Introduction to the Modern Middle East
Jerusalem University College
Mr. Oded Yinon
September 29, 2003
"Middle East & the Ottoman Empire"

I.   Ottoman empire lasted until 1921 - Islam was its driving force
A.   Islam was created by the Arabs - yet it was the Turks that created the context for it to grow
1.   The Turkish people gave the population boost Islam needed to survive & thrive
2.   Islam offered Turkey the excuse and reason to achieve what they wanted as warriors
B.   1699 - Second Battle of Vienna - was the first time Islam lost forcing them to rest from their crusade in the world - for 300 YEARS they built a huge empire that moved around all the time
C.   This is why the Arabs obeyed the Turks until 1921
D.   The main friction is that they see America/West as what they were and they can't accept that there is a "new Ottoman Empire"
E.   America & the Ottomans can't be right and ruling at the same time in their minds
II.   Crusaders and the Ottoman Empire
A.   Crusaders (past) weren't a threat - Zionism (contemporary) is a threat - yet they see Zionism as a Crusade
B.   At the Crusaders time, the Muslim world (Ottoman empire) was the "America" and the Crusaders were attacking the "America at the time"
C.   The Crusades were an act of defense, terrorism is an act of offense
III.   The Ottoman greatness was from 1514-1566
A.   The years of Suleiman the Magnificent
1.   He ruled for 46 years
2.   This was unprecedented
3.   All groups within the Ottoman empire thought he was great
B.   The Ottoman system was beautiful for its rigidity but stupid because it was not able to grow with time
C.   Main Ingredients
1.   Traditionalism - no change, no movement, innovation is forbidden - Bid'a
2.   Protection - All classes/castes fixed - no movement
3.   Al ra'ya - Notables
a.   Aayan - Business
b.   Ulama - Religion
4.   Millet - Religious gropus - Dhima - People of T'Book
5.   Preservation of order - stabilization - stability at all costs
6.   Consistency - No transfer of authority - no resilience at all
7.   Separation - All classes alone - no mixing of social castes/groups
8.   Hierarchy - Holy - no breakdown
a.   Sultan/caliph
b.   Court
c.   Government
D.   By 1699, this world view had already fell behind the West
E.   The modern middle east looks to these ingredients in regaining their greatness
IV.   The "Fall" of the Ottoman Empire
A.   The Ottoman Empire was an empire enthralled with conquest and expansion
B.   When they had nothing left to conquest, they ran out of a mission so they established the "main ingredients" below
C.   In addition to that, they didn't charge Muslims taxes
1.   The only people who paid taxes were the Christians, Jews, and Pagans
2.   Eventually everyone became a Muslim because of the obvious tax break
3.   Sooner or later the Ottoman empire couldn't support itself because it didn't have any income from tax nor any income from conquest
D.   Europe steps into help
1.   Basically saying well if you don't want to help your nations out we will
2.   It had more to do with capital gain as apposed to humanitarian aid (look at which countries were offered "help")
a.   France steps into Lebanon
b.   Britain steps into Israel and Syria
E.   Their boundaries
1.   East-West: Morroco to Iran
2.   North-South: Moscow to Somalia
V.   The Europeans (mainly Britain and France) established the boundaries of most modern middle east countries, yet there are so many differences within the Europe-created boundaries that they are almost separate countries
A.   Development of boundaries
1.   From empires, the Ottoman empire created cities
2.   From cities, the European created countries
3.   Today, modern countries are really just major cities
B.   This is why there is so much conflict and disunity within the middle eastern countries because they aren't even united within there own country, let alone, their entire region
VI.   There have been about 80 wars over Jerusalem in the last 3,000 years
VII.   OttomanEmpireTaking control of the middle east
A.   Three key cities of the Middle East
1.   Allepo (Syria)
2.   Basra (Iraq)
3.   Gaza/Suez (Palestine/Egypt)
B.   Only Morocco (never conquered), Lebanon and Yemen (never conquered) are naturally defended
C.   If certain cities are taken over (especially the three key cities), the entire middle east is very susceptible to attach
D.   The only Empire that had control over all three cities at once: Ottomans
1.   Ottomans are the only Empire since Rome that has held Africa, Asia and Europe
2.   They held the region for 400 years
3.   They only lost to the British army, a much greater strength
VIII.   Loyalty to Ottoman Empire after the Ottoman Empire is gone
A.   They were the only one to unified the entire Middle East and make it a Islamic Empire
B.   Sunnites & Shiites conflict
1.   90% of modern middle east is Sunnite, only 10% is Shiites
2.   Ottoman was able to defeat the Shiites when they challenged the Sunnites empire
C.   Most modern Arabs desire the Ottoman Empire to be returned to the region (unfortunately this isn't just boundaries, but all aspects including their level of technology, etcÉ)
IX.   Assassins
A.   Assassins were Shiites (they were the Al Qaeda of the 12th century)
B.   They came from Iran
C.   They tried to kill everyone: Crusaders, Jews, Arab-Christians, and especially Muslims as well
D.   The Mongols eventually stopped this sect
X.   Iran - random notes in lecture
A.   The lack of unity is what is keeping the Iranian government being able to make a strong presence in the Middle East
B.   They also have a very poor economy
C.   Although the Shiites are the majority in Iran, they know they are a minority (10%) of the Middle East so they have an inferiority complex