Arıkan, S., “Nizam-ı Cedit’in kaynaklarından Ebubekir Ratıb Efendi’nin Büyük Layihası”, unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Istanbul 1996
The Büyük Layiha ("Great Memorandum") is an enormous and detailed account of Austrian government and manners. It is divided in many chapters and sub-chapters. In its structure it bears elements of the older “administration manual” tradition (e.g. Hezarfen’s work), but, as Carter Findley notes, it also “resembles French works of the period that have terms like état général or tableau in their titles, followed by the kind of taxonomic layout that such a tile would seem to imply”. The first part deals with the army; it bears three introductions, the first of which concerns the “four bases of military strength”, the second the Austrian war department and the third attempts to draw a comparison between Ottoman and European military history. There, Ratıb Efendi states that it was in the third quarter of the seventeenth century that European and especially Austrian and Prussian forces started to exploit the science of engineering and scientific organization of the army; he focuses in the Austrian Count Lacy’s reform (1766-1774) as a “new order” (nizam-ı cedid). He stresses that Ottomans used to be the first who laid military regulations (nizam u kavânîn), and argues that it was after they saw the superior Ottoman discipline in the 1680 siege of Vienna that Austrians started to imitate their enemies; allegedly, they were particularly impressed by the Ottoman method of recruiting peasants (Findley 1995, 53: Osmanlunın ebna-yı reaya ve evlâd-ı Türkten acemî oğlanı devşirdiklerine kıyasladır; a similar notion of the Europeans copying the Ottomans can also be found in Y267). However, later Sultans neglected to preserve these regulations or impose new when needed. Then, Ratıb Efendi proceeds into giving very analytical descriptions, in eleven chapters, of the structure, education, regulations, reserves, and logistics of the Austrian army. He somehow misleadingly (see Findley 1995, 55 and fn. 29) describes the Austrian measure of sending home one third of the soldiers and manufacture uniforms and weapons with the money which would otherwise be used for their salaries (one might discern a subtle suggestion for the janissaries). The “conclusion” of the first part concerns the military forces of other states (Russia, Prussia and France). As for the second part, much smaller, it deals with the Austrian government; its sole chapter concerns the administration of towns and villages, as well as taxation, and describes in less detail the judicial system, the medical institutions, the police, the mines and other revenues of the Austrian state. The conclusion of the second part, however, continues with citing other types of revenue (posts, banknotes, stamps, lottery). In this part, Ratıb Efendi straightforwardly accuses the Ottomans of neglecting trade of their own subjects: while other states taxed foreign merchants more than domestic ones, the Ottoman rulers, out of pride and generosity, granted exemptions to foreigners and increased the toll duties paid by Ottoman merchants, with the ruin of the latter as a result. Moreover, cloth and textiles are imported from India and Europe, instead of being produced within the Ottoman lands; Ratıb Efendi specifically proposes that cloth manufactures are founded in the Ottoman Empire, assuring that the overall profit will be more than the custom dues lost from imports (Findley 1995, 58-61).
The intend of Ratıb Efendi to use this description in order to promote his ideas on Ottoman reform is evident; all the more so since another, more concise and private report on his embassy shows a different image of Austria, much less well-ordered and prosperous (Findley 1995, 63-66).
 Findley 1995, 45.
It is sure that Ratıb Efendi used several interpreters, mostly Greeks in all probability; it also seems that he was greatly helped by Ignatius Mouradgea d’Ohsson, whose Tableau général de l’Empire othoman, Paris 1788, has a very similar structure (see Findley 1995, 46ff).