The last janissary leader of aleppo: ʿabdallah babinsi (1780s-1850), a notable between urban and rural spheres

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Dokumentart: BookPart
Date: 2022-08-15
Source: Ben-Bassat, Yuval; Büssow, Johann: From the Household to the Wider World. Tübingen University Press, 2022
Language: English
Other Keywords: Aleppo
urban-rural relations
Tanzimat Reforms
1850 revolt
Abdallah Babinsi
Bab al-Nayrab
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Focusing on the last great Janissary leader of Aleppo, ʿAbdallah Babinsi (1780s- 1850), this chapter examines the historical ties between Aleppo’s power brokers and the hinterland. The modalities of Babinsi’s rise to power through the household of one of Alep- po’s influential families, which parallels careers such as Ibrahim Qattar Aghasi’s are depict- ed against the background of Aleppo’s family politics. Babinsi, who cultivated a deliberate ambiguity with regard to his status, maintained a close relationship with the rural world while obtaining important political positions (mütesellim, mültezim) both under Egyptian (1832–1840) and Ottoman rule (after 1840). It is argued that ties to both the Bedouin and villagers allowed him to secure his position by guaranteeing security in the city and its hin- terland and keeping both in balance. These ties simultaneously explain the anachronistic survival of the Janissary faction in Aleppo until 1850 when Babinsi, financially threatened by the Tanzimat reforms, drew his faction and supporters from the hinterland into an up- rising against the Ottomans.

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