I know you are inclined to think that a Turkish guy will claim that Turks are not so. I know it and I will take measures for not giving such an air:)
Yes as with many many nations and races there were savage acts in our history too. For a long time (approximately 2000 years ) Turks are on the scene of history . So in parallel to the development of humankind we will see a bloody history as usual as we flash back to the beginning of our history. A stormy movement. From the central asia to all the corners of the world. Everywhere was war. If you want to be alive you would kill. Anyway .. I want you all to believe that a bad image of Turk in the minds of Western people results from Ottomans especially. Since Turks and Arabs together experienced a golden era on 10. and 11. centuries, I mean an islamic renaissance, we can not find a Barbarian but an oppressed nation before us, because of Mongolian invasion and Crusaders. Muslim Turks are peaceful after meeting İslam. Before islam Turks were nomadic people moving to Western side of the world because of drought and lack of meadows and some social problems.
They were strict with conventions, and they had a great hierarchy in their ruling procedures. So justice was a very important factor in their lives. They were good riders and archers. in short they were great fighters. But I could not find any disastrous siege or massacre related to Turks in this stage. At least worse than the other nations' ones. If you know any historical event worth mentioning please inform me. After the Mongolian invasion of the Western Euroasia and Crusaders' invasion of the Middle East , Ottomans emerged from the ashes of the disaster.
I want to dwell on this part especially. The main question is was Ottomans and contemporary Turks are barbarians?
Lets focus on this issue.
A famous historian Bernard Lewis says that Ottomans confiscating the sons of the Balkan families who were living on the newly- conquered regions by them, and converting them to Janissaries they created the greatest war machine the history had ever seen. This is a fact and Ottomans were doing exactly this way. In some books which claim that Ottomans were cruel against Balkan people during wars are not worth arguing against. If you are strong and well- organized you give to the people of the other regions to be conquered a message that you are strong. Ottomans had an overwhelming power on arena and they crushed all the enemies confronting them. A very important point is that they were seeing Europeans as kaffirs and they had not any feeling of pity against them. This is a reality. But if you try to look into the history with an impartial eye you can easily see that all nations had the same motives. I am ashamed of saying this now seeing that USA bombed a nation with jet fighters and killing more than 1.000.000 people in Iraq. How can you judge a nation basing on some books seein' that even today the humans tyrannize the others. Do you think Crusaders were innocent killing their brothers in religion in Constantinople (Istanbul ) during latin invasion? I do not call Westerns as barbarians totally looking at this event only. Or do you think that massacring more than 100. 000. 000 (I got tired while writing!') people in America means nothing to us Orientals? Mongolian İnvasion was cruel yes but we are Turks and not Mongolians. Turk means Ottoman in the eyes of Europeans and I will prove that Ottomans were not barbaric as many people think it be so. Please read this page carefully;
As you see Ottomans had a scientific endeavour more than common belief. The master of Mahomet the Conqueror had said that the real reason of illnesses was very little beings and referred to the gems four century before Pasteur.
An Orientalist said that Ottomans effendis loved having bath in common baths so much that you can easily see the "pores " on their skins resulting from rubbing their skins frequently in the bath.
Ottomans had little niches on their mosques for birds to shelter, and some water troughs to enable them to drink water after rains.
Mahomet the Conqueror had employed people sparing money from his personal wealth just to make them pour ash onto the spittings of people. An amazing farsightedness!
Soleiman the First had been called Magnificent and Lawmaker by Europeans. I feel proud indeed:)
Many people do not know but I guess my guiding will help immensely now. Have u ever wondered why Ottomans reigned throughout 623 years ? If the power only was the answer Mongolians were harsher and stronger probably on the fighting Arena. They fizzled out rapidly. Or intelligence? Alexandre the Great was much more smart than Ottomans rulers but his Empire died soon again. Why was Ottomans long-lasting?
The answer was wuite simple. Justice. If you do not believe me please search about it. No other Nation had a more complicated Justice system than Ottomans. Even people of Balkans at the first stages of the expansion of Ottomans had admitted that " seeing Ottomans turban was better than seeing Cones of Cardinals ".
How ended Ottomans up? Please look down:
The Western Nations behaved a little bit Barbaric invading us and making the Greeks kill thousands of Turkish citizens.
The red part was what the Western powers decreed suitable for Turks to live in peace and Democracy.