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The Long Peace-Ottoman Lebanon 1861-1920

The Long Peace-Ottoman Lebanon 1861-1920


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Published by Henri Ghattas
This book covers the development of an autonomous political regime in Ottoman Mount Lebanon, the historical
and geographical core of today's Lebanon.
This book covers the development of an autonomous political regime in Ottoman Mount Lebanon, the historical
and geographical core of today's Lebanon.

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Published by: Henri Ghattas on Nov 23, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The files of the "Sublime Porte Secretariat," Bâb-i 'Âli Evrâk Odasi , are to be consulted first. Since the
governor was directly responsible to the grand vizier, virtually all correspondence between the mutasarrifiyya
and various government departments were therefore conducted through the Porte. As a result, the bulk of the
records on Lebanon accumulated at the BEO. Three of the various collections of documents in the BEO today
are particularly important for research on Lebanon.

― 201 ―
(1) 'Ayniyât Defterleri (registers of duplicates). In the 1860s and 1870s, copies of the outgoing letters from
the Sublime Porte Secretariat were recorded in special registers called 'ayniyât defterleri . Among the 'ayniyât
registers available to researchers, the following contain information on Lebanon:
(a ) No. 866: 1 M 1284–3 S 1294 h (May 1867–Feb. 1877). Most of the issues covered in this register are
related to criminal cases and educational institutions in Mount Lebanon, and its border disputes with the
Province of Damascus ("Suriye")—which included the city of Beirut at this stage.
(b) Nos. 902–908: 1 M 1283–22 L 1296 h (May 1866–Oct. 1879). These seven registers include the
correspondence between Istanbul and Damascus, but occasionally the affairs of Mount Lebanon are also

(2) Gelen-Giden Defterleri (registers for correspondence). The 'ayniyât registers were eventually replaced
by the so-called gelen-giden (or vâridasâdira ) registers, which are similar documents. They include copies of
brief summaries of the correspondence between the Porte and different government departments, including
the provincial governments. A researcher can reach the original letters and the related documentary files—if
they exist in the BEO—by referring to the dates and numbers mentioned in the registers. The following

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gelen-giden registers are relevant to Mount Lebanon:
(a) Gelen-Giden no. 1013, the register of the regulations on Mount Lebanon, includes the regulations and
international protocols governing the regime in the Mountain, as well as the major decrees and instructions
dispatched to its governors.

(b) Gelen-Giden registers duplicating the grand viziers' letters to the governors in Mount Lebanon: no.
1014, 25 S 1283–11 Za 1294 h (July 1866–Nov. 1877); no. 1015, 6 Ca 1283–19 M 1294 h (Sept. 1866–Feb.
1877); no. 280*,[3]

23 M 1290–23 M 1291 h (March 1873–March 1874); no. 281*, 27 M 1291–13 Ra 1297 h
(March 1874–Feb. 1880); no. 1016, 1 S 1298–25 Sh 1325 h (Jan. 1881–Oct. 1907); no. 282*, 20 C 1304–3 R
1315 h (March 1887–Sept. 1897); no 283*, 6 N 1315–22 N 1333 h (Jan. 1898–Aug. 1915); no. 1019, 24 N
1325–22 N 1333 h (Oct. 1907–Aug. 1915); and no. 971* (telegrams to Mount Lebanon).
(c) Gelen-Giden registers which cover the correspondence between the Porte and various ministries on
issues related to Mount Lebanon: no. 1010, 17 L 1309–25 Sh 1321 h (May 1892–Nov. 1903); and no. 1011, 7
C 1326–26 R 1333 h (July 1908–March 1915).[4]
(d) Gelen-Giden registers for incoming letters from Mount Lebanon:

― 202 ―
no. 278*, 26 C 1303–12 N 1313 h (Apr. 1886–Feb. 1896); and no. 279*, 27 Sh 1315–10 L 1333 h (Jan.
1898–Aug. 1915).

(e) Other relevant Gelen-Giden registers: nos. 268–275*, 1307–1328 h (1889–1910), and nos. 340–351,
1290–1328 h (1873–1910) cover the correspondence between Istanbul and Beirut, and Istanbul and
Damascus, respectively. Finally, nos. 1009, 1017, 1018, and 1020 provide concise summaries of the
correspondence between Istanbul and Mount Lebanon from 1881 to 1914.
(3) BEO: Mümtâze-Cebel-i Lübnân Dosyalari (BEO files on the privileged provinces, Mount Lebanon).
Around the late 1880s, a more methodical filing system began to be used in the BEO.[5]

The improvement is

observable in the files on Lebanon. From about 1890 onward, a separate file was kept for each issue that
preoccupied the Porte. A detailed catalogue of the files was also kept. The resulting collection of documents is
called the BEO: Mümtâze-Cebel-i Lübnân (henceforth "CL") files. It contains a total of about 7, 450 documents
in 317 files, covering the period from 1890 to 1916, although some of the files include earlier documents. A
researcher can find rich information in the CL files on issues related to the various religious communities and
churches in Mount Lebanon, the officials of the mutasarrifiyya , its administrative and judicial organization and
finances, problems of security and order, relations and disputes between the mutasarrifiyya and the
neighboring provinces, cultural life, publications and education, the activities of European missions, public
works and communications, emigration, and contraband. There are also in the files petitions from the
Lebanese expressing grievances and thoughts about the conduct of officials. The files related to the
Administrative Council and local elections, and land and water disputes relegated to the central government
for settlement, are similarly instructive about the problems that preoccupied the Lebanese.

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