Erzurum Vilayet

ولايت ارضروم
Vilâyet-i Erzurum
Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire


Erzurum Vilayet in 1890
Capital Erzurum
  Established 1867
  Declaration of the Republic of Turkey 1923
Today part of Ardahan, Erzurum, Kars, Iğdır, Van

The Vilayet of Erzerum[1] (Ottoman Turkish: ولايت ارضروم, Vilâyet-i Erzurum)[2] was a first-level administrative division (vilayet) of the Ottoman Empire.

The vilayet of Erzurum shared borders with the Persian and Russian empires in the east and north-east, in the north with the Trebizond Vilayet, in the west with the vilayet of Sebastia, and in the south with the vilayets of Bitlis, Mamuret-ül Aziz and Van.

At the beginning of the 20th century it reportedly had an area of 29,614 square miles (76,700 km2), while the preliminary results of the first Ottoman census of 1885 (published in 1908) gave the population as 645,702.[3] The accuracy of the population figures ranges from "approximate" to "merely conjectural" depending on the region from which they were gathered.[3] It was one of the six Armenian vilayets in the eastern part of Anatolia, and, prior to World War I, had a large number of Armenians living there as well as Georgians, Pontic Greeks and Caucasus Greeks, and other ethnic groups, both Muslim and Christian [mainly Greek Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic (Orthodox/Gregorian)].


The eyalet of Erzurum was one of the first Ottoman provinces to become a vilayet after an administrative reform in 1865, and by 1867 it had been reformed into the Erzurum Vilayet.[4]

In 1875 it was divided in six vilayets: Erzurum, Van, Hakkari, Bitlis, Hozat (Dersim) and Kars-Çildir. In 1888 by an imperial order Hakkari was joined to the vilayet of Van, and Hozat to Mamuret ul-Aziz.[5]

The Kars and Çildir regions were lost in the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878) and ceded to the Russian Empire,[6] which administered it as the Kars Oblast until 1917.

Administrative divisions

Sanjaks of the vilayet:[7]

  1. Sanjak of Erzurum (Erzurum, Pasinler, Bayburt, İspir, Tercan, Tortum, Yusufeli, Kiğı, Narman, Hınıs)
  2. Sanjak of Erzincan (Erzincan, Pülümür, Refahiye, İliç, Kemah)
  3. Sanjak of Bayezid (Doğubeyazıt, Eleşkirt, Diyadin, Tutak, Ağrı)


In 1893, there were in total 19 Kaza (districts). In all kaza's Muslims (Sunni and Alevi) were the majority.[8] Lowest percentage of Muslims (64%) was in the kaza of Hınıs.[8] Most of the Protestants and Catholics were Armenian.

Population of the Sanjaks, in thousands, according to the Ottoman census of 1893[8]
Groups Erzurum Bayezid Erzincan Total
Muslims 312,2 47,4 85,9 445,5
Armenian Apostolic 73,9 8,3 19 101,2
Catholics 5,4 1,3 - 6,7
Protestants1,70,1 0,2 2
Greek Orthodox1,5- 23,5
Others0,2 - - 0,2
Total394,9 57,1 107,1 559

See also


  1.  Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Kars, Transcaucasia". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  2. Hathi Trust Digital Library - Holdings: Salname-yi Vilâyet-i Erzurum
  3. 1 2 Asia by A. H. Keane, page 460
  4. Almanach de Gotha: annuaire généalogique, diplomatique et statistique. J. Perthes. 1867. pp. 827–829. Retrieved 2013-06-01.
  5. Krikorian, Mesrob K (1977). Armenians in the Service of the Ottoman Empire: 1860-1908. Routledge. p. 39. ISBN 978-0-7100-8564-1. Retrieved 2013-05-24.
  6. Dadrian, Vahakn N. (2003). Warrant for Genocide: Key Elements of Turko-Armenian Conflict. Transaction Publishers. p. 141. ISBN 978-1-4128-4119-1. Retrieved 2013-05-24.
  7. 1 2 3 Ottoman Population, 1830-1914: Demographic and Social Characteristics, Kemal H. Karpat, page 124, 1985

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