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We cordially invite you to the Ph.D. Dissertation Defense of  Uygar Aydemir (History).

 

Dissertation Jury:

  • Assoc. Prof. Selçuk Akşin Somel (Dissertation advisor)
  • Prof. Ayşe Kadıoğlu
  • Prof. Edhem Eldem (Bogazici Uni, History)
  • Asst. Prof. Mehmet Mert Sunar (Istanbul Medeniyet Uni, History)
  • Asst. Prof. Yusuf Hakan Erdem

Date & Time : October 16, 2017 & 13:00

Place: Sabancı University, Karaköy Minerva Han

 

MAHMUD NEDIM PASHA’S CRITIQUE OF THE TANZIMAT BUREAUCRACY: STATE MODERNIZATION, POLITICAL STRIFE, AND GREAT POWER INTERVENTION


 Keywords: Mahmud Nedim Pasha, Tanzimat bureaucracy, 1876 Softa Incident, mirrors for princes, apologias

 

This dissertation is a study on the political ideology and policies of Mahmud Nedim Pasha (1817-1883), who became grand vizier twice, in 1871-72 and in 1875-76. This study assesses and contests his general image in current historiography as an absolutist, anti-Tanzimat, authoritarian, and Russophile statesman. The main research materials used in order to determine the grand vizier’s political thinking are his political writings, ʿÂyîne-i Devlet and Müdâfaʿanâme. Besides, the assessment of Mahmud Nedim’s political actions is conducted through an analysis of his policies in relation to the political and economic problems of the two terms he served as the grand vizier, by relying on the memoirs of Ottoman and foreign statesmen, as well as archival documents from the Prime Ministry Ottoman Archives, Istanbul, and the Public Record Office, London. This research reveals that Mahmud Nedim in fact appreciated the social and diplomatic achievements gained through the Tanzimat reforms, but at the same time, saw the excessive empowerment and the ethical defects of Tanzimat-era bureaucrats as the main obstacle against further Ottoman state modernization and the definitive establishment of the rule of law. This work supports the view that Mahmud Nedim’s reforms that aimed at streamlining the bureaucracy provoked a strong bureaucratic reaction, which instigated and used the 1876 Softa Incident as a pretext to remove Mahmud Nedim from power, and to dethrone Sultan Abdülaziz. This dissertation concludes that it is more reasonable to evaluate Mahmud Nedim as a reformist conservative politician instead of an ultra-conservative bigoted figure.