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Gungor, Taylan (2022) The mercantile experience of Ottoman Pera in the century after 1453. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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Restricted to Repository staff only until 18 January 2025.


This thesis investigates the mercantile experience of Pera under Ottoman rule. Although there is evidence of some decline in Westerner trade after the conquest of Constantinople, the early Ottoman state is observed to be proactive in their approach to regional trade. The argument of the thesis is that the narrative of Ottoman inter-regional ambitions outlined in the “Ottoman Age of Exploration” must be pulled further back in time as the thesis identifies a conscious and active participation in inter-regional trading activity. The first chapter situates Pera as being an important trading centre taken over by the Ottomans after the conquest of Constantinople in 1453. Byzantine privileges are traced in a similar form under Ottoman rule, effectively continuing pre-established trading norms. In the second chapter, the Italian notary documents of Pera are used to characterise trade pre-and poste conquest. These provide a valuable insight into the daily life of the foreign merchants in their dealings not only with locals and traders, but also overseas participants in local and regional trading activity. The surveys of Istanbul after 1453 show changes in the demographics of the city are traced and its impact on trade and the nature of the early Ottoman Empire The third chapter situates the Ottomans in Mediterranean diplomacy, focusing on Venetian diplomatic sources. In these sources, the Ottoman relations with foreign states are portrayed as being beyond simply belligerents in the Mediterranean trade circle. The final chapter explores the role of the Ottomans in the politics and economy of the wider Mediterranean and Black Sea region. Rather than considering the Ottomans as an outsider disruptive force to the eastern Mediterranean, it instead can be seen that the new homogenous Ottoman dominions created trading circles that not only changed the cityscape of Pera but also changed regional and inter-regional trade dynamics.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses
Supervisors Name: George Dedes
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2022 14:34

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