Hilmi Kaçar


PhD candidate in History

Centre for Turkish Studies
Department of History
Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
University of Ghent

St. Pietersnieuwstraat 35
9000 Ghent - Belgium
+32 9 331 02 11

Research interests

- Ottoman state formation in the fifteenth and early sixteenth century

- Ottoman institutions

- Administration, law regulation and bureaucratic order

- Mediterranean Studies

PhD Research

In a research project financed by the BOF scholarship of Ghent University, I mainly examine the Ottoman state formation and the production of ideological discourses, in the period 1444-1512. This epoch is also very interesting to make a comparison with the Burgundian state. I wish to shed more light, not only on the equivalences, but also on the characteristic differences of the concepts of the 'ideal state' and state building, used by the Ottoman and Burgundian chroniclers and writers during the later Middle Ages. Hence, this research aims to provide a contribution to the extant scholarship of state formation literature by extending the scope to the Ottoman state building.

The Ottoman state formation process during the reigns of Murad II (1421-1451), Mehmed II (1451-1481) and Bayazid II (1481-1512) was not only accompagnied with the creation of new institutions, but also with the production of some normative ideas and concepts. These concepts recurred frequently and constituted ‘central signifiers’ that justified and directed political action. During the second half of the fifteenth century, the Ottoman state was faced with changing political realities and transformed itself while it tried to accommodate centralizing needs and to conform them to the changing realities. During this process, Ottoman officers and scholars have also produced specific ideological discourses.