By Cem Behar
Combining the vibrant and colourful element of a micro-history with a much wider ancient point of view, this groundbreaking examine appears on the city and social historical past of a small local neighborhood (a mahalle) of Ottoman Istanbul, the Kasap Iùlyas. Drawing on really wealthy old documentation beginning within the early 16th century, Cem Behar specializes in how the Kasap Iùlyas mahalle got here to reflect a number of the overarching problems with the capital urban of the Ottoman Empire. additionally thought of are different matters principal to the historiography of towns, resembling rural migration and concrete integration of migrants, together with avenues for pro integration and the team spirit networks migrants shaped, and the function of ancient guilds and non-guild hard work, the ancestor of the "informal" or "marginal" region stumbled on this present day in much less built nations.
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Extra info for A Neighborhood in Ottoman Istanbul: Fruit Vendors and Civil Servants in the Kasap Ilyas Mahalle
6 The district was in no way an important Byzantine economic or political center. It did not become a primary urban center under Ottoman rule either. The construction of durable local identities in Ottoman Davudpaœa and in Kasap ƒlyas seem to have owed little to what the district had contained in Byzantine times. The area was very sparsely populated in the late Byzantine period. 7 Buildings were rare in the ﬁrst decades of the Turkish conquest as well. Many maps and engravings of the period show vast empty areas all along the coast.
Some houses had a well, others an open veranda (zulle), and still others a cellar or a granary (serdab or anbar). The extensions attached to the same hane were obviously being used in common by all of the households living within the same dwelling-unit. Indeed, a water-well that is donated to a Kasap ƒlyas vakıf is mentioned in the deed of trust as being an extension of a house and is described as a common water-well (bi’r-i ma-yı müœterek). The Kasap ƒlyas houses, as were most dwellings in sixteenth-century Istanbul, were wooden constructions that had a basic timber structure, and brick, mud or stone ﬁlling in between.
26 Houses as Dwellings The usual nomenklatura of houses and dwellings in Ottoman Istanbul comprises four different status markers. These markers are, in ascending order of prestige: süﬂî (shabby, run-down), tahtanî (level with the ground), fevkânî (elevated), and mükellef (luxurious). These adjectives are the expression of a hierarchy in both size, quality, and social status of the house. 27 The tahtânî houses were on average, single-story houses, and the fevkânî usually had two stories. Out of the sixteen houses set up as a foundation in Kasap ƒlyas in the ﬁrst half of the sixteenth century and whose descriptions are given in the deeds of trust, no less than thirteen are qualiﬁed as hane-i tahtânî.