Ottoman Governmentality


3.1. General Consideration
It is important to examine the rise of modern intellectuals in order to evaluate the intellectual milieu at the beginning of the twentieth century in the Ottoman Empire on the grounds that the main characteristics of the intellectuals, who were operating from 1900 to 1918 and their discussions were mostly determined by the developments that occurred after the Tanzimat period.

As emphasized before, the domination of officials in the Ottoman government and society was challenged by a new middle class, which played an important political role in the latter half of the nineteenth century. However, even when large portions of the imperial wealth were shifted into private hands, the members of the ruling class were the owners of most of the land. However, starting with the rise of the notables in the eighteenth century and continuing on an accelerated basis in the nineteenth century, new political and economic factors led to the rise of private land as well as commercial wealth in the hands of what was to become a new middle class.229

Changes in the basic institutions of the Ottoman government were accompanied by corresponding alterations in the Ottoman social fabric. The old ruling class was replaced by a new class of bureaucrats who tried to liberate themselves from the insulating characteristics of traditional ties.230 The concept of Western civilization penetrated Ottoman discourse and paved the way for a reassessment of the Ottoman social structure. As Ottomans compared the West with their own society, there appeared a distinct vision and aspiration. The principles and priorities of Ottoman social groups began to change gradually and transformed their visions of what
229 230

Stanford J. Shaw, Ezel Kural Shaw, History of the Ottoman Empire, Volume II, pp. 105-106 ibid., p. 114


Ottoman society should resemble.231 The other important development was the increased...