Sanjak and Sandjak (other variants: sinjaq, sanjaq) are the most common English transcriptions of the Turkish word "sancak", which literally means "a banner, flag". [ [ - Sanjak entry] ] In Arabic the sanjaks were also called "liwa"s.


Sanjaks originally were the first level subdivisions of the Ottoman Empire. They arose in the mid-14th century as military districts that were part of a military-feudal system. In addition to the paid professional army, the Ottoman army had corps of cavalry soldiers (called "spahis" or "sipahi") who performed military service in return for estates granted by the Sultan (larger estates were called "zaim" or "zeamet", smaller ones "timar"). Spahis gathered for war according to the Sanjak in which they lived, and were led by an official called a "Sanjak-beg" or "Sanjakbey" (roughly equivalent to "district governor").

With the formation of new first-level divisions, the beylerbeyliks (later eyalets and vilayets), in the late 14th century, sanjaks were mostly second level divisions.

The number of Sanjaks in the Empire varied greatly. The Tanzimat reforms of the 19th century saw the number climb to over 400, but more usually it was around 150.

Not all sanjaks were part of a province; some were in newly conquered areas that had yet to be assigned to a province and others such as Benghazi and Çatalca remained independent of the province system with their leaders reporting directly to the Porte.

The contemporary name of the Balkan region of Sandžak derives from its former status as the Ottoman Sanjak of Novi Pazar.


ee also

* Subdivisions of the Ottoman Empire
* Sandžak
* Sanjak of Novi Pazar

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sanjak — San jak, n. [Turk. sanj[=a]g.] A district or a subvision of a vilayet. [Turkey] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Sanjak — Ein Sandschak (türk. Sancak, serb. Sandžak, arab. Transkription im Englischen: Sanjak, türk. Originalbedeutung „Fahne“) war im Osmanischen Reich eine Unterabteilung in der Provinzialverwaltung. Der Sandschak hat seinen Namen vom Feldzeichen der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • sanjak — noun /ˈsanʤak/ An administrative region under the Ottoman Empire, a subdivision of a vilayet. This lymphatic monster had once blocked the distinguished pharynx of Lord Blatherard Osmo, who at the time occupied the Novy Pazar desk at the Foreign… …   Wiktionary

  • sanjak —   n. division of a vilayet.    ♦ sanjakbeg,    ♦ sanjakbey, n. governor of sanjak …   Dictionary of difficult words

  • sanjak — /sahn jak /, n. (in Turkey) one of the administrative districts into which a vilayet is divided. [1530 40; < Turk sancak district (lit., flag, standard)] * * * …   Universalium

  • Sanjak — ♦ An Ottoman province, a subdivision of a beglerbeglik. (Fine, John V.A. Jr. The Late Medieval Balkans, 626) …   Medieval glossary

  • sanjak — san·jak …   English syllables

  • sanjak — sanˈjak, ˈ ̷ ̷ˌ ̷ ̷ noun ( s) Etymology: earlier sangiac, from Turkish sancàk, literally, flag, standard : a district or subdivision of a vilayet compare mutessarif …   Useful english dictionary

  • Sanjak of Albania — sanjak of the Ottoman Empire …   Wikipedia

  • Sanjak de Smederevo — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Sanjak de Smederevo (Pashaluk de Belgrado) en 1791 El Sanjak de Smederevo Serbio: Smederevski sandžak o Смедеревски санџак, Turco: Semendire Sancağı), también conocido como el Bajalato de Belgrado, fue una unión… …   Wikipedia Español

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