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Allies with the Infidel


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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations Acknowledgements Note on Transliteration, Pronunciation and Names Introduction: Webs of Diplomacy and Historiographical Images 1. The Ottoman Involvement in Alliances, Diplomacy and the Balance of Power, 1453-1600 2. Multiple Identities: Views of Foreign State Servants in France and the Ottoman Empire 3. Sultan Cem: A Fifteenth-Century Ottoman View of Relations with the Infidels 4. Allies with the Infidel: Joint Ottoman-Frnch Naval Operatons 5. Views of Infidel Allies: Records of Negotiating, Fighting and Travelling Conclusion

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In 1543, the Ottoman fleet appeared off the coast of France to bombard and lay siege to the city of Nice. This book places the events of 1543 and the subsequent wintering of the Ottoman fleet in Toulon in the context of the power politics of the sixteenth century. It presents the realpolitik of diplomacy with 'infidels' in the early modern era.

About the Author

Christine Isom-Verhaaren received her PhD in Ottoman History in 1997 from the University of Chicago where she was a student of Halil Inalcik. She has been teaching Middle East History at Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois, since 2001.


By systematically exposing the fallacy and distortion originating in notions of a monolithic Christian world in the West confronting a uniform and equally monolithic Islamic World in the East, Christine Isom-Verhaaren breathes fresh life into the oft-told tale of East-West relations told from the perspective of bi-polar confrontational politics and restores it to its fuller historical complexity. She provides a full account of the perspectives reflected both in contemporary French historical tradition and surviving Ottoman narrative and documentary accounts from the sixteenth century enabling the reader to re-examine the factual basis of this alliance free from the distorting lens that has traditionally favoured the Habsburg perspective and that has paid only marginal attention to the treatment of the French and Ottoman source traditions. As a result Dr. Isom-Verhaaren has produced a revisionist account of a much studied episode in Renaissance diplomacy that will serve as an indispensable point of reference for the future study of East-West relations in the Early Modern Age.' Dr. Rhoads Murphey, Reader in Ottoman Studies, Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity, University of Birmingham 'This book must be required reading for anyone who studies the relations between Muslims and Christians, Turks and Europeans, or the Islamic World and the West. Dispelling the notions of an inevitable clash between civilizations, Isom-Verhaaren demonstrates that the sixteenth-century Ottoman-French alliance in general and the allied military campaign of 1543-44 in particular were very much welcome by both parties and thought to be honorable affairs that benefited them both.' Professor Baki Tezcan, Associate Professor, Religious Studies and History, UC Davis, University of California

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