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Religious community. From Arabic millah, “religion” or “religious community.” Used by the Ottomans (1517–1922) to refer to self-governing non-Muslim religious communities. Under policy established by Mehmed II (r. 1451–81), major non-Muslim religious groups were allowed to follow their own civil and religious rules, subject to their own religious leaders, who were given official status in the administration. With the fall of the Ottoman Empire, millet came to mean “nation” in modern Turkish.

Subjects: Islam — Law.

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