Slavery in the Ottoman Empire and its Demise 1800–1909 by Y Hakan Erdem (auth.)

By Y Hakan Erdem (auth.)

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Additional info for Slavery in the Ottoman Empire and its Demise 1800–1909

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The Ottomans could also develop policies for pragmatic reasons, but not necessarily in conflict with the $eriat, as will be seen in the case of prohibition of the slave trade to Egypt at the end of the eighteenth century - half a century before the first British interference. THE PENCIKTAX AS A MEANS OF MARKET CONTROL The Ottoman slave system was an open one in which slaves were continually integrated into society as full members. 1 Therefore the system required a continuous supply of new slaves to perpetuate itself.

When one considers birth in slavery as a logical conclusion of enslavement in war, war appears to be the single legitimate and original reason for enslavement. 47 Only non-Muslims could be enslaved in war. War against non-Muslims needed approval by the 30 Slavery in the Ottoman Empire and its Demise, 1800-1909 sovereign. Those persons who were subjects of countries with which no state of war existed and who were kidnapped could not be considered as lawfully enslaved. Afetva of Ebussuud makes this point clear, saying that the enslavement of those people captured from the lands of an unbelieving ruler with whom the Sultan had peace (ahd) was not lega1.

42 It is a possibility that the dev:jirme yenireris were manumitted on a certain occasion by Mehmed II or by his father Murad II, given their tendency of freeing slaves. The same author informs us that Mehmed II manumitted all his yenireris of pencik origin during the troubled Wallachian campaign of 1462, obviously as an encouragement to make them fight better and possibly to erase a point of friction between the two groups of yenireris. 43 If we accept this testimony, after this date there was no difference between the two groups in terms of bequeating their estates.

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