The image of the other in the fifteenth-century Christian and Muslim hagiographies
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In the thesis we have aimed to examine the image of the other in fifteenthcentury Ottoman history. With this aim in mind, we have carried out our research focusing on the analysis of the image of the other both within the population of Orthodox Christians under Ottoman rule, and also within Ottoman society. We have argued that hagiographies and menakıbnames can be utilized as reliable historical sources for cultural-historical research. With this view we have examined eight Orthodox Christian neo-martyr hagiographies and two Ottoman menakıbnames from the fifteenth century (more specifically those of Şeyh Bedreddin and Otman Baba), in addition to Byzantine and Ottoman chronicles of the period. Three fundamental tasks are established as the focus of the thesis: who the other is, how the other is perceived, and what this process of otherization reveals about the prejudices, preoccupations, and concerns of the authors in relation to the broader world. Our analysis of the image of the other in fifteenth century Ottoman history shows that although the hagiographical and menakıbname sources were written from a religious perspective, how the other was perceived in this period had much more to do with political than theological motivations. The socio-religious antagonisms witnessed in these texts should thus be seen a result of the underlying political antagonisms arising in the fifteenth century, both within the Orthodox Christian populations under Ottoman rule and among the Muslim Ottoman population, rather than being treated in isolation as a strictly religious affair.