Essay on The Ottoman Society and Government

1046 Words5 Pages
The Ottoman society, which was of Turkish origin was a small state founded in the 13th Century by Osman I. It was run and overseen by his descendants up until 1923 during the end of WW I when it was dissolved and declared part of The Republic of Turkey. The Ottoman society was well structured and complicated. The uppermost influence in the land was the Sultan, whose hierarchical place was determined by birth; new Sultans were selected from the sons of the preceding Sultans. The Sultan, however, was not the ultimate decision maker. He delegated both his executive and political authority. The elders of the tribe came together to form a council of ministers and advisors known as Divan (later known as Porte). The aftermath of the Young Turk…show more content…
After training as pages, they were gifted with wives from the harem of sultan’s slaves and given the mandate to go govern the vast regions of the empire on behalf of the sultan.
Religious establishment There existed both Muslim and non-Muslim population in the Ottoman imperial system. Muslims were seen to be of a higher social standing with Islam acting as a powerful guiding factor in the daily lives of the society. Even though treated as second-class citizens and not considered as equal as their Muslim counterparts, they were still recognized by the state and protected as per Islamic tradition. The main non-Muslim population entailed Christians, Assyrians, Armenians and Jews. Christianity was the major religion up until up until late15th century, when numbers decline due to widespread migration and the secession of the empire (Ochsenwald & Fisher, 2010). Each subject was judged as per the faith they practiced, i.e. sharia law for Muslims, canon law for Christians and Halakha for the Jewish subjects. Non-Muslims were required to pay higher taxes than the Muslim subjects did and were not eligible to hold government office. They were also unauthorized to possess weapons, ride horses or build houses that looked down on those of Muslims. This system of self-governance for each religion is referred to as the millet system. It allowed each religious group to carry out its own practices, hence reducing conflict in the larger population. Another widely practiced,
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