Resources :: Country Profiles :: Dhū al-Ḥijja 1438 / September 2017
Nazow Tarakai, Posted by Nazow Tarakai, Staff Editor, 13 October 2017
This Country Profile provides a basic overview of the legal history and institutional structures of the Republic of Turkey (Turkiye Cumhuriyeti), based on research produced by GlobaLex at NYU Law School and the Library of Congress. Under Turkey's Constitution, Islamic law (sharīʿa or fiqh) has no legal status.
Historical Primary Sources :: 1181 / 1768
Michael Talbot, Posted by James Baldwin, Editor, 20 July 2017
This document is a beyānnāme, or declaration, sent by the Ottoman reʾīsül-kuttāb (chief scribe) to Britain's ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, justifying the Ottoman declaration of war on Russia by explaining Russia's violation of treaty obligations. The document gives insight into eighteenth-century Ottoman attitudes to international law and its relationship with Islamic law. Its use of the phrase naḳż-ı ʿahd (breaking the treaty), which has its origins in a specifically Qurʾānic context illustrates one way in which war was legitimized within the Ottoman Empire. Other phrases used in the beyānnāme demonstrate how Ottoman legal plurality functioned within a martial context.
Historical Primary Sources :: 1154 / 1742
James Baldwin, Posted by James Baldwin, Editor, 20 July 2017
A petition sent to the Ottoman Sultan from Egypt in 1155 AH (1742-3), concerning a dispute between a Muslim and a Christian in the town of Zifta. The Muslim petitioner attempts to enforce the regulation of the Pact of 'Umar that forbids non-Muslims from having houses taller than those of Muslims. Baldwin's commentary on the petition focuses on how the petitioning process relates to the sharīʿa court system in the Ottoman Empire.
Recāī Efendi, Edited by Michael Talbot, Translated by Michael Talbot, Posted by Sharon Tai, Staff Editor, 22 January 2018
This document is a beyānnāme, or declaration, sent by Recāī Efendi, the Ottoman reʾīsül-kuttāb (chief scribe), to Britain's ambassador to the Ottoman Empire. It justifies the Ottoman declaration of war on Russia by explaining Russia's violation of treaty obligations, and gives insight into eighteenth-century Ottoman attitudes to international law and its relationship with Islamic law.
Contemporary Primary Sources :: Administrative Decisions :: 18 Shaʿbān 1353 / 24 November 1934
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Posted by Cem Tecimer, Student Editor, 28 July 2020
This presidential decision signed by Turkey's founding president Kemal Ataturk and his cabinet members converted the Hagia Sophia from a mosque into a museum. The decision cites a letter from the Ministry of Education of the time arguing that said conversion would "make the entire Orient happy" and "gift humanity a new site of knowledge." The Ministry of Education's letter proposing the conversion into a museum, which the presidential decision cites and upon which it is based, also argues that the mosque has no waqf status–despite being used by Ottoman sultans–due to its status as "an artifact from the Byzantines."
Contemporary Primary Sources :: Administrative Decisions :: 20 Dhū al-Qaʿda 1441 / 10 July 2020
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Posted by Cem Tecimer, Student Editor, 28 July 2020
Following the administrative court decision that annulled the Cabinet Decision of 1934 that converted Hagia Sophia into a museum, President Erdogan made the decision to transfer the management of the site to the Presidency of Religious Affairs and restore it as a mosque open to worship.
The online portal for academic content and context on Islamic law
Program in Islamic LawHarvard Law School102 Austin Hall1515 Massachusetts AvenueCambridge, MA 02138email: firstname.lastname@example.org