Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey, was the capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires. The Bosphorus straits divides the city into a part that sits on the European continent, and a larger part on the continent of Asia. The militarily and economically strategic position of the city, on the western portion of the Silk Road, and on the shipping route between the Aegean and Black Seas, has kept it cosmopolitan and prosperous since its foundation 660 BCE, when it was called Byzantium. In 330 it became Constantinople, the capital of the Roman Empire, named for Emperor Constantine the Great. The Ottomans conquered the city in 1453/857 AH and renamed the city Istanbul. It served as their capital until Ankara became the capital of the modern nation of Turkey.
Tansuğ, Feryal. '"English abstract of 'Istanbul’s Mills and Bakeries: Trade Stockpiles 1740-1840'". Translated by Aysu Dinçer. In Cities as Built and Lived Environments: Scholarship from Muslim Contexts, 1875 to 2011, by Aptin Khanbaghi. 58. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014.
ynural, Salih. İstanbul Değirmenleri ve Fırınları: Zahire Ticareti, 1740-1840. İstanbul: Türkiye Ekonomik ve Toplumsal Tarih Vakfı, 2002, 226pp.
Istanbul’s Mills and Bakeries: Trade Stockpiles 1740-1840
İstanbul Değirmenleri ve Fırınları: Zahire Ticareti, 1740-1840
The author has worked with Ottoman archival records to analyse the ways in which the alimentary needs of Istanbul’s residents, with respect to grain were met from the eighteenth century to the first half of the nineteenth century. He utilises very valuable archival sources such as registers of imperial orders (ahkam defterleri), complaints (şikayet defterleri) and important affairs (mühimme defterleri), as well as court records (kadı sicilleri).
The book looks into the way grain stocks were brought over from production areas, investigating the types of organisations in places of purchase, the duties of product officials, the detection of black-market, contraband and fraudulent sales, the role of the private sector in addition to that of the state, in the purchase of grain stocks alongside the state, the millers and bakeries of Istanbul and the way they operated, as well as the importance given to bread by the state. Consulting primary source material, the author has also tried to shed light on issues such as the pricing of grain in the areas of production and the pricing of bakery products produced in Istanbul as well as, the wages and purchase power of bakery and mill workers. The types, amounts and prices of grain brought over to the main ports of the empire from various provinces, are presented in tables within the text.
The final part of the book comprises tables detailing the amount of grain sent over to Istanbul, shown according to its origins (the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and Arabia) and the relevant ports. Also included are original samples of archival material with transcriptions. The book depends mainly on Ottoman archival sources, with very limited use of secondary material. It addresses the role tradesmen and merchants played in meeting Istanbul’s demand for foodstuff, which despite the topic’s importance to Ottoman economic history, has been scarcely covered in other publications. This scientific study is based on a wealth of archival material and will be of use to those working on Ottoman urban history.