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The Proper Order of ThingsLanguage, Power, and Law in Ottoman Administrative Discourses$
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Heather L. Ferguson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781503603561

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9781503603561.001.0001

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A State of Rebellion

A State of Rebellion

The Reterritorialization of Ottoman Sovereignty in Greater Syria

(p.196) Chapter Five A State of Rebellion
The Proper Order of Things

Heather L. Ferguson

Stanford University Press

This chapter moves to an “internal frontier” in Greater Syria and the province of Trablus-ı Şam and addresses a long military and administrative campaign beginning in 1585 to reinstate order in a rebellious territory. The chapter traces the imperial response to dissident rebels in the desert and coastal highlands by focusing on the Sayfa family, whose activity as regional governors indicate how difficult it was for the Ottoman establishment to police the boundaries between rebel and official. The Sayfas moved in and out of favor with the Ottoman court, relied on their own uneven alliances to extend power, and acted sometimes in concert with, and sometimes in direct opposition to, imperial commands. The chapter thus traces imperial efforts to “reterritorialize” or reinstate sovereign power but highlights how imperial claims to revenue remained contested despite military ventures into the territory.

Keywords:   Greater Syria, Trablus-ı Şam, beylerbey, Sayfa, sharia, muqaddem, kadı, vakıf

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