[BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA] Tabsiratü’l-eskiya [i.e., The insights on the bandits]

[BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA] Tabsiratü’l-eskiya [i.e., The insights on the bandits]

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[ABDI] (Bosnian clerk), (?-?)], Basîret Matbaasi, Istanbul, [AH 1289] = 1872.

Original yellow wrappers. 16mo. (16 x 11 cm). In Ottoman script (Old Turkish with Arabic letters). 101 p.

First edition of this exceedingly rare tractate on the Bosnian Revolt (1849-1851) including a first-hand and eyewitness account of the Bosnian Expedition by Omer Lutfi Pasha, written anonymously, attributed to the Bosnian clerk Abdi.

HISTORICAL CONTEXT: With the declaration of the Tanzimat reforms in 1839, the Ottoman Empire began an irreversible process of renewal. This process did not evolve in the same way in all the provinces of the Empire. One of the provinces in which the application of these reforms encountered the greatest obstacles was Bosnia. The Tanzimat reforms could not be introduced in this province until 1849, in which year a decision was taken to this effect. This decree encountered the stiff opposition of Bosnian feudal landlords who believed that this meant the loss of their privileges. That is why they began a violent revolt, which was to last about two and a half years. Central authorities were obliged to intervene by sending a military force. Ömer Lütfi Pasha, commander of this force, responded to the landlords’ acts with equal violence. After 25 battles, of which twelve were of a certain importance, the region was subdued and all the feudal lords, who had been implicated in the revolt, were banished from Bosnia. This had as a result the fact that the landlords’ power over the local population was for the first time since ancient times, greatly diminished. The local Christian population, freed from the yoke of the feudal lords, began quickly to get organized with the aim of gaining its independence from the Ottoman Empire. Even though the initiators of the revolt had been Muslim feudal lords, after 1851 it would be the newly free Christian population who continued the fight with central Ottoman authorities. They reached their objective thanks to the 1875 Hersek revolt. (Gölen).

PASHA’S BIOGRAPHY AND OTTOMAN EXPEDITION TO BOSNIA: Ömer Lütfi Pasha, also known as Ömer Pasha Latas, was an Ottoman field marshal and governor. Born in Austrian territory to Serbian Orthodox Christian parents, he initially served as an Austrian soldier. When faced with charges of embezzlement, he fled to Ottoman Bosnia in 1823 and converted to Islam; he then joined the Ottoman army, where he quickly rose through the ranks. Latas crushed several rebellions throughout the Ottoman Empire and served as a commander in the Bosnian Revolts, the Crimean War of 1853-1856, where he defeated the Russians at Silistra (1854), regaining Bucharest and occupying the Danubian Principalities. He also won notable victories at Oltenița, Eupatoria (1855) and participated in the Siege of Sevastopol (1854-1855). As a commander Omer Pasha was noted especially for his excellent strategic skills.

In 1840-41 he led a successful expedition to quell a revolt in Syria, and in 1842 was Governor of the Tripoli Eyalet (Lebanon). He won distinction in suppressing the Albanian Revolt of 1843-44, led by local Muslim aristocrats. There followed the expedition to Kurdistan following the Massacres of Badr Khan (1846). After the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, Omar Pasha was put in command of the Ottoman forces in Moldavia and Wallachia. His firm and effective handling of a powder keg situation involving potential confrontation with the Russian and Austrian armies demonstrated that he possessed considerable diplomatic skills.

There followed his command in Bosnia (1850) where he executed Ali-Pasha Rizvanbegović of Stolac, who had defended Ottoman power during an earlier revolt but then started to build up an independent power base. Omer Pasha executed, plundered, and abolished the respected historical aristocracy of the Muslim faith, in the interest of buttressing Ottoman central power. As the Governor of Bosnia, and leading Turkish official in the region he invaded neighboring Montenegro. (Wikipedia).

No copy in OCLC.; Babinger p. 303.; Koray p. 201.; Karatay (IÜKTBAK) p. 1.; TBTKAE 141.; Bosna-Hersek Bibliyografyasi 0854.; Özege 19182.