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Reform in the Ottoman Empire

Author(s) : Kechriotis Evangelos (6/30/2008)
Translation : Kechrioti Eirini

For citation: Kechriotis Evangelos , "Reform in the Ottoman Empire",
Encyclopaedia of the Hellenic World, Constantinople
URL: <http://www.ehw.gr/l.aspx?id=11703>

Μεταρρυθμίσεις στην Οθωμανική Αυτοκρατορία (12/22/2008 v.1) Reform in the Ottoman Empire (5/17/2011 v.1) 



A title given to military officials of high rank in the Ottoman Empire. From the 17th - and particularly the 18th- century the title bore also powerful Muslims who did not have any immediate military capacity.

grand vizier
Highest government official in the Ottoman Empire, second only to the Sultan. Before the 19th century he led the Ottoman army to war, when the Sultan could not go. He had vast administrative, legislative and judiciary responsibilities. During the reforms of the 19th century the office became even more important, as the grand vizier became in fact the head of the Ottoman government, very similar to the prime minister.

The system of tax farming in the Ottoman Empire, according to which the taxes owed to the state were farmed by auction to private individuals, who had the right to collect them.

Office that combinbed judicial, notarial and administrative duties. The kadi, who held court at the kaza's seat, registered all legal acts and documents in the court's codices (sicil). The kadi passed judgement based on the saria (the holy law of Islam), taking also into consideration the kanun (sultanic law) and the customary law (örf). Resort to his court had all the subjects of the Empire. The kadi had also administrative duties, which he performed in collaboration with the officials of the kaza., and he had to supervise tax collection.

The basic grade of the Ottoman provincial administration. It included the surrounding region of a city or a town. During the late Ottoman Period it is identified with the kaymakamlık.

sancak (liva)
Medium sized unit of provincial administration of the Ottoman state, throughout its history. A subdivision of the early Ottoman eyalet (or beylerbeylik) and the later Ottoman vilayet. In the late Ottoman Period it was known also as mutasarrıflık.

Governor of the vilayet, the larger administrative unit in the Ottoman provincial administration system. Vali had extensive executive, administrative and judicial authority.

vilayet (valilik)
The larger administrative unit in the Ottoman provincial administration system. The large provinces of the Ottoman Empire were previously called eyalet. The new regulation of 1864 introduced the vilayet as an equivalent of the French départment - albeit of smaller size. The governor of the vilayet was called vali and had extensive authority.


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