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By Cem Behar

Combining the brilliant and colourful aspect of a micro-history with a much broader ancient point of view, this groundbreaking learn seems to be on the city and social background of a small local neighborhood (a mahalle) of Ottoman Istanbul, the Kasap Iùlyas. Drawing on highly wealthy old documentation beginning within the early 16th century, Cem Behar specializes in how the Kasap Iùlyas mahalle got here to reflect the various overarching problems with the capital urban of the Ottoman Empire. additionally thought of are different concerns principal to the historiography of towns, resembling rural migration and concrete integration of migrants, together with avenues for pro integration and the cohesion networks migrants shaped, and the function of historic guilds and non-guild exertions, the ancestor of the "informal" or "marginal" region came across this day in much less constructed international locations.

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Additional info for A Neighborhood in Ottoman Istanbul: Fruit Vendors and Civil Servants in the Kasap Ilyas Mahalle

Sample text

However, time and time again the public authorities in Istanbul tried to discourage and even to forbid the widespread use of timber as a basic building material. Time and time again official edicts were issued by the kadı of Istanbul to regulate the height of wooden houses, to limit the width of their eaves, to set standards concerning their roofing, to set the minimum distance between these types of houses, and so forth,34 all in order to keep the risk of fires under control. These efforts were to no avail, though, and the regulations could not be obeyed or upheld, for a very simple reason.

These three buildings put their imprint on the area, became the basic topographical points of reference for a local identity, and contributed to the formation of a durable local consciousness. 5 The last quarter of the fifteenth century was crucial in that respect. Cem Behar 33 Were there any traces of any Byzantine building, monument, road, church, and so forth or of any other pre-Ottoman center of attraction that could have served as a point of reference to the newly formed mahalle? Judging from the speed with which local identities were formed in the neighborhood after the Ottoman conquest, the answer seems to be negative.

These two late Ottoman censuses were designed to also function as permanent population registers, probably under the influence of Quételet’s Belgian population registers, and the census totals were to be regularly updated with the day-to-day registration of all subsequent vital events. All births, deaths, and in- and out- migrants to and from each neighborhood and city were to be recorded on the basic census rosters and these were to be kept in situ. The total failure of the postcensus registration schemes, however, stand in sharp contrast with the thoroughness and the reliability of the initial census registration itself.

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