At the beginning of the year an irade of His Imperial Majesty, the greatest caliph, is issued, appointing the amin al-surra from among the [important] men of Istanbul. He is actually an official representing His Majesty, our master the sultan, in transmitting the stipends of the imperial surra to their recipients, according to the lists the department of waqfs furnishes, copied from the records kept in the department. When he is appointed, the leader of the drivers of the pilgrimage caravan (‘akkams) and the Syrian drivers take red, green, and white flags, and hang them on the wall of his house, above the door, to make it known that the owner of the house is tfie amin al-surra for the year. These flags remain there until he proceeds to Scutari. Then the mujdeci-the man who takes all the letters and
the deposits-in-trust from the imperial anteroom to the Two Shrines, both ways, as well as from [private] people, besides those arranged for, and paid by the government-is appointed, as also are the quftanji and the mubashshir, all of whom will be discussed later. Afterwards, the department of waqfs begins to prepare the stipends —in money, clothes, and the like-for the surra.