Ottoman dynasty

The Ottoman dynasty was made up of the members of the imperial House of Osman known as the Ottomans. According to Ottoman tradition, the family originated from the Kayı tribe branch of the Oghuz Turks, under Osman I in northwestern Anatolia in the district of Bilecik Söğüt; the Ottoman dynasty, named after Osman I, ruled the Ottoman Empire from c. 1299 to 1922. During much of the Empire's history, the sultan was the absolute regent, head of state, head of government, though much of the power shifted to other officials such as the Grand Vizier. During the First and Second Constitutional Eras of the late Empire, a shift to constitutional monarchy was enacted, with the Grand Vizier taking on a prime ministerial role as head of government and heading an elected General Assembly; the imperial family was deposed from power and the sultanate was abolished on 1 November 1922 during the Turkish War of Independence. The Republic of Turkey was declared the following year; the living members of the dynasty were sent into exile as personae non gratae, though some have been allowed to return and live as private citizens in Turkey.

In its current form, the family is known as the Osmanoğlu family. The Ottoman dynasty operated under several basic premises: that the Sultan governed the empire's entire territory, that every male member of the dynastic family was hypothetically eligible to become Sultan, that only one person at a time could be the Sultan; such rules were standard for monarchic empires of the time. The certain processes through which men rose to the Sultanate, were specific to the Ottoman Empire. To go into greater detail about these processes, the history of succession between Sultans can be divided into two eras: the period between the reign of Orhan, the first person to inherit the Ottoman sultanate, the reign of Ahmed I; the succession process during the first period was dominated by violence and intra-familial conflict, in which the various sons of the deceased Sultan fought until only one remained alive and, inherited the throne. This tradition was known as fratricide in the Ottoman Empire, but may have evolved from tanistry, a similar succession procedure that existed in many Turco-Mongolian dynasties predating the Ottomans.

Sons of the Sultan were given provincial territories to govern until the Sultan's death, at which point they would each vie for the throne. Each son had to, according to historian H. Erdem Cipa, “demonstrate that his fortune was superior to the fortunes of his rivals,” a demonstration that took the form of military accomplishment and ruthlessness; this violence was not considered unexpected or unusual. As Cipa has noted, the Ottoman words for “successor” and “conflict” share the same Arabic root, indeed, all but one of the successions in this 200-year period involved a resolution by combat. Over time, the combat became prevalent and recognized after a Jannissary uprising negated Murad II's attempt to abdicate the throne peacefully to his son, Mehmed II, in 1444. During the eventual reign of Mehmed II, fratricide was legalized as an official practice. During the second period, the tradition of fratricide was replaced by a simpler and less violent procedure. Starting with the succession from Ahmed I to Mustafa I in 1617, the Ottoman throne was inherited by the eldest male blood relative — not son — of the Sultan, regardless of how many eligible family members were alive.

The change in succession procedure was instigated by numerous factors, including fratricide’s decline in popularity among Ottoman elites and Ahmed I’s decision not to kill Mustafa when inheriting the throne from Mehmed III in 1603. With the door opened for a change in policy, a political debate arose between those who supported unrestricted Sultanic privilege and those who supported a stronger, centralized law system that would supersede the Sultan’s power to an extent. Historian Baki Tezcan has argued that the latter faction — with the help of the influential şeyhülislam Hocasadeddinzade Esad Efendi — was able to prevail in this instance; the bloodless succession from Ahmed I to Mustafa I in 1617 "provided a reference for the eventual stabilization of the rule of Ottoman succession, the regulation of which by an outside force was in effect a constitutional check on the dynastic prerogative," Tezcan has written. The precedent set in 1617 stuck, as the eldest living family member inherited the throne in each of the following 21 successions, with few instances of a son inheriting the throne.

From the fourteenth through the late sixteenth centuries, the Ottomans practiced open succession – something historian Donald Quataert has described as "survival of the fittest, not eldest, son." During their father's lifetime, all adult sons of the reigning sultan obtained provincial governorships. Accompanied and mentored by their mothers, they would gather supporters while ostensibly following a Ghazi ethos. Upon the death of the reigning sultan, his sons would fight amongst themselves until one emerged triumphant. A Prince's proximity to Constantinople improved his chances of succession because he would hear of his father's death and declare himself Sultan first. A Sultan could thus hint at his preferred successor by giving a favourite son a closer governorship. Bayezid II, for instance

Alan Perlis

Alan Jay Perlis was an American computer scientist and professor at Purdue University, Carnegie Mellon University and Yale University. He is best known for his pioneering work in programming languages and was the first recipient of the Turing Award. Perlis was born to a Jewish family in Pennsylvania, he graduated from Taylor Allderdice High School in 1939. In 1943, he received his bachelor's degree in chemistry from the Carnegie Institute of Technology. During World War II, he served in the U. S. Army, where he became interested in mathematics, he earned both a master's degree and a Ph. D. in mathematics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His doctoral dissertation was titled "On Integral Equations, Their Solution by Iteration and Analytic Continuation". In 1952, he participated in Project Whirlwind, he joined the faculty at Purdue University and in 1956, moved to the Carnegie Institute of Technology. He was chair of mathematics and the first head of the computer science department. In 1962, he was elected president of the Association for Computing Machinery.

He was awarded the inaugural Turing Award in 1966, according to the citation, for his influence in the area of advanced programming techniques and compiler construction. This is a reference to the work he had done as a member of the team that developed the programming language ALGOL. In 1971, Perlis moved to Yale University to become the chair of computer science and hold the Eugene Higgins chair. In 1977, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. In 1982, he wrote an article, Epigrams on Programming, for Association for Computing Machinery's SIGPLAN journal, describing in one-sentence distillations many of the things he had learned about programming over his career; the epigrams have been quoted. He remained at Yale until his death in 1990. Publications, a selection: A. J. Perlis and C. Thornton. "Symbol manipulation by threaded lists". Communications of the ACM. 3: 195–204. Doi:10.1145/367177.367202. 1965. An introductory course in computer programming. With Robert T. Braden. 1970. A view of programming languages.

With Bernard A. Galler 1975. Introduction to computer science 1977. In Praise of APL: A Language for Lyrical Programming 1978. Perfect Artifacts Improve only in Small Ways: APL is more French than English 1981. Software Metrics: An Analysis and Evaluation. With Frederick Sayward and Mary Shaw 1986. FAC: A Functional APL Language. With Tu Hai-Chen. About Alan PerlisDenning, Peter J.. "Alan J. Perlis—1922–1990: a founding father of computer science as a separate discipline". Communications of the ACM. 33: 604–605. Doi:10.1145/78607.214943. Cheatham, Thomas. "ALGOL session". History of Programming Languages. New York, NY: ACM Press. P. 171. Doi:10.1145/800025.1198357. ISBN 978-0127450407. Retrieved 2007-09-18. List of pioneers in computer science Oral history interview with Allen Newell at Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Newell discusses the development of the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University, including the work of Perlis and Raj Reddy, the growth of the computer science and artificial intelligence research communities.

Alan J. Perlis Papers, 1942–1989. Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis


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