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Imperial Landed Endowments (Vakıf Çiftliks) in the Nineteenth-Century Ottoman Empire: The Case of Pertevniyal Valide Sultan’s Endowments in Thessaly

In: Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient
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  • 1 Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Sabancı University, Istanbul, Turkey
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Abstract

This article takes Pertevniyal Valide Sultan’s endowments as a case study and proposes an original contribution to the literature by discussing the transformation of Ottoman endowment management throughout the nineteenth century. The account books of landed estates (çiftliks), other endowment documents, and the Ottoman imperial archives constitute the basis of explaining different phases of estate management practices for endowments in the Thessaly region of northern Greece. The main argument is that, in contrastto the administration of earlier endowments in the region, the central administration of Pertevniyal Valide Sultan’s endowments expanded its control over its provincial revenue sources. This transformation became possible with the help of negotiations and alliances with several imperial and provincial institutions. This article also contributes to understanding social and economic life in Ottoman çiftliks by analysing land, production, and taxation relations in Thessaly.

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