Journal Epohi
“ST. CYRIL AND ST. METHODIUS” UNIVERSITY OF VELIKO TARNOVO - UNIVERSITY PRESS

“Old”/“New” Settlements and Administrative Centers in the Ottoman Provincial Administration: Ala Kinise/ Osman Pazar and Hotalich/ Servi (Selvi) (According to Ottoman Documents From the 15th–17th Centuries)


Authors:
Krasimira Mutafova St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Pages: 67-79
DOI: https://doi.org/10.54664/WDOG9119

Abstract:

The study raises questions about the fate of the medieval Bulgarian fortresses and urban centers in the system of Ottoman provincial administration, which has repeatedly been discussed in Balkan and Ottoman studies. These debates are constantly related to the issues of continuity in the administration and ruling of the Bulgarian lands, evidenced in the territorial overlap of the medieval administrative structures with the new Ottoman ones, as well as in the names of the sanjaks, nahiyes and vilayets. One of the problems that is yet to be completely solved has to do with the medieval fortresses and settlements, registered with their pre-Ottoman names as important administrative centers in the system of Ottoman provincial administration (nahiyes, vilayets, kazas), but most likely destroyed during the conquest or earlier. New settlements are developing near them which have different names but the same administrative functions. Many of them are problematic to be localized, but for centuries, these “old” settlements and centers of power have been referred to in parallel with the “new” settlements as another name (nam-i diğer) for the respective administrative centers. The present study focuses on two of the examples of continuity and parallel designation of the “old”/“new” settlements – nahiye Ala Kinise (Kilisa)/ Osman Pazar and nahiye Hotaliç/ Servi (Selvi). These administrative-territorial units are typical of the Ottoman model of administration at local level, as well as regarding the presence of a particular continuity from the medieval Bulgarian state. The complex approach applied in the research and interpretation of the Ottoman register material allows us not only to trace the indications of continuity in the development of individual settlements, but also to understand the pre-Ottoman period of their existence within the medieval Bulgarian state. In a broader sense, it provides a real opportunity for a well-grounded reconstruction of the Ottoman model of power, demographic and economic control of the Bulgarian lands at local level.

Keywords:

Ottoman period, Ottoman tax inventories, Ottoman provincial administration, continuity, nahiye, vilayet, kaza, sanjak of Nikopol, Osman Pazar, Ala Kinise, Hotaliç, Servi (Selvi)

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