Imperial Genealogies and Ottoman Nobility in Republican Turkey: Reassessing the Distinction Between Public and Private Archives

In: Turkish Historical Review
Olivier Bouquet Professor, CESSMA, Université Paris Cité, Paris, France,

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As Grand Vizier from 1782 to 1785, Halil Hamid Pasha established a pious foundation (vakıf) in 1783. Administered by his descendants, the foundation gave impetus to various forms of family genealogy in the last two centuries. Celal Bükey and his son Erol Bükey administered the foundation (tevliyet) from 1973 to 1981 and from 1992 to 2002 respectively. Using their personal documents, the article studies the way father and son handled the various symbolic materials they had inherited from their predecessors in order to transform an ancien régime lineage into a republican dynasty organized through new family memorial references. Underlining the extent to which family archives need to be addressed as a cumulative process of preserving documents as deeds that legally guarantee ownership, the article also reassesses the line usually drawn by scholars between private papers and public archives.

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