Articles on Ottoman Empire

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Why did Turkey’s government go after academics soon after the coup? Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters

Why Turkey wants to silence its academics

A scholar who grew up in Turkey explains the important role Turkey's academics play and why, following the recent coup, the government went after them.
The Sykes-Picot Agreement was the result of secret deliberations between British civil servant Mark Sykes and French diplomat François Georges-Picot. Wikimedia Commons

The Sykes-Picot Agreement and the making of the modern Middle East

The Sykes-Picot Agreement created the modern Middle East. It represents one of the first installments in a long line of modern European – and subsequent American – meddling in the region.
In seeking to understand the roots of Islamic State, we’ve tried to spread the net wide, but make no claim to being comprehensive or having the final word. Reuters/Stringer; David Wise/Flickr; Reuters/Stringer; EPA/Sanjeev Gupta; Reuters/Fadi Al-Assaad; Royal Geographical Society/Wikimedia Commons; Reuters/Stringer; AAP/Asmaa Abdelatif; Reuters/Stringer

How can we understand the origins of Islamic State?

Our series on understanding Islamic State attempts to catalogue many of the forces and events that can arguably have played a part in creating the conditions necessary for these jihadists to emerge.
Map of the Sykes–Picot Agreement showing Eastern Turkey in Asia, Syria and Western Persia, and areas of control and influence agreed between the British and the French in May 1916. Royal Geographical Society via Wikimedia Commons

The post-colonial caliphate: Islamic State and the memory of Sykes-Picot

The leaders of Islamic State do not see their caliphate as an exercise in theocracy for its own sake, but as an attempt at post-colonial emancipation.
Visitors mourn at the Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan, Armenia. David Mdzinarishvili/Reuters

The 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide

On the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, we asked scholars to reflect on the significance of Armenian insistence on remembering and Turkey's insistence that the genocide never happened.
The Ottoman Chief Eunuch was an influential figure. In this and other caliphates, eunuchs supervised the harem, the princes, the financial affairs of the palace and the mosques, as well as controlling access to the ruler. Photo postcard 1912

Islamic State lacks key ingredient to make ‘caliphate’ work: eunuchs

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed Islamic State (IS) as a Muslim caliphate on June 29, 2014, with himself as caliph, a term reserved for a successor to the prophet Muhammad (PBUH). His would be the newest…
Facing destruction: Iraq’s Yazidi kurds. EPA/Mohammed Jalil

Explainer: who are the Yazidis?

In 1918, the Yazidis of Sinjar mountain received an ultimatum from Ottoman forces – to hand over their weaponry and the Christian refugees they were sheltering, or face the consequences. They tore it up…

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