The Question of Trabzon’s Efrenciyan Population: 1486-1583

The Question of Trabzon’s Efrenciyan Population: 1486-1583

By Heath W. Lowry

Boğaziçi Üniversitesi Dergisi: Hümaniter Bilimler, Vol. 4-5 (1976-1977)

Abstract: The following article examines the ‘fate’ of the Efrenciyan or foreign residents of the city of Trabzon following the Ottoman conquest of the city in 1461. These foreigners were the remnants of the large Genoese and Venetian merchant communities which had played an important role in the city’s commercial life in the three hundred years preceding the Ottoman conquest. It has generally been assumed that following the Ottoman conquest these elements returned to their places of origin. In the present study, via an examination of 15th and 16th century Ottoman Tahrir Defters (Cadastral Surveys) it is shown that as late as 1583 this Efrenciyan community still remained as an identifiable ethnic and religious (Roman Catholic) minority in the city of Trabzon.

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