Central Assemblies Before the Constitutional Period in the Ottoman State

This article aims to assert the literature on central assemblies before Parliament in the history of Turkish Law. Generally, these assemblies are named as “councils of consultation” both in the West and Turkish history researches. In fact, these assemblies had legislative, executive, fiscal and judicial competence beside being a council of consultation. Thus, it is not appropriate to call them only as consultative councils because of their qualification is more than that. We can determine those councils in these shapes: Toy and Kurultay in pre-Islamic period; Divan-ı Hümayun and Meclis-i Meşveret/Meclis-i Şura in Classical period of Ot- tomans; Meclis-i Vala-yı Ahkam-ı Adliye, Meclis-i Ali-i Umumi, Meclis-i Tanzimat ve Şura-yı Devlet which are the central councils of Tanzimat era. Recently, number of studies on central assemblies increased a bit, but they are still quiet little. Those limited studies had been performed by historicians. Those councils as a subject of History of Public Law in the first place must be studied by scholars of History of Law.


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