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COINAGE

The first Turkish coins were minted under Danishmendid Gumushtegin Ghazi and later under the Seljukid Masud. They were made of copper only and intended for local trade. Silver was not used until Kilij Arslan II and gold until the thirteenth century. Examples from Danishmendid and Seljukid coins are shown below.

In the vast Ottoman Empire there was not an attempt to impose a single currency unit. To avoid disturbing the existing trade and economic relationships of the conquered areas, local coinage was preserved and gradually transitioned to coins minted in the name of Ottoman Sultans. In Anatolia and the Balkans, the akce was the currency where as in Egypt para was used. In Eastern Anatolia and Iran, Iraq and the gulf region, shai was used. In Algeria, Tunusia and Tripoli, there were yet other local coins. In addition to preserving the local currencies the Ottomans also accepted and encouraged the circulations of foreign coins throughout the empire. They were not only used in local trade but also for payments to the state on the basis of official exchange rates.

Reference: Cahen, Claude. Pre-Ottoman Turkey. New York: Taplinger, 1968.

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