The Ghaza Thesis dominated early Ottoman historiography throughout much of the twentieth century before coming under increasing criticism beginning in the s. Other Muslim rulers in Anatolia before the Ottomans also had used the title of gazi. For them the encounter with the Turks was new and largely negative, coming as it did on the heels of two centuries of warfare and efforts to escape Byzantine and Latin domination. Wittek uncritically accepted the literary devices of Ahmedi. While many scholars criticized the Ghaza thesis, few sought an alternative to replace it.

It is not enough to protest that we can no longer regard the early Ottomans as zealous warriors for the faith whose purpose was to offer to the infidel Islam or the sword. The presence of non-Muslims among the invaders may account for some of the evidence that researchers have taken as indicating Islamic heterodoxy; cf. Aspects of this Anatolian Rumi identity are discussed in C. The first anti-Ottoman 71 H. According to Kafadar, his approach was the result of an Orientalist reading of the early Ottoman sources.

References in chronicles to the Ottoman warriors as gazis cannot be regarded as hard evidence for the ideology of an earlier period; in order not to beg the question, it is necessary agzi ignore the later adulation of Osman as a gazi. For Permissions, please email: Daniel Power and Naomi Standen, London: The Construction of the Ottoman State.

Buddhism, Manichaeism, Shamanism and various forms of mystical nature worship were the most widespread traditions among the Turks of Central Asia in the pre-Islamic period. Soon a substantial mixed population grew up that included sultans and elites as well as common people.

They reinterpreted his conciliation of Christians and his attempts to inte- grate them into the functioning of the state as illicit intercourse with slaves. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford.


Don’t already have an Oxford Academic account? Thus, the term implied a categorical hostility of Christianity towards the other religions. Studies have also shown that the concept jihad, once it was introduced in the late seventeenth century by the Ottomans, was not used in the sense of continuous warfare to expand the territories of Islam.

gazi thesis wittek

Lindner points out that the first Ottoman conquests were in the lands of their neighboring Muslims, the emirs of Germiyan. To advance in Ottoman leadership it was still not necessary to be born a Muslim, but it now became necessary to convert to Islam. Through the repeated employment of their chronicles as historical sources, subsequent generations came to consider it the foun- dational Ottoman identity.

Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire. At that point men with the title of Gazi appear in conquest accounts heading bodies of fighters. The ahi-organizations provided for security and continuation of the social and economic life in the cities, when the overarching political authority of the Seljuks had collapsed due to the Mongol invasion of Anatolia in Enter the email address you signed up with and we’ll email you a reset link.

Within two or three decades from their foundation, the beyliks had acquired capital cities, literate administra- tions, coinages, markets, mosques and dervish lodges, schools, flourish- ing agriculture and trade, and diplomatic relations with the Byzantine Empire. Aspects of this Anatolian Rumi identity are discussed in C. In the fifteenth century, thdsis Mehmed II characterized his conquests in ideological terms as gaza, but following the conquest of Istanbul, he immediately reduced the power base of independent gazi-warriors and of the Turkish aristocracy.

Essays in Honor of Richard W. This line of thought became so influential that it not only affected the Sufi understandings of the time, such thess Yunus Emre and Mevlana Rumi, but also the Sufi interpretation in almost the entire Islamic world until today. Reconsidering Paul Wittek’s ghaza-thesis.


The western idea of holy war was driven by proselytism and was characterized by religious intolerance, which usually made the coexistence of different creeds very difficult. Moreover, the confrontation of cultures at the topmost levels of the two states involved high-level clerics on both sides in what became a contest between the official representa- tive of Christianity in the region and the most powerful representative of Islam.

Other strands of identity included an imperial identity as a traditional Middle-Eastern witte, like that of the Seljuks, the Abbasids, and the pre-Islamic empires Islamic enough for most Muslims but sometimes not for zealous gazis and an assimilationist, syncretic cosmopolitanism that never had a name but that drew from Byzantine and Turkish cultures alike.

(DOC) The ghazi concept and Ottomans | Claudia-Florentina Dobre –

Daniel Power, Naomi Standen, But maybe this is the clue to his renown. He called it an important factor in the emergence and expansion of the Ottoman state.

gazi thesis wittek

In the time of Osman Gazi, wine was not drunk. In the sources, Osman and his followers were simultaneously referred to with the terms gazi and alp.

The Ottomans tried to reconcile their nomadic and Islamic identities. Remember me on this computer.

Ghaza thesis

In this discursive and historical context, the self-image of the Ottoman princes began witttek form as gazi-sultans. It was only when the sultans abandoned the ghazi ideals that the state lost its force.

gazi thesis wittek

DARLING ously able to differentiate between the Byzantine and Balkan Orthodox Christians, with whom they gazii and intermarried and also foughtand the Latin Christians with whom they conducted only trade and crusade.