I would like to acknowledge, first of all, Dr. Kate Fleet, director of the Skilliter Centre for Ottoman Studies (Cambridge). Without her patient support and expertise, this book would not have existed. Secondly, I would like to extend my gratitude to Dr. Ebru Boyar, Asst. Prof. at the Middle East Technical University (Ankara). Her critical approach and her drive to continuously raise the bar have inspired me to do better than I believed to be possible.
The Cambridge European Trust, the Cambridge Board of Graduate Studies and the Skilliter Centre for Ottoman Studies, through the Moody-Stuart Scholarship, have helped my research through their kind and generous financial contributions.
I am grateful that I was allowed to access the material at Başbakanlık Osmanlı Arşivi (Istanbul), Başbakanlık Cumhuriyet Arşivi (Ankara), Askeri Tarih ve Stratejik Etüt Başkanlığı (Ankara), Çankaya Cumhurbaşkanlık Köşkü (Ankara), The National Archives (London), Nationaal Archief (The Hague), and Bundesarchiv (Berlin). At the Türk Tarih Kurumu library (Ankara), I would like to thank Mustafa Sönmez in particular for his indispensable help. At Milli Kütüphane (Ankara), I am grateful to the staff of the microfilm department, who were very helpful and welcoming during the months I worked there.
I should like to mention Prof. Dr. Yılmaz Kurt of Ankara University, who kindly agreed to accept me in his classes on Ottoman palaeography, and Prof. Dr. Aloïs Vantongerloo, who is responsible for kindling my interest in Ottoman studies during my time as his student at the Catholic University of Leuven. I also want to mention Prof. Dr. Henk De Smaele for his support during my post-doctoral research at the History Department of the University of Antwerp.
I am in debt to my friends and colleagues who have made my time while doing research and writing enjoyable. Many of them were also kind enough to proof read my work (again and again!). Many of them discussed my work with me and made suggestions that significantly improved the outcome.
Finally, I would like to thank my family. My wife, Fatmagül, patiently shared me with my research and writing for many years and for very long hours. My aunt, Hilal, and my mother, Faika, instilled in me a love of reading and supported my academic aspirations above and beyond what could be expected. This book is theirs as much as it is mine.