A city’s financial history, in a narrow sense, includes financial markets and the activities of financial intermediaries. Financial markets are comprised of money markets, providing short-term financing, and capital markets, providing long-term financing. The intermediaries doing business in these markets include cash waqfs, community funds, money changers, agents, bankers, banks, middlemen, brokers, and insurance companies. Usurers, pawnbrokers, loan sharks, and moneylenders can be included with them.

It is relatively easy to approach the financial history of Istanbul in a narrow sense; however, it is not so easy to deal with financial history in a broader sense. It is essential to address financial history in broad terms, along with its connections to business, economics, international relations, and political history. Each of the following topics is, in a broad sense, part of the field of financial history: the history of financial institutions as businesses; the history of money based on the contribution of monetary factors to economic growth; the history of money changers and bankers as financial intermediaries prior to the emergence of modern banking institutions, and the role of their ethnic origins and minority status in their success; the relations of financial intermediaries with political sectors; public and private sector financing; state interference in the financial sector and its effects on international financial powers, debt, and diplomacy.1

1- One of the coins minted in Istanbul during the period of Sultan Mehmed II 
<br>(Istanbul Archeology Museum, Coins Section)

2- Coins minted in Istanbul during the period of Sultan Bayezid II (Istanbul Archeology Museum, Coins Section)

It is clear from these explanations that the financial history of Istanbul will not be discussed within a narrow scope. However, taking a broader perspective, the financial history of the city will overlap with the state’s financial history as a whole. Due to the aforementioned constraints, the financial history of Istanbul will be addressed from a narrow perspective in this study, but when necessary will go beyond this limit.

From the conquest of Istanbul until the establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, Istanbul served as the capital and administrative center of the Ottoman Empire for nearly five centuries. It was the minting of coins and managing the money market that most greatly reflected on being a political center in the financial arenat. In the tradition of Turkish-Islamic states, the greatest symbol of political rule was minting coins in the sultan’s own name, a mandate that was exclusive to the sultan. Moreover, Istanbul was also the most crowded Ottoman city in terms of inhabitants. The vast majority of the population was comprised of those serving in paid military and bureaucratic positions. The city’s large population increased its domestic and foreign trade activities because of both production activities and the procurement of materials necessary for production and consumption.

3- Coins minted in Istanbul during the period of Sultan Selim I (Istanbul Archeology Museum, Coins Section)

3- Coins minted in Istanbul during the period of Sultan Selim I (Istanbul Archeology Museum, Coins Section)

While all of these factors strengthened the use of money in the city economy, it was intense trade activities that vitalized trade financing, payment systems, and money changing operations. Accumulated wealth was transferred through financial intermediaries from the very top of society down to those in need of credit. The natural consequence of the widespread use of the money economy in the political center and urban economic life was the placement in Istanbul of a central mint, the Imperial Mint (Darphane-i Âmire). The most important factor that brought Istanbul to a central position with regard to financial markets and intermediaries was the financing of public finance. The gradual growth of the central Ottoman army brought about collection of the state’s taxes over a larger area and spreading of expenditures over the entire year. Due to the seasonal agricultural economy, tax collection was performed in certain months of the year, but this resulted in sales of tax revenues prior to collection periods. Tax farming, large estates, stock shares, loans from financial intermediaries, domestic and foreign debt instruments, etc., were the financing methods used according to the needs of Ottoman finance.

In short, from conquest to republic, Istanbul was the most important financial center where money was minted; the movement of precious metal in the country was directed; monetary policy decisions were taken and implemented; domestic and foreign trade, and principally public finance, were financed; credit needs of city residents were met, and where there were financial intermediaries who performed such financial transactions.


Minted as a demonstration of sovereignty, money is circulated like a symbol within borders, and through it, subjects acknowledge their sovereign.2 Beyond its political meaning, money is a common language used by society with regard to economic and social relations. Every member of society who is involved in these sorts of relations must learn this language, that is to say, money.3 This element becomes even more important when the political, economic, and social history of the city is observed, especially in periods when the money economy pertains mostly to cities. The stability/instability of money is also an important indicator of the stability/instability of political, economic, and social life.

The Ottoman monetary system was based on coinage. From the establishment of the empire to the Republic of Turkey, the monetary system in some periods was based on silver (monometallism), on gold, silver, and copper (trimetallism) or gold and silver (bi-metallism) in other periods.4 The greatest difficulties encountered in pre-modern times by states adopting metal monetary systems like that of the Ottoman Empire were instability and scarcity of the coin supply. States often resorted to debasement in order to create financing and to meet the market’s cash needs in periods when negative aspects of taxation (from a political perspective), and domestic and foreign debt instruments had just started to develop. Another problem in these times was that coins deriving value from their precious metal content circulated everywhere, without limits, and that places where only local currency circulated could not come into existence. A third problem was that money was frequently subject to counterfeiting and the capabilities of the counterfeiters were proportional to the erosion of the political rule. Ultimately, all these factors brought about an area prone to instability where it was difficult to manage money markets in which domestic and foreign coins and, stable and impure coins at various carats and weights were circulated. From this point of view, a stable money market was a vital matter of subsistence for the capital city of Istanbul, composed of crowds of soldiers, bureaucrats, civil servants, tradesmen, merchants, and laborers, whose lives are sustained by money.5

Instability in Istanbul’s Money Market

From the conquest until 1840, when the use of banknotes began, the basic elements threatening the money market in Istanbul were counterfeiting and debasement. Due to the inflation and fraud brought about by these factors, the comfortable lives of the city’s inhabitants was disrupted. The state’s failure to prevent counterfeiting and to fulfill its duty towards its subjects could lead to a loss of prestige. But the main problem, from the city residents’ perspective, was the high cost of living resulting from debasements carried out by the state. This issue created a chronic point of tension between soldiers, tradesmen, the people, and the state.6

The first major debasement in Ottoman money history was carried out in 1444 during the reign of Mehmed II, and the silver akçe, the basic main coin of the monetary system, was debased by 20 percent. This debasement, which drew a serious reaction from soldiers and the people, was followed by others.7

4- Coins minted in Istanbul during the period of Sultan Süleyman I (Istanbul Archeology Museum, Coins Section)

The debasement of 1585-86 gave rise to a serious insurrection in 1589 in Istanbul that was called “Beylerbeyi Vakası” (the Governor Incident). Some initiatives were taken from time to time to eliminate instability in the monetary system; however, the cost of wars led to further debasement of currency. In 1688 copper coins, called “brass” or “stamp,” brought about high inflation. Nevertheless, these widely counterfeited coins were not taken out of circulation until 1691.8 In 1689, during the reign of Suleyman II (1687-1691), the akçe coin was gradually cleared from the market.9 The kuruş, which replaced akçe as the basic coin of the system after a period of one hundred years, lost 50 percent of its weight and 60 percent of its silver content in the first year of Mahmud II’s reign (1808-1839). As a result of widespread debasement activities during the reign of this sultan, the kuruş was also removed from circulation, the same as the akçe.10

Another factor that threatened the stability of the money market was counterfeiting. The state was unable to curb counterfeiting, even by imposing the death penalty. Foreigners even attempted to counterfeit money intended for the Ottoman Empire. Naturally, Istanbul, having the greatest money circulation, had always been a city that offered significant opportunities for counterfeiting.11

During the reign of Mahmud II, instability in Istanbul’s money market reached a critical stage. Istanbul became a market where a lot of domestic and foreign coins with various carats and weights were circulated. The variety of coins and the instability increased the state interference in the market, although these interventions were far from producing positive results. In this period, tariff schedules, used by the state to demonstrate constant money exchange values, became widespread. The tariff schedules reflect a period when the official exchange rate and the market rate on money in circulation differed and when speculation on money was intensified. Increasing foreign trade brought forward new money-market problems for the state. The instability of Ottoman currency, and the need to make payments abroad with sound money, increased the need for exchange stability. This demand came largely from the Istanbul merchant class, which had trade relations with the outside world. The solution to the problem lay in the creation of a stable monetary system compatible with international markets through reform of the existing system. Demands of embassies in Istanbul in this regard showed that efforts toward the monetary reform of 1844 had begun in the 1830s.12

5- Samples from the coins minted in Istanbul during the period of Sultan Selim II (Istanbul Archeology Museum, Coins Section)

6- Samples from the coins minted in Istanbul during the period of Sultan Murad IV (Istanbul Archeology Museum, Coins Section)

7- Samples from the coins minted in Istanbul during the period of Sultan Ahmed III (Istanbul Archeology Museum, Coins Section)

8- One of the coins minted during the period of Sultan Ibrahim (Istanbul Archeology Museum, Coins Section)

9- A coin minted in Istanbul during the period of Sultan Mustafa IV (Istanbul Archeology Museum, Coins Section)

The government, seeking monetary reform after the declaration of Tanzimat (November 3, 1839) was not completely successful due to the decision to issue banknotes for the financing of these reforms. The kaime was regarded as the first paper money because it was accepted by the state for some payments; however, because it drew interest, the kaime was labelled as domestic debt instrument and in 1840 was issued exclusively for the Istanbul market. The state did not have sufficient means to issue the kaime. Intended to be withdrawn from circulation following a need for short-term financing, the kaime had turned into a tool used for financing. The rise in the interest cost of the kaime resulted in a gradual decrease in interest rates, and from 1851 non-interest kaimes were issued.13 Moreover, the government, aiming to implement coin reform by means of the Decree of Adjustment of Coins (Tashih-i Ayar Kararı) which went into effect in 1844, was not able to provide the four to five million pounds sterling required to remove from circulation the debased coins (meskûkât-ı mağşûşe), issued during the reign of Mahmud II. Beyond that, the government’s issue of kaime in times of need of financial resources dragged the Istanbul money market into an atmosphere of utter speculation and turmoil.14 As a great number of coins at various carats and weights were found in the market, the volume of circulation could not be estimated and the value of the kaime in relation to coins changed day to day. Instability in public finances caused by the Crimean War resulted in the delay of withdrawing both the kaimes and the debased coins from the market, thus plunging Istanbul’s money market into disarray. The failure to pay the debt to Paris speculator Jules Mirès in 1860 led to the collapse of the money market; in 1861 a grave commercial crisis occurred, beginning in London and Marseilles and spreading to Istanbul; and a number of merchants successively fell into bankruptcy.15

10- Samples from the coins minted in Istanbul during the period of Sultan Mahmud II (Istanbul Archeology Museum, Coins Section)

11- Coins minted during the period of Sultan Selim II with the inscription “minted in ‘Islambol’” (Istanbul Archeology Museum, Coins Section)

12- A hundred kuruş gold coin (BOA TŞH, no. 9)

13- Samples from the coins minted in Istanbul during the period of Sultan Abdülmecid (Istanbul Archeology Museum, Coins Section)

In December of 1861, just as the crisis seemed to be lifting, Istanbul experienced its first modern financial crisis. As rumors spread and the exchange rate for kaime currency rose to an unprecedented value of 400 kuruş, the people raided the bakeries, and street fights broke out. The government closed down the Valide Hanı Balıkpazarı Hanı, Varakçılar Hanı, Havyar Hanı, seeing them as the source of the disturbance, as well as money changing shops in their vicinity, and arrested all those who were changing money without permits. Bureaus were opened in Nuruosmaniye, Şehremaneti, Galata, and Beşiktaş to meet the people’s money changing needs. Havyar Hanı, which could be regarded as the heart of Istanbul’s money and capital market, was closed for some time.16

14a- 250 kuruş kaime (banknote) with Sultan Abdülmecid’s sultanate signature. It is one of the earliest hand writing kaime samples (12 January 1841) (BOA TŞH, no. 149)

14b- 250 kuruş kaime (banknote) with Sultan Abdülmecid’s sultanate signature. It is one of the earliest hand writing kaime samples (12 January 1841) (BOA TŞH, no. 149)

The crisis of 1861 caused the state to put in order the money and capital markets. The first two regulations pertaining to corner money changers, usury, and stock operations were implemented, while the stock exchange regulations remained as drafts. The withdrawal in 1862 of the kaime, the main source of instability in the money markets, the beginning of operations in 1863 in Istanbul of the Imperial Ottoman Bank (Bank-ı Osmanî-i Şâhâne) as the national bank, and the passing of regulations pertaining to corner money changers and usury, couldn’t even restore order to the money market. Moreover, on the day the Imperial Ottoman Bank put its first banknotes into circulation, rumors that these banknotes were as worthless as the kaime caused a run on the bank. The bank overcame this crisis, thanks to its strong reserves, but the issuing of banknotes in Istanbul failed, remaining at low levels for a long time.17

The Problem of Subsidiary Coinage in Istanbul

After 1863 the turmoil in Istanbul’s money market continued, intensifying during certain periods. Especially in the 1870s, fluctuations in the money market grew stronger. In this period, the market’s main material for speculation was copper coins minted to meet the public’s need for small change. Copper coin speculation became a new gambling tool for corner money changers and Galata bankers, and the state’s interventions had no effect.

The suspension of debt payments in 1875, the outbreak of the Russo-Turkish War (1877-78) and the issuance of the kaime by the government under the authority of the Imperial Ottoman Bank brought about events similar to those from before 1862. Constant fluctuation in kaime prices, the disappearance of subsidiary coinage as the most crucial part of daily economic life, the government’s difficulty in meeting the public’s need for subsidiary coinage, and tradesmen’s constant price changing in order to protect themselves were the reasons why consumers suffered. The government, intervening in bread prices, had to subsidize the bakeries in return for holding the sales price fixed at a certain level. Some individuals and institutions resorted to minting money or tickets in tin for their subsidiary coinage needs.18

With the end of the war, the government again attempted to regulate the money market. Circulation of debased coins between the monetary reform of 1844 and 1881, maintaining its nominal value to keep the people from suffering, turned out to be the wrong thing for the government to do. Due to speculation, sound coins were taken from the people, and tax payments were to a large extent made with debased coins. Thus, the obligation to pay for foreign debt in stable money significantly increased the exchange rate that the state had to bear. On the other hand, in 1873 gold-silver parity started changing on the world market to the detriment of silver, further aggravating the problem for the state. For instance, gold-silver parity stood at 1:16 in 1873 but rose to 1:22 in 1888 and to 1:35 in 1898.19

All these factors led the government to make radical decisions. At the beginning of 1880 it was announced that debased coins circulating on the market would be accepted with real metal values and no longer with nominal values. Within the framework of the new arrangement, Ottoman lira became the new currency of the monetary system; the bimetallic system was replaced by the crippled gold-coinage system.20 However, a great number of old silver coins still circulated in the market, and the failure to substitute these coins with the new currency caused the discord in the money market to continue. The existence of various exchange rates between the base currency of the system and other currencies created a process that worked to the detriment of the people. The subsidiary coin shortage continued as a problem that made daily economic life more expensive.

In 1908, as the Committee of Union and Progress (İttihad ve Terakki Cemiyeti) began its work, the topic of money market reform was again added to the agenda. Proposals in the report prepared by foreign experts, who used the work of the Commission for Coin Reform (Islahat-ı Meskûkât Komisyonu), established in 1909, as a framework, were no different from underlying factors of the 1844 monetary reform. Aiming at simplification of the monetary system, these proposals suggested the removal of debased coins from circulation. First and foremost, it was suggested that these kinds of coins be withdrawn from circulation -beginning in Istanbul- by means of newly created exchange bureaus. However, the unsuitability of the political business cycle for the implementation of the proposed money reform, and the recirculation of the kaime in order to finance World War I (1914-18), pushed the money market into complete chaos.

15a- 1 kuruş kaime (1877) (BOA TŞH, no. 174)

15b- 1 kuruş kaime (1877) (BOA TŞH, no. 174)

Implementing the proposals of the commission in the middle of the war, on April 8, 1916, the government put into effect the Law on Unified Coinage (Tevhîd-i Meskûkât Kanunu). Nonetheless, problems in the money market could not be solved because of the war. Just as in every war, the basic concerns of the people of Istanbul were their subsidiary money needs and price fluctuations. The hoarding of metal coins due to the war caused the market to be filled with paper money. In order to meet the people’s subsidiary money needs, the government issued bills in small denominations and even postage stamps, but the problems in the money market lasted until the Republican period.21

The Imperial Mint (Darphane-i Âmire)

16- The paper with the watermark “Kaime-i Devlet-i Aliyye” (BOA TŞH, no. 92)

17a- The back of 5 Ottoman Lira dated 1915 (BOA TŞH, no. 2)

17b- The back of 5 Ottoman Lira dated 1915 (BOA TŞH, no. 2)

Another factor that established Istanbul’s importance in terms of the money market was the location there of the Imperial Mint. There was no significant change in minting technology until the nineteenth century, when metallic monetary systems were dominant. Conventional minting technology necessitated geographically dispersing mints to centers where precious metals were mined or trade volume was concentrated, instead of having a single center.22 In general, the basic function of the mints was to provide a stable supply of coins. The main function of the Imperial Mint, was to be able to provide in a sound and stable manner the money supply for the capital city of Istanbul, where the monetary economy was developed. Furthermore, it should be emphasized that this institution was not a center directing the country’s monetary policy in line with macroeconomic objectives until the nineteenth century, when national currency reforms began to take effect.23 On the other hand, the Imperial Mint was one of the largest public institutions in Istanbul. The minting process brought together a wide variety of professions, before, during, and after production, and enriched professional diversity in Istanbul.24

There are differing accounts regarding the district in which the mint started operating after the conquest. For example, according to Evliya Çelebi, the first mint was built on the site of a demolished church near Beyazıt. Another source states that the first coinage was carried out in small plants located in Beşiktaş and Çemberlitaş, and that in the mint’s workshops in 1596 1,000 people worked in a more orderly structure. Halil Sahillioğlu mentions that in 1690 coinage of copper mankur (coins) was carried out in the old mint near Beyazıt Mosque. Because the mint there was inadequate, a new mint was constructed in a district called Tavşantaşı. The Imperial Mint was later moved in 1727, the year the building was completed, to a place next to the Hagia Irene church in the Topkapı Palace garden. After the monetary reform in 1843, the mint became the Imperial Coinage Administration (Meskûkât-ı Şâhâne İdaresi) under the Ministry of Finance, and was named the National Mint (Darphane-i Millî) at the declaration of the Republic.25


Prior to the emergence of banks as modern financial intermediaries, deposit, credit, and other financial services were provided by various intermediaries. Although these intermediaries carried different names according to the era and the location, they served the same functions. Money changers, for example, being the most familiar among them, were important financial intermediaries everywhere, but certainly in the Islamic world in the Middle Ages,26 and continuing during the Ottoman Empire.

In addition, there are financial intermediaries exclusive to the Islamic world and perhaps only to the Ottoman Empire. Of those, cash waqfs (foundations) are the most familiar example. These waqfs, which resulted from a legal interpretation that assets of a waqf could be cash, operated as typical credit institutions. A considerable number of cash waqfs established in Istanbul met the public’s credit needs. In the same way that assistance funds (avarız sandıkları) were established on the principle of solidarity and to provide services to its members,27 the Janissary fund (yeniçeri orta sandığı), the orphan fund (eytam sandığı), and the tradesman fund (esnaf sandığı) can be counted as different examples of the applications of the cash waqf.28 Except for assistance funds, these waqf activities were prevalent in Istanbul, sheltering large populations of soldiers, tradesmen, and orphans.

Others considered financial intermediaries were policy makers who performed intercity payment transfers, processors making transactions with high interest rates, usurers, pawn brokers, and money lenders.29 However, it should not be forgotten that merchants from Italian city-states such as Venice, Geneva, etc., had settled in the Galata district before the conquest. Financial institutions belonging to Italian city-states, from which modern banking activities emerged, are understood to have been operating in Istanbul prior to the conquest.30 It can be thought that the activities of these institutions continued owing to foreign merchants whose activities were permitted through an agreement made after the conquest.

Money Changers (Sarrafs)

The most important financial intermediaries operating in Istanbul were the money changers. Although the conquest of Istanbul by the Ottomans resulted in a partial standstill of economic life, the guarantees and concessions granted by Mehmed II, the Conqueror, helped the city to recover over a short period. Immediately following the conquest, a group of Armenians from Van and Bitlis and some of the Jews exiled from Spain and Portugal near the end of the fifteenth century were settled in Istanbul, boosting the city’s revival.31 After the conquest the Galata district continued with its role from the previous era as a center of international commerce. The labelling of these financial intermediaries as the “Galata money changers’’ clearly demonstrates that this district served as a center for financial transactions.32

One of the oldest records of the money changers’ activities was a tax farmer’s debit book dating back to 1481-85. This indicates that the money changers’ role in public finance started early. A significant portion of the people listed in that debit book as those who could not pay the cost of tax farming were Jewish money changers. According to existing records, Jewish money changers’ activities in the tax farming system continued until the end of Selim II’s reign.

In subsequent periods, the influence of Greek and Armenian money changers increased. Recognition of Greek independence in 1830, following the 1821 Morean Insurrection, resulted in Greek money changers losing power, and this gap was filled by Armenian money changers. The abolition of tax farming in conjunction with the declaration of the Tanzimat in 1839 put an end to the heyday of the money changers. Moreover, the abolition of the tax farming system was perceived as the abolition of money changing, which caused the public to attack the money changers’ shops.

18- The scale of a money changer (Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality City Museum)

19- The scale of gold

Following the re-introduction of the tax farming system in 1842, big Armenian money changers in Istanbul cooperated in establishing Greek and Anatolian companies, and until 1852, they assumed the duty of tax collection in regions where the Tanzimat was in effect. In 1860, sarraf gediks (trade licenses for money changers) were discontinued.33 Following these developments, the role of big money changers in Ottoman finance began to decrease while the importance of the Galata bankers and the newly established modern banking institutions began to increase. The money-changing profession continued with what was its primary function of currency exchange, that is, as corner money changing. The emergence of corner money changing in its official form was parallel to the decline of the central role of the Imperial Mint in the financial system of the Tanzimat period. The commencement of the use of kaime in this period, the printing of new money within the framework of coinage reform, and, on the other hand, the failure to remove old Ottoman money from the market while continuing its circulation, caused the city dwellers’ need for currency exchange to grow.

Provisioners and purchasing agents who worked at the Imperial Mint lost their jobs after implementation of the Monetary Reform of 1844, but continued in their old professions in the currency exchange business in various districts of Istanbul. However, problems from their dealings with the public and from them entering this work without registering at the guild of money changers necessitated the regulation of corner money changing. As a result of this, with the licensing and funding given by the state in 1854, twenty corner money changers were to provide services in Fatih, Unkapanı, Fener, Balıkpazarı, Kumkapı, Samatya, Yenikapı, Aksaray, Hasanpaşa Hanı, Şehzadebaşı, Kuyumculariçi, Mercan, Kocamustafapaşa, Eyüp, Beşiktaş, Kasımpaşa, Arnavutköy, Üsküdar, and Tophane. As a result of objections, this number was changed to sixty and in 1855, twenty-five more shops were added, bringing the total to eighty-five. However, in addition to the licensed corner money changers, more than 200 unlicensed people sprang up around Yeni Cami, on the edge of Balıkpazarı, and at the gate of Çakmakçılar and Varakçılar Han, so that the rise of wandering money changers exacerbated the problems in Istanbul’s money market. This process was interrupted with the crisis of December 1861. The state arrested the money changers on the grounds that they caused the speculation, and closed their shops.34

Following the abolition of the guild of money changers in 1860 and the aforementioned crisis, the money changing business was organized in an exhaustive manner through the Corner Money Changers Regulations (Köşe Sarrafları Nizamnâmesi), and bankers granting loans with interest and corner money changers were clearly separated. Despite this reorganization, instability in the money market continued, and in the 1870s corner money changers and Galata bankers entered into various speculations. Particularly during the Ottoman-Russo War (1877-78), reissue of the kaime and the shortage of subsidiary coinage increased speculations on copper coins and kaime. The number of corner money changers rose to 400 and, with stability in the speculation climate, dropped to under one hundred.35 A similar development was experienced with the onset of the Balkan Wars (1912-13) and World War I (1914-18); however, in order to prevent this, the Union and Progress government on April 8, 1916, banned money changing activities.36 One of the most important activities for the entire duration of the Ottoman Empire, money changing diminished in both volume and number as the Republican period began. For example, according to statistics from 1923, there were just four money changers registered at the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce and Industry.37

Money changers doing business in Istanbul were a professional group organized as a guild. Referred to as Esnâf-ı sarrâfân or sarraf esnafı, this professional group included a guild warden (kethüda), a workshop master (usta), and technical supervisors (yiğitbaşıs)38 and their activities were carried out within the framework of the Money Changers Regulations (Sarrâfân Nizamnâmesi). According to the ancient order of money changers, they were active in two main fields of activity: providing service to cizye (head tax for non-Muslims) collectors and tax collectors in regard to public finance, and meeting the public’s needs for currency exchange in a secure and stable manner. In this context, providing legitimate money to the market, cleansing counterfeit money from the market, and being obliged to transfer silver and gold directly to the Imperial Mint show that this was a critical profession that had to be done with trust and loyalty.39 Besides these two main fields of activity, money changers were also financial intermediaries who met society’s credit needs. They put to good use not only their own capital, but also the money used for making loans that was entrusted to them by various segments of society.40

Another area in which money changers operated extensively was commercial activities. An important area of activity for money changers was importing goods demanded by both the market and state and selling those goods on credit, and exporting permitted goods. Owing to their business dealings abroad, Greek money changers came to specialize in this field, becoming known as master merchants (bezirgâns). Whereas tax farming and money exchange were performed mostly by Armenian money changers, the number of Greek merchants among the Galata bankers demonstrates the ground gained by this group in the nineteenth century.41

Unlike in other trades, when a money changer died who had been enrolled in the guild and in possession of gedik privileges, his gedik would be sold at auction. In the event that someone was found who could perform his occupation, it would be made known at the auction, while in reality, following guild tradition, the gedik would be inherited by the son of the deceased money changer. In the case that the money changer waived his gedik rights for the reason of old age or of not having a son, the same procedure would apply. Unregistered money changers would not be able to perform money changing activities, and one of the money changers would have to stand as a guarantor for a potential candidate.42 It is uncertain when the money changers, who formed an occupational group with the silversmiths, broke off from the silversmiths to become an independent occupational group. However, it is probable that they separated from that group toward the end of the eighteenth century.43 Figures relating to money changers vary according to whether or not silversmiths were included or if the money changers had gediks or not. For instance, the number of money changers in 1714 was fifty, including silversmiths; in 1761 the number was 137, seventy-two of them having gediks.44

20- The tools of a money changer (Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality City Museum)

As it appears, money-changing was not a stable occupation that could endure for a long time, but was constantly changing because of bankruptcies, desertions, death, and exports that did not conform to the rules of the profession. For example, according to Imperial Mint records, in 1824 there were seventy-five money changers, with gediks or with duplicates, who were subject to this administration. At the request of guild members in 1835, the number was increased to 100 and money changers were divided into two classes according to their standing in the group. Of this number fifty-five were so-called “tailed” money changers (kuyruklu sarraf), certified by the “tailed” signature of the imperial treasurer and considered first-class money changers whose undertakings were recognized by the Imperial Treasury (Hazine-i Âmire ). The remaining forty-five were money changers of lower standing whose undertakings were not recognized by the Imperial Treasury.

Money changers were bound by certain rules regarding changing classes or entering the profession. For example, it depended upon the guild members’ approval if someone were to be admitted from the outside, or if a second-class money changer entered the first class, and if the guild would be guarantor and pay to the mint the fees for this class. These money changers, who were Armenians for the most part, carried out their business in shops and associations in Istanbul neighborhoods where economic activity was concentrated, such as Yeni Han (inn), Valide Hanı, Çinili Han, Vezir Hanı, Sünbül Han, Sufcular Hanı, Muhsinoğlu Hanı, Kumrulu Han, Küçük Yeni Han, Kaşıkçılar Hanı, Leblebici Hanı, Yıldız Hanı, Astarcılar Hanı, Han-ı Cedid-i Kebir, and Çukacılar Hanı.45

Money changers were closely supervised and monitored by the state because of the nature of their job. The most evident proof of this is the fact that the money changers worked in connection with the Imperial Mint. The money changers, as the public face of the mint, replaced old money with newly issued money and returned the old money to the mint. It was forbidden for them to convey to counterfeiters or any other groups coins or precious metals they procured during their activities. The state’s regulation and supervision of money changers continued during their operation as well as after cessation of their activities due to bankruptcy, desertion, or death. Complaints made during their operation or disagreements among themselves were settled at the Imperial Mint. In the event of the termination of a money changer’s operation, his accounts were liquidated by authorities appointed by the Imperial Mint, with the process of liquidation sometimes lasting for years.46


21- 10 Mecidiye dated 1876 and its case

22- A wallet belonged to Sultan Abdülhamid II (BOA, EE.d, no. 1212)

The financial intermediaries most identified with Istanbul’s financial history were without a doubt the “Galata bankers.” However, it is uncertain when this group was first called by this name. They were sometimes called the Galata bankers and sometimes the Galata money changers and sometimes both names were used together.47 This was due to the indistinct boundaries between money changing, merchandizing, and banking. A money changer is defined as someone who determines the quality and weight of precious metals and coins, and deals with currency exchange, whereas a banker is defined as someone who engages in banking transactions. The bankers’ distinctive characteristic compared to the money changer was that they used their own capital as well as money collected from trade, loans, bonds, or various investment areas. From this viewpoint, it is not possible to consider as a banker a money changer dealing with currency exchange. However, the activities of a money changer who accepts and lends money intersect with the field of banking. On the other hand, bezirgans (merchants) who dealt with commerce as well as other businesses such as currency exchange, credit, bonds, etc., also were included in the banking field.

As can be seen from explanations in the previous section, first-class money changers with guild affiliations were an important part of the tax farming system since, beyond their money changing work, their guaranty was accepted by the Imperial Treasury. It is also known that these money changers utilized money that was entrusted to them along with their own capital. Even assuming that these great money changers became Galata bankers, in the second half of the nineteenth century very few of them were seen to have been included in this category. The reason for this was the Galata bankers’ as merchant identity. In this context, “Galata bankers” can be defined as a group of people comprised Greek, Armenian, Jewish, Levantine, and foreign merchants, who became prominent in the second quarter of the nineteenth century during changes in the economic and financial structure of the Ottoman Empire; who were not organized as a guild; who for the most part met the short-term financial needs of the government; who financed tax farming bids, and who engaged in domestic and foreign trade transactions. Based on available information, the origin of the term Galata banker can likely be traced to the 1830s, when the word “bank” was first used in Turkish.48

The emergence of the Galata bankers in a conspicuous way took place in the 1830s, when Ottoman foreign trade was growing in volume and the monetary system was fairly unstable, and consequently, the problem of foreign exchange stability worsened. When the establishment of a bank was proposed that would implement foreign exchange stability, the list of merchants who signed off on this project clearly indicated that the group called the Galata bankers was in its formative stage.

23- The gold coin minted by Sultan Abdülhamid II (Istanbul Archeology Museum, Coins Section)

Also, a complete list of merchants registered with the Galata Stock Exchange in 1840 appeared in a paper dated 1841. The same names were found in the list of merchants who made a commitment to the government to carry out a smooth implementation of foreign exchange stabilization. The familiar names on the long list were: Jacques Alléon, the Baltazzis, Jean Pysichari, the Radocanacchis, Isaac de Camondo, F. Calaroni, J. Corpi, Durand Hipfinger, Carlo Ede, C. Hanson, Jacques Glavany, Elia Hava, the Mavrokardatos, B. J. Negroponte, Tomaso Ralli, Q. Stefanovich, G. Schilizzi, the Tıngıroğuls, George Zarifi, Zafiropulo, and Constantino Zaccarof.49

The Galata bankers’ transcending their merchant identities to become the Ottoman Empire’s creditors began in large part with the financing of the Tanzimat reforms. Despite years of problems in public finance, the government’s steady financing relationship with the bankers began after this period. In the first year of the Tanzimat, new banknotes (kaimes) were issued in order to meet the temporary financing needs arising from the change of the tax collection system, and meanwhile, money was borrowed from certain merchants.50 The process increased the stature of the Galata bankers in the domestic borrowing system. The Crimean War, which broke out in 1853, was an important turning point for the Galata bankers, who were turned to for help, especially during the implementation of foreign exchange stability between 1843 and 1849; the crisis of 1848; and the 1852 liquidation of Dersaadet Bank, which had operated only since 1849, due to its accumulated debts to European markets.

Lasting until 1856, the Crimean War irreparably broke the equilibrium of Ottoman public finance. During the war, both foreign borrowing as well as the issuing of domestic debt bonds under certain names were carried out, and as a result of advances taken from Galata bankers, the government’s interest burden increased immensely.51 Although the most pressing problem at the end of the war was the discharging of domestic and foreign debt, the government struggled to pay its debts to the Galata bankers.

Having become dependent on foreign borrowing for payments of short-term advances as well as domestic and foreign debt bonds, the Ottoman Empire was considerably shaken by the crises it experienced in 1860-61 during which no credit source could be found. Borrowing from Paris financial speculator Jules Mirès led to a fiasco that prevented the government from paying its debts to the Galata bankers with the anticipated proceeds. In the first half of 1861, a succession of merchants and bankers went bankrupt, with bankers unable to pay their debts to the London and Marseilles markets.52

At the end of the same year, a financial crisis broke out.53 The government, which wanted to put Istanbul’s financial market into order after the crisis, failed to organize the Galata Stock Exchange, allowing the bankers to make a great number of speculations on money and securities in the stock exchange, a situation that continued until 1881 when the Public Debt Administration (Düyun-u Umumiye İdaresı) was established. In this period, while foreign borrowing was expanding, the Galata bankers continued to finance the government.54

With the conclusion of the Crimean War (1853-56), a modern bank was for the first time operating in Istanbul: the Ottoman Bank. Before the war, there had been undertakings involving Galata bankers, some which remained in the planning stage and some that operated as Dersaadet Bank (1849-52), Ottoman Bank (1851), Bank-ı Osmanî (1853) and İttihad-ı Mali Şirketi (1860).55 In order to compete against these institutions that were being established with European capital, the bankers began to cooperatively establish banks. This trend started with the establishment of the Imperial Ottoman Bank (1863) that had been granted state bank privileges in place of the liquidated Ottoman Bank. Due to the fact that the Imperial Ottoman Bank also cooperated with the Galata bankers instead of excluding them, various banks were established for certain bankers in partnership with this bank. But a loss of power in the last quarter of the nineteenth century led to the Galata bankers’ gradual withdrawal from the banking sector.56 With foreign capital the Galata bankers entered into competition not only in the area of banking, but in other areas as well, setting up companies in the fields of transportation, mining, and infrastructure. The Istanbul Trolley Company (1870), the Istanbul Tobacco Regie Company (1872), and Six Taxes (Rüsûm-u Sitte) Administration (1879) are examples of these endeavors. With the establishment of the Public Debt Administration (1881) the importance of the Galata bankers in domestic borrowing declined, leaving them unable to speculate on domestic debt securities. As a result, the bankers’ interest in the companies grew. Their interest also allowed the bankers to speculate in the stock market on shares of the growing number of joint-stock companies .57 However, they gradually retreated from the market as the Ottoman Empire was breaking up, and the leading bankers left Istanbul. With banks dominating the credit market, very few small-scale bankers remained in the market and their numbers decreased substantially.58

Central Bank and Commercial Banks

On the eve of the Tanzimat, banks emerged as modern financial intermediaries in the Ottoman Empire. Since Istanbul is a political center, the banks established after the declaration of the Imperial Edict of Reorganization (Tanzimat Fermanı) must be examined in two groups: the national (central) bank and commercial banks.

24- Ottoman Bank and Galata (Yıldız Albums)

The first proposal for the establishment of a state-run bank in Istanbul came during debates on the issue of foreign exchange stability in 1838. Foreign exchange rates had begun to increase because trust among merchants was shaken by reparations payments from the war with Russia (1828-29), the great number of bankruptcies resulting from the cash shortage in Europe, and the considerable drop in prices of goods coming from there.

The fact that significant amounts of goods, military uniforms in particular, were imported from Europe made foreign exchange rate stability more important. In order to solve this problem, it was proposed that a merchant bank with 100,000 keses (a currency unit in the Ottoman Empire) in capital be established and that most of the capital be invested by the state. However, this bank project was not realized because it was believed that foreign exchange stability would not provide the intended benefits since foreign merchants were demanding cash in return for the goods they were bringing.59

Another project that could not be realized around the same time was the proposal by Reed, Irving & Co. of establishing a bank in 1838 when Mustafa Reşid Pasha was the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The General Bank of Constantinople Project, which was forgotten for a while and then revived in 1840, was a British-funded venture. However, the proposed bank would provide a solid base for the Ottoman monetary system, support the circulation of money by issuing banknotes, and provide loans to the treasury in order to close the gap between state revenues and expenditures. This project, which evoked a Bank of England-style bank, was an endeavor by the British to gain power over the Sublime Porte.

The French, acting on their own concerns, put forward their own projects around the same time. These projects emerged when discussions on the financing of Tanzimat reforms were taking place, and thus did not come into fruition because of the preference for domestic borrowing over foreign borrowing.60

25- The building of Ottoman Public Debts (currently Istanbul Boys’ High School) (Istanbul University, Rare Books and Special Collections Library, Maps Section)

Although the Sublime Porte, like the European countries, had in 1843 carried out a national currency reform, because of prevailing conditions of public finance it was unable to bring into being a “national bank,” which would have been one of the chief instruments of this reform. The uncontrollable issue of kaime banknotes, which were supposed to be turned into convertible money through the not yet established national bank, delayed the matter of a national bank. The basic function of the Dersaadet Bank, which began operations in 1849, was to ensure a stable market price for unconvertible kaimes.

26- Coins minted in Istanbul during the period of Sultan Mehmed V (Mehmed Reşad) (Istanbul Archeology Museum, Coins Section)

However, this bank’s growing debt to the European markets due to the implementation of foreign exchange stability, which was its secondary function, put a halt to the project for the “Ottoman Bank,” whose capital in large part belonged to the state, but was revived in 1851 during the grand viziership of Reşid Pasha. In 1852 the national bank project failed because settlement of the Dersaadet Bank’s accumulated debts made it impossible to transfer funds to the new bank. The Ottoman Bank, which was intended to be established, was planned by using as models the national banks of European states. The bank would ensure that the monetary system was on solid ground, as well as provide for the development of commercial and agricultural sectors by meeting their credit needs, ; would open credit to the state whenever needed; would act as an intermediary in purchases on behalf of state, and would have the privilege of issuing banknotes.61

After liquidation of the Dersaadet Bank, the matter of a national bank was revived in early 1853. This time the state was not a shareholder in the bank project for what would be called “Bank-ı Osmanî.” Struggling financially, the state gave this job directly to Düzoğlu Hoca Mihran, the director of the Imperial Mint, without paying any attention to the projects of domestic and foreign shareholders regarding the bank. The principal function of the Bank-ı Osmanî was to ensure that Ottoman currency reform was carried out to the letter, under the leadership of Düzoğlu Hoca Mihran and a consortium of Düzoğlu Hoca Bogos, Hoca Diran, Yağlıkçıoğlu Hoca Bedros, Bilezikçioğlu Hoca Mıgırdıç, Jean Pysichari, Allahverdioğlu Hoca Abraham, Hoca Maksud, Tıngıroğlu Hoca Ohannes, David Glavany, Charles Hanson, and George Zarifi.

In order to carry out this function, the bank would initiate the gradual withdrawal of debased coins, which was planned under the monetary reform but somehow could never be accomplished, and the kaimes, which had created major turmoil in the money market. The regulations of the Bank-ı Osmanî, comprised of thirty-nine articles, was published in the Cerîde-i Havâdis newspaper on May 13, 1853. In addition, a separate agreement was signed between the government and the founders about work to be done within the scope of currency reform. The bank would not have the authority to issue banknotes according to its charter, and would not be able to open credit to the government according to its regulations. However, the Crimean War broke out before the bank could begin to operate, and the government had to appeal to the bank founders for help with increasing war expenses.

The founders of the bank tried to provide funds for the government without first procuring capital for the bank. However, deterioration of the situation in Europe’s financial markets because of the war ruined the founders’ plans to start operating the bank after securing funds from there. The founders entered into a relationship with an investor named Trouvè-Chauvel for the purpose of finding capital, but they were never able to procure the necessary funds. When the bank’s privileges, which had remained in abeyance, were taken away from the founders toward the end of 1854, the affair of the Bank-ı Osmanî was closed. As for Isaac de Camondo and Theodore Baltacı’s Ottoman Bank project, which emerged as a competitor around the time that Bank-ı Osmanî was given privileges, it was not accepted by the Sublime Porte.62

With the end of the war in 1856 and the declaration of the Edict of Reforms (Islahat Fermanı), the national bank project was revived and numerous foreign investors rushed to Istanbul with their bank projects. Fourteen different projects were proposed for the national bank. Among the investors were the Pereires (Crédit Mobilier) and the Rothschilds, from France, and the Ottoman Bank and the Wilkin groups, from Britain, who were competing against each other to gain concessions. Besides these groups, local bankers were also in this race, either on their own or as part of the investor groups. The national bank process started in 1856 and continued with interruptions until 1857, but in the end the Wilkin Group, which had the least chance among four strong groups, succeeded in gaining concessions.

The bank, which would be established as the Imperial National Bank of Turkey, in time was transformed into the Turkistan Bank with the participation of the Swiss General Bank as one of the founders. The bank would begin operations at the end of the three months following the government’s withdrawal of kaimes from circulation. However, the Turkistan Bank project could not be realized for the following reasons: the government could not withdraw the kaime from circulation until the end of 1862; the financial situation of the Swiss General Bank, which was among the bank founders, had grown difficult; and even though a part of the capital had been collected from shareholders, the bank could in no way begin to operate.63 In addition to the factors arising from the Ottoman government and the bank founders, other reasons that prevented this bank from operating included the Sublime Porte’s reluctance to grant national bank privileges to a bank whose capital was dominated by a single country; the willingness to partner with domestic investors; other groups’ lobbying, etc.

National bank privilege was granted to the Imperial Ottoman Bank in 1863 due to the fact that the Ottoman Bank had acted as an intermediary for foreign loans in order to withdraw kaimes; had gained the government’s trust with its activities and had accepted a partnership with French capital. Although the national bank issue was partly settled when the Imperial Ottoman Bank was granted the privilege, it came up again between 1873 and 1874 due to the bank’s lack of motivation to attend to the financing difficulties of the state. However, this motivation did not again materialize due to conditions in the government. The situation concluded with the further extension of the privilege of the Imperial Ottoman Bank.64

The matter of a national bank came up again during the period of the Union and Progress government (1908-18). The fact that the Imperial Ottoman Bank did not respond to the needs of the state during the Balkan Wars (1912-13) and, on the contrary, tried to profit from war conditions, led the government to establish a national bank that would carry out a monetary and lending policy to serve the national interests of the country. First, the establishment of a bank named Union and Progress Bank was proposed, followed by the Foundations Bank project, with the participation of the Ministry of Foundations. However, because of the start of World War I (1914-18), nothing came of these initiatives. A second attempt was made in 1917, when the Credit General Ottoman Bank was established in Istanbul with a capital of four million lira. This bank, which was established with special privileges, was planned as a replacement for the Imperial Ottoman Bank, whose privilege period would expire in 1925. However, this plan was not realized because the Ottoman Empire was defeated in the war and the state was in the process of dissolution. The bank was turned over to İş Bank, which was newly established in 1926.65

In the Ottoman Empire, attempts to establish a commercial bank, as well as a national bank, started before the Tanzimat period. The first proposal to set up a commercial bank came from David Urquhart in 1836, but no bank was established. As the Tanzimat period began, a few attempts were made to establish banks outside of Istanbul, in Izmir and Aleppo. However, the bank established in Izmir without authorization was shut down by the state in 1843, while in Aleppo establishment of a bank was not authorized. During the period between 1843 and 1849, when foreign exchange stability implementation was being carried out by the Galata bankers, no banks were established since the government had promised not to allow the establishment of any bank.66

In 1855, two entrepreneurs named Peter Pasquali and Stephen Sleigh attempted to get bank privileges from the Sublime Porte. The project, initiated under the name of the British Oriental Bank (Şark ve İngiliz Bankası), was followed up by Edward Zohrab, the Ottoman consul general in London. The bank’s name over time was changed to Dersaadet, İngiliz ve Şark Bank and Şark Bank, and Zohrab succeeded in obtaining the privilege in 1856.

However, those who received the privilege were discharged and the Ottoman Bank was established with new investors from England. This bank, which began operations in Istanbul in 1856, was the first commercial bank to begin operating with the necessary permissions from the Ottoman Empire.67 The Ottoman Bank continued to operate until 1863, when the Imperial Ottoman Bank was established. The newly established bank had a dual character in that it was both a national and a commercial bank. In 1875 it gained a multi-national capital structure by merging with the Austria-Ottoman Bank. It became one of the biggest commercial banks by expanding its network of branches within the boundaries of the Ottoman Empire, but the number of branches within Istanbul were limited to two: Pera and Istanbul. The Imperial Ottoman Bank, which transitioned from the Ottoman to the Republican era, has become an institution identified with the final period of Ottoman financial history.68

After the Imperial Ottoman Bank began operating in Istanbul, the number of new banks gradually increased. Some of the banks operating in Istanbul were branches of banks with foreign capital, and some banks were founded by a consortium of Galata bankers or in partnership with the Imperial Ottoman Bank. The increase in the number of banks, whose main purpose was to grant high-interest loans to the state, was largely due to the financial predicament in which the Sublime Porte had found itself.

From examining the dates that some banks came into operation, it is apparent that this trend intensified between 1870 and 1873. Some of the foreign banks were formed with the intent of financing international trade activities. These banks focused on agricultural and mining activities in order to provide raw materials to western European countries and to improve trade relationships between their countries of origin and the Ottoman Empire. Banks with foreign capital that could be considered a third group were those that financed the investors of western Europe in the countries in which they invested and also opened the markets of these countries to merchandise from the investor’s home country. A number of banks operated in Istanbul for the aforementioned purposes until the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.

27- A kaime dated 1878 (Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality City Museum)

Most of the banks established to benefit from the financial situation were liquidated in 1875 because they lost their initial purpose when the government suspended its foreign debt payments, while the banks operating within the scope of trade and investment relationships worked as long as they served that purpose. On the other hand, we have little information regarding activities of the following banks and branches in Istanbul: Osmanlı İmparatorluğu Umum Şirketi (1864), Osmanlı İtibar-ı Umumî Banka (1868), Istanbul Sandığı (1869), Austria-Ottoman Bank (1871), Austria-Turkish Bank (1872), Istanbul Bank (1872), Russian-Ottoman Bank (1872), Osmanlı Kambiyo ve Esham Şirketi (1872), Sanayi ve Ticaret Şirketi (1873), Amerika-Doğu Bank (1873), Finans ve Nafia Bank (1873), Simsarlık Bank (1873), İtibar-ı Sanayi Doğu Bank (1873), Ziraat ve Sanayi Bank (1873), Kredi ve Komisyon Şirketi (1873), Verissi ve Cossudi Bank (1873), Pignatelli Bank (1873), Ralli Nomico and Partners (1873), Istanbul Arap Sandığı (1873), Credit Lyonnais (1875), Selanik Bank (1888), Midilli Bank (1891), Atina Bank (1904), Wiener Bank-Verein (1905), Deutsche-Orient Bank (1906), Deutsche Bank (1909), Türkiye Millî Bank (1909), İtibar-ı Mali Osmanlı Anonim Şirketi (1910), Türkiye Ticaret ve Sanayi Bank (1910), Osmanlı Ticaret Bank (1911), Banco di Roma (1911), Şirket-i Ticariye, Sınaiye ve Maliye (1913), Emval-i Gayr-i Menkule ve İkrazat Bank Osmanlı Anonim Şirketi (1915), Türkiye Umumî Bank (1918), Banco Commerciale Italiana (1919), Marmaroş Bank (1919), Holantse Bank Uni. N.V. (1921), Ticaret ve Sanayi Türkiye ve İran Bank Anonim Şirketi (1921), Banque Française Des Pays Orient (1922), Guarantee Trust Co. of NY (1922), American Express Co. Inc. (1922), Commercial Bank of Near East (1922), Ionian Bank Limited (1922), and Dersaadet Küçük İkrazat Sandığı T.A.Ş. (1923).69

With the exception of banks established by the Galata bankers, the Ottoman banking system, dating from the first established banks, was a market almost completely dominated by banks with foreign capital. Until the Second Constitutional Era there were very few locally funded banks that might pose an exception. The most important of these was Ziraat Bank, which was established in Istanbul in 1888 through the reorganization of homeland funds (agricultural cooperatives) started by Midhat Pasha in 1863 for the purpose of providing low-interest loans to farmers.70 This bank, passed down from the Ottoman Empire to the Republic, has served the agriculture sector with its extensive branch network. Upon the occupation of Istanbul and the beginning of the War of Independence, the branches in Anatolia were attached to the general directorate established in Ankara in 1920. After the war, the bank was converted to a joint-stock company in accordance with legal amendments made in 1924, with its headquarters in Ankara.71

28- The schema of the building of Istanbul Office of Taxes and its storehouses (Istanbul University, Rare Books and Special Collections Library, Maps Section)

Another initiative of Midhat Pasha was the Security Fund established in Istanbul in 1868 to gather the savings of the public in order to finance craftsmen and tradesmen and to encourage the public to save. The fund, like Ziraat Bank, was passed on to the Republican era.72 The national economic movement, that was adopted when the Party of Union and Progress came to power, also had a profound effect on the banking sector. However, a significant number of banks established in this period were local banks in Anatolia.

As mentioned before, the most important bank established in Istanbul during that period was the Ottoman Bank of National Trust (Osmanlı İtibar-ı Millî Bankası), which was established to replace the Imperial Ottoman Bank. Other banks established in Istanbul with domestic capital include Istanbul Bank (1911), Emlak ve İkrazat Bank Osmanlı A.Ş. (1914), Asya Bank Anonim Şirket-i Osmaniyesi (1914), Ticaret ve İtibar-ı Umumî Bank (1917), Millî İktisat Bank (1918), İktisat Anonim Şirketi (1918), and İtibar ve Ticaret Osmanlı A.Ş. (1918).73


It is unclear when a market in the form of a stock exchange market was formed during the Ottoman period, but the years 1864, 1865, and 1866 were mentioned in connection with the founding of the Galata Stock Exchange. From the fact that Antoine Ducci, who described himself as the director of the Galata Stock Exchange, stated in his petition dated 1846 that he finally achieved his goal after struggling for twelve years to have the stock exchange opened, it can be inferred that beginning from 1834 an organized market between merchants and bankers was within reach. Starting as a gathering of some merchants at a coffee house in Galata, the stock exchange later moved to a wooden house, and then, on July 1, 1852, to a building designed by André Manzin, an Italian architect of Dalmatian origin.74

In the case of a market where stocks were sold and bought, to find traces of it one must search in company stocks and bonds with the instruments of the Ottoman Empire’s domestic borrowing. In this context, the existence of a stock exchange market before 1840 is out of the question since the transfer of shares issued for the purpose of domestic borrowing between individuals was subject to exceptional conditions.75 However, complaints regarding the selling and buying of shares among individuals can again be interpreted as the first sign of the movement toward such a market.

Because of their issue as transferable shares, kaime banknotes, which were first issued for the financing of Tanzimat reforms in 1840 and as a continuation of the share system, can be described as an instrument of domestic borrowing created to buy and sell on the market. At the same time, the existence of a short-term market for kaime was not seen, however it was known that kaime prices were fluctuating due to its uncontrolled issue.76 The fact that the government’s domestic borrowing instruments became commodities on the market resulted mostly from the domestic borrowing bonds issued because of the Crimean War. Debt securities with different names, terms and interest rates issued for war financing started to be sold and bought in places called “walking stock exchanges” in Istanbul. While it was known that complaints related to this began to intensify after the Crimean War, no official regulations were put into effect and attempts to prevent such activities were done through forceful measures. The duration of the Istanbul market, which continued from the Crimean War to early 1862, was a period when speculation began to accelerate as it withdrew from government control. The period that escalated with the government’s renewal of the domestic borrowing securities issued during the war and its difficulty in paying debts to the Galata merchants and bankers led to two crises in 1861. As mentioned earlier, the government intervened in the crisis, closing the places where financial transactions were carried out and arresting the people who caused the disorder.77

Works carried out after the crisis became an important turning point in formalizing the Galata Stock Exchange. Although work was done to draft a 102-article set of stock market regulations in accordance with European examples, it was not put into effect. The Sublime Porte ensured the expansion of the transaction volume of the Galata Stock Exchange by converting variously named domestic borrowing instruments to a new domestic borrowing bond called “general shares,” in order to modernize the existing domestic debt system.

However, without government control and any official rules, the Galata Stock Exchange became a market centered in the Havyar Han, where speculation on general shares was done. Even though the steamship company Şirket-i Hayriye was established as the first incorporated company in the early 1850s, companies did not contribute much to the development of the Galata Stock Exchange during that period, leaving a limited number of established companies. Beginning in 1866, the speculative flow continued until 1873 and, as the crisis that erupted in the Vienna Stock Exchange spread throughout the world, the Galata Stock Exchange became a market where bankruptcies and suicides were commonplace.

As in the aftermath of the 1861 crisis, regulation of the Galata Stock Exchange again came into question. A commission made up of the government, bureaucrats, reputable banks, and bankers who were concerned about events taking place in the stock market was activated in 1873 by the Regulation on Stock Exchange of Debenture Bonds and Shares (Dersaâdet Eshâm ve Tahvîlât Borsası Nizamnâmesi). With this regulation, the stock market became an institution whose rules were determined and controlled by the state. A leaflet regarding operations of the stock market by Abidin Bey (Pasha), the first commissioner appointed by the government to the Dersaadet Stock Exchange, shed significant light on the stock market of the period.78

29- The front of 1 Kuruş kaime (Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality City Museum)

30- The front of 100 kuruş kaime (Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality City Museum)

31- A 20 kuruş kaime (Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality City Museum)

32- Kaime (Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality City Museum)

Even though the Dersaadet Stock Exchange received official regulation in 1873, it failed to achieve a stable structure. In particular, the crisis of this period that erupted in Vienna and spread throughout the world, had a profound impact on the Ottoman Empire. Finding itself in serious trouble from public finance and from providing its financing needs mostly from international financial markets, the Ottoman Empire reached a point where it could not provide financing because of the crisis in these markets, and thus it suspended its debt payments entirely in 1875. This decision caused serious fluctuations in the Dersaadet Stock Exchange as well as in international financial markets.79

When the 1877-78 Ottoman-Russian War broke out after the suspension of debt payments, the Ottoman Empire, which had no chance of borrowing from foreign markets, was prompted to issue again the interest-free kaimes. The issue of kaimes further worsened the existing chaos in the money market. Consequently, starting from the 1873 crisis to the early 1880s, when the kaimes that were issued due to the Russian War were withdrawn from the market, the Dersaadet Stock Exchange was completely transformed into an area of speculation. Money changers and bankers in Istanbul inflicted serious damage on both the public and the Ottoman treasury by using domestic and foreign debt bonds, kaimes and subsidiary coins, by taking advantage of the inadequate supervision and control of the state over the market and turning the Dersaadet Stock Exchange into a total gambling space. In 1873 the government made changes to regulate the stock market in order to prevent the chaos in the money market and to ensure stability in kaime prices, but was not able to put them into effect. Kaimes continued to be speculated on until they were taken out of circulation.80

Speculations of debt bonds came to an end, firstly on account of the Six Taxes Administration, which was established by the Galata bankers in 1879 in order to collect their own debts, and secondly, due to the 1881 opening of the Public Debt Administration through the cooperation of European creditors and the Ottoman Empire. When the Public Debt Administration started to pay the borrowing interest regularly as per conditions determined in accordance with the Decree of Muharram (issued during the Hijri month of Muharram) and provided new loans from European markets with more favorable interest rates, speculations of Galata bankers were mostly eliminated. In the following period, the Dersaadet Stock Exchange’s new area of speculation was on publicly-traded joint-stock company stocks which had been increasing in number.

Shares of companies established by the Imperial Ottoman Bank, the Galata bankers, and foreign capital were publicly traded in the Dersaadet Stock Exchange.81 Thus, the significance of companies that had contributed little to the Dersaadet Stock Exchange increased in the Tanzimat period. During the reign of Abdulhamid II (1876-1908), the most important share speculation in the Dersaadet Stock Exchange was related to the Transvaal (South Africa) Gold Company of Sir Edgar Vincent, the manager of the Imperial Ottoman Bank. In 1895, as a result of this speculation, a great number of shareholders, the Imperial Ottoman Bank in particular, suffered tremendous losses. Shortly after this incident, the raids on the Imperial Ottoman Bank in 1896 by Armenian revolutionaries caused a decline in prices of publicly traded stocks and bonds on the stock exchange. Thereupon, the Imperial Ottoman Bank stopped giving credit for securities transactions, causing the stock market to shut down for four months.82After the depression, transactions went back to normal on the Dersaadet Stock Exchange. When the Regulation on Stock Exchange, issued in 1873, was unable to meet the needs of the day, the Stocks and Bonds Stock Market Regulation were put into effect between 1906 and 1908.83

In 1870 the stock exchange moved from Havyar Han to Komisyon Han, and in 1913 after that building collapsed, to Mehmet Ali Pasha Han. Shortly after the move, the start of World War I led to the suspension of the Dersaadet Stock Exchange’s activities. Although the stock exchange was officially suspended, stock exchange transactions continued unofficially. Social venues in Galata and Beyoğlu hosted stock exchange transactions. For instance, Kanun-i Esasi Coffee House was one of the stockbrokers’ most frequented places.84 Due to the inconvenience of this situation, the Union and Progress government made possible the reopening of the stock market and moved it to the building where the headquarters of Hrisovloni Bank were located on Mertabani Street in Galata.

With the reopening of the stock market, and under the influence of the national economy movement, a great number of locally funded companies were founded and started to be publicly traded on the stock market. The Dersaadet Stock Exchange in 1921 moved to the newly rebuilt Komisyon Han, and in 1923 new stock market regulations were made. In 1926, it moved to Vakıf Han in Sirkeci as the Republic succeeded the Ottoman Empire.85


33- Coins minted in Istanbul during the period of Sultan Mehmed Vahidettin VI (Istanbul Archeology Museum, Coins Section)

34- 1 Lira banknotes from the period of Sultan Mehmed V (Mehmed Reşad) (BOA)

There is limited information on when insurance activities began in the Ottoman Empire. However, there is a consensus that the insurance business started with maritime insurance in Ottoman port cities. In parallel to developments in the insurance field in Europe, it is likely that insurance transactions began to be in use among foreign merchants in Istanbul who were engaged in foreign trade. Based on available information, the first engagement of the Ottoman Empire in an insurance transaction was in 1833, due to the problem of Egypt, where the empire was at war. In order to insure the barley, wheat, and hard biscuits to be shipped by sea, Minister of Provisions Hacı Veli Ağa made a shipping agreement with a French merchant named Balzac, who would perform the transport, and an insurance policy was drawn up against maritime accidents and seizure of the ship.86

Beginning with the first quarter of the nineteenth century, the Ottoman foreign trade volume grew rapidly during the century and the closed structure of the previous centuries’ Ottoman economy began to change into an outward-oriented economy. The number of agencies and representation offices of insurance companies also increased in port cities, especially in Istanbul, which was revitalized with the foreign expansion. Naturally, Istanbul was the leader in this development. Neos Triton (1848), Hocabey Insurance Company (1849), and Trieste Insurance Company (1853) were the first companies to operate in Istanbul.87 The main insurance activity of these companies was marine shipping insurance.

After the Great Beyoğlu Fire in 1870, there was a significant growth in fire insurance. Life insurance had emerged in the 1890s.88 All these developments led to the uncontrolled growth of the insurance industry. A great number of foreign insurance companies started to operate in Istanbul, both under the protection of capitulations and with inadequate regulations on the insurance market.

For instance, according to the findings of Samsun mayor Yorgaki Efendi, who drew up a bill in 1887 for the purpose of removing irregularities from the insurance sector and taking control of the industry, there were thirty-six insurance companies operating without any license from the government.89 This number increased even more toward the end of the century.90 The Ottoman Public Insurance Company, which was established in Istanbul with foreign capital in 1892, was an exception to this tendency.91

It has been claimed that Muslims distanced themselves from this industry because the ulema of that period did not regard insurance transactions as permissible. However, it is said that after the Great Beyoğlu Fire, a fatwa that fire insurance was permissible was received from the Sheikh al-Islam. But a copy of this fatwa does not exist. In 1911 a fatwa was received that said life insurance would be allowed if the insurance company’s headquarters were located in a non-Islamic country and if the insurance fee was paid voluntarily. These conditions led to the situation in which insurance companies were operated completely by foreigners and the majority of the insured were foreigners and non-Muslims.92

Even though from 1887 on, the government wanted to regulate the insurance industry, which was operated entirely by foreign insurance companies, this intention could not be realized until 1914 due to the embassies’ insistence asserting permanent capitulations. The industry was regulated by the Provisional Law on Companies Divided into Foreign Joint-Stock and Explicit Shares and Foreign Insurance Companies (Ecnebi Anonim ve Sermayesi Eshama Münkasım Şirketler ile Ecnebi Sigorta Şirketleri hakkında Kanun-ı Muvakkat), which was drawn up during the period of the Union and Progress government. Within the framework of the national economy movement, a similar development was promoted in the insurance sector that was parallel to nationalization of the banking sector, but the insurance sector continued to be under the control of foreign capital.

Istanbul-based insurance companies in partnership with foreign capital began to be established during this period. However, the only change was the appearance of the word “national” (millî) in company names. İhtiyat-ı Millî Hayat Sigorta Osmanlı A.Ş. (1912), Merakib-i Sagire-i Bahriye-i Osmaniye Sigorta Şirketi (1913), Millî Sigorta Anonim Şirketi Umumiyesi (1914), Türkiye Millî Sigorta Şirketi (1917), İttihad-ı Millî Osmanlı Sigorta Şirketi (1918), Osmanlı Millî Umum Şirketi (1918), Istanbul Umum Sigorta Şirketi (1920), and Şark Sigorta (1923) were the insurance companies established in Istanbul during the national economy period. Only Istanbul Umum Sigorta Şirketi had national capital. It was established when Osmanlı Sigorta Şirketi Umumiyesi (Ottoman Public Insurance Company), that was established in 1892, was purchased by İtibar-ı Millî Bank in 1917 and converted to Osmanlı Millî Umum Şirketi (Ottoman National Public Company). The name of the company was changed to Istanbul Umum Sigorta Şirketi in 1920.93

When the 1920s are examined, it appears that the newly-established Republic of Turkey took over the insurance sector, just as foreigners had dominated it during the Ottoman Empire.94


1 Y. Cassis and P. L. Cottrell, “Financial History,” Financial History Review, vol. 1 (1994), pp. 5-22.

2 Friedrich A. Hayek, Denationalisation of Money: The Argument Refined, (London: Institute of Economic Affairs, 1990), pp. 28-29.

3 Fernand Braudel, Civizilation & Capitalism 15th-18th Century: The Structures of Everyday Life, the Limits of Possible, tr. Sian Reynolds (New York: Harper & Row, 1981) vol: 1, pp. 436, 471.

4 Halil Sahillioğlu, “Osmanlı Para Tarihinde Dünya Para ve Maden Hareketlerinin Yeri (1300-1700),” ODTÜ Gelişme Dergisi (1978), pp. 2-19; Şevket Pamuk, Osmanlı İmparatorluğu’nda Paranın Tarihi (Istanbul: Tarih Vakfı Yurt Yayınları, 1999), 22.

5 Carlo Cipolla, Akdeniz Dünyasında Para, Fiyatlar ve Medeniyet, tr. Ali İhsan Karacan (Istanbul: Bağlam Yayınları, 1993), 13-19; Braudel, Civizilation & Capitalism, pp. 457-64.

6 Halil Sahillioğlu, “Kuruluştan XVII. Asrın Sonlarına Kadar Osmanlı Para Tarihi Üzerine Bir Deneme” (Ph.D. dissertation, Istanbul University, 1958), 226-30; Halil Sahillioğlu, “Bir Asırlık Osmanlı Para Tarihi, 1640-1740” (assoc. prof. thesis, Istanbul University, 1965), pp. 123-30; Pamuk, Paranın Tarihi, 210-17.

7 Pamuk, Paranın Tarihi, 51-54, 68.

8 Halil Sahillioğlu, “Bakır Para Üzerine Bir Enflasyon Denemesi (H.1099-1103/1687-1691),” Türk Numizmatik Derneği Bülten, vol.10 (1982), pp.11-25.

9 Sahillioğlu, Bir Asırlık Osmanlı Para Tarihi, 102-4; Pamuk, Paranın Tarihi, 156-61.

10 Pamuk, Paranın Tarihi, 210-17; Haydar Kazgan, “2. Sultan Mahmut Devrinde Enflasyon ve Darphane Amiri Kazaz Artin,” Toplum ve Bilim, vol. 11 (1980), pp. 120-5.

11 Hüseyin Al, “Küçük Kârlar Peşinde: Kalpazanlar ve Devlet,” Active Bankacılık ve Finans Dergisi, 70 (2011), pp. 10-15; Şevket Pamuk, “In the Absence of Domestic Currency: Debased European Coinage in the Seventeenth-Century Ottoman Empire,” The Journal of Economic History, vol. 57 (1997): 2, pp. 354-62; Carlo Cipolla, Neşeli Öyküler, tr. Tülin Altınova (Istanbul: Türkiye Ekonomik ve Toplumsal Tarih Vakfı, 2000), 26-31.

12 Şevket Kâmil Akar, Hüseyin Al and Kaya Bayraktar, Osmanlı Finans Sisteminde Çağdaşlaşma: Para, Banka ve Borsa Alanında Gelişmeler (1840-1875) (Istanbul: TÜBİTAK Proje no. 108K571, 2012), 269-72, 287.

13 Ali Akyıldız, Para Pul Oldu: Osmanlı’da Kâğıt Para, Maliye ve Toplum (Istanbul: İletişim, 2003), pp. 41-54, 64-73; Roderic H. Davison, “The First Ottoman Experiment with Paper Money,” Türkiye’nin Sosyal ve Ekonomik Tarihi (1071-1920), ed. Halil İnalcık and Osman Okyar (Ankara: Meteksan Limited, 1980), pp. 243-51; Yavuz Cezar, Osmanlı Maliyesinde Bunalım ve Değişim Dönemi (XVIII. yy.dan Tanzimat’a Malî Tarih) (Istanbul: Alan Yayıncılık, 1986), p. 298; Mehmet Genç, Osmanlı İmparatorluğunda Devlet ve Ekonomi (Istanbul: Ötüken Neşriyat, 2000), p. 194.

14 Akar, Al and Bayraktar, Osmanlı Finans Sisteminde Çağdaşlaşma, p. 379; Akyıldız, Para Pul Oldu, pp. 135-37.

15 Hüseyin Al and Şevket Kamil Akar, “Osmanlı Maliyesinde Kısır Döngü ve 1861 Ticarî Krizi,” Türk Kültürü İncelemeleri Dergisi, vol. 18 (2008), pp. 67-72.

16 Hüseyin Al and Şevket Kamil Akar, “Söylentinin Gücü: Istanbul’da Büyük Panik ve 1861 Finansal Krizi,” Tarih ve Toplum Yeni Yaklaşımlar, vol. 7 (2008), pp. 39-57.

17 Kaya Bayraktar, “Osmanlı Bankasının Merkez Bankası Fonksiyonu (1863-1875)”, Ekonomi Bilimleri Dergisi, vol. 3 (2011):1, pp. 93-94;

18 Hüseyin Al, “Tanzimat Döneminde Ufaklık Para Sorunu (1839-1879),” Ekonomi Bilimleri Dergisi, vol. 3 (2011), pp. 74-76; Akyıldız, Para Pul Oldu, 256-74, 287-94.

19 Akar, Al and Bayraktar, Osmanlı Finans Sisteminde Çağdaşlaşma, pp. 378-79; Hazım Atıf Kuyucak, Para ve Banka (Istanbul: Milli Eğitim Bakanlığı, 1939), vol. 1, p.162.

20 Akar, Al and Bayraktar, Osmanlı Finans Sisteminde Çağdaşlaşma, pp. 378-79; Pamuk, Paranın Tarihi, pp. 235-36.

21 Akyıldız, Para Pul Oldu, pp. 308-29, 365-407.

22 Sahillioğlu, “Osmanlı Para Tarihi,” pp. 241-248.

23 Akar, Al and Bayraktar, Osmanlı Finans Sisteminde Çağdaşlaşma, pp. 261-62.

24 Bülent Kulüp, “19. Yüzyılın İlk Yarısında Darphane-i Âmire ile İlgili Düzenlemeler (120, 143 ve 165 Nolu Darphane Defterleri)” (MA thesis, Istanbul University, 2010), 11-13; Sahillioğlu, “Osmanlı Para Tarihi,” pp. 249-51; Ömerül Faruk Bölükbaşı, “XVIII. Yüzyılın İkinci Yarısında Darphâne-i Amire” (PhD diss., Marmara Üniversitesi, 2010), 35-69.

25 Necdet Sakaoğlu, “Darphane,” Istanbul Ansiklopedisi (Istanbul: NTV Yayınları, 2010), pp. 327-28; Vural Sözer, “Madenî Para Fabrikası: Darphane’nin Tarihi,” Hayat Tarih Mecmuası. Vol. 1 (1968):6, pp 25; Cezar, Osmanlı Maliyesinde Bunalım, pp. 98-99, 237-39, 262-64, 290-91.

26 Abraham L. Udovitch, “Bankers without Banks: Commerce, Banking, and Society in the Islamic World of the Middle Ages,” The Dawn of Modern Banking (New Haven: Yale University Press,  1979), pp. 255-73.

27 These are waqfs or money foundations that provide loans for various activities or to people in need. These foundations were financed by local residents.

28 Tahsin Özcan, Osmanlı Para Vakıfları Kanuni Dönemi Üsküdar Örneği (Ankara: Türk Tarih Kurumu, 2003), pp. 10-15, 79-87.

29 Süleyman Kaya, “XVIII. Yüzyıl Osmanlı Toplumunda Kredi” (MA thesis, Marmara University, 2003), 83-92.

30 Reinhold C. Mueller, The Venetian Money Market: Banks, Panics and the Public Debt, 1200-1500 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997), pp. 84-87, 211-12.

31 Zafer Toprak, “Osmanlı Devleti’nde Para ve Bankacılık”, TCTA, vol. 3, p. 760.

32 Haydar Kazgan, Galata Bankerleri (Istanbul: Türk Ekonomi Bankası, 1991), pp. 2-3.

33 Araks Şahiner, “The Sarrafs of Istanbul: Financiers of the Empire,” (MA thesis, Boğaziçi University, 1995), pp. 47-55, 84; Ali Akyıldız, “Sarraflık,” DİA, vol. 36, pp. 163-64.

34 Al and Akar, “Söylentinin Gücü,” 39-57; Şevket Kamil Akar, “Tanzimat Döneminde Para Bozdurma Sorunu and Köşe Sarrafları (1839-1879),” Ekonomi Bilimleri Dergisi, vol. 3 (2011):1, pp. 125-31.

35 Akar, “Köşe Sarrafları”, pp. 125-131; Akyıldız, Para Pul Oldu, pp. 295-301.

36 Akyıldız, “Sarraflık,”,165.

37 Dersaadet/Istanbul Ticaret ve Sanayi Odası’nda Kayıtlı Olan Banker, Tüccar ve Komisyoncuların İsimleri (1923), Prep. Zekeriya Kurşun (Istanbul: İstanbul Ticaret Odası Yayınları, 2008), pp. 5, 34, 94,100.

38 The title used for the head of an artisan guild, who was subordinate to the Sheikhs.

39 Kulüp, “Darphane-i Âmire,” pp. 45-49; Şahiner, “The Sarrafs of Istanbul,” pp. 71-73.

40 Kaya, “Osmanlı Toplumunda Kredi,” pp. 45-46, 55-73.

41 Haris Exertzoglou, “Greek Banking in Constantinople, 1850-1881” (PhD thesis, London University, 1986), pp. 98-101, 116-20.

42 Yavuz Cezar, “The Role of Sarrafs in Ottoman Finance and Economy in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries,” Frontiers of Ottoman Studies: State, Province and the West, ed. Colin Imber and Keiko Kiyotaki (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2005), vol. 1, p. 62.

43 Şahiner, “The Sarrafs of Istanbul,” p. 78.

44 Cezar, “The Role of Sarrafs,” p. 62.

45 Halil Köse, “140 Numaralı Darphane Defterine Göre (H.1251-1260/M.1836-1845) Osmanlı Devleti’nde Sarraflar” (MA thesis, Istanbul University, 2010), pp. 18-26.

46 Kulüp, “Darphane-i Âmire,” p. 49; Köse, “Osmanlı Devleti’nde Sarraflar,” p. 29-33; Şahiner, “The Sarrafs of Istanbul,” pp. 61-67.

47 Kurt Grunwald and Joachim D. Ronall, “Galata Bankerleri,” tr. Haydar Kazgan, Istanbul Üniversitesi İşletme Fakültesi Dergisi, vol. 6/1 (1977), pp. 17-31; Kazgan, Galata Bankerleri, pp. 2-4.

48 Akar, Al and Bayraktar, Osmanlı Finans Sisteminde Çağdaşlaşma, pp. 73-74.

49 Hüseyin Al, Osmanlı Devleti’nde Kambiyo İstikrarı Uygulaması (1839-1863), Ankara: Birleşik Yayınevi, 2011, pp. 17, 32; Eduard Dellenbusch, Mercantil-Memoiren aus der Türkei: Geschrieben mit besonderer Beziehung für Deutschland, Düsseldorf: Chreiner, 1841, pp. 62-64.

50 Akyıldız, Para Pul Oldu, pp. 41-54; Cezar, Osmanlı Maliyesinde Bunalım, pp. 135-36, 297-98.

51 Akyıldız, Para Pul Oldu, pp. 73-81; Hüseyin Al and Şevket Kamil Akar, “Dersaadet Bank’nın Tasfiyesi ve 1852 Borçlanması,” Tarih ve Toplum Yeni Yaklaşımlar, vol. 4 (2006): 188-195; Nursel Manav, “Devlet-Banker İlişkileri Çerçevesinde Baltazzi Ailesi,” (MA thesis, Marmara University, 2009), 37-55; Murat Hulkiender, Bir Galata Bankerinin Portresi: George Zarifi (1806-1884), Istanbul: Osmanlı Bankası Arşiv ve Araştırma Merkezi, 2003, pp. 5-10, 22-39.

52 Al and Akar, “1861 Ticarî Krizi,” pp. 67-72.

53 Al and Akar, “Söylentinin Gücü,” pp. 39-57.

54 Akar, Al and Bayraktar, Osmanlı Finans Sisteminde Çağdaşlaşma, pp. 419-426; Akar, “Köşe Sarrafları,” pp. 125-31; Akyıldız, Para Pul Oldu, pp. 295-301; Hulkiender, George Zarifi, pp. 55-69, 94-116; Manav, “Baltazzi Ailesi,” pp. 117-51, 179-90.

55 Al, Kambiyo İstikrarı, pp. 30-40, 49-56; Akyıldız, Para Pul Oldu, pp. 104-8.

56 Christopher Clay, Gold for Sultan: Western Bankers and Ottoman Finance, 1856-1881 (New York: I.B. Tauris Publishers, 2000), pp. 101-7, 179-93, 204-13, 279-97; Exertzoglou, “Greek Banking,” pp. 164-77, 194-229; Hulkiender, George Zarifi, pp. 59-69, 116-25; Manav, “Baltazzi Ailesi,” pp. 161-79, 203-5; Kazgan, Galata Bankerleri, pp. 121-25.

57 Hulkiender, George Zarifi, pp. 69-81; Manav, “Baltazzi Ailesi,” pp. 87-96, 191-202; Haydar Kazgan, Tarih Boyunca İstanbul Borsası, Istanbul: İstanbul Menkul Kıymetler Borsası, 1995, pp. 94-100.

58 Dersaadet Ticaret Odası, pp. 3-6, 9, 51, 66, 72, 76, 81, 84, 87, 93, 99.

59 Akar, Al and Bayraktar, Osmanlı Finans Sisteminde Çağdaşlaşma, pp. 73-74.

60 Clay, Gold for Sultan, p. 15; F.S. Rodkey, “Lord Palmerston and the Rejuvenation of Turkey, 1830-1841, Part II, 1839-1841,”,Journal of Modern History, vol. 2/1 (1930), p. 220.

61 Akar, Al and Bayraktar, Osmanlı Finans Sisteminde Çağdaşlaşma, 78-87.

62 Akar, Al and Bayraktar, Osmanlı Finans Sisteminde Çağdaşlaşma, pp. 87-107.

63 Akar, Al and Bayraktar, Osmanlı Finans Sisteminde Çağdaşlaşma, pp. 113-157; Clay, Gold for Sultan, pp. 25-59; Edhem Eldem, Osmanlı Bankası Tarihi, tr. Ayşe Berktay, Istanbul: Osmanlı Bankası, 1999, pp. 59-82.

64 Akar, Al and Bayraktar, Osmanlı Finans Sisteminde Çağdaşlaşma, pp. 158-97; Clay, Gold for Sultan, pp. 60-73, 261-78; Eldem, Osmanlı Bankası Tarihi, pp. 82-88, 125-32.

65 Zafer Toprak, Türkiye’de Millî İktisat (1908-1918), (Ankara: Yurt Yayınevi, 1982), pp. 130-48; Funda Erkal et al., Türkiye İş Bank Tarihi, Istanbul: Türkiye İş Bankası Kültür Yayınları, 2001, pp. 54-56.

66 Toprak, “Para ve Bankacılık,”, 761.

67 Cavide Işıksal, “Türkiye’de İlk Bankacılık Hareketi ve Ottoman Bank’nın Kurulması,” BTDD, vol. 10 (1968), pp. 72-73; Eldem, Ottoman Bank, pp. 29-53.

68 Clay, Gold for Sultan, pp. 240-47; Eldem, Ottoman Bank, pp. 500-502; Jacques Thobie, “Ottoman Bank,” TCTA, vol. 3, pp. 775-81.

69 Clay, Gold for Sultan, pp. 101-107, 179-93, 204-13; Exertzoglou, “Greek Banking,” pp. 164-77; A. Gündüz Ökçün, İktisat Tarihi Yazıları (Ankara: SPK Yayınları, 1997), pp. 221-23.

70 Seçil Akgün, “Mithat Paşa’nın Kurduğu Memleket Sandıkları: Ziraat Bank’nın Kökeni,” Uluslararası Mithat Paşa Semineri, Ankara: Türk Tarih Kurumu Yayınları, 1986, pp. 189-91; Tevfik Güran, “Osmanlı İmparatorluğu’nda Zirai Kredi Politikasının Gelişimi 1840-1910,” Uluslararası Mithat Paşa Semineri (Ankara: Türk Tarih Kurumu Yayınları, 1986), pp. 119-25; Yusuf Saim Atasagun, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Ziraat Bank, 1888-1938 (Istanbul Kenan Basımevi, 1939), pp. 1-21.

71 Atasagun, Ziraat Bank, 31-34.

72 Burhan Ulutan, Bankacılığın Tekâmülü, (Ankara: Doğuş Matbaası, 1957), pp. 164-167.

73 Ökçün, İktisat Tarihi Yazıları, pp. 223-226.

74 Akar, Al and Bayraktar, Osmanlı Finans Sisteminde Çağdaşlaşma, p. 395; Nur Akın, 19. Yüzyılın İkinci Yarısında Galata ve Pera (Istanbul: Literatür Yayıncılık, 2002), p. 228.

75 Genç, Osmanlı İmparatorluğunda Devlet ve Ekonomi, pp. 186-95.

76 Akyıldız, Para Pul Oldu, pp. 35-36, 41-81.

77 Akar, Al and Bayraktar, Osmanlı Finans Sisteminde Çağdaşlaşma, pp. 397-404.

78 Akar, Al and Bayraktar, Osmanlı Finans Sisteminde Çağdaşlaşma, pp. 405-32; Celali Yılmaz, Hava Oyunları Osmanlı Borsasında Finansal İşlemler (Istanbul: Scala Yayıncılık, 2011), pp. 39-138.

79 Hüseyin Al, Uluslararası Sermaye ve Osmanlı Maliyesi, 1820-1875 (Istanbul: Osmanlı Bankası Arşiv ve Araştırma Merkezi, 2007), pp. 39-42.

80 Akyıldız, Para Pul Oldu, pp. 295-301.

81 Kazgan, Istanbul Stock Exchange, pp. 94-95; Jacques Thobie, “Osmanlı Devleti’nde Yabancı Sermaye,” TCTA, vol. 3, pp. 733-39; Thobie, “Ottoman Bank”, pp. 780-781.

82 R. P. T. Davenport-Hines and Jean-Jacques Van Helten, “Edgar Vincent, Viscount d’Abernon, and the Eastern Investment Company in London, Constantinople and Johannesburg,” Journal of Business History, vol. 28/1 (1986): pp. 41-52.

83 Borsa Rehberi (1928), prep. M. Ragıp Batumlu, 2nd ed. Istanbul: İstanbul Menkul Kıymetler Borsası Yayınları, 1992, p. 18.

84 Kazgan, Istanbul Stock Exchange, p. 102.

85 Borsa Rehberi, p. 19.

86 Fatih Kahya, “Osmanlı Devleti’nde Sigortacılığın Ortaya Çıkması ve Gelişmesi” (MA thesis, Marmara Üniversitesi, 2007), pp. 35-36.

87 Murat Koraltürk and Fatih Kahya, Mal Canın Yongasıdır David M. Kohen Kolleksiyonundan Belgelerle Osmanlı İmparatorluğu’nda Sigortacılık, Istanbul: Osmanlı Bankası Arşiv ve Araştırma Merkezi, 2009, p. 14.

88 H. Cemal Ererdi, Sigortacılığımızın Tarihi, Istanbul: Commercial Union Sigorta A.Ş., 1998, pp. 28-31, 57.

89 Kahya, “Osmanlı Devleti’nde Sigortacılık,” p. 39.

90 Murat Baskıcı, “Osmanlı Anadolu’sunda Sigorta Piyasası, 1860-1918,” SBFD, vol. 57/4 (2005): pp. 9-13.

91 Celali Yılmaz, Osmanlı Anonim Şirketleri, Istanbul: Scala Yayıncılık, 2012, pp. 287-92.

92 Turgut Akpınar, “Tarihte Sigorta ve Yurdumuzda Sigortaya Dair İlk Fetvalar,” TT, vol. 75 (1990), pp. 38-39; Haydar Arseven, “Sigortanın Tarihçesi ve Geri Kalmışlığımızın Sebepleri,” İFM, vol. 43 (1987): pp. 425-29.

93 Ererdi, Sigortacılığımızın Tarihi, pp. 59-85; Yılmaz, Anonim Şirketler, pp. 82-83, 393-395, 414-418.

94 Haydar Kazgan, Alkan Soyak and Murat Koraltürk, Cumhuriyet’in 75 Yıllık Sigortacısı Koç Allianz, Istanbul: Koç Allianz, 1998, pp. 72-78.

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

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