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Administrative Structures in the Upper Ottoman Kurdistan During the 18th Century


The Ottoman Rule to the Ottoman Upper Kurdistan was mostly considered in the basis of center-periphery power relations. The mainstream Ottomanists described that the region was strictly controlled by the state, and for them, the local power holders were not so much active power players in this buffer zone. Therefore, the locals were depicted as passive subjects and they were the subalterns of the Upper Ottoman Kurdistan for not to speak. However, if we closely question and analyze the Ottoman documentations, the exact power relations occurred among the local actors on common ground. The Ottoman imperial center carried his check-and-balance policies, but the aristocrats of the region played the most active role in these borderal lands of the Ottoman Empire during the 18th century. One of the main objectives of this article is to put the idea further that the classification of the Ottoman Hükümet and Yurtluk/Ocaklık Sancaks, do not represent the real political atmosphere in upper Ottoman Kurdistan during the 18th century. Rather, they stand as a superficial terminology and Yurtluk/Ocaklık Sancak rulers sometimes became much more powerful compared to the Khans of Hükümet Sancaks in the upper Ottoman Kurdistan. At the beginning of the article, few examples were given to see how the Ottomanists described the power relations in the upper Ottoman Kurdistan. And then, the readers will find out that how the upper Ottoman Kurdistan administratively structured in real term during the 18th century. The roles of Pasha Sancaks of Erzurum and Van, the Ottoman Hükümet Sancak of Bidlis, and Yurtluk/Ocaklık Sancaks of the region were mentioned in order to see how the real atmosphere was in the upper Ottoman Kurdistan during the 18th century.

Keywords: Ottomans, Kurdish Beys, yurtluk/ocaklik (fiefdom), hükümet (government), sancak.

Dabar Kirin

About Erdal ÇİFTÇİ

Wanebêj, Zanîngeha Mardin Artukluyê, Fakulteya Edebiyatê, Beşa Tarîxê, Mêrdîn, Turkiye. / Lecturer, Mardin Artuklu University, Faculty of Literature, Department of History, Mardin, Turkey.

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