The Examples of Struggle Against Amulet and Fortune-Telling In the Ottoman Empire In the Context of Reformations


MILLI FOLKLOR, no.117, pp.102-119, 2018 (Journal Indexed in AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Title of Journal : MILLI FOLKLOR
  • Page Numbers: pp.102-119


This article has discussed the applications against the amulet and fortune-telling activities in Ottoman Empire. The history of the application, such as fortune-telling and amulet goes back to ancient religions older than the emergence of Islam. Applications found in every religion and society has always been helpless human events that has emerged with the desire to know and to take measures in advance. In Europe, people who did this kind of work has been accused of witchcraft and magic. After the Reformation and the Renaissance, as a result of the development of mind and science, unexplained events and cases have been explained and this kind of applications have disappeared. Such practices before Islam was also available in Arabic and Turkish communities and Islam forbade these practices. In the 19th century, the Ottoman Empire tried to take measures on the increase of fraud by amulet and fortune-telling. This study attempts to explain amulet and fortune-telling at a glance in the context of reforms in the Ottoman Empire. As the Ottoman Empire took educational and cultural life under control as a result of centralization, amulet and fortune-telling activities have attracted the attention of related institutions of the Empire. Critic intellectuals such as Avanzada addressed the subject in terms of religion, rationalism and education as a matter of duty of government. Individual complaints have been made from time to time. Interesting events have been noted among individual complaints. Initially, those who exercised these practices haven't faced legal and penal measures. However, the increase in warnings by the agencies of Ottoman Empire and growing complaints have urged the State to embark on a quest of precautions within the scope of reformations. Existing Criminal Code has been considered inadequate, so that earlier applications have been examined. The search for solutions in the First World War years have passed to Republic of Turkey. In the study, the examples of complaints and the documents regarding the quest of the State for religious, legal and penal precautions have been examined and evaluated.