The economy in the Ottoman Empire before the industrial revolution depended on the production and
trade in farming, livestock, and handcrafts. Starting from the 19th century, leaders of the Ottoman
Empire embraced an industrial policy based on factory production as in Europe within the westernization
movement. As a result, they engaged in an extensive effort such as forming industrial commissions,
corporatization, attending international fairs, opening fairs, opening children’s homes, and building
railways to improve transportation networks. However, due to capitulations, lack of capital stock, and
lack of qualified work force, the desired results could not be achieved in industrialization.
Several factories were built to provide for the needs of most soldiers before the Tanzimat reforms. The
number of factories increased and companies were opened after 1870 with the ventures of private sector.
To incentivize industry, establish crafts companies, and to open industrial schools, the Commission for
Industrial Improvement was founded in 1863. Technical workers and managers were brought from Europe
to work in the newly established factories. Through foreign experts, information transfer was done.
There were important developments in farming production, and service sectors during the 19th century,
however, the Ottoman Industry was far from competing with Europe.
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