THE PATRIARCHATE OF THE MELKITE GREEK CATHOLICIN THE OTTOMAN STATEANNUALS (1847-1918)

Canan SEYFELİ

The subject of this article is related to the conditions of the Patriarchate of the Melkite Greek Catholic between 1847 and 1918 in the Ottoman State. I referenced to the Ottoman State Annuals (Salname-i Devlet-i Aliye-i Osmaniye) in 68 issues. The aim is to present the view of the Ottoman about Melkite Greek Catholics appeared in Ottoman official publications. In addition, to comprehend the understanding of the Melkite Greek Catholics admitted as a different ‘nation (millet)' and conditions of the other Ottoman Christians. Melkite Greek Catholics are unrecorded in seven issues (37th to 42th and 44th). In the annuals, there isn't any complication in the Ottoman official view to the Melkite Greek Catholics. Ottoman Melkite Orthodox and Catholics were administrated in accordance with the principle “keeping the pre-conquest structure”. Consequently, They were not admitted a different nation in the period of Fatih Mehmet II to Selim II when their regions (Syria, Palestine and Egypt) was conquested. Because, the hierarchy and rites of Melkites were Orthodox and they were connected to the Patriarchate of Constantinople. This status had contunued to 1830 when Armenian Catholics were admitted as a different ‘nation (millet) and other eastern Catholics connected to the Catholic Patriarchate. The patriarch of Melkite Greek Catholics persuaded the Ottoman Government in 1846 that they had a different hierarchy. Ottoman Government constructed a new statu for them, which was appeared in the first annual.

Key Words: Melkites, Orthodox Melkites, Catholic Melkites, Patriarchate of the Melkite Greek Catholic, Ottoman State Annuals, Ottoman non-muslims, the administration of nation (millet).