Yavuz Aykan

Maître de conferences in History, Université Paris 1 (Panthéon-Sorbonne), Department of History

(July–August 2019)


Law and Rebellion in Early Modern Istanbul

A fatwa compilation preserved in the Topkapi Palace Library concerning early modern states of “emergency” is the departure point for my research project. This text brings together a variety of legal interpretations, pertaining to different times and spaces in the Islamic world, with regard to the capacity of political power to inflict punishment in case of “emergency”. By focusing on the doctrinal genealogies of this manuscript, as well as on the historical context in which it was constituted, this project aims at writing the legal history of a local rebellion in 18th-century Istanbul. By doing so it expands the scope of legal history beyond Roman and European traditions, showing how an Islamic polity deployed law in cases of “emergency” in order to declare a state of exception.