The Confessions of an Ottoman 'Irregular': Self-Representation and Ottoman Interpretive Communities in the Nineteenth Century

Bu makale pek alışılmadık bir Osmanlı tarafından yazılan otobiyografik bir eseri incelemektedir: Çok az tanınan Anadolulu bir başıbozuk, Deli Mustafa (d. 1791/2), ya da kendisini el yazması metninde tanıttığı isimle Kabudlı el-Haccî Mustafa Vasfî Efendi. Eser paramiliter birliklere katılan sayısız Müslüman köylünün karşı karşıya kaldığı çalkantılı günlük hayat ve manevi ikilemlere dair nadir bir bakış sunmaktadır. Deli Mustafa'nın anlatısı ve öz-biçim verme stratejileri paramiliter gruplara hizmet eden sıradan Müslümanların Osmanlı tarihinin bu fırtınalı dönemi boyunca geçimlerini sağlamak için ne yapmak zorunda kaldıklarını, ve daha da önemlisi şaibeli ve çekişmeli hayat biçimlerini nasıl açıkladıkları ve meşrulaştırdıklarını anlamamıza yardımcı olmaktadır. Mustafa'nın anlatısının doğruluğunu tartışmaktan daha önemli olan onun - veya metni derleyenin - yazınsal seçimleri, hedeflediği okuyucu kitlesi, ve imparatorluğun doğu sınırlarından batı sınırlarına doğru hareket ettikçe şiddeti betimleme tonunun zaman ve mekanda nasıl değiştiğidir.

Bir Osmanlı Başıbozuğunun İtirafları: 19. Yüzyıl Osmanlı İmparatorluğu'nda Kişinin Kendini Temsili ve Yorumlayıcı Çevreler

This paper will analyze an autobiographical account attributed to a very unlikely Ottoman author: an obscure Anatolian irregular cavalryman Deli Mustafa (b. 1791/2)--or Kabudlı el-Haccî Mustafa Vasfî Efendi as he fashioned himself in his manuscript. His narrative provides rare glimpses into the tumultuous everyday life and moral dilemmas faced by the countless Muslim peasants who joined itinerant military orders in the Ottoman Empire. Deli Mustafa's narrative and self-fashioning strategies help us understand what common Muslim men serving in paramilitary forces had to do to make a living during this tumultuous period of Ottoman history, and most importantly, how they explained and legitimated their precarious and contentious way of life. Rather than debating the veracity of Mustafa's jumbled historical account full of inaccuracies and contradictions, this essay focuses on his--or the compiler of the text's--editorial choices, his target audiences, as well as how the tone of his description of violence changes over time and space as he travelled from the eastern to western frontiers of the Empire in order to determine what was at stake for such an obscure author and his interpretative community to tell his story.

Kaynakça

Archival Documents

B.O.A. Hatt-ı Hümâyûn (HAT), 2402C.

Ms. Or. 1551. Leiden University Library.

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