and oher resources who were toward the top of the village hierarchy. Buying and selling were regarded as necessary evils, not perhaps degrading, but certainly not intrinsically honourable like farming. Perhaps a certain ambiguity was due to the fact that a more rigid traditional disapproval of trade was declining under economic pressures and incentives. (Turhan (1951) p. 100; Salim (1961) pp. 141-3.)
A certain level of power and prestige, provided it is derived from land, gives a villager the right to be regarded as an a§a (pronounced roughly `ah!'). This familiar Turkish word was very commonly used in the villages in several different senses. It was, for example, normal in addressing a neighbour to call him, `Ahmet A§a' or `Mustafa A§a' as the case might be. Sons and younger brothers often addressed their fathers and elder brothers as a§a. But a man of eminence was spoken of as an a§a in a slightly different sense. Thus Kara Osman (Ax) (p. 145) has been an a§a without any question. One very poor but intelligent informant when speaking of one or two wealthier men whom she personally respected would add this title after their names, but she once remarked that since Kara Osman died the village no longer boasted a true a§a, only a collection of pretentious nobodies.
Occupation and wealth can be treated as a single scale. The wealthiest and most highly respected households owned plenty of land, yet often combined agricultural with other skilled or commercial activities as sidelines, often profitable. At the other end of the scale are households, generally small ones, of which the head is a landless unskilled labourer or herdsman. But it would be almost impossible to sort out a significant order of rank for the majority of villagers in the middle of the scale.