Where people met: bozahouses, coffeehouses and taverns in the light of the 16th and 17th century court records of Istanbul
Toprak, Sultan (2014) Where people met: bozahouses, coffeehouses and taverns in the light of the 16th and 17th century court records of Istanbul. [Thesis]
This study is an exercise in discussing intercommunal relations through certain public venues –bozahouses, coffeehouses and taverns- in Istanbul by looking at 16th and 17th century sharia/kadı court registers (sicils). Since these businesses were both work and meeting places for people from various backgrounds, they are supposed to contribute to the intercommunal relations. In order to explore this issue, I used the court records as main primary sources as they offer a variety of information about the sale, exchange and disposal of these commercial enterprises as well as the social environment in which they were operated. Besides, most of the secondary sources discuss these businesses by focusing on certain patterns such as historical formation and political control which can be gleaned from a variety of primary sources, but their public character has not been analyzed in consideration of intercommunal relations through the court records. Due to this gap in the literature, I have investigated how Muslims and non-Muslims established relationships over these public venues by using the sicils. The registers shed light on economic aspects of aforementioned businesses in terms of business partnerships and rental/sale of shops, but they do not provide enough information on social aspects with regard to intercommunal relations. Rather they offer significant information on food and beverage consumption in bozahouses and taverns as well as on the question of sharing the day and the night in taverns.
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