Koca Nişancı" of Kanuni : Celalzade Mustafa Çelebi, Bureaucracy and "Kanun" in the reign of Süleyman the magnificent (1520-1566)
Yılmaz, Mehmet Şakir
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This dissertation analyzes the development of Ottoman administration and its consequences in political reasoning under the reign of Sultan Süleyman in the light of career and works of nişancı Celālzāde Mustafa Çelebi. It shows that Ottoman bureaucracy did not only provide the tools for an effective administration of the state, but it also played an important role in the production of genuine Ottoman political understanding. It investigates expansion of Ottoman bureaucracy at the beginning of Süleyman’s reign and its effects on the development of a new political discourse with its emphasis on justice and kanun. It shows bureaucrats’ (kalemiyye) perception of Ottoman rule and its articulation in the works composed by members of bureaucracy on history and politics. Celālzāde Mustafa was a model bureaucrat, prose stylist and historian for late 16th century Ottoman literati, who served in the Ottoman chancery as a divan scribe (1517-1525), as reisülküttab (1525-1534) and nişancı (1534-1556, 1566-7). He contributed to the formation of a genuine Ottoman political reasoning with his works on history and ethics, as well as with his service in the chancery which undertook the codification of Ottoman laws, kanun. He was an influential bureaucrat and his views were representative for the members of Ottoman bureaucracy. A study of his life and works will reveal the struggle between different branches of Ottoman administration and the role of bureaucrats in the formation of genuine political literature which emphasized on kanun for the legitimacy of Ottoman rule.
16th century Ottoman historiography