Yahya Bostan / The United States’ Efforts at Being a Great Power and Its Effects on Ottoman-United States Relations at the End of the Nineteenth Century

An abstract of the Thesis of Yahya Bostan for the degree of Master of Arts from the Atatürk Institute for Modern Turkish History to be taken August 2006

The United States’ Efforts at Being a Great Power and Its Effects on Ottoman-United States Relations at the End of the Nineteenth Century

The history of the relations between the Ottoman Empire and the United States has roots in the beginning of the nineteenth century. This relationship which was officially recognized in 1830, become problematic after the 1870s. Missionary activities and educative studies of American citizens in the Ottoman lands were carried out from the beginning of the relations. But, the break out of nationalist problems and Americans’ relative support to the favor of Bulgarian and Armenian uprisings carried Ottoman-American relations to a different dimension.
This thesis discusses those changes and transformations in Ottoman-American relations. Revision parameters in the relations are investigated without ignoring Ottoman foreign policy, the balance of power of the nineteenth century and Empire’s relations with the other Great Powers.

The most important result achieved in the research is that Ottoman-American relations were directly connected to American foreign policy preferences. Until the Civil War in America, they adopted a relatively isolationist policy and relations with the Ottomans mainly were executed free of problems. However, after the 1880s, especially after the changing conjuncture with the Berlin Treaty of 1878, interventionist inclinations in Washington gained power. It affected Ottoman-American relations in the case of the nationalistic uprisings and missionary activities.

Furthermore, American policies for the sake of being a great power are also evaluated in the thesis by drawing attention to the embassy debates. The United States’ desire to upgrade the rank of its diplomatic representative in Istanbul from the ministry to embassy and the Ottoman’s resistance to this promotion was an explanative and typical example of Ottoman-American relations at the end of the nineteenth century.

Atatürk Ilkeleri ve Inkilap Tarihi Enstitüsü’nde Yüksek Lisans derecesi için Yahya Bostan tarafindan Agustos 2006’da teslim edilen tezin kisa özeti

On dokuzuncu yüzyil sonu Amerikan’in Büyük Güç Olma Çabalari ve Bunun Osmanli-Amerikan Iliskilerine Etkisi

Osmanli-Amerikan iliskilerinin tarihi on dokuzuncu yüzyil baslarina uzanir. 1830’da resmi hüviyete bürünen bu iliski, inisli çikisli boyutuyla 1870’lerden sonra problemli bir hale gelmeye basladi. Misyonerlik faaliyetleri ve Amerikalilarin Osmanli topraklarindaki egitim çalismalari iliskilerin basindan beri yürütülüyordu. Fakat Osmanli Imparatorlugu’nda milliyetçilik sorunun bas göstermesi ve Bulgar ve Ermeni kalkismalarinin Amerikalilardan buldugu destek Osmanli-Amerikan iliskilerini farkli bir boyuta tasidi.

Bu tez Amerikan-Osmanli iliskilerindeki bu degisimi ele almaktadir. Osmanli Imparatorlugu’nun on dokuzuncu yüzyil Avrupa denge politikasini ve diger büyük güçlerle olan iliskisini göz ardi etmeksizin, Osmanli-Amerikan iliskilerindeki degisim parametreleri arastirilmistir.

Arastirmada ulasilan sonuç Osmanli-Amerikan iliskilerinin Amerika’nin dis politika tercihleri ile dogrudan baglantili oldugudur. Amerikalilar iç savasa kadar görece izolasyonist bir politika benimsemis ve Osmanli ile iliskileri temelde sorunsuz gitmistir. Fakat 1880’lerden sonra, özellikle Avrupa’da 1878 Berlin Anlasmasi ile de degisen konjonktür sonrasi, Washington’da daha müdahaleci egilimlerin güç kazanmasi, Amerikan-Osmanli iliskilerini milliyetçi isyanlar ve misyonerlik baglaminda etkilemistir.

Dahasi tezde elçilik tartismalarina da dikkat çekilerek, Amerika’nin büyük güç olma yolunda uyguladigi politikalar degerlendirilmistir. Amerika’nin Istanbul’daki orta elçilik seviyesindeki diplomatik temsilcigini büyük elçilige çevirmeye çalismasi ve Babiali’nin buna yaklasik on yil direnmesi, on dokuzuncu yüzyil sonu Osmanli-Amerikan iliskilerini açiklar mahiyettedir.