You are cordially invited to a seminar entitled “Extraterritoriality and the Capitulations in the Ottoman Empire: An Overview” organized by the Department of History.
Date: 10.03.2021, Wednesday
Time: 17.00 (Ankara Time Zone)
Title: Extraterritoriality and the Capitulations in the Ottoman Empire: An Overview
Speaker: Berke TORUNOĞLU, Ph.D, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
This is an online seminar. To request the event link, please send a message to the department.
“Extraterritoriality and the Capitulations in the Ottoman Empire: An Overview.”
The pre-modern Ottoman state granted renewable rights and protection to subjects of European powers trading with, and residing in, the Ottoman Empire. As Halil İnalcık explained, these privileges and protections known as “Capitulations” (imtiyazat) conceded for “political advantages from the applicant state [and] the economic and financial interests of the Empire; the determining factors were usually the opportunity of acquiring a political ally within Christendom, of obtaining scarce goods and raw-materials.” Up until the end of the eighteenth century, the Ottoman state continued to grant privileges “without considering the dangerous results which might ensue.” By the early nineteenth century, these Capitulations were no longer commercial friendship treaties, but instead they grew into an abusive system as capitulary powers extended their privileges to the Ottoman subjects.
After the Crimean War Statesmen led by ʿĀlī Pasha believed that the Ottoman Empire was now an equal part of the European concert. But no such renegotiations to annul the Capitulations took place, moreover, very alarming to the Sublime Porte the diplomatic protection took a different form with the European naturalization laws. Now, Ottoman subjects were able to attain subjecthood from another state, and to benefit from the extraterritorial jurisdiction. The extraterritoriality became an everyday remembrance of Ottoman weakness in the last century of the Empire: it was everywhere from the curriculum of the law faculties to urban architecture. This talk is on this history of the Capitulations in the Ottoman Empire and particular focus on the rationale behind the renewed desire to renegotiate and abolish them during the Tanzimat era.
Bio – Berke Torunoğlu:
Berke Torunoglu is a historian specializing in the social and political history of the modern Middle East, with a particular focus on the history of the Ottoman Empire.
His first book, Murder in Salonika 1876: A Tale of Apostasy and International Crisis (Gorgias Press, 2012) was a study focusing on the events surrounding the murder of French and German consuls at Salonika in May 1876, and the following international crisis.
His current book project, tentatively titled Estranged Subjects of the State Neo-Hellenes and Neo-Russians in the Ottoman Empire 1830-1876, examines the formation of Ottoman nationality during the Tanzimat era. It argues that Ottoman nationality developed through an iterative process aimed at the containment and retention of individual subjects of the state, whose adopted nationalities posed a problem to the state’s control.
He holds a PhD in Modern Middle East History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, he is teaching courses on Ottoman, Middle Eastern, and World histories. Before coming to Knoxville, Berke Torunoglu was a post-doctoral research fellow at the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies at Princeton University.