Submitted to Murad IV in 1632.
Istanbul, Bayezid Devlet Ktp., Veliyyuddin 3205, fols 96b-106b.
Murphey, R., “The Veliyyuddin Telhis: Notes on the Sources and Interrelations between Koçi Bey and Contemporary Writers of Advice to Kings”, Belleten 43/171 (1979): 547-571; repr. and revised in R. Murphey, Essays on Ottoman Historians and Historiography, Istanbul 2009, 121-142.
Apart from the three memoranda (Telhis) included to the final version of Koçi Bey’s treatise, i.e. those tracing the beginnings of the decline in the reign of Suleyman, there are seven telhis touching upon several issues of the imperial administration, echoing and echoed by previous or later texts of the genre. The first (in Murphey 1979’s edition, M129-131) deals mainly with the vizierial posts of the administrations, stressing that the number of viziers should not exceed four (as in Aziz Efendi) and that the Sultan should attend the council in person; moreover, the author urges the Sultan to have his daughters married (i.e. to remove them from the palace), to standardize the coinage (cf. Kitâbu mesâlih, Y94) with the help of intense exploitation of the silver and gold mines and to impose the clothing restrictions in a view of prohibiting ostentation (M131: ve ziyneti ref’ edüb herkese mikdarına ve merâtibine göre bir hadd ta’yyin olunub). In the second memorandum, the author argues that provincial governors should be appointed for long terms and their revenues secured, so that they do not oppress the peasants of their province. He also rejects giving the rank of vizier to the defterdar (again as in Aziz Efendi); the same goes for the nişancıs, as “these are high offices in which to serve is honour enough without need for false elevation (sahte pâye)” (M123=133). Those promoted to these offices should have a long career as scribes of the divan and if possible re’isülküttâb, so that they can compose documents in Arabic, Persian and Turkish, they know the laws and may discern and correct those points in draft orders that are contrary to the law (M132: şer’-i şerife ve kanun-ı münife muğayır). The third telhis draws attention to appointments in other governmental posts, claiming that all assignments must be recorded (a similar thought can be found in Hırzü’l-mülûk), their duration kept in a reasonable measure, and their number kept frozen.
The author of the fourth memorandum complains of the granting of state land to palace officials and favorites as either private freehold (mülk) or vakfs; such properties would serve the state much better if they were allotted to sipahis as timars (see Murphey 1979/2009: 134 fn 19 on precedents and parallels, namely Hirzü’l-mülûk, Aziz Efendi, Koçi Bey). In the fifth text, the Sultan is urged to prove that he will stay firm in his word, making no exceptions whatsoever in the reforms and decisions he takes; especially, he must stick to enhancing the timariot army in the expense of the janissaries. To this effect, two imperial orders are proposed, contained in the next two telhis: namely, orders to the Rumeli and Anadolu timariots securing their revenues and pointing the way the timars should be inspected and the legitimacy of their holders checked. The second order, moreover, proposes a gradual rather than abrupt way of taking these measures, so as a strong force would be gradually assembled in order to secure the implementation of the reform as a whole against the expected reactions.
Other memoranda of the same group (Cevdet K52; published in M139-141) complain again against the giving of timars to servants and slaves (M140: bölük halkı hidmetkârlarına ve azadsız köleleri), give advice on the proper way of a total inspection of the timars and their holders), and finally urge the Sultan to take effective measures against bribery: namely, to appoint honest men as provincial governors, to punish severely those courtiers (rikâb-ı hümayunlarında... olanlar) guilty of great crimes, to check the integrity of the judges and secure the longevity of their posts; finally, those who have settled in the great cities of the Empire for the last twenty or thirty years should be expelled and resettled in their villages.