Millet
(3,989 words)

The Turkish term millet (from Ar. milla; Ott. Tur. pl. milel; mod. Tur. pl. milletler) originally meant both a religion and a religious community. In the nineteenth century, while retaining its original meanings, it also came to denote such modern concepts as nation and nationality. The term “millet system” is used in reference to the set of administrative arrangements that allowed non-Muslim religious communities in the Ottoman Empire to enjoy a wide measure of religious and cultural freedom, as well as considerable administrative, fiscal, and legal auto…

Cite this page
Avigdor Levy, “Millet”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 29 June 2017
First published online: 2010



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