Anatolian Cities in the Ottoman Classical Period

A main problematic of the academic research on the nature and characteristics of the Ottoman cities and towns has been the Weberian concept of Islamic- and Ottomantown. Therefore, some examples in the literature dealing with this issue have underlined that, instead of adopting a Euro-centric approach, researchers should pay attention to the particularities of Ottoman urban centres as well as to the common criteria applicable to towns and cities everywhere. Ottoman historians, in the footsteps of the such founding fathers of Ottoman socio-economic history as Barkan, İnalcık and Akdağ, have made a great deal of contribution to the Ottoman social and economic history in general and Ottoman urban history in particular. They emphasised the signifi- cance of pious foundations (evkaf ), guilds and the mahalle (urban quarter) unit in the formation and development of Ottoman urban centres. It is observed that while many researchers followed the guidelines of exemplary studies of the founding fathers, applying them to various regions and towns and thus contributing to our understanding of Ottoman urban history, influenced by paradigmatic changes in historical thinking, some researchers have attempted to use new approaches developed by western historians and thinkers in Ottoman studies with a view to integrate Ottoman studies in general world historiography.


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