The Ottoman Empire – overview of treatment of Non-Turks

One of the reasons of the success of the Ottoman Empire was the acknowledgement of the vast cultural and religious diversity of the lands they ruled and hence enacting policies that did not discriminate against followers of religions other than Islam. This allowed the people to live in relative harmony, which allowed the region to experience economic prosperity and a general peaceful life. They allowed Jews and Christians to be trained in the military and they were able to rise to the highest governmental and administrative positions in the civil service while being able to amass great wealth and social status in spite of being not Muslims.  The most famous example of this was the Janissary infantry, who were a Christian slave army known for being the most professional and elite army unit in all of Europe. They were treated very well by the Ottomans so as to gain their loyalty.

The Jews and Christians of the region were allowed to practice their religions and also allowed to run their own religious educational system. They were allowed to run their own communal systems and they were responsible for collecting their taxes. This was the distinguishing factor between the Ottomans and other imperialist states in that period of time. But despite being allowed to prosper economically, the Jews and Christians still faced some social discrimination and were not granted the same status as Muslims, while also having additional taxes levied upon them.