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Hook Execution

Hook Execution

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Published by Altar Maket
Ottoman Empire, crime, punishment and torture, violence versus tolerance, modelling
Ottoman Empire, crime, punishment and torture, violence versus tolerance, modelling

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: Altar Maket on Oct 09, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Altar Modelling
Military History Note No:10, October 2009
Ottoman’s terrible way of punishment
Execution by a hook 
ike all other states in history, Ottomans too, were not hesitant to use violence for certain aims. There were different forms of violence used in order to reach certain political and military targets. The methods used would span from simply cuttingthe head to throwing into deep seas with stones tied to one’s feet and to strangling. Andthere were some other methods which were considered worse and more brutal than thoselisted as these methods would not grant instant death to the victim and cause unbearable pain. One such method is implement while the other most terrible method is the
execution by a hook 
Hooks, victims and the executionersSource: Yıllarboyu Tarih journal, February 1981
Terrible method of punishment
Just like all other empires, Ottomans tried to find a fine balance between ‘violence’ and‘tolerance’ to accomplish its political and military objectives. Tolerance and mercy had been granted fully to those who would not resist against Ottoman forward march andsurrender castles and cities. If a promise had been given by the Sultan in terms of  protection of the surrenders lives, possessions and religious freedoms, then this was keptstrictly. However, if a castle or city resists, kill Ottoman soldiers, than Ottoman state
showed its furious wrath in the fullest manner to those who had risen against their rule.
 In order to save its own soldiers, to minimize losses, sometimes high profile executionswere carried out to deter potential rebels and stop them from launching uprisings.
“The Gaunche: a sort of punishment in use among the Turks”
Depiction of Ottoman hook in 18th century European drawingSource: Original engraving from the 1761 book 
Voyage into the Levant 
from Altar Modelling archive
Örnek olarak bakınız Celal oğlu Mustafa,
Tabakatülmemalik ve derecetülmesalik: Osmanlı İmparatorluğunun yükselme devrinde Türk ordusunun savaşları ve devletin iç ve dış siyasası
,Türkçeleştiren Emekli Bnb. Sadettin Tokdemir, Askri Matbaa, İstanbul, 1937 ve Neşri,
 Kitab-ı Cihan-nüma, Neşri Tarihi
, Türk Tarih Kurumu, Ankara 1995, Cilt I-II.
Hooks were usually placed on higher places, most commonly, on wooden structuresspecially built for this purpose. The hooks on the horizontal pillar resemble to the onesused by butchers to hang meat. The victim, who would be usually naked, would be pulledupwards to the top with ropes and then the executioners on the ground would suddenly letthe ropes loose causing the prisoner to fall on one of the hooks beneath him randomly. If the victim was lucky, he would take a lethal wound and die instantly. But this was a small possibility. Majority of victims would get hanged from their non-lethal parts of their  bodies and had to wait in pain there for many hours, even days. No one could intervenefrom that moment on and the victim would be taken out of hook only when he isdefinitely dead. The wooden structures for hooks were usually erected in populous areasof cities to display the executions, to set an example for those who may attempt tocommit crime.
Eminonu and Parmakkapı in Istanbul were the places that are known tohost such executions.
Bandits and especially pirates were executed with this method.
Waiting till you die on the hook Source: “Tarih Boyunca İşkence”, Panaroma journal, April 1993
Midhat Sertoğlu,
 Resimli Osmanlı Tarihi Ansiklopedisi
, İstanbul Matbaası, 1958, s 65 ve “Tarih Boyuncaİşkence”, Panaroma dergisi, Nisan 1993
“Tarih Boyunca İşkence”, Panaroma dergisi, Nisan 1993

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