Art and Diplomacy in Ottoman Constantinople

Philip Mansel looks at interchange and intrigue in the cross-currents of 18th-century culture between East and West.

In The Muslim Discovery of Europe (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1982) Bernard Lewis states that, for Ottomans, 'the idea of an alliance with Christian powers, even against other Christian powers, was strange and, to some, abhorrent'. In reality, alliances with Christian powers were a natural and inevitable aspect of Ottoman policy from its earliest days.

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