Organization for Islamic Area Studies早稲田大学 イスラーム地域研究機構





題目:The Education of Ottoman Princes in the Nineteenth Century
講演者:Edhem Eldem (Boğaziçi University, Collège de France)

Much has been written, and even more still needs to be written on education in the Ottoman Empire throughout the nineteenth century. Some very particular higher institutions, such as the Medical School (Mekteb-i Tıbbiye), the Military Academy (Mekteb-i Harbiye), or the School of Administration (Mekteb-i Mülkiye) has received particular attention, for the obvious role they have played in the formation of elites throughout the period. Likewise, many works have concentrated on the spreading of education through middle and high schools (mekâtib-i idadiye ve rüşdiye), the efforts at creating a high school integrated with the western system, namely the Imperial Lycée of Galatasaray (Mekteb-i Sultani), and the numerous attempts at creating professional schools in a variety of fields, ranging from the arts to agriculture and trade. Much of this scholarship has underlined the astounding way in which these educational projects flourished under the reign of Abdülhamid II, despite the strongly autocratic nature of his rule. Ottoman schools run by the non-Muslim religious communities have also attracted much attention. Finally, much work has also been done on the development of foreign schools throughout the Empire, be they Catholic under French protection, or Protestant run by American missionaries.
Most of these studies have adopted an institutional perspective, if only because they depended to a large extent on the documentation produced by the schools themselves, and, very often, by the political and administrative instances responsible for these establishments and their monitoring. In that sense, it seems rather typical of the field that we still lack a vision “from below,” which may bring out the personal dimension of individual experiences and exposure to the educational system and its instruments. Of course, some prominent individuals have occasionally, but never systematically, included their education in their personal recollections and life stories. Yet these remain very often anecdotal, and tend to serve the purpose of glorifying an individual through the construction of a formative myth. No less important is the fact that for many individuals, education was mostly a private and informal matter, handled at home by tutors and parents, a reality that finds very little coverage in the existing documentation.
One rare occasion to look beyond these institutional and personal limitations is provided by the truly exceptional memoirs and diaries left by Prince Salahaddin Efendi (1861-1915), the son of Sultan Murad V (1840-1876-1904), whose very short reign came to an abrupt end on 31 August 1876, when he was forced to leave the throne to his brother Abdülhamid II (1842-1876-1909-1918). Kept under custody with his father and family for almost thirty years, Salahaddin Efendi left an impressive amount of personal documentation, much of which relates to his education as a young boy and an adolescent, both informally at home and occasionally at the Military Academy. His rather straightforward account of these years helps us understand the merits, but most of all the weaknesses, of the rather superficial education he received as an Ottoman prince.

Edhem ELDEM is a professor at the Department of History of Boğaziçi University and holds the International Chair of Turkish and Ottoman History at the Collège de France. He has also taught at Berkeley, Harvard, Columbia, EHESS, EPHE, ENS, and was a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. He has worked and published extensively on a number of topics, such as the Levant trade, funerary epigraphy, the Imperial Ottoman Bank, Orientalism and Westernization, Ottoman first-person narratives, Istanbul at the turn of the twentieth century, photography in the Ottoman lands, and the history of archaeology and museology in the Ottoman Empire.

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