Bosnia Eyalet

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Bosnia Eyalet
Eyalet-i Bosna
Eyalet of the Ottoman Empire


Flag of Bosnia Eyalet


Location of Bosnia Eyalet
Bosnia Eyalet in 1683
Capital Banja Luka; Travnik; Sarajevo
44°14′N 17°40′E / 44.233°N 17.667°E / 44.233; 17.667Coordinates: 44°14′N 17°40′E / 44.233°N 17.667°E / 44.233; 17.667
 -  Established 1580
 -  Disestablished 1867
 -  1856[2] 70,038 km2 (27,042 sq mi)
 -  1732[1] 340,000 
 -  1787[1] 600,000 
Today part of  Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Eyalet of Bosnia[3] (Ottoman Turkish: Eyalet-i Bosna)[1] (Bosnian: 'Bosanski Pašaluk') or Bosnia Beylerbeylik (Turkish: Bosna Beylerbeyliği) was an eyalet (also known as a beylerbeylik) of the Ottoman Empire, mostly based on the territory of the present-day state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Prior to the Great Turkish War, it had also included most of Slavonia, Lika, and Dalmatia in present-day Croatia. Its reported area in the 19th century was 20,281 square miles (52,530 km2).[4]



Bosnia Eyalet in 1609

After the execution of King Tomašević in 1463, the central part of the Kingdom of Bosnia was transformed into the sanjak of Bosnia. The Duchy of Herzegovina was added in 1483.

The date of formation of the eyalet of Bosnia is placed in 1580.[5][6][7]

The Ottoman wars in Europe continued throughout the period, and the province reached its territorial peak in 1683.


The Great Turkish War that ended in Ottoman defeat in 1699 led to a significant decrease in the territory of the Eyalet. After the Treaty of Karlowitz, the province was down to four sanjaks (three of them diminished in size as well) and twelve captaincies. Before the Treaty of Passarowitz, another 28 military captaincies were formed, more than half of them along the frontier. This kind of intensive military administration corresponded to the Austrian Military Frontier on the other side of the same border. In 1703 the seat of the pasha was moved from Sarajevo to Travnik because Sarajevo had been destroyed by fire in the war; it wouldn't be moved back until 1850.[8]

Bosnian uprising[edit]

Husein Gradaščević was declared the governor of the Eyalet of Bosnia in 1831 and revolted against the Ottomans in a bid to secure Bosnian independence.
Main article: Bosnian uprising

At the beginning of the 19th century, Bosnia was one of the least developed and more autonomous provinces of the Empire.[9] In 1831, Bosnian kapudan Husein Gradaščević occupied Travnik, demanding autonomy and the end of military reforms in Bosnia.[1] Ultimately, exploiting the rivalries between beys and kapudans, the grand vizier succeeded in detaching the Herzegovinian forces, led by Ali-paša Rizvanbegović, from Gradaščević’s.[1] The revolt was crushed, and in 1833, a new eyalet of Herzegovina was created from the southern part of the eyalet of Bosnia and given to Ali-paša Rizvanbegović as a reward for his contribution in crushing the uprising.[1] This new entity lasted only for a few years: after Rizvanbegović's death, it was reintegrated into the Bosnia eyalet.

It 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 Bosnia Vilayet.[10]


Organisation of the eyalet in the 17th century, from the accounts of Evliya Çelebi: "The officers are, the Defterdar of the treasury, the Kehiya and Emin of the rolls; the Kehiya and Emin of the Chavushes; the Alai-beg and the Cheri-bashi".[11]



Bosnia Eyalet's capital city moved several times:

Administrative divisions[edit]

Administrative division of the eyalet of Bosnia before 1699 were as follows:[17]
  1. Sanjak of Bosnia (Paşa Sancaığı, Sarajevo)
  2. Sanjak of Herzegovina (Hersek Sancağı, Mostar)
  3. Sanjak of Zvornik (İzvornik Sancağı, Zvornik)
  4. Sanjak of Krka-Lika (Kırka Sancağı, Krka-Lika)
  5. Sanjak of Klis (Kilis Sancağı, Klis)
  6. Pakrac-Cernica (Zaçesne Ocaklılığı, Cernik)
  7. Sanjak of Bihke (Bihke Sancağı, Bihać)
At the beginning of the 19th century, Bosnia was composed of 7 sanjaks:[9]
  1. Sanjak of Sarajevo
  2. Sanjak of Zvornik
  3. Sanjak of Travnik
  4. Sanjak of Bihać
  5. Sanjak of Novi Pazar
  6. Sanjak of Banja Luka
  7. Sanjak of Herzegovina


  1. ^ a b c d e f Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire, p. 91, at Google Books By Gábor Ágoston, Bruce Alan Masters
  2. ^ Lippincott's Pronouncing Gazetteer: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or ... 1856. p. 1968. 
  3. ^ The English Cyclopaedia: Geography By Charles Knight
  4. ^ The Popular encyclopedia: or, conversations lexicon, Volume 6, p. 698, at Google Books
  5. ^ Ibrahimagić, 1998, p. 77 And 117 years passed from the fall of Bosnia in 1463, when the first sanjak was established as the first independent form of military, administrative and political form of organisation of Ottoman rule in Bosnia, until the establishment of the Bosnian beglerbegluk or ayalet [province] as a separate province of the Ottoman Empire in 1580.
  6. ^ Ahmed S. Aličić (1983). Uređenje bosanskog ejaleta od 1789. do 1878. godine (in Serbo-Croatian). Oriental Institute in Sarajevo. p. 22. Ejalet Bosna ili češće nazivani bosanski pašaluk osnovan je 1580. godine od sandžaka Bosna, Zvornik, Klis, Hercegovina, Pakrac, Krka i Požega.[48] 
  7. ^ Klaić, Vjekoslav (January 1928). "Knin za turskog vladanja". Journal of the Zagreb Archaeological Museum (in Croatian) (Archaeological Museum, Zagreb) 15 (1): 259. ISSN 0350-7165. Retrieved 2013-01-10. Kad se je pak oko god. 1580. stalo raditi, da se od Bosne stvori pašaluk ili beglerbegat, stvoren bi od Like i Krbave, zatim od krajeva između Zrmanje i Krke zasebni sandžak sa stolicom u Kninu. 
  8. ^ Territorial proposals for the settlement of the war in Bosnia-Hercegovina, p. 15, at Google Books By Mladen Klemenčić
  9. ^ a b Religious separation and political intolerance in Bosnia-Herzegovina, p. 84, at Google Books By Mitja Velikonja
  10. ^ Almanach de Gotha: annuaire généalogique, diplomatique et statistique. J. Perthes. 1867. pp. 827–829. Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  11. ^ Narrative of travels in Europe, Asia, and Africa in the ..., Volume 1, p. 90, at Google Books By Evliya Çelebi, Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall
  12. ^ Muharem Bazdulj (2002-03-01). "Travnik, poligon historije - Nimalo slučajan grad". BH Dani (in Bosnian). Retrieved 2010-08-10. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ Zlatko Lukić. "Boj pod Banjalukom (1737.)" (in Bosnian). Retrieved 2010-08-10. 
  15. ^ Ahmed Aličić Uređenje bosanskog ejaleta od 1789. do 1878., Orijentalni Institut u Sarajevu, Sarajevo, 1983, p 35.
  16. ^ Šabanović, H. Bosanski pašaluk, ND BiH, Sarajevo, 1959.
  17. ^ Orhan Kılıç, XVII. Yüzyılın İlk Yarısında Osmanlı Devleti'nin Eyalet ve Sancak Teşkilatlanması, Osmanlı, Cilt 6: Teşkilât, Yeni Türkiye Yayınları, Ankara, 1999, ISBN 975-6782-09-9, p. 91. (Turkish)