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Selim III, Social Control and Policing in Istanbul at the End of the Eighteenth Century

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In Selim III, Social Order and Policing in Istanbul at the End of the Eighteenth Century Betul Basaran examines Sultan Selim III's social control and surveillance measures. Drawing mainly from a set of inspection registers and censuses from the 1790s, as well as court records she paints a colorful picture of the city's residents and artisans. She argues that the period constitutes the beginnings of large-scale population control and crisis management and urges us to think about the Ottoman Empire as a polity that was increasingly becoming a "statistical" state, along with its contemporaries in Europe, and to go beyond mechanistic models of borrowing that focus primarily on military reform and European influence in our discussions of Ottoman reform and "modernity".
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Table of Contents

Contents List of Tables List of Maps List of Illustrations Note on transliteration and translation Abbreviations Acknowledgments Chapter 1: Introduction Chapter 2: The Eighteenth Century: Defining the Crisis Chapter 3: Wartime Crisis and the New Order: The Policing of Istanbul, 1789-92 Chapter 4: The Inspection Registers of 1791-93 Chapter 5: "We Have No Security": Public Order in the Neighborhood Chapter 6: Concluding Remarks Bibliography Index Appendix 4.1: List of shops and trades in the southern Golden Horn in 1792 according to A. DVN. 899-L Appendix 4.2: Distribution of inns according to location in the southern Golden Horn according to A. DVN. 899-L

About the Author

Betul Basaran, Ph.D. (2006), University of Chicago, is Associate Professor at St. Mary's College of Maryland. She has published articles on Istanbul's population and artisans during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.


'Basaran's is an important contribution to studies focusing on the later part of the eighteenth century, especially in terms of putting into perspective the social reforms of a ruler that is much more documented for his military reforms'. Leyla Kayhan Elbirlik in The Journal of Ottoman Studies, XLVII (2016), 433-437

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