The Historical Peninsula in the Tanzimat Era

The Historical Peninsula, which acted as an administrative center, underwent a period of profound change in the Tanzimat Era (1839-1876), a time in which the administrative organization developed in the Ottoman Empire. In this process, the political atmosphere and the secular conception, which introduced an official appearance to almost every kind of building, including religious buildings, opened the way to the design of structures in what was later to be referred to as the “Style of the Tanzimat Period”. According to the decision of the Tanzimat staff, which was headed up by Mustafa Reşid Paşa, transportation axes, beginning from the Divanyolu, were redesigned; administrative units, such as the Sublime Porte, the Ministry of War and the Sheikh-ul-Islam’s office, now began to operate from the brick buildings which had changed the urban scale. In addition to these buildings, the brick mansions of the bureaucrats and the Darulfünun building, which was originally constructed as a university later to be allocated to various ministries, reshaped the city silhouette. However, after the Tanzimat Period, when the Yıldız Palace began to take prominence as the administrative center, the prestigious position and construction activities on the Historical Peninsula began to fade into the background. Eventually, as a result of buildings being torn down and an increase in urban density, the characteristic panorama of this critical period disappeared from the social memory. This study aims to evaluate the spatial effects of the Tanzimat ideology on the Historical Peninsula, focusing on the zoning decisions, construction activities and architectural approaches.


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