Izmir er?iyye Sicillerine Yans?yan htida Vakalar? Cases of Embracing the Islam Religion in Izmir Court Records

Abstract

Author(s): Ahmet YIGIT

In the 19 th century, the Ottoman State had to make some regulations due to repressions from the European countries. The get the support of the European states in conflict about Egypt, the Ottoman State declared the Rescript of Gülhane in 1939. With this rescript, a new era in the legal system started in the Ottoman Empire. State institutions ruled according to religious and tacit laws started to treat every citizen equally with the declaration of the rescript. Muslim-non-Muslim discrimination was abolished. The Europeans did not find this reform movement satisfactory. As a result, the Reclamation Rescript was declared in 1856 to regulate Muslim and non-Muslim relations. Prior to the declaration of Rescript of Gülhane, according to Muslim religion, embracing the Islam was considered to be normal; moreover, it was encouraged by the state and public. On the other hand, abandoning Islam was regarded by Islamic law and public as an act that should be severely punished. Following the declaration of Rescripts of Gülhane and Reclamation, in many parts of the country, people who previously embraced Islam but pursuing their original creed started to emerge. In this period, those who embraced Islam but wanted to abandon it started to put pressure on the Muslim population and churches. However, many cases of embracing Islam were found in zmir court records in the period following the declaration of the Rescript of Gülhane. Jews living in zmir were commercially very powerful and the most cases of embracing Islam were seen in this Jewish community. Greeks and Armenians followed them. Those who were embracing Islam were not only the residents of zmir. Many people coming from the different parts of the country embraced Islam, as well. Majority of those embracing Islam were women. High majority of these people were between 15 and 30 years old. Young people and women have more suitable nature to tergiversate.

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