An Economic Analysis of the kâzâ of Ayaş in the 16th Century
Keywords: 16th Century, Ayaş, Economic Analysis, Ottoman
The author subjects the kâzâ of Ayaş in the 16th century to a treatment in economic terms and also takes a look at the timar system and the foundation of the agrarian economy in the context of the sultanic statutes. As in all other similar studies, the topics taken up include the household, demographic categories (çift, bennak, mücerred), agricultural production (such as grain, fruits and vegetables, and rice), animal husbandry (bees, sheep, fish). The basic sources for the study were first and foremost the imperial survey registers (tahrir defteri). These registers when read in conjunction with the statuary codes draw the scholar's attention to certain aspects. The principal aspects stressed by the author are the status of 'bachelor,' or mücerred, the imperial fief, or hassa çiftlik, and rice-growing ( çeltik). The 16th-century surveys were conducted during the reigns of Süleyman I and Selim II and which comprehended the entire realm. When the demographic category of mücerred is examined, it can be noted that under Süleyman I, while those bearing this status are recorded in the register, these individuals are not assessed taxes; whereas under Selim II only those mücerred who possessed the capacity to pay taxes are recorded. This distinction should be observed when conducting demographic studies. When the statutes regarding the military-administrative districts (sancak) published by Ömer Lûtfi Barkan are studied along with the survey data, the meaning of certain entries or their differences become evident. For example, in the case of an actual hassa çiftlik, it is denoted by the term hassa and no taxation amount is indicated; but when the amount imposed for the taxes öşür and resim is noted, it implies that the land grant has lost the character of an imperial fief. The variations exhibited in the çeltük entries are also noteworthy. The entries recorded variously as hasıl-ı çeltük, an çeltük, öşr-i çeltük, and hassa çeltük point to differences in the administration of production or distribution.