Danube Vilayet

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ولايت طونه
Vilâyet-i Tûna
Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire






Location of Danube Vilayet
Danube Vilayet in the 1860s
Capital Rusçuk
43°0′N 25°0′E / 43.000°N 25.000°E / 43.000; 25.000Coordinates: 43°0′N 25°0′E / 43.000°N 25.000°E / 43.000; 25.000
 -  Established 1864
 -  Congress of Berlin 1878
 -  1864 1,995,000[1] 
Today part of  Romania

The Vilayet of the Danube or Danubian Vilayet (Ottoman Turkish: ولايت طونه, Vilâyet-i Tuna)[2] was a first-level administrative division (vilayet) of the Ottoman Empire from 1864 to 1878.[3] In the late 19th century it reportedly had an area of 34,120 square miles (88,400 km2).[4]

The vilayet was created from the northern parts of Silistra Province along the Danube River and eyalets of Niš, Vidin and Silistra. This vilayet was meant to become a model province, showcasing all the progress achieved by the Porte through the modernising Tanzimat reforms.[5] Other vilayets modelled on the vilayet of the Danube were ultimately established throughout the empire by 1876, with the exception of the Arabian peninsula and the by then semi-independent Egypt.[5]


Midhat Pasha was the first governor of the vilayet (1864–1868).[5] During his time as a governor, steamship lines were established on the Danube River; the Ruse-Varna railroad was completed; agricultural credit cooperatives providing farmers with low-interest loans were introduced; tax incentives were also offered to encourage new industrial enterprises.[5]

The first official vilayet newspaper in the Ottoman Empire, Tuna/Dunav, was published in both Ottoman Turkish and Bulgarian and had both Ottoman and Bulgarian editors. Its editors in chief included Ismail Kemal and Ahmed Midhat Efendi.[5]

The vilayet had an Administrative Assembly that included state officials appointed by Istanbul as well as six representatives (three Muslims and three non-Muslims) elected from among the inhabitants of the province.[5] Non-Muslims also participated in the provincial criminal and commercial courts that were based on a secular code of law and justice.[5] Mixed Muslim-Christian schools were also introduced, but this reform was abolished after it was met by strong opposition by the populace.[5]


Governors of the Vilayet:[6]

Administrative divisions[edit]

The province included the following sanjaks:[7]

  1. Sanjak of Tulcea
  2. Sanjak of Varna
  3. Sanjak of Ruse
  4. Sanjak of Tărnovo
  5. Sanjak of Vidin
  6. Sanjak of Sofia
  7. Sanjak of Niš


  1. ^ Palairet, Michael R. The Balkan Economies c.1800-1914: Evolution without Development. 
  2. ^ Hathi Trust Digital Library - Holdings: Salname-yi Vilâyet-i Tuna
  3. ^ Rumelia at Encyclopædia Britannica
  4. ^ Europe by Éliseé Reclus, page 152
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire, p. 172, at Google Books By Gábor Ágoston, Bruce Alan Masters
  6. ^ World Statesmen — Bulgaria
  7. ^ Stanford Jay Shaw; Ezel Kural. Shaw (1977). History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey:. Cambridge University Press. p. 90. ISBN 978-0-521-29166-8. Retrieved 2013-05-28. 

External links[edit]