Vilayet of Bursa

ولايت خداوندكار
Vilâyet-i Hüdâvendigâr
Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire

Hüdavendigâr Vilayet in 1900
Capital Bursa[1]
 -  Established 1867
 -  Disestablished 1922
 -  Muslim, 1914[2] 474,114 
 -  Greek, 1914[2] 74,927 
 -  Armenian, 1914[2] 60,119 
 -  Jewish, 1914[2]

The Hüdavendigâr Vilayet (Ottoman Turkish: ولايت خداوندكار, Vilâyet-i Hüdavendigâr)[3] or Bursa Vilayet after its administrative centre (Hüdavendigâr being a poetic Ottoman name for Bursa), was one of the provinces of the Ottoman Empire. At the beginning of the 20th century it reportedly had an area of 26,248 square miles (67,980 km2).[4]


As of 1920, the British had described the vilayet as being "one of the most prosperous in Anatolia." The northern and western regions were mainly occupied by Christians. Highlands were populated by Turkish immigrants from Europe. The area near the Sea of Marmara was considered the most fertile area, with a large portion of the vilayet being "marshy and fever-stricken, especially between Bursa and Panderma." The vilayet produced wheat, barley, maize, beans, and seeds in the northern and western regions. Throughout the region, opium, tobacco and cotton was also produced. The area around Lake Iznik produced rice. The Balıkhisar area produced "some of the finest fruit grown in Turkey."[5] Barley is also of large production in the highlands and is exported to England.[5]

Silk production was considered the most valuable of the region during the 20th century. The vilayet had schools devoted to silk production. The region had obtained silkworm seed from France. Brusa was the heart of silk production.[5] The silk is mainly exported, sometimes as thread or cocoons. In the mid 19th-century, a disease spread through the silkworm, causing a decline in production. As of 1920, the disease was eradicated and business was steady. Cotton production remained steady, and towels and robes were common items produced from cotton.[6] Velvet and felt were also produced. Felt was used for saddles and other equestrian related goods. The area also made tanned leather and carpet. The city of Kutahia created tiling and pottery. Soap and flour was also produced in the vilayet.[7]

Lignite was being mined in the area between Kirmasli and Mikhalij. Towards the end of World War 1, the region was exporting approximately 300 tons of lignite monthly to Istanbul.[8] Chromite, mercury, marble, fuller's earth, and antimony were also plentiful in the region in the early 20th century.[9][10][11]

Environmental history

The region was described as having "beautiful forests" in the 1920's, estimating 23,000 square kilometers. The area of Ainegeul was described by the British has having the "richest" timber. Gediz had a large oak population. The vilayet in general had tree populations consisting of fir, oak, elm, chestnut, beech, and hornbeam.[12]

Administrative divisions

Sanjaks of the Vilayet:[13]

  1. Sanjak of Bursa
  2. Sanjak of Ertugrul (Bilecik)
  3. Sanjak of Kütahya; belonged to Hüdavendigar Vilayet from 1876, became an independent Sanjak after the Second Constitutional Era.[14]
  4. Sanjak of Karahisar-i-Sarip (Afyonkarahisar)
  5. Sanjak of Karesi (Balikesir)


External links


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