The boundaries of the three last-named vilayets meet near Elbassan.
Under the present Ottoman distribution " Syria " is the province of Sham or Damascus, exclusive of the vilayets of Aleppo and Beirut and the sanjaks of Lebanon and Jerusalem, which all fall in what is called Syria is the wider geographical sense.
The political status of the country is controlled by the Ottoman Empire, of which Syria makes part, divided into the vilayets of Aleppo, Sham or Syria (Damascus), the Lebanon (q.v.) and Beirut, and the separate sanjaks or mutessarifliks of Zor and Jerusalem.
The Turkish or Ottoman Empire comprises Turkey in Europe, Turkey in Asia, and the vilayets of Tripoli and Barca, or Bengazi, in North Africa; and in addition to those provinces under immediate Turkish rule, it embraces also certain tributary states and certain others under foreign administration.
Here also, with the unimportant exception of the islands of Samos and Cyprus and the somewhat privileged district of Lebanon, all the Turkish possessions constitute vilayets directly controlled by the Porte.
Turkey's Arabian possessions comprise, besides El-Hasa on the Persian Gulf, the low-lying, hot and insalubrious Tehama and the south-western highlands (vilayets of Hejaz and Yemen) stretching continuously along the east side of the Red Sea, and including the two holy cities of Mecca and Medina.
For administrative purposes the immediate possessions of the sultan are divided into vilayets (provinces), which are again subdivided into sanjaks or mutessarifliks (arrondissements), these into kazas (cantons), and the kazas into nahies (parishes or communes).
All these officials unite in their own persons the judicial and executive functions, under the " Law of the Vilayets," which made its appearance in 1861, and purported, and was really intended by its framers, to confer on the provinces a large measure of self-government, in which both Mussulmans and non-Mussulmans should take part.
Since the year named an agricultural bank has been established, which advances money on loan to the peasants on easy terms. Schools of agriculture have been opened in the chief towns of the vilayets, and in connexion with those schools, and elsewhere throughout the empire, model farms have been instituted, where veterinary instruction can also be obtained.
Under the auspices of the Ottoman public debt administration silk culture is also carried on with much success, especially in the vilayets of Brusa and Ismid.
Later, without taking into consideration the effective amounts in cash at the disposal of the vilayets, considerable sums were drawn upon them, by means of havales, out of proportion to their capacity.
For these reasons, during the last two or three months of the financial year, the vilayets have not a para to remit to the central administration, and it has been considered imperatively necessary to draw on the revenues of the following year.
These duties vary in different parts of the empire: in the vilayets of Constantinople, Bagdad and Adrianople, and in the sanjaks of Bigha and Tchataljatheday'sworkis calculated at 5 piastres (about 11d.); in the vilayets of Aleppo, Trebizond, Angora, lannina, Konia, Sivas and Kastamuni at 4 piastres (about 9d.); and in most other parts of the empire at 3 piastres (about 7d.).
In 1905 financial resources had to be found for the special administration of the three European vilayets as insisted upon by the powers, and to this end the Porte initiated negotiations with the latter to increase the import duties by 3%.
The bonds are secured on the surplus of the revenues assigned to the guarantee of the Anatolian railway collected by the Public Debt Administration, on the excess revenue, after certain deductions, accruing to the government under the " Annex-Decree to the Decree of Muharrem " above described, on the sheep tax of the vilayets of Koniah, Adana and Aleppo, and on the railway itself.
A serious Bulgarian insurrection in Macedonia in the autumn of 1903 induced Austria and Russia to combine in formulating the Miirzsteg reform programme, tardily consented to by Turkey, by which Austrian and Russian civil agents were appointed to exercise a certain degree of control and supervision over the three vilayets of Salonica, Monastir and Kossovo.
An Italian officer, General De Giorgis, was appointed to the chief command in the reorganization, and the three vilayets were apportioned among the great powers into districts, in each of which was appointed a staff officer with a number of subordinate officers of his nationality under his orders.
Turkomans are found in the Angora and Adana vilayets; Avshars, a tribe of Turkish origin, in the valleys of Anti-Taurus; and Tatars in the Angora and Brusa vilayets; Yuruks are most numerous in the Konia vilayet.
Rhodes rryo L Bay s of Adalia M'ED I ' ' T Anean Reference to Vilayets &c.
(2) The vilayet of Van lies along the Persian frontier between the vilayets of Erzerum and Mosul.
Accurate statistics cannot be obtained; but it is estimated that in the nine vilayets, which include Turkish Armenia, there are 925,000 Gregorian, Roman Catholic and Protestant Armenians, 645,000 other Christians, ioo,000 Jews, Gypsies, &c., and 4,460,000 Moslems. The Armenians, taking the most favourable estimate, are in a majority in nine kazas or sub-districts only (seven near Van, and two near Mush) out of 159.
Xviii., Tiflis, 1896, with map), the population of the nine Turkish vilayets, Erzerum, Van, Bitlis, Kharput (Mamuret-el-Aziz), Diarbekr, Sivas, Aleppo, Adana and Trebizond, was 6,000,000 (Armenians, 913,875, or 15%; other Christians, 632,875, or 11%; and Moslems, 4,453,250, or 74%).
In the first five vilayets which contain most of the Armenians, the population was 2,642,000 (Armenians, 633,250, or 24%; other Christians, 1 79, 8 75, or 7%; and Moslems, 1,828,875, or 69%); and in the seven Armenian kazas the population was 282,375 (Armenians, 184,875, or 65%; other Christians, 1000, or o.3%; and Moslems, 96,500, or 34.7%).
They are deeply separated by religious differences, and their mutual jealousies, their inordinate vanity, English Miles 0 5 io 20 30 40 50 Railways Capitals of Vilayets &c. C Longitude East 42 of Greenwich their versatility and their cosmopolitan character must always be an obstacle to the realization of the dreams of the nationalists.
Throughout 1894 the state of the country bordered upon anarchy, and during the winter of 1894-1895 the British government, with lukewarm support from France and Russia, pressed for administrative reforms in the vilayets of Erzerum, Van, Bitlis, Sivas, Memuret-el-Aziz (Kharput) and Diarbekr.
They occurred, except in six places, in the vilayets to which the scheme of The reforms was to apply.