Filling the Gap in Demographic Research on the Ottoman Transformation Period: Waqf Account Books as Sources for Ottoman Demographic History (16th and 17th Centuries)

Ottoman demographic historians revealed a major growth in the population in the sixteenth century, which was mainly based on the survey registers. When the studies were extended to the seventeenth century, the survey registers became sparse and historians perforce resorted to other available sources. Thus, to follow the demographic trend in the seventeenth century, the poll tax and avârız registers replaced the survey registers. Research on the seventeenth century yielded a contrary result, depopulation and a general decline in population. However, the changing demographic trend between the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century could not be explained due to the lack of primary sources. This paper argues that waqf account books, which are available in series though limited in geographical coverage, may fill the lacuna in archival sources and enable the changes in population to be tracked.
Turcica, Revue D’Etudes Turques


Reconsiderations and notes on agricultural productivity in the Ottoman empire Osmanli Imparatorluǧunda Tarimsal Üretkenlik Üzerine Tetkikat ve Notlar
Orbay, Kayhan (2017-12-01)
Ottoman historiography considers the survey registers as the primary source for demographic history and studies on these registers reveal the 16th century as a period of rapid population rise. The rich content of the registers encouraged the historians to estimate agricultural production and productivity for the 16th and 17th centuries. Thus, economic historians attempted to understand economic developments by linking changes in population and agricultural economy. Historians widely concluded that there was...
Osmanlı İmparatorluğu’nda tarımsal üretkenlik üzerine tetkikat ve notlar
Orbay, Kayhan (2017-06-01)
Osmanlı tarihinde 16. yüzyıl tahrir defterlerine dayalı demografi k çalışmalarda hızlı bir nüfus artışı dönemi olarak tanımlanmaktadır. Tahrir defterlerinin sağladığı veriler, aynı dönem için tarımsal üretim ve üretkenlik hesaplamaları yapılmasını teşvik etmektedir. Böylece iktisat tarihçileri nüfus değişimleri ile tarımsal ekonomideki gelişmeleri ilişkilendirerek anlamaya gayret etmektedir. Elde edilen sonuçlar tarımsal üretimde nüfusun hayli gerisinde kalan bir artışa işaret etmektedir. Bu makale, önce Ba...
The role of the Young Ottomans in the transformation of mentality in the Ottoman Empire
Kaplan, Ferhat; Ertuğrul, Kürşad; Department of Political Science and Public Administration (2007)
The main topic of this study is determining the role of the Young Ottomans in mentality transformation in the Ottoman Empire from the traditional one to a modern one. Their proposals aim to change three patterns of the Ottoman state and society. The relation between state and the individual is the first issue. They tried to create an Ottoman citizenry, enhanced with freedom and political rights, from a reaya. In the second step they imagined a modern society. Their proposals, which imply a secular system, a...
Procreation, family and 'progress': Administrative and economic aspects of Ottoman population policies in the 19th century
Dursun, Selçuk (Informa UK Limited, 2011-06-15)
The making of the modern Ottoman state in the 19th century was closely interrelated with population issues and policies. 'Population' became an important component of Ottoman history throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. As the state identified the 'population' as a source of income after the Tanzimat, it tried to protect and procreate it through certain institutional arrangements and regulations. These policies consisted of protecting the existing population, controlling population movements, promo...
Continuities and changes in the minority policy of Greece: the case of western thrace
Chousein, Ali; Tayfur, Mehmet Fatih; Department of International Relations (2005)
This thesis analyzes the Greek minority policy of Western Thrace by dwelling on the history of the Muslim Turkish minority of Western Thrace from the beginning of 1920s until today. Until the early 1990s, changes in the Greek policy of Western Thrace had not been observed. However, the year 1991 marks a turning point both in the attitude of Greece towards the Muslim Turkish minority and in the history of the Western Thracian minority. As a result of the change in the Greek minority policy of Western Thrace ...
Citation Formats
K. Orbay, “Filling the Gap in Demographic Research on the Ottoman Transformation Period: Waqf Account Books as Sources for Ottoman Demographic History (16th and 17th Centuries),” Turcica, Revue D’Etudes Turques, pp. 85–118, 2018, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: