Bosnia Eyalet

Bosnia Eyalet
Eyalet-i Bosna
Eyalet of the Ottoman Empire


Bosnia Eyalet in 1683
Capital Bosna-Saray (now Sarajevo)
Banja Luka
Bosna-Saray (now Sarajevo)
  Established 1580
  Disestablished 1867
  1856[1] 70,038 km2 (27,042 sq mi)
  1732[2] 340,000 
  1787[2] 600,000 
Today part of  Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Eyalet of Bosnia[3] (Ottoman Turkish: Eyalet-i Bosna,[2] Bosnian: Bosanski pašaluk) or Bosnia Beylerbeylik (Turkish: Bosna Beylerbeyliği, Bosnian: Bosanski beglerbegluk) was an eyalet (also known as a beylerbeylik) of the Ottoman Empire, mostly based on the territory of the present-day state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Prior to the Great Turkish War, it had also included most of Slavonia, Lika, and Dalmatia in present-day Croatia. Its reported area in the 19th century was 20,281 square miles (52,530 km2).[4]


After the execution of King Stephen Tomašević in 1463, the central part of the Kingdom of Bosnia was transformed into the sanjak of Bosnia. The Duchy of Herzegovina was added in 1483.



In 1580, Ferhad Pasha Sokolović became the first governor of the Bosnia Eyalet, as beylerbey (also referred to as "pasha").[5] The Bosnia Eyalet (or Pashaluk) included the Sanjak of Bosnia (central province), Sanjak of Herzegovina, Sanjak of Vučitrn, Sanjak of Prizren, Sanjak of Klis, Sanjak of Krka, and Sanjak of Pakrac.[5]

Bosnia Eyalet in 1609

The Ottoman wars in Europe continued throughout the period, and the province reached its territorial peak in 1683.


The Great Turkish War that ended in Ottoman defeat in 1699 led to a significant decrease in the territory of the Eyalet. After the Treaty of Karlowitz, the province was down to four sanjaks (three of them diminished in size as well) and twelve captaincies. Before the Treaty of Passarowitz, another 28 military captaincies were formed, more than half of them along the frontier. This kind of intensive military administration corresponded to the Austrian Military Frontier on the other side of the same border. In 1703 the seat of the pasha was moved from Sarajevo to Travnik, because Sarajevo had been destroyed by fire in the war; it wouldn't be moved back until 1850.[6]

Bosnian uprising

Husein Gradaščević was declared the governor of the Eyalet of Bosnia in 1831 and revolted against the Ottomans in a bid to secure Bosnian independence.
Main article: Bosnian uprising

At the beginning of the 19th century, Bosnia was one of the least developed and more autonomous provinces of the Empire.[7] In 1831, Bosnian kapudan Husein Gradaščević occupied Travnik, demanding autonomy and the end of military reforms in Bosnia.[2] Ultimately, exploiting the rivalries between beys and kapudans, the grand vizier succeeded in detaching the Herzegovinian forces, led by Ali-paša Rizvanbegović, from Gradaščević’s.[2] The revolt was crushed, and in 1833, a new eyalet of Herzegovina was created from the southern part of the eyalet of Bosnia and given to Ali-paša Rizvanbegović as a reward for his contribution in crushing the uprising.[2] This new entity lasted only for a few years: after Rizvanbegović's death, it was reintegrated into the Bosnia eyalet.

It was one of the first Ottoman provinces to become a vilayet after an administrative reform in 1865, and by 1867 it had been reformed into the Bosnia Vilayet.[8]



Bosnia Eyalet's capital city moved several times:

Administrative divisions

Administrative division of the eyalet of Bosnia before 1699 were as follows:[14]
  1. Sanjak of Bosnia (Paşa Sancaığı, Sarajevo)
  2. Sanjak of Herzegovina (Hersek Sancağı, Mostar)
  3. Sanjak of Zvornik (İzvornik Sancağı, Zvornik)
  4. Sanjak of Krka-Lika (Kırka Sancağı, Krka-Lika)
  5. Sanjak of Klis (Kilis Sancağı, Klis)
  6. Pakrac-Cernica (Zaçesne Ocaklılığı, Cernik)
  7. Sanjak of Bihke (Bihke Sancağı, Bihać)
At the beginning of the 19th century, Bosnia was composed of 7 sanjaks:[7]
  1. Sanjak of Sarajevo
  2. Sanjak of Zvornik
  3. Sanjak of Travnik
  4. Sanjak of Bihać
  5. Sanjak of Novi Pazar
  6. Sanjak of Banja Luka
  7. Sanjak of Herzegovina


  1. Lippincott's Pronouncing Gazetteer: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or ... 1856. p. 1968.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire, p. 91, at Google Books By Gábor Ágoston, Bruce Alan Masters
  3. The English Cyclopaedia: Geography By Charles Knight
  4. The Popular encyclopedia: or, conversations lexicon, Volume 6, p. 698, at Google Books
  5. 1 2 Istorisko društvo Bosne i Hercegovine (1952). Godišnjak. 4. ... босанског ејалета именован је Ферхад-паша Соколовић (1580 — 1588) који је дотле био санџак-бег босански (1574 — 1580). Поред босанског санмака под власт босанског беглербега подвргнуто је још девет санџака који су дотле били у саставу румелиског или будим- ског ејалета. Уз босански санџак који је сада постао централна облает босанског пашалука овоме су ејалету одмах припојени сан- џаци: херцеговачки, вучитрнски, призренски, клишки, крчки и па- крачки, који су тада били издвојени из румелиског ејатета, и зворнички и пожешки, који су били издвсјени избудмскогејалета.Тако се босански беглербеглук, ејалет или пашалук у почетку свога оп- стојања састојао од десет санџака.
  6. Territorial proposals for the settlement of the war in Bosnia-Hercegovina, p. 15, at Google Books By Mladen Klemenčić
  7. 1 2 Religious separation and political intolerance in Bosnia-Herzegovina, p. 84, at Google Books By Mitja Velikonja
  8. Almanach de Gotha: annuaire généalogique, diplomatique et statistique. J. Perthes. 1867. pp. 827–829. Retrieved 2013-06-01.
  9. Muharem Bazdulj (2002-03-01). "Travnik, poligon historije - Nimalo slučajan grad". BH Dani (in Bosnian). Retrieved 2010-08-10.
  11. Zlatko Lukić. "Boj pod Banjalukom (1737.)" (in Bosnian). Retrieved 2010-08-10.
  12. Ahmed Aličić Uređenje bosanskog ejaleta od 1789. do 1878., Orijentalni Institut u Sarajevu, Sarajevo, 1983, p 35.
  13. Šabanović, H. Bosanski pašaluk, ND BiH, Sarajevo, 1959.
  14. Orhan Kılıç, XVII. Yüzyılın İlk Yarısında Osmanlı Devleti'nin Eyalet ve Sancak Teşkilatlanması, Osmanlı, Cilt 6: Teşkilât, Yeni Türkiye Yayınları, Ankara, 1999, ISBN 975-6782-09-9, p. 91. (Turkish)


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