Three Capitals of the Ottoman Empire: Bursa – Edirne – Istanbul
Ortaylı, İlber. Osmanlı’nın Üç Başkenti: Bursa – Edirne – İstanbul. Ankara: Turizm Bakanlığı, 2005, 69pp.


Three Capitals of the Ottoman Empire: Bursa – Edirne – Istanbul

Osmanlı’nın Üç Başkenti: Bursa – Edirne – İstanbul

Bursa, Edirne and Istanbul are three cities that served as capitals for the Ottoman Empire. In this study, information is given about historical artifacts belonging to pre-Ottoman and Ottoman periods in these three cities.

The first city examined in the book is Bursa. As well as being a rich commercial city, Bursa, the first capital of the Ottoman Empire, is well-known for its hot springs. Its mystic atmosphere is mentioned as one of the important attributes of the city. The author also briefly describes tombs, mosques, inns, and baths. Special emphasis is given to Yeşil Cami (The Green Mosque) and Yeşil Türbe (The Green Tomb). The place of Turkish baths in the daily life of city-dwellers is also emphasised. For those who want to experience rural life, visiting Cumalıkızık and Hamamlıkızık villages in the vicinity of the city is suggested.

The second city presented in the book is Edirne. Besides being a city of commerce and science, Edirne, the second capital of the Empire, is also important from a strategic point of view. Architecture developed rapidly after the conquest of the city by the Ottomans. Brief information is given in the book about the mosques, especially the Selimiye Mosque, Sinan, the well-known architect’s masterpiece. 

The last city dealt with in the book is Istanbul. The Sultanahmet Square, deemed as ‘the starting point of the world’ and its vicinities are presented as ‘must-sees’ together with the Grand Bazaar. Information is provided on the Basilica Cistern, the Hagia Sophia, Topkapı Palace, and other mosques shaping the urban fabric. Being an urban mosaic of languages and religions, the Fener, Balat, Eyüp, Galata and Üsküdar districts, are each considered in detail. 

Prepared within the context of cultural tourism, this work is a guide book for domestic and foreign tourists containing basic information about these cities. 

Başak Acınan
Translated by Ertürk Barlas
Acınan, Başak. “English abstract of 'of Three Capitals of the Ottoman Empire: Bursa – Edirne – Istanbul'". Translated by Ertürk Barlas. In Cities as Built and Lived Environments: Scholarship from Muslim Contexts, 1875 to 2011, by Aptin Khanbaghi, 100. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014.
Muslim Civilisations Abstracts - The Aga Khan University
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