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Title: Land Rights in Nineteenth-Century Ottoman State Succession Treaties
Authors: Bantekas, I
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Citation: European Journal of International Law, 26 (2): pp. 375 - 390, (2015)
Abstract: Ottoman state practice in the field of state succession in the 19th century displayed strict adherence to the European notions of international law. This is evident from the ratification of cession treaties, attention to reciprocity, the use of mediation and reliance on the existing laws of war principles, including the legal effects of occupation, conquest and the rights and duties of belligerents. This article focuses on state succession treaties with Greece since they represented the paradigm for all future treaties, and it examines the Islamic origin of Ottoman land regulation. The Ottomans succeeded in attaching a further condition to their cession arrangements with the new Greek state, namely the latter’s obligation to respect the property rights of Muslim citizens. This arrangement brought into play the application of Ottoman land law, to which Greece was under no obligation to succeed. This body of law, particularly the set of property rights bestowed under it, became a focal point in the ensuing state succession negotiations. It was the actual basis of Muslim property rights – a precursor to contemporary property rights – and a sine qua non element of Ottoman practice in the law of state succession. In this light, Ottoman land law and institutions should correctly be considered to be general principles of law – with origins from the Quran and the early caliphates – as well as regional custom, at least in the territories liberated from Ottoman rule, which continued to apply and enforce it not only among Muslims but also in the property relations of the indigenous ethnic communities.
ISSN: 0938-5428
Appears in Collections:Dept of Politics, History and Law Research Papers

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