Romani Studies

Neither Muslims nor Zimmis: The Gypsies (Roma) in the Ottoman State

Romani Studies (2004), 14, (2), 117–144.

Abstract

This study explores the place of the Gypsies (kιptî) in Ottoman society as depicted in the sicil, the records of the şeriat court, of eighteenth-century Salonica. I argue that the Gypsies are the salient example of a Salonican group that was fully segregated from the other segments of local population, at least for administrative purposes. The Ottoman administration’s suspicious attitude toward the Gypsies was expressed in the general disapproval of the nomadic way of life. Drawing on the Balkan Gypsies as an example of a group that was pushed to the margins of Ottoman society, I demonstrate what it meant to be part of such a group and describe the various features and techniques by which the marginal people were relegated to the fringes: stigmatization, segregation, exclusion and punishment. The various strategies and techniques that were adopted by the Gypsies in order to alleviate their position are also examined.

Access Token
£25.00
READ THIS ARTICLE
If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Abdülaziz Bey. 1995. Osmanlι âet, merasim ve tabirleri, 2 vols (new edition). Istanbul: Tarih Vakfι Yurt Yayιnlarι. Osmanlι âet, merasim ve tabirleri, 2 vols (new edition) Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Andrić, Ivo. 1977. The bridge on the Drina. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. The bridge on the Drina Google Scholar

Asséo, Henriette. 2003. Les Tsiganes dans les Balkans. Matériaux pour l'histoire de notre temps (71): 30–8. Les Tsiganes dans les Balkans Matériaux pour l'histoire de notre temps 71 30 8 Google Scholar

Bakhit, Muhammad Adnan. 1982. The Ottoman province of Damascus in the sixteenth century. Beirut: Librairie du Liban. The Ottoman province of Damascus in the sixteenth century Google Scholar

Barany, Zoltan. 2002. The East-European Gypsies: Regime change, marginality and ethnopolitics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. The East-European Gypsies: Regime change, marginality and ethnopolitics Google Scholar

Barkey, Karen. 1994. Bandits and bureaucrats: The Ottoman route to state centralization. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press. Bandits and bureaucrats: The Ottoman route to state centralization Google Scholar

Beldiceanu, N. 1960–4. Les actes des premiers sultans conservés dans les manuscrits turcs de la bibliothèque nationale de Paris. Paris and Le Haye: Mouton. Les actes des premiers sultans conservés dans les manuscrits turcs de la bibliothèque nationale de Paris Google Scholar

Crowe, David M. 1994. A history of the Gypsies of Eastern Europe and Russia. New York: St. Martin's Press. A history of the Gypsies of Eastern Europe and Russia Google Scholar

Crowe, David M. 2000. Muslim Roma in the Balkans. Nationalities Papers 28(1): 93–128. Muslim Roma in the Balkans Nationalities Papers 28 93 128 Google Scholar

Ergene, Boğaç 2003. Local court, provincial society and justice in the Ottoman Empire: Legal practice and dispute resolution in Çankιrι and Kastamonu (1652– 1744). Leiden: Brill. Local court, provincial society and justice in the Ottoman Empire: Legal practice and dispute resolution in Çankιrι and Kastamonu (1652– 1744) Google Scholar

Faroqhi, Suraiya. 1986. Political initiatives 'from the bottom up' in the sixteenth-century Ottoman Empire. In Osmanische studien zur wirtschafts und sozialgeschichte. In memoriam Vanco Boskov. Hans Georg Majer, ed. Pp. 24–33. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Google Scholar

Fraser, Angus. 1992. The Gypsies. Oxford: Blackwell. The Gypsies Google Scholar

Gerber, Haim. 1994. State, society, and law in Islam: Ottoman law in comparative perspectives. Albany: State University of New York Press. State, society, and law in Islam: Ottoman law in comparative perspectives Google Scholar

Germani, Gino. 1980. Marginality. New Brunswick: Transaction Books. Marginality Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Ginio, Eyal. 2002. Migrants and workers in an Ottoman port: Ottoman Salonica in the eighteenth century. In Outside in: On the margins of the modern Middle East. Eugene Rogan, ed. Pp. 126–48. London: I. B. Tauris. Migrants and workers in an Ottoman port: Ottoman Salonica in the eighteenth century. In Outside in: On the margins of the modern Middle East 126 48 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

İnalcιk, Halil. 1973. The Ottoman Empire: The classical age, 1300–1600. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. The Ottoman Empire: The classical age, 1300–1600 Google Scholar

Kiel, Machiel. 1990. Remarks on the administration of the poll tax (cizye) in the Ottoman Balkans and the value of poll tax registers (cizye defterleri) for demographic research. Études Balkaniques 26(4): 70–104. Remarks on the administration of the poll tax (cizye) in the Ottoman Balkans and the value of poll tax registers (cizye defterleri) for demographic research Études Balkaniques 26 26 4 Google Scholar

Koçu, Reşad Ekrem. 2002. Eski İstanbul'da meyhaneler ve meyhane köçekleri. Istanbul: Doğan Kitap. Eski İstanbul'da meyhaneler ve meyhane köçekleri Google Scholar

Kudret, Cevdet. 1968. Karagöz. Ankara: Bilgi Yayιnevi. Karagöz Google Scholar

Lewis, Bernard. 1961. The emergence of modern Turkey. London: Oxford University Press. The emergence of modern Turkey Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Malcolm, Noel. 1996. Bosnia: A short history. London: Papermac. Bosnia: A short history Google Scholar

Marushiakova, Elena, and Vesselin Popov. 1997. Gypsies (Roma) in Bulgaria. Frankfurt: Peter Lang. Gypsies (Roma) in Bulgaria Google Scholar

Marushiakova, Elena, and Vesselin Popov. 2001. Gypsies in the Ottoman Empire: A contribution to the History of the Balkans. Hartfield: Centre de recherches tsiganes and University of Hertfordshire Press. Gypsies in the Ottoman Empire: A contribution to the History of the Balkans Google Scholar

Messing, Gordon M., 1981. Tsinganos and Yiftos: Some speculations on the Greek Gypsies. Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies (7): 155–67. Google Scholar

Moutsopoulos, N. K. 1980. Thessaloniki 1900–17. Thessaloniki: M. Molho Publications. Thessaloniki 1900–17 Google Scholar

Murphey, Rhoads. 1999. Ottoman warfare 1500–1700. London: UCL Press. Ottoman warfare 1500–1700 Google Scholar

Paspati, Alexandre. 1870. Études sur les Tchinghianés ou Bohémiens. Constantinople: Koroméla. Études sur les Tchinghianés ou Bohémiens Google Scholar

Peirce, Leslie. 1997. Seniority, sexuality, and social order: The vocabulary of gender in early modern Ottoman society. In Women in the Ottoman Empire: Middle Eastern women in the early modern Era. Madeline Zilfi, ed. Pp. 169–96. Leiden: Brill. Seniority, sexuality, and social order: The vocabulary of gender in early modern Ottoman society. In Women in the Ottoman Empire: Middle Eastern women in the early modern Era 169 96 Google Scholar

Peirce, Leslie. 2003. Morality tales: Law and gender in the Ottoman court of Aintab. Berkeley: University of California Press. Morality tales: Law and gender in the Ottoman court of Aintab Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

al-Qattan, Najwa. 1996. Textual differentiation in the Damascus Sijill: Religious discrimination or politics of gender? In Women, the family, and divorce laws in Islamic history. Amira El Azhary Sonbol, ed. Pp. 191–201. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press. Google Scholar

Schacht, Joseph. 1964. An introduction to Islamic law. Oxford: Clarendon Press. An introduction to Islamic law Google Scholar

Sciaky, Leon. 1946. Farewell to Salonica. Portrait of an era. New York: French and European Publications. Portrait of an era Farewell to Salonica Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Soulis, George. 1959. A note on the taxation of the Balkan Gypsies in the seventeenth century. Journal of the Gypsy Lore Society. Third Series. 38: 154–6. A note on the taxation of the Balkan Gypsies in the seventeenth century Journal of the Gypsy Lore Society. Third Series 38 154 6 Google Scholar

Soulis, George. 1961. The Gypsies in the Byzantine Empire and the Balkan in late Middle Ages. Dunbarton Oak Papers (15): 142–65. The Gypsies in the Byzantine Empire and the Balkan in late Middle Ages Dunbarton Oak Papers 15 142 65 Google Scholar

Sugar, Peter. 1977. Southeastern Europe under Ottoman rule, 1354–1804. Seattle and London: University of Washington Press. Southeastern Europe under Ottoman rule, 1354–1804 Google Scholar

Todorova, Maria. 1997. Imagining the Balkans. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press. Imagining the Balkans Google Scholar

van de Port, Mattijs. 1998. Gypsies, wars and other instances of the wild. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. Gypsies, wars and other instances of the wild Google Scholar

Vatin, Nicolas, and Stéphane Yerasimos. 2001. Les cimetières dans la ville: Statut, choix et organisation des lieux d'inhumation dans Istanbul Intra-Muros. Istanbul: Institut français d'études anatoliennes d'Istanbul. Les cimetières dans la ville: Statut, choix et organisation des lieux d'inhumation dans Istanbul Intra-Muros Google Scholar

Walker, L. 1995 [1913–36]. 'Nuri'. In Encyclopaedia of Islam. Vol. VIII: pp. 138–9 (2nd edn.). Leiden: Brill. Google Scholar

Zeevi, Dror. 1998. The use of Ottoman sharī'a court records as a source for Middle Eastern social history. Islamic Law and Society (5): 35–56. The use of Ottoman sharī'a court records as a source for Middle Eastern social history Islamic Law and Society 5 35 56 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Details

Author details

Ginio, Eyal