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Title: ギリシア・ブルガリア教会問題と「オスマン国民」理念
Other Titles: The Greco-Bulgarian Church Problem and Ottoman Nationhood
Authors: 藤波, 伸嘉1 Browse this author
Authors(alt): Fujinami, Nobuyoshi1
Issue Date: 2004
Publisher: 北海道大学スラブ研究センター
Journal Title: スラヴ研究
Journal Title(alt): Slavic Studies
Volume: 51
Start Page: 97
End Page: 131
Abstract: Oddly enough, students of Ottoman and Balkan history coincide with each other on the point that not much attention is paid to the Empire's non-Muslim subjects after the Berlin Treaty of 1878. However, these subjects still comprised about thirty percent of the entire population of the Empire on the eve of the Young Turks Revolution, and the Greek subjects of the Kingdom of Greece and the Greek subjects of the Ottoman Empire were almost equal in number. Non-Muslim bureaucrats' presence in both the central and local administration had advanced rapidly during the Hamidian period. These facts demonstrate the need to place the Empire's non-Muslim subjects properly in both Ottoman and Balkan historical contexts. In this regard two points require special attention: First, the non-Muslims' brand of the "Ottoman Nation" ideal would be a good point of reference to understand the problems inherent in the Muslim (or, Ottoman-Turkish) brand. Although late Ottoman history, especially after the Berlin Treaty, has been studied almost exclusively from a Muslim point of view, non-Muslim subjects also participated in this reform era. If the "Ottoman Nation" ideal was one of the most important issues in the reform policies of the Empire, examining its real nature through the non-Muslim subjects' eyes is equally important. Second, non-Muslims' experiences in the Ottoman Empire would shed new light on early 20th century Balkan history. Recently, the so-called "Macedonian Question" has attracted much attention from students of Balkan history, but few have sufficiently considered the fact that this region was still part of the Ottoman Empire, and the internal logic of the Ottoman domestic politics is seldom referred to. If the nationalist historiography of Balkan states should be reconsidered, why do we not see the same process from the Ottoman point of view? In this case "Ottoman" means not only the Ottoman authority, but also the non-Muslim subjects of the Empire. In this respect, parliamentary debate on the Church Law was of great importance. This law was enacted in 1910 with the purpose of settling the national/clerical conflict in Macedonia, namely between the Greek Patriarchate and the Bulgarian Exarchate. Bearing in mind that the Church Problem was the primal concern for anyone playing a part in the "Macedonian Question," and many Ottoman-Turk intellectuals had served in Macedonia in both civil and military functions, we can say that this problem was one of the most politically important questions in the first half of the Second Constitutional Period. For this reason, the manner in which non-Muslim deputies talked about an "Ottoman Nationhood" while discussing such a politically important topic would give us a chance to inquire about the above mentioned questions. This is what this article tries to answer. What was most conspicuous in the course of the parliamentary debate was the hostility between Greeks and Bulgarians. In addition to this, non-Greek deputies like Serbians, Albanians and Vlachs also bitterly criticized the "Patriarchate's yoke on ethnicity" in the same manner. Despite the typical nationalist historiography, which usually describes the political process of the Second Constitutional Period as an incessant antagonism between the "Turks" and other ethnic communities, "Turks" were not the only enemy for non-Muslim communities. In fact, there were several causes of dispute among the non-Muslim subjects, and both Greeks and Bulgarians tried hard to win the "public opinion" or "conscience" of the fellow deputies, of course including Ottoman-Turks, in order to reinforce their claims. It would be a misdeed to view the political process of the Second Constitutional Period as an incessant confrontation between Unionists and non-Turkish decentralists. Against this backdrop, it is not so surprising that non-Muslim deputies' opinions on ethnicity and nationality varied with each other. While Bulgarians insisted that ethnicity was determined exclusively by language, Greeks did not consider language as a critical element in determining one's ethnicity and refuted the Bulgarians' claim. In actuality, Greeks, and especially the Greek Patriarchate, had a good reason to define their ethnicity by factors other than language. After the schism between the Patriarchate and the Exarchate, the traditional meaning of "Rum," that is, all Orthodox subjects of the Empire, was obliged to change accordingly. But along with the desperate effort of Greeks to preserve their influence among the Orthodox subjects of the Empire, it was imperative for them to keep the meaning of the word "Rum" as open as possible. If one takes language as a main feature to determine ethnicity, non-Greek-speaking Orthodox subjects' claim to their own ethnicity could not be effectively rejected, and they would become disassociated from "Rum," or Greeks. For the non-Greek deputies, this attitude of Greeks seemed like nothing but the "Patriarchate's yoke on ethnicity," and the dispute between Greeks and non-Greeks had arisen mainly from this. However, on the other topics like the educational problem and Law on Association, Greeks saw language as a main factor to determine one's ethnicity. In these cases, they demanded the preservation of their privileges, especially their communal educational rights free from inspection by the Ministry of Education. As the difference between languages provided a good basis, Greeks stood up strongly for "the right to teach their own language and literature." In this case, the "enemy" was not non-Greek Orthodox deputies as in the Church Law, but Turks, and so they made full use of language in their argument to preserve their vested interest. In this way, the manner in which Greeks defined their ethnicity changed according to the topic being discussed. A similar attitude was observed concerning the question of how they put their respected ethnicities into the notion of the "Ottoman Nationhood." In the debate on Church Law and Registry Law, Greeks claimed that to persist in one's own ethnicity would harm the common interest of the "Ottoman Nation." But on other issues like the case of the debate on Law on Association, Greeks said that to pursue one's ethnicity and its ideal was not at all detrimental to the Ottoman unity, quite the contrary it was the necessary measure to realize unity. These attitudes were also motivated by the Patriarchate's interest. They feared that if each subjects' ethnicity were recorded in their registry, inevitably non-Greek Orthodoxies could not be included in "Rum," and this would weaken the Patriarchate even further. But whatever the real intent behind their claims, non-Muslim deputies could and did advocate the priority of the common interest of the "Ottoman Nation" over the particular interest of the ethnic communities. Not to mention that to be a loyal Ottoman citizen was not at all contradictive to being ethnic-conscious, actually to be (or to claim that they were) a good Ottoman citizen was one of the most effective measures to fulfill their demands. In the same way, to be conscious of one's own ethnicity (or to be a disciple of its "nationalism") would not necessarily lead him to become anti-Unionist. From the inquiry above it becomes apparent that Greeks' way of defining both ethnicity and "Ottoman Nation" was not at all a fixed one. They defined their ethnicity and nationality very tactically in order to maintain their communal interest. Ethnicity itself, and the way they put their own ethnicities into the notion of the "Ottoman Nation" changed along with the issues. In this way, the very notion of ethnicity itself was in the course of formation, and their imagined boundaries of each ethnicity changed according to the topic. Whether it be Greeks, Bulgarians, or Albanians, their notion of each ethnicity changed in accordance with how they evaluated the "Ottoman Nationhood." But here arose another problem. The Ottoman Empire was thought to be a nation-state of the "Ottoman Nation," and as such, anyone or any community within it ought to sacrifice its own particular interest for the sake of the common interest. In this respect, what did matter, especially for non-Turk subjects, was that Ottoman-Turks used the terms "Ottoman" and "Turk" often interchangeably. Non-Turk subjects' protest were not without ground that Turks used cunning measures to call particular interest of "Turks" as common interest of "Ottomans" in order to benefit only Turks. But for Ottoman-Turks this accusation may sound a little unfair. It was not an easy task even for them to distinguish "Turk" from "Ottoman." The non-Muslim subjects had no clear definition for these two concepts either, and often confused the two themselves. In this light, although in a somewhat different way, Turks and non-Turks were confronted with the same problem. As noted above, for the non-Muslim subjects, how they defined their ethnicity was closely connected with the problem of whether to pursue particular or common interest first. This problem was linked to the ambiguous relationship between two concepts, "Ottoman" and "Turk." And then, this is exactly the same question Ottoman-Turk intellectuals had to tackle when they tried to build their own nationalism. This is the basic context in which anyone who participated in the Ottoman decision-making process had to consider, and they had to give their own answer to this problem while making or discussing Empire-wide policy. In order to examine the continuity and differences in the policy or national/ethnic consciousness of the Empire's subjects before and after the final collapse of the Empire, we should keep in mind these facts.
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Appears in Collections:51


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