Nicola Melis

The Question of the Ottoman Caliphate Between Theory and Practice

  • Abstract

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Keywords: Caliph, Sultan, Panislamism, Ottoman Sovreignity, Küçük Kaynarca Abdülhamid II.

This article aims at tracing a historical path of the Ottoman caliphate by demonstrating that there is a clearcut distinction between the Islamic classical theory and the historical practice of the caliphate. The caliphal authority itself soon ceased to be considered an indispensable condition. An Ottoman idea of the caliphate started to be properly identified not before 1774. It was just from 1876 onwards that it can be considered a pillar of the Ottoman state.

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