Fragments from the Intellectual World of an Ottoman Molla: Kececizade Izzet Molla and the Ottoman Political Thought During the Reign of Mahmud II

Kapici O.

OSMANLI ARASTIRMALARI-THE JOURNAL OF OTTOMAN STUDIES, no.42, pp.275-315, 2013 (Journal Indexed in AHCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: Issue: 42
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Page Numbers: pp.275-315


Izzet was an Ottoman alim who is generally known as a poet. His ancestors were also from ilmiye bureaucracy and he enjoyed a classical ilmiye education. There is no evidence that he could read, write or speak any Western languages or that he traveled to Europe. So that we could say his intellectual cosmos was shaped purely within the boundaries of the Ottoman world. Izzet Molla was a witness to the deep crises of the period, such as the Ottoman-Russian wars, the Serbian and Greek uprisings, and the abolition of the Janissaries. He became acquainted with European political thought through the literature of the New Order (Nizam-i Cedid), and during the reign of Mahmud II served as a representative of their ideals. It was through this oppositional identiy that he rose to prominence. The two treatises (layiha) written by Kececizade Izzet had an enormous influence on the political life of the Ottoman Empire and were discussed widely among the Ottoman elite. One of these two treatises was on the reform projects for the Ottoman Empire; the other contained some criticisms of the foreign policy of the Sublime Porte. This article aims to conceptually analyze, on the basis of these two treatises, new paradigms and interpretations of reform policy during the era of Mahmud II, and the political thoughts of Izzet Molla.