You Say 'Classical,' I Say 'Imperial,' Let's Call the Whole Thing Off: Empire, Individual, and Encounter in Travel Narratives of the Ottoman Empire

Her geçen yıl biraz daha zenginleşen "karşılaşma" literatürü, Osmanlılar'ın kim olduklarına ve kendi "ötekileri"nce nasıl tanımlandıklarına dair bildiklerimizi önemli ölçüde arttırmıştır. Her ne kadar karşılaşma kavramı gruplar, cemaatlar, devletler ve imparatorluklar seviyesinde vuku bulan karşılıklı ilişkileri içerse de, bu mefhum, en belirgin hale fert mertebesinde gelir. Mevzuubahis gruplar, cemaatler, devletler ve imparatorluklar da onları oluşturan fertlerin incelenmesiyle daha iyi anlaşılır. Dolayısıyla bu çalışmada Osmanlı topraklarındaki fertlerin Avrupalı Hristiyan kralların diyarından gelen fertlerce "anlatılması" konu edilmektedir. Makalede, Osmanlı toplumunu oluşturan fertlerin imparatorluklar arasında rekabet ve diyalog bağlamı göz önünde tutularak nasıl "anlatıldığı" yorumlanmakta ve bunun yanında "anlatıcının", kendi hedef kitlesine anlattığı ferdi "hakikileştirirken" kullandığı tanımlayıcıları bir arada resmetmek amaçlanmaktadır. Çalışmada, üç geç 16. yüzyıl ve iki 18. yüzyıl Avrupalı seyyahı baz alınarak karşılaşma mefhumu işlenmekte ve aynı kavram Avrupalılar'ın Osmanlı tebaasından fertlerle karşılaşmaları ile ilgili olduğundan, kavramın muhtemel dönüşümüne dikkat çekilmektedir. Son olarak kısaca dönemselleştirmeye değinilmekte, yani karşılaşma tür(leri) mevzuubahis olduğunda 18. yüzyılın bir önceki çağdan hangi yönleri bakımından ayrı tutulup tutulamayacağı incelenmektedir.

Sen de "Klasik", Ben Diyeyim "Emperyal", Sonra Ortada Buluşalım: Osmanlı İmpara torluğu'na Dair Seyahat Anlatılarındaki İmparatorluk, Fert ve "Karşılaşma" Kavramları

The literature of "encounter" has enriched our sense of who the Ottomans were and how they were described by their various others. And although the notion of encounter comprises interaction at the levels of group, commune, state, and empire, it is most expressive when it presumes the individual - a person for whom these larger entities are made manifest in the figures of individual personalities. This paper thus takes as its subject the "telling" of individuals in Ottoman space by individuals coming from the spaces of the European Christian kings. I hope, thereby, to comment on how the Ottoman individual was "told" in the context of imperial competition and conversation, and to draw that individual off the page through compiling a set of descriptors by which he or she was made "real" for the teller's audience. I address the idea of encounter and the (possible) transformation of that idea as it relates to 'European' encounters with the Ottoman citizen individual, using as examples three late sixteenth and two eighteenth century travelers. Finally, I want to comment briefly on periodization, the ways in which the eighteenth century may or may not be detached from the preceding era when it comes to the genre(s) of encounter.

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