Haim Gerber

Haim Gerber Oppression and Salvation

Oppression and Salvation

Annotated Legal Documents from the Ottoman Book of Complaints of 1675

Studien zur Sprache, Geschichte und Kultur der Turkvölker 27

Klaus Schwarz Verlag
Sprache: Englisch
1. Auflage ()
Hardcover, 188 Seiten
ISBN 9783879974726
Verfügbarkeit: Neuauflage in Vorbereitung, vorbestellbar
68.00 € 

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The pheno­menon of comp­laints was a central tenet in the ideo­logy of the Ottoman Empire, an obses­sion it inhe­rited from former Middle Eastern empires, Islamic and pre-Islamic. Atten­tion was directed in parti­cular to the tendency of state offi­cials to over­step the bounds of their autho­rity, exploi­ting vast areas of the coun­try­side to enrich them­selves at the expense of the poor citi­zens and, as a conse­qu­ence, to under­mine the legiti­macy of the ruler himself.
On the other hand, so many comp­laints of harsh abuses might give the impres­sion that the Ottoman Empire in its enti­rety should have collapsed as a conse­qu­ence.
In the first place, the Şikayet Defteri is a legal docu­ment because many of the comp­laints stem from the point of depar­ture that a certain Shari’a law has been broken, viola­ting the natural rights of certain groups of citi­zens. More important than this, however, the Şikayet is a legal docu­ment from an addi­tional, metho­do­lo­gical perspec­tive: the docu­ment provides a perspec­tive on the Kadi, his court, and his posi­tion in the state, which are unli­kely to be obtained from any other source. Parti­cu­larly, such infor­ma­tion cannot be had from the Kadi record (sicill) itself, as this source only looks at itself from the inside, solving day-to-day prob­lems.