The function of the Ottoman governor (vali) in the Bosnian eyalet and the documents he issued Cover Image

The function of the Ottoman governor (vali) in the Bosnian eyalet and the documents he issued

Author(s): Azra Gadžo-Kasumović
Subject(s): History
Published by: Gazi Husrev-begova biblioteka
Keywords: Ejalet Bosna; osmanski valija; vojna i civilna uprava; dodjela timara; vezirov arpaluk; posredovanje u diplomaciji; Dubrovačka republika; dokumenti valije; diplomatika; valijini zamjenici; funkcije

Summary/Abstract: The author analyses documents concerning valis and their deputies at the level of eyalet and kadilik and the procedures for their appointment. She stresses the fact that the term “Bosnian vali” as used in scholarly literature is inadequate for describing the nature of the vali’s function or the system in which he operated. The author insists on the following description: “the Ottoman vali working in the Bosnian eyalet”. The author describes duties and functions of the Ottoman vali in Bosnia, especially his role in the distribution of timars. In the second part of the article, the author describes the documents issued by the Ottoman vali. Some documents are described from the point of view of diplomatics, with a special emphasis placed on the tahvil of the timar letter. In this regard, the author discusses timar tahvil and, more generally, the allotment of timars. She emphasizes differences between the vali’s berat for timar, the tahvil letter for timar and the tahvil letter or berat tezkire, noting that very few berats issued by the vali regarding the allotment of timars are recorded in the Sarajevo court sijjils that were kept by the Ottoman mulla. The reason for this is the fact that circulation and rotation of timars were very intensive, but the procedure envisaged for issuing sultanic berats was not implemented. It is clear that in the 18th and the first half of the 19th century, there was no time for the regular implementation of procedures for obtaining berats due to constant warfare, which no longer had an offensive, but more of a defensive character. This development paved the way for an unchecked administration of timars and abuse in allotting timar revenues. The result was a weakening of the foundations of military strength and administration of the frontier province and serhat that Bosnia was and, hence, of the Empire itself.

  • Issue Year: 2012
  • Issue No: 33
  • Page Range: 5-58
  • Page Count: 54
  • Language: Bosnian