Are you asking me personally, or what Bulgarians will feel in general?
I am a person who cares about the objective truth of historical matters and also one who has visited Turkey something like 12–15 times.
On the first count I know the Ottoman Empire was, well an empire, and we Bulgarians were subjects. Rebellions happened and so did retribution afterwards, and as long as it was regular Ottoman forces we are talking about it was within reason. Almost all the atrocities were committed by başibozuk militia.
As for the general Ottoman policy towards us, it naturally varied during the ages. What the Porte did right was to always side with the locals against the governors and generally stay away from local matters. Your personal status also depended a lot more on your trade than your milet as far as civil law went. For example the muskets for the army in the 16th and 17th centuries were made by Christian gunsmiths in Nis and Sliven. I would guess they had a higher status than a Muslim raya in Asia Minor.
As for culture, and I think we Bulgarians are closer to you than most, it's practically indistinguishable besides religion and language. We, as much as you, serve cooked wheat with sugar for funerals, gift gold to newborns, sacrifice a lamb in May, and have a very similar mindset, cuisine, fairy tales and folk wisdom.
Overall, the Ottoman legacy on both Bulgarians and Turks is undeniable.
I cannot guarantee that most Bulgarians feel the same though. While we don't have anything against Turks, and the way Bulgarian Turks were treated is both a taboo and was deeply unpopular back in the day, the Ottoman Empire itself is widely regarded as a foreign oppressor.
Unless you are history buff like me, and have a basis of comparison, it's hard to argue with that point - we were both under foreign rule and second class subjects.
I read most of the answers, and to my disappointment, I find them rather emotional than scholarly. Atanas Arnaudov’s is probably the only exception.
Firstly, I would kindly ask everybody really interested in history of the Ottoman empire to go to Edirne (aka Ardianopolis, aka Odrin), at least. There are several interesting sites there that will definitely change your mind and opinion re the “Ottomans being savages” — a perpetually repeated piece of nonsense. Shortly, you will be surprised by the extremely advanced level in culture, medicine, architecture, etc., that the Ottoman empire was way back in the 15th century — vastly superior to Europe at the time!
Secondly, please do some really good, thorough research re the Ottoman empire, as most of our textbooks, especially in the school curriculum cover the whole period in just a couple of pages, naturally in a very negative way. For instance, the janissaries — their number varied between 20 and 60K (at most! and I guess there much more Christian families at the time, as well), and they originated from Christian families only. A janissary, or “new soldier” had a very special place in the hierarchy. Technically, they were slaves, but personal property of the Sultan, and after retiring, they enjoyed very handsome privileges. Now, here comes the surprise — did you know that people gave bribes to the commission that selected the boys in order to choose their one?
In a nutshell, I think that the history of the Ottoman empire has been intentionally downgraded and some 90% of the Balkan population (except Turkey’s) has been utterly mislead. I would hail rediscovering the objective history, as we are all part of it!
The Devshirme system in general served to create a body of soldiers loyal personally to the Sultan, as opposed to the tribal Turkish warriors and the Balkan mercenaries that were also part of the Ottoman Army.
The draft was designed specifically not to reduce the Christian population - only teenage b
Ottoman occupation was the biggest tragedy that happened to Serbs and other people around. Bad enough to be occupied by anybody, but to be under the savages, and muslims on top of it, couldn’t get any worse than that.
Victims were the people of Asia Minor too. They were all Christians, had their own
Serbia and neighbours still have their language and faith and paid for it dearly with their lives. The tragedy is, Ottomans left behind the curse of islam, which is a source of big problems, not only in the Balkans, but in the whole world.
Wherever there is islam, there is a problem. No wonder, knowi
Chris SardelisJust imagine…. Uncivilised, illiterate nomads conquer the Eastern Roman Empire. It is tragic because the conqueror had nothing to offer the conquered in the way of culture. literature, arts etc. Example: what we have recorded about the siege and the fall of Constantinople is written from inside the walls. Notaras, Chalkokondyles, Sphranges, Barbaro etc. The hordes that were outside could not read or write. Yet, they managed to conquer the Great Eastern Roman Empire. Once inside the walls of the great city Mehmed the Conqueror could not believe he was the master of such a fine city. Tragedy ensued for five hundred years until the Balkan people could not take it any more. They revolted and managed to free their lands from an illness. Leaving behind converted muslims with some of them being fanatic islamists. Go figure…. Of course those rebellions by the local christian rayas was dealt with brutal reprisals. The Ottomans, of course, wanted to continue their policy of conquering lands and then distributing amongst their pashas pushing the locals to the mountains and using them to toil the land. And they expected this policy to be accepted and continued. It wasn’t. P. S. Absolutely nothing against today’s Turks. Actually they still suffer under regimes like Erdogan’s who imprisons his opponents.
If you mean the Aztecs who used to slaughter 100.000 people like cows per year in their altars, no thy didnt..However that cannot be said about the Greeks,Serbs etc that had their own superior culture and civilization and were doomed for centuries …What did we gain from Ottoman oppresion (about the