Varlik Vergisi

views updated


Capital tax levied in Turkey during World War II.

Adopted in November 1942 to finance Turkey's emergency military expenditures during World War II, the Varlik Vergisi was heavily criticized as confiscatory and discriminatory. It was abolished in March 1944. Justified as a social equalization measure against those who profiteered during the war, up to 75 percent of net profits were collected as tax from trade companies. Istanbul merchants and non-Muslims were taxed far more heavily than Muslims and farmers. The tax produced long-term political effects in the fear of government as a threat to private property and in highlighting the dangers of one-party rule.


Lewis, Bernard. The Emergence of Modern Turkey, 3d edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

elizabeth thompson