Posted by Elizabeth on July 30, 2001 at 07:51:57:
In Reply to: Re: Secret Schools...Do you believe they really existed? posted by Nikos on July 29, 2001 at 23:27:37:
: It has been a while since I have studied Ottoman history, but I am not sure to the degree that Secret schools existed, if at all. Greeks held high positions in Ottoman times, mainly because Greek was widely spoken in the Balkans, and also because Ottomans were not allowed to learn foreign languages. In addition, Ottomans classified populations into two main groups. Turks or Greeks. Greeks meant anyone who was a Christian. The Patriarch of Constantinople was granted much authority by the Ottomans to implement rules and govern the Christian populations. In most of the Southern Balkan states, Greek was the only language allowed in Church services. For these reasons I do not believe that Greek was not being taught to Greek officials in Ottoman service, or to the priests and church followers in the various Southern Balkan states (not in the form of secret schools).
Also...didn't the Ottoman millet system effectively *preserve* those languages not spoken by the non-Mulims population? For example, didn't they live in seperate areas in Constantinople? I find it extremely hard to believe that the Ottomans would have spent the time and energy to eradicate a language that was clearly of use to them...in that the Empire seemed to realize the value of educated Greeks. Also...what of the other languages that continue to be spoken in former Ottoman areas?: Romanian, Albanian, Hungarian etc. What explanation do the "secret school" advocates offer for their survival? They also had secret schools?
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