From Anatolia to Aceh Ottomans, Turks, and Southeast Asia By A. C. S. Peacock & Annabel Teh Gallop, eds. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015. 348 pages.)

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Philipp Bruckmayr



Scholars of Islam in Southeast Asia and the history of the Malay-Indonesian
world have long been aware of periods of intense contacts between the Ottoman
Empire and the region. Most widely known in this context are the political
exchanges between the Sultanate of Aceh and the Ottoman Empire of
the sixteenth century in the face of Portuguese maritime domination in Southeast
Asia. Regional calls for Ottoman aid against the expanding European
powers by Muslim rulers were voiced in the nineteenth century. Despite this
lapse in documented political contacts, however, connections between the two
regions were also sustained and developed further throughout the intervening
centuries on a variety of levels, most prominently in the economic, religious,
and intellectual spheres.
Despite the pioneering work of scholars such as Anthony Reid since the
1960s, these connections, including inter alia the holy cities and Yemen’s
Hadhramaut region, both important centers of Islamic learning for Southeast
Asian Muslims and the source of strong migrant communities settling in the
Malay-Indonesian world, have received scant scholarly attention. It is against
this background that the British Academy-funded research project “Islam,
Trade, and Politics across the Indian Ocean” and the volume at hand, which
represents one of its major fruits, brings together new innovative research on
all of the various aspects of this particular relationship. Hereby it must be
noted that its scope extends at times well beyond the Ottoman era also into
the Republican era, and that, importantly, much of the documentary evidence
relied upon derives from newly discovered archival sources.
The volume is divided into three thematic parts, preceded by two introductory
chapters by the editors and Anthony Reid, respectively, which set the
stage for the remainder of the book by reviewing the relationship’s general ...

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