The Role of Christian Minorities in Efforts by the Great Powers to Dismember the Ottoman Empire
Salâhi R. Sonyel
Keywords: Ottoman Empire, Christianity, Turks, Islam, History
When the Turks made the fateful decision of embracing Islam as their religion, they became a marked people in the eyes of the Christian World, which saw that religion as a great danger to its very existence. The Turks failure, or refusal, to accept Christianity, despite the efforts of Pope Pius II, did not endear them to the Christians of the West; nor did their contribution to the Muslim cause during the great politico-religious upheaval of the Crusades. These religious wars created bitterness, hatred and hostility between Islam and Christianity, which were to last for centuries. Christendom saw Islam as a deviance, a bogey, which, it believed, aimed at eradicating the Christian heritage; and therefore the Ottoman Turks, who had espoused the cause of Islam by taking over the Caliphate, became the object of that Christian hatred and hostility.