Dark secrets of the Ottoman Empire
For nearly four hundred years of Ottoman Empire dominated the entire territory of South-Eastern Europe, Turkey and the Middle East. Founded courageous tribes of the Turks, the Empire at some point began to collapse due to gluttony and short-sightedness of their rulers. For a long time this country has existed in a very curious state of functional dysfunction, which in muddy water hiding dark secrets of state affairs.
The Armenian Genocide
In general, the Ottoman Empire was a fairly tolerant inakovertsam. Strong state does not require any proof of its strength. The problems began at the same time with the problems in the country. By the 19th century, mass executions became more and more common. The terror reached its climax in 1915, when the genocide was organized by the entire Armenian population. In this grim massacre killed 1, 5 million people. Turkey still refuses to fully recognize this event.
This tradition was very common at the dawn of the Ottoman Empire. Specially trained people from across the country gathered young boys forced to transfer them to the service of the country. Residents of Greece and the Balkans forced to enroll their offspring - those conducted in Istanbul, where the strongest converted to the Muslims and forced to join the military. Janissary Corps gave an excellent opportunity to rise - and this is an excellent opportunity to die during the ordeal. Tradition vanished around the 18th century, when the Janissaries became a hereditary office.
The Ottoman authorities fully of life and death over his subjects. The main court is located in the Topkapi Palace, it is a terrifying place. here they wash their hands - here a special column where the head exhibited executed and a special fountain, designed exclusively for the executioners were built. Surprisingly, as torturers often performed conventional growers who shared their time between creation skilful bouquets and practice with an ax. Most often delinquent simply beheaded, but the blood of the royal family members could not be shed. Head gardener always appointed a large muscular man, able to strangle the man with his bare hands.
Policy fratricide never very popular nor the people, nor the clergy. But what do you do with the members of the royal family who could make a revolution? The princes of the Ottoman Empire could spend my life in special prisons, Kafes. Finally, it was magnificent, but the cell is a cell. Highborne gentlemen went crazy with boredom, ruin oneself by drink and commit suicide.
Despite the fact that the Grand Vizier was special just below the sultan (formally), they are often used as an expendable figures. In fact, the Sultan gave his advisor at the mercy of the crowd each time brewing danger of rebellion. Selim I had in my life as viziers, that just could not remember their names. British Ambassador XVIII century remarked be Vizier of the Ottoman Empire is more dangerous than being a soldier of the rearguard of the army.
Until the XIX century, slavery in the Ottoman Empire was quite limited. Most of the slaves came from Africa and the Caucasus (especially over-valued and helpful and, at the same time, the brave Circassians). Russian, Ukrainians, Poles, and even - everything except the Muslims who could not be legally enslaved. However, weakened the empire could not secure the necessary influx of labor. Practicing Islam also became enslaved, with certain reservations, of course. The Ottoman system was very cruel. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed in the raids, and worked in the fields to death. That's not even mentioning the very common ritual castration: it was thought that eunuchs are less inclined to rebel. The famous historian, Lewis Mehner, in one of his works pointed to the millions of African slaves imported - and in fact in modern Turkey very little is left of people of African descent. This fact alone already tells about the horrible tradition of Ottoman rule.
Many believe harems kind necessarily eastern life. Men, they say, took the harem women to take care of them. Perhaps, initially all was well - but not in the heyday of the Ottoman Empire. Imperial harem at Topkapi Palace consisted of two thousand enslaved women. Some of them have never seen the outside world. Look at the women of the Sultan could be the price of his life: the eunuchs jealously guarded "the most precious place of the empire." Approximately the same situation prevailed for the less distinguished persons of the state, prefer to gather their own harems. In general, the status of women at that time was hardly enviable.