Markus Koller (Ruhr-Universität, Bochum), Negotiations between the Central Government and Local Authorities in late Ottoman Libya
In the late 19th century, Libya was one of the areas of the Ottoman Empire in which the government in Istanbul also wanted to present itself as a colonial power, especially vis-à-vis the great powers. This perspective was closely linked to the discourse on the construction of an Ottoman concept of identity (Osm. osmanlılık), which was increasingly discussed and also attempted to be implemented in practice from the 1860s onwards. The lecture will first examine the impact of these discussions on the emerging Ottoman “colonial discourse” and then explore the question of whether and how this discourse influenced communication with local actors. The analysis will focus on two aspects in particular, looking at a possible “hierarchisation” of the local population within the discourse and how the discourse distinguished between “centre” and “local/peripheral”.