most people in academia just use other scholars as sources who in turn use other scholars as sources etc., as very few of them ever go out and find the original source material.
Indeed. The scholarly bubble of ignorance has hit me hard tonight, as I realise that the so called 'Ottoman millet
system' reffered to by Orientalists never existed as a legally systematic policy of civil autonomy of non-Muslim citizens, but is simply a term used by those ethno-centric idiots to refer to the practise of dividing a state's subjects by their religious affiliation.
When the orientalists' patronising description of a practise as a 'system' the Ottoman Empire becomes clear... A lot of confusion over why there is no useful information on 'the ottoman millet system' disappears... but a lot of confusion as to what actually happened in the Balkans over a good 300 years of Ottoman rule erupts.