Posted by panch from pool0242.cvx20-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net (188.8.131.52) on Monday, June 24, 2002 at 9:13AM :
>>>Book by Lord Kinross has some interesting things in it. Seems Peter The Great of Russia was one of the first Europeans to dream of carving up the Ottoman Empire...and he may have been the one to first try appealing to the Christians in the Empire. Apparently it was a pattern others were to copy.
At different times in their history the Turks behaved better and worse towards their Christian subjects. Remember that from the beginning many Christians willingly left their Christian rulers and moved in with the Turks because they were treated better.
It's interesting too that there even were Christians allowed to live among the Muslims at all and to build churches and worship among themselves. At that same time the Christians were persecuting the hell out of the Jews of Europe and there wasn't a Muslim living anywhere in Europe. In the Ottoman Empire, by contrast , both Jews and Christians lived in peace...subject of course to the same whims anyone else suffered under the Sultans. The Janissaries, the special troops, as well as all ministers were drawn exclusively from the Christian population till the 18th century.
Point is things got markedly worse for Christians when first Peter the Great, then other Christian monarchs set their greedy little eyes towards the Turk's possessions. Working among the Christian population to foment unrest, probably by pointing out the advantages that would come with a foreign Christian invasion of the Empire, was to become standard procedure right till the First World War.
It doesn't take much to imagine how any other nation would react, especially out of desperation, at the thought of an entire population of potential traitors living within its borders. We are continuing that pattern as we egg the United States on to invade Iraq in hopes of being given what has never been given before.
At least we're consistant.
No...I am not a Muslim or a Turk or an agent. I just don't want to be stupid out of some silly notion of loyalty..."my country right or wrong". The world will never know peace this way and I don't want to foul the intellectual as well as the regular air my children have to breathe.
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