End of the seventeenth century, according to Mehmet İpşirli. The author cares a lot for inserting historical information on the introduction or abolishment of various customs; Mehmed IV’s reign (1648-1687) is mentioned as something finished (I18, 19, 28 and elsewhere).
Türk Tarih Kurumu Ktp., nr. 74.
İpşirli, M., “Osmanlı devlet teşkilâtına dair bir eser: Kavânîn-i osmanî ve râbıta-ı Âsitâne”, Tarih Enstitüsü Dergisi 14 (1994), 9-35.
Kavânîn-i osmanî ve râbıta-ı Âsitâne (“Ottoman rules and the orderly arrangement of Istanbul”) belongs to the tradition of “administrative manuals” and seems to be mainly a synopsis of Hezarfen’s work. It begins with a note on the Imperial Council and the days of the week in which it hears cases; then it describes the judges and deputy judges of Istanbul and the dues for various judicial and notary deeds. The author proceeds in describing briefly the bakeries of the city and their production; the quantities of meat for the palace; the numbers and prices of other manufactures and stores; the quarters of the city, Muslim and infidel; the function of the muhtesib. Then, he describes in great detail the palace, its topography, the services and the protocol (I14ff): he stresses the procedure of the Imperial Council and of the daily meals of all palace officials (cf. Eyyubî Efendi Kanunnâmesi, 27-30; Hezarfen 74ff). The procedure of paying the soldiers’ salaries, the structure of the inner palace and various ceremonies, the appointment of provincial governors (cf. Hezarfen 113), the situation of the Crimean khans (I22; cf. Eyyubî Efendi Kanunnâmesi, 53; Hezarfen 169ff), the history and ceremonies of the janissaries (I24ff, with a long excursus on Hacı Bektaş-ı Veli) and (much less) of the kapu sipahileri (I31), as well as the representatives of European states (with a note on the tributes from Hungary; I31-32) are described in their turn.
Then the author, somehow abruptly, jumps to the ulema class, stating that they are the most honourable and high of the four pillars of the state (I32; copying Hezarfen, 196 but omitting the simile with the human body). Following almost word by word Hezarfen’s analysis (Hez., 196-7), the author divides the ulema into the manifest or external ones (including scribes of the divan, “those who know Indian numbers and the siyakat script” –a phrase missing in Hezarfen), and the internal ones (ulemâ-ı batin), i.e. the dervishes. Again copying Hezarfen, he maintains that the şeyhülislam is higher than the Grand Vizier, since “the state was founded on the religious affairs” (devlet umur-ı din üzerine bina olunup). The şeyhülislam is the head of religion, the Grand Vizier the head of his own state (kendi devlet re’isi), and the Sultan the head of both. An excursus on the history and the function of the office follows; the author notes that while the career lines of judges and teachers normally belonged to the Grand Viziers, the latter ones’ ignorance led to this task being conferred to the şeyhülislam (I34). The text ends with some details on other high ulemas, namely the Sultanic hoca and the two kadiaskers.
 The anonymous author here copies erroneously Hezarfen (Telhîsü’l-beyân, 197) who speaks of the Vizier as the head of state (yalnız devlet re’isi). See M. Sariyannis, “Ruler and State, State and Society in Ottoman Political Thought”, Turkish Historical Review 4 (2013), 91.
İpşirli, M., “Osmanlı devlet teşkilâtına dair bir eser: Kavânîn-i osmanî ve râbıta-ı Âsitâne”, Tarih Enstitüsü Dergisi 14 (1994), Introduction.