Author(s): Ak?n K?REN
Iranians in the Ottoman territory, especially in Istanbul, came to become a well-organized community in the 19th century. From the beginning of the second half of the century, they played a significant role in spreading of new ideas to Iran and in growing critisicm towards the Qajar rule. In this context, becoming an active oppositional society against the Qajars is the most distinct specialty of the Iranians in Istanbul at the end of the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th century. Some works explains the emergence and increasing influence of the Iranian community as a result of the Ottoman Empire’s lenient policy towards different ethnic and religious groups after the well-known Tanzimat Era. Besides that, some others emphasize the Ottoman Empire’s desire to benefit from such groups, or its wish to influence the Iranian politics by means of them. On the other hand, internal dynamics of the community should be kept in mind, too. Because, emergence and rise of a powerful Iranian community in Istanbul was primarily a consequence of their increasing economic power, political influence, and self-confidence. In other words, their own dissent feelings serve as a better explanatory factor rather than the Ottoman’s lenient policy or its desire to manipulate Iranian politics through the use of Iranians.