Kabadayi, M. Erdem Boykov, Grigor Sefer, Akın Gerrits, Piet

This gazetteer is a joint product of two research projects, UrbanOccupationsOETR (European Research Council – Starting Grant, Industrialisation and Urban Growth from the mid-nineteenth century Ottoman Empire to Contemporary Turkey in a Comparative Perspective, 1850-2000, https://urbanoccupations.ku.edu.tr, Grant agreement ID: 679097) and POPGEO_BG (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship, Population Geography of Bulgaria, 1500- 1920: A Historical Spatial Analysis, https://popgeo.ku.edu.tr, Grant agreement ID: 867474) both funded by the European Commission. M. Erdem Kabadayı and Grigor Boykov have been the principal investigators of UrbanOccupationsOETR and POPGEO_BG, respectively.

This unprecedented large-scale Ottoman gazetteer is based on mid-nineteenth century population registers (NFS.d. with their archival fond) available at the Presidency of the Republic of Türkiye, Directorate of State Archives. Its current first version enlists 16.296 populated places (12.285 and 4.011 geolocated within UrbanOccupationsOETR and POPGEO_BG, respectively) extracted from 764 population registers dating between 1830 and 1849. For details of the geolocation procedure, especially for UrbanOccupationsOETR but also valid to a large extent POPGEO_BG, see:

Ma, Jilian, Akın Sefer, and M. Erdem Kabadayı. “Geolocating Ottoman Settlements: The Use of Historical Maps for Digital Humanities.” In Proceedings of the 8th International Symposium of the International Cartography Commission on the History of Cartography “Mapping the Ottoman Realm: Travelers, Cartographers and Archaeologists” 21–23 April 2020, Istanbul, Turkey (Rescheduled for December 2021, Florence, Italy), edited by Imre Josef Demhardt, Vol. 3. Göttingen: Copernicus Publications, 2021. https://doi.org/10.5194/ica-proc-3-10-2021.

The gazetteer is available in the format of a spreadsheet with 15 columns. It provides the following information for all of the 16.296 enlisted populated places:

  • longitude
  • latitude
  • register_date_in_Hicri (calendar)
  • doc_type (mufassal or icmal population registers)
  • NFS.d. register_number (as in the archival fond)
  • project (acronym)
  • toponym_modern (current toponym in various languages depending on the location of the populated place today). For 797 populated places, toponym_modern is entered as ‘vanished.’ These populated places are all geolocated with coordinates by using georeferenced historical maps. However, no current settlements could be identified in their locations.
  • toponym Ottoman in NFS.d. (typed as accurately as possible in Arabic script copying from the Ottoman population registers)
  • toponym transcribed (original handwritten Ottoman to Latin script, as a principle, following the Redhouse lexicon) from NFS.d.
  • kaza (the Ottoman administrative unit on the sub-district level as stated) in NFS.d.
  • kaza_1848_1264 and liva_1848_1264 correspondences of enlisted kaza information in NFS.d. registers according to the official Ottoman yearbook dating to 1848 (1264 in Hicri):
    • Salname-i Devlet-i Aliye-i Osmaniye. 2nd edition. Istanbul: Darü’t-Tıbaatü’l-Amire, 1264.
  • (Unique) populated place id (number)

As well as two additional administrative levels, divan and nahiye for the limited number of populated places.

POPGEO_BG was an individual fellowship; therefore, Grigor Boykov has contributed to the construction of this section of the gazetteer single-handedly, from its conceptualization to the data entry and control.

UrbanOccupationsOETR, on the other hand, sustained a large research team between 01.10.2016 and 30.09.2022 at Koç University and several team members contributed to the gazetteer in varying capacities:

M. Erdem Kabadayı conceptualized and designed the research with support from Grigor Boykov. M. Erdem Kabadayı, Akın Sefer, Grigor Boykov, and Piet Gerrits supervised the project. Piet Gerrits designed and maintained graphical user interfaces for geolocation and data entry. Akın Sefer as a team leader, located, evaluated, and selected the population registers, supervised and controlled geolocation and data entry, and conducted data curation, coding, control, and cleaning. Efe Erünal, Aysel Yıldız, and Semih Çelik also conducted source selection. Efe Erünal was also active in geolocation and data entry control.

Following UrbanOccupationsOETR team members in alphabetical order geolocated populated places and entered data into our geospatial databases: Akın Sefer, Aysel Yıldız, Barış Yıldırım, Deniz Ali Uyan, Efe Erünal, Fulya Özturan, Jilian Ma, Mertkan Karaca, Nikola Rakovski, Semih Çelik, Şehnaz İyibaş.

External researchers Furkan Elmas and Alper Kara conducted Ottoman transcription corrections and new entries under the supervision of Akın Sefer.

Piet Gerrits maintained the digital research infrastructure of the UrbanOccupationsOETR and merged the POPGEO_BG dataset to construct the gazetteer. Furthermore, he also prepared the GeoPackage and data visualization available below.

This gazetteer is a work in progress, and we would appreciate critical feedback to improve it in its following versions. Please get in touch with mkabadayi@ku.edu.tr / mekabadayi@gmail.com / grigor.boykov@univie.ac.at / griboykov@yahoo.com for your correction suggestions and inquiries.

If you would like to use the gazetteer in further publication, please use the credentials specified below:


Kabadayı, M. Erdem, Akın Sefer, Grigor Boykov, and Piet Gerrits. 2022. “Making of a Mid-Nineteenth Century Ottoman Gazetteer and Mapping and Examining Late Ottoman Population Geography.” Journal of the Ottoman & Turkish Studies Association 9 (2): 179–204, https://muse.jhu.edu/pub/3/article/902201/pdf;


Kabadayi, M. Erdem, Grigor Boykov, Akın Sefer, and Piet Gerrits. “Kabadayi_Boykov_Sefer_Gerrits_Ottoman_NFS_Gazetteer_23112022_16296_populated_places_version_1.” Zenodo, November 23, 2022. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7351936.


The gazetteer can be downloaded as an OGC GeoPackage from here:
The gazetteer can be downloaded as a spreadsheet from here:
Download spreadsheet

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