Islamic Area Studies Group 5
Report on the 5th Seminar of Group b

The Historical Development of International Relations in the Islamic World

--With a Special Emphasis on the Ottoman Empire--

(Cooperative Research Project at the Institute for the Study of Language and Cultures of Asia and Africa. The 2nd seminar, 1999.)

Date: July 10th 1999

Place: Institute for the Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies.

The second seminar this year took place with 31 participants, including the 15 researchers from the cooperative project.

Toru HORIKAWA ("Central Asian Pilgrims in the sixteenth-century Ottoman Empire") considered the pilgrimage as a "journey" incorporated in the system of religious practices and first proposed the premise that for the Ottoman Empire, the pilgrimage was a means for intra-social unification and for the legitimization of the Sultan regime. After surveying the pilgrimage routes inside and outside the Ottoman Empire, HORIKAWA discussed the influences of the international affairs of the time on the pilgrimage route outside the Ottoman Empire.

HORIKAWA traced the actual pilgrimage route from Samarkand to Mecca traveled by Husayn Khorezmi, the shaykh of a Sufi order who lived in the 15th and 16th centuries. The pilgrimage group which accompanied him comprised as many as 300 pilgrims. HORIKAWA cited examples of privileges and protection offered the pilgrims in each area they traveled. He also pointed out that the pilgrims, who traveled through countries that were competitors of the Ottoman Empire, such as Russia and Iran, had sometimes been treated by the Ottoman Empire as envoys. They even contributed to the formation of the Sufi network which spread beyond the border of the Ottoman Empire. Following the presentation, there were discussions about the acquisition of information from the pilgrims and the activities of traders who accompanied the pilgrims.


Masako MATSUI ("The Ottoman Empire and 'Free Trade': An Analysis of Ottoman Customs Politics in the First Half of the 19th Century") addressed how the opening of the Ottoman Empire market influenced the free trade network that centered around England and expanded throughout the Ottoman Empire and even to Japan in the 1830's to 60's. She then proceeded to explain the economic policies of the Ottoman Empire and the international trade provisions described in the capitulations. The Ottoman Empire's dual customs regime, namely the external and inland tariffs, other taxes like passage fees, changes in the tariff rates, and the significance of the tariff list were discussed. The actual list of the inland tariffs of 1827 was presented. This revealed not only the prices of 727 items but also the difference in the tariff rates for the Muslim and non-Muslim traders.

In conclusion, it was emphasized that the Anglo-Turkish convention needs to be re-examined in terms of free trade. It was also suggested in the overall discussion following the lecture that comparison with the formational process of the European customs systems in the 18th century would be effectual, as would be studying writings by the Ottoman economics thinkers.