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Sinop


Greek community    EN

Author: DEMIR CENK

*Ph.D. (Lecturer), University of Sinop, Sinop, Turkey

The Greek population in Sinop that began to live under the administration of the Ottoman Empire in 1461 was living in 7 neighborhoods in 1481. All of these neighborhoods were outside the walls that surrounded the city at the eastern part of the city [1]. This settlement system continued the same way in the 18th century. In terms of physical location, the Muslim neighborhoods in Sinop settled in the inner parts surrounded by the city walls while the non-Muslims settled outside the city or in the area that was called the outskirts [2].

In the first half of the 18th century, there were 27 neighborhoods in Sinop. 18 of these were Muslim neighborhoods, 7 were non-Muslim neighborhoods and 2 were Balatlar and Kefevi neighborhoods where Muslims and non-Muslims lived together. Some of the Muslim neighborhoods had the names of a mosque or a small mosque while the Greek neighborhoods had the names of churches. Each Muslim neighborhood was considered to be a mosque congregation while each non-Muslim neighborhood was considered to be a church congregation. During this period, the names of Christian neighborhoods in Sinop were Ayaklıkenise, Ayatoturi, Meryemana, Arab, Ayakostantin, Ayanikola, Balatlar and Eleçiyan (Kumbaşı) [3].

According to Pascal Fourcade, who was the Sinop consul of France between the years 1803-1809, Greek consuls in Sinop at the beginning of the 19th century had great standing among the Greeks in the city. During this period, as a result of the Russian efforts to patronize the Greeks, there was a constant unrest in the Greek neighborhoods of the city center while it is reported that the aggressive behaviors of some Russian seamen that came to Sinop caused trouble in the city [4]. Per Minas Bıjışkyan who traveled the whole Black Sea coast between the years 1817-1819 stated in his work he wrote at the end of his travels that the Greeks living outside the Sinop castle were courageous and proud people [5].

In the 19th century, Greeks had the second most populous congregation in Sinop following Muslims. According to the 1871 Kastamonu yearbook; a total of 2,955 Greeks lived in Sinop sanjak- 2,545 in the center borough of Sinop and 410 in the borough of İstefan (Ayancık) [6]. According to the 1881/1882-1893 general census of Ottoman Empire, the total population of the center borough of Sinop was 44,656. Out of this population 40,254 were Muslim, 4,063 - 2,048 men and 2,015 women- were Greeks, 273 -123 men and 150 women- were Armenians and 66 were non-Muslim gypsies. In addition, a total of 84 Greeks -22 men and 62 women- lived in Boyabat borough of Sinop sanjak while a total of 1.213 Greeks -575 men and 638 women- lived in Ayancık borough of the same sanjak [7]. On the other hand, according to French Vital Cuinet’s book La Turquie d’Asie, 7.347 Greeks, 314 Armenians and 46.291 Muslims lived in the center borough of Sinop in 1894 [8]. In 1903, there were a total of 6.894 Greeks -3.500 men and 3.394 women- in Sinop sanjak [9]. Considering that the total population was 144.064 in Sinop sanjak in 1903, Greeks made up the 4,78% of the total population.

In time, population movements in the city caused changes in the cosmopolitan structure of the neighborhoods. For example, Balatlar neighborhood in which Muslims and non-Muslims lived together in the first half of the 18th century became a Muslim neighborhood in 1840s. According to Prafid registers of 1844-1845, there were 20 neighborhoods in Sinop and 14 of these were Muslim neighborhoods while 6 were non-Muslim neighborhoods. The names of these non-Muslim neighborhoods were Arap, Ayaklı, Ayanikola, Balatip, Kalafat and Meryemana and the total number of non-Muslim households in the center of Sinop was 367 [10].

Table 1. Household Number and Population of non-Muslim neighborhoods in the center of Sinop according to Prafid registers of 1844-1845

Number

Name of Neighborhood

Number of Households

Population

Number

Name of Neighborhood

Number of Households

Population

1

Arap

112

560

4

Balatip

9

45

2

Ayaklı

52

260

5

Kalafat

65

325

3

Ayanikola

62

310

6

Meryemana

67

335

Total

226

1130

Final total

367

1835

Source: Selim Özcan, “Tanzimat Döneminde Sinop’un Sosyal Ekonomik Durumu”, (PhdThesis Ondokuzmayıs Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü, Samsun, 2007, p. 53).

Considering that Greeks formed the great majority of the non-Muslim population in Sinop, it can be said that the household and population rates in the table above reflect the Greek population predominantly.

The non-Muslim population in the center of Sinop that consisted mainly of Greeks earned their livings through various occupations. The most common occupations were the ones related to handicraft and trade with 43 different kinds of occupation. Some of these occupations were: tailor, sherbet seller, aba maker, tinsmith, clockmaker, jeweler, second-hand clothes dealer, carpenter, stonemason, glassmaker, fishmonger, boatman, keeper of a coffee house. In addition, there were non-Muslim laborers, servants, port workers and clergymen who made only religious services. On the other hand, non-Muslims in the city almost never dealt with agricultural occupations since they did not own land in general [11].

After the second half of the 19th century, Greeks in Sinop began to appear in public institutions such as municipality, administrative council, inferior court, public works commission, council of education, agricultural bank, hospital, school, public debt administration and stage management. For example, there were the names of 39 Greeks working in various public institutions of Sinop in the 1899 Kastamonu yearbook [12].

According to Ottoman archives, there were two Greek schools in Sinop in 1890s but there was no information about the degree of education in these schools. One of these schools was for boys while the other one was for the girls, and an average of 2 or 3 teachers worked in them [13]. In addition, of the 89 registered students in Sinop High School in 1903, 77 were Muslims while 12 were Christians. Considering the Greek population in Sinop, there is a possibility that most of these Christian students are Greeks. Again in 1903, there were 6 teachers and 2 janitors in Greek boys school. Of the 8 people who worked in the school, only the Ottoman Turkish teacher was Turkish while the others were Greek. Statistical information about the Greek Boys and Girls Schools as for years during the late 19th century and early 20th century is in the following table [14].

Table 2. Statistics of Sinop Greek Boys and Girls Schools (1892-1903)

 

Greek Boys Schools

Greek Girls Schools

Year

Number of Teachers

Number of Janitors

Number of Students

Number of Teachers

Number of Janitors

Number of Students

1892

6

-

240

2

-

160

1893

6

-

240

2

-

160

1894

6

-

240

2

-

160

1896

3

1

228

2

-

175

1899

3

1

280

3

-

240

1903

6

2

214

3

1

234

Source: Salname-i Vilayet-i Kastamonu: Hicri 1310 (Miladi 1892), Def’a 16. Kastamonu: Vilayet Matbaası, 1310/1892, p. 439-440; Salname-i Vilayet-i Kastamonu: Hicri 1311 (Miladi 1893), Def’a 17. Kastamonu: Vilayet Matbaası, 1311/1893, p. 249; Salname-i Vilayet-i Kastamonu: Hicri 1312 (Miladi 1894), Def’a 18. Kastamonu: Vilayet Matbaası, 1312/1894, p. 312-313;Salname-i Vilayet-i Kastamonu: Hicri 1314 (Miladi 1896), Def’a 19. Kastamonu: Vilayet Matbaası, 1314/1896, p. 240; Salname-i Vilayet-i Kastamonu: Hicri 1317 (Miladi 1899), Def’a 20. Kastamonu: Vilayet Matbaası, 1317/1899, p. 261; Salname-i Vilayet-i Kastamonu: Hicri 1321 (Miladi 1903), Def’a 21. Kastamonu: Vilayet Matbaası, 1321/1903, p. 284.

 


[1] Mehmet Ali Ünal, Osmanlı Devrinde Sinop, Fakülte Kitabevi, Vol. 1, Isparta, 2008, p. 110.

[2] Selim Özcan, “Tanzimat Döneminde Sinop’un Sosyal Ekonomik Durumu”, (PhdThesis Ondokuzmayıs Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü, Samsun, 2007, p. 35).

[3] Ibid, Selim Özcan, p. 34.

[4] Özgür Yılmaz, “Güney Karadeniz’de Yeni Fransız Politikası: Pascal Fourcade ve Sinop Konsolosluğu (1803-1809)”, CahiersBalkaniques, 42, 2014, p. 15.

[5] Per Minas Bıjışkyan, Karadeniz Kıyıları Tarih ve Coğrafyası 1817-1819, Trans. Hrand D. Andresyan, İ. Ü. Edebiyat Faküktesi Yayınları, No: 1411, İstanbul, 1969, p. 31.

[6] Salname-i Vilayet-i Kastamonu: Hicri 1288 (Miladi 1871), Def’a 3. Kastamonu: Vilayet Matbaası, 1288/1871, p. 151.

[7] Kemal H. Karpat, Ottoman Population, 1830-1914: Demographic and Social Characteristics, The University of Wisconsin Press, First printing, Wisconsin, 1985, pp. 140-141.

[8] İbrahim Tellioğlu, “Vital Cuinet’e Göre Karadeniz Bölgesinin Nüfusu”, Fırat Üniversitesi İlahiyat Fakültesi Dergisi, Vol. 3, Elazığ, 1998, pp. 95-102.

[9] Salname-i Vilayet-i Kastamonu: Hicri 1321 (Miladi 1903), Def’a 21. Kastamonu: Vilayet Matbaası, 1321/1903, p. 379.

[10] Ibid, Selim Özcan, pp. 36-37.

[11] Ibid, Selim Özcan, pp. 75-81.

[12] Salname-i Vilayet-i Kastamonu: Hicri 1317 (Miladi 1899), Def’a 20. Kastamonu: Vilayet Matbaası, 1317/1899, p. 254-258.

[13] Ahmet Cengiz, “Salnamelerde Sinop”, in Nuray Türker, Gülgün Köroğlu, Önder Deniz (eds.) I. International Conference on the Black SeaRegionalCulture, Sinop, 2011, pp. 167-182.

[14] Salname-i Vilayet-i Kastamonu: Hicri 1321 (Miladi 1903), Def’a 21. Kastamonu: Vilayet Matbaası, 1321/1903, p. 283-284.


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