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Sinop


Armenian community    EN

Author: İMAMOĞLU HUSEYIN VEHBI

In the Paris Conference, which was held on the 2nd of May in 1919, the Trabzon Metropolitan Bishop Chrysanthos, who served at the beginning of the 20th century, defined the settlements that covered the whole city of Trabzon, Şark-i Karahisar and Amasya Sanjaks of the city of Sivas and Sinop Sanjak of the city of Kastamonu as the Pontic area [1]. This view resulted from the information that Greeks and Armenians lived in Sinop and the information given by the historians who wrote about the area was also used. One of these historians, Bijişkyan, wrote in his book that the Christians in Sinop lived outside the castle that surrounded Sinop; however, Armenians were less in number when compared with the Greeks and they had a church [2].

The information about the non-Muslims living in Sinop can be found in the related archive documents, mainly in temettuat registers. Temettuat registers are registers about censuses in the provinces where Tanzimat was enforced and they include information about the social structures and occupations, duties, status, titles and economic conditions of the household which have an effect in the formation of neighborhoods [3].

In the population register which included the census of the Muslim and non-Muslim reayah and which was made in 1830 just before the temettuat census, there are records of three Muslim neighborhoods and one Armenian neighborhood called “Mahalle-i Ermeniyân” [4].

In Ottoman cities, neighborhoods are the basis of financial and administrative organization. They are also effective in shaping social relations. Kocabaşı and parish were responsible for the administration of non-Muslim neighborhoods [5]. While the Muslim neighborhoods in the city bore the names of a mosque or a masjid, non-Muslim neighborhoods bore the names of churches. Non-Muslims living outside the castle were referred to as “varoş mahallâtlarından” and they were classified according to their religious status [6].

The neighborhoods in which Armenians lived in Sinop were Elekçiyan (Kumbaşı) in the 18th century and Mahalle-i Ermeniyân at the beginning of the 19th century. It was found that the Armenians in these neighborhoods were later blended in other non-Muslim neighborhoods from the Armenian household names in these neighborhoods. Armenians who were also blended in Muslim neighborhoods were referred to as Armenian taifa and they were recorded last in the registers of the neighborhood [7].

According to the 1830 census register on non-Muslims living in Sinop in the 19th century, there were 1670 non-Muslims in the city. In the temettuât registers of 1844-1845, there were 367 non-Muslim households in the city and there were 1835 non-Muslims [8]. According to the 1882-1893 census and 1894 Kastamonu City Yearbook, 2.470 Armenians lived in the Sinop Sanjak [9].

It can be seen that the Armenians living in Sinop mostly owned shops and crafts working places. They performed their occupations in these places or they just rented these places for extra income. It was found that there was no bakery in non-Muslim neighborhoods in this period where bread was produced and in addition, there were no groceries or salt shops [10]. It can be understood that they went to Muslim neighborhoods for these needs.

Like other non-Muslims, sources of income were crafts and trade (about 97% of their total income), labor (about 1% of their total income) and rents and fees for Armenians. Other than these, they were found to have income from stockbreeding in some neighborhoods [11]. In addition, Armenians were also known to practice as doctors in the hospital in Sinop in 19th century [12].

 

[1] Pontus Meselesi, Haz: Yılmaz Kurt, (Ankara: TBMM Basımevi, 1995), ss. 107-110.

[2] P. M. Bijiskyan, Pontos Tarihi Tarihin Horona Durduğu Yer Karadeniz, İstanbul: Çiviyazıları Yayınevi, 1998).

[3] S. Mübahat Kütükoğlu, "Osmanlı Sosyal ve İktisadi Tarihi Kaynaklarından Temettuat Defterleri, Belleten, Cilt: 59, (Ankara: 1995), ss. 395-412.

[4] BOA, Fon Kodu: D.C.CRD, Dosya No: 39993, 1246/1830.

[5] Özer Ergenç, “Osmanlı Şehirlerindeki Yönetim Kurumlarının Niteliği Üzerine Bazı Düşünceler”, II. Türk Tarih Kongresi (Ankara 11–15 Ekim 1976), Cilt: II, (Ankara: 1981), s. 1271.

[6] Selim Özcan, “Sinop’taki Gayrimüslimlerin Sosyal ve Ekonomik Yapısı”, OTAM, Cilt: 30, 2011, s. 150.

[7] Ibid, Selim Özcan, s. 151.

[8] Ibid, Selim Özcan, s. 153.

[9] Necdet Hayta, Uğur Ünal, “1312 (1894) Yılı Kastamonu Vilayet Salnamesine Göre Kastamonu Vilayeti”, Birinci Kastamonu Kültür Sempozyumu Bildirileri, 21-23 Mayıs 2000, (Kastamonu: 2001), s. 39.

[10] Selim Özcan, Tanzimat Döneminde Sinop’un Sosyal Ekonomik Durumu, (Phd Thesis, Ondokuz Mayıs Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü, II. Section, Samsun: 2007).

[11] Ibid, Selim Özcan, s. 161.

[12] Kamil Şahin, “XIX. Yüzyılın Sonlarında Kastamonu’da Hastaneler”, II. Kastamonu Kültür Sempozyumu Bildirileri, 18-20 Eylül 2003, (Ankara: 2005), s. 124.


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