Niš Eyalet (Ottoman Turkish: ایالت نیش; Eyālet-i Nīş)[2] was an administrative territorial entity of the Ottoman Empire located in the territory of present-day southern Serbia and western Bulgaria. It was formed in 1846 and its administrative centre was Niš. Pashaluk of Niš was incorporated into Danube Vilayet in 1864.

Eyālet-i Nīş
Eyalet of the Ottoman Empire
Nis Eyalet, Ottoman Balkans 1850s.png
The Niš Eyalet in the 1850s
 • Coordinates43°18′N 21°54′E / 43.300°N 21.900°E / 43.300; 21.900Coordinates: 43°18′N 21°54′E / 43.300°N 21.900°E / 43.300; 21.900
• 1861-1864
Midhat Pasha (last)
• Established
• Disestablished
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Monastir Eyalet
Danube Vilayet
Today part ofSerbia


In 1861, Midhat Pasha was put in charge of the Niš Eyalet. He was a reformer influenced by Western ideas and the eyalet became a showpiece of the reformist movement. He tackled the problems of communications and security: he set up a system of block-houses to stop the incursion of armed bands from Serbia. According to his laudatory son's biography of him, "he organized a gendarmerie, secured the peaceful collection of taxes, and put an end to all religious persecution."

He also established schools and hospitals for members of all religious groups without discrimination. Midhat's reforms were so successful that they inspired a reworking of the Ottoman system. In 1864, the council of state decided that the eyalets would be replaced by larger vilayets. At each of these main levels of rule, there would be mixed Muslim-Christian councils.

The first of the vilayets was run for a time by Midhat Pasha and it included the former Niš Eyalet and much of Bulgaria and was called the "Danube Vilayet." In the next three years, he carried through a large program of school-building and other public works, as well as introducing a provincial newspaper.[3]

Administrative divisionsEdit

Sanjaks of the Eyalet in the mid-19th century:[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ The English Cyclopaedia: Geography By Charles Knight
  2. ^ "Some Provinces of the Ottoman Empire". Archived from the original on 10 July 2015. Retrieved 25 February 2013.
  3. ^ Malcolm, Noel (1998). Kosovo: A short history. Washington Square, New York: New York University Press. p. 191. ISBN 0-8147-5598-4.
  4. ^ The three eras of Ottoman history, a political essay on the late reforms of ..., p. 75, at Google Books By James Henry Skene