Conversion to Islam in the Balkans: Kisve Bahasi Petitions by Anton Minkov

By Anton Minkov

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Additional info for Conversion to Islam in the Balkans: Kisve Bahasi Petitions and Ottoman Social Life, 1670-1730 (Ottoman Empire and Its Heritage)

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63 In the last half of the fifteenth century, the Ottomans succeeded in politically consolidating Anatolia. There was, at the same time, retardation in the pace of conversion. This can clearly be observed in the case of the region of Trebizond (Trabzon), which came under Muslim rule in 1461. It was annexed by Mehmed II in a swift and decisive campaign without major disruptions of economic and social life. Presumably completely Christian before the conquest, half a century later the area still had only 1094 Muslim households compared to 12,632 Christian households.

Beginning in the year 750, when the Abbasids come to power and with the conversion process only 10 percent completed, nonMuslim revolts break out. 36 31 Bulliet, Conversion, 41. , 7–15. 33 Bulliet, Conversion, 23. 34 Bulliet’s reasoning behind this analogy is that the superiority of one religion over another, if it cannot be demonstrated in the same way as two technical products, for instance, can still be induced by various means such as persecution, direct or indirect financial rewards, etc. Both religious conversion and innovation diffusion are also similar because of the importance of the access to information as a prerequisite for their dissemination—Bulliet, Conversion, 31.

Bulliet attributes the first to the earlier popularity of these names among descendants of Muslim Arabs who migrated there. The higher the first peak is, the higher the migration of Arabs is (Bulliet, Conversion, 72–78). 41 Bulliet, Conversion, 81–82. , 92–109. , 124. 44 The more people convert to Islam, the more social interaction between Muslims and non-Muslims intensifies. At the same time, the probability and rate of conversion also intensify. Bulliet’s theory of conversion is, on the surface at least, persuasive.

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