Ferhat Koca

Keywords: Ottoman Empire, Caliphate Discussions, Gülhâne Hatt-ı Hümâyunu, Kânûni Esâsî


All the nasihâtnâme (document of admonition), siyâsetnâme (political treatise) and adâletnâme (document on the establishment of justice) written in Ottoman times about the fast, productive and just functioning of state institutions and the maintenance of world order, generally concerned analyses and recommendations about the functioning of state bureaucracy, rather than the fundamental structure of the state. The debate concerning the powers of the sultan/caliph himself began with the 1839 Gülhane Hatt-ı Hümâyunu (imperial decree that reformed the Ottoman state) and went on until the Ottoman Sultanate and Caliphate were abolished and the Turkish Republic was put in its place. In this article we present various works written in Ottoman/Turkish in the half century between 1876 and 1924 concerning the Ottoman Caliphate, with the aim of contributing to the creation of a "Bibliography of the Ottoman Empire" and to underlining the changes and conflicts within the Sunni Caliphate theory, in favour of temporal power and absolutism.