Non-Muslims and military service in the late Ottoman Empire
Balkan Tec, Handan (2015) Non-Muslims and military service in the late Ottoman Empire. [Thesis]
This thesis, which handles the period between 1839 and 1912, aims to show how non- Muslim subjects of the Ottoman Empire could not be taken to military service successfuly. Non-Muslims created many problems that did not allow equality between Muslims and themselves. Even though all the military reforms that the Empire did to provide equality among all the subjects, these reforms could not be practiced very effectively in society. There were two important reasons that created the unfair situation in military service among the Ottoman citizens. The first one was common desertions of non-Muslims from their military service duties. The second reason was that the Empire was giving a tax-payment option to non Muslims to get rid of military service because of its money need. Name of the tax, that was replaced with cizye in 1856, was bedel-i askeri. The modern military reforms in the Ottoman Empire could be dated to reign of Selim III and Mahmud II. Ottoman army became more organized and modern in Tanzimat period at the nineteenth century. Changes of duration of military service and asking for the bedel-i askeri for a while, then abolishing it later were the most radical military reforms between 1839 and 1912.
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