Immigrant merchants were crucial to the economic survival of Venice from the start of the sixteenth century, when the number of Venetian patrician merchants travelling overseas began to decline significantly. With the rise of the Ottoman Empire, many Ottoman Turkish subjects and other residents of the Ottoman Empire, such as Levantine Jews and Armenians, began to travel to Venice to trade. This was a pattern that was soon reflected elsewhere, principally in Genoa and Ancona. Although the Republic of Venice welcomed Levantine traders with attractive import duties, the foreignness of these individuals and their religions posed a moral dilemma. Moreover, Venice still sought to control the means of trade in the city in order to profit from it. They did this by appointing regulatory bodies, such as the Cinque Savii alla Mercanzia, to oversee trade through a series of regulations and state-appointed brokers and interpreters. However, these regulations addressed a far wider sphere than a purely economic one and soon encompassed everyday restrictions such as living spaces. Economic, moral, and social concerns were thus intrinsically linked in early modern Venice, a fact which merchants also exploited in their negotiations with the state by drawing attention to their economic status and in turn demanding certain living conditions.