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Ottoman hierarchy of scribes, clerks, and accountants headed by the reis ül-küttap.

Aside from the sultan's own staff, the kalemiyye (scribal institution) was one of three powerful bureaucracies in the Ottoman government, the others being the seyfiyye (military) and İlmiyye (religious). From 1794, the kalemiyye was headquartered in the Sublime Porte, and while the grand vizier was nominally its head, the reis ül-küttap held the real power. In the early nineteenth century, the major Tanzimat reformers emerged from the kalemiyye, the most prominent of them Mustafa Reşid Paşa, who was reis ül-küttap in 18271830. In 1835, the kalemiyye was joined with the sultan's imperial bureaucracy. Later renamed the mülkiyye, it would be reformed several times during the nineteenth century, as former patronage systems were replaced with regular salaried employees and formal departments and ministries were organized. It would come to include the finance, commerce, interior, foreign affairs, and other ministries.

see also İlmiyye; mustafa reŞid; sublime porte; tanzimat.


Shaw, Stanford, and Shaw, Ezel Kural. History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey. 2 vols. Cambridge, U.K., and New York: Cambridge University Press, 19761977.

elizabeth thompson