Dualities in the transformation of the urban realm: Smyrna and Salonica 1840-1900


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Gencer C. İ.

MEDITERRANEAN HISTORICAL REVIEW, cilt.31, ss.139-163, 2016 (SSCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier

  • Cilt numarası: 31 Konu: 2
  • Basım Tarihi: 2016
  • Doi Numarası: 10.1080/09518967.2016.1234104
  • Dergi Adı: MEDITERRANEAN HISTORICAL REVIEW
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.139-163

Özet

Starting from 1840s, the Ottoman State underwent a series of institutional changes which was reflected in the transformation of major cities like Smyrna and Salonica, two prominent ports of the Mediterranean. This paper aims to present a critical and comparative evaluation of the urban transformation in Smyrna and Salonica between 1840 and 1900. Through case studies, such as the regulation of roads and the re-organization of burnt-out neighbourhoods according to the new building codes, and the construction of large-scale infrastructure projects - railroads and quays - the dichotomous nature of urban transformation is revealed. Despite all the zealous efforts of local authorities and implementation of urban regulations, only certain sections in both cities were actually modernized, these being the new investment areas and the burnt-out zones. The Ottoman State and the European investors worked together for creating profitable investment zones, which dramatically changed the appearance of these cities in a short period of time. Except for these areas, the traditional urban fabric still prevailed in Smyrna and Salonica at the end of the nineteenth century.

Starting from 1840s, the Ottoman State underwent a series of institutional changes

which was reflected in the transformation of major cities like Smyrna and Salonica,

two prominent ports of the Mediterranean. This paper aims to present a critical and

comparative evaluation of the urban transformation in Smyrna and Salonica between

1840 and 1900. Through case studies, such as the regulation of roads and the

re-organization of burnt-out neighbourhoods according to the new building codes,

and the construction of large-scale infrastructure projects – railroads and quays – the

dichotomous nature of urban transformation is revealed. Despite all the zealous

efforts of local authorities and implementation of urban regulations, only certain

sections in both cities were actually modernized, these being the new investment

areas and the burnt-out zones. The Ottoman State and the European investors

worked together for creating profitable investment zones, which dramatically changed

the appearance of these cities in a short period of time. Except for these areas,

the traditional urban fabric still prevailed in Smyrna and Salonica at the end of the

nineteenth century.