ABOUT THE WORKSHOP

The conference seeks to engage with a number of questions that will provide a forum for academic discussion on the question of Ottoman municipalities and its institutional development. Throughout the last century of the Ottoman Empire through intensive actions of reforms in the army, administration, legislation, economy and education, as well as introduction of modern technological innovations, known in the historiography for the Ottoman Empire as Tanzimat, a complex network of institutions was developed. The municipal institution belediye was one of the very important aspects of the reform of the provincial administration. The municipality represented one of the instruments for the promotion of modernity in the Empire.

 

Until present days the question of modernization is one of the leading motives in the research of different aspects of municipal reforms. From this perspective most of the researches focuses on the transitional period from the old forms of urban governance to the foundation of the municipalities as well as to the changes in public space and urban governance in the context of migration, cosmopolitanism, nationalism, etc. Therefore, the aim of the conference is to approach the history of Ottoman municipalities from different angles and to provide a more internal perspective to this question.

 

Namely we would like to discuss the question of the municipal reform and the effects of the reforms on the Ottoman cities. We seek answers to the question of how the reforms were perceived by Istanbul – the center – and by the local elites – the province; what was the role of the local elites in the urban governance and how the municipalities functioned – mechanisms of politics by which the cities of the late Ottoman Empire were governed. The conference will also seek to improve the debate on the methodology of research of urban history and the question of sources.

 

We expect that the conference will contribute to the debate on the urban history of the late Ottoman Empire and will help us to better understand the results of the reforms on the ground, and the actions undertaken by the state and the local actors. Also, we believe that this will help us to understand better the urban governance in the context of urbanism, cosmopolitanism, migration, and all other important aspects of urban life in the Late Ottoman Empire.

 

 

İstanbul Şehir Üniversitesi - Center for Urban Studies 2015