Talk:Ghaza thesis

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Fringe?[edit]

In the "Gaza as a non-religious term" section we have the unsourced claim "the next major reformulation of the theory of Ottoman origins was carried out by Heath Lowry in 2003". Then comes an account of Lowry's opinions. Given that Lowry is best known for his denial of the Armenian Genocide, it would be fully in keeping with that agenda for Lowry to produce a work denying that from its foundation the Ottoman State had engaged in religious wars of conquest. The "Many akıncıs (raiders) were also Christians" assertions seems to parallel the water-muddying "Armenians did it too" mutual killings assertions typical of genocide denialist tracts. Forthis content to be remain, I think there needs to be more than one source making these assertions, or, alternatively, to indicate notability, Lowry's assertions will need to have been mentioned in other sources. Tiptoethrutheminefield (talk) 20:06, 24 March 2017 (UTC)

Lowry's work is a major contribution to early Ottoman history and has no relationship whatsoever with his views on the Armenian Genocide, whatever they may be. It is not appropriate to use an unrelated issue to discredit this historian - if you simply want to know that his work is well-respected, then I point to the fact that you can find him cited in the most recent scholarly general history of the empire, Douglas Howard's A History of the Ottoman Empire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017). Lowry's book has been criticized from some angles (you can look up the scholarly reviews) but it's undeniably a critical work on early Ottoman history and well within mainstream scholarship. Chamboz (talk) 20:25, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
Who says his work regarding "de-Gazifying" the Ottoman Empire has no relationship to his views on the Armenian Genocide? You? Many consider Lowry is discredited as a person - his status never recovered after his little bit of ghost writing for the Turkish embassy was discovered and he became an object of ridicule. Regardless, there is a requirement here for some proof that Lowry made a "major reformulation of the theory of Ottoman origins" and that it concerned the Gazi thesis - either a source that actually uses those words, or a quantity of sources who have commented on his opinion regarding Gaza as a non-religious term sufficiently to justify such praise and to justify his opinions as being worthy of a section by itself. Tiptoethrutheminefield (talk) 21:53, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
"Many" consider Lowry discredited as a person, according to you - but you won't find that view in academic reviews of the book of his being discussed here. His work is consistently cited in all discussions of early Ottoman history, including in other works cited on this page, like the article "Ghaza" in the Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire. I don't know what personal grudge you have against Lowry, but it's not going to fly here. His views on the Armenian Genocide are irrelevant when it comes to the topic of early Ottoman history, a topic of which he is an established expert. Chamboz (talk) 22:58, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
Well, I hate liars and deceivers. Alas, few are as arrogantly stupid to have skewered themselves in quite the same way as Lowry did - poetic justice is rarely so entirely self-penned. But to go back to the issue here, you will still need to come up with more than one source that cites Lowry's opinions as important regarding the Gazi Thesis to justify a whole section. The source you have cited does not make any mention of Lowey's opinions being a "major reformulation". Tiptoethrutheminefield (talk) 03:30, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
You are obviously motivated by a personal bias against Lowry, as evidenced by the way you describe him and by the fact that you're not demanding a similar level of extra verification with regard to the other historians mentioned in this article. The statement in the article is that "Following Kafadar, the next major reformulation of the theory of Ottoman origins was carried out by Heath Lowry in 2003." and this is hardly a controversial fact. After Cemal Kafadar's 1995 Between Two Worlds, the next major book to address Ottoman origins was Lowry's - unless you'd like to suggest another. It's not a statement that Lowry's interpretations are accurate, it's simply a statement noting that Lowry's book exists. To contest this fact is to be stubborn to the point of absurdity. Please take your grudge against Lowry elsewhere. Chamboz (talk) 04:09, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
You appear to be motivated either by an absurd liking of him, or have article ownership issues. You still have failed to presented sources that say, or even approaches the saying, that a "major reformulation of the theory" was made by Lowry. And I see no evidence in subsequent sources that his contribution made any significant change (which is what "major reformulation" implies) in the current status of the Gazi Thesis. Similarly, claiming his work as "the next major book to address Ottoman origins" is an OR opinion without presenting sources that state it. Tiptoethrutheminefield (talk) 15:35, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
And I see no evidence in subsequent sources that his contribution made any significant change (which is what "major reformulation" implies) in the current status of the Gazi Thesis.
Aside from, you know, the source I cited which you subsequently deleted: the article Ghaza in the Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire: "Similarly, as has been pointed out by historian Heath Lowry, the closest comrades and fellow-fighters of the first two Ottoman rulers, Osman Ghazi (d. 1324) and Orhan I (r. 1324–62), included several Orthodox Christian Greeks and recent Christian converts to Islam."
Lowry has been highly influential for demonstrating the role of Christians and converts in the early Ottoman state. His book can be found in the bibliography of both recent general histories of the empire (Finkel and Howard). In the first chapter of Finkel's Osman's Dream he's cited six times. In Colin Imber's The Ottoman Empire, 1300-1650, his book is the first to come after Kafadar's in note 6 for chapter 1, charting the historiography of the Gazi Thesis. There is absolutely no basis for arguing that his book was not a major contribution to the field. I personally don't even agree with all of his arguments, I tend to learn more toward Kafadar's interpretation, but no discussion of the Gazi Thesis can be complete without including Lowry. "Major reformulation" does not mean that everyone agrees with that reformulation, but his book is explicitly about reimagining the nature of early Ottoman state and society. That is the definition of a reformulation. Chamboz (talk) 17:44, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
This article is not about the history of the Ottoman Empire, or a history of its foundation, it is just about a particular thesis by a notable 20th-century scholar on the Ottoman Empire that sought to explain the reason for that empire's rapid growth from small and unassuming beginnings, and the motivations driving that empire to expand. Material about the background to its formulation, and the later responses to that thesis is also on-topic, its historiography as you put it. But it all has to be directly related to the article's subject. Your citation from the encyclopedia was not about the Gazi Thesis, it was about the term gazi, and its mentioning of Lowry was about his alternative interpretation of the word's meaning, that it might sometimes be used devoid of its religious meaning - again this was not specifically about the Gazi Thesis. There is nothing in any presented source so far to justify the claim of this being a "major reformulation" of responses to the Gazi Thesis. Tiptoethrutheminefield (talk) 20:49, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
You cannot be serious. They are obviously the same topic. The Gazi Thesis is named as such because of how it interprets the meaning of the term "gazi" in early Ottoman history. Lowry's book is, as stated in his introduction, written directly in response to Paul Wittek's Gazi Thesis. The Gazi Thesis informs all discussion of the meanings of gazi and gaza in early Ottoman history. The article in the Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire directly addresses Paul Wittek and the Gazi Thesis, go back and read its second paragraph. Stop grasping at straws and let it go. Chamboz (talk) 20:58, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
If Gazi Thesis and gazi are "obviously the same topic", a topic that "informs all discussion of the meanings of gazi", will you be wanting Ghazi merged with this article? Tiptoethrutheminefield (talk) 21:55, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
It seems you (presumably intentionally) missed the last part of my sentence, "in early Ottoman history". So no, they shouldn't be merged, because this is about scholarship on the term 'gazi' within the specific context of early Ottoman history, due to the extensive historiography devoted to this particular topic, whereas the article "Ghazi" is about the term more generally and its role in Islamic history as a whole. Within the early Ottoman context, discussion of gazis and gaza is inseparable from the Gazi Thesis. But the Gazi Thesis has nothing to do with gazis in, say, eleventh-century Afghanistan. Chamboz (talk) 22:38, 25 March 2017 (UTC)