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Journal of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association
Number of Followers: 1  
 
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ISSN (Print) 2376-0699 - ISSN (Online) 2376-0702
Published by Project MUSE Homepage  [305 journals]
  • Introduction

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      Abstract: Welcome! It is our pleasure to present to you the latest issue of JOTSA. The centerpiece of this issue is a thematic section on panayırs, or fairs and festivals, in modern Turkish history. The section, guest edited by Hale Yılmaz and Roger Deal, includes a brief introduction by the guest editors, along with five essays addressing different aspects of panayırs, an underexplored topic in the scholarship. The section also features a brief essay by the Turkish photographer Yusuf Darıyerli—a commemorative piece originally written in Turkish, then translated into English by the guest editors, along with a small selection of photographs taken by Darıyerli himself. The thematic section approaches fairs, festivals, and ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-10T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • President’s Note

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      Abstract: The “President’s Note” briefly summarizes recent news from the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association (OTSA). Time-dependent news and information are sent to members by email and/or posted to H-Turk, our H-Net network (https://networks.h-net.org/h-turk). We also share our announcements with non-members through monthly e-mails. If you would like to join this e-mail list, please send an e-mail to our web editor, Selin Onuk, at otsa.webeditor@gmail.com.OTSA is a membership organization. OTSA holds its regular members’ meeting, including the announcement of awards, in conjunction with the annual Middle East Studies Association conference in the fall of each year. Annual dues entitle members to receive the Journal of ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-10T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Introduction

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      Abstract: This collection of essays on fairs, festivals, and commemorations brings together some of the most recent scholarship on a topic which has not yet received the degree of scholarly attention it deserves. Panayırs, traditional agricultural fairs, merge into globalizing expositions (fuar, sergi), and into traditional religious and commemorative festivals (şenlik, festival). Fairs, expositions, and festivals are often conceptualized differently, as they have different origins and different ostensible purposes, yet they share a great many features and functions. Those similarities work to create a coherent yet diffuse topic. The purpose of this special issue is to illustrate how these activities can be studied from ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-10T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Women and Commercial Exhibitions in the Late Ottoman Empire and Early
           Republican Turkey

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      Abstract: This article foregrounds the multitudinous roles of women in commercial gatherings in the late Ottoman Empire and early republican Turkey. It focuses primarily on the involvement of Ottoman/Turkish women in exhibitions and the effects of this involvement on their broader public visibility. It also explores the economic and social effects of their involvement. I argue that exhibitions and fairs are critical to understanding the changing place of women in the public sphere, as well as the shifting public perception of women as Ottoman, patriotic, and Islamic to Turkish, nationalist, and secular.Historically, a subtle difference exists between fairs and exhibitions, with the latter involving no commercial ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-10T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Provincial Fairs of Balıkesir in the Early Republican Period: Between
           Local Development and Sefahat

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      Abstract: This article investigates the fairs of Balıkesir and its neighboring towns and villages from the mid-1930s to the 1960s. First, I explore the economic and social functions of fairs by examining a few example cases that provide insight into provincial life in the early republican era. Fairs stimulated the local economy: The volume of exchange that took place at them played an important role in determining the price of commodities, and they served as important sites of profit for local merchants. Thus, the central government encouraged fairs, and supported the development of new ones during the 1930s. However, Republican elites also regarded fairs as sites of chaos, debauchery, and disorder incompatible with ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-10T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Twentieth-Century Turkish Panayır Entertainments

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      Abstract: The Turkish panayır, or fair, has a long history, predating even the foundation of the Ottoman state.1 Its primary purpose was as a place for buying and selling animals. While this has continued as a significant purpose,2 the panayır has other features which are equally, or perhaps more, important. The feature I will focus on here is the pattern of entertainments that accompanied the gathering of animal traders, and traders of other goods.Before beginning, it might be well to clarify the terminology being used here. The term “panayır” was used in the early Republic of Turkey in ways that often overlapped with a variety of other terms. In the 1920s and 1930s, at least, it was often used interchangeably with the ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-10T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Panayır Memories (November, 2015)

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      Abstract: In August, the ten-day-long panayır was set up behind the High School, on the broad open space stretching out toward the Ankara-Istanbul highway. The sounds of it came in through the open windows of our house, a few kilometers away. Those panayır sounds, like the buzzing of a mosquito, rising and falling with the wind, those exciting, complex, mystical sounds. The loudspeakers making their announcements until midnight, the songs, the mystical sounds called an invitation to the panayır and we couldn’t wait to be there the next day. In the afternoon, with my friends from school and the neighborhood, I’d run, excited to discover everything in the panayır, with the little spending money I’d managed to get from my ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-10T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Panayır Nostalgia: Small-Town Fairs Through Film and Photography

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      Abstract: Panayırs (from the Greek panegyris) are annual small-town trading fairs. There has been a rich tradition of panayırs in Turkey going back to pre-Ottoman times. Panayırs enjoyed a period of expansion in the 19th century, and a second period of growth during the early republican era. The small-town fairs experienced their golden age in the 1950s and 1960s, thereafter entering a period of gradual decline. Films, along with photography and oral historical research, provide a lens for examining panayır culture and its transformations, which in many ways reflect broader social, economic, and cultural change. Some panayır films provide us with a window into the everyday lives of panayır workers; others highlight their ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-10T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Common Trends in Saint Veneration in Turkish Festive Culture in the
           Twentieth Century

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      Abstract: Veneration of significant religious figures has been a historically popular tradition in Turkey. Since the Islamization of Anatolia in the eleventh century, devout Muslims from all segments of society have constructed mausoleums in order to mark sacred spots on the social landscape. As Mircae Eliade notes, “For religious man, space is not homogenous; he experiences interruptions, breaks in it; some parts of space are qualitatively different from others.”1 As Annemarie Schimmel observed in Konya, “… despite the numbers of tourists who throng around the mausoleum, one feels in the late evening, especially in the presence of old family friends who preserve their tradition without ostentation that Mevlana’s presence ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-10T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • The 1675 Imperial Festival and Firework Makers in an Ottoman Register

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      Abstract: Scholars have emphasized the importance of festive occasions since the 1970s, when cultural studies developed as a field of inquiry. As Mikhail Bakhtin puts forward, these occasions present a political, social and cultural picture of the early modern world.1 Scholars have touched upon different realms of the ceremonial world, such as European carnivals,2 Ottoman imperial festivals,3 and Mughal and Safavid courtly celebrations.4 In terms of the Ottoman ceremonial world, Gülru Necipoğlu presents the Ottoman imperial palace as a ceremonial space, while scholars such as Sezer Tansuğ and Sinem Erdoğan İşkorkutan, provide the visual analyses of the festival books and adapt critical approaches towards pictorial ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-10T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Freed Imperial Court-Affiliated Slaves and Their Former Masters in the
           Early Modern Ottoman World: The Role of the Velâ Relationship
           (17th–18th Centuries)

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      Abstract: Islamic law stipulated that manumission did not constitute a complete severance of the relationship between former master and freed person; instead, it created a lifelong legal bond between the manumitter who freed his/her slave and the person that thereby obtained his/her freedom. This special relationship was called velâ (ar. walā’), meaning patronate. The manumitter, whether a male or a female, was entitled to the right of velâ over the manumitted person, including a right to his/her manumitted slave’s inheritance if the latter died without male agnatic heirs. The velâ relationship continued beyond the death of both parties, passing to their heirs. In other words, when either the manumitter or the freed person ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-10T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Empire or Faith: Stretching the Boundaries of the Shariʿa in Ottoman
           Institutional Practice

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      Abstract: “They did not consult the divine law before they removed my testicles,” exclaimed Murad III’s (r. 1574–1595) eunuch vizier Mesih Pasha (d. 1589), when prominent intellectual and bureaucrat Mustafa Âli (d. 1600) confronted him by requesting that he collect debts owed to the imperial treasury according to the shariʿa.1 Recounted in Mustafa Âli’s Nushatü’s-selâtîn (Counsel for Sultans, 1581) as part of a larger discussion on the collection of taxes and dues, this curious exclamation is significant for a number of reasons. To begin with, Mesih Pasha’s statement can be interpreted as evidence of the resentment one would expect from a eunuch vizier, who had suffered the dangerous and debilitating operation of castration ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-10T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Jews in the Late Ottoman Bureaucracy

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      Abstract: An important facet of the reign of Sultan Abdülhamid II (1876–1909) was the increasing recruitment of Jews into the flourishing civil service of the Ottoman state. But, to date, our knowledge of their position in the late Ottoman bureaucracy is largely anecdotal. How many Jews climbed the ranks of the bureaucracy, and how representative were they of their brethren in general' In the absence of a comprehensive statistical survey, it is impossible to know.Fortunately, one essential primary source can serve as the basis for such a survey: the Ottoman personnel registers (sicill-i ahvâl defterleri). These records, commencing in 1879, contain the files of approximately 50,000 individuals, including state officials of ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-10T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Dynamics of an Artistic Duo: Reciprocal Influences Between Elisa and
           Fausto Zonaro

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      Abstract: In her book Co-Art: Artists on Creative Collaboration, the curator and art critic Ellen Mara De Wachter explores collaboration in the visual arts, and argues that “the history of art has generally overlooked collaboration as a key driver of artistic creation. Instead, it glorified the individual (usually male) artist as the ideal type.”1 Taking its cue from this critical perspective towards “the myth of the lone genius,” this paper aims to investigate the creative dynamics of an Italian artist couple, Elisa (1863–1945) and Fausto Zonaro (1854–1929), who lived and worked in the Ottoman capital from 1891 to 1910.2 It aims at an intentional analytical shift away from putting one artist under the spotlight, where “the ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-10T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Of Modernist Painting and Statist Economy: Nurullah Berk on the Soviet Art
           Exhibition in Turkey, 1934–35

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      Abstract: In a 1935 article, Paris-trained Turkish painter Nurullah Berk mobilized the pictures of his Soviet colleagues Aleksandr Deineka, Sergei Gerasimov, and Aleksandr Samokhvalov to argue for “statism in fine arts” [sanatın devletleştirilmesi]. 1 In doing so, Berk pinned art funding to the same statist policies recently implemented to accelerate Turkey’s industrialization. As a vocal member of Group D, an artists’ group that positioned itself as non-official and independent, why would Berk advocate for state involvement in art'2Berk’s article responds to a state-organized Soviet art exhibition that traveled to Ankara and Istanbul in 1934–35, thanks to an alliance between the post-revolutionary Russian and Turkish ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-10T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • The Sunni Caliph Defends the Shiʿi Shah: The Ottoman Universal Caliphate
           in the Persian Turmoil of the 1720s

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      Abstract: On 8 October 1722, the Safavid Empire collapsed after a long life of more than 220 years. Over the next twenty-five years, Iran was ruled almost incessantly by Sunnis. According to commonplace assumptions regarding confessional rivalry, the establishment of Sunnism in Iran should have created a Pax-Sunnica in the broader Eurasian region. Seemingly paradoxically, however, the opposite occurred, and this twenty-five-year period witnessed major military confrontations between the Sunni states. The Ottomans were actively involved in these wars and they supported Shiʿi Safavid princes against Sunni powers in all of these struggles.Why did the Porte decide to side with the Shiʿi Safavids against Sunni Afghans during this ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-10T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Land Policies in the 1780s: The Formation of the Beylerbeyi Neighborhood
           in Ottoman Istanbul

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      Abstract: Over the course of the eighteenth century, Ottoman Istanbul began to expand towards the Bosporus.1 After the 1760s, the nuclei of some new neighborhoods emerged along the Asian shores of the strait. However, this was not a spontaneous process, but realized through initiatives taken by the sultans, who commissioned new mosque complexes and socio-economic facilities via their sultanic endowments (waqfs) for developing new neighborhoods. The use of waqfs to generate new settlements in Istanbul had been a customary practice since the Ottoman conquest of the city in 1453. Now, however, the sultans ordered the construction of new mosques on certain royal gardens (hadâîk-i hassa), inscribed as hass lands, and reserved for ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-10T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Philanthropy and Self-Identification in Late Ottoman Egypt

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      Abstract: In the nineteenth-century Ottoman Empire, philanthropy was one of the most efficient tools that the Ottoman ruling elite used to bolster their legitimacy in the eyes of the population. The most common method of performing philanthropic deeds at this time was the collection of iane, or donations, from different segments of society. These donations were then used for a variety of purposes, ranging from supporting the Ottoman army, to providing aid to refugees and building orphanages. Moreover, in line with the dominant ideas of the period, performing philanthropical acts came to be seen as a way to express one’s patriotic or nationalist feelings.1 Not surprisingly, the Egyptian ruling elite also made use of ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-10T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Passing as Persian: Alterity and Desire in Ahmed Midhat Efendi’s
           Dürdâne Hanım

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      Abstract: When we first encounter the figure of Acem Ali Bey, in the early pages of Ahmed Midhat Efendi’s 1882 novel Dürdâne Hanım, he is already presented to us as a series of apparent contradictions. He haunts Istanbul’s impoverished port districts of Tophane and lower Galata, where pickpockets and street gangs think nothing of “the cruel murder of men,” but is himself chivalrous, and a spendthrift of evident social status.1 He is supposedly Persian, but his features are described as Arab, and his outfit wholly European. Instead, his Iranian character is evoked through language: through Ahmed Midhat’s florid use of Persianate vocabulary, metaphor and grammar in his description, and through “the light, striking Persian ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-10T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Ideals and Realities: Translating Lamartine’s Raphaël

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      Abstract: In 1918, the German orientalist Otto Hachtmann wrote that the Turks were “the translating people of the Orient.”1 Late Ottoman society was indeed a translation culture, a fact which had ripple effects beyond specific texts and translation strategies. Periodicals were the main arena for the translation of fiction into Ottoman Turkish, and the 1890s represented a peak in both translated and Turkish-language serializations, or tefrikas.2 On one hand, the press promulgated a discourse of translation by disseminating ideas about which purposes translation should serve; that is, by educating the readers in morally purposeful ways rather than merely entertaining them. Yet the press also engaged in translative discourse by ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-10T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Loss, Lament and Lost Witnessing: Halide Edib on “Being a Member of the
           Party Who Killed” Armenians

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      Abstract: Following a series of pogroms targeting Armenians in the region of Adana in April 1909, Halide Edib, a rising star in the Ottoman intelligentsia at the time, wrote a powerful condemnation in the newspaper Tanin.1 She addressed her Armenian compatriots as victims of the darkest calamity, explicitly describing her own “despair and disgrace at being a member of the party that killed” them. Entitled “Those Who Died and Those Who Killed,” the letter is both a lament and a witnessing. Cilicia, she wrote, is a graveyard with “thousands of extinguished bloodlines,” “piles of human bones” and “sorrowful mothers writhing over their dead children.” Grief, mourning and shame reverberate in the lines. The Young Turks, Halide ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-10T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Marketing Orient: Pilules Orientales and the Feminine Body in
           Fin-de-Siècle Istanbul

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      Abstract: In 1886 a Parisian pharmacist launched a bust improvement product with a provocative name, Pilules Orientales. These “oriental pills,” which promised women fully-developed, healthy breasts, became a “global” phenomenon under the ownership of another Parisian pharmacist, Lotois Jules Ratié. Between 1900 and 1913, Ratié established more than twenty sales outlets, mostly pharmacies, all around the world — from Saint Petersburg to Montreal and Buenos Aires. One of these markets was the Ottoman capital. This article focuses on the adventure of oriental pills in Istanbul. I discuss how the product was marketed and consumed as a medical aid, whilst questioning its claims to define a beauty standard via the stereotypes ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-10T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Domestic Spaces as Showcases: Interior Photography in Early
           twentieth-century Istanbul

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      Abstract: At the beginning of the twentieth century, paintings, reproductions of paintings, and photographs of family members, relatives or of “great men” crowded domestic interiors. On the walls, historical scenes were intermingled with landscapes, and often combined with family photographs. The diffusion of photography and the development of new techniques allowing for the faster reproduction of images facilitated their circulation, which had, in turn, effects on the ways in which the interiors were decorated.1 Novels narrated these new trends; etiquette books gave advice on the arrangement of photographs in interiors, or on the decoration of the walls of a room. This constantly changing imagery provides clues to ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-10T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Healthy Homes: Hygiene, Disease Prevention, and Domesticity During the
           1930s in Turkey

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      Abstract: Starting from the late nineteenth century onwards, the widespread acceptance of the germ theory of disease, accompanied by health propaganda which provoked fear, guilt, and anxieties over contagion, impacted everyday life.1 The question of healthy houses in interwar Turkey was a product of this development. In the Republic’s early years, diseases and child mortality were alarming for an emerging nation in need of a healthy population. However, healthcare infrastructure fell short of meeting the needs of the society as a whole, which led to a strong emphasis on preventive approaches and individual responsibility in public health.2 While positivist discourses and public health measures expanded into many aspects of ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-10T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Turkey: A Past Against History by Christine Philliou (review)

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      Abstract: Christine Philliou offers a unique account of the contested historiography on the transition from the late Ottoman Empire to the Republic of Turkey, with a focus on a prolific novelist and journalist Refik Halid Karay (1888–1965). According to the official history thesis, there is a rupture between the Unionists governments of the 1910s and the Kemalist regime of the Republic of Turkey. Western scholarship on modern Turkey until the 1980s endorsed the basic argument of this narrative, particularly to highlight the achievements of Mustafa Kemal as a savior of the Muslim majority population in Anatolia after the defeat in World War One. Opposition to the republican master narrative was often identified with Islamism ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-10T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • The Armenians of Aintab. The Economics of Genocide in an Ottoman Province
           by Ümit Kurt (review)

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      Abstract: Having occurred over a century ago, the mass violence that has come to be known as the Armenian Genocide may appear today as a tragic but increasingly distant historical event. In The Armenians of Aintab: The Economics of Genocide in an Ottoman Province, Ümit Kurt begins by shattering this assumption with a set of arresting observations during an outing in the present-day Turkish town of Gaziantep, known as Aintab during the Ottoman period. On his way to meet a friend for coffee in a café located in a beautiful old house, he began chatting with the owner in an attempt to understand its history. Kurt discovered that the owner had inherited the house from his grandfather. When Kurt asked from whom he had acquired the ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-10T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Greeks in Turkey: Elite Nationalism and Minority Politics in Late Ottoman
           and Early Republican Istanbul by Dimitris Kamouzis (review)

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      Abstract: Dimitris Kamouzis’s Greeks in Turkey offers a minute account of the evolution and activism of the Greek communal leadership in Istanbul from the final years of the Ottoman Empire through the first decade of the Republic of Turkey. Thirty years after the publication of Alexis Alexandris’ seminal, The Greek Minority of Istanbul and Greek-Turkish Relations, 1918–1974, Kamouzis taps into communal archives recently made available, as well as Greek and British diplomatic sources, to chart the rise of Greek irredentism in late Ottoman Istanbul, narrate the role of the Constantinopolitan Greek communal elite in the transition from empire to nation-state, and add substantially to the growing literature on late and post- ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-10T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • The Limits of Westernization: A Cultural History of America in Turkey by
           Perin E. Gürel (review)

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      Abstract: Perin E Gürel’s, The Limits of Westernization, provides an engaging introduction to the cross-cultural history of Turkey and the United States. The author offers a novel approach based on combining “transnational American studies, with its focus on the movement of people, and ideas across nation-state boundaries, with comparative cultural studies” (p. 9), to understand and explain the trajectory of modernization in Turkey. The book engages with two sets of academic literature: What could be called post-orientalist cultural history, and gender-studies with a focus on the Turkish polity.The author’s main argument is that as connections between Turkey and the US increased over the course of the twentieth century ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-10T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Precarious Hope: Migration and the Limits of Belonging in Turkey by
           Ayşe Parla (review)

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      Abstract: Ayşe Parla’s “Precarious Hope” is a rich ethnographic work and an influential contribution to a number of fields including anthropology of hope, citizenship, and migration studies. The monograph showcases Bulgaristanlı labor migration to Turkey: the Bulgarian nationals who ethnically define themselves as “Turks” and are regarded in contemporary Turkey as ethnic kin (soydaş). Following an unorthodox migratory path—from the Schengen area to the Middle East—Parla’s Bulgaristanlı interlocutors are migrant women who seek legalization as workers and legal citizens in Turkey. In this rich ethnographic work, we trace Bulgaristanlı’s hopes, bureaucratic encounters, and everyday negotiations of identity and belonging in ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-10T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Spiritual Subjects: Central Asian Pilgrims and the Ottoman Hajj at the End
           of Empire by Lâle Can (review)

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      Abstract: This elegant monograph marks a welcome addition to an increasingly sophisticated literature on the hajj during the era of high imperialism, that includes recent contributions by Eileen Kane, Christopher Low, John Slight, and Umar Ryad. Spiritual Subjects shares with these important works a focus on the hajj’s instrumentalization by empires: Can highlights Ottoman participation in this expanding sphere of geopolitics, with a focus on the Porte’s encounter with the British and the Russians. She opens entirely new avenues of inquiry, however, by shifting our gaze toward everyday life and religion. The author fulfills her stated objective of writing a book about “ordinary people” (p. 31) that brings religion “back ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-10T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • The Crisis of Kingship in Late Medieval Islam: Persian Emigres and the
           Making of Ottoman Sovereignty by Christopher Markiewicz (review)

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      Abstract: Christopher Markiewicz seeks to investigate what he calls the new vocabulary of sovereignty involving cosmic and divine factors that supplemented earlier norms based on Islamic law and genealogy. He considers the fifteenth century crucial for this phenomenon, when such notions were developed and spread by specific individuals. He takes the historian and intellectual, Idris Bidlisi (d. 1520), as the subject of his study, because he “acted as both recipient and shaper of a political culture in flux in both the Aqquyunlu Sultanate…and the Ottoman Sultanate” (p. 20). Essentially, Markiewicz argues that while in the Ottoman Empire, Bidlisi incorporated in his writings ideas of kingship that had developed in Timurid ... Read More
      PubDate: 2022-07-10T00:00:00-05:00
       
 
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