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Tax Law in Crimea in the Light of Two Yarlıks

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[This article examines two yarlıks about the taxation issued by the governor of autonomous Crimea in June 1609. Two other documents about a female slave dated June 1677 involving the dignitaries of Crimea are also examined. The main aim of this work is to find out whether or not the provisions of the statutes (kanun) of the mainland, Istanbul, were also applied in other autonomous provinces. This article tries to shed light on tax regulations in different parts of the Ottoman Empire and to contribute to our understanding of yarlıks. The Crimean khanate which was established as an independent state around 1420 became a vassal state of the Ottoman empire in 1475 when Mengli Giray recognized Sultan Mehmet II as his suzerain. A Crimea-Muscovy alliance supported by the Ottomans led to the emergence of the Muscovite state as the dominant power in the region. The Russians and the Ottomans had peaceful relations until the middle of the 17th century. From that time onwards, conflicts started to appear and led Russia to invade and annex the Crimea. Although khans were appointed and dismissed by the Ottoman sultans, they were able to maintain independent judicial and financial institutions. The judges were appointed and dismissed by the military judge of the Crimea. The shari'a courts and the diwan (council) were the two main bodies of the judicial system. The trials were conducted by a single qadi/judge in the shari'a courts. Although litigants or defendants had the right to apply to the diwan to review his/her case, the system of appeal in the modern sense was not recognized. Islamic law, custom and the statutory laws constituted the law of the Crimea. In cases of contradiction between custom and governmental orders, custom would prevail. Certain fiscal laws that applied in the mainland of the Ottoman empire were not in practice in the Crimea., This article examines two yarlıks about the taxation issued by the governor of autonomous Crimea in June 1609. Two other documents about a female slave dated June 1677 involving the dignitaries of Crimea are also examined. The main aim of this work is to find out whether or not the provisions of the statutes (kanun) of the mainland, Istanbul, were also applied in other autonomous provinces. This article tries to shed light on tax regulations in different parts of the Ottoman Empire and to contribute to our understanding of yarlıks.The Crimean khanate which was established as an independent state around 1420 became a vassal state of the Ottoman empire in 1475 when Mengli Giray recognized Sultan Mehmet II as his suzerain. A Crimea-Muscovy alliance supported by the Ottomans led to the emergence of the Muscovite state as the dominant power in the region. The Russians and the Ottomans had peaceful relations until the middle of the 17th century. From that time onwards, conflicts started to appear and led Russia to invade and annex the Crimea.Although khans were appointed and dismissed by the Ottoman sultans, they were able to maintain independent judicial and financial institutions. The judges were appointed and dismissed by the military judge of the Crimea. The shari'a courts and the diwan (council) were the two main bodies of the judicial system. The trials were conducted by a single qadi/judge in the shari'a courts. Although litigants or defendants had the right to apply to the diwan to review his/her case, the system of appeal in the modern sense was not recognized. Islamic law, custom and the statutory laws constituted the law of the Crimea. In cases of contradiction between custom and governmental orders, custom would prevail. Certain fiscal laws that applied in the mainland of the Ottoman empire were not in practice in the Crimea.]

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/content/journals/10.1163/187633111x594542
2011-11-01
2016-12-06

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