Talk:Melek Ahmed Pasha

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Stagnation[edit]

You have reverted my edit stating that he was a seventeenth century vizier in favor of saying that he was a vizier during the "stagnation of the Ottoman Empire", on the grounds that the latter is more "correct info". I do have to wonder how an abstract notion like 'stagnation' is more factually correct than the concrete fact "seventeenth century", but it highlights a wider issue that all of Wikipedia's Ottoman articles are facing.

The very notion of the "stagnation and decline of the Ottoman Empire" is an out-of-date historiographical concept. Modern historians do not use it, and much of the time actively fight against it because it is recognized as a misleading framework through which to view the empire's history. The process that led to its abandonment by historians truly took off with Rifa'at Abou-El-Haj's study The Formation of the Modern State: The Ottoman Empire Sixteenth through Eighteenth Centuries (1992). The basic problem is that historians have come to realize that many of the Ottoman sources which identified 'decline' were not as reliable as they had previously seemed to be, and that many of the 'symptoms of decline' which had been seen as negative were actually examples of the empire restructuring itself in positive ways. Read, for example, Douglas A. Howard's article in The Early Modern Ottomans: Remapping the Empire (2007) on nasihatname literature or Karen Barkey's study Bandits and Bureaucrats: The Ottoman Route to State Centralization (1996), on social upheaval in the seventeenth century for a modern take on what was, decades ago, seen as the 'stagnation of the Ottoman Empire'. 76.78.59.193 (talk) 20:18, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Stagnation[edit]

An ambigious editor keeps changing Stagnation period to 17th century. Well nothing wrong with the 17th century . But it is already given is pasha's birth and death dates (1604-1662) Thus 17th century is an unnecessary repetition. The important thing is the stagnation period. Because this explains the short term services, intrigues and debasement. I reworded the lede. Nedim Ardoğa (talk) 08:28, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

"One of the most momentous changes to have occurred in Ottoman studies since the publication of Egypt and the Fertile Crescent (1966) is the deconstruction of the so-called 'Ottoman decline thesis' - that is, the notion that toward the end of the sixteenth century, following the reign of Sultan Suleyman I (1520-66), the empire entered a lengthy decline from which it never truly recovered, despite heroic attempts at westernizing reforms in the nineteenth century. Over the last twenty years or so, as Chapter 4 will point out, historians of the Ottoman Empire have rejected the narrative of decline in favor of one of crisis and adaptation: after weathering a wretched economic and demographic crisis in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, the Ottoman Empire adjusted its character from that of a military conquest state to that of a territorially more stable, bureaucratic state whose chief concern was no longer conquering new territories but extracting revenue from the territories it already controlled while shoring up its image as the bastion of Sunni Islam." - The Arab Lands Under Ottoman Rule, 1516-1800 by Jane Hathaway, p. 7-8.
The entire notion of the 'stagnation and decline of the Ottoman Empire' is based on out-of-date historiography. Wikipedia's Ottoman articles seem to be built entirely upon the decline framework, and it is dramatically hurting their quality, since they're all teaching Ottoman history in a way which modern historians of the Ottoman Empire have completely rejected. 71.197.155.121 (talk) 20:18, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
Historians who have specialized on the Ottoman History give the 17th century as the stagnation of the empire.(Except for Crete and Podolia, no gain in territory, but also no loss in territory in European front) The decline began by the treaty of Karlowitz (1699) in which the empire acknowledged the loss of vast territories for the very first time. Nedim Ardoğa (talk) 11:10, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
Can you cite me a modern historian (past 20 years) who has written a book using the "decline" paradigm? I imagine that would be difficult for you to do, at least when it comes to mainstream historians. Only Halil İnalcık continues to consider it legitimate, yet even he now speaks more of transformation than "stagnation" or "decline". 71.197.155.121 (talk) 01:26, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
The Ottoman historical periods are firmly established. Rise, Growth, Stagnation, Decline and Tanzinat. (though some prefer Dissolution for the last period with a slightly different duration .) 1453, 1579 (documented in 1606 by the treaty of Peace of Zsitvatorok) , 1683 (documented in 1699 by the treaty of Karlowitz) are the milestones. If we consider 1566 as the beginning of the decline when was the stagnation ? The character of the stagnation was a mighty army with unstable administration and never ending Jelali revolts. The reason of the following decline period was the internal problems. That's why I stressed the stagnation. Please note that during the 93 years between 1606-1699 more than 50 grand viziers were appointed to post and nearly half of them were executed after their 1-2 year terms. Nedim Ardoğa (talk) 09:24, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
Yes, those were the historical periods into which Ottoman history was divided. If you read the older histories - Uzunçarşılı, Kinross, Shaw, İnalcık - you wıll fınd Ottoman hıstory explained in that way. So you're not wrong in that sense, but you're missing the point that I'm making. This was the correct way to write Ottoman history, but it no longer is. Modern historians who study the Ottomans consider 'stagnation' and 'decline' to be an inappropriate framework through which to understand their history because it is too teleological, it takes agency away from Ottoman hands, it fails to place Ottoman crises in the 17th Century in its international context (no one says France "declined" because of its own crises between 1560 and 1648), and because it assumes that all changes that took place in the empire after 1566 were negative, when they could equally be interpreted as a strengthening of the state. As the quote I posted above (under a different IP, it's me in both places) explains, the "Rise, Stagnation, Decline, Fall" paradigm is no longer used by modern historians. I hate to say it, but Wikipedia's take on Ottoman history, as well as your own, are products of a bygone age. 76.78.59.193 (talk) 21:39, 25 March 2014 (UTC)