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Administrative Hierarchies    EN


* Asst. Prof., University of Sinop, Sinop, Turkey

Sinop was annexed by the Ottoman State when the Jandarid principality was ended during the rule of Mehmed the Conqueror (May 1461). After it came under Ottoman domination, it was made a kaza (district) connected to the sanjak of Kastamonu.[1] During the Ottoman state organisation of the classical period, a kaza was governed by a kadı.[2] In that time period, Sinop also used to be governed by a kadı.[3] In the Ottoman provincial cities, there was a leading provincial group of scholars (ulema), taxmen and janissary commanders. While town and kaza governors were responsible for protecting food and raw material resources, they were also required to meet the demands of the central government. These local notables could also take initiative in political matters.[4] Changes in the administration took place in the later years. The sanjaks belonged to larger administrative units, the eyalets, and Sinop was added to the eyalet of Ankara and then to the eyalet of Bolu between the years of 1840 and 1846, only to be subsequently re-attached to what became the eyalet of Kastamonu.[5]

While the eyalets of the Ottoman Empire were administrated by governors, ruling weaknesses began in the 17th century[6]; the ayan (landed notables) began to intervene in the administration of their regions in the 18th century.[7] Finally in the 19th century, new arrangements were considered necessary in the Ottoman provincial organisation. In 1829, the mukhtarship organisation was established and mukhtars were assigned to each neighbourhood. The Vilayet Law of 1864 changed the provincial organisation, and the vilayet system replaced the eyalet structure. The units of nahiye and kaza were created by the Vilayet Laws of 1864 and 1871. A nahiye consisted of villages including at least five hundred males. It was governed by a manager who subordinated a nahiye council. In those regions where the Tanzimat reform was implemented, the unit of kaza was formed by organising several villages. And a kaza was governed by a kaza manager. With the law of 1871, governorship of kazas was taken from managers and assigned to kaimakams. Under the sanjak/liva administration, which had been long included in the provincial organisation, central office was left to kaimakams appointed by the central government with the arrangement of 1842. In their service were sanjak councils that consisted of a financial manager, a judge, a chief clerk of correspondence, a chief clerk of finance, and representatives of Muslim and non-Muslim community. In 1864, kaimakams were replaced by district governors called mutassarrıf. With the law of 1871, forty-four sanjaks were established in Rumelia, seventy-four in Anatolia and five in North Africa.[8]

The above mentioned arrangements were also implemented in Sinop. In the period following the Tanzimat reform, Sinop was a sanjak of Kastamonu, a vilayet in the north of Anatolia.[9] Vilayets were governed by governors who had a broad field of responsibilities.[10] According to the Annual of Kastamonu dated Hijri 1286 (1869-1870), Vizir Muhammed Reşid Pasha was the governor of Kastamonu.[11] In the annual of H. 1321 (1903/1904), Sinop is described as a city situated in the north east of the vilayet centre at a distance of thirty-six hours.[12] The sanjak of Sinop comprised the kazas of central Sinop, Boyabat and İstefan (Ayancık), and the nahiye of Gerze; the kaza of Boyabat included the nahiye of Durağan while the kaza of Ayancık included the nahiye of Çanlı.[13] Including the central neighbourhoods, Sinop consisted of one hundred and forty-four villages,[14] and neighbourhoods had an important role in the city organisation of Sinop.[15]

According to the Annual of Kastamonu dated Hijri 1306 (1888-1889), the governor of Kastamonu was Abdurrahman Nureddin Pasha.[16] In the vilayet, the governor subordinated the boards performing administrative affairs, many offices and official units.[17] In the same period, district governor of the Sinop sanjak was Mehmed Veysel Pasha. A deputy district governor, an accountant, a mufti and a correspondence manager together, formed the Erkan-ı Liva (Senior Officials of a Liva). They were also regular members of the Meclis-i İdare (Administrative Board), which was presided by the district governor and which also included among its members a metropolitan bishop, a director of foundations and a director of land registers. The board also included four selected members and a board clerk.[18] According to various annuals, however, several differences appear among various board members. In the annual of 1321, for instance, a director of foundations and a director of land registers do not appear among the members. And the representation of the metropolitan bishop is vacant.[19] In fact, as of the first quarter of the 20th century, only 6.9% of the general population in Sinop is mentioned as Christians.[20]

In Sinop, the following offices and institutions existed, each functioning in a specific public area:

Tahrirat Kalemi (Office of Correspondences), Evrak Kalemi (Office of Documents), Nüfus İdaresi (Civil Registry Office), Muhasebe-i Liva Kalemi (Liva Office of Accounting), Vergi İdaresi (Tax Office), Orman İdaresi (Office of Forests), Defter-i Hakani Kalemi (Office of Land Registries), Evkaf Kalemi (Fountation Committee), Zabıta Heyeti (Municipal Police Commitee), Bidayet Mahkemesi (Court of First Instance), Mahkeme-i Bidayet Kalemi, (Office of First Instance Court), Mahkeme-i Şeriye Kalemi (Office of Sharia Court), Maarif Komisyonu (Education Commission), Nafia Dairesi (Public Works Office), Telgraf memurları (Telegraph clerks), Frengi Hastahanesi (Syphilis Hospital), Hapishane-i Umumi (General Prison), Tersane memurları (Shipyard clerks), Topçu askeri (Armoury soldiers), Tophane Hastahanesi Sıhhiye Memurları (Armoury Hospital Medical Clerks), Beledî Meclisi (Municipal Council), Ziraat Odası (Chamber of Agriculture), Ticaret Odası (Chamber of Trade), Menafi’ Sandığı (Fund for Benefits), Rusûmat Memurları (Customs Clerks), Dîvan-ı Umumiye-i Osmaniye Varidatı Mahsuse İdaresi (Office of Ottoman Public Revenue Administration), Reji İdaresi (Regie Office for Tobacco), Mekteb-i Rüşdi (Junior High School) and Sultan Süleyman Mektebi İbtidaisi (Sultan Suleiman Primary School).[21] Some of these institutions were managed by reis or müdür; e.g. liman reisi (port manager) and maarif komisyonu müdürü (education commission manager). A certain number of clerks worked in offices.[22] Many similar councils, offices or units also existed in kazas and some in nahiyes depending on their sizes.[23] Catching up with the contemporary time of the Ottoman Empire Army is a priority for the Ottoman statesmen.[24] Sinop also hosted military troops of the 54th Sinop Liva Commandership of the 27th Legion that is a part of the Imperial Army (Hassa Orduy-ı Hümayunu). Hadji Hakkı Pasha was the Liva commander in H. 1306 (1888/1889).[25]

For centuries, Sinop has been a centre of communication in the Black Sea region and mediated the financial and legal relationships among more prosperous regions.[26] The hierarchical administration in the Ottoman period Sinop suggests that the city significantly preserved its former status.

[1] See Mehmet Ali Ünal, Osmanlı Devrinde Sinop, Fakülte Kitabevi, Isparta, 2008, pp. 37-38.

[2] Mustafa Akdağ, Türkiye’nin İktisadî ve İçtimaî Tarihi 1453-1559, Tekin Yayınevi, Ankara, 1979, vol. II, p. 88.

[3] Ibid, Ünal, p. 42.

[4] Suraiya Faroqhi, “Kirizler ve Değişim 1590-1699”, Osmanlı İmparatorluğu’nun Ekonomik ve Sosyal Tarihi 1600-1914, ed. Halil İnalcık, Donald Quataert, Eren Yayıncılık, İstanbul, 2004, vol. II, pp. 699-700.

[5] Selim Özcan, “Tanzimat Döneminde Sinop’un Sosyal Ekonomik Durumu”, Basılmamış Doktora Tezi, Ondokuz Mayıs Üniversitesi, Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü, Samsun, 2007, pp. 20-21.

[6] İsmail Hakkı Uzunçarşılı, Osmanlı Tarihi Vol. III, Part 2, XVI. Yüzyıl Ortalarından XVII. Yüzyıl Sonuna Kadar, Türk Tarih Kurumu Yayınları, Ankara, 2011, p. 292.

[7] İsmail Hakkı Uzunçarşılı, Osmanlı Tarihi Vol. IV, Part 1, Karlofça Anlaşmasından XVIII. Yüzyılın Sonlarına Kadar, Türk Tarih Kurumu Yayınları, Ankara, 2011, pp. 437-438.

[8] Ali Akyıldız, “Osmanlılar (Medeniyet Tarihi / Siyasî ve İdarî Teşkilât / Modern Dönem)”, Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı İslâm Ansiklopedisi (DİA), vol. 33, İstanbul, 2007, pp. 506-509.

[9] Ibid, H. 1286 (1869-1870), p. 44, 89; Kastamonu Salnamesi, Vilayet Matbaası, H. 1321

(1903/1904), pp. 304-305.

[10] Stanford J. Shaw, Ezel Kural Shaw, Osmanlı İmparatorluğu ve Modern Türkiye, çev. Mehmet Harmancı, E Yayınları, İstanbul, 2006, vol. II, p. 123.

[11] Kastamonu Salnamesi, Def’a 1, Matbaa-i Vilayet-i Kastamonu, H. 1286 (1869-1870), p. 32.

[12] Ibid, H. 1321 (1903/1904), p. 354.

[13] Ibid, H. 1286 (1869-1870), pp. 44-47; H. 1321 (1903/1904), pp. 304-305.

[14] Kastamonu Salnamesi, 18. Def’a, Vilayet Matbaası, H. 1312 (1894-1895), p. 319; Ibid, H. 1321 (1903/1904), p. 354.

[15] İbrahim Güler, “XVIII. Yüzyılın İlk Yarısında Sinop (İdari Taksimat ve Ekonomik Tarihi), Basılmamış Doktora Tezi, Marmara Üniversitesi, Türkiyat Araştırmaları Enstitüsü Yakınçağ Tarihi Anabilim Dalı, İstanbul, 1992, p. 46.

[16] Kastamonu Vilayeti Salnamesi, 15. Def’a, Matbaa-i Vilayet, H. 1306 (1888-1889), p. 252.

[17] Ibid, H. 1306 (1888-1889), pp. 252-272.

[18] Ibid, H. 1306 (1888-1889), pp. 465.

[19] Ibid, H.1321 (1903-1904), p. 277.

[20] Mehmed Said, Türkiye’nin Sıhhi-i İctimai Coğrafyası Sinop Sancağı, Öğüd Matbaası, Ankara, H. 1338-m. 1922, p. 27.

[21] Ibid, H. 1306 (1888-1889), pp. 466-472.

[22] Ibid, H. 1306 (1888-1889), pp. 468-469.

[23] Ibid, H. 1306 (1888-1889), pp. 472-473, 480-483.

[24] Mehmet Yavuz Erler, “Payitaht (İstanbul) Askeri İdadisi’nde Öğrenciler ve Metropoldeki Eğitim Standardı (1838–1915)”, Studies of The Ottoman Domain, Cilt 7, Sayı 13, Ağustos 2017, s. 76.

[25] Ibid, H. 1306 (1888-1889), pp. 504-507.

[26] Owen P. Doonan, Sinop Landscapes Exploring Connection in a Black Sea Hinterland, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia, 2004, p. 11.