(By Prof. Dr. Ahmed AKGÜNDÜZ)
This work titled “Osmanlı Kanunnameleri” (The Ottoman Legal Codes) is so significant that it would require the history of the Ottoman State of six centuries, the longest period in the Turkish-Islamic History, to be re-written. The Ottoman Legal Codes is a handy reference for not only the Ottoman legal system but also for the history of civilization, army, economy, religion and social life thereof.
Through scrutiny of the Ottoman Legal Codes the reader will learn that the Ottoman State was not a state of oppression that stood upon sword and shield but much more legal than most countries of our time; that – to the contrary of the allegations of some researchers that were based upon neither documents nor main sources – the Ottoman State accepted and applied the Islamic Legislation as its legal system; that one can not qualify the Ottoman legal system as laic, for only the military regulations, some penal decrees, several principles pertaining to the tax legislation and such legal codes as contained administrative decrees were prepared through the restricted legislative power granted to the statesmen by the Islamic Legislation without any transgression of Shariah decrees; that in the remaining legal issues books of Islamic Jurisprudence (al-Fiqh) were accepted as basic laws; that it is possible to see the most exemplary application of the Islamic Legislation in the Ottoman Legal Codes as the official legal system of a state; that the Ottoman State recognized all kinds of rights and freedoms not only to Muslims but to the non-Muslim minorities as well; that such assertions that the issue of rights and freedoms in the Ottoman State first rose to the agenda with Tanzimah (Reformation) and Islahat (Improvement) Firmans (Imperial Edicts) are mere casuistry; and the truths of similar distorted facts.
VOLUME I : Introduction to the Ottoman Legislation and the Legal Codes during the Reign of Sultan Muhammad the Conqueror;
VOLUME II : The Legal Codes of the Reign of Sultan Bayezid II;
VOLUME III : The Legal Codes of the Reign of Sultan Selim the Excellent;
VOLUME IV : The Legal Codes of Sultan Sulaiman the Lawmaker – Central and General Codes;
VOLUME V : The Legal Codes of Sultan Sulaiman the Lawmaker – Provincial Codes;
VOLUME VI : The Legal Codes of Sultan Sulaiman the Lawmaker – Provincial Codes;
VOLUME VII : The Legal Codes of Sultan Sulaiman the Lawmaker – The Legal Codes of Sultan Selim II;
VOLUME VIII : The Legal Codes of Sultan Murad III – The Legal Codes of Sultan Muhammad III;
VOLUME IX : The Legal Codes of Sultan Ahmed I – The Legal Codes of Sultan Uthman.