Butchers And Activities in Cyprus in the Ottoman Rule

Butchers And Activities in Cyprus in the Ottoman Rule

Ali Efdal ÖZKUL

Abstract

In the Ottoman Empire, the origins of the tradesmen organization go back to the Turkish-Islamic states. This system, which is widespread in the Ottoman cities, is in fact an extension or continuation of the Ahi organization in Anatolia. Since the foundation of the Ottoman State, the tradesmen organized in the cities continued to produce throughout the centuries within a certain discipline. In the resources, there are various valuable information about the tradesmen in Cyprus. One of the tradesmen branches operating in the Ottoman administration was the butchery. There was a special precaution for the butchery due to the production of the basic consumption goods of the people. Because of this special importance, they were strictly supervised by the administrators. The butchers who did not comply with the rules were being punished with various kinds of punishment. It is understood from the Nicosia Judicial Record that there were approximately 405 butchers in Cyprus. There is valuable information regarding the butcher tradesmen in the island during the Ottoman administration in the Şer’i Sicil. The narh (official price) also provide us with valuable information about the consumed meat types and their prices in Cyprus. It is also understood from the narh records that people generally prefer to consume the small ruminant animal’s meat. Besides, the various documents in the register have information about the activities of the butchers in Cyprus. It is learned from records that the butchers cooperate closely with some tradesmen branches like debbâg (tanner), çangar (shoemaker), haffâf (shoemaker), mumcu (chandler) who are also operating in Cyprus. Also, the slaughterhouse, which the butchers used in Nicosia, was among the income sources of the tombs of Hala Sultan. It is understood from the talks with the today’s butchers that the terminology related to the meat used by the butchers in the past is still in use. As a result, the butchers have made important contributions to the socio-economic history of the island.

Keywords: Kıbrıs, Lefkoşa, Şer‘i Sicil, Kasap, Esnaf, Hâdım

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