[Marxism] Exchange with Jack Weatherford
lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Jun 9 09:19:56 MDT 2008
Jack, I wonder if you have ever thought or written about the Ottoman
Empire. My wife is Turkish and as a result I have been taking language
classes at Columbia where I work and studying their culture. I noted
that in your analysis of Genghis Khan's 10-man restructuring of the
Mongolian army, the word "ordu" was used. This is the Turkish word for
army. Also, in describing the "brother-in-law" adoption of non-Mongols
into the army, the word "khari" or black was used. Again, kari means
black in Turkish. I wonder if there is a dotted line between Khan's
method of ruling with a light footprint and the Ottoman's. Or am I just
You are absolutely correct. The Turks originated in Mongolia, and the
Mongols used them as their model of civilization. The Mongols fairly
much rejected Chinese, Christian and Muslim models but steadfastly
followed the Turks.
The people and the languages are so intertwined, and the Mongols
borrowed many words from the Turks for new things and for the vocabulary
of nomadic life.
In the time of Genghis Khan, both the Naiman and the Kereyid were Turkic
peoples. All of his sons married Turkic women, and four of his
daughters married Turkic khans.
In turn, the Mongols had a great influence on the Ottomans who followed.
Turkey is a wonderful country. I truly love it, and I have so much
respect for them. When I look at the soaring domes of Sinan the
Architect, I feel that I am in a nomad's tent turned into marble. It is
a wonderful blend of cultures.
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