Ottoman was not the case with the

 

 

 

 

Ottoman Diplomacy Assignment

 

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The General
Evaluation of The Ottoman Diplomacy in the Aftermath of the French Revolution

 

In this
essay , I am going to talk about the the Ottoman diplomacy gaining strength in
the late period as compared to the initial period of the Ottoman State. There
is a fallacy that militarily strong countries have influential and strong
diplomacy such as the diplomacy of the US being commensurate with its military
power which can be projected in any part of the World in a glimpse of time If
desired by the President of the US. However it was not the case with the
Ottoman State whose diplomacy was weak during the times of glory of the State. I
mean Ottoman diplomacy was ineffective due to the fact that they wanted to keep
it in that way. Because there was no need for diplomacy since they could easily
resort to effective military action due to the fact that the state was
magnificently superior compared to other powers at that time and also we can
add that peace with non Muslims living outside the Ottoman Lands was against
their core Islamic beliefs.  So as one
expects , when they realized they could not work out problems with military
action , then they had to resort to diplomacy to buy more time to back military
up.

First we
need to understand the main principles of the Ottoman attitude of diplomacy in
its early period to properly understand the Ottoman attitude of diplomacy in
its late period.

An Islamic
state was established by Osman Gazi which was Ottoman State that was held on to
Islamic principles firmly and also harboring the feelings of superiority of
Islam over Christian Europe. In short , they believed that they were far
superior than non-Muslims since they were Muslims.Considering those times
before Reformation, the Christianity was the defining concept of Europeans
according to Ottomans. Thus there were two concepts according to which the
Ottomans carried on their foreign policy in relation to other states Which are
Daral Islam(Where Muslims lived consistent with the rules of Islam) and Daral
Harp(Where non-Muslims lived not in accordance with the rules of Islam and with
whom the Muslims were in a relentless and constant state of war). As a result
of this, there were not any friendship or alliance treaty between the Ottoman
State and non-Muslim Powers since Ottoman State had a defining ideology untill
the reign of Selim lll. Although the state had main principle concerning
foreign policy in its early period based on Ghaza , diplomacy was premature in
the glorious times of the Ottoman State. So the Ottomans always fought untill
they worn out badly to fight until 1 November 1922.

Until the
break-up of French Revolution, Ottomans sent temporary envoys to non-Muslim
also Muslim countries. The most famous one was 28 Mehmet Çelebi who was sent to
France by Ahmet lll. By the way, as he walked on the streets of Paris, French
gathered around to watch him with caution and curiosity.But why temporary?
Because If the envoy ,who was sent to non Muslim country, stayed in that
country for a long time , it was not nice and not appropriate. However After
Fatih conquered Istanbul, European resident missions were accepted in Istanbul
whose expenses were completely paid by the Ottoman State , indicating a vivid
sign of glory and superiority of the Ottoman State. Also in my opinion, It was
also the decent hospitality which the Turkish have been famously known for.

Since the
foundation of the Ottoman State by Osman Gazi, the main principle that
motivated them and upon which the state was firmly built was the idea of Ghaza
which Muslims fight with the aim of spreading Islam in a respectful way in
which they just conquered lands at the expense of non-Muslims but did not force
them to convert to Islam. So they strictly adhered themselves to the notions of
Islam. If you want to be good at conducting Ghaza which was mainly the idea of
waging war against non-Muslim country , then you have no choice but to have a
strong army with sophisticated and splendid technology that was available at
the time the war was fought and the Ottomans had that quality available. Therefore
diplomacy was ignored deliberately due to the fact that they could easily and
self confidently wage war against any country they wanted in its early
advancement period.

This
situation had continued untill the end of the sixteenth century, just about.So
from the late sixteenth century, the Ottomans had fallen behind of the major
European Powers in terms of military power which was realized clearly after
Karloswitz Treaty. The catashrophic failure of Vienna considering Ottomans made
it clear that the line between superiority and inferiority was getting blurry.
Karloswitz Treaty was a huge damage to Ottoman feelings of Superiority. With
this treaty, the Ottomans were forced to let go of its old manners and
diplomatic behaviour also they granted the title of Tsar to Moskof Prince.
However at the time when the French Revolution was unleashed due to the
domestic turmoil in France , the Ottomans were unimaginably unpowerful in terms
of military and economy. Also the Ottomans could not enjoy the instability
existing in Europe for a long time because it ended soon and a stable dispute
resolution system was established after the Congress of Vienna which benefited
all European Powers except Poland and Ottoman State. However, considering the utmost
decrease in Ottoman power, the Ottomans had to wage war against Austria and
Russia at the same time. After these wars, the Ottomans for sure were aware of
the fact that they no longer were able to settle disputes relying on military
power. They needed something apart from military to settle disputes as much in
favor of the Ottomans as possible. Now we can explain with which Sultan the
modern diplomacy started and why?

Selim lll
made three main considerable attempts to tackle the challenges the Ottomans
faced. He early understood the importance of diplomacy and saw it as an
opportunity and a means of preventing the accelerating decline in military.

So, he laid
the foundation of Nizam? Cedid(New Order) Army in 1793 and Iradi Cedid treasury
to cover the expenses of the newly established army.This army won its first
battle in Egypt against French. However Janissaries forced him to abolish that
army due to their jealousy and envy.After Kabakç? Mustafa rebellion, he finally
had to abolish it. Second, he signed a treaty of alliance with Prussia in 1790
which was some kind of counterbalance against Revolutionary French Armies.
Moreover he signed a treaty of alliance with Sweden on the same ground. But Why
was this treaty important? Because this treaty was the first alliance between
Ottoman State and a non-Muslim great power which contradicted their most deeply
held and unshakable beliefs of superiority and glory of Islam over non-Muslims.Also
with this treaty we can understand , they did something they knew to be against
Islam but in favor of Ottoman State. Because a state’s struggle to exist comes
first. However this agreement that was concluded between Prussia and the
Ottoman State made clear that the Ottomans were grasping the increasing significance
of the diplomacy which was still seen with prejudices by Ottomans due to the
fact that it was a Western concept and institution.  The third and more important step taken
towards diplomacy was the establishment of resident embassies. Because He
realized that keeping abreast of events in Europe was indispensable to the
security of his state.1 Thus the Ottomans adopted the mutual exchange
of ambassadors by sending ambassadors abroad. Because the Ottomans wanted to
know how and why they had fallen behind of Europe in terms of military and
technology. However the indication of glory of the Ottoman State based on one
sided diplomatic relations faded away. The Ottomans at first wanted to open the
first embassy in France because French and Ottomans got along well until the
occupation of Egypt by Napoleon. But on consideration, , it was feared that
this move would offend those other European states who were at war with France
and who might therefore refuse to accept an Ottoman envoy .2
Therefore, first permanent embassy was opened in London. Because British
mediated between the Ottoman State and its enemies and as a result of this the
British increased influence on Ottoman State. Moreover , just because the
British mediated between Ottoman State and its enemies did not mean they wanted
to save Ottomans. They mediated due to their vital interests at stake which
were to secure the straits, trade routes, and its political and commercial
interests in the Middle East and Mediterranean. So Yusuf Agah Efendi was sent
to London as the first permanent ambassador and he did his job for three years
and in replacement of him , Ismail Ferruh Efendi was assigned to this task. However
,the first Ottoman ambassadors proved to be useless due to the unprofessionalim
of the ambassadors in diplomacy who were mastered in economics , and due to the
lack of foreign language and receiving of not enough respect.The Crimean war
was a good example of the lack of foreign language. During the war, Vienna was
the centre for diplomatic negotiations and the Ottoman ambassador in this city
Arif Efendi did not know French and had limited relations with the corps
diplomatique.3 So Selim lll closed them all. After  him Sultan Mahmut ll succeeded to the throne
,who abolished Jannissary system also known as Vakay? Hayriye , and established
Sekban? Cedid army instead of Nizam? Cedid Army, reopened them all. By the way
Mahmut ll was also a reformist sultan whose authority was weakened by one of
his governor , Mehmet Ali Pasha , which in turn damaged the reputation of the
Ottoman State by making Ottoman State look vulnerable in international arena. But
he additionaly established the Ministry of Foreign Affairs , a different ,
specialized department on diplomacy in 1836. Before this , Reisül Küttap vested
in Reis Efendi was in charge of Foreign Relations. Moreover the evolution of
Reis Efendi into a sort of Foreign Minister had begun at the time of the
Carlowitz peace negotiations when the Grand Vezir adopted what became the
custom of leaving the conduct of foreign affairs in the hands of this official.4
By the way, in early period of the Ottoman State , Ni?anc? had dealt with
foreign affairs whose main duty was to seal the royal precepts putting the
signature of the Sultan he served and Ni?anc? was also known as tu?rai. Also the
Reis Efendi directed the routine of Ottoman diplomacy and contributed
increasingly to the formulation of policy.5

Most
important late Ottoman diplomats were Ali Pasha, Fuat Pasha who wisely solved
Lebanon issue without major European states intervention , Re?it Pasha who
persuaded Abdülmecit to issue Tanzimat Firman to get the support of European
powers specially British.

 

The weaker
the Ottoman State got , the higher the tendency towards diplomacy. So ,Ambassadors
were already sent to the four main European capitals which were
London,Berlin,Vienna and Paris, later on more ambassadors were sent to Athens,
Brussels  , Stockholm , St Petersburg ,
Rome, and lastly to Washington. I have written these places to support my
argument which is that the Ottoman diplomacy in its late period got strong
while being militarily and economically weak as compared to its foundation ,
not as compared to the major European powers.  

There were
many problems that the Ottomans faced such as national movements unleashed by
the French Revolution in the Balkans, the growing influence and pressure of
Russia on the Ottoman State. The Eastern Question , the question of What will
happen to the Ottoman State? , thus became the main issue of the era. Europe’s
view of the Ottomans developed from the Eastern Question (‘What is to become of
the Ottoman lands?’), which assumed that the empire must westernize or face collapse.6
the Europeans labelled the Ottoman State as a sick man and were ready to distribute
Ottoman lands If the Ottoman State collapsed. So the Ottomans were struggling
to deal with the deteriorating aspects of the State by reforms including
diplomatic ones that paved the way towards the policy of balance which delayed
the collapse of the Ottoman state at least for thirty years. When the State was
in trouble with one great power in this case generally Russia , it immediately
got closer to another great power in this case generally Britain to survive.

 

1 NAFF Thomas , ‘ Reform and the
Conduct of Ottoman Diplomacyin the Reign of Selim lll ‘, Journal of The
American Oriental Society , S:83 (1963), s.295-315

2
NAFF Thomas , ‘ Reform and the
Conduct of Ottoman Diplomacyin the Reign of Selim lll ‘, Journal of The
American Oriental Society , S:83 (1963), s.295-315

3  BADEM Candan, CONCLUSION, The Crimean War (1853-1856), Brill.
(2010), s.404-412

4  FINDLEY Carter , ‘ The Legacy of Tradition to Reform: Origins
of the Ottoman Foreign Ministry ‘, International Journal of Middle East
Studies, S:1 (1970), s.334-357

5 NAFF Thomas , ‘ Reform and the
Conduct of Ottoman Diplomacyin the Reign of Selim lll ‘, Journal of The
American Oriental Society , S:83 (1963), s.295-315

6    ANSCOMBLE Frederick E, ‘ ISLAM AND THE AGE OF OTTOMAN REFORM
‘,Oxford University Press on behalf of The Past and Present Society, S:208
(2010), s.159-189

IN GENERAL I
BENEFITED , the textbook ;

Ottoman
Diplomacy : Conventional or Unconventional? , A. Nuri Yurdusev