This entry is arranged according to the following outline:. The rule of the Ottoman Empire in North Africa was very loose. Therefore the history of the Ottoman Empire as presented in this entry relates chiefly to Turkey, Greece, the Balkans, Egypt, Syria, and Iraq see also the individual countries. The Ottoman documents include those of the Ottoman archives, especially the Prime Minister's Archives in Istanbul, which shed light on forms of taxation and on demographic and economic matters, as well as containing collections of orders issued by the Sublime Porte to the various provincial governors. Other Ottoman historical material relating to the Jews exists in the Muslim courts of law in many cities throughout the empire.
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This entry is arranged according to the following outline:. The rule of the Ottoman Empire in North Africa was very loose. Therefore the history of the Ottoman Empire as presented in this entry relates chiefly to Turkey, Greece, the Balkans, Egypt, Syria, and Iraq see also the individual countries.
The Ottoman documents include those of the Ottoman archives, especially the Prime Minister's Archives in Istanbul, which shed light on forms of taxation and on demographic and economic matters, as well as containing collections of orders issued by the Sublime Porte to the various provincial governors. Other Ottoman historical material relating to the Jews exists in the Muslim courts of law in many cities throughout the empire.
The majority of the Arabic historical sources on the Ottoman period are chronicles written in the Arab provinces of the empire.
The European material includes diplomatic reports submitted to their governments by foreign ambassadors and consuls, archives of trade companies such as the Levant Company, and letters of merchants and European Itinerary literature.
The Jewish sources contain some significant chronicles, letters written by Jews, marriage contracts, records of Jewish courts of law, and especially the vast halakhic literature including hundreds of books. The main considerable historical material is included in the responsa literature. In the last century, the publication of a large part of these sources, and especially new research since the s and its conclusions, has enabled one to portray the history, demography, and social and economic life of the Jewish communities in the Ottoman Empire from the 15 th to the 20 th centuries.
In accordance with the pact made between the inhabitants of the town and the victors, the Greek inhabitants were removed; the Jews returned to the town by themselves and settled in a special district, Yahudi mahallesi Jewish quarter. The conquest was a blessing for the Jews after the experience of servitude under Byzantium, which had decreed harsh laws upon them.
They were also allowed to engage in business in the country without hindrance and to purchase houses and land in the towns and villages.
At a later period this tax was imposed by district, and the community leaders of every district apportioned it in accordance with the members of each. With the beginning of Ottoman rule the community grew, however, through the addition of local Jews. In Angora there was a Jewish community from early times.
Adrianople, which the sultan turned into his capital in — instead of Bursa — became the largest town in the empire and contained the largest Jewish community in the Balkan Peninsula. These towns contained various Jewish communities. Besides the Romanian and Bulgarian Jews, who were early inhabitants, there were also recent settlers from Hungary who had been driven out in by order of the Hungarian king Ludwig i and admitted to Walachia near Nicopolis.
They continued from there, settling in Nicopolis itself and in Vidin. Before this conquest not many Jews lived there. The community of Izmir flourished from the 17 th century on.
Salonika had an ancient Romaniot community which was transferred to Istanbul after The Jews were well treated. They were compelled to wear long garments like other non-Muslims Greeks and Armenians ; their headgear was yellow to distinguish them from other non-Muslims, while the Turks wore green headwear and were called "green ones" by the Jews.
Murad's attitude toward them was expressed by his appointment of a Jew as personal physician. Immediately after the conquest, in which many Jews, who did not flee in time, were killed, Mehmed ii adopted the transfer policy. In order to renovate the town, populate it, and convert it rapidly into a flourishing and prosperous capital, he adopted a policy of transferring Muslim, Christian, and Jewish inhabitants, most of them merchants and craftsmen, from various regions of the empire — principally from Anatolia and the Balkans — to the new capital.
All the Jewish population of Asia Minor and many communities in Greece, Macedonia, and Bulgaria, and also a large group of Karaites from Adrianople were deported to Istanbul over a period of 20 years and established synagogues called congregations kehalim. All these congregations bore the name of their original communities. The chronicler Elijah Capsali described the new Jewish settlement in Istanbul in his book Seder Eliyahu Zuta: "There came into being in Constantinople splendid communities; Torah, wealth, and glory increased in the congregations".
After a short time the Spanish expellees joined them. The Ottoman censuses and documents and many Jewish sources enable us to evaluate the demographic, social, and economic strength of every ethnic group in the Jewish communities during the Ottoman period. The following sultans imposed many other taxes on the Jewish. There were many appeals by the Jewish communities to the Ottoman authorities to reduce the taxes.
There were also many disputes within the Jewish communities about the division of the tax burden between the congregations.
In the second half of the 15 th century, refugees from Germany, as well as French families, came to settle in Adrianople Edirne. Isaac Sarfati, the rabbi of the congregation, became well known for the letter he sent to the refugees from Germany and Hungary, informing them of the advantages of the sultanate and of its liberal attitude toward Jews.
Seven years after the conquest of Istanbul, the entire Peloponnesus, Serbia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Albania, the Crimea, and the Aegean islands, including the large island of Euboea, were conquered by the sultan Mehmed ii; thus all their Jews came under Ottoman rule. In he conquered Walachia. The communities of Turkey assisted the refugees to settle down: "Then the communities of Turkey performed innumerable and unlimited great deeds of charity, giving money as if it were stones, to redeem captives and restore Jews to their environment" Capsali, ibid.
According to Jewish sources, Beyazid wanted to enrich his Empire by giving economic rights to the refugees, but at the same time he closed new synagogues and forced Jews to convert to Islam. In the sultan captured Lepanto and Patras. The overall total of Jewish families who arrived in the Ottoman Empire soon after is estimated at 12,, which represents approximately 60, persons. Some estimates suggest a figure of 50, for the whole Jewish population of the Empire at the end of the first quarter of the 16 th century, and others put the figure at , The Ottoman statistics were used for levying taxes, and the real figures could well have been higher than the official count.
Most of the refugees settled in Istanbul, Salonika, Edirne, in towns in the Peloponnesus, Egypt, etc. They founded separate synagogues, also called congregations kehillot and named after the country or town from which they had departed. In the Ottoman documents the community or congregation is called cemaat or taife, and later, millet. Those who wandered to smaller towns, and in smaller numbers, founded one general Spanish congregation Kehilah, Kahal Kadosh.
The Spanish refugees were followed by immigrants from Portugal most of whom were Spanish Jews in several waves , , and until They brought with them wealth and prosperity, in contrast to those coming from Spain, most of whom came with almost nothing. There were many expellees who lost their families and were anxious to rebuild their lives in the communities of the Ottoman Empire. Selim i —20 , called "the Grim," began a new era in the great conquests of the Ottoman Empire.
Instead of continuing conquests in Europe, he turned to the East, and because of this was called "the man of the eastern front. He built a Turkish fleet, established a cavalry corps and mercenary bands, in addition to the sipahi , the feudal cavalry army.
The war between the Ottomans and the Mamluks commenced in ; the Ottomans were victorious due to their superior use of firearms, their good organization, their strict discipline and, to a certain extent, the treachery of some leading Mamluks.
Selim i seized control of Egypt in January and was acclaimed in Cairo as the ruler of two continents Europe and Asia and two seas the Black and the Mediterranean , the destroyer of two armies the Persian and the Mamluk and the "servant" of two temples Mecca and Medina. For Jews the conquest was a salvation, as their situation in the 14 th and 15 th centuries under Mamluk rule had deteriorated.
It seems that in Cairo under Ottoman rule a chief dayyan served and with him a secular leader, a wealthy person who also fulfilled political functions. The Egyptian pashas also had Jewish physicians who were appointed to high positions in the government. The economic situation of Egyptian Jews, like that of the other inhabitants of Turkish lands, was good. Joseph, who was executed in Among the Spanish refugees who settled in Egypt, or lived there for a time, were Samuel b.
Sid, Abraham b. Shoshan, Moses b. They founded yeshivot and the study of Torah developed. Samuel ha-Cohen, Daniel Pinto, and others. Moreover, the Jerusalem community suffered from this rebellion. Later, the Turks learned the lesson of this rebellion and changed all the governors of these regions, replacing them with Ottomans.
The local Mamluk troops were disbanded, and the land then became quiet. The civil and military administration was organized in accordance with the political system of Sultan Suleiman. During his rule the Ottoman Empire attained its greatest power and extent. Its population grew and its agricultural economy was expanded. Many Jews who had immigrated from abroad benefited from these agreements, which had great influence on their legal standing.
They acquired the status of protected persons and were granted extraterritorial rights and protection from attacks on property and life. After Suleiman's death, the capitulations were renewed during the time of his heir Selim ii —74 , and also in the time of Murad iii, Mehmed iii, and Ahmed i. Dona Gracia Mendes became the multazima lessee of the city of Tiberias and its environs during the years —66 and was permitted to build the walls of the city. Details about this agreement are written in the orders of Suleiman to the governor of Damascus and to other Ottoman officials.
The chronicler Joseph ha-Cohen writes about the important role of Joseph Nasi, the adviser of Suleiman and the son-in-law of Gracia Mendes, in developing the city of Tiberias.
According to Jewish sources Joseph Nasi wanted to turn the locality into a great Jewish center, both spiritually and economically, and he sent his steward, Joseph b. Ardit, who was a representative of the sultan, there.
Gracia Mendes and Nasi did not visit Tiberias themselves. The wall of Tiberias was built, people were brought from Safed, and foundations for the development of the site were laid.
On Joseph Nasi's death the enthusiasm evaporated. He was followed by a new benefactor, Don Solomon ibn Yaish, who was also a counselor of the sultan Murad iii — The sultan gave Solomon a renewed concession for Tiberias, and sent his son Jacob ibn Yaish there.
For want of organizational ability, however, he devoted himself to Torah study, but did not succeed in his task and the settlement in Tiberias failed to continue. Security deteriorated, especially after the period of Safed's eminence, which lasted three generations. The ruler of the town treated the Jews poorly and the sultan was unable to supervise his rulers. Sultan orders in demanded the expulsion of wealthy Jews from Safed to Cyprus, but it seems that the orders were not implemented.
The Ottoman Jewish communities during this period, especially in Istanbul, began to send assistance to the Jewish population of Safed. Tiberias was evacuated, and Safed's community lost its hegemony and experienced an economic and social crisis in the last quarter of the 16 th century and during the 17 th century.
In the 17 th century many Sephardi, Italian, and Ashkenazi scholars settled in Jerusalem. In its other inhabitants had fled, but the Jews remained. The leader of the Jewish community, who handed the keys of the city to the sultan, was Joseph b.
Solomon Ashkenazi of the Alaman family. The sultan dealt charitably with him and also with his children, giving them a deed exempting them and their descendants from taxes. The Jews of Buda frequently defended the city from enemies and were faithful to the Ottoman sultans.
Kanungoes Account of Mr. Baber, Resident at Midnapore, and consequent It is misleading to say that the English in began to collect the revenues. The signing of the Ktictik Kaynarca treaty of , which granted Tatar authority from the Islamic sharica and the Ottoman kanun. A pleasing.. The Jagirdar held his territory directly from the Mogul as a reward for signal service or a sign of special favour, and was exempt, properly speaking, from paying the ordinary assess- ment and from service, though in many cases he had to pay a quit-rent, sometimes very costly ; he did not always reside on the land, but took the rents as his own. In theory this continued to be the amount leviable from the occupants of land till the English acquired control, but in fact the amount varied widely and sometimes rose as high as one-half.
1774 SAYL KANUN PDF