The Requirements of European International Society: Modernity and Nationalism in the Ottoman Empire

Ayla Gol

Research output: Working paper

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Abstract

This paper critically examines the ‘admittance’ of the Ottoman Empire as the first non-European and non-Christian state into European international society, challenges the idea that international society had a universal character, and explores how the Empire encountered and adapted to the requirements of this society. There are two premises to explore. First, the Empire was never accepted as an equal member of the European society of states. Second, the Ottoman Empire’s desire to enter European international society initiated its modernisation, which gradually led to the emergence of Turkish nationalism in the twentieth century. The first part of this paper deals with the ‘otherness’ of the Ottoman Empire within European international society. The second part explains the paradoxical character of Ottoman–European relations, which initiated the Empire’s modernisation. The last part explores the emergence of Turkish nationalism in relation to the policies of Ottoman modernisation that brought the transition from an Islamic empire into a modern secular nation-state. It concludes by questioning whether or not the modern Turkish state is considered a European member of international society.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherAustralian National University Press
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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