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Dictionary term

Definition of "Malikane"

A system of revenue collection introduced by Ottoman Sultan Mustaf a (1695–1703) in the year 1695 by replacing the system of ’iltizam (tax farming). Malikane was a life-lease over land granted by the state on the payment of an initial down payment (al-mal al-mu‘jjal) followed by a yearly minimal payment (al-mal al-mu’jjal). The state determined the minimum amount that it would accept for a tax-farm, the sum required was then advertised to potential bidders. The highest bidder was called the malikaneci. Although the holder of a malikane enjoyed the right of tenancy for life, upon his death this right reverted to the state, which indi- cated provisional nature of the malikane as a lease from the government. The possessor of a malikane had the right to cede the farm to his male heirs on payment of a transfer fee to the government. However, the tax- farmer had the right to sub-tax-farm his right. In this way the original malikaneci usually became an absentee landlord. The task of managing the tax-farm was usually left to an agent who was chosen by the official farmer by public auction. Into this situation came the sarraf who helped the malikaneci succeed in initial auctions as well as in choosing the agent. The system worked well till 1775 when it could not sustain itself with the defeat of the Ottomans at the hands of the Russians.

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