By Cem Behar
Combining the brilliant and colourful aspect of a micro-history with a much wider historic standpoint, this groundbreaking learn appears to be like on the city and social historical past of a small local neighborhood (a mahalle) of Ottoman Istanbul, the Kasap Iùlyas. Drawing on enormously wealthy ancient documentation beginning within the early 16th century, Cem Behar makes a speciality of 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 primary to the historiography of towns, equivalent to rural migration and concrete integration of migrants, together with avenues for pro integration and the cohesion networks migrants shaped, and the function of ancient guilds and non-guild exertions, the ancestor of the "informal" or "marginal" region came across this day in much less built international locations.
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Extra resources for A Neighborhood in Ottoman Istanbul: Fruit Vendors and Civil Servants in the Kasap Ilyas Mahalle
In 1885, the Kasap ƒlyas mahalle had 925 registered Muslim inhabitants and, in 1907, a total of 1,160 inhabitants, 1,039 of which were Muslim. Other Written Sources Quantitative data and sources for the pre-nineteenth-century Istanbul population are difﬁcult to come by. The available estimates, most of them by European travelers and Orientalists, are approximations with a usually low degree of reliability. Besides, Istanbul was never taxed in the same manner as the provinces, never had a Tapu Tahrir Defteri, and was never, even immediately after the Ottoman conquest, subjected to a census.
A ﬁrst screening was done by previously selecting the court cases where either the plaintiff, the defendant, and/or the object of discord were living or were situated in the Kasap ƒlyas mahalle. Interviews and Personal Narratives A small number of in-depth interviews have also been conducted with elderly inhabitants of Kasap ƒlyas. Nine of them were with Kasap ƒlyas-born men who were still in touch with their mahalle of origin, and one was with the wife of a former muhtar. The interviews were conducted either in their homes or in a coffeehouse in the mahalle where elderly people regularly met on Sundays.
As to the urban local level, population ﬁgures are non-existent. The ﬁrst citywide reliable count is that of 1885. The Archives of the Religious Courts (¥er’iye Sicilleri Arœivi) for Istanbul are classiﬁed on a topographical basis, given that many of the courts of justice were also responsible for law and order in speciﬁc chunks of the city. The archives for the Davud Paœa District, of which the Kasap ƒlyas mahalle is a part, span the period between 1782 and 1924. The Davudpaœa Court of Justice, always headed by an aide (na’ib) of the kadı of Istanbul, was one of the oldest courts of the city.