Friend or Foe? The Ottoman Empire and Europe from Mehmed II to Wilhelm II

Vortrag, OI Istanbul

The Ottoman Empire rose with the help of European allies, such as Genoa; it fell partly due to entering the First World War on the side of another ally, Germany. Using pictures an diplomatic documents, Dr. Philip Mansel shows how the Ottoman Empire interlocked for more than three centuries with the powers of Europe. It had friendly relations, sometimes confirmed by treaties, with Poland, England, the Netherlands, Sweden, above all France. Beginning in the mid-sixteenth century, the French-Ottoman alliance was one of the few fixed points in European diplomacy. It had long-term commercial, cultural and religious consequences, as the recent exhibition at Versailles on the Treasure of the Holy Sepulchre proved.
More seventeenth-century French royal silver, presents from kings Louis XIII and XIV, has been preserved in Jerusalem than in Paris, since it was not melted down in wars or revolutions. From 1799 formal treaties confirmed the Ottoman Empire as a part of the Concert of Europe. Pictures, architecture, travel accounts, trade and migration patterns (of words as well as people) demonstrate this pattern of alliances. This lecture will be illustrated with 70 pictures, many previously unknown.

Dr. Philip Mansel is a historian of France and the Ottoman Empire. His books Sultans in Splendour, a photographic history of monarchs of the Middle East (London: Andre Deutsch, 1988), Constantinople: city of the World's desire (London: John Murray, 1995); and Levant: Splendour and Catastrophe on the Mediterranean (London: John Murray, 2010), a history of Izmir, Alexandria and Beirut, have been translated into Turkish. He is editor of The Court Historian, journal of the Society for Court Studies, and a Fellow of the Institute of Historical Research, London, and the Royal Historical Society.