Critics to Publications of the Ottoman Legal Codes

In this article the author attempts to criticize the publications about Ottoman Kanunnâmes, which are very important means in the administration of the Ottoman Empire. The meaning of the term “Kanunnâme” and the other terms which are alike the term ithave been given. The distinction between orf (custom)and sharia and mutual relations of them have been especially stressed. The literature on this field is rich. Kanunnâmes have been published by different scholars both in the Ottoman and the Republican period. Some of the publications are really important such as the works belonging to İnalcık-Anhegger, Abdülkadir Özcan and Beldiceanu. Especially to understand the real functions of the kanunnâmes, these works have to be taken into consideration. The methods used from different scholars are not the same. Every scholar used his or her own method to publish the kanunnames. The forms and contains of the kanunnames changes from century to century. In the nineteenth century kanunnames changed their forms. But their functions have saved their importance until the end of the Empire. In this paper kanunnames have been divided into three categories. After reviewing the literature the author suggest some ideas on publishing the kanunnames.


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