SIYAQAH WRITING IN THE OTTOMAN ARCHIVES DOCUMENTS
ITS HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT
(By Assoc. Prof. Said ÖZTÜRK)
Beyond signifying a style of writing, the term Siyaqah had been
used before the Ottomans to indicate the profession of accountancy.
The profession of accountancy, known as Sanat al-Siyaqah (the Art
of Siyaqah) or Fenn al-Siyaqah (the Science of Siyaqah), developed
in the Saljuqid and Ilhanid States, thus influencing the financial
organization and accountancy manners and techniques of the Ottoman
Siyaqah was an official style of writing and numerals used in the
accountancy registration of the Ottoman State, particularly at the
various offices of the financial administration. Those clerks that
worked in Turkish financial administration had been using this style
for four hundred years. All kinds of items of incomes and expenses
pertaining to the State over an extensive area from the Middle East
to the Balkans, from Crimea to the southern coasts of the
Mediterranean Sea had all been registered in this style of writing.
The first difficulty those who will do researches on the Turkish
economic and financial history will be encountered with is the
language and writing style of the collections of this sort of
documents and books. We know that Siyaqah writing and numerals had
been used until the last quarter of the 19th century particularly in
the Ottoman financial organization. Accordingly, it is a scientific
obligation for those who will do studies and researches on such
archives documents as take place among the references of Turkish
economic and financial history to be acquainted with writing style
and numerals of Siyaqah, for they could decipher and interpret
thousands of collections of books and millions of documents
pertaining to our economic and financial history only through this
style of writing. Without being cognizant of Siyaqah writing and
numerals and without being familiar with the style of registers
ones benefit from the rich archives materials and particularly such
documents on economic and financial subjects bequeathed to us from
the Ottoman State would be restricted.
In this indispensable reference book for researchers and enthusiasts
will you find the historical development of SIYAQAH writing, which
was used in almost every age in the Ottoman Finance, in the Written
Surveys of Provinces and in documents about the Ottoman Economic
history, along with thousands of examples as related to Siyaqah.
This work is read as a textbook at American universities.
(490 pages, 1st quality)