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The effects of the abolition on the Bektashi order

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2012
İmren Öztürk, Sibel
The abolition of the Bektashi Order in 1826 was a turning point for Bektashism. Although the Order was abolished, Bektashism continued to exist clandestinely. The reasons of the abolition are explained extensively by the chroniclers which gave official reasons of the abolition. One of the reasons is that Bektashism was abolished due to its connection with the Janissary Corps. Following the abolition Bektashism was subjected to severe control of the Ottoman Empire. Initially, some Bektashi disciples were exiled, and others were executed in Istanbul. The Bektashi tekkes were destroyed and their waqf revenues were confiscated. Thus, the structure of the Bektashi Order changed after the abolition without ceasing. Moreover, it is known that the Bektashi tradition in the nineteenth century declined. As a result of the abolition, the unity within the Order ended, and the leadership struggle within Bektashism between the Çelebi and the Babagân became apparent. In this sense, from this struggle within the Order arose issues, such as lineage claims, the representation problem and waqf administration. In the historical context the Ottoman Empire was interested more in the Çelebi branch. On the contrary, the Babagân branch did not have any official relation with the Ottoman Empire. Therefore the Çelebi branch played an important role in comparison with the Babagân branch. In this thesis, I analyze the discussions inside the Order resulting from the abolition on Bektashism, which were voiced by the main branches of the Bektashi Order at the end of the nineteenth century.