A New Look at the Ottoman Political Economy

Bulut M.

BILIG, no.62, pp.63-96, 2012 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Journal Name: BILIG
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index, Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.63-96


The world history witnessed many empires which lived longer and dominated greater area than Ottoman Empire, but all of them ruled prior to modern capitalism era. Ottoman Empire, on the other hand, succeeded to survive for a long time during the rise of modern capitalism while being geographically very close to the actors of capitalism and capitalist system. During the time period when Ottomans reached their largest extent, all the countries which were in the center of capitalist establishment were actively engaging in colonial activities in Asia, Africa and America. They created colonies in these regions and controlled the economic resources for a long time. In other words, European-based sovereign powers of the modern system succeeded to control and rule the whole world except the Ottoman Empires land. Surely there are many economic, social, political, geographical, cultural and historical causes behind this situation and they need to be examined more closely by the researchers. Without any doubt, Ottoman political-economy played a very important and determinant role in this result. Therefore, it is imperative to analyze the features of Ottoman political-economy, its basic dynamics, similarities and differences with its contemporaries in this context. This study aims to shed a light on this area.