Critical Analysis of the Ottoman Constitution (1876)

Huseyin Korkut


The conceptions of an individual and the nation-state gave birth to modernity and certainly shaped the socio-political systems in European countries. Newly founded European socio-political system gradually influenced social, political and legal structures of countries under the sphere of colonial and imperial influences of great powers. In this regard, such developments coupled with intensive westernization process influenced the Ottoman society, especially during the last decades of the empire. An analysis of the Ottoman Constitution (Kanun-u Esasî) (1876) within last few decades of the empire will show such socio-political and legal changes and developments. This paper, within the framework of constitutional acts, attempted to analyze two works that were critical about the Ottoman Constitution (1876). It is indicative that these two sources were also addressing western socio-political and legal influences on the Ottoman society. These two works deal with range of modern issues such as freedom, equality and justice by considering their very roots in the Islamic legal traditions. Therefore, this paper will analyze these two works in light of the Ottoman Constitution (1876) that preserved in essence the Islamic legal principles.


Constitutional Acts; Ottoman Constitution (1876); Socio-Political System; Legal System; Pan-Islamism

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