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Encyclopedia > State organisation of the Ottoman Empire
Image:20pxOttomanicon.png State organisation
of the Ottoman Empire
House of Osman
Grand Vizier (1320-1922)
Divan (1586? - 1908)
Imperial Government (1908 - 1920)
See also Subdivisions - Phanariotes

The Ottoman Empire developed a highly advanced organisation of state over the centuries. Even though it had a very centralized government with the Sultan as the supreme ruler, it had an effective control of its provinces and citizens, as well as its officials. Image File history File links 20pxOttomanicon. ... Motto: دولت ابد مدت Devlet-i Ebed-müddet (The Eternal State) Anthem: Ottoman imperial anthem Borders in 1680, see: list of territories Capital Söğüt (1299-1326) Bursa (1326-1365) Edirne (1365-1453) Constantinople (Istanbul) (1453-1922) Language(s) Ottoman Turkish Government Monarchy Sultans  - 1281–1326 Osman I  - 1918–1922 Mehmed VI... House of Osman is the name to the administrative structure of the Ottoman Dynasty, which is part of state organization of the Ottoman Empire, however directly linked to dynasty. ... A Vizier (وزير, sometimes also spelled Wazir) is an Arabic term for a high-ranking religious and political advisor, often to a king or sultan. ... This article should be split into multiple articles accessible from a disambiguation page. ... Imperial Government of the Ottoman Empire is the goverment structure added to the Ottoman governing structure during Second Constitutional Era. ... An image of the extravagance attributed to Phanariotes in Wallachia: Nicholas Mavrogenes riding through Bucharest in a deer-drawn carriage (late 1780s) Phanariotes, Phanariots, or Phanariote Greeks (Greek: Φαναριώτες, Romanian: FanarioÅ£i) were members of those prominent Greek families residing in Phanar[1] (Φανάρι, modern Fener),[2] the chief Greek quarter of... Motto: دولت ابد مدت Devlet-i Ebed-müddet (The Eternal State) Anthem: Ottoman imperial anthem Borders in 1680, see: list of territories Capital Söğüt (1299-1326) Bursa (1326-1365) Edirne (1365-1453) Constantinople (Istanbul) (1453-1922) Language(s) Ottoman Turkish Government Monarchy Sultans  - 1281–1326 Osman I  - 1918–1922 Mehmed VI... Sultan (Arabic: سلطان) is an Islamic title, with several historical meanings. ...

The Government
The Government

The system was very professional. Wealth and rank wasn't necessarily something one inherited, rather it had to be earned. Positions were perceived as titles such as viziers and ağas. Military service was a key to advancement in the hierarchy. Image File history File links Ottoman_governing_structure. ... Image File history File links Ottoman_governing_structure. ... A Vizier (وزير, sometimes also spelled Vizir, Wasir, Wazir, Wesir, Wezir - grammatical vowel changes are common in many oriental languages) is an oriental, originally Persian, term for a high-ranking political (and sometimes religious) advisor or Minister, often to a Muslim monarch such as a Caliph, Amir, Malik (king) or Sultan. ... A hierarchy (in Greek: , it is derived from -hieros, sacred, and -arkho, rule) is a system of ranking and organizing things or people, where each element of the system (except for the top element) is subordinate to a single other element. ...

Contents

Imperial Governance

See also: Subdivisions of the Ottoman Empire and Vilayet

With the expansion of the Empire, the need for more systematic administrative organization arose. Over time a dual system of military ("Central System") and civil administration ("Provincial Governing") developed a kind of separation of powers with most higher executive functions carried out by the military authorities and judicial and basic administration duties carried out by civil authorities. Outside this system were various types of vassal and tributary states. Most of the areas ruled by the Ottomans were explicitly mentioned in the official full style of the sultan, including various lofty titles adopted to emphasize imperial rank and show the empire as being "successor-in-law" to conquered states. Ottoman Empire, 1481-1683 The Ottoman Empire existed from 1299 to 1922 and, at the height of its power in the 16th century, it included nearly 20 million km² in Anatolia (Asia Minor), the Middle East, parts of North Africa, and much of south-eastern Europe, and the Caucasus. ... Vilâyet (also eyalet or pashaluk) was the Turkish name for the provinces of the Ottoman Empire. ... The separation of powers (or trias politica, a term coined by French political Enlightenment thinker Montesquieu) is a model for the governance of democratic states. ... The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      In law, the judiciary or judicature is the system of courts which administer justice in the name of the sovereign or state, a mechanism for the resolution of disputes. ... A puppet state is a state whose government, though notionally of the same culture as the governed people - owes its existence (or other major debt) to being installed, supported or controlled by a more powerful entity, typically a foreign power. ... A tribute (from Latin tribulum, contribution) is wealth one party gives to another as a sign of respect or, as was often case in historical contexts, of submission or allegiance. ...


The empire was divided on vilayets. Each Vilayet the governors were assigned to the each vilayet. The idea of vilayet originated from the Seljuk vassal state (Uç Beyliği) in central Anatolia, the Empire over the years became an amalgamation of pre-existing polities, the Anatolian beyliks, brought under the sway of the ruling House of Osman. Vilâyet (also eyalet or pashaluk) was the Turkish name for the provinces of the Ottoman Empire. ... Vilâyet (also eyalet or pashaluk) was the Turkish name for the provinces of the Ottoman Empire. ... A governor or governour (archaic) is a governing official, usually the executive (at least nominally, to different degrees also politically and administratively) of a non-sovereign level of government, ranking under the Head of state; furthermore the title applies to officials with a similar mandate as representatives of a chartered... The Seljuk Turks (also Seldjuk, Seldjuq, Seljuq;in Turkish Selçuklu, in Persian سلجوقيان SaljÅ«qiyān ; in Arabic سلجوق SaljÅ«q, or السلاجقة al-Salājiqa;) were a major branch of the Oghuz Turkics and a dynasty that ruled parts of Central Asia and the Middle East from the 11th to 14th... Polity is a general term that refers to political organization of a group. ... Anatolian beyliks (also Turkmen beyliks, Tevâif-i mülûk (in Ottoman Turkish) are small Turkish emirates or muslim principalities governed by tribal beys, which were founded in several locations of Anatolia at the end of the 13th century. ... The Ottoman Dynasty (or the Imperial House of Osman) ruled the Ottoman Empire from 1281 to 1923, beginning with Osman I (not counting his father, ErtuÄŸrul), though the dynasty was not proclaimed until 1383 when Murad I declared himself sultan. ...


Central System (military administration)

The central system was composed of Sultan and his own people (book keepers, etc) under what was known as "House of Osman". The House of Osman was advised by Divan. Divan was composed of Grandvizer and ruling class (nobles). The ruling class was called the askeri, including the noblemen, court officials, military officers and the religious class called the ulema. Askeri is an Ottoman Turkish term that refers to a class of imperial administrators in the Ottoman Empire. ... Ulema (, translit: , singular: , translit: , scholar) refers to the educated class of Muslim scholars engaged in the several fields of Islamic studies. ...


Divan, with time become very powerful and after the Murat IV, sultans begin not to join to the sessions. Sultan Murad IV Murad IV (June 16, 1612 – February 9, 1640) was the sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1623 to 1640, known both for restoring the authority of the state and for the brutality of his methods. ...


House of Osman

Further information: House of Osman, Imperial Harem, Ottoman Dynasty

The Ottomans did not seem to have a hereditary system based on primogeniture (crown passes to the eldest son) or seniority (crown passes to the next oldest brother). The crown typically passed to the son of a sultan, but the hereditary system changed often and was inconsistently applied. House of Osman is the name to the administrative structure of the Ottoman Dynasty, which is part of state organization of the Ottoman Empire, however directly linked to dynasty. ... Concubine places The Imperial Harem or Harem was one of the most important powers of the Ottoman court. ... The Ottoman Dynasty (or the Imperial House of Osman) ruled the Ottoman Empire from 1281 to 1923, beginning with Osman I (not counting his father, ErtuÄŸrul), though the dynasty was not proclaimed until 1383 when Murad I declared himself sultan. ...


The Divan

Ahmed III receiving the French embassy of Charles de Ferriol in 1699; painting by Jean-Baptiste van Mour
Ahmed III receiving the French embassy of Charles de Ferriol in 1699; painting by Jean-Baptiste van Mour

Though the sultan was the sublime monarch he had a number of advisors and ministers. The most powerful of these were the viziers of the Divan, led by the Grand Vizier. The Divan was a council where the viziers met and debated the politics of the empire. It was the Grand Vizier's duty to inform the sultan of the opinion of the divan. The sultan often took his vizier's advices in consideration, but he by no means had to obey the divan. Sometimes the sultan called a divan meeting himself if he had something important to inform his viziers of, such as coming war. The viziers then carried out his orders. The divan consisted of three viziers in the 14th century and eleven in the 17th century, four of them served as Viziers of the Dome, the most important ministers next to the Grand Vizier. Sometimes the commander (ağa) of the Janissaries attended at the divan meetings as well. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1576x1191, 165 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): State organisation of the Ottoman Empire French Ambassador to Turkey ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1576x1191, 165 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): State organisation of the Ottoman Empire French Ambassador to Turkey ... Sultan Ahmed III Köçeks at a fair. ... Events January 26 - Treaty of Karlowitz signed March 30 - the tenth Sikh Master, Guru Gobind Singh created the Khalsa. ... Calkoens audience with the Sultan, painting by Jean-Baptiste Van Mour (1727) Jean-Baptiste van Mour or Vanmour (January 9, 1671—January 22, 1737) was a Flemish-French painter, remembered for his detailed portrayal of life in the Ottoman Empire during the Tulip Era and the rule of Sultan... A Vizier (وزير, sometimes also spelled Vizir, Wasir, Wazir, Wesir, Wezir - grammatical vowel changes are common in many oriental languages) is an oriental, originally Persian, term for a high-ranking political (and sometimes religious) advisor or Minister, often to a Muslim monarch such as a Caliph, Amir, Malik (king) or Sultan. ... This article should be split into multiple articles accessible from a disambiguation page. ... Chamberlain of Sultan Murad IV with janissaries The Janissaries (or janizaries; in Ottoman Turkish: يكيچرى (yeniçeri, meaning new soldier); in Albanian:Jeniçer; Greek: Γενίτσαροι; (Yenitsari) in Bulgarian: еничари (enichari) or яничари (yanichari); in Bosnian: Janjičari; in Serbian: Јањичари or Janjičari; in Romanian: ieniceri; in Arabic: الانكشارية) comprised infantry units that formed the...


Political Elite
Main articles: Grand Vizier and Vizer
See also: List of Ottoman Grand Viziers

The viziers were the core of the nobles, though they were really servants of the sultan. In addition, the viziers had their own advisers called the kahya. Other noble families inhabited Istanbul and often visited the court during parties or ceremonies. The clergy was another prominent part of the court. The muftis and imams were always present at religious ceremonies, which were plentiful. The müteferrika was a sort of young nobleman's club, where the sons of effendis, paşas and other notables got together. They often accompanied the sultan when he went out hunting. A Vizier (وزير, sometimes also spelled Wazir) is an Arabic term for a high-ranking religious and political advisor, often to a king or sultan. ... Grand viziers Chief ministers Grand viziers Jun 1882 - November 1882 Küçük Mehmed Said Pasha (1st time) (s. ...


Administrative Elite
See also: Minister (government), Ministry (government department), Sheikh ul-Islam, and List of Ottoman Ministers of Finance

The Minister (government) (tr: Nazır) had not as much influence over the sultans as the viziers, but controlled the Ministry (government department) (tr: Nezareti). The ministries and departments were important parts of the Ottoman bureaucracy. The ministries also supplied the viziers with whatever information they required. A minister or a secretary is a politician who holds significant public office in a national or regional government. ... A ministry is a department of a government, led by a minister. ... Sheikh ul-islam (Sheikhul islam, Shaikh al-Islam, Åžeyhülislam) is a title of superior authority in the issues of Islam. ... This is a list of the top officials in charge of the finances of the Ottoman Empire, called Defterdar (book-holder) between 14th-19th centuries and Maliye Naziri (Minister of Finance) between 19th and 20th centuries. ... A minister or a secretary is a politician who holds significant public office in a national or regional government. ... A ministry is a department of a government, led by a minister. ...


The most important minister was the minister of justice, the Adliye Nazırı, whose ministry included the civil judges (kadis) and the military judges (kadiaskers or kaziaskers) who were the highest judicial authority of the Empire after the seyhulislam, the supreme religious leader of the ulema. Other officials within a ministry included the Kethüdar, a representative of the ministry and assistant to the minister with several clerks (kalfas) under him. The kalfas did all the paper-work in the Ottoman bureaucracy. // Definition Kadi is the name given to the judge of Islam. ... Sheikh ul-Islam (Sheikhul Islam, Shaikh al-Islam, Åžeyhülislam) is a title of superior authority in the issues of Islam. ... Ulema (, translit: , singular: , translit: , scholar) refers to the educated class of Muslim scholars engaged in the several fields of Islamic studies. ...


Military Elite

For each military corps there was a Nazır who had the administrative power. Under him was the Ağa who had the ceremonial command of the corps. There was also a corps of palace guards (Zuluflu Baltaci) under the command of the Swordmaster and palace gardeners (Bostancı) who also were responsible for the Sultan's luxury boat. Those taught in European etiquette and language (mainly French) served as Yasakçi, guards for foreign ambassadors. Also stationed near the palace was the Six Divisions of Cavalry (Altı Bölük) and, of course, the Janissaries. The Six Divisions of Cavalry (Altı Bölük) was a corps of mounted elite soldiers in the Ottoman army. ... Chamberlain of Sultan Murad IV with janissaries The Janissaries (or janizaries; in Ottoman Turkish: يكيچرى (yeniçeri, meaning new soldier); in Albanian:Jeniçer; Greek: Γενίτσαροι; (Yenitsari) in Bulgarian: еничари (enichari) or яничари (yanichari); in Bosnian: Janjičari; in Serbian: Јањичари or Janjičari; in Romanian: ieniceri; in Arabic: الانكشارية) comprised infantry units that formed the...


Governor (Beys)

Main article: Bey

The hereditary rulers of these territories were known as beys and many of the continued to rule under the suzerainty of the Ottoman sultans. The term bey came to be applied not only to these former rulers but also to new governors appointed where the local leadership had been eliminated. Bey is the Turkish word for chieftain, traditionally applied to the leaders of small tribal groups. ... Bey is the Turkish word for chieftain, traditionally applied to the leaders of small tribal groups. ... Suzerainty refers to a situation in which a region or people is a tributary to a more powerful entity which allows the tributary some limited domestic autonomy but controls its foreign affairs. ... Sultan (Arabic: سلطان) is an Islamic title, with several historical meanings. ...


The Imperial Government

The Imperial Government was added during the Second Constitutional Era. The Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) was in the power; most of the ministers were from CUP. Imperial Government of the Ottoman Empire is the goverment structure added to the Ottoman governing structure during Second Constitutional Era. ... Public Demonstration The Second Constitutional Era in the Ottoman Empire began with the 1908 Young Turk Revolution, shortly after which Sultan Abdul Hamid II restored the 1876 Constitution suspended since 1878. ... Foundation: 1890 Dissolved: 1918, Court Martialed Head: Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) (Turkish: Ä°ttihad ve Terakki Cemiyeti) was a political organization during the dissolution period of the Ottoman Empire which came to power between 1908 and 1918. ...


Provincial Governing (civil administration)

Townspeople, villagers and farmers formed a lower class called the reaya. This class had nothing to do with what religion one belonged to but rather meant anyone who was not askeri. Nobles sometimes used the word turk for Muslim farmers and villagers, referring to them as ignorant. A rayah, raya, or reaya (the usual modern scholarly spelling) (also spelled raiah, reaya; Ottoman Turkish رعايا [reʔaːjeː]; Modern Turkish râya [raːjaː] or reaya) was a member of the tax-paying lower class of Ottoman society, in contrast to the askeri. ... A Muslim (Arabic: مسلم, Turkish: Müslüman, Persian and Urdu: مسلمان, Bosnian: Musliman) is an adherent of Islam. ...


Civil and judicial administration was carried out under a separate parallel system of small municipal or rural units called kazas administered by a qadi (kadı). Kazas in turn were subdivided into nahiyas. The qadis came from the ulema and represent the legal authority of the sultan. The civil system was considered a check on the military system since beys (who represented executive authority) could not carry out punishment without a sentence for a qadi. Likewiese, qadis were not permitted to personally effect punishment. In the areas of sharia and kanun law, qadis were responsible directly to the sultan. KAZA (Channel 54) is a Azteca America television station affiliate in the Los Angeles area. ... Qadi (قاضى) is an Arabic term meaning judge. ... Nahiya ( Arabic: ناحية, plural Nawahi) is a term for an administrative unit used in Syria and Iraq. ... Ulema (, translit: , singular: , translit: , scholar) refers to the educated class of Muslim scholars engaged in the several fields of Islamic studies. ... Bey is the Turkish word for chieftain, traditionally applied to the leaders of small tribal groups. ... Not to be confused with Shahryar. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Kanuni i Lekë Dukagjinit. ...


Millets (central representation)

Further information: Millet (Ottoman Empire)

The community governing was a hierarchical system with the elders as the smallest group which forms the millets. Beginning with Tanzimat millets have their own selected councils, which was another layer between the patriarchs and elders. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Graphical timeline Caricature; changes in the form, not in the mind The Tanzimat was a period of reform in the Ottoman Empire that lasted from 1839 to 1876. ...


Under Ottoman rule the major religious groups were allowed to establish their own self-governing communities, called millets, each retaining its own religious laws, traditions, and language under the general protection of the sultan. Millets were led by religious chiefs, who served as secular as well as religious leaders and thus had a substantial interest in the continuation of Ottoman rule.


Elders (local representation)

See also: Elder (religious)

On a deeply local level cities and villages belonging to a millet were allowed to keep their power micro-structures that would signify a level of "autonomy", e.g. the Greek villages and cities were up to a point being steered by councils of the "Elder (religious)" (Dimogerontes, Gerontes, Prokritoi) that had the responsibility of representing their people to the Region's Pasha like it was happening during the late Byzantine years. A religious elder (in Greek, πρεσβυτερος [presbyteros]) is valued for his or her wisdom, in part for their age, on the grounds that the older one is then the more one is likely to know. ... Pasha (or pascha, bashaw; Turkish: paşa; originally from Persian padshah or padeshah meaning king or from Turkish bash head, chief [1]) was a high rank in the Ottoman Empire political system, typically granted to governors and generals. ...


Quite interesting is the fact that in several well economically established areas this Prokritoi class would eventually become a type of nobility. In Athens for example the Gerousia (council of the elders) became a closed club occupied mostly by 10-13 Houses (e.g. the Houses of Benizelos, Palaiologos, Gerontas). Mehmed II used the conquering army to restore the physical structure of the city. Old buildings were repaired, streets, aqueducts, and bridges were constructed, sanitary facilities were modernized, and a vast supply system was established to provide for the city's inhabitants. Nickname: City of Athena or Cradle of Democracy Location of the city of Athens (red dot) within the Prefecture of Athens and Periphery of Attica Coordinates: Country Greece Peripheries Attica Prefecture Athens Founded circa 2000 BC Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis Area    - City 38. ... The Gerousia was the Spartan senate. ... The Double-headed eagle, emblem of the Paleologus dynasty and the Byzantine Empire. ... Family of the Athenian nobility of the late Byzantine and Ottoman years. ... Mehmed II (Ottoman Turkish: محمد ثانى Meḥmed-i sānÄ«, Turkish: ), (also known as el-Fatih (الفاتح), the Conqueror, in Ottoman Turkish, or, in modern Turkish, Fatih Sultan Mehmet) (March 30, 1432 – May 3, 1481) was Sultan of the Ottoman Empire for a short time from 1444 to 1446, and later from...


Vassal States

The Ottoman Empire had many vassal states of varying size attached to it. Vassals paid taxes to the sultan and often contributed with troops in various Ottoman military campaigns. Many of the imperial provinces were vassal states before being reduced to provinces. A vassal state that never became a province was the Khanate of Crimea in the region around Crimea, north of Black Sea - it would fall to Russia instead (1774-83; later in modern Ukraine). Look up vassal in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The Crimean Khanate (Khanate of Crimea) was an independent Turkic state (khanate) founded in 1441 by Haci Giray Khan, a descendant of Genghis Khan. ... Motto: Процветание в единстве - Prosperity in unity Anthem: Нивы и горы твои волшебны, Родина - Your fields and mounts are wonderful, Motherland Capital Simferopol Largest cities Simferopol, Eupatoria, Kerch, Theodosia, Yalta Official language Ukrainian. ... Map of the Black Sea. ...

  • A special case was the Greek orthodox 'monastic republic' of Mount Athos, were Istanbul was only represented by an aga (officer) as its agent in Karyaes.
  • As the empire weakened militarily, it would inevitably lose control through foreign victories (Russia took large chunks of territory; the Christian empires helped ever more parts of the Balkans secede, often after a vassalic stage, such as the hospodars) but also see real control over some if its (mainly remote) provinces slip away to a state of little more than formal sovereignty over tributary, de facto autonomous states.

This happened in North Africa: the Beys/Deys of Tunis and Algiers established themselves as 'regencies' and even Egypt went its own way under its great khedive Mohammed Ali - they would in turn be subjected to European colonial dominance (in name only protectorate) of France and Britain. Capital Karyes Languages Koine Greek, Church Slavonic (both liturgical), as well as Modern Greek, Russian, Serbian, Georgian, Bulgarian, Romanian (civil) Head of State Greek Minister of For. ... Look up aga in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Hospodar or gospodar is a term of Slavonic origin, meaning lord. The rulers of Wallachia and Moldavia (only occasionally joined) were styled hospodars in Slavic writings from the 15th century to 1866, alongside the title of voivod. ... Khedive (from Persian for lord) was a title created in 1867 by the Ottoman Sultan Abd-ul-Aziz for the then-governor of Egypt, Ismail Pasha. ... This article is about the viceroy of Egypt. ...


References

  • Encyclopaedia Britannica 2006

 
 

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