IFEA Histoire 2020-2021 The Ottoman constitutional rule and Evolution of the Law on Brigandage (Çeteler Kanunu): The Jovanovich Murder Case
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In December 1909, Ottoman police patrols in Bitola discovered the body of a certain Jovanovich who had been stabbed to death. Local Ottoman authorities launched a wave of operations in the town that resulted in the arrest of local Bulgarian notables for their involvement in the murder. The murder was considered a political crime –– a definition that placed the case within the framework of the Law on Brigandage, which was adopted as a provisional law bypassing the parliament. The local tension created a vortex drawing in provincial and central bureaucracies, the Ottoman parliamentarians as well as Macedo-Bulgarian political actors. This presentation aims to reconstruct the evolution of the case in its interaction with the new Ottoman political-legal sphere and to shed light on the implementation of the laws as well as on the power relations in an era marked by parliamentarism and discourse of Ottoman fraternity.