Der Indik und das frühe Osmanische Reich. Kommunikation und Mobilität zwischen Anatolien und dem Indischem Ozean vom 13. bis zum 15. Jahrhundert
Abstract Relations between the Ottoman Empire and the Indian subcontinent have received renewed attention from scholars in recent years. While most studies focus on the Mughal period, and the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in particular have still received little attention, some points of reference can already be found in the early phase of Ottoman history, illuminating above all the connections between Anatolia and the ‚world‘ of the Indian Ocean. In this context, this article turns first to the rule of the Ilkhanids in the Anatolian region and their establishment in the thirteenth century of a Buddhist monastic complex at Labnasagut on Lake Van as a political and spiritual centre. The monks (bakhsi) living there may have spread Buddhist thought to other parts of Asia Minor, where they are mentioned in written sources in the fourteenth century. Relations between Anatolia and the Indian region were also maintained by Sufis and religious scholars, as evidenced by Ahmad-i Rumi, who came from Anatolia and worked in Awadh and Bengal. In the Ottoman Empire, „Indian“ (Hind) tekkes in particular were centres of communication and action for such mobile dervishes, where Sufis and probably other persons with a connection to the Indies preferred to stay. Among the bestknown examples are tekkes in Bursa and Istanbul. The first more stable trader networks between India and the Ottoman Empire cannot be traced until the second half of the fifteenth century, when it seems likely that Bahmanid merchants first came to Bursa and may have established a distribution network from there. Such a network becomes tangible in the Balkans in 1481. It can be assumed that this was done with the support of Mahmud Gawan, who determined the political fortunes in the Bahmanid sultanate during this period. This finally marked the beginning of a phase in Ottoman history in which the Indies increasingly became the focus of the Ottoman court and the Ottoman Empire itself increasingly pursued a global policy. Last but not least, it was one of the Mediterranean powers that extended its sphere of influence to other continents from the fifteenth century onwards.