Hist Seminar: Derin Terzioğlu (Bosphorus Univ Dept of History)


Sabancı University

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

History Speaker Series


The Kadızadelis in the Palace: Contradictions of Piety and Conformity in 17th century Ottoman Istanbul


Assist.Prof.Dr. Derin Terzioğlu

Bosphorus University

Department of History



This talk aims to revisit the militant Sunni revivalist movement known as the Kadızadeli that unravelled in 17th-century Ottoman İstanbul and particularly its relation to the palace.  In modern scholarship, the Kadızadeli movement has been discussed as a brand of Islamic fundamentalism which was anti-Sufi, anti-non-Muslim and in several important senses, out of sync with the sensibilities and norms of Ottoman urban society.  It will be argued that this image of the Kadızadelis is not only simplistic but also fails to explain how and why the movement was able to make significant inroads among both the palace folk and the people of İstanbul from the 1630’s to the 1680’s.  Ideologically speaking, there was much less of a cleavage between the Kadızadelis, the ulema elite and the Sufis than is usually believed.  In fact, there was no shortage of religious scholars and Sufis who also took up the call for “enjoining good and forbidding wrong” and who made common cause with the Kadızadelis against a wide variety of “blameworthy innovations” from coffeehouses to Sufi music and dance.  Moreover, the Kadızadelis themselves were not averse to finetuning their message, highlighting certain items on their agenda and dropping others as they made inroads into both İstanbul society and the palace. 


April 22, 2008 (Tuesday)