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Distributed for Koç University Press

The Other Faces of the Empire

Ordinary Lives Against Social Order and Hierarchy

Translated by Esra Tasdelen
Essays illuminate the lives of ordinary people who lived in the Ottoman era. 

Drawing from centuries-old court records, The Other Faces of Empire traces the lives of “outstage” people in vast empire lands. Each essay in the collection tells the story of an ordinary person navigating the Ottoman Empire. On this journey, we meet colorful and quite extraordinary figures: Deli Şaban, “naughty and haramzade” with his unsuccessful suicide attempts; Divane Hamza, who harassed the people in the village of Evciler in Bursa; Mâryem of Konya, who killed her husbands and buried them in the floor of a room of her house; Alaeddin from Skopje, who was captured by pirates; Nicolò Algarotti, a Venetian broker; and many others. 

The volume’s micro-historical perspective strengthens its place in historiography, and moreover, it updates the historical record by sharing the overlooked stories of “ordinary” people and recording their names in the Ottoman historical literature one by one. 

320 pages | 17 halftones, 2 tables, 1 map, 4 figures | 6 1/4 x 9 1/2

History: Middle Eastern History

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Table of Contents


Firat Yasa


Suraiya Faroqhi

Chapter 1
Sitting in a Stable yet Singing Songs of the Palace: On Horse Ownership as Self-Display
Nurcan Abaci
Chapter 2

An ill-behaved, illegitimate son, a Tattling, Restless Soul: The Suicide Attempts of Deli Saban with Nine Lives

Zeynep Do¨rtok Abaci

Chapter 3
From the Marshes to the Qadi’s Court: The Trials and Tribulations of a Village with Divane Hamza
Firat Yas¸a
Chapter 4:
The Guiles of Men Outsmart Ma^ryem: Prostitution, Murder and Social Control in 18th Century Konya
Cemal C¸etin

Chapter 5
Partnership in Mischief in the 16th century: An Entire Family of Thieves
Saadet Maydaer
Chapter 6
The Case of Gülpasa of the Gurbet Crew at Bor in the 16th Century
Emine Dingec¸
Chapter 7
Have Some Mercy, Sir!: The Suffering of Selim the Slave
Zu¨beyde Gu¨nes¸ Yag?ci

The Operations of Ottoman Bureaucracy: Helpful or not?
Chapter 8
Alaeddin from Üsküp: From Captivity to Mülazemet
Yasemin Beyazit
Chapter 9
Voting and Election Practices of the Greek Community in the Ottoman Classical Period: The Demogerontia Elections
Filiz Yas¸ar
Chapter 10
Two Steps Forward, One Step Backward: A Grand Melee in the Ottoman Provinces
O¨zlem Bas¸arir

Chapter 11
Are we not Ottomans? The Struggle of Shi’i Nureddin and Ibrahim in Returning from Exile
Faruk Yaslic¸imen

Chapter 12
Why did Su¨reyya, Vasfi, Mehmed and Idris become Runaways?
Thoughts on the Ottoman Education System by way of a Case of Truancy
Ismail Yas¸ayanlar
Out of Category: The Adventures of a Dubious Broker
Chapter 13
Nicolo` Algarotti: A Life Shaped at the Borders of Conversion
Buket Kalayci



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