Conspiracy, Allegation, and the Veil of Mystery… How easy it would be to explain the course of history with conspiracy theories! Unfortunately, this is not possible. After a columnist drew attention to the matter, I studied the period just before the end of the Ottoman Empire and the unfolding of its destiny. I also reviewed some of the books I had read previously. I wrote about what I gathered as briefly as the matter allowed. It seems our incompetence was the biggest factor. But you know, international relations act upon the “law of the jungle” in a way. History is a witness to the brutality of that. While all these took place, some, like arms dealers and bankers, for example, savagely exploited the situation. Interestingly, the rich people of the time tried to help their co-religionists with an ideal. They practically acted on religious motives. However, contrary to popular belief, they pursued peace and prosperity for all since the well-being of the region would also ensure the well-being of their co-religionists. Curious, aren’t you? Please read on.
Mustafa Karaalioğlu wrote an interesting article recently entitled “Conspiracy, allegation, and the veil of mystery (Komplo, iddia, esrar perdesi) .”Let me first share this article with you by way of annotation (1):
“Democracies have many problems, but none of them render the system as helpless as conspiracy theories do. A conspiracy theory spreads fast, thrives on claims undeniable by reason, and there comes a time when disbelief in the conspiracy can lead the individual to be considered insensitive and guilty by the public.” Türkiye, the Middle East, and almost all underdeveloped countries love feeding on this source with great appetite. People hold strong opinions about the reasons for whatever goes wrong in their lives and country. It is always someone else’s fault, and often of America, the West, the dark forces, the elite, etc. The blame is never on the underdog, those who fall behind, the uneducated, or the ones who can’t sweep before their own homes.
If a country is uneducated, underdeveloped, and unable to succeed, then the reason behind this must be the external forces! Everything has deteriorated because external forces have corrupted the economy, culture, academia, agriculture, environment, and morality, making and executing vicious plans day and night. If it were not so, that is, if the underdeveloped countries were not held back by Western imperialist dark circles, they would have been so advanced today just as they were back in their glorious past!
The contradiction in this logic is obvious. You may say, “If you want to succeed, you have to overcome these forces that you believe exist,” but you end up being the only one hearing it say it because this is the limit of the conspiracy theory. It is impossible to go beyond because otherwise, it would require work, research, and learning. Societies would need to cooperate, reconcile, and focus on a common goal, but who would do this?
The same wind is blowing not only in the Islamic world but also in the United States and West, the number one villain of all conspiracy theories. Trump is exactly the result of such a wave, and despite all the scandals, he may come back. Or, arguably the most mysterious piece of conspiracy theories, Israel is now in the same spiral. While the whole world condemns the USA for its endless support to Israel, some circles in Israel accuse the USA of conspiring against the government. Likewise, all the marginals of Europe keep designating an external power to take the blame. Initially, it was laughed off, but viewing the world from a conspiracy perspective is now impacting and changing government policies.
A selfish and inconsistent wave, far from discussion and often accompanied by the now fashionable concept of ‘post-truth’ keeps growing through mostly obvious, effective, and persistent lies and dirty propaganda -one that is at times notably racist and marginalizing. Undocumented, unproven, yet assertive words become increasingly prevalent across the globe. Moreover, although “Islam” is featured invariably in almost all Western conspiracy theories as the enemy, populist autocratic Western or Latin leaders often exhibit excellent friendship with governments of Islamic countries.
What chance do democracies stand other than being helpless?
Surely, there are conspiracies in the world. However, in my opinion, they are not those that “prove” to be conspiracies after all is said and done!
But some countries make an antagonistic move against others, who, in turn, do the same when an occasion arises. However, this would not suffice to explain the prevailing laziness, sluggishness, or helplessness. Countries have their interests and nobody is driven by concern or respect for the impressive qualities of the others. The only rule in this constant battle of superiority is that of the most powerful. For example, Germany, the UK, or the US show no mercy for Islamic countries when they deem an opposing action necessary or spot an opportunity to weaken. But these countries—Christian and Western countries—do not pity each other when their interests diverge either. For example, the USA and the UK excluded France, who had shaken hands with Australia on AUKUS, an USD 368 billion joint security collaboration agreement overnight, and seized the project! The French found out about this only when they picked up their newspapers the next morning!
I am against this classification. Today, each country is on its own, except for alliance issues, and can be defined nationally or regionally, such as the West, the Middle East, Türkiye, and Spain. There are also federations, such as Russia and the USA. I know of no state laying any claims, except for the religion-based, Islamic Republic of Iran and the Israeli Jewish State. And the state their people are in is obvious, with all the restlessness, etc.
On the other hand, oil-rich Islamic countries engage in trade with the West for their interests instead of doing business with other Islamic countries. Even if their people plunge into endless conspiracy theories day and night, saying, “America and Europe are leaving us behind, turning us against each other,” the situation remains the same because it is rational and practical. They are not an Islamic country anyway, because there is no accepted definition of an Islamic country or a Christian country. There is an Islamic Republic of Pakistan that defines itself as such, but …
The world consists of a scene of interest for successful and developed countries and a conspiracy theory movie for those who fail.” The author and publisher of these conspiracy theories are also powerful anyway (like Hollywood). Remember, it is the powerful (winners) who write history.”
This reminded me of a quote by our world-famous sociologist Şerif Mardin: “Turkish people’s view of history is shaped by conspiracy theories.” The other thing that came to my mind was a research result a few friends who attended the Ipsos’ Innovations in Research Conference recently shared with me, one that CEO Sidar Gedik shared in his presentation there.
In a survey conducted by the global research company Ipsos across 37 countries, called the “Perils of Perception,” residents of various countries were asked whether they agreed with certain statements about their country. For example, the participants were asked, “How many of the 100 people in your country are immigrants?” The answers of those from Türkiye yielded a score of 32 percent whereas the actual rate was 6 percent. The average of all 37 countries is 28 percent concerning the question on immigrants whereas the actual figure is 12 percent. “What is the employment rate in your country?” was another question on the survey. Türkiye replied by 41 percent, although the real figure was 11 percent. The average of all the answers -globally- is 34 percent regarding the same question. Yet, the real unemployment rate is 7 percent. When asked, “Where does your country stand in terms of economic size?”, we, the Turks, said we ranked 100th place, while we ranked 19th in reality. The average estimate of all participants was 70 while the actual average of the 37 countries surveyed stood at 28. Now, hang tight, where does Turkey stand on the “Perils of Perception Index”? Unfortunately, we rank third, with Thailand and Mexico at the top two ranks, respectively. We are followed by Malaysia and Brazil. Here is the conspiracy: The people of these poor four countries are locked in a state of inferiority and despair as a result of the propaganda of other colonial countries.
But, why is this so? The study offers no explanation. But we are indeed very interested in theories supported by false, speculative, or unproven claims. Psychologists have done a lot of research on why people believe in conspiracy theories. They say those who feel powerless in a certain situation try to get out of it by taking shelter in the idea that someone wants to harm them. They also point to the fact that those who do not engage in complex thinking or are not equipped to do so simply say, “It is the other that is guilty.” (2). Researchers identify that belief in conspiracy theories varies from country to country. This could be the result of the respective cultures of the countries, the prevalence of media manipulation, the current political environment, the history of the country, and the trust in governments (3).
Generally, as in the rest of the world, these theories are based on the assumption that an organization operates for a specific purpose, pursuing some sort of secret plan, about which there is no concrete evidence available at all. With so many social media trolls around, the gaps are easily filled by processing some information with a little bit of imagination to support the hypothesis.
Although it is hard to find a conspiracy theory that is supported by everyone, it is also true that there are some conspiracy theories that large masses of people believe in. For example, many people think that the attacks of September 11 were planned by the USA. It is believed that Bill Gates deliberately caused the Covid-19 crisis to pursue his agenda of population control. Whether it is those who claim that there are biological weapons used to reduce the world population or those who think that the food industry is designed to harm human health, there are many who advocate such theories. Some people even claim that Aliens have visited the Earth and that governments are trying to hide this fact. Of course, especially the rich get their fair share of conspiracy theories. Nowadays, they are called the “global elites” ruling the world. These global elites are believed to rule the world through secret meetings and activities. And, the pioneers of these rich people known as the global elites are the Rothschild Family (4), the first representatives of global banking, that is, the neo-liberal capitalist order, about whom hundreds of myth-based stories have been created.
The Rothschilds and the Ottoman Empire (5) by Prof. Dr. Mustafa Balcıoğlu and Prof. Dr. Sezai Balcı is a great resource for the curious. The professors attempt to shed light on the Ottoman-Rothschild Family relationship based on 1,500 pages stored in the Ottoman Archives.
The authors share the earliest information about the Rothschild Family in Ottoman documents as follows:
The goal of the Rothschild family was to acquire wealth quickly, distribute and spend it within the family, and maintain their Jewish identity in terms of customs, traditions, and beliefs. Mayer Amschel, who became rich through usury in the eighteenth century, left his five sons in charge of the business, not entrusting his business to anyone outside of the family. In Jewish law, it was permissible to take interest from non-Jews. Of these five brothers, Nathan started doing business in London, James in Paris, Amschel in Frankfurt, Salomon in Vienna, and the youngest in Naples. In the family, which refused to include foreigners, most marriages took place between cousins. In the first half of the 1800s, the Rothschild family built the first railway in Austria and Paris and lent money to Napoleon, Denmark, Brazil, and England.
The first contact of the Rothschilds with the Ottoman state was about the establishment of the Greek State and the compensation to be paid by Greece. Greece borrowed for the compensation to be paid to the Ottomans from the Rothschilds with an interest rate of 5 percent. The Ottoman state, which was experiencing financial difficulties at that time, could not pay its previous debts and the deduction of this compensation came up.
It was in 1855, under the leadership of Mustafa Reşit Pasha, that the Ottomans borrowed from the Rothschilds. The Rothschild Family had a respected position in banking for Ottoman bureaucrats, as it assumed all the emissions of the British treasury and financed the Crimean War in 1853.
As seen in recent history, the growing international trade necessitated the first international financial market when the states provided the funds they needed not just because they were part of a war but also because they were social states from the citizens of other states in exchange for the Government Bonds issued.
Part Two: The financial control of the Ottoman State or the Rothschilds
As I mentioned above, the first large sum borrowed from the Rothschilds dates back to the Crimean War. Before that, negotiations were held with bankers in France in 1850, and a contract was signed to borrow money (issue government bonds). The signed contract was not approved by the Sultan, and consequently, the Ottoman state was sentenced to compensation. Since the Ottoman state did not want to lose credibility in Europe due to the termination of the contract, it started paying off its debts to the signatory bankers quickly. The entire compensation could not be paid on time, and money was provided by the Rothschild family for the remaining part. According to Ahmet Cevdet Pasha, the mismanagement in this period when the state finances were in chaos was due to the lack of educated and skilled financers, that is, incompetence and incompatibility!
Since 1854, the Ottoman state had borrowed £220 million, and in return, received only £116 million. We know that after the financial bankruptcy, Sultan Abdulaziz was deposed and later found dead in Feriye Palace. His successor, Murat the 5th, had a very short tenure, and instead of him, Abdulhamid the 2nd took the throne. The Constitutional Monarchy was declared was immediately after that.
After bankruptcy, there were no significant debt problems between the Rothschilds and the Ottoman state. These debts were under the bails of England and France! The difference between the Rothschilds and other bankers who lent money to the Ottoman state was that they calculated everything, and their predictions were accurate.
By 1879, since the debts in the Ottoman Empire could now only be paid by way of further debts, 6 of the government’s income items were transferred to the creditors per an agreement between the capitalists and the government. These debts inherited from the Ottoman Empire could only be paid in the Republican period.
Part Three: On Sultan Abdulhamid, the Rothschilds, and Palestine:
The Rothschilds, as “religious” Jews, have always had a special interest in Palestine. The French member of the family, Baron Edmond James de Rothschild, attached great importance to agriculture and enabled some Jews to become an authority by ensuring they received agricultural education. Many swamps in the region were dried and opened to agriculture. When the Baron died, he owned more than 500,000 acres across 30 settlements. Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, said in a speech, “No one has ever served Israel more than he did.”
Here is another interesting link: The beginning of the oppression of the Jews in Russia and the purchase of land in Palestine on behalf of the Rothschild Family took place around the same time. Concerned about land sales and building construction in the mid-1880s, Abdulhamid II. prohibited such transactions. In the 1890s, Jews started to submit their requests for acceptance into the Ottoman, and despite the prohibitions, it was recorded that they continued with bribery, cheating, and favouritism.
What a strange relationship! The Sultan, who leaves no choice to internal and external forces other than to assume silence by way of despotism on the one hand, is incapable of managing and administrating its servants on the other!
The settlement of Jews in Palestine, which was becoming an international problem at the time, was discussed in the Sublime Porte in 1893. However, the prediction of the Governor of Jerusalem, İbrahim Hakkı Pasha, that the immigrant Jews would cause problems in the future was not accepted by the Sublime Porte, who replied by saying “Necessary measures are being taken.” However, the correspondence and negotiations reveal that the administrators were not in control of many things in Palestine and Syria. Thus, the number of immigrant Jews who came to the region reached 40 thousand. The documents demonstrate that despite the orders issued by the central government, land sales to Jews, especially to the Rothschilds, continued, with the most influential being the concept of bribery addressed under the concept of gratuity. The reason for this migration flow was that Jews were despised in the Western countries where they lived at that time, and not allowed to settle in other Western countries anyway. Italy, Germany, France, Russia, and England, that is, the powerful states of the period, agreed on the settlement of Jews in Palestine and continued to support them. The Jews, who were empowered by this, were behaving in a way that would harass the Muslim people. In response to the complaints of the Muslim people, the Jews also made counter-complaints, and the atmosphere grew increasingly tense.
As a result, by 1908, the Jewish population living in Palestine was 80,000 (impressive when compared to the low levels of 1876). Baron Rothschild, on the other hand, was granted the title of “Father of Yishuv” (the indigenous Jewish people of the Holy Land are called Yishuv. Rothschild was also called “Father of Yishuv,” meaning the patron of this people) by the 40 settlements he founded.
Part 4: Findings of the authors concerning the Unionists, Palestine, and the Rothschild Family:
Immediately after the second constitutional monarchy took effect, the Speaker of the Assembly, Ahmet Rıza, wanted to establish relations with JCA and Baron Rothschild through the Chief Rabbi. After the abdication of Abdulhamid II in 1909, the Palestinian policy changed, and the Rothschild Family attempted to buy land again. Even the Sultan’s lands were now in the hands of the Rothschilds.
In 1917, while the British army was advancing in Palestine, the letter written to Rothschild by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and approved by the British government stated, “His Majesty’s Government welcomes the establishment of a national home for the Jews in Palestine.” This document marks the first step taken in the realization of the Jewish state. The movement controlled by the Rothschild Family was carried out according to the principle of patience and being in the right place at the right time, away from the harsh policies of Zionist Theodor Herzl and Chaim Weizmann. Thus, although the Jewish-Arab population rate was at 10 percent, the Jews received their permission to establish a state in Palestine.
Part 5: Other relations with the Rothschilds and the image of Rothschild in the Ottoman Empire:
With the trade agreement of 1838, the Ottoman Empire was opened to European capital, and the merchants penetrated the Ottoman economic area. The Rothschilds did not hold back there either. The family made an offer to operate and export copper, lead, and other mines extracted from the Ottoman country.
While all this went on, members of the Rothschild Family received awards, medals, and gifts from Ottoman Sultans. In 1854, the first token was given by Sultan Abdülmecid. From that day onwards, Sultan Abdulaziz and Sultan II. Abdülhamid granted tokens to various family members, and some of the wives received a badge of affection.
We understand from the book that the Ottoman state took loans 41 times from 1854 until its collapse, with the loans of 1855, 1891, and 1894 borrowed from the Rothschilds. So far, the concrete information is correct, but later on, I fail to see how to support the book’s main stance: “The Rothschilds have obtained the necessary ground to achieve their underlying main purpose, that is to establish Jewish settlements in Palestine. This led to the dreams of Benjamin Disraeli, a Jewish-born British statesman from a century ago, coming true.” I believe this assumption only supports conspiracy theories about the Rothschild Family, reinforcing discrimination and prejudices against Jews. Currently, that strong family is long gone. Nor does it still rule the world. The Rothschild Family not only maintained their relations with the Ottoman Empire but also contributed to the shaping of the global financial sector by creating a world market for bonds issued by countries for nearly 100 years.
Niall Ferguson’s extensive study of the House of Rothschild (6), recently translated into Turkish by the publishing house Kronik Kitap, is based on interviews with surviving members of the Rothschild Family, revealing the myths about the family along with their sources, yet still failing to provide a definitive opinion. Once you read the book, you understand that the Rothschild Family was exploited by Goebbels to nurture antisemitism even during the Hitler era when its power had decreased. One thing is certain: the Rothschilds owe most of their enormous fortune to giving loans to governments or speculating in government bonds. What determined the ups and downs of the bond market back then was not any different than today: the environment of political trust.
Investors need to make sure that the states issuing the bonds can repay the debt with interest. Therefore, investors, and thus the Rothschilds, do not prefer wars that will reduce tax revenues; they do not want a change in management or internal turmoil; they want countries to be managed stably. This is why they spent time, energy, and money to get involved in decision-making processes by maintaining close relations with the countries where they marketed their bonds, and the Ottoman Empire was no different. Therefore, they needed a good intelligence system. Jewish Rothschilds originated in Germany. The current trend in Europe, including Russia, at the time was anti-Semitic. They indeed helped displaced Jews, but this was because they wanted to help their “poorer co-religionists,” whom they felt were crushed under antisemitism (7).
Explaining that he is an atheist in the book, Niall Ferguson emphasized the “Jewish” aspect of the family too much, but there is no indication that the main aim of the Rothschilds was to establish a world of “Jewish supremacy.” The family had no such intention of destroying states, including the Ottomans, by lending them money. As you already know, debts are a result, not a cause, of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The factors that led to the collapse of the Ottoman Empire were plenty.
The book’s claim that “The Rothschilds continued to spend the money they earned from their financial affairs with the Ottoman Empire on other endeavours for Israel and Judaism in line with their ideals and without any hesitation” is based on efforts to associate various historical documents with imagination with no ground. The Rothschilds had earned money from almost 72 nations, and it is impossible to know exactly which was spent where or on what.
While talking about the Rothschilds, it would not be possible to proceed without mentioning Prof. Dr. Vahdettin Engin’s book, The Negotiation (8). This book is based on confidential documents concerning the negotiations of Abdulhamid II and the Zionist leader Dr. Theodore Herzl on ‘The Jewish homeland in Palestine.’
The author claims that since 1876, the documents revealing the events correctly were left in the dark as they were not examined fully and without bias, so history has been interpreted around some unfounded rumors and ideologies. The foremost of these is, of course, the Ottoman policy towards Palestine, where, again, the fact that it did not allow the establishment of a Jewish state is associated with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. But it would not be fair to reduce the collapse of the Ottoman Empire to a single variable…
The book begins by describing the reign of Sultan Abdulhamid: He ruled for 30 years between 1876 and 1909. The first (1876-1878) and the second constitutional monarchies (1908) correspond to his time. As the sole decision maker, the Sultan directed the policies. For issue resolution, the Sultan conveyed his will to the Sublime Porte, and the government made a decision accordingly, to be implemented upon the approval of the Palace. The Sultan, whose era is referred to as the “period of oppression,” actually made decisions by consulting experts. This system worked more like the “presidential system,” where the central government stands strong.
It is not true that no land was lost during the reign of the Sultan, who considered England the greatest threat. The lands in Eastern Anatolia, Tunisia, Egypt, and Cyprus were given away in his time. The Sultan’s policy rests on the Ottoman Empire’s territorial integrity. Although this policy is generally considered to be Pan-Islamistic, it mostly aimed to establish solidarity and unity among the Muslims in the country against external attacks.
The word Zionism was derived from Zion, one of the hills of Jerusalem. The Zionists thought that the Ottomans, who were in financial difficulties, could find a way out by selling Palestinian lands to the Jews. British L. Oliphant, in 1879, suggested that land in the Belka sanjak of Palestine should be sold to the Jews and granted autonomy and his proposal was rejected as objectionable. While the people in Palestine were uncomfortable with the settlement of Jews there, the Jews expelled from Europe were encouraged by the Palace to settle in America.
Born in Hungary in 1860, Dr. Theodore Herzl is the person who came up with the concept of “Modern Zionism.” He visited Istanbul five times between 1896 and 1902 to obtain land for the establishment of a Jewish state. Herzl, who died in 1904, did not see the establishment of this Jewish state he dreamed of. Herzl thought that it was possible to settle in Palestine by spending a few million worth of gold and helping the Ottoman Empire, which was dealing with financial problems and foreign debts. But even the States could not afford to pay a debt exceeding 90 million in sum.
In Europe, the Rothschilds did not follow the same trail as Herzl and considered it appropriate to settle in Palestine gradually in small masses. Another wealthy Jew, Hirsch, gave the same answer to Herzl. Therefore, they refrained from supporting Herzl.
In 1897, Herzl organized the first Zionist congress, which would eventually assume a decision-making role and become a Zionist organization. Herzl described this endeavour as placing the existence of the Jewish state on spiritual foundations. In the 2nd Zionist Congress convened in Basel, mostly financial and economic matters were discussed, and the parties agreed to establish a “Jewish colony bank.”
Herlz made donations to the Hejaz railway to impress the Sultan. Thinking that this was a project of Muslims, Abdulhamid II. ordered the money to be returned, demanding a receipt that documented Herlz’s refund.
Negotiations with Herzl strengthened Abdulhamid II’s hand. Meanwhile, a settlement area including Haifa in Palestine was requested in Herlz’s writing in addition to Mesopotamia, where the Sultan suggested a scattered settlement style for the Jews. As a result of a translation error, this was recorded as “The Sultan will grant a concession for the settlement area.” Therefore, no such permission or commitment was actually given.
The consolidation of the Ottoman debts would reduce the total debt to 32 million lira. Herzl stated that 80 percent of this debt would be cleared in exchange for Palestine and Haifa. However, he did not receive any positive reply. Although it was known that the Arabs sold land to the Jews, the Sultan’s resistance continued.
By 1903, debts had been structured, and Herzl was no longer needed. After coming down from 75 million to 32 million, the debts were reduced to 25 million in 1908.
The Party of Union and Progress abolished the measures taken in 1914 to prevent Jews from settling in Palestine, claiming they did not work. Meanwhile, Sharif Hussein, along with some tribal chiefs and emirs, who were led to fancy a great Arab state in Hejaz by England and France, signed an agreement with the Jews in London in 1919. In 1920, the truth was uncovered, and Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, and Palestine were shared between England and France at the “Middle East San Remo Conference,” with Syria and Lebanon going under French mandate, Iraq, Jordan, and Palestine under British. Herbert Samuel, a staunch Zionist, was appointed as the Deputy Governor of Palestine. After many such appointments, the growing influence of the Jews and Britain’s support of them led to an Arab-Jewish conflict. These conflicts, which flared up with the establishment of Israel in 1948, have continued up to our time.
As you can see, the basic assumptions in the two books are based on some myths about the Rothschild Family. In the first book, it is stated that the Rothschilds led to the establishment of an Israeli state by deceiving and burdening the Ottomans with debts to help the Jews and spread Zionism. The second book argues that Abdülhamid II was dethroned by a set-up involving the Rothschilds because the establishment of a Jewish state could not be secured. However, neither of these books contains sufficient evidence to support their respective conclusions.
The book authored by the Harvard researcher Niall Ferguson, whom I mentioned above, on the other hand, highlights the priority in the life of the Rothschild Family, the banker and the founder of the global financial system, as “money.” Then, it portrays them as struggling with the problems brought on by wealth. Ferguson argues that, driven by a co-religionist perspective, they also helped the Jews because they were oppressed, but that’s all. The Ottoman Empire was not the main subject in their lives, nor did it occupy as much space as other countries, and they treated the Ottomans just as they treated the others.
Some of the mind-blowing claims about the Rothschild Family mentioned in Ferguson’s book are as follows: The members of the money cartel led by the British Royal Family support Zionism because they have permanent and safe access to the rich natural resources in the Far East; plans to have President Lincoln killed as they believed his post-war policies would harm the family’s wealth; supporting Hitler to prevent the spread of the Soviet Union; being in close contact with the Catholic Church; collaborating with traditional mafia and the CIA; aligning with the pro-Nazi Vatican Bank, polluting the Illuminati masonry with occultism; supporting Hitler in antisemitism; and controlling the UK and US Central banks.
“Why are the books on the Rothschild Family that are based on serious archival research are so few?”
“Partly because writers somehow manage to make money by replaying old myths and anecdotes about a wealthy and successful family that has attracted everyone’s attention, and related paperwork has been hard to come by until recently,” in the words of Niall Ferguson. I believe that book is a must-read!
Finally, I should say a few words about Sultan Abdulhamid II: In my university years, I read about his efforts to match the bureaucracy, politics, and even education of his time to the modern world of that day. I would also like to share a memory: In my high school years, when I referred to Sultan Abdulhamid II by the pejorative nickname “Red Sultan” once, my father warned me against it and said:
Remember that it was the scholarship of Abdulhamid II that allowed our grandfather an education at the Fatih Madrasah while abroad in Istanbul!
(2) Dougles M.K et al. (2017) The Psychology of Conspiracy Theories, Current Directions in Psychological Science, Vol. 26(6) 538–542.
(3) Douglas M.K. et al. Understanding Conspiracy Theories (2019), Political Psychology, Vo.40, pp.1, pp.3-35.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/democracy-post/wp/2017/05/15/a-turkish-tv-blockbuster-reveals-erdogans-conspiratorial-anti-semitic-worldview/; https://dayan.org/content/conspiracy-theory-culture-turkey-and-crypto-jews-donmes; https://www.britannica.com/story/where-do-anti-semitic-conspiracy-theories-about-the-rothschild-family-come-from¸https://paulsalmons.associates/blog/conspiracy-theories; https://forward.com/culture/502954/conspiracy-theories-about-the-rothschilds-are-still-going-strong-on-twitter/
(5) Balcıoğlu, M. and Balcı S. (2021). Rothschilds and the Ottoman Empire, Erguvani Publishing House, pg.524.
(6) Ferguson, N. (2023). House of Rothschild, Chronicle, pg. 639.
(7) Engin, V (2020), Pazarlık, Yeditepe Publishing House, 23rd Edition, pg.213.
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