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Samsun


Philanthropic and charitable organizations    EN

Author: ISLEK ALI EMRE
List of organisations
History

*(Ph.D.) Research Assistant, 19 Mayis University, Samsun, Turkey. 

Samsun was the center of the Canik district in the Ottoman administration. Çarşamba, Terme, Ünye, Fatsa, Kavak and Bafra were Samsun’s surrounding towns. The historical data that refer to the pious endowments[1] of the city of Samsun and its neighbouring towns between the 1790s and the 1910s are largely related to the evkâf registers[2].

There are records about of 197 mosques, 4 masjids, 15 primary schools (mekteps), 2 medreses and 39 dervish lodges in one source dating to the first half the nineteenth century.[3] Also, 42 of these records refer to the repairing of some public buildings, such as bridges and fountains.[4] The income of the pious endowments in first half the 19th century came largely from the devoting of 10% of the tax income[5]and the reserving of the income of rentals (shops, farms, gardens, etc).[6] The expenses for the pious endowments depended on their stature and formations. Neverthless, a considerable part of these expenses were related to the payments to the Ministry of Evkâf. These payments were known as ‘‘tertîb-i maaş-ı hazine’’ and ‘‘harc-ı muhasebe’’. The total amount of payments by the title of ‘‘tertîb-i maaş-ı hazine’’ was 4379 kuruş and 1071 kuruş in the name of ‘‘harc-ı muhasebe’’.[7]

The centralization process of the pious endowments under the control of Ministry of Evkâf was completed by founding of this institution in the Canik province in the last decade of the 19th century. The notes inside these registers provide some data about the institutional structure and the staff of the Ministry of Evkâf in the countyside. The perception, however, of the statutes and the economic power of the pious endowments did not have many differences between the first and second half of the 19th century. The staff wages and the payments for the treasury of the Ministry of Evkâf were the main expenses of the pious endowments, as was also the case in the first half of the 19th century.[8] The other important kind of expenses concerned the repair of buildings of the pious endowments.[9] Only a small part of the income was directly related to the social functions of the institutions, such as the hosting of the guestsand the teaching of the islamic courses to kids.[10] The income of the pious endowments was the same compared to the first half of the 19th century. The main source of their income largely came from 10% of the tax income and by reserving the income from rentals. The number of pious endowments increased throughout the 19th century.[11] The main reason for this increase can be related to the foundation of the authority of the Ministry of Evkâf in the district of Canik.

 


[1] These sources are largely related to the Ottoman era, although some records date from the last years of the Anatolian Seljuks. Registers of pious endowments (vakfiyas) are the only sort of sources for the 13th and 14th centuries. The collection of information for the 15th-16th centuries is extracted from the land survey notebooks (tahrir registers). Appointment records of pious endowments (hurufat registers) and court records (şar’iyya registers) have their own importance as the main sources of the 17th and 18th centuries.

[2] This kind of sources contain valuable and elaborate information, combined with incomes and outcomes of the pious endowments and also appointment processes of their staff. However, most of the these registers date to the second half of the 19th century.

[3] Başbakanlık Osmanlı Arşivi (hereafter BOA), Evkâf Defteri, 12146. This register was firstly used by Mehmet Yavuz Erler’s study on the lodges of dervishes and the monastic complexes in the Canik district. For further information, see Mehmet Yavuz Erler, “Lodges of Dervishes, Monastic Complexes and Shaping of Social Groups in the Ottoman Canik District (1800-1860)”, Dinamiche di Sociabilita Nel Mondo Euro-Mediteraneo Gruppi, Associazioni, Arti, Confraternite e Compagnie, Maria Pia Pedani (ed.), Venedik : 2006, ss.91-107.

[4] BOA, Evkâf Defteri, No : 12146, pp. 4, 8, 11, 13,17.

[5] This was a common application for the generation of income for the pious endowments. For example, the income of the lodge of Molla Fahreddin in Samsun was 581 qurush (kuruş) in 1843, which was provided by the villages of Koşcalı, Kıran and Badırlı.

[6] A list of the pious endowments gathered by rental income : the Mosque of Rıdvan, the Mosque of Gazi Hasan, a primary school (mektep) in the town of Çarşamba, the Mosque of the village of Sınlı, a fountain in the town of Ünye, the Mosque of Çorlulu Ali Paşa in Samsun, the Mosque of Mirza Beğ, the Mosque of the district of Debbağhane and the Mosque of the village of Kuşçular.

[7] BOA, Evkâf Defteri, 12146, p. 18.

[8] The total amount of the payments by the title of ‘‘tertîb-i maaş-ı hazine’’ was 5239 qurush in 1886, 4137 qurush in 1897,6328 qurush in 1908; as for the title of ‘‘harc-ı muhasebe’’, it was 1287 qurush in 1886, 989 qurush in 1897 and 1874 qurush in 1908.

[9] The total amount for the repair of the buildings of the pious endowments was more than 6852 qurush in 1886, 7537 qurush in 1897 and 8636 qurush in 1908. For further information see BOA, Evkâf Defteri, 19824, p. 16; BOA, Evkâf Defteri, 21160,pp. 7-8; BOA, Evkâf Defteri, 23395, p. 11.

[10] This kind of expenses was only 6% of the total expences in 1886, 7% in 1897 and 6% in 1908.

[11] According to data accumulated for a newly completed Phd thesis, nearly more than 60% of the pious endowments were founded in the second half of the 19th century. For further infomation see : Muhammed Okudan, ‘‘Vakfiyelere Göre Osmanlı Dönemi’nde Samsun’da Kurulan Vakıflar’’, Unpublished Phd. Dissertation, 2013, pp.4-5, 105-106.


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