Tanzimat Reformları Ve İtalyanlar (1838-1876)
Malara, Consuelo Emilj
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After the internal crisis that started in 1600 and the first reforms under the Sultan Ahmed III, between the end of the 1700s and the beginning of the 1800s, the Ottoman Empire began to feel the need of a change in its internal structure and the one of a reform program to improve its economy and make itself competitive in political, economic, military and diplomatic terms with the great European powers. During his reign, Sultan Selim III (1789-1808) wanted to modernize the Empire and made the first military reforms, but these did not give good results. In his successor’s reign, Sultan Mahmud II (1808-1839), the education system was reformed and new schools were created. Sultan Mahmud II was the author of one of the major military changes that the Empire experienced: he destroyed the old body of the Janissaries and built a new military system. Moreover, the Sultan promoted the introduction of European products and the creation of new commercial treaties; also, the Sultan encouraged the presence in the Ottoman Empire of European diplomats. The Ottomans were interested in increasing their diplomatic and commercial role in Europe. For this reason, The Ottoman Empire started to commit itself to sign new economic treaties and make states like France and England create consulates in Turkish lands. The Ottomans were interested in stipulating new commercial treaties, especially maritime, with the Italian states. The presence of Italian ambassadors and traders in the Ottoman Empire facilitated relations between the two countries and more and more Italians moved to Istanbul for business reasons and began to live in the Ottoman Empire. Close political and economic ties mean that Italian culture too reached Istanbul. Moreover, the presence of foreigners obviously led to an openness to the European lifestyle, especially in the city of Istanbul, which was enlarged and which fashionable neighborhoods became famous all over the world. After the death of Sultan Mahmud II, Abdülmecid (1823-1861), son of the Sultan Mahmud II, in the 1839 ascended the throne and at the same years he proclamed the Gülhane Hatt-ı Şerif-i Fermanı (Supreme Edict of the Rose house) or Tanzimat Fermanı (Imperial Edict of Reorganization), that launched the Tanzimat period of reforms and reorganization in the Ottoman Empire. ix Gülhane Hatt-ı Şerif-i Fermanı by Grand Vizier Koca Mustafa Reşit Pasha was read in public. The goal of the decree was to help in modernizing the empire both at a military and social stage, so that it could compete with the Great Powers of Europe like France and England. It also was hoped that the reforms would win over the disaffected parts of the empire, especially in the Ottoman controlled parts of Europe. It promised reforms such as the abolition of tax farming, reform of conscription, and guarantee of rights to all Ottoman citizens regardless of religion or ethnic group. The Tanzimat Fermanı represents the most important point of change for the Empire infact rapresented the first openness towards democratization. In 1856, after the Crimean War, the Sultan Abdülmecid gave to all the citizens of the Empire a new edict: the Islâhat Hatt-ı Hümâyûnu. With this decree the Sultan promised equality in education, government appointments, and administration of justice to all regardless of creed. Moreover, the Sultan promised to be held responsible for the constitution of the "Provincial Councils" and "Communal Councils" and the fairness of this process and the results. The Islâhat Hatt-ı Hümâyûnu can be considered a very important point during the proces of modernizations of the structure of the Empire. After that, the way for the modernizations and the survive of the Empire was long and hard and only in the 1876 was promulgated the first Ottoman Constitutions. During the project of the reforms Europeans were appointed by Padishah with various duties and and these contributed to bring new products and innovations from Europe. Among them, the Italians contributed to spread the Italian architectural styles amongst Ottoman architecture. Moreover, Italian personalities introduced European songs and musical motifs into the Ottoman musical scene, also the Opera in the Ottoman theaters and the Italian soldiers were spokesperson for novelties even within in the Ottoman infantry. Starting with the uprisings of 1848, the Italian states arose agaist the Bourbon, the Austrian sovereignty and the absolutist monarchical regimes that ruled. They rebelled and for the first time after the Roman Empire İtaly in the 1860-1861 turned to be a unified state. This period of struggles and political changes was defined by historians with the term “Risorgimento”. During the Risorgimento many Italian combatants and politicians were exiled, especially by Austrian government and many of them found in Istanbul a safe and convenient place to live. These soldiers, politicians and workers who fought against the x foreign domination for the ideal of a united and free Italy who lived in İstanbul, contributed to the dissemination of the Risorgimento ideas and the spread of sense of unity between the other Italians and Europeans which were already living in Istanbul. These ones started also to feel interested in the Italian reunification issue, so that some of them even decided to actively contribute in the Italian struggle for independence against the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In my analysis, I tried to give an examination of the diplomatic and cultural relations between the Italian state and the Ottoman Empire from the 1838 to 1876 and to give an analysis of the works realized by the main Italian artists in İstanbul. Moreover, I tried, with my work, to understand how the İtalian artists represented the Ottoman world, to demonstrate how the İtalian culture and style was acknowledged in İstanbul and to esemplify the Italian artistic contribution in the modernization of the Empire.