Mahmud II and Ottoman diplomacy in the context of the Mehmed Ali Problem (1832-­‐1839) : with special reference to the Ottoman archives in İstanbul

Demirbas, Serkan (2015) Mahmud II and Ottoman diplomacy in the context of the Mehmed Ali Problem (1832-­‐1839) : with special reference to the Ottoman archives in İstanbul. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Between 1833 and 1838 the diplomatic relationship between Britain and the Ottoman Empire
underwent a radical change. The starting point for this transformation came when the army of the
Ottoman Sultan Mahmud II, suffered two consecutive heavy defeats at the hands of that of his
rebel governor, Mehmed Ali Pasha; the first being in Syria, on 14 April 1832, and the second in Konya, on 21 December 1832. This last defeat of the Sultan rapidly escalated the matter into an international problem. All the very complicated diplomatic developments, which would continue right up to the Convention of London, 15 July 1840, started at the beginning of 1833.
All of these are well documented historical facts in both Turkish and English literature. However, the unknown side of the story is what role Mahmud and his finest diplomats played in the process of resolving the Mehmed Ali problem using diplomacy. This role has been overlooked by the vast majority of scholars. This neglect ensues from a lack of knowledge of the Ottoman diplomatic effort in this process. The most obvious way to overcome this problem is to depart from the orientalist perspective, and use the Ottoman documents, which bear witness to
Mahmud’s instructions to his diplomats and their reports from various European capitals of their progress and observations. When examining this intensive diplomatic period from the point of view of the Ottomans, it becomes clear that in fact Mahmud was not a Sultan who merely sat
back smoking his water pipe and watched incidents unfold in his Empire’s lands; On the contrary, he had his own diplomatic plan, courage, motivation, resourcefulness and some capable diplomats who did their utmost to faithfully implement their sovereign’s diplomatic orders.
Therefore, the highest priority of this thesis is to reveal in every aspect this stupendous and dramatic diplomatic struggle made by the Ottomans in this period. Bearing in mind the above stated points, this thesis attempts to contribute the academic literature on the Orientalism- which
has been largely done in the field of cultural history- by looking at a specific example in the field of diplomatic history.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: Jackie Webb
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2015 13:59
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2015 14:02

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