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Title: Redress for Ottoman Victims of European Privateering
Subtitle: A Case against the Dutch in the Divan-i Hümayun (1708-1715)
Author(s): VAN DEN BOOGERT, Maurits
Journal: Turcica
Volume: 33    Date: 2001   
Pages: 91-118
DOI: 10.2143/TURC.33.0.482

Abstract :
When they wanted to obtain commercial and diplomatic privileges for those of their subjects who lived in the Ottoman Empire, the rulers of Western European states had to make a formal request for «capitulations» at the Sublime Porte. In such a context, the oath sworn by the asker to maintain friendly and peaceful relations with the Ottomans was more than a mere formality: it actually was the legal ground for the concession of the «capitulations». When European privateers captured Ottoman sailors or cargos, they greatly threatened the diplomatic agreement between their country and the Ottoman Empire. From the Ottoman point of view, the privateers' piracy was a violation of the «capitulations». From the European point of view, piracy was an efficient weapon which allowed them to damage ennemy states maritime activities, but which sometimes brought about collateral damages. This paper is a case study of requests for redress made by Ottoman subjects who had been the victims of privateers in the beginning of the XVIIIth century. We particularly deal with the political and juridical thoughts of both Ottoman and Dutch authorities in such affairs.

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