Court Records as a Source for History of Ottoman Law

In this essay, I try to determine physical conditons, cataloguing problems, general characteristics and total numbers of Otoman court records, originally known şer‘iyye sicilleri, and their importance for some research spheres such as historigraphy, cultural history, legal history, urban studies and millitary history, etc. And I evaluate the studies which were depend on/or using these sources brought to the public especially from the 1980's on. In recent years, these sijills often had become a research object by many researchers, but these studies are often made to obtain only master of art degrees from the universities. I attempt to find out some problems often peresented in these studies. In general, it is necessary to say here that these studies give us less analitical interpretations, but more descriptive notes. I stress especially the monographs which were written by historians or legal historians. At the end, for the purpose of using court records more productive, I suggested some points in a list to the researchers.


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