French trade in Istanbul in the eighteenth century 9789004113534, 9004113533

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French trade in Istanbul in the eighteenth century
 9789004113534, 9004113533

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Advisory Board

Fikret Adanir • Idris Bostan • A m non C ohen • C ornell Fleischer B arbara Flemming • A lexander de G root • K laus K reiser H ans Georg M ajer • Irène MélikoflF • A hm et Y aşar O cak Abdeljelil Tem im i • Gilles Veinstein • Elizabeth Z achariadou



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B R IL L L E ID E N • B O S T O N • K O L N 1999

Library o f Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data E ldem , E dhem . F re n c h tra d e in Ista n b u l in the eighteeth cen tu ry / by E d h em Eldem . p. cm . — (T he O tto m a n E m pire a n d its heritage ; v. 19) R evision o f th e a u th o r’s thesis originally in F re n c h u n d e r the tide: L e c o m m erce français d ’Istan b u l a u X V III siècle. Includes b ibliographical references a n d index. IS B N 9 0 0 4113533 (cl. : alk. paper) 1. F ran ce— C o m m erce— T u rk ey — H istory— 18th century. 2. T u r k e y -C o m m e rc e — F ran ce— H istory— 18th century. 3. Istan b u l (T u rk ey )-C o m m e rc e — H istory— 18th century. I. T itle. II. Series. H F 3 5 5 8 .T 9 E 4 3 1999 3 8 2 ’.09440561— dc21 99-27409 C IP

Die Deutsche Bibliothek - CIP-Einheitsaufiiahme Eldem , Edhem: j_| p , ^ ^ o ^ ^

2 51

F re n c h tra d e in Ista n b u l in the eig h teen th c en tu ry / by E d h em E ldem . - L eid en ; B oston ; K ö ln : Brill, 1999 (The Ottoman Empire and its heritage ; Vol. 19) ISBN 90-04-11353-3



1380-6076 90 0 4 11353 3

© Copyright 1999 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands A ll rights reseroed. No part o f this publication may be reproduced, translated, stored in a retrieoal system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission o f the publisher. Authorization to photocopy items for internal or personal use is granted by Brill provided that the appropriatefees are paid direct^ to The Copyright Clearance Center, Rosewood Drive 222, Suite 910 Danvers M A 01923, USA Fees are subject to change. PRINTED IN TH E NETHERLANDS

A la mémoire de Charles Carrière

CONTENTS Preface and Acknowledgements............................................................


List o f F igures........................................................................................... List o f T ab le s............................................................................................ Note on Transliteration and Conventions.............................................

xiii xiv xv

Introduction ..............................................................................................


Chapter One: Facts and Figures: French Trade in the Levant and in Istanbul in the Eighteenth Centuiy................................................


Chapter Two; French Imports to Istanbul: Cloth and Manufactured Goods....................................................................................................


Chapter Three: French Imports to Istanbul: Colonial G o o d s............


Chapter Four: Marginal Exports............................................................


Chapter Five: Balancing the Accounts: Trade Surplus and Bills of Exchange.........................................................................................


Chapter Six; The European Dimension; Istanbul and Intemational Finance..................................................................................................


Chapter Seven: Toward Immaterial Forms of Trade: Istanbul and the Commerce de Banque...................................................................


Chapter Eight: O f Men and Trade: French and Local Traders on the Intemational Market o f Istanbul.................................................


Chapter Nine: Assaults and Resistances; The Fragility o f French Trade.....................................................................................................


Chapter Ten: The Birth of a Domination: Trade, Politics and Diplomacy............................................................................................




Epilogue; August Tenth, 1793.................................................................


Sources and Bibliography.......................................................................


In d e x ..........................................................................................................


PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The decision to pubhsh almost ten years after its completion a work I had left dormant for such a long time is a challenge I would have gladly avoided, had it not been for the kind insistence o f Professors Halil İnalcık and Suraiya Faroqhi. Their proposal has forced me to come to grips with the real implications of such a project: that o f rethinking and rewriting the whole work, so as to fit the new context into inevitable reconsiderations. I cannot look back upon m y initial research without discontent, stemming not so much from regrets and second thoughts conceming things I had written than from remarks I had not made and conclusions I had not reached. Most o f this self-criticism is the result o f a process o f maturation, lead­ ing to a more conscious and realistic evaluation o f some o f my work’s ba­ sic assumptions. In addition, the discovery o f a whole new set o f docu­ ments— which will be presented and discussed below— has provided new material that not only confirmed some o f my afterthoughts and réévalua­ tions but has also made it more ‘legitimate’ to engage in a thorough reas­ sessment and rewriting o f the work. Despite claims to novelty, this work still relies heavily on years o f re­ search conducted in Marseilles under the supervision o f Robert Mantran, professor emeritïis at the Université de Provence. His deep knowledge of Ottoman history and, particularly, o f the history o f Istanbul have constantly inspired me in my research. This work would have not seen the light had it not been for his precious guidance and legendary kindness. His aid reached well beyond professional matters, and it is with great fondness and grati­ tude that I reminisce upon his unconditional support during the three delightfiil years my wife and I spent in Aix-en-Provence. Professors André Raymond and Daniel Panzac were kind enough to ac­ cept membership on my defense jury. I have benefited enormously from their comments and suggestions. There is, however, much more that I owe to them. Professor Raymond’s monumental works on Cairo and the Arab cities o f the Ottoman Empire and Professor Panzac’s pioneering studies on the plague and French navigation in the Levant, as well as the numerous comments and insights they have offered, constitute one o f the most pre­ cious inputs into this work. This work relies in its greatest part on one o f the most fascinating archi­ val collections o f the Mediterranean, the archives o f the Chambre de Com­

merce et d'industrie de Marseille. I cannot remember without emotion the first day I set foot in the reading room o f the archives and, as the tradition went, was ushered in for an interview with the archiviste and directeur des services culturels. Little did I know that this first contact with Mr Marcel Courdurié would be of decisive importance not only for proper use o f the treasure he guarded, but also for my understanding o f the complexity and intricacies o f the Levant trade in the eighteenth century. I have discovered in him the greatest and most precious support. His incredible knowledge of both the archives and the subject have been o f crucial importance in the completion o f my research. I can only express the deepest gratitude to­ wards the scientist who has guided my every step into the maze o f the Le­ vantine world o f trade, and the man who has honored me with his trust and friendship. Through him, I am convinced I have received some o f the knowledge and wisdom o f the greatest names o f the historiography o f the Levant trade: Paul Masson, Robert Paris, Ferréol Rebuffat, Charles Carrière. It is in the reading room o f the archives o f the Chambre de Commerce that 1 first met Charles Carrière, that living legend o f erudition and scholar­ ship whose innumerable works on Marseilles and the Levant trade have become classics. His untimely death has left us all orphaned, still waiting for pathbreaking works o f the caliber o f his last “Sophisme”, written in collaboration with Marcel Courdurié.' My only selfish consolation is that I have been able to know him— for much too short a time— and to submit to him some preliminary sketches o f my work. The dedication o f this woik to his memory is a respectful homage to'this model o f kindness, modesty and scholarship, and, through him, to the past pioneers o f the field. I can only recall with great fondness the support and kindness o f all the personnel o f the archives o f the Chambre de Commerce. I wish, therefore, to express my deepest gratitude to Patrick Boulanger, Pierre Vaudequin, Martine Mettez, Richard Mettez, Henri Baldinger and Michel Belzunce for their help and friendship. Much of the writing o f this work— in its initial French version— ^was re­ alized at the Institut Français d’Études Anatoliennes, whose director at the time, Jean-Louis Bacqué-Grammont, provided me with precious help and support. My thanks go also to all the scientific and administrative person­ nel of the Institut, particularly to Élie Nicolas, Sefire Bilir (Vatin) and Martine Yanık. ' Ch. Carrière and M. Courdurié, “Un sophisme économique. M arseille s ’enrichit en achetant plus qu’elle ne vend (Réflexions sur les mécanismes commerciaux levantins au X V Iir siècle)”, Histoire, Économie et Société, 1984, pp. 7-51.

Apart from archival documents from the Chambre de Commerce, the preparation o f this work has entailed the consultation o f numerous archival collections. I wish, therefore, to express my indebtedness to the adminis­ trators and personnel o f the following libraries and archival centers: Ar­ chives Nationales (Paris), Archives du Ministère des Affaires Etrangères (Paris), Archives Départementales des Bouches-du-Rhône (Marseilles), Archives de la Fraternité des Capucins de la Région de Paris (Paris), Ar­ chives de l'église Saint-Louis (Istanbul), Archives de l'église Saints-Pierreet-Paul (Istanbul), Archives de l'église Sainte-Marie-Drapéris (Istanbul), Bibliothèque Nationale (Paris), Bibliothèque Municipale de Marseille, Bibliothèque Méjanes (Aix-en-Provence), Bibliothèque Municipale de Bourg-en-Bresse, Bibliothèque de l'Institut de France (Paris), Bibliothèque de la Fondation Louis-Vibert (Lourmarin), Bibliothèque Municipale d'Avignon, British Library (London), Istanbul Arkeoloji Müzeleri Kütüphanesi (Istanbul), Boğaziçi Üniversitesi Kütüphanesi (İstanbul), Fatih Millet Kütüphanesi (İstanbul), Topkapı Sarayı Müzesi Kütüphanesi (İstanbul). 1 wish to extend particular thanks to Havva Koç, Claudio Cecherelli and Jean Mauzaize whose help went well beyond the duties of librarians or archivists. This work also makes use o f archival documents which were not con­ sulted in situ, but were obtained through the mediation o f friends and col­ leagues. Marcel Courdurié has provided me with scores o f documents and manuscripts from several archival centers in France. I am particularly in­ debted to Dilek Öesaive who has drawn my attention to a fascinating col­ lection o f Ottoman documents from Cyprus, preserved in the Archivio di Stato (Venice), among documents from the Venetian consular archives of Cyprus. Many o f these documents revealed precious and unique informa­ tion on the use o f bills o f exchange by provincial officials. By providing me with photocopies o f these documents, Dilek Desaive has not only shown immense kindness, she has also made it possible for me to achieve a better understanding o f one o f the weakest points o f my research. In the course o f more than ten years since the beginning o f my research, I have benefited from the support, comments, criticisms, suggestions o f so many friends and colleagues that I fear being unable to enumerate them without any omission. My most sincere thanks go to Dan Andersen, Ayda Arel, Jean-Luc Amaud, Drew Cayton, François Crouzet, Hélène DesmetGrégoire, Jean-Pierre Farganel, Ronald Ferrier, Jean Georgelin, François Georgeon, Molly Greene, Frédéric Hitzel, Hilmar Kaiser, Vassili Kremmydas, Sinan Kuneralp, Metin Kunt, Jean-François Legrain, Bruce Mas­ ters, Claudio Onate, Îlber Ortaylı, Leslie Peirce, Donald Quataert, Araks

Şahiner, Ariel Salzmann, Anna Stavrakopoulou, Emilia Themopoulou, Michel Tuchscherer, Gilles Veinstein, Thierry Zarcone. I particularly wish to thank Nicolas Vatin, who patiently undertook the first reading o f my dissertation (from which he probably came away with the conviction that I should instead work on Ottoman funerary epigraphy). Katsumi Fukasawa, with whom I shared hours o f research at the archives o f the Chambre de Commerce, has always rewarded me with comments and long discussions on our common interest for the Levant trade in the eighteenth century. I have enjoyed the same privileged relationship with Elena Frangakis-Syrett, whose seminal works on the trade o f Izmir during the same period have always been a source o f inspiration. I cannot tell enough the pleasure and benefits I have derived from discussions with Mehmet Genç, for whom— I have come to believe— Ottoman documents have no secret. On several occasions, Murat Çizakça has given me muchneeded counseling and feedback on my research. Şevket Pamuk has pa­ tiently listened to my long interrogations and read endless pages o f my re­ search on eighteenth-century monetary issues. Stéphane Yerasimos and his scholarly research on Istanbul have made me grasp the reality o f the urban context in which ‘m y’ stories o f trade were taking place. I wish also to thank all my colleagues and fi-iends fi-om the Department o f History at Boğaziçi University, most particularly Selçuk Esenbel, Selim Deringil, Zafer Toprak and Halil Berktay, whose support and friendship went as far as harassing me so that I would bring to an end years o f shameful procras­ tination. Colleague, mentor, muse, reader, critic, copy editor, but most o f all, friend, Dan Goffman has provided me with a help and support I cannot even dream o f paying back. I only hope that this study will agree with our shared passion for a ‘conversation’ between Ottoman and western sources. None o f this would have been possible without the support o f my ‘nonprofessional’ friends. I would like, however, to single out Christine Béria, Olivier Pescia and Jean-Paul Chapus whose fi-iendship in Aix-en-Provence and Marseilles has always been extremely precious to me. I owe everything to my family, my late father, my mother, Eliane and my sister. They have always supported me. So has Sedef, from the begin­ ning to the end o f this ‘unending story.’ She has provided me with patience, understanding, support, scolding and love, always at the right time. As to my daughter Simin, I can only see with amazement that she has outgrown a project that had started well before her and that she has become some­ thing much more beautiful and meaningful than anything I may ever write. Istanbul, February 1999

L IS T O F F IG U R E S LI 1.2 1.3 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7

French trade in the Levant, 1700-1789............................................ Ship entries into Marseilles harbor, 1710-1799.............................. French trade in Istanbul: Imports and exports, 1701-1792........ Cloth shipments from Marseilles to the Levant, Izmir and Istanbul, 1700-1792........................................................................ French cloth trade in Istanbul: major qualities o f cloth, 1718-1788......................................................................... French cloth trade in Istanbul: major groups ofbuyers, 1740-1752...................................................................... French cloth trade in Istanbul: sales to cloth dealers, 1743-1752........................................................................................ French imports o f caps to Istanbul, 1718-1792........................... French imports of sugar to Istanbul, 1718-1792.......................... French imports ofcoffee to Istanbul, 1718-1792....................... French imports o f indigo to Istanbul, 1718-1792........................ French imports o f cochineal to Istanbul, 1718-1792.................. French exports o f sheep’s wool from Istanbul, 1701 -1792....... French exports o f mohair yam from Istanbul, 170I-I792......... French exports o f alum from Istanbul, 1701-1792..................... French exports o f beeswax from Istanbul, 1701-1792............... French exports o f leather and hides from Istanbul,1701-1792.. Bill drawn from Izmir on Istanbul, 1780.................................... Bill drawn from Izmir on Istanbul, 1791.................................... Bill drawn from Izmir on Istanbul, 1765.................................... Bill drawn from Aleppo on Istanbul, 1765.............................. . Network o f bills o f exchange between the échelles and Istanbul..................................................................................... Bill drawn from Marseilles on Istanbul, 1764............................. Bill drawn from Caudiès on Istanbul, 1782................................. Bill drawn from Marseilles on Istanbul, 1764............................. Bill drawn from Istanbul on Marseilles, 1776............................ Bill drawn from Istanbul on Marseilles, 1748............................ Bill drawn from Izmir on Marseilles, 1766................................ Network o f bills o f exchange between the Levant and France........................................................................... Exchange rate o f the livre tournois, 1700-1794...........................

14 21 31 36 37 46 47 64 69 74 82 82 93 98 101 103 104 123 124 124 125 142 147 150 151 152 152 152 153 156

6.8 Metallic and paper exchange o f the livre toumois, 1700-1794........................................................................................ 6.9 Bill drawn from Izmir on Amsterdam, 1780............................. 6 .10 Bill drawn from Izmir on Leghorn, 1780.................................... 6.11 Bill drawn from Istanbul on Vienna, 1790................................ 7.1 Indexed exchange rates, 1771-1790........................................... 7.2 Indexed exchange rates, 1788-1790........................................... 7.3 Indexed evolution of intemational exchanges in Istanbul, Izmir and Marseilles....................................................... 7.4 Average exchange and specie rates, 1788-1790.......................... 7.5 Market rates o f the Spanish piaster and Ausfrian thaler, 1788-1790........................................................................................ 7.6 Value in paras o f a gram of silver o f the Sevillian and o f the thaler, 1788-1790......................................................... 7.7 Difference between the market rates of the Austrian thaler and Spanish piaster in Istanbul and Marseilles, 1788-1790..... 7.8 Compared exchange rates between Marseilles and Istanbul, based on the Spanish piaster and the Austrian thaler, 1788-1790........................................................................................

157 167 167 167 175 184 185 191 191 192 193


LIST OF TABLES 7.1 7.2 8.1

Shipments o f Spanish piasters from Marseilles to Istanbul, 1700-1752............ .......................................................... Shipments o f reales and thalers, from Marseilles to Istanbul, 1765-1790........................................................................ Distribution o f debts and credits in the bankruptcies o f Leroy and Gazan (1740) and Gourdan, Pellegrin and Rozan (1744)..

176 177 221

NOTE ON TRANSLITERATION AND CONVENTIONS Ottoman names and documents have been transliterated according to the system in use by the Encyclopédie de l'Islam. Nouvelle édition établie avec le concours des principaux orientalistes (Leiden - Paris, 1960), v. I, p. xiii, with the following modifications; s instead o f th z instead o f d ğ instead o f gh c di z z h Wi Ç c z dh Ş sh Errors in the documents have been preserved, followed by {sic). Errors and archaic renderings in French and English documents have also been main­ tained, but without any comment, except in cases where the meaning was likely to change or be lost. Ottoman terms and names in westem docu­ ments or westem terms and names in Ottoman documents have been kept in their original transcription. This is especially true o f French hsts o f nonMuslim traders in which the gallicized form has been preserved. Place names in the text have been turkified for places faUing within the borders o f the Republic o f Turkey (Bursa, Istanbul...), and anglicized for others (Aleppo, Salonika...). Contemporary appellations such as Constan­ tinople, Smyma or Adrianople have thus been modernized’ into Istanbul, Izmir or Edime, but preserved in quotations o f documents, and in some ex­ ceptional cases where they seemed to fit the context (as in the nation or the échelle o f Constantinople). This choice is in no way ‘political’ A first draft where the westem toponymy o f the time had been preserved just seemed to artificially antiquated to be acceptable. Moreover, care has been taken to use turkified toponyms which were in use at the time. Thus, present-day Tekirdağ is rendered as either Rodoscuk or as Tekfurdağı. Certain units o f measurement, weight and currency have been used al­ ternatively in their Turkish and English versions. Thus, dirhem and drachma, zira'^ and pik, akce and asper, or ğurüş and piaster describe the same units. The term piaster, when used alone, corresponds exclusively to the Ottoman piaster or ğurüş. The Spanish piaster is always identified as such, or described by the contemporary terms o f real, Sevilhan or riydl \ğurüş\. Since the ratio between the piaster and the asper (1:120) was not decimal, in sums involving both units, piasters and aspers are separated by a colon. Thus, 56:105 piasters correspond to 56 piasters and 105 aspers, that is 56.875 piasters.

INTRODUCTION The original version o f this work, under the title o f Le commerce français d'Istanbul au XVIIF siècle^ was very much influenced by the MassonParis-Carrière vision o f Levantine trade,^ and by the format and context o f French commercial historiography, which I now believe to be hmiting, at least from an Ottoman perspective.^ It relied heavily upon a statistical and numerical analysis o f the French commercial network and only loosely upon the more qualitative aspects o f everyday interaction between actors involved in the fiinctioning o f this network. Even though a good third of the dissertation was devoted to the study o f perceptions, contacts and dealings o f various protagonists o f the commercial life o f Istanbul, most o f it in hindsight seems superficial, somewhat inconsistent and blatantly dis­ torted by the absence o f ‘reciprocal’ sources. One way to deal with this narrowness is to realize to what extent trade, especially in the eighteenth century, went beyond ‘rational’ technicalities and numerical renderings. Human contacts o f a much more intricate nature were critically important. Traders o f the period were not just technicians oblivious to their social, political or cultural contexts; in fact, their success often depended on their capacity to combine their technical skills with a certain knowledge and understanding o f and, consequently, control over ' Dissertation defended in 1989 in Aix-en-Provence before a ju ry composed o f Profes­ sors Robert Mantran, André Raymond and Daniel Panzac. ^ As typical examples o f a French perspective on the Levant trade, see P. Masson, His­ toire du commerce français dans le Levant au X V l f siècle (Paris, 1896); Histoire du com­ merce français dans le Levant au X VIIL siècle (Paris, 1911 ); R. Paris, Histoire du commerce de M arseille, t. V, D e 1600 à ¡789. Le Levant (Paris, 1957); N. G. Svoronos, Le commerce de Salonique au X V Iir siècle (Paris, 1956); Ch. Carrière, Négociants marseillais au XVIIF jièc/e (Marseilles, 1973). ^ Limiting, not in the sense o f their quality or scope, but merely from the point o f vievi' o f their inevitable— and legitimate— Franco-centrism. To these authors, what counted was French trade and the Levant was an object more than a subject o f analysis. The ‘last gen­ eration’ o f this school was perfectly conscious o f this bias and often underlined the necessity to look at the Empire ‘from w ithin,’ a duty w hich they rightly expected fi-om Ottoman histo­ rians, while at the same time providing a warning against the difficulties involved in the ‘grasping o f Ottoman voices:’ “II est vrai, et nous en convenons aussi, que nous aurait tou­ jours manqué une vue de l’intérieur, intime en quelque sorte. N ous aurions— nous avons— entendu des voix européennes. Insuffisantes, déformantes, soit. Est-ce totalem ent vrai? Dans quelle mesure, les voix ottomanes— terme ambigu s ’il en est— se font-elles entendre? En outre, combien qui veulent en saisir, au moins, l’écho, se tournent vers les sources exté­ rieures pour le percevoir” (Ch. Carrière and M. Courdurié, "Un sophisme économique. Mar­ seille s’enrichit en achetant plus qu’elle ne vend (Réflexions sur les mécanismes commerci­ aux levantins au X V III' siècle),” Histoire, Economie et Société, 1984, p. 7).

Other variables which had both a direct and indirect impact on their ‘real’ sphere o f activity. They had to contend with natural phenomena as unpre­ dictable and uncontrollable as earthquakes, fires and epidemics as well as human ones such as politics, religion, war, forms o f solidarity, allegiances, tastes, choices, beliefs and cultural preferences. Survival on the market meant ‘doing proper business,’ which in turn impUed the development of proper infonnation networks, adequate contacts and a capacity to find practical solutions often nested in domains that we might today consider to be extra- or non-commercial. Nor were trading activities and concems limited to a community o f specialists. Quite to the contrary, practically every individual was at one point or another sucked into the process, not only in the obvious spheres o f production and consumption, but also in the choices and decisions made. In a world where identities and allegiances were far from being clearly defined, it is no surprise that boundaries be­ tween roles and fiinctions were often blurred. Such a perspective was not entirely lacking in the original dissertation. It certainly did acknowledge the constant interplay between commercial and extra-commercial factors and variables in commercial activity in Is­ tanbul and elsewhere in the Ottoman lands during the eighteenth century. Nevertheless, two major obstacles impeded a full exploitation o f this broader approach in dealing with French trade in its Levantine setting. The first of these obstacles had to do with the nature of available sources and documents. Most French archival material displays a rather artificial effort to present this complicated world in a rational and ‘purely commercial’ way. In doing so, French traders were probably motivated both by a genu­ ine desire to rationalize their own activities— and, thus, in a way reassure themselves— and by a growing vogue for logical and mechanistic explana­ tions conceming their activities and the general commercial setting of the time— after all, the Philosophes and the ideas o f the period influenced even French traders in the Levant. Nevertheless, it also appears that all this ra­ tionality— ^the lack o f which, on the Ottoman side, was also stressed— was extremely useftil in masking certain abuses, compromises, concessions or weaknesses which it would have been impossible to explain or undesirable to admit to correspondents who did not enjoy the same first-hand experi­ ence with ‘the ways of the Orient.’ The second and more insidious obstacle concemed a self-imposed quest for an explanation of nineteenth-century developments hidden in the eight­ eenth-century Ottoman worid. Obsessed with the belief that eighteenthcentury continuities and causalities had prepared the grounds for the incorpo­ ration of the Ottoman economy into the capitahst world economy o f the Tan-

zimat period, I searched for patterns o f penetration and domination imposed by economic and commercial superiority which thus became a crucial, if la­ tent, concem o f the work. My inability to find any overriding pattern not only left the question unanswered, it also suggested that the question or its formu­ lation was wrong in its presupposition that the modalities o f pre­ incorporation pattems were purely economic or commercial. It showed a tendency to preclude extra-economic developments as part o f the analysis. The issue o f incorporation nevertheless remains crucial in the present work. It does so not only because the question remains central, but also be­ cause its major tenets and arguments, which still dominate the literature on western trade in Ottoman lands, need to be reconsidered. The major objec­ tion to it is the self-fiilfilling nature o f its retrospective visions in establishing the causal chain ultimately leading to fiill incorporation and quasi­ colonization in the nineteenth century. While the outcome is more or less in­ disputable, most o f its ‘proofs’ consist essentially o f dubious ex post facto projections into the past. When one looks for viable explanations for such developments within the conditions of the eighteenth and a fortiori o f earlier centuries, it becomes obvious that purely economic and commercial factors just will not do. The way in which French trade was conducted and certain privileges secured and consolidated, the constant feeling o f insecurity and fragility over most acquired advantages and the virtual wiping out o f French trade at the very end of the century constitute sufficient proof o f the vulner­ ability of a superficial penetration and o f the systematic reliance upon actions o f a political and diplomatic rather than economic and commercial nature. This o f course does not preclude the fact that penetration and domination were on the agenda o f both French traders and bureaucrats and that few ac­ tions or decisions on the Ottoman side ever showed a serious response to what, after all, was a rather aggressive commercial and diplomatic move of a westem economic and political system. This important difference in itself cannot be discarded and should find its right place in a discussion involving rapports de force between the two entities. Nevertheless, a great deal of cau­ tion is necessary in order to avoid the temptation o f jumping to conclusions on the basis o f insufficient evidence. That the unbalanced situation o f the nineteenth centuiy was a consequence o f the the establishment o f a westemdominated capitalist system does not in itself justify the quest for ‘seeds’ of the same nature in the periods preceding it. This is all the more true when the would-be dominating economy itself still functioned along predominantly precapitalist lines, in many ways much closer to Ottoman ‘pattems o f under­ development’ than to its own future achievements. A general presentation o f the setting, actors, issues and sources will render

more intelligible the major aims of this study. As mentioned earlier, one ma­ jor challenge was that o f going beyond ‘yet another’ study o f French trade in an Ottoman échelle. With due respect to the excellent work o f historians in the Masson legacy, the present work takes a rather different tack. To put it very simply, this study addresses the issue o f the Levantine trade because it was conducted in the Ottoman lands and not because it was French. This is not to claim that the latter perspective would lack accuracy or legitimacy. Re­ cent works opting for such a perspective have proved to what extent the re­ sults could be rewarding in tenns of a novel approach to westem history;'* and if any student o f French history should want to use this book for a franco-français approach, this could only honor this author and confirm him in the too often neglected necessity for reciprocal uses o f inter-cultural stud­ ies. However, the fact remains that Frenchmen are considered here as a usefiil tool for peeking into Ottoman realities and providing insight and informa­ tion on issues hardly touched upon by Ottoman sources. The use o f French trade and especially French sources for an under­ standing o f Ottoman realities requires some justification. First o f all, the basic aim o f this study is to analyze foreign— in fact westem— ^trade in the Otto­ man capital. The selection o f French activity over any other westem na­ tion’s— English, Dutch or Venetian— is because for most of the century— from say, the mid-1720s to its last decade— ^the French commercial presence throughout the Ottoman domains and more specifically in Istanbul clearly surpassed its westem rivals. Moreover, this overwhelming presence was not only commercial; it was matched by a comparable predominance o f French diplomacy, consular presence, settlement throughout Ottoman ports and towns, political influence and cultural interaction. The granting o f the 1740 capitulations, the mission o f Yirmisekiz Mehmed Çelebi to Paris, the military services rendered by the comte de Bonneval and later by the baron de Tott, the number of French travellers to the Levant and o f ‘philosophical’ texts re­ lating to the Ottoman state, the active participation of French engineers and workers in the modernization o f the Ottoman army towards the end o f the century are only some of the most striking examples attesting to the diverse and intense involvement of France. However, beyond these rather obvious levels of presence and relations and their direct consequences, our contention is that the use of French material from this period will shed light upon certain aspects of the Ottoman state, society and economy in ways that are, at least for the moment, still hard to secure through the exclusive use o f Ottoman ar^ An excellent example o f how Ottoman documentation may be used as an original con­ tribution to westem history can be found in Daniel Goffman, Britons in the Ottoman Empire 1642-1660 (Seattle and London, 1998).

chival documents. Such a daim deserves some elaboration and will require an attentive discussion of available sources. First o f all, it should be noted that one o f the major reasons for the rela­ tively high quantity, quality and overall consistency o f French docu­ mentation compared to its Ottoman counterpart stems from the general context o f French trade in the Levant and from the basic differences in the way in which it was perceived by each side. One tends to forget— once again influenced by retrospective interpretations inspired by subsequent developments— that the importance ascribed to this particular trade dif­ fered enormously depending on whether it was viewed from an Ottoman or a French perspective. To France, trade with the Levant was an ex­ tremely important issue and, as such, attracted proportionate interest and investment— material, administrative and intellectual. Throughout most of the eighteenth century, the Ottoman world was constantly on the agenda o f France, be it among the political, diplomatic and religious concems o f the château de Versailles, the commercial considerations o f the Marseilles Chamber o f Commerce, the industrial preoccupations o f the cloth manu­ facturers o f Carcassonne or the intellectual, cultural and social gatherings o f the salons, cafés and theaters o f Paris. France was losing ground in the international arena, particularly to England whose overseas implantation and successes were becoming a serious threat. The Levant, however, still seemed within the reach o f French influence, all the more so because o f the relative neglect o f this region by the English in their quest for new and more profitable markets. The intensity of the French presence in the Otto­ man lands was not a coincidence but rather a direct consequence of a con­ scious policy o f involvement and implantation. The Levant was perceived as one o f the major stakes o f French foreign policy, as France more and more withdrew and was excluded from other parts o f the globe. From an Ottoman perspective, the situation was different. The reality of the West was, generally speaking, mostly perceived as a geo-political and strategic issue with immediate repercussions in the realm o f diplomacy and military organization. The implantation and commercial activities of West­ erners in the Ottoman world never constituted more than a marginal concem o f the Empire. Thus, if diplomatic and military interest was more or less re­ ciprocated, the same was not true o f commercial or cultural aspects o f con­ tacts and coexistence with the West. In the particular case o f trade, westem commercial activity represented only a minimal fraction in the global volume o f Ottoman trade (including its domestic and eastern components) and, there­ fore, received only negligible attention in administrative and bureaucratic cir­ cles. In most cases, the Ottomans attached much more importance to westem

interference with or protection o f rehgious groups. Such an issue fell directly within the limits o f the state’s primary concems about the organization and control of society, whereas nothing essential really distinguished westem commercial activity from local trade. If westem trade sometimes deserved special attention, this was due to fonn rather than content, especially with re­ spect to the basic difference in the status o f traders under the capitulatory re­ gime. However, even the capitulations were perceived by the Ottomans as diplomatic agreements. The commercial implications o f these treaties, so crucial to westem traders, were seen as tangential issues of little relevance on their own. What could make a westem trader attract some attention was that his status, rights and claims came under the direct endorsement and protec­ tion of a diplomatic agent and were thus projecti^d into the higher spheres of Ottoman intemational relations. The immediate result o f these differences in perception is a dispro­ portionate representation o f the issue o f the Levant trade in the two states’ archival sources. While French sources abound in documents and reports conceming the Levant trade, Ottoman equivalents are interspersed in series reflecting much broader concems. They are only occasionally found grouped together, generally when the legal or administrative requirements o f diplomacy justified such a classification. Beyond this basic and quantitative difference, one o f the most obvious advantages of French documents is that they often provide a vision o f a type and nature much more consistent with the kinds of questions one might pose today. The very foreignness o f these expatriates in the Ottoman Empire makes them in many ways much closer to our present day perceptions o f that historical context than the Ottomans themselves. For despite any cultural af­ finities and legacy that may have remained throughout the ages, if ‘the past is a foreign country,’ the Ottoman past still constitutes one o f its most remote provinces. Our refiisal to admit any essential difference between the Ottoman past and other known categories or our belief that the Ottoman state and soci­ ety were not ‘exotic birds’^ is, of course, ethically commendable and politi­ cally correct in this age of anti- or post-Orientalism. It does not, however, preclude the fact that our understanding of some basic realities of that past are still caught between the normative and anonymous texts o f an impersonal ^ The term is freely borrowed from Selim Deringil who, in his latest work struggles against a a form o f resurgent Orientalism or neo-Orientalism which more or less explicitly (and more or less sympathetically) views the Ottoman past as exotic (S. Deringil, The Well-Protected D o­ mains. Ideology and the Legitimation o f Power in the Ottoman Empire 1876-1909 (LondonNew York, 1998)). It should be noted, however, that Deringil’s argument is strengthened by the fact that he concentrates on the reign o f Abdiilhamid II (1876-1909), so much characterized by a pragmatic yet to a large extent internalized effort towards modernization.

Ottoman bureaucracy and the theoretical constructs o f social scientists (ever since the eighteenth century) whose models rely essentially upon extrapola­ tions from often too scanty evidence. Does that make westem sources more valuable than Ottoman documents? Is one to understand that the painstaking task of reading Ottoman deften, can be advantageously replaced by the rela­ tively easy one o f using westem documents? Not at all, but a warning should be made about some excesses o f ‘paleographic fetishism.’®Only recently was this author told about a criticism or rather a regret expressed by some col­ leagues at his inability to read the Ottoman script. Behind this ‘accusation’ lay the erroneous deduction that if a piece o f work on Ottoinan history did not include references to Ottoman documents, this could only mean that the author was incapable o f reading them. In other words, the use o f Ottoman documents is perceived as the basic criterion o f legitimacy o f any research in the field. Form wins over content in what smells o f a vengefiil reaction of anti-Orientalism to the past and present excesses o f Orientalism. Ottoman documents— ^when available— are certainly not to be discarded. Nevertheless, within the context o f foreign trade and its ramifications, French documents yield a much more accessible, consistent and continuous crop of infonnation. One reason for this lies in the very practical availability and classification o f these series o f documents within archival centers, as opposed to the diversity and fragmentation o f Ottoman series that might have a more or less direct link to the issue. Apart from the ecnebl defterleri, no Ottoman archival series refers directly and exclusively to foreign trade and implanta­ tion. The quest for alternative sources would necessitate a systematic search through all other series, ranging from central bureaucratic records o f an ad­ ministrative and fiscal nature to the court records of at least two o f the kadiships of the capital. Even if completed, the documentation thus amassed would still remain extremely difficult to systematize and place in a meaning­ ful context, for none o f these sources would yield the kind o f synoptic and explanatory qualities and the continuous nature that characterize French documents such as reports, memoranda and statistical tables. Moreover, these French documents, written with a frame o f mind much more gemiane to our present day mental stmctures and most o f all with a sense o f foreignness that occasionally forced them to explain certain things Ottomans would have ®The term is directly inspired by the problem o f ‘document fetishism ’ as best described and denounced by Halil Berktay and Suraiya Faroqhi in a recent publication dealing with the problems o f Ottoman historiography (H. Berktay, “The Search for the Peasant in West­ em and Turkish History/Historiography,” pp. 109-110, 156; '"niree Empires and the Socie­ ties They Governed: Iran, India and the Ottoman Empire,” p. 251; S. Faroqhi, “In Search of Ottoman History,” p. 235, Berktay and Faroqhi (eds). N ew Approaches to State and Peasant in Ottoman History (London, 1992).

skipped because they took them for granted, provide a much more direct and synthetic insight into certain reahties that could have been obtained from the browsing o f piles o f Ottoman defters. Finally, one has to underline what may well be the major advantage of foreign sources over Ottoman equivalents. Many of these documents are of a private nature and thus give the possibility to go beyond the impersonal level o f bureaucratic routine, so characteristic of the great majority of available Ottoman documents. All this praise o f French documentation should not let us forget that these documents also have their flaws and biases, ranging from outright lies— often for the benefit o f correspondents in France— to wishful think­ ing, oversimplification, blatant errors o f perception and misunderstandings. Generally speaking, the argument presented earlier in defense o f French sources could easily be reversed by skeptical ottomanists who would argue that this ‘foreignness’ could-—or even would— ^result in a radical misunder­ standing o f the Ottoman social, political and economic context. However, such a counter-argument would have to rely on a misunderstanding o f the term ‘foreignness.’ What is implied by foreignness— or maybe more rightly alienness— in this context is merely a consciousness o f being differ­ ent in terms o f origins, cultural background or allegiances. In no way does it preclude the possibility o f adapting oneself to the conditions and rules o f the host environment. Quite to the contrary, for most Frenchmen estab­ lished in the Levant the prerequisite for success in their ventures— ^what­ ever their nature— was to understand the ‘rules o f the gam e’ and to adapt to local conditions and equilibria. The idea o f a foreign community com­ pletely withdrawn and ostracized and thus incapable o f managing its con­ tacts with the outer/local world is an image that French sources themselves prove to be a total and impossible aberration. In fact, the strength o f French documents resides mostly in this ambiguous and delicate position at the crossroads o f two cultures. The French presence in Istanbul has to be viewed as a most privileged interface, or rather series of interfaces, linking France to the Ottoman state, individuals to bureaucracy, foreign trade to local merchants, alien individuals to local actors, in short a whole set o f actions and reactions on the fringes o f two worlds. To under­ stand this interface requires more than a purely westem documentation, the aim of which was coinmunication with only one of the two sides. The recent discovery o f a series of registers of petitions sent to the Porte by the French ambassador makes it possible to follow, within a consistent framework, the workings of bureaucratic procedure between the French legation and the Sublime Porte. Not only do these documents cover more than just trading concems, they do so within the broad framework o f the Ottoman domains.

from the Morea to the Crimea, from Baghdad to Edime. Most o f it is either conflictual or reactive. The ambassador was there to report on problems and abuses and ask for the Porte’s intervention in favor o f French traders, cap­ tains, priests and the King’s subjects in general. These petitions provide de­ tailed insight into tlie often blurry boundaries between the normal and the abnonnal, the expected and the unexpected, the acceptable and the unaccept­ able. They delineate the borders within which French actors could fiinction, with respect to both their own expectations and the Ottoman system in gen­ eral. Beyond this reactive ftinction, the French chanceiy in Istanbul also acted as a notarial office, keeping record o f declarations, not only contracts be­ tween French subjects, but also between Frenchmen and Ottomans or even the Porte. In a system where the capitulatory regime h a ^ g r a n ^ f o e d o m j i j jurisdictionJo_foreignjrepresentatives, the French chancery developed into a h d f ^ t ^ o m o u s tribunal and notarigljjistituti^ working in parallel with the j local judicial system. j The fonn and function o f this series o f documents lie in between the two worlds in contact. Written in Ottoman by French dragomans for the purpose o f defending French interests, they represent an intersection between Frenchmen and the Crown on the one hand and Ottoman subiects-and-the Porte on the other. In addition, the amount and quality o f information yielded 'B yThSe^ooim ents is astonishing. The day-to-day filing and registration of complaints or declarations gives insight into matters often ignored by both Ottoman and French sources. No French trader would report back to Mar­ seilles on such petty issues as outstanding debts or occasional harassment at the hands o f local merchants or officials. Nor would the ambassador burden his reports to the Ministry or his correspondence with the Marseilles Cham­ ber of Commerce with the tedious details of his daily dealings with the Ot­ toman administration. Most of the French documentation aimed at a global assessment o f the conditions o f trade, which makes it extremely valuable in its own way, but leaves aside the mundane reality o f daily contacts, conflicts, compromises that constituted the background o f dealings with the local envi­ ronment. In short, these registers reflect a daily account o f what was probably obvious and often o f little interest to the actors but becomes invaluable to the historian. For the practical purpose o f keeping a record o f petitions (and most probably preserving a list o f precedents for procedure and action) the chan­ cery o f the French embassy collected what probably comes closest to the files and notes o f individual traders of the French nation, thus permitting a direct glance into their everyday concems. These documents also yield considerable information about the Ottoman side of the picture, even though in a rather indirect fashion. Firsthand infor-

mation on local merchants is extremely hard to come by. Apart from some very exceptional cases, their private correspondence, their books or their contracts— ^provided they ever existed— still await to be unearthed. Doubts as to the very existence of such material— ^seemingly confirmed by the observa­ tion so frequently made by contemporary foreign observers that the ‘Levantines’ were essentially people o f the word and not o f the pen— may or may not be justified. Nevertheless, if such documents were ever produced by local traders, they seem not to have survived, leaving a troublesome gap in our understanding o f day-to-day practices. In the absence o f such material, the chancery archives once again prove useful. The petitions o f the ambassa­ dor, together with a number o f copies of documents—/êm âws, hüccets, even letters— originating from Ottoman officials offer a substantial amount of in­ fonnation on the goals, motivations and actions o f local traders. Formulaic and stereotypical as they may be, these documents enable us to get an occa­ sional glimpse o f Ottoman subjects in their daily dealings with foreigners. The benefits to be derived from the records of petitions kept by the chan­ cery o f the French embassy do not end here. These documents are not limited to cases conceming the nation o f Constantinople but deal with issues and problems from all over the Ottoman dominions. The ambassador was thus fulfilling his duties as representative and intennediaiy o f the entire French nation in the Levant and bombarding the Sublime Porte with petitions ema­ nating from the king’s subjects established in each and every échelle. A closer look at the individual cases mentioned in the petitions shows that the equilibria between actors differed from one city to the next, and that each échelle tended to have its own typology o f tensions and problems. Some ba­ sic differences thus appear between the ‘normal’ conditions o f the capital, where traders were mostly confronted with problems of a purely commercial nature— outstanding debts, bankruptcies, etc.— as opposed to the ‘abnonnal’ environment o f the periphery, often characterized by the frequent interfer­ ence o f non- or extra-economic factors. In certain ways, life was harder for foreign merchants who chose to settle in the peripheral regions o f the Empire, where they lacked the direct protection provided by the diplomatic power and recognition o f the ambassador to the Porte. Quite paradoxically, however, the opportunities for integration and assimilation were also higher in the prov­ inces where the absence or dilution o f central control made possible forms of collusion and collaboration which would have been unthinkable in the more structured setting o f the capital of the Empire. A comparison o f the petitions conceming the provincial échelles with those relating to traders in Istanbul would, therefore, prove extremely useful in discovering some o f the basic differences between the structures and exercise of power in the center and in

the periphery. However, such an analysis would have far exceeded the scope o f this work. Apart from a general assessment of differences between the center and the periphery, I have therefore chosen to exploit the peripheral dimension only within the limits o f a specific issue—^that of the functioning of the finan­ cial network linking Istanbul to the provinces through the use bills o f ex­ change. A thorough analysis o f French trade in Istanbul shows that a major part of the commercial activities o f foreign merchants was channeled into fi­ nancial ventures— ^what was then called the commerce de banque— which in most cases were grafted on preexistent financial networks extending to the provinces o f the Empire. Gradually developing into a ‘bank’ of the Levant, Istanbul thus found itself at the center o f a complex structure o f capital and credit transfers based on the widespread use o f bills o f exchange. French documents I had previously used described how the core of the system func­ tioned. Nevertheless, they remained extremely evasive about the ways in which these financial tentacles were organized, especially in the provinces. The bills of exchange themselves cited scores o f individuals— French or for­ eign traders, local şarrâfe, (bankers, money changers) and govemment offi­ cials— who were directly involved in these operations. However, they said little about the way in which the system really functioned and how transac­ tions were carried out at the provincial end o f this financial system, a lacuna which the petition registers o f the French chancery help fill in. Some o f the provincial cases deal specifically with the functioning of the network. More importantly, a series o f documents from the Venetian consular archives of Cyprus^ at last revealed the incomplete peripheral dimension. These docu­ ments consist o f the correspondence between the muhassil of the island in Nicosia and the Venetian consul in Tuzla extending over most o f the second half o f the century. A large portion o f this series explicitly refers to transac­ tions conceming bills o f exchange issued by Venetian traders and bought by the local authorities who in turn endorsed them to their agents in Istanbul. These letters, most o f which emanated from the muhassil’s office, uniquely provide an interesting altemative to official Ottoman documentation: a pri­ vate correspondence between an entrepreneur-like muhassil and a merchant­ like consul. What is unveiled in this series is not just the functioning o f the provincial system o f financial transfers but also the issue o f contacts in the provinces as compared to the capital o f the Empire.* ^ G. Migliardi O ’Riordan (ed.), Archivio del Consolato Veneto a Cipro (fine sec. X V II inizio XIX). Inventario e Regesti (Venice, 1993). See also D. Desaive, “Une nouvelle source ottom ane sur Chypre au X V Iir siècle,” Turcica, XXVI (1994), pp. 261-270. * One might bring up the objection that, contrary to the documentation concem ing Istan-

This work is commercial in essence. In chapters one through four, it deals with imports, exports and the balance o f trade in an attempt to pin down the major dynamics o f a thriving trade between Marseilles and Istan­ bul. However, the analysis o f this trading activity would have been incom­ plete without a proper investigation o f one o f its major consequences— ^the development o f an increasingly sophisticated financial network resulting from the accumulation o f a trade surplus in the hands o f the nation o f Con­ stantinople. Such is the novelty and importance o f this issue that the three following chapters are entirely devoted to it. Finally, the last three chapters concentrate on a qualitative assessment o f trade during the century, from the complexity o f the human factor to the evolution o f the rapports de force between the French trading community and local economic actors. The absence o f any concrete reference to the process o f ‘westernization’ generally associated with the eighteenth century may seem surprising. In fact, this omission stems from two major concems. First, it appears that this process had little to do with the central topic o f this work. Second, the documents at hand suggest little evidence o f the existence o f such a proc­ ess. Contemporary French sources hardly ever refer to the introduction o f the printing press, the hedonistic attitudes o f the ‘Tulip period,’ the em­ bassy of Yinnisekiz Mehmed Çelebi, or the gradual adoption o f certain western architectural and artistic fonns. This omission is in itself signifi­ cant. This is not to say that these developments were unimportant or that they did not constitute in some way ‘seeds’ o f a fiiture process o f change. It means, however, that ascribing too much importance to these marginal de­ velopments could easily result in the deceptive transposition o f a nineteenth-century problématique. Westemization as such was on the agenda o f neither Ottoman statesmen nor o f contemporary westem observers. In that respect, the most dynamic actors o f the time, those who underwent truly major changes in their perception and conceptualization o f their envi­ ronment, were probably neither the French nor the Ottoman élite, but rather that awkwardly intenriediate group consisting o f non-Muslim traders and financiers for whom the eighteenth century brought much more dra­ matic changes.

bul, the main foreign actors in this setting were not French but Venetian. Although it is true that the Venetian example will be used with the implicit assumption that it was ‘typical’ to the point o f being interchangeable with cases involving Frenchmen, it should be pointed out that the documentation itself consistently gives indications as to the plausibility o f this ex­ trapolation.


FA C TS A N D FIG U R ES: FREN CH T R A D E IN TH E LEV A N T A N D IN IST A N B U L IN TH E E IG H TEEN TH C EN TU R Y French trade in the Levant has been the subject o f a great number o f spe­ cialized works dealing in detail with the major quantitative and qualitative aspects o f the question, mostly from a French perspective.' It should suf­ fice, therefore, to remind here that this trade, a source o f wealth for France in general and particularly for Marseilles, which controlled it in its major part, covered most o f the Ottoman territories through a network o f échelles o f varying importance. Among these, Smyma (İzmir) Constantinople (İstanbul), Aleppo (Haleb), Salonika (Selânik), Sidon (Sayda), Alexan­ dria/Cairo (iskenderiye/Kahire), Canea/Candia (Hanya/Kandiye) and the southern regions o f Greece— generally grouped under the collective label o f the Morea and the Archipelago— witnessed the largest concentration of commercial activity. These major échelles were followed by secondary cen t e r , representing only a minimal fraction o f the total volume o f the Le­ vant trade and generally more or less directly linked to larger centers which they serviced or depended on for their own trade. Such was the case of Adrianople (Edime), Brussa (Bursa), Angora (Ankara), Satalia (Antalya), Alexandretta (İskenderun), Lamaca (Lamaka) or Acre (Akkâ). Between 1726 and 1789, the volume o f this trade represented an annual average o f some 22.5 million livres tournois, with exports (from the Le­ vant) reaching 19 million and imports 13.5 million.^ This unbalanced situation, leading to a constant deficit o f the French balance o f trade in ternis o f goods, characterized most o f the century. Only during a short pe­ riod did French imports seem to exceed the value o f exports o f Ottoman products: between 1739 and 1750, thanks especially to a considerable growth o f the market for French woollen cloth, the balance o f trade m o­ mentarily tipped in favor o f France. The following decades, however, saw the reestablishment o f the traditional pattem o f massive exports to Mar ' See n. 2 o f the Introduction. ^ Archives de la Chambre de Commerce de Marseille (ACCM ), J 1560, État estim atif du commerce d ’entrée et de sortie du Levant depuis l ’année 1726 jusques et compris 1777 ex­ trait des états particuliers déposés dans les archives de la Chambre du Commerce de M ar­ seille, 1779; Paris, op. cit., pp. 600-601. Since import figures for the years before 1726 are not available, it is impossible to assess the volume o f trade for this period. However, it is alm ost certain that exports exceeded imports and that consequently, the overall balance o f trade would be tipped even more in favor o f exports to Marseilles.

Fig. 1.1 - French trade in the Levant, 1700-1789

seilles, only partly met by imports. The general trend o f the commodity trade between Marseilles and the Levant (fig. 1.1) is essentially characterized by a constant growth o f its volume throughout the century, Irom an average 20 million livres in the 1720s to some 50 to 60 million at the close o f the century. The export trade from the Levant^— quantitatively the most important but also qualitatively the best documented aspect o f French trade— can be analyzed in these terms for a consistent period of some 120 years, Irom the early 1670s to the late HSOs.'^ The evolution o f exports clearly shows the modalities of this constant growth; an initial period o f gestation until the late 1680s, fol­ lowed by three successive phases o f growth until the late 1780s (16901740; 1740-1777; 1777-1789). The smoothness o f the trend is often inter­ rupted by short term variations, generally as the result o f the French con­ juncture. Thus, the blockade o f Mediterranean ports by the English fleet in 1695 and the ten years o f the War o f Spanish Succession (1702-1713) were typical examples o f severe drops in the volume o f trade caused by the ^ The vision in this work will tend to be ‘oriental’ and currents o f trade will be taken into consideration from this perspective, with Istanbul or the Levant as its center. In other words, unless otherwise specified, imports will refer to imports to the Levant and exports to exports from the Levant. The following discussion o f the evolution o f French trade in the Levant is based on Masson, XVIIF and Paris, op. c it, particularly pp. 567-583.

repercussions o f war on Mediterranean shipping. Nevertheless, recovery was immediate after each o f these interruptions and that o f the early 1710s was so brisk that it lead to the accumulation o f stocks in Marseilles in 1714-1715. Freshly out o f war, the French economy was unable to absorb this enormous quantity o f Levantine goods. A commercial crisis ensued, with more than 70 bankruptcies in Marseilles and a drop o f exports from the Levant below 5 million livres in 1716. Again, within a short period of three years, Levantine exports reached a peak o f almost 23 million livres. An extraordinary growth, and a misleading one too, since half o f it con­ sisted of an artificial doubling o f prices under the inflationary pressure o f Law’s System. A terrible crisis followed, when the System collapsed and when, as the result o f a fatal coincidence, Marseilles was hit in 1720 by the last and most murderous appearance o f the bubonic plague. ^ The conse­ quent drop-to 6,100,000 and 3,400,000 livres in 1721 and 1722 was a hard blow to Marseilles and its commercial interests in the Levant. It was, how­ ever, the last for a rather long period o f time, as trade recovered once again, reaching gradually its pre-1715 threshold o f nearly 15 million livres. Until the end o f the 1730s, exports fi-om the Levant were maintained at more or less this level, despite certain minor crises, such as that of 1734, resulting from the combination o f the Persian wars, bad harvests, Venetian competition, an increase o f customs on export products and massive ship­ ments o f wheat to France on behalf o f the Crown. Overall, the Levant ex­ port trade had stabihzed and was already preparing the grounds for a new phase characterized by an overall increase o f the volume of exports. This phase started in the late 1730s, as a first peak o f nearly 16 million livres in 1739 was followed by a second one o f 17 million in 1743. Partly thanks to the diplomatic efforts o f ambassador Villeneuve and to the re­ newal o f the capitulations in 1740, the trend was clearly changing and would have easily reached a new threshold at 20 million, had it not been for the War o f Austrian Succession and the resulting drop in trade between 1744 and 1748. The end o f the war proved to what extent this growth, arti­ ficially interrupted by the political conjuncture, had been solidly based. In 1749, exports reached 18.8 million livres and continued expanding until the record figure o f nearly 23 million in 1753. Once again, however, war interrupted this pattem o f growth. The Seven Years War (1756-1763) brought export figures down to 5 million livres. Peace brought recovery and even more, as a new phase o f growth began, pushing towards the

5 On the plague o f M arseilles in 1720 see Ch. Carrière, M. Courdurié and F. Rebuffat, M arseille ville morte. La peste de 1720 (Marseilles, 1968).

threshold o f 30 million livres (23.2 in 1765, 27.6 in 1773 and 28.9 in 1777). This growth was rather irregular, though, and was characterized by a saw-toothed curve. The Russo-Ottoman war o f 1768-1774 and, even more, the 1774 crash o f brokers in Marseilles were responsible for severe drops in this otherwise upward-moving trend. More seriously however, French participation in the American War o f Independence pulled down the volume o f exports, even though this time the consequences were rela­ tively less dramatic than during the preceding conflicts involving the French state. Exports dropped to 10.1 million livres, but not any further. The reorganization o f the French navy by Choiseul and more particularly the use o f well-protected convoys in the Mediterranean ensured a minimi­ zation o f risks when compared to the War o f Austrian Succession and the Seven Years War. Starting in 1780, growth once again resumed, finally crossing the 30 million-line in 1783 (31.5 million) and reaching an all-time record at 36.4 miUion livres in 1788. What follows is unknown, or rather unquantified. The last figure in the statistical series shows a drop to 29.1 million in 1789. Had the Revolution already hit the city and its trade? Not really, if we are to believe the number o f ships entering the harbor of Marseilles. In fact, a dramatic break oc­ curred only in 1793, with yearly figures dropping from over 700 ships during the preceding year to a mere 30. More than the Revolution and its Terreur—^responsible for substantial losses among the trading commu­ nity— war with Britain was responsible for this crisis. The blockade o f the port by the British fleet had completely severed Marseilles’ links with the Levant. Not even the peace o f Amiens (1802) or the Napoleonic victories were able to restore what had ensured the glory and prosperity o f M ar­ seilles. The continental dreams o f hegemony o f the French Empire were in fact an indirect admission o f British supremacy over the seas.'’ For Mar­ seilles and the Levant, this meant the end of a privileged relationship. In the following century, trading relations would certainly not disappear, but Marseilles would have to share them with new and much more powerful economic actors. It is much more difficult to conduct a similar kind of analysis for the import trade during the same period. Continuous statistical data for imports is much more limited than for exports. The available series cover the years 1726-1789, leaving out some 60 years covered by export statistics. Moreo­ ver, the figures for the initial period o f 1726-1739 pose a serious problem

®Carrière, Négociants, v. 1, pp. 112-114; Richesse du passé marseillais. Le p o rt mondial au X V I l f siècle (M arseilles, 1979), pp. 83-85.

o f reliability. They seem to be deflated to the point that for some years, the total value o f imports to the Levant appears to be lower than the figures for the échelle o f Constantinople alone. Despite these inadequacies, a general evaluation o f the major trends o f the import trade is still possible. For the earlier period o f 1670-1726, the total lack o f data can be compensated for by an extrapolation from cloth imports which constituted more than three quarters o f the total volume o f French goods sent to the Levant.'^ A slow but steady increase seems to characterize this period, with drastic drops corresponding to the crises described earlier in the context o f exports, par­ ticularly the bankruptcies o f 1715 and the collapse o f Law’s System com­ bined with the Marseilles plague epidemic in 1720. A second phase o f growth follows from 1728 on, clearly identifiable in the cloth import sta­ tistics but masked by the irregularity o f the highly inaccurate figures o f general trade statistics. Qualitative information corroborates to a large ex­ tent the impression left by the cloth figures. The rapid development of cloth production in Languedoc and the increasing share o f the cloth trade gained by the French against their Dutch, Venetian and English rivals seem to have generated this boom in French exports. The bottlenecks created in 1729-1730 by an excessive accumulation o f woollen cloth in French stores also confirai this commercial growth. During the 1730s and 1740s, minis­ ter Maurepas and ambassador Villeneuve spent most o f their energy de­ vising ways o f harnessing this uncontrolled flow o f textiles towards the Ottoman lands.* Starting with 1739, as statistical information becomes more reliable, the value o f imports ose to an unprecedented maximum o f over 20 miUion livres, reaching even a peak o f over 25 million in 1743.® Thus, for the first time, the balance o f trade seemed to tip in favor o f France, even though for only a decade, despite a brief drop in imports during the War o f Austrian Succession which caused an even more severe decrease in exports. How­ ever, at the close o f the war, the dominant pattem was rapidly reestablished with a sudden rise o f exports in 1749. From then on, apart fi-om some very exceptional years, imports lagged well behind exports, the difference be­ tween the two occasionally reaching 10 to 15 million livres. As in the case o f exports, one can easily read in this trend the major disruptions o f the pe­ riod, causing more or less severe drops in the volume o f imports, as in the ’ ACCM , H 171-173, États des draps expédiés en Levant. ®For a detailed account o f the evolution o f the cloth trade, see Chapter Two. ®This leap is obviously accentuated by the fact that the figures for the preceding years are, as m entioned earlier, highly inaccurate in their systematic under-estimation o f the real volume o f the import trade.

case o f the Seven Years War or the American War o f Independence. Nev­ ertheless, one feature sets the import trade clearly apart from exports; the fact that the boom o f the 1740s constituted an upper limit to the expansion o f imports which from then on followed a constant trend with oscillations between 15 and 20 million livres. The gap between the steadily growing value o f exports and the stabilized import figures thus kept widening, leaving far behind the memory o f a short-lived period o f a balance o f frade favorable to France. This unbalanced situation o f an excess o f exports over imports charac­ terized French frade in the Levant throughout most o f the eighteenth cen­ tury and was generally perceived as resulting in an accumulated deficit of the balance o f trade between France and the Ottoman Empire. One should not, however, take this deficit at face value, for it did not franslate in a sys­ tematic draining o f bullion from France to the Levant. The fact that these figures cover— quite imperfectly too— only goods and exclude services distorts our perception o f the real situation. Among these services, mari­ time transportation— almost exclusively in French hands— is probably the major item that should be added to the French side o f the balance. If navi­ gation between Marseilles and the Levant and, more importantly, Frenchconfrolled coastal shipping within Ottoman waters— ^the caravane— could be properly quantified, it is more than probable that the balance o f frade would be very significantly modified in favor o f the French economy and the deficit reduced to a much less significant figure, at least for the second half o f the century. According to a contemporary author, each caravaneur ship realized an annual profit o f some 20,000 livres. Basing him self on a report dated 1779, he estimated that the caravane represented an overall yearly income o f some 10 million livres, a sum corresponding to more than half o f the frade deficit o f the time.'® How accurate an estimation that might have been, one cannot say. We know, however, that the caravane was an exfremely profitable venture which atfracted a great number o f French captains, especially after the renewal o f the French capitulations in 1740." Moreover, even though part o f the frade deficit was balanced with precious metal, from the 1760s on, this cash hemorrhage took the form o f a very profitable frade, based on the sale o f European silver coins and on the transfer o f resultant profits back to Europe through a complex network of Bérenger, Soirées provençales (Paris, 1787), pp. 182-206, quoted by Paris, op. cit., p. 577, n. 1 and p. 580. ' ' Paris, op. c it, pp. 579-580. The author argues, however, that towards the end o f the century, local shipping— especially Ragusan— started to compete very effectively for the once French-dom inated network.

bills o f exchange.'- Carrying the argument further, some authors have even argued very convincingly that, in fact, Marseilles was “growing rich by buying more than it sold,” and that the apparent deficit o f the balance o f trade was in to a large extent an illusion caused by the inadequacy o f sta­ tistical sources.'^ Indeed, the problem o f the interpretation o f statistical sources is o f cru­ cial importance and may lead to a radical questioning o f the overall as­ sessment o f French commercial activity in the Levant throughout the eighteenth century. The trends we have analyzed above more or less con­ sistently pointed to a steady growth o f this trade from some 10-15 million livres at the end o f the seventeenth century to over 50 million at the end o f the eighteenth. This signifies a four-fold growth o f the total volume, with a tendency o f exports to increase almost constantly and o f imports to stag­ nate after a short-lived mid-century expansion. However, these figures deal with the value o f trade, not with its volume. The inflationary episode o f the late 171 Os clearly shows to what extent an artificial price hike could distort the evolution o f the export curve. Without reaching such extreme propor­ tions, disparities in the price level o f export and import goods throughout the century are likely to cause a similar distortion. There are several ways o f checking for differences between value and volume, depending on the existence and nature o f altemative sources. The simplest is that o f com­ paring the evolution o f the value o f trade with that o f shipping figures. Ch. Carrière, testing this method on other ports, has shown to what extent the volume o f trade and the number o f ships were correlated, despite the fact

The commerce de banque, a form o f trade based on financial operations involving the trade o f precious metal and the circulation o f bills o f exchange, is another item that is com ­ pletely absent from statistical sources o f the period. This trade will be thoroughly analyzed in qualitative terms in the following chapters. Carrière and Courdurié, "Sophisme.” This remarkable article brilliantly challenges the unquestioning acceptance o f statistical sources for the Levant trade, especially with respect to the balance o f payments between France and the Ottoman Empire. The starting point o f the argument is the realization that exchange rates between the Ottoman Empire and Mar­ seilles during the eighteenth century show a constant increase to the advantage o f the latter. This, in turn, can only be interpreted as a sign o f a growing debt o f the Ottoman lands to­ wards Marseilles, thus infirming the commonly accepted and statistically documented view o f a French deficit. The authors’ explanation for this contradiction is based on the fact that statistical sources o f the time reflect the balance o f commercial exchanges and not that o f payments and, therefore, do not take into account a certain num ber o f invisibles, namely 1° profits m ade on merchandise shipped from the Levant, 2° benefits derived from freight and captains’ m erchandise on trips between Marseilles and the Levant, 3° the produce o f the caravane trade in Ottoman waters and 4° profits accrued from the use o f trading capital. As a whole, the authors estimate that Marseilles could import for approximately 50 % more than the value o f its exports without effectively disbursing any cash.

that navigation statistics lump together ships o f varying size and capacityJ'* A second method is to use, when available, average price trends in order to correct the potential effect o f inflation or deflation on the value o f trade. Both methods can be, at least partly, put to use in the context o f the Levant trade. That o f shipping figures applies only to exports from the Levant, since shipping figures cover only vessels entering the Vieux-Port, while that o f price indexation can be used for both imports and exports, but only roughly, because o f the absence o f series o f sufficient consistency and continuity. Despite these limitations, the results confirm our doubts. While, as mentioned earlier, the value o f exports from the Levant practically quad­ rupled during the century, the volume o f shipping between 1710 and 1790 remained on the average more or less stationary.'^ The price-level test, conducted within the limits o f the scanty information provided in the sta­ tistical tables o f the time, yields a similar result. The prices o f export goods followed a more or less stable frend until the 1740s'® but then started in­ creasing until the end o f the century. The amplitude o f this price increase varies between 25 and 100% depending on the commodities. Prices in­ creased by a quarter or a third for hides, olive oil, mohair yam and silk; they doubled or more in the case o f cotton, cotton yam or camel hair.'’ Overall, Paris estimates that between 1740 and 1789, this price hike had multiplied the value o f exports by approximately 1.8,'* thus producing an inflating factor which, if corrected, would bring down the curve o f exports to a near-stagnation for the period. The exact opposite is frue o f imports. The prices o f goods imported from France into the Levant showed a stable or declining trend during the same period. Except for coffee and indigo, the prices o f which tended to increase until the end o f the century, most French or colonial products, such as sugar and cochineal, remained at the same price level in 1789 as in 1749. In the case o f cloth, the major item o f im­ ports, prices had even decreased in the proportion o f 30 to 40 %.'^ There is no doubt, therefore, that in terms o f real volume, the evolution o f French Carrière, Négociants, v. I, pp. 48-57. The author shows the discrepancy between the value o f imports to Marseilles and the number o f ships entering the harbor (p. 49) while illustrating the parallelism between tonnage and number o f ships for Saint-Malo (p. 52) and for Malouin shipping in Marseilles (p. 55) for periods o f over 40 years, as well as for Swedish shipping in the Mediterranean and Levantine imports for shorter periods (p. 55). See graph “Navires venus du Levant” in Carrière, Négociants, v. I, p. 60. ' ®W ith the notable exception o f the inflationary craze o f the end o f the 1710 as the result o f Law ’s System. This sudden leap, however, was extremely brief and prices returned to their pre-Law levels immediately after the collapse o f the System. Paris, op. cit., p. 582, n. 1. '*/fa'i/.,p. 583. '5 /iW .,p p . 581-582.

Fig. 1.2 - Ship entries into Marseilles harbor, 1710-1799

trade in the Levant presents a considerably different pattem. The constant increase in exports is leveled down to an almost static curve while imports, on the contrary, tend to increase by some 25 % more than the near­ stagnation their value shows for the second half o f the century. O f course, it may be argued that the value o f trade is as significant as its volume, and that it remains the only possible way to analyze the balance of trade. We think, however, that an analysis based on volume is also indis­ pensable for a proper understanding o f the evolution o f trade. In the par­ ticular case o f French trade in the Levant, the fact that the volume o f trade tends to stagnate indicates a certain malaise in the commercial relations between France and the Levant, all the more when the rate o f growth de­ creases after an initial period o f rapid expansion. Global figures o f trade for Marseilles confirm this vision. Thus, when one compares the secular trend o f the total value o f imports to this city with that o f the Levant trade alone, the difference in the rates o f growth becomes rather obvious. Between 1726 and 1773, the total value o f imports increased from an initial level o f some 5 million livres to nearly 114 million, roughly representing a twenty­ fold growth. During the same period, the value o f the Levant trade wit­ nessed a seven- to eight-fold increase only.^® The same phenomenon can Data for Marseilles from Carrière, Négociants, v. II, p. 1041. These figures do not cover the period after 1780 and we have preferred not to include the years o f the American

be deduced from the number o f ship entries into Marseilles (fig. 1.2). From 100 in 1710 to 800 in the late 1780s, the total number o f vessels entering the harbor increased dramatically, especially after the end o f the Seven Years War. Ships coming from the Levant, however, showed a much more constant trend, from a lowest figure o f 63 to 234 in 1788.^’ By and large, these figures indicate that the share o f the Levant trade in the overall im­ port trade o f Marseilles decreased by half during the century. According to Carrière, the share o f the Levant in the trade o f Marseilles, including ex­ ports, had decreased from nearly 40 % at the end o f the seventeenth cen­ tury to 25 % at the end o f the eighteenth.^The problem, then, is twofold. Not only was the trade o f the Levant stagnating in terms o f its volume, it was also progressively losing impor­ tance at a global level, due to the mutations o f trade in the westem world. Following what had aheady been initiated by the Dutch and the English in the seventeenth century, Marseilles was gradually withdrawing from its traditional commercial grounds and turning West, towards the new fron­ tiers o f European expansion in the eighteenth century. If the share o f the Levant— as well as that o f the Barbary Coast— was decreasing, it was mainly because new opportunities were emerging, especially in the West Indies and to a certain extent in Africa and the East Indies.^^ The evolution o f the number o f residence permits issued for the Levant by the Chamber o f Commerce o f Marseilles similarly suggests a relative decline o f Mar­ seilles’ interest for the Levant. The number o f permits issued, subject to the generally opposing pressures o f demand fi-om traders and conservative caution from the Chamber o f Commerce, follows a rather stable trend until the 1750s. From the 1760s on, however, it decreases steadily, reflecting a significant decline in the demand for new establishments in the Levant.-'* W ar o f Independence which would have distorted to a large extent a comparative analysis o f this kind. Ibid., pp. 1046-1047. These figures include only ships coming from long-distance jour­ neys (Levant, Barbary, Atlantic) and exclude both the coastal trade within the region and with Italy and the wheat trade, too irregular to be taken into consideration within this perspective. Carrière, Richesse, pp. 40-41. If one is to take the ship statistics mentioned above, it appears that the number o f ships coming from the Atlantic was the main cause behind the overall increase o f Marseilles’ volume o f maritime trade. Between 1710 and 1790, this number increased from an average 20 to over 500 (Cairière, Négociants, v. II, pp. 1046-1047). In the same way, the same author’s estimates for Marseilles’ global trade at the end o f the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries confirm this mutation. Against a loss o f importance o f the Levant, the Barbary Coast, Italy, Spain and Portu­ gal, those regions which increased their share were North America, Africa with its slave trade, the East Indies and, most o f all, the West Indies (Carrière, Richesse, pp. 4 0 ^1 ). ACCM, B 5-20, Deliberation books o f the Marseilles Chamber o f Commerce; J 101, Autorisations de résidence; Paris, op. c it, p. 602.

This relative contraction o f the Levant trade was not peculiar to Mar­ seilles. In fact, by still preserving a quarter o f its commercial activities di­ rected towards the eastern Mediterranean basin at the ed o f the century, Marseilles was lagging far behind other westem commercial actors. The Dutch and the English had started much earlier to turn their gaze towards the new horizons o f commercial and colonial expansion in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.^^ This expansion partly explains the relative ease with which French traders were able to increase their presence and influence in the Levant by the end o f the seventeenth century and eventually eliminate most o f their westem competitors by the 1730s. However, it also means that France was enjoying an ephemeral victory. The English would make a forceful comeback in the nineteenth century, sweeping away much o f the advantages gained by the French in the previous century. From an Ottoman point o f view, the impact o f these transformations was eventually even greater. The decrease o f the Empire’s share in global trade was one o f the major causes for the marginalization and ultimate domination o f its econ­ omy in the nineteenth century. The role played by Istanbul in this prosperous yet declining trade was considerable, to the extent that it often competed for a first position against the Anatolian port-city o f Izmir. However, each o f these two cities spe­ cialized in a very different nature o f trade. Istanbul was a major center for imports, while Smymean trade was dominated by exports and by the re­ distribution o f imports. In 1771, Clicquot-Blervache estimated that the im­ port trade o f Constantinople was “to that o f Smyma as 31 is to 19” while the same proportion was reduced to 9 to 25 for exports.^® According to the detailed tables provided by this author, Istanbul controlled some 34.4 % of all French imports to the Levant and only 7.7 % o f exports.^’ While sig“ [The Levant trade] was never so important to England, but in several decades o f the seventeenth century about a tenth o f the total o f English trade was carried on with the Le­ vant; by the 1770’s the Levant accounted for no more than 1 per cent” (R. Davis, “English imports from the Middle East, 1580-1780”, Studies in the Economic History o f the Middle East,\910,x>.2Q5). C\\cqaoX-B\exw&ch&, Essai sur le commerce du Levant, 1730-1750, 1771, p. 364. Ibid., pp. 364,368: Le commerce [d’entrée de Constantinople] est à celui de Smyme comme 31 e stá 19 à celui d ’Alexandrette 31 est á 12 à celui de Seyde 31 e stá 5 à celui de Chipre 31 est á 1 1 à celui de Tripoly de Sirie 31 est á à celui d ’Egypte 31 e stá 19 4 à celui de Salonique 31 est á à celui de Candie 59 e stá 1

nificantly representative o f the dedication o f the imperial capital to imports, these figures seem nevertheless somewhat inflated when compared to the statistical figures o f the Marseilles Chamber o f Commerce, which reduce the average share o f imports o f the capital to 14.7 % and o f exports to 5.4 %.2* Although one can never be cautious enough when using eighteenth-century statistical data, in this particular case, the cumulative and proportional nature o f the data seem to speak in favor o f the Marseilles fig­ ures.^® However, despite blatant quantitative discrepancies, the two sources converge in their description o f the major characteristic o f Constantinopolitan trade— its almost exclusive vocation to imports. This typical trait o f the city was remarkable, but not exceptional. This characteristic was common to most o f the capital cities o f the early modem period whose trade was essentially aimed at fulfilling the needs o f the state apparatus and provisioning a very large population.^® In the case o f the Ottoman capital, the domination o f economic life by the palace and its ap­ pendices was often underlined by contemporary observers: C o n sta n tin o p le, w h e re th e g re atest c o n su m p tio n o f all g o o d s tak e s p lac e,

comme 60 e s tá 1 à celui de Barbarie 4 31 est á à celui de l ’Archipel et Morée Le commerce [de sortie de Constantinople] est comme 9 e stá 25 à celui de Smyme 9 est á 15 à celui d ’Alexandrette 18 e stá 40 à celui de Seyde 4 9 est á à celui de Chipre 9 e stá 8 à celui de Tripoly de Sirie 19 9 est á à celui d ’Egypte 18 est á 9 à celui de Salonique 35 18 est á à celui de Candie 15 18 e stá à celui de Barbarie 12 18 e stá à celui de l ’Archipel et Morée For the Levant, see the statistics m entioned in n. 2 above. For Istan sources discussed below and in n. 47 and 48 below. Clicquot-Blervache (op. cit., p. 276, n. x) provides another table conceming the distri­ bution o f trade among the m ajor ports, derived from figures for the year 1730: Constantinople 700,000 piasters Sm ym a 800,000 Sayda 450.000 Tripoli o f Syria 200,000 Cairo, Alexandria, Rosetta 1,200,000 Cyprus 100,000 Canea or Candia 300,000 The Morea 200,000 Salonika 200,000 Satalia, islands o f the Archipelago 100.000 Total 4,650,000 A. Toynbee, Les villes dans l'histoire. Cités en mouvement (Paris, 1972), pp. 160-161.

p ro v id e s little fo r ex p o rts. T h e S erag lio is, o n e m ig h t say, th e c e n te r w h e re e v e ry th in g en d s up, a n d w h e re e v ery th in g re m a in s b e c a u se it sp ills o u t as lit­ tle as it can o f so m a n y trib u te s th a t it re ce iv e s fro m all reg io n s.^'

The palace and its entourage was generally singled out as the most sig­ nificant pole o f attraction for obvious reasons o f conspicuousness and even o f fascination from the viewpoint o f contemporary observers. The display o f court splendor, tales o f consumption and luxury, the constant feeling o f a huge military and bureaucratic presence all contributed to this image so often portrayed by foreign observers, in ways that sometimes suggest an eagemess to communicate a message o f half-hidden criticism o f their own political system. No less impressive was the massive consumption that the provisioning o f the urban population entailed and the consequent flow of basic goods and commodities fi'om the provinces into the granaries, mar­ kets and shops o f the city. Strikingly, and despite the lack o f reliable quantitative data, imports into Istanbul consisted mostly o f domestic products. Istanbul was located at the center o f a commercial network that linked it to the Ottoman domains via land and sea routes. The port— often described as the most beautifiil and secure o f the world— was scattered with piers and landing places (iskele) that attested to the great variety and diverse origins o f goods that spilled out from an ever-increasing number o f ships.^^ Grain, to which the cenfral ACCM , J 1591, Mémoire des députés Guys and Puzos sur l’échelle de Constantinople, 30 Dec. 1750. Little is known about the volume o f sea-borne trade and the resulting ship traffic in the port o f Istanbul. However, information on foreign shipping within Ottoman waters can be analyzed through w estem commercial and consular archives. French, Venetian, British and Ragusan ships were constantly engaged in coastal trade and shipping in numbers that can only confirm intuitions about the total volume o f maritime trade within the Empire. In the particular case o f Istanbul, French statistics show an annual average o f 65 caravaneurs en­ tering the harbor, with peaks o f over 200 in the last quarter o f the century (ACCM, J 190 to 211, Correspondance des députés. États du commerce de l’échelle de Constantnople, 17181792). For an exhaustive use o f existing sources for w estem maritime activity in Ottoman waters, see the following articles by Daniel Panzac: “L ’escale de Chio: un observatoire privilégié de l ’activité maritime en M er Égée au XVIIF siècle,” Annales. Histoire, Économie et Société, 1985/4, pp. 541-561; “Les échanges maritimes dans l ’Empire ottoman au XVIIF siècle,” Revue de l'O ccident Musulman et de la Méditerranée, 39 (1985), pp. 177-187; “Négociants ottomans et capitaines français; la caravane maritime en Crète au X V llF siècle,” L'Em pire ottoman, la République de Turquie et la France (Istanbul, 1986), pp. 98-118; “Activité et diversité d ’un grand port ottoman: Sm ym e dans la première moitié du XVIIF siècle,” M émorial Ömer Lûtfi Barkan (Paris, 1980), pp. 159-164; “Négociants ottomans et activité maritime à Istanbul à la fin du XVIIF siècle,” A. Temimi (éd.), Mélanges Professeur Robert M antran (Zaghouan, 1988), pp. 187-199; “Affréteurs ottomans et capitaines français à Alexandrie: la caravane maritime en Méditerranée au milieu du XVIIF siècle,” Revue de l'O ccident Musulman et de la Méditerranée, 34 (1982), pp. 23-38; “Intemational and Do­ mestic Maritime Trade in the Ottoman Empire during the 18"' Century,” International Jour-

administration attached a particular importance for rather obvious reasons, flowed in enomious quantities from the Danubian provinces, from Greece and occasionally even from Egypt. Towards the end o f the century, it was estimated that the city’s grain consumption reached some 1,500,000 setters o f Paris (approximately 250 million liters).^^ Sheep from Thrace and Ana­ tolia, fruit from the Marmara and Aegean regions, timber from the Black Sea and the G ulf o f Izmid, rice and sugar from Egypt, olive oil from Crete and Mytilene, coffee from the Yemen via Egypt, slaves from the Caucasus and Africa, mohair from Ankara are but a few examples o f the enormous consumption o f a capital that systematically sucked on the resources o f its Empire.^'* The city had by far exceeded the limits o f subsistence through the exploitation o f its own hinterland. Istanbul lived off the Empire, while a large portion of its population itself lived off the state and the markets it had created. The place o f foreign trade and a fortiori westem frade should, therefore, be considered in this broader context, reminiscent o f the world-economy {économie-monde) concept introduced and applied with particular empha­ sis to the Ottoman economic system by F. Braudel.^^ In a city that mobi­ lized an enormous network o f domestic trade catering to the most basic needs o f its population, the proportional weight o f foreign trade— domi­ nated by luxury commodities— ^was bound to be marginal. In the 1780s, a French trader estimated the value o f coffee imports from Egypt at half a million livres tournois, a figure corresponding approximately to one sixth o f the total value o f French imports. A sobering vision indeed o f the rela­ tive marginality o f what was after all one o f the largest single destinations o f the Levant frade. Dwarfed by the volume o f intemal trade, French commercial activity in the Ottoman capital has also to be reconsidered with nal o f Middle East Studies, 24 (May 1992), pp. 189-206. Bibliothèque Nationale (BN), Mss fr. 6430, n° 15, Mémoire sur le commerce des bleds à Constantinople fourni par M. Anthoine, en 1781, P 194 v°. For a more detailed analysis o f the provisioning o f the city in wheat, see: ‘^Abdunrahman Şeref, “İstanbul’da m e’külât müzayakası. 1179 senesine 'â ’id ba^zı veşâ’ik,” Târîh-i ^Oşmârii Encümeni MecmW^asi, VII (1917) pp. 193204; M. Alexandrescu-Dersca, “Contribution à l’étude de l’approvisionnement en blé de Con­ stantinople au XVIIF siècle,” 5?wiÆaei^cfaOrie;îfa/w, 1 (1957), pp. 13-37. For a global assessment o f the city’s provisioning and dependence on the provinces see: Mouradgea d ’Ohsson, Tableau général de l ’Empire othoman (Paris, 1788), v. IV, pp. 205-210; G. J. Bratianu, “La question de l’approvisionnement de Constantinople à l’époque byzantine et ottom ane”, Byzantion, 5 (1929), pp. 83-107; Robert Mantran, Istanbul dans la seconde moitié du XVIF siècle (Paris, 1962), pp. 425-435. F. Braudel, “L ’Empire turc est-il une économie-monde ?”, M émorial Ömer Lûtfi Bar­ kan {Paris, m O ) , pp. 39-50. BN, Ms. Fr. 6430, n° 15, Mémoire de M. Anthoine sur le commerce des Indes orientales fait par les Turcs de Constantinople, 1780, P 194 r°.

respect to an often neglected dimension o f Ottoman foreign trade, namely that o f oriental trade. The trade “o f the Indies,” as contemporaries labeled it, was an important component o f the imports flowing into Istanbul, espe­ cially when it came to Indian textiles and other luxury goods originating from as far as China. Quantifying this trade was and still is no easy task, since once it entered the Ottoman lands through its eastern frontier, it be­ came an integral part o f domestic networks o f distribution. Oriental goods thus reached the capital city by sea— via Egypt or the ports o f the Syrian coast— as well as by land— following the caravan routes o f Anatolia. De­ spite the difficulty o f a quantitative evaluation o f this trade, contemporary observers agreed on the wealth that was drained into the Indian Ocean due to Istanbul’s demand for oriental goods: O n e h a s to o b se rv e, h o w e v er, th a t th is trib u te in silv e r to w h ic h a m o u n ts the b a la n c e o f E u ro p ea n N a tio n s w ith th e O tto m a n E m p ire d o e s n o t acc u m u la te th ere; T u rk ey , in o rd e r to o b tain m u slin s a n d so m e o th er o b jec ts o f fantasy, p a y s an ev en g re ater trib u te to India, w h e re fan cies a n d lu x u ry w ill e n d up g ra d u ally b u ry in g all th e g o ld a n d silv er o f Europe.^'^ H o w ev er, T u rk ey is trib u ta ry o f India, as w e are o f T u rk ey . T h e g o ld th at E u ro p ea n s e v e n tu a lly b rin g to th is E in p ire to p a y fo r th e b a la n c e o f its g o o d s flo w s in its g re atest p a rt th ro u g h th e R e d Sea, th e P e rsia n G u lf a n d P ersia, an d is fin ally sw a llo w e d b y th e fertile a n d in d u strio u s c o asts o f th e Indian Ocean.^®

Some were bold enough to give esfimates o f the volume o f this trade. An­ thoine, a French trader o f the 1780s, evaluated the imports from the East to some five million piasters,^® that is a million more than the value o f French imports for the period. Unreliable as such figures may be, they neverthe­ less show a conscious effort o f foreign traders to analyze what they consid­ ered one o f the most important branches o f trade in Istanbul and, as a con­ sequence, a major threat to their own activities. In the absence o f reliable quantitative data for both domestic and orienLouis Chénier, Révolution de l ’Empire ottoman (Paris, 1789), p. 335. G. A. Olivier, Voyage dans l ’Empire othoman, l ’Égypte et la Perse (Paris, 18011807), p. 191. BN, Mss fr. 6430, n° 15, M émoire de M. Anthoine sur le commerce des Indes orien­ tales fait par les Turcs de Constantinople, 1780, P 194 v°. M uslins and other fabrics 3,300,000 piasters Cotton yam 300,000 Pepper 120.000 Shawls 500,000 Fabrics 500,000 Spices and drugs 280.000 5,000,000

tal trade, it would be pointless to try to determine the share o f French trade in the overall trade o f the Imperial capital. The preceding reminders o f the existence o f v^ell-implanted local networks o f trade with ramifications ex­ tending as far as the Indian Ocean should suffice to argue that the domi­ nant— if only implicitly— view o f westem trade as one o f the major di­ mensions o f Ottoman trade is a gross distortion, stemming from the fact that this particular frade was much better documented than the others. However, in the case o f Istanbul, it is probable that the marginality o f European frade was somewhat tempered by the fact that this frade catered to the needs o f a market dominated by a demand for luxury goods. Westem fraders, therefore, found in Istanbul a market that was— as far as imports were concemed— much more accessible to westem products and which absorbed them with greater ease thanks to a high level o f consumption among the wealthier sections o f the population. In that sense, within the largely self-sufficient economic system o f the Empire, the capital city was one o f the most notable exceptions, carrying a higher potential for com­ mercial penefration through imports. As a result, one can safely surmise that the share o f westem frade was significantly greater in Istanbul than in the Empire at large. It is only within the context o f westem trade itself that some precision may be brought to the relative weight o f French frade. The eighteenth century was characterized by a rapid growth o f French trade in the Levant. Still in a third position after English and Dutch trade at the end o f the sev­ enteenth century,“*®French frade gradually rose above all others during the first decades o f the century.'" By mid-century, French frade in the Ottoman capital had developed to the point o f representing nearly two-thirds o f all westem trade.'*^ In the late 1770s, despite a certain slackening o f this frend, French traders still confrolled close to half o f Istanbul’s frade with the West.'*^ Much o f this achievement was the result o f conscious efforts initiArchives Nationales (AN), Affaires Étrangères (AE), B"‘ 241, pièce 12, États du com­ merce des Français, Anglais, Hollandais et Vénitiens à Constantinople, ca 1686. This docu­ m ent gives the following shares for the four m ajor trading nations o f the time: England; 43.4 %, Dutch Provinces: 38.3 %, France: 15.7 % and Venice 2.6 %. Masson, Z F / // , pp. 367, 374. AN, AE, B‘" 241, pièce 35, État général ou total du commerce des étrangers à Con­ stantinople comparé à celui des Français pendant les années 1749 et 1750; ACCM, J 202, Correspondance des députés. État général du commerce de l'échelle de Constantinople en 1750. The shares given by this document are as follow: France: 65.1 %, Venice: 16.3 %, England: 15.2 %, Dutch Provinces; 3.4 %. Archives Départementales des Bouches-du-Rhône (ADBR), 41 E 4, Fonds Ollivier, Cahier de réductions de poids et mesures, opérations du change etc. This documents allows for eight m ajor actors in the Levant trade, in the following proportions; France: 44.1 %,

ated by Colbert in the second half o f the seventeenth centmy*'* and par­ ticularly o f the enormous success o f French cloth in the Levant thanks to its relatively low price compared to English and Dutch products.''^ As mentioned earlier, the wealth o f numerical data and statistical sources conceming French commercial activity in the Levant, and more particularly in Istanbul, yield an invaluable amount o f information on the general evolution o f this trade throughout the century. These sources con­ sist first o f all o f a series o f états du commerce or statistical tables kept by the députés o f the nation*'^ in Istanbul and sent to the Marseilles Chamber o f Commerce.'*^ These tables, structured as balance sheets, give detailed in­ fonnation on imports and exports, the volume o f each item, its price (in fact a yearly average), the number o f ships coming from and leaving for Marseilles and those engaged in the caravane. A second series o f similar documents was established in Marseilles, with the same kind o f informa­ tion, except for caravaneur ships.'** A third, although less useful, altemaEngland: 24 .4 % , Dutch Provinces: 14.1 %, Venice: 9 .4 % , Russia: 3.5% , Trieste: 2.9% , Sweden: 1.0 %, Leghorn: 0.6 %. '*'* Masson, XVIF, pp. 209-218; Mantran, Istanbul, pp. 563-568; P. Cemovodeanu, “The General Condition o f English Trade in the Levant in the Second H alf o f the 17"' Century and at the Beginning o f the 18"' Century,” Revue des Études Sud-Est Européennes, V (1967), 34, p. 458. “1! buon mercato, se non la qualité, incontra molto, e fa che li Turchi li preferiscano a tutti gli altri, oltri di che li Panni mischi sono tanto belli a vedere, che fin ad ora si conservano inimitabili” (S an f iller, Lettere particolare del Signor Luigi S a n t’iller in Costantinopoli del 1720 a 1 724 regnante Achm et III (Bassano, 1737), p. 65). The députés were representatives o f the body o f traders, consisting o f two members “elected” from among four candidates proposed by the am bassador (ACCM, J 186, Corre­ spondance des députés, Gleize and Fontaine to the Chamber o f Commerce, 22 Nov. 1704). It is only in 1781 that this prerogative o f the ambassador was abandoned and the system was liberalized: “L’ambassadeur, & les Consuls ou Vice-consuls ne pourront proposer aucun Négociant pour être élu Député, & laisseront la plus entière liberté à l’Assemblée pour l’élection" {Ordonnance du Roi, concernant les consulats, la résidence, le commerce et la navigation des sujets du Roi dans les échelles du Levant et de Barbarie du 3 mars I7 8 I (Marseilles, 1781), pp. 57-58) To the Ottomans, the députés were baş vekil (head represen­ tative) (Ahm et Kal’a (ed.), İstanbul Ahkâm Defterleri. İstanbul E sn a f Tarihi, 1 (İstanbul, 1997), p. 255, doc. 5/172/525, evâhir-i R sene 1173/12-20 Dec. 1759).' ACCM, J 190-211, Correspondance des députés. États du comm erce de l'échelle de Constantnople. The tables for several years are missing from the Marseilles Archives; some can be found at the Archives Nationales (AE B”' 271-274) while a few statistical data for the years 1717-1723 have been included in ambassador De B onnac’s report in the Archives Départementales des Bouches-du-Rhône (ADBR, 6 E 36, M ém oire général sur le commerce des François dans le Levant). For imports: ACCM, 1 19, États des marchandises envoyées en Levant et en Barbarie (1748-1755, 1763-1769); 1 20 (1776-1779, 1786-1789); 1 17 and 33, États divers; AN, AE B'" 276 and 277. For exports: ACCM, I 26, États des m archandises venues des échelles de Levant et de Barbarie (1701-1747); I 27 (1730-1759); I 28 (1776-1779, 1786-1789), 1 17 and 33, États divers; AN, AE B “' 274, 276 and 277.

tive is that o f the accounting books o f the Bureau de la Santé in Marseilles, the quarantine organization which kept detailed lists o f all goods suscepti­ ble o f carrying the plague into the port/^ Apart from these series, a wide range o f documents o f a more sporadic nature provide occasional informa­ tion on certain specific items.*° All these sources were used, however, only after a tedious work o f cross-examination and standardization.^' Not sur­ prisingly, the most insidious discrepancy between the two sets o f statistics had to do with the currency units used. For although the evolution o f trade follows parallel frends according to both data in piasters and in livres, fig­ ures in piasters tend to grow at a considerably higher rate than those in livres. This phenomenon is, o f course, directly related to the successive de­ basements o f the Ottoman ğurüş during the century, as opposed to the great stabihty o f the livre tournois until the Revolution. This distortion was corrected by relying on figures in livres whenever they were available and by converting piasters into livres in the remaining cases.^^ ACCM, L I 33-122, Comptes de quarantaine et livres des recettes du Bureau de la Santé de Marseille, 1700-1792. As is the case with tables on the consumption o f French cloth in Istanbul (ACCM, J 200-202, Correspondance des députés, 1743-1750), on cloth imported to Istanbul (ACCM, J 200, Correspondance des députés, 1751-1753), on cloth sent to the Levant (ACCM, H 171174, Etats des draps expédiés en Levant, 1708-1784) or on gold and silver species imported from the Levant (ACCM, C 1842, États des bâtiments venus du Levant et de Barbarie ayant importé des espèces étrangères d’or et d’argent, 1732-1750). The m ajor problem encountered with respect to these statistical series was that o f con­ siderable lacunæ. The statistics kept by the deputation in Istanbul were the most severely truncated, with some sixty years missing for the whole century. The statistics o f the Cham ­ ber o f Commerce were not really better, covering some ninety years for exports, but missing almost seventy years for imports. Only the Bureau de la Santé statistics were really com­ plete, covering the whole period from 1700 to 1792 but, this time, figures concem ed only imports into the port o f Marseilles and, moreover, were kept in irregular units such as boxes, crates, bales or sacks. The constitution o f more or less continuous series depended, there­ fore, on the combination o f Istanbul and Marseilles statistics, through a process o f conver­ sion o f units o f measurement and o f value. Metrological conversions were relatively simple to handle, even though some regional variations o f Ottoman weights and measures had to be accounted for. Finally, the problem o f chronological discrepancies between the registration o f goods in each o f the two places was simply disregarded, on the assumption that such lags— at the very end and beginning o f each year— would eventually cancel each other out. In the event, all these processes o f reconstitution and conversion have enabled us to de­ crease considerably the number o f yearly figures m issing in the statistical series established on both sides o f the Mediterranean. The figures for Istanbul originally covered 46 years for imports and 31 for exports; our manipulations have increased these numbers to 61 and 79 respectively. In the same way, the number o f missing years for the Marseilles statistics have been reduced from 61 to 38 for imports and from 4 to 2 for exports. The conversion o f values in piasters (ğurüş) and livres tournois was somewhat more arduous, since it entailed the use o f average exchange rates in order to avoid errors deriving from the contem porary custom o f rounding up the value o f the piaster to three livres. The stability o f the livre ended with the introduction o f assignats following the Revolution. The

Fig. 1.3 - French trade in Istanbul: Imports and exports, 1701-1792

Within a global perspective (fig. 1.3), French trade in Istanbul amounted to a yearly average o f 4.5 million livres, 3.5 million o f which for imports and one million for exports. These figures confirm the dispropor­ tion between the imports and exports o f the capital. On the average, ex­ ports represented a mere quarter o f imports (22 % according to the statis­ tics o f Constantinople and 28 % according to the Marseilles figures). How­ ever, this is the only general observation one can venture on the basis of secular averages, since yearly figures generally presented strong variations throughout the century. Annual figures for imports varied between 1 and 6.5 million livres and for imports between an all-tirhe low o f 0^^ and a maximum o f 3.5 million livres. These figures become significant only when plotted on a graph giv­ ing the possibility o f following the dominant trends o f trade throughout the century. Be it in piasters or in livres, the general evolution o f trade shows a constant increasing trend, valid for both imports and exports. Over the centuiy, however, certain periods seem to show deviations from or an ac­ centuation o f the dominant trend. A typical example is that o f the system-

exchange rate o f the livre thus dropped from 17.5 paras in 1789 to less than 9 paras in 1792. For these exceptional years, figures in piasters were converted into livres on the basis o f the pre-assignats rate o f 1789. An exceptional figure corresponding to 1760, in the midst o f the Seven Years’ War.

atic decrease o f trading activities in times o f war, as during the War o f Austrian Succession and the Seven Years Wars. The obvious reason be­ hind these conjunctural troughs was the insecurity o f the Mediterranean, especially with regard to the proliferation o f English and French piracy and privateering, and the consequent increase in navigation risks, immediately reflected in transport and maritime insurance fees.^'* There is nothing really surprising in seeing that French trade would suffer from these war condi­ tions, even if some o f this trade could continue with the help o f neufral shipping, both European and local.^^ What is more surprising is that war af­ fected the commercial activities o f European fraders in the eastern Mediter­ ranean only when their own nations were involved in the conflict. The nu­ merous occasions when the Ottoman Empire itself was engaged in warfare involving naval confrontations in the Aegean or in the Mediterranean, posed no real threat to westem trade and sometimes even opened the way to unexpected profits. Apart from these war-induced depressions, there is little that can be said about short-term fluctuations in the evolution o f frade without entering a more detailed discussion on the commercial activities o f the nation. A last point that can be raised in conclusion o f this general presentation is that o f determining the ‘end’ o f French trading activity in Istanbul in the eight­ eenth century. For, confrary to the rather arbifrary selection o f 1700 as a starting point for our analysis, most sources seem to point at a much more drastic breaking point at the end o f the century, closely linked to the impact on frade of the political dislocations caused by the French Revolution. Sources in Marseilles abmptly end in 1789; those o f the députation in Is­ tanbul continue until 1792. 1789 has no particular significance, despite the retrospectively symbolic value this date has acquired in the annals o f the Revolution. 1792, however, appears to be o f a much greater importance ACCM, J 203, Correspondance des députés, M agallon and Truilhier to the Chamber o f Commerce, 15 Jan. and 26 Aug. 1757; J 168, Correspondance de Vergennes, Vergennes to the Chamber o f Commerce, 20 June 1759. See also Carrière, Négociants, v. 1, pp. 466511,543-544,562. ACCM , J 200-201, Correspondance des députés. États du commerce, 1732-1750, 1745, 1746, 1748; 1 27, États des marchandises venues des échelles du Levant et de Bar­ barie, 1730-1759. Between 1745 and 1748, the transport o f exports from Istanbul was en­ trusted to a total o f 27 ships o f which 8 were neutral. During the same period, approximately 16% o f ships entering the port o f Marseilles flew foreign colors (Carrière, Négociants, v. 1, p. 511). Under such conditions, the generally protectionist regulations o f French trade were relaxed to attract foreign ships. A decision o f the nation o f 6 Jan. 1745 reduced by one third the dues collected from neutral ships entering the harbor (AMAE, Registres consulaires de Constantinople, Assemblées de la nation, v. 13); in 1762, this same due was fixed at 1.5% for French vessels and at 1.25% for neutral shipping {Ibid., v. 14, 19 Jan. 1762).

when one considers the global context o f French trade in the Mediterra­ nean. As Ch. Carrière has shown in his monumental work on Marseilles, entries o f ships into the port o f Marseilles suddenly drop in the spring of 1793, as a result o f the English blockade o f the city. Although this trade seemed to recover towards the end o f 1795, this was only a very short re­ vival o f little consequence. The state o f war between the Ottoman Empire and France following the Egyptian campaign o f Bonaparte in 1798 wiped away the last remnants o f the French commercial presence in the Levant.^® Reports and correspondence emanating from the nation o f Constantinople clearly confirm the ruin o f trading activities after the Revolution. The con­ sequences o f the Revolution, only marginally felt until 1792, started after this date to seriously disrupt the stability o f the nation by causing discords, rivalries and defections. The flight o f a large number o f traders and drago­ mans (interpreters)— either to France or under foreign protection— ^that of ambassador Choiseul-Gouffier to Russia, the openly hostile attitude o f the representatives o f other European powers and the uneasy neutrality o f the Sublime Porte contributed further to the destruction o f the already declin­ ing French trade in the capital. In 1794, in a letter addressed to the Bureau Provisoire o f Trade in Marseilles, the députés o f the nation described the pitiful state in which most o f the French traders were to be found; O u r c o m p a trio ts, a lre ad y re d u c e d to a v ery sm a ll n u m b e r d u e to th e e m ig ra ­ tio n o f sev eral [o f th em ] o b se rv e, w ith re aso n , th a t g iv en th e in te rru p tio n o f o u r trad e , th e y h a v e n o o th e r re c o u rse left to e n su re th e su rv iv al o f their fa m ilie s th an to tra n sfe r to th e c o u n try th e few fu n d s th e y still p o ssess.

Carrière, Négociants, v. I, pp. 112-114. ACCM, J 210, Correspondance des députés, Pech and Bourelly to the Provisional Bu­ reau o f Commerce, 4 Brumaire, year II.

L ib rary


FR EN C H IM PO R TS TO ISTA N B U L C LO TH A N D M A N U FA C TU R ED G O O D S The broad analysis o f the preceding chapter conceming the general trends o f French trade in the Levant and in Istanbul is insufficient to understand the real nature o f this trade. While providing a general and quantitative framework o f analysis, it leaves out most o f the details and precisions nec­ essary for a proper assessment o f French commercial activity. Still within the logic o f a descriptive approach to trade, we will now take a closer look at French imports into the Ottoman capital. Imports, as we have noted previously, constituted the bulk o f French commercial activity in Istanbul, often representing as much as two- or three-times the value o f exports. These imports, when presented in the synoptic statistical tables drawn by the députés o f the nation, were gener­ ally classified according to their origin, under the headings o f products o f the realm {marchandises du crû du Royaume), colonial products {marchandises des isles de l ’A mérique) and reexported foreign goods {marchandises des pays étrangers). Thesé categories were based on a ‘national’ logic, reflecting a dominantly mercantilist perception o f trade. From an Ottoman point o f view, however, these criteria o f classification have little significance. We will, therefore, prefer to use more functional categories, based on the type and degree o f processing o f the products im­ ported. Our first category thus consists o f manufactured products— mostly textiles— while the second one includes half-processed goods and raw materials— mostly sugar, coffee and dyestuffs. Ironically, these two groups o f products correspond almost exactly to the contemporary categories of ‘national’ and ‘colonial’ goods. Textiles and more specifically woollen cloth constituted the major French import to Istanbul, not only among manufactured goods but also among all other imports. Throughout the century, this trade was often per­ ceived as the raison d ’être o f French commercial activity in the city: T lie tra d e o f c lo th [is] th e m o st c o n sid era b le a n d a lm o st th e o n ly o n e ta k in g p la c e h e re .'

' ACCM, J 1559, M ém oire de la Chambre du Commerce de Marseille sur le commerce du Levant, ca 1736.

[...] I have always considered this trade as the most important of this échelle and I will continue giving it my care so as not to let cloth enter here unless it possesses the perfection it ought to.^ This cloth was ahnost exclusively used for sartorial purposes by the local population, especially during the winter.^ European woollen cloth had for centuries been used as one o f the principal materials for robes, constituting an expensive but highly sought altemative to coarser local woollen fabrics o f the ^abâ type. Woollen cloth came in bales or more often in ballots equivalent to half a bale, with each ballot consisting o f ten to twelve half­ pieces {demi-pièces)'^ o f sixteen French aunes (ells). Local sales were held in piks {çârşü arşmi).^ In theory, then, a ballot o f ten half-pieces measured nearly 280 arşms or approximately 190 m. In effect, the actual length o f cloth varied from bale to bale. The analysis o f over 200 sales invoices shows that in practice the average length o f a ballot was o f 270 arşım or 185 m.« The overall evolution o f cloth imports (fig. 2.2) shows a steady growth during most o f the first half o f the century, from less than 5,000 demipièces to over 20,000. This growth was interrupted only by the inevitable depressions o f the War o f Austrian Succession and the Seven Years War. The end o f the Franco-British conflict in 1763 brought back this trade to prewar levels o f approximately 20,000 demi-pièces, without, however, progressing further. In fact, the last three decades until the total collapse of - ACCM, J 160, Correspondance d’Andrezel, d ’Andrezel to the Chamber o f Commerce, 1 Oct. 1726. ^ [Les Turcs] ont [...] deux sortes de robes q u ’ils nomment Plices, une pour l’Été & une pour l ’Hyver; celle q u ’ils mettent en Hyver est de beau drap qu’on leur apporte d ’Angleter­ re, d ’Hollande & de France (Saumery, M émoires et aventures secrètes et curieuses d'un vo­ yage du Levant (Liège, 1732), v. II, p. 124). In statistical tables, French imports o f cloth were indifferently quantified in bales, ballots, pieces or half-pieces. From the 1760s onwards, ballots were generally calculated on the basis o f twelve half-pieces as opposed to the ten half-pieces to the ballot o f the first half o f the century. ^ The French aune measured 1.18845 m. The arşın was the most widely used Ottoman unit o f linear measurement. There were, however, several types o f arşın each used for a different type o f commodity and varying according to local custom. In the case o f cloth {çuka) in Istanbul, the arşın or more specifically the çârşü arşını measured 0.68 m (H. Doursther, Dictionnaire universel des poids et mesures anciens et modernes (Brussels, 1840), p. 427; H. Cavalli, Tableaux comparatifs des mesures, poids et monnaies modernes et anciens (Paris, 1874), p. 19; H. İnalcık, “Introduction to Ottoman M etrology,” Turcica, XV (1983), pp. 311-348; [Gérardin], Réduction des aunes et des autres mesures étrangères à l'aune de Paris (Avignon, 1781)). According to this infonnation, then, the aune measured 1.747 arşın. French traders used the practical formula o f multiplying aunes by 1.8 and then subtracting 3 % (ACCM, L IX 1252, Comptes de vente de draps, Constantinople, 17351786; ACCM , L IX 1017, M émoire sur les poids et mesures). ®ACCM , L IX 1252, Comptes de vente de draps, Constantinople, 1735-1786.

Fig. 2.1 - Cloth shipments from Marseilles to the Levant, Izmir and Istanbul, 1700-1792

French commercial activity in 1793 were characterized by a general slack­ ening o f the cloth trade and a clear tendency o f its volume to decrease.decrease. A comparison o f this trend with those for the Levant and for IziTiir (fig. 2.1) is interesting on several counts. Beneath a basic paral­ lelism o f the three curves, certain differences emerge, denoting gradual changes in the overall tendencies characterizing each o f these destinations. Among the three, the Levant in general experienced the most steady growth o f its volume o f cloth imports. In Izmir and Istanbul, this increase was much more modest in amplitude and even came to a stop in the case o f Istanbul by mid-century. Also striking is the reversal o f the respective weight o f the two cities in the Levant cloth trade. Although they repre­ sented on the average some 25 % each o f the total volume o f cloth im­ ported in the Levant, Istanbul had the upper hand during the first half o f the century but lost it to Izmir after 1750. Two conclusions can be derived from these indications. First, that the growth o f cloth imports in the Levant depended more on the development o f secondary centers o f consumption and redistribution than on the consumption o f the two major échelles o f the Empire. Second, that the Ottoman capital, although it still remained the largest single consumer o f this commodity,’ was gradually losing ground to ’ With comparable levels o f cloth imports, the major distinction between Istanbul and Izmir lay in the fact that the latter fiinctioned as a center for redistribution into the Anatolian hinter-

Fig. 2.2 - French cloth trade in Istanbul: major qualities o f cloth, 1718-1788

Izmir which enjoyed a greater potential for growth thanks to its role as a center o f redistribution through the caravan trade. Both remarks point to a similar phenomenon, thaht o f the greater capacity o f the French cloth trade to expand horizontally rather than vertically. Izmir, as a center for redistri­ bution o f imported goods was more likely to benefit from the expansion o f French imports in the Levant than Istanbul whose almost exclusively local market was not only more easily saturated but also more vulnerable to the competitive pressure o f altemative products. French cloth manufactured for the Levant consisted o f several types (fig. 2.2),® the names o f which were reminiscent o f the English origins o f the product. The three major types o f cloth were the mahouts, the londrines or londrins and the londres (mahut, londrina and londra in Ottoman)® which were each subdivided into several qualities. The hierarchy o f French cloth thus started with the mahouts premiers, followed by the mahouts se­ conds, the londrins premiers, londrins seconds, sayes, nims premiers, nims seconds, londres larges and londres ordinaires. To these major categories can be added several other qualities and denominations, o f a much less fre­ quent occurrence in shipments to the Levant: draps fins, draps forts, draps land while the former almost exclusively catered to the needs o f its own population. * Sources mentioned in Chapter One, notes 47 and 48. ®Ahmed Refik [Altmay], H icrî on ikinci asırda İstanbul hayatı (1100-1200) (İstanbul, 1930), p. 14.

mi-forts, seizains, vingt-quatrains, vingt-huitains, trentains, trente-sixains... However, among this wide variety o f products, one quality dominated all others thanks to its popularity with the Ottoman consumer: T h e lo n d rin s se c o n d s are th e m o st e sse n tia l c o n su m p tio n item in th e city, a n d 1 m ig h t say, th e cap ital b a sis o f o u r trad e. It is w ith th is a lw a y s d e ­ m a n d e d q u a lity th a t w e d ress th is n u m e ro u s p e o p le w h o seem to b u y o u r c lo th w ith e v er-in cre asin g h a ste

A contemporary observer estimated that approximately two-thirds o f all cloth imports in the Levant consisted o f londrins seconds.^' This propor­ tion was even an under-estimation in the case o f Istanbul where it reached an average o f 84 % for the century. Londrins seconds had become the back­ bone of French trade in the Ottoman capital in the 1720s, when they had be­ come aknost exclusively a French specialty, unsurpassed by similar Dutch or English products. However, this state o f affairs was truly a novelty for the time. Some twenty years earlier, at the tum o f the century, the situation had been totally different. Out o f approximately 1,100 bales o f French cloth brought to Istanbul, londrins premiers, londrins seconds and mahouts repre­ sented a mere 100 bales each, the remaining 800 consisting o f the lower quality o f londres larges.'''^ Less than thirty years later, however, this situation was totally reversed and the intennediate-quality londrins seconds began dominating the market, well ahead o f the higher-quality londrins premiers and o f the previously best-selling londres larges. What had caused this sud­ den reversal? In the absence o f statistical data for the first two decades o f the century, it is rather difficult to find a proper answer to this question. How­ ever, a report by the députés of the nation provides a partial explanation to this shift in market structures; [...] sin c e th e m o n th o f M a y 1712 th e lo n d rin e s p r e m iè r e s h a v e h a d n o o u tle t a n d th e b u y e rs h a v e b e e n a sk in g o n ly fo r lo n d rin es s e c o n d e s a n d lo n d re s n im s. B e c a u se th e y are th in , in th e ir retail sales th e y sell a g o o d n u m b e r o f lo n d rin e s se c o n d e s as lo n d rin es p r e m iè r e s a n d a g o o d n u m b e r o f lo n d re s n im s as lo n d rin es s e c o n d e s P

This comment, one might say, reads like an accusation o f age-old market­ ing tricks performed on a little-informed consumer group by conniving re­ tailers, all the more so when one is familiar with the extent to which ACCM, J 1591, M ém oire des députés, 30 Dec. 1750. ' ' Clicquot-Blervache, op. cit., p. 326. AN, AE B“‘ 234, État des marchandises du crû et manufacture du Royaume qu'on en­ voya en Levant, ca 1700. ACCM, J 1591, Mémoire sur l'état présent du commerce des François à Constantino­ ple et réponses de la Chambre du Commerce de Marseille, 25 Jan. 1714.

French traders were willing to pin such a reputation on Ottoman mer­ chants. The striking point in this observation, however, is not that custom­ ers were perhaps tricked or manipulated, but rather the implicit argument that such a manipulation should have been impossible previously. In other words, the important point is that the quality o f French londrins seconds had been improved to the point o f fooling consumers into believing they were actually buying the superior quality o f londrins premiers. There lay the major momentum o f the French conquest o f the market. The level o f perfection that this product had reached was promoting it to a much more favorable position in the market for cloth by upgrading its quality while preserving its relatively low price with respect to superior cloth. French cloth was thus gradually conquering a particular sector o f the market for imported cloth in Istanbul, that o f the high-to-intermediate qualities, leaving to competitors— English, Dutch or Venetian— ^the much more restricted outlet o f the highest— londrins premiers and mahouts— and the lowest— londres ordinaires— qualities: F iv e ty p es o f c lo th are c o n su m e d in th e L evant, w h ic h serv e th e p u rp o se s o f T u rk s o f m o re o r less w ealth: w e p o ss e s s th e a lm o st e x c lu siv e o u tle t o f lo n ­ d rin s se c o n d s a n d lo n d re s larges; a n d th e E n g lish do a lm o st a lo n e all th e trad e o f m a h o n x , lo n d rin s p r e m ie r s a n d lo n d res.

By the mid-century, French traders could claim an almost complete victory over former competitors: T liere w ill b e o n ly F re n c h c lo th left in th e L e v a n t i f w e are a b le to ta k e aw ay fro m th e E n g lish a n d th e D u tc h th e o n ly o u tle t th ey are left w ith o f th e fin est as w ell as th e c o arse st c lo th .'«

The success o f certain qualities o f French cloth in the Levant against others also had to do with changes in production costs. The londrins and mahoux were manufactured exclusively from Spanish wool. The londres larges and ordinaires were made o f French wool the price o f which, although cheaper than that o f Spanish wool, had increased relatively more in the 1730s and 1740s. As a result, the lower qualities had lost much o f their competitiveness when com­ pared to the superior londrins: “Les trois premières qualités (Mahoux, Londrins Premiers, Lon­ drins Seconds) ne sont fabriquées qu’avec des laines d’Espagne, et cependant le commerce ne laisse pas d’en être avantageux aux fabriquants; celui principalement des Londrins seconds l’est devenu encore plus depuis la fixation qui a été établie dans les expéditions. Les Nims qui sont fabriqués, partie avec des laines d’Espagne et partie avec des laines du pays, et les Londres larges qui sont tous de ces dernières, ne donnent pas à beaucoup prez autant de profit à cause de la rareté et de la cherté des laines. Les Londres ordinaires et les Londres en donnent encore moins par la même raison" (J.-C. Toureille (éd.), “Etat du commerce en Languedoc en 1744. Archives Départementales de l’Hérault, C 2949, Mémoire concernant l’état du commerce et des productions en Languedoc en 1744”, Letter by M. Orry, contrôleur général, 11 June 1731, quoted in Archives départementales de l’Hérault (ADH), C. 5554, Mémoire sur le commerce des draps pour le Levant, Dec. 1777. '«A CCM , J 1591, M émoire des députés, 30 Dec. 1750.

There was still some jealousy about the success o f high-quality foreign fab­ rics and the prestige they had especially with members o f the ruling élite. However, common sense told French traders they had finally found their ideal niche in the market. Compared to the smooth sales o f londrins sec­ onds, other qualities o f cloth systematically involved risks that were simply not worth taking. The lowest-quality londres ordinaires had practically disappeared from the lists o f manufacturers because “their sale here (in Constantinople) does not offer a price proportionate to costs”; sayas, the Venetian specialty, “do not tolerate mediocrity” and nims, the intermediate quality between londrins seconds and londres larges, were extremely diffi­ cult to dispose o f because o f their quality “always inferior to the former while never preferred to the latter.”'* These were qualities which the French had to leave to their English and Venetian competitors, as in the case o f Salisbury ma/zowx,’Worcester nims and Gloucester londres which remained inimitable to the French cloth industry.'® French success in conquering— or in certain respects reconquering— Ottoman markets has to be traced back to the second half o f the seven­ teenth century, even if most o f the fruits o f this commercial thrust would not be reaped before the 1720s. Faced with the predominance o f English and Dutch trade in the Ottoman lands, Colbert had made the Levant one of the main targets o f mercantilist expansion in his quest for economic re­ sources to support the costly absolutist and hegemonic dreams o f Louis XIV. Together with much less successfiil projects, such as the creation o f the ill-fated Compagnie du Levant in 1670, the father o f French mercantil­ ism had sown the seeds o f the future prosperity o f French trade in the Le­ vant by promoting the much-regulated development o f cloth production in Languedoc.^“ This province, and more particularly the jurande o f Carcas“Les Vénitiens fabriquent des draps nommés sayas & parangons. Les Grands de la Porte Ottomane, & tous les riches Turcs ne portent que de cette espèce de draps, lorsqu’il fait mauvais temps. Le Sultan lui m ême ne sort jam ais sans en avoir un îamourlouk, ou redingotte” (J.-C. Flachat, Observations su r le commerce et les arts d ’une partie de l ’E urope, de l ’Asie, de l'Afrique et même des Indes orientales (Lyons, 1766), pp. 309-310). ACCM, j ' 1591, M émoire des députés, 30 Dec. 1750. '®AN, AE B'" 241, pièce 10, Commerce des Anglois, ca 1750; ACCM, J 1591,M émoire des députés, 30 Dec. 1750. See Masson, XVIF, Book 11, Chapter L The ‘take-off o f Languedocian cloth industries under the incentives o f Colbert was a long and gradual process. By and large, it took manufac­ turers some twenty years to really start producing the quality and volume enabling a competi­ tive penetration o f Ottoman markets. The reason for this delay is partly explained by the fact that the manufacturers depended on the capital and logistic support o f Marseilles and its traders for the expansion o f their production. This expansion, therefore, started only in the late 1690s, thanks to the growing involvement of these merchants in the distribution and marketing o f Languedocian cloth (Ch. Carrière, “La draperie languedocienne d ’exportation,” L. M. Cullen

sonne, were already specialized in the manufacture o f cloth for southern Europe. The incentives and regulations o f the end o f the seventeenth cen­ tury made it easy for this production center to redirect its industrial effort towards the growing Levantine market.^' The regulations o f quality and manufacturing o f 1676, 1697 and 1708, the establishment o f an inspection bureau in Marseilles in 1693 and in Montpellier in 1714 led to a gradual improvement and standardization o f quality and to a consequent increase in the demand for the Languedocian product by Ottoman consumers.^^ The kind o f control and over-regulation that had contributed to the throttling o f domestic markets had turned to be extremely beneficial to export-oriented goods. One o f the most decisive ways in which French cloth had been able to threaten Dutch and English preponderance in the Levant had been to reach a stable and reliable level o f quality, apparently one o f the major pre­ requisites for gaining the confidence of Ottoman consumers. To these positive developments in manufacturing should be added the fact that the near-monopoly o f Marseilles over this trade provided an addi­ tional advantage to the growth o f commercial activity directed towards the Levant. Disgruntled by Colbert’s project o f a French version o f the Levant Company and much responsible for its failure, traders o f Marseilles had very rapidly developed into a sort o f oligarchy o f the Levant trade, making an effective use o f the franchise rights o f the city against any attempt by ‘foreigners’ to engage in the same trade.^^ At the top o f this oligarchy, the Chamber o f Commerce acted more and more as an arbiter and policy­ maker, even if it had lost part o f its power to ambassadors appointed by the Crown. This structure provided French traders with a form o f centralizaand P. Butel (eds). Négoce et industrie en France et en Irlande aux. XVIŒ et X I X siècles. Actes du colloque franco-irlandais d ’histoire - Bordeaux - Mai 1978 (Paris, 1980), [p. 23]). The boom o f cloth exports to the Levant had completely transformed the city and its immediate surroundings (Cuxac, Montolieu, Pennautier, Conques...). In the 1760s the in­ dustry employed some 30 to 35,000 workers (P. Delsalle, La France industrielle aux XVF, XVIF, X V Iir siècles, (Gap-Paris, 1993), p. 66). See also F. Braudel, L 'identité de la France, les hommes et les choses (Paris, 1990), v. III, pp. 348-349. See Masson, X V ir and ADH, C. 5554, M ém oire sur le commerce des draps. According to Carrière and Courdurié, the relationship between Colbert and Marseilles was extremely complex in that it was based on mutual m isunderstanding and mistrust. Al­ though the m inister’s intention was to prom ote the city’s role as a center for Mediterranean and particularly Levantine trade, his schemes generally disagreed totally with the interests o f the local trading community. The authors reach the conclusion that, contrary to the estab­ lished myth, Colbert’s contribution to trade was quite comparable to his (lack of) contribu­ tion to agriculture and that if Marseilles often resorted to the glorification o f the man, espe­ cially towards the end o f the eighteenth century, it was essentially because the danger had passed (Carrière and Courdurié, “Renouveau espagnol et prêt à la grosse aventure,” Revue d'histoire moderne et contemporaine, 1970, p. 225, n. 1; “Sophisme,” p. 27).

tion and control which seemed to suit best the needs o f the commercial of­ fensive o f the first decades o f the century.^'* Nevertheless, even though French traders or policy-makers never stated nor probably saw it clearly, part o f the success o f French traders in gradu­ ally overtaking their competitors was linked to the gradual withdrawal o f these other actors from the Levantine markets. In the case o f the Dutch, both English and French competition had practically driven them out o f the market afready by the beginning o f the eighteenth century.^^ It was esti­ mated that Dutch cloth sales in Istanbul had dropped to some 100 bales in the 1720s and to 50 in the 1740s.^« This, however, did not imply a total disappearance o f Dutch traders from the Ottoman markets. Although they had to abandon the textile trade to their competitors, they gradually shifted towards other products— mainly colonial products from their south-east Asian possessions— while at the same time opening up their trade to local merchants. English textile imports to Istanbul experienced a similar if less dramatic fate during the century. From a total volume o f some 1,000 bales in the1720s, they dropped to 500 in the following decade and to a mere 400 in 1750.-’ Behind this decline one could find the effect o f French competi­ tion, as previously described, but also a gradual decline o f English draper­ ies, due to the increasing rivalry between the Levant and East India Com­ panies and to the growing interest o f English frade policy for the American and Indian markets.-* The massive flooding o f the Ottoman market by British textile products in the nineteenth century^® was the result o f a totally new development o f the period and not the consequence o f a constant growth o f British commercial presence in the eighteenth century.^“ The franchise edict o f Marseilles was promulgated in March 1669. Colbert’s intention had been to promote Marseilles by granting it— together with Rouen— ^the monopoly o f trade with the Levant while at the same time attracting foreigners to the city. In effect, the cottimo duty o f 20 % levied on all ships except those coming directly from the Levant acted as a major obstacle to the development o f Marseilles as a Mediterranean free port. Cem ovodeanu, “English Trade,” p. 456. ACCM, J 200, M ém oire servant de réponse aux éclaircissements que demande M on­ seigneur de Maurepas sur le commerce de Constantinople en général et principalement sur celuy de la draperie, par Étienne-André Magallon, 15 Feb. 1743; AN, AE B'" 241, pièce 8, Commerce des Hollandois, ca 1750. ACCM, J 200, Mémoire servant de réponse; J 1591, Mémoire des députés, Dec. 1750. Cem ovodeanu, art. cit., pp. 457-460. Halil İnalcık, “W hen and How British Cotton Goods Invaded the Levant Markets”, H. İslamoğlu-lnan (éd.), The Ottoman Empire and the World Economy (Cambridge, 1987), pp. 374-383. Thus, the description o f the British factory in Istanbul at the beginning o f the nineteenth century is far from prefiguring the development of British commercial presence some thirty or

The case o f the Venetians was much more complex. The French trad­ ers’ ability to impose their cloth on the market against the much esteemed Venetian textiles was again linked to their capacity to promote their intermediate-quality products. The Venetians were thus effectively pushed aside and left mainly with the highest qualities in which they excelled. However, even then, they found themselves up against the competition of the Dutch and the English who also enjoyed a comparative advantage in the market for higher-quality textiles.^' However, what helped the French in dislodging the Venetians from their favored position was also the politi­ cal conjuncture o f the 1710s and particularly the Turco-Venetian war o f 1716. This conflict had brought the Ottoman govemment to the decision of banning Venetian products “even to the value o f a toothpick,” a situation which according to the French, “would not be useless” to French trade.^^ However, the Venetians were probably the only trading nation which did not enjoy any possibility o f compensating for any loss on the Ottoman markets, mainly for lack o f other altematives. This explains that, unlike the Dutch or the English who tended to concentrate on cloth qualities where they had a comparative advantage over the French, the Venetians felt a constant need to challenge French on their own ‘hunting grounds’ o f the intermediate qualities.^^ A first attempt to introduce Venetian imitations of londrins seconds in 1743 ended in total failure.^"* A second attempt in 1747 was doomed to the same fate because o f deficiencies in quality and dyeing but seriously alerted French traders as to the potential risks o f revived Ve­ netian competition.^^ In 1750, faced with yet another unsuccessful Vene­ tian offensive on the londrins seconds market, French traders felt comfourty years later: “The EngHsh Factory at Constantinople was formerly much more important than at present and upwards o f twenty commercial houses were engaged in speculations which employed considerable capital; but now four or five engross the whole; and to judge from the tranquillity o f the counting houses, half that number would be sufficient to do the business that engages them” (Griffiths, Travels in Europe, Asia Minor and Arabia (London, 1805), p. 121 ). “Li Panni Veneziani hanno la sua stima, e il suo merito m a il prezzo arresta il consumo, e la vendita. Determinandosi li Turchi ad una grossa spesa preferiscono sempre quelli d ’Inghilterra e d ’Ollanda, se alla minore, inclinano a Panni Francesi, che fanno comparsa, e piacciono per la m escolanza de’ colori, e pel buon prezzo” (Sant’iller, op. cit., p. 63). ACCM , J 189, Correspondance des députés. Venture and Aurelly to the Chamber o f Commerce, 4 Jan. 1716. On the difficulties experienced by Venetian traders in competing against French and English rivals and on the bailo’s reports concerning the state o f Venetian trade in Istanbul, see M. L. Shay, The Ottoman Empire From 1720 to 1734 as R evealed in Despatches o f the Venetian Baili (Urbana, 1944), pp. 62-70. ACCM, J 200, Mémoire servant de réponse, 1743. ACCM, J 201, Correspondance des députés, Berthié and Martin to the Chamber o f Commerce, 18 Nov. 1747.

pelled to withdraw their credit from cloth dealers who would buy Venetian cloth.^*^ Venetian perseverance never ended though, and seemed to pay off in 1775, when they were able to place some 150 ballots o f londrins sec­ onds,^’’ forcing the French to admit the following year that the decrease in their market share was partly due to Venetian competition.^® Although French traders were able to conquer rather rapidly the market for cloth o f the Ottoman capital and preserve their supremacy until nearly the end o f the century, the overall evolution o f this trade was far from smooth. The major obstacle which European traders confronted was that the demand for cloth remained more or less constant throughout the cen­ tury. French consumption estimates constantly echoed this situation of near-saturation. The demand for westem cloth was reckoned at 1,100 bales in 1700,35 1^000 in 1725,^» 2000 ballots in 1740^' and 1,900 in 1760.^2 Facts confmned these estimates to a large extent.The sales o f French cloth during the most prosperous years o f 1742-1750, when most other westem competitors had been almost completely ousted, reached a yearly average o f some 1860 ballots The reasons for this phenomenon are obvious. By local standards, cloth imported from the West was a luxury item, expensive enough to bar more modest consumers from its purchase. The average consumer was, therefore, more likely to belong to the élite o f the population, particularly to the ''askerî class of military and civilian bureaucrats. According to our previous calcula­ tions, a yearly average o f 1,000 bales or 2,000 ballots represented some 370.000 m o f cloth which, once tailored, could probably produce a number of individual gannents varying between 90,000 and 120,000. Assuming that the wealthy would most likely have at least two outfits made every year, this would mean that westem cloth could cater ever year to the needs o f some 50.000 individuals, corresponding to a rough fifth or sixth o f the total popuACCM, J 202, Correspondance des députés, Guys and Puzos to the Chamber o f Commerce, 11 May 1750. ACCM, J 206, Correspondance des députés. Couturier and Rolland to the Chamber o f Commerce, 17 July 1775; L IX 710, Jean-André Henry et Cie to Roux Frères, 1 Oct. 1775. ACCM, L IX 710, Jean-André Henry et Cie to Roux Frères, 15 May 1776; J 206, Corre­ spondance des députés, Henry and Ricoulphe to the Chamber o f Commerce, 10 Jan. 1777. AN, AE B'" 234, État des marchandises, ca 1700. '*°ACCM ,J 194, M émoire de la nation, 12 Dec. 1725. Archives du M inistère des Affaires Étrangères (AMAE), M émoires et documents, Turquie, v. 12, Mémoire sur le commerce des François dans le Levant et dans chacune des échelles en particulier. Sept. 1740, f 160. Clicquot-Blervache, op. cit., p. 327. ''3 ACCM, J 200-202, Correspondance des députés. États de la consom mation de draps françois à Constantinople, I743-I750.

lation of the city. Given this relatively large number o f consumers, it is diffi­ cult to imagine how this volume o f cloth could have increased significantly without a major change either in the purchasing level o f consumers or in the price of the product. Moreover, westem cloth was uncomfortably squeezed between altema­ tive textiles at both ends o f its market. As westem traders often noted, the nec plus ultra in sartorial tastes and expenditures were not these westem products but rather eastem fabrics— muslins, shawls— the fineness and beauty o f which could never be matched by the coarser and heavier wool­ lens o f the West.'*“ At the other end o f the spectrum, consumers o f more modest means had a wide range of—mostly local— ^products to fiilfil their needs at lower cost."'^ Thus, in the same way as they shifted from one qual­ ity o f westem cloth to another in response to price changes, local consum­ ers at the upper and lower ends o f the range could easily abandon westem products for local or eastem alternatives. A change in the price o f westem textiles, was, therefore, more likely to produce a sliding effect on its clien­ tele rather than increase it in a meaningful way. It should be noted, how­ ever, that this market structure was particular to Istanbul, which did not feed a significant hinterland through redistribution. Other échelles, serving much more as centers o f redistribution, benefited from the possibility of expanding their outlet by reaching out towards new consumer groups, thus accounting for the upward trend o f cloth imports in the Levant in general and in Izmir in particular as opposed to the rather static evolution wit­ nessed in the capital city. Who were the principal customers o f French cloth in the capital? Due to the importance o f this trade in the commercial activities o f French mer­ chants, their correspondence and reports abound in references and details pertaining to buyers o f cloth. As illustrated in figure 2.3,'“’ besides the mar­ ginal share o f reexports (some 7 %, mostly to Bursa and to Edime) and of sales to ‘passengers’ (a mere 3 % sold to passagers, describing itinerant in­ dividuals who bought small quantities o f cloth),'*’ practically all o f the cloth “ [...] toutes les familles opulentes font usage des habits de soie et des plus riches étof­ fes. Celles des Indes sont les plus recherchées”. Indian shawls were particularly admired as they were m ade o f a wool so thin that they could be made “to pass through a ring” (D ’Ohsson, op. cit., v. IV, pp. 133-134). “Le peuple porte des schals communs et travaillés dans le pays” {Loc. cit.). ACCM , J 199 to 202, Correspondance des députés. États des ventes des draps, 17401752. Such detailed information conceming the sale and distribution o f cloth is available only for the 1740s, the heyday o f the French cloth trade iri th j^ ,£ a p ita ^ ^ The 1734 conveHiiSTGetweST^^ guild o f ciothiers d*escribes these in­ dividuals as “passagers ou étrangers” and severely limits the quantitiy o f cloth that the

■ R ee xpo rts □ P a ssen ge rs e s B itpa zarli O BBâzırgânbaşı B Ç ukac.

I Fig. 2.3 - French cloth trade in Istanbul: major groups o f buyers, 1740-1752

sold by the nation fell into the hands o f three categories o f customers, all o f whom were located in Istanbul: the guild o f clothiers, the bâzırgânbaşıs (purveyors o f the palace and grandees) and the bitpazarlis (clothiers o f the bitpazarı or flea market). O f these three groups, the clothiers were by far the largest and most powerful, controlling over 70 % o f the whole trade on the average. This guild, which the French usually called the corps des drapiers, to the Otto­ mans was the çuhacı taifesi or çuhacı esnafı, described at length by Evliya Çelebi in the seventeenth century."^® French traders went one step further in French could sell to them (ACCM, J 197, Correspondance des députés, Extrait des registres de la chancellerie de l’ambassade, Nouveaux articles joints à la convention avec les drapiers, 9 Nov. 1734). Eighteenth century documents, particularly the petitions to the Porte by the French am bassador (Archives de l’Ambassade de France à Constantinople [AAFC]) constantly re­ fer to cloth merchants as either “çukaci esnafından" or “çukacı taifesinden." Evliya Çelebl’s seventeenth-century description o f the guilds o f the city mentions two e sn a f h.&\'vcig to do with cloth: esnqf-i perSciySn-i çuka and ehl-i sanayi^-i çukacıyân (Evliya Çelebi, Seyyâhatnàme (İstanbul, 1314/1896), v. I, pp. 591, 615). İt is, however, rather unclear what exactly the distinction m ight have been between the two, even if the names suggest, that the e sn a fı perâciyân-ı çuka were cloth dealers, while the ehl-i sanayi^-i çukacıyân were cloth m anu­ facturers. The members o f the first (45 shops, 80 men) were described, during the proces­ sion o f the guilds, as “walking by, decorating their shops with pieces o f fabric and cloth” (p. 591). Members o f the second group (100 shops, 107 men), w ould “pass by on carts, m eas­ uring thousands o f pieces o f saya cloth, londrinas, cloth from Vejentin [?], Carcassonne, Austria, Paris, M arseilles {Mar[sin]ya), Ancona, London, işkirlid [?] and o f seventy bundles

■ T urks □ Jew s Q G re e k s










Fig. 2.4 - French cloth trade in Istanbul: sales to cloth dealers, 1743-1752

their description and definition o f the guild. To them, the guild consisted of three sub-guilds, defined along ethnic/confessional lines. The Greek and Jewish clothiers made up the two dominant groups, while the third, that o f the ‘Turks’, remained extremely marginal. The absence o f an Armenian guild, marginal as it may be, may seem surprising. A closer look at the cor­ respondence and reports shows, however, that their numbers were so re­ duced, that they were systematically included in the Greek guild. Figure 2.4"*‘-’ shows this detailed breakdown, according to the number o f ballots (yetmiş çile [?]), shouting ‘buy some for a thousand piasters, buy some for two thousand’” (p. 615). It is difficult to understand why the guild o f cloth manufacturers should have paraded with such a display o f imported cloth, or why it should have been able to imitate as wide a variety o f foreign cloth. One possible interpretation would be to see in perâciyân a mis­ spelling o f pareciyan (dealers o f pieces [of cloth]) or o f perâkendeciyön (retailers), in which case, the difference between the two guilds might have been essentially that between retail­ ers and wholesalers. The 1996 edition o f Evliya Çelebî’s work (Orhan Şaik Gökyay (éd.). Evliya Çelebi Seyahatnâmesi, 1, İstanbul (İstanbul, 1996) brings little additional clarity to the matter. The first group (p. 281) is called esnqf-i parâcıyân-ı çuka ve kumaş (with the ad­ dition o f fabrics to their trade) and number 180 instead o f 80. The only interesting addition is that o f a reference to the fact that "they were all Greeks from Mytilene but generous (or rather turbaned?)” ÇBunlar dahi cümle Midillici (sic for M idillilil) UrUmlar’dir amma mün"^imlerdir (sic for m ün^am l)’’). In any case, it seems that the guild with which French merchants had to deal in the eighteenth century was known as the esnqf-i çukacıyan, a term corroborated by a late-eighteenth century traveller who called them 'tchokadgy (Castellan, Mœurs, usages, costumes des Othomans, et abrégé de leur histoire (Paris, 1812), v. VI, p. 148). ACCM, J 199 to 202, Correspondance des députés. États des ventes des draps, 1740-1752.

sold to each o f these categories o f buyers. Greeks appear to have domi­ nated the market, followed closely by Jews, but clearly outdistancing the ridiculously low presence o f Muslim cloth dealers.^® This data on cloth sales does not, how ever, provide any information about the guilds them­ selves and their members. Fortunately, other documents provide some in­ sight as to the numbers and even the names o f guild members. Thus, a convention passed between the nation and the guild in 1734 mentions 72 Jews, 18 Greeks and 4 Armenians,^' while a similar document, some eight years later, lists the names o f 27 Jews, 18 Greeks and no Armenians, de­ spite the fact that the document was said to bind clothiers from all three communities.^- Similarly, the invoices kept by Roux Frères also provide the names o f some 57 Greek, 49 Jewish, three Armenian and one Muslim cloth dealers.^^ The inverse proportion observed between the volume o f Averages for the period under study are 57.8% for Greeks and 4 1 .4 % for Jews, leaving a mere 0.8 % for MusHms, keeping in mind that Armenians were not even ac­ counted for independently. The analysis o f some 51 invoices kept by Roux Frères for the pe­ riod 1731-1748 confirm these proportions. Out o f the 259 ballots sold, 144 were sold to Greeks (55.6 %), 109 to Jews (42.1 %), 4 to Armenians (1.5 %) and 2 to ‘Turks’ (0.8 %) (ACCM, L IX 1252, Comptes de vente de draps, Constantinople, 1731-1786). ACCM, J 197, Correspondance des députés. Extrait des registres de la chancellerie de l’ambassade. Nouveaux articles joints à la convention avec les drapiers, 9 Nov. 1734. This convention does not give the names o f the clothiers involved, but only that o f their repre­ sentatives or députés. Thus, the Jewish representatives were Moysé Coen, Abraham Founes, Cain loussef Barouk Moyse de Isaac Niego, Abraham Calife and Menakem Capouano, while Greeks and Armenians w ere represented by Manolly Skilitchy and Leony Chichinia. ACCM, J 199, Correspondance des députés. Résultats des conférences tenües entre les députez et commissaires des draps et les huit députez du corps des drapiers avec l’ap[p]robation de Son Excellence, la connoissance et le consentement de la nation, 20 Feb. 1742. The following are the names o f the clothiers signing this convention: Greeks: Leony Chinchinia, Kagy Frangouly lamblaco, Leonardy Justiniany, Theodoiy M a­ ximo, Manoly Skilichy, Frangouly Patteraky, Philipy Vardelakos, Georgy Vardelaco, Con­ stantin Eskaramanga, Dimitry Patteraky, Yacoumy Skilichy, Stamaty Mably, Yanny Alphany, Stamaty Guzelaky, Menis Makridiko, Georgy Makridiko, Pandeli Amiro; Jews: Moussé Asseo, Cain Y oussef Barouk, Abraham Affif, Isaac Beroukiel, Menakem Eskinasy, Abra­ ham Sabetay, Juda Sabetay, Isaac Algary, Zacarie Alphary, Benjamin Levy, M ousse Abouyakar, Saltiel Asseo, Samuel Chouerel, M enakem Galipolity, Y oussef Azaria, M ousse Aboumoukar, Cain Barouk, Jacob Ouziel, Issoua Carmona, M ousse Ouziel, Jacob Jurade, Y oussef Saporta, M ordakay Coen, Abraham Assat, Abraham Magrisso, Isaac Seffarady, Policrono Deleon. ACCM L IX' 1252, Comptes de vente de draps, Constantinople, 1731-1786. Greeks: Georgy and Yani Alphany, Pandely Amiro, Manoly Apolira, Constantin Ardiani, Nikoli Brakaky, Nicoli Capari, Nicoli Capilotto, Leony Casto, Coussi and Leoni Chinchinia, Yani Coronio, Constantin Coutelaky, Leoni Danani, Dimitri Drossino, Constantin, Mihali and Nikoli Escaramanga, Pandely Eskenaky, Estephany Giffo, Stamaty Guzelaky, Yani Ipsiaky, Frangouli lamblachy, Estephany Lechi, Dimitri Mako, Georgy, Mike and TTieodory Maximo, Marki Messinery, Yani Mouizes, Antoni, Pauli and Yani Negreponti, Theodory Paris, Barthélémy, Georgy, Nicoli, Stamati and Yani Paspaty, Dimitri, Michel and Stamaty Patera, Dimitri, Fran-

cloth and the number o f clothiers in the two major guilds suggests a differ­ ent profile for Jewish and Greek clothiers. The Greek guild seems to have consisted o f bigger and more powerfiil merchants controlling individually greater quantities o f imported cloth.^“' Also interesting is the fact that the cloth trade seems to have been largely dominated by family ventures, as witnessed in the lists o f purchasers derived from Roux Frères’ invoices; 57 individuals against 38 sumames in the case o f the Greeks, 49 individuals and 32 sumames in the case o f the Jews. French traders always recognized the greater power o f Greek clothiers compared to other communities. In fact, conscious o f this disequilibrium, they tended to favor their Jewish customers over Greeks, in order to obtain some leverage against their most feared opponents. In 1750, the députés admitted to “supporting, through a necessary policy, the guild o f the Jews against the wealthier, more powerfiil and more numerous guild o f the Greeks.”^^ As to the Amienian and Muslim clothiers, they were quite clearly kept under close control by the two other dominant groups. In the case o f Ar­ menians, however, their disappearance from the market was, in fact, partly linked to a coincidence o f exclusionist policies emanating both from their Greek and Jewish rivals on the one hand, and from the French nation on the other. The starting point o f this exclusion seems to have been the deci­ sion, taken in one o f the assemblées o f the nation, o f ceasing all sales of gouli and Mike Patteraquy, Sedeny Piperaky, Antoni and Georgi Rodokonaky, Georgi Sekani, Lorenzi and Manoli Squiliky, Constantin Staty, Yani Stavraky, Strati Trakily, Georgi and Philippi Vardelako, Yani Varipatty; Jews: Youssef Abenauziel, Abenpassat, EUa Agiman, Moussé and Saltiel Asseau, Benjamin Attas, Moussé Auziel, Cam, Mourdakay and Youssef Barouk, Cain and Nissim Camky, Nathan Castro, Isaac and Policrono Deleon, Kalef, Menahem, Sabetay and Samuel Eskinazy, Abraham, Isaac, Moussé and Raphaël Fouines, Youssef Frances, Elia Larogna, Abraham and Benjamin Levy, Youda Medina, Sintof Messy, Youda Misdraky, Abraham Pokillestre, Cain Raphaël, Abraham and Youda Sabetay, Nakamia Saloum, Youssef Saporta, Issoua and Moussé Sousino, Aaron, Abraham and Israel Terragano, Youda Valy, Isaac Yaech, David and Jacob Zonana; Armenians: Hogea Charpos, Hogea Artun, Gulpy Muratoglou; Muslim: Aggi Mehemet. The observation by Clicquot-Blervache that there were 44 Greek, 28 Jewish and 2 ‘Turkish’ clothiers in 1750 is the only source contradicting this impression. However, the sudden leap in the consumption o f French cloth by Greeks in 1750 (fig. 2.4) would suggest that the growth in the number o f Greek clothiers was linked to a parallel growth in the vol­ ume o f cloth they bought and that, therefore, this did not entail a change in the individual power o f the members o f this community. ACCM, J 1591, M émoire des députés, 30 Dec. 1750. This observation becomes all the more meaningful when considered in relation with the sudden increase in the Greek clothiers’ consumption o f French cloth from some 730 ballots in 1749 to 1,092 in 1750 (see fig. 2.4 and note 54 above). The assemblées were meetings organized under the supervision o f the ambassador and

cloth to Amienian clothiers, in response to the accusation brought against them by other cloth dealers o f “ruining trade by selling at any price.”^’ One may wonder, however, to what extent these ‘ethnic’ guilds were really autonomous and, especially, recognized as such by the Ottoman authorities. The documents mentioned above all suggest that each o f these groups acted independently and had their own system o f administration and representation. Thus, the 1734 convention between the nation and the clothiers made it clear that the tenns o f the agreement had been signed separately by the representatives o f each o f the two communities, by ap­ pending two separate declarations signed by the members o f each group. In the case o f the Jewish document, an additional ‘ethnic touch’ could be found in the approval o f its content by three rabbis o f the community, who took upon themselves to sanction the document and threatened to punish any infringement to the agreement.^® A somewhat similar situation char­ acterized the Greek clothiers, even though their document bore no direct reference to an approval by religious authorities. When this guild decided, in 1752, to boycott French cloth in the hope o f dictating their conditions on the nation, this collective action was backed by the patriarchate itself Six members o f the guild who refused to go along with the boycott were pun­ ished by an excommunication which was eventually lifted thanks to the intervention o f the French a m b a s s a d o r . ^ ® It seems, therefore, that the guild o f clothiers was divided into two autonomous groups organized along confessional lines. Whether this parti­ tion was officially recognized by the Porte is yet another question. Most of the documents addressed to the Ottoman government by the French em­ bassy make use o f the neutral term o f “çukaci esnâfi", linking the confeswhere traders — and traders only— would decide on issues o f common interest. AMAE, Registres consulaires de l’ambassade de France, v. 10, Assemblée de la na­ tion, 12 Dec. 1719. It was also stipulated that any merchant going against this embargo would be fined a thousand piasters. Only three Armenian clothiers were excluded from this measure: Topalsa Escocho, Artum and Alexan Valedekany (more likely a reference to the location o f his shop— at Valide Hânı— than a surname). ACCM, J 197, Nouveaux articles..., 9 Nov. 1734. The awkward translation o f the declaration by the rabbis is worth quoting: “Nous soussignés Rabins avons veû et examiné les obligations des drapiers pour l’ordre et le bénéfice de leur corps, le tout bien fait et ap­ prouvé chaque condition qu’ils ont prise sur eux, pour maintenir et affermir leurs obligations comme il est dit cy dessus declaré qu’il ne puisse se rompre aucune particularité des mêmes obligations par lesquelles nôtre authorité et pouvoir sera avec eux ensmble pour soutenir tout ce qu’ils ont arresté accordé et convenû et tel quel qu’il soit quy contreviendra ou quy voudroit rom pre ou casser la presente sera amendé et châtié en nôtre présence, et oblige à maintenir exactem ent tout le contenû, signés à l’original Effi-aim Naom, Caín Camky, Abra­ ham de Jussef Rózales”. ACCM , J 202, Correspondance des députés. Mémoire de la nation, 28 July 1752.

sional status o f the guild members to their name instead.®“ Yet occasional documents did refer to the collective religious identity o f the guild, as in “the guild o f Jewish clothiers”,«' or more explicitly, stated that “French traders had always been free to sell their cloth to whichever clothier o f the Greek millet.”^- In other words, it seems that the existing de facto fraginentation o f the guild along confessional lines had, to a certain degree, transpired into its official nomenclature. At any rate, there is no doubt that what really counted was the ‘real’ organization o f the system in which choices and association were first and foremost determined by religious and occasionally regional identity Apart from the powerfiil guild o f cloth dealers, the only other corporate group purchasing French cloth was that o f the bitpazarlis or, literally, mer­ chants o f the flea market.«'* This group consisted o f small-scale merchants who specialized in the sale o f ready-made and cut garments and not used clothes, as their name suggests. This specialization brought also limitations imposed on them by other cloth dealers, and the conventions passed with the French nation made it clear that the bitpazarlis were not allowed to deal in the retail trade o f cloth.«^ Catering to the need o f a less wealthy portion o f the population, they almost exclusively purchased lower quali­ ties o f French cloth, especially londres larges.^^ Unlike the guild o f cloth «•’ As in “çukacı tS’ifesinden Müsà Salom ve Samoyil Nakm iya nâm Yahudiler” or in “çukaci a ’ifesinden Yani Patra ve Manoli Piskiri ve Todori Zagota zimmîler” (AAFC, doc. 23, cahier n° 11, "arzihal # 54 and doc. 61, cahier n° 13, ^arzihsl # 46). «' “Yahud çukacı tâ’ifesi” (AAFC, doc. 44, cahier sans numéro, entry # 10a). This docu­ ment, moreover, locates these Jewish cloth dealers in the Perdahçılar Ham— the khan o f burnishers— one o f the major khans in the immediate vicinity o f the covered bazaar (W olf­ gang Müller-W iener, Bildlexicon zu r Topographie Istanbuls. Byzantion-KonstantinopolisIstanbul bis zum Beginn des 1 7. Jahrhunderts (Tübingen, 1977), pp. 347, 349. «- “França tiiccâri vilâyetlerinden getürdükleri çukayı mâ takaddümdem berü Rum m il­ letinden olan çukacılardan dilediklerine bey*^ ü furCîht éde gelüb [...]” (AAFC, doc. 23, cahier n° 11, ^arzıhâl # 46). «^ Professional organization along regional lines could be observed in m any o f the Otto­ man guilds o f the time. Among those we are interested in, the m ost striking example was that o f the fabric dealers o f the Çarşı (Covered Bazaar) who, allegedly, came from the island o f Chios (see p. 62). However, no mention is made o f any regional identity concem ing cloth dealers, except for the statement by Evliya Çelebi that they were 'M idillici' (from (?) Myti­ lene) (see n. 48 above). «^* The Bitpazarı or flea market was located near the Covered Bazaar and housed merchants who dealt mostly in used clothes (Cosimo Comidas de Carbognano, Descrizione topográfica delle stato presente di Costantinopoli (Bassano, 1794), p. 46; Mantran, Istanbul, p. 458). “[Les bitpazarlis] ne pourront pas détailler et vendre à pic comme les drapiers, mais seulement en habits travaillés” (ACCM, J 201, Correspondance des députés. Traduction des arrangements pris par la nation avec le corps des drapiers pour la vente des draps, 12 March 1748). «« Clicquot-Blervache, op. c it, p. 573.

dealers, no list o f merchants o f the bitpazar are available to try to assess their general profile, confessionally speaking. The mention o f two Jewish members o f this group— Jacob Almeda and Daniel Levy— among debtors o f the French nation is the only available information o f this nature, clearly insufficient for any generalization. It seems that the economic power of these traders was more or less commensurate with their trade and the na­ tion generally described them as a poor lot, sometimes going as far as to make a degrading connection between their status and the name o f the market in which they operated.^^ Although their relatively marginal share in the consumption o f French cloth, and the consequent fact that they were never taken into consideration as a signing party in the agreements between the nation and its customers appear to corroborate this vision, it seems that they were part o f a socially and politically rather active section o f the urban population, as suggested by the fact that the rebellion o f 1740 sprang from the Bitpazari.^^ The last major category o f purchasers o f French cloth, that o f the bdzirganba§i5, was extremely different irom the other two. It had no corporate identity and consisted o f separate individuals who purchased cloth in the name o f their masters or o f the body they represented. These were the pur­ veyors to grandees o f the state in all sorts o f goods and particularly in im­ ported goods such as cloth, even though this title seems to have also been used in the more literal meaning o f head merchant or head o f merchants.*^® “Bit-Bazar signifie en Turc marché de pouilleux, les drapiers qui le composent sont véritablement pauvres la plupart et distingués encore des autres parce qu’ils ne vendent que des habits faits ou coupés” (ACCM, J 1591, Mémoire des députés, 30 Dec. 1750). The social influence o f this market and o f its merchants seems to have been o f some importance, if one considers the fact that the 1740 rebellion had started in that particular market and that Patrona Halil, the leader o f the 1730 insurrection, had him self been previ­ ously involved in the trade o f used garments (Robert W. Olson, “Jews, Janissaries, E snaf and the Revolution o f 1740 in Istanbul: Social Upheaval and Political Realignment in the Otto­ man Empire", Journal o f the Economic and Social History o f the Orient, 20 (1977), p. 194 and n. 26; “The E snaf the Patrona Halil Rebellion o f 1730; A Realignment in Ottoman Poli­ tics?” JowrnaZ o /i/je £co«om!c 5 o c ia /ifziioiy o f i/je Orient, 17 (1974), pp. 329-344). Evliya Çelebi mentions only one bazırgânbaşı, whose role and iiinctions he does not specify (Seyyâhatnâme, v. I, p. 555). To Mantran, the bazırgSnbaşı was the chief representative o f thirty-two guilds, among which those o f sailors, caulkers, carpenters o f the Arsenal, captains and merchants o f the Black Sea and o f the Mediterranean (Mantran, Istanbul, p. 356, n.2). Castellan, at the end o f the eighteenth centuiy, notes that “all shopowners depend on the bazargan-bachy, chief o f all markets {bazary (Castellan, op. c it, v. VI, p. 137). Pakalm confirms, however, the use we are making here o f the term (Mehmet Zeki Pakalm, Osmanh Tarih Dey­ imleri ve Terimleri Sözlüğü (Istanbul, 1983), v. 1, p. 183), as does also the English ambassador Fawkener, in January, 1742: “[the] Agent or as they call it here Bazargan Boshi, o f the Agau and body o f the Janissaries” (Olson, “Jews, Janissaries, Esnaf," p. 199 and n. 45). It is also worth noting that the word bâzırgânbaşı seems to have been, in Ottoman documents, interchangeable

Representing some 13.15 % o f the total consumption o f French cloth in the capital,^® the bâzırgânbaşıs catered to the needs o f the most prestigious grandees and officials o f the Ottoman establishment: the Sultan himself, the Grand Vizier and his kethüda, the Grand Admiral or Kapudan Paşa, the Defterdar, the Gümrük Emini, the Janissary corps and the Yeniçeri Ağası... The Imperial harem was also heavily represented, with the Valide Sultan, mother o f the reigning Sultan, the Kızlar Ağası, grand eunuch of the Seraglio and, occasionally, some other female relatives o f the Sul­ tan.’- Unfortunately, it is difficult to establish a nominal list of these wealthy intennediaries who were, more often than not, identified through their functions and masters. One ascertained fact is, however, that they were almost always o f non-Muslim origin, mostly Jewish and Armenian. French infonnants furthemiore insinuated that these lucrative positions had become a major point o f conflict and that the Armenians were showing the first signs o f a domination over their Jewish rivals.’^ The violent dismissal with bSzirgdn, as long as the office or grandee to whom he was attached was specified. Thus, two documents relating to the former purveyor o f the Janissaiy coips, Baruh Aciman, describe him as “Ocak-i ^Àmire bâzırgânı,” but refer to his duty as “bâzırgân başılık hidmeti” (AAFC, doc. 61, cahier n° 13, tah-ir # 154 and 172). ACCM , J 199 to 202, Correspondance des députés. États des ventes des draps, 17401752. It seems, however, that the bâzırgânbaşıs did not purchase French cloth exclusively from French traders, but could also purchase it from cloth dealers who had themselves stocks o f French cloth. Thus, Baruh Aciman, bâzırgânbaşı to the Janissary corps, was said to purchase m ost o f his cloth fi-om the Jewish clothiers K alef Eskinasi and his partner Ovadya Levi and that the latter, in tum , bought this cloth from the French and other foreign traders on credit: “Yahudi milletinden sabıka ocak-i 'âm ire bâzırgânı olan Baruk Aciman nâm bâzırgân ocak-ı 'âm ire içün iktizâ éden çukaların ekserini Istanbulda mütemekkin K alef Eskinasi ve şeriki Ovadya Levi nâm iki nefer Yahüdî çukacılardan iştira ve kıy­ metlerini b a 'z " havâle ve ba'z'" 'a n nakd™ eda eylediğine binâ’“ Galatada mukîm França ve sâ’ir m üste’men tüccarı dahî mezbûr çukaları çukacıyân-ı m esfurâna va'de-i m a'lum e ile bey' ü furüht ve akçelerini ceste ceste ahz édüb [...]” (AAFC, doc. 61, cahier n° 13, talçrir # 172). The document is not dated, but from the names o f the French traders involved and from Ottoman documents conceming the same Baruh (see n. 82 and 88 below), one can roughly date it towards the end o f the 1770s or beginning o f the 1780s. Such indirect sales o f cloth to the bâzırgânbaşıs, never mentioned in the numerous documents o f the 1730s and 1740s, may, therefore, have been an innovation o f the end o f the century. ACCM, J 197, Nouveaux articles..., 9 Nov. 1734; J 199, Résultat des conférences..., 20 Feb. 1742. The list o f bâzırgânbaşıs showed slight variations from tim e to time. The list o f 1742 did not include the Vâlide Sultan, for the obvious reason that M ahm ud I’s mother, Şâliha Sebkatî Vâlide Sultân, had died in 1739, nor the Grand Eunuch, but mentioned two purveyors whose attributions were not specified. In 1734, apart from the Vâlide Sultan and the Grand Eunuch, mention was m ade o f Hadîce Sultan (“Catigé Sultan” in the text), most probably the sister (1662-1743) o f Mustafa 11 and aunt o f the reigning Mahmud 1, rather than his cousin (1719-1738), daughter o f Ahmed 111. “Les postes de bazirguian bachi, généralement Juifs et Arméniens sont de plus en plus occupés par des Arméniens” (AN, AE B"' 241, pièce 18, Caractère des gens du pays, leur

o f David Zonana from the position o f purveyor o f the Janissary corps in 1746’'' and, in the early 1750s, the efforts by Agop Hovhannesian— sarraf and bâzırgânbaşı to the Grand Eunuch— ^to dislodge Jews from all similar positions and to have them replaced by fellow A r m e n ia n s ’ ^ would tend to corroborate this opinion. However, it might be wrong to come to hasty conclusions on the basis o f such scanty evidence, especially if one is to consider that the said David Zonana was replaced, eight months after his fall, by his own son’« and that the bâzırgânbaşı o f the corps was still a Jew by the name o f Baruh Aciman in the late 1780s.” A possible explanation could be, along with intercommunal rivalries, the constitution o f commu­ nal ‘fiefs’ characterized by the transmission o f certain positions from one member of the same community to another.’* Not surprisingly, these men were located at the very summit o f the power structures o f the time. Describing the bâzırgânbaşı o f the Janissary corps, apparently one o f the most powerful o f his kind,’^ the English am ­ bassador Fawkener showed to what extent their power could even exceed the limits o f their attributions: It is not e asy to im ag in e the credit this Je w , A g e n t o f the Ja n issa rie s has in that b o d y. H e disposes o f a ll O ffic e s , & ap p licatio n s are m ade b y the pre­ tenders to them to h im [ ...]* “

Flachat, who, with his associate Rambaud, obtained the spectacular honor of being promoted bâzırgânbaşı to Süleyman Agha, him self a protégé or client o f the all-powerful Grand Eunuch Beşir Agha, left a firsthand ac­ count o f the immense financial and social power that could be unleashed by such a post: [S o lim a n A g h a ] placed im m ense orders w ith m e. H is treasurer re c e ive d the order o f p a y in g m e eve ry m oon fo r eve ryth in g I w o u ld have procu red; and in order to ha ve m e respected even m o re, I w a s im m e d ia te ly g ive n a fu r coat to

commerce, ca 1750). ACCM, J 167, Correspondance de Castellane, Castellane to the Cham ber o f Com­ merce, 25 Aug. 1746). ACCM, L IX 717, Surian Frères, Am aud & C“ to P.-H. Roux & C“-', 14 July 1752. ’« ACCM, J 167, Correspondance de Castellane, Castellane to the Chamber o f Com­ merce, 14 May 1747). ” AAFC, doc. 61, cahier n° 13, tah'tr # 154 and 172. ’ * Fascinating as the analysis o f these mechanisms might be, it clearly exceeds the limits and possibilities o f this stady. Suffice it to say that the dynamics o f intercommunal collabo­ ration and rivalries is probably one o f the most neglected areas o f Ottoman history, too often obsessed by the ‘obvious’ demarkation line between Muslims and non-Muslims. French traders described this purveyor as “le plus brillant et le plus solide de tous” (AN, A E B"' 241, Caractère des gens du pays). Oison, “Jews, Janissaries, Esnaf,” p. 207.

w e a r on h is orders. [...] T h e n ew s soon spread in a ll the bezestins. G re e k s, A m ie n ia n s , Je w s , a ll m um bled, because th ey w e re lo sin g a p ro fita b le p o si­ tio n , w h ic h they b e lie ve d w a s th eir ow n right.*'

All this wealth and power made the bazırganbaşıs very attractive to French traders as customers. For not only did they pay their debts with an exacti­ tude unequalled by clothiers,*^ they also constituted a stable outlet for the superior and most expensive qualities o f cloth, such as mahouts and lon­ drins premiers?^ Despite— in fact because of—all this power, however, these men lived dangerously. Their fate was directly linked to that o f their master’s and, as such, they were vulnerable to all the vicissitudes o f power in an environment where personal and factional feuds dominated political careers: T h e fa v o r w h ich they e n jo y and the po sitio n w h ich they o ccu p y g ive [them] the m o st extended o f credits. T h e p o sitio n is b rillia n t, prom otes the Je w s and A n n e n ia n s w h o fig h t fo r it to heights exceeding th e ir status and often dizzies them to the p o in t o f being unreco g nizab le. T h e n , th e ir fa ll is in evitab le and they fa ll w ith the grandees w h o had supported them during the tim e o f a sh o rt-lived p o w e r w h ic h they had dared share w ith them.*"*

Fatal examples o f this fragility were frequent enough to justify such state­ ments. David Zonana, bâzırgânbaşı to both the Janissary corps and the Grand Vizier, had been strangled in 1746 after the deposition of the latter;*^ Süleyman Agha and Ya^kub Agha (Agop Hovhannessian) had both been executed after the fall o f their common master the ill-famed Grand Eunuch Beşir Agha.®^ To the French nation, such events could have unsavory con­ sequences, especially in the form o f irrecoverable debts. The fall o f Beşir Agha and o f his creatures in 1752 had left Rambaud and Flachat, directly involved in the operation, with a claim o f some 90,000 piasters.*’ Although Flachat, op. cit., pp. 155-156. An exception— in the sense o f a bâzırgânbaşı postponing his debts while still in power— m ight have been Baruh Aciman, bâzırgânbaşı o f the Janissary corps, who, follow­ ing the Russo-Ottoman conflict o f 1768-1774, obtained from the Porte a sort o f moratorium for all the debts he had contracted and was unable to repay because o f the exceptional con­ ditions o f the w ar (A. Kal’a (ed.), Istanbul Ahkâm defterleri. Istanbul Finans Tarihi, 1, 1742-1787, (Istanbul, 1998), pp. 244-245, doc. m Q 2l662, evâsıt-ı Ş sene 1188/17-26 Oct. 1774; pp. 283-284, doc. 9/170/636, evail-i Ş s e n e 1191/4-13 Sept. 1777; pp. 348-350, doc. 10/206/737, evail-i M sene 1197/7-16 Dec. 1782). This moratorium, after several prolonga­ tions, lasted for at least eight years, resulting in some o f the complaints o f French merchants mentioned in another document (see n. 88 below). ACCM , J 1591, M émoire des députés, 30 Dec. 1750. Loc. c it. 85 See p. 54. See p. 54. ACCM, J 202, Correspondance des députés. Couturier and Magy to the Chamber of

apparently peaceful, the transfer o f the office o f bâzırgânbaşı o f the Janis­ sary corps from Baruh Aciman to his successor Çelbon [?] Cerozalimi, had the same disrupting effect on those French traders who had advanced cloth to cloth dealers who, in tum, had offered it to the former purveyor o f the Janissaries. The incoming bâzırgânbaşı refused to honor the debts o f his predecessor, leaving Kalef Eskinasi and Ovadya Levi with a claim o f nearly 200,000 piasters and with no other choice left than to declare their inability to pay back the 40,000 piasters they owed to seven French trad-

ers.*® Despite such incidents, the general profile o f the purchasers o f French cloth in Istanbul, dominated by the guild o f clothiers, was characterized by a relatively high degree o f cohesion, in fact much higher than the French would have ever wished. Facing a rather organized and stable community o f purchasers and stuck with a more or less fixed outlet, French traders in Istanbul were constantly threatened by the very consequence o f their commercial success on the supply side. The growth o f their trade that had started in the first decade o f the century was immediately followed by an enthusiastic response from cloth producers and dealers in France; T h is increase in consum ption [starting in 1713] caused such an in cred ib le gro w th in the num ber o f m anufacturers in Lang ued o c that in 1725 m ost o f them cam e to e xperien ce labor shortages and to steal w o rk e rs fro m one an­ other. A great insubo rd ination fo llo w e d ; as w e ll as a re la xa tio n in the q u a lity o f clo th and an o bstruction w h ic h w o u ld p ro ve to be disastrous fo r both the m an ufactures and the c ity o f Marseilles.®®

But also disastrous for Istanbul where, throughout the 1720s, merchants

Commerce, 17 July 1752. “Françalu tüccâr-ı mersümûn çukacıyân-ı mesfurâna bundan akdem kırk biri gurüşluk çuka bey' ü teslim édüb gerek meblağ-ı merkümı gerek sâ’ir erbâb-ı düyunun haklarmı edâ zımnmda sabıka ocak-ı 'am ire bâzırgânı m estur çukacıyân-ı mesfurâna Şaydâ tarafından yetmiş dört bifi beş yüz ğurüş havâle eylediğinden m â'dâ otuz yedi bin ğurûş dahi nakd'" i'tâ üzere iken bâzırgânbaşılık hidmetinden infişâli zuhur ve yerine Çelbon [?] Cerozalimi nâm Yahudi ocak-ı 'âm ire bâzırgânı naşb ü ta'yin olunub ocak-ı 'âm ire bâzırgânı seleflerinifi deynlerini öteden berü üzerlerine iltizâm éde gelmiş iken bazırgân-\ lâhık-ı mesfür kâ'ide-i m er'iyye-i müstahseneden izhâr-ı tekevvül éderek selefi Şaydâ taraflndan havâle eylediği yetm iş dört bin beşyüz ğurüşdan eda olunan yigirmi beş bin gurOşı zabt édecegi emr-i muhtemel oldıgım çukacıyân-ı mesfîîrân França ve sa ir m üste’men tüccârına ihbâr ve defterlerini kendülere ibraz ve bâzırgân-ı sâbık-ı mesfiîruft zimmetinde yüz sekşân bin tokuz yüz on dört ğurüş alacaklarını isbât ve meblag-ı merkum bâzırgân-ı sâbık-ı mesfur ile rabt ü mukavele olunan nizâm üzere bazırgân-ı lâhık-ı mesfiîrdan edâ olumadığı şüretde çukacıyân-ı mesfîlrâmn m u'âm elâtı karin-i ihtilâl ve derece-i iflâsa reside olub aşhâb-ı düyunun haklan ib ş l olunacağı celi ve aşikâr olmağla keyfiyyet-i mezbüre melhüz-ı devletleri buyuruldukda (AAFC, doc. 61, cahier n'’ 13, tah-ir # 172 and 198). ADH, C. 5554, Mémoire sur le commerce des draps.

witnessed the accumulation in their warehouses o f huge quantities o f cloth o f ever-decreasing quality and which they were unable to sell without granting huge discounts to local wholesalers. The clogging became such that the nation felt compelled to ask for direct intervention from the Crown. By 1730, the first set o f measures, known as the arrangements were imposed by ambassador Villeneuve, only too happy to become the visible hand o f dirigiste policies he had him self advocated.^® Known as the Villeneuve-Maurepas system, this policy involved all sorts o f restrictions imposed on manufacturers and traders alike: price-fixing, monitored and proportional sales, establishment o f a community chest guaranteeing bank­ ruptcies, limitations o f the number o f manufacturers in Languedoc and of the total production o f cloth.^' Not surprisingly, the positive results expected were reached rather rap­ idly. Unsold stocks diminished, prices increased significantly and the na­ tion enjoyed a relative stability until the 1750s. Mercantilist and dirigiste policies had worked marvelously well in a market structure where con­ sumption had little or no chance o f increasing. However, as a result of the relaxation o f these restrictive measures towards the end o f the 1740s, the nation once again found itself exposed to the pressure of massive cloth shipments from Marseilles. Rightly claiming that the market could not ab­ sorb this quantity o f cloth, they asked for the confimiation and reinforce­ ment o f the a r r a n g e m e n ts This time, their demand was met by a strong opposition o f the ‘partisans o f free-trade,’ among which were the Chamber o f Commerce o f Marseilles and, not surprisingly, a strong lobby of Languedocian cloth manufacturers. The arrangements were lifted in 1756 and the échelle was flooded with an ever-increasing quantity o f cloth of degraded quality.^-*^ Prices fell, complaints among local cloth dealers inFor a detailed description and analysis o f the arrangements and Villeneuve’s role in their establishment, see the excellent article by Claude Roure, “La réglementation du com ­ m erce français au Levant sous l ’ambassade du marquis de Villeneuve 1728-1741,” J.-P. Filippini, L. Meignen, C. Roure, D. Sabatier, G. Stéphanidès (eds). Dossiers sur le com­ m erce français en M éditerranée orientale au XVIIF siècle (Paris, 1976), pp. 33-101. We shall not devote a separate discussion to this topic, if only to avoid repeating the findings o f this author. However, the subject will come up frequently, especially within the context o f commercial practices and strategies between French and local traders. Such as the establishment o f a 'tableau (roster) o f authorized manufacturers in 1735 and the fixing o f the production o f londrins seconds to 3,000 ballots in 1741, followed in 1743 by a similar restriction for other qualities (ADH, C. 5554, Mémoire sur le commerce des draps). ADH, C. 5554, Mémoire sur le commerce des draps. ACCM, J 204, Mémoire de la nation, March 1765. According to M. de Saint-Priest, conseiller d'E tat and father o f the ambassador in Constantinople, one o f the main reasons for the degradation o f French cloth was the fraudulent use o f Levantine instead o f Spanish wool in most manufactures (ADH, C. 5554, Copie de la lettre écritte par M. de S‘-Priest con-

creased and French traders were frequently forced to send back defective bales in response to claims from their customers.^'* Barter, unknown until then in the cloth market o f Istanbul and one o f the surest signs o f its degra­ dation, came to be resorted to more and more frequently.^^ Occasional attempts to correct these problems had little if any positive impact on the cloth trade which continued its decline in the last quarter of the century. French cloth had lost its major asset o f a reliable and more or less constant quality. As a result, the share o f cloth in the volume o f trade started tumbling. From an average 7 7 % between 1718 and 1769 it dropped to 44 % during the last quarter o f the century. In 1790, a French trader wrote the following exasperated lines to his correspondent in Mar­ seilles, informing him o f his decision to abandon the cloth trade altogether; T h is item is so p a in fiil and disg usting to e xp lo it and, g e n e rally sp eaking, so unpro fitable that, unless a m a jo r re vo lu tio n takes p lace, w h ic h w e regard as im p o ssib le , w e sh all not order a n ym o re [clo th ], n o r w ill w e re c e ive an y on b e h a lf o f o ur friends.^®

To hold the degradation o f manufacturing as the sole factor responsible for the decline o f French cloth trade would, however, be an exaggeration. It appears from the correspondence and reports o f French traders that the po­ litical conditions o f the last decades o f the century and their socio­ economic consequences were also accountable for a major shift on the de­ mand side. In particular, the Russian wars o f 1768-1774 and 1787-1791 put severe pressure on available resources, leading to a relative impover­ ishment o f an important section o f the population.^’ This in tum led to a shift o f demand towards items o f a more basic necessity; T h e w a r w ith R u s s ia [ o f 1768-1774] has caused operations co n trary to our expectations and to our p revio u s forecasts. T h e T u rk s no longer req uired our

seiller d ’État à M. le Ch" de S'-Priest ambassadeur de France à la Porte, n.d.). ADH, C. 5554, Letter by M. d ’Aveur to ambassador Saint-Priest, Paris, 22 Sept. 1765, in M émoire sur le commerce des draps; ACCM, J 204, Extrait des minutes de la chancellerie de l’ambassade. Ordonnance de Saint-Priest, 29 Sept. 1769. One o f the m ajor causes for complaints was about the length o f bales which often measured 4 to 5 % less than expected (ACCM, L IX 705, Conte et C ' to Roux Frères, 26 March 1763). “^5 ACCM , L IX 707, Conte et C'“ to Roux Frères, 29 Feb. 1764. ACCM , L IX 707, Lazare Dalmas et C“ to Roux Frères, 2 Aug. 1790. “Si M arseille ne réussit plus, à la fin du X V Iir siècle, à placer dans les souks autant de balles de draps languedociens, c’est que le pays turc s ’épuise, s ’appauvrit” (Braudel, L ’identité de la France, v. III, p. 369), Our understanding o f a ‘relative impoverishm ent’ is, however, much more conjunetural and episodic than that o f Braudel. One should not forget that the decline o f Languedocian draperies was also due to an indisputable degradation o f its quality and that Ottoman consumers showed signs o f serious shifts towards Venetian, English, Germ an and o f course— as they always had— Indian textiles.

clo th or o u r fa b rics but w ere a skin g fo r w heat, fo r rice and fo r co ffe e, w h ich w e had to brin g to them

During the 1787-1791 conflict, this trend was even more accentuated by the fact that this time the nation, sobered by the experience o f the preced­ ing war, abandoned most o f its commercial activities to fulfil contracts passed by the ambassador with the Porte for the provisioning o f the capital in grain. In most cases, these shipments provided traders with a lucrative alternative to their traditional commercial activities, while at the same tiine enhancing their political prestige vis-à-vis local authorities. The fact that the last decade o f the century coincided with the total col­ lapse o f French trade— largely as a result o f the economic consequences of the revolutionary wars— blurs to a certain extent our perception o f the par­ ticular fate o f the cloth trade during the same period. One might even ask quite pertinently whether the crisis o f textile exports was really irrecover­ able, or whether it was not, on the contrary, a momentary drop which could have been compensated for in a more favorable conjuncture after 1792. However, despite the fact that the first decade o f the nineteenth century shows signs o f a revival o f this trade, most o f the indicators point in the di­ rection o f a failure o f the cloth trade for too long a period and with too much o f an intensity to be discarded as a mere passing embarrassment. The growing success o f other European textiles,®® the slackening o f the trend in the volume o f cloth imported, the notable decline o f cloth-manufacturing centers in Languedoc'®“ and finally the rather desperate attempt o f opening AN, AE B'" 257, M émoire sur le commerce de Constantinople, 8 May 1775. ®® Louis de Chénier, Révolutions de l'Em pire ottoman, Paris 1789, p. 341. See notes 17 and 31 above for examples o f a successful Venetian competition during the period. In the late 1770s, a trader wrote to his correspondent in Marseilles that he “had witnessed [...] that in Constantinople buyers ask from retailers only English cloth or cloth from Lepsik {sic, Leipzig)” and that if the products o f the best manufacturers— such as Pascal or Pennautier— still maintained their position in the market, it was essentially because cloth dealers sold them as English cloth (ACCM, L IX 710, Jean-André Henry et C“ to Roux Frères, 15 May 1776 and 22 Apr. 1777). In the same way, English shawls, known to the French as chalons had also started to threaten French cloth sales: “Les chalons sont une étoffe de laine qui quoique plus légère que nos draps de médiocre qualité prennent cependant d ’une manière sensible sur leur consommation [...]” (ACCM, J 170, Correspondance de Choiseul-Gouffier, Mémoire de la nation sur les matelots, les drogmans, les députés, les assemblées, l’hôpital et le commerce de l’échelle, 20 Nov. 1790), See also Paris, op. cit., pp. 550-551. Delsalle, op. cit., pp. 66-67. The major weakness o f the cloth-producing regions o f Languedoc had been their total dependence on merchant capital and networks controlled by Marseilles. Cloth manufacturers lost control over their product the moment it fell into the hands o f Marseilles traders and even before, since a substantial part o f their production was financed by loans and advance payments form these merchants. They were, therefore, al­ most totally at the mercy o f two markets— Marseilles and the Levant— over which they had little leverage. This explains the somewhat diverging interests o f manufactarers and traders

up the cloth trade to non-French merchants'®' were all clear signs o f a very serious malaise. Most importantly, the attitude o f the traders themselves, their gradual withdrawal from the cloth trade and their systematic quest for altematives‘®2 always described as “more lucrative,” was in itself the most obvious admission of their failure to sustain their former predominance on the market. When compared to their previous efforts at reestablishing order and stability through regulation and restriction, their eventual shying away from this trade can only be interpreted as a resignation to a certain defeat and a flight away from a lost cause. Lagging far behind cloth imports, the trade o f fabrics— especially silk fabrics— constituted a rather negligible portion o f the French textile trade in the capital, rarely reaching even 10 % o f its total value until the second half o f the century. However, the reasons for the marginal nature o f this trade were in no way related to local demand. Quite to the contrary, French traders were very conscious o f the fact that the demand for these finer tex­ tiles was much higher than that for their londrins seconds and other wool­ len cloth. To them, “there [was] no doubt that [the Turks] as well as the other Levantines, consume[d] half as much cloth as silk fabrics.”'®^ and the tendency o f the former to favor over-production in most cases. This unequal situa­ tion was, therefore, partly responsible for the abuses— in terms o f the abandonment o f qual­ ify standards— to which Languedocian cloth manufacturers were practically forced to resort in the last third o f the century. Related to this are the accusations made later against Mar­ seilles o f having “used” Languedoc while leaving it only “crumbs o f the feast” and o f hav­ ing interrupted the fiiture development o f the region (Carrière, “D r ip m s " passim). '®' A first ordonnance, issued in 1781, while admitting foreign traders into the French Levantine network o f trade still preserved the monopoly o f French subjects on the cloth trade. It was revoked in 1785 in response to strong protests from the nation and the ambas­ sador. A second attempt, voted by the National Assembly in 1791, extended freedom of trade to all products. It was perceived by traders in Istanbul and Marseilles alike as the coup de grâce to all commercial activity in the Levant, even though it was partly sponsored by cloth manufacturers o f Languedoc who, quite significantly, saw in it their last chance to save their dying industry {Ordonnance du Roi, concernant les consulats, la résidence, le com­ m erce et la navigation des sujets du Roi dans les échelles du Levant et de Barbarie du 3 mars ¡781 (Marseilles, 1781); Ordonnance du Roi, qui révoque les articles 12, 13 & 15, Titre III de celle du 3 mars 1781, en vertu desquels les Etrangers avaient été admis au commerce de ses Sujets en Levant & en Barbarie, 29 Apr. 1785; ACCM, J 208, Correspon­ dance des députés. Observations des négocians français établis à Constantinople sur le dé­ cret de l’Assemblée Nationale, qui a rendu nôtre commerce au Levant libre à toutes les na­ tions, 28 Oct. 1791). '®- The alternatives were, o f course, a shift towards other products— mostly sugar, coffee and other colonial products— to other trading activities— 'mXsr-échelle trade and transporta­ tion— ^but, most o f all, a growing involvement in the commerce de banque, a combination of precious metal trade and financial operations through bills o f exchange. Flachat, op. cit., p. 287. Flachat, one o f the most reliable informers on trading prac­ tices in the Ottoman Empire, should be subject to some caution in this statement, as he was one o f the few French traders from Lyons established in Istanbul and dealing almost exclu-

There were very basic differences in the usage o f each o f these prod­ ucts. Woollen cloth, heavier and coarser, was generally used for outside garments, especially in the winter, to the point that its consumption tended to double during the cold season, from September to F e b r u a r y . I n com­ parison, silk fabrics benefited from a popularity owed to their fineness and beauty, and most o f all to the fact that they were used throughout the year for interior garments and all sorts o f accessories such as belts, kerchiefs or handkerchiefs. On top o f that, they were frequently used in the home for furnishing and interior decoration. This wide variety o f uses, combined with the fact that many o f these uses required only small quantities o f fab­ ric, easily compensated for their major disadvantage o f a much higher price. Expensive as silk goods might have been, there was always some fonn in which they could become accessible to a wide portion o f the population. Woollen cloth, on the contrary, enjoyed a rather wide spectrum of potential customers but its market was more or less fixed and could never show the same kind o f flexibility and versatility. The inability o f the French to penetrate this attractive market was mainly due to the fierce competition of other suppliers, both local and for­ eign. Indian shawls and muslins and Persian silks flooded the markets of Istanbul in qualities and quantities that the French could not even dream of m a t c h i n g . I n fact, the popularity o f Indian fabrics was such that even lo­ cal traders and producers felt threatened by these imports, to the point of resorting to boycotts and threats to obtain an exclusive right o f purchase over these g o o d s . O n the westem front, Venetians still held a predomi­ nant position, inherited from centuries o f specialization in the manufactur­ ing and trade o f dibas, damasquettes and their very popular velvets. Even the Dutch had been able to obtain a substantial share o f the market, thanks especially to their velvet fabrics which the local population used to make binişes.'^'’ Towards mid-century, French silk cloth made up a mere fifth of all silk fabrics imported firom the West.'®* Last but not least, local textiles were also extremely competitive, especially in the fonn o f silk cloth manusively in silk fabrics. Still, other indications about the massive consumption o f silk cloth in the Ottoman capital seem to confirm his remarks. An agreement signed in 1743 between the French and local cloth dealers fixed the sales o f cloth at 500 ballots in the summer and at exactly the double in the winter (ACCM, J 200, Articles joints à la convention passée entre la nation et le corps des drapiers, 6 March 1743). On these articles, see pp. 26-27, 45 and n. 44 above. Kal’a, A, (ed,), İstanbul Ahkâm Defterleri. İstanbul Ticaret Tarihi, 1, 1742-1779 (İstanbul, 1997), p. 294, doc, # 8/332/1088, A biniş was a long cloak worn especially by dignitaries o f the Porte. AN, AE B"' 241, pièce 34, État du commerce des Vénitiens, Anglois et Hollandois à l’échelle de Constantinople, 1749-1750.

factured in the island o f Chios, the distribution o f which was monopolized by a group o f Greek merchants o f the bedesten}^'^ What rendered the French position in this trade less tenable was the fact that French fabrics had practically no other outlet than these merchants from Chios and were, therefore, doomed to a subservient position on the market. A timid effort by some Jewish merchants to market French fabrics met with violent repri­ sals by the Chios traders. Flachat lamented: T h e y w ill soon take possession o f the entire bezestin w here s ilk fa b rics are so ld : they b u y o r o verp ay shops, fro m w h ic h th ey exp e l those Je w s w h o m ig ht se ll o ur fa b rics; these unfortunate m en cannot oppose th e ir m an eu vers, no r can they support them selves any lo ng er.'

If French merchants were up against a wall set up by over-efficient com­ petitors in the silk fabrics trade, their own involvement in this area— initially at least— was not exactly an example o f obstinacy either. An obvi­ ous satisfaction with the security o f a well-established share o f the woollen cloth market and an avoidance o f the painflil efforts and conflicts that could result from too aggressive an entry into the market justify to a certain extent this attitude. However, behind it was also the fear o f introducing a new article which could eventually compete against the nation’s major as­ set, the trade o f cloth and thus divert profit into the hands o f ‘half­ foreigners’. For one should not forget that French traders in Istanbul, as in the rest o f the Levant, were mainly traders from Marseilles, quite intent on preserving their control over the network they had established. Therefore, while these merchants held Languedoc manufacturers more or less under their thumb through a system o f quasi-tota! dependence o f producers on traders,'" the same was hardly true o f silk products, a specialty o f the re­ gion o f Lyons. Involvement in the silk cloth trade could, therefore, bring about the infiltration o f a Marseillais network by Lyonese traders, as these were the only ones who could properly organize the necessary links be­ tween production and distribution in the Levant. Such a prospect o f interACCM, J 1591, Mémoire des députés, 30 Dec. 1750. ' Flachat, op. cit., p. 284. ' ' ' Cloth producers had always resented this domination o f the cloth trade by Marseilles wholesalers. Throughout the century, the dream o f the Languedoc was to see the opening o f the port o f Cette (today’s Sète) to the Levant trade, thus enabling the local producers to shunt Marseille’s monopolistic control: “Ce profit seroit bien plus considérable si le fabri­ quant avoit la liberté d’expédier des draps par le port de Cette au lieu de les faire passer par les mains des négociants de Marseille, qui y mettent eux mêmes le prix et qui s’assurent toujours un gain certain, sans partager les hasards de ce commerce. On scait le préjudice que la Province reçoit de cette gène, et les démarches que les Etats ont fait jusques à présent pour lui procurer une liberté qu’il est naturel qu’elle désire et qu’il paroit juste de lui accor­ der” (Toureille, web. cit).

nal competition was, without any doubt, far from being acceptable to most Marseilles traders who had grown accustomed to the benefits o f a mo­ nopolistic control over the Levant trade. The first imports o f French silk cloth in Istanbul coincided with the es­ tablishment in 1738 o f two Lyonese merchants, Delabat and Berthié, who had managed to obtain an authorization from the Chamber o f Commerce o f Marseilles, in order to “introduce [in the Levant] the taste for silk cloth and gilded fabrics,” mainly through the imitation o f Venetian damasquet­ tes}'- After a timid start, this new trade reached a relative prosperity during the early 1750s, collapsed during the Seven Years War, only to come out even stronger in the following decades. From then on, these products from Lyons started gaining ground, reaching, although rather sporadically, up to 30 % o f the value o f textile exports. Rather spectacular in its sudden take­ off, this new article o f trade remained nevertheless marginal in its impact on the French commercial presence in the Ottoman capital. Foreign and lo­ cal competition was still overwhelming and the increased share of silk fab­ rics in French textile imports— although reflecting a substantial growth of its absolute volume— has to be considered within the context o f the gradual decline o f the previously so prosperous cloth trade. Moreover, this com­ mercial half-success remained essentially limited to a narrow variety of products from Lyons. Practically all attempts to introduce fabrics from other regions o f France met with failure."^ Last but not least among textiles, French caps enjoyed a considerable market share in the Levant in general and in the capital city in particular (fig. 2.5)."'* Serpuş or fe s to the Ottomans, these red caps— ancestors o f the nineteenth-century fez— were wom by a large portion o f the population, including Muslims who wrapped them in muslin to fomi a turban."^ Throughout the century, French imports o f red caps constituted a constant ' ACCM , J 1591, Mémoire des députés, 30 Dec. 1750. ' Thus, it seems that the only hope o f placing some muslins on the market appeared during the exceptional situation o f a conflict on the Persian border which had left the city starving for the original oriental product: “Les mousselines présentent une possibilité d ’importation car Constantinople ne peut en recevoir des Indes via Bassorah car les Persans sont à 6 lieues de Bagdad” (ACCM, L IX 710, Jean-André Henry et C“ to Roux Frères, 4 May 1778). ' In all evidence, practically all o f the imported caps were destined to the market o f Is­ tanbul, but some were also sent to neighbouring centers o f consumption, such as Edim e or Bursa. Thus, one may discover that Auzet, a French trader from Bursa, was attacked on his way from Istanbul to Bursa by bandits who took 74 dozens o f fezes out o f the 110 he was transporting with him (AAFC, doc. 41, cahier n° 9, entry # 85). D ’Ohsson, Tableau général, v, IV, p. 125. “Tous les Levantins portent des fés ou calottes; on peut concevoir de là quelle consommation il s’en fait dans le Levant” (Flachat, Observations, p. 309).

Fig. 2.5 - French imports o f caps (fezes) to Istanbul, 1718-1792

if modest branch o f trade, growing from 1,000-5,000 dozens at the begin­ ning o f the century to 10,000-15,000 at the end, occasionally reaching peaks of over 20,000 dozens. As in the case o f fabrics, however, the major obstacle to the expansion o f this market came from the competition o f local products. A specialty o f Tunisian origin, these caps were often imported from this Ottoman dependence or manufactured in Istanbul by workers from T unis.'“®French caps originated from a manufacture established in Marseilles and, after 1740, from a second one established in Beam for the sole purpose o f exports to the Levant."’ Competition was harsh, however, and the French product was often inferior in quality to the Tunisian origi­ nal. Flachat had proposed to solve this problem by bringing in some work­ ers from the “Kingdom o f Morocco.”' ’* In 1750, traders in Istanbul admit­ ted to the lower quality o f their product in terms o f dyeing and suggested that efforts should be made to imitate local caps, down to the packaging and marks used by Tunisian manufacturers."® What rendered even more difficuh the sale o f French fezes was that TuACCM, J 1591, Mémoire des députés, 30 Dec. 1750. ¿oc. cit. ' ' * Flachat, Observations, p. 310. “Il ne leur manque que d ’avoir une couleur egalle, les envelopes come les acheteurs les veulent et l’imitation exacte de la marque en fil blanc que les Tunisiens mettent au fond de leurs bonnets” (ACCM, J 1591, Mémoire des députés, 30 Dec. 1750).

nisian competition affected not only the product itself, but also its distribu­ tion channels. Tunisians dominated the market both as manufacturers and as traders, and resorted to all sorts o f stratagems to dominate their French competitors.'-® Under the pressure o f such powerful competitors, French traders had come to accept a certain modus vivendi, agreeing to entrust the distribution of their fezes to the Tunisian fesci esnafı o f the city: T h e cap vendo rs are T u rk s , m ost o f them T u n is ia n . T h e y fo rm a corporation governed b y leaders w h o are so in th e ir o w n rig h t because they are the ric h ­ est and co nsequently the m ost p o w e rfu l. T h e y are the ones w h o b u y, sign b ills , take upon them selves to g ive th e ir shares to the others, req uire paym en t and also tend to extend the ternis o f paym ent m ore out o f the slo w n e ss o f the e xactio n than any ill intention. W e depend on them fo r our sales and they are interested in prom oting th e ir o w n products, w h ic h g ive them great p ro fits. T h e y b u y fro m us fo r fear that w e sho uld se ll to others w h o co u ld harm them in the retail trade and w e se ll o n ly to them because, being the m ost num erous group and a v e ry united one, and co n tro llin g the largest co n sum p tio n , it is in o u r interest to treat them w e ll. T h is corporation is s o lid and one has o n ly to w a it fo r a fe w additional m onths in the term s o f paym ent.'^ '

Apart from textiles, manufactured goods were practically absent from French imports to the Levant. Paper, to some extent, was imported more or less regularly in quantities averaging some 20,000 reams every year, with exceptional peaks o f over 50,000. There were three major qualities o f pa­ per: paper o f 24 [reams], used for window sashes and the packaging of drugs, paper o f 14 [reams] used by grocers for paper-bags and papier â raisin, o f a higher quality, bought by Greeks and AnTienians to write on.'^^ This trade too was severely limited by the marked predominance o f Vene­ tian products sold on the Levantine markets. Venetian paper, even though much more expensive than its French altemative, was sold in much greater quantities,'23 one o f its major advantages being its higher quality and the '2® Thus, on one occasion, the guild o f fez merchants had gone as far as having the bro­ ker o f one o f the French traders who had imported French caps sent to the galleys: “Galatada ikâmet éden Rolan [Roland] nam Françalü tacir França diyarından getürdigi fesleri ^ahdnâme-i hümayun mücebince dilediğine furüht édüb fesçiler eşnâfı icra-yı nefsâniyyetleriyçün tâcir-i mesturun simsarı David nâm Yahûdî ahz ve hilâf-ı inhâ ile küreğe vaz'^ étdirmeleriyle [...]” (AAFC, doc. 24, cahier n° 10, entry # 74). Explicit reference to the Tunisian ori­ gins o f these merchants can be found in a series o f petitions against the monopolistic claims o f “certain Maghrebines” ("ba^z' Magribiular") in Izmir (AAFC, doc. 44, cahier sans numéro, entries # 7, 8 and 23). ACCM , J 1591, Mémoire des députés, 30 Dec. 1750. Loc. cit.; Bibliothèque Municipale de Saint-Brieuc, Ms. 88, Mémoire sur le com­ merce du Levant, ca 1750, f° 394 r°-v°. '23 “Le commerce [des papiers] connûs sous le nom de papier de 24 nous est enlevé joum ellem ent par les fabriques de Gênes et de Venize, ce n ’est point à cause du meilleur marché, car ils vendent beaucoup plus cher, mais de leur bonne quahté; au lieu que celle de

fact that under the format o f ‘letter’ or ‘firman’ paper, it met rather exclu­ sively the requirements o f wrifing-paper for the Muslim élite o f the city.'^^ Other manufactured products often appear in commercial statistics but in quantities so negligible and with such irregularity that they hardly can ac­ count for any significant proportion of imports. Moreover, most o f these articles were reexports from other western countries or were exposed to ef­ fective competition from English or Venetian products. Glass products— mirrors, glasses, window panes— could hardly compete with Venetian ri­ valry.'-^ Metals and metal objects— iron, tin, steel, brass, lead, needles, nails, small shot— were generally a specialty o f the English.'-® Occasional shipments o f tiles, porcelain or playing cards remained extremely mar­ ginal. Even in the trade o f jewels, described as “the most considerable, use­ ful, dangerous and interesting o f all” because o f the presence of the Impe­ rial palace and ruling elite,'-'' French merchants were generally outdone by nos papiers devient tous les jours plus mauvaise” (ACCM, J 208, M émoire de la nation sur le commerce de l’échelle, 20 Nov. 1790). In 1750 Venetian paper imports exceeded 70,000 piasters against a mere 20,000 for the French (AN, AE B‘" 241, pièce 34, État du commerce des Vénitiens, Anglois et Hollandois à l’échelle de Constantinople, 1749-1750). Bibliothèque M unicipale de Saint-Brieuc, Ms. 88, Mémoire sur le commerce du Le­ vant, f. 394 v°-395 r°. A document from 1757 clearly specifies that when imported Euro­ pean paper was received by the paper wholesalers o f Galata, a predetermined number of reams were set aside for the Imperial Treasury and ‘important matters’, i.e. the needs o f the bureaucracy: “Galatada sakin kâgidci tüccarı Frengistândan gelüb der mahzen eyledikleri kâğıdları kâğıdcıbaşı ve kethüda ve sâ’ir ihtiyarları ma'^rifetleriyle râyic oldığı üzere bahâları k a f olundukdan şonra mirî ve umur-ı mühimme içün kifayet mıkdârı ber mu^tâd-ı kadîm intihâb ve bahasiyle ahz ü hıfz olunmadıkça âhara vérüb furüht olunmak memnü^ iken [...]” (Kal’a, A,, İstanbul Ticaret Tariki, i, pp. 124-125, doc. 4/228/696, evShir-i Ş[afer] 1171,412 Nov. 1757). A document o f a later date specifies that the purchasers o f Frankish paper were Muslims and Jews who were allowed to buy 3/4 and 1/4 o f the imported paper respec­ tively (Kal'a (ed.), İstanbul Ahkâm Defterleri. İstanbul E sn a f Tarihi, 2 (İstanbul, 1998), pp. 116-117,doc. 7/382/1193, evâ’;7-i S 1180/3-12 Dec. 1766). Venice almost systematically comes up whenever glass artifacts are concerned: “[...] vilâyet-i Efrenc ve Venedik ve mahallât-ı sâ’ireden Âsitâne-i Şahadetime gelen reng-âm îz ve sâde ecnas cam (Kal’a, İstanbul E sn a f Tarihi, 1, pp. 307-308, doc. 6/73/204, evâhir-i Ra sene 1175/20-29 Oct. 1761). Occasionally, Austria and England would also be added to the list: “Venedik ve İngiliz ve Nemçe ve Beç ve mahall-i sa ireden Asitane-i ‘^Aliyyeye vârid ve vâşıl olan kase ve bardak ve kandil ve âvîze ve b'-l-cümle evânî-i billur ve şîşe [...]”, Kal’a, İstanbul E sn a f Tarihi, 2, pp. 354-355, doc. 1 i /l 80/556, evail-i M sene 1201/24 Oct.2 Nov. 1786). Metal artifacts such as needles or knives and articles such as beads were purchased by vendors o f small wares {hurdefüruş esnafı) located in Bâyezîd and M ahmud Paşa: “Mahmiyye-i Islambolda v âk i' Sultan Bayezîdde ve Mahmiïd Paşa hânında ve çârşüsunda sâkin Frengistan ve taşra vilâyet metanı olan bıçak ve boncuk ve iğne ve bunun emşâli hürde furüş eşnâfı [,..] (Kal’a, İstanbul E sn a f Tarihi, 1, p. 255, doc. 5/316/945, evâhir-i B sene 1174/26 Feb.-7 March 1761). AN, AE B‘" 241, pièce 32, Mémoire sur le commerce des bijoux, ca 1750. Obviously, the remark about the jew el trade being “the most considerable” o f the city should be under-

the English, who also held most o f the market for clocks, watches and spy­ glasses.'-* Manufactured goods constituted the major item o f French imports to Istanbul throughout the century. However, their relative share kept de­ creasing, following the ‘crisis’ of the cloth trade in the second half o f the century. In an era when industry was practically a synonym for textile pro­ duction, it was inevitable that the regression o f the cloth trade should be compensated by a corresponding increase of raw and half-processed mate­ rials. The situation that emerged was somewhat paradoxical. Contrary to ‘normal’ expectations about the evolution o f an East-West trade, Ottoman imports from France were losing their predominantly industrial character and shifting towards basic commodities such as sugar, coffee and dyestuffs, in short products o f the French colonies in America.

stood from the perspective o f an individual merchant and not as a proportion o f the trade o f the city. Ibid:, AN, AE B'" 241, pièce 34, État du commerce des Vénitiens, Anglois et Hollan­ dois à l ’échelle de Constantinople, 1749-1750.

FR EN C H IM PO R TS TO ISTA N B U L C O LO N IA L GO O D S On the average, more than three quarters o f French imports into the Otto­ man capital consisted o f manufactured textile goods. The rest was com­ posed mainly o f raw materials and half-processed goods. Among these, French colonial products from the West Indies held the lion’s share. These products constituted a major novelty in the patterns o f French trade in the Levant. Their introduction in the Ottoman markets resulted from the estab­ lishment o f regular links between the French colonies o f America and the port o f Marseilles, a development dating from the last quarter o f the sev­ enteenth century. ' However, what was dramatically new about these prod­ ucts was that in most cases they tended to replace oriental or even local products and thus constituted concrete examples o f the inversion o f com­ mercial currents as the result o f the discoveiy o f the New World. Such was the case o f sugar (fig. 3.1), formerly exported from the Otto­ man lands— especially from Egypt and Cyprus— and which began to ap­ pear among imports from the West in the seventeenth century.^ French sugar came in three different qualities from the best and most expensive sugar loaves to the intermediate quality o f powdered sugar and to the bas­ est and least demanded moist sugar or cassonade. All this sugar came from the West Indies and, in the case o f cassonade, from Brazil. Some o f it was then refined in Marseilles before it was shipped to the Levant.^ What ini­ tially had developed as a compensation for the irregular and unreliable na­ ture o f Egyptian supplies gradually became a choice o f the Levantine population, especially in the capital city of the Empire. The higher quality o f refined sugar from Marseilles had displaced the local product from the market, especially among the higher sfrata o f the population, thus ensuring a constant outlet to the French altemative.“* Egyptian and other local sup­ plies o f sugar had not totally disappeared, as indirectly confirmed by the ' Paris, op. c it, p. 557. 2 M asson, X F /f, pp. 517-518. ^ M asson, XVIF, p. 517. From a single refinery at the beginning o f the eighteenth cen­ tury, the num ber o f sugar factories had reached twelve by the end o f the centuiy (Paris, op. cit., p. 557). Paris, op. cit., pp. 557-558. Such was the irregularity o f Egyptain production that the French were able to sell some o f their sugar even in Cairo.

Fig. 3.1 - French imports o f sugar to Istanbul, 1718-1792

fact that the lowest quahty o f French sugar, the cassonade appeared only rarely on the market, most likely because it was unable to compete with the local varieties o f cane sugar.^ The consumption o f refined sugar, however, showed a constant growth firom some 50 tons in the early 1720s to peaks of over 800 tons towards the end o f the century.^ Even more striking is the discrepancy between the two major qualities o f sugar imported. Sugar loaves, the most refined and expensive quality follow a more or less con­ stant trend rarely exceeding the 50 tons mark while most o f the growth is registered in the intermediate quality o f powdered sugar. This phenomenon was evidently related to the social configuration o f the market. Beneath a stable and static layer o f wealthy consumers o f the highest quality prod­ uct— ^most probably the palace and members o f the ruling élite— lay the mass o f more modest consumers o f powdered sugar whose numbers in­ creased much more easily.’ ^ A supposition that needs to be proved, since it was also noted that French cassonade was seriously challenged by sugar shipped from Fiume and Hamburg, due to the storage dues collected in Marseilles on this Brazilian product as opposed to colonial sugar from the West Indies (Paris, op. cit., pp. 558-559). ®Sources mentioned in Chapter One, notes 47 and 48. ’ The development o f the market for sugar was obviously related to a relative embour­ geoisem ent o f the population o f the city, independently o f the problem o f irregular supplies o f Egyptian or Cypriot sugar, since the price o f sugar in livres tournois shows a substantial increase from the late 1760s to the early 1780s. However, it also seems obvious that the fi-

Contrary to the cloth market, characterized by its more or less fixed ceihng o f consumption, sugar thus benefited from a much higher potential for vertical penetration o f the urban market.* The remark, made by several observers that the consumption o f this product “would become very con­ siderable if one could gradually get the Levantines used to putting sugar in their coffee” is a clear indication o f the level o f popularization that could be envisaged for this product. ’ However, although it developed rapidly during the second half o f the century, the French sugar trade in the Levant re­ mained extremely marginal in comparison to the total outlet o f French re­ fineries. In 1789, it represented a mere 2.5% o f total shipments. Even the national market was more attractive to French sugar fraders, for duties ren­ dered exports much less profitable. French sugar was purchased by powerfiil groups o f merchants whom French observers o f the time lumped under the generic term of épiciers (grocers) and whose ‘Turkishness’ was constantly reminded." In the broad­ est sense, the tenti grocer corresponded to ^attar— or aktàr as the popular pronunciation had it.'- In a chamiing ‘commercial vaudeville’ appended to nal leap from 600 tons to over 800 in the 1780s is strongly correlated with a synchronic drop o f its price to pre-1770 levels. * The urban nature o f imported sugar consumption is confirmed by the fact that Istanbul became the fastest growing and eventually leading market for this product during the period. Initially distanced by Izmir which— as both an urban market and a center o f redistribution— attracted some 40% o f sugar shipments to the Levant against its already considerable 28% share, the Ottoman capital’s huge appetite had by the 1780s provoked an inversion o f this trend (41,5% against 29,5% for Izmir). Apart from Aleppo which purchased some 10-15% o f French sugar sent to the Levant, other échelles remained extremely marginal, depending mostly on local supplies and on cassonade (Paris, op. cit., p. 558). Clicquot-Blervache, Essai sur le commerce du Levant, p. 328. “Les Mahométans n ’en prennent (du café) jam ais [...] avec du sucre” (D ’Ohsson, Tableau général, v. IV, pp. 8586). Paris, without any substantiating reference, claims the exact contrary: “Ses habitants prirent l’habitude de sucrer le café dont ils faisaient une grande consommation. Aussi leurs importations augmentèrent-elles rapidement” {op. cit., p. 557). We are inclined, however, to trust contemporary observations, also confirmed by m odem works on the culture o f coffee (Ralph S. Hattox, Coffee a n d Coff'ehouses. The Origins o f a Social Beverage in the Medieval N ear East. (Seattle and London, 1988), p. 83). it seems that attempts, if any, to introduce the habit o f sweetening coffee m et with a stubborn resistance at least until the first decades of the nineteenth century: “As I had not learned, however, to take coffee altogether in the Turkish fashion, I begged o f M ustapha to add a bag o f sugar to his stock o f good things” (R. Walsh, A residence a t Constantinople (London, 1836), p. 6), Paris, op. cit., p. 559. It is also worth noting that the crises caused by w ar (1744-1748 and 1756-1763) had a much more drastic impact on sugar shipments than on cloth. The fact that the product was exposed twice to maritime risks (in the Atlantic and in the Mediterra­ nean) is the m ajor explanation to the severity o f these drops. ' ' “Le corps des épiciers la pluspart Turcs est celui qui achète presque toutes nos mar­ chandises de poids et surtout le sucre e tle caffé” (ACCM, J 1591, Mémoire des députés, 30 Dec. 1750). ^Attâr literally m eant a dealer in ^itr or perfume, but gradually came to be used in the

Viguier’s Turkish grammar, the aktar Mehemmed Çelebi was introduced by the cunning Jewish broker Samoyil to a French merchant—^his future victim— as the ideal customer for his goods; The Jew to the Merchant. — S ir , m a y this tim e be a u sp icio u s. A r e y o u in bed? 1 h a ve fo u n d the best o f custom ers to y o u r co ffe e, y o u r sugar, yo u r sp ice s. H e ’s opened a n e w shop; he w an ts to fu rn ish it w ith goods; [ co u ld n ’t fin d a better m atch [fo r h im ] than you.'^

However, the reality o f the time was slightly more complex than reflected in the French traders’ accounts. There were more than just one guild in­ volved in the purchasing o f this commodity. The major guild was that o f the grocers o f the New Bazaar C^attârân-ı Sük-ı Cedid),'* who took their name from the covered market known today as the Egyptian Bazaar {Mısır Çarşısı), neighboring the Valide Mosque in Bahçekapı.'^ However, sugar was also a direct concem o f at least two other important guilds, namely the şeker şerbetçi esnafı (manufacturers of sweet sherbet) and the akldeci esnafı (manufacturers o f sugar candy). In fact, it seems that these guilds sense o f herbalist, vendor o f groceries and o f small wares. '3 Viguier, Èlémens de la langue turque (Constantinople, 1790), p. 300. The fascinating twenty-three ‘dialogues’ at the end o f this work constitute a sort o f dramatization o f typical stereotypes o f commercial life in Istanbul at the end o f the eighteenth century. The plot de­ scribes the efforts o f a ‘Turkish’ grocer and a Jewish broker to embezzle a naive French trader. Their plans, o f course, fail in the end and the Jewish broker becomes the victim o f his greed. This little ‘vaudeville’ is not only very amusing. It is also extremely interesting for the vivid portrayal it gives o f the social and commercial environment o f the time and the veiy accurate phonetic rendering o f the Turkish language used in the Ottoman capital. “Dar“-s-sa'adetim Agasi nezaretinde olan evkàfdan mahmiyye-i îstanbulda Bağcekapus! kurbında vâki^ merhum ve mağfur“" lehâ Valide Sultân tab'' şerahâmn câmi^-i şerifi evkafı 'akârm dan Sûk-ı Cedid 'a p r la r ı [...]” (Kal’a, İstanbul E sn a f Tarihi, 1, p. 100, doc. 3/356/1288,/i evâsıt-ı CA sene 1168/23 Feb.-4 March 1755 and p. 187, doc. 4/289/855,^" evSsıt-ı B sene 1171/21-30 March 1758). Corroborating the dominance o f this guild over purchases o f French sugar, most o f the petitions sent to the Porte by the ambassador and re­ lating to this commodity refer to its members, defined either by their occupation or by the location o f their shops: “M ışır Çârşu eşnâfindan Hacı Monlâ nam tacir” (AAFC, doc. 35, ca­ hier n° 4, ‘arphâl # 105); “Yeni Çârşü a^ttârlarından (sic) Kayşer[i]ü El-hâc Halil (sic)’’ {id., doc. 41, cahier n° 9, entry # 69); “Mışır Çârşüsunda sakin tüccar tâ’ifesinden Hacı Mehem­ med nâm tâcir” {Id., doc. 44, cahier sans numéro, entry #11). ’ ^ This L-shaped building, the most important commercial building o f the Ottoman capital after the Covered Bazaar, was built as part o f the Yeni Valide Mosque complex and endowment in 1663-1664. It was from the start assigned to the guilds o f grocers and cotton dealers, which were given 49 and 51 shops each. Initially known as the Valide Çarşısı (Bazaar o f the QueenMother) or as the Yeni Çarşı (New Bazaar), it came to be called Mısır Çarşısı (Egyptian Ba­ zaar) towards the mid-eighteenth century, due to the origin o f most o f the goods traded in it (Turhan Baytop, “Mısır Çarşısı,” Dünden Bugüne İstanbul Ansiklopedisi (İstanbul, 1994), v. 5, p. 449). This last point is confirmed by the fact that the first appearance o f the term ‘Mısır Çarşısı’ in the İstanbul Ahkâm Defterleri dates from 1764 (A. Kal’a, İstanbul E sn a f Tarihi, 2, pp. 4 3 ^ 6 , doc. 7/96/294, evà'il-i Ş se n e 1178/31 July-9 Aug. 1764).

were engaged in fierce competition over exclusive access to this merchan­ dise. On several instances, the Porte had to deal with severe conflicts op­ posing the ^attârân-ı Suk-i Cedid to the coalition o f the şeker şerbetciydn and akideciyan. The fonner claimed an ancient right to all sugar entering the city, while the latter two argued that this privilege concerned only Egyptian sugar and that Frankish sugar had never been included in the de­ crees referred to. Both parties exhumed decrees and court documents from their archives and the final decision gav reason to the ^attdrdn o f the New B a z a a r . H o w e v e r , the claims o f the şerbetciydn and ^akideciyan must have had some legitimate grounds, since in 1764, a new decree was issued fixing the proportions o f Frankish sugar attributed to each o f the guilds. Thus, out o f a total o f six shares, the ^attdrdn were given the right to buy three-and-a-half (58.33 %), while the remaining two-and-a-half (41.67 %) were left to the other two g u i l d s . T h i s final modus vivendi rested on the agreement that the distribution o f sugar would be made in the Şük-ı Cedid in presence o f representatives o f the şerbetciydn and ''akideciyan'^ and that the latter two guilds would use their sugar only in the preparation of their The detailed information contained in one o f the ahkSm (decisions) concerning this conflict enables us to reconstruct its evolution as well as the arguments put forward by each o f the parties. Thus, the '^attârân based their claim on a decree dated 1074 (1663/1664)— ^the very date at which the construction o f the Yeni Çarşı had been completed— ^which specified that all coffee, sugar and tin arriving to Istanbul should be sold by their guild in the Yeni Çarşı. This decision, with the addition o f spices, had then been confirmed by a new a ferman in 1105 (1693/1694). Finally, the ^attârân had produced a third decree dated 1139 (1726/1727) which, besides reiterating their rights over the şerbetciydn, specified that the affairs o f the latter guild had always been managed by the kethüda o f the ^attârân. To op­ pose all these documents, the şerbetciydn possessed only one decree which banned the ^attarSn from interfering with their purchases o f Frankish powder sugar, which they had al­ ways bought in crates and boxes ("şanduk ve kuti ile gelen toz Frenk şekerini bizler iştira ödegelmişiken”), based on the argument that the ^attârans monopsony applied only to goods coming from Egypt and not to European products. A final decision was given in favor o f the ^attârân, on the basis that the initial decree mentioned goods coming from outside or abroad (“taşra") without any distinction as to their Egyptian or European origin. Three other decrees, dated evasit-i Şa^bân 1146/17-26 Jan. 1734, evSsit-i Cemâzf-1-evvel, 1168/23 Feb.4 M arch 1755 and 1171 (1757/1758) confirmed the previous decision in favor o f the ^attârân (K al’a, İstanbul E snaf Tarihi, 2, pp. 29-31, doc. 7/55/176, evasit-i Za sene 1177/122 Í May 1764; pp. 43-46, doc.'7/96/294, evô’iW 5 íe« e 1178/31 July-9 Aug. 1764). Loc. cit. ' ^ The normalization o f the relations between the three guilds is attested by a num ber o f French petitions to the Porte referring to sales o f sugar to members o f all three groups: “Yeñi Çarşu 'attarlarm dan ve kethüdalarından ve şekerci ve 'akideci esnafından Eyübli Hacı Hüse­ yin ve Hacı Halil ve Hacı Mustafâ ve sâyir (sic) nâmân kimesneler” (AAFC, doc. 23, cahier n° 11, entry # 116); “França tacirlerinden Mişel [Michel] ve sâ’ir tâcirlerifi Françadan Dersa'âdete naki eyledikleri şeker-i frengi Âsitane[-i] sa'âdet[d]e Yeñi Çarşu 'attârân eşnafıyla şerbetçi ve 'akîdeciyân hirfetine icâb éden bahâları mev'fld'" edâ olunmak üzere b ey' ü furuht [...]” ( /d , doc. 44, cahier sans numéro, entry # 35).

products, without ever selUng it directly to the public. Such an attempt by the ^akideciyan and §erbetciydn to “hang Frankish sugar in their shops and sell it to the public like the '^attaran met with the strong opposition o f the latter and resulted in the issuing o f a decree forbidding such practices.'® Besides the plurality o f guilds dealing with French sugar, ‘ethnic’ dis­ tinctions further divided these corporate bodies. Thus, despite their ten­ dency to systematically identify traders in coffee, sugar and spices as ‘Turks’— i.e. Muslims— French traders occasionally referred to the exis­ tence o f a guild o f Jewish grocers, most probably sharing the name, if not exactly the trade, o f the one described as esndf-i ^attdrdn-i yehudan by Evliya Qelebi in the seventeenth century,^® In 1724, this guild had even proposed an agreement o f exclusivity to the French nation which had im­ mediately rejected it,^' most probably because of the relative wealoiess of this guild in comparison with its Muslim counterpart. That the Jewish gro­ cers were still engaged in a form of competition against Muslim grocers is also confirmed by an Ottoman document o f 1767, where they complained that Muslim grocers had foraied a union aimed at depriving them from their share o f groceries brought on Muslim and Frankish ships.^^ However, the fact that this decree stands alone against a multitude o f similar docu­ ments concerning the ^attdrdn at large, together with the mention that they were still in the same location as in the seventeenth century and were, therefore, excluded from the heart o f the trade in groceries that was the New Bazaar, all suggest that their position was indeed rather marginal compared to that o f the dominant guild of Muslim grocers.^^ A greater de“[...] şerbetçi ve 'akîdeci eşnâfı alduklan Frenk şekerini dükkânlarına aşub ve '^attârân eşnâfı gibi nâsa b ey' edüb [...]” (Kal'a, İstanbul E sn a f Tarihi, 2, pp. 72-73, doc. 7/I65/S09, evâsıt-ı Ş sene 1178/3-12 Feb. 1765). Evliya Çelebi, Seyyâhatnâme, pp. 602-603; Gökyay (ed.). Evliya Çelebi Seya­ hatnamesi, I, pp. 288-289. According to Evliya Çelebi, this guild had 400 members and 200 shops located at T ahf-l-kaT a (Tahtakale) and in the market and hân o f Mahmud Pasha. However, these merchants seem to have been more akin to hardware dealers than to grocers. Their trade consisted mostly in English dyes, red lead, gum-iae, ceruse, wire, copper in sheets, while no mention is made o f groceries. AMAE, Registres de la chancellerie de I'ambassade de France â Constantinople, v. 11, 20 July 1724. The existence o f Jewish purchasers o f French spices is further corroborated by the mention o f two Jews along with twelve Muslims as purchasers o f fifteen bales of pepper (ACCM, L IX lI9 7 ,E p ic e s, comptes de vente et factures, 1731-1789, 30 Oct. 1753). Kal’a, İstanbul E sn a f Tarihi, 2, pp. 124-125, doc. 8/30/93, evâsıt-ı M sene 1181/9-18 June 1767. “AttSran tâ’ifesinden Mahmud Paşa çârşüsunda vâki' Yehudi 'attârlan [...]”, loc. cit. This formula suggests both that the Jewish grocers were considered to be under the supervi­ sion o f the guild o f grocers and that they were not admitted into the 'saint des saints o f the trade, the Yeni Çarşı or M ısır Çarşısı. Thus, it is striking that non-Muslim names simply do not appear among those quoted as grocers established in this prestigious building.

Fig. 3.2 - French imports ofcoffee to Istanbul, 1718-1792

gree o f ‘integration’ seems to have characterized the other guilds engaged in the sugar trade, especially that o f the şerbetciyân, among whose mem­ bers three Jews were mentioned in most o f the documents relating to the conflict that opposed them to the ‘^attârân?'^ Finally, the Imperial palace also resorted occasionally to direct pur­ chases of sugar from French merchants. Thus, in a petition to the Porte, the ambassador complained that the former steward o f the palace kitchen, the late İbrahim Efendi, had left an outstanding debt o f 2,409 ğurüş for sugar delivered by Anthoine, a French merchant, to the Imperial storehouse.^^ However, from the scarcity o f such references, one may deduce that the palace was generally provisioned through purchases firom the ^attârân or Salamon, Abram and Simyon (Kal’a, İstanbul E sn a f Tarihi, 1, p. 100, doc. 3/356 /1 2 8 8 ,/ evSsit-i CA sene 1168/23 Feb.-4 March 1755; p. 187, doc. 4/289/855, /? evasit-i B sene 1171/21-30 March 1758; Kal’a, İstanbul E sn a f Tarihi, 2, pp. 43-46, doc. 7/96/294, evâ'il-i Ş sene 1178/31 July-9 Aug. 1764). A French petition to the Porte mentions that the position of broker to both the şerbetçi and ^aW eci guilds was occupied by a certain Mühtedî (convert) ‘^Abd“-llah and then passed on to a Jew by the name o f Hayim (AAFC, doc. 35, cahier n° 4, takrir #T). “Galatada ticâret ile m ete üzere olan França tüccârmdan Antuano (Anthoine) nâm bâzırgân anbâr-ı ^âmire teslim eylediği şeker bahâsmdan iki bifl dörtyüz tokuz ğurüş maAah emini sâbık m ütevefS İbrahim Efendinifi zimmetinde alacak hakkı olub anbâr emini kullarmm tarafmdan verilen ^ilm-i haber (sic) tezkiresi manzur-ı devletleri buyuruldukda meblağ-ı mezbürı tâcir-i mersüma i^ta buyurulmak bâbmda emr-i 'âlileri ricâ ve niyaz olunur” (AAFC, doc. 23, cahier n° 11, entry #125).

through the services o f bâzırgânbaşıs. Coffee, following a development similar to that o f sugar, rapidly be­ came one o f the major Ottoman imports from France (fig. 3.2). The simi­ larity between the two products and their expansion in the Levant lies in the fact that both were colonial products from the West Indies transiting through Marseilles, but also in the rapidity with which their respective markets grew throughout the Ottoman lands and particularly in Izmir and Istanbul. However, more importantiy, sugar and coffee shared a similar fate in that they were typical examples o f a reversal o f traditional patterns o f trade. Both products had previously been exported from the Ottoman Empire to Europe and now found their way back into their homeland. But the resemblance stops at this point, for coffee imports rapidly acquired a spectacular dimension lacking in the case o f sugar. Spectacular indeed, for real and quantifiable reasons related to the am­ plitude and speed o f its growth. Appearing in the Levant only in the early 1730s, some sixty years after American sugar, it came to represent a com­ parable share o f French imports to the Levant by mid-century.-® In the 1780s, it had reached a level o f more than double sugar imports.^^ How­ ever, the most spectacular aspect o f this development lay in the symbolic value o f this reversal o f commercial currents. Coffee had been, ever since its first introduction in the West, closely associated with the Ottoman Em­ pire. And rightiy so, since the Empire enjoyed a complete monopoly over this trade. The memory o f coffee imports from the Levant was still fresh in the minds o f French traders. At the very beginning o f the century, France imported on the average some 12,700 quintals o f coffee from Cairo every year, this massive and persistent demand even forcing the Ottoman gov­ ernment to ban its export in 1713 for fear o f seeing the capital suffer from severe shortages.^* Some forty to fifty years later, the Empire was import­ The average annual value o f coffee imports to the Levant in the 1750s represented some 840,000 livres tournois against 980,000 for sugar (Paris, op. cit., p. 560). 3,525,000 livres tournois against 1,620,000 for sugar (Paris, op. c it, p. 561). Paris, op. c it, p. 539. This ban considerably reduced the amount o f coffee exported from the Ottoman Empire, despite irequent evasions or an occasional lenient attitude o f Ot­ toman authorities. In 1725, the French traders o f Istanbul even imported a small quantity o f coffee from Egypt, to the greatest surprise o f the Porte who tried to confiscate the merchan­ dise but eventually had to yield to the demands o f the ambassador (ACCM, J 193, M émoire pour Son Excellence sur ce qui s ’est passé à l’affaire des cafés, 1725). In fact, it can even be said that this reduction o f the coffee trade was partly responsible for the implantation in 1725, and subsequent development o f coffee cultivation in the French islands o f the Carib­ bean. It was the former Consul to Cairo, Benoist du Maillet, aware o f the limitations o f the coffee supply from Egypt, who had proposed to minister Maurepas to direct some o f the American coffee towards the Levant. This proposal met with the severe opposition o f the

ing a similar quantity from France, in what amounted to one o f the most sudden and dramatic reversal o f fraditional patterns o f exchange between East and West.^^ While ‘French’ sugar gradually conquered the Ottoman markets thanks to the combined effect o f a better quality and o f a more constant supply, the only comparative advantage o f American coffee was its price, since its quality and taste were considered inferior to the much-preferred Mokha coffee, to the point that it was strictly forbidden to mix the two during the process o f roasting.^® Several Ottoman documents showed the severity with which this distinction was maintained. In 1763, the coffee dealers of the Mısır Çarşısı (Egyptian Bazaar) denounced the kahve dellah (coffee broker) Seyyid Mehmed ^Alemdar for having “dared mixing Frankish cof­ fee to Yemen coffee” in terms that could only apply to a major outrage and concluded that the criminal “should be banned from coffee brokerage for­ ever, that he should be forbidden from opening a coffee shop and that, should he ever try to engage in coffee brokerage or frade with the help and protection o f someone else, he should be exiled to a faraway place.”^' The following year, a coffee dealer by the name o f Mühtedî (convert) El-Hacc İbrahim committed the same offense and sold the mixture at the— ^much higher— ^price o f the latter. He was consequently expelled from the guild of grocers {esnaf-i ^attarari)?'^ Taste was an extremely important factor in the case o f coffee, and among the two main qualities o f insular coffee pro­ duced and brought to the Levant by the French, that o f the Bourbon island, o f a yellowish color, was never accepted by Ottoman consumers; that of Compagnie des Indes which had obtained in 1723 a monopoly over the import o f this com ­ modity. Marseilles finally obtained, through the ordonnance o f 27 September 1732, the right to import coffee from the islands under the condition o f reexporting it, mostly to the Levant (Paris, op. cit., pp. 559-560; M. Courdurié, “Du café du Yémen au café des Antilles ou ren­ versement des courants commerciaux sur la place de Marseille (X V H '-X V Iir siècles)”, Le café en Méditerranée. Histoire, anthropologie, économie, X V IIf-XX " siècle, Marseille, n.d., pp. 74-78). On the average, some 12,300 quintals o f American coffee were imported yearly in the 1750s (Paris, op. cit., p. 560). “On n ’estime dans tout le pays que le Mocca. [...] Celui de Mocca [est torréfié] tou­ jours séparém ent de celui des Isles” (D ’Ohsson, T aè /e a « général, v. IV, pp. 84-85). “Il est défendu, sous des peines très sévères, de m êler au m oka le café de l’Amérique, moins cher et moins estimé que l ’autre” (Olivier, op. cit., p. 207). It is significant that this distinction should have been taken up by Voltaire in his Candide, when enumerating the exotic goods that the Turk offers to his visitors: “[...] and pure M ocha coffee unm ixed with the bad coffee you get from Batavia and the W est Indies” (Voltaire, Candide or Optimism, tr. J. Butt (Harmondsworth, 1963), p. 142). K al’a, Istanbul E sn a f Tarihi, 1, pp. 317-318, doc. 6/129/365, evahir-i L sene 1175/1523 May 1762. Ibid., pp. 342-343, doc. 6/228/635, evahir-i B sene 1176/5-14 Feb. 1763.

the Martinique island, o f a greenish color and o f a more bitter taste than Mokha coffee, was the only one that satisfied local palates, albeit within the limits o f an ersatz o f the ‘real’ local product.^^ At an individual level, however, this preference for Mokha coffee was not entirely exclusive o f the ‘Frankish’ variety. The list o f goods seized by the French in return for outstanding debts o f an unidentified Tahir“-1'^Omer mentions 7 farda o f coffee from the Yemen together with 12 zenbil o f French coffee.^'* One might well imagine that most households would keep a stock o f this inferior quality for more mundane uses. Despite an ex­ plicit contempt for westem coffee, one should not forget that one o f the major differences between the two was the substantially lower price o f the American product. If, therefore, total imports o f American coffee to the Levant reached by the end o f the century some 1,700 tons,^^ this was es­ sentially due to the fact that its price was approximately half that o f Mokha coffee.^® The share of Istanbul in this booming trade is very much related to these characteristics. Greatly responsible for the decrease of coffee exports in the first quarter of the century as the major center o f consumption, it was normal that the capital city should become a primary target of French coffee shipments. After a very modest start in 1734, coffee imports to Istanbul soon reached an average of 100-150 tons in the 1740s, peaks o f over 250 tons in the 1750s and an average 250-300 tons in the 1770s and 1780s with occasional records o f up to 500 tons.^’ However, this approximately twofold increase in the volume of coffee imports to the capital city o f the Empire was considerably lower than the nearly four-fold increase witnessed in the global figures for the Levant. In other words, despite the fact that it could be expected to develop into the largest mar­ ket for French coffee, Istanbul fumed out to be one of the lesser and slowest growing markets o f the Levant. Between 1750 and 1790, its share remained constant at 20 %, third in importance behind Izmir and Salonika.^^ The reason for this seemingly paradoxical situation lay in the nature o f the product itself As a mere ersatz for the more expensive local variety, French coffee enjoyed a

33 Paris, op. c/7., p. 560. 3“* AAFC, doc. 24, cahier n° 10, entry # 48. 35 An average o f 42,000 quintals during the 1780s (Paris, op. cit., p. 561). 3® In the early 1770s, the price o f American coffee varied between 90 and 130 akceslokka, while that o f the ‘local’ variety fluctuated between 180 and 300. 3’ Shipments were often very irregular and, as in the case o f sugar, times o f conflict brought coffee imports down to minimal level as a result o f the added risks o f Atlantic and Mediterranean shipping. 3* Paris, op. cit., p. 561. Izmir had increased its share from 47 % to 48 % and Salonika from 2 2 .5 % to 2 5 % .

higher popularity in those regions characterized by a lower purchasing power. In Istanbul, on the contrary, the presence o f a wealthier élite constituted a guar­ antee of a more or less constant demand for the Mokha product, despite its higher price. A French petition to the Porte put it clearly, when asking for the right to sell some of their coffee outside of the capital, arguing that “Frankish coffee was not demanded in Istanbul and that it was used in the surroundings of Istanbul and in Anatolia.”^® Izmir and Salonika, therefore, owed the rapid de­ velopment of their market for westem coffee to their role as centers of redistri­ bution for Anatoha and even Persia in the case of Izmir and for Rumelia in that of Salonika. The importance of the Ottoman capital as a center for coffee con­ sumption was stressed by the Ottoman govemment itself and can be clearly seen in its reluctance to grant the French nation the right to reexport coffee to Rumelia or to the Black Sea region. The ban on coffee reexports from Istanbul was lifted only in 1737 through the efforts of ambassador Villeneuve'*'’ and followed in 1738 by a decrease of duties on such shipments.'" Through this re­ laxation of provisionist policies, coffee became one o f the only commodities of the French trade in the capital capable o f breaking the typical pattern o f an out­ let limited to local consumption. However, even within this exceptional stracture, Istanbul’s potential for redistribution at a regional level was severely ham­ pered by the cautious attitude of the Porte with regard to possible risks of short­ ages in the city. Despite an agreement in principle to authorize reexports, in ef­ fect the French nation was required to inform the Porte of remaining stocks, implicitly agreeing to engage in such shipments only if a sufficient quantity of coffee could be guaranteed for local consumption.'*^ At a time when the Rus“ [...] efrenc kahvesinin Istambulda {sic) 'adem -i revacı olub ancak Îstambul {sic) havâlîlerinde ve Anatoh canibinde isti'm âl olunub [...]” (AAFC, doc. 23, cahier n° 11, tah-ir # 204). İn the same way, when it came to reexports from Istanbul, the Porte was carefiil to make sure that the superior quality o f Yemenite coffee was not included in the shipments, a proof that its consumption was felt to be reserved primarily to the population o f the capital: “[...] Frenk kahve-i mezburenin derununa Yemen kahvesi tahlît olunmamak içün Galata gümrügüne naki ve m u'âyene olunmak şartiyle 'ahd-nâm e-i hümâyun m ücebince ancak Frenk kahvenifi taşra vilâyetlerine {sic) götürülmesine m üm âna'at olunmamak bâbmda [...]” (AAFC, doc. 44, cahier sans numéro, ^arzıhâl #5 1 ,). ACCM, J 165, Villeneuve to the Chamber o f Commerce, lOOct. 1737; L IX 715, Suriati Frères to Jean-Baptiste-Honoré Roux, 7 Sept. 1737. The lifting o f this ban had enabled French traders to reexport some 40,000 o f e o f coffee (approximately 50 tons) within a month. ACCM , J 165, Villeneuve to the Chamber o f Commerce, 10 M ay and 6 Nov. 1738. Examples o f this procedure abound in the registers o f petitions from the am bassador to the Porte (AAFC, doc. 23, cahier n° 11, tah-ir # 204; doc. 24, cahier n° 10, entry # 25; doc. 35, cahier n° 4, tah-lr # 106; doc. 41, cahier n° 9, entry # 37, 96; doc. 44, cahier sans numéro, ^arzihsl # 5 1 ; doc. 61, cahier n° 13, ^arzihal # 50, 152). The most illustrative ex­ ample is that o f the following two documents (AAFC, doc. 35, cahier n° 4, tah-ir # 112a, 2 Cemâzf-1-evvel 1187 (21 Aug. 1773) and entry # 1 1 3 ) giving the sequence o f an investiga­ tion into the storehouses o f the French merchants to check stocks o f coffee and the conse-

sian fleet was blocking the Dardanelles, the French ambassador, who had pre­ viously guaranteed to provision the city with coffee, was forced into admitting that he could not ensure the fulfillment of this duty. The Porte had proposed the transfer o f all the coffee in the échelles to the capital but, then again, the impos­ sibility of crossing the Straits and the high cost of land transportation made this solution impracticable, too. The matter was deemed so important, however, that the French ambassador proposed to cany negotiations with the Russian Grand Admiral in order to obtain a safe-conduct for this c o m m o d i t y I t seems, there­ fore, that, given this conservative attitude o f the Ottoman state with respect to this ‘strategic’ commodity, Istanbul was never able to fully develop its potential as a center for coffee reexports. Coffee imports to the capital were thus harmed by the combined—^and somewhat paradoxical— effect o f a relatively low de­ mand due to a preference for coffee from the Yemen and the restrictions im­ posed by the Porte on the redistribution of this commodity in Rumelia. This would explain the stagnation of its share of the French coffee trade, as opposed to the increase of that of Salonika, which most probably developed as a much more active center for redistribution in the Balkans and Rumelia.'*'* References to the presence of French coffee traders in Edime'*^ and especially the detailed quent authorization to reexport 80,000 oktm (appr. 100 tons) to the Black Sea region: “Gümrük emîni aga El-yevm Galata mahzenlerinde França tüccârınm olmak üzere ne mikdâr Efrenc kahvesi mevcüddur tedkîk veçhile teftiş ve taharri ve defterini huzunmıza 'arz eyleyesiz deyu buyuruldı” “'İzzetin gümrük emini ağa Tüccâr-ı merkumunun tarafımızdan olunan defter mücebince el-haleti hazihi Galatada der mahzen ve mevcüd yüz seksan bifl vukiyye kahve-i Efrencinin ber vech-i mukavele yüz bin vukiyyesi mahzenlerinde baki kalmak şartiyle elçi-i mümâ ileyhifi memhür takririyle istid'âsına binâen ancak seksan bin vukiyyesinin flirüht u mürünna ruhsat veresiz deyu buyuruldı” “Galatada mukim França tüccârınm mahzenlerinde mevcüd olan Efrenc kahvesinden yetmiş tokuz bin sekiz yüz vukiyye kahve-i Efrencinin bahr-ı siyah canibine naki ü furühtma bundan akdem m üsâ'ade-i 'aliyyeleri irzânı buyurulub ber mantük-ı emr-i 'â li ol mikdâr kahve naki ü fürüht ve tamâm oldığı ve kahve-i mezburufi Der-i 'Aliyyeye peyderpey vefret üzere tevârüd ve kesret üzere tüccânmızın mahzenlerinde mevcüd edügi Galata gümrügi defterierinde mazbut ve mukayyed oldığı ma'lüm-ı devletleri buyuruldukda bu d e fa dahî seksan bin vukiyye kahve-i Efrencinin bundan akdem mukavele olundığı vech üzere bahr-ı siyâh canibine nakline müsâ'ade-i 'aliyyeleri buyurulmak babında emr ü fermân men leh haa"etü-l-emrifidir (sic)” AAFC, doc. 40, cahier n° 6, tah-îr n'’ 55. Am ong the documents m entioned above in relation to the restriction o f coffee reex­ ports to the Black Sea and Rumelia, only one, quoted in extenso in the preceding note, is dated. It is probable however, that most o f the other petitions were presented during the same years, corresponding to the Russo-Ottoman conflict o f 1768-1774. There is, therefore, a risk that this restrictive attitude might have been provoked by the conjuncture o f war. Nev­ ertheless, we would tend to interpret this, generally speaking, as an exacerbation o f an al­ ready dom inant concern for the provisioning o f the city, m uch in keeping with what we know o f the provisionist policies o f the Ottoman state with regard to the needs o f the popu­ lation o f the capital city. AAFC, doc. 41, cahier n° 9, entry # 94: “Edim ede ticâretle meks üzere olan França

information provided on the shipping of some 6,500 oMms (8,340 kg) o f coffee from this town to §umnu in Bulgaria,'“^ show to what extent the Riunelian net­ work had developed,"’’ most probably often bypassing Istanbul, In the long run, however, and especially with the addition o f British im­ ports in the nineteenth century, American coffee seems to have ultimately displaced its local rival product even in Istanbul, relegating it to the mar­ ginal status of a luxury good: T h e greater part o f the co ffee used in T u rk e y is sent fro m o u r W e st In dies plantations and M o ch a co ffee is a great ra rity in C o nstan tino p le as in L o n ­ don.'*®

French coffee was bought by merchants belonging to the same guild as the purchasers o f sugar, namely the guild o f the ""attdran or dealers in gro­ ceries. French traders generally referred to them as cajfegy,'^'^ a deformation o f kahveci, itself an ambiguous term which could describe both a dealer in coffee or the owner o f a coffee shop. It seems, however, that the proper use o f the tenn was reserved to the second meaning and that the use o f kahveci in the sense o f dealer in coffee was merely a practical way o f associating a dealer in groceries— an ‘'attar— with that specific commodity.^“ Docu­ tüccârı vilâyetlerinden getürdükleri Eftenc kahvesini [...]”. Barbier, a French trader in Edime, had sent with his broker 6,500 okkas o f coffee to Şumnu. However, due to the siege o f the city by Russian troops, the local military author­ ities had seized and sold the commodity, eventually forcing the French ambassador to bom ­ bard the Porte with petitions for the compensation o f B arbiers losses (AAFC, doc. 24, ca­ hier n° 10, entries # 9 and 51 ; doc. 41, cahier n° 9, entry n° 164). The predominance o f French coffee in Rumelia and in the Danubian provinces seems to have been such that the tastes o f the population shifted towards the imported product: “H est vrai que dans la Bulgarie, la Bessarabie et aux environs du Danube, on préfère le café de l’Amérique à celui de l’Yémen, et qu’il en passe beaucoup dans ces contrées par la voie de Constantinople” (Olivier, op. cit., p. 207). Walsh, op. cit., p. 6. A sales invoice o f coffee used this term to qualify the customers (ACCM, L IX 1176, Café, comptes de vente et factures, 30 Dec. 1738). Petitions o f the ambassador to the Porte about matters relating to coffee, when they do refer to individual purchasers, identify them by name without any reference to their corporate links: “Kırımlı 'Ö m er nâm tâcir” (AAFC, doc. 23, cahier n° 11, "arzıhâl # 7 1 ); “İstanbul sakinlerinden Giridli Kahveci Mehmed nâm kimesne” (Id., ibid, ^arzıhâl#191). The two volumes o f published documents relating to guilds and their trade in Istanbul in the eighteenth century refer to kahveci only as coffee shop owners or itinerant vendors o f coffee as a beverage (Kal'a, İstanbul E snaf Tarihi, 1 and 2). Going back to the seventeenth century and to the inevitable Evliyâ Çelebi, one finds two entries relating to the trade o f coffee: the guild o f traders in coffee (esnqf-i tüccâr-ı kahveciySn, 200 shops and 300 members) and the guild o f the grocers of coffee (esnqf-i ‘attSrSn-i kahveciyan, 300 shops and 500 members), both described as bodies o f powerful and wealthy merchants (Gokyay (ed.). Evliya Çelebi Seyahatnâmesi, I, pp. 241 and 288). The distinction between the two guilds probably refers to the traders (tüccar) as importers and to the ''attâr (grocers) as wholesalers o f this commodity. In any case the addi­

ments conceming the merchants o f the New or Egyptian Bazaar referred to under the topic o f sugar were clear enough in their description o f the "attârân as dealers in sugar, coffee, tin and spices. The observation by French traders and travellers that they were all Muslims^' seems to be con­ firmed by the absence o f any indication to the contrary in Ottoman sources. One additional precision that Ottoman documents do bring, nevertheless, is that not all coffee dealers purchased French coffee, and that, in fact, this trade was limited to a very small number o f merchants o f the M m r Çarşısı. However, more than a privilege, this limitation seems to have paralleled the relative contempt that the Ottoman consumer o f the capital felt for the American product: [...] fro m tim e im m e m o ria l the g u ild o f grocers h ave bought fro m traders the co ffe e a rriv in g fro m the Y e m e n to m y S u b lim e T h re sh o ld , and h a ve never m ix e d an y F ra n k is h co ffee to the unpounded Y e m e n co ffe e, and the Y e m e n and F ra n k is h co ffe e h a ve a lw a y s been so ld to the p u b lic separately acco rdin g to d a ily p rice s, and pounded F ra n k is h co ffee has a lw a y s been so ld in o n ly fiv e shops fro m am ong the g u ild o f gro cers, and the o w ners o f the aforem en­ tio n ed fiv e shops reserved fo r the sale o f F ra n k is h co ffee h ave ne ver bought or stored Y e m e n co ffe e, and both the F ra n k is h and Y e m e n co ffee pounded in the ro asting fa c ilitie s h a ve a lw a y s been pounded separately and the pounders h ave n e ve r m ix e d th em , and h ave a lw a y s d elivere d it to th eir o w n ers after w ritin g th e ir nam es on it, and w h e n e ve r the o w n ers o f the aforem entioned fiv e shops reserved fo r the sale o f F ra n k is h co ffe e h a ve brought Y e m e n co f­ fee to the roasting house, it w a s ne ver pounded [...]^^

Following more or less the same pattems as sugar and coffee, indigo and cochineal made up the last major item o f the French import trade to Istan­ bul in the eighteenth century (fig. 3.3 and 3.4). Both products had in com­ mon their American origin and their use as high-quality pigments, mainly in the textile industry. Indigo {çivîd), o f vegetal origin, was used to obtain the best quality o f blue, while cochineal {kırmız, çiçek boyası), an animal product obtained through the crushing o f the cactus insect {coccus cacti), constituted the very best pigment for red and scarlet colors, unequalled by more traditional dyes such as madder-root or kermes. Also common to these two products was that they were very expensive compared to other imported goods and, therefore, contributed much more tion o f these two terms to that o f kahveci confirms the argument above concerning the distinc­ tion between dealers and coffee shop owners. F. C. H. L. Pouqueville, Voyage en Morée, à Constantinople, en Albanie et dans p lu ­ sieurs autres parties de l'Em pire othoman, pendant les années 1798, 1799, 1800 et 1801 (Paris, 1805), p. 129. Kal’a, Istanbul E sn q f Tarihi, 2, pp. 342-343, doc. 6/228/635, evâhir-i B sene 1176/514 F e b .1763

Fig. 3.3 - French imports o f indigo to Istanbul, 1718-1792

Fig. 3.4 - French imports o f cochineal to Istanbul, 1718-1792

in value than in volume to French trade in the Levant.” Indigo in particular replicated very exactly the trade patterns o f sugar and coffee. A product of the French colony o f Saint-Domingue island, brought to Marseilles from Nantes and Bordeaux, it entered the Ottoman market as a replacement for the previous supply o f indigo from the Indian Ocean.^'* Cochineal, on the contrary, was a novelty and as such represented a high- quality altemative to the other locally available red dyes.^^ Moreover, it did not originate from the French colonies but from Spanish Mexico and was imported to Mar­ seilles via Cadiz.^*’ The most interesting aspect o f this trade lies in the fact that, among an enormous amount o f manufactured or half-processed imports, indigo and cochineal had, by essence, to be related to textile production and manu­ facturing in the Ottoman lands. As such, the evolution o f the volume o f this trade could constitute a potential indicator o f the development o f Ot­ toman textile indusfries, due to the probable correlation between the two. Unfortunately, the lack o f proper information conceming other supplies of these products, especially in the case o f indigo produced locally or im­ ported from the East or from other westem nations, makes it practically impossible to carry this reasoning beyond a tentative extrapolation. Nev­ ertheless, it seems worth noting that both products show, throughout the century and especially after 1750, a steady increase that tends to confirm some recent findings pointing at the development o f textile manufacturing in the second half o f the eighteenth century.^’ This increase is obvious in The price o f indigo increased from 2.5 ğurüşhkka. in 1730 to 19 ğurüşlokka in 1792. W hen indexed on the basis o f the m uch more stable livre tournois, this price hike is reduced to some 60% between 1749 and 1789, while still remaining the most important price rise for imported goods during the century. Cochineal, although more expensive than indigo (18 ğurüş! okka in 1730 and 27.5 in 1789), remained, however, stable in term s o f livres tour­ nois, except for a short-lived increase by some 10 to 20 % in the 1770s. W hat made cochi­ neal so expensive was the fact that some 70,000 insects had to be scraped o ff the Nopal cactus, thrown into boiling water and dried under the sun in order to obtain only one pound o f cochineal. (Camille Flammarion, Dictionnaire encyclopédique universel, Paris, n.d., v. II, i-.v. ‘cochenille,’ pp. 578-579). The name o f the plant— indigo in Spanish is derived from the Latin indicum (Indian)— clearly betrays its geographical origin, the Indian subcontinent, where it is found in the varieties o f indigofera disperma, pseudotinctoria, angustifolia, arcuata, cinerea or cœrulea. There also existed an Egyptian and Arabian variety {indigofera argentea). American indigo was knovm as indigofera anil and had been transplanted from India (C. Flammarion, Dictionnaire ency­ clopédique universel, v. V, s.v. ‘indigo,’ p. 612). See also Paris, op. cit., p. 561. Cochineal was the only pigment giving a ‘true’ scariet color. The term “fake scariet” was used to describe cloth that had been dyed with pigments other than cochineal; “faux écarlates c ’est à dire sans cochenille” (ACCM, J 1591, Mémoire des députés, 30 Dec. 1750). Paris, op. cit., p. 561. M ehm et Genç, “18. Yüzyılda Osmanh Sanayii”, Dünü ve Bugünüyle Toplum ve

the case o f cochineal whose volume rose from 570 quintals (appr. 24 tons) in the 1750s to 800 (appr. 32 tons) in the 1780s.58 For indigo, during the same period, the decrease in the volume o f imports from 2,680 quintals (110 tons) to 1,775 (73 tons) has to be corrected with the knowledge that from the 1770s on, French indigo was severely hit by the competition o f English indigo from C a r o l i n a . A s a whole, it seems, therefore, that the demand for both products increased considerably after the 1750s, probably reflecting a corresponding or at least correlated growth o f textile manufac­ turing in the Ottoman lands. To these two products, one should add veiy marginal quantities o f other dyestuffs, most notably certain qualities of South American dye-woods.®° What is more surprising, however, is that this growth o f the dyestuff market seems to have been sharper in Istanbul than in any other region of the Empire. While in the 1750s the Ottoman capital represented a mere 5 % o f this frade against the predominance o f Izmir (46 % o f indigo and 30 % o f cochineal), Aleppo (26 % and 29 %) and Salonika (17 and 10 %), by the end o f the century, its share o f the same trade had nearly quadru­ pled, reaching the proportions o f 19 and 18 % respectively for each of these pigments.^' The volume of imported indigo— once again excluding the cheaper English variety— ^had increased from some 11 tons in 1718 to peaks o f over 20 tons towards the mid-1780s, while cochineal had leaped from less than 2 tons until 1750 to 14 tons in 1792.®^ What is one to make o f this sudden and spectacular growth? In 1750, French fraders noted in a report that much o f these dyestuffs were shipped to the surrounding areas o f the capital city.*^^ However, such a dramatic surge o f textile indusfries around Istanbul in a period o f some thirty to forty years seems highly un­ likely, with the exception maybe o f Edime and o f Bursa, providing one can ascertain that its provisioning was not ensured by Izmir rather than Istan­ bul. The fact that both pigments, but more particularly cochineal, were used in the manufacturing o f high-quality textiles, combined with our knowledge o f cases o f local purchases by cloth makers and dyers,®'* would

Ekonomi, 2 (Sept. 1991), pp. 99-124. Paris, op. cit., p. 563. Ibid., p. 562. Am ong these very secondary products, one may find starch {ni^astd), Campeche, Per­ nambuco and Santa Marta wood, logwood {bakkSm), ceruse (üstübec), cinnabar izencefre), copperas ikibritiyet), guaiac (gayyak), tartar {tartar) and verdigris (jengar). Paris, op. cit., pp. 562-563. ® Sources mentioned in Chapter One, notes 47 and 48. ® ACCM, J 1591, Mémoire des députés, 30 Dec. 1750. See note 66 below.

more likely indicate the development o f the luxury textile industry in the capital city itself. As in the case of sugar and coffee, the almighty guild o f the "attàràn was the principal purchaser o f dyestufifs. Its privilege was based, once again, on the fact that these products were imported and, as such, fell within the category o f commodities distributed and sold in the Egyptian Bazaar.®^ However, despite this monopoly o f the wholesalers o f the Ba­ zaar, a few documents point to the fact that other guilds, namely those o f the dyers {boyaciyan) and o f fabric dealers {bezzâzân or bezciyan) occa­ sionally had access to dyestuffs brought by French traders.®® A situation similar to that of the conflicts over sugar emerged, as the "attârân tried to fight back against what they considered a serious breach o f their privilege. A takrlr (memorandum) submitted by the French ambassador, although cautiously reminding that sales o f indigo to the dyers (boyaciyan) and to the printers o f calicoes (basmaciyan) took place only occasionally {ahyàn""), nevertheless suggested that the claim o f the "attârân constituted an infringement o f the clauses o f the capitulations specifying that the French were free to sell their goods to whomever they wanted.®^ The rest o f the import trade o f Istanbul consisted o f a multitude o f items o f a marginal and even negligible value. Most of these fell into the vague category o f drugs and spices, including a certain number o f dyestuffs o f a ®^ A decree, dated 1764, specified that, from time immemorial, cochineal, tin, indigo, logwood and various other dyes imported from abroad were the concern o f the ^attarSn o f Istanbul, located in the New Bazaar: “İslâmbol’da vâki' Şük-ı Cedidde kâ’in 'attârân gelüb mâ tekaddemden berü ehl-i İslâm ve Efrenc ve sâ’ir sefayin ile taşradan gelen em ti'a ve eş­ yadan bunlara m üte'alhk bahâr ve kırmız ve kalay ve çivîd ve bakkâm ve sâ’ir boya-i mütenevvi'a ve İslâmbol 'attâranm a m üte'allıka s a ir eşyâ [...]” (Kal’a, İstanbul E sn a f Tarihi, 2, pp. 55-56, doc. 7/114/342, evS’il-i Ra 1178/29 Aug.-7 Sept. 1764). ®®As in the case o f the Armenian fabric dealer/dyer Bodos, established in Astarcilar Ham, and his partner Aleksan, from the Sandal Bezzâzistân (Bedesten) o f the Covered Bazaar, who owed the French trader Olive 1,475 piasters for indigo: “Galatada ticâretle mekş üzere olan Ol­ ive nâm Françalu tacirin Astarcılar hânında mütemekkin Bezci Bodos ve Sandal Bezzâzistânmda sâkin şerîki Aleksan nâmân iki nefer zimmîler zimmetlerinde bâ temessük çivîd bahâsından bifi dörtyüz yetmiş beş gurüş alacak hakkı olub That these two partners were involved in the dyeing o f cotton cloth— for which they evidently used French indigo— appears from the fact that Olive, to whom the 1,475 piasters were owed, proposed to seize a shipment o f sixteen loads o f cloth they had received firom Kayseri and which they knew was detained at the customs (AAFC, doc. 6 !, cahier n° 13, ^arzihal # 89). ®^ “França tüccârınm getürdükleri eşyâlarını Devlet-i 'Aliyyenifi re'âyâsm dan ve tüccârmdan dilediklerinden b ey' ü fürûht murâd eylediklerinde biz aluruz deyu aharlar ta'arruz ve nizâ' eylem eyeler deyu Françaluya i'tâ olunan 'ahd-nâm e-i hüm ayunda muşarrah (sic) olub hilâfına hareket olunmak icâb etmez iken França tüccârınm getürdükleri çivîdlerini ahyân“ diledikleri boyacılara ve basmacılara b e y ' ü furOht eylediklerinde ÇârşO a'ttariari (sic) bu makule eşyâmn b e y ' ü şirâsı bize münhasır olub biz aluruz deyu ta'arruz ve nizâ'dan hâlî olmayub [...]” (AAFC, doc. 44, cahier sans numéro, tah-lr #3 3 ).

much lesser importance than cochineal and indigo.®* O f a very limited na­ ture, this trade was mostly concentrated in Istanbul which attracted ap­ proximately two-thirds o f the total volume o f drugs and spices sent from Marseilles to the Levant.®® If the average 20,000 to 25,000 piasters this trade represented could hardly be considered o f any consequence, it was mainly because French spices and drugs were faced with the competition o f other suppliers. On the westem front, the Dutch, the Venetian and the English proved to be fierce rivals, controlling at least 60 % o f the market by mid-century.’“ A fascinating document on Venetian treacle found in the archives o f the Capuchin order,” in fact an advertisement in its own right, confirms the popularity o f Venetian medication in Istanbul during the pe­ riod.’- But more importantly, the traditional network o f oriental trade routes still dominated most o f the provisioning o f the city in these com­ modities. Towards the end o f the century, it was estimated that some 400,000 piasters’ worth of Indian drugs and spices were imported every year in the Ottoman capital, thus representing approximately twenty times the French share in the same trade and almost ten times that o f all westem nations together.’^ Clearly, when it came to purchases and distribution, French spices and drugs fell in the same category as imported sugar, coffee or dyestuffs and, as such, were generally considered the legitimate concem o f the omnipres-

Drugs: aloe (sabiir, amber {"anber), ambergris {ak ^anber), yellow am ber {kehriiba), antimony {rastık taşı), aspic {sünbül-i hindi), Peru balsam, sandal-wood {sandal), camphor {kajur), m aidenhair {baldırı kara), castor {kunduz hayası), coral {mercan), gum turpentine {rStinec-i hindi), gum lac {gomalaka), ipecacuanha {ipekâkuvâne), jalap {jalapa), lavender {lavanta), manna {kudret helvası), m inium {sülüğen), m usk {misk), Peruvian bark {kınakına), rhubarb {râvend), sarsaparilla {saparna), sassafras {salsafra), Epsom salt {İngiliz tuzu), sulphur {kükürd), spermaceti {balık nefsi), corrosive sublimate {ak sülümen), mercuric sulfide (sürür), turpentine (terementi), treacle (tiryak), quicksilver (cıva), zinc (tutya). Spices: Cinnamon (darçın), cardamom (kâküle), cubeb (kebabe), ginger (zencefil), clove (karanfil), mace (besbâse), nutmeg (cevz-i bevva), pepper (kara biber). Paris, op. cit., p. 564. For a more detailed analysis o f this trade in the Ottoman capital, see E. Eldem, “Le commerce des herbes, drogues et épices à Istanbul au X V lir siècle,” Her­ bes, drogues et épices en Méditerranée (Paris, 1988), pp. 125-138. AN, AE, B'" 241, pièce 34, État du commerce des Vénitiens, Anglois et Hollandois à l’échelle de Constantinople, 1749-1750. Archives de la Fraternité des Capucins de la Région de Paris, Divers, Série Z. This printed document, an advertising leaflet o f the seventeenth or eighteenth century probably prepared in Venice, publicizes, in a rather awkward Ottoman Turkish, the m iracu­ lous properties o f the treacle prepared and marketed by the Venetian physician Silvestrini. For a transcription and analysis o f this early advertisement, see E. Eldem, “Bir İlaç Reklamı Üzerine: Venedik’ten İthal Altmbaş Tiryakı,” Toplumsal Tarih, 2 (Feb. 1994), pp. 13-16. BN, Ms. Fr 6430, n° 15, M émoire de M. Anthoine sur le commerce des Indes orienta­ les fait par les Turcs de Constantinople, 1780. See n. 39 in Chapter One.

ent guild o f the grocers o f the Egyptian Bazaar.’"* Beyond that point, how­ ever, a great number o f smaller and more specialized guilds took over the distribution o f these products and, most o f all, the preparation o f all sorts o f pharmaceutical and medical mixtures from these products; ointments, electuaries, pills, pastes, frimigations...’^ In way o f conclusion, we will try to present a general assessment of the evolution o f this import trade, especially in tenus of certain mutations that seem to have characterized it during the second half o f the century. For a pe­ riod ranging from the late 1710s to 1769, French imports to Istanbul followed a rather constant pattem where textiles, consisting essentially o f cloth, domi­ nated shipments in an unquestionable way. An average 80 % o f the value of this trade was made up o f such exports, the remaining 20 % being shared by sugar and coffee (10 %), indigo and cochineal (5 %), drugs and spices (2 %) and non-textile manufactured goods (3 %). This configuration was even more accentuated in times of war (1744-1748 and 1756-1763) as textile products leaped to over 90% while other commodities, mostly overseas products o f the French colonies in America, practically disappeared from the import trade. After 1769 however, this situation changed rather drastically, as the participation o f textile products gradually fell to 60 % in the 1770s and to 40 % in the 1780s. The gap was filled in by other products, especially sugar and coffee (20 % in the 1770s and 30 % in the 1780s) and cochineal and in­ digo (10 % in the 1770s and 15 % in the 1780s). This evolution is surprising in several respects. First o f all, it meant a rather significant restructuring o f the organization o f trade itself, as French traders in the capital gradually withdrew from what had been their major interest in the échelle and concentrated on an extension o f the French trade o f colonial products into the Meditenanean basin. In most o f the cases, this transition was felt as a sign o f malaise, especially with respect to its conse­ quences on the economy o f Marseilles. Trading interests were shifting from a local network o f production and disfribution over which Marseilles fraders and capitalists had exerted a high degree o f control to a more exOne needs only to remember that spices (bahar) were often included in the enumeration o f commodities which were bought exclusively by the ‘attârân o f the Yeni Çârşü (see n. 65 above). Obviously, the point in common was to be found, more than in the nature o f the com­ modities, in the fact that they were all imported from overseas— ^be it Egypt or Europe. One has only to browse the pages o f Evliya Çelebi to find a multitude o f medical and paramedical professions: ma^cünciyân (sellers o f medical pastes and electuaries), esnqf-i edhan-i edviye (merchants o f ointments), eşnâf-ı meşrübüt-ı deva and ispençiyariyân (apoth­ ecaries), buhürcıyân (dealers in incense and fumigatories) (Evliya Çelebi, Seyyâhatnâme, pp. 532, 533, 602). For more details on this trade and for a bibliography o f Süheyl Ünver’s extensive works on Ottoman pharmacy, see E. Eldem, “Herbes.”

tended one where the Mediterranean port was relegated to a secondary and more dependent position. From an Ottoman perspective however, this transformation of French trade was indicative of certain changes worth noting within the general context of production and distribution networks. The relative decline of the cloth trade and the expansion of the market for colonial products can be related to several char­ acteristics of the Ottoman economy and consumption patterns during the eight­ eenth century. The decline of the cloth trade, or rather the stagnation of French cloth consumption in this privileged market is an indication of the superficial level of penetration o f westem manufactured goods in the Ottoman market. Although we have noted that this decline was partly due to the competition of other westem textiles, it nevertheless appears that these imported goods had the greatest of difficulties to expand their market vertically and reach down to lower strata o f consumers among the Ottoman population. The core o f textile consumption was still met by the local industries and their wide variety o f intennediate- and low-quality goods. In fact, the mutations o f trade in the second half o f the century point to an inversion o f what has generally been associated with the development of westem trade in the Levant. With a relative decrease o f manufactured goods and a parallel increase o f raw materials or half-processed goods, one is quite far from the unihnear vision o f a domination o f the Ottoman mar­ kets by increasingly successful products o f the westem industries. The fact that a considerable proportion o f these colonial goods consisted o f inputs for local textile industries, as in the case o f cochineal and indigo, only con­ firms this vision o f a survival and even development o f local industries. On the other hand, even if the development o f the coffee and sugar trade points at an obvious inversion o f traditional patterns o f exchange, it is more than likely that this inversion was accompanied by an expansion o f the market for these commodities. In other words, beyond the phenomenon o f a replacement o f local sugar and coffee by their French equivalents— much in keeping with traditional visions o f westem domination o f eastem markets— ^what seems to have taken place is an increase o f the overall con­ sumption o f these products. This is all the more true o f coffee, since it ap­ pears that, unlike sugar, the local variety— explicitly preferred to its American ersatz—^never disappeared from the market. Westem coffee be­ came a cheaper altemative and as such contributed to the expansion o f the market in a way that imported manufactured goods never managed to do. This expansion o f the market has, therefore, to be considered as part o f a certain increase in the purchasing power o f Ottoman consumers who were thus able to divert a growing portion o f their incomes to the purchasing o f

what was a luxury product by the standards o f the time. What seems to have promoted the penetration o f French coffee in the Ottoman markets were the limitations o f the local supply, unable to meet the requirements of such a rising demand. The same was apparently not true o f manufactured goods, the demand for which local industries seem to have met much more easily. It is probably too early to reach such general conclusions about the overall equilibria between the westem and Ottoman economies. It is, however, worth noting that the analysis o f imports provides us with a vision very different from what could be retro-projected from the conjuncture o f the nineteenth century and the patterns o f domination that characterized it. Suffice it to say that it appears difficult at this stage to accept the idea o f a systematically ‘negative’ impact of westem trade on the Ottoman economy in the eighteenth century. More than in the nature of this trade, it is probably in its relative de­ crease and its gradual marginalization with respect to the growth of global trade that one is more likely to find the real signs of a change in the economic balance of power between East and West.

M A R G IN A L EX PORTS The Ottoman capital, residence and showcase o f an imperial system, was first and foremost a center o f consumption. Whatever it produced was gen­ erally meant to meet the needs and requirements o f its population and, above all, o f its élite and state structures. It sat at the center o f a complex and extended network o f supply channels, created and monitored by the state— ^within the limits o f its capacities— in order to ensure a smooth and constant flow into the city o f basic and strategic commodities from the provinces and, when necessary, from abroad. This policy and the system it entailed has aptly been labeled ‘provisionism,’ described as a primary con­ cem o f the state for the establishment o f a constant and cheap supply o f the necessary requirements o f what it considered to be its priorities; the arniy, the palace and, o f course, the population itself, especially in urban areas.' In fact, this approximated a ‘material’ interpretation o f the famous ‘circle o f equity’ or d à ’ire-i ^adâlet,^ with equity or justice replaced by a vague notion o f welfare, understood within the limits o f a minimal subsistence level ensuring the preservation o f the legitimacy of the state in the eyes of the population. This argument fell within the boundaries o f the ideology o f the state, or more exactly within those o f its demagogical and ‘populist’ rhetoric. This does not exclude the fact that the policies o f the state often led to the enactment o f this rhetoric. Istanbul was the best example o f this phenomenon, as it was practically impossible and far too risky for the state to neglect the fulfillment o f at least part o f its patemalist promises. As such, this policy has tended to be viewed as one o f the main deter­ minants not only o f state and society relations, but also o f central attitudes towards the economy, leading to a potential choking o f market dynamics through deliberate state interventionism. Although such a vision probably tends to overestimate the central state’s capacity to direct and manipulate market forces by identifying intentions with facts, there is little doubt that Istanbul, as the imperial capital, was probably the place where such inter' M. Genç, “Osmanli İmparatoriuğu’nda Devlet ve Ekonomi,” V. Milletlerarası Türkiye Sosyal ve İktisat Tarihi Kongresi. Tebliğler, Ankara, 1991, pp. 13-25; “Osmanlı İktisadî Dünya Görüşünün İlkeleri,” İstanbul Üniversitesi Edebiyat Fakültesi Sosyoloji Dergisi, 1 (1989), pp. 176-185. ^ For a summarized definition o f the ‘circle o f equity,' see N. Itzkowitz, Ottoman Empire and Islamic Tradition, New York, 1972, pp. 88-89.

ventionism did actually take place, even if this means that we might have to consider this case to have been rather exceptional. We can only under­ line once again to what extent the Ottoman capital may have led to a dis­ torted perception o f the dynamics o f the Empire, by providing contempo­ rary observers and modem scholars alike with a very peculiar vision o f an imperial structure modeled on its capital. The danger o f the ‘Istanbul bias’ lies in the temptation o f identifying the whole Empire with the example of its capital, thus in fact falling into the trap o f what the state itself promoted by using the city as its showcase o f imperial power and control. Concomi­ tant to this ‘optical illusion’ caused by the degree o f centralization o f what, after all, was the center, is the fact that contemporary documents had their own way o f forcing and distorting reality into ideal visions.^ Moreover, what is hard to accept is the implicit argument that such policies were typical o f or even unique to the Ottoman system. It should not be forgotten that examples o f such parasitic urban structures could be found in the West during the same period, especially within the context of centralizing projects. Madrid as the capital o f the Spanish monarchy or, even more, Paris as that o f French absolutism bear striking similarities with Istanbul in their development as large urban structures created to a large extent by the state and, as such, living off the economy rather than contrib­ uting to it.'* Whatever the reasons for it, the economic ‘aberration’ of Istanbul as a major consumption center producing little if any surplus o f exportable goods had a direct influence on the organization o f French trade and ex^ These documents emanated from the state, or more precisely from its bureaucrats and scribes. In the words o f Halil Berktay: “W hat flowed from their pens, therefore, was a very flattering self-portrait o f the state which (1) deliberately exaggerated its own strength to the point o f ‘om nipotence’; (2) primarily recorded state activity and also recorded many other kinds o f (economic) activity within its redistributionist, provisioning reach as, directly, ac­ tivities o f the state [...]” (H. Berktay, “Three Empires,” p. 251). “Even in the eighteenth century, Turgot, taking up a point made by Vauban, accused Paris o f being ‘an abyss swallowing up all the riches o f the state, to which trifles and manu­ factured articles draw money from all over France, in a traffic as ruinous to our provinces as it is to foreigners. The product o f taxation is largely dissipated here’” (F. Braudel, Civiliza­ tion and Capitalism 15"'-18''’ Century, v. Ill, The Perspective o f the World (New York, 1984), p. 328). A comparable condemnation o f Madrid during the siglo de oro is made by P. Vilar: “Un ouvrage à la gloire de Madrid démontre ainsi sa noblesse: toute cité travaille pour Madrid; qui ne travaille pour aucune” (P. Vilar, Histoire de l'Espagne (Paris, 1997), p. 40). The potential for a comparison between early modetri European capital cities and Istanbul is underlined by S. Faroqhi: “The leading cities o f the seventeenth century were state capitals, which depended for their survival on aristocracies and royal courts. Neither Paris nor Lon­ don nor Madrid were ever centres o f industry, and even the economic roles which many capitals eventoally acquired were due to the presence o f a centralised administrative appa­ ratus” (S. Faroqhi, “In Search o f Ottoman History,” p. 225).

plains that this trade should develop in a diametrically opposite direction to that o f the Levant trade in general. While all the other échelles developed as centers for exports and generally presented a negative balance o f trade, the French nation in Istanbul found it impossible to balance its imports with local products. In fact, exports were only a minor concern for these traders. Even a cursory glance at the correspondence between the échelle and Marseilles clearly shows this lack o f interest. While letters abound in details and remarks on imported commodities, their market and their prices, it generally remains silent on the issue o f exports. The fimction of the échelle o f Constantinople was not to ensure the supply o f Marseilles with Levantine products. Exports were but one way— and not necessarily the best-—o f balancing the surplus accumulated through the sales o f im­ ported goods. As a result, exports from the Ottoman capital, accounting for a mere quarter o f the value o f imports, were extremely irregular both in their vari­ ety and their volume. Among these products, only one presented some regularity and as such had a significant share in the global export trade o f the Levant. Wool, produced in westem Anatolia and in Thrace, was brought to Istanbul to be exported and amounted to approximately half o f all wool exports from the Ottoman lands (fig. 4.1).^ This product was, however, a secondary export item, due to its mediocre quality compared to other altematives such as Spanish or Italian wool.'^ As a result, the demand for Levantine sheep’s wool in France remained more or less static, limited as it was to the manufacturing of the coarsest qualities o f cloth destined to the colonies— and some to the Levant— and to certain minor items such as caps for the Ottoman market.’ ^ The exports o f sheep’s wool from the Levant w ere concentrated in the three échelles o f Istanbul, Izmir and Salonika and showed the following evolution during the century (Paris, op. cit., p. 518, n. 1); 1700-1702 1750-1754 1786-1789 Istanbul 47% 17% 55% Izmir 23% 40% 28% Salonika 12% 40% 10% ^ Towards the end o f the century, French imports o f sheep’s wool originated from Spain (52 %), the Levant (27 %), Italy (11.5 %) and Austria (9.5 %) (Masson, X « / / , p. 440). ’ Paris, op. cit., p. 517. Wool from the Levant was in principle unfit for the manufactur­ ing o f cloth for the Levant. However, with the gradual decline o f this frade and the conse­ quent abandonm ent o f certain quality standards, it became more and more frequent to mix the better wool from Spain or from Roussillon with Levantine wool; “[...] cependant lors­ q u ’elles sont triées et mélangées avec les belles laines d ’Espagne et du Roussillon, les commerçans du Languedoc savent en fabriquer les londrins premiers et les londrins seconds qu’ils envoient à M arseille, et de là dans les échelles du Levant, où il s ’en fait une consom ­ mation considérable” (Olivier, op. c it, p. 197).

Fig. 4.1 - French exports o f sheep’s wool from Istanbul, 1701-1792

Sheep’s wool {yapağı or kirhna y a p a g if sent to France from Istanbul came in a wide variety o f types. Generally speaking, it fell under two ma­ jo r categories; the pelades, obtained by butchers and tanners from the clip­ ping o f sheep skins and the surges, procured in April and May from the shearing o f live animals.^ The capital o f the Empire provided the greatest supply o f the fomier. As to the latter, they were subdivided into a large number o f qualities, often named after their region o f extraction. Thus, the panormes originating from the region o f Bandırma, Balıkesir and Mihaliç and the ipsola from İpsala in Thrace were among the most important qualities; others, such as the tresquilles, were of a better quality but gradu­ ally disappeared from French exports as a result o f foreign competition.'® A veiy considerable proportion o f this wool was obtained from Istanbul itself. This was especially true of the pelade variety, which constituted a major by-product o f the enormous consumption o f sheep in the capital city for meat as well as for the local tanneries. According to French documen­ tation, the nation initially had to resort to the mediation o f Jewish traders of ®The term yapağı described sheep’s wool shorn in the spring, as opposed to yün, used for wool shorn in the fall. The use o f kirlm a to qualify the wool was redundant, since the term sim­ ply meant shorn. Other than these generic terms, Ottoman documents do not refer to a precise typonomy o f wool, mentioning only its degree o f fineness {ince, rakik...) or geographical origin. ^Paris, op. cit., p. 516. '0 ACCM, J 1591, Mémoire des députés, 30 Dec. 1750.

the capital in its purchases." The market for this type o f wool was located in the district o f Beşiktaş, where wool was bought, conditioned and steeved before it was loaded on departing ships.'- It was not before 1752 that the French found the way to bypass these intennediaries and obtain a cheaper and more direct access to the urban wool supply through Muslim wool traders. The latter, much attracted by this new opportunity o f trade, had obtained from the Porte a decree requesting that the butchers o f the capital should cease shearing the animals before killing them, in order to obtain longer and more lush wool.'^ Direct access to the butchers themselves seems, however, to have been practically impossible to attain. An excep­ tion to this rule can be found, once at least, on an occasion when the French nation was granted the right to purchase the wool o f m iri sheep destined to the consumption o f the army. However, the fact that this pur­ chase was the object o f a contract passed between French traders and Nu^man Efendi, deputy head butcher o f the Empire and that it concerned sheep gathered in Edime and its vicinity, seems to confirm the exceptional character o f the transaction. Although the wool supplied by the butchers o f the capital constituted the major part o f French wool exports from Istanbul,'^ a considerable quantity o f the wool purchased by the nation came from neighboring re­ gions and localities, reaching as far as the westem Anatolian hinterland. Among these extemal sources, the immediate surroundings o f Istanbul— around Kartal and Pendik— contributed to some o f the supply for exports.'® " ACCM, J 196, Correspondance des députés. Assemblée de la nation, 19 Jan. 1732. In 1750, the situation was still the same: “La nation achète des marchands lainiers juifs les laines pelades I d , J 1591, M émoire des députés, 30 Dec. 1750). '2 ACCM, L IX 1207, Laines, Divers (1753-1820) et factures (1735-1772), Sales bill dated 18 Jan. 1735. ACCM, J 202, Correspondance des députés. Couturier and M agy to the Chamber o f Commerce, 2 June 1752. “Galatada ticaretle mekş üzere olan França bazırganları ordu-yı hüm ayun içün Edirnede ve Sayede (?) bundan akdem tedarik olunan miri ağnamlardan kırkılan yapağısını ser kaşşâbân-ı haşşa vekili N u'm ân Efendiden iştira ve bâzırgan-ı mezburlardan beglik nâmıyla bir şey taleb olun[ma]mak üzere beynehimâda şart olunub” (AAFC, doc. 40, cahier n° 6, ^arzıhâl# 40). Unfortunately, French statistics o f the time did not systematically specify the quantity o f wool falling under each o f the four major categories o f pelades, panorm es, ipsola and tresquilles. However, for those years where the record was kept with such detail, the volume o f pelades— originating from the city itself— represents, on the average, betw een two and three times that o f the other three categories. A petition complaining about the intention o f the çuka emini (intendant o f the cloth manufacture) o f Salonika to unduly collect duties from wool purchased by the French men­ tions that the regions o f Kartal and Pendik were not included in the ferman he was referring to: “ [...] Yahudi-i mesfurun yedinde olan emr-i 'âlîde Kartal ve Pendik ve sa ’ir Anatolı

Thrace and Rumeha, especially in the case o f the ipsola wool taking its name fi'om the locality o f İpsala, accounted for additional shipments. However, much o f this supply fell under the competence o f French traders established in Edime and was shipped from the port o f Enez in southern Thrace.'’ The French quest for wool also extended to the North, as some French traders tried, in association with local Jewish traders, to purchase wool from the Black Sea. This attempt, however, met with the violent op­ position o f the guild o f quilt makers {eşnâf-ı yorğancıyân) to whom the monopoly o f this wool had allegedly been granted— at the time o f the con­ quest o f the city, o f course— and who complained that these unlawful competitors were snatching the wool away from them by increasing prices.'® As opposed to these secondary or inaccessible regions o f supply, the north-western areas o f Anatolia (Bandırma, Balıkesir, Mihaliç, Kazdağı...) provided a reliable and secure source o f wool to French traders. This time, the French nation was able to communicate almost directly with the pro­ ducers. The purchases were realized in situ by agents, recruited from among Ottomn subjects and dispatched with an authorizing decree from the Porte. These agents, generally non-Muslims, were entrusted with the collective funds o f the nation, with which they made their purchases,'® af­ ter which, they shipped the wool to Istanbul via the ports o f Mudanya or Erdek on the southem shores o f the Sea o f Mamiara.^® They were placed under the protection o f the capitulations and the documents issued in their name never failed to enjoin local authorities to assist and protect them.^' havalisi muşarrah ve mestur değil iken França tüccarı ol havalilerden kendü akçeleriyle iştira ve der-mahzen eyledikleri yapağlarının [...]” (AAFC, doc. 24, cahier n° 10, entry # 93). ” “[...] mahrusa-i Edimede cem^ ü teslim olunan yalnız seksân bir denk yapağı hâla Énez iskelesinde mevcöd bir k ıf a França sefinesine tahmil olunmak üzere iken [...]” (AAFC, doc. 40, cahier n° 6, "arzihâl # 40). ' * “Âsitane-i Şahadetimde yorgancı eşnafının feth-i hâkâniden berü Karadeniz tarafların­ dan Âsitâneye gelen yapağı mahşuş emti'^aları olub k a f â ahardan YahOd ve Frenk tarafın­ dan alındığı olmayub [...] bir kaç nefer Frenk ve Yahüdiler şirket ile Karadefiiz tarafından gelen emti'^aları olan yapağıyı mesfurlar arturub alub [...].”(K al’a, İstanbul E sn a f Tarihi, 1, p. 255, doc. 5/172/525, evàW f-i/î 56/36 1173/12-20 Dec. 1759). “A la faveur d’un commandement de la Porte la nation envoyt tous les ans un homme du pays qui lui est attaché, et qui va dans le tems de la toison, acheter pour le compte géné­ ral en Asie les laines panormes de Panderma, Mealich et Balikesser; on lui fournit les fonds nécessaires à m esure qu'il fait ses amas. 11 adresse les balles aux députés [...]” (ACCM., J 1591, Mémoire des députés, 30 Dec. 1750). “Galatada ticaret[le] meks üzere olan França tüccârlanmizm mâlı olmak üzere akçeleriyle Bandırma ve Mihaliç havâiîierinde iştira eyledikleri on iki çuval kırkım yapağını Mihaliç iskelesinden sefineye tahmil ve Asitâne-i ^Aliyyeye gelürken [...]” (AAFC, doc. 23, cahier n° 11, entry # 5 1 ). “Galatada ticâret ile mekş üzere olan França tüccarı Balıkesri ve Kaztağı ve Bandırma

These recommendations often proved necessary, as these men fi-equently faced exactions and abusive taxation. Throughout the century, French activity in the north-western Anatolian countryside in quest o f wool grew to the point that the French were soon able to establish a sort o f monopsony over the wool o f the region. Thus, Ottoman documents soon began to refer to the wool o f the region as being “good for foreigners” {miiste’m en harci),^'^ a way o f granting them a prece­ dence over other potential buyers while at the same time barring them from other regions.^'* The implantation o f French traders in the region was fur­ ther strengthened by their willingness to pay local producers in advance. Such was their success in ‘marking their territory’ that they were able to obtain imperial decrees excluding other potential buyers, mainly “Turks, Turcomans” and traders from Izmir or other towns.^^ All o f this contribkazalanndan haşıl o!an kırkma yapağı akçeleriyle iştira ve Asitane-i Sa'âdete nakliyçün ol havalilere irsal eyledikleri Fransiz nâm bir nefer ademlerinin vukiî' bulan umur ve huşüşlannda ber mUceb-i 'ahid-nâm e-i hümâyûn himayet ve şıyânet olunmak babında Mihaliç voyvodasına hitâb“ taraf-ı devlet-i 'âlîlerinden bir k ıt'a mektub em r-üslüblan França maşlahatgüzân dâ'îleri rica ve niyaz eder” {Ibid., entr>' # 112). -- “Galatada ticâretle mekş üzere olan França tacirleri torafmdan nuküd akçeleri ile Zakarya Tomcan nâm Françalu Bandırma ve Mihalic ve Balıkesrine varub ol havalilerde kırkma yapağı ve sâ’ir memnü'âtdan olmayan eşyaları bey' ü iştira edüb dahi ü ta'arruz olunmak îcâb etmez iken vilâyetimizde sen [naşıl?] ticâret edersin deyu ba'z' kimesneler hilâf-ı 'ahid-nâme-i hümâ­ yûn mesfurdan 'av ân z ve harc-ı vilâyet ve sâ’ir taleb ve rencide ve ticâretine muhâlefet etme­ leriyle muğâyir-i 'ahid-name-i hümâyûn bu makule muŞlibâtile dahi ü ta'arruz olunmayub himâyet ve şıyânet olunmak bâbında Bandırma ve Mihalic ve Balıkesri kâdilarma hitâb“ emr-i 'âlîleri rica ve niyaz olunur” (AAFC, doc. 41, cahier n° 9, entry # 170). “Brusa ve Balıkesri ve Mihaliç ve Bandırma ve Kermasti ve Aydıncık ve Karasi kazâlarında ve etrâf ü havâlilerinde hâşıl olan kırkm a yapağı m üste'm en harcı {sic) olmağla (AAFC, doc. 61, cahier n° 13, takrirs# 207 and 208). Thus, in the previously mentioned case o f French traders having infringed upon the rights and prerogatives o f the quiltmakers (see p. 95 and n. 18 above), French traders were brought to court and readily agreed not to purchase any o f this wool in the future, while the quiltmakers advised them to content themselves with the woo! “destined to their use” from the regions o f Gallipoli and Mihaliç: “[...] ber vech-i muharrer Âsitâne-i Sa'âdete gelen yapağıyı bSzırgânı yedinden k a t'â iştirâ etmemek üzere her birleri ta'ahhüd eyledüklerinden mezbörıîn yorğâncılar dahi 'ahd-ı karibden berü müsâmaha ve rızâiariyle m esturunun ancak kendü sarfları olan çekme ta'b îr olunur yapağıyı Boğazhişâr ve Gelibolı ve Tekfîîrtağı ve Mihalic ve ol havalilerden iştiralarına m üm âna'at etmemek üzere [...]” (Kal’a, İstanbul E sn a f Tarihi, 1, p. 255, doc. 5/172/525, evâhir-i R sene 1173/12-20 Dec. 1759). The following document is explicit both in its definition o f the wool o f the region as “good for foreigners” {m üste’men \taifesinin\ harcı) and its exclusion o f “Turks and Tur­ comans.” The aim o f the petition was to ban a certain Moshe Carmona who had tried to in­ fringe the monopoly granted to the French and their agents: “Brusa ve Balıkesri ve Mihaliç ve Bandırma ve Kermasti ve Aydıncık ve Karasi kazalarında ve etraf ü havalilerinde haşıl olan kırkm a yapağı m üste’men harcı olmağla Asitâne-i sa'âdetden sermâye ile âdem ler gönderüb hâsıl olan kırkma yapağıyı iştirâ ve naki ve Efrenc tüccarına fürûht eylediklerinde rüsûm-ı âmediyesi getürenden ve refliyesi iştirâ edüb vilâyetlerine irsal eden m üste’men tüc-

uted to the growth o f sheep’s wool exports from Istanbul throughout the century. From an initial volume o f some 200-500 tons in the first decade o f the century, they soon reached the level o f 500-900 tons between 1713 and 1733. After this date, a certain decline can be observed, as exports fell to their initial level o f 200-600 tons, only to increase dramatically in 1771 to the unprecedented figure o f 1,200 tons. After another trough for a decade between 1773 and 1783, the volume o f shipments climbed towards a last peak o f over 1,000 tons, reaching an all-time record at nearly 1,600 tons in 1789. The abrupt interruption o f trade after 1792 makes it impossible to ascertain to what extent the sudden drop in 1790 and 1792 to an average 200 tons was accidental. Throughout the period, wool was almost con­ stantly the major export item o f the échelle, its share to the total value of trade generally set between 30 and 60 %. Falling into the same category o f textile products o f animal origin, a score o f other goods transited through Istanbul on their way to France. Mo­ hair yam (fig. 4.2),-® camel hair,^’ goat hair, horse hair appeared with some regularity but in very marginal quantities. In all o f these cases, Izmir was the major outlet for these products and reduced Istanbul’s share to a negli­ gible proportion. The reason for this enonnous difference lay in the fact carlarm dan {sic) ahz ii tahşî! ve eşyâ’-i raezkure m üste’men Ş ’ifesinin harcı oldığından naşî havâli-i merkümede Türk ve Türkmâne ve İzmîre ve sâ’ir kazalara yapağı vérilmemek ve o m akuleler iştira étmemek üzere bundan akdem evâmir-i 'aliyye-i m üte'addide şeref-şudûr olub hilafına hareket icâb étmez iken bu d e f a Mose Karmona nâm Yahudi ba'z' kimesnelere istinâd"’ havâlî-i merkümeye varub evâmir-i 'aliyye-i mezkureye 'adem -i ita'at birle 'alen “’ yapağı iştirâ sevdâsmda olarak bu takrib ile İzmire naki ü fürûht édecegi âşikâr ve ' â ’idât-ı gümrüge gadr ve hasareti bedidâr olduğundan m a'dâ França tüccârmm dahi yapağı iştirasıyçün yapağı şâhiblerine on beş bin ğurüşdan mütecâviz ber vech-i peşin vérdikleri akçeleri zayi' olacağı emr-i bedihi olmağla m u’ahhar™ vérilen emr-i 'âlinifi kaydı derkenar ve manzür-ı devletleri buyuruidukda Yahüdi-i mesfurufi hilâf-ı evâmir-i şerife vâki' olan hareketi m en' ve nizâm-ı kadimi üzere mücedded“ bir k ıt'a emr-i 'âlişân i'tâ buyurulmak ricâ ve niyaz olunur Bâki emr ü fermân devletin sa'âdetlü Sultânım hazretlerinindir” (AAFC, doc. 61, cahier n° 13, tah-lr # 208). Similar requests are found on several occasions (AAFC, doc. 41, cahier n° 9, entry # 86; doc. 61, c ah iern° 13, tah-ir#20n). -® M ohair yam {tiftik ipliği, rişte-i şöf), obtained fi-om the hair o f the Angora goat, was an exclusive produce o f Ankara. It was used by French textile industries for the fabrication o f buttons, button holes, belts and other accessories (Paris, op. cit., pp. 521-522). The impor­ tance o f French demand for mohair yam is attested by the development o f a side-industry in Ankara specialized in the packaging o f the yam in “small bales proper to Frankish mer­ chants tied up according to the style o f the Franks” ; “Ankarada mütemekkin França tüccârınm öteden berü iştirâ ve diyarlarına gönderdikleri tiftik ipliği Efrenc tâ ’ifesine mahşüş şağir demed bağlanub ve iplik demedlerinin Efrence mahşCş tarz üzere bağlanması başka bir şan 'at olub” (AAFC, doc. 23, cahier n° 11, ^arzıhâl# 180). Cam el’s hair, erroneously called laine de chevron in documents o f the period, origi­ nated from certain Anatolian regions, such as Erzurum and Antalya, but mostly from Persia. It was used in France for the making o f felt hats (Olivier, op. cit., p. ¡98; AN, AE, B‘" 234, État des marchandises, ca 1700; Paris, op. cit., pp. 519-521).

Fig. 4.2 - French exports ofm ohairyam from Istanbul, 1701-1792

that, contrary to sheep’s wool, these animal products originated in remote areas o f Anatolia and even in Persia and depended on the caravan trade. Consequently, it was n o m al that Izmir, as the major interface between westem trade and the caravan routes o f Anatolia, should emerge as the major center for the shipment o f these goods to Europe. Thus, Istanbul re­ ceived only a marginal surplus o f an ongoing trade between the Anatolian hinterland and the Aegean port. In some exceptional cases, this marginal surplus could become significant and even exceed the value o f the tradi­ tionally dominant exports o f sheep’s wool. Such was the case o f mohair yam which, due to its high price, occasionally— and value-wise— sup­ planted sheep’s wool as the major export item o f the échelle (1710-1715; 1734-1736; 1745-1756; 1763-1764; 1773-1776). There is little if any in­ formation as to how and where mohair yam was purchased by French traders. One document alone, requesting the permission for the nation to transport to their stores their mohair stocked at Üsküdar, Yedikule and Eytib— the three major points o f entry for merchandise transported by land into the capital— suggests that it came from the provinces, most probably from Ankara, probably sent by fellow traders established in the central Anatolian town.^® “Galatada ticaret ile mekş üzere olan França tüccarı ber muceb-i 'ahid-narae-i hüm âyûn m âllarıyla iştira eyledikleri ma^lüm“4-m ikdâr yapağı halâ Üsküdar ve Yedi Kule

Silk and textile products o f vegetal origin, another major export item of the Levant, were even more under-represented in Istanbul. Despite the proximity o f Bursa, one o f the major centers o f production and redistribu­ tion o f silk, Istanbul handled only a marginal proportion o f the silk ex­ ported to Marseilles. Shipments o f silk from Istanbul showed a great deal o f irregularity, their volume remaining generally under 5 tons and very ex­ ceptionally reaching peaks o f over 10 tons. Silk trash {bourre de soie) also appeared among the exports o f the échelle, in greater quantities (with occa­ sional peaks o f over 20 tons) but also with even greater irregularity. Istan­ bul was clearly beyond the reach o f the traditional networks o f the silk trade. Traders in Istanbul occasionally sent out agents to westem Anatolia or to Thrace to collect silk and even received some from the island o f Tinos in the Archipelago.^'^ However, shipments were generally insignificant and irregular. Only for a short period between 1763 and 1775 was there a relative increase in the volume and frequency o f transiting silk; the corre­ spondence o f some traders during these years confirms the phenomenon through the rather frequent stating o f current prices for this article.^° But this trend disappeared as suddenly as it had appeared and, by the end o f the century, Istanbul was once again relegated to a completely marginal role in the Levant silk trade. Izmir was once again the major center for exports, attracting silk from Bursa but also from Persia through the caravan trade. The Persian wars had also favored the development o f altemative export centers, such as the Syrian provinces, Cyprus or the Morea. Nevertheless, the Levant silk trade was a declining trade, challenged by the development o f production in France, the competition o f higher-quality silk imported from Italy and, most o f all, the general shift o f the textile industries towards cotton and cotton fabrics.^' ve hazret-i Eyyub Enşâri semtlerinde mevcüd olub Galatada vaki' mahzenlerine naki étmek murad eylediklerinde hammâl başı olan kimesneler bize tenbîh vardır deyu naki étdirmemekle tüccâr-ı mersümenifi müşterâsı olan yapağı-ı merkum mahhâl-ı mezbüreden Galataya ve Galatadan sefinelerine nakline m üm âna'at olunmamak bâbında dergâh-ı m u'allâ yefiiçerileri ağası devletlü paşa hazrederine hitâb“ emr-i 'âlîleri ricâ ve niyâz olunur" (AAFC, doc. 61, cahier n° 13, entry# 151). As illustrated by an ^arzıhal requesting the protection o f an agent sent to Bandırma and Mihaliç for that purpose: “Galatada ticâretle mekş üzere olan França tüccârı tarafindan Bandırma ve Mihalic ve ol havâlîlerde vâki' kazâlarda m eırm ü'âtdan olmayan em ti'a ve eşya iştirasma varan .... nâm Françalunun iştirâ eyledügi harîri Âsitâne-i sa'âdete França tüccarına irsâl ve bunlar kendü mâl-ı müşterâları olan harir-i mezbürı vilâyetleri (sic) canibine göndermek üzere sefinelerine tahmil eylediklerinden” (AAFC, doc. 42, cahier n° 8, ^arzıhâl # 39). See also Olivier, Voyage de l ’Empire othoman, p. 199; ACCM, J 1591, Mémoire des députés, 30 Dec. 1750. ACCM, L IX 704, Correspondence between Arnaud Frères and Roux Frères. Paris, op. cit., pp. 506-510.

Cotton exports were without any doubt the booming trade o f the cen­ tury: totaling 21,000 quintals (approximately 860 tons) at the beginning of the century, they had quintupled by 1790 (107,000 quintals or 4,400 tons in 1786-1789), while their value increased more than eight times from 1.5 million livres in 1700-1702 to 12.8 million in 1786-1789. Also striking was that the evolution o f cotton exports from the Levant corresponded to an identifiable pattem o f ‘colonial’ domination. While cotton yam had ini­ tially represented a volume four times greater than that o f raw cotton, this situation had rapidly been inverted. By the end o f the century, cotton wool, as raw cotton was also called, completely dominated exports in a ten-toone ratio over cotton yam.^- To say that Istanbul followed the same trend would be a gross exaggeration. Although the volume o f cotton exported from this échelle reached unprecedented peaks o f over 150 tons towards the end o f the century, shipments remained extremely marginal with re­ spect to the global trade in this commodity and, most o f all, were so ir­ regular that they cannot even be considered to forni a consistent trend. Raw cotton exported from Istanbul originated in southem Thrace (Enos, Gallip­ oli and the Dardanelles), while the small quantities o f cotton yam that oc­ casionally transited through the Ottoman capital were sent from Edime.^^ Among the remaining goods exported from the Ottoman capital to Mar­ seilles, only three articles deserve special attention due to the relatively im­ portant share they represented in the export trade o f the city or, at least, the relative regularity with which they appeared in the statistics o f the échelle: alum, beeswax and hides. Alum işâb) (fig. 4.3) was a fixating agent indispensable to the dyeing process o f textiles and to the preparation o f hides by tanners. This mineral salt was also provided by European mines, especially those o f Rome, of England and o f Liège. In the Levant, the mines o f Gedos (Gediz, near Kü­ tahya) and Maroniya (near Gümülcine/Komotini) were the principal sources o f alum, together with Makriköy (today’s Bakırköy) in Istanbul, which provided a greasier and better quality product.^“* Shipments from Ispp. 510-515. Olivier, op. c it, p. 196. It is worth noting that cotton yam from Edim e was generally dyed in red according to a technique which was kept a secret by dyemakers o f the city. The quality o f this madder-root red was such that French cotton textiles from Rouen were occa­ sionally sent to the Levant in order to be dyed. It is only with Flachat’s mission to the Le­ vant from which he came back with two Greek workers from Edim e that the French were fi­ nally able to imitate this process with some success (Paris, op. cit., p. 525). Masson, X V If, p. xxxiv; Paris, op. cit., p. 526; 1. H. Uzunçarşılı, Osmanli Tarihi, v. IV, part 2, p. 578; S. Faroqhi, “Alum Production and Alum Trade in the Ottoman Empire (about 1560-1830),” Wiener Zeitschriftfiir die Kunde des M orgenlandes,l\ (1979), pp. 153-175.

Fig. 4.3 - French exports o f alum from Istanbul, 1701-1792

tanbul, although frequent, were extremely irregular and ceased completely after 1775. They were extremely limited in comparison to the quantities sent from Izmir whose proximity to the Gediz mines made it the prime ex­ port center for this product. Despite occasional peaks o f over 100 tons, alum exports from Istanbul represented an average o f some 25 tons over the entire century, while Izmir alone exported almost 200 tons every year towards the end o f the century.^^ In the case o f the Ottoman capital, it seems that the interest for alum exports lay in the combination o f the proximity o f the Makrikoy and Maroniya mines— although the product o f the latter was often exported from Karaağaç^®— and o f the fact that alum was useful as ballast material for ships leaving empty the port o f Istanbul.^’ An interesting aspect o f the alum trade was that the şâbhânes (alum mines) o f Gediz and Maroniya mentioned above were farmed out as malikanes to female members o f the Imperial household and were managed by emins (managers) or kethüdam (stewards) with whom the French nation passed contracts for the purchasing o f fixed quantities o f alum. Thus, to­ ward 1758, Amaud, a French trader in Istanbul, complained to the Porte that İbrahim Agha, emîn o f the Maroniya şâbhâne had failed to fulfil the

Masson, op. cit., p. 526, statistical references for Istanbul. For alum supply contracts to the French nation, see n. 38 and 40 below. S. Faroqhi, “Alum Production,” p. 153.

conditions o f a contract which entitled him to an annual 3,200 kantar (180 tons) o f alum for three consecutive years between March 1757 and Febru­ ary 1759.3* Even more explicit in this respect was the contract dated Şa'^bân, 1181 (Dec. 1767-Jan. 1768) passed between French traders and ^Ömer and Hüseyin Aghas, representing the interests o f Şah Sultan and Mihr Sultan,^'^ the beneficiaries o f the Gediz and Maroniya mines. It speci­ fied that the French were entitled to an annual 7,800 kantar (440 tons) o f alum at 10 ğurüş! kantar, for a period o f four years extending from March 1766 to February 1769.'*® 3* “Galatada ticâretle mekş üzere olan França tüccarından A m av (Am aud) nâm tâcir Gümulcine kurbinde vâki' M aroniya şâbhâne emîni İbrâhîm Ağa nam kimesneden biñ yüz yetmiş senesi martı ibtidâsından yetmiş iki senesi şubatı gayetine gelince beher sene yalñiz üç biñ ikiyüz kantar kalburh şâb teslim ve üç sene tamâmına değin ahara fürüht eylememek üzere ve fürüht éder ise tâcir-i mersümuñ meşârifıni tazmin zımnında beher kantarından bâzırgân-ı mezbüra vérmek üzere emln-i merkum ile bâzırgân-ı mesfur beyinlerinde kavi ü karâr ve bu veçhile bâzırgân-ı mesfîlrufi yedine üç sene tamamına değin vech-i meşrüh üzere memhür ve mümzâ âver ü zabt temessügi vérilüb hilâfına tarafeynden hareket îcâb étmez iken emin-i merkum ta'ahhüd eylediği şabdan hâlâ altı biñ k a n Ş r vérecegi var iken ahara furülıt ile França tâcirine külli ğadr olmağla bâzırgân-ı mersümuñ yedinde olan memhür ve mumzâ zabt temessügi mücebince emin-i merkümuñ zimmeti olan sSlif-z-zikr altı biñ kantar şâbı bâzırgân-ı mesfura teslim olunmak bâbında emr-i 'âlileri ricâ ve niyaz olunur” (AAFC, doc. 35, cahier n° 4, ^arzıhâl# 102). Probably Şah SuhSn (21 Apr. 1761-11 March 1803), daughter o f Sultan Mustafa III and o f Mihrişâh Kadın, married in 1768 to Yağlıkcızâde Nişancı Hâcı Mehmed Emin Pasha (1723-1769) and Mihrişâh Sultan (9 Jan. 1763-21 Feb. 1769), daughter o f Sultan Muştafa III and 'A y n “-l-hayât Kadın (Y. Öztuna, Devletler ve Hânedânlar, v. 2, Türkiye (1074-1990) (Ankara, 1990), pp. 231-235). It is worth noting that these princesses were extremely young. “Ba'is-i tahrir-i hurOf oldur ki hâlâ kethüdâhklan hizmet-i celileleriyle müstesa'ad olduk­ ları seyyidet'-l-muhadderât' tâc'-l-mestürâti kerîmeteyn-i muhteremeyn hazret-i şehinşâhi dev­ letlü 'işm etlü Şâh Sultân ve Mihr Sultân 'aleyhima-ş-şân efendilerimiz hazretleriniñ ber vech-i malikâne iştirak”’ 'uhde-i 'aliyyelerinde olan Anatolıda Gedos ve Rümélide Maroniya şâbhâneleri mukâta'alarınm zabti huşüşı 'uhde-i şerifelerine ihale ve tevflz olunan şadr-ı a'zam kethüdâ-yı 'alileri sa'âdetlü 'Ö m er Ağa hazretleri ve sa'âdetlü Hüseyin Ağa hazretleri ile zeyl-i vesikada muharrer“-l-esâmi olan França bâzırgânlar bendeleri beyninde bu d e fa 'a k d olunan mukâvele muktezâsınca sâlif-z-zikr Gedos şâbhânesinden İzmir iskelesinden tahmil eylemek üzere üç biñ ikiyüz kantar ve Rümélide vâki' Maroniya şâbhânesinden Kara Ağaç iskelesinden tahmil eylemek üzere dört biñ sekiz yüz kanŞr min hayş"-l-mecmü' gayr ez baş yalñiz yedi biñ sekiz yüz kantar şâb beher kanŞ n onar ğurüşa olmak üzere iştirâsına işbu biñ yüz seksân senesi martı ibtidâsından seksan iki senesi şubatı gayetine dek üç sene bir tahvil ile tâlib oldığımıza binâ“" üç sene tamâm oldukda mühlet zamm olunan dört ay zarfında ahari tâlib oldığı şüretde bu bendelerine haber vérilüb i'tibâr éder isek yine bizlere verilmek ve i'tibâr etmez isek tâlib-i aharine vérilmek ve alacağımız şâb-ı mezkûrdan üç sene ile dört ay zarfında bir vukiyyesini França mem[le]ketinden ğayri ahar mahalle fürüht eylediğimizde ne mikdâr ise beher vukiyyesine ikişer ğurüş nezri tarafımızdan cânib-i miriye ve ağavât-ı mümâ ileyhim taraflanndan França memleketi içün ahara fürüht olunur ise kezâlik beher vukiyyesine bu ben­ delerine ikişer ğurüş vérilmek şartiyle taraf-ı bendelerine der 'uhde ve ilzam ve taraf-ı ben­ delerinden iltizâm ve kabül olunmağla işbü temessük ketb ü tahrir ve yed-i mümâ ileyhimaya i 'a olunub ve mârr"-z-zikr gayr ez bâş yalñiz yedi biñ sekiz yüz kantâr şâbm bahâsı olan yetmiş sekiz biñ ğurüşdan altmış tokuz biñ ğurüşı fesçi tüccânndan bâ-temessük havâlet“ ve tokuz biñ

Fig. 4.4 - French exports ofbeesw ax from Istanbul, 1701-1792

The other two export items, beeswax and hides, were of a much more mundane nature. Beeswax ^asel, balmumu)— described by the French as cire ja une (yellow wax) since it was destined to be whitened in France before it was fashioned into wax-candles— could be found in al­ most every échelle o f the Levant. However, Istanbul had the greatest share, varying between 30 and 50 Shipments ofbeesw ax from Istanbul were again rather irregular, occasionally reaching peaks o f inore than 80 tons. On the average, some 28 tons were exported yearly (fig. 4.4).''^ Most of this wax came from Bulgaria and from the Danubian region.'^^ If some ğuruşa bir k ifa sekiz kırat bırlânta işleme elmas taş bahâsmdan mikdâr-ı mezbOr şâbın bahâsı olan yetmiş sekiz bin ğurüşı tamâm“' mümâ ileyhimâya bu veçhile edâ olunmak üzere taraf-ı şeriflerinden kabül olunmağın şâb-ı mezbOrun mikdâr-ı merkümı mahhâl-i mezbüreden d e f af" yâhüd ceste ceste kavlimiz üzere bâlâda mesffir üç sene dört ay zarfında ahz ü tahmil étdirilmesine tarafimızdan mute'^ahhid olunub kâ'ide-i m er'iyye üzere tahmili içün m u'tâd olan mektüb-ı emr-üslüblan vérilmek tarafı mümâ ileyhimâdan karâr vérilmekle işbu mukavele müşahede vech-i meşrüh üzere üç sene dört ay va^desine değin mer^i tutulmak şartiyle tahrîr ve imza olundı ft Ş sene 1181” (AAFC, doc. 35, cahier n° 4, entry # 14, Dec. 1767-Jan. 1768). Paris, op. 67Ï., p. 531. ACCM , J 190 to 211, Correspondance des députés. États du commerce de l’échelle de Constantinople, 1718-1792. Olivier, op. cit., p. 200; ACCM, J 1591, M émoire des députés, 30 Dec. 1750. Petitions o f the am bassador to the Porte conceming beeswax mention Silistre, Timova, Vama, Ismail and Bükreş (AAFC, doc. 61, cahier n° 13, entries # 87, 101, 121). On one occasion only does one find mention o f French purchases ofbeesw ax in Anatolia (Kütahya, Tavşanlı and

Fig. 4,5 - French exports o f leather and hides from Istanbul, 1701-1792

early indications exist that the French purchased this wax in Istanbul it­ s e l f , i t seems that a system similar to that o f wool was soon organized, involving a close collaboration between the nations o f Constantinople and Adrianople and the use o f local agents and brokers dispatched to the waxproduction centers o f the region, as in the case o f the Greek merchant Di­ mitri Andrea Polidamas Astiti from Bucharest.'*^ Karahisar Sahib) organized by traders established in Bursa {¡bid, entry # 100). ^ A letter dated from 1121 specifies that the French and the Venetians usually purchased and exported 80,000 o f the 100,000 okkas o f wax that came yearly to Istanbul (ACCM, J 194, Correspondance des députés, Surian and Jougla to the Chamber o f Commerce, 17 Feb. 1727). “[...] França tüccarının balmumi iştirasına istihdam eyledikleri simsarları” as mentioned in a hüküm to the kâdis o f İstanbul and Galata requesting the protection from abuses o f agents of the French entrusted with the purchasing o f beeswax (AAFC, doc. 6, cahier sans numéro, hüküm # 46, Evâhir-i Cemâzf-l-evvel 1139 (13-23 Jan. M il)); “Edimede ticâretle mekş üzere olan Lasal [Lasale] ve Pelet [Pellet] nâm França tüccân Selman Liyav ve Karagöz oğh Muşa ve Azarya Lora ve Abraham nam dört nefer simsârlannı öteden berü beher sene ohgeldigi üzere nuknd akçeleriyle şem '-i 'asel iştirasıyçün Silistre tarafına gönderdiklerinde [...]” {!bid., doc. 61, cahier n° 13, taİp-îr n° 87); “Edimede ticâretle mekş üzere olan Laşal [Lasale] ve şeriki Pelet [Pellet] nâm França tacirleri França diyânndan getürdükleri emti'ayı Silistre ve Tımova ve Varna havalilerinde bey' ve semeniyle şem '-i 'asel ve memnü'atdan olmayan sâ’ir em ti'a iştirâ ve Edimeye işâl eylemek içün Salamon Liyov nâm bir nefer simsârlannı havâlî-i merkümeye irsal iradesinde olmalarıyla [...]” {Ibid., ^arzıhâl# 101); “İstanbul ve Edimede ticâret ile mekş üzere olan França tüccarı França diyarından getürdükleri emti'ayı bey' ü furüht ve semeniyle cild-i emeb ve şem '-i 'asel ve sâ’ir memnü'âtdan olmayan eşya iştirâ ve Edime ve Asitâne-i Sa'adete îşâl eylemek üzere istihdam eyledikleri Bükreşde mukim Dimtriyo Andriya Polidama Astiti nam bir nefer müste’men França tüccân mersümünun umünyla İsmâ'il ve Bükreş ve

Even more than beeswax or alum, animal hides (tig. 4.5) were a major specialty o f the Ottoman capital, which it shared only with Egypt and, to­ wards the end o f the century, the Morea. Most o f these hides were exported raw and salted, in order to be processed in the tanneries o f Provence and Marseilles where they were used essentially for the manufacturing o f soles, shoes and belts.'*® Consisting mostly o f cow and buffalo hides {cild-i gav, cild-i cdmüs, cild-i bakar), they originated in the capital city itself but also in Rumelia and in the Danubian region, mainly in Nicopolis (Niğbolu), Bulgaria, Bessarabia, Moldavia and Wallachia."^’ French traders in Edime played again a central role in this trade, as they generally sent these hides to Rodosto (Rodoscuk, Tekfurdağı) from where they were shipped to Is­ tanbul by boat.'** This trade started, however, to decline drastically by the end o f the 1730s and almost completely disappeared in the second half o f the century. The reason for this dramatic change was a combination o f sev­ eral negative developments. On the one hand, hides from the Levant were gradually replaced by products from the colonies o f America, while at the same time, the tanneries o f southem France were subjected to new regula­ tions imposing the use o f costly drugs and to increasingly heavy duties.'*^ On the other hand, the Rumelian supply o f hides increasingly fell under the pressure o f Venetian and Ragusan merchants who enjoyed a more direct access to the regions o f production.^® A few decades later, the échelle re­ covered from this loss by shifting towards a new product o f the same kind, hare skins {cild-i erneb), which after some timid attempts in the 1770s rapidly rose to over 50 tons every year by the mid-1780s. These skins had found a profitable outlet in the hat industry and were used particularly in the fabrication o f fine felt hats.^' As a result, Istanbul rose to a first position havalilerde geşt Ü güzâr eylediği mahallerde [...]” {Ibid., ^arzıhâl# 121). M asson, X F //', pp. xxxiv-xxxv; Paris, op. cit., pp. 526-527. AN, AE, B‘", 234, État des marchandises, ca 1700; Olivier, op. cit., p. 197. The Imperial decree confirming the exemption o f these hides from all sorts o f duties ob­ tained by ambassador d ’Andrezel clearly illustrates the network thus established: “ [...] França tâcirleriniiî Edime etrafindan akçeleriyle iştira édüb ^arabalanyla Tekfîîrtâgma ve andan kayıklarile Istanbula getürüb sefinelere vaz^ ve Françaya irsal [...]” (AAFC, doc. 6, cahier sans numéro, hüküm # 27, pp. 5-6, Evâ'il-i Ramazân 1137/14-23 May 1725). Another document shows that this network relied on the participation o f a (probably local) merchant in Tekfurdağı: “Edimede ticâretle mekş üzere olan França tüccarı akçeleriyle iştira ve cem ' eyledikleri cild-i câmüs ve cild-i bakar ve sâ’ir emti'alarınm ber mflcib-i 'ahid-nâme-i hümâyûn gümrügin edâ ve yedlerine eda tezkirelerin alub edâ tezkireleriyle em tiV i merkömeyi Asitâne-i Sa'âdetde olan şeriklerine işâl olunmak içün Tekfurtağında Françaludan îstanislas nâm tâcire irsâl eyle­ diklerinde [...]” {ibid., doc. 41, cahier n° 9, entry #121). Paris, op. cit., p. 527. ACCM, J 1591, Mémoire des députés, 30 Dec. 1750. . Paris, op. cit., p. 527.

among leather- and skins-exporting échelles, this item accounting for 20 to 30 % o f the value o f its exports.^^ Although these hare skins were generally described as originating in R u s s i a , t h e y were brought to Istanbul from a wide range o f localities in Anatolia and Rumelia. The way in which they were collected was similar to that o f other products already mentioned, such as wool and beeswax. Agents sent to the countryside purchased them in the name o f the nation o f Constantinople or in that o f merchants from other échelles and would then send them to the Ottoman capital.^"' By 1786, this trade had developed to the point o f requiring the passing of a contract between the owner o f the hare skins mâlikàne mukata^a (taxfarm) and the French ambassador, confimiing the rights o f French traders to acquire hare skins and guaranteeing the former against potential evasion from duties on this product.^^ Ibid., statistical sources. ” Ib id , p. 528. The document conceming beeswax in Bucharest and Ismail also included hareskin purchases as part o f the attributions o f the Greek agent o f the French nations o f Constan­ tinople and Adrianople (see n. 45 above). Similar documents were issued concem ing pur­ chases in Mihaliç, Kermasti, Bandırma (AAFC, doc. 61, cahier n° 13, ^arzihsl # 99), Kütah­ ya, {Ibid., # 100, 163), Tavşanlı, Karahisar {Ibid., # 100), Belgrade, Salonika {Ibid., # 102), Konya, {Ibid., # 163, 185) Sivas, Erzurum {Ibid., # 164) and Ankara {Ibid., # 170). AAFC, doc. 61, cahier n° 13, entry # 40.“Sâbikâ kethüdâ-yi şadr-ı a'zam 'A bdı Beg ile França élçisi beyninde karâr-dâde olan mukavelenin senedidir Vech-i tahrîr-i hurOf budur ki ber vech-i malikâne iştirak“ m utasarrıf oldıgımız cild-i erneb m ukâta'asım n iktiza éden resm-i mîrîsini tahşîl içün resm-i mezbOrun tahşîldârıyla cülüd-ı merkümeyi iştira éden França tüccarı beyninde gâh be gâh m ünâza'a vâki' olmakdan nâşî huşOş-ı merkum Asitâne-i Sa'âdetde mukîm ragbetlü França élçisi dostumuz ile müzâkere ve fimâ b a 'd tarafeyne nâfi' hüsn-i nizâma ifrağ olunması mülahaza olundukda vech-i âtîy"z-zikr üzere beynim izde kavi ü karâr olunmuşdur Evvela işbu bin ikiyüz senesinin rüz-ı kâsımından i'tibâr ile Edim e ve Selanik ve Brusa ve Ankara ve Boğaz Hişârları ve İzmir ve Bahr-ı Sefıdifi sâ’ir iskelelerinde mekş üzere olan França tüccân cülüd-ı em eb cem ' ü tedârikine 'al'-l-itlâk ve 'al'-l-'um üm m e’zün ve murah­ has olub ne mahalden ve ne mikdâr üzere celb ü iştirâ éderler ise gerek kendüleri ve gerek istihdam eyledikleri simsârları ve sâ’ir âdemleri tahşîldâran tarafından ve taraf-ı ahardan vech“’ m in'-l-vücüh ta'arruz ve m üm âna'at olunmayalar Şaniy‘" Françalu tüccâr-ı mesfurün tâ ’rih-i merkumdan başlayarak cem ' ü iştirâ édecekleri beher cild-i em ebden birer buçuk akçe resm-i mîrîsi cem 'ine m e’mürlara eda ve yedlerinde edâ tezkiresi olmadıkça cülüd-ı emebi sefinelerine tahmil ve irsâl étmeyüb ancak cülüd-ı merkümeyi kaçırmak töhmetine sebeb vérdikleri takdirce ibrâz eyledikleri defterlerine i'timâd olunmayub mahhâl-i merkümenin gümrükleri defterlerine m ürâca'at ve hileleri şâbit olur ise ikişer para resm-i mirisi ahz ve sâ’ire mucib-i 'ib ret içün élçileri taraflarından dahi te ’dîbât-ı lâyıkaları icra oluna Şâliş'" M âdâm ki Françalu tüccâr-ı mersümûn câniblerinden bâlâda meşrüh şurût-ı nizâm mücebince şadâkat ve istikâmet m u'teber tutulub fimâ b a 'd nizâm-ı merkumun hüsn-i temşiyyetini ba'd'-l-m ülâhaza ve-l-müşâhede mukaddemâ Rum éli ve Anatolının üç kollarına başka başka vérilen yed-i vâhid evâmiri kaydını terkin ve bâlâlarına mukavelemizi hâvi işbu senedi dere étdirmege m üte'ahhid oldıgımız ecilden işbu senedi tahrir ve imzâ ve França él­ çisi dostumuza i 'Ş eyleyüb élçi-i mümà ileyh tarafından dahi şurüt-ı merkümeyi mütezam-

Among leather exports, a small but symbolically important proportion consisted o f processed leather. Morocco-leather {sahtiyan), cordwain {gön), made o f goat’s skin prepared with sumach or gall-nuts for the for­ mer and with tanner’s bark for the latter, were typical examples o f these popular leather products which French tanners could rarely imitate with comparable success.^® Shagreen {sağrı), was one o f the most demanded kinds o f leather for its use in bookbinding. The product, made o f the croup o f mules, horses or asses worked with mustard seeds, was so exotic to French consumers, that early in the century, many believed it was made of the hide o f a local animal called chagrin; ambassador de Ferriol had even to assure his brother that he “had never heard that there should be an ani­ mal by that name.”^’ As in the case o f imports, a multitude o f rather insignificant other prod­ ucts could be added to the list. Drugs, spices and dyestuffs typically repre­ sented a wide spectrum o f goods the value o f which rarely exceeded 1 % o f all exports.^* Some box-wood, used for the fabrication o f combs,^® some copper from Tokat,'’®and shipments o f various products such as mother of pearl, tobacco, sponges, razor stones, rice, coffee or smoked tongues oc­ curred very sporadically and in negligible quantities. min irengîy“-l-'ibâre başka bir sened ahz ve 'indim izde ibkâ olunmuşdur” Masson, X V lf, p. xxxviii; Olivier, op. cit., p. 197. Masson, XVIF, p. xxxvii; “[¡e n ’ai] pas ouy dire q u ’il y ait un animal de ce nom” ([de Ferriol], Correspondance du marquis de Ferriol ambassadeur de Louis X IV à Constantino­ p le (Antwerp, 1870), p. 356). Drugs and spices: agaric {garikün), ammonia (nişâdır), aniseed {anison, anason), assa fœtida {şeytân tersi), Mecca balsam (pelesenk yağı), deer hom s (geyik boynuzu), Armenian bolus (kilermeni), fish glue (balık zamkı), colocynth (ebücehil karpuzu), incense (akgünlük), galbanum (kasnı), gum ammoniac (çadır uşağı), gum arabic (zamk-ı ^arahı), litharge (mürdeseng), mastic (muştaki, sakız), myrobalan (hellle), myrrh (mürr), vomic-nut (karğabüken), opium (afyon), opopanax (gSvşir), alkanet (havacıva), rhapontic (râvend-i rûmi), rhubarb (râvend-i çını), saf&on (safran), salep (jahlep), scammony (mahmudiye), ammonia salt (nişâdır tuzu), savory (zaUer), santonica (şeyh horasanı), senna (sinameki), China root (çüb-ı çim ), styrax (mey^a), turpeth (mavi papatya), vitriol (zâc), xylobalsamum (pelesenk ağacı). DyestufFs: oak-nuts (meşe palamudu), gall-nuts (mazı), orpiment (zırnıl^. M ost o f these products were o f oriental origin and French traders m ost probably purchased what amounted to a marginal surplus o f the imports o f the capital city (worth some 400,000 ğurüş according to Anthoine’s report o f the end o f the century, see Chapter One, n. 39). These purchases were obviously very irregular in nature, and were disrupted even more during times o f troubles at the Persian border; “Depuis la guerre entre les Turcs et les Per­ sans il ne vient presque plus par les carravanes de la bonne r[h]ubarbe, et l ’on y a substitué une sorte de racine appellée r[h]apontic [...]” (ACCM,- H 130, Drogues et médicaments (1727-1785), Mémoire de la Chambre du Commerce de M arseille au sujet des drogues ve­ nant du Levant, ca 1730). For more details on this trade, see Eldem “Herbes,” pp. 125-138. Masson, XVIF, p. xxxiv. Olivier, op. c it, p. 201.

Manufactured goods were practically absent from exports. Apart from some processed leather goods mentioned above, small quantities o f textiles also transited through Istanbul on their way to Marseilles.®' In fact, during the first decades o f the century, local and oriental fabrics made up an ap­ proximate tenth o f the value o f exports from the échelle and up to a quarter o f all manufactured textile exports from the Levant. This situation was ex­ tremely short-lived however, as Aleppo developed into the main center o f exports for these commodities.®- Constituting another category o f manu­ factured objects, copper coffee utensils from Trabzon, such as cups and pots,®^ appeared occasionally among export goods. However, even this in­ significant item seemed to disappear as coffee gradually started to lose its exotic character in France and consequently came to be served with west­ em implements.®"* O f a different and somewhat exceptional nature, wheat was an impor­ tant export item o f the Ottoman lands even if it rarely appeared in the sta­ tistical tables kept by the French administration. What made this trade ex­ ceptional was that the Porte was extremely sensitive to the risks o f grain shortages. As a result, wheat was the object o f its most stringent provisionist policies, generally in the form o f systematic bans on the export of this commodity. However, the pressure exerted by the French demand for grain®^ was strong enough to bypass this obstacle either through an occa­ sional relaxation o f drastic regulations or, more often, through the estab­ lishment o f a most efficient contraband network. This network was cen­ tered in the Aegean Sea, especially in the islands o f the Archipelago,®® ®' Among fabrics and textiles exported from Istanbul, the principal were Indian muslins and calicoes, camelots' from Ankara (şöf), and a great variety o f other cotton textiles such as muhayyer, germsüd, çitan, kutnl, alaca, s e v â ’î and kalemkâri (Flachat, op. cit., pp. 294-296; M. Esiner Özen, “Türkçe’de Kumaş Adları,” İstanbul Üniversitesi Edebiyat Fakültesi Tarih Dergisi, 33 (1980-1981), pp. 291-340). ®^ A leppo’s share increased from 48 % in 1705-1714 to 68 % in 1732-1740 and 82 % in 1766-¡772, while that o f Istanbul fell well below I % from the 1730s on (K. Fukasawa, Toilerie et commerce du Levant d ’A lep à Marseille (Paris, 1987), pp. 21, 24, 26, 34). ®^ Olivier, op. cit., p. 201. H. Desmet-Grégoire, Le divan magique. L ’Orient turc en France au XVIIF siècle (Paris, 1980), pp. 75, 80-82. ®^ Paris, op. c it, p. 536; Carrière and Courdurié, “Marseille sauvant Paris de la famine,” Histoire, Économies, Sociétés (Lyons, 1977), pp. 17-70. France was still subject to occa­ sional risks o f famine during the eighteenth century, especially in times o f bad harvests and o f war, and had to rely on foreign imports o f grain. Marseilles contributed to this provi­ sioning with imports from the Barbary Coast and the Levant. ®®The fact that most o f the Levantine w heat originated from the Aegean islands does not mean that it was produced locally but rather that these islands were used as granaries for w heat produced in the mainland (Anatolia and Greece) or even in the Black Sea (Paris, op. cit., pp. 537-538). This is confirmed by the fact that imperial wheat {mîrî mübâya^a hmtasi)

__ ___

where French ships could load their cargo far from the scrutiny o f Ottoman authorities or, on the contrary, with the compliance or complicity o f local officials who could thus derive considerable benefits from this collabora­ tion.®’ Thus, some 40 to 50 thousand charges o f wheat (approximately 5 to 6,000 tons) left the Ottoman lands for France every year, reaching an ex­ ceptional average o f over 200,000 charges (24,000 tons) in 1750-1754.®* The significant decrease o f this trade towards the end o f the century (to a mere 15,000 charges in 1786-1789) seems to have been the result o f the combination o f the negative effect o f growing Greek piracy in the Aegean and o f the Russian advance in the Black Sea, cutting off the grain supply from this region.®^ The role o f Istanbul in the wheat trade was minimal, at least in terms of actual shipments o f this commodity. The ledgers o f the Bureau de la Santé mention only very occasional arrivals o f wheat shipments directly from Istanbul. Most wheat exports originated in the neighboring regions of Thrace or in the Black Sea region.™ However, when it came to the general organization o f this trade, especially within the context o f officially sanc­ tioned shipments to France, the ambassador had to take up the matters per­ sonally, combining diplomacy with a tactfiil distribution o f gifts and prestransported by French ships to the capital in the second h alf o f the century was loaded fi'om ports o f the Marmara (Rodoscuk for w heat coming from Keşan, İpsala or even Sofia), o f the region o f Salonika (Selanik, Golos, Karaağaç), o f the Euboea (Talanda, Azdin), o f the Morea (Nauplia), o f Anatolia (Kuşadası) or o f Syria (Trablus Şam), but never from any o f the Aegean islands {PJKVC, passim). ®’ Corruption seems to have been an integral and necessary part o f grain smuggling in the Ottoman lands, reaching as high as the office o f the Kapudan Paşa who controlled the entire area (Paris, op. cit., p. 536). Ib id , p. 537. ®^ Ibid., pp. 537-538. The latter development should be related to the sudden appearance o f grain cargoes transported on Russian ships in the 1780s: 2 in 1784, 6 in 1785, 14 in 1786 and 22 in 1787 (ACCM, L I 114-117, Bureau de la Santé, livres des recettes, 1784-1787). ’° ACCM, L I 33-122, Archives du Bureau de la Santé comptes de quarantaine et livres des recettes, 1700-1792. These archives mention the following occurrences: 5 1768 1 1727 8 1740 1 1706 1741 1728 3 1 1774 1 1742 1 I 7 1729 1710 2 1743 3 1711 2 1730 1 1776 1 1753 1 2 1734 1717 1784 2 6 1 1785 1763 1737 1 1722 5 14 1786 1738 2 4 1723 1787 22 1765 2 1 1739 It is worth reminding here that the 1784-1787 figures refer exclusively to Russian ships having transited through Istanbul on their way to Marseilles (see n. 69 above).

ents to the highest dignitaries o f the state. Thus, in 1704, ambassador Fer­ riol could boast to the Chamber o f Commerce that more than two thousand ships had loaded wheat from the Ottoman lands in the preceding five years and that despite certain difficulties under the grand vizirate o f Rami Mehmed Pasha, he had been able to preserve this trade thanks to numerous gifts to high-ranking officials o f the Porte.’' About a year later, he was forced to admit to the difficulties he had experienced in maintaining this trade as the price o f wheat had rocketed both in Istanbul and the i s l a n d s . ’ ^ The attitude o f the Ottoman govemment with respect to grain exports was essentially dictated by the harvests and the consequent level o f stocks available for its short- and medium-term provisionist policies. The excep­ tionally good harvest o f 1709-1710 had pushed the Porte into accepting a deal with the French, offering large quantities o f wheat to be loaded in Rodoscuk and Istanbul, in retum for a total o f eighty anchors destined for the Imperial arsenal.’^ A similar arrangement was reached in the 1750s, thanks to the mediation o f the baron de Tott, foreseeing the sale o f two warships two the Porte against a shipment o f 80,000 kiles o f w h e a t . S u c h legal shipments remained, however, rather occasional. A quick glance at the dif­ ficulties involved in obtaining the permission and agreement o f both the central and local authorities helps understand why the smuggling option seemed to have been much more popular. Thus, in the 1770s, the French ambassador applied to the Porte for the permission to purchase some ACCM, J 153, Correspondance de de Ferriol, de Ferriol to the Chamber o f Commerce, 5 Apr. 1704. ‘M’ay été obligé de faire beaucoup de dépenses pour maintenir le commerce des bleds que la Porte vouloit rompre absolument, la cherté estant devenüe plus grande non seulement dans l’Archipel mais encore à Constantinople” (Ibid, J 154, Correspondance de de Ferriol, de Ferriol to the Chamber o f Commerce, 16 Oct. 1705), Ibid., J 155, Correspondance de Ferriol, de Ferriol to the Chamber o f Commerce, 1 June and 26 Aug. 1709; J 177, Correspondance des secrétaires, chanceliers etc. de l’ambas­ sade, Belin to the Chamber o f Commerce, 14 July 1710. The fact that some o f this wheat was loaded on French ships in Istanbul was described as “unprecedented." One can easily imagine that such an action would have brought a high risk o f popular resentm ent in the midst o f the most crowded city o f the Empire, where grain acquired an even greater sym­ bolic value in the eyes o f the population. “Halâ Alikomada mevcud olan iki k ıt'a cenk señne[si]niñ iştirâ ve Âsitâne-i Sa'âdete tesyîri matlüb-ı Devlet-i 'A liyye olduğmı baş tercümânım bendeleri vesatetiyle bu dâ'îlerine işaret buyurduklarm a binâ"" huşüş-ı mezburufi temşiyyeti içün França Devleti tarafma tahrîr ve sefineteyn-i merkOmeteyniñ kıymetleri olmak üzere seksân biñ Istambulî keyl hınta bu dâ'îlerine teslîm olunub İnşâ-llâh' te'âlâ 'akl ile d e f i musavver olmayan m âni' zuhür étmez ise seflneteyn-i mezküreteyn bundan evvel Tot [Tott] bendeleri takdim eylediği takriri m ücebince âlât-ı mecmO'aları ile Âsitâne-i Sa'âdete vürüd édecekleri iştibâh-ı dâ'îleri ol­ madığını m a'lüm -ı devletleri buyurulmak babında işbu takrir-i şadâkat-muşîr huzür-ı 'âlîlerine 'a rz ü takdîm olundı” (AAFC, doc. 41, cahier n° 9, entry # 95).

80,000 kiles o f wheat (approximately 5,900 tons) at two ğurüş per kile, on grounds that France was suffering from a severe famine.'^^ However, when three French ships were effectively sent to Azdin with a permission for only 26,000 kiles (approximately 1,900 tons), they were turned down by the local voyvoda who claimed he had no stocks available.’® When the French were finally able to load the said 26,000 kiles, it was only to dis­ cover that they would be charged 87 para per kile instead o f the market price o f 72, despite the fact that the agreement had been made on the basis o f the market price. It appeared that the voyvoda s n a ’ib (deputy) had arbi­ trarily imposed the price {narh) o f 80 para and added 7 para as a due ac­ cruing to the govemor o f the Euboea {Ağrıboz valisi kapu harci)P Despite such difficulties, and thanks to the rising prestige and popularity o f France in the second half o f the century— a result o f its mediation efforts during the Peace o f Belgrade and its friendly neutrality during the Russian conflicts— such shipments continued, even if they remained often rather symbolic.’®However, during the last decades o f the eighteenth century, the French nation and its ambassador were to find their real advantage in a dif­ ferent forni o f grain trade: that o f provisioning the imperial capital from the “Bu sene-i mübâreke França memleketinde zehâ’irin kıllet ve eşedd lüzümı oldığma bina’“' Devlet-i 'A liyye-i ebed-peyvend ile França Devleti beyninde cereyan éden müvâlât ve m uşâftta ri'âyet™ bu d e f a kilesi ikişer gurüş olmak üzere seksân bifi keyl hmtanın França diyarma nakline müsâ‘ade-i 'aliyyeleri [...]” (AAFC, doc. 41, cahier n° 9, Registre des pétitions de l ’ambassadeur, entry # 83) “França memleketinde bu sene-i mübârekede zahirenin killet ve eşedd lüzümi olmagla Azdin iskelesinden igirmi alti bin keyl hmta üç k if a França sefinesine tahmil ve França diyarma nakl olunmak içün Azdin voyvodası Y usuf Ağa kullarına hitâb“ şadır olan emr-i 'âîîşâna bina’“ bu dâhileri tarafından üç k ıf a França sefinesi ta'^yın ve irsal ve sefa’in-i mezkOre mahall-i m erkum a vürudlarında yedlerine i'tâ buyurulan emr-i 'â lî ibraz eyledik­ lerinde bende hm ta yokdur deyu voyvoda-i merkum kapudân-ı mersümlara cevâb vérdigi [..]” (/Wrf,, entry # 93> ' “Bu d e f a Azdin iskelesinden França diyarına nakline m üsâ'ade-i 'aliyyeleri erzâm buyurulan yigirmi altı bin keyl hmta üç k ı f a França sefa’inine tahmil ve s i'r rayici üzere be­ her kilesi seksân yedişer pareden iştirâ eylediği m üş'ir Azdin voyvodası kullan huzür-ı 'âlilerine bir k ı f a i'lâm 'a rz ü takdim eyleyüb ancak França sefö’ini Azdin iskelesine hin-i vürüdlarm da beyn'-n-nâs b e y ' ü furüht olunan hıntanm s i'r râyici beher kilesi yetmiş iki pâre iken hınta-i m ezkün sefa’in-i mezküreye tahmiline m übâşeret olundukda voyvoda-i m erkum Âsitâne-i Sa'adetde bulunmagla ol tarafda bulunan âdemi hıntanm beher kilesi seksâner pâre narh vérdiginden m â'dâ Agriboz vâlisinifi kapu harcı nâmiyle beher kilesi yedişer pare zam m eylediğini [...]” {Ibid., entry # 147). W riting some years after the Revolution, Olivier expressed in the following way what he saw as the gratitude France owed to Ottoman support through grain exports in the times o f duress under the Revolutionary Wars: “La France ne doit pas oublier que lorsqu’elle était menacée de toutes parts, pendant la révolution, de la plus terrible famine, le gouvernement othoman a permis plusieurs chargemens de grains et en a toléré un plus grand nombre, quoique les blés ne fussent pas plus abondans en Turquie cette année-là que les autres” (Olivier, Voyage dans l ’E mpire othoman, p. 204).

provinces with French ships directly commissioned by the Porte. With such meager exports, it was only normal that the disequilibrium between imports and exports should lead to the accumulation o f large sums in the hands o f the French nation in the capital o f the Ottoman Empire. This in tum constituted a rather unique characteristic o f the échelle in com­ parison to all other centers o f French commercial presence throughout the Empire. However, the French nation never really expressed a major con­ cern about this unbalanced situation. It was generally taken for granted and even considered a major advantage from which the nation in particular and French trade in the Levant in general could derive considerable benefits. Typical o f this attitude was the fact that there were never any serious attempts made at increasing the volume o f goods exported from Istanbul. It is obvious, o f course, that such a conservative attitude was also linked to the fact that a great proportion o f goods exported from the Ottoman capital were also exported from the neighboring échelles o f Edirae, Salonika, Bursa and, most o f all, Izmir. A scramble o f traders from Istanbul, with the support o f the large sums they had amassed through the sale o f imported goods, would have heavily disrupted the balance between the échelles, and most probably caused a rise o f prices as a result o f competition. More im­ portantly, however, what kept the French nation content with this unbal­ anced situation and the resulting accumulation of a monetary surplus was that this surplus could be used in more than one way for the benefit o f the Levant trade in general and for the particular interests o f the nation o f Con­ stantinople. Among these advantageous uses, the most simple was the oc­ casional transfer o f funds to Marseilles. But the most sfriking development in this respect would be that of the emergence o f sophisticated financial operations involving the use of bills o f exchange and monetary arbifrage. Starting from a simple network designed for the financing o f the trade defi­ cit o f other échelles with a link to Marseilles, these operations would gradually tum the Ottoman capital into one o f the major financial centers o f Europe.

B A LA N C IN G TH E A C C O U N TS T R A D E SU R PLU S A N D B ILLS OF E X C H A N G E In this situation o f disequilibrium between imports and exports, only one commodity seems to have appeared as a viable altemative to the insuffi­ cient export goods, although only for a rather limited period o f time, cov­ ering the 1730s and part o f the 1740s: gold, which was shipped to Mar­ seilles in enormous quantities and thus significantly reduced the gap be­ tween imports and exports. ‘ Such was the importance o f this trade that the French ambassador Villeneuve qualified these precious metal exports as “almost the only commodity which we can draw fi-om this place in coun­ terpart to our cloth.”- Most o f this gold— the equivalent o f more than 15 million livres tournois over a period o f some ten years^— ^took the form of Venetian ducats (yaldız altunu)^ The major advantage of this trade resided in the realization that it was in many respects much more profitable than that o f the traditional export commodities o f the échelle. Compared to the difficulties involved in the purchasing, conditioning and final shipping of wool, mohair, beeswax or any other o f the usual export goods, the acquisi­ tion o f gold— providing the price was convenient—^was a much more reli­ able and effortless enterprise. Coins were bought firom local sarrafs or money-changers and required the payment o f a mere 14 % brokerage fee. ' ACCM, J 196 to 202, Correspondance des députés. États du commerce, 1732-1750; C 1842, Monnaies, États des bâtiments venus du Levant et de Barbarie ayant importé des espèces étrangères d ’or et d ’argent (1732-1750). ^ ACCM, J 164, Correspondance de Villeneuve, Villeneuve to the Chamber o f Com­ merce, 26 May 1736. ^ This volume represents half o f the total gold exports from the Levant and Barbary Coast between 1732 and 1742, amounting to 30,547,138 livres. The intensity o f this drain on the Ot­ toman economy was expressed by Benoît de Maillet who declared, already in 1735, that the Ottoman Empire would “soon be depleted o f all its gold" (Carrière and Courdurié, “Sophisme," p. 32, n. 103). ^ 80 % o f the gold shipped was specified to be o f this quality, while 16 % consisted o f unspecified coinage (most likely again Venetian ducats) and 3 % o f Od:oman gold coins (north African coinage, zer-i mahbttb and fın d ık gold coins) and ingots (ACCM, C 1842, M onnaies, États des bâtiments...). The Venetian ducat, probably the most popular foreign gold coin circulating in the Empire, weighed 3.494 grams with a fineness o f 996 %o, thus yielding 3.48 grams o f fine gold (Ch. Carrière, “Réflexions sur le problème des monnaies et des métaux précieux en Méditerranée orientale, au X V Iir siècle”. Commerce de gros, com­ m erce de détail dans les pays méditerranéens [XVF - X ÎX ‘ siècles]. A ctes des journées d ’études. Bendor 25-26 avril 1975 (Nice, 1976), p. 4).

after which they were exempted from all other dues usually collected by the French authorities.^ This trade had developed to the point that at the height o f this massive flow o f precious metal the Marseilles Chamber of Commerce complained that “everyone tries to send these coins in return for their cloth and that they send as few goods as is possible.”® It is difficult to ascertain the reasons for the sudden appearance o f this trade. It seems that shipments o f cash— although they never appeared in statistics— existed before the ‘gold craze’ o f the 1730s. An imperial decree o f 1725 notified the authorities o f Izmir and Chios that French ships on their way to France should not be searched as foreseen by a previous ferman banning the export o f gold and silver from the Ottoman lands.’ Such ^ ACCM, L IX 1261, Monnaies d ’or et d ’argent, divers (1733-1791) et factures (17291786). Thus, a typical invoice o f Venetian ducats purchased in Istanbul involved the fol­ lowing costs: 255 ducats at 446 akce each 947:90 Commission to the trader at 2 % 18:114 Brokerage at 'A % 4:88 971:52 ®“[...] chaqu’un tache de faire venir de ces especes en retour de leurs draps et q u ’on tire aussy peu de marchandises qu’il est possible” (ACCM, J 1559, M émoire de la Chambre de Commerce sur le commerce du Levant, ca 1739). ’ “ İzmir kâdisma ve voyvodasma hüküm ki França elçisi 'arzihâl gönderüb meskük zer ü simi diyâr-ı ahara götürmege kâr ittihâz éden kimesneler yoklanub mürürlarma cevaz gösterilmemek üzere bundan akdem emr-i şerifim şâdır olub lâkin bu takribile celb-i m enfa'at içün bu maküle zer ü sim ticâretinde 'alaka ve müdâhale olmayan sâyir (sic) em ti'a tüccârma nakş olunmamak üzere emr-i şerifin tasrih olunmağla m üste’men tâ’ifesi ve bu makûle ticârete kâr ittihâz etmeyen sâyir (sic) em ti'a ve eşyâ tüccârm a ta'arruz olunmak icâb etmez iken amma muğâyir-i emr-i şerif şâdır olmuşdur deyu Ak Denize gitmek üzere Boğaz Hişârlarma varan França sefineleri bu bahane [ile] alıkonulub sandıkların kırmak teklif ve cümle eşyalarının hattâ seflnelerifiizifi safralarım bile ihrâc édüb ararız deyu İcapudânlarını rencide ve bu takribile yollarından alıkonulub yigirmişer ve otuzar gün mekş ü te ’hir ile ta'arruz olundukda m en' ü def'iyçün Boğaz Hişârları tarafina tekrâr emr-i şerifim şâdır olmuşidi El-hâlet' hazih' İzmir iskelesine vârid olan bâzırgân ve sayir (sic) tüccâr sefi­ neleri yoklanub içlerinde kefere sikkesiyle meskük zuhûr éden akce ahz ü kabz ve i'lam olunmak üzere mâliye taraflndan emr-i şerifim şâdır oimağla iskele[-i] mezkureye varan França sefineleri kapudânlarına dahi mücerred ahz ü celb ve ta'c iz içün sizifi dahi sefînelerifiizi ahkoyub ararız deyu ta'addiden hâli olunmadığın bildirüb Françalu tarafina m ukaddem â vech-i meşrüh üzere şâdır olan emr-i şerifime m ugâyir İzmir iskelesine varan França sefineleri kapudânlarına ol-vechile ta'addi olunmayub m en' ü d e f olunmak babında hükm-i hümayunum rica ve divân-ı hümâyûnumda mahfuz olan kuyûd-ı ahkâma m ürâca'at olundukda mukaddema vech-i meşrüh üzere emr-i şerifim şâdır olduğı mesfflr ve m ukayyed bulunmağın m ukaddem â şâdır olan emr-i şerifim mücebince 'am el olunmak babında fermân-ı 'âli-şânım şâdır olmuşdur Buyurdum ki vuşOl buldukda bu bâbda şâdır olan fermân-ı celir-l-kadrim mücebince 'am el dahi vech-i meşrüh üzere siz ki mümà ileyhimâsız m ukademmâ vech-i meşrüh üzere şâdır olan emr-i şerifime m ugayir İzmir iskelesine varan França sefineleri kapudânlarına ol veçhile ta'ciz ve ta'addi ve rencide ve remide olunmayub mazmun-ı emr-i şerifimle 'âm il olasız tahrir'" fi eva’il-i Receb sene 1137r (AAFC, doc. 6, cahier sans numéro, entry # 20, pp. 16-17, 16-25 March 1725; entry # 21, pp. 17-18, identi-

shipments remained o f a very occasional and sporadic nature, never reaching the amplitude o f the 1730s. A sudden increase in the trade surplus accumulated in the hands o f the French nation o f Constantinople at the be­ ginning o f the 1730s vviould constitute a tempting and convenient explana­ tion. It appears that French imports rose from 25-30 million livres before 1730 to 40 million in 1734, while exports remained more or less constant under the 10 million line. This would suggest that the massive exports of gold were somewhat related to the growth o f the import trade and to the in­ capacity o f French traders to find convenient ways o f increasing their ex­ ports. French traders themselves would have agreed with this explanation, as they explicitly linked the phenomenon to the insufficient development o f fund transfers from the capital to the provinces through bills o f ex­ change*— one o f the major characteristics o f French trade in the Levant which will be analyzed in detail in the following pages. The phenomenon is therefore, as suggested by Carrière and Courdurié,® directly linked to the problem o f the balance o f trade between the two countries and, more spe­ cifically, to that o f the abnonnal accumulation o f surplus in Istanbul as a result o f its unequal trade pattems. The question that remains, however, is that o f understanding why this trade in cash took almost exclusively the form o f gold— and not silver— shipments and, more importantly, why this profitable trade came to an abrupt end in the early 1740s while no major change seems to have modified the structure o f French trade in the échelle and the resulting accumulation o f cash surplus.'® The answer to the first question is simple. The preference for gold seems to have been dictated by the gold/silver ratio o f the times, which steadily decreased towards the East. In 1726, the French ratio had been cal hüküm to the na'ib and muhassil o f Chios). O f course, these documents merely suggest the probability that French ships did occasionally carry precious metal and, as one can de­ duce from the search at the castles o f the Dardanelles on their way to the Mediterranean, that they came from Istanbul. A report by ambassador de Bonnac noted that 23,000 ducats had been sent from Istanbul in 1723 (AN, F'^ 165, M émoire général au sujet du commerce des François dans le Levant, quoted by Carrière and Courdurié, “Sophisme,” p. 32, n. 103). * “[...] pour retirer le surplus [du commerce de Constantinople], les marchands françois des autres échelles et ceux de Marseille fournissent des lettres de change sur ceux de Con­ stantinople, mais ce débouchement n ’est pas encore suffisant ce qui a fait penser depuis plu­ sieurs années à faire venir des sequins vénitiens et autres espèces en retour d ’une partie con­ sidérable des draps qu’on y porte” (ACCM, J 1559, M émoire de la Chambre de Commerce sur le commerce du Levant, ca 1736). ® Carrière and Courdurié, “Sophisme,” p. 36: “Les retours de l ’or signalent nettement, à plusieurs reprises, une balance inversée.” '° Apart from some occasional decreases, especially in times o f w ar in the Mediterra­ nean, the level o f the positive balance between imports to and exports from Istanbul re­ mained more or less constant until the 1780s.

fixed at 14.46 and remained at that value until it was raised to 15.5 in 1785." As one moved towards the East, the ratio gradually fell to 14.15 in Austria, 11.845 in Russia,'^ 10 in China and even 8 in Japan.'^ Due to its position between West and East, the Ottoman ratio should, therefore, have been located somewhere between 14 and 10, most probably closer to the former as a result o f its greater integration with the Mediterranean world. Cash flows between the Ottoman lands and Europe would then have been mostiy characterized— as observed in almost all cases— ^by an East-West flow of gold and a West-East flow o f silver. Gold coins exported from the Ottoman Empire against silver coins— mostly Spanish piasters and Aus­ trian thalers,— sent from Marseilles.''* However, the Ottoman monetary ' ' In 1726, 30 gold louis were minted from 1 marc o f gold, and 8.3 silver écus from 1 marc o f silver, these two coins being rated at 24 and 6 livres respectively. In 1785, the gold/silver ratio was increased by minting 32 louis instead o f 30 per marc o f gold (Gonnard, R., Histoire des doctrines monétaires dans ses rapports avec l ’histoire des monnaies (Paris, 1936), pp. 59, 215). This stability in terms o f coinage and minting was compensated by slight changes in the prices o f acquisition o f precious metal by the mints. Thus, this metallic ratio (as opposed to the constant monetary ratio reflected in the intrinsic value o f coinage) increased from 14.489 in 1726 to 14.687 in 1773 (M. Morineau, “Les frappes monétaires françaises de 1726 à 1793. Premières considérations”, John Day (ed.), Études d'histoire monétaire (Lille, 1984), pp. 111-112). Gonnard, op. cit., pp. 151-153. Carrière, “Réflexions,” p. 16; U. Tucci, “Le rapport or/argent dans l ’économie moné­ taire européenne du X V lir siècle,” John Day (ed.). Études d'histoire monétaire, p. 348. “En général, les empires des Ming et des Ch’ing restaient la destination dernière de l ’argent ex­ trait des mines du Nouveau Monde et du Japon” (K. N. Chaudhuri, “Circuits monétaires in­ ternationaux, prix comparés et spécialisation économique, 1500-1750,” ibid., p. 61). Exceptions to this pattem are extremely rare. The shipment o f 1,000 Venetian ducats in 1752 and o f 2,952 zer-i mahbub are the only cases we have found o f a W est-East flow o f gold between Marseilles and Istanbul (ACCM, J 202, Correspondance des députés. État du commerce en 1752; id., I 19, États des marchandises envoyées en Levant et en Barbarie, 1748-1769). The wave o f gold exports o f the 1730s has been described above. As to silver, the local preference for this metal was already expressed by the French ambassador’s com­ ment in 1707: “on aime mieux les monnoyes d ’argent” ([de Ferriol], Correspondance, pp. 231-232, lettre à M. de Ferriol son frère, 4 Dec. 1707). However, imports o f silver from France were, generally speaking, even more irregular in their volume and frequency. Most o f these shipments o f Spanish piasters were in fact destined to current expenses o f the nation or to occasional sales, such as at the time o f the departure o f ships for Egypt: “Nous ne dev­ ons pas compter parmy les marchandises d ’entrée les piastres sévillanes, quoy q u ’il en soit venu successivement une quantité assés considérable, et qu’on les vende icy lors de l’expédition des vaisseaux pour Alexandrie. Le rembourcement des avances faites pour les marchandises de retour ont donné lieu à ces envoys peu fréquents [..]” (ACCM, J 1591, M émoire des députés Guys et Puzos, 30 Dec. 1750). For statistics o f silver imports, see ta­ bles 7.1 and 7.2, pp. 177-178. It should be noted that from the 1760s on, shipments o f silver coins to Istanbul w ould radically change in nature as they became instruments o f a new and sophisticated form o f trade combining the sale o f precious metal and the transfer o f the product o f its sale through international networks o f bills o f exchange. The study o f this commerce de banque, as contemporaries called it, will be taken up in Chapter Seven.

system lacked a fixed ratio between gold and silver, for the simple reason that it was not bi-metallic but silver mono-metallic. Only silver coins had a fixed rate, while that o f gold currency varied more or less fireely.'^ On two occasions, the Ottoman state implicitly expressed a ratio between gold and silver by imposing a price on both metals for their acquisition by the impe­ rial mint. In 1718 this ratio was established at 23.5 as gold was rated at 470 akce per dirhem and silver at 30.'® Some seventy years later, in 1789, gold was priced at 6:90 ğurüş per miskal and silver at 15 paras, thus fixing the ratio at 18.'’ If one were to take these figures at face value and assume that they reflected the actual market ratio between gold and silver, the resulting situation would have required a total inversion o f the metallic flow be­ tween East and West. Both these ratios being superior to the westem one, one should expect gold to be flowing into the Ottoman Empire while silver would be leaving the economy en masse, responding to the attraction o f a relative westem over-evaluation o f this metal, in effect, this anomaly sim­ ply stems from the fact that these high ratios merely reflected the greedy— and most probably unrealistic— efforts o f the state at under-valuing the very metal it wished to collect from the public, in the hope o f reinjecting this metal at its true— or even inflated— value after a reminting o f cur­ rency.'* It is obvious, therefore, that such forced rates cannot be taken to Haim Gerber, “Tlie M onetary System o f the Ottoman Empire”, Journal o f the Eco­ nomic and Social History o f the Orient, XXV (1982), p. 309. '® Hasan Fend, N akid ve TtibSr-i Mâlî, İstanbul, 1330 (1914), p. 182. ' ’ ACCM , L IX 712, Perrin Frères et C “ to Roux Frères, 3 Feb. 1789. '* The artificial aspect o f this ratio is shown furthermore by the fact that at 20 akce per dirhem, the state was in fact rating the gram o f silver at 6.235 akce while the coinage o f the time — the ğurüş o f 25.79 grams at 700 %o— valued silver at 6.647 akce per gram. The 6.2 % difference between the two would have, therefore, translated as a profit accruing to the Imperial Mint, providing it w ould be able to convince— or force— individuals to surren­ der their silver at that rate. The operation failed, for at the time, the real m arket value o f sil­ ver was o f 22 alKe per dirhem (or 6.859 akce per gram), a figure even higher than that o f the circulating currency, which was already overvalued by the state. The following year, the Mint was forced to adopt a more realistic policy and raise the price o f silver to m arket levels (H. Ferid, N akid ve ttib â r -ı Mâlî, p. 182). Calculations o f the intrinsic value o f the Ottoman ğurüş are bound to be approximative as minting lacked a real precision as to purity and weight. Sources consulted: Cavalli, op. c it ; İsmâ'Il Gâlib, Takvîm-i Meskükât-ı ^Oşmâniyye (Istanbul, 1307/1891); Ahmed Refik [Altmay], “'O şm ânh İm paratorluğunda Meskukat,” Türk Târîh Encümeni Mecmü^ası, 14 (1921-1922), pp. 258-379, 15 (1922-1923), pp. 1-39, 107-127, 227-254; Ziya Karamursal, Osmanb M alî Tarihi Hakkında Tetkikler (Ankara, 1940); Ekrem Kolerkılıç, Osmanlı İmparatorluğunda P ara (Ankara, 1958); Süleyman Sudî, Uşül-ı Meskükât-ı ^Osmâniyye ve Ecnebiyye (İstanbul, 1311/1895); Nuri Pere, Osman­ lIlarda M adenî Paralar (İstanbul, 1968); İbrahim and Çevriye Artuk, İstanbul Arkeoloji Müzeleri Teşhirdeki İslâm î Sikkeler Katalogu (İstanbul, 1974)). The 1789 operation, as re­ ported by one o f the French traders o f the city (ACCM, L IX 712, Perrin Frères et C“ to Roux Frères, 3 Feb. 1789), was similar in nature: the 10 para per dirhem rate announced by

represent the market ratio for gold and silver in the Ottoman economy. Nor can one reasonably base such a calculation on the Ottoman piaster or ğurüş, the value o f which was largely over-rated by the state itself, while its silver content remained constant.'® The only altemative left thus remains that o f calculating the evolution o f the Ottoman gold/silver ratio on the ba­ sis o f coinage the price o f which was more reflective o f market prices. The two most popular coins o f the time— ^the Venetian gold ducat and the Spanish silver real— correspond perfectly to this purpose, since both were used as a medium o f exchange but were sold as commodities on the mar­ ket.^® For the period concemed, the gold/silver ratio based on the ducat and the real varied between the extreme values o f 13.43 and 14.72, but concen­ trating mostly around the average value o f 14.08. This estimate falls perfectly into the picture described previously o f a gold flow from the Ottoman Em­ pire to France, whose higher gold/silver ratio attracted Levantine gold. It should be noted, however, that reality was often much more complex and that the metallic flows o f the Mediterranean did not necessarily follow the ‘rational’ path imposed by differences in the gold/silver ratio. The very the Porte came to estimating the gram o f silver at 9.354 ai