The confiscation and sale of monasteries (churches) at the time of Selim II: The problem of church vakifs
Конфискација и продаја манастира (цркава) у доба Селима II - проблем црквених вакуфа
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With the help of newly found documents the author has tried to shed some more light on the problem of the 'sale of churches' during the rule of Selim II. At that time, the central Ottoman authorities decided to confiscate monasteries/churches and their estates, and to sell them afterwards, leaving the monasteries the priority of buying everything back if they had the necessary funds. According to the legal explanations for this measure contained in the fetwas of Seyh ül-Islam Ebussuud, the 'sale' fully fitted in the years-long efforts by Ottoman law-makers to define, standardize and coordinate with the sharia relations on state lands, and on the other hand it was 'discovered' (after almost two centuries of Turkish rule!), that the 'necessary' sharia formula for bequeathal had not been respected. Due to such an explanations, this measure managed to cover almost every unit of immovable property of monasteries and churches. This second formal explanation concerning the incorrectly bequeat...hed property and full private possession (mülk), suggests that this measure was not only the result of need for regulating legal relations, but also of the need of the imperial treasury to obtain additional financial means. This was a heavy blow to the already quite impoverished Christian church in the Balkans. By pawning valuables and with the help of new donors, the bigger and richer monasteries somehow managed to collect the necessary funds. Small and poor monasteries and the already abandoned ones fared the worst. Some of them were sold, while others, even if they found ways to by their property back, struggled for decades to pay back their debts.
Osmanska vlast je u vreme vladavine Selima II izvršila veliki finansijski pritisak na hrišćansku crkvu. Odlučila je da konfiskuje sva crkvena i manastirska imanja i da ih potom proda, ostavljajući manastirima prvenstvo pri otkupu. Na osnovu podataka iz novih izvora autor je ukazao da mera nije proizašla isključivo iz potrebe za regulisanjem odnosa na 'državnoj zemlji' kako se to tvrdilo, nego da su takvi razlozi navedeni kao opravdanje i za drugi cilj - prikupljanje dodatnih finansijskih sredstava.
Source:Balcanica, 1996, 27, 45-77