The Emergence of the Idea of 'International Law' in the Ottoman Empire before the Treaty of Paris (1856)
Palabıyık, Mustafa Serdar
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The literature on the Ottoman Empire's position in the European states system generally considers the Treaty of Paris as a landmark event for the European states' recognition of the Ottoman participation in the European concert and the advantages of European international law. This article argues that this consideration overestimates the impact of the Treaty of Paris and reveals that before 1856, the Ottoman Empire was a part of the European states system and was subject to European international law both in terms of treaty-making practices and in the utilization of European customary law. Moreover, the article argues that the Ottomans were interested in the concept of international law before the Treaty of Paris. The existence of archival documents on Ottoman dealings with the European states and the publication of two translations from the European international law treatises before the Treaty of Paris indicate that the Ottomans interest in international law was to ensure the survival of the empire.