Aleppo Eyalet

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Eyālet-i Ḥaleb
Eyalet of the Ottoman Empire


Location of Aleppo Eyalet
Aleppo Eyalet in 1609
Capital Aleppo[1]
 •  Established 1534
 •  Disestablished 1864
Today part of  Syria

Aleppo Eyalet (Ottoman Turkish: ایالت حلب; Eyālet-i Ḥaleb‎)[2] was an eyalet of the Ottoman Empire. After the Ottoman conquest it was governed from Damascus, but by 1534 Aleppo was made the capital of a new eyalet.[3] Its reported area in the 19th century was 8,451 square miles (21,890 km2).[4] Its capital, Aleppo, was the third largest city of the Ottoman Empire during the 16th and 17th century.[3]


Thanks to its strategic geographic location on the trade route between Anatolia and the east, Aleppo rose to high prominence in the Ottoman era, at one point being second only to Constantinople in the empire. By the middle of the 16th century, Aleppo had displaced Damascus as the principal market for goods coming to the Mediterranean region from the east. This is reflected by the fact that the Levant Company of London, a joint-trading company founded in 1581 to monopolize England's trade with the Ottoman Empire, never attempted to settle a factor, or agent, in Damascus, despite having had permission to do so. Aleppo served as the company's headquarters until the late 18th century.[5]

As a result of the economic development, many European states had opened consulates in Aleppo during the 16th and the 17th centuries, such as the consulate of the Republic of Venice in 1548, the consulate of France in 1562, the consulate of England in 1583 and the consulate of the Netherlands in 1613.[6]

However, the prosperity Aleppo experienced in the 16th and 17th century started to fade as silk production in Iran went into decline with the fall of the Safavid dynasty in 1722. By mid-century, caravans were no longer bringing silk from Iran to Aleppo, and local Syrian production was insufficient for Europe's demand. European merchants left Aleppo and the city went into an economic decline that was not reversed until the mid-19th century when locally produced cotton and tobacco became the principal commodities of interest to the Europeans.[5]

The economy of Aleppo was badly hit by the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. This, in addition to political instability that followed the implementation of significant reforms in 1841 by the central government, contributed to Aleppo's decline and the rise of Damascus as a serious economic and political competitor with Aleppo.[5]

Administrative divisions[edit]

The Eyalet consisted of five sanjaks between 1690 and 1740 as follows:[7]

  1. Haleb Sanjak (Paşa Sancağı , Aleppo)
  2. Maura Sanjak (Ma'arra Sancağı (Ma`arrat an-Nu`man)
  3. Balis Sanjak (Balis Sansağı )
  4. Uzeyr Sanjak (Uzeyr Sancağı, Payas)
  5. Kilis Sanjak (Kilis)



  1. ^ Commercial statistics: A digest of the productive resources, commercial... By John Macgregor, p. 12, at Google Books
  2. ^ "Some Provinces of the Ottoman Empire". Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire, p. 30, at Google Books By Gábor Ágoston, Bruce Alan Masters
  4. ^ The Popular encyclopedia: or, conversations lexicon, Volume 6, p. 698, at Google Books
  5. ^ a b c Ágoston and Masters (2009), Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire
  6. ^ "Aleppo in History (in Arabic)". Retrieved 2012-03-11. 
  7. ^ 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. 94. (Turkish)