Alparslan Episode 26 English Subtitles kayifamily

Alparslan Episode 26 English Subtitles

Watch Full Episode under the article 

Ottoman Empire

Center–province relations: Damascus, 1708–17586

Damascus was a key Ottoman place and for this reason it became a center of Istanbul’s attention during the first half of the eighteenth century. The story begins in 1701, following massive Ottoman defeats on the European
frontier and a disaster in which 30,000 pilgrims on the Damascus–Mecca pilgrimage route died in bedouin attacks. Thus, the Treaty of Karlowitz and the destruction of the pilgrimage caravan made the need for change
shockingly clear, both locally and in the center.

Istanbul then moved to revitalize the administration of Damascus in a number of ways. First, it entrusted the governor of Damascus with a number of powers that it previously had spread around among the various provincial administrators – granting him the right to collect taxes, maintain security, prevent revolts, and maintain urban life. The governor was to restore harmony to the Ottoman system, better protecting the subject populations so that they, in turn, could better finance the state and its military. In common with contemporary states everywhere, the Ottoman state’s basic task was to assure a prosperous population in order to support the army which in turn defended the population.

7 Second, the capital dispatched a new governor in 1708, who originated in Damascus and possessed strong local connections, a member of the al-Azm family (which to the present has retained an influential voice in Damascene and Syrian politics). At the time of his appointment, he was recognized both as a part of the imperial elite in Istanbul and also of the local elite in Damascus. His connections to Istanbul were crucial and the capital considered the al-Azm appointee as its instrument.

The al-Azms for their part pursued their own local interests but also functioned as part of an Ottoman circle, needing the patronage and protection of Istanbul to maintain their hold as governors. These Damascus events reflected part of a larger pattern in which the central state no longer generated its own elites to rule over the provinces but co-operated with local elites, sending them back to their home area to rule, on behalf of the central state. Thus, the al-Azm appointment marked the continuing evolution of Ottoman administration and the growing importance of local connections over palace training.

This appointment represents other administrative changes as well, to turn to our third point. After 1708, the governor of Damascus no longer needed to serve in imperial wars and bring troops under his command to the frontiers. This redefinition of responsibility reflected the new eighteenth-century realities of an empire no longer expanding territorially and seizing new revenues. Rather, it acknowledged the new need to consolidate and more effectively exploit existing resources. Without military service, the governor thus lost an important path of promotion.

Now marked as an administrator rather than warrior, the governor possessed more direct control and authority over a larger part of the province than ever before. Primarily sworn to keep law and order at the local level, and
explicitly ordered not to go away on campaign, the governor became a localized figure in a novel and profound way. As a corollary, the rotation of governors in the empire overall decreased sharply in the early eighteenth
century, an indication of the emphasis being placed on their successful discharge of local duties.

Four, with his knowledge of local conditions, the new governor, as part of Istanbul’s effort to prevent the growth of autonomous structures in the provinces, sought to create more effective checks and balances among local notables, Janissary garrisons, bedouins, and tribes. He achieved this in a number of ways, including manipulation of the local judiciary. Ottoman law recognized four schools of Islamic law but the state officially had adopted the Hanafi rite.

In Damascus, ulema of the Hanafi school increasingly obtained favor at the expense of the Damascus religious establishment, which followed the locally more prevalent Shafii school. Indeed, while the Damascus ulema until c. 1650 derived from the Shafii, Hanafi, and Hanbali schools of law, almost all were Hanafi by 1785. In this way, the state aimed to create a more homogeneous legal administration, more in line with principles being followed in Istanbul.

Fifth, the new governor acted to create greater safety for the haj pilgrims, a task given a much higher priority than in the past. And so he posted more garrisons, provided stronger escorts, and built more forts along the route to the Holy Cities. After 1708 and until 1918, the Damascus governor served officially as commander of the pilgrimage, part of the greater imperial commitment to solving problems within the region as well as to raising the profile of the state in matters of religion.

These programs of closer central control in Damascus province more or less worked until 1757, when bedouins plundered the returning pilgrimage and 20,000 pilgrims died of heat, thirst, and the attacks. This ended, until the nineteenth-century reforms, centralization efforts in the area of Damascus. Thereafter, local notables rose to greater prominence in the area. Famed among them, Zahir ul Umar launched and Jezzar Pasha further expanded a mini-state in the area from north Palestine to Damascus. ( Jezzar Pasha’s beautiful mosque can still be seen in Acre, as can the nearby aqueducts that he built to boost Palestinian cotton production for sale to Europe.)

Similarly, powerful provincial notables emerged almost everywhere during the later eighteenth century. For example, the Karaosmano˘glu ruled west Anatolia for most of the eighteenth century while, near modern-day Albania, Tepedelenli Ali Pasha controlled the lives of 1.5 million Ottoman subjects.

Alparslan Episode 26 English Subtitles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *