Symposium 9

Ottoman Science, Multicultural Background

Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu

The Ottoman Empire through its six-century long history incorporated
different ethnic and religious communities. The intercultural and
scholarly interactions among the integral parts of the vast mosaic of
Ottoman population that were stretching over three continents, namely
South East Europe, Asia Minor, some Mediterranean islands, Caucasus,
Levant, North Africa, part of the Gulf countries, Hejaz and Yemen, are
still left undiscovered areas waiting for interdisciplinary and
multidisciplinary research. This diverse mosaic of population
consisted from various communities of different ethnic and religious
backgrounds, e.g. Turks, Arabs, Greeks, Armenians, Jews, Albanians,
Hungarians, Serbs, Croatians and Bosnians. Today thanks to the
publication of the 18 volumes of the History of Ottoman Scientific
Literature and the 2 volumes of Ottoman Scientific Heritage, we are
better equipped to discover, study and explain aspects of these
intercultural and scholarly interactions.
In a previous study, a summary of which was presented at 26th
International Congress of History of Science and Technology, Prague,
in 2021, I presented an attempt to tackle this complex issue from the
point of view of the religious affiliation of Ottoman scholars both in
the classic and modern period. In this new presentation, I will try to
identify the different cultural milieus that joined the Ottoman
cultural and scholarly life at different stages of Ottoman history.