Sources for the Eastern Diplomacy of the Ottoman Empire (15th — 17th centuries)
(65th Meeting Astana, 2023)
The starting point of my presentation is based on the statement of Edward Luis Keenan in his short, but valuable article, where he shares his vision about the language and custom of steppe diplomacy. He remarked that the Mongol-Turkic tradition was the common instrument of the diplomatic events of the 15th century, even in the following centuries, and the common language was a Turkic dialect inherited from the Great or Golden Horde. Because on his list among the countries and empires using this tradition including even the Ottoman Empire, I intended looking after the Ottoman’s eastern Diplomacy. The questions, I attempt to answer in my presentation, are the following: Which language, languages, and which chancellery praxis were used in the diplomatic correspondence between the Ottomans and the Timuridan’s and Shaybaniyan’s Samarkand, Bukhara and Gurkaniyan’s Hindustan (Moghul Empire), and also Iran, Armenia, Luzistan, Azerbaijan? To answer this question, I used mainly unpublished collections of letters in Ottoman, Persian and Turcic languages from manuscript archives in Istanbul, Vienna and Tashkent. I also included important and hitherto unknown correspondence from the official copy books of the Ottoman State Council from the mid-17th century.