Ottoman Administrative Divisions

Vilayet

Spelled vee-laa-yit, a vilayet was an administrative governorate under the Ottoman empire, the word derives from the Arabic word 'Wilayah' meaning 'state'. 

Other administrative divisions of the Ottoman empire (organised under the administrative hierarchy from the lowest authority to the highest authority):

  1. Aghalik - was a tribe or town's land under the absolute administration of an Agha
  2. Belediye - is a municipality of a city governed by a Hakem, Bey or Mayor, the term is still used in modern Arab republics 
  3. Kathaa - is the Ottoman equivilant of a canton, the word is still used in modern day Lebanon
  4. Mutasarrifiye - was a special autonomous province, bound by laws that did not apply to normal Sanjaks
  5. Sanjak - was an Ottoman province that was controlled by the Sanjakbey, who had absolute autonomy over his land
  6. Vilayet- was an administrative governorate under the Ottoman empire, it was ruled by the Wali