Daily Life in Old Istanbul

Kayaoğlu, İ. Gündağ and Pekin,
Ersu. Eski İstanbul’da Gündelik Hayat.
İstanbul: Aksoy Yayıncılık, 1992, 158pp.




Daily Life in Old Istanbul


Eski İstanbul’da Gündelik Hayat


This is a
compilation of articles by various writers. As stated by its editor, the aim of
the book satisfies the need to understand the past in order to understand
better the new city and the urban population produced by the changing
socio-economic structures. The book comprises thirteen articles and a
dictionary, and is illustrated by the pictures and drawings by various foreign
artists. Most of the articles have previously been published in journals
relating to folk culture, such as the Turkish Folklore Review.


The majority of
the articles in the book focus on themes depicting the family and the women’s
role in the family. They mostly relate to the daily life in the city,
describing weddings, relations with neighbours, household management,
post-natal customs, public baths and the sightseeing tours in Old Istanbul.
However these are brief and superficial articles based only on the popular
local narratives and have been written without consulting academic sources or
references. The book can be considered as contributing to the existing studies
on folklore as it draws attention to the much-neglected topic of women’s social
roles in the past by compiling the works on their daily lives in various parts
of the city.


Besides subjects
like women and the family, the book also includes short essays on
non-interrelated topics, such as Istanbul’s food culture, traditions of
celebrations of religious holidays like Ramadan, the sacred nature of the
neighbourhood of Eyup Sultan, gypsies and their mores. These articles provide
folkloric information on the ways of life of the city’s Muslim population and
their perceptions of life. These qualities make the book a good introduction to
the social sciences.



by Aysu Dinçer


Tansuğ, Feryal. '"English abstract of 'Daily Life in Old Istanbul'". Translated by Aysu Dinçer. In Cities as Built and Lived Environments: Scholarship from Muslim Contexts, 1875 to 2011, by Aptin Khanbaghi. 41. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014.
Muslim Civilisations Abstracts - The Aga Khan University
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