On the Sultan's Service: Halid Ziya Uşaklıgil's Memoir of the Ottoman Palace, 1909–1912

Couverture
Indiana University Press, 4 févr. 2020 - 290 pages

"When at last we were approaching the Harem, the Sultan, surely quite alarmed, said to me in a low voice (was that so the eunuch walking in front of us wouldn't hear, or because in this lonely and dark passageway he was frightened of his own voice?), Ne olacak? 'What is to become of things?'"



Translated into English for the first time, this memoir provides fascinating first-hand insight into the personalities, intrigues, and inner workings of the Ottoman palace in its final decades. Written by Halid Ziya Uşaklıgil, who was First Secretary to Sultan Mehmed V and would go on to be one of Turkey's most famous novelists, On the Sultan's Service makes available to English readers the remarkable account of life and work in the Ottoman palace chancery—the public, "business" side of the palace—in its final incarnation. We learn of the court's new role under this second-to-last Sultan in post-Revolution Turkey. No longer exercising political power, the palace negotiated the minefields between political factions, sought ways to unite the empire in the face of sharpening nationalist aspirations, and faced with a kind of shocked despondency the opening salvos of the wars that were to overwhelm the country. Uşaklıgil includes interviews with the Imperial family and descriptions of royal nuptials, the palaces and its visitors, and the crises that shook the court. He delivers an insightful and moving portrait of Mehmed V, the elderly gentleman who reigned over the Ottoman Empire through both Balkan Wars and World War I.

 

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Table des matières

1 A New Court for a New Monarch
1
2 Redoing the Palaces
17
3 On Show
30
4 The Imperial Household
45
5 The Imperial Family
59
6 Wedding Vows and Dueling Heirs
73
7 Papers Papers
84
8 Mysterious Yıldız Daunting Topkapı
95
13 No End to Crises
186
14 Caught in the Vise
201
15 Bringing Down the Curtain
218
16 The Man Who Would Be Sultan
226
Epilogue
239
Glossary of Names
243
Glossary of Terms and Places
247
Bibliography
251

9 Coming to Call
110
10 Royal Guests
133
11 On Holiday
149
12 Maneuvering Touring
159
Index
253
About the Author
257
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À propos de l'auteur (2020)

Douglas Scott Brookes teaches Ottoman Turkish at the University of California, Berkeley. He is author of Harem Ghosts: What One Cemetery Can Tell Us About the Ottoman Empire and The Concubine, the Princess, and the Teacher: Voices from the Ottoman Harem.

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