Centralization and opposition in Mongol and Ottoman state formations

Somel, Gözde
The Mongol and the Ottoman leadership structures emerged in milieus where identities were changeable, mobility was high and the alliances were shifting. Chinggis Khan arose to degree of Khanate of entire Mongolia from an extremely marginal position in tribal politics and his experiences in this process provided him an anti-tribal political vision. He at the very beginning of his career formed the nucleus of his political power by his relationships and entourages. Later, he reorganized the clans and tribes, which submitted their loyalty to him around those principal participants in his army of conquest. Osman Bey made successful conquests thanks to the advantageous geographical position of his principality, became famous in a short time and managed to attract various elements of complex social structure of the Byzantine frontiers to him. He did not involve in a harsh struggle for leadership. Instead of monopolization of power, he favored sharing of it with his companions in arms. Mongols, after monopolizing power in the steppes devoted their energies to frontier conquests. However, during Chinggis Khan’s reign, the Mongols saw the centre of the authority there. Their relation with the societies outside the Mongolia was indirect. Ottomans on the other hand, built up their administrative apparatus in the conquered territories. The Ottomans created a new bureaucratic group which did not have a power base besides the posts in Ottoman state and placed them to the centre of administration. Those posts did not have any hereditary dimension. The Mongols, contrary to the Ottomans, turned the state offices to hereditary posts and in time they began to distribute peoples, armies, lands and resources throughout the empire as appanages to state officers. Therefore, the Chinggisids created a new aristocracy who had the power in their hands to shake the centralist order of Chinggis Khan.
Citation Formats
G. Somel, “Centralization and opposition in Mongol and Ottoman state formations,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2008.