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Ottoman perceptions of the Greek Revolution



Ottoman perceptions of the Greek Revolution


20 May 2021


The outburst of the Greek Revolution represented a major challenge for the Ottomans, since they had to suppress a “millet-wide sedition” of their subjects, who were claiming independence. The sultan, the central state elite and the intelligentsia tried to identify the reasons that triggered the “insurrection” of their subjects. The Ottoman administration responded to this challenge with the mobilisation of its military power alongside several attempts to reincorporate the subjects back to the imperial order.

At the same time, the Greek Revolution became the main channel of transmission through which the main ideas of the French Revolution and the Enlightenment entered the Ottoman mind and shaped decisively the imperial political thought and ideology. Through the intercepted documents of the Greek rebels, the Ottoman authorities tried to find the responses to the new challenges.

This paper is an attempt to investigate the Ottoman perceptions and reactions to the Greek Struggle of Independence. It seeks to investigate how the Ottoman Sultan Mahmud II, the central state elite and the intelligentsia experienced the Greek War of Independence and the “making” of the modern Greek state through the examination of the contemporary Ottoman sources and the terminology of the state elite. Also, it will discuss the reflection of the major events of the Greek Revolution, such as the Chios Massacre, in the Ottoman sources.

The aftermath of the Greek Revolt has not been placed in the appropriate framework of the immense transition of the Ottoman imperial system. The importance of the establishment of the independent Greek State and its impact on the Ottoman state has been underestimated since we are not able to understand the history of the Tanzimat era without connecting it to the consequences of the Greek Revolution. This presentation is an attempt to do that.

(Edited description from organiser’s website)

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‌Sponsors: Giannakopoulos Solicitors. Corporate sponsors: Delphi Bank, Delphi Business Group, Symposiarch

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