Administrative Divisions of The Ottoman Empire - First-level Administrative Units - Vilayets

Vilayets

The Vilayets were introduced with the promulgation of the "Vilayet Law" (Turkish: Teskil-i Vilayet Nizamnamesi) in 1864, as part of the administrative reforms that were being enacted throughout the empire. Unlike the previous eyalet system, the 1864 law established a hierarchy of administrative units: the vilayet, liva/sanjak, kaza and village council, to which the 1871 Vilayet Law added the nabiye. The 1864 law also specified the responsibilities of the governor (wali) of the vilayet and their councils. At the same time, the law left to the governors vast scope for independent action as well as responsibility, as part of a system intended to achieve a large degree of efficiency in ruling the provinces.

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