Philhellenism in the context of partitioning of the Ottoman Empire

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Bursa Uludağ University, Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü, Turkey

Approval Date: 2019

Thesis Language: Turkish

Student: Bilal Sari Machmout



Present thesis examines the literary expression of the philhellenic movement, which prevails in Europe starting from the Renaissance period, in the context of the relations between Europe and the Ottoman Empire. This thesis based on literature review. In the first chapter, the notions of East - West and the position of Greece in this concepts were examined. Consequently, the analysis has shown that that Greece is considered as part of the East, because of religious and historical issues. In the second chapter, the Byzantine scholars, who migrated to Europe during the conquest of Istanbul, the spread of ancient Greek admiration and also the processes of creation of negative Ottoman image were examined. In the third chapter, ideas of Western travelers and rulers about ancient and modern Greeks were scrutinized. The majority of them, expressed enthusiasm in their travelogues for the ancient Greek civilization, while expressed negative thoughts against modern Greeks. Thus, it has been proven that modern Greeks are otherized and Orientalized. In the last chapter, the attempt has been made to show that the texts written by European authors during the period of Greek rebellion were not really any interest with Greek admiration, but they used the Greek rebellions as a symbol to criticize monarchy system in Europe. In this context, some works of famous representatives of Philhellenism, like Lord Byron, Alexander Pushkin, Chateaubriand and Victor Hugo have been studied. As a result, it was concluded that the Greek admiration among European intellectuals and administrators was a fiction and was often used as a tool to reach political goals.