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Political Use of Conversion in the Nineteenth Century Ottoman Context: Some Cases From Salonica

Author(s): Bülent Özdemir

Journal: Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies
ISSN 1583-0039

Volume: 3;
Issue: 7;
Start page: 155;
Date: 2004;
Original page

Keywords: Islam | Koran | conversion | Islamization | Jews | Christians | Muslims | Apostasy

The purpose of this study is to shed light on a period of time in Ottoman history when conversion policies and practices, influenced by the changes of times and, resulted in unprecedented socio-political directions. In order to do that, some conversion cases from the Ottoman society in Salonica will be presented. Conversion to Islam is of central importance in explaining the rise of empire and its formation in many scholarly studies. It was usually presented as an official policy of Ottoman administration throughout the centuries. The devshirme system and Sufi preaching were considered to be the major instruments of mass conversion to Islam.On the contrary, I propose to look at the conver- sion issue in the nineteenth century context from a different angle.
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