Document Type


Date of Award

Fall 1-31-2014

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Urban Systems - (Ph.D.)


Joint Program in Urban Systems

First Advisor

Zeynep Celik

Second Advisor

Eva Giloi

Third Advisor

Stephen Gregory Pemberton

Fourth Advisor

Nukhet Varlik


This dissertation explores the rationalizing process of everyday life in late nineteenth century Istanbul, within the framework of the modernization agendas that swept the Ottoman Empire from the 1830s on. Starting with the period known as Tanzimat (literally ‘the reforms’), the study covers the Hamidian period (1876-1909), Second Constitutional Era (1908-1918) and first seven years of the Turkish Republic (1923-1930) noting the complexities of shifts and novelties by looking at daily practices and discourses, as well as the relationships between them.

Within this historic framework, the main focus is the changing relationship between everyday objects and behavioral patterns of the Muslim middle class in the Ottoman capital, Istanbul, and consequently the “new life” that they aspired to. “New life,” which emerged as a concept in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, was charged with aims and high hopes and demands for social and cultural change. These notions were defined and developed in reference to “old” habits and lifestyles, whether real or imagined. Without distinguishing them categorically, the dissertation analyzes two sets of intertwined transformations: in the self-identification of Ottoman intellectuals and citizens and in the practical realities of daily life.



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