Regie Company

This article is about the Ottoman tobacco monopoly. For other uses, see Regie.

The Régie Company (French: la Société de la régie co-intéressée des tabacs de l'empire Ottoman) was a parastatal company formed in the later Ottoman Empire by the Ottoman Public Debt Administration, with backing from a consortium of European banks. The company had a monopoly over tobacco production. Revenue from the Regie Company was supposed to help overcome the Ottoman state's persistent shortage of income.[1] The Regie Company constituted the largest foreign investment in the Ottoman Empire, and it attempted to introduce more efficient production methods - against local resistance.[2]

In 1881, the state monopoly on salt was incorporated into the Regie Company, which passed revenue from salt taxes (tuz resmi) to the Public Debt Commission.[3] As the state (or a parallel state controlled by the government's creditors) now effectively controlled salt production and salt prices, salt smuggling became a problem.[4]

In Turkey, the Regie Company was nationalised in 1925 and became Tekel, which was sold to British American Tobacco in 2008.

There are successor companies in other Ottoman successor states. To this day, the state-run tobacco monopoly in Lebanon is known as Regie.[5]


  1. The Political Economy of Ottoman Public Debt. Tauris Academic Studies. 2010. ISBN 978-1-84885-298-3.
  2. "Book reviews". The Economic History Review. 2011-01-04. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0289.2010.00567_18.x.
  3. Shaw, Stanford (October 1975). "The Nineteenth-Century Ottoman Tax Reforms and Revenue System". International Journal of Middle East Studies. 6 (4): 421–459. doi:10.1017/s0020743800025368. JSTOR 162752.
  4. Narin, Resül (2009). "Düyûn-ı Umûmiye İdaresi ve Adapazarı". Karadeniz Araştırmaları. 6 (21): 49–59.
  5. "The Economics of Tobacco in Lebanon: An Estimation of the Social Costs of Tobacco Consumption" (PDF). 2011-05-23. Retrieved 2011-07-24.
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