Administrative Division of Karaman
Abstract: The Province of Karaman was first established in October 1397. It covered the lands of the Beylik of Karamanids. Following the Battle of Ankara (1402), Timur gave the land back to the Karamanids dynasty. The province was re-established between 1468 and 1502. Shehzades, the Ottoman princes, became the governors of the province until 1512. Being one of the secondary degree provinces, Karaman was occasionally governed by the Ottoman viziers. The center of the province was Konya. In 1501, it had following seventeen sub-administrative units (kazas): Konya, Belvîrân, Lârende, Çemen-ili, Akşehir, Ilgun, Seydişehir, Beyşehir, Ereğli, Kayseri, Niğde, Andığı, Ürgüp, Aksaray, Koçhisar, Mut and Gülnar. In 1584, Konya, Kayseri, Niğde, Kırşehir, Aksaray, Akşehir, Beyşehri were constituted the districts (sancaks) of the province. As other regions in Anatolia, the Karaman province had been negatively affected by the Celali Riots at the end of the sixteenth century.
Due to famine and poverty that the region had to face during these decade-long destructive riots, the province lost a significant portion of its population and arable lands. Numerous villages and fields that registered the Ottoman official accounts in the sixteenth century were ruined and many of them were even disappeared. Up until the nineteenth century, a large territory of the province had remained untouched. Decrease in the population had continued up until the mid-seventeenth century. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the province had following districts: Konya, Akşehir, Beyşehir, Niğde, Kayseri, Kırşehir, and Aksaray.
Keywords: Ottoman History, Administrative division of the Ottoman Empire, XV. and XVIII. Centuries, Ottoman provincial government, Province of the Karaman/Karaman Eyalet, Administrative districts and sub-districts of the Ottoman Empire, Historical geography of Anatolia, Inner Anatolia, Ottoman Urban history.
Biography author: Sadık Müfit Bilge was born in Istanbul in 1963. His field of research includes Ottoman politic and economic history, Ottoman administrative history from the fifteenth through the late eighteenth centuries and administrative division of the Empire, Caucasian history from fifteenth through the early nineteenth centuries. His first book "Osmanlı Devleti ve Kafkasya" (The Ottoman Empire and The Caucasus) was published by Eren Yayıncılık in 2005, and his second book "Osmanlı'nın Macaristanı" (Ottoman's Hungary) was published by Kitabevi Yayınları in 2010.
Affiliations: Sadık Müfit Bilge, independent scholar / graduate student, Department of Early Modern History, Afyon Kocatepe University, Afyonkarahisar - Turkey.
Bilge, Sadık Müfit (2011), 'Karaman Eyâleti’nin Tarihî Coğrafyası ve İdarî Taksimatı (XV.-XVIII. Yüzyıllar) [‘Historical Geography and Administrative Division of the Karaman Province (XVth-XVIIIth Centuries)’]', in: International Review of Turkish Studies, Spring 2011, Volume: 1, Issue: 1, pages: 50-66.