If you know much about the Ottoman Empire, you know that they are usually considered a tolerant society. But what was it exactly that made them such a tolerant society? You can’t specify one or two things that they did, because they did a lot that could be considered tolerance, especially in the 16th-17th Century era. From the beginning of its society, the Ottoman Empire was always tolerant. They may not have been doing it in the most “civil” way, but they were at least giving people a chance to follow their own culture.
One example would be the fact that many Jews who had been kicked out of Spain, “flocked” to the Ottoman lands, and they were not forced to convert to Islam, but them and any other non-Muslims were forced to pay a Jitza, or a tax for religious tolerance. The Tanzimat Period in the Ottoman Empire was a period of reform that replaced the millet system in an attempt to create more equality among the millets. This eliminated the millet system from the Ottoman Empire.
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The Millet system created religiously based communities that operated autonomously, so people were organized into societies, on often received privileges, based on the church they followed. This clause terminated the privileges of these communities and constructed a society where all followed the same law. As millets were generally autonomous, there were many differences in law and punishment from millet to millet which went against the idea of equality of everyone. The first declaration of the Tanzimat Period, the Hatt-?
Sharif, fixed this so that everyone was to be treated equally and with respect, including such clauses as No one will be permitted to assail the honor of any one, whosoever he may be and These imperial concessions extend to all our subjects, whatever religion or sect they may belong to; and they will enjoy them without any exception When S? leyman was Sultan, when people would “do well” for him or the Empire, such as being a Bureaucrat or good in battle, or doing the Sultan favors, he would name them a timar.
By naming them a timar, he would give them a piece of land to live on and farm, and make a profit, and the timar would be allowed to keep the profits. But once the timar would die, rather than the land being passed down to his family, it would go back to the Sultan. Even women had different roles in the Empire’s culture. Some women were labeled as a Harem, who are usually in royal palaces and great estates and are considered slaves from ifferent conquered areas around the Empire. Many of the elite women were put into a concubiage, or a finishing school. They were given a great education in school such as reading, and math, taught manners and many other things a woman of elite stature would need. They were usually raised until 12-14 years old, and were usually married off. The Europeans disdained the Ottoman Empire on grounds of a religious threat, even though the ottomans were tolerant of Christianity.
Many Europeans ignored the Ottoman Empire’s advanced methods of government, its tolerance of ethnic and religious diversity, and its scientific and cultural achievements. Instead, they condemned the Ottoman conquests as brutal and viewed the Turks as a threat to Christian civilization. From the European point of view, this conflict is relatively well founded. S, Colin. “The Ottoman Empire. ” Socyberty. 29/05/2009. Web. 12 Oct 2009. ;http://socyberty. com/history/the-ottoman-empire-3/;.