The Influence and Role of the Islamic Tradition in Turkey Essays

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Islam has been a dominant force throughout Turkish history. During the Ottoman Empire, Islam ruled every part of the theocratic state, but after the demise of the empire, Turkey's rulers led the country away from political Islam. The modern Turkish state has a strictly secular government, and Islam has been relegated to the personal sphere. Although Turkey has experienced a rise in fundamentalism in the past twenty years, the separation of church and state has remained relatively intact. Even with this increase of fundamentalist Islam, the wide majority of Muslims in Turkey are moderate and tolerant. They have adapted to modern life and value Islam for its moral and spiritual messages. Islam is a guide for right living and ethical…show more content…
To counteract this growing influence, the Ottomans appointed a rival Sufi group, the Bektasi, to become the official order of janissary soldiers who captured Byzantine cities throughout Anatolia.1

In 1453, the Ottomans captured Constantinople and renamed it Istanbul.? This victory allowed the Ottomans to consolidate their empire.? They revived the Islamic title of caliph and based the legitimacy of their rule in Islam.? Religion was integrated into every aspect of life.? Although the religious leaders did not have official titles, they maintained a strong influence over the political rulings of the empire.? They used the Shariah ? Islamic law ? and Islamic courts to rule their empire.? They also allowed non-Muslims to be self-governing groups known as millets (?nations?).? The Armenians, Greek Orthodox, and Jews were all allowed to have their own religious leaders and follow their own religious laws as long as they did not disrespect the ultimate authority of the Ottomans.2

During the 15th and 16th centuries, the Ottomans had the largest and most powerful empire in the world.? However, their power began to weaken in the 18th and 19th centuries as they lost land and dignity to the more modern European armies.? Several sultans tried to make reforms such as building a modern army and creating a Grand National Assembly to modernize the theocratic state.? The reforms were unable to help the ?Sick Man
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