By Peter Sluglett, Stefan Weber
This quantity honours the paintings of Abdul-Karim Rafeq, the most important historian of Ottoman Syria. Rafeqs relevant contribution to the examine of the social background of Syria among the 16th and 19th centuries lies in his pioneering use of the assets of the Islamic court docket files, the sijill?t>/i> within the ma?kama al-shar?iyya, for the writing of social and fiscal heritage. Rafeq has been the advisor and mentor of a lot of his personal contemporaries, in addition to of more youthful students within the Arab global, Europe and North the US. the amount makes an attempt to stick with and supplement the foremost issues within the socio-economic historical past of Bilad al-Sham that have lively Rafeqs scholarship because the Sixties.
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Additional info for Syria and Bilad al-Sham under Ottoman Rule
Introduction 9 an extensive free trade zone, with Aleppo becoming the principal gateway to Europe for goods from Iran, the Persian Gulf and India. In ‘Public services and tax revenues in Ottoman Tripoli (1516– 1918)’, Farouk Hoblos paints a fairly bleak picture of the Ottoman fiscal regime in Syria, concluding that most taxes collected were not spent locally but spirited away to Istanbul. He suggests that the fiscal situation in Tripoli was probably reasonably representative of that of the other Arab provinces.
This tendency did not escape the notice of the imperial authorities. Several hundred imperial troops (kapı kulları) were sent to the city in 1659 and took over the Citadel and other strongholds then occupied by the ‘locals’ (yerliyye). In the 1680s and 1690s the two factions fought each other on several occasions, the yerliyye siding with their ‘fellow townsmen’ against the governor and the kapı kulları. The relevant register of the qassam ʿaskari deals largely with the last decades of the seventeenth century, when the yerliyye were becoming increasingly involved with the economy of the city and its hinterland.
Incidentally, Khan al-Franj in Sidon was part of the same waqf as Khan al-Jumruk in Aleppo, and thus part of a ‘supra-regional network of trading cities’. It also seems to have been Sokollu Mehmed Pasha’s plan to create Sidon as the port of southern Syria. In the early seventeenth century the governor of Damascus, Kücük Ahmed Pasha, endowed an enormous waqf made up of the confiscated properties of the Druze Amir Fakhr al-Din, who had built a large number of buildings in Sidon while creating a ‘principality’ in the region between 1591 and 1611.
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