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Samsun


History    EN

Author: KARABACAK MELIKE

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

Affected by the developments in foreign trade and the changing consumming habits of the 19th century, the Ottoman community encountered the concept of insurance and its activities. Insurance was already used in shipping until the 1870s. The results of the fire in Pera in 1870 demonstrated to the Ottoman merchants the necessity of fire insurance. Fire insurance was followed by life insurance and other types of insurance. When one reviews the allocation of the insurance companies in the Ottoman Empire, it can be revealed that these were established along the route of the European Anatolian steam transportations and along the railway network. Also, the existence of a significant population of non-muslims in these areas had influenced this reality. [1].

At the beginning of the 19th century, Samsun was a port city dwelling under the shadow of Trabzon. After the Treaty of Balta Limanı, the attention over the city, especially English and Austrian, increased. In 1856, British imports developed nearly ten times [2]. The Crimean War and the increase in the European grain needs also affected this development. Samsun and its surroundings had arable lands. As a result, the exportations gradually increased. The main products exported from the Samsun port were corn, grain, linen, cannabis seeds, millet, madder, cotton, wool, leather, fur and silk worm cocoons. Sugar, coffee, wine and hooch, medicals, cotton by-products and hardware were among the imported goods. Between 1841-1890, the ship traffic in the port of Samsun increased six times [3]. Samsun, an important trade city for the hinterland, had become an important port for exports and towards the end of the century it had surpassed the port of Trabzon [4].

Almost all of the insurance companies that were established in the Ottoman Empire after 1880 had agencies in Samsun as well. The agencies, their country of origin and the types of insurances offered are shown in the following table.

Table 1. The Insurance Agencies in Samsun Between 1894-1914

Insurance Company

Country of Origin

Type of Insurance

La Fonciére

France

shipping, life, fire, accident

Reliance Insurance Company Limited

---------

Shipping

Queen

---------

Accident

Vienoise

---------

Life

Allienza di Genoa,

Italy

life, accident

L’Ancre

Austria

Life

Assicurazioni Generali

Austria

shipping, fire, life

Ausonia di Genoa

Italy

Life

Badoise de Mannheim

Germany

Shipping

La Bâloise

Switzerland

shipping, fire

British &Foreign Marine

Britain

shipping

Compagnie d’ Assurances Générales Maritimes de Paris

France

shipping

Consolidated Life

Britain

life

Friedrich Wilhelm

Germany

life

Continentale a Mannheim

Germany

shipping

Dacia Romania

Romania

fire

Deutsche Transport Versicherung Gesellschaft

Germany

shipping

Dresden

Germany

shipping

Equitable

USA

life

Ethniki

Greece

shipping, fire, life

General

Britain

fire, life, accident

Hamburg-Munich

Germany

fire

Haut-Rhin

Germany

shipping, accident

Italia

Italy

shipping, fire

Liverpool & London & Globe

Britain

fire, life

Lloyd Autrichien (Veritas)

Austria

shipping

Lloyd de Londres

Britain

shipping

London Assurance

Britain

shipping, fire, life

Mannheim

Germany

shipping

Marine Insurance

Britain

shipping

Mutuelle de France et des Colonies

France

life

New York

USA

life

Norwich Union

Britain

fire, life

Ocean Marine of London

Britain

shipping

Osmanlı Umum Sigorta Şirketi

Ottoman Empire

shipping, fire

Le Phénix

France

fire, life

Phénix Autrichien

Austria

fire, life

Phoenix of London

Britain

fire, life, accident

Premiére Compagnie Hongroise

Austria

life

Providentia

Austria

shipping

Rossia

Russia

shipping, fire, life, accident, glass

Royal Exchange

Britain

shipping, fire, life, accident

L’ Union de Paris

France

fire, life

Union of London,

Britain

shipping, fire, life

Victoria de Berlin

Germany

life, accident

Western

Britain

shipping, fire

Wurtembergeoise

Germany

shipping

Francfortoise

Germany

shippng

Source: Fatih Kahya, Osmanlı Devleti’nde Sigortacılık, (İstanbul: Libra, 2010), 286-295; Murat Baskıcı, “Osmanlı Anadolusu’nda Sigorta Piyasası”, Ankara Üniversitesi Siyasal Bilgiler Fakültesi Dergisi, 57:4, (2002), pp. 3-33; Filiz Dığıroğlu, “XIX. Yüzyıl Karadeniz’inde Yeni Bir Ticari Merkez: Samsun”, (Phd Thesis, Marmara Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Üniversitesi, IV Section, İstanbul, 2011).

The French consul Cortanze stated that at the beginning of the 1900s almost all of the insurance companies in Samsun had the same tariffs. With the increase in the number of agencies, the competition also increased and the premium decreased. During these years, it is noticeable that some of the companies began to broaden the scope of their services to ground transportations too, instead of only between ports, a fact which contributed to the trade growth [5].

Usually, the representatives of the companies were prominent merchants of Samsun. Also, these persons were sometimes importers and exporters. Most of them were Greeks or Armenians. Some of the insurance agencies in Samsun were short lived. On the other hand, some of them were active for more years. La Fonciére, which opened in 1884, was active until 1914. Its representatives were Nouma Doulcet (1884-1858), A. Spadora (1890-1893/4), Henri de Cortenze (1894) and the Mavdiris family (1894-1914), respectively. Vienoisse opened in 1884 too and was active until 1908. Its representative was L.Ed.Muradyan, a prominent merchant of Samsun. L.Ed.Muradyan was also the representative of Badoise de Mannheim, which opened in 1887 and was active until 1908. After Muradyan, G.C. Stephopulos, P. Eleopulo, G. Philocli represented this agency. Assicurazioni Generali di Trieste, which was opened in 1890, was the first life insurance agency in Samsun. Its representatives were A. Petroviç, Laitgeb, Tertzeta, Algardi, J.Joannides, A.Roumis et Cie and Sidi Victor respectively. After 1914, Nemlizades, a member of a muslim merchant family of Samsun, became the representative of the agency. Osmanlı Sigorta Şirketi was initiated in 1902 in Çarşamba by Eliyas Markopoli. İstefanos Sarrafi Efendi was the representative of Royal Exchange in 1913, in Buğday Pazarı [6]. The lawyer Vahan Malezyan was the representative of New York Life Insurance Co. between 1899-1901 [7].

 


[1] Murat Baskıcı, “Osmanlı Anadolusu’nda Sigorta Piyasası”, Ankara Üniversitesi Siyasal Bilgiler Fakültesi Dergisi, 57:4, (2002), pp. 3-33.

[2] Metin Ziya Köse, “XIX. Yüzyıl Ortalarında Samsun Limanı’nda İthalat ve İhracat”, in Osman Köse (ed.) Tarih Boyunca Karadeniz Ticareti ve Canik I, Samsun, 2013, pp.103-117.

[3] Mehmet Murat Baskıcı, 1800-1914 Yıllarında Anadolu’da İktisadi Değişim: (Ankara: Turhan Kitabevi, 2005), 86-87.

[4] Ibid, Metin Ziya Köse, pp. 103-117.

[5 ] Özgür Yılmaz, “20. Yüzyılın Başlarında Samsun Limanı: Fransız Konsolosu H. de Cortanze’nin Raporlarına Göre ”, in Osman Köse (ed.) Tarih Boyunca Karadeniz Ticareti ve Canik I, Samsun, 2013, pp.181-195

[6]Filiz Dığıroğlu, “XIX. Yüzyıl Karadeniz’inde Yeni Bir Ticari Merkez: Samsun”, (Phd Thesis, Marmara Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü, IV Section, İstanbul, 2011).

[7] Filiz Dığıroğlu, “XIX. yüzyıl Samsunu’nda İktisadi Teşekküller, Esnaf ve Meslekler”,in Osman Köse (ed.) Tarih Boyunca Karadeniz Ticareti ve Canik I, Samsun, 2013, pp.293-308.


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