Demirci’s work on provincial taxation in the seventeenth century is a contribution to scholarship on both centre-periphery relations and the question of Ottoman decline.
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Süleyman Demirci’s work on relations between the capital and the provinces fits into the greater debate over whether the Ottoman state experienced a long period of decline culminating in its collapse at the end of World War I. Ottoman historians have for some time questioned the assumption that Ottoman power peaked in the sixteenth century and that from then on it was all downhill. The seventeenth century, the focus of Demirci’s study, is therefore a good starting point, more so since several important events – from the Celâli revolts to the second siege of Vienna – occurred in this period. Demirci looks at the practice of avâriz, or extraordinary, taxation in the central Anatolian province of Karaman. Demirici is interested in the central state’s flexibility and initiative in responding to challenges that it faced and thus examine centre-periphery relations during the seventeenth century.