Acta Universitatis Danubius. Relationes Internationales, Vol 8, No 1 (2015)

The Situation of French and German Teaching as a Foreign Language in Ottoman Empire

Fuat Boyacıoglu


The Ottoman intellectuals and administrators underestimating Europe until Treaty of Karlowitz (1699), were considering the learning of a European language as an inferiority. Therefore, the international relations in the Ottoman State were carried out generally by non-Muslim dragomen. Sublime Porte (Bab-ı Ali) Foreign Language School and Ottoman Foreign Language School had been founded.  In addition to Arabic and Persian languages, French language took place firstly as a European language in the Ottoman education system. French became the first European language to be taught. The Turkish and French relations beginning in the XVIIth century and developing especially in the literature and cultural domain, continued well until XXth centuries. In the period of Sultan Abdulhamid II, Ottoman State made close relations with Germany rather than France and England.  The visit of the German emperor Wilhelm II to Istanbul upon the invitation of Ottoman Sultan and Baghdad Railway Project fortified the German-Turkish relations. The Young Turks coming to power after the Dethronement of Sultan Abdulhamid II  in 1908 had a great German admiration. During the First World War, the Ottoman and German relations in economical and political areas arrived to the culminating point.



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