Complaints against the Kadis and abuses of their authority
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The Ottoman kâdî was responsible vis-à-vis the Sultan in the name of sharia, i.e. the religious law, who was appointed to achieve justice in his area. Furthermore,, the kâdîs had also wide authorities ranging from administrative, municipal and economic to financial fields. There has been frequent complaints in all periods concerning the kâdîs who have such responsibilities. In this thesis, the complaints on the kâdîs are determined through scanning the general complaints, mühimme registers, şikâyet registers, kanunnàmes, adaletnàmes and certain treatises. The complaints are classified according to their subjects and then evaluated. The reason of abuses both stemming from the system (such as abuses in their appointments, reduced tenure, privileged status of the ilmiye class, high living costs at dismissal, the fear of dismissal, fixed court fees eroded under the inflation) and from the kâdîs themselves, are enlisted. The education of kâdîs, methods of appointments of their assistants and their abuses are also emphasized. To determine the abuses of kâdîs, the rate of court fees are first encountered, and abuses in this respect, are touched upon. The methods for the transmission of complaints of the people, inspection of the kâdîs, and their punishment are also dealt in this research. Although the topic of the study is the abuses and malpractices of the kâdîs, the existence of honest and honorable kâdîs as the real representatives of justice is emphasized. The cited documents are selected from the registers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.