An overview of the formation and functioning of the institute of capitulations in the Ottoman Empire and the 1604 Dubrovnik capitulation

Mladen Glavina

Sažetak

In the international politics arena the Ottoman Empire was rather pragmatic and very often considered Islamic law to be of secondary significance, turning to objective possibilities and interests instead. It is evident that the Porte in international relations manipulated with a certain spectrum of political mechanisms, far from the Islamic legal code and yet very much a part of real-politik (military force, political-diplomatic activities or pressures of material or fiscal character).

The Ottoman administration never had a consistent politics in issuing capitulations. Capitulations were issued to foreign sovereign countries as compensation for political collaboration, alliance or peace. Practice has also shown that tribute-paying countries received capitulations in cases when, from the Porte’s perspective, it was opportune to support a political project, a group or program in a particular tributary country. Ottoman capitulations should, for that reason, be considered as political instruments. Even though Islamic theory on international relations anticipated the capitulations as political instruments, as well as there was always a tendency toward keeping them within the frame of Islamic law, issuing the capitulations was not an ideologically, but politically and pragmatically motivated case.

Therefore, in the aim of defining the relations and obligations in relationship towards “the other side” the Porte used terminology which stemmed from Islamic Law. However that relationship never needed to be strictly consistent with Islamic law.

Even though the main idea of the Dubrovnik’s capitulation was mostly drawn up according to the rules of Islamic law, partially it does consist of certain elements that surpass the theoretical concept of relations toward tribute-paying countries. From a legal perspective which emanate from the theory of asymmetrical relationships in Islamic law, as long as Dubrovnik paid its haraç it was subject to the Porte’s military and political protection. The haraç, of course, wasn’t the only obligation. Dubrovnik was expected to adapt its domestic and foreign politics to the Porte’s politics. However, Dubrovnik’s haraç was symbolic, since it didn’t really amount to much for the Porte, it seems that Dubrovnik’s political role was much more significant to the Porte than haraç.

Therefore, if we are to sublime the status of the Republic of Dubrovnik within the context of the above-mentioned interpretations, we could conclude that principally Dubrovnik belonged to darü’l-’ahd. However, it is obvious from the capitulations that the Republic of Dubrovnik retained the high degree of political integrity which, contrary to expectations and the Islamic law, sometimes resembled the elements of independence, all in the conformity with the Porte’s pragmatic interests.

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Pregled postanka i funkcioniranja instituta kapitulacija u Osmanskom carstvu i dubrovačka kapitulacija iz 1604. godine

Osmansko Carstvo u međunarodnoj politici bilo je pragmatično držeći često islamsko pravo od sekundarne važnosti naspram objektivnih mogućnosti i interesa. Porta je u međunarodnim odnosima manipulirala određenim spektrom političkih mehanizama koji su bili izvan islamskog pravnog kodeksa i koji su pripadali sferi real-politike (bilo da je riječ o vojnoj sili, političko-diplomatskim aktivnostima ili pritiscima materijalnog ili fiskalnog karaktera).

Glede kapitulacija valja istaknuti da Porta nije imala konzistentnu praksu glede izdavanja kapitulacija. Kapitulacije su dobivale strane suverene zemlje kao kompenzaciju za političku suradnju, savezništvo ili mir. No, praksa pokazuje da su tributarne zemlje dobivale kapitulacije u slučajevima kada se s Portinog motrišta u tim zemljama bilo oportuno zalagati za neku političku opciju ili program. Stoga, osmanske kapituacije treba razumjeti političkim instrumentima. Iako je islamska teorija međunarodnih odnosa anticipirala kapitulacije kao političke instrumente, te je postojala tendencija da se kapitulacije drže okvira islamskog prava, njihovo objavljivanje ipak nije bilo ideološki, već pragmatički motivirano.

Dakle, u namjeri definiranja prava i obveza u odnosima s “drugom stranom” Porta je u političkoj praksi koristila terminologiju islamskog prava, iako te obveze nisu uvijek imale islamski karakter.

Dubrovačka kapitulacija se u načelu kreće unutar okvira islamskog prava. No, ona posjeduje određene posebne elemente koje izlaze iz teorijskog koncepta odnosa prema tributarnim zemljama, i koji svjedoče o određenom dualizmu dubrovačko-osmanskog odnosa. S motrišta prava i obveza koje proizlaze iz uvjetno rečeno vazalsko-seniorskog odnosa islamskog prava, Dubrovčani, dok god plaćaju harač, mogu računati na zaštitu Porte. Naravno  da se u tom kontekstu podrazumijevalo da harač nije jedina obaveza, već se očekivalo da Dubrovnik ravna svoju unutarnju i vanjsku politiku u skladu s politikom Porte. Međutim, dok je dubrovački harač nosio simbolički značaj, budući da on za Portu i nije predstavljao neku značajnu sumu, politička uloga Dubrovnika je čini se bila puno važnija.

Ako u kontekstu gore navedenih tumačenja promatramo pravni položaj Dubrovačke Republike s osmanskog motrišta, može se zaključiti da je Dubrovnik načelno pripadao darü’l-’ahdu. Međutim, ono što je specifično za dubrovački slučaj, a što se može iščitati iz kapitulacije iz 1604., jest jedan izrazito visok stupanj dubrovačkog političkog integriteta, koji je suprotno svim očekivanjima, u praksi u puno elemenata nosio elemente samostalnosti.

Ključne riječi

capitulations; Ottoman Empire; the Republic of Dubrovnik; Croatian History; darü’l-’ahd; Islamic law; kapitulacije; Osmansko carstvo; Dubrovačka republika; hrvatska povijest; darü’l-’ahd; islamsko pravo

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