A Research on the Resource Value of the Hududnâmes in The Ottoman State

A Research on the Resource Value of the Hududnâmes in The Ottoman State

Mustafa ALKAN


Hudûdnâmes are written official documents to determine borders of lands belonged to vakıf (pious foundation) and to mülk (real estate); of administrative units - such as mezrâ (hamlet), quarter, village, nâhiye (township), kaza (district), sanjak and province - within the borders of the Ottoman realm; and boundaries of the Ottoman Empire with other states. These registers are also named “sınırnâme”. Hudûdnâmes or vakfiye (deed of trust of a pious foundation), mülk senedi (title deed of a real estate), related parts of mühimme, ahidnâme and tahrir (cadastral) record books which also can be regarded as hudûdnâmes contain very detailed direction descriptions. In this article, hudûdnâme and documents resembling hudûdnâmes in Ottoman Archives of Prime Ministry, Waqf Records Archive and Archive of Land Records are used. Ottoman historical geography can be re-written with the mentioned documents. So that, it is possible to meet real estates with their owners on an incomparably big map through title deeds of lands formed as a consequence of a new concept of property after the implementation of the Ottoman Land Code. It is thought that border descriptions of title deeds contain rich data to fill blanks left by mühimme, ahidnâme and tahrir records and hudûdnames accruing to exist. In this research, it is tried to exhibit how important those hudûdnâmes are to determine of boundaries of a house, field, hamlet, village, township, district, sanjak, province, and at the end, the empire. In addition, those document collections are one of primary sources of Ottoman historiography.

Keywords: Osmanlı, Hudûd-nâme, Sınırnâme, Ahidnâme, Tarihi Coğrafya

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