North America Making sense of the Ottoman spirit: the sole coexistence...

Making sense of the Ottoman spirit: the sole coexistence model for the future


The statement made on the anniversary of Izmir’s independence from British-controlled Greek occupation is petrifying. Was Izmir saved from the Ottomans?! Who is the occupier in this country? Who is cursing whom for what reason? The hostility some in this country have towards the Ottomans is sickening.

Yet, in spite of those who insult the Ottoman Empire, but have no relation whatsoever to the Ottomans, all great foreign historians see the Ottoman Empire as the epitome of justice and equity. Meanwhile, in this country, the Ottomans can still be considered oppressive and imperialist!

These people are nothing but admirers of their executors.

Yet, we are at the breaking point of history. Breaking points in history are also times of re-establishment.

The world is awaiting new formations, especially the Ottoman model and spirit.

We will be facing a completely different world soon, within the next half-century.

If we avoid making major mistakes and prepare well for the future, we might be able to make history again.


The nation-state understanding that developed in Europe in the 19th century rapidly, and a little with the strengthening of the secularization/Westernization movement within, and outside support for this, was what collapsed the Ottoman Empire. In addition, the nation-state understanding that collapsed the Ottoman Empire, collapsed Europe as well after the two world wars.

French philosopher and sociologist Edgar Morin claims that the modern/secular paradigms on which nation-states are based, “have been turned into religions with the nationalism ideology.” The nationalism ideology, which sanctifies race-based national political, cultural, and mental formations, brought the end of the imperial age in Europe.


It was the American experience that saved Western civilization – from collapsing for another century. The American experience was not a nation-based political and cultural organization experience. On the contrary, it is a beyond-nation, supra-national experience that resembles the imperial experience, but is able to include different races by fusing them within its structure.

The closest example and model in modern history is the Ottoman “nation system.”

The secret behind deep U.S. interest in the Ottoman Empire in the last five decades, and their establishment of strong “Ottoman platforms” in American universities lies here.

However, as the American experience is unable to suggest nothing other than secularizing and capitalizing the whole world, and secular capitalism is based not on the multidimensionality and depth that is capable of allowing the co-existence of all other cultures and religions, but the one-dimensional, shallowing, flattening, opportunist, standardizing, imposing form or perception and existence based on physical reality, and the sanctification, exploitation, and plundering of this world, allowing no other the right to live, it has made the world the unlivable place it is today.

Yet, the Ottoman experience is the most comprehensive and embracive, sole global civilization experience that is beyond races, and has allowed societies of different religions and cultures to live together and as themselves. This fact has been accepted by certain great local national and foreign historians.


It is impossible for Americans to fully comprehend and implement the Ottoman model and spirit.

The Ottoman spirit is an authentic spirit that emerged from Mecca and Medina, and first realized the Abode of Peace. This is the spirit that made it possible for the Ottoman Empire alone in world history to establish the Abode of Peace (Dar As-salaam) on three continents, and then the Abode of Humanity (Dar al-Insaan).

None among the Chinese, Indians, Russians, Europeans, or the Americans were ever able to establish the Abode of Peace and Abode of Humanity on earth. The Ottoman civilization was the only one to gift to humanity the sole global civilization experience and world order that allowed all religions, cultures, and civilizations the right to live.

The West gained sovereignty over the whole world first through European experience, then through the American experience. They turned into living hell the three continents where the Ottoman Empire built the abode of peace for exactly six centuries in a matter of one century!

Hence, Arnold Toynbee said, “Ottoman civilization is the future of humanity.”

The Ottoman Empire physically collapsed because it resisted capitalism. Yet, the Ottoman spirit lives on because it resisted capitalism.

An elderly Yemeni had explained this spirit as follows: “Istanbul collapsed, the Islamic world collapsed. Istanbul must rise for the Islamic world to recover.”

It is no wonder that the children of the oppressed world believe the fact that the Ottoman spirit and model is the actor that will help the oppressed recover.


But what are we doing? We have been busy for the last century, striving more than the West to wipe out the traces of the Ottoman civilization, to uproot it, and completely eliminate its spirit. Unbelievable!

The future belongs to the Ottoman model. Race-based, West-based secular projects collapsed the Ottoman Empire. Türkiye, on the other hand, must see that they are undermining their own existence and personally destroying their future through their efforts aimed at turning secularism into a religion.

In an age where the world is globalized, we now need to realize that race-focused secular projects are making the world an unlivable place and that the world needs projects only like the Ottoman model, which allows different cultures, religions, and civilizations the right to live and exist.

The fact that we insist on not seeing what Americans see, is an indication that we have become mentally blind and enslaved.

If Türkiye fails to internalize and develop the spirit that gave rise to the Ottoman model to the extent it can present it to the whole world, the secular projects that collapsed the Ottoman Empire can not be stopped from preparing and accelerating Türkiye’s collapse as well.

The Ottoman model will determine the world of the future, which will be re-invented, in which equity and multiculturalism may reign, and will be capable of allowing all civilizations to exist.

The Ottoman Empire was stopped, and the giant was put to sleep. If the giant awakes, nobody can stand against it.

This is why Türkiye is sieged from both outside and within.

It is now time to be prepared for a long journey.

Thus, we need to avoid big mistakes, and make short, medium, and long-term radical preparations.

Yusuf Kaplan
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