Glossary of Turkish word used during the Ottoman period

Ağa
Chief; master; head servant of a household


Akritai
Byzantine frontier troops


Acâriz
extra-ordinary taxes levied on the reâyâ in times of emergency


Baba


Father


Baş kadîn
“head women”, the first women of the Palace harem–> to bear the sultan a son


Bedestan
A covered market for the sale of valuable goods


Bey


1. Prince, ruler of an independent principality. 2. Governor of a district


Beylerbeyi
“Bey of the Beys”, governor of a beylerbeyilik. The highest rank in the provincial government of the Ottoman empire.


Beylerbeyilik
1. A province, the largest administrative unit in the Ottoman Empire, and governmen by a beylerbeyi. 2 The office of the beylerbeyi


Beylik
Any district or principality governed by a bey



Bazirgân
“merchants”, term used for large traders handling overseas and caravan trade; also known as tüccâr.


Celâlî
A rebel against the government in the 16th century Anatolia


Çeribaşî
“head of troops”, an officer in the provinces commanding a detachment of timar-holding sipâhîs



Çift bozan akçesi
“farm breaker’s tax”, a tax paid by a peasant to a timar-holding sipâhî in compensation for having left the sipâhî’s land


Çift Resmi
“farm tax”, a farm tax paid in cash by the Muslim reâyâ possessing one çift of land


Cizye
The poll-tax paid by non-Muslims in Islamic states


Dede


“grandfather”, title given to the heads of various dervish communities, especially to the head of the Bektaşî Order.


Defter Kethüdâsî
“Kethüdâ of the registers”, a provincial official controlling the timar registers.


Defterdâr
A head of the Treasury


Derbenci
The guardian of a pass, bridge or ford



Devşirme
1. The levy of Christian children to be trained for posts in the Palace, the administration or the kapîkulu military corps. 2. A youth so levied.


Dönüm
A unit of land measurement; 940 square metres.


Ehl-i hibre
“Person of knowledge”, an expert of a craft guild, controlling the quality of goods and heloing fix prices.


Emlâk


Property, real estate


Esnâf
Term used to describe the small tradiers, artisans and shopkeepers.


Eyâlet
A province; from the late 16th century the term used for a beylerbeyilik


Fen
A practical art or science



Fermân
An edict of the Sultan


Fetvâ
A written answer to a legal question, issued by the şeyhülislâm or other müftî


Gâzî
A warrior figthing on behalf of Islam


Gedikli


1. A degree in a craft guild or the bureaucracy, above apprentice and below a master. 2. A degree in hierarchy of the Palace harem, below the usta.


Hâcegân
The departmental heads in the bureaucracy


Haraç
A poll-tax paid by non-Muslims in Islamic states.


Harem
The women’s appartments in a Muslim household



Hazîne
The Threasury


Hazîne defterdârî
“Defterdâr of the Treasury”, a provincial official administering the sources of revenue belonging to the Treasury.


Hisba
The laws relating to public morals and especially commercial transactions, also known as ihtisâb


Hükûmet sanjak


“Goverment sanjak”, an autonomous, hereditary sanjak in eastern Anatolia, governed by a tribal chief. Later also used in the Balkans.


Ihtisâb
The laws relating to public morals and especially commercial transactions, also known as hisba.


Il yazîcîsî
“clerk of the district”, the registrar of a province who made the detailed register showing all the sources of revenue in the area.


Ispence
The name of the çift resmi as paid by the Christians



Yeniçeri
The Janissary corps; the sultan’s standing infantry corps, recruited from the devşirme and paid from the Treasury.


Kâdî
A judge administrering both şerîat and kânûn and chief administrator of a kâdîlik


Kâdîlik
1. A Kâdî’s administrative and judicial district; sub-division of a sanjak. 2. The office of a Kâdî


Kalfa


1. A senior clerk in the bureaucracy. 2. A master in a craft guild, acting as a salaried foreman.


Kantâr
A measure of weight; 56.449 kg.


Kânûn
A secular law or laws issued by the sultan, as a distinct from the şerîat.


Kapî
“Gate, Porte”, The Ottoman Government



Kul
“Slave”, a slave of the sultan, educated in the Palace and in the service of the state.


Levend
1. A landless and unemployed person. 2. A brigand on land or sea


Mîrî
1. The possessions and revenues of the government. 2. Belonging to the government.


Madâraba


A commercial undertaking where an investor places his money in another person’s trading venture.


Muhtesib
An inspector of markets and public morals enforcing the ihtisâb regulations.


Osmanlî
Ottoman


Sanjak
The chief administrative unit of the Ottoman Empire, governed by a sanjak beyi; subdivision of a beylerbeyilik



Sanjak beyi
The governor of a sanjak.


Sarîca
A provincial militia equipped with firearms.


Sekban
A provincial militia equipped with firearms.


Timar


A fief with an annual value of less than 20.000 akçes, whose revenues were held in return for military service.


Tüccâr
“Merchants”, term used for large traders handling the caravan and overseas trade; known also as bazirgân


Usta
1. A master in a craft guild or the bureaucracy. 2. A degree in the hierarchy of the Palace harem.


Vakîf
A grant of land or other source of recvenue given in mortmain for pious or charitable purposes.



Voynik
A Slav warrior in Ottoman service.


Yaya
“foot soldier” 1. A Turkish farmer serving with the army. 2. By the 16th century, one of a corps holding land and exempted from certain taxes in return for services to the government.


Yürük
A Turkish nomad in Anatolia or the Balkans