DEMAND FOR JUSTICE AND RESPONSE OF THE SULTAN: DECISION MAKING IN THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE IN THE EARLY 16TH CENTURY

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1 ACADEMIE DES SCIENCES DE BULGARIE INSTITUT D'ETUDES BALKANIQUES ETUDES BALKANIQUES, 2007, No 2 FATMAACUNand RAMAZANACUN(Hacettepe Unversty, Ankara) DEMAND FOR JUSTICE AND RESPONSE OF THE SULTAN: DECISION MAKING IN THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE IN THE EARLY 16TH CENTURY The Nature of the Ottoman Polty and Questons for Research Numerous typologes have been advanced by scholars seekng to capture the essental elements of the Ottoman poltcal system and varous efforts have been made to dentfy ther relatonshp to decson makng mechansm: n these efforts, ether a defnte theoretcal model was chosen and fndngs of emprcal studes were nterpreted accordng to ths modelor, topcs suggested by Karl Marx or Max Weber were examned n the lght ofhstorcal sources1.both approaches have generated a number of researches regardng the true nature ofthe Ottoman state. However, the research results to date seems somewhat nconclusve, pa.::tlybecause of the dffcu1tes of approprately dfferentatng among the systems that fall nto the same general category and, partly because of the lack of adequate emprcal studes about the nature of the Ottoman polty, partcularly for the earler perods.e. the perod before the 16thcentury. Recent studes follow, to a great extent, the concept of patrmonalsm advanced by Weber to defne the characterstcs of the Ottornan state. In these studes, the Ottoman state s referred to as an extreme case ofpatrmonalsm cal/ed sultansm, characterzed by a complete relance on mltary force, despotsm and arbtrarypower. 1 These typologes, as appled to the Attornan socal hstory, were revewed n the followng artele: Hall Inalck, "On the Socal Structure of the Ottoman Ernpre, Paradgr.:.; and Research", From Empre to Republc, Essays on Ottoman and Turksh Socal Hstory, Istanbul, Iss Press, 1995,

2 Sultansm operates prmaryon the bass of the dscreton of the sultan that s dstnct from every form of ratonal authorty2. The theory of the centralst bureaucratc empre s alsa used to defne the nature of the Ottoman poltcal system. Accordng to ths theory, the bureaucratc systemwththeautonomousactanof a bodyofprofessonalsunderobjectverules was ndspensable for the survval of the vast empres. The theory puts more emphass on the bureaucratc manageral nature of the Ottoman Empre than on ts system of patrmonal rule3. These knds of conflctng comments on the characterstcs of the Ottoman state and the sultans pont to the need of revewng the Weber's theory on patrmonalsm, partcularly the absoluteness of the power enjoyed by the sultan and, that of the theory of the centralst bureaucratc empre, partcularly the autonamy of the bureaucracytl. To ths end, ths paper looks at the decson makng process usng prmarly the evdence whch were the outcome afthat process tself. Here t s assumed that the actual exercse of power n the Empre can be best observed through the decson makng process. The fndngs, f any, can then be used to draw conclusons about the true nature of the Ottoman poltcal system. "Ratonalty" as opposed to arbtrarness of the decsons wll be used as a crteran to classfy and compare the related evdence, adescrptan of whch s gven n next secton. Up tll now,ratonalty of the Ottoman polty has been studed mostly theoretcally5. There s a lack of emprcal studes, showng the workngs of the system n practse6. Ths study ams to fll ths gap. But what does "ratonal decson" mean? Obvously there s no sngle answer to ths queston. Indeed, researchers defne over twenty forms of ratonalty. 2 Max Weber defnes two types ofpatrmonalsm: In the frst, domnaton s prmariy tradtonal as exsted n the medeval west whle n the second, domnaton operates on the bass of dscreton. Accordngly, the frst type of domnaton s called patrmonal authorty and the second type s called Sultansm. Hall Inalck, "Comments on 'Sultansm': Max Weber's Typfcaton ofthe Attornan Polty", Prnceton Papers n Near Eastem Studes, I, 1992, p. 47; Idem, "Decson Makng n the Attornan State", Caesar Farah (ed.), Decson Makng and Change n the Ottoman Empre Essays n Ottoman Hstory, Mssour, 1993, For the theory of Sultansm see, Max Weber, Economy and Socety: An Outlne of the Interpretve Socology, trans. G. Roth and C. Wttch, Berkley, See also, Ensar Nsanc, Geleneksel Patrmonalzm, Sosyal ve Syas YöndenAnalz, Istanbul, J Followers of the theory ofbureaucratc empre are usually modern poltcal socologsts e.g. Esenstadt. On ths, see Inalck, "Decson Makng", The natureof the Attornanstateandthe mageof thesultans explanedwthnthe context of the Mddle Eastem deology of state and justce by Hall Inalck, "State and Ideology Under Sultan Suleyman I", The Mddle East and Balkans Under the Ottoman Rule, Essays on Economy and Socety, Blomngton, 1993, See, Inalck, "Comments on Sultansm", 47-72; Idem, "Decson Makng n the Attornan State", A recently publshed book on the provncal admnstraton flls the gap to some extent. t apples the conceptual framework developed by Davd Easton to test the ratonalty of the Ottomans n admnsterng provnces. See, Fatma Acun, Karahsar- Sark ve Koyluhsar Kazalar Örnegnde Osmanl Tasra Idares ( ), Ankara, Türk Tarh Ku~umu Yaynlar,

3 In ths study a defnton by Lee W s adopted: accordng to ths defnton, frst1y,a ratonal decson should be based on the nformaton gathered through a clear1y defned procedure. Secondly, t should assess varous actons n order to provde effcent means for pursung the objectves and fnally t should have the best outcome,.e. should maxmse the expected utlty7. When dealng wth hstorcal problems one s usually restrcted to lmted sources. Ths s certanly true for whether or not Ottoman decson makng was ratonal. We wll examne the subject by lookng at whether decsons were based on the systematcally collected nformaton and whether they produced the ntended outcome. To ths end the followng questons wll be asked: What knd ofvalues and polcy alternatves actually nfluenced the decsonstaken? Dd any ndvdual or body shared n the process? What dd the decsons contrbuted to the welfare of the socety and ther just treatment? How the conflcts were resolved? What were the goals of the state n resolvng conflcts? What were the restranng factors n the decson makng process? The Sources and the Methodology To answer these questons, ths study uses manly the regsters of orders or Ahkam Regsters. These are valuable sources offerng nformaton on the fnal decsons taken by the mperal councl or dvan- hümayun or dvan for short. We do not unfortunately have any documentaton regardng the processes before the meetng of the dvan. Nor do we have any nformaton as to the mpact ofthese orders on the problems,.e. whether the orders sent solved the problem or not. yvedo not also have documentaton on the dscussons took place n the mperal councl before the fnal decsons were reached. We only have the end results that are the rescrpts (hüküms) or entres n the Ahkam Regster. The lack of documentaton on dscussons leadng to decsons makes the Ottoman decson makng mechansm a knd of a black box for the researchers. Any document provdng nsght nto the nature of ths box would obvously be nvaluable. The regsters of outgong orders are of ths type. The ear1estextant regster ofthese seres s called Ahkam Defter (regster of edcts) dated 1501 (H. 906)8. t conssts of copes of orders ssued by the mperal dvan n one month, between 8-17 June and 8-17 July 1501 (evahr- Zlkade 906 la evahr- Zlhcce 906)9.Ths regster provdes evdence for the presence of smlar regsters for eariier perods, pontng to a custom of regsterng the fnal 7 See W. Lee, Decson Theory and Human Behavour, New York, John & Wley, Ths regster s publshed n translteraton and n faxmle wth an ntroducton by Ilhan Sahn-Ferdun Emecen, Osmanl/arda Dvan-Brokras-Ahkam, II, Bayezd DönemneAt 906/1501 Tarhl Ahkam Defter, Istanbul, Türk Dünyas Arastrmalar Vakf, The data offered by ths edton of the regster s used n ths study. The orgnal of the regster s housed n the General Drectorate of State Archves, Ottoman Archve n Istanbul (A. DVN, Nr. 790). 9 Fora descrptonof the physcalcondtonandcontentsof the regstersee, Sahn-Emecen, Ahkam Defter, XV-XXXV. 127

4 decsons formulated by the mperal dvan before they were send out. We know that the complaton of ths type of regsters became regular by the mddle of the 16thcentury under the name ofmühmme Defterler (regsters of outgong orders)10. The Ahkam Regster used n ths study conssts of 479 records, manly hüküms (rescrpt), emrs (order) or fermans (mperal deeree) ssued by the dvan, rangng from mltary matters to land problems concernng the ordnary subject or reaya. A hüküm or arescrpt was an ultmate decson taken by the dvan, subject to confrmaton by the sultan, n response to complants of varous ndvduals or problems. t can be sad that a hüküm was a way of communcaton between the sultan and the ordnary subject seekng hs attenton to ther plght. t s well known that the Ottoman poltcal system ahowed that any person, regardless of hs socal status, could petton the dvan drectly. However, ths was not always possble gven the vast dstances one needed to travel to come to IstanbuL.AIso t s wdely beleved that, the Ottoman rulers were not accessble easly. Therefore, partcularly, n the dstant areas, people went to the local kad Gudge)who addressed a formalletter of complant to the sultan or sent a spokesman to Istanbul, f the case was urgentl2. How and by whom the pettons were presented s mportant because t shows the persons or the bodes who nvolved n the flow of nformaton leadng to fnal formulaton of decsons that s hüküms. Hüküms contan summary of the orgnal pettons and nformaton about the way they were submtted. In formulatng hüküms, varous records kept at the Imperal Regstry (defterhane) were also consulted. Nearly all of the hüküms n the Ahkam Regster open wth a knd of headng whch almost nvarably start wth the menton of offce of the addressee (governor general of Anatola/Rumela, kad ofyensehr, governor ofsemendre ete.) and end n the words hükum yazla k (an order s to be wrtten). The followng part of the hüküm mrrates the event, whch s summary of the orgnal petton. The phrases... deyü bldrdler,... ms (t has been nformed that, the case s such that) mark the end of the narraton. The narraton and the next part of the hüküm are separated by standard phrase buyurdum k (I [the lo There are some 250 extant mühmme records housed n the General Drectorate of State Archves, Ottoman Archve n Istanbul, coverng the perod between 1554 and second part ofthe 19'h century. For a bref but nformng note on the mühmme records see, Urel Heyd, Documents on Palestne /552-/6/5, Oxford, 1960, 3-6; Mübahat Kütükoglu, "Mühmme Defterlerndek Muamele Kaytlar Üzerne", Tarh Boyunca PaleografYa ve Dplomatk Semner, 30 Nsan-2 Mays Bldrler, Istanbul, 1988, Some of the mühmme seres (number 3, 5, 6, 7, 82, 83, and 85) were publshed by the General Dreetorate ofstate Arehves n translteraton and n faesmle: E.g. 3 Numaral Mühmme Defter ( /1558-/560) Özet ve Transkrpsyon, Ankara, Basbakanlk Devlet Arsvler Genel Müdürlügü Osmanl Arsv Dare Baskanlg: Yayn No 12, Dvan- Hümayun Scler Dzs: 1,1993. tt On hüküms see, Hall Inalck, "Skayet Hakk: Arz- Hal ve Arz- Mahzarlar", Osmanl Arastrmalar, V-V, 1988, Surayya Faroqh, "Poltcal Aetvty among Ottoman Taxpayers and the Problem ofsultane Legtmaton ( )", Journal of the Economc and Socal Hstory of the Orent, vol. XXXv, 1992, p

5 sultan] have ordered that) or ts varants; md buyurdum k (now, have ordered that), eyle olsa buyudum k (n ths case, have ordered that). Ths part ctes the decson ofthe sultan on what s to be done n that matter. Each hüküm closed by the phrase söyle blesz alamet- serfe tmad klasz (my noble sgn should be trusted). All ofthe hüküms have dates accordng to whch they were recorded n the Ahkam Regster. The length of a hüküm vares from few lnes to half a page. All the hüküms contaned the Ahkam Regster were scanned nto the computer and examned usng a text analyss program called TextStatl3.Certan words and phrases that are ndcatve of the research questons are selected and searched n the whole text. These words and phrases were quantfed and the contexts n whch they occurred were analysed. The relatonshps between the selected words are studed to make nferences about the nature of decson makng durng the early l6\h century that s the perod covered by the Ahkam Regster. The search s also made for the co-occurrence of words related to the subject matter. As well as the words related to subject only ndrectly. To put the analyss nto an approprate context, bref nformaton on the Ottoman central and provncal admnstraton s n order. The Ottoman Central Admnstraton: The Sultan and the Dvan At the top of the central admnstraton was the mperal councl or dvan. t worked as a hgh court of justce and a knd of cabnet dscussng and takng dec~ sons on all government affars and appontments. As s known, the sultan presded over the dvan untl the tme of the Mehmed II (1475), afterwards the grand vzer took over the authorty. The vzers, kadaskers, nsanc, defterdar and assocate members such as resülküttab, tezkrec, çavusbas and kapclar kethüdas and others joned the meetngsof the dvan14.after the meetng,the sultan recevedthe members of the dvan to approve and confrm the decsons taken by themis.the sultan and the members of the dvan were therefore the decson makers who depended on the knowledge and expertse of the bureaucracy or kalemyye. At the tme of Bayezd II ( ), kalemyye was charactersed by a small and relatvely undfferentated body of scrbes carryng out the bureaucratc functons of the central government. t was only durng the Suleyman the Lawgver' s regn ( Ths program s avalable on the Internet: software-en. html On dvan and ts workng see, Recep Ahshal, "Dvan- Hümayun Tesklat", Osmanl, 6, 15Before takng mportant decsons such as makng war or an appontment, the sultan would hold meetng wth grand vzer or seyhülslam (head of the ulema) together wth the persons who m he trusted. Apart from ths knd of secret consultatons, the sultan could convene consultatve councls called mesveret whch was consdered a duty before takng mportant decsons. On ths see, Inalck, The Ottoman Empre The ClasscalAge , trans. Norman Itzkowtz and Cohl Imber, London, 1973,92-93; Idem, "Decson Makng",

6 1566) that, the bureaucracy started to transform nto a re1atvelyautonomous group of professonals wth well defned responsbltes and functons attemptng to carry out the government actvtes wthn the pre establshed rules and regulatons. Ths dd not mean, however, that there was no bureaucracy n the earler perods, rather t meant that, kalemyye, expanded and ganed an ndependent professonal and socal form parallel to that of seyfyye (man of sword) and lmyye (men of knowledge) only by the mddle of the 16thcentury6. Therefore, at the begnnng of the 16thcentury, the perod of the Ahkam Regster, the bureaucracy was n the process offormaton. The members of kalemyye were ndeed the people formulatng all the decsons to be taken. Because of ths functon, they gradually became more and more nfluental n the decson makng process partcularly durng the regn ofthe Suleyman the Lawgver and afterwardsl? Durng the perod under nvestgaton, begnnng of the 16thcentury, kalemyye was stli under the process of formaton. As the Ottomans evolved from a relatvely smail state nto an empre wth fully formed bureaucratc structure over a perod less than 200 years between 1300 and 1500 AD, a phlosophy of government was also formulated as a gudng prncple. Accordng to ths phlosophy, consoldatng and extendng the power and authorty of the sultan requred obtanng rch sources ofrevenue. Ths, n turn, depended on the condtons makng the productve classes prosperous. In ths cyclcal phlosophy, also called crcle of justce (dare- adlye), the sultan's power and authorty depended on the materal as well as moral support he receved from hs subject. Related to ths ph1osophy,the noton of justce (adalet) had partcu1ar meanng n the system of government. t was defned as the preventon and elmnaton of oppressye acts by those who exeresed power n the name of the sultan. The long hstorcal experence showed that, the oppressve government mght cause an mparment of the productve capacty of the tax-payng masses and a decrease n the state's revenues. The alternatye polcy was to protect the reaya aganst the power by the state offcals Coronell H. Flescher, "Prelmnares to the Study of the Ottoman Bureaucracy", Journal of Turksh Studes, vol. II, 1987, See also Inalck, "Decson Makng", The consderable growth of Ottoman bureaucracy durng the regn oysüyeman the Lawgver s confrmed by the growth of the number of offcals n the central departments: at the begnnng of the 16thcentury there were 37 offcals n the central departments, whch then ncreased to 90 offcals n On ths see, recently completed Ph.D dssertaton by Mehmet Sakr Ylmaz, Koca Nsanc of Kanun: Celalzade Mustafa Çeleb, Bureaucracy and 'Kanun 'n the Regn ofsüyelman The Magnfcent (J ), Ankara, Blkent Unversty, Insttute of Economcs and Socal Scences, 2006, p For detaled nformaton on central bureaucracy and ts dfferent branches, see Ylmaz, Koca Nsanc of Kanun, ISOn the phlosophy of Ottoman government see, Hall Inalck, "The Ottoman Economc Mnd and Aspects ofeconomy", Studes n the Economc Hstory of the Mddle Eastfrom the Rse of Islam to the Present Day, M. A. Cook (ed.), London, 1970, p. 217; Idem, "State and Ideology", p. 71. For the applcaton of some prncples of ths phlosophy n provncal admnstraton see, Fatma Acun, "Ottornan Admnstratve Prortes: Two Case Studes of Karahsar- Sark (Sebnkarahsar) and Gresun", Archvum Ottomancum, vol. 17, 1999,

7 Ottoman Provncal Admnstraton: Kads and other local Admn s trators Provnce or sancak was the man unt under asancak bey (provncal governor). The Ottoman realm was dvded nto admnstratve unts called sancak as early as t was a fronter prncpalty. Wth the rapd expanson of the Ottoman state n Balkans and n Anatola, t became necessary to appont a beylerbey (governar general) over all the provncal governors. Frst the beylerbeylk of Rume1a was created durng the regn of Murad I, n Then, beyjerbeylkof Anatola ncludng all western Anatola was establshed n 1393 wth ts captal at Kütahya. The thrd beylerbeylk of Rum was establshed wth ts captal at Amasya n In the and centures new beylerbeylks came nto beng (totallng to 31), but these three beylerbeylks consttuted the backbone of the emprel9. The Ottomans consdered dvson of power essental to a just admnstraton n the provnces. Therefore, the sultan delegated hs executve power to a bey from the mltary class and hs legal power to a kad.from the ulema (knowleged men) class. These two authortes admnstered a provnce from the earler perods on. The bey could not execute any punshment wthout frst obtanng a docurnent from a kad, but the kad could not execute any ofhs own sentences. Both ofthem were ndependent of the other and responsble drectly to the sultan2o.apart from bey and kad, other offcals such as tmar holders and mltary commanders (subas) etc. joned the provncal admnstraton whch could be called local admnstrators. In the typcal Ottornan provnce, the tmar system was n force. In ths system a cavalryrnan resded n a yllage where he earned hs lvng and collected taxes, manly tthe, on corps. In return he mantaned a horse and joned the war. In the 15tJ]and l6tl1centures, the tmar holdng cavalryman consttuted the greater part of the Ottoman army as well as the local admnstrators n the provnces. The Ottoman concept of state regulated the class system that the socety fell nto two dstnct dvsons, the mltary class (asker) and ordnary subjects (reaya). Mltary class was exempted from taxes whle the ordnary subjects pad the taxes. The taxpayng ordnary subjects were further subdvded nto farmers, urban dwellers and nomads. The class dvson was mantaned across relgous boundares. In the Balkans as n Anatola, whether Muslm or Chrstan, those engaged n agrculture and trade were consdered reaya. Chrstan cavalrymen n the Balkans, on the other hand, were ncorporated nto the rnltary class. Demands for justce As ndcated above, dvan was the hghest court ofjustce to where all people regardless ofther status could petton drectly. The captal Istanbul was, therefore, 19 Inalck, Classcal Age, Hall, Inalck, "Turkey", Poltcal Modernsaton n Japan and Turkey, Robert E. Dankwart- A. Rustow (eds), Prnceton-New Jersey, 1964, p

8 a place where all people could turn to demand for justce. The geographcal dstrbuton ofthe hüküms shows us the extent of the area covered by the hghest court of justce. t also shows the sources of nformaton flowng from the perphery to the centre. ~ Dstrbuton by place of orgn The Attornansultans regarded ther realm as "well protected lands" (memalk mahrusa) and any unlawful acts, such as volence, robbery ete were the greatest concem of the sultans and the bureaucracy. In the phlosophy of govemment, the state protecton of the realm s dealsed as the su/tan's justce (adalet). In practce, the great masses of Muslm and non-muslm people and vast areas n Anatola and n Balkans could not have been ruled wthout state protecton and control. In other words, the state had to carry out ts basc functons such as ensurng securty, protectng the powerless, collectng taxes and strengthen ts controlover the land and people wthn ts borders. To do all these, the state needed nformaton flowng from all over the empre to the centre n IstanbuL.Was that really the case? To answer ths queston we need to look at the geographcal orgns of the hüküms. The borders of the empre extended to Trabzon n the eastem fronter and n Semendre and Hersek-l n the westem fronter. Between these borders, the Ottoman Empre covered total of km2 lands around Of these, km2took place n Anatola and km2took place n Rumela21.As seen n the Table 1, the geographcal area covered by the hüküms corresponds to these areas: There were a total of 155 dfferent localtes all over the empre where complants orgnated. Of these, 97 places were n Anatola and 58 places were n Balkans. Although the number of p1aces n Anatola were nearly the twce the number n Balkans, szes of the lands n terms of square meters, of the both parts of Empre were approxmately equal. Because of the shortdstance and easy access to the captal, n the regons nearest to Istanbul justce and securty were the greatest22.ths s confrmed by the fact that, such places as Gekvze (Gebze), çaga, Iznk, Bursa, Bolu, Balkesr and Yensehr n Anatola and Edrne, Gelbolu, Vze and Mgalkara (Malkara) n the Balkans, were the places from where people came to Istanbul to seek justce. Ths dd not mean, however, that people of the dstant areas were unable to come to IstanbuL.On the contrary, there were also people from Trabzon n Anatoha on the eastemmost fronter of the empre and Hersek-l n Rumela on the westemmost fronter of the empre who came to IstanbuL.In fact the entre area between these fronters was covered by the hüküms. 21 Donald Edgar Ptcher, Osmanl Imparatorlugu 'nun Tarhsel Cografyas, trans. Bahar Trnakç, Istanbul, Yap Kred Yaynlar, 2001, p Inalck, Classcal Age, p

9 \. Table: The frequency of the complants by place of orgn made by ndvduals, local authorties and unknown ongin. ANADOLU Indvduals from Loeal Unknown orgn reava authortes Anadolu Beylerbey Anadolu Kadlan Kütahya 12 2 Me!:r(Antalya) 10 3 Burusa (Bursa) Smav 7 Yensehr 7 1 Antalya 7 2 Charsenbe 4 Daday 4 Elmalu (Antalya) 4 Karahsar 4 2 Kengn 4 Tas-l 4 Bergama 3 1 Boyovas 3 çaga 3 E!:rdr 3 Istanbul 3 Izmr 3 Mhalç 3 1 Sultanönü 3 Yalvaç 3 Yanbolu 3 Ankara 2 2 Bga 2 2 Bolu 2 1 E!:rgöz 2 Gerede (Bolu) 2 Gölhsar 2 Inegöl 2 znk 2 1 Kesrye 2 Konurapa (Bolu) 2 Merzfon 1 Mudurnu (Bolu) 2 Murtazaabad (Ankara) 2 Onkdvan (Bolu) 2 Svas 2 Sandklu 2 133

10 Sle 2 Tasköprü 2 Tre -Peçn 2 Usak 2 Akhsar Aksaray Aksehr Akyaz Alacahsar 1 Alayye Alasehr Arm Ayasulug Aydos Balat Barçnlu BalkesrI Benderegl (Karadenz Eregls) Brg Borlu Çesme Çbuk (Ankara) çorlu Domanç Edremd Ergr kasr Eyne Gekvze (Gebze) Gönen Göynük (Bolu) Hamd-l Haslar Hayrabolu nönü Isklp Kal' ack Kalkanlu Kares-l Kas 2 Kengr Kbrus (Bolu) Krkklse 1 Kula Manavgad 2 Magnsa (Mansa) 134

11 Manyat- Ermenek - Mut 1 Mentese 3 Seferhsar 1 Sultanönü 1 Suhud 1 Seyhlü 1 Teke 2 Tekfurdag 1 Trabuzon 1 Yabanabad (Ankara) 1 Yalakovas 2 Yalvaç 1 Yeddvan (Bolu) 1 Yensehr 1 Yörük 1 Total RUMELI Rumel Beylerbeylg 2 11 Rumel Kadlan 10 Edrne 1 6 Foça-Neretye 5 1 Gelbolu 1 3 Avlonya 4 3 Inebaht 4 Trhala Flbe 2 Istefe Mora 2 3 Ohr - Petrk Samakov 2 Semendre Slstre 2 2 Yanbolu 2 2 Adala l Avgad 1 Balya 1 Belgrad (Arnavut Belgrad) 1 1 Burgos 1 Çatalburgos 1 Dmetoka 1 2 Egrboz 1 Gerebne 1 Gördöz 1 Hasköy-Flbe 1 1 Hersek-l

12 Hurpste 1 psala 2 Iskenderye 1 vranya 1 Karlu-l-Ayamavra 1 Kesrye 1 Lazkye - Seyhlü 1 l Manastr 1 Mdll 1 Mgalkara (Malkara) 2 Narda 1 Ngbolu 1 I NS 1 Prstne 1 1 Prevad. 1 Rudnk 1 Sertce 1 Selank 1 Sroz 1 Sehrköy 1 Suhud 1 Tarhanyyat 1 Tmov 1 Üsküp 1 Vardar Yences L Vama 1 Vlçtnn 1 Vdn Vze 2 Yanya-Karl-l Yaros 1 Un known localty 23 Total GRAND TOTAL Dstrbuton by person of orgn As descrbed n the prevous sectons, classcal Ottoman system made a dstneton between the reaya and asker. Ths dstncton put the reaya n arather poltcally nactve poston whereas, the same dstncton made asker class possess a monopoly on legalsed poltcal acton. As seen from the fgures n Table 1, column 1 and 2, the total of the cases nvolved ndvduals s 235 whle that of asker s 71 cases. These fgures alone show the poltcally actve poston of the Ottoman reaya and may be taken as evdence that, at the begnnng of the 16thcen- 136

13 tury, the tme of the Ahkam Regster, the mentoned class dstncton was not yet sharp and the roles assumed by reaya and asker was not crystallsed yet. Some of the roles ofthe asker class were assumed by the reaya n ths early classcal perod. The 479 hüküms analysed n ths study were ntated by ether ndvduals or local authortes, or ther ntators are unknown because of the lack of nformaton n the hüküms. Nearly half of the hüküms 235 out of 479 were ntated by certan ndvduals among the ordnary subjects by pettonng drectly to the dvan. The cases where local authortes, a kad or a sancakbey (governor of a provnce) sent a formalietter of complant or/and spokesman to the dvan consttutes 71 out of the 479 hüküms. The number of hüküms ntated by local authortes consttutes one thrd of those ntated by the ordnary subjects. The Intators of the remanng 173 hüküms are not recorded n them. The ntators of the hüküms are mportant n that, they were the people who shared n the decson makng process. As seen from the Table 1,they came from all over the Empre, And from all sectors ofthe socety, from mltary class to ordnary subjects, from Muslms to non-muslms. Among the ordnary subjects mostly the ordnary taxpayers n a tmar (mltary fej) land and to a lesser extend varous communtes (yörüks), professonals, tradesmen, Chrstan and Muslm relgous men (kesss and sufs) were the ntators of the hüküms. (These were Muslms as well as non-muslms (Chrstan, Jewsh)). Members of the mltary class were also actve partcpants n the process, such as governor general, provncal governor, kad, tmar hoider, mltary commander, fortress solders, and sons of Bayezd II regnng n varous parts of Anatola as prnce governors. Indvduals from reaya A closer look at the complants made by ndvduals may gve an dea why they chose to travel to Istanbul to present ther case drectly to dvan, As seen from Table 1, frst column, most of the rescrpts (15) formulated n response to complants wer~ addressed to Anadolu Beylerbey (Provncal Governor of Anatola) and kads of Anatola23.They were concerned wth the status of yayas or ther farms that s whether a person was yaya, son of a yaya or an ordnary subject or whether there was nterference from outsde to ther farms. The tax clams made unlawfully by varous local offcals from the ordnary subjects or nomads came second, followed by problems nvolvng tmars and other land ssues. 23One of these goes as follows: Anadolu Beylerbeysne hküm yazla k; El-halet- hazh ddrende- hükm- hmdyün Bayezd dergdh- muatldma gelüp tasarruftdgm yayalk çftlgnden gayrzermebrocakdahzammdb,banaanundahnöbetnldrrlerdybldrd[anorders to be wrtten to the provncal governor of Anatola that, the holder of my noble order named Bayezd came to the sublme porte and stated that apart from hs own farm, a yard was added to hs land, together wth ts responsblty]. Sahn-Emecen, Ahkam defter, p. 40, No

14 Kütahya and Megr (n Antalya) are the places from where the hghest number of complants was made by the ndvduals n Anatola. In the case of Kütahya, people came to Istanbul to solve most1y land problems and the problems concernng the use of summer pastures (yayla). There were also a few cases nyolvng garden-tax and tax on bee-hves and lambs damed by spah (fefholder). In Megr problems nvolvng nomads (yörük, haymana) and foot-solder (yaya) were n majorty whle others were about rce cultvaton, sellng of wheat tofrenks (Europeans), c1amsof excessve tax by offcals and transference of a tmar holdng from a father to a son. In each case, Kütahya and Megr, the problems nvolvng mddle or lower rankng offcals,.e. spah, steward(kethda)or mhtary commander (subas) consttuted majorty, whch meant that most of the complants made by ndvduals concerned the local authortes. In one ofthese, a certan Mahmud complaned that the spah kethdas (steward of cavalrymen) called Resul was sellng wheat (zahre) collected as tthe (ösr) to "thefrenks n the sea". Arescrpt was then sent to the kad ofmegr, to sultan Alemsah, the son of Bayezd II who was resdng n the provnce of Antalya and to hs tutor (lala) askng them to fnd out whether or not there was a tradng actvty wthout the permsson of the sultan24.ths case alone shows the senstvty ofthe local people to the acts ofthe local authortes. The other examples are about unlawful tax c1ams.we know that, the law (kanun) and shar'a protected the subjects aganst the unlawful acts and abuses of the offcals representng the authorty of the sultan n the provnces. In one case opposte happened: A complant was made by two spahs called Hac and Iskender, about the people rearng bee-hves n ther tmar land wthout payng any tax to them25. In Rumela, Foça (n Bosna) and Inebaht were the two top places from where the people came to Istanbul to make complants, 5 and 4 respectvely (see Table 1 column 1). Ther complants were about bastna (Chrstan tmarots n Rumela), voynuks (Slav warror) and farms n Foça, excessve tax c1amsand a church land n Inebahtl. The dstrbuton of the pettons nvolvng a total of 187 cases, orgnated from 77 separate localtes n Anatola, ranges from to 13. Dstrbuton of the pettons a total of 48 cases orgnated from 32 places n Rumela, on the other hand, ranges between 1 to S.The average s hgher, 2.4 a place, n Anatola than that of n Rumela, 1.5 a place. In other words, Istanbul was much more frequented by the people of Anatola than that of Rumela, both n numbers and n average. As to the geographcal dstrbuton of the places where complants were made, Trabzon was the most dstant place on the easternmost fronter of the empre, from where a person came to Istanbul to make a complant about a spah who took hs mezraas (arable land) and annexed to hs tmar land26.t was Hersek-l n Rumela on the western most fronter of the empre from where a father came to Istanbul to com Sahn-Emecen,Ahkam Defter, p. 88, No Ibd., p. 75, No Ibd., p. 73, No 262.

15 plan about an mam (leader n publc prayer) who mprsoned hs son by wrtng a false statement27.these are the knds ofproblems, partcularly the latter one, whch could have been solved n ts localty by applyng to the local kad. We do not have, unfortunately, further nformaton as to the ntaton of the petton that could answer our queston of why they preferred to go to Istanbul nstead of tryng to solve the problem Iocally. Loeal authortes (ndvduals from Asker) The hüküms ntated by a complant by local authortes consttute 71 out of 479, just over one seventh of the all hüküms. These took the form of aletter or a spokesman sent by the local offcals such as saneakbey (provncal governor), dzdar (fortress commander), hsarer (fortress solder), lala (tutor), subas (eommander n chet), kad (judge), bey (governor of a dstret), the sons ofthe Bayezd II (Sultan Ahmed, sultan Alemsah, Sultan Selmsah, Sultan Sehnsah and Sultan Mehmed) and the two grand vzers (Mesh Pasa and Iskender Pasa). As ndcated above, a spokesman was sent when the urgent attenton of the authortes n Istanbul were needed. The eases presented n ths way to the dvan were eoneerned manly wth the problems of the lower rank offcals or the problems n the area of ther responsblty. In response to these problems, an order was wrtten addressed to saneakbey, kad, beylerbey, dzdar, beys,sekbanbas (head of provncal mlta), sons of Bayezd II (Sultan Ahmed, Sultan Alemsah, Sultan Selmsah, Sultan Sehnsah and Sultan Mehmed) or grand vzers (Mesh Pasa and Iskender Pasa). As seen from the Table 1, eolumn 2, 36 eases were presented to the mperal dvan by the authortes of 18 dfferent localtes In Anatola, whereas the numbers were 35 and 29 for Rumela. Among the eases orgnated n Anatola, 16 of them were ntated by the sons ofbayezd II who were resdng n varous parts of Anatola as prnee governors and, by Iskender Pasa and Mesh Pasa who were both grand vzers. The remanng 20 eases were presented by the mddle rank offeals of dfferent loealtes. In Rumela all of the eases were ntated by the mddle rank offcals of dfferent localtes. The names of the places from where ndvduals came to Istanbul to make ther complants dreetly to the sultan were gven n the Table 1 eolumn 1 above. As seen, the number of people n Anatola s more than that of Rumela, 187 and 48 respectvely. Loeal authortes n Anatola seem qute reluetant to voce the demands of the people to the centre, IstanbuL.People of Rumela, on the other hand, were qute reluctant to eome to Istanbul to solve ther problems. Second eolumn n The Table represents the eomplants presented by a spokesman or aletter sent by varous hgh offeals all over the empre. Among these, those who eame from 27 Ibd., p. 47, No

16 Rumela consttute near1y the half, 35 out of75, whle the other half (36) came from Anatola. Therefore, t seems that, nstead of comng to Istanbul, people ofrumelia preferred to apply to the local authortes who then forwarded ther complants to Istanbul through a spokesman. Unknown Orgn The rescrpts n ths category do not cte the name ofthe ntator of the orgnal petton. They start wth the expressons such as t has been pettoned to Sublme Porte that (dergah- mu 'allama arz olund k), t has been heard that (söyle stma' olundu k), t has been nformed that (deyü bldrld), before ths the case was that (bundan evvel... ms). These expressons are followed by a summary of the cases. The number of these types of rescrpts s 173. They do not necessarly relate to the complants of the ndvduals. Most of them are orders, usually sent to local authortes (beylerbeys and kads ofvarous localtes), statng the actons to be taken n certan cases. The rescrpts n ths category are so routne that they contan, lttle, f any, nformaton from the orgnal petton. As seen n the Table 1 column 3, 74 and 76 rescrpts were sent to varous offcals n Anatola and Rumela respectvely. The remanng 23 rescrpts are not classfed by places partly because some ofthem do not contan place names, and partly because even fthey do, t s dffcultto dentfy them. Those rescrpts wthoutplace name nformaton are grouped under the "unknown localty" n Table 1 column 3. Table 1 column 3 shows that, n ths category too, provncal governor of Anatola was the person whom most of the rescrpts were addressed to. Bursa came second. As t wll be recalled from the Table 1 column 1, Bursa was n the fourth place from where ndvduals vsted Istanbul n comparatvely large numbers. The second and the thrd places were occuped by Kütahya and Megr. The latter does not appear n Table 1 column 3, whch shows frequency of complants wth unknown ntators. Kütahya, on the other hand, does appear but t s not hgh n rank. The ndvduals from all over the Empre who travelled to Istanbul to submt complants n person formed a knd ofpressure group. They used certan phrases n presentng ther grevances. An analyss of the frequency of these phrases therefore, may gve us an dea about the ways of legtmatng ther demands. We know that, the rhetorcal devces employed by the Iate 16thand early l7th century adaletnames (the law books), nfluenced the style of the complants made by the people. The scrbes draftng a petton substtuted the complant at ssue for the abuse mentoned n the adaletnames. Ths appears to have helped the ndvduals oppressed by local authortes fnd a legtmate way of expressng ther grevances28. The same mayaiso be true for the begnnng of the l6th century. The rhetorcal 28 Adaletnames were, drectly or ndrectly, used n the complants of the contemporay peoples. On ths see, Faroqh, "Poltcal Actvty Among Attornan Taxpayers",

17 devces found n the pettons could be taken as the evdence of the abuses ndvduals suffered n the hands of some of the local authortes and the measures taken by the state to prevent the sufferng. Now, let us take a closer look at the cases. Case presentaton All of the 235 pettons were ntated by ndvduals, except the one that nvolved the whole populatons of the three vllages29.the hgh number of complants made by the ndvduals drectly to the regnng sultan,.e. Bayezd II, from all over the empre as far as Svas, Arm (n Samsun) and Trabzon n Anatola and Ivranya and Belgrad (Albanan Belgrad) n Rumela30ponts to the fact that the nvestgaton of the complants and redress of the grevances were consdered as one of the most mportant dutes of the sultan and the mperal dvan. Most of the complants however were about the conflcts that could be solved n ther localtes. Why then, dd the ndvduals prefer to apply to the dvan drectly, nstead of gong to the local kad to address ther grevances? Wedo not have unfortunately access to the orgnal pettons, the text of whch could probably heip us answer ths queston3l, Out of the 235 of the hüküms, that s the responses to the ndvdual complants, 189 of them nclude short excerpts (the presentaton of the case by the pettoner) from the orgnal petton32,these excerpts nclude the phrases used by f ndvdual pettoners to obtan the outcome they desred. In ths regard, the most powerful means of legtmatng a case was descrbng t as oppresson: Be-gayet zulümdür/zulm ü te' add n Ottoman. "He oppressed me by dong so and so" or, "I have been oppressed" were the usual formulatons found n the rescrpts33.oppresson was used n 47 pettons as a way of legtmatng a complant, whch s the 29 In ths case, populaton of Karaca, Çomak and Buhayr viiages came to IstanbuL.The place where these viiages were attached s not known because the part of the regster t was wrtten s n unreadable condton. See, Sahn-Emecen, Ahkam Defter, p. 77, No One ofthe hüküms ofths type goes as foiiows: Belgrad kadsma hükümyazla k: El-halet hazh Darende- hükm-hümayundanyl nam zmm dergah- muallama gelüp söyle arz td k [An order s to be wrtten to the kad of Belgrade that, the holder of my royalorder, the non-muslm named Danyl came to the Sublme Porte and presented hs case that]. Sahn-Emecen, Ahkam Defter, p. 87, No 31. 3\ Pontng to the summary nature of the rescrpts, Faroqh draws our attenton to the bas nherent n them..e. whether the summary quotatons were made fathfuiiy or ther contrast wth the formallanguage of the rescrpt was merely a rethorcal devce? Faroqh, "Poltcal Actvty Among Attornan Taxpayers", p Darende- hkm- hmayünal dergah- muallama gelüp: Kadm 'l-eyyamdan tapuyla alup tasarruf tdgüm yaylaya, Nasuh nam kmesne senden mukaddem mukata 'aya alvrürem dyü tezvr sahder getürp hlaj- ser ' kanun ben ncdür dyübldürd [The holder of my noble order named Al came to the Sublme Porte and stated that 'the person caiiednasuh puts clam on the pasture land that have posessed by a ttle-deed, by clamng that he had been n possesson before me. He even brought false wtnesses and opressed me aganst the shar'a and law']. Sahn-Emecen, Ahkam Defter, p.l,no4. 33 One ofthese rescrpt goes as foiiows: El-hfletü hazm dfrende- hükm- hümayün Mustafa dergah- muallama gelüp: Ell yl vardur k, br yrde oturup zra 'at düp kanun üzere ösrn ve rüsümm 141

18 hghest among the legtmatng phrases. Terrorsng and hurtng (be-gayet hayf düp and ncdüp) 13 and 8 cases respectvely, were among the phrases whch could be put n the same category. All together, they total to 68 pettons out of 184, whch amount to about one thrd of all pettons. Ths means that, one n every four pettons, the pettoners used oppresson, terrorsng and hurtng as a means of legtmsng ther cases. The party, who oppressed, terrorsed or hurt the pettoners were usually 10- cal offcals who were n mmedate contact wth the subjects, such as provncal governor, fef holder or a mltary commander. The cases n whch the oppressors were another ordnary subject are few n numbers. The reason for the oppresson was usually over taxaton or llegal use of land. In a sample case a certan Mustafa and Kasm complaned about a!mar holder clamng that he gaye ther land to someone else by a ttle deed and because of ths they lost great deal of ncome, consequently they descrbed the entre case as an oppresson perpetrated aganst themselves34.weknow that every form of oppresson or abuse of the subject by the offcals was prohbted by varous promulgatons as early as the frst half of the Wh century, multpled by the end of ths centuryand reached to ts peak durng the Ce/al Rebellons ( )35.As descrbed above the Ottoman phlosophy of government protected subjects aganst abuse(s) from the representatves of the su/- lan' s authorty, partcularly aganst the llegal taxaton36. The second category of phrases descrbes the acts of the opponent such as wrongful dongs, nterference, dspute and sezure. These acts were n volaton of the establshed rghts and uses protected by the customary lawand tradton. These nclude the behavours such as refusal oflegal tax clams, aready establshed status of an ownershp or usage. Dspute, sezure and nterference were other phrases n sdhb- arza edd tdükden sonra, sancak bey olan kmesne benüm ra 'yyetmsn dyü tutup ylda yüz akçam alur be-gayet zulm der dyü bldürd' [The holder of the royalorder Mustafa came to the Sublme Po'rteand stated that '1 have been occupyng the same land, cultvatng t and payng ts tax to the posessor of the land. However, the governor of the provnce clams that 1belong to hs subject. He opresses me and charges me wth a houndered aspers every year']. Sahn-Emecen, Ahkam Defter, p.17,n058. J4One ofthese rescrpt goes as follows: Mustafa ve Kasm dergah- mal/ama gelüb kadmden tasarruf tdgmüz yrümüz spah olan kmesne br gayr kmesneye tapuya vrüp, ol dah gelüp yaylayp hayl terekemüz zay olur be-gayet zulmdür dy bldrd [Certan Mustafa and Kasm came to the Sublme Porte and stated that 'the land that we have been posessng for a long tme was gven by the tmar hoider to someone else by a ttle deed. He uses our land and harms our harvest, whch s very much an opresson'.]' Sahn-Emecen,Ahkam Defter, p. 40, No 142. J5 Accordngto Inalck, the date of practceof promulgatngrescrpts n order to rectfy abuses goes back at least to the regn of Selm 1 ( ), "Adaletnameler", Belgeler, II, 3-4, 1965, Inalck, Classcal Age, p. 66. J7 Yakub subas dergdh- mu 'al/dma gelüp: Tasarrf tdügüm Tavuslu zedmetne Yanbolu subas/s nza.düp yavasna ve beytü 'I-mdlna ve kaçgununa ve cürm ü cnayetne bf-vech- ser' ü kanun dah der dyü bldürd [Mltary commander called Yakub came to the Sublme Porte and stated that, 'the mltary commander of Yanbolu dsputes on the zeamet that 1am n possesson and clams all ofts taxes aganst shar'a and law]. Sahn-Emecen,Ahkam Defter, p. 83, No

19 ths category frequendy used by the pettoners to strengthen ther cases. Formulatons of dspute over the use ofrghts are as follows: he dsputed that they dspute and do not gve me my rght (nza düp... nza düp bana hakkm vrmezler)37.the sezure s voced n the pettons n the followng formula: Taken from my hand; they want to take from my hand; they took from my hand and gaye to another person (elmden alnd, elmden almak sterler, elmden alnup br kmesneye vrdler). The wordng of the nterference wth someone's rght on tax or ownershp was: they nterferewth, and they nterfereand attack(dahi der, dahi ü taarruz düp). These all together amount to 67 and consttute the second frequendy used category of phrases n the pettons. The man pont of the pettoners usng the phrases n ths category was that they damed the rghts gven to them by a grant from the sultan or by law. When these rghts were taken from them unlawfully, they made complants by referrng to ther establshed rghts. The thrd category of legtmzng devce n the pettons s descrbng a case as beng contrary to shar'a and law (kanun) or contrary to regster (hlaf ser' ü kanun, hlaf defter). Kanun was the sultanc lawand shar'a was the relgous law. The kanuns were fundamental rules or restrctve tradtons n the Ottoman Empre formulated by the bureaucrats. They were a collecton of objectve rules whch were consdered as referrng to ratonal admnstraton38.shar' a started to become fundamental prncple of the empre only after the passng of the calphate to the Ottomans (1517) durng the regn of Selm ( ). The number ofpettons n ths category Is 18 out of 189. Ths s less than one would expect. Stll, t shows a consderable nfluence of shar' a even before the date of the regster under nvestgaton. Referrng to a dstant past n relaton to the use of a rght, usually of a land such as a garden, a farm or a summer pasture, s the fourth legtmzng devce n terms of frequency used by pettoners wth 16 reference. The tme nterval vares fromtwentyto a hundredyears,fromancestors'tme (atadandededen)to ancent tmes (kadmü'l-eyyam). There are a few cases concemng the rghts on yamaks (assstant of asoider n foot) n a müsellem farm. Faroqh's study on the Regster of Important Affars (Mühmme Defter) shows that the use of the past was one of the most powerful means of legtmsng a case n the 16tl1and 17tl1century39.But, ths does not seem to hold true for the begnnng of the 16\11century. The wordng of the expressons concemng the personal defence cted n 9 rescrpts are as follows: they want to expel me (ben gdermek sterler), know nothng (benm habermyoktur), because he has anmosty wth me (benmle küduret 38 The term kanun orgnally denoted to 'regsters and lsts recordng taxes'. t developed nto meanng 'fnancal regulatons', then came to mean 'legal prescrptons' ndependent of shar' a, lad down by the sultan by vrtue of hs authorty as ruler. Hall Inalck, "Kanun", EP, p On the evoluton ofthe term of kanun and ts functon from the perod ofmehmed II to the perod ofsuleyman the Lawgver see, Ylmaz, Koca Nsanc of Kanun, Faroqh,"PoltcalActvtyamongAttornanTaxpayers",p

20 oldugu eclden), do not have to pay tthe and tax (bana ösr and rüsum haslolmaz), they send me to the duty n ther place (ben nöbete sürerler anlar nöbete sürmezler), speakng ll of me (gaybet derler) or he s a bad and mschef-maker (serr ve müzevr kmesnedr), he robbed my house and took my son by force, and took my elothes (evm basup oglumu cebrle alup, hayl esbabm ald). The last category concerns the use of the acts of the opponent by the pet- toner to justfy hs case: These acts are gyng harm (zarar tdü!er, bze gayet zaror.. oldu, bozup ykp zarar eylemsler), obstnacy (nad derler), neglgence (hmal ü müsalehe derler) and obduracy (temerrüd derler). The number ofrescrpts n ths category s 6. As seen, the phrases used n the rescrpts pont to the abuses of the subjects n varous ways, usually by the local offcals. The queston here s: how dd the decson makers react to the demands of the pettoners? These questons wll be answered below by analyzng the responses of the sultan to the demands of the ndvduals. The fndngs wli be compared wth the responses of the sultan to the demands presented by the local authortes..,. Responses by the Sultan Responses of the sultan to the demands presented by certan named or unnamed ndvduals, and local authortes wll be analysed separately to see whether there was any dfference among them. Before that, t should be noted that all of the pettons presented by the ndvduals were about arecent problem nvolvng themselves and local authortes or other ndvdual(s). The rescrpts nvolvng applcaton by known ndvduals do not contan a fnal decson n. t s however possble to fnd some elues n that drecton. The remanng pettons presented by the local authortes or unknown ndvduals, were aready n the bureaucratc process whch means that they were partly processed documents, some of whch watng for the fnal decson to be taken. Therefore, we hope to fnd fnal decsons n some of them. The formulaton n the rescrpts ntated by ndvduals usually goes as follows: Darende- hükm- hümayun Veldergah- muallama gelüp söyle arz tt k; or, darende- hükm- hümayun Hamza dergah- muallama gelüp... dyü bldrd (the carrer of my noble order Vel came to the Sublme Porte and presented a petton that or the carrer of the my noble order came to Sublme Porte stated that...). As to the responses of the sultan to the demands of the ndvduals: as noted above, these were not the fnal decsons to resolve a conflct, rather, they were orders to that end. Most of the rescrpts n ths category nelude stereotyped statements, orderng a case to be dealt wth. These statements were formulated n varous forms: n some cases, a thorough nvestgaton and nspecton (anat vechle tefts ü tefahhus desz) were ordered; n some others the nvestgaton asked to be as requred (gereg gb); stli n others offcals needed to see (göresz). In a few case, shar' a (ser ' serf) was to be consulted. 144 Z

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