History

Honored by the Glory of Islam: The Ottoman State, Non-Muslims, and Conversion to Islam in Late Seventeenth-Century Istanbul

Baer, Marc David, Ph.D. The University of Chicago, 2001. 380 pages. Adviser: Fleischer, Cornell H. Publication Number: AAT 3006473

This dissertation analyzes relations between the Ottoman state and its non-Muslim subjects in late seventeenth-century Istanbul and Rumelia through the conversion experiences of Christians and Jews. In some instances in Rumelia and in palace circles, Sultan Mehmed IV and his mother Hatice Turhan compelled Christians and Jews to become Muslims, and celebrated the conversion of hundreds of Christians in ceremonies. Yet in Istanbul, mainly slave females, a group in whose conversion the state was not interested, formed the largest group of converts. This demonstrates that while the circumstances in which some Christians and Jews converted in the period were unprecedented, conversion to Islam continued to be a voluntary path by which common people integrated in society and improved their life circumstances.

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