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Social class in the Ottoman Empire

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

There is considerable controversy regarding social status in the Ottoman Empire. Social scientists[which?] have developed class models on the socio-economic stratification of Ottoman society which feature more or less congruent theories. Albert Hourani described the Ottoman Empire as "a bureaucratic state, holding different regions within a single administrative and fiscal system".[1]

The Ottoman Empire lasted for over six hundred years (1299–1923) and encompassed present-day Turkey, the Balkans and the Fertile Crescent. Thus the Empire included an extremely diverse population ranging from the Muslim majority (Turks, Arabs, Bosniaks, Albanians, etc) to various minority populations, specifically Christians and Jews, whom Muslims referred to as "People of the Book". As an imperial/colonial enterprise, the Ottoman system allowed some Greeks, Tatars, Italians, Albanians, Serbs, Hungarians, Georgians, Bulgarians, Ruthenians and Circassians, kul and azad, to attain high office as  soldiers,  viziers or  members of the imperial family.


  1. ^ Hourani, Albert Habib (1991). A History of the Arab Peoples (revised ed.). Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press (published 2002). p. 207. ISBN 9780674010178. Retrieved 29 July 2020. The empire was a bureaucratic state, holding different regions within a single administrative and fiscal system. It was also, however, the last great expression of the universality of the world of Islam. [...] It was also a multi-religious state, giving a recognized status to christian and Jewish communities.


This page was last edited on 25 September 2022, at 17:18
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