Osman Gümüşçü

Keywords: Ottoman, Tahrir Defters, Historical Geography


From its early days, the Ottoman Empire produed large amounts of docuınents, all of which are primary sources for historical research. The most important amongst these groups of documents is without doubt tahrir defters, which can be categorized into three groups: (i) mufassal/detailed (ii) icmal/summarative, and (iii) evkaf/pious foundations tahrir defters. These three groups of documents have been the subject of study for many Turkish and foreign historians. Unfortunately, with very few exceptions, historical geographers have hardly engaged in these defters in their studies. The statistical data found in them are quite diverse, detailed and suitable for establishing spatial distribution, an extremely important aspect of geographical research. Thcse defters provide very rich data on human geography, though they have insufficient information regarding physical geography. As these defters were prepared for the timar system, the Ottoman timar system, it is quite natural to find data focusing on human geography. In this article, the data recorded in tahrir defters are taken up, in line with the classical classification as physical geography, human gcography and economic geography data, and have been dealt with analytically, with a view to examinig tahrir defters as a historical geography source.