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The Power of Discretion:

Martial Law in the Late Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey

May 21, 2019
Tuesday at 6pm
Booking essential on Eventbrite

Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI), 50 Fitzroy Street, London W1T 5BT


Anglo-Turkish Society / Royal Anthropological Institute lecture
Speaker: Noémi Lévy-Aksu

İdare-i örfiyye, an equivalent of the martial law, appeared as a neologism in the 1876 Ottoman constitution. While the term referred to sultanic authority in the Ottoman-Islamic legal tradition, its definition was clearly inspired from the French “état de siège” in the 19th century. After briefly discussing the genesis of this notion in the late Ottoman Empire, this presentation will concentrate on the recurrent use of martial law and other regimes of exception since the beginning of the Turkish Republic, with a special focus on continuities and changes in the geographies and communities targeted.

Noémi Lévy-Aksu is a teaching fellow at the London School of Economics, Department of International History. Her current book project, focuses on regimes of exception in the late Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey. Besides her academic activities, she is committed to human rights advocacy, with a special focus on Turkey.


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