A talk on ‘Martial Law in the Late Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey’

Turkey is no stranger to martial law. Its roots are steeped in the late Ottoman Empire, when İdare-i örfiyye first appeared as a neologism in the 1876 Ottoman constitution. While the term referred to the sultan’s authority in the Ottoman-Islamic legal tradition, its definition was inspired from the French “état de siège” in the 19th century.

On 21 May, Dr Noémi Lévy-Aksu gives a special talk on the topic in London. Herpresentation will explore the Ottoman-Turkish equivalent of the martial law in a global context in the 19th-20th centuries, when the world was reconfiguring its understanding of sovereignty and law.

Dr Lévy-Aksu will home in on the entanglements between international norms and the patterns of authority inherited from the Islamic legal tradition. She will also explore the impact of the martial law on the local balance of power and the everyday life of the population.

Formerly an academic at Boğaziçi University and now a teaching fellow at the London School of Economics, Dr Lévy-Aksu is currently penning a book titled The Power of Discretion: Martial Law in the Late Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey. Her published work includes Ordre et désordres dans l’Istanbul ottomane (Karthala, 2013) and she also co-edited The Young Turk Revolution and the Ottoman Empire: the aftermath of 1908 (I.B. Tauris, 2017).

The host for the talk is the Anglo-Turkish Society, which was founded in 1953 with the object of strengthening and developing the historical ties of friendship and understanding between the peoples of Britain and Turkey.

Talk details

Title: Noémi Lévy-Aksu: The Power of Discretion: Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey by Anglo Turkish Society

Date: Tuesday 21 May 2019

Time:  6pm to 9pm

Venue: Royal Anthropological Institute, 50 Fitzroy Street, London W1T 5BT

Admission: ATS / RAI members are free; non-members adult £10.00 (+ £1.25 booking fee); student £5.00 (+ £0.92 bf). Refunds up to 1 day before event.

Tickets: book online from Eventbrite