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more than a quarter of the students in the syrian protestant College were sunni muslims—though arabs, not Turks—contradicted Şerif’s feeling of inaccessibility. moreover, the young Turk revolution had led to new, more pluralistic terms with regard to religious expression and instruction in the college. World War i, however, interrupted innovative departures. With its high proportion of muslim students, the syrian protestant College had been an exception among the foreign schools in the Ottoman empire.6

Ottomans and the americans were unable to accomplish a lasting syner- gy during or before the decisive 1910s. Cultural assumptions, macro-history in the age of imperialism, and the rise of fierce ethnonationalism all played a fatal role. it is fair to say that the respective societies have still not yet (fully) come to terms with this past. The experience of U.s. invasion in iraq in 2003 aroused undiluted Ottoman nostalgia in Turkey, as, for example, in the hollywood-like action blockbuster The alley of the Wolves—Iraq. The film includes the fictional scene of an apocalyptical prayer by the U.s. chief agent in northern iraq, the “bad guy” of the film. in this example, a millen- nialist core component of american Christianity is perceived and distorted as religiously aberrant. The film was very popular, even among “islamic Cal- vinists,” as Turkeys religiously inspired capitalists have recently been called (most of whom approve Turkeys accession to the european Union).7

From the first overseas missionaries in the early nineteenth century to the political game in the early twenty-first, american millennialism con- served its impact but changed its forms. “america has the infinite privilege of fulfilling her destiny and saving the world,” said president Woodrow Wilson at the end of the World War i.8 he looked then to the Old World, the deeply damaged worlds of europe and the Ottoman empire. peacemaking in the near east became, and has remained to this day, the crucial but unfulfilled challenge of american presidency. in contrast, the ruling muslim class of the Ottoman empire, after the conquests and the imperial sunnitization of the sixteenth century, did not seek anything essential for itself outside its own imperial realms. it is true that the red apple symbolized, until the second attack on vienna in the late seventeenth century, the Ottomansex- pansive integration of desirable foreign Christian areas of high civilization. The red apple (Kızıl Elma), an important symbol of early Ottoman impe- rialism and, later, a Turkish nationalist symbol, had an eschatological touch; eschatological voices, however, which took the sultan as a provisional earthly master (sahip-kıran)—who soon would have to cede his place to the apoca- lyptic master (mahdi)—became marginal in the sixteenth century.9 it is also true that the reforming state, since the end of the eighteenth century, called on foreign know-how, but only in order to escape total collapse. Ottoman

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