    for the goal of human happiness, complete freedom of thought and conscience.

    3. The non-Muslims, too, did not want it, because all of them had their own past, their own
    independence and their own governments in that past which was now being glorified because of
    the revival of national consciousness. Muslims and especially the Turks had ended their
    independence and had destroyed their governments. And, under the Ottoman rule, they believed,
    they had experienced injustice and not justice, contempt and not equality, misery and not
    happiness. The Nineteenth century had taught them their past, their rights and their nationality on
    the one hand, and had weakened the Ottomans, their masters on the other. And some of the
    fellow subjugated peoples had already won their independence. Now their weakened masters are
    extending their hand of brotherhood unwillingly and hesitantly. They wanted them to share
    sovereignty; they wanted to equalize the privileges. These invigorated subjects, whose wisdom
    was now brighter than their masters’ and who understood that some of the hands extending
    towards them were really sincere, did not fail to recognize the role played on the formation of
    this new policy by the pressure of Western powers, who, for their own interests, sought the
    maintenance of the integrity of the Ottoman Empire. The interests of some of them were
    probably with the idea of the Ottoman nation, yet they were also prone to exalted emotions rather
    than cool calculations. Thus, literally none of them wanted to form a new national unity by
    letting themselves merge with those whom they looked upon as their enemies.

    4. The greatest enemy of the Ottomans, Russia, as well as its satellites, the Balkan states, also did
    not want it. Russia wanted to get possession of the Straits [Bosphorus and Dardanelles],
    Anatolia, and Iraq, Istanbul and the whole of Balkans, the Holy Lands, and thus to realize its
    political, economic, national and religious aims. By occupying the Straights, Russia would obtain
    a large and protected port for its naval fleet, freely roam the important trade routes of the
    Mediterranean. From that position, Russia could, at any time, ambush the British Naval and
    commercial fleets, the caravans of our time, thereby at will could sever the British lines of
    communication with her wealthiest colony. In short, Russia could flank India, which it has
    coveted for a long time, again, this time from the West. By occupying Anatolia, Russia would be
    in a position totally to control the most fertile and productive continent on earth. By expanding
    into Iraq, Russia would complete its conquest of Asia, thus tilting the age old competition with
    Britain for the control of the Islamic holy-lands and populations in its own favor. As a result, by
    gaining the Straits and a substantial portion of Ottoman Asia, Russia would reap important
    political and economic benefits.

    By annexing the Balkans to its already wide lands, [Russians would] unify the South Slavs, and
    by planting the Cross on St. Sophia, gain control of the lands from which the Russian Orthodox
    religion originated. This would allow the extremely devout Russians, to claim with all their
    hearts, their highest religious and emotional objectives.

    The realization of these aims depended upon a weak, troubled and divided Ottoman state.
    Therefore, Russia could never tolerate the rise of an Ottoman nationality.

    Then, those Serbian and Greek states, which had recently gained political life, would want to
    increase [sic] their populations “that have been left under the yoke of the Turks.” This could only
    be attained by segregating the Ottoman communities. They would have strived towards that
    [objective]. 5. The idea was not well received in some sections of European public opinion.
    Some of those who manipulated European public opinion were still under the influence of the
    age-old religious quarrel between Christianity and Islam. They were still following the tradition
    of the Crusades. They wanted to rescue the Christians from the Muslim yoke, to clear the infidels
    out of Europe and the lands of the Christians. Some of them, giving a more humane and
    scientific color to their claims, wanted not only to rescue the “European nations capable of
    progress” from the yoke of the half-barbarian Turanians who knew nothing but waging warfare,
    but also to push these Asiatics back to the deserts of the continent from which they originated.
    Frequently these two theses became mixed and confused with each other so that it was not clear
    which one was derived from the other.

    We see, therefore, that in spite of the desires of all peoples living in the Ottoman lands and in
    spite of all external obstacles, only a few persons who were at the top of the Ottoman
    government wanted to create an Ottoman nationality simply by relying upon the support of
    certain European governments (especially of the France of Napoleon III)! It was an impossible
    task. Even if these men at the top were great geniuses, it would not in the least have been
    possible to overcome so many obstacles. In fact, their efforts ended in failure.

    Those obstacles have not decreased since then. On the contrary they have become more
    numerous. Abdulhamid’s policy increased the enmity and the gulf between the Muslims and the
    non-Muslims. Additional numbers of non-Muslim peoples were getting their independence and
    this doubled the enthusiasm of the others. Russia increased its power and became more
    aggressive. European public opinion turned more bitterly against the Turks. France, the most
    powerful supporter of the idea of Ottoman nationality, lost its greatness and became a follower of
    Russia. In short, both inside and outside, the conditions became more and more unfavorable to
    the scheme. It seems, therefore, that from now on to follow the policy of Ottomanism is nothing
    more than a waste of time.

    Now let us see if the policy of Pan-Islam is beneficial and practicable for the Ottoman state.

    As has been alluded above, the application of this policy would increase the already existing
    rivalries and animosities among the peoples of the Empire and thus would mean the weakening
    of the state. Moreover, the Turks would find themselves separated into Muslims and non-
    Muslims and thus the common affinity based on ethnicity would be destroyed by religious
    conflicts.

    Against such disadvantages, however, this policy had the advantage of unifying all Muslims, and
    consequently the Turks, would create an Islamic Commonwealth more solid and compact than
    the unity of the Ottoman nation. More important than this, it would prepare the ground for the
    rise of a larger unity, based on religion, which would be able to survive alongside the great
    powers arising out of Anglo-Saxon, Germanic, Slavic, Latin and perhaps Sino blocs.

    The realization of this ultimate aim would undoubtedly take a long time. In the beginning it
    would suffice to strengthen the already existing spiritual relations and to set down the outlines of
    future organization. But gradually the outlines will begin to take a more clear and definite form,
    and then it would be possible to create a stable spiritual unity extending over the greater part of
    Asia and half of Africa which would serve to challenge the above mentioned great and
    formidable blocks. But is it possible to pursue this policy in the Ottoman lands successfully?

    Islam is one of the religions which puts much importance on political and social affairs. One of
    its tenets may be formulated by the saying that “religion and nation are the same.” Islam
    abolishes ethnic and national loyalties of those who embrace it. It also tends to do away with
    their language, their past and their traditions. Islam is a powerful melting pot in which peoples of
    various ethnicities and beliefs, produces Muslims who believe they are a body with the same
    equal rights. At the rise of Islam there was within it a strong orderly political organization. Its
    constitution was the Koran. Its official language was Arabic. It had an elected head and a holy
    seat. However, the changes observable in other religions can be seen in Islam, too. As the result
    of the influences of ethnicity and various events the political unity achieved by religion became
    partly disrupted. A century had not even passed since the hijra before the national conflicts
    between the Arabs and the Persians (taking the form of the struggles between the Umayyads and
    Hashemites dynasties) had opened an unbridgeable rift in the unity of Islam. It created the great
    schism between the Sunni and Shii Muslims. Later on various other elements like the Turks and
    Berbers appeared in addition to the Arabs and the Persians. In spite of the great levelling,
    assimilating and unifying power of Islam, the unity of the official and religious language, too,
    disappeared. Persians claimed equality with Arabic. A time came when the power of Islam began
    to sink to its lowest ebb. Part of the Muslim lands and then gradually a great part of them (more
    than three fourths) passed under the domination of the Christian states. The unity of Islam
    became more disrupted. And, in recent times, under the impact of Western ideas ethnic and
    national feelings which previously had been subsumed by Islam began to show their force.

    In spite of all these forces which have weakened the power of Islam, religious beliefs are still
    very influential. We can safely say that among the Muslims skepticism toward their faith and the
    doctrine of atheism are not yet wide spread. All followers of Islam still seem to be faithful,
    enthusiastic, obedient believers, who can face every sacrifice for the sake of their religion.
    Although the new legislations of some Muslim states have diverged from the sheria of Islam,
    these states still pretend to maintain the Islamic law as the basis of legislation. Arabic is still the
    only religious language of science and literature among the Muslims of certain lands. Many
    Muslim madrasa, with a few exceptions, still teach in Arabic and follow the same scholastic
    programs. Still many Muslims are saying “Thank God, I am a Muslim,” before saying “I am a
    Turk or an Iranian.” Still the majority of the Muslims of the world recognize the Emperor of the
    Ottoman Turks as their Caliph. Still all Muslims turn their faces to Mecca five times a day and
    rush from all corners of the world, enthusiastically facing all kinds of difficulties, to the kabah of
    Allah to kiss the Black Stone. Without hesitating, we can repeat, therefore, that Islam still is very
    powerful. Thus, it seems that the internal obstacles against the policy of Pan-Islam may more or
    less easily be overcome. The external obstacles, on the other hand, are very powerful. On the one
    hand, all of the Islamic states, with one or two exceptions, are under the influence of the
    Christian states. On the other hand, all of the Christian states, with one or two exceptions, have
    among their subjects, Muslims.

    These states believe that the allegiance of their Muslim subjects, even if this allegiance is only in
    a spiritual sense, to a foreign political power is contrary to their interests and is something which
    might prove dangerous in the future. Therefore, these states would naturally use every means
    within their power to prevent the realization of a Pan-Islamic unity. And, through their influence
    and might over the Muslim states, they are in a position to prevent it. Therefore, they can follow
    and eventually succeed in the materialization of a policy contrary to the Pan-Islamic program of
    the Ottoman government which is the strongest Islamic power today.

    Now, let us survey the benefits of the policy of Pan- Turkism (tevhid-i Etrak). By such a policy
    all Turks living in the Ottoman Empire would be perfectly united by both ethnic and religious
    bonds and the other non-Turkish Muslim groups who have been already Turkified to a certain
    extent would be further assimilated. Those who have never been assimilated but at the same time
    have no national feelings would be entirely assimilated under such a program.

    But the main service of such a policy would be to unify all the Turks who, being spread over a
    great portion of Asia and over the Eastern parts of Europe, belong to the same language groups,
    the same ethnicity and mostly the same religion. Thus there would be created a greater national
    political unity among the other great nations. In this greater national unity the Ottoman state as
    the most powerful, the most progressive and civilized of all Turkish societies, would naturally
    play an important role. There would be a Turkish world in between the world of the Caucasian
    and the East Asian ethnicities. Recent events suggest that such a division of the world into two
    great blocs is imminent. In between these two blocks the Ottoman state could play a role similar
    to that which is played by Japan among the East Asian ethnicities.

    But, over these advantages, there are certain disadvantages which may lead to the partition of the
    non-Turkish Muslims from the Ottoman Empire. These peoples cannot be assimilated with the
    Turks and therefore this policy would lead to the division of the Muslims into Turks and non-
    Turks and thereby to the relinquishment of any serious relations between the Ottoman state and
    the non-Turkish Muslims.

    Moreover, the internal obstacles against this policy are greater in number than those which were
    unfavorable to the policy of Pan-Islam. For one thing, the Turkish nationalistic ideas which
    appeared under the influence of Western ideas is still very recent. Turkish nationalism –the idea
    of the unification of the Turks– is still a new born child. That strong organization, that living and
    zealous feeling, in short, those primary elements which create a solid unity among Muslims do
    not exist in Turkishness (Turkluk). The majority of the Turks today have forgotten their past!

    We must remember, however, that a great majority of the present-day Turks who seem to be
    amenable to unification, are of Muslim religion. For that reason, Islam may be an important
    factor in the realization of a Turkish unity. Religion is admitted as an important element in
    various definitions of nationality. Islam, however, to play such a role in the realization of the
    Turkish nationality has to face a change so that it can admit the existence of the nationalities
    within itself –a recognition achieved recently in Christianity. And such a transformation is
    almost inevitable. The dominant current in our contemporary history is that of the nations.
    Religions as such are increasingly losing their political importance and force. Religion is
    increasingly becoming less and less social and more and more personal. Freedom of conscience

    is replacing unity of faith. Religions are renouncing their claims to being the sole director of the
    affairs of the communities and they are becoming spiritual forces leading hearts towards
    salvation. Religion is nothing more than a moral bond between the Creator and the created.
    Religions, therefore, if they are to maintain any of their social and political importance can do so
    by becoming a helper and even a hand-maiden to the national unities.(7) External obstacles
    against the realization of the Turkish unification, on the other hand, are less strong in comparison
    with those working against Pan-Islamism. Among the Christian states only power to work
    against this policy will be Russia. As to the other Christian governments, they may even
    encourage this policy because they will find it against the interests of Russia. The following
    conclusions seem to emerge from our discussion. The policy of Ottoman nationality, though
    implying many advantages for the Ottoman state, seems to be impracticable. Other policies
    aiming at the unification of the Muslims or of the Turks, on the other hand, seem to imply
    advantages and disadvantages of almost equal weight. As to the practicability of these two
    policies, we see likewise that the favorable and the unfavorable conditions are equal.

    Which one, then, should be followed? When I saw the name of your paper Turk, an uncommon
    name to be used [by the Ottomans], I hoped to find in your columns an answer to this question
    which used to occupy me continuously and I hoped that this answer would be in favor of the
    policy of Turkism. But, I see that the “Turk” whose rights you are defending, the “Turk” whom
    you are trying to enlighten and move is not anyone of that great ethnicity who live in the lands of
    Asia, Africa, and Europe, extending from Central Asia to Montenegro, from Timor Peninsula to
    the Karalar Ili[?], but he is just one of the Western Turks who is a subject of the Ottoman state.
    Your paper Turk knows and sees this “Turk” only as a Turk living from the Fourteenth century
    and whose history is known only through the eyes of the French historians. You are trying to
    defend the rights of only the “Turk” against the pressures of the foreign nations and the non-
    Muslim and Muslim peoples who are subjects of the same [Ottoman] state but who belong to a
    different [non-Turkish] ethnicity. For your paper Turk, the military, political and civil history of
    the Turks is nothing but the history of Murat the First, Mehmet the Conqueror, Selim the First,
    Ibn Kemal, Nef’i, Baki, Evliya Celebi and Namik Kemal. It does not and cannot be extended to
    the names of Oghuz, Chinggis, Timur, Ulugh Bey, Farabi, Ibn Sina, Taftazani and Navai.
    Sometimes your opinions seems somewhat close to the policy of Pan-Islam and the Caliphate
    leaving the impression that you are supporting the policies of Pan-Islamism and Turkism at the
    same time. You implicitly seem to believe that both groups being Muslims have common
    interests on vital questions. But you do not even insist upon this view.(8)

    In short, the question which is in my thoughts and inviting an answer is still unanswered. The
    question is: of the three policies of Islamism and Turkism (Turkluk) which one is the more
    beneficial and practicable for the Ottoman state?

    Yusuf Akcura
    Village of Zoya, Russia
    15 (28) March 1904

    Akcura’s Notes

    (1) Although it can be claimed that this policy had been followed in a natural fashion by certain
    Ottoman rulers up to the time of Selim I, it was not because of imitating Europe. Rather, it
    originated from the needs of the time and from the fact that Islam was not yet well established.
    Consequently it is not relevant to our discussion.

    (2) This policy had been followed several centuries before by the Ottomans. Bayazit the
    Lightening, Mehmet the Conqueror, and Mehmet Sokollu pursued this idea. The desire to unify
    the world of Islam is obvious in almost every action of Selim I. These periods, however, do not
    fall within the scope of this article. (3) It must not be forgotten that this article was written over
    seven years ago. [Editor’s Note to the 1912 re-print].

    (4) My intention must not be misunderstood. There are several reasons for the hostility which
    exists among the diverse peoples and the conflicts between Europe and the Ottoman Empire. The
    cause I have mentioned above forms only one of several varied causes.

    (5) If I am not mistaken the government did not permit publication of the second volume of the
    Turkish History [which this group prepared].

    (6) Because the non-Muslim Turks are very few [in number], this last danger is not important.

    (7) Examples are: the Orthodox church in Russia, Protestantism in Germany, Anglicanism in
    England and Catholicism in various countries.

    (8) “Makam-i Celil-i Hilafet” Turk, 18 Kanunevvel 1319 (1903).

    • Uc Tarz-i Siyaset (THREE POLICIES),
    • Yusuf Akcura (1876-1935)
      Editor’s Introduction
      About the Life of Yusuf Akcura
      THREE POLICIES
      I
      II

    Calculator

    Calculate the price of your paper

    Total price:$26
    Our features

    We've got everything to become your favourite writing service

    Need a better grade?
    We've got you covered.

    Order your paper