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azadi

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Many Western monarchists hate the Ottoman Empire, because it destroyed the Byzantine Empire. But that's unfair. The Ottoman Empire was a great empire, which was religiously tolerant. The Ottoman Empire was the best Middle Eastern empire since the pre-Islamic Persian empires. I'm a Kurd. The Kurds were loyal subjects of the Ottoman Empire, but Great Britain forced Turkey to cede South (Iraqi) Kurdistan to Iraq against the will of the Kurdish people. Great Britain ought to apologize for that crime by supporting Kurdish independence from Iraq. The Ottoman Empire was tolerant of the Kurdish language and Kurdish culture, and the Ottoman Empire treated the Jews well. The Armenian Genocide was a heinous crime, but the Ottoman Sultans were reduced to figureheads, when it happened. The Osmanoglus (House of Osman) is the legitimate royal dynasty of Kurdistan, and an Osmanoglu ought to be elected Shah of Kurdistan on the condition, that he supports Kurdish independence from Iraq. 
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BaronVonServers

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I'm much more bothered by the behaviour of European Christians during the long twilight of the Empire....Blaming the 'Turk' is easy, admitting the costs of petty pride and jealousy is far more difficult. 

 

I will not, by any stretch, concede that the Ottomans were 'better than' the Empire in the East, though it is easy to recognize their superiority over the 'Islamic Republics' which have become a fester sore in the navel of the world. 

The British Empire owes no apology for the concessions, though perhaps the Turks have some bridges to repair, a job made more difficult by the current political realities.... 


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azadi

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Originally Posted by BaronVonServers

I'm much more bothered by the behaviour of European Christians during the long twilight of the Empire....Blaming the 'Turk' is easy, admitting the costs of petty pride and jealousy is far more difficult. 

 

I will not, by any stretch, concede that the Ottomans were 'better than' the Empire in the East, though it is easy to recognize their superiority over the 'Islamic Republics' which have become a fester sore in the navel of the world. 

The British Empire owes no apology for the concessions, though perhaps the Turks have some bridges to repair, a job made more difficult by the current political realities.... 


The Ottoman Empire was the best empire, which ruled Kurdistan, since the Sassanid Empire (the last pre-Islamic Persian empire). The Byzantine Empire never ruled Kurdistan, and Kurdistan was definitely better of as part of the Sassanid Empire, than it would have been as part of the Byzantine Empire, because we Kurds are an Iranic people, and most Kurds were Zoroastrians then. In addition, the Byzantine Empire persecuted Nestorian Christians, while the Sassanid Empire was tolerant of Nestorian Christians. A significant minority of the Kurds were Nestorian Christian then. I'm a Nestorian Christian Kurd. I don't hate the Byzantine Empire. It preserved Greco-Roman civilization during the European Dark Ages, and as a Russophile I appreciate the significant influence of the Byzantine Empire on Russia. The Rurikid dynasty intermarried with Byzantine imperial dynasties, and Orthodox Christianity came to Russia from the Byzantine Empire. As a Nestorian Christian, I'm closer to the Orthodox Christians than to Catholics and Protestants because of shared opposition to filioque. 
Great Britain doesn't need to apologize for making Kurdistan part of Iraq, because it's the Iraqis, not the Brits, who have oppressed us, but by supporting Kurdish independence from Iraq, Great Britain can correct a grave mistake.
I don't support restoration of the Ottoman Empire. The countries, which were part of the Ottoman Empire, ought to keep their independence. But I would like an Osmanoglu Sultan to rule Turkey and an Osmanoglu Shah to rule Kurdistan.
azadi

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The Kurds were the Hungarians of the Ottoman Empire. The Kurds were a privileged ethnic group in the Ottoman Empire, and the Hungarians were a privileged ethnic group in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Kurds and the Hungarians stayed loyal to their empires during World War 1, while the Arabs and the Slavs were disloyal to their empires. The victors of World War 1 punished Kurdistan and Hungary severely and unjustly. But the Treaty of Trianon at least allowed Hungary to remain an independent state. The Kurds later suffered from Saddam's attempted genocide, and Hungary suffered from Soviet occupation. Today, Hungary is a fully independent country ruled by a democratically elected national conservative government. Kurdistan is currently an autonomous region of Iraq with its own armed forces (Peshmerga), and it is a secular democracy ruled by conservative and social democratic nationalist. I hope Kurdistan will obtain full independence, as Hungary has done. 
Ethiomonarchist

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The Ottoman Empire was a great empire, which was religiously tolerant.


Ha!  Tell that to the Armenians.

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azadi

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Originally Posted by Ethiomonarchist


Ha!  Tell that to the Armenians.

The Armenian Genocide was a heinous crime, in which we Kurds participated. But the Ottoman Sultan was reduced to a figurehead, when the Armenian Genocide took place. For most of its existence, the Ottoman Empire was far more tolerant of religious minorities than most European countries were before the Age of Enlightenment. The Ottoman Empire granted Jews, who were expelled from Spain, asylum, and the Ottoman Empire treated the Jews far better than most European countries did at the same time. I'm a Nestorian Christian Kurd. The Byzantine Empire persecuted Nestorian Christians, while the Ottoman Empire tolerated Nestorian Christianity. In 1856, the Ottoman Empire decriminalized apostasy from Islam.
I'm sick and tired of Westerners slandering the Ottoman Empire because of the Turkish conquest of the Byzantine Empire. Bearing a grudge against the Ottoman Empire because of the Turkish conquest of the Byzantine Empire makes no sense today. You ought to assess the legacy of the Ottoman Empire on its own terms.
I would like a member of the Osmanoglu dynasty (the House of Osman) to be elected Shah of Kurdistan, because the Osmanoglus are the legitimate royal dynasty of Kurdistan. The Kurds were loyal to the Ottoman Sultans, while the Kurds never were loyal to the Hashemite kings of Iraq.
Murtagon

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Speaking (or rather writing) as a person whose country had been conquered by the Ottoman Empire, I have an extremely mixed opinion about this former realm.

On the one hand, the House of Osman managed to rule it from 1299 to 1923 - more than six centuries, certainly an impressive feat. 

On the other hand, I do believe that the period from, say, 1396 to 1878 did a lot to bring out the worst in my people, the Bulgarians. The second such period would be the socialist regime from 1944 to 1989/90 and the third one would be the present-day Republic.

What do I mean by that? There is a saying in Bulgarian, which goes along the lines of "A bowed head is not cut off by a sword". This explains a lot about the nation's mentality and history.

Before the Conquest, there was relative religious freedom (although Ivan Alexander did ban some rather questionable Christian sects) and we had an actual nobility with a monarch, who could not be denounced as being German (I don't really have a problem with that one, though).
After the Conquest, Bulgarians were no longer legally known as that - not until 1856, I believe. There aren't any nobles around - did they just vanish into thin air? When I was younger, we learned at school that they were more or less all killed off by the Ottomans, with a few here and there managing to run away to Hungary. There are certainly rumours of some relatively old families maybe being descended from or related to royalty, but at the end of the day they are just that - rumours.

It is worth pointing out that you won't see any grand churches in Bulgaria from before the Liberation. As far as I know, a church was forbidden by law to be taller than a mosque, so they practically looked like shacks, with some underground work being required in order for them to have more space.

Finally, a word about the janissaries. I do admit that there is a popular misconception that they were taken as babies or as very small children. Not true - it is very hard I believe to be able to tell that a newborn is going to be a great warrior, so they were obviously taken around the age of ten. This means that they did remember their parents and heritage. Nine years ago, I visited Istanbul (Constantinople [wink] ) and the local tour guide (a Bulgarian Turk, as that is the requirement, apparently) explained to the group that this practice was actually a good thing, because this way children (boys, rather) had the opportunity to learn, study, travel and so on, and so forth. I don't think the tourists were as enthused with that theory as he was...

In the end, while I do admit that Bulgarians are far from being the perfect people, we are not the only ones responsible for everything that has happened to us through the centuries. That fact, that we still exist as a nation, however, is truly mind boggling, but that's a discussion for another day.
azadi

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murtagon
Speaking (or rather writing) as a person whose country had been conquered by the Ottoman Empire, I have an extremely mixed opinion about this former realm.

On the one hand, the House of Osman managed to rule it from 1299 to 1923 - more than six centuries, certainly an impressive feat. 

On the other hand, I do believe that the period from, say, 1396 to 1878 did a lot to bring out the worst in my people, the Bulgarians. The second such period would be the socialist regime from 1944 to 1989/90 and the third one would be the present-day Republic.

What do I mean by that? There is a saying in Bulgarian, which goes along the lines of "A bowed head is not cut off by a sword". This explains a lot about the nation's mentality and history.

Before the Conquest, there was relative religious freedom (although Ivan Alexander did ban some rather questionable Christian sects) and we had an actual nobility with a monarch, who could not be denounced as being German (I don't really have a problem with that one, though).
After the Conquest, Bulgarians were no longer legally known as that - not until 1856, I believe. There aren't any nobles around - did they just vanish into thin air? When I was younger, we learned at school that they were more or less all killed off by the Ottomans, with a few here and there managing to run away to Hungary. There are certainly rumours of some relatively old families maybe being descended from or related to royalty, but at the end of the day they are just that - rumours.

It is worth pointing out that you won't see any grand churches in Bulgaria from before the Liberation. As far as I know, a church was forbidden by law to be taller than a mosque, so they practically looked like shacks, with some underground work being required in order for them to have more space.

Finally, a word about the janissaries. I do admit that there is a popular misconception that they were taken as babies or as very small children. Not true - it is very hard I believe to be able to tell that a newborn is going to be a great warrior, so they were obviously taken around the age of ten. This means that they did remember their parents and heritage. Nine years ago, I visited Istanbul (Constantinople [wink] ) and the local tour guide (a Bulgarian Turk, as that is the requirement, apparently) explained to the group that this practice was actually a good thing, because this way children (boys, rather) had the opportunity to learn, study, travel and so on, and so forth. I don't think the tourists were as enthused with that theory as he was...

In the end, while I do admit that Bulgarians are far from being the perfect people, we are not the only ones responsible for everything that has happened to us through the centuries. That fact, that we still exist as a nation, however, is truly mind boggling, but that's a discussion for another day.

I don't claim, that the Ottoman Empire was perfect. It's understandable, that you Bulgarians wanted independence from the Ottoman Empire, because you were an independent kingdom before the Ottoman conquest. When I'm defending the legacy of the Ottoman Empire, I'm speaking of the Middle East, not the Balkans. You Bulgarians and the other Orthodox Christian Balkan peoples obtained independence from the Ottoman Empire before World War 1, while the Ottoman Empire still ruled most of the Middle East at the outbreak of World War 1. I like the 1914 borders of the Ottoman Empire. The Middle Eastern countries, which were part of the Ottoman Empire at the outbreak of WW1, were all better of under Ottoman rule than they are currently, with Israel and Jordan as exceptions. We Kurds have been subject to Iraqi rule against our will, Iraq proper is a weak and unstable state, Syria is suffering from a civil war and Lebanon is suffering from sectarianism (Lebanon is the Ulster of the Middle East). Bulgaria was certainly better off after Liberation than under Ottoman rule, and Serbia, Greece and even Albania were better off as independent states than as parts of the Ottoman Empire.
I don't support restoration of Ottoman rule in the Arab lands of the Ottoman Empire, because the Jordanians, the Syrians and the Iraqis renounced their allegiance to the Osmanoglu dynasty by electing Hashemite kings. But the Kurds never renounced our allegiance to the Osmanoglus, and we never were loyal to the Iraqi Hashemites. That's why I want an Osmanoglu to be elected Shah of Kurdistan.
What makes me angry is Westerners hating the Ottoman Empire because it destroyed the Byzantine Empire. That grudge makes no sense today. The lands formerly ruled by the Byzantine Empire currently consists of independent nation-states, including Bulgaria, which want to remain independent states rather than being ruled from Constantinople. Currently, the vast majority of the population of Istanbul are ethnic Turks. If you want to defend the Byzantine legacy today, you ought to support the restoration of the Russian monarchy, because Tsarist Russia preserved the legacy of the Byzantine Empire, rather than hating the Ottoman Empire. 
The Bulgarian Saxe-Coburg-Gothas are actually descended from medieval Bulgarian kings.
Is it true, that you Bulgarians are an Iranic people like the Kurds?
Murtagon

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Your final question is certainly a good one. You see, the genesis of the Bulgarian people is quite often a matter of political correctness. During the Bulgarian National Upheaval in the mid-19th century, it was important to present Russia as our Big Brother - they are Slavs and so are we. Flash-forward to the Second World War and the Slavic thing is made as obscure as possible, because Hitler did not have much sympathy for this "lesser race". In late 1944, Russia became our Big Brother again and we were suddenly all Slavs overnight. Nowadays, it's a bit complicated.

Traditionally, we learn at school that c. 680 AD Khan Asparoukh crossed the Danube with his men (their number varies according to the regime) and conquered parts of the Byzantine Empire with the help of the Slavic tribes living there. Just for fun, Thracian tribes are also often thrown into the mix.

Who were these "Proto-Bulgarians"? Were they a Turkic tribe? An Iranian one? Or something else entirely? From what I remember, present-day Bulgarians are most similar genetically to Macedonians (huh, go figure), Romanians (huh, go figure) and the Gagauz people (curious...). While the Iranian theory is basically the official one at the moment, there is still the possibility that, well, Bulgarians have always lived in these lands. There may be some truth to it. As you can see, developing a time machine would be the only way to be prove anything.

On a related note, the Bulgarian Royal Family is indeed descended from its more local predecessors. I had used Genealogics to establish a relationship between Ivan Asen II (lived in the early 13th century) and Simeon II. The former is an ancestor of the latter. I wonder if Peter or someone else here would know of a more recent descent from them.

As for the Ottoman Empire, I don't think there is much else to say. I don't hate it because it destroyed the Byzantine Empire. I dislike it because it did not make a real attempt to continue its legacy. If it weren't for those meddling Ottomans*, Bulgaria and the Balkans could have experienced the Renaissance first-hand and not in a limited capacity several centuries later.

Finally, I'm not entirely sure that all Bulgarians wanted independence from the Ottoman Empire. It had a lot of fans over here. Of course, we don't talk much about these "traitors". In the end, though, at least there was some sort of stability in the regions (most of the time).
This reminds me: when I read many years ago that there were about 18 million Kurds in Turkey and they strived for independence, I thought "Wow, there aren't that many Bulgarians, and we have a country of our own!". I suppose a united Kurdish state would be huge, with a large population, am I right? Now, why does this remind me of something else...


* Happy 50th anniversary, Scooby-Doo! Sorry, I couldn't help it. It won't happen again :)
azadi

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murtagon
Your final question is certainly a good one. You see, the genesis of the Bulgarian people is quite often a matter of political correctness. During the Bulgarian National Upheaval in the mid-19th century, it was important to present Russia as our Big Brother - they are Slavs and so are we. Flash-forward to the Second World War and the Slavic thing is made as obscure as possible, because Hitler did not have much sympathy for this "lesser race". In late 1944, Russia became our Big Brother again and we were suddenly all Slavs overnight. Nowadays, it's a bit complicated.

Traditionally, we learn at school that c. 680 AD Khan Asparoukh crossed the Danube with his men (their number varies according to the regime) and conquered parts of the Byzantine Empire with the help of the Slavic tribes living there. Just for fun, Thracian tribes are also often thrown into the mix.

Who were these "Proto-Bulgarians"? Were they a Turkic tribe? An Iranian one? Or something else entirely? From what I remember, present-day Bulgarians are most similar genetically to Macedonians (huh, go figure), Romanians (huh, go figure) and the Gagauz people (curious...). While the Iranian theory is basically the official one at the moment, there is still the possibility that, well, Bulgarians have always lived in these lands. There may be some truth to it. As you can see, developing a time machine would be the only way to be prove anything.

On a related note, the Bulgarian Royal Family is indeed descended from its more local predecessors. I had used Genealogics to establish a relationship between Ivan Asen II (lived in the early 13th century) and Simeon II. The former is an ancestor of the latter. I wonder if Peter or someone else here would know of a more recent descent from them.

As for the Ottoman Empire, I don't think there is much else to say. I don't hate it because it destroyed the Byzantine Empire. I dislike it because it did not make a real attempt to continue its legacy. If it weren't for those meddling Ottomans*, Bulgaria and the Balkans could have experienced the Renaissance first-hand and not in a limited capacity several centuries later.

Finally, I'm not entirely sure that all Bulgarians wanted independence from the Ottoman Empire. It had a lot of fans over here. Of course, we don't talk much about these "traitors". In the end, though, at least there was some sort of stability in the regions (most of the time).
This reminds me: when I read many years ago that there were about 18 million Kurds in Turkey and they strived for independence, I thought "Wow, there aren't that many Bulgarians, and we have a country of our own!". I suppose a united Kurdish state would be huge, with a large population, am I right? Now, why does this remind me of something else...


* Happy 50th anniversary, Scooby-Doo! Sorry, I couldn't help it. It won't happen again 😉

I'm a South (Iraqi) Kurd, and most South Kurds don't care about Greater Kurdistan. We merely want independence from Iraq. The KRG makes no claims to the Kurdish regions of Turkey. Most South Kurds don't support PKK, which is supported by most anti-government Turkish Kurds. PKK is a Communist terrorist movement with Maoist roots, and most South Kurds support either the conservative nationalist Kurdistan Democratic Party and the nationalist social democratic Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. I support the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. I fear, that PKK will take power in a Greater Kurdistan. In addition, invading a NATO member state with a strong army will be national suicide. Iraq is an unstable state with a weak army, which makes Kurdish independence from Iraq far more likely to happen than Kurdish independence from Turkey. Turkey is sadly strongly opposed to Kurdish independence from Iraq. Our main task is convincing Turkey to accept Kurdish independence from Iraq. Perhaps electing an Osmanoglu Shah of Kurdistan will cause the Turks to accept Kurdish independence from Iraq? After all, Erdogan promotes Ottoman nostalgia.
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No, I don't know of a traceable descent from any medieval Bulgarian sovereign later than Ivan Asen II. All five current Catholic sovereigns are his descendants, though none of the five Protestants are. The Duke of Cambridge however is through his mother, so the count will include at least one Protestant some time in the future. Of the Orthodox claimants to Balkan or Balkan-region realms, Simeon II is a descendant as you note, and so was his grandfather Ferdinand I. Michael I of Romania was, and Crown Prince Alexander II of Serbia debatedly is, depending on your view of his paternal grandmother's own paternity. His sons by his first wife however do undoubtedly have the descent. Constantine II of Greece and Crown Prince Nikola of Montenegro are not descendants.
Murtagon

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Azadi: OK, you know more about this than me. I'm just not a fan of Erdoğan, though.

Peter: Thanks! That's somewhat strange, so the only explanation I have for this phenomenon is that their descendants must be part of the general public. Even I could be a descendant of Bulgarian royalty! Wow!

I wonder if the Orthodox version of Christianity played a role here. Maybe princes and princesses were unwilling to convert at the time and had to do with the Royal Families of Serbia, Bosnia, maybe Russia and the Imperial Family of Byzantium, for sure. To my knowledge, there are descendants of the House of Asen in Italy, but they may not be strictly patrilineal. The House of Shishman is also rumoured to have been the ancestor of the Shishmanov family (extinct since 1945, I believe), a matrilineal member of which was the great Bulgarian writer and traveller Aleko Konstantinov, best known as the creator of "Bay Ganyo", a character who encapsulates everything negative about the Bulgarian mentality (and a couple of positive traits).
azadi

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I don't support restoration of the Osmanoglu monarchy except in the lands, which were claimed by the Ottoman Parliament in the Turkish National Pact of 1920. This means, that I will not support an Osmanoglu restoration except in Turkey and in South (Iraqi) Kurdistan. 
Here is my proposals for restoration of Osmanoglu rule in Turkey and Kurdistan: 
Turkey: Restore the Ottoman Sultanate. Make the head of the Osmanoglu dynasty Sultan of Turkey.
Kurdistan: Elect an Osmanoglu Shah of Kurdistan. The Osmanoglu Shah of Kurdistan must renounce all claims to the Turkish throne. The traditional Ottoman succession law, which is based on agnatic seniority, must be replaced by male-preference primogeniture.
azadi

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I suspect a lot of Western monarchists of wanting a Hashemite to be elected Shah of Kurdistan, because they prefer the Hashemites to the Osmanoglus. But most Kurds hate the Hashemites, because the Iraqi Hashemites oppressed us until 1958, when they were overthrown. While I personally prefer the Osmanoglus to the Hashemites, I don't hate the Hashemites. They are an ancient Arab dynasty, which is descended from Prophet Muhammed, and they have been good kings of Jordan. But an Arab dynasty ruling Kurdistan makes no sense, because we Kurds are not Arabs. We are an Iranic people, and Kurdish is an Iranic language. If you want to offend a Kurd, call him or her an Arab. Despite not being of Iranic ethnic origin, the Osmanoglus have always been immersed in Persian high culture, which makes them culturally far closer to us Kurds than the Hashemites are.
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Reply with quote  #15 
you could also have your own dynasty from barzinji or how his name is spelled...
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