The Dragomans of the Britain and the Dragoman Reform of 1758
Keywords: Capitulation, British Consuls, British Ambassador, Dragoman, Trade
The commerce is one of the oldest and most important topics of the international relations. When the merchants of the European nations wanted to trade in the Ottoman Empire, either their state had to have ahd-name (capitulation) granted by the Ottomans or those merchants had to travel under the flag of the European nations having ahd-name. Having gained the ahd-name or capitulation from the Ottomans the European nations set up their embassies and consulates organizing the commercial activities in the Ottoman Empire. Both the ambassadors and consuls employed the Ottoman non-Muslim subjects understanding Turkish and the European languages as the dragoman, in that they did not know Turkish. Since these dragomans had some privileges, some Ottoman non-Muslim subjects preferred to have dragomanshipberat. They did not know foreign language, but wanted to trade and benefit the privileges of the dragomanshipberat. This situation led to the emergency of the conceptions of the "dragoman" and "honorary dragoman". The aim of this study is to examine the conceptions "dragoman" and "honorary dragoman"; to evaluate the 1758 Dragoman Reform and to explain how this reform affects the dragomans of the British Embassy and consulates.