Dr. Krastyo Yordanov
Institute for Historical Studies - Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (Bulgaria)
Absract. On the basis of several unpublished registers, the article examines the real practice of official Voynuk land ownership. The historical-legal analysis is applied in the research work. According to law, Voynuk farms were exempt from land taxes, but were part of the state land fund. However, the Voynuk baştina differed from the Rayet çiftlik and baştina not only in that it also included vineyards, gardens and even houses, but the sizes of the fields were often smaller than the legal norms
for a pair of arable land. This can be explained by the fact that these areas were sufficient for the sustenance of a Voynuk household, since the considered category of population was exempt from land taxes and jizyah. However, as early as the 16th century, a property differentiation was gradually created between the Voynuks and a thin layer of wealthy owners of service lands stood out. They expanded their arab lands both by unregulated means, entering in the timar land, and through perhaps perfectly legal transactions for the transfer of shares of arable land between the Voynuks themselves.
Keywords: Ottoman Empire; registers; voynuks; official economy; farming; taxes