Oppression and Violence


  • Blurb (Text Only)


  • A Crumbling Empire

The Ottoman Empire was ruled by the sultan from the capital city of Constantinople. The sultan’s power was absolute. Sunni Islam was the official religion of the Empire, and minority groups – including Christian Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians and Ottoman Jews – were dhimmi: non-Muslim subjects living under Ottoman Turkish protection at the will of the Sultan.

Religious minorities were permitted to worship but were denied the rights of full citizenship. Non-Muslims were subject to additional taxes and were barred from the Islamic court system. They were not allowed to own weapons, making them vulnerable to attacks from Turks and Kurds.