The Social and Economic Outlook of Ottoman Cities until the Eighteenth Century
Doğru, Halime. XVIII. Yüzyıla Kadar Osmanlı Kentlerinin Sosyal ve Ekonomik Görüntüsü. Eskişehir: T.C. Anadolu Üniversitesi Yayınları, 1995, 288pp.


The Social and Economic Outlook of Ottoman Cities till the Eighteenth Century

XVIII. Yüzyıla Kadar Osmanlı Kentlerinin Sosyal ve Ekonomik Görüntüsü

Halime Doğru studies urban life during the time of the Seljuks and Ottomans in Anatolia. She bases her study on monographs prepared by prominent historians who have studied the tahrir (population and tax) notebooks on Anatolia, Rumelia, and the Caucasus. Therefore, the author classifies the book as a compilation, even if she also relies on archival material when necessary.

The work starts with a discussion about the history of Anatolian cities from the Neolithic ages till the eleventh century. It looks thereafter at the social and economic condition of the cities. The author discusses the social, economic and cultural life of Seljuk cities before dealing with cities under the Ottomans. She devotes half the book to Seljuk cities despite the fact that the book’s title exclusively refers to Ottoman cities. 

The section covering Anatolian Seljuk cities describes their physical structure, administration types, religious institutions, health, social help and educational institutions, their source of income, transport and trade, foundations and the characteristics of the population. 

In the larger second section, the social and economic outlook of Ottoman cities up till the eighteenth century is discussed. It includes information on the physical outlook of Ottoman cities, the economy, tax system, trade, organisation of groups involved in different trades and their supervision, situation of non-Muslims, and the administrative and legal system. 

The book also includes visual material such as miniature paintings, maps and gravures. If the visual material had been presented alongside the subject matter rather than at the end of the book this could have made the book more engaging. 

Despite its flaws, the book is a valuable reference book. It compiles the works of prominent historians who explored the original archival material. The book is essential for researchers unable to reach the archives or who are short of time, and for readers looking for general knowledge on the subject. 

Ecehan Koç
Koç, Ecehan. “English abstract of 'The Social and Economic Outlook of Ottoman Cities till the Eighteenth Century'". Translated by Ecehan Koç. In Cities as Built and Lived Environments: Scholarship from Muslim Contexts, 1875 to 2011, by Aptin Khanbaghi, 156. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014.
Muslim Civilisations Abstracts - The Aga Khan University
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