IIUM Repository

The problem of ‘Historical Epistemology’ in Ottoman Malay-World relations

Özay, Mehmet (2022) The problem of ‘Historical Epistemology’ in Ottoman Malay-World relations. In: The Middle East and the Malay world: Contemporary Issues and Future Challenges, 19 October 2022, University Malaya Kuala Lumpur. (Unpublished)

[img] PDF
Download (205kB)
Download (482kB) | Preview
[img] PDF
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (121kB)


This paper challenges the problem of historical epistemology in the studies on relations between Ottoman and Malay World which is noticed to have been initiated in the inception of the 16th century. It has been closely observed that a significant intensification of academic studies to be triggered by the calamitical event of the tsunami that hit the Indian Ocean in 2004. That ‘natural’ disaster has implicated both the humanitarian initiatives of the Turkish government/semi-government and civil organizations and also visible interests in academia in order to re-discover the earlier historical contacts and interactions. It is quite interesting to have witnessed that the above-mentioned ventures to revive and remind the past relations were coincidental apparently with the initiation of the Ottomanist worldview by some circles in Turkey. Besides, this approach which can be named as ‘renevalism’ is to some or larger extent related -in a reactionary way- to the early Republican epistemological stance to history as well. Instead of developing a historical epistemology through rational and critical approaches which would be laying emphasis on diverse scopes of the relationships by taking into consideration of multiple reasons and actors in order to understand the past relations, the recent (Turkish) academic stance has shown implicitly a certain tendency to narrate the relations in the limitation of superiority-inferiority dichotomy and/or one-sided power based domination. The latter issue is no doubt to be defined as problematic. And because studies in the field of history have certain explicit methodological weaknesses, the ventures to understand past relations with the Malay world have not produced robust results. The argument is that weaknesses in the contemporary attemps to understand and to restructure the past relations could be rooted in the past itself. For that purpose, it would be rational to scrutinize whether the Ottomans developed certain epistemological-based policies commencing from the early years of the 16th century onwards to be able to engage with the general Malay world. Although this paper is intended to be a continuity of a recent book chapter produced by the present writer it is still considered to be a preliminary discussion. The attempt is here to apply analytical perspective so as to reach the foundation of the problem. This endeavor is believed to provide some suggestions which will permit us to comprehend the already established epistemological and methodological weaknesses in academic circles who have enterprised in the ventures of the reconstruction of the Ottoman and the Malay world relations.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Keynote)
Uncontrolled Keywords: the Malay world, the Ottomans, critical approach, historical epistemology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General) > B69 History and systems
Kulliyyahs/Centres/Divisions/Institutes (Can select more than one option. Press CONTROL button): International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (ISTAC)
Date Deposited: 29 May 2023 15:56
Last Modified: 29 May 2023 15:56
URI: http://irep.iium.edu.my/id/eprint/100973

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year