The Ahis in Kastamonu in the Seljuk, the Beylik and the Ottoman Periods
Keywords: Kastamonu,Sinop,Çobanoğluları,Candaroğulları,Ahi orders (small dervish lodges),foundations
Kastamonu was an important Anatolian city as a frontier centre in the raids against Byzantium during the Seljuk period as it wasalso important in the military, political and cultural aspects. Kastamonu developed in urban life, population and economic structure during the period of Çobanoğulları, and its successor Candaroğulları under the Seljuk Empire and it became one of the big and prosperous cities of Anatolia in the 14th century. Especially the religious orders established in the cities, and suburb centres by the Ahis on the trade routes in the area had an important role in this development. During the Seljuk and Beylik period, Sinop, Çankırı and Bolu areas Remained under the influence of Kastamonu "frontier" centre. The Ottomans provided the political unity firmly as the present Western Blacksea territory by dominating Bolu and Zonguldak in the middle of 14th century, Çankırı in the first half of the 15th century and Kastamonu and the Candaroğulları's Sinop in in the second half of the same century. The Ahi activities, the religious orders they have founded, their functioning and income sources in Kastamonu and its vicinity; the contribution of Ahis to the socio-cultural structure of the area will be discussed in this study.