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A geographical background of turkey which occupies a region partly in asia

The question should instead be asked whether large regions are not border regions because different networks of interaction and communication overlap in them.

The Balkans

The following depiction of the history of the Balkans region from about 1450 to 1950 thematizes on the one hand the integration of the region into broad contexts of interconnection e.

InhaltsverzeichnisTable of Contents Introduction One standard work on the political history of the Balkan countries describes the region as follows: These are the result, on the one hand, of the fact that the region historically belonged to different political entities that extended far beyond the region, while, on the other hand, they are also a result of globalization and the intensive migration movements that have been a distinctive feature of this region.

But does this make the Balkans a generic border region — or was heterogeneity not always the normal condition of human social formation before the principle of the homogenous nation state became dominant? Do regions not also form border regions, even if they are not located at a physical or political border, because there are cultural and social borders within them?

Is it not primarily the location of the observer that determines what is viewed as a border region? Viewed from the Balkans, the region can appear to be at the centre of the world and the surrounding regions can be perceived as borders. What are "Europe" and "Asia" ultimately, if they are not also to a large degree heterogeneous regions with multiple connections with other parts of a geographical background of turkey which occupies a region partly in asia world, and thus also a border?

Is the state of being in-between not actually "normal", while supposedly clear affiliations should make us suspicious? The fact that the increasing interest of the humanities and social sciences in border regions and their cultural diversity is occurring in tandem with the waning of the master narrative of modernity and the nation suggests a non-empirical basis for the perception of spaces as border regions.

For the Balkans in particular, the question must be asked whether its conceptualization as a border region is connected with stereotypes that identify the Balkans as not entirely European and thus marginalize the region discursively.

Attention has already been drawn above to the important role played by border metaphors in the cultural construction of a usually pejorative, and at best distorted image of the Balkans in western Europe and North America in the 19th and 20th centuries. The Balkans was thus excluded discursively less as a result of ignorance than through an ontologization of marginality, of being a border region. This external attribution is so effective that it is at times reflected in the self-images of the people living in the Balkans region.

For one thing, the question arises whether the perception of a large region as a border region has heuristic potential for the understanding of areas that are generally not viewed as border regions. For another thing, the term border region can be understood in ways other than the physical geographical sense, for example, as a specific intersection between differently configured spaces of interaction and communication networks — the specifics of a region is determined by the configuration of these.

Additionally, it is a historical fact that important political borders repeatedly ran through the Balkans region, which had lasting consequences for social and cultural development. To this extent, the question of the Balkans as a border region has to be expanded through the question of the borders in the Balkans. Terminology "Balkans" is more than a supposedly neutral name for a specific, geographically circumscribed entity.

Rather, this name has a concrete history that has led to massive cultural loading. The world "Balkan" is of Turkish origin, and refers to a wooded mountain. This geographical error was soon discovered, which is why other authors suggested "southeast European peninsula" Johann Georg von Hahn 1811—18691863 and " southeast Europe " Theobald Fischer 1846—19101893 as alternatives to "Balkans" and "Balkan Peninsula". At least up to the mid-19th century, terms such as "European Turkey" were more common.

The debate about the correct name for the region was ignited by two factors. On the one hand, authors in the German-speaking territory in particular suggested "southeast Europe" as a supposedly neutral alternative to the negatively connoted "Balkan" and derivatives of it.

The northern folded zone

English-language survey works on the history of the region usually have the word "Balkans" in the title, even those that deal in detail with the Habsburg territories. While seas appear to provide a clear border to the west, south and east Adriatic Sea, Ionian SeaSea of MarmaraBlack Seathere is no natural border on the northern a geographical background of turkey which occupies a region partly in asia.

But even if there was one, the question would still remain whether physical borders are of particular importance for the emergence of a historical region. For these reasons, even the reference to the seas as borders is open to question. For the definition of a region as a meaningful historical unity of action, the question whether it is possible to identify natural boundaries is less relevant than the existence of a cluster of development strands that connect the different areas of a large region with one another and differentiate them from other regions.

This does not refer to the presence or absence of a particular characteristic, but to a combination of multiple factors. An important category in this regard is historical legacy, which implies the continued influence of historical effects and processes beyond the direct context in which they emerged. While the latter category has a broader meaning and in different contexts can also include SloveniaSlovakiaHungarythe Republic of Moldavia Moldova and parts of Ukraine — or not — the Balkans is viewed as a historical region which is characterized by a relatively clear group of characteristics that distinguishes it from other regions of Europe.

Out of a range of features, I will mention only the two most important ones in the context of these efforts towards a definition: Defined in this way, geographically the Balkans region extends to the Sava and Danube rivers in the north, that is, to the border that was consolidated between the Habsburg and Ottoman empires in the early-18th century, or the border between the principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia, which remained autonomous but under Ottoman suzerainty into the 19th century, and Ottoman territory proper.

It was perceived by contemporaries and is still depicted in present-day history books as a watershed event, in spite of the many continuities between the Byzantine and Ottoman empires.

The fall of Constantinople was preceded by the almost continuous expansion of Ottoman territory in southeastern Europe from the conquest of Gallipoli 1354 onward. Up to 1672, the Ottoman Empire continued to expand into Europeextending as far as the territory of present-day Ukraine Podolia.

Southeast Europe thus became the site of a line of separation that was viewed as a fundamental divide between civilizations, between Islam and Christianity. This understanding was shared and propagated by both sides — the Muslim Ottomans and Christian Europe.


Thus, the Ottoman conquest of the Balkans also strengthened the image in the rest of Christian Europe of the region as different and tending towards heresy, an image that had already emerged as a result of the schism of 1054, when the eastern and western Christian churches finally split. Ottoman encroachment also created new border regions in a much narrower sense. The border between the Ottoman territory and its Christian neighbours fluctuated over a long period of time resulting in new configurations.

Firstly, attention should be drawn to the Ottoman practice of settling Muslim colonists from Anatolia in the respective border region and of applying considerable force to converting Christians to Islam though Islamicization involved extremely complex processes that are the subject of controversial academic debate up to the present; violence in the narrower sense played a subordinate role.

In southeastern Europe, this was the case with the republic of Ragusa Dubrovnikthe principalities of TransylvaniaWallachia and Moldavia, and the khanate of Crimea. In the Habsburg monarchy, the institution of the military border was established as early as 1535.

After the great Habsburg conquests in the late-17th and early-18th centuries and the final peace settlement with the Ottoman Empire in the Treaty of Belgrade 1739this border stretched from the Adriatic in the west to the Banat region in present-day Romania. The military border was distinguished by a range of special regulations regarding its legal status.

In order to resettle it after the devastation of the Austro-Turkish wars, colonists were attracted with grants of land, exemption from feudal obligations, as well as tax advantages. However, in return the colonists had to perform military duty and were subject to mobility restrictions. The military authorities also prohibited the division of households. The status of the military-agrarian population was nonetheless so attractive that both many Christians mostly Orthodox from the Ottoman Empire and residents of other parts of Austria resettled in the military border, which resulted in a high degree of ethnic heterogeneity.

In the Venetian territory, a similar border organization was established. The societal consequences were also long-lasting. Due to the various restrictions, the prioritization of military concerns and the poor infrastructural development, the military border became markedly economically backward compared with the regions under civilian administration.

This is still apparent today in the case of Krajina in Croatia, for example. The Ottoman conquest of the various southeastern European states, which had formed during the Middle Ages and were more or less independent, and the advance of the Habsburgs into southeastern Europe marked the beginning of a period in the history of the Balkans that can be described as imperialand which lasted up to the Balkans wars and the First World War.

In view of the complexity of the imperial experience, it is only possible to briefly discuss some of its central elements here. It must first of all be noted that the incorporation of the Balkans into imperial contexts this also applies to the Venetian colonial empire brought the region into direct connection with other parts of the respective empires.

For example, the military successes of the Ottomans in southeastern Europe were linked with conditions in the east a geographical background of turkey which occupies a region partly in asia the empire, where there were regular military confrontations between the Ottomans and the Persians. At the same time, the fates of the a geographical background of turkey which occupies a region partly in asia empires were very closely linked through wars, tradediplomacy and other factors.

This by no means meant that local elites were of no importance. The empires pursued a policy of co-opting local notables, which could quickly change to physical annihilation if the latter became disloyal. The local elites in the Ottoman imperial territories that were not directly integrated into the Ottoman administrative structures had particularly broad freedom of action, for example, the principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia, which had their own princes and a landowning nobility boyars and where the Ottoman central authorities maintained only a rudimentary presence.

But even in territories that were nominally directly administered there were various separate laws, for example for population groups that performed special services for the sultan.

With its conglomerate-state structure, Austria -Hungary was generally characterized by a decentralized structure, which only temporarily receded in favour of the central exercise of power particularly during the period of neo-absolutism. Furthermore, in the Ottoman Empire, where recruiting was based on the principle of meritocracy, there was also the possibility that people from poor backgrounds could climb up into the administrative elite, if they were Muslim — whether through birth or through conversion — and men.

A whole series of grand viziers had southern Slavic, Albanian or Greek ancestry. The incorporation of the Balkans into the three empires was accompanied by different societal orders, though there was also a high degree of regional heterogeneity in each of the imperial structures.

This was the case in particular in the Ottoman territory, not only as a result of the vast expanse of its territory, but also due to the Ottoman policy of incorporating local structures instead of changing them, and of not pursuing societal and cultural homogeneity. Due to the central importance of land usage the degree of urbanization of the Balkans remained very low into the 20th centurythis played a decisive role in the lives of the vast majority of people.

In the Habsburg territory, feudal conditions predominated except in the military border. In the territory controlled by Venice, the so-called "colonate" was dominant, a form of property ownership comparable to tenant farming.

In the Ottoman Empire, in which most of the land belonged to the sultan, peasants were legally free and enjoyed hereditary usage rights to the land allocated to them. It was a sign of the a geographical background of turkey which occupies a region partly in asia power of the sultan that a form of hereditary large-scale landownership was able to emerge particularly in the 17th and 18th centuries, and some peasants became economically dependent on local notables.

In the areas of the Ottoman Balkans that were indirectly controlled from Constantinople, customary property rights prevailed, such as large-scale landownership with serfdom in the Romanian principalities and tribal joint property ownership in the mountainous regions in the western Balkans, where sheep and goat farming were the dominant forms of agriculture. Another factor that was relevant for the societal order was the way in which the respective imperial order differentiated the population.

Both in the Ottoman and the Habsburg territories, the elite was very multi-ethnic, though typically mono-confessional: Muslim in one case, Catholic in the other. While the Habsburg Empire was organized on the basis of estates until into the 19th century, the vertical social hierarchy of the Ottoman Empire exhibited a greater degree of mobility in both directions. For societal practice, the question of the treatment of religious and linguistic diversity was particularly important, as both empires had a high degree of diversity in both regards.

Though the Habsburgs viewed themselves as a champion of the Roman Catholic faith, they were prepared to make concessions to other religious communities to strengthen their rule. For example, after many Orthodox Christians predominantly Serbs had been settled in the Habsburg Empire after the long war against the Ottoman Empire in the aftermath of the second Ottoman siege of Vienna 1683the members of this church were allowed to establish their own bishopric with its seat in Sremski Karlovci in 1713.

This metropolitanate subsequently developed into the religious and cultural centre for Orthodox Serbs. After the occupation of Bosnia-Herzegovinathe Muslims were also recognized by the state as a religious community.

Additionally, the southeastern European peripheries of the Habsburg Empire had a comparatively high proportion of Protestants, who had been resettled there during the re-Catholicization of the core Habsburg lands or who settled there as part of repopulation measures.

In accordance with the traditions of Islamic teaching on law and the statethe Ottomans understood their empire as an Islamic state and spreading Islam as an important dutybut they granted freedom of conscience to other religions of the book Jews and Christians. The religious communities constituted corporative groups millet.

The head of each of these negotiated with the sultan regarding the interests of the respective religious community. Each religion had internal autonomy, for example in family law. As the patriarchate was dominated by the wealthy, Greek-speaking merchant milieu in the Phanar district of the capital who were known as Phanariotsthe Orthodox church assumed a decidedly Greek appearance.

The dominance of Greek as the liturgical language in the non-Greek areas of the Balkans subsequently served as the spark for the Bulgarian nationalist movement, which experienced its first success with the establishment of an autocephalous Bulgarian church by the sultan in 1870.

The role of language for the organization of the state and society and for the determination of belonging developed differently in the Ottoman and Habsburg empires. The Ottoman Empire was only a superficially bureaucratic state, in which something approaching a modern administrative system only emerged in the 19th century.

The school system remained rudimentary or was left to the religious communities, and at the end of the empire only a small minority of the population had literacy skills.

In these circumstances, use of the official language played less of a role in social mobility than it did in the Habsburg Empire with its considerably bigger administrative apparatus and education system. In the 19th century, the question of the official language had become one of the central political points of conflict, particularly in the multi-lingual peripheries of Austria and of Austria-Hungary after the Ausgleich of 1867as the recognition of one's own native language and the creation of an administrative system based on that language provided opportunities for upward mobility.

Austria and Hungary followed diverging paths in this regard.