Enlightened fathers and their reformist siblings

Kurt, Eyüp Murat
Continuity of applications is one of the most important features of a state, also a requirement for its credibility. This was valid for the Ottoman State which, in the 19th century, became dependent upon modernization for independent survival. It was therefore that the continuity of westernizing renovations performed with the anticipation of preserving state integrity gained outmost importance for the Ottoman ruling class. This study focuses on three nineteenth century enlightened fathers, one of them a non-Muslim, and their reformist siblings who have contributed to this cause as well as to Ottoman modernization. They are Kostaki and İstefanaki Musurus; İbrahim Edhem Paşa and Osman Hamdi Bey; and Ahmed Cevdet Paşa and Fatma Aliye Hanım taken up as case studies and presented here mostly through first hand sources. Each of the three selected prominent Ottomans who rendered different types of services to the Empire were not only enlightened men who, from different aspects contributed to overall Ottoman modernization, but were praiseworthy for bringing up reformist youngs. The six mentioned people with their official careers, scholarly, literary and artistic works served the Empire during a most turbulent era when the state steadily declined, leaving their unforgettable marks on the Ottoman institutions, society and culture as they contributed to the continuity of reforms. The study also brings them forth as role models opening the way to profession legacies among some prominent Ottoman families who served to implant tradition for educational and cultural elevation of the society that can be claimed to have passed to republican Turkey.


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Citation Formats
E. M. Kurt, “Enlightened fathers and their reformist siblings,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2014.