ILSS: Fatma Gül Karagöz

On Tuesday, April 9, 2024 at 12:30-1:30PM US EST via Zoom, Professor Fatma Gül Karagöz (Harvard Law School) will present “The Transition of Ottoman Land Law: Theory and Practice between 16th-18th Centuries” as part of our Islamic Law Speaker Series. In this presentation, Karagöz will discuss the transformation of the Ottoman land law from the early 16th century till the late 18th century through constructing legal texts of the Ottoman land regime: kanunnames (codification/collection of Sultanic regulations) and their impact on the practice through kaḍī court records. These kanunnames included the regulations on the duties and rights of peasant-cultivators who had the usufruct rights on arable lands (which was considered as miri, or state-owned) in exchange of tax-payment. She argues that their rights on land expanded through ʿurf and sharia in the late 16th and early 17th century as a first step, an expansion which continued during the 17th and 18th centuries. The focus of this talk is the text known as Kanunname-i Cedid, a compilation of codes, decrees, and fatwas on land ownership, transfer of land usufruct, taxation, and the “inheritance” rules of land usufruct, highly reproduced from likely the late 17th till the mid-19th century. She will analyze the text through its historicity, by tracing the differences it brought, the reasons behind this transformation, and its impact on practice. Register today!