Violent crimes in the early 17th century court registers and their analysis, as part of Bursa's social history

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Bursa Uludağ University, Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü, Turkey

Approval Date: 2015

Thesis Language: Turkish

Student: Serap Babalar



Ottoman law is a system which depends on Islamic law and customs. The lawsuits concluded in Ottoman courts and the documents sent by central government were recorded in sharia registers. Kadi was the compotent authority of justice. Another officers also assisted to kadi in court. Bursa was located in the major trade routes, had been conquered by Turks in the emergence of Ottoman State and was the first capital city of the empire. The city developed in paralel with expansion of Ottoman State and became one of the important trade centers of Ottomans and also the world. Bursa began to lose this trait by the 17th century. The main reason is that Ottoman State had some political, economic and social problems. 17th century was the political, social and economic depression period for Ottoman State. The long lasting Ottoman - Persian wars, rising of military expenditures because of wars and change of trade routes are certain reasons of state crisis. In this period, demotic level of income fell down and cost of living consistly increased. The bandits called as Celalî began to forestall and steal. Madrasa students (suhte) also rebelled and participated in the acts of violence. Many people litigated to Ottoman courts because of the acts in question and these lawsuits were also recorded in sharia registers. Violence is not seen only this period, but has been existed throughout the history. Although it defines variously in every period of history, it is mostly agreed upon damaging to person physically or psychologically. Actually these violence acts are related to corruption in social, economic and cultural structures. There are similarities between social, economic and cultural circumstances of 17th century and ours. When these similarities are considered, the corruption in social, economic and cultural structures trigger to soar acts of violence can be said.