Research Article


DOI :10.26650/iutd.20241386316   IUP :10.26650/iutd.20241386316    Full Text (PDF)

The Beşaret-name sent to Austria with Halil Efendi announcing Osman III’s Accession to the Throne and the Envoy’s Vienna Days According to the Contemporary German Press

Hüseyin Onur Ercan

As was customary, the Ottoman Empire would send an official notification of the new sultan’s accession to the throne to the rulers of neighboring and friendly states. These letters that were sent through an envoy belong to the document type known as beşâret-nâme or ilân-nâme [letter heralding (good) news]. The two nâme‑i hümâyûn, preserved in the Austrian State Archive, and announcing Sultan Osman III’s accession were presented on May 14, 1755 to Emperor Franz I and on May 17 to his wife Maria Theresia, Archduchess of Austria by Haci Halil Efendi, as an intermediary alongside a retinue of 54 men.

DOI :10.26650/iutd.20241386316   IUP :10.26650/iutd.20241386316    Full Text (PDF)

III. Osman’ın Cülûsunu Bildirmek Üzere Halil Efendi ile Avusturya’ya Gönderilen Beşâretnâme ve Çağdaş Alman Matbuatına Göre Elçinin Viyana Günleri

Hüseyin Onur Ercan

Teamül üzere her padişah değişikliği dost ve komşu devlet hükümdarlarına mektup gönderilerek resmen bildirilir ve buna cülûs tebliği denirdi. Osmanlı diplomatiğinin belge türleri arasında yer alan ve bir elçi vasıtasıyla gönderilen bu tür mektuplar beşâret‑nâme veya ilân-nâme adını almaktadır. Avusturya Devlet Arşivi’nde mahfuz III. Osman’ın cülûsunu bildirmek üzere Avusturya’ya 54 kişilik bir maiyet eşliğinde orta elçi olarak gönderilen el-Hac Halil Efendi’nin 14 Mayıs 1755’te Kayzer I. Franz’a ve 17 Mayıs’ta zevcesi Avusturya Arşidüşesi Maria Theresia’ya takdim ettiği beşâretnâme türünde iki adet nâme-i hümâyûn, bu çalışmanın odak noktasını oluşturur. Bu çalışmada elçinin Viyana günlerine, belgelerin diplomatik özelliklerine ve rükünlerine yer verilmiştir.


EXTENDED ABSTRACT


The climax of an ambassador’s diplomatic mission is being received by the highest authority of the state to which one has traveled. In the case of Haci Halil Efendi, these offices were occupied by the Holy Roman German Emperor Franz I and by his wife Maria Theresia, Archduchess of Austria and Queen of Hungary, Croatia, and Bohemia. Both official receptions involved Halil Efendi delivering the nâme-i hümâyûn [letters to foreign rulers] declaring Sultan Osman III as the new ruler of the Ottoman throne. The intermediary was first received by Kaiser Franz I on May 14, 1755, which is when Halil Efendi handed over the nâme-i hümâyûn that had been entrusted to him in Istanbul. Both an image and a transcription of this letter is found below. Subsequently on May 17, Halil Efendi paid an official visit to Queen Maria Theresia, to whom he also handed over the other copy of the sultanic document during the reception ceremony. Both an image and a comparison with the kaiser’s beşâretnâme are also found below. Both documents are identical apart from the name and title of the recipients, with the address of one of course having been arranged in accordance with feminine case norms.

Due to no known sefâretnâme [book of embassy] being available regarding Halil Efendi’s embassy, one can only learn about the ambassador’s diplomatic mission through contemporary German sources. In this context, the Austrian archival documents and the contemporary newspaper reports based on them provide a generalized picture. On April 16, 1755, the intermediary and his entourage, a retinue of 54 men, arrived in the suburb of Schwechat, the last stop before arriving in the city of Vienna. One Viennese newspaper first described in detail the order in which Halil Efendi as an intermediary and then his extraordinary envoy entered the large city of approximately 170,000 inhabitants (based on the data from the previous year), as well how the usual customary ceremonial procession took place. This event had attracted the attention of the European public and could also be read about in Spenersche Zeitung, a newspaper published in Berlin.

The diplomatic representatives of the Ottoman Empire that were sent to Vienna, sometimes with a large and other times with a small entourage were always the center of attention, and the entrance of the flamboyant ambassadorial procession to the Habsburg capital had been placed on the agenda days in advance. The main reason for this was that the Ottomans had not resorted to establishing permanent embassies in Christian capitals until the end of the 18th century and only sent diplomats on ad hoc missions to perform a specific service. Thus, the news of the arrival of the Ottoman embassy in Vienna, Paris, Berlin and later London led the citizens of these cities to gather along the processional route on the day of arrival and to admire this exotic sight. Judging from the impression conveyed in the public records of the period, the entry of the Ottoman envoy into the city and their sumptuous reception can be said to have fueled fairy-tale dreams of an extravagantly rich oriental country. In addition, the 1739 Treaty of Belgrade and the long period of peace, as well as the intense interest of Maria Theresia as the ruler of the Habsburg lands and Jeanne Antoinette Poisson as Marquise de Pompadour and the most famous and favourite of King Louis XV of France led to the Turkish called Turquerie, as seen in the oil paintings they had commissioned wherein they were portrayed as lady sultans, announcing themselves to the high society; this fashion reached its peak in Europe in the 18th century.

Approximately three months after the first reception ceremonies, the Ottoman envoy led by Haci Halil Efendi paid a farewell visit to Kaiser Franz I on August 25, 1755 and to Queen Maria Theresia August 27, this time at Schönbrunn Palace, which had been used as a summer palace in Vienna since 1745. Detailed information about these official receptions can be found in the Viennese newspapers as well as in archival records. Finally, Haci Halil Efendi left his residence with his entourage on September 18, 1755 after 8 a.m. under the protection of the Leopold-Dhaunisch troop of the Viennese city garrison, boarded a ship anchored in the Danube tributary, and started his journey back to Istanbul.

Both beşâretnâmes, the sub-type of nâme-i hümâyûn at the center of this article, are found among the Türkische Urkunden [Turkish Documents] Collection and Varia und Collectanea [Miscellaneous Collection] preserved in the Austrian State Archives. The documents are written in celî divânî calligraphy style on large-sized âbâdî [manilla] paper with a flamboyant and rather large gilded tughra at the top of the text. The nâme prepared for Maria Theresia measures 182 x 78.5 cm. The documents are in very good condition. Although the text from the nâme that had been prepared for Kaiser Franz I is included in the history written by Mehmed Hâkim Efendi, one of the chroniclers of the period, the abbreviations at the beginning and end of Hâkim’s version, as well as some differences in wording between the original and the copy, necessitate viewing the original nâme in order to form a complete opinion on the beşâret-nâme. These sultanic documents were issued in Istanbul between December 16-25, 1754 CE (1-10 Ra 1168 AH). They also consist of a number of sections known as the erkan (singular rükn) [pillars/internal structure of the composition], which occur in the following order: tughra (imperial seal), elkāb [inscription], du‘a [salutation], nakl or iblâğ [expositionnarration], te’kid [reiteration], closing du‘a [salutation], târih [dating], and mahall-i tahrîh [formulation stating the place of issuance]. 

This research paper Osman III’s proclamation to Austria regarding his accession and reveals a series of findings: Haci Halil Efendi had been sent as an intermediary and resided in Vienna with a retinue of 54 people; the officials in his retinue (i.e., envoy) have been individually identified for the first time; and the official receptions before the Kaiser had been made to the Austrian chancellor and vice-chancellor instead of the president of the Palace War Council, and this change was the result of recently modified protocol rules and caused an internal conflict in the Viennese court. In addition, the article has uncovered information about how well received the ambassador had been, the special efforts that were made to ensure this, how his embassy had been covered in the German press of the time, what the ambassador did during his days in Vienna, how the ceremonies for the official visits had been organized, and the exact dates of the embassy.

In conclusion, similar to the envoys that were sent to the Ottoman capital for congratulatory occasions regarding the accession to the throne, the Ottoman envoys sent to foreign countries to proclaim the accession to the throne can also be said to be noteworthy for the history of Ottoman diplomacy.


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Citations

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APA

Ercan, H.O. (2024). The Beşaret-name sent to Austria with Halil Efendi announcing Osman III’s Accession to the Throne and the Envoy’s Vienna Days According to the Contemporary German Press. Turkish Journal of History, 0(82), 97-132. https://doi.org/10.26650/iutd.20241386316


AMA

Ercan H O. The Beşaret-name sent to Austria with Halil Efendi announcing Osman III’s Accession to the Throne and the Envoy’s Vienna Days According to the Contemporary German Press. Turkish Journal of History. 2024;0(82):97-132. https://doi.org/10.26650/iutd.20241386316


ABNT

Ercan, H.O. The Beşaret-name sent to Austria with Halil Efendi announcing Osman III’s Accession to the Throne and the Envoy’s Vienna Days According to the Contemporary German Press. Turkish Journal of History, [Publisher Location], v. 0, n. 82, p. 97-132, 2024.


Chicago: Author-Date Style

Ercan, Hüseyin Onur,. 2024. “The Beşaret-name sent to Austria with Halil Efendi announcing Osman III’s Accession to the Throne and the Envoy’s Vienna Days According to the Contemporary German Press.” Turkish Journal of History 0, no. 82: 97-132. https://doi.org/10.26650/iutd.20241386316


Chicago: Humanities Style

Ercan, Hüseyin Onur,. The Beşaret-name sent to Austria with Halil Efendi announcing Osman III’s Accession to the Throne and the Envoy’s Vienna Days According to the Contemporary German Press.” Turkish Journal of History 0, no. 82 (Apr. 2024): 97-132. https://doi.org/10.26650/iutd.20241386316


Harvard: Australian Style

Ercan, HO 2024, 'The Beşaret-name sent to Austria with Halil Efendi announcing Osman III’s Accession to the Throne and the Envoy’s Vienna Days According to the Contemporary German Press', Turkish Journal of History, vol. 0, no. 82, pp. 97-132, viewed 23 Apr. 2024, https://doi.org/10.26650/iutd.20241386316


Harvard: Author-Date Style

Ercan, H.O. (2024) ‘The Beşaret-name sent to Austria with Halil Efendi announcing Osman III’s Accession to the Throne and the Envoy’s Vienna Days According to the Contemporary German Press’, Turkish Journal of History, 0(82), pp. 97-132. https://doi.org/10.26650/iutd.20241386316 (23 Apr. 2024).


MLA

Ercan, Hüseyin Onur,. The Beşaret-name sent to Austria with Halil Efendi announcing Osman III’s Accession to the Throne and the Envoy’s Vienna Days According to the Contemporary German Press.” Turkish Journal of History, vol. 0, no. 82, 2024, pp. 97-132. [Database Container], https://doi.org/10.26650/iutd.20241386316


Vancouver

Ercan HO. The Beşaret-name sent to Austria with Halil Efendi announcing Osman III’s Accession to the Throne and the Envoy’s Vienna Days According to the Contemporary German Press. Turkish Journal of History [Internet]. 23 Apr. 2024 [cited 23 Apr. 2024];0(82):97-132. Available from: https://doi.org/10.26650/iutd.20241386316 doi: 10.26650/iutd.20241386316


ISNAD

Ercan, HüseyinOnur. The Beşaret-name sent to Austria with Halil Efendi announcing Osman III’s Accession to the Throne and the Envoy’s Vienna Days According to the Contemporary German Press”. Turkish Journal of History 0/82 (Apr. 2024): 97-132. https://doi.org/10.26650/iutd.20241386316



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Submitted05.11.2023
Accepted05.02.2024
Published Online15.03.2024

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