Scholars have long studied Western imperialism through the prism of pre-World War I literature and journalism. Characterizing this literature as Orientalist has become programmatic and predictable. The sometimes rigid analysis of this literature often misses, however, the contested dynamics within. This is especially the case with analyses of Ottoman contributions to the rise of a Western colonialist ethos – orientalism, imperialism, and racism – reflecting the political, structural, and economic changes that directly impacted the world. Essentially, colonial pretensions – servicing the ambitions of European imperialism at the expense of peoples in the ‘Orient’ – were articulated at a time when patriotic Ottomans, among others, were pushing back against colonialism. This article explores the possibility that such a response, usefully framed as Ottomanism, contributed regularly to the way peoples interacted in the larger context of a contentious exchange between rival imperialist projects. What is different here is that some articulations of Ottomanism were proactive rather than reactive. In turn, some of the Orientalism that has become synonymous with studies about the relationship between Europe, the Americas, and the peoples “East of the Urals” may have been a response to these Ottomanist gestures.
William T. SteadIf Christ Came to Chicago!: A Plea for the Union of All who Love in the Service of All who Suffer (London: Unigraphic1894) and James Mussell “‘Characters of Blood and Flame’: Stead and the Tabloid Campaign” in Laurel Brake Ed King Roger Luckhurst and James Mussell (eds.) W.T. Stead: Newspaper Revolutionary (London: British Library 2012): 22–36 22.
Julia Phillips CohenBecoming Ottomans: Sephardi Jews and Imperial Citizenship in the Modern Era (New York: Oxford University Press2014); Djene Rhys Bajalan “Princes Pashas and Patriots: The Kurdish Intelligentsia the Ottoman Empire and the National Question (1908–1914)” British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 43 no. 2 (2016): 140–57; and Hasan Kayalı Arabs and Young Turks: Ottomanism Arabism and Islamism in the Ottoman Empire 1908–1918 (New York: University of California Press 1997).
Selim Deringil“‘They Live in a State of Nomadism and Savagery’: The Late Ottoman Empire and the Post-Colonial Debate”Comparative Studies in Society and History 45 no. 3 (2003): 311–42. Makdisi “Ottoman Orientalism”. Of course some of the most famous and well-studied luminaries of the period were very much populists in their inclusive rhetoric. The likes of Ali Suavi Ibrahim Sinasi and Namık Kemal and other activists working for Hürriyet in the Tanzimat era embraced causes that countered European prejudicial references. See for instance Riedler Opposition 58–70. For a fresh rethink of the major poets and artists around this group especially on authorship see Christiane Cyzgan Zur Ordnung des Staates Junosmanische Intellektuelle und ihre Konzepte in der Zeitung ‘Hürriyet’ (1868–1870) (Berlin: Klaus Schwarz 2012).
Mohammed SharafuddinIslam and Romantic Orientalism: Literary Encounters with the Orient (London: I.B. Tauris1994) 227. It was even more complex than mere romanticism however. Openly flaunting his homoerotic adventures with Ottoman Muslims Byron described the Albanian men he met during his travels as members of “the most beautiful race […] in the world” and noted that Ali’s grandsons were “the prettiest little animals I ever saw”. Leslie Alexis Marchand Byron in His Letters and Journals (London: John Murray 1973) 227f. Cf. Peter Drucker “Byron and Ottoman Love: Orientalism Europeanization and Same-sex Sexualities in the Early Nineteenth-Century Levant” Journal of European Studies 42 no. 2 (2012): 140–57 145.
Meltem ToksözNomads Migrants and Cotton in the Eastern Mediterranean: The Making of the Adana-Mersin Region 1850–1908 (Leiden: Brill2010); and Reşat Kasaba A Moveable Empire: Ottoman Nomads Migrants and Refugees (Seattle: University of Washington Press 2009) 84–139.
Already in1862overtures were made to send an imam for the growing Muslim community in Cape Town. The Ottoman Prime Minister’s Archives (BBA) Irade Harciye 10847 dated 3 September 1862. On this date the Meclis-i Vala appointed Abu Bakr Effendi to commence his duties as imam there. Further elaboration of his mission is offered by the Ottoman consul-general in the Cape Monsieur de Roubaix in BBA HR.MTV 608/5 Musurus Pasha to Roubaix dated 25 November 1862.
Kamran I. Karimullah“Rival Moral Traditions in the Late Ottoman Empire, 1839–1908”Journal of Islamic Studies24 no. 1 (2013): 37–66.