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10 June 2009

2879) Report Prepared In 1778 On The Catholic Conversion Works Of Armenians And Its Results

Dr. Abdurrahman SAĞIRLI
University of Gaziosmanpaşa Faculty of Arts and Sciences Department of History / Tokat

The Armenians played an important role among the non-Muslim subjects of the Ottoman State and were involved in its social and economic life. However, because they did not have a role in political life, official and unofficial Ottoman chronicles generally have stayed silent on the Armenians and do not give much information about them.

The Armenians attached to the Gregorian sect of . . Christianity were represented by the Armenian Patriarchate that Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror had founded in Istanbul. Their religious lives were organised by means of the Patriarchate.

The Roman Church attempted to disseminate Roman Catholicism among the Armenians within the Ottoman State. In the aftermath of these activities, problems began to appear between the Gregorian Armenians and those who accepted Roman Catholicism. In 1778, using differences in the burial procedures of the dead, as well as other matters, the Catholic Armenians tried to have an independent Catholic Armenian Patriarchate appointed, separate from the existing Gregorian Armenian Patriarchate.

This attempt to appoint a Catholic Armenian Patriarch sparked the generation of a report detailing the general situation of the Armenians in the Ottoman State. The report examined the geography where the Armenians lived, their short history, the reasons for sectarian conflict among them, and the results of these sectarian conflicts. The prepared report is included in the events of the year AH.1192 / AC.1778 in the second volume of the History of Enverî written by the chronicler Sadullah Enverî.1 Vâsıf, who re-wrote the events of the period, using Enverî as a source, summed up this report briefly and added some additional information2. Another summary of the report was included in the History of Cevdet of Ahmed Cevdet Pasha, who later chronicled the history of that period in his work. Parts of the report in the History of Cevdet were referenced in the PhD thesis of Recep Kılıç, who prepared a detailed account of the religious conflicts among the Armenians.3 In his paper, without entering into all of the historical details of the subject-matter,4 we will examine the specifics of the report and consider the manner in which the Ottoman State behaved toward the Armenians.

In his history, Enverî recorded a summary of the report entitled On Prohibiting the Appointment of the Catholic Patriarch, which was written by the Foreign Minister Âtıf-zâde Ömer Vâhid Efendi. In the report, information on the history of the Armenians prior to the attempt to install an independent Catholic Armenian Patriarchate is given, followed by information on a petition by the Catholic Armenians to appoint a Patriarch. The petition is evaluated from the Ottoman point of view and includes the results of this development.

According to the report, increasing numbers of Armenians, who were the cizye-paying subjects (able-bodied non-Muslim men of military

1 For the text in hand-writing copies of the report given in transliteration at the end of the paper, see Enverî, Enverî Târîhi, Âtıf Efendi Library, nu. 1829, pp. 123a-125a; Ali Emîrî, Tarih nu. 67, pp. 97b-99a.
2 Ahmed Vâsıf, Vâsıf Târîhi, Topkapı Sarayı Kütüphanesi Hazine nu. 1410, pp. 78b-80b.
3 Recep Kılıç, Osmanlı İdarisinde Ermeniler Arasındaki Dinî ve Siyasi Mücadeleler, Ankara 2000, pp. 139-140.
4 On the matter of sectarian conflicts taking place among the Armenians throughout the history, for more detailed information, see Kılıç, ibid.

age) of the Ottoman State, came under the administration of the growing Ottoman State. By the year 1778, the Armenians numbered three hundred thousand.5 Until the date of AH 1041/ AC 1631-1632, which coincided with the reign of Murat IV, the Armenians lived as members of the same religious sect, and were free from the problems resulting from sectarian differences. However, in 1778 European priests increased their activities among the Armenians and secretly invited them to join their churches and indoctrinated them into the Catholic sect. The fact that the Catholic sect was more liberal in comparison with the Gregorian sect made it easy to find followers. Some liberal ideas in the Catholic sect were as follows: unveiling of women, men eating seafood during fasting times, and clergy handing over certificates of forgiveness in the name of Jesus (PBH).

Murat IV was informed that these practices of the Catholic priests caused Catholicism to spread quickly among the Armenians both in Istanbul and in other places. He ordered persons who engaged in such activities to be punished.6 Similarly, during the viziership of Hekimoğlu Ali Pasha in 1147/1734-1735, some persons who worked to disseminate Catholicism were executed. In addition, the State’s authorities, who were aware of such activities that might weaken the power of the State and create a dangerous situation, sent harsh directives to the Armenian Patriarch, threatening punishment by the gallows if the orders were not followed. According to the general contents of the orders, when the Armenian subjects who participated in the European churches and adopted Catholicism were discovered, they must be reported to the

5 This number given as “three thousand individuals” in the text is probably calculated according to the cizye-registers. There is no sign on whether women, elderly, and children, not being cizye-payers, were included in this figure. When these figures are examined by the experts of statistics, it is estimated to be the Armenian population at the beginning of the 20th century. However, another important matter to consider is to determine the boundaries of the Ottoman State at that date, and, if there exist regions separated from the Ottoman State after that date, the Armenian population living in those places must be subtracted from the final estimation.

6 Vâsıf records that these activities were also one of the reasons of Abaza Pasha’s execution. See Ahmed Vâsıf, Vâsıf Târîhi, Topkapı Sarayı Library, Hazine nu. 1410, p. 79a.

authorities. The plan was to punish those who signed a petition from the Armenian Patriarch and then later deviated from their sect. One of the measures to be taken in order to prevent joining the Catholic sect, and to be emphasized in the certificates of the Armenian Patriarch, was that those who joined the Catholics would be abandoned and forbidden burial with the other Armenians.

In time, the Armenian Patriarch stopped trying to prevent the spread of Catholicism among the Armenians. As a result, the Catholic priests increased their activities. They went around in groups of three to five persons in villages and towns and helped a number of people to become Catholic secretly. In the end, “a large number of deaths” took place in the year of 1192/1788.7 The Armenian Patriarch, in an attempt to prevent more Armenians from becoming Catholic, decided to add the aforementioned burial rule into his certificates. Therefore, the dead of a large number of Catholic Armenians could not be buried in the existing Armenian cemeteries. Taking advantage of this situation, the Catholic Armenians accused the Patriarch of failing in his role and submitted a petition to the Sultan with the hopes of getting a separate special Patriarch appointed.

The petition was subsequently sent to the grand viziership office where the effect of appointing a second Patriarch was evaluated. Consequently, the Foreign Minister Âtıf-zâde Ömer Vâhid Efendi wrote a report on the potential dangers for the Ottoman State if a separate Catholic Armenian Patriarch were appointed. The report contained the reasons they were called “Armenians,” the places that the Armenians lived, their living under the administrations of the Seljukids and the Ottomans, the efforts to spread the Catholic sect, the conflicts seen among the Armenians by means of these efforts and their ensuing results.

According to the report, they were called “Armenians” because they were from the region called Armenia which was attached to Azerbaijan in Persia. This region was called “Armenia” after the ruler of that area, Ermen Bara, who established it as the capital of his government. In Anatolia, the

7 The reason of the deaths in the report was the plague epidemic. See, Kılıç, ibid.,
p. 139.

Armenians lived in the regions of Ruha (Urfa), Antakya, Van, Erzurum and Sivas, and called this area “Minor Armenia.” The Azerbaijan area was referred to as “Grand Armenia,” which was under their kings until the year of 1200. After this date, from the reign of the Sultan Gıyâseddîn of the Seljukids, who made Konya his capital, the areas where they lived were gradually captured by the Anatolian Seljukids. Their kings and high-ranking authorities were taken away, and they continued their lives under the Seljukids as non-Muslim subjects. When the Ottoman State emerged and gradually expanded, these non-Muslim subjects entered under their administration and continued their lives as before.

As is also explained above, the Armenians belonged to the Gregorian sect of Christianity until the reign of Murat IV, and not to any other Christian sects. After Catholicism entered the scene as an alternative to Gregorian Christianity, especially in the aftermath of the work of European priests, conflicts began to appear among the Armenians. As a result of the measures formerly taken, even as a solution to the problems was sought, the activities increased and social problems appeared. One of the main problems was conflict regarding the consumption of meat butchered by members of another sect.

In the report, it is stressed that those who adopted the Catholic sect intentionally acted against the Ottoman State. In contrast, those who stayed in their ancestor’s sect (Gregorian) showed loyalty to the State because they were politically neutral. The fact that those who adopted the Catholic sect co-operated secretly or openly with Europeans shows similarities with the development of the war between the Russians and the Ottomans. The Greek subjects of the Ottomans cooperated with the Russians against the Ottomans during the Russian-Ottoman war beginning in 1765 because they belonged to the same religious sect. In addition, some European customs spread among the Armenians who turned to Catholicism. The rich built churches in Austria and Venice and sent their children there to complete their education. Those who went to these places also wore hats and European dress. In those times, these customs were not practiced within the Armenian society

Some of those joining the Catholic sect bought and sold precious metal, stones, and other goods. This meant they were often in contact with statesmen from other countries. Thus, some believed that they were working as spies and attempting to obtain State secrets.

After Vâsıf summarized the information Enverî recorded in his history, he gives information on how the Catholic money-changers and traders cheated the Muslims with promises of high interest rates. According to Vâsıf, the Catholic Armenians collected a large amount of cash with a promise of a high share of the profits. They paid the interest of this money for a determined period, and then transferred the money to European States with whom they were connected and had entered under their protection. When the time of paying back of the money came, they showed their debts to be more than their credits by means of promissory notes of debts belonging to unknown persons. They appeared to be bankrupt. In such cases, after they were jailed for a few months, they secured a release often by means of the ambassadors of the countries from which they had previously obtained protection. They managed to escape from the creditors, sometimes with the assertion of being bankrupt, sometimes by coming to an agreement with the creditors for a minimal amount. After they saved themselves in this way, they continued their lives comfortably with the interest of the money they had invested in Europe. Vâsıf added this information into his work with the aim to warn anyone who might be ensnared by the practice and to prevent them from being cheated.8 In addition, it is recounted that the inheritances of the dying rich Armenians were often claimed by the Catholic priests, and every year an amount of more than one thousand ‘purses’ was transferred to Europe.

In the final part of the report, it is suggested that if there is an opportunity for those who tried to disseminate Catholicism, they would try to win over all the non-Muslims in Rumelia and Anatolia. The report pointed out that special attention should be paid to this risk and the potential danger of such a large-scale religious shift.

8 Ahmed Vâsıf, Vâsıf Târîhi, Topkapı Sarayı Library Hazine nu. 1410, pp. 80a-b.

The report by the Foreign Minister was presented to the Sultan by the Grand Vizier. As a result, the following matters were presented to the Armenian Patriarch together with a confirmed edict:

. For the prevention of those who tried to disseminate Catholicism, and the punishment of those who continued this activity, it should be informed without rancour with a petition by the Armenian Patriarch.

. The Catholic deaths should be handled without complaint and in a manner not violating the internal order.

This edict aimed to prevent Catholic practices and activities from disturbing the normal order of the society. Furthermore, the attempt to appoint a separate Catholic Armenian Patriarch was not realized.


Catholic priests, who were called European priests by the Ottomans, secretly continued the work of spreading Catholicism among the Armenians for a long time. The beginning of the negative impact of these activities on Armenian society goes back to the period of Murat IV.

The Catholic conversion work violated the internal peace of the Armenian society and potentially that of the Ottoman State. The Gregorian Armenians remained neutral and stayed loyal to the Ottoman State. In contrast, the Catholic Armenians allied themselves with the Europeans.

The two sects would not participate in each other’s funerals or eat the meat butchered by each other. They were constantly engaging in actions against each other. The rich Catholic Armenians became involved in the churches that they built in various places throughout Europe and educated their children there. European customs, such as wearing a hat and European dress, became widespread among the Armenians. As moneychangers and traders, some of those adopting Catholicism were in touch with statesmen from other countries. Because of this, it was thought that they obtained State secrets and worked as spies. In Vasif ’s report, it was stressed that if Catholicism became widespread among the Armenians, negative cooperation would be repeated between the Europeans and the Ottoman Catholic Armenians as it did between the Ottoman Greeks and the Russians during the Russian-Ottoman war. Thus, the Armenian Patriarch had the duty of providing information about and taking preven tive measures against those disseminating Catholicsm. This responsibility was stressed openly in the imperial edicts given to them.


As a result, since the Ottoman State generally did not intervene in the beliefs of its non-Muslim subjects, it took preventive measures to maintain the social order and the security of the state. It perceived that its own strategic security was closely linked to the idea of each sector of society staying within its own religious traditions. In spite of this, the Gregorian Armenians were continually enticed by various Christian sects to stray from their established beliefs. Both Catholics and Protestants targeted the Armenian community, the previous with more success than the latter. Despite the external influences, the Turks did not intervene in the religion of the Armenians under their sovereignty at any time. On the contrary, the Turks worked hard to provide them with a secure life within their own traditions.

Appendix: The Transliteration of the Text Recorded in the History of Enverî of a Report Prepared in 1778 on the Catholicization of Armenians and its Results9

Zikr-i men‘-i nasb batarîk-ı Katolik

(vr. 123a) Der-miyân-ı Ermeniyân-ı devlet-i aliyye-i ebediyyü’listimrârın cizye-güzâr re‘âyâsı esnâfından ermeni tâifesi âfitâb-ı saltanat-ı seniyyenin resîde-i evc-i iştihâr olub zor-ı şemşîr ile teshîr-i memâlik ve tevfîr-i emsâr eylemeğe şürû‘ eylediği zamân-ı sa‘d-iktirândan berü yevme fe-yevmen tekessür bularak el-hâletü-hâzihî üçyüz bin nefere bâliğ ve her ne mikdâr ise binkırk târîhlerine gelinceye dek âyîn-i vâhid üzre zîr-i sâye-i devletde te‘ayyüş eyleyüb sâir edyân-ı bâtıla ve mezâhib-i ‘âtıla rüsûmı güft ü gûsundan ezhân-ı pelîdeleri fâriğ iken Frenk papaslarından ba‘zı şeyâtîn-mânend efkâr-ı fâside beynlerine hülûl ve mekr ü firîb ile ba‘zı kem-idrâk ve bî-şu‘ûrların nihânî kiliselerine da‘vet iderek Romada vâki‘ Papa didikleri hınzırın mezhebi tevâbi‘inden katolik âyîn-i dalâletrehînine tergîb ile meşgûl olub, merdûd-ı mel‘ûnun mesleği ise erâmine

9 The transcribed text is written from Âtıf Efendi’s Library, nu. 1829, pp. 123a-125a of the History of Enverî and is compared with its version of Ali Emîrî, Tarih nu. 67, pp. 97b-99a.

meşreblerine nisbet ziyâde vâsi‘ ve meselâ avretleri perde-i istitâreden ârî ve erkekleri pehrîz vaktlerinde lahûm-ı hayvânât-ı bahriyyeden ictinâb eylemek tekellüflerinden berî olmak cihetlerinden be-gâyet müttesi‘ olmakdan nâşi bir tarafdan ba‘zı bî-dîn kendüleriyle hem-âyîn olmağı kabûl eylemek takrîbi ile gün be-gün iğvâya ictirâ ve vüs‘at-i dîn-i bâtıllarına dâir niçe habâset ve dalâlete ruhsat virdiklerinden ma‘dâ, hâşâ sümme-hâşâ iddi‘â-yı vekâlet-i İsa aleyhi’s-selâm ile, helâk olan kâfirlerin cerâimini afvı mutazammın (vr. 123b) yedlerine memhûr10 sened virerek az zamanda kati vâfir kâfiri mahfîce ıdlâl ve yeni başdan çirkâb-ı küfr ü dalâle idhâl eylediler. Keyfiyyet-i mezbûre beyne’r-re‘âyâ meşhûr olub melâ‘în-i hâsirînin gerek âsitâne-i aliyye11 ve gerek memâlik-i mahmiyyede kâin ba‘zı ....... re‘âyâyı hiyel ü huda‘ takrîbi ile katolik zümresine ilhâka bezl-i tâkat ve ol gürûh-ı habâset-enbûhun kimesne bilmeyerek fırka-i mesfûreye dühûle şedd-i nitâk eyledikleri devr-i Murâd Hân-ı Râbi‘de ma‘rûz-ı südde-i felek-tumturâk oldukda o makûle ifsâd-ı re‘âyâya ictirâ iden mel‘ûnelerin cezâları tertîb ve binyüzkırkyedi târîhlerinden Hekimbaşı-zâde Ali Paşa sadâreti esnâsında hâdise-i mezkûre içün tâife-i mesfûreden bir kaç kâfirin i‘dâmı ile zümre-i mersûme gereği gibi tehdîd ve te’dîb olunduklarından başka vâkı‘a-i mezkûre ‘iyâzen bi’llâhi te‘âlâ saltanat-ı kaviyye-i ebediyyü’l-kıyâmın fikdân-ı miknetini müstevcib olur mazarrât-ı cesîme-i mülkiyyeden oldığı müsellem-i cumhûr-ı ‘ukalâ-yı devlet olmağın betârîk-ı Erâmine yedlerine mü’ekked ve müşedded emrler i‘tâ ve mazmûnlarında Efrenc kiliselerine giden ve katolik mezhebine dühûl iden re‘âyâyı haber aldıkları ân hükkâma arz ve ihbâr ve bilâ-tevakkuf küreğe vaz‘ ile zecr ü indâz itdirmeleri ve mezheblerine mu‘ârız nizâm-ı ra‘iyyeti nâkıs evzâ‘a cesâret idenlerin gûşmâllerine dâir patrîklerinin gönderdikleri memhûr arzları redd12 olunmayub müsâ‘ade kılınması tasrîh olunmuşiken bir zamandan berü cânib-i saltanat-ı sâmiye ve patrîkleri kıbelinden ahvâl-i re‘âyâ-yı Erâmine tefahhus ve tecessüs olunmadığıdan re‘âyâdan niçe mâldâr kâfirler katolik olmağa ictisâr ve anların i‘ânetleriyle13 katolik papasları Papa mel‘ûnundan yedlerine memhûr kağıdlar ahz ve üçer beşer kasabât ve kurâda geşt ü güzâr eyleyüb

10 memhûr: Atıf Efendi 1829; - Ali Emîri Tarih 67.
11 aliyye: Atıf Efendi 1829; - Ali Emîri Tarih 67.
12 redd: Atıf Efendi 1829; - Ali Emîri Tarih 67.
13 i‘ânetleriyle: Atıf Efendi 1829; i‘ânetiyle Ali Emîri Tarih 67.

mugâyir-i nizâm-ı devlet buldukları re‘âyâyı ke’l-evvel âyînlerine tahvîl ve hufyeten hadd u hasrdan bîrûn re‘âyâ-yı saltanatı Frenk mezhebine dühûle delîl ve semt-i dûzâha tesbîl eylemeğe şürû‘ elediler. Hıfz-ı nizâm-ı re‘âyâya i‘tinâ mukaddemâ Ermeni patriklerine verilen berevât ve senedât fehvâlarında o gûne Frenk mezhebine dühûl ile gark-ı çirkâb olan dûzah-me’âbların meredeleri kaldırılmayub mânde-i mezbele-i hevân olmaları musarrah olmağın işbu sâlde vâki‘ olan mevtât-ı azîm esnâsında o makûle katolik mezhebinden reh-rev-i ka‘r-ı nîrân olan meredelerin haklarında şart-ı berâtlarının icrâ olunmasın da‘vâ ve bu sûretde ihâfe ve tehdîd iderek re‘âyâ-yı devleti katolik mesleğinden keff eylemeğe sa‘-yı evfâ idegeldiklerinden nihânî katolik mezhebine giren melâ‘în-i haserân-karîn tervîc-i âyîn-i mefsedet-rehînleri zımnında meredelerinin cîfe-kendesi meydanda kalmasına ‘illet katolik olmaları oldığından ‘adem-i bahs ile (vr. 124a) mutlakâ Ermeni dînine mugâyir olan hâliklerinin süpürde-i mugâk itdirilmemesin patrîkleri üzerine esâ’et ve kusûr ‘add iderek Ermeni patrîkinden tertîb-i şikâyet ve kendülere mahsûs patrîk nasb olunmak ümmîdiyle rikâb-ı kamer-tâb-ı cenâb-ı cihândârîye ref‘-i ruk‘aya cesâret eylediler.

Pes, rikâb-ı müstetâb-ı hazret-i hilâfet-penâhîye virdikleri arzuhâl bâb-ı âsafîye gelüb matlûblarının zımnında pûşîde ve müşedded olan nef‘ ü mazarrat ‘ukalâ-yı ekâbir-i saltanat-ı seniyyeden istinbâ ve etrâfıyla teftîş ve istiksâ14 olınub tâife-i mezbûrye mahsûs patrîk nasb olunması husûsunda cânib-i devlet-i aliyyeye teferru‘ idecek mazarrâtı mübeyyin reîsü’l-küttâb Âtıf-zâde Ömer Vahîd Efendi bir kıt‘a mufassal takrîr15 tahrîr idüb, mefhûmunda tâife-i mezbûrenin ism ü resmlerinden bahs ile devlet-i aliyye re‘âyâsının ekseri Ermeni gürûhundan ibâret ve kendülere Ermeni tesmiyesi fi’l-asl sâkin oldukları kutr-ı İrandan Azerbaycan muzâfâtından Ermeni zemîne nisbet kabîlinden olub Ermeniyye isimleri dahi ol arâzînin hâkimi olan Ermen Bara16 makarr-ı hükûmet oldığından neş’et eylediğini ve altıyüz târîhlerine gelince Ermeniyye-i Sugrâdan Ruha ve Antakya ve Van ve Erzurum ve Sivas ve Ermeniyye-i Kübrâdan Azerbaycan taraflarının müstakillen melikleri olub, Konya kendülere......

15 takrîr: Atıf Efendi 1829; - Ali Emîri Tarih 67.

.... .... 16

hükûmetgâh olan selâtîn-i Selçukıyyeden Sultân Gıyâseddîn zamânlarında tedrîc ile dâr u diyârları zabt ve hâkimleri istîsâl ve ahâlîsi taht-ı ra‘iyyete idhâl olundığı ve hurşîd-i âfak-gîr-i devlet-i ebed-peyvendin zuhûr ve serkeşân-ı tavâif-i hükkâmı zîr-i sadme-i mülûkânelerinden müdemmer ve makhûr eyleyüb bilâd-ı mezkûre zamîme-i memâlik-i mahrûseleri oldığı âvân-ı meyâmin-iktirândan Sultân Murâd-ı Râbi‘ vaktine gelince zümre-i mersûmenin mezhebleri kâffe-i milel-i nasârâ âyînlerine mugâyir olmağın i‘tikâd-ı vâhid üzre imrâr-ı rûzgâr ider cizye-güzâr bir tâife-i belâdetşi‘ âr olduklarını ve hafazana’llâhü te‘âlâ Efrenc mel‘ûnları leyl ü nehâr hânedân-ı şâmihü’l-erkân-ı saltanat-ı seniyyenin müstelzim-i tezelzül ve teşettüti olur hafâyâ-yı fesâdâtı kuvvetden fi‘le getürmeği hasr-ı endîşe ve efkâr üzre olmalarıyla Moskovlunun hem-milletleri olan Rum tâifesiyle nihânî ittihâd ve devlet-i aliyye ile akd-ı muhârebe eylediği hengâmlarda zümre-i mel‘ûnelerden isti‘âne ve istimdâd ve melâ‘în-i hâsirîn dahi ta‘assub mülâbesesiyle mu‘âvenetde bezl-i ictihâd eylediklerin kendülere meslek ittihâz ve anlar dahi bâlâda tafsîl olundığı üzre katolik mezhebin Ermeni tâifesi miyânına ilkâya âgâz ve ol vechile ifsâd-ı re‘âyâ-yı devleti mûcib hiyel tertîbinden hâli olmadıklarını ve ânifen beyân olundığı târîhlerde töhmet-i mezkûre içün ol gürûh-ı habâset-enbûhun (vr. 124b) bâb-ı hümâyûnda katl olunarak hafazan li’l-nizâm te’dîb ve gûşmâllerine ikdâm olundığı ve hâlâ Ermeni milleti ile katolik olanlar beynlerinde birbirinin zebh eylediğini yememek ve ehadühümâ âharın izâlesini sevâb add eylemek derecelerinde münâferet olub sahîh mezheb-i kadîminde olan şahs-ı Ermeni şevketlü kerâmetlü veliyyü’n-ni‘am-ı âlem pâdişâh-ı encüm-haşem efendimiz hazretlerinin mansûriyetleri da‘avâtına muvâzabat ve katolik-meşreb-i habîsi ile tedeyyün iden melâ‘în-i efrenc-nihâd lâ-muhâl düvel-i efrenciyyenin gâlib olması du‘âlarına bi’t-tab‘ müdâvim ve mütekâlib olduklarını ve bu müdde‘âya delîl karîbü’l-‘ahdde Rusya seferi hilâlinde Moskovlu ile Rum tâifesi miyânında cereyân ve müşâhid olan evzâ‘-ı ma‘hûdâneleri kâfî oldığını ve âbâ ve ecdâdı âyîninde kalan gürûh-ı Erâmine bî-taraf olmalarıyla dâimâ devlet-i aliyyeye sadâkat üzre olub, katolik mezhebine giren kâfirlerin Nemçe ve Venedik diyârlarında birer kilise iştirâ ve ganî ve mütemevvilleri evlâd ve akrabâlarını terbiye olmak maslahatı zımnında ol keniselere irsâl ve başlarına şabka ve sâir elbise-i Frengiyye ilbâsıyla gereği gibi kazûrât-ı küfre îsâl eyledikleriden

başka17 sarrâf ve bâzirgânlık mülâbesesiyle ve ba‘zıları ricâl ve kibâr-ı devletin dâirelerine tereddüd iktisâb ve âyâb u zehâb iderek serâir-i devleti istirkâka18 fursat-yâb olmağa bezl-i üzre olduklarını ve tâife-i merdûde-i mesfûrenin ba‘zı mütemevvil meredelerinin emvâli katolik papasları taraflarından zabt olunarak beher sâl bin kiselik emvâl Frengistana irsâl olunmakdan hâli olmadığını ve ma‘âza’llâhü te‘âlâ zümre-i mel‘ûne-i mersûmeye zerre kadar rûy-ı müsâ‘ade göstermek lâzım gelür ise Rumeli ve Anadolı diyârlarında sâkin kâffe-i re‘âyâ bir-iki yıl zarfında temâmen katolik olacakları bî-iştibâh oldığını dîn ü devlete nâfi‘ mevâdd-ı hayriyye ile mufassalan terkîm ve tastîr eyledi. Takrîr-i merkûmun bâlâsı reîsü’l-küttâb efendinin melhûzâtı oldığunu mübeyyin kelimâtla tavşîh olundukdan sonra cânib-i sadrıa‘zamîden takdîm-i huzûr-ı şehriyâr-ı Sikender-serîr kılınub zîr ü bâlâsı manzûr-ı çeşm-i pâyân-bîn-i mülûkâneleri buyuruldukda irâde-i aliyye-i cenâb-ı cihânbânîleri üzre o gûne hilâf-ı nizâm-ı ra‘iyyet ve mugâyir-i ahkâm-ı kadr-menkıbet Ermeni tâifesi i‘tikâl ve ıdlâl ve Firenk âyînine teşvîk ve katolik rüsûm-ı bâtılasını sahîh Ermeni ra‘iyyeti dînine telfîk eylemeğe hasr-ı âmâl iden şeyâtîn-i haserân-me’âlin rü’esâsı kimler ise te’dîb ve gûşmâl olunmalarıçün garaz ve nefsâniyyetden ‘ârî olarak arzuhâl ile ifâde eylemesiçün Ermeni Patrîkıne hitâben mü’ekked ve müşedded buyuruldı tahrîr ve katolik meredelerinin meydanda kalmayub nizâmlarına halel gelmiyecek sûretlerde tavr-ı hakîmâneye mukârin üslûb ile ref‘-i merede (vr. 125a) olunmasına ruhsat birle kat‘-ı nizâ‘ olunması tasrîh ve tenbîh olınub ol gûne vesîle-i ihtilâl ve izmihlâl-i re‘âyâ olur katolik güft ü gûsunun men‘ ü ref‘ olunmasına her tarafdan ihtimâm olundı.

17 başka: Atıf Efendi 1829; sonra Ali Emîri Tarih 67.
18 istirkâka: Ali Emîri Tarih 67; istirâka Atıf Efendi 1829.

(C) Erciyes University


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