Ottoman Hungary

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History of Hungary
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Ancient Hungary
Pannonia
Hungary before the Magyars
The Middle Ages
Kingdom of Hungary in the Middle Ages
Modern Times
Ottoman Hungary
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Between the Two World Wars
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Hungarian Revolution of 1956
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Ottoman Hungary refers to the Turkish-Ottoman age of today's Hungary (1526 - 1699).

Image:Partition of Hungary.png
Consequences of the Battle of Mohács, and the conquest of Buda in 1541 by the Ottomans: the Kingdom is partitioned. The central and southern part was annexed by the Ottoman Empire. The northwestern part ("Royal Hungary") remainded under Habsburg rule, while in the east, the former integrating Voivodate of Transylvania, became a semi-independent vassal state of the Ottoman Empire.

Contents

[edit] History

By the sixteenth century, the power of the Ottoman Empire had increased gradually, as did the territory occupied by them in the Balkans, while the Kingdom of Hungary was weakened by the peasants' uprisings. Under the reign of Louis II Jagiellon (1516-1526), internal dissentions divided the nobility.

After capturing Belgrade in 1521, Süleyman the Magnificent (1520–1566) did not hesitate to launch an attack against the weakened Kingdom, whose smaller (~40 000 vs. ~100 000 strong), badly organized army was defeated on 29 August, 1526 at the Battle of Mohács. Thus he conquered the Kingdom of Hungary, then laid siege to Vienna in 1529, but failed to take that city after the onset of winter forced his retreat. The territory of the Kingdom was disputed between the Ottomans and the Habsburgs until 1541. After the seizure of Buda by the Turks in 1541, the extreme West and North of what is today Hungary remained in the Habsburgs' hands ("Royal Hungary"), while the central and southern counties were occupied by the Sultan, with the territory becoming one of the 42 eyalets (provinces) of the Ottoman Empire, with the capital at Budin (Buda). Later, the eyalets of Eğri (اكر ) and Kanije were created.

During the Ottoman ruling, peace was fragile: the Habsburgs pursued plans to conquer the Turkish possessions, and to promote the Counterreformation with the help of agents. Using Ottoman Hungary as base, the Ottomans attempted to use this religious division of their christian opponents in 1620, and again in 1683 when they laid siege to Vienna for the second time.

The defeat of Ottoman forces led by Grand Vizier Kara Mustafa Pasha at the Second Siege of Vienna in 1683, at the hands of the combined armies of Poland and the Holy Roman Empire under Jan III Sobieski, was the decisive event that marked the beginning of the Stagnation of the Ottoman Empire, and ultimatelly swung the balance of power in the region. Under the terms of the Treaty of Karlowitz, which ended the Great Turkish War in 1699, the Ottomans ceded nearly all of the Hungarian pashalik to Austria, becoming part of the Habsburg Monarchy, whose Emperors had as part of their official title, the term "King of Hungary", as early as the time they controled only the so-called "Royal Hungary" (see Habsburg Hungary).

See also: Ottoman wars in Europe

[edit] Administration

Image:Turksish soldiers in Ottoman Hungary.jpg
Turkish soldiers in Ottoman Hungary

The territory was divided into Sanjaks (provinces), with the highest ranking Ottoman official being the Pasha of Buda. Pashas and Sanjak-Beys were responsible for administration, jurisdiction and defense. The Ottomans' only interest was to secure their hold on the territory. The Sublime Porte (a term used to designate the Ottoman rulers) became the sole landowner and managed about 20 percent of the land for its own benefit, apportioning the rest among soldiers and civil servants. The new landlords were interested mainly in squeezing as much wealth from the land as quickly as possible. Of major importance to Istanbul was the collection of taxes. Taxation left little for the former landlords to collect; Most of the nobility and large numbers of burghers emigrated into the Habsburg "Royal Hungary" province. Wars, slave-taking, and the emigration of nobles who lost their land caused a depopulation of the countryside. However, the Turks practiced religious tolerance and allowed the various ethnies living within the empire, significant autonomy in internal affairs. Towns maintained some selfgovernment, and a prosperous middle class developed through artisanry and trade.

For more details on Ottoman Organization, see State organisation of the Ottoman Empire.

[edit] Culture

Despite the continuous warfare with the Habsburgs, several cultural centres sprang up in this far corner of the Empire. Examples of Ottoman architecture of the classical period, seen in the famous centers of Istanbul and Edirne, were also seen in Hungary, where mosques, bridges, fountains, baths and schools were built (unfortunatelly, after the Habsburg conquest, most of these works were destroyed. Few survived to this day). The introduction of the Turkish Baths with the building of the Rudas Baths, was the starting point of a long tradition in Hungary. No less than 75 hammams (steam baths) were built during the Turkish age.

[edit] Muslim schools

In the seventeenth century, 165 elementary (mekteb) and 77 secondary and academic theological schools (medrese) were operating in 39 of the major towns of the province. The elementary schools taught writing, basic arithmetics, and the reading of the Qur'an and of the most important prayers. The medreses carried out secondary and academic training within the fields of Muslim religious sciences, Church law and Natural sciences. Most medreses operated in Buda, where there were twelve. In Pécs there were five medreses, Eger and Eszék each had four. The most famous medrese in Ottoman Hungary was that of Buda, built by the Bosnian Sokollu Mustafa Pasha during his seventeen years of governing (1566-1578).

In the djamis, people not only prayed, but were taught to read and write, to read the Qur'an, and prayers. The sermons were the most effective form of political education. There were numerous elementary and secondary schools besides the mosques, and the monasteries of the Dervish orders also served as centers of culture and education. The spread of culture was supported by the libraries. The school library of Sokollu Mustafa Pasha in Buda, contained, besides Muslim religious sciences, other literature, works on oratory, poetry, astronomy, music, architecture, and medical sciences.

See also: Culture of the Ottoman Empire

[edit] Religion

The Ottomans practiced religious tolerance, and hence Christianity was not prohibited. However, there were large numbers of converts to Islam, who, alongside the ~80,000 Muslim settlers, contributed to the constantly growing Muslim minority. The religious life of the Muslims was supervised by the mosques and djamis that were either newly built or transformed from older Christian churches. Payment for the servants of the mosques, as well as the maintenance of the churches, was the responsibility of the Ottoman state or charities.

Besides orthodox Islam, a large number of dervish communities also flourished. The most important ones were the bektashis, the halvetis, and the mevlevis. The famous Gül Baba monastery of Buda, sheltering 60 dervishes, belonged to the bektasi order. Situatated close to the janissaries camp, it was built by Jahjapasazáde Mehmed Pasha, the third begler bey (governor) of Buda. The türbe (mausoleum) in Budapest of the famous dervish and poet Gül Baba is to this day the northernmost site of Islamic pilgrimage.

Another famous monastery of its time was that of the halveti dervishes. Built around 1576 next to the türbe of Sultan Süleyman I the Magnificent (1520-1566) in Szigetvár, it soon became the religious and cultural centre of the area. A famous prior of the zavije (monastery) was the Bosnian Sejh Ali Dede. The monastery of Jakovali Hassan Pasha in Pécs was another famous location. Its most outstanding prior was Mevlevian dervish Pecsevi Árifi Ahmed Dede, a Turk and native of Pécs.

see also: State and Religion In the Ottoman Empire

[edit] See also


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