Turkey: Osman's Dream
Much of our recent work at ESI has been on Turkey and Turkey's relationship with the EU. So, any understanding of the modern geopolitics of this region and of the western Balkans needs an understanding of Turkish and Ottoman history. We think that Caroline Finkel's book, which was first published in 2005, is one of two excellent places to start. Finkel is an historian and writer. Hers is a big book but then Ottoman history and its relationship to the history of the rest of Europe is a big and complex subject. It's a book crammed with detail as opposed to Jason Goodwin's more colourful and literary introduction to Ottoman history which we have extracted here. Today much of the story of Turkey's recent economic boom has been intimately related to demand from Europe and one might say that it was ever thus. It was one of the reasons we chose this extract. The second was because it made us think of the work we did in Kayseri, where we identified the phenomenon that we called "Islamic Calvinism" and where textile manufacturing is at the forefront of the town's economic revival. In this extract Finkel discusses Turkey's economy in the early 18th eighteenth century:
The export of raw materials
Osman's Dream: The Story of the Ottoman Empire 1300-1923. Caroline Finkel. 2006.
[p. 341 / John Murray]