Özok-Gündoğan’s article examines the Ottoman state’s policy toward the hereditary yurtluk-ocaklik lands under the control of the Kurdish emirs in the mid-nineteenth century. Within the Tanzimat context, the Ottoman state set out to abolish this particular landownership pattern in Kurdistan and establish a rationalized tax system in the area. The article demonstrates the complex interplay of economic motives, spatio-geographic reasoning, and cultural politics at the level of central and local state elites in their encroachment over the lands of the Kurdish emirs. This article focuses on Palu, one of the yurtluk-ocaklık sanjaks, which remained under the hereditary rule of the Kurdish emirates from the sixteenth until the mid-nineteenth century. Lands were granted to the Palu emirs who declared their allegiance to the Ottoman Empire during the Safavid-Ottoman imperial rivalry. However, when they were unable to extract sufficient tax revenues, the state sought to abolish this type of landownership in Palu starting in the 1840s. The Ottoman program that resulted in the transformation of landholding systems in Palu, Özok-Gündoğan contends, was much more than the result of sheer military force; it entailed multiple local and central actors as well as negotiations, concessions, and sometimes contingencies.

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