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Ottoman Tapu Title Deeds In The Eighteenth And Nineteenth Centuries: Origin, Typology And Diplomatics

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Although the existence of tapus is well known, their typology, form, and structure have not been the object of a detailed analysis. Based on research undertaken in the Ottoman archive of the National Library of Bulgaria, I analyze eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Ottoman tapu title deeds. I argue that their 'classical' eighteenth-and nineteenth-century form is the outcome of the amalgamation of (1) receipts for payment of the tapu fee (resm-i tapu) and (2) records of land transfer. I also argue that the process of amalgamation probably started in the middle of the sixteenth century and continued until the second half of the seventeenth century.

Affiliations: 1: McGill University


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