Eyalet of the Archipelago
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Eyalet of the Archipelago
Ey?let-i Cez?yir-i Ba?r-i Sef?d
Eyalet of the Ottoman Empire
Archipelago Eyalet, Ottoman Empire (1609) Kopie.png
The Eyalet of the Archipelago in 1609
o Established
o Disestablished
Today part of Turkey

The Eyalet of the Archipelago (Ottoman Turkish: ?‎, Ey?let-i Cez?yir-i Ba?r-i Sef?d, "Eyalet of the Islands of the White Sea")[2] was a first-level province (eyalet) of the Ottoman Empire. From its inception until the Tanzimat reforms of the mid-19th century, it was under the personal control of the Kapudan Pasha, the commander-in-chief of the Ottoman Navy.


During the early period of the Ottoman Empire, the commander of the Ottoman fleet (the Derya Begi, "Bey of the Sea") also held the governorship of the sanjak of Gallipoli, which was the principal Ottoman naval base until the construction of the Imperial Arsenal under Sultan Selim I (reigned 1512-20). His province also included the isolated kazas of Galata and Izmit.[3][4]

In 1533/4, the corsair captain Hayreddin Barbarossa, who had taken over Algeria, submitted to the authority of Sultan Suleyman I (r. 1520-66). His province was expanded by the addition of the sanjaks of Kocaeli, Su?la, and Biga from the Eyalet of Anatolia, and of the sanjaks of Inebahti (Naupaktos), A?riboz (Euboea), Karli-eli (Aetolia-Acarnania), Mezistre (Mystras), and Midilli (Lesbos) from the Eyalet of Rumelia, thus forming the Eyalet of the Archipelago.[3][4] After Hayreddin's death, the province remained the domain of the Kapudan Pasha, the new title of the commander-in-chief of the navy, a position of great power and prestige: its holder was a vizier of three horsetails and a member of the Imperial Council.[3][4] As a token of this, the title of the local sub-provincial governors was not sanjak-bey but derya-bey.[3] Although the Kapudan Pashas resided in the Imperial Arsenal, Gallipoli remained the official capital (pasha-sanjak) until the 18th century.[3][4][5]

After Hayreddin's death in 1546, the sanjak of Rodos (Rhodes) also became part of the Eyalet of the Archipelago, and in 1617/8 the sanjaks of Sak?z (Chios), Nak?a (Naxos) and And?ra (Andros) were added to it.[3] Algeria became de facto independent of Ottoman control after 1642, and in ca. 1670 Cyprus was added to the eyalet. It was detached in 1703 as the personal fief (hass) of the Grand Vizier, but returned to the eyalet in 1784. Under Merzifonlu Kara Mustafa Pasha, the sanjaks of Mezistre and Karli-eli were detached and incorporated in the new Eyalet of the Morea.[3] Alone among the major Aegean islands, Crete, although conquered from the Republic of Venice in 1645-69, was never subordinated to the Eyalet of the Archipelago.[3] From 1701-1821, the office of the Dragoman of the Fleet, entrusted to a Phanariote Greek, served as intermediary between the Kapudan Pasha and the autonomous communities of the Aegean islands. In this area, the Dragoman of the Fleet enjoyed considerable authority.

By the early 19th century, the eyalet was reduced to the sanjaks of Biga (now the pasha-sanjak), Rodos, Sak?z, Midilli, Limni (Lemnos) and Cyprus.[3] As part of the Tanzimat reforms, its ties to the Kapudan Pasha were severed in 1849,[3][5] and it became the Vilayet of the Archipelago after 1867.[5] The island of Samos (Turkish Sisam), which was an autonomous principality since 1832, continued to be counted as a sanjak of the eyalet until 1867.[5] Cyprus was lost to British control in 1878, and the remainder of the vilayet was dissolved after the eastern Aegean islands were conquered by the Italians during the Italo-Turkish War (1911-12) and the Greeks in the First Balkan War (1912-13).[3][5]

Including Crete, its reported area in the 19th century was 9,829 square miles (25,460 km2) and its population around 700,000.[6]

Other names

The eyalet's English names are the Province of the Islands[1] or of the Archipelago.[7] Because it was commanded by the Kapudan Pasha, the head of the Ottoman navy, it was also known as the Province of the Kapudan Pasha[8] (Ottoman Turkish: Kapudanl?k-? Derya‎, "Captaincy of the Sea").


The Ottoman 'Vilâyet Djezayr Bahr-i-Sefid' for the islands was derived from an old Arabic name 'Djezayr-Bahr-i-Rum' ( ), Province of Djezayrs[1] or Dschesair,[6] the Province of the Islands of the Archipelago,[6] the Province of the Islands of the White Sea,[9] and the Eyalet of the Mediterranean Islands.[10]

Administrative divisions

According to 1550-1551 Sancak Tevcih Defteri[11]
  1. Sanjak of Gallipoli
  2. Sanjak of E?riboz
  3. Sanjak of Karl?-ili
  4. Sanjak of ?nebaht?
  5. Sanjak of Rhodes
  6. Sanjak of Midillü

According to Leunclavius (1588):[5]
  1. Sanjak of Gallipoli
  2. Galata
  3. Izmit
  4. Sanjak of Lemnos
  5. Sanjak of Midilli
  6. Sanjak of Sak?z
  7. Sanjak of Nak?a Berre
  8. Sanjak of A?riboz
  9. Sanjak of Rhodes
  10. Sanjak of Kavala
  11. Sanjak of Anabolu
  12. Sanjak of ?nebaht?
  13. Aya Maura
  14. Alexandria
Sanjaks of the eyalet in the 17th century:[8]
  1. Sanjak of Gelibolu (Gallipoli)
  2. Sanjak of A?riboz (Negropont)
  3. Sanjak of Karl?eli (Aetolia-Acarnania)
  4. Sanjak of ?nebaht? (Naupactus)
  5. Sanjak of Rodos (Rhodes)
  6. Sanjak of Midilli (Mytilene)
  7. Sanjak of Biga (Biga)
  8. Sanjak of Kocaeli
  9. Izmit
  10. Izmir
Between 1688 and 1702:[12]
  1. Sanjak of Gelibolu (Gallipoli)
  2. Sanjak of Rodos (Rhodes)
  3. Sanjak of De?irmenilk ve Mesentûri (Milos)
  4. Sanjak of And?ra (Andros)
  5. Sanjak of Senturin (Santorini)
  6. Sanjak of Nak?a Berre (Naxos)
  7. Sanjak of Limni (Lemnos)
  8. Sanjak of Kavala (Kavala)
  9. Sanjak of Midilli (Lesbos) with Eskerüs (Skyros)
  10. Sanjak of Sak?z (Chios)
  11. Sanjak of Mezistre (Mystras)
  12. Sanjak of Karl?eli (Aetolia-Acarnania)
  13. Sanjak of ?nebaht? (Naupactus)
  14. Sanjak of ?skenderiyye (Alexandria)
  15. Sanjak of Dimyad (Damietta) with Re?îd (Rosetta)
Between 1717 and 1730:[12]
  1. Sanjak of Gelibolu (Gallipoli)
  2. Sanjak of Kavala (Kavala)
  3. Sanjak of A?riboz (Negropont)
  4. Sanjak of ?nebaht? (Naupactus)
  5. Sanjak of Sla or Su?la (Ayasulu?, absent)
  6. Sanjak of Kocaeli (?zmit)
  7. Sanjak of Karl?eli (Aetolia-Acarnania)
Between 1731 and 1740:[12]
  1. Sanjak of Gelibolu (Gallipoli)
  2. Sanjak of De?irmenlik ve Mesentûri (Milos, absent)
  3. Sanjak of Sla or Su?la (Ayasulu?, absent)
  4. Sanjak of Karl?eli (Aetolia-Acarnania)
  5. Sanjak of Senturin (Santorini, absent)
  6. Sanjak of Nak?a Berre (Naxos, absent)
  7. Sanjak of Kavala (Kavala)
  8. Sanjak of A?riboz (Negropont)
  9. Sanjak of ?nebaht? (Naupactus)
  10. Sanjak of Mora (Nafplion, muhass?ll?k)
  11. Sanjak of Mezistre (Mystras, absent)
  12. Sanjak of Kocaeli (?zmit)

See also


  1. ^ a b c Macgregor, John. Commercial Statistics: A Digest of the Productive Resources, Commercial Legislation, Customs Tariffs, Navigation, Port, and Quarantine Laws, and Charges, Shipping, Imports and Exports, and the Monies, Weights, and Measures of All Nations. Including All British Commercial Treaties with Foreign States 2 ed., Vol. II, p. 12. Whittaker and Co. (London), 1850. Accessed 10 September 2011.
  2. ^ "White Sea" being the Ottoman Turkish name for the Mediterranean.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Beckingham, C.F. (1991). "D?j?azir-i Ba?r-i Saf?d". The Encyclopedia of Islam, New Edition, Volume II: C-G. Leiden and New York: BRILL. pp. 521-522. ISBN 90-04-07026-5.
  4. ^ a b c d Ozbaran, S. (1997). "?apudan Pas?h?a". The Encyclopedia of Islam, New Edition, Volume IV: Ira-Kha. Leiden and New York: BRILL. pp. 571-572. ISBN 90-04-05745-5.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Birken, Andreas (1976). Die Provinzen des Osmanischen Reiches. Beihefte zum Tübinger Atlas des Vorderen Orients (in German). 13. Reichert. pp. 101-108. ISBN 9783920153568.
  6. ^ a b c The Popular Encyclopedia; or, Conversations Lexicon. Revised ed. Vol. VI, pp. 698 & 701. Blackie & Son (London), 1862. Accessed 10 September 2011.
  7. ^ MacKay, Pierre. "Acrocorinth in 1668, a Turkish Account." Hesperia: The Journal of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. 37(4), 386-397. Accessed 10 September 2011.
  8. ^ a b Çelebi, Evliya. Trans. by von Hammer, Joseph. Narrative of travels in Europe, Asia, and Africa in the seventeenth century, Vol. 1, p. 91. Parbury, Allen, & Co. (London), 1834. Accessed 10 September 2011.
  9. ^ Süssheim, K. "A? DE?IZ." Encyclopaedia of Islam: A Dictionary of the Geography, Ethnography, and Biography of the Muhammadan Peoples. E.J. Brill and Luzac & Co. (Leiden), 1938. Accessed 10 September 2011.
  10. ^ Greene, Molly. A Shared World: Christians and Muslims in the Early Modern Mediterranean, p. 22. Princeton University Press (Princeton), 2002. Accessed 10 September 2011.
  11. ^ Emecen, Feridun (1998). "Osmanl? Ta?ra Te?kilât?n?n Kaynaklar?ndan 957-958 (1550-1551) Tarihli Sancak Tevcîh Defteri (42 sayfa belge ile birlikte)". Belgeler. XIX: 53-98 – via Türk Tarih Kurumu.
  12. ^ a b c Orhan K?l?ç, XVII. Yüzy?l?n ?lk Yar?s?nda Osmanl? Devleti'nin Eyalet ve Sancak Te?kilatlanmas?, Osmanl?, Cilt 6: Te?kilât, Yeni Türkiye Yay?nlar?, p. 104. (Ankara) 1999. ISBN 975-6782-09-9. (in Turkish)

External links

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