Tarih ve Toplum - Yeni Yaklaşımlar
Tarih ve Toplum


How many people read a book? Some remarks
on the Ottoman readers and reading traditions


This study will introduce and discuss insights we acquired in reading culture of Ottoman Istanbul. I will adduce the fly-leaf notes of the manuscripts that derived their themes from literature, history, epics and the daily experiences of city life and produced mainly in the course of the eighteenth century. These notes prove that public reading became widespread in the eighteenth century-İstanbul and a group of “popular” books were read out loud in various places of Istanbul such as coffeehouses, private houses or courtyards of mosques by different readers. Further, the notes provide vivid information on the daily life of city dwellers as well as the social structure of Ottoman Istanbul.

Keywords: Ottoman Empire, popular books, reading habits, readers circle.


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Reserve OffIcers: An Analysis of a Compulsory
MIlItary ServIce Category from the Late Ottoman EmpIre
to the early TurkIsh RepublIc, 1891-1930


This article examines the evolution of the reserve officer system, which had become an integrated part of Ottoman-Turkish conscription, from the late Ottoman Empire through the early Turkish Republic. On the one hand, the reserve officer system came up as a practical solution to the increasing need for army officers with technical skills during the modernization of the Ottoman military. But on the other hand, it had also to do with the attempts at making more military use of the growing educated manpower in Ottoman society and at justifying compulsory military service further by including educated strata in the conscription system. Moreover, the reserve officer system became ideologically and symbolically highly significant, since the reserve officer as a soldier and an educated person at the same time represented in himself both the emphasis on positivist education in the Ottoman-Turkish conception of modernization and the vision of “the military-nation” that took roots in Turkish nationalism especially after the First World War. Based on these major themes, this article tries to explore how this process unfolded during the period under study and what sorts of continuities and differences it produced from the late empire through the early republic. The article also focuses on the experiences of reserve officers themselves and analyzes how they recounted their own experiences in their diaries and memoirs.

Keywords: The reserve officer system, reserve officers, compulsory military service, conscription, military modernization, new officer corps, Ottoman Army, Turkish Republican Armed Forces.


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The closures and sales of mosques under
the single party regime


This thesis is about the closures and sales of mosques under the single party regime in Turkey and the main problem of the thesis is how these applications can be located within the perceptions of power regarding the mosques. The data used for analysis were obtained primarily from, in addition to secondary sources that concern our subject, official publications as Düstur, Türkiye Büyük Millet Meclisi Zabıt Ceridesi / Tutanak Dergisi, the journal of Mecmua published by the General Directorate of Waqfs (GDW) and the Archive of Republic of the Office of Prime Minister.

In the idea of classification of mosques which was aiming to increase wages and improve living conditions of officers of the mosques since second constitutional monarcy, there had been a new period with the Regulation no. 6061 prepared by the Directorate of Religious Affairs (DRA) under the Article 14 of the Budget Act of 1927 and adopted on January 8, 1928 by the Council of Ministers. Following this period, the classification would be used by the power of the single party as a tool to ensure that mosques were on the bench and closed. The fact that the transfer of authority for the management and the classification of mosques from the DRA to GDW under the articles six and seven of the Law no. 1827 of June 8, 1931, and the new classification regulation prepared by the GDW which was adopted and implemented by the Cabinet on December 25, 1932, made it possible to put more mosques on the bench and close them.

Although the sale of mosques which were closed had begun in 1927, its legal frame was determined in 1935 by the Law of Waqfs (no. 2762, June 5, 1935) as well as the Law on the Classification of mosques, masdjids and the salary which will be paid to the personnel of mosques and masdjids that were out of classification (no. 2845, November 15, 1935). It was after the implementation of these two laws, the power of single party had completed the infrastructure of the legal frame for the applications of closures and sales of mosques.

Keywords: Mosques, bench and closed, classification, Directorate of Religious Affairs, General Directorate of Waqfs.


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Ateş-Güneş Football Club 1933-1938


Ateş-Güneş Club is an attractive subject of inquiry, thanks to its adventurous establishment and rapid rise as well as its sudden disappearance from the historical scene. In Turkish sports history, however, the club is usually described only through the administrative conflict within the Galatasaray Sports Club, but without considering the factors other than the sporting ones. Examining the newspapers and the sport journals of the period, this study discusses the existence of Ateş-Güneş in relation with political, social and economic dynamics. As the club’s story is rewritten in its historical context, it becomes apparent that the split within Galatasaray Club actually reflects the difference in sport politics of the liberal and the statist ruling elites. Moreover, an analysis of the Ateş-Güneş founders’ political and occupational background highlights the close relation of the club with the liberal wing of the state. This article aims to contribute to Turkish sports history by revealing new information about the sporting approaches of the early Republican elites, the social functions attributed to football, the power relations in the football world and the methods of reconciliation with the political authority.

Keywords: Ateş-Güneş FC, republican era, Turkish sports history.


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The origins of the US corcern with Turkey
in the Second World War


The historiography of the Turkish-American relationships claims that the interest of the United States in Turkey began after the declaration of the Truman Doctrine and within the political frame of the containment of USSR. This paper will contest this affirmation and will look for the origins of the US concern with Turkey in the Second World War. It will verify this hypothesis by looking through the frame of the new American global policy and as part of its determination to expand its sphere of influence to the Near and Middle East. American officials believed in the necessity of cutting all the barriers obstructing commercial exchanges, and in instrumentalizing economy to affect politics. Moreover, during the war, the US got into competition with Great Britain concerning not only Turkey but the whole Middle East. This article will focus on just one of the U.S. policy lines adopted to expand influence in the region: the international trade policy in the Middle East and Turkey’s role within this policy.

Keywords: Turkish-American diplomatic relations, Second World War.


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