Ağrı İbrahim Çeçen Üniversitesi, Tarih Bölümü, Ağrı/Türkiye

Keywords: Zawiya, founder of zawiya, Muş, Bitlis, Van, waqf, waqf of zawiya


There have been some institutions that have deeply influenced the establishment and development of states that have left deep traces in world history. It is known that lodges played a vital role in the establishment of the Ottoman Empire and especially in the rapid expansion towards Rumelia. Lodges were usually established on a peak overlooking a habitable basin or in a key area of an important trade or connection route. Thus, the dervishes, who were described as silent or wooden-sworded conquerors, became pioneers in the settlement of the nomads and a light to the travelers who came and went. In addition to these qualities, Sufi education was also continued in the lodges under the leadership of a dervish or sheikh. For this reason, although their sizes varied according to the region where they were established, the lodges consisted of stables, kitchens, libraries, warehouses, cellars, mills, sofas and rooms. They also had vineyards and gardens surrounding the main structure where all these units were located. In this case, the presence of officials such as cellars, warehousemen, millers, cherag makers(kindle igniters), janitors, cooks and storekeepers in the lodges was inevitable. All these units and their expenses arising from the establishment purposes of the officials and the foundation were covered from the local revenues thanks to the foundation system. Thus, a self-sufficient religious, socio-cultural and economic unit emerged in the imperial provinces, independent of the central treasury, and continued for centuries.

In the XVIth century, the eastern border of the Ottoman Empire was at the center of the Ottoman-Safavid conflict. The demographics of the region generally consisted of the Turkmens, who centered the lodges established on important passages and road routes, among the non-Muslim population, and the Ekrad group. As a requirement of their socio-cultural and religious policies, the Safavids made efforts to establish and maintain lodges in the region. On the other hand, the Ottomans also encouraged the acceptance of the ancient lodges remaining in their borders expanding towards the East with their existing exemptions and the establishment of new ones for the same purpose. The contribution of lodges of both an agricultural unit and a sociocultural and religious nature to the establishment of Ottoman administration in the region cannot be denied. As a matter of fact, lodges played a central role in the planning, formation and determination of the settlement in the east. One of the most concrete examples of this is the presence of lodges that have turned into villages in the region. The examination of the sources belonging to the period and the region will give us the opportunity to get to know the architects/founders of this change and transformation much more closely. The lodges established by the people who are likely to be the founders or by others referring to them are important in this respect. So much so that some examples have a well-established history and name stability dating from the XVIth century to the XXth century. The main purpose of the study is to reveal their locations, their founders, the demographics of their raias, their agricultural and commercial potentials, and their resistance or adaptation to the changing imperial conditions, especially from the XVIth century to the XXth century.