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Selim III

( Turkish sultan in 1789-1807)

Comments for Selim III
Biography Selim III
photo Selim III
(1761-1808)
Istanbul - one of the most beautiful cities in the world, spread out on the numerous hills. Palaces, . mosque with lead roofs, . over which the gilt candles exalted slender minarets, . colorful houses and bright greens - all this made the travelers to compare it with the luxurious Persian rug, . fringe which resembled countless masts of moored ships,
. Southern sun, blue sea and sky completed the picture, making it a truly unforgettable.

At the residence of the Sultan, which consisted of a set of large and small palaces, gardens, courtyards and pavilions, excitement reigned. In the harem were expecting a prince, who, as predicted by a court astrologer, the stars promised to return the former glory of the empire the Ottomans. Sultan Mustafa III careful attitude to the prophecy, because the country really needs reform. Established by the sword a great power, . which included the entire Middle East, . Northern Africa, . Balkans and Black Sea, . considered a black sea 'Turkish lake', . threatened to Vienna and the Italian city-states, . competing with Rzeczpospolita and Russia for influence in Eastern Europe, . experienced, . as later historians say, . 'period of retreat', . TE ryaya one after the other conquered territories,
. Inside the country, also clearly brewing crisis associated with the collapse of the system of land tenure, governance, army. In anticipation of trouble Ottoman society was looking, but not forward and back, calling for a return to the 'golden age' of Suleiman the Magnificent (reigned 1520-1566). Any innovations seemed then intrigues giaours - infidels, seeking to undermine the power of the Ottomans.

Selim from childhood grew up not just as the Sultan's son, but as a man destined for great things. He received a good education, was clever and well read. In the library of the Sultan, which was collected valuable collection of books and manuscripts, the young Prince became acquainted not only with oriental literature and philosophy, but also with political history and descriptions of the technical achievements of Europe. Lacking any determination or autonomy, Selim was firmly learned that he was to become an outstanding transducer country.

. Selim came to power in its prime, 28-years old, in trouble for the Ottoman Empire and a landmark for the whole of world history in 1789, when the French Revolution
. It is somewhat improved the international position of the Turkish state, since it distracted us from the forces of the European powers. In marching while the war with Russia (1787-1791) and Austria (1788-1791) the Ottomans suffered a severe defeat - they lost Hawtin, Ochakov, Ackerman, Bender, Belgrade. There have been defeated Turkish army and navy. There were talks on a possible accession to antiosmanskim forces of France, which was supposed to seal a dynastic marriage between French and Austrian royal houses. Now, with the beginning of the revolution, Austria was forced to withdraw from the howl-HN with the Turks, has disappeared and the threat of the Austro-Franco-Russia alliance. Uz-nav, the proclamation of the republic in France, the Grand Vizier allegedly exclaimed: 'So much the better! Republic'm not married to the Austrian Archduchess'. However, the overthrow, and then the execution of Louis XVI, which, while still heir to the throne, Selim kept up a correspondence, you could not frighten the Sultan of Turkey - at first he had a very cautious policy toward France.

. Russian-Turkish war ended in 1791 the Treaty of Jassy
. The defeat was so obvious that in Europe talking about the near collapse of the Ottoman Empire. In the state to replace the despair gradually came to belief in the need for change.

Selim III ordered the dignitaries prepare memoranda on the measures which they believe could improve the situation in the State. But he stressed: 'I want to tell me the truth, the whole truth'. Received by the Sultan and suggestions formed the basis for future reforms. Among these documents should be made note Ratib Efendi, . who went in 1791, led the Ottoman Embassy in Vienna, . where he was due not only to fulfill the diplomatic assignments, . but also to get acquainted with the organization of military affairs, . government, . banking system, . Customs, etc.,
. Ratib Efendi noted that many of the ills of the Ottoman Empire due to its military and economic backwardness of Europe. For the Ottoman society, until tightly fenced off from the West, similar findings have been unheard of innovation. Previously, similar thoughts expressed by only a few foreigners who were in the Ottoman service, but because of their perceived with suspicion and caution.

. Reforms of Selim III became known as 'rank and the Jedi' - a new order and mean changes in the army, strengthening the central authority in the country, the promotion of manufacturing and the restructuring of the educational system.

. First of all, was formed and trained on the European model but-headed infantry corps numbering 12 thousand
. man. He was separated from the main army, had his command, shape, decorations, barracks, parade ground. For classes of soldiers watched the Sultan himself, often attending with approximate in exercises and parades. For the first time soldiers 'Nizam-i Jedi' successfully proved themselves in battle under Akkoy, and then in Egypt during the invasion of Napoleon Bonaparte's troops there.

. It also created a new artillery units and the navy, because the former after Chesmenskaya, Ochakovskaya and Sinop disasters virtually ceased to exist
. And yet, already in 1807 Russia's embassy reported that the Turkish fleet 'may be equated with the navies of nations, the most zealous in this regard'.

. To ensure the fleet and artillery, all necessary, to develop new coal mines and copper mines, established plants, manufacturing army uniforms, etc.

. In new schools, hundreds of youths received military and academic training
. Grew younger generation of Ottoman society, were further significant impact on its development. At the examinations are often attended by the Sultan himself, personally encourage those who have studied successfully.

Became inactive work almost half a century the first Turkish printing house, and opened another. In the Turkish language were translated European books, mostly French, in military affairs, and mathematics.

But the reforms demanded money, but because the new taxes were introduced: the wine, cattle, cotton, tobacco. Besides, . in bad faith performance of their duties alone Sipahi (so-called Turkish feudal, . who gave the land for military service) were deprived of the lands granted by, . while others were exempted from the stay in the Army, . contributing to the treasury a sum of income from his ownership,
. The attack on their old law could not cause irritation in this part of the military-service class. Dissatisfied were Janissaries (Turkish regular infantry), fearing that they were replaced by more modern, professionally-trained troops. Even some dealers and Istanbul mob attempts to affect the sultan of the authorities to streamline the supply of food to the capital. But especially indignant Muslim clerics are extremely prejudiced against the whole of Europe.

So the largely successful reforms have been their strong opponents. In Turkish historiography of Selim III like to compare with Peter I. Indeed, the Turkish Sultan and the Tsar of Russia were keenly interested in undertaking its reforms, which, however, differed in depth and radicalism. Selim III is clearly not enough of Peter's resolve, and therefore the fate of his reforms have turned out differently.

Selim failed to crush the power of Ayanov - rulers of separate areas of the empire, actually did not recognize the central government. More than that, he went to them for significant concessions, legitimize, in 1790 the official status Ayanov. By establishing allied relations with some of them, the sultan essentially behaved not as the supreme ruler, but as one of the participants in the fight separatists. Selim III had to face and with a growing, especially in the Balkans, the liberation movement of non-Turkish peoples. The situation was complicated by the Sultan and the international situation, which was then the Ottoman Empire. Napoleon's Egyptian campaign, . provoke a war with France (1798-1801), . provoked the latest war with Russia, Turkey, . began in 1806, . and then with England - since 1807, . - All require the State to a huge effort and more resources,
. In military actions involved more troops. In the abandoned capital of the sultan-reformer was left alone with their opponents. This is where the impact of his lack of decisiveness, but in a swarm and a coward. Janissary uprising in 1806, . performance in the next year the garrison Bosphorus forts, . supported by the Istanbul rabble, . led, . that the Sultan issued a decree dissolving the troops 'no-Zam and the Jedi', . granted to the rebels for the massacre of some of its approximate, . but in the end and he was deposed,
. And although the struggle for reform continued in 1807, and in 1808 respectively, he Selim III in her participation is no longer accepted. Soon after the overthrow, he was killed in a palace conspiracy.

Reforms of Selim III ended in failure, but they initiated a series of reforms undertaken in the Ottoman Empire in the XIX century.


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