The Collapse of Rural Order in Ottoman Anatolia

Amasya 1576–1643


Did the ‘seventeenth-century crisis’ visit the Ottoman Empire? How can we situate the explosion of rural violence and the rebellions of the turn of the seventeenth century in the Anatolian countryside? The Collapse of Rural Order in Ottoman Anatolia provides the reader with a fresh and innovative perspective on the long scholarly debate over the question of ‘decline’ in early modern Ottoman history. It offers a new agenda, new type of source material, and a new methodology for the study of demographic crisis.

Through a systematic examination of little-known detailed avârız registers, Oktay Özel demonstrates in detail the mass desertion of rural settlements, the destruction of agricultural economy, and the resulting collapse of rural order in Ottoman Anatolia at the turn of the seventeenth century.
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Biographical Note

Oktay Özel, Ph.D. (1993), University of Manchester, is Assistant Professor in Ottoman history at Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey. He has published many articles both in Turkish and English, authored Dün Sancısı (Tarih Vakfı, 2012) and Türkiye 1643: Goşa’nın Gözleri (İletişim, 2013).

Table of contents

List of Figures and Tables
Notes on Spelling

1 Introduction
The Subject
The Sources (mufassal (= Detailed) Avârız Registers)
On the “Decline” Literature

2 Geography and Politics
Amasya: Making of an Ottoman Province
Rural Society: Limitations and Relational Matrix

3 Land, Society and Empire (through 1576)
Peasants and Nomads
Notables (mâlikâne holders)

4 The Collapse of Rural Order: A Comparison (1576–1643)
Settlement Patterns

5 What Happened? An Assessment
The Context Reviewed
Nature and Climate at Work
The Celâlis
The Consequences
1643 Recontextualised

6 Conclusion



All interested in early modern Ottoman history, the global seventeenth-century crisis, and anyone concerned with defterological studies on demographic changes in the Ottoman Empire.


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