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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Just What Was the Ottoman Empire That Sided with the Axis in WWI? ?

Nadene Goldfoot
The Ottoman Empire was huge. It's height of glory was in the 16th and 17th Centuries.  The Ottoman Empire was, in many respects, an Islamic successor to the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire.It was started in 1299 CE by Osman I Khan of the Oghuz Turks and continued up to the end of WWI of November 11, 1917.  Turkey took it over October 29, 1923 but just the Turkish part.  When  Turkey decided to side with Germany in WWI the regime crumbled and the sultanate was finally abolished by Kemal Atatürk in 1922.  It had included:
1. Turkey
2. Saudi Arabia-part of
3. Iraq
5. Sinai of Egypt
6. Palestine
7. Lebanon
8. Armenia
9. Azerbaijan
10. Most of SE Europe and north to Hungary and parts of southern Russia and Iran and N.Africa with Egypt.

What did the Ottoman Empire do with  all these places?  Collect taxes and send the money to Constantinople.

The Ottoman Empire maintained a harem for the Sultan of supposedly beautiful, intelligent slave girls that were either captured in war, recruited or from neighboring countries that were to be concubines of the ruler.  One palace had 400 rooms where they were kept.  In 1853 the new palace had lavish rooms for them.  Eunuchs, male slaves who had been castrated,  watched over them.

Palestine was simply deserted land filled with swamps and desert.  The Ottoman Turks had conquered it in 1516.  They did very little except for Suleiman the Magnificent who rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem in 1537.   It was a province, a region brought under control of another government that just collected revenue. The Empire was declining  when Jews started to resettle in the 1800's.  

Resource:  About Palestine Under the Ottomans

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