Culture of the Ottoman Empire
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The culture of the Ottoman Empire evolved over several centuries as the ruling administration of the Turks absorbed, adapted and modified the cultures of conquered lands and their peoples. There was a strong influence from the customs and languages of Islamic societies, notably Arabic, while Persian culture had a significant contribution through the heavily Persianized regime of the Seljuq Turks, the Ottomans' predecessors.Template:Citation needed Throughout its history, the Ottoman Empire had substantial subject populations of Byzantine Greeks, Armenians, Jews and Assyrians, who were allowed a certain amount of autonomy under the confessional millet system of Ottoman government, and whose distinctive cultures enriched that of the Ottoman state.
As the early Ottoman Turks drove the Byzantine administration from Anatolia, later pursuing them into Europe, it was perceived as part of the Jihad (struggle) against the Crusaders: the first Ottoman rulers called themselves Gazi, or Warriors. However, as the Ottomans moved further west and the assimilation of the Greek and Balkan populations progressed, the Turkic and Persian-influenced culture of its leaders itself absorbed some of the culture of the conquered peoples.