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CHS lecture - Dr Yasir Yilmaz (Palacký University Olomouc): "Neither 'the last crusade' nor 'the failed final jihad': a new history of 1683"

When:Mo 29-04-2019 16:00 - 18:00
Where:Room A7, Academy building
poster for the event

The second Ottoman siege of Vienna in 1683 has for long represents to scholars, popular writers, and European public an archetypical religious battle between Christian Europe and the Islamic world. In reality, the “year of the Turk” was a product of institutional peculiarities that were formed in decades and governed policy-making in Istanbul and Vienna by the 1660s and 70s.

A full understanding of this phenomenon requires a comparison of the grand vizierate and seventeenth-century European chief ministers in practice and theory, an examination of Kara Mustafa Pasha’s coming of age as a protégé of the Köprülü grand viziers (1656-1676), and also his unrivaled status and security as grand vizier after assumption of power. This examination should also be supported by an analysis of the diplomatic maneuvering space of Austria. Restricted by cumbersome, traditional negotiation procedures, Vienna failed to revise its peaceful eastern policy after 1664 as a confrontation with the Ottomans draw nearer.

In the end, 1683 was essentially a conflict between single-man-oriented Ottoman court and legalistic and procedural Viennese government. A plague that broke out in Central Europe and the Ottoman Empire in the late 1670s also substantially influenced the coming of the siege, a hitherto completely neglected element in studies on 1683. Ultimately, I suggest that we should revise our established perspectives concerning what propelled the mutual actions of Ottoman and European historical actors.

About the speaker

Yasir Yilmaz holds a PhD (2015) in Ottoman and Habsburg history from Purdue University. He is currently an Assistant Professor of History at Palacký University (Olomouc) and has recently completed a guest researcher term at the Austrian Academy of Sciences as a Richard Plaschka Fellow. He is currently preparing for publication his first book which will be the first monograph-length original research published since the 1960s about the origins of 1683. Yilmaz has formerly taught in the US and Turkey