The financial administration of an imperial waqf in an age of crisis : a case study of Bayezid II's Waqf in Amasya (1594-1657)
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This study examines the economic development of Bâyezîd II’s waqf in Amasya between 1594-1657 and analyses the effect of the agricultural crisis on the financial administration of the waqf in this period. The study also points to a correlation between the changes in the financial situation of the waqf and the agricultural conditions of the period by the examination of the revenue and expenses of the waqf during the period under review through a detailed analysis of the account books of the waqf. As complementary sources, detailed survey (tahrîr) registers, registers of pious endowments (evkâf defterleri), muhâsebe-icmâl registers, the deeds of foundation (vakfiyye) and the court registers of Amasya (şer’iyye sicilleri) are also employed. The examination and analysis of the sources revealed that the waqf faced a serious financial crisis in the first half of the seventeenth century. It also appears that this crisis was closely related to the unstable economic, politic and social conditions of the period of great Celâlî rebellions and terror as well as to the demographic fluctuations, i.e. decline in and displacement of rural population of Ottoman Anatolia at the turn of the seventeenth century.