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Franco Ottoman Alliance

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  • Franco Ottoman Alliance

    The Franco-Ottoman alliance, also Franco-Turkish alliance, was an alliance established in 1536 between the king of France Francis I and the Turkish sultan of the Ottoman Empire Suleiman the Magnificent. The alliance has been called "the first non-ideological diplomatic alliance of its kind between a Christian and non-Christian empire". It caused a scandal in the Christian world, and was designated as "the impious alliance", or "the sacrilegious union of the Lily and the Crescent"; nevertheless, it endured since it served the interests of both parties. The strategic and sometimes tactical alliance was one of the most important foreign alliances of France and lasted for more than two and a half centuries, until the Napoleonic Campaign in Egypt, an Ottoman territory, in 1798–1801. The Franco-Ottoman alliance was also an important chapter of Franco-Asian relations.


    Exchange of embassies

    In early July 1532, Suleiman was joined by the French ambassador Antonio Rincon in Belgrade. Antonio Rincon presented Suleiman with a magnificent four-tiered tiara, made in Venice for 115,000 ducats. Rincon also described the Ottoman camp

    "Astonishing order, no violence. Merchants, women even, coming and going in perfect safety, as in a European town. Life as safe, as large and easy as in Venice. Justice so fairly administered that one is tempted to believe that the Turks are turned Christians now, and that the Christians are turned Turks."
    —Antonio Rincon, 1532.


    Trade and religious agreements

    Treaties, or capitulations, were passed between the two countries starting in 1528 and 1536. The catastrophic defeat in the Conquest of Tunis (1535) at the hands of Andrea Doria motivated the Ottoman Empire to enter into a formal alliance with France. Ambassador Jean de La Forêt was sent to Istanbul, and for the first time was able to become permanent ambassador at the Ottoman court and to negotiate treaties.


    A French embassy and a Christian chapel were established in the town of Galata across the Golden horn from Constantinople, and commercial privileges were also given to French merchants in the Turkish Empire. Through the capitulations of 1535, the French received the privilege to trade freely in all Ottoman ports. A formal alliance was signed in 1536. The French were free to practice their religion in the Ottoman Empire, and French Catholics were given custody of holy places. and lasted up until the establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1923.


    Cultural and scientific exchanges

    Cultural and scientific exchanges between France and the Ottoman Empire flourished. French scholars such as Guillaume Postel or Pierre Belon were able to travel to Asia Minor and the Middle East to collect information.

    Scientific exchange is thought to have occurred, as numerous works in Arabic, especially pertaining to astronomy were brought back, annotated and studied by scolars such as Guillaume Postel. Transmission of scientific knowledge, such as the Tusi-couple, may have occurred on such occasions, at the time when Copernicus was establishing his own astronomical theories.


  • #2
    The alliance provided strategic support to, and effectively protected, the kingdom of France from the ambitions of Charles V. It also gave the opportunity for the Ottoman Empire to become involved in European diplomacy and gain prestige in its European dominions. According to historian Arthur Hassall the consequences of the Franco-Ottoman alliance were far-reaching: ''"The Ottoman alliance had powerfully contributed to save France from the grasp of Charles V, it had certainly aided Protestantism in Germany, and from a French point of view, it had rescued the North German allies of Francis I."

    Political debate

    Side effects included a lot of negative propaganda against the actions of France and its "unholy" alliance with a Muslim power. Charles V strongly appealed to the rest of Europe against the alliance of Francis I, and caricatures were made showing the collusion between France and the Ottoman Empire. In the late sixteenth century, Italian political philosopher Giovanni Botero referred to the alliance as "a vile, infamous, diabolical treaty" and blamed it for the extinction of the Valois dynasty. Even the French Huguenot Francois de La Noue denounced the alliance in a 1587 work, claiming that "this confederation has been the occasion to diminish the glory and power of such a flourishing kingdom as France."

    Numerous authors intervened to take the defense of the French king for his alliance. Authors wrote about the Ottoman civilization, such as Guillaume Postel or Christophe Richer, in sometimes extremely positive ways.


    • #3
      Also, could a mod please move this thread to the "The Colonial Era and Asia" section


      • #4
        Originally posted by Taieb el-Okbi View Post
        [I]The Franco-Ottoman alliance, ...
        Boy, this is just a dishonest way of quoting from wikipedia - an article that could have been written by yourself - without openly admitting it.

        This "sussle" is nothing but an ad-laden mirror site of wiki.

        So I will quote from wikipedia myself:

        Originally posted by Some wiki hack
        The campaign of Saint-Blancard with the Ottomans was written down in Le Voyage du Baron de Saint Blancard en Turquie, by Jean de la Vega, who had accompanied Saint-Blancard in his mission.[39] Although the French accompanied most of the campaigns of Barbarossa, they sometimes refrained from participating in Turkish assaults, and their accounts express horror at the violence of these encounters, in which Christians were slaughtered or taken as captives.[40]


        • #5
          There seems to be a reason of why some of the remarkable Christian scholars wrote so positively of the Ottoman Empire.

          Maronites, Calvinists, Jews were able live in the earlier days of the Ottoman Empire where these folks were provided fair civil rights. The French scholar Jean Bodin wrote positively of the early days of the Ottoman Empire.

          Some background on Bodin,


          • #6
            The great emperor of the Turkes doth with as great devotion as any prince in the world honour and observe the religion by him received from his auncestours, and yet detesteth hee not the straunge religions of others; but to the contrarie permitteth every man to lfie according to his conscience;yea and that more is, neere unto his pallace at Pera, suffereth four divers religons, viz. That of the Jews, that of the Christians, that of the Gecians, and that of the Mohametanes,
            -Jean Bodin




            • #7
              During the 16th century Pierre Belon, a french explorer, writer and diplomat among others, published a work known as Les observations de plusieurs singularitez et choses memorables trouvées en Grèce, Asie, Judée, Egypte, Arabie et autres pays étrangèr Otherwise known as Observations.

              In 1546, Pierre Belon - already a naturalist of some renown - travelled to Constantinople in the entourage of the French Ambassador to Suleiman the Magnificent. En route, he visited Venice, Ragusa, Corfu and Crete, and over the next two years travelled throughout the Ottoman domains, - to Egypt, Anatolia, Arabia, and the Holy Land - returning to France in 1549. Wherever he went, Belon described plants, birds, mammals and fish, and recorded the customs of the inhabitants - what they ate, how they reared their children - collecting information on almost every aspect of the lands through which he passes. He did not rely on hearsay, on previous accounts, or on authority: what we have are his own observations, and the result of assiduous questioning and meticulous recording. His Observations, 'written in our ordinary French tongue', were published in 1553. In April 1564, Pierre Belon was murdered by persons unknown while crossing the Bois de Boulogne.


              Observations is considered to be a very important piece of literature. Observations includes first hand accounts of a man traveling through the Ottoman Empire. In his work Observations Belon talks about how Turkish domination had not deeply changed the culture of the conquered nations and was not tyrannical, and he depicts the Turks as a civilized people, giving support to the politics of the French government,




              • #8
                Originally posted by Taieb el-Okbi View Post
                There seems to be a reason of why some of the remarkable Christian scholars wrote so positively of the Ottoman Empire.
                Sure, that there were positive things to say.

                Naturally, there were also an avalanche of negative things to say. And that is particularly true if one makes a childish attempt at describing an empire that lasted some six centuries as if it never changed.

                And, of course, those negative things were written, over time.

                Now, you have a choice. If you want to keep exploiting this thread for the general, uncritical, unconditional glorification of the Ottoman Empire (that being, by mere coincidence, yet another Islamic state you happen to admire), then I will start posting quotes about that empire. Since you are so bent on saying only good things, I'll strive to balance them.
                Naturally, that would quickly go off topic. The topic of the thread is one specific issue concerning the Ottoman Empire, not its general glorification, but the (short-lived) alliance with France. The topic of the subforum is the damn middle ages, and you, as it happens, often, have already moved off topic as to that, too.

                Alternatively you can stay on topic and discuss the issue, i.e. the French-Ottoman alliance. Your choice, dude. Rest assured I'll do my best to stay abreast.