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Ottoman sultans founded the Imperial Council in order to institutionalise the ruling system. It was named as the Divan. The head of the Divan was the Grand Vizier. They had their meetings for four days of the week and discussed the state matters. The council had also the function of the appeal court.

Duties of the Divan

  1. divanImperial Council (Divan): The Imperial Council, known as the “Divan” in the Ottoman Empire, was a crucial institution in the Ottoman government. It was established to help institutionalize and streamline the ruling system. The Council was essentially the highest administrative and legislative body in the empire.
  2. Grand Vizier: The head of the Council was the Grand Vizier, who was the chief minister of the Ottoman Empire and held significant power. The Grand Vizier was appointed by the Sultan and was responsible for overseeing the daily affairs of the government and implementing the Sultan’s policies.
  3. Meetings and State Matters: The Council typically held its meetings four days a week, and during these sessions, important state matters were discussed and decisions were made. These discussions could cover a wide range of topics, including taxation, military campaigns, legal matters, and appointments to various administrative positions.
  4. Appeal Court: In addition to its legislative and administrative functions, the Council  also served as the highest court of appeal in the Ottoman Empire. It handled cases where individuals sought redress for grievances or appealed decisions made by lower courts. The Grand Vizier and other high-ranking officials in the Divan would act as judges in these cases.

Overall, the Divan played a crucial role in the governance and administration of the Ottoman Empire, helping the Sultan manage the vast and diverse territories under his rule and ensuring the smooth functioning of the state.