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Sonia Hirt. Home Contact us Help Free delivery worldwide. Free delivery worldwide. Bestselling Series. Harry Potter. Her navigation of the materials conveys her regard and esteem for the city, which is carefully apparent on every page.

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The first pages set the scene with a short compendium of major and minor players, recorders, visitors, and observers of and to the city , a chronology, and an all-too-brief history. All in all, the authors seem to be addressing an undergraduate audience or a soon-to-be-visitor to the city. Granted, the projects diverge in scope and intent.

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Yet, the lack of careful attention to context, let alone the field, produces a polyvocal perpetuation of Orientalist allusions to a four-hundred-and-fifty-year imperial span. This is surprising, especially since the fields of Ottoman social history and the significance of Istanbul as the imperial capital are quite developed. And, the reader is immediately introduced to the tone, style, and approach of the authors to the source material.

Drawing upon official histories, travel accounts, archival documents, and Ottoman literature interspersed with visual materials, Boyar and Fleet convey historical events through the bristling voice of contemporary observers. At the beginning of most subsections, the authors state a claim. In such instances, which are numerous throughout the book, recent scholarship could easily have been introduced to flesh out, contextualize, or offer added perspective.

Instead, the authors continue with the voice of an observer or follow up by stringing together events from a variety of temporal contexts. In the next chapters, the themes of fear and death as described through natural disasters e.

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Here, the authors discuss how courtly women supported imperial endowments, which are mentioned without drawing upon, referring to, or couching claims within recent scholarship. Although Boyar and Fleet introduce ideas of pleasure and display, violence and transformation, which serve as organizational devices, the challenge that emerges is then how to untangle the chronological overlapping and entwined primary source threads in an undergraduate classroom.

When I used this book in my class on the history of Istanbul, the students were quite critical of the organization of the material and had difficulty following specific arguments. In short, my students were more confused by the overall narrative structure although they became interested in the thematic approach. Each footnote refers to a different primary source. The effect is an uncritical treatment of these accounts, which through their random juxtaposition leave the reader entirely perplexed. The enactment of belonging in the aforementioned neighborhood of Kuzguncuk, through conversations, interactions, and engagements on streets, in homes, in stores, in neighborhood associations, and--outside of it--in the diaspora is integrally related by Mills to the idea of belonging to the nation and to critiques of the state.


The historical narratives of expulsion, silencing, tolerance, and belonging unfold over the course of six chapters, primarily focusing on Kuzguncuk streets. The political transition from the Ottoman Empire to the republic of Turkey is depicted in the historiography and in popular accounts as one being from a multiethnic, religiously justified rule of an imperial, monarchic order to a nation-state structure that prioritized ethnic homogenization and implemented policies in making the republic modern.

Kuzguncuk is set against the backdrop of nationalist state policies, such as the Wealth Tax of , the September , anti-Greek riots, and the expulsion of Greek citizens.

Istanbul 2010 - European Capital of Culture

She draws out minute details collected during her years living, conducting interviews, and doing field observations in the neighborhood. In the second chapter, Mills demonstrates how the production of the nostalgic landscape takes on an ideological stance that silences the very history that is part of its production as such.

Orienting Istanbul: Cultural Capital of Europe?

The subsequent chapters cover competing claims on place, its history, and belonging as explored with an examination of the Kuzguncuk Neighborhood Association and its role in the anti-Greek riots of September , Yet, these ethnographic details and telling of neighborhood transformations to include the entrance of non-Muslim residents, Muslim migrants, and new gentrifiers, emphasize that the landscape, ideas of tolerance, and identity are not static but that difference is constructed through the intersections of gender, class, ethnicity, and migrant status.

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