Gaza during the First Half of the Tenth Century (Hegira)/ the First Half of the Sixteenth Century (A. D.) – Its Political Administration, Demography and System of Taxation (?) (Timar)

Noufan R. Al-Swarieh


As a consequence of the Battle of Zul Qa'da, near Gaza city, in 922 A.H./ December. 1516, the city and its surrounding area fell under the domination of the Ottoman Empire. Gaza was subsequently developed during the reign of Sultan Salim I, and his successor, Sultan Sulaiman the Magnificent, reorganized its administration structure. Some historical sources combine Gaza with Jerusalem under a single administrative jurisdiction. Others divide it into two large regions, Gaza and al-Ramla. This study focuses mainly on the city of Gaza. The historical data used here is derived from two censuses: the Tapu Defteri 427 and the Tapu Defteri 131, in which the Ottoman state recorded the characteristics of the populations living in the governorate directly after the departure of the Mameluks. An emphasis on these two sources shows that Gaza enjoyed a favorable location in the Arab region, with a large and prosperous population distributed across many villages sustained by a strong economy dependent upon agriculture and trade. The Ottomans sought to preserve this prosperity and stability by appointing a number of administrative and security staff under the authority of an emir, and the implementation of the Timar system of taxation throughout the region.

الكلمات المفتاحية

Gaza District, Salim the First, Tapu defteri (T.D. 427), Tapu defteri (T.D. 131), Hāna, Timar

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