One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
In the former Ottoman Empire and certain successor states: a governor of a sanjak or province.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. From Ottoman Turkish, Turkish mutasarrıf governor of a sanjak from Arabic mutaṣarrif provincial governor, active participle of taṣarrafa to act without restriction, have the right of disposal (over).
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