Muharrem Öztel

Keywords: Ottoman Empire, Counterfeiting, Counterfeit Coins, Counterfeit Paper Money, Foreign Counterfeiters


From the 19th century until the fi rst quarter of the 20th century, counterfeiting activities in the Ottoman markets became more and more intensifi ed and an inseparable part of the money market. Counterfeiting activities which are generally expected to be individualized, have become widespread over time in the markets with the support of internal and external political, administrative, fi nancial and economic conditions. It has become organized through links from within and outside the country. It has become a serious way of earning for counterfeiters who are fed on diff erent state markets, especially in Istanbul. During the review period, an important part of the Ottoman coins and paper money fakes were produced by foreign counterfeiters. Some of these counterfeiters lived in the Ottoman Empire and some in various countries. These moneys they had produced in various countries were put on to the market in various cities of the country, especially in Istanbul. It can be said that counterfeiters prefer countries that are safer in terms of administrative and judicial controls. Counterfeit coins and paper money were less risky and technically easier to produce in these countries than Ottoman State. There were two reasons why the counterfeiters carried out these activities easily. One of the reasons is that counterfeiters were protected by the countries where they made counterfeit money. Because the policies followed by these countries have had almost protective and encouraging consequences for counterfeiters. The other reason was the protective eff ect of the judicial privileges granted by the Ottoman administration under the name of capitulations to foreign citizens in the last two centuries.