Neighborhoods of Ottoman Istanbul: Politics of Order and Urban Collectivity, 1703‒54 (オスマン帝都イスタンブルの街区:秩序と地縁的共同体(1703‒54年))

守田 まどか

This dissertation aims to historicize the nature of neighborhoods in early modern Istanbul and to elaborate on the formation of their collective identity. In a departure from the prevailing tacit understanding that the Ottoman neighborhood was basically an unchanging, static institution detached from almost any given social and political context, this dissertation shines a light on the state‒society interactions that served as a driving force that helped to bring into existence the collectivity of such neighborhoods. With a focus on the first half of the eighteenth century, this study explores what the neighborhood meant for the lives of the urban population in Istanbul, a heterogeneous population whose religions and origins were diverse, and how the neighborhood operated within the constraints imposed by imperial governance. Based primarily on a diachronic examination of 269 volumes of the registers of the court of Istanbul (1665‒1779), an arsenal of documents that reflects the role of the court and the judge as a channel through which the imperial center reached and governed local communities, this research shows that the neighborhood, or the communal relations that were ensconced in a physical urban locality, emerged as the main protagonist in the ordering of space in the imperial capital during the period under study, at a time when the Ottoman Empire was experiencing a greater level of geographical mobility and social fluidity among its population, as well as security crises and threats to imperial legitimacy. The incremental involvement of the Istanbul neighborhoods in the politics of order was a process that entailed a closer integration of these neighborhoods into the imperial apparatus, their consolidation as the normative place of residence, and the reweaving of their collectivity.
 In preparation for an exploration of the various aspects of the neighborhoods of Ottoman Istanbul, Chapter One considers the historical context in which they were located. After a brief description of the topographical and demographic background of the city, the bulk of the chapter is devoted to sketching out the political setting during the first half of the eighteenth century. By building on the existing literature and expanding on the insights into the continuities and changes between the reigns of Ahmed III (r. 1703‒30) and Mahmud I (r. 1730‒54), this study delineates the major political events and their ramifications for urban space and state–society relations. In 1703, royal authority reached its nadir due to the Edirne incident, a military revolt that forced the royal court and the newly enthroned Ahmed III to return to Istanbul. The demeaning nature of the monarch’s return to the capital was accompanied by a determined architectural endeavor to exhibit a renewed image of royal authority in this urban space. The vigorous reconstruction of the city gathered even greater momentum under his successor, Mahmud I, who came to power in 1730 after the first popular revolt, a monarch who also faced recurrent uprisings during his reign, particularly in the 1740s. It is argued that the urban space of the imperial capital under the two reigns increasingly became an arena in which the monarchs sought to bolster public security and create an ideal social order through the management of unauthorized immigrants and the regulation of the gender relations and sexual morality of the urban population. Only through the achievement of these goals was it envisaged that imperial legitimacy would be secured.
 With a specific focus on the regulation of gender relations through the institution of marriage, Chapter Two examines how this increased vigilance over urban space was instrumental in the reconfiguration of the collectivity of the neighborhoods. In the first section of the chapter, the discussion revolves around a marriage regulation promulgated in 1710. In response to the perceived rampancy of illicit matrimonial activities in Istanbul, the regulation not only prohibited matrimony without court permission, but also made mandatory the provision of testimony on the matrimonial eligibility of brides-to-be by the members of their respective neighborhoods. Moreover, the authorities restricted the capacity of the imams (the religious leaders of mosques and often the de facto leaders of neighborhoods) to supervise marriages to only those persons residing in their respective neighborhoods. It is argued that this set of procedural requirements tightened the linkage between residence in a neighborhood, the imam’s supervision of marriages, and a collective responsibility for the conjugality of the residents, hence triggering a process whereby imam‒congregant relations became firmly established in a physically defined space. Against this backdrop of the collectivity of imam-led neighborhoods becoming spatialized, the second section of the chapter looks into the enigmatic relations between neighborhoods and religious communities. As opposed to the conventional view that neighborhood formation was religiously oriented, the evidence presented in this study shows that non-Muslim parochial communities rarely qualified as neighborhoods; rather, they were often described in official documentation as subordinated to neighborhoods led by imams. It is believed that the seemingly discursive subordination of non-Muslim communities into imam-led neighborhoods was not merely a reflection of the mosque-centered urban order that the Hanafi jurists had conceptualized since the medieval period. Instead, it is suggested that the spatiality that the imam-led neighborhoods were then acquiring warranted a greater inclusion of religiously diverse populations into neighborhoods under the influence of imams.
 The inclusiveness of such neighborhoods proved to be an invaluable resource that the authorities sought to exploit when confronted with a succession of public security crises, as demonstrated in Chapter Three, which addresses the dynamics of migration management and the politics of integration during times of increased vigilance against immigrants in the 1740s. The chapter opens with a discussion of how the aftermath of the 1740 revolt—a near replicate of the 1730 revolt that toppled the regime of Ahmed III—drove the authorities to hone their method of identifying unauthorized residents, which, in turn, brought about a clearer conceptualization of residency. Unlike the conventional view in the literature that sees deportation as the main mechanism by which migrant inflows into the city were tackled, it is argued that the authorities applied the twin measures of deportation and integration by relying on the participation of neighborhoods. The full appreciation of the potential of neighborhoods and the role of imams in thwarting the disruption of public order is embodied in a list of 258 neighborhood imams who had attested their allegiance to the state that was enclosed in a judge’s notification to the Sublime Porte in 1741. Then the second part of the chapter focuses on an inspection register that was compiled into a court record of 1745. The register covers 262 Muslim and non-Muslim male and female unauthorized immigrants, all of whom were allowed to stay in the neighborhoods in which they were detected. A close analysis of the document reveals the neighborhoods to be a milieu of social ties and familial relations that helped to transform illegal arrivals into legal residents. To an extent, this observation on the way in which people of provincial origins were integrated into the local community bespeaks the exclusion of others, as it was through a double-edged sword of acceptance and rejection that a neighborhood would carve out its identity as a collective when the city was periodically overwhelmed by an avalanche of newcomers.
 Building on the investigations presented in the preceding chapters, Chapter Four seeks to offer a deeper insight into the collectivity of neighborhoods by exploring the neighborhoods’ collective actions as typically manifested in a specific type of court case: litigation that resulted in the banishment of one or more residents from their neighborhood of residency. It is established knowledge that banishment was a punishment commonly employed across the Ottoman Empire throughout the centuries. Yet, what is largely unrecognized in the literature to this day is that in Istanbul, from the early eighteenth century onward, adjudications of banishment started to be invariably notified to the Sublime Porte as the result of a surge in upward communication. Additionally, this study reveals a hitherto unknown development in which the adjudication of banishment of Istanbul residents was, in 1725, brought under the exclusive jurisdiction of the main court of Istanbul. A systematic analysis of 288 cases of banishment that were entered into the court records of Istanbul between 1725 and 1754 indicates that banishment, as an extension of the extrajudicial communal sanction imposed on moral deviation, was an arena where neighborhoods practiced “spatialized collectivity,” which, as elaborated in the previous two chapters, encompassed people of different religions and origins under the leadership of imams. It is also shown that, despite the growth in the local influence of imams and their centrality in the neighborhood structure, the collectivity of the neighborhoods was a far more dynamic construct than one which can be reduced to the representativeness or the individuality of the imams alone.
 Finally, drawing all of the above strands together, this dissertation concludes with a brief discussion of how the Ottoman imperial governance of Istanbul, which had largely been buttressed by the spatiality and tangibility of such urban collectives, changed as the end of the Ottoman Empire approached.

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