The Practice of Poll-Tax in Crete in the 18th Century and its Social Impacts
Ayşe Nükhet Adıyeke
Keywords: Ottoman, Crete, Poll-tax, Non-Muslims, Kadi Court Records
Poll-tax is the head tax that the non-Muslims, who had scriptures of devine origin, living under the rule of Islam are obliged to pay under religious laws. The practice of Poll-tax on non-Muslims is an important element of the taxation system in the Ottoman Empire. Determinations regarding the practice of poll-tax on non-Muslims allow us to address an important taxation item. In addition to this, important data on socio-economic structure can be accessible through the records of poll-tax on non-Muslims. The arrangements of poll-tax on non-Muslims exercised in Crete under the Ottoman rule and the associated books for polltax on non-Muslims are the most basic records relating both to the demographic structure of the Island and economic status of non-Muslims. In our study, we have reviewed the documentation at the Ottoman Archives of the Prime Ministry, the 18th Century Crete Court Registers, and the exercise of the practice of Poll-tax on non-Muslims under the following topics: a- Any changes in the practice of poll-tax on non-Muslims and related complaints. bIdentification of taxpayers of poll-tax on non-Muslims and their exemptions. cThe complaints of trustees regarding the practice of poll-tax on non-Muslims in Foundation villages.