2005 年 48 巻 1 号 p. 69-87
Mahmud II's famous speech has led to the belief that he endeavored to integrate his non-Muslim subjects by treating them and his Muslim subjects equally. However, little attention has been paid to the policy aimed at the non-Muslims of that period. To clarify this policy, this article analyzes the integration process of the Armenian Catholics. Before the recognition of the Armenian Catholic community, the Ottoman government attempted to exclude the Catholic converts. In 1830 however, the French intervention compelled the Ottoman government to recognize the Armenian Catholic community and to permit them to have their own chief and be independent of the Armenian community.
To integrate the Armenian Catholics, the Ottoman government emphasized that the Armenian Catholics were the re'âyâ of the Ottoman Empire and did them favors by accepting their requirements. The Ottoman government attempted to portray that the newly appointed patriarch of the Armenian Catholics had an equal status with the Rûm and the Armenian patriarchs. For this purpose, the government conferred decorations on the three patriarchs simultaneously and informed the entire Empire about this event through Takvîm-i Vekayi'. This led the Jews to request a similar conferment, and to answer this request, the Ottoman government started to appoint the hahambasi at the Bâb-i 'Alî with a decoration and a robe of honor.
Despite these favors, it cannot be said that Mahmud treated his non-Muslim and Muslim subjects equally. The word re'âyâ means both “the ruled” and “non-Muslim, ” and in Takvîm-i Vekayi', articles concerning non-Muslims appeared after articles on the Muslims.
Therefore, it can be concluded that the Ottoman government attempted to integrate non-Muslim subjects by granting them favors through novel means, while retaining Muslim superiority.