The economic administration of Istanbul, the capital of the Ottoman State, was shaped by the economic life of the city and the economic activities of the city’s population. In other words, the density of economic activities in Istanbul and the multiplicity of individuals and organizations carrying out these activities constituted the core factors shaping the economic administration of the city. This meant that Istanbul’s system of economic administration was far more complex than that of any other Ottoman city. This degree of complexity and the administrative burden it imposed necessitated the distribution of responsibility to a high number of officials, including a host of new officials not seen in most other Ottoman cities. Furthermore, as the capital of the empire, Istanbul experienced an unprecedented level of executive intervention in and oversight of its economic life.

A number of examples could be given of this sort of economic oversight. The grand vizier was responsible for provisioning in the city, and regularly inspected the conditions and prices of wheat and of the bread produced in city’s bakeries. He would also inspect the city’s bazaars on a weekly basis, as did, on occasion, the sultan himself. The direct role such high-level officials played in the economic life of the city was unique to Istanbul. Most of the agents involved in monitoring and directing economic activities in the city and the economic bonds between Istanbul and other cities were, however, far lower in the Ottoman hierarchy. These lower-level officials reported, either directly or indirectly, to the kasapbaşı (superintendent of the butchers guild and director of the sheep tax) or the palace comptroller (hassa harc emini), two key functionaries who will be discussed later in the article.

The sheer scale of Istanbul’s population distinguished it from cities elsewhere in the Ottoman realm. Istanbul’s size meant that provisioning the city and ensuring the distribution of goods to its inhabitants were complicated affairs that required the employment of a large number of people. To meet this needartisans’ that catered to the daily needs of the city’s residents The complex nature of the provision and distribution of goods to the public also necessitated the creation of new classes of administrative officials not found in other cities. Another factor affecting the economic status of the city was its location. Istanbul’s geopolitical value not only lent the city a vital political importance, but also made it the hub of many spheres of economic activity. Its geographical position and its accessibility by both sea and land also contributed to its status as an economic hub, increasing economic activity and transit trade in the city.Istanbul’s position as the political and military administrative center of the state also added another dimension to its economic life. It was home to numerous palaces and elite mansions, as well as to a range of military units, including janissaries and cavalryman.

The presence of so many elites and soldiers added yet another layer to the complex process of provisioning the city and properly accommodating those within it, and the needs of these two groups were sometimes handled independently from those of the rest of the city.The city’s status as a center of production and trade also resulted in a high concentration of tax farms (mukataa) within and around the city. These served as a species of tax collection units, and their holders were responsible for inspecting and directing a significant part of the production and trade in and around the city.

Having laid out the main features that distinguished the economic life of Istanbul, let us turn now to a closer look at the economic characteristics of the city and the administrative structures to which they gave rise.

1- Butchers (İntizami)


The two key needs of Istanbul’s great population were a steady supply of foodstuffs and manufactured goods. Although many people were involved in this supply chain, it was the qadis who held the ultimate responsibility for overseeing the city’s provisioning, production, and trade. Qadis were some of the highest-level economic administrators in the city and, among their various other administrative and civic duties, had a role in everything from the offloading of goods in the city’s ports to their distribution to vendors and ultimate sale to consumers.

Qadis thus feature prominently in this article, though they are not treated under a separate heading. They had a wide range of responsibilities in the economic life of the city. They ensured that markets served the interests of the consumer, and intervened when required. They were the bridge between those engaged in commerce and higher-level administrators. And they presided over a large network of lower-level functionaries working under them.There are two important points that must be taken into account in order to properly appreciate the Ottomans’ provisioning policies. The first is that the scale of their provisioning system. The territory of the empire was vast, and it was connected an equally vast network that ensured that large population centers, especially Istanbul, had a ready supply of the basic goods their residents needed. This system was based on the idea that each administrative district (kaza) would first meet its own needs and then the needs of other districts nearby, and all the remaining surplus production would be sent either to the capital or to other large cities.

The second point is that private enterprises played an important role in the provision of goods to Istanbul. In the seventeenth century, 80 to 90 percent of the provisioning of the city was carried out by private enterprises, mostly in the form of manual laborers, farmhands, and merchants. Though this figure fluctuated somewhat over the centuries, only a small portion of the total provisioning of the city was conducted by officials assigned by the state. And this portion, some 10 to 20 percent of the total, went largely to meet the needs of different state institutions and military units. Accordingly, those involved in this portion of the provisioning process were administrative officials of the relevant institutions and organizations. The superintendents of the imperial shipyard, arsenal, and kitchen, for example, were directly responsible for the provisioning needs of their respective institutions and for the entirety of the process that meeting those needs involved. Some officials, like the koyunemini (receiver-general of the sheep tax) and the kasapbaşı had an even wider purview.

Receiver-General of the Sheep Tax

The koyunemini was the ranking official responsible for Istanbul’s meat supply. Though the scope of the position’s responsibilities and authority varied over time, the koyunemini was in charge of collecting the sheep tax (ganem mukataası) and supervising the city’s slaughterhouses. He dealt with the overall sheep supply, as opposed to the kasapbaşı, who was responsible for distributing that portion of the sheep supply marked off for the use of state bodies and military units.The koyunemini was based in Istanbul, and would determine the number of sheep required to feed the city and supervise the supply process. To this end, he would engage however many drovers and herdsman were required and have them send a predetermined amount of livestock to wherever it was needed. He oversaw every part of this process, and no livestock could pass through the city en route to somewhere else without his approval. When herds of sheep and cattle were brought to the city, they were sent to the district of Yedikule with its many slaughterhouses. There, the koyunemini—together with the kasapbaşı, warden of the butchers (kasaplar kethüdası), butchers-guild officers (yiğitbaşılar), master butchers, and others—would determine the value of the livestock, the market prices for the meat, and the quantity to be distributed.

2- Shepherds (İntizami)

Exchange Superintendents and Exchange Deputies (The Case of the Flour Exchange)

The sale of certain goods, including flour, oil, and honey, was carried out in central exchanges (kapan) that were presided over by exchange superintendents (kapan emini) and exchange deputies (kapan naibi) appointed by the state. Though these officials were not particularly high in the bureaucratic hierarchy and their role in the overall supply chain is somewhat unclear, they were important insofar they and their many assistants presided over the distribution and sale of the goods at these central exchanges. The famed Ottoman traveler Evliya Çelebi describes one such exchange, the flour exchange from which the modern district of Un Kapanı derives its name, as having been one of the largest of its day, with some four hundred shops and six hundred people involved in trade. The exchange superintendents received official commission documents (rüus) from the state, and had clerks (katip), weighers (kantarcı), offerers of prayers (duacı), stewards (kethüda), and guards (çavuş) working under them, as well as a staff of porters (whom Evliya Çelebi described as “zelehor” porters) to carry the wheat and flour to and from the storehouses. With his large staff, the superintendent of the flour exchange was an important agent in the provisioning of a city staple. He was responsible for determining the needs of the city’s bakers and distributing flour to them, and thus was also an important agent in the production of the city’s mainstay: bread. This made him a significant figure in the overall provisioning administration. The other exchanges would have been organized and operated in a fashion similar to the flour exchange. In the eighteenth century, a deputy of the qadi was assigned to the flour exchange for the first time. As the representative of the qadi, this exchange deputy sat on the commission of tradesmen, ship captains, and flour traders that determined the price of flour, and served as an intermediary between the qadi and the people of the exchange. He would also act as a mediator or arbitrator in cases of tax conflicts between merchants and the exchange superintendent.The exchange deputy also played an important role in ensuring that wheat and flour imports made it to the city. The merchants who supplied the city’s grain needs would prepare a document detailing the port where they would load their shipment of grain, the type of the grain they were to be transporting, and the tonnage of their ship. This would allow their ship to pass through the inspection point on the Bosphorus. The document would also contain the merchants’ guarantee that the goods would be brought directly to Istanbul and the name of their guarantor. The exchange deputies would pass these documents to the qadi, after whose approval they would be taken to the Imperial Council, which would issue an order to the qadi of the relevant port. In the port of embarkation, the type and the amount of grain loaded onto the ship would be written on the back of the edict, thus finalizing the document.

3- Saddlers (İntizami)

4- Scales and scale sellers (İntizami)

It is possible that the exchange deputies, as representatives of the qadi, might have dealt with court cases in the exchanges. Other qadi deputies dealt with court cases in small courts around Istanbul. Assuming the exchange deputies were officials with the same responsibilities as these other deputies, they likely would have played a similar role. For now, however, it is not known whether this was the case. Towards the end of the eighteenth century (1793), a Ministry of Grain (Zahire Nezareti) was established to ensure the regularity of the wheat supply, which was firstly stored in warehouses in the flour exchange and in other warehouses constructed afterwards. It became the only institution in charge of the wheat provisioning of Istanbul. The previous wheat-supply organization was highly complicated, as it involved a number of different institutions and officials.

Esnaf Associations

There were a large number of artisans and other workers, collectively known as esnaf, in Istanbul, which had an estimated population of between three and five hundred thousand in the sixteenth century. According to Evliya Çelebi, there were 158 different artisans associations with a membership of 79,764 esnaf and 23,214 ateliers and shops. In addition, there were 3,188 shops of large-scale merchants and wholesalers with 15,160 workers, 14,445 shops of small-scale merchants and retailers with 48,000 workers, and 3,000 shops in the covered bazaar and 1,000 shops in the caravanserais. Thus, the esnaf associations of Istanbul had a significant role in the economic life of the city. It would be impossible to analyze the administration of economic life in the city without considering this section of the public.

5- The units of scales and measurements (Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality City Museum)

The qadi was the chief official responsible for overseeing these esnaf groups. He would inspect the esnaf both in person and through his deputies, and acted as a mediator between them and the state. He was also responsible for the distribution of the goods brought to Istanbul, for ensuring the fairness of this process, and for playing an active role in the determination of the prices. Through his network of deputies and inspectors (muhtesib), the qadi thus presided over the activities of all the key players in the city’s economic life, and was therefore the single most important official in its economic administration.

On the other hand, it was the esnaf associations themselves that were the principal agents of production and sale, and their own administrators were thus also a determinant factor shaping the economic life of the city. While the qadi would communicate with these groups via his inspectors and, sometimes, his deputies, the esnaf would also reach out to the qadi by means of their own administrators. In this way, there was a cyclical administration schema that allowed for two-way communication between both sides.

6- A Muhtesib (İntizami)

The chief administrators of these esnaf groups were wardens (kethüda, but “sheikh” in Cairo). They served as bridges between the esnaf and the state, and their responsibilities included inspecting the goods being produced and sold, protecting the rights of their association’s members, preventing interference from other associations, and ensuring that no one wrongfully engaged in the production or sale of wares that fell within the purview of another group. All associations with Muslim members had to have a Muslim warden, but those whose membership was entirely non-Muslim could assign a non-Muslim warden. Nevertheless, it is also known that a Muslim warden was assigned to an esnaf group consisting only of Greeks. The fact that wardens were appointed by the qadi is an important point demonstrating the hierarchical relation between these two positions.

Wardens were in regular contact with the members of their associations, and when issues arose that they needed to bring to the attention of the state, the qadi was their first stop. But the wardens were not the sole administrators of their associations.

An important second group in the administrative cadres of esnaf groups was the guild officers (yiğitbaşı). These were selected from among the members of the group, and would vary depending on the nationality or ethnic background (millet) of the members. Sometimes, it was possible to come across an esnaf group with separate officers representing each nationality in the group.A third group consisted of the “elders” (ihtiyarlar). These were selected from the experienced masters of a group’s particular trade rather than on the basis of age, and they played an important role in group decisions, the distribution of goods among the group’s members, identifying and helping members in need of assistance, and other similar activities within the group.In conclusion, the administrative cadres of the esnaf associations consisted of a warden, guild officers, and a group of elders. These oversaw the operations of the association and the work of its members, and also, through the warden, mediated between the esnaf and the state and vice versa.

Inspecting the Processes of Production and Sale within the City

7- The muhzır of the master of Istanbul

The most important officials in the economic administration after the qadi were his inspectors (muhtesib), who existed in every city. Though the qadi himself was responsible for overseeing the economic life of the city, it was his inspectors who carried out much of the actual work of inspecting and directing the city’s economic affairs. Their work was based on the Islamic doctrine of accountability (hisba in Arabic, hisbe in Ottoman Turkish) based on the Qur’anic injunction of “enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong” (3:110). From the earliest periods of Islam, there had been an organization accordingly tasked with monitoring and preserving public morality and order, both in a general sense and in specific areas like economic activities. In the Ottoman period, this was the responsibility of the inspectors, who focused mostly on fairness in the market and the economic sphere more broadly. At the same time, however, inspectors were also responsible for punishing those who did not perform their prayers, who gave false testimony, or who forged documents. In 1826, the inspectorate (ihtisab) issued a set of regulations (İhtisab Ağalığı Nizamnâmesi) emphasizing the sharia-based religious and moral authority of its inspectors. This suggests that they continued to hold broad authority in a variety of spheres.The distinctive feature of the operations of the inspectorate in the Ottoman period was that it was used as a tax farm (mukataa) by the Ottomans. The selection of inspectors was therefore conducted within the framework of the tax-farming (iltizam) system, meaning that one would purchase the right to serve as an inspector from the government, and then profit from the collection of taxes from the shop owners and of fines from those who broke the law. Nevertheless, it is important to note that the farming out of the inspectorate worked quite differently from that of other tax farms. Normally, a tax farm could be sold to whoever thought they could run it so long as they could come up with a large amount of money and a reliable guarantor. In the case of the inspectorate, however, the state preferred to have a person from the central bureaucracy running things, as it had a role in the securing the social and economic order. Both in Istanbul and many other cities, the people who secured the rights to operate these inspectorate tax farms were called inspectorate aghas (ihtisab ağası) or superintendents (ihtisab emini), and were chosen from among the members of the sultan’s court.As mentioned above, the inspectors were subordinate to the qadi, and their activities centered on maintaining order in the market. Inspectors oversaw the entirety of the process beginning with the production of goods and ending with their delivery to customers. Their primary responsibilities were ensuring that the production of goods was carried out in accordance with pre-determined quality standards, determining price ceilings (narh) for specific goods and ensuring that they were adhered to, supervising the markets and preventing any kind of cheating or deception, preventing attempts to restrict the supply of the goods on the market, and resolving disputes between esnaf and their customers. In all of these areas, the primary duty of the inspectors was to protect consumers. In return for their work, inspectors would receive what was known as a “market tax” (ihtisab resmi): a portion of the value of all goods brought to the market for sale. Unlike most other officials, inspectors had the authority to punish people for illegal conduct without taking them to court. The punishments could be either corporal, such a beating, or monetary, such a fine, and varied according to the nature of the crime committed. Of these two types of punishment, inspectors would often prefer the former, as it allowed them to publicly expose a person’s crime and dissuade others from similar conduct. Inspectors would generally punish esnaf who cheated their customers by parading them through the streets in a “wooden hat” (similar to the stocks or a pillory) for their colleagues and members of the public to see. During this process, onlookers would sometimes beat the immobilized criminals for their conduct. It was assumed that this form of public exposure and beating would serve to rehabilitate the offer a warning to others. Evliya Çelebi mentions other sorts of punishments used by inspectors:The superintendent, soup maker, and deputy of the market house [çardak] and the inspector [muhtesib ağası] and all of their people would arm themselves and weigh the goods of the esnaf with their silver-chained, gilded scales in front of the inspector and whosever goods were light in the balance, they would beat them and, depending on how light, they would hang camel bells . . . from their necks . . . or they would hang great wooden balls around their necks and pour filthy innards upon their heads, which they would adorn with the feathers of falcons and crows and the tails of foxes . . . and [they would] smear honey over their faces and shout, “This is what happens to those who cheat!”

8- Falakacı

The person who secured the inspectorate tax farm from the state became an inspector. Evliya Çelebi does not mention the assistants of the inspector; he only refers to guards (koloğlanları) working under him. Based on cases in other cities, it is highly likely that inspectors had at least one clerk registering their income and expenses and a warden helping them with inspection and tax collection. Even so, considering the vastness of the Istanbul inspectorate, there were likely a far higher number of people assisting the city’s inspectors.

9- Muhtesibs inspecting a market place (melling)

Evliya Çelebi states that three hundred guards, whom he compares to hangmen, worked under the authority of the inspector, and that their main function was to collect the market taxes. Other sources, however, imply that these officers could carry out any of the responsibilities of the inspector. For example, they certainly inspected whether the goods sold in shops conformed to accepted standards. A number of records suggest that the job of these guards was passed on from father to son, but that in cases where a guard died without an heir, the job would not descend to a daughter or to the son of a daughter, but to another qualified person.

10- Fish hunt (Şükrî-i Bitlisî, <em>Selîmnâme</em>)

As the inspectors were assistants to the qadi, they acted as mediators between esnaf groups and the qadi or the state. They would convey the demand of the state to esnaf officials, and the problems of the esnaf to the qadi and the state.

11- A Fisher (İntizami)

As the office of the inspector was in the Çardak neighborhood near the Yemiş Port, the inspector would, together with the superintendent and the neighborhood deputy, inspect operations at the port, either in person or through an assistant. When something was not in order or in cases of violations, they would inform the qadi or the government. In this way, the port, one of the busiest points in the city’s economy, was always under the watchful eye of not one but several officials.As seen above, the inspector was an official whose authority was felt in every corner of Istanbul’s economic life. Inspectors and their guards oversaw every point of production and sale throughout the city. This must be the reason for Evliya Çelebi’s emphasis on the inspector as an influential and respected official.

12- Butchers and shepherds (Vehbi)


Istanbul’s geographical position has always been another key factor in the city’s economic life. Its position connecting two continents and its easy accessibility by both land and sea, together with the network of broad, well-built highways connecting it to both Europe and Asia, offered advantages of which few other cities could boast; these factors made Istanbul a center of trade.

The city’s proximity to two seas and the Bosphorus made fishing an important branch of its economy. Evliya Çelebi’s observations on fishing activities in the city show that they went even beyond what one might expect (see the chapter on social life in his Seyahatname for details). The production and trade that emerged in this field benefitted both from the ease of transportation afforded by the city’s multiplicity of trade routes and from the numerous advantages stemming from its geographical position. They were also part of the Ottoman tax-farming system. As such, the task of overseeing the city’s fishing activities and the fish brought to the city’s markets was farmed out to a superintendent of fish (balık emini). In the fish market, which was close to the flour market, some three hundred fishmongers worked under the superintendent, together with a warden, a clerk, and more than seventy guards (çavuş and kolcu). In addition to these, according to Evliya Çelebi, there were around 8,800 others involved in the fish trade who were overseen by the superintendent of fish; this number included those involved in the catching of fish—the operators of the weirs (dalyancı), trawlers (ığrıpçı), and seine nets (ağcı), the net makers (düzenciler), and the harpoon fishers—as well as the fishmongers, the cooks at the fish market, and the oyster sellers and other esnaf involved in the collection and sale of shellfish.A number of different tax farms in the capital had a role in the city’s trade. Inspecting and collecting taxes on silk imports to the city, for example, fell under the purview of the superintendent of the silk balance (mizan-ı harir emini), located at a commercial building in the district of Mahmutpaşa known as the Hoca Han. The two most important tax farms of the capital, however, were the land and sea customs houses that presided over and taxed all trade passing through the city. The sale of goods consumed within the city itself, however, whether they produced within the city or imported, was monitored and taxed by the inspectorate described in the previous section.

Superintendents of Land and Sea Customs

Two superintendents taxed the goods coming into Istanbul and routed them to the different groups of esnaf who needed them. One oversaw all goods coming by land, while the other oversaw all goods arriving by sea. The former was the smaller of the two, and had a staff of around three hundred armed officers. Based in what is today the district of Karagümrük (lit. “land customs”), he collected duties on all overland imports to the city. The relatively larger administration of harbor customs was a significant tax farm with a staff of some five hundred. The Istanbul harbor spanned a good part of the stretch of waterway running from Galata up through the Golden Horn. Larger ships would anchor off Galata, while smaller vessels would dock in the shallower waters of the Golden Horn itself. Separate checkpoints existed for different types of goods, and ships would unload their cargoes at the corresponding checkpoint. The operations of this vast and busy area were in the hands of a large network of different workers, including clerks, weighers, brokers, money changers (sarraf), customs inspectors (arayıcı), foremen (mukkadem), guards (kolcu), watchmen (dideban), janissary guards (yeniçeri yasakçıları), boatmen (kul kayıkçıları), and cargo inspectors. As in the flour market, there were some two hundred porters working under the harbor customs administration. The weighers would weigh the goods coming off the boats and into the city, and those about to be loaded onto the boats for export. The brokers and inspectors would be on the lookout for goods with unpaid duties. The watchmen would watch over goods as they were being processed. The clerks would keep records of the proceedings on the docks. And the janissary guards would protect the money changers.

As the traffic through the Istanbul docks was very heavy, the tax farm for its administration brought in a great deal of wealth. The superintendent of sea customs also had an important role in a number of related areas, including overseeing sea traffic, directing goods from the docks to esnaf groups in the city, and preventing goods from being unloaded outside of their specific checkpoints (in other words, smuggling). The superintendent of sea customs thus played a vital role in the city’s trade.


Over the centuries, Istanbul increasingly became home to a significant portion of the political and military classes. The city’s status as the administrative center of the empire led to the rise of class of elite Ottomans who called the city home. And by the end of the sixteenth century, there were also more than forty thousand soldiers living there, too. The presence of both groups and the necessity of catering to their needs led to the rise of a number of new imperial functionaries. The most critical of these were the kasapbaşı and the palace comptroller mentioned in the introduction. Unlike the various other officials discussed here, however, the authority of these two figures extended out far beyond the narrow confines of their official roles.

The Kasapbaşı

The kasapbaşı was responsible for the provisioning of the meat to the palaces and the military units in the city. He would determine how many of the sheep brought to the city were to be set aside for these institutions and units, and would oversee the distribution of their meat at the slaughterhouses. One of the main duties of the kasapbaşı, who also sat on the commission that determined meat prices, was to work with the koyunemini to ensure a ready supply of sheep in the market. The activities of the kasapbaşı were recorded in detailed record books, many of which are now housed in the Ottoman Archives. The office of the kasapbaşı supplied meat to Topkapı Palace, the Old Palace, the Galata Palace, the janissaries, the armorers (cebeciler), artillery corps (topçu ocakları), the imperial guard (bostancılar), the irregular light cavalry corps known as the “wild ones” (deliler), certain dervish lodges, and those employed at particular state institutions. These various bodies would have accounted for some 20 percent of the total population of Istanbul. But as members of the elite, they would have eaten more meat than other groups in society, and so it is not unreasonable to estimate that, in meeting the demand for meat of the groups listed above, the kasapbaşı would have presided over the distribution of some 30 percent of the meat in the city.

The Palace Comptroller

Among the various palace-comptroller offices in different Ottoman cities, it was the one in Istanbul that had the largest budget. It also differed from the others in terms of both its sources of revenue and the nature of its expenditures. The fundamental goal of the comptroller offices in other cities was to supply some of the demands of the palaces and certain strategic institutions and organizations in Istanbul, and most of their expenses were related to these these fields. These offices were not dependent on the state treasury, but instead derived an independent income from the revenue they received from the tax farms in their province. Instead of being sent to the imperial treasury, these moneys were assigned to the office of the local palace comptroller and spent locally, thus avoiding the risks and problems attendant to transporting them over long distances. The power that these provincial offices thus held over local tax farms allowed them to monitor the processes of production and sale in their region, which made the comptrollers themselves indispensible agents in their local economies. The palace comptroller in Istanbul, however, received its income directly from the state treasure, and had no authority to oversee the tax farms in the region. The importance of the position instead lay in the impact of the abundant purchases and construction activities they carried out in catering to the needs of Istanbul’s palaces, Topkapı Palace in particular, and in overseeing public works projects. The responsibilities of the palace comptrollers could be listed as follows:Clothing and paying the salaries, stipends, and allowances of the sultans, princes, and concubines in Topkapı and the Old Palace, and of the eunuchs, guards, and other officials and servants of the imperial harem (Darüssaade).

Providing for the food demands of the palace, especially those of the imperial harem.Paying the stipends and allowances of the aghas, pages, and servants at the İbrahim Pasha and Galata Palaces, and supplying them with food and clothing.

Providing for the monetary and other needs of the class of dignitary scholar-bureaucrats (mevali), including the nakibüleşraf (chief of the descendants of Prophet Muhammad) and the tutors to the princes, as well as those of officials at mosques and dervish lodges and of the officers responsible for reading the Qur’anic suras Ikhlas and Anam on certain occasions.

Paying the salaries and providing food and clothing for the people working under their charge and in certain other institutions.

Carrying out construction and maintenance activities (such as constructing storehouses, paying for building repairs, supplying the necessary materials for ship construction, constructing and providing for the material needs of certain military units, etc).

In addition, these comptrollers were responsible for costs associated with the construction and maintenance many public buildings not mentioned above. The Istanbul palace comptroller spent far more than his peers in other cities, and the expenditures and construction activities over which he presided made him a significant force in the economic life of the city.


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This article was translated from Turkish version of History of Istanbul with some editions to be published in a digitalized form in 2019.