08 December 2006

1265) Turkish-Armenian Relations In The Ottoman Legal System In Tokat (1770-1810)



Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ali AÇIKEL

University of Gaziosmanpaşa

Faculty of Science and Arts

Department of History

E-mail: acikel@gop.edu.tr

Tel: 0356 2521582/3231

INTRODUCTION

In fact, Turkish-Armenian legal relations had been established in the pre-Ottoman times. These relations have been lived in more densely and extensively during the Ottoman period of six centuries. In this period, the legal relations of two societies (Turks and Armenians) have been generally examined in the framework of the relations of Muslim-non-Muslim[1]. In few scientific studies, the state of Armenians in the Ottoman State has been evaluated[2]. It does not seem to have existed serious studies in academic level on Turkish-Armenian legal relations in any region[3].

Although the legal aspect of Turkish-Armenian relations has been generally lighted by the above-mentioned studies, it is not certainly known what the real situation was in the Ottoman cities where a few religious societies lived together. It has not been yet answered the question whether the regional differences affected or not the legal relations of these two societies (Turks and Armenians). In order to eliminate this shortcoming, it is necessary to do a number of regional studies individually or by a team.

In this paper, as a regional study, it will be dealt with Turkish-Armenian relations in the legal system between the years of 1770 and 1810 in the city of Tokat where Turk, Armenian, Greek and Jewish societies lived together during the Ottoman period. Although these societies with different religions generally resided in separate quarters[4], they developed strong relations in many fields. Especially in the legal system, non-Muslims had the right to apply to the sharia law in their issues relating to individual law. Non-Muslims living in the Ottoman State putting the Islamic law into practice were its subject and subject to the statue of “zimmî”. The State was responsible for protecting the life and property immunities of the zimmîs and their freedoms of religion and conscience[5]. The zimmîs often applied to the sharia courts in order to solve their problems regarding the civil law. They had to carry their cases relating to the public law to the sharia court. All the cases to be come to the court were decided and written into the court registers (şer’iyye sicili).

In this paper, we will deal with the legal aspect of Turkish-Armenian relations in Tokat according to the case records in the sharia court registers of Tokat (=TŞS) from the above-mentioned period. We combed the total 12 court registers and found some 219 court records relating to the Armenians. In our examination, these records will be analytically evaluated only in terms of Turkish-Armenian legal relations. The judging manners of lawsuits in courts, the contents of lawsuits, and other practises are outside our subject. In addition, in our paper, it will be consulted to the cizye registers of Tokat and modern studies concerned with the subject matter.

The aim of our study is to reveal in which level these two societies (Turkish and Armenian) were within close legal relations in the past with the help of the primary sources. It is certain that the situation in the city of Tokat would contribute to understanding the Turkish-Armenian legal relations throughout the Ottoman State.

I. Demographic Situation of Armenians within the non-Muslims in Tokat

The rate within the total city population of non-Muslims in the city of Tokat is about 35 per cent[6] during the XVth and XVIth centuries. It is seen that some 1395 individuals within the population of 2728 households were cizye taxpayers in 1642[7]. Sources of that period do not give a chance to reveal the population rate of the Armenians within non-Muslims.

During the second half of the 17th century, and the 18th century, except for the numerical data that two Western travellers gave, there are not enough sources at our disposal about the demographical situation of the city of Tokat. Joseph P. De Tournefourt, who visited the city in 1701, records the population of the city as a total of 24400 households, of whom 20000 were Turks, 4000 households the Armenians, other 300 or 400 households the Greeks[8]. İnciciyan, who came to Tokat towards the end of the 18th century, also gives the population of the city as a total of 16000 households, of whom 13200 were Turks, 2500 households the Armenians, other 300 households the Greeks[9]. When the number of individuals in each household is calculated as 5 individuals per household, the city population given by both two travellers exceeds 80000 individuals. It has been seen that these numbers were exaggerated in comparison with the population figure of 1642 (2728 households x 5 = 13640 people).

According to the cizye-tax register of the year 1690 / 1102, there were a total of 2554 cizye-tax payers in the city of Tokat, of whom 2365 taxpayers were Armenians, the 105 taxpayers the Greeks, the 84 taxpayers the Jewish people[10]. These figures show to us that the Armenians had a proportion of 92 % within the whole non-Muslims population. According to the figures given by the Western travellers, too, the Armenians established the most majority within non-Muslims population.

2. Legal Records Related to Turkish-Armenian Relations in the Court Registers

As is known, the court registers contain judicial cases and records interesting social, economic, military and administrative matters in a district area. In this paper, we will try to reveal the legal state of Turkish-Armenian relations in Tokat in the framework of the total 219 lawsuit records found by reviewing judicial lawsuit records in the sharia court registers of Tokat between the years 1770 and 1810. The nationalities of claimants and defendants in the lawsuit records related to non-Muslims in court registers are rarely written in the form of “from the Greek nation” or “from the Jewish nation”. This state gives the impression that the word “nationality” was written only in the lawsuit records interesting Greeks and Jewish people who were fewer in population in Tokat. Therefore, while selecting the lawsuit records relating to Armenians for our study, we especially based on the names of the claimants and defendants using Armenian names. The distribution of these records according to the quarters of the city of Tokat is given in the following Table 1.

Table 1. Distribution of Records Related to Turkish-Armenian legal relations by Quarter (1770-1810)

s. no

Name of Quarter

Number of record

s. no

Name of Quarter

Number of record

1

Akdeğirmen

6

24

Meydan

6

2

Beğbağı

1

25

Mihmad Hacib

4

3

Çahkenli

1

26

Rüstem Çelebi

2

4

Cami-i kebir

4

27

Sabunhane

1

5

Çay-ı zimmi

2

28

Semerkandi

4

6

Cedid

7

29

Seyfeddin

1

7

Cemaleddin

2

30

Simavon Keşiş

3

8

Çilehane

12

31

Siyahpuş

2

9

Dere

13

32

Soğukpınar

5

10

Dıraz-ı Gebran

3

33

Soğukpınar-ı Müslim

25

11

Dıraz-ı Müslim

1

34

Şucaeddin

1

12

Gaybi

2

35

Taş Han

2

13

Güzelaşçı

4

36

Taşnerdiban

2

14

Hacı İbrahim

1

37

Terbiye-i kebir

2

15

Halid

4

38

Veled-i Ayas

2

16

Hoca Ahmed

13

39

Yar Ahmed

12

17

Hoca İbrahim

1

40

Yaşmeydan

11

18

Horuş

4

41

Yazıcık

1

19

İçmesu

3

42

Zaim

4

20

İvaz Paşa

1

43

Zilli Hacı

2

21

Kabe Mescidi

14

44

Tokat district (villages)

2

22

Kaya

1

45

Tokat district (outside)

3

23

Menice

11

46

Without quarter names

11

Total

111

Total

108

From the numerical data in the Table 1 given above, it is understood that the Armenians lived in some 43 quarters in Tokat during the years of 1770 and 1810 and applied to the sharia court with the reason of their legal problems.

The most majority of the lawsuit records relating to the Armenians are interested in the field of civil law. Only criminal and financial laws fall in the field of public law. This state is clearly seen from the numerical data given in the Table 2 below.

Table 2. Distribution of Court Records Related to Turkish-Armenian Legal Relations (1770-1810)

Law Branches

Number of record

Percentage (%)

Private Law

Family law

86

39,26

Inheritance law

32

14,61

Belongings law

11

5,02

Debts law

38

17,35

Commercial law

41

18,72

Public Law

Criminal law

8

3,65

Financial law

3

1,36

Total

219

100

The family law records among the law branches given in the Table 2 come in first in terms of the number of lawsuits. They contain records interesting with marriage (2 records), divorce (1 record), trusteeship (10 records), appointing goods money and cloths money for children (24 records), caretakership (2 records), and guardianship (47 records). They number 86 in total and this total corresponds to a ratio of 39,26 % within the overall records.

Following the family law records in the court registers of Tokat, mostly the commercial law records are encountered. They consist of records concerning guilds (2 records), real estate trading (37 records), and contracts of company (2 records). The total of the records in this branch of law is 41. This total corresponds to a ratio of 18,72 % within the overall records.

After the commercial law records, mostly the records relating to debts law are encountered in the same court registers. They are composed of 29 debts records, 1 payment request, and 8 proxy notes with debt lawsuit. The total of the records we determined as relating to debts law is 38, which is equivalent to a ratio of 17,35 % within the overall records.

Lawsuit records concerning the law branches given above are followed by 32 inheritance law records, 11 belongings law records, 8 commercial law records, and 3 financial law records. The percentages of these lawsuit records within the overall records are as following respectively: 14,61 %; 5,02 %; 3,65 %; and 1,36 %.

3. Turkish-Armenian Relations According to Law Branches

Having given the distribution of the lawsuit records relating to Armenians existing in the court registers of Tokat between the years of 1770 and 1810, now, we will deal with Turkish-Armenian relations in terms of each law branch.

A. From the Standpoint of Family Law Records

Family law is an important branch of civil law within the private law, and regulates the family institution in society[11]. Non-Muslims had a freedom of judgment in the Ottoman State and therefore they were subject to their religious law. Marriage, divorce, trousseau, dowry, alimony, appointing of caretaker and trustee, and similar matters are accepted within the religious law and the religious men, who have imperial certificates, were powered to practice their own religious rules in these matters[12]. For this reason, all non-Muslims, including Armenians, applied to their own religious community courts to solve the affairs of family law. However, if non-Muslims want, they could also go to the sharia courts. Examples in the sharia court registers show that they brought from time to time their problems related to family law to the sharia court[13].

Non-Muslims, who had lived in Tokat during the Ottoman period, also brought occasionally their problems relating to family law to the sharia court. As seen from the Table 3 below, we possess a total of 86 lawsuit records interesting with Armenians in terms of family law. The records of assigning guardian[14] come in first with a ratio of 54,65 %, the records of appointing allowance and cloths money[15], the second with a ratio of 27,90 %, the records of trustee[16] the third order with a ratio of 11,62 % within the overall records. The records[17] of other lawsuit are also listed between the ratios of 1 % and 3 %. From the distribution in this way of figures and percentages, it is understood that Armenians applied to the sharia court mostly for appointing guardians and assigning daily allowance and cloths money for small needy children in the field of family law.

Table 3. Distribution of Lawsuits Concerned with Family Law (1770-1810)

Topic for lawsuit

Number of lawsuit record

Percentage (%)

Marriage

2

2,32

Divorce

1

1,16

Trusteeship

10

11,62

Appointing of allowance and cloths money

24

27,90

caretakership

2

2,32

Guardianships

47

54,65

Total

86

100

It has been seen to have been the practices reflecting Turkish-Armenian relations in the lawsuits relating to family law of the Armenians. Firstly, the vast majority of the witnesses being ready in the court in the family lawsuits consisted of Muslim Turks. If it is necessary to explain statistically this state, only Muslim witnesses in 60 out of the total 86 lawsuits of family law, non-Muslim witnesses in the other 20, and both Muslim and non-Muslim witnesses in the remaining 6 had been ready to the court. It has been written the names of a total of 364 witnesses in the overall lawsuits, of whom 279 were Muslims, the remaining 85 non-Muslims. From the names of non-Muslim witnesses, it is understood that their most majority was Armenian.

Secondly, it is seen that few Muslims were assigned by the sharia court as trustee with the aim of protecting the properties of some dead Armenians. For example, according to a lawsuit dated 4 R. 1214 / 5 September 1799, while Tunru (?) and Togayut (?), who were from Philippe, stayed in Taskhan in Tokat as guest, they were lost or escaped. The sharia court had their personal belongings in the room of Taskhan sold in the market and appointed Esseyyid Elhac Osman Ağa b. Numan as a trustee in order to keep their prices[18].

Finally, few Armenians going to other cities for work showed their Muslim acquaintances as guarantor to meet the daily allowances of their wives. According to a lawsuit record dated 3 Rebiülevvel 1213 / 15 August 1798, which is related to this matter, Sultan v. Mardoros sued Mustafa b. Halil because he was a guarantor to meet her daily allowance when her husband went to an other city 4 years ago from the date of lawsuit and but avoided of paying the allowance. In Mustafa’s response, he accepted to have been his guarantor for her but he asserted that his guarantor fell because her husband divorced the claimant 2 years later that that date. Later he proved his assertion with two non-Muslim witnesses. The court judged that Mustafa was innocent, and that it was given permission for Sultan’s marriage with other man[19].

Some Armenians preferred to the sharia court for the matters relating to family law, Turks became witnesses in their lawsuits and occasionally were assigned as guarantor and trustee. These developments have been revealing the good neighbourliness relations between both two societies.

B. From the Standpoint of Inheritance Law

The inheritance law regulates the legal state of her/his properties after the death of a real person. It deals with a different aspect of the property right (in the time after one’s death)[20]. As in the family law, the inheritance problems of non-Muslims among themselves in the Ottoman State have been solved by the religious men of their community according to their own religious rules[21]. However, when wanted, they applied to the sharia courts for their inheritance matters[22].

Non-Muslims, who had lived in Tokat during the Ottoman period, as in the family law, also had the sharia court solved occasionally their problems related to the inheritance law. In terms of inheritance law, we posses a total of 32 lawsuit records[23] concerned with Armenians from that examined period. When these records are carefully examined together with the estate records of the deceased non-Muslims in the court registers, it is understood that the Armenian inheritances cases were concluded in the framework of the rules of the Islamic inheritance law (feraiz).

In terms of the practices reflecting Turkish-Armenian relations in the lawsuit records concerned with the inheritance law of the Armenian people in Tokat, the important thing to be emphasized is that the vast majority of the witnesses in lawsuits in the court consisted of Muslim Turks. If it is necessary to statistically explain this state, only Muslim witnesses are written in 21 out of the total 32 lawsuits of inheritance law as witness, non-Muslim witnesses in the other 2, and Muslim witnesses together with Non-Muslim ones in the remaining 9. The names of the total 229 witnesses in the overall lawsuits are also registered, of whom 184 were Muslims, the remaining 45 non-Muslims. From the names of non-Muslim witnesses, it is understood that their most majority was of Armenian origin.

Again, when is wanted a defendant or a claimant to prove her/ his assertion with witnesses in some inheritances lawsuits, she/he accepted two or three non-Muslims in general, sometimes two Muslims, and sometimes too one Muslim and one non-Muslim as witness. These witnesses went to the court house, and testified there for defendant or claimant. For example, according to a lawsuit of inheritance dated 24 Zilhicce 1211 / 20 June 1797, when Artin v. Bünyad died, his inheritance left for his wife Anna binti Mıgırdıç and his aunt Saher binti Artin. Davit, a small child of Saher, brought a complaint against Ovannes v. Mıgırdıç, a brother of Anna. In the court, he said that Anna, the sister of Ovannes, was responsible for various properties with a value of 800 kuruşes from the inheritance of the dead Artin, and that his mother Saher died before she did not have her share in these properties. He also added that shortly after Anna died and Ovannes became an inheritor to her, and that he wanted his share in the above-mentioned properties as an inheritor of his mother Saher. In the answer of the defendant Ovannes, accepting the inheritance of Davit, he asserted that Saher got her hereditary share from Anna after the death of Artin. On wanted him to prove his assertion by means of witnesses, he proved his assertion with one Muslim and one non-Muslim witness, who had good qualities. After that, the judge decided the case in his favour[24].

Some Armenians preferences to the sharia court for the matters related to inheritance law, and being witnesses of some Turks in their lawsuits have been revealing the good neighbourliness relations between both two societies.

C. From the Standpoint of Property Law

The property law regulates the rights, responsibilities and administrations of real and juristic persons on their material things, and the relations of these persons with others by means of their properties. The largest right on material things is the right of property. The owner of property uses freely his/her right of property on transferable and non-transferable properties in legal restrictions [25].

Müslim and non-Muslim people in the Ottoman State had only the right to use State-owned lands. Both Muslims and non-Muslims used their property rights over private lands which included vineyards, gardens, and real estates[26].

As in other law branches, non-Muslims in the Ottoman State brought some of the cases concerned with properties among themselves and all lawsuits from this kind between Muslims and non-Muslims to the sharia courts. At the same way, the Greeks, Armenians and Jewish people, who lived in Tokat, had some of their property cases among themselves and all lawsuits with Muslims solved in the sharia court. From this regard, there exist a total of 11 lawsuits records[27] related to Armenians in our disposal between the years of 1770 and 1810.

While examining these lawsuits records, we find the practices reflecting the Turkish-Armenians relations in these. In this regard, firstly, it is seen that the vast majority of the witnesses being ready in the court house was composed of Muslim Turks. If it is necessary to statistically explain this state, only Muslim witnesses in 7 out of the total 11 property lawsuits were written as witness and Muslims together with Non-Muslims in the remaining 4. The names of the total 69 witnesses were also registered in the overall lawsuits, of whom 184 were Muslims, the remaining 45 non-Muslims. Again, when is wanted a defendant or a claimant to prove her/ his assertion with witnesses in some of property lawsuits, she/he accepted two or three non-Muslims in general, sometimes two Muslims, and sometimes too one Muslim and one non-Muslim as witness. These witnesses went to the court house, and testified there for defendant or claimant. For example, in a property lawsuit dated 2 Recep 1216 / 8 November 1801, Nikola v. Asador made a complaint against Haçador v. Simon of Niksar with the reason of detaining his donkey that he lost before. Haçador answered that he bought the donkey asserted by the plaintiff from Canbaz Sarı Mehmed at the price of 22 kuruşes 20 days ago, and did not know that the donkey belonged to the plaintiff. In this case, the plaintiff Nikola was wanted to bring witnesses in order to prove his assertion. He showed 2 Muslims as witness and they witnessed in favour of Nikola. Later, on his swearing to Jesus (PAH), the donkey was decided to be given to him[28].

On the other hand, a few cases concerned with intervening property rights took place between Turks and Armenians in Tokat. In this regard, we posses only one record from the examined period. According to the lawsuit dated 27 Safer 1221 / 16 May 1806, the inheritance of the dead Uğlik in the quarter of Hoca Ahmed left for his wife Maryem and his sons Kirkor and Asadır. Of the inheritors, Kirkor made a complaint against Ahmed b. Mehmed because of his capturing unnecessarily and using the vineyard of one kıt‛a left as inheritance by Uğlik. Ahmed answered that he bought the mentioned vineyard from Ohannes. The judge wanted the plaintiff to prove his case by means of witnesses, and he brought 2 Muslim witnesses to the court. The witnesses favoured the plaintiff and it was decided that Ahmed left the vineyard[29].

From this information given on records connected with the property law, it is clearly understood that some Armenians preferred to the sharia court for their property matters, and some Turks also were witnesses in their lawsuits. This state has been revealing the existence of good neighbourliness relations between both two societies.

D. From the Standpoint of Debts Law

The debts law is one branch of the civil law, and regulates debts and credits appearing from the relations among persons. The debts and credits are made up of legal affairs (contracts and treaties), acts of injustice (acts against the law or the contract), and unjust enrichment[30]. Non-Muslims in the Ottoman State had a complete freedom among themselves in terms of debts law. However, they were subject to restrictions in such matters as pork, wine, Muslim slave and the like in their debts relations with Muslims. They could not contract with Muslims over these things and lay down a condition of interest, and buy a Muslim slave[31]. These restrictions were also valid similarly in debts and credits relations of non-Muslims (Greeks, Armenians and Jews) with Muslims in Tokat of that period. There exist a total of 38 lawsuits records related to debts and credits relations between Armenians themselves and other non-Muslims, and Muslims in our disposal between the years of 1770 and 1810. As mentioned before, 30 of these are related to debts and credits cases[32], the remaining 8[33] are also concerning with proxy records given by persons who could not collect their credits.

It is seen to have been the practices reflecting the Turkish-Armenians relations in these lawsuit records. Firstly, in a rather few debts and credits lawsuits, Turks and Armenians applied to the sharia court as plaintiff and defendant. In this regard, there exist only two lawsuits records in our disposal. One of these is dated Evâhir-i Ramazan 1186 / 16-26 December 1772. According to this, on the death of Anastas v. Uğurlu, his inheritance left for his wife Sofiya binti Uyan, his brother Isayi and his sister Nazlı. Of the inheritors, Isayi and Nazlı made a complaint against Ömer Çelebi b. Ahmed because he did not pay a debt of 621 kuruşes which remained from the sale of thick fabric by the dead Anastas. In the court, Ömer Çelebi answered that the total of debt was 621 kuruşes, and later paid more 567 kuruşes for Anastas when he was alive, and that only his debt of 54 kuruşes remained. In order to prove his case, he called Molla Ahmed b. Abdurrahman and Mehmed Beşe b. Ali as witness. The witnesses favoured the defendant and thus it was understood that the debt was only 54 kuruşes. This debt was decided to be paid for the plaintiffs[34]. In the other lawsuit dated 11 Muharrem 1186 / 14 April 1772, it is explained that a certain Armenian named Yani v. Nikola bought some raw copper from Ali b. Ahmed, and later, on his selling those copper at a loss, he made a complaint against him but lost the case in the court[35].

Secondly, Muslim Turks acted as the proxy of Armenians in rather few debts and credits lawsuits in the sharia court. In this regard, we posses only one lawsuit record. According to the lawsuit record dated 17 Zilhicce 1213 / 22 May 1779, Istefan Keşiş v. Malkon from the quarter of Veled Ayas gave Esseyyid Ali b. Hasan the power to act in his stead with the witnessing of two non-Muslims in order to make a complaint against Artin v. Avan because he did not pay a debt of one house and 37 kuruşes for Istefan Keşiş. After Esseyyid Ali b. Hasan made a complaint against the debtor as a proxy, it was reached at an agreement between the debtor and the creditor over a debt of 20 kuruşes. This state was approved and registered in the court[36].

Thirdly and finally, it is seen that the vast majority of the witnesses being ready in the court house in debts and credits lawsuits of Armenians was composed of Muslim Turks. If it is necessary to statistically explain this state, only Muslims in 27 out of the total 38 debts lawsuits, Muslims together with Non-Muslims in the other 7, and only non-Muslims in the remaining 4 are written as witness. In the overall lawsuits, the total 223 witnesses are also registered by their names, of whom 186 were Muslims, the remaining 37 non-Muslims. From the names of non-Muslim witnesses, it is understood that their most majority was of Armenian origin.

In addition, when is wanted a defendant or a plaintiff to prove her/ his assertion with witnesses in some of debts lawsuits, she/he accepted two or three non-Muslims in general, sometimes two Muslims, and sometimes too one Muslim and one non-Muslim as witness. These witnesses went to the court house, and favoured there for defendant or claimant. In this regard, there exist three lawsuits records in our disposal[37]. For example, according to a lawsuit of record dated 5 Safer 1212 / 30 July 1797, Bogos v. Ohannes from the quarter of İçmesu sold coppers of 67 batmans and 4 vukıyyes to Karabit v. Andon, and applied to the court in order to collect its price of 372 kuruşes. In the court, when the defendant rejected the case, the judge wanted the plaintiff to prove his assertion by means of witnesses. The plaintiff showed Muslim Osman b. Ömer and non-Muslim Mikail v. Osib as witness. These two persons witnessed in favour of the plaintiff, and the case was concluded to the claimant Bogos’s advantage[38].

From this information given on debts and credits lawsuits, it is clearly understood that some Armenians preferred to the sharia court for their debts and credits matters, and were in debts and credits relations with Turks, and gave some Turks to act as proxy in their stead in few debts cases, and that some Turks also were witnesses in their lawsuits. This state of affairs has been revealing the existence of a mutual trust between the members of these two societies.

E. From the Standpoint of Commercial Law

The commercial law is one branch of the civil law within the private law, and has a wider scope that the debts law dealing with debts and credits appearing from the relations among persons. Generally, it regulates the rules used in commercial enterprises and in commercial affairs[39].

As a requirement of the Islamic law being in force in the Ottoman State, Non-Muslims had a complete freedom among themselves in terms of commercial law. They did not have to practice the Islamic law regulations while arranging commercial contracts among themselves. But when wanted, they had to right to bring their problems resulting in such commercial contracts to the sharia court. However, they were subject to restrictions in such matters as pork, wine, Muslim slave and the like in their commercial relations with Muslims. They could not contract with Muslims over these things and lay down a condition of interest, and buy a Muslim slave. Except for these restrictions, they could work together with Muslims in the exchange of all other properties and services, and establish commercial companies with them[40]. As will be seen in guilds registers, Muslim and non-Muslim craftsmen in the Ottoman State could be members of the same guilds organisations. Muslims craftsmen were recorded in first into these registers, later Christian craftsmen, and then Jewish craftsmen[41].

Non-Muslims in Tokat were also subject to the regulations practiced throughout the Ottoman State in terms of commercial law. Occasionally, they had their legal commercial problems solved in the sharia court. As will be seen from the table 4 below, we posses a total of 41 lawsuits records concerned with Armenian commercial activities from the examined period. In all these records, while sales records of non-transferable properties[42] became in first with a ratio of 90,24 %, the records of guilds[43] works and company contracts[44] had each a ratio of 4,76 %. From the distribution at this way of figures and percentages, it is understood that Armenians applied for the sharia court mostly in selling and buying of such non-transferable properties as vineyard, garden, real estate and house.

Table 4. Distribution of Lawsuits Related to Commercial Law (1770-1810)

Topic for lawsuit

Number of lawsuit record

Percentage (%)

Guilds

2

4,87

Sales of non-transferable properties

37

90,24

Company contracts

2

4,87

Total

41

100

Some practices in these commercial lawsuits contain important information on Turkish-Armenian relations. Firstly, according to the sales of non-transferable properties, it is seen that Armenians made transactions of this kind mostly among themselves, and that there also existed a few selling and buying affairs between Turks and Armenians. In this respect, we posses a total of 15 records, of which 10[45] are concerned to the sales of non-transferable properties from Armenians to Turks, the remaining 5[46] from Turks to Armenians. The breakdown of these sales records is given in the table 5 below.

Table 5. Breakdown of Lawsuits Records Related to Non-transferable Properties (1770-1810)

From Armenians to Turks

From Turks to Armenians

Kind of non-transferable properties

Number of lawsuit record

Kind of non-transferable properties

Number of lawsuit record

Real estate

1

Real estate (waqf)

1

Vineyard

4

Vineyard

2

House

4

House

1

Shop (greengrocer)

1

Field

1

Total

10

Total

5

As will be clearly seen from the table 5 above, most of the sold non-transferable properties are the sales of vineyard and house. Besides, it seems to be interesting that a house belonging to a waqf with a religious aspect in the selling and buying records of non-transferable properties was sold to an Armenian.

In the sale document dated 29 Rebiülahir 1211 / 2 October 1796, a house, which was situated in the quarter of Siyahpuş and surrounded by Muslim houses in two sides, a road in one side and Ağya v. Ohan’s house in another side, was connected with the waqf of Ciğer Hoca’s Mescidi in the quarter of Yaşmeydan as a waqf building. Some time ago it burned completely in the fire and only its estate left. Because it was impossible to establish a new house on the mentioned-estate, Mehmed Eşref b. Veliyyüddin, who was the imam and waqf trustee of the said-mescid, wanted him to be given a permission to sell that estate to another man and buy a shop with its price and then connect it to the said-waqf from the court. After the matter was asked from the experts and given a permission to do so, the waqf estate was sold to Ağya, who had a house next to the estate, with a cost of 80 kuruşes. Besides, the mutawalli was given a permission to buy a shop with the price of the estate and hire it[47]. It is understood that the rights of neighbourliness were observed in this transaction. In other words, the neighbour has been given the right of pre-emption.

Secondly, it is seen that Armenian craftsmen in Tokat had their own guilds in some branches of work, and they also worked together with Turkish craftsmen at the same guilds in a few branches of work. In this respect, there exist two sharia court records in our disposal. The first one of these records is dated Evâsıt-ı Muharrem 1216 / 24 May-4 June 1801. According to this, a group of non-Muslim craftsmen (of whom a few are Armenians) attached to the guild of red dye-dyers made a complaint against the guild of Muslim tanners due to their problems on usage of the water of Behzad. The subject-matter of the case is as follows: some part of the water of Behzad, which pass trough the city and are freely used by everyone, is divided into the canal of the waqf mill of Mevlevi dervishes lodge at Behzad, the remaining part of the water goes down to the location of Behzad. Generally, the craftsmen of the guilds of red dye-dyers and multi-dyes dyers could clean their white diapers in any location of the upper part of the mentioned-canal, and their painted diapers in the lower part of the mentioned-canal. During the summer season, when the water was decreased, the mills- owners let the whole water flowed to the canal of mill and thus they cut off the water of the guilds of red dye-dyers. In addition, the guild of tanners prevented them from cleaning their diapers in the upper part of the mentioned-canal. In the court, because the representatives of the guild of tanners accepted all accusations, the judge decided to be used the water as before[48].

According to the other sharia court record dated 15 Zilka‛de 1222 / 14 January 1808, a group of non-Muslim craftsmen (of whom a few are Armenians) attached to the guild of weighing station for silk made a complaint against a group of non-Muslim craftsmen (of whom a few are Armenians) belonged to the guild of silk manufacturers and their leader Esseyyid Mustafa. The subject-matter of the case is as follows: while the buying and selling of the coloured silk manufactured in the past are belonged to the guild of weighing station for silk, some craftsmen out of the guild of silk manufacturers involved in the craftsmen of weighing station for silk, doing something fraudulent. This state has been causing the order of the guild of weighing station for silk to be spoiled. Hereafter it was decided that none of the guild of silk manufacturers participated in the guild of weighing station for silk or none of the guild of weighing station for silk to the guild of silk manufacturers. It was also decided by the court that, if there would violate this decision, they would be punished with the punishment of pledging something[49].

Thirdly, it is seen that the Armenians in Tokat co-operated generally with Armenians in establishing of company sometimes with other non-Muslims. From two company contracts in our disposal, we understand that two Armenians established a company based on a cooperation of labour and capital. When the companies are recorded into the court register, three Armenians witnesses are also written for each[50].

Fourthly, the Armenians appointed sometimes Turks in some of their buying and selling cases. In this regard, there is only one court record in our disposal. According to the record dated 17 Zilhicce 1213 / 22 May 1779, Camkus ?-oğlu Agob v. Haçador from the quarter of Zaim gave Halil Efendi b. Osman the power to act in his stead with the testifying of two Muslim witnesses in order to sell his house and properties in it to his wife Elmas. Halil Efendi b. Osman sold the said-house and properties in it to his trustor’s wife Elmas with a cost of 980 kuruşes by proxy, and this sale was approved by the court[51].

Finally, it is seen that the names of Muslims were mostly written in the records related to the commercial law in our disposal as witness. If it is necessary to statistically explain this state, in 27 out of the total 41 lawsuits of commercial law, only Muslim witnesses are written as witness, only non-Muslim witnesses in the other 2, and Muslim witnesses together with Non-Muslim ones in the remaining 12. The names of a total of 262 witnesses in the overall lawsuits are also registered, of whom 210 were Muslims, the remaining 52 non-Muslims. From the names of non-Muslim witnesses, it is understood that most of them were of Armenian origin.

In addition, when is wanted a defendant or a claimant to prove her/ his assertion with witnesses in some commercial lawsuits, she/he accepted two or three non-Muslims in general, sometimes two Muslims, and sometimes too one Muslim and one non-Muslim as witness. These witnesses went to the court house, and testified there for defendant or claimant. In this respect, we posses 6 lawsuits records, and it is seen from these that Muslims were called as witness[52]. For instance, according to the commercial lawsuit dated 22 Ramazan 1213 / 27 February 1799, on the death of Sekyas v. Agob from the quarter of Mihmad Hacib, his inheritance left for his wife Anna binti Kirkor and his sister Maryem and his uncle’s son Mardoros v. Elhador. Of the inheritors, Maryem made a complaint against the other inheritor Anna because of her capturing the inheritance. She wanted the court that her heretical share on one kıt‛a of vineyard in the village of Difye attached to the nahiye of Komanat as a part of the inheritance was taken from the defendant Anna and given to her. The defendant Anna answered that, before his death, her husband bought the said-vineyard for herself with a price of 35 kuruşes from Hasan and Ömer with the permission of the timar-holding cavalryman. When the judge wanted the defendant Anna to prove her assertion with witnesses, she showed two Muslims as witness, and with their testifying for her favour she won the case[53].

In the light of the information given above, it is understood that the Armenians established more legal relations with Turks in terms of commercial law by the way of the sharia court. These relations are summarised as follows: mutually buying and selling of non-transferable properties, co-operating together in the same or separate guilds, being a proxy of Turks in a few lawsuits concerning with Armenians, and witnessing of Turks in many lawsuits related to Armenians. The variety in high level of the legal relations in terms of commercial law is important to show that there existed a mutual trust between the members of these two societies.

F. From the Standpoint of Criminal Law

The criminal law regulates the rules enacted with the aim to provide with living together in the right form of members constituting the society and to protect people’s benefits and social order. In other words, it is described as the whole of the rules providing the State with the power to give a sentence on the state of committed a crime[54]. Non-Muslims in the Ottoman State were treated at the same way as Muslims in the framework of Islamic criminal law. However, when the capital punishment could not put into practice, the guilty non-Muslims were sentenced to pay half of the blood money by Muslims in similar states[55].

Non-Muslims in Tokat were also subject to the regulations practiced throughout the Ottoman State in terms of criminal law. Therefore, the Armenians brought their whole criminal problems to the sharia court, and they were trialled according to Islamic criminal law practiced by the Ottoman State. From the examined period, we posses a total of 8 lawsuits records concerned with the criminal matters of the Armenians. 4 out of all these records are blood money cases[56], the other 2[57] imputation of killing people, the remaining 2[58] wounding people.

The practices in these criminal lawsuits contain some information on Turkish-Armenians legal relations. Firstly, according to the blood money cases, it is seen that Turks and Armenians made complaints against one the other to the limited extent. In this regard, there is only one lawsuit record in our disposal. According to the lawsuit record dated 21 Şevval 1218 / 3 February 1804, Ebubekir Alemdar b. Veliyyüddin from the quarter of Beğbağı made a complaint against Abraham v. Bedros because he pinched his left hand in a door and made one of his fingers useless. He wanted the defendant to pay a compensation of 1000 silvers for him, basing on the fatwa that he obtained from the mufti. In the court house, the defendant rejected the case. The judge wanted the plaintiff to prove his assertion with witnesses but he was unable to do so. In the meantime, peace-lover Muslims involved in the case, and the defendant and the plaintiff reached at an agreement over 100 kuruşes. Later, the outcome was approved by the court[59].

Secondly, when looking at lawsuits of killing people, we see that Turks and Armenians made complaints against one the other in a few cases. In this respect, we posses only two records. According to the first one dated 23 Şa‛ban 1186 / 19 November 1772, on the death of Arutin v. Tomak from the quarter of Soğukpınar-ı Müslim, his inheritance left for his wife Zanik binti Haçador and his mother Maryem binti Simon, and his small son Tomcan and elder daughter (unwritten in the text). Maryem, who was appointed as guardian for his small son, made a complaint against Bayram Beşe b. Ali, Himmet Beşe b. Halil and Mustafa b. İbrahim of the village of Kemer, saying that they killed her son Arutin intentionally. The topic of the case is as follows: while the above-mentioned Arutin planted vine stocks, lands and rocks came over him and then he died. The plaintiff Maryem wanted the court an investigation on the event and after the investigation and examination it was understood that Arutin stayed under the sole and died without anybody’s intervention. The court decided to be innocent of those persons[60].

Thirdly, when looking at lawsuits of wounding people, we see that Turks and Armenians also made complaints against one the other in a few cases. In this respect, there exist only two records in our disposal. According to the first one dated 5 Muharrem 1217 / 8 May 1802, on the death of Simon v. Kesir from the quarter of Dere, his inheritance left for his mother Melike binti Cihan, his sisters Sultan and Ahsaperet (?) and his uncle Malkon v. Simon. As the principal person and proxy of other inheritors, Melike made a complaint against Numan b. Musa, el-Hac Emin Ağa b. Musa, Emin, Mehmed b. Salih, the seller of herbs Mustafa, and the others in the courthouse. According to the assertion of the plaintiff, the above-mentioned Simon was wounded with a knife by Hasta-oğlu Hüseyin and then died. During the investigation and examination of the court committee, it was seen to be a wound of knife on Simon’s left thigh. On the plaintiff Melike’s saying “my complaint is against only the said Hasta-oğlu Hüseyin, and the quarter people and others are innocent”, it was decided to be innocent of the above-mentioned people[61].

Finally, it is seen that the names of Muslim witnesses were generally written in the lawsuits records related to the criminal law in our disposal. If it is necessary to statistically explain this state, only Muslims in 6 out of the total 8 criminal lawsuits are written as witness, and Muslim witnesses together with Non-Muslim ones in the remaining 2. The names of a total of 54 witnesses in the overall lawsuits are also registered, of whom 48 were Muslims, the remaining 6 non-Muslims. From the names of non-Muslim witnesses, it is understood that most of them used Armenian names.

From the information given above, it is understood that the Armenians established limited legal relations with Turks in terms of criminal law by the way of the sharia court. These relations are summarised as follows: imputation of killing people, wounding people, wanting of blood money, being proxy of Turks in a few lawsuits concerning with Armenians, and witnessing of Turks in their many lawsuits. The being limited of the relations in criminal law can be linked to the fact that the members of these two societies have been avoided from crimes of this kind because the Ottoman criminal law contain heavy penal regulations.

G. From the Standpoint of Financial Law

The financial law is a branch of public law and regulates the rules and institutions being necessary to be provided public services with finances. Most of public incomes are obtained from taxes[62]. In terms of financial law, non-Muslims in the Ottoman State were treated in the framework of Islamic financial law. They paid two main taxes (land tax and cizye tax) together with definite customary taxes. Land lax could be collected in the forms of money (harac-ı muvazzafa) and kind (harac-ı mukaseme) because non-Muslim land-owners continued to use their lands since the pre-conquest. Cizye tax could be paid by male non-Muslim persons who had enough power to carry arms in return of military service[63].

In terms of tax law, non-Muslims in Tokat were also subject to the regulations practiced throughout the Ottoman State. Therefore, the Armenians brought their whole problems in connected with taxes to the sharia court, and they were treated according to tax regulations of the Ottoman State. We posses a total of 3 lawsuits records concerned with the tax matters of the Armenians in the period between the years of 1770 and 1810.

Two of these lawsuit records are related to the salyâne taxes[64]. According to the first record dated 25 Safer 1223 / 22 April 1808, a group of non-Muslims (of whom a few are Armenians) attached to the quarter of Kabemescidi made a complaint against Muslim people of the same quarter on the partition rate of salyâne taxes between Muslims and non-Muslims households. The one fifth of the share of salyâne taxes falling to that quarter was paid by non-Muslim households, four fifth by Muslim households. In terms of salyâne taxes, non-Muslim tenants living in Muslims houses were paying for the share of Muslim households, the tenants dwelling in non-Muslim houses for the share of non-Muslim households. Excess of the tax caused the living conditions of non-Muslims to get weak. Therefore, they wanted that one third of the tax falling to the quarter was paid by Muslims, the remaining two third by non-Muslims. Basing on the fatwa in their disposal, Muslim people did not accept any change on the partition rates of taxes. For this reason, the judge decided that non-Muslim tenants living in Muslims houses would pay for the share of Muslim households, the tenants dwelling in non-Muslim houses for the share of non-Muslim households as in the past[65].

In the second tax record dated 21 Zilhicce 1216 / 24 April 1802, a group of non-Muslims (most of them are Armenians) attached to the guild of makers/sellers of cauldron wanted to be reduced of their shares of salyâne taxes. This group said before the chief city steward el-Hac Halil b. Ömer who was a proxy to solve the problems in being paid of salyâne taxpayers of poor people in the sharia court that the amount of copper used by makers/sellers of cauldron was insufficient and its price rise, and therefore, their works were decreased. In addition, they said that craftsmen who could not afford their shares of salyâne taxes closed down their work places, master workmen began to go to other places, and they wanted tax-cut with an imperial edict. The court decided to be lower of their shares of salyâne taxes that those in the past[66].

The last one of the court records concerning the Armenians is related to the warden of the castle of Tokat Halil Ağa b. Mehmed, who wanted his tax-based people to collect more taxes. According to the record dated 27 Safer 1211 / 1 September 1796, the people of the village of Biskincik attached to the sub-district of Kazabad in the district of Tokat made a complaint against the warden Halil Ağa because of his demand of excessive tax, and presented two imperial edicts and one fatwa being in their favour to the sharia court. The judge decided that the warden would not collect unlawful taxes, and that the taxes were received according to the amount in tax registers[67].

In contrast to the other lawsuits records, only Muslim witnesses are written as witness in the total 3 tax lawsuits, of whose total number was 12.

From the information given above, it is understood that the Armenians also established close legal relations with Turks in terms of tax law by the way of the sharia court. These relations are summarised as follows: situation of tax rates, demands of excessive tax of military class, witnessing of Turks in all the lawsuits related to Armenians. The relations of the Ottoman tax law and some problems coming out of social and economic conditions seem to have forced the members of these two societies to establish close legal relations.

RESULT

It is possible to draw some conclusions from this short analyse on Turkish-Armenian legal relations in Tokat during the years of 1770 and 1810. Firstly, the family law records (86 cases) among the above-examined law branches came in first with a ratio of 39,26 % within the overall records in terms of the number of lawsuits. The commercial law records (41 cases) are encountered as the second with a ratio of 18,72 %; the debts law records (38 cases) the third with a ratio of 17,35 % and the inheritance law records (32 cases) the fourth with a ratio of 14,61 %. Lawsuit records concerning with these law branches are followed by belongings law records (11 cases, 5,02 %), commercial law records (8 cases, % 3,65), and 3 financial law records (3 cases, 1,36 %) respectively. From this state of lawsuit records and their percentages, it is seen that during the examined period the Armenians in Tokat applied to the sharia court mostly in the field of civil law.

Secondly, it is determined that Turks were ready as witness in the most majority of the lawsuits concerning the Armenians seen in the sharia court. From this regard, the total 1195 persons are registered as witness, the total of whom 973 were Muslims and the remaining 222 non-Muslims. Only Muslims in the vast majority of cases have been to the court as witness, Muslims together with non-Muslims in some cases, only non-Muslims in the other part of cases addition. It is understood that, when is wanted a defendant or a claimant to prove her/ his assertion with witnesses, she/he accepted two or three non-Muslims in general, sometimes two Muslims, and sometimes too one Muslim and one non-Muslim as witness, and that these witnesses went to the court house, and testified there for defendant or claimant.

Thirdly, the Armenians showed Turks as proxy and surety in some of their lawsuits, and according to a lawsuit the court appointed a Muslim as trustee.

Fourthly, it is understood that the Armenians established more legal relations with Turks in terms of commercial law by the way of the sharia court. These relations are summarised as follows: buying and mutually-selling of non-transferable properties, co-operating together in the same or separate guilds, being proxy of Turks in a few lawsuits concerning Armenians, and witnessing of Turks in their many lawsuits. The variety in high level of the legal relations in terms of commercial law is important to show that there existed a mutual trust between the members of these two societies.

Fifthly, it is understood that the Armenians established legal relations at the limited level with Turks in terms of criminal law by the way of the sharia court. These relations are summarised as follows: imputation of killing people, wounding people, wanting of blood money, being proxy of Turks in a few lawsuits concerning with Armenians, and witnessing of Turks in their many lawsuits. The limited relations in criminal law can be linked to the fact that the members of these two societies have been avoided from crimes of this kind because the Ottoman criminal law contained heavy penal regulations.

It is also seen that the Armenians established legal relations with Turks in terms of tax law. Especially, on the partition and collection of salyâne taxes, non-Muslims in general and the Armenians in special acted together with Turks. The relations of the Ottoman tax law and some problems resulting from social and economic conditions seem to have forced the members of these two societies to establish legal relations.

Finally, the fact that Turks and Armenians came together in the sharia court of Tokat in many branches of civil and public law show that there existed waste social and economic relations based on a mutual trust between the members of these two societies.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

1. Tokat Şer‛iye Sicills (TŞS): 12 sicills (from first to 12th sicill).

2. Başbakanlık Osmanlı Arşivi (Prime Ministry Ottoman Archive)

a. Maliyeden Müdevver Classification (MAD). Nu: 2533, pp. 29-55; MAD. Nu: 1293, pp. 40-54; MAD. Nu: 7328.

b. Kamil Kepeci Classification (KK). Cizye Registers, nu: 3810, pp. 113-217.

3. Research Studies (books and articles)

Açıkel, Ali, Changes in Settlement Patterns, Population and Society in North Central Anatolia: A Case Study of the District (kaza) of Tokat (1574-1643), Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of Manchester, Manchester /UK 1999.

Açıkel, Ali, “Tokat Örneğinde XVII. Asrın İlk Yarısında Osmanlı Sosyal Yapısındaki Buhran”, Türkler (editörler: Hasan Celal Güzel, Kemâl Çiçek, Salim Koca), V. 10, Ankara 2002, pp. 349-350.

Aktüre, Sevgi, 19. Yüzyıl Sonunda Anadolu Kenti Mekansal Yapı Çözümlemesi, Ankara 1978.

Akyılmaz, Gül, “Osmanlı Devletinde Gayrimüslimlerin Hukukî Statüsü”, Ermeni Araştırmaları 1. Türkiye Kongresi Bildirileri, 11th. vol, Ankara 2003, pp. 171-187.

Bozkurt, Gülnihal, Alman-İngiliz Belgelerinin ve Siyasi Gelişmelerin Işığı Altında Gayrimüslim Osmanlı Vatandaşlarının Hukukî Durumu (1839-1914), Ankara 1989.

Cin, Halil, Osmanlı Toprak Düzeni ve Bu Düzenin Bozulması, Istanbul 1985.

Ercan, Yavuz, Osmanlı Yönetiminde Gayrimüslimler Kuruluştan Tanzimat’a Kadar Sosyal, Ekonomik ve Hukukî Durumları, Ankara 2001.

Eryılmaz, Bilal, Osmanlı Devletinde Gayrimüslim Teba‛anın Yönetimi, İstanbul 1990.

Göksel, Burhan, “Meşrutiyet Öncesinde ve Sonrasına Ait Resmi Devlet Yayınlarına Göre Türkler’in Ermeni Toplumu ile İlişkileri”, Tarih Boyunca Türklerin Ermeni Toplumu ile İlişkileri Sempozyumu (8-12 Ekim 1984, Erzurum), Ankara 1985, pp. 159-176.

Görgün, Şanal, Hukukun Temel Kavramları, Ankara 1994.

İlter, Erdal, Türk-Ermeni İlişkileri Bibliyografyası, Ankara 2001.

Joseph de Tournefort, Tournefort Seyahatnamesi, İkinci Kitap (trans. into Turkish: Teoman Tunçdoğan), İstanbul 2005.

Oğuzoğlu, Yusuf, “XVII. Yüzyılda Türkler’in Ermeni Toplumu ile İlişkileri Hakkında Bazı Bilgiler”, Tarih Boyunca Türklerin Ermeni Toplumu ile İlişkileri Sempozyumu (8-12 Ekim 1984, Erzurum), Ankara 1985, pp. 265-170.

Özgökmen, Ali, Konya Şer‛iye Sicilleri Işığında Müslim-Gayrimüslim Münasebetleri (1700-1800), Unpublished PhD Thesis, Konya 1996.

Özkaya, Yücel, “Arşiv Belgelerine Göre XVIII. ve XIX. Yüzyılda Osmanlı İmparatorluğu’nda Ermeniler’in Durumu”, Tarih Boyunca Türklerin Ermeni Toplumu ile İlişkileri Sempozyumu (8-12 Ekim 1984, Erzurum), Ankara 1985, pp. 149-158.

Soykan, T. Tankut, Osmanlı imparatorluğu’nda Gayrimüslimler, İstanbul 1999.

Şimşirgil, Ahmet, Osmanlı Taşra Teşkilatında Tokat (1455-1574), Unpublished PhD Thesis, Marmara Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü, İstanbul 1990.

Yediyıldız, Bahaeddin, “XV.-XIX. Yüzyıllarda Ermeniler’in Türk Toplumu İçindeki Yeri”, Tarih Boyunca Türklerin Ermeni Toplumu ile İlişkileri Sempozyumu (8-12 Ekim 1984, Erzurum), Ankara 1985, pp. 141-147.



[1] For a short literature on this matter, see Bilal Eryılmaz, Osmanlı Devletinde Gayrimüslim Teba‛anın Yönetimi, İstanbul 1990; Gülnihal Bozkurt, Alman-İngiliz Belgelerinin ve Siyasi Gelişmelerin Işığı Altında Gayrimüslim Osmanlı Vatandaşlarının Hukukî Durumu (1839-1914), Ankara 1989; T. Tankut Soykan, Osmanlı İmparatorluğu’nda Gayrimüslimler, İstanbul 1999; Yavuz Ercan, Osmanlı Yönetiminde Gayrimüslimler Kuruluştan Tanzimat’a Kadar Sosyal, Ekonomik ve Hukukî Durumları, Ankara 2001; Ali Özgökmen, Konya Şer‛iye Sicilleri Işığında Müslim-Gayrimüslim Münasebetleri (1700-1800), Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, Konya 1996; Gül Akyılmaz, “Osmanlı Devletinde Gayrimüslimlerin Hukukî Statüsü”, Ermeni Araştırmaları 1. Türkiye Kongresi Bildirileri, V. 11, Ankara 2003, pp. 171-187.

[2] For examples, see Bahaeddin Yediyıldız, “XV.-XIX. Yüzyıllarda Ermeniler’in Türk Toplumu İçindeki Yeri”, Tarih Boyunca Türklerin Ermeni Toplumu ile İlişkileri Sempozyumu (8-12 Ekim 1984, Erzurum), Ankara 1985, pp. 141-147; Yücel Özkaya, “Arşiv Belgelerine Göre XVIII. ve XIX. Yüzyılda Osmanlı İmparatorluğu’nda Ermeniler’in Durumu”, Tarih Boyunca Türklerin Ermeni Toplumu ile İlişkileri Sempozyumu (8-12 Ekim 1984, Erzurum), Ankara 1985, pp. 149-158; Burhan Göksel, “Meşrutiyet Öncesinde ve Sonrasına Ait Resmi Devlet Yayınlarına Göre Türkler’in Ermeni Toplumu ile İlişkileri”, Tarih Boyunca Türklerin Ermeni Toplumu ile İlişkileri Sempozyumu (8-12 Ekim 1984, Erzurum), Ankara 1985, pp. 159-176; Yusuf Oğuzoğlu, “XVII. Yüzyılda Türkler’in Ermeni Toplumu ile İlişkileri Hakkında Bazı Bilgiler”, Tarih Boyunca Türklerin Ermeni Toplumu ile İlişkileri Sempozyumu (8-12 Ekim 1984, Erzurum), Ankara 1985, pp. 265-170.

[3] It has been arrived at this result by reviewing of bibliographic books which compiled the studies on Turkish-Armenian relations. For example, Erdal İlter, Türk-Ermeni İlişkileri Bibliyografyası, Ankara 2001.

[4] Muslim and non-Muslim quarters in Tokat were written separately together with names of household heads into the detailed Tapu-tahrir registers of XVth and XVIth centuries (see Ali Açıkel, Changes in Settlement Patterns, Population and Society in North Central Anatolia: A Case Study of the District (kaza) of Tokat (1574-1643), Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, University of Manchester, England 1999, pp. 56-61, 276-282; Cf., Ahmet Şimşirgil, Osmanlı Taşra Teşkilatında Tokat (1455-1574), Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, Marmara Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü, İstanbul 1990, pp. 48-74. However, according to the cizye registers of 17th and 18th centuries, it is seen that non-Muslims resided together with Muslims within some 60 quarters in the city (see BOA=Başbakanlık Osmanlı Arşivi. MAD=Maliyeden Müdevver Classification Nu: 2533, pp. 29-55; MAD. Nu: 1293, pp. 40-54; MAD. Nu: 7328; BOA. KK=Kamil Kepeci Classification. Cizye Defterleri, nu: 3810, pp. 113-217). This state shows that Muslims and non-Muslims began to more free in selecting their places of residence from the 17th century onwards. The distribution of the sharia court records related to Armenians by the quarters given in the first table of our paper also confirms this state.

[5] For a summary information on the legal status of the zimmîs in the Islamic law and in the Ottoman State, see Bozkurt, ibid., pp. 7-8.

[6] Açıkel, ibid, pp. 74-79. Cf., Şimşirgil, ibid., pp. 74-80.

[7] Açıkel, ibid., pp. 79-83; the same author, “Tokat Örneğinde XVII. Asrın İlk Yarısında Osmanlı Sosyal Yapısındaki Buhran”, Türkler (edits: Hasan Celal Güzel, Kemâl Çiçek, Salim Koca), V. 10, Ankara 2002, pp. 349-350.

[8] Joseph de Tournefort, Tournefort Seyahatnamesi, İkinci Kitap (trans. into Turkish: Teoman Tunçdoğan), Istanbul 2005, p. 222.

[9] Sevgi Aktüre, 19. Yüzyıl Sonunda Anadolu Kenti Mekansal Yapı Çözümlemesi, Ankara 1978, p. 153.

[10] BOA. KK. Cizye Registers, nu: 3810, pp. 113-217.

[11] Şanal Görgün, Hukukun Temel Kavramları, Ankara 1994, p. 62.

[12] Bozkurt, ibid., p. 14; Ercan, ibid., pp. 203-204; Soykan, ibid., pp. 108-109.

[13] For the examples on this matter, see Akyılmaz, ibid., p. 176; Ercan, ibid., p. 205.

[14] TŞS 1, 7/3; TŞS 1, 10/2; TŞS 1, 13/2; TŞS 1, 22/2; TŞS 1, 51/2; TŞS 1, 52/3; TŞS 1, 57/1; TŞS 1, 57/2; TŞS 2, 237/4; TŞS 2, 284/3; TŞS 3, 136/2; TŞS 3, 147/1; TŞS 3, 154/3; TŞS 3, 158/1; TŞS 3, 169/3; TŞS 4, 153/3; TŞS 4, 172/3; TŞS 4, 187/2; TŞS 4, 192/2; TŞS 4, 193/1; TŞS 5, 190/3; TŞS 5, 191/3; TŞS 5, 193/1; TŞS 5, 195/3; TŞS 5, 196/1; TŞS 5, 197/1; TŞS 6, 19/1; TŞS 6, 29/1; TŞS 6, 34/3; TŞS 11, 175/3; TŞS 11, 176/2; TŞS 11, 186/3; TŞS 11, 187/2; TŞS 7, 166/3; TŞS 7, 184/2; TŞS 8, 132/3; TŞS 8, 159/1; TŞS 8, 170/3; TŞS 9, 139/1; TŞS 9, 153/5; TŞS 9, 158/1; TŞS 9, 172/3; TŞS 10, 132/2; TŞS 10, 159/2; TŞS 11, 149/2; TŞS 11, 173/2; TŞS 11, 174/1.

[15] TŞS 1, 8/1; TŞS 1, 13/1; TŞS 2, 242/1; TŞS 2, 283/1; TŞS 3, 153/1; TŞS 4, 189/2; TŞS 5, 166/2; TŞS 6, 30/2; TŞS 8, 143/2; TŞS 10, 132/3; TŞS 9, 139/2; TŞS 8, 171/1; TŞS 2, 194/2; TŞS 2, 262/1; TŞS 5, 198/2; TŞS 9, 151/1; TŞS 9, 164/1; TŞS 11, 150/1; TŞS 11, 154/2; TŞS 11, 159/1; TŞS 11, 159/2; TŞS 3, 123/1; TŞS 4, 174/2; TŞS 3, 129/3.

[16] TŞS 1, 18/1; TŞS 2, 235/2; TŞS 2, 236/3; TŞS 3, 137/2; TŞS 4, 150/2; TŞS 5, 198/2; TŞS 8, 163/3; TŞS 9, 143/3; TŞS 10, 137/1; TŞS 11, 153/2.

[17] Marriage records: TŞS 7, 162/3; TŞS 2, 209/2. Divorce records: TŞS 2, 205/2. Caretakership records: TŞS 1, 51/1; TŞS 3, 135/1.

[18] TŞS 5, 198/2.

[19] TŞS 3, 129/3.

[20] Görgün, ibid., p. 69.

[21] Bozkurt, ibid., p. 15; Ercan, ibid., p. 206; Soykan, ibid., p. 117.

[22] A few examples on this matter, see Akyılmaz, ibid., pp. 176-177.

[23] TŞS 2, 196/1; TŞS 2, 216/1; TŞS 2, 263/2; TŞS 2, 290/1; TŞS 3, 135/3; TŞS 3, 138/3; TŞS 5, 178/1; TŞS 6, 24/2; TŞS 8, 179/1; TŞS 10, 146/3; TŞS 12, 149/2; TŞS 3, 158/2; TŞS 1, 19/1; TŞS 1, 58/1; TŞS 2, 193/1; TŞS 2, 231/4; TŞS 2, 236/4; TŞS 2, 250/1; TŞS 2, 257/1; TŞS 2, 274/3; TŞS 2, 293/2; TŞS 2, 294/1; TŞS 7, 158/2; TŞS 7, 163/2; TŞS 12, 138/1; TŞS 12, 138/3; TŞS 7, 167/2; TŞS 8, 132/1; TŞS 2, 244/2; TŞS 4, 166/2; TŞS 11, 183/2; TŞS 1, 63/3.

[24] TŞS 2, 216/1. Other examples see TŞS 12, 149/2; TŞS 2, 196/1.

[25] Görgün, ibid., p. 71.

[26] For more details on State-owned and private lands see Halil Cin, Osmanlı Toprak Düzeni ve Bu Düzenin Bozulması, İstanbul 1985, pp. 22-28, 45 etc.

[27] TŞS 10, 156/4; TŞS 8, 137/1; TŞS 11, 159/3; TŞS 7, 178/1; TŞS 5, 165/1; TŞS 8, 147/1; TŞS 2, 206/2; TŞS 2, 212/1; TŞS 2, 214/3; TŞS 4, 169/2; TŞS 11, 160/1.

[28] TŞS 7, 178/1. Another example on being heard of Muslim witness, see TŞS 10, 156/4.

[29] TŞS 10, 156/4.

[30] Görgün, ibid., pp. 73-76.

[31] Bozkurt, ibid., p. 16.

[32] TŞS 1, 22/3; TŞS 1, 41/1; TŞS 1, 48/2; TŞS 1, 63/2; TŞS 1, 94/2; TŞS 2, 197/1; TŞS 2, 200/1; TŞS 2, 207/1; TŞS 2, 232/3; TŞS 2, 268/3; TŞS 4, 161/3; TŞS 4, 168/3; TŞS 4, 185/1; TŞS 5, 196/3; TŞS 1, 73/1; TŞS 1, 10/2; TŞS 7, 173/2; TŞS 7, 174/1; TŞS 7, 184/3; TŞS 7, 194/2; TŞS 11, 145/2; TŞS 11, 148/2; TŞS 12, 123/1; TŞS 12, 135/1; TŞS 4, 153/1; TŞS 3, 137/1.

[33] TŞS 5, 189/1; TŞS 6, 19/3; TŞS 6, 23/2; TŞS 1, 22/2; TŞS 1, 38/2; TŞS 9, 140/4; TŞS 9, 141/3; TŞS 2, 295/1.

[34] TŞS 1, 73/1.

[35] TŞS 1, 32/1.

[36] TŞS 4, 153/1.

[37] See TŞS 1, 73/1; TŞS 7, 173/2; TŞS 2, 207/1.

[38] TŞS 2, 207/1.

[39] Görgün, ibid., p. 79.

[40] Bozkurt, ibid., pp. 17-18; Ercan, ibid., pp. 217-222; Soykan, ibid, pp. 101-106.

[41] Soykan, ibid, p. 107.

[42] TŞS 3, 118/3; TŞS 2, 212/2; TŞS 2, 258/1; TŞS 4, 152/2; TŞS 7, 193/2; TŞS 11, 163/2; TŞS 3, 150/2; TŞS 5, 177/2; TŞS 5, 190/1; TŞS 10, 140/3; TŞS 9, 171/2; TŞS 4, 167/2; TŞS 10, 142/1; TŞS 1, 21/1; TŞS 2, 211/1; TŞS 3, 118/2; TŞS 7, 181/3; TŞS 8, 129/1; TŞS 8, 148/1; TŞS 9, 155/3; TŞS 3, 167/2; TŞS 4, 193/3; TŞS 5, 164/3; TŞS 11, 161/4; TŞS 11, 180/1; TŞS 11, 185/1; TŞS 11, 167/1; TŞS 11, 174/2; TŞS 1, 83/2; TŞS 7, 156/3; TŞS 9, 150/2; TŞS 8, 141/2; TŞS 3, 145/2; TŞS 9, 162/3; TŞS 4, 164/2; TŞS 5, 191/1; TŞS 2, 247/2.

[43] TŞS 8, 133/2; TŞS 11, 175/1.

[44] TŞS 1, 90/3; TŞS 1, 91/1.

[45] For the references of these sales records, see TŞS 3, 118/3; TŞS 3, 150/2; TŞS 5, 177/2; TŞS 5, 190/1; TŞS 9, 171/2; TŞS 9, 155/3; TŞS 11, 167/1; TŞS 11, 174/2; TŞS 7, 156/3; TŞS 3, 145/2.

[46] For the references of these sales records, see TŞS 4, 167/2; TŞS 10, 142/1; TŞS 9, 162/3; TŞS 4, 164/2; TŞS 2, 247/2.

[47] TŞS 2, 247/2.

[48] TŞS 8, 133/2.

[49] TŞS 11, 175/1.

[50] For the references of these company records, see TŞS 1, 90/3; TŞS 1, 91/1.

[51] TŞS 8, 141/2.

[52] See TŞS 9, 171/2; TŞS 4, 167/2; TŞS 8, 148/1; TŞS 3, 167/2; TŞS 4, 193/3; TŞS 9, 162/3.

[53] TŞS 4, 167/2.

[54] Görgün, ibid., p. 103.

[55] For more details on the states of Zimmîs according to the Ottoman criminal law, see Bozkurt, ibid., pp. 25-26; Ercan, ibid., pp. 186-198; Soykan, ibid., pp. 128-138.

[56] TŞS 2, 201/1; TŞS 8, 139/1; TŞS 9, 175/3; TŞS 4, 154/1.

[57] TŞS 1, 69/2; TŞS 1, 20/2.

[58] TŞS 7, 164/1; TŞS 2, 274/1.

[59] TŞS 8, 139/1.

[60] TŞS 1, 69/2.

[61] TŞS 7, 164/1.

[62] Görgün, ibid., p. 103.

[63] For more details on the taxes paid by non-Muslims in the Ottoman State, see Ercan, ibid., pp. 251-273; Bozkurt, ibid., pp. 26-29; Soykan, ibid., pp. 162-176.

[64] These are customary taxes imposed to meet local expenses and collected in conformity with the salyâne registers in each 6 months or a year.

[65] TŞS 11, 160/2.

[66] TŞS 7, 163/3.

[67] TŞS 2, 254/1.






Source: © Erciyes University 2006



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