Ne bir fakire münasip saray-ı sultani
Ne hücre-i fukara şah-ı dehre erzani
Efendi, her kişinin layıkınca mesken olur
(Gelibolulu Mustafa Âlî1, the end of the XVIth century)

Space in the Ottoman State is organized based on the “traditional” way of thinking that is constituted of many different components. One of the most influential dynamics of these components within the very complicated structure of this way of thinking is religion. In terms of the issues frequently discussed in narratives focusing on housing and zoning policies, the process that begins with the construction of a külliye (social complex) in the center of a new housing unit or neighborhood proceeds, expands and gets complicated with the surrounding housing units. It can be argued that this situation is affected by a religion-centered perspective and that a perception of space is formed by incentives derived from this perspective. Cities, particularly Istanbul, where holiness was tangible, used to stand as cities of the empire through the connection with the Sovereign while shaping the relationships regarding the space that could be compared to the rest of the empire. The relationships established through a similar residual of network of spaces used to provide the transition to a new composition over time. In other words, Istanbul, who determined the “destination” of all the Ottoman cities, defined the notion of space where the perception of empire was perfectly embodied.2

Such a relationship that can be established between holiness and space can be traced into the site organization of the city. The organization of the city with fiqh or law indicates the sustainability of the city on a legitimate ground and its dynamism. Thus, in a time when modern “city planning” did not exist, fiqh was the prominent discipline among the ones that coordinated the site organization of a city.3

Within this context, şer‘iye (legal, in compliance with the Islamic law) or court registers are the resources where fiqh can be related to space in the Ottoman State and Istanbul. When there is no visual material, the most convenient resources are şer‘iye registers to uncover the structure of the Ottoman cities. The records that were constituted of court records led by qadi (Judge), contribute directly and indirectly to the historical narrative of architecture due to the richness of documents.4 These registers are of great importance particularly for Istanbul, and they were used as following: Reparations that required qadi’s authorization were recorded, surveyors were assigned for new constructions under the supervision of the qadi, all sales transactions of civil architecture and property conflicts were recorded along with the characteristics of the property, new interpretations for emerging situations in the city organization were made, bridges with the traditional and the ancient were built, şufa (preemption) rights5 that aimed the subsistence of the old were determined and established, and consisted of documents including waqfiyyas (foundations). Around 10,000 court registers of Istanbul offer a tremendous opportunity to reveal the site history of the city.

Within the framework of this article, in order to manifest the existing resources 40 Istanbul Kadı Sicilleri (Qadi Registers of Istanbul) were scanned by Türkiye Diyanet Foundation Center for Islamic Studies (İSAM) and some exemplary registers were determined.6 The “document centered appearance” of Istanbul’s houses of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were thus revealed. Focus has been on the registers chosen from the Üsküdar, Istanbul (Center), Bâb, Balat, Eyüb and Galata courts as well as Rumeli Sadareti, and relevant examples from these registers were evaluated. Some of the registers on the houses in Istanbul that we considered to be special within the context of history of architecture have been presented as full text. This text cannot definitely be defined as a complete or an accurate interpretation of the Istanbul houses of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries through the court registers. This paper should be considered as a preamble, and it should be kept in mind that the entire work is an evaluation.

The sixteenth century houses of Istanbul in the suriçi (walled) region have been previously researched and examined thoroughly.7 Whereas this paper, with regard to the sixteenth century Istanbul houses, focuses on the houses of Üsküdar in the documents, and mentions of the courts of Istanbul, Balat, Eyüp for comparison. These observations have affected the selection of Üsküdar for the sixteenth century: Sixteenth century’s Üsküdar had barely taken place in the previous researches, it is a relatively recent and less populated area compared to suriçi, the distinction between the urban and the rural was evident, and the area was predominantly characterized by the Ottoman residential style. In this respect, certain conclusions regarding the vicinity of the houses and the residential order, house types, external and internal units of the houses, or information about the site organization will be provided through sixteenth century’s Üsküdar. The seventeenth century Istanbul houses are the continuation of the sixteenth century houses, and for this reason the seventeenth century will not be specifically explored. However, some examples from the seventeenth century have been included in the explanation of the sixteenth century. Registers of three large mansions of the seventeenth century suriçi found in the court registers elucidate some of the architectural characteristics of the seventeenth century Istanbul.

Regarding the Vicinity of the Houses and Residential Order

It is hard to define a form of an Ottoman or Istanbul house and to classify them in absolute categories in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In this time period, only the core of these forms and contents could be found in the registers. Researchers who evaluate, define, and categorize the houses of Istanbul within the context of the twentieth century, have developed theoretical approaches based on the physical characteristics of the houses that mostly belong to the nineteenth century, and that do not reflect any characteristics of the sixteenth and the seventeenth centuries. These interpretations are evolved around concepts like sofa (hall), hayat, oda (room) that constitute predominantly the essence of the nineteenth century houses, and the fallacies and the deficiencies of the “mainstream” definitions are revealed when compared with the registers of the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (like waqfiyyas and registers). It is true that typologies of houses for the “standardization” of Istanbul houses have started in late seventeenth century and have been disseminated since mid-eighteenth century. Taking this note into consideration, certain characterization can be done for the sixteenth and seventeenth century Istanbul houses.

Given the demographical structure and the dwelling zones of Istanbul in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, majority of the population who lived in the city had kept their rural life styles as they subsisted on land. In the documents, this is even more evident in the regions that are left outside the walls of the city (Üsküdar, Eyüp, etc). Within the daily living routine, urban space is directly related to the vicinity and the spacial organization of the houses. For instance, the damage of the gardens in Çengelköy due to an errant cow,8 Hoşkadem vineyard in Üsküdar9, beehives,10 hayloft,11 vineyards and gardens12, the cherry farm in Kepçe Neighborhood that was sold for 1,850 coins,13 “the foundation garden close to the deceased Mehmed Pasha cultivation in (nefs-i) (centre of) Üsküdar”14 are good examples. Therefore, the agricultural structure was also reflected in the architectural forms of the houses and most of the houses were in compliance with this general layout. In (nefs-i) Üsküdar, the house of Butcher Karaca b. Abdullah is “bounded by life,” and he owned an acre vineyard around the house.15 Again in Üsküdar, there are vineyards in front of the house of Ali b. Hızır in Gülfem Neighborhood.16 While this is how it was like in Üsküdar in the sixteenth century, another interesting example in 1663/1664 proves that the property owner’s farm is also next to his house:

… mahrûse-i mezbûre a‘mâlinden Beşiktaş’da Ali Ağa mahallesinde vâki‘ bir tarafı vâdi ve bir tarafı Yamandioğlu demekle ma‘rûf zimmî ve bir tarafı el‑Hâc Mehmed’in gül bahçesi ve bir tarafı tarîk-i âm ile mahdûd dört bâb fevkânî oda ve altında üç bâb tahtânî odaları ve ahırı ve bir yerde dahi beş fevkânî oda ve altında ahırı ve dolap kuyusu ve havuzı ve tahtapûşu müştemil menzil ve bahçesini mezbûre Ayşe Hâtun’a bey‘-i bâtt-ı sahîh-i şer‘î ile doksan yedi bin akçeye bey‘ ve teslîm edip ol dahi iştirâ ve tesellüm ve kabûl ettikden sonra, zikr olunan bahçeye karîb her birinin hudûdu beyne’l-ahâlî ma‘lûm üç kıt‘a tarlasının dahi tasarrufunu ma‘rifet-i sâhib-i arz ile mezbûre Ayşe’ye üç bin akçe bedel mukâbelesinde ferâğ ve tefvîz edip ol dahi tefevvüz ve kabûl ettikden…17

(I own a house in one of the said regions, in Beşiktaş, at Ali Ağa district. This house is neighbor to the place of Yamandioğlu Zimmi and rose garden of Hacı Mehmed and valley and public road. I sold this house, in which there are rooms, barn, mill wheel, pool and terrace, to Ayşe Hatun at a price of of ninety-seven thousand akçe (a small silver coin). I also passed on the possession of three farms, which are near the garden of the house and whose borders are known by the neighbors. Ayşe Hatun took over these properties from me. )

In the examined registers of Üsküdar, the vicinities of the houses are generally next to the street or other properties. There was no application of the adjacent residential architecture. In Hamza Fakih Neighborhood, three sides of a house were surrounded by public streets and one side was bounded and distinguished by the dismissed Mahmud property.18 In another example in Sultan Neighborhood, one side of a sold house was surrounded by Isa b. Ali’s property and the other three sides were surrounded by public streets.19 Hızır b. Kumari had donated four yards from his property to Yani from his land next to Yani’s house, thus his house’s surrounding was unoccupied.20 Of course, this was not the case for all the houses. In Sinan Subaşı Neighborhood in Üsküdar, one façade of a house was surrounded by public streets, one was surrounded by İskender property, one by İbrahim property and one was surrounded by Arap Hatun property.21 This situation suggests that there were adjacent houses as well. However, in most of the registers, it is observed that the word “muttasıl” (adjacent) was used instead of “mahdud” (enclosed). This word recalls the structure where houses are close but not adjacent to each other. When the houses were adjacent, the word “muttasıl” has mostly been used. Even when the houses were “mahdud”, it can be assumed that there was some space between houses. It is important to keep in mind that such definitions are not absolute since the terms in the Ottoman registers were used flexibly in an interchanging way.

1- House architecture and district structure İn Ottoman Istanbul (<em>Hünername</em>)

One of the most important environmental constituents of how the houses were situated was the streets. The streets were grouped as tarîk-i âm (public streets) and tarîk-i hâs (private streets). Tarîk-i âm is seen on the border of almost all the houses as in the house that was located in Mehmed Paşa Neighborhood and “was bounded by public street on one side.”22 Thus, according to the registers, there were no houses located in a dead end.23 In other words, the form of housing totally hidden in a dead end was not common. The fact that houses were not adjacent to each other could be a possible reason since there was no need for the “safety” provided by a dead end in terms of privacy and security. All houses established their hierarchy of privacy and security through their courtyards. Houses with gardens, which will be examined in the following pages in detail, were not rare. For an instance, the house inherited from Hüseyin b. Hasan in Kepçe Neighborhood had “a porch, water well, stove, and a garden in front of the house,” and “hudûdu iki cânibi tarîk-i âm iki cânibi Mustafa b. Mehmed mülküne muttasıldır.”24 (Two sides are border with the road and the other two sides are border with the property of Mustafa b. Mehmed.) This house which had a garden and was surrounded by public streets on two sides did not require a private path in its relationship with the city through “public” and “private” spaces in terms of privacy and security. Of course, there were houses that were bounded by a private street; however, it is notable that one side of the house was generally bounded by a private street while the other was bounded by a public street. The house of Belkıs bint. Mustafa in Kepçe Neighborhood that included two tahtani house, well, stove and toilet, and that was bounded by the property of Durmuş b. Abdullah of 5.500 coins on one side and bounded by private street and public street on the other sides, is an example.25 A more unique example manifests that a property that was bounded by a private street on two sides while it was bounded by a public street on one side: Şakire Hatun bint Abdullah sold the property consisted of fevkani (two-storey) house, fevkani hallway under the house that was used as a barn, three tahtani (single storey) houses, one of them was close to the gate, kitchen, vault, well, garden, stove and restroom to 33,000 coins. The property was bounded by the property of İbrahim Bali b. Durmuş on one side, a private street on two sides, and a public street on the fourth side.26 With regards to Üsküdar, particularly in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, official documents generally classified the houses in Istanbul according to the streets they were surrounded and bounded by.

2- Houses in the neighborhood of Sülemaniye Mosque (Lorichs)

3- Yedikule (seven Towers) and its neighborhood (Giovanni Andreas di Vavassore, <em>Byzantium sive Constantineopolis</em>, detail)

House Types

There are different types of houses in registers. Depending on the flexibility of the registers, the houses were defined and classified according to the numbers of floors and/or whether they were one or two-storey (tahtani-fevkani, ulvi-süfli), to the number of the stoves, to the material used and to the construction technique, and in some cases according to very unique characteristics. Houses of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries could be defined in many interesting ways: Ulvi (big) and süfli (small) houses, fevkani and tahtani houses, çatma (assembled) house, çardak ev (summerhouse), stone house, house built with stone and soil, property house built with soil, wooden house (ağaç ev), haşeb (timber) house, kerpiç (adobe) house, pebble house, hedge house covered with hay, house built with plank (hızar tahtası), house with two stoves, fevkani with four stoves and tahtani house, tahtani with a room on the top, etc.

With regards to the construction materials, examples for these houses can be given through Üsküdar Şer‘iye registers. The house that was built close to the Üsküdar dock was defined as wooden house, which is important in terms of providing the right definition. It is evident that the house which Mehmed b. Bekir and Yorgi b. Dranos co-owned was made of wood; however, it is not clear what is exactly meant by “wood.27 In another Üsküdar register, the house built with plank in Hacı Mehmet Neighborhood is another kind.28 It is interesting that the material of the house has been recorded and it should be noted that it is a better-qualified house with higher construction costs. According to the official price registers, the plank was a very expensive and rare material. A house that was listed in a law estate is an old timber (köhne haşeb) house that is made of wood. Along the house, there is “hayat”, “daire” and “old timber dam.”29 It is understood that it is a ruined house.

Assembled house, which is another kind of house, is frequently seen in Istanbul registers. This one refers to a broader category when compared with others, and it even provides a higher definition. According to this definition, as the word offers, the wooden planks are assembled against each other. It is possible to come across to definitions such as “an assembled house in Nefs-i Üsküdar,” 30, “an assembled property house” in Reisli village in Gekvize district. An “assembled property house” was sold for 1,300 coins to Davud b. Tekkeci Mustafa with the entire “interior and exterior laws”31. In Bulgurlu neighborhood, there is an “assembled wooden house.”32 The following record is important in terms of being a general example of an assembled house, which was located within the distance of two süfli houses. This record brings up the following question: does the assembled house define a more mediocre kind of house compared to the others? In the record two süfli houses are examined and later the assembled house is mentioned:

… mezbûre Fahrî Hâtun’un mahrûse-i Üsküdar’da Sinan Paşa mahallesinde vâki‘ mezbûr Hâfız Mehmed mülküyle ve Mustafa b. Sefer ve Mehmed Çelebi b. Şucâ‘ mülkleriyle ve tarîk-i âmla mahdûd olup iki süflî evi ve bir matbahı ve bahçeyi ve su kuyusunu ve çatma evi ve çatmaya muttasıl bir ahırı ve iki kenîfi ve bir kileri ve muhavvatayı cümle tevâbi‘ ve levâhıkı ile nısfını mezbûr Hâfız Mehmed’e ve nısf-ı âharın mezbûr Hâfız Mehmed’in zevcesi mezbûre Hatice Hâtun’a kırk bin râyic fi’l-vakt nakid akçeyle bir kabza adedi nâ-ma‘lûm fülûsa bey‘-i bâtt-ı sahîh-i şer‘î birle bey‘ edip…33

“…aforesaid Fahri Hatun had outright sale of Hafız Mehmed, Mustafa b. Sefer, Mehmed Çelebi b. Şucâ properties in Sinan Paşa district and two single-storey houses, which are surrounded by a public road, one kitchen, garden, water well and çatma house (assembled house) and one barn attached to this house, two lavatories, one cellar and half of the yard to Hafız Mehmed and the other half of the yard to his wife Hatice Hatun at fourty thousand akçe (coins) and copper coins in unknown amount…”

4- Houses in Istanbul (Detail from Matrakçı)

As can be understood from the property prices indicated in the registers, the summerhouse is more qualified than the assembled house. A summerhouse roughly means a house that has four sides. Whether these sides are surrounded with a wall or not, or whether they were simply erected on four poles in compliance with the definition of a summerhouse, totally depended on the situation. For example, in the law estate of Manol v. Nikola there is a “summerhouse” that values at 10,000 coins.34 In the law estate of Dimitri Kapşal, there is a “summerhouse” that values at 20,000 coins.35 As can be understood from the prices of both houses, these are well-qualified houses in the registers. However, it is not clear if this is a house that is surrounded by walls and has interior parts or if it’s a one-room high quality space. It can be argued that the definition of summerhouse was frequently used but it was a general category that was subject to change. Given the flexibility of the concepts of the registers, such definitions should be used with caution.

Next, a pebble house that valued at 250 coins in Hisardibi belonged to a non-Muslim named Mihal.36 As can be understood from its price, it’s a very simple house built with pebble or small stones. Another house type is the stone house and it valued at 300 coins including the borders.37 What is the difference between a pebble house that valued at 250 coins and a stone house that valued at 300 coins? What is the difference in the quality of the pebble and the stone material used in these two registers? It seems questions like whether the cost of a big pebble house and a small stone house could be similar are not easy to answer based on the registers.

Another house type in the law estates is adobe house.38 Although there are signs that adobe was used as a construction material in a house in Constantinople between the years 1518-1521, no more details about the quality of the house are available. Piri b. Buhiye had donated his “assembled property house and a house that was built with stone and soil with its zamime hayat, a kileri well and a vineyard with a garden next to it.”39 This house that was built with stone and soil between 1524-1530 can also be classified along with the adobe house.

Another definition of house types is yer evi, which is frequently used independently from its construction materials. For instance, Gorina bint Tıranoz from Çengelköy owned a “yer evi” and he sold it to Andon v. Manol for 1,300 coins.40 Yer evi possibly was the Turkish word for tahtani (one storey) house. A property in an Armenian neighborhood in Galata was described as follows: “The semi conjunct share of the house that was inherited from their father in the Armenian neighborhood in Galata that includes a yer evi, a fevkânî house, a store and two bathrooms…”41 These house types that are usually cited as “tahtânî ev” (one storey) or “fevkânî ev” (two storey) in the registers were now cited as “yer evi and fevkânî ev.”

Some of the house descriptions else than the ones defined above are as follows: Hamza b. Hızır from Karye-i Kadı owned a house with two stoves and sakflı houses in Kadıköy.42 Similarly, fevkânî and tahtânî house with four stoves43 in Üsküdar Sultan neighborhood was described according to the number of stoves. It can be understood that the financial assets of the stoves in these houses were significant enough to be registered. An interesting house definition is the ot örtülü çit ev (hedge house covered with hay) of Mihal b. Manol. This house was built in the place of foundation.44 It is not hard to guess what kind of shelter the hedge house covered with hay describes.

In some cases, it can be seen that some properties were named after certain personalities although they did not represent a specific type of housing. Yorgi Çenger b. Yani purchased Emir b. Mustafa’s half share of “the house bounded by ma‘rûf malûmü’l-hudûd that was named Ödeke nâm hatun evi” for 1,400 coins.45 Again, the registers in which the fevkânî and tahtânî houses, located close to the bathhouse in the neighborhood of Mehmed Pasha İmareti in Üsküdar, that were bounded by public streets on the north and the west, and the Başçı Hacı houses on the south and the east, were noted could be an example.46

Garden, Courtyard and External Units

The concept that defines the Ottoman house in the best way is “menzil.” The word is derived from the Arabic word nuzul and it means the place where one can settle for the night. It additionally means household, residential, or spaces available for settlement. Yerasimos notes that this concept defines the “household entity.”47 Emre Can Yılmaz indicates that “Although there were cases where it was used as a comprehensive superstructure that comprised other units, there were also some rare cases where it was used a single unit.”48 In many registers the houses were noted as menzil and it can be used to distinguish the traditional Ottoman house from today’s housing perception. It can be observed that the Ottoman housing is not integrated compared to contemporary housing. Particularly, when compared to apartment flats, the architectural organization differs to a large extent. The list of each unit that has an economic value in the property selling register,49 and the fact that one could sublet the house show that the housing did not have integrity as of today’s understanding.

Today’s perception of civic architecture has actually started with the formation of “public space” in the modern sense. With the emergence of the public space, houses evolved into the “private space” of the “modern individual.” Therefore, Habermas has explained how houses in Europe have evolved throughout history. He notes that even the rural English noble class of the seventeenth century, which was becoming a part of the bourgeoisie, was drifting from the old life style that was based on “houses that were not detached.” According to Habermas, the growing privacy of the daily life was reflected in the evolution of the architectural styles. The new houses have higher roofs, and big halls are outdated. The dining room and the living room are now on the first floor while most functions of the halls have been distributed to rooms of regular sizes. The courtyard, where a big part of the daily life took place, has also shrunk. The centrality of the courtyard within the house has changed into becoming a backyard. In the modern private houses of the big cities, the spaces that included all the functions of the house without distinction have also extremely shrunk. The big lounges at the entrances have contracted into small hallways. The family and “spirits that protect the household” in the kitchen, which has also lost its “sacredness”, have been replaced by cooks and servants. Particularly the courtyards have become narrow damp “stinking” spots. The family rooms where the entire family would be together have shrunk dramatically or have totally vanished. On the other hand, the rooms that belonged to individual family members have grown in number and gained unique characters. The isolation of a family member within the house has become an issue of politeness.50

Thus, the houses of Istanbul of the sixteenth and seventeenth century, which was still not familiar with bourgeoisie and its mentality, presented a special organization that was far from the notion of “private space.” The most significant evidence of this structure was the courtyard (muhavvata). Actually the garden was even more important than the courtyard. These two units were very common among the Constantinople houses of the examined time period, and they cannot be evaluated through modern concepts such as public or private.51 As abovementioned, these two units, which were in harmony with the environmental factors that influenced the architectural structure of the house, were the distinguishing characteristics of a traditional residential space. In some cases, along their gardens, the houses had vineyards or vegetable gardens.52 Mustafa b. Abdullah had sold his house in Geredeli (?) Neighborhood “with its vineyard and garden, of which the borders were known, including its products” for 8,500 coins.53 Again non-Muslim Terani also sold his house with its vineyard and garden for 800 coins.54 These houses can be considered as a kind of vineyard house, such as in the case of a property vineyard in Selman Ağa Neighborhood, which “was bounded by a stream of the sea on one side and by public streets on three sides, had two houses –one big, one small- and a well.”55 Obviously, the priority was given to the vineyard; thus, houses were seen as the sub-units of the vineyard. However, this situation was also different than today’s vineyard houses. Today’s vineyard houses are temporary residences whereas the house in the example is a permanent, rural residence. For that reason, the entrance of the houses of Constantinople in this period was usually through gardens and courtyards. There was also evidence of the existence of cüneyne, which can be described as a small garden. For instance, a house in Elvanzade Neighborhood had “two kinds of fevkânî and two tahtânî houses, including a cüneyne, and a toilet, surrounded by a wall.”56 The word “havlu” in the registers as well as “hayat” can also be considered as courtyard. In Herekedone village, in front of a wooden house owned by Dimitri b. Voyvoda, there was a “pebble hayat/pebble stone courtyard.”57

In a house that comprised all of the characteristics noted above hayat could be added later, which manifests the flexibility of these houses. Pîrî b. Buhiye has donated his “property assembled house and its zamîme hayat as well as his stone and soil house, cellar, well, and the vineyard and apart from the garden next to it” in Selman Ağa Neighborhood.58 These gardens/hadika (garden) usually had trees with or without fruit. In many registers, this situation was noted as “eşcâr-ı müsmire ve gayr-ı müsmiresi.” (trees with or without fruits) Çalabverdi b. Hasan sold his “ulvî ve süflî ma‘lümetü’l-hudûd” (a house which is two-storey and of which borders are explicit) property house in Bulgurlu Neighborhood” to Mehmed b. İsa with its “tevâbi‘i ve levâhıkı [and] eşcâr-ı müsmire”59 ([oraya ait] bütün bölümleri ve meyvalı ağaçları) ([belong to that place] all parts and trees with fruits). These trees were sometimes mentioned along with the garden (hadika), which means that the structure was probably a garden with trees surrounded walls. Yorgi v. Nikola from Kuzguncuk sold “bir beyt-i süflîyi müştemil ve müsterâhatı60 (including a one-storey house and lavatory) in and his house “comprising a garden of fruitful trees” to Ilya for 5,000 coins.61

Courtyards were separated in two as exterior and interior. In one of the registers, the components of an exterior and interior courtyard are clearly listed. A place in Ortaköy, Beşiktaş, included an interior and exterior courtyard, the interior courtyard consisted of two tahtani houses, a room, fevkani two houses, bathhouse, toilet, well, oven, garden with fruit trees while the exterior courtyard included three fevkani houses by the sea. This place was bounded by the property of Hadice bint. Cafer on one side, the property of Hızır Bey b. deceased Piyale Pasha on one side, public street on one side, and sea on the other side.62 Again in Bostancıbaşı Neighborhood, in the interior courtyard of a donated house there were fevkani two houses, including selamlık (room reserved for men), a tahtani room, kitchen, barn and toilet, and in the exterior courtyard there was a fevkani house under which there was a barn, selamlık, garden, well and a toilet.63

5- Houses around Ayazma Mosque (Üsküdar) (Melling)

After these explanations and examples regarding the gardens and the courtyards, units that were probably located within these larger units should be explained. Units such as toilet, pantry, cellar, well, roof, barn, oven, summerhouse, terrace, entablature, bathhouse, kitchen, usually used to be outside the house or within the courtyard.

Mustafa b. Ahmed sold his “property assembled house” in Hergele Neighborhood with its “garden and its toilet” to Karagöz b. Mahmud for 2,300 coins.64 Toilets were usually in the garden. However, it is very striking that some houses had more than multiple toilets. The characteristics of a house that was located in Çakır Ağa Neighborhood close to Langa in Istanbul were listed as following: “a place that was consisted of four-door fevkânî room, three-door vüstâyî room, one-door tahtânî room, a cellar, a well, and three toilets.”65 It is logical that a house that seems to have three floors also has a toilet on every floor. Thus, if there is such a structure, it can be assumed that there were toilets inside the house as well besides the courtyard and the garden. This basically implies that these were larger and higher quality houses.

As can be seen in Piri b. Buhiye’s house, “the house made of stone and soil with its additional hayat” had a pantry, a well, a vineyard next to it, and a garden next to the vineyard. There would be a well and a pantry in hayat and gardens as well. The usage of pantry to keep the food in a time when there were no “refrigerators” makes sense. In addition, one can assume that the vineyard and the garden was irrigated with the water of the well.66 Actually, the vineyards were functional both in terms of beautifying the scenery and providing the privacy by covering the garden and the courtyard. Given the fact that the grapes of the vineyard had economic value, the vineyard was a part of the multifunctional thinking.67 The roof68 mentioned along with hayat in one of the law estates reveals the idea that there was a small roof next to the hayat, which was relatively high and took advantage of the shade of the vineyard.69 Thus, in this case the roof was neither a separate unit from the courtyard, nor totally a part of it. This section might also have been used as the place where the fertilizers provided from the barn were dried because most of the houses had barns. For instance, a place in Sultan Neighborhood presents a very good example with its “fevkani and tahtani houses with four stoves, and assembled house and a fevkani six-barn room70, a well, an oven, and a garden.” 71 Some barns were however independent units, to such an extent that they had their own courtyards. Gümüş Hatun bint Abdullah sold her “property barn” in Geredelü Neighborhood in Üsküdar “with its two rooms and it is bordered with my property while on the east, west and north it is bordered with the Resul Demirci’s house. My barn within these borders with its courtyard and attendants and additions” to Emir Şah b. Abdi for 2,200 coins. The statement “with its courtyard and attendants and additions” implies that there were other units of the barn else than the courtyard.72

Another unit that can be used in the proximity of the courtyard and the garden as in the description of roof is the summerhouse. Actually, there was a summerhouse on top of the barn of a house. Sinan Halife b. Mahmud, the imam of the Sultan, depicts his property as follows:

Bir taraf tarîk-i âmla ve bir taraf Ferhad Kethüda b. Abdullah mülkü ve bir taraf Hasan b. İsa mülkü ile ve bir taraf Yakub b. Abdullah mülkü ile mahdûd olan mülk çardak altında ahırıyla ve bir taraf dahi İsa b. Boğdan mülkü ile ve bir taraf İstavros imamı olan Mustafa mülkü ile ve bir taraf Sultan hazretleri vakfına muttasıl ve bir taraf tarîk-i âmla mahdûd ve mümtâz olan evimi dahi cemî‘ tevâbi‘i ve levâhıkıyla ve eşcâr-ı müsmiresiyle…73

Together with public road, with a barn under summerhouse property surrounded by Ferhad Kethüda b. Abdullah, Hasan b. İsa and Yakub b. Abdullah properties; also, the properties of İsa b. Boğdan and Istavros (Masjid) İmam Mustafa, my house including all parts and trees with fruits which is surrounded by Hazrat Sultan foundation...

In the registers another definition of space is the terrace. The place of Seyyid Hasan b. Seyyid Ali in Mamure Neighborhood comprised a tahtani house, a well, a garden, a toilet, two selamlık and a taht-puşu.74 The entablature could also be used in houses as structures similar to terraces.75 Another unit seen in some houses related to the garden and the courtyard next to the barn is the bathhouse. A place in Çengelköy “had a tahtani house, a bathhouse, a garden and a toilet.”76

6- Imperial Mansion at Defterdar Cape (Gouffier)

7- Mansions next to Ayasofya Mosque (Fossati)

Other units that can be considered to be a part or close to the courtyard is the kitchen and the cellar. Şakire Hatun bint Abdullah’s place in Mehmed Paşa Neighborhood consisted of a fevkani house, a fevkani hall under which there was a barn, three tahtani houses, one of them which was close to the door, kitchen, cellar, well, garden, oven, and a toilet.77 Cellar could also be under the house. Duka v. Yorgi, one of the property architects who lived in Heybeliada, Üsküdar, sold his “property house” in the Armenian neighborhood in Galata to his wife “that consisted of two fevkânî houses under which there was a cellar, and oven, a porch, a well, and a garden with dimensions of thirty nine Turkish yards and thirteen Turkish yards” for 30,000 coins.78

Particularly some shops in central spots and dense settlements were located right next to houses. Yorgi v. Dimitri, who lived in Istavros, Üsküdar, sold “his half share on the house inherited from their father in the Armenian neighborhood in Galata” to his brother Agusti, “that included a yer evi, a fevkânî house, a shop and two toilets.”79 Thus, from the statement of the register it can be understood that shop is also a unit belonging to the house. Or even in another example where the organization was very different, the rooms were above the shop and it presented a very interesting establishment:

8- An Istanbul street and its houses (Istanbul Painting and Sculpture Museum)

The register noting that “the place in Ayasofya-i Kebir Neighborhood, Istanbul, that “was bounded by the Ayşe Hâtun bint Fîrûz Ağa Foundation on one side, and the Şehzâde Hâtun bint Yunus Foundation on the other, and the other sides were bounded by public streets. It consisted of yedi bâb dükkânı ve üzerinde dört bâb odaları ve zikr olunan odaların üzerinde biri birine mukâbil iki oda ve bir sofayı ve ondan mâ‘adâ iki bâb büyük ve iki bâb küçük fevkânî odaları ve bir sofa ve bir dehliz ve bir matbah ve bir kiler ve iki kenîf ve bir ahır ve bir fevkânî köşkü” “seven shops, four rooms which are on top of these shops, two rooms which are on top of these rooms and opposite to each other, one hall, apart from these, two-storey big and small rooms, a hall, an entrance hall, a matbah (kitchen), a cellar, two lavatories and a two-storey mansion” implies that this place was in the form of an underground caravanserai.80 The fact that this structure belonged to the Kenan Ağa Foundation, and that it was rented, supports the idea that it could be a caravanserai. The property that Evliya Mehmed Efendi had rented was also probably used for profit. If he used for residential purposes but not for profit purposes, this structure in the form of a small caravanserai did not look much different than bigger caravanserai and bigger houses.

Interior Spaces: Regarding House, Beyt, Household, Room, Hall, Harem and Selamlık

Another issue that needs to be considered after the units within and in the proximity of the courtyard is the room that is the main constituent of the interior of a house. It seems that the terms used in the examined registers “oda” (room) and “beyt” (house) are not very different units from each other. Beyt means “residence, household, house, room.” In other words, the term beyt is semantically ambiguous. Since it means both house and room, understanding certain issues of the Ottoman civil architecture through the registers becomes harder.

According to the registers, houses usually had more than one rooms. Based on the terms like tahtani-fevkani or süfli-ulvi used in many registers, it can be seen that most of the houses in this period were two-storey. While one-storey small houses (beyt-i süfli) still existed81, houses were predominantly two-storey, supporting the argument of Emre Can Yılmaz that high structures (gurfe) evolved into second floors in the sixteenth century.82

Halls (Sofa) also occupy a significant place in the Istanbul housing besides the rooms. The hall-centered structure in the “Turkish house” plans that developed in the twentieth century has been one of the most studied topics. Within this structure, the rooms were located according to the sofa, and the hall was the essential unit while the rooms were secondary units located accordingly. In an example from the registers, the three halls in a small house were somehow different from the aforementioned hall-centered structure: Three halls against two rooms in a property in Karabaş Neighborhood in Yenibahçe, Istanbul, “which was bound by the property of Mahmud Bey b. Abdullah on one side, mîrî (stateowned) field on one side, the Medina Munawwara Foundation on another side, and bound by public street on the last side, consisted of one bâb fevkânî room, a hall, one bâb tahtânî room, a hall, a kitchen, a well, a toilet, and a hall”83 reveals the idea that the third hall could be an independent unit. Furthermore, there is no balance between the number of the rooms and the number of the halls.

Another unit that needs to be examined is selamlık. The most important function of the selamlık, which could be seen in some of the bigger houses, was the inclusion of strangers to the house at certain times without intruding onto the order of the house. It is yet a controversial issue whether other units were used as a selamlık since it was not always found in every house or whether it was a condition that had to be met in each household. The location of the selamlık is characterized by its distance from the harem. In the Ottoman house, where there was no integrity in contemporary terms, the distance of one room to another could also serve the privacy of the harem. It is still debated whether the segregation between the harem and selam was exclusive to the rich, in other words, to the elite class of the society or not. The argument that this segregation was exclusive to the upper classes and that it could only exist in bigger houses is controversial. For instance, in Hüseyin b. Hızır’s small house in al-Hâc Muhyiddin Neighborhood close to Balat, “consisted of tahtani two houses, selamlık, and a courtyard,” 84 there was also a selamlık.

It is possible to comprehend privacy and the house when the travel from the proximity of the house to the garden, from the garden to the interior organization is reversed from the harem to the outside. In a house that was usually split into the harem and selamlık in the Ottoman period, the harem represented the “private space,” while the selamlık represented the “first stage of the bridge to the public.”85 From this point to the courtyard, and if there is, to the garden, there’s a gradual transition to the “public.” In other words, the house also involved the public. Selamlık and the courtyard were the best evidences. Thus, the “private” and the “public” spaces merged in one body with the condition of recognition of social status. The aforementioned sections of “garden-courtyard-hall” define the hierarchy of “private” towards the “public.” The emergence of selamlık, thus paving the path for the “public” towards the will of the homeowner, narrowed the space for the hierarchical order. The courtyard/garden, which usually used to be hidden behind the walls made a slight shift in the hierarchy by representing the space that could be opened up for the “public” rather than the selamlık, again towards the will of the homeowner. Finally the Ottoman individual while going out to the neighborhood had the opportunity to achieve the highest point of the hierarchy by conserving his/her personal “private space.” On the other hand, the individual going out to the neighborhood also shared a neighborhood privacy with the other members of the neighborhood within the realm of the “public.” Actually joint recognizance, in other words, members of the neighborhood knowing one and other and being responsible for each other should be one of the most important evidences.86 For that reason, the architectural structure of the Ottoman house involved different characteristics than today’s perception of private and public, and these characteristics reflected a unique perception of privacy. The content of this privacy has unfortunately not been able to be revealed fully today.

The perception of space in Ottoman Istanbul can be considered within the context of the special mobility also generated by the characteristics of the Ottoman house. As aforementioned, the Ottoman houses offered a flexible nature.87 For instance, Hüma bint Ahmed from Salacak Neighborhood, had donated “one of the houses which has been separated towards a door, towards the qibla direction from the courtyard door that now opens up to the street, to her daughter named Ayşe bint Ahmed, and the other side to her son Mustafa b. Ahmed. The place is bounded by Yusuf b. Abdullah on one side in the same neighborhood, the aforementioned property of Mustafa on one side, and bounded by the public street on the other side, consisted of ıstablî and fevkânî two big houses, a well, a garden, and a toilet.”88 This example clearly manifests the Ottoman house’s flexibility and the easiness to disassemble. The flexibility of disassembling in this example gives an idea about the relationship of the house with privacy. This flexibility provides the opportunity to make additions to the house, and increases the functionality of the house. The homeowners could make additions to their houses without bothering the order of the neighborhood.

These additions could be additional buildings that would meet the needs of the family such as a room, a wall, or an oven. However, since any addition against the order of the neighborhood would be an intervention to the individuality/privacy of the neighbor, it would not be tolerated neither by the society nor the state. Thus, the intervention of these additions to the individuality of the neighbor would come to the qadi courts, and the court would convene an evaluation committee and send it to the place. Sefer b. Bâlî, who lived in Üsküdar Çavuş Neighborhood, had sued his neighbor Mehmed b. Abdullah, a Janissary, “He has built his courtyard on my place without permission, and I request his act to be legally examined.” Upon his request a board of surveyors went to the aforementioned site and Sefer has maintained his argument, saying “Mehmed’s old courtyard was within this wall whereas now his yard has extended his courtyard and occupied my place.”89 It is possible to give more examples like this. Even making a window on your own will could raise issues in terms of privacy. The perception of privacy of a household did not differ between the Muslim or non-Muslim either. For instance, Vasilaki bt. Yani from Çengelköy sued Zoyi bint Malkoç. Vasilaki argued that Zoyi had made “windows that targeted” her house and that it harmed her. When the board of surveyors examined the case, the court ruled that “Zoyi should nail the windows.”90

A House/Mansion in 1663

Apart from the information provided on the houses of Istanbul in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the house described in a register dated November 23, 1663 in the Constantinople Court (yevmi’s-sânî ve’l-ışrîn Rebî‘ilâhir sene 1074) seems very remarkable. The state had confiscated all the properties, adjoined units and additions of Kadızade İbrahim Paşa, who was murdered when he was the governor of the Niğbolu Sancak in Rumeli district, in Nişancıbaşı Ali Ağa Neighborhood in Kadırga Port to cover his debts. Sultan Mehmed IV then donated this house to (marshal of the guards / the main commander of the master’s court) Yusuf Agha. For that reason, Yusuf Agha was requested by the court to count and list “the borders, contents, and the additions.” The court sent Mevlana Mustafa Efendi b. eş-Şeyh Mehmed Efendi, and he completed the register of the property with the people listed on the document. According to this, the house was surrounded by public streets, and it neighbored the borders of Bedestenci el‑Hâc Zülfikâr b. Abdullah, Çadırcı Ömer Çelebi and Hüseyin Çelebi, and its exterior (hariciye) was three-storey. On the first storey (tabaka-i evvelî) there were an ornamented room with a stove and two halls, next to it a room with two stoves, in front of it a hall, a treasury room, a room without a stove, a big winter room with a stove, and a hall of audience, a coffee room, a pantry and an entrance-hall, a summer room and next to a coffee room and a water closet, two toilets and a guest room. On the second floor (tabaka-i sâniyye) beş bâb room and an entrance-hall, hall, and a barley storehouse, underneath there were two barns and a fountain with fresh water, three wells, a big garden with trees with and without fruit, a big courtyard, and a janitor’s room. In its dâhiliye (inside) on the upper floor (tabaka-i ulyâ) there were an ornamented room with stove, a room with a stove and a water closet, a toilet, a hall, an entrance-hall, hall with lubricious planking, a room with two stoves across each other and a hall, an entrance-hall and a summer mansion, and a toilet next to it, on the middle floor (tabaka-i vustâ) there were an entrance-hall, a pantry and underneath a muhtib-ı kebir (a big woodshed) and a pantry, a stone cellar, and above that a room and a pantry next to it, a toilet, a big kitchen and a bathroom with two faucets, glassed changing cubicle and a toilet, two wells, and a hall. Another addition to the place is a garden surrounded by private streets, neighboring the places of Mücellid Ömer Efendi el‑İmam and Kız Mustafa and Kavukçu Mehmed and Kâmuran Hatun and Hacı Mustafa and Kapıcı Bayram Bey and Hasan Beşe and Baker’s wife Saliha Hatun and Barber’s wife Saliha Hatun and Kazzaz Süleyman Çelebi and Raziye Hatun and Muharrem Bey and Painter’s wife Fatıma Hatun and Kebab chef Hüseyin Beşe. The garden consisted of two well, a bathhouse, two tailor’s shop and a bâb room above, and its dimensions were 2,200 zirâkare (square zira’s). Furthermore, among the additions a big barn, of which the borders could not be determined, and adjoined to the barn three bâb (piece) places including two rooms with one stove and three bâb shop were registered.

9- Seaside Mansion in Büyükdere

Since this is a rare example and the definition is provided in a very detailed way, it will be helpful to quote the related passage of the register:

IV. The Mension which Mehmed donated to Yusuf Agha and the Registration of the Additions

… etrâf-ı erba‘ası tarîk-i âm ile Bezzâzistâncı el‑Hâc Zülfikâr b. Abdullah ve Çadırcı Ömer Çelebi ve Hüseyin Çelebi nâm kimesneler menzillerine müntehî olup hâriciyyesi tabakât-ı selâseyi hâviye olup tabaka-i evvelîsinde ocaklı iki sofalı müzehheb bir oda ve yanında iki ocaklı oda ve önünde bir sofa ve bir hazîne odası ve bir ocaksız oda ve ocaklı kebîr bir kış odası ve dîvânhâne ve bir kahve odası ve bir kiler ve dehliz ve yazlık bir oda ve yanında bir kahve odası ve bir abdesthâne ve iki kenîf ve bir mâbeyn odası ve tabaka-i sâniyyede beş bâb oda ve dehliz ve sofa ve arpa anbarı ve tahtında iki ahır ve tatlı su cârî bir çeşme ve üç su kuyusu zevât-ı eşcâr-ı müsmire ve gayr-ı müsmire kebîr bahçe ve kebîr avlu ve bir kapıcı odası ve dâhiliyyesinde tabaka-i ulyâsında ocaklı bir müzehheb oda karşısında ocaklı bir oda ve yanında abdesthâne ve kenîf ve bir sofa ve dehliz ve kaygan döşeme bir sofa ve karşı-be-karşı ocaklı iki oda ve bir sofa ve dehliz ve yazlık bir köşk yanında bir kenîf ve tabaka-i vustâsında dehliz ve bir kiler ve tahtında muhtib-ı kebîr ve bir kiler ve kârgîr bir mahzen ve üstünde bir oda ve yanında bir kiler ve kenîf ve bir kebîr mutfak ve iki musluklu bir hamam ma‘a camekân ve kenîf ve iki su kuyusu ve bir sofayı müştemil olduğunu ve yine menzili-i mezkûrun mülhakâtından olup hizâsında vâki‘ etrâf-ı erba‘ası tarîk-i hâs ile Mücellid Ömer Efendi el‑imâm ve Kız Mustafa ve Kavukçu Mehmed ve Kâmuran Hâtun ve Hacı Mustafa ve Kapıcı Bayram Bey ve Hasan Beşe ve Çörekçi hâtunu Sâliha Hâtun ve berber hâtunu Sâliha Hâtun ve Kazzâz Süleyman Çelebi ve Raziye Hâtun ve Muharrem Bey ve Boyacı hâtunu Fâtıma Hâtun ve kebabcı Hüseyin Beşe menzillerine müntehî olup iki su kuyusu ve bir hamam ve iki terzi dükkânı ve üstünde bir bâb odayı hâvî tûlen ve arzen bi hesâb-ı şatrancî iki bin iki yüz zirâ‘-ı kebîr bahçe olduğunu ve yine menzil-i mezbûrun mül[ha]kâtından olup karşısında vâki‘ tahdîdden müstağnî bir kebîr ahır ve ahıra muttasıl her biri ocaklı ikişer odayı hâvî üç bâb menzil ve üç bâb dükkân olduğunu Mevlânâ-yı mezbûr ba‘de’l-müşâhede tahrîr ve ba‘dehû meclis-i şer‘a gelip alâ vukū‘ihi inhâ ve takrîr etmeğin mâ vaka‘a bi’t-taleb ketb olundu. …91

...surrounded by public streets, there is a location surrounded by the properties (more than one detached house, garden, kitchen, stove, yard and a very spacious complex) belong to Bezzazistancı (from the shopkeepers of The Grand Bazaar) Hacı Zülfikar b. Abdullah, Çadırcı Ömer Çelebi and Hüseyin Çelebi. There is a three-storey house outside of this location. On the first floor, there is an ornamental room with two halls and a stove, one room with two stoves next to it, one hall in the front, a treasure room, a room without stove, a living room, a coffee room, a cellar, an entrance- hall, a summer house, a coffee room next to it, a washroom, two lavatories, mabeyn room (a suite separating the women’s quarters from the men’s quarters); on the second floor, there are five rooms, one entrance-hall, one hall, a barley hutch, two barns under this hutch, a fountain with fresh water, three water wells, trees with fruit and other trees, a big garden, a big yard and a big doorkeeper room. Inside of the location, on the third floor, there is a room with a stove opposite to the ornamental room with a stove, a washroom next to it, a lavatory, a hall, an entrance-hall, a hall with a slippery floor, two rooms with stove opposite to each other, a hall, an entrance-hall, a summer mansion and a lavatory next to it. On the middle floor, there is an entrance-hall and a cellar, a bid woodshed under it, a cellar, a masonry vault, one room on this vault, a cellar next to it, a lavatory, a big kitchen, a glassed - in bathhouse with two fountains (dressing room of a hot-bath), a lavatory, tow water wells and a hall. There is another location belongs to this location. Inside of it, there are two water wells, one bathhouse, two tailor shops and a big garden for two thousand two hundred ziras (a measurement unit from elbow to the tip of the middle finger) including one room on these shops. Also, belonging to the same location, there is a big barn opposite to this place and there are three shops and locations attached to this place including two rooms with stoves. This condition was also testified and registered by the said regent and it was noted in the registry book.

As a preliminary consideration or a brief conclusion, traditional houses of Istanbul reveal a different understanding than the houses “designed” as “private spaces” in the modern times. Although there were some similarities in terms of the characteristics of what makes a space “home,” the houses of Istanbul in the sixteenth century were the prototype of the city rather than being isolated from the city or the “public space.” These houses with different sizes in the form of a social complex (külliye) used to meet the needs –which today are produced in mass production- of a relatively self-sufficient family, intertwined with the agricultural structure, within the entity of the household. The flexibility of the house based on the needs had boosted the dynamism of the house, and instead of an ossified/static structure, it allowed each household to maintain their “individuality.” Houses expanding towards the “public” within hierarchical organization, have paved the way to the controlled stratification and protection of privacy as an extension of “individuality.” Of course, this “individuality” is not only a form of individuality that locates the house against the other architectural forms; in other words, it is not only an architectural form that is based on the differences, but an “individuality” that is based on the difference of the needs of each family. The determinant factor here is the family/human rather than the structure. The house takes form according to the human and never tends to stabilize. The houses in Istanbul in the seventeenth century also maintained this understanding.

On the other hand, the measures that Kınalızade, who has written significant resources that allows us to better comprehend the Ottoman State, provides regarding the height of the houses (6 zira (a measurement unit from elbow to the tip of the middle finger) from the ground) would start to change in time. As in the houses that we have explored and the gurfe turning into another floor, it can be understood that the measures of the houses or the number of the floors have gradually started to grow. Although the flexibility of the multi-storey houses would dominate for a long time, with this growth, the intervention to the second floor would decrease gradually compared to one-storey structures. Even this brief interpretation implies how these houses began to be standardized and evolved into today’s structures. However, to have a better understanding of this conclusion, further research exploring both the seventeenth century and the following centuries is necessary.


1 Gelibolulu Mustafa Âlî, Gelibolulu Mustafa ‘Âlî ve Mevâidün-Nefâis fî Kavâidü’l-Mecâlis, ed. Mehmet Şeker, Ankara: Türk Tarih Kurumu, 1997, p. 376.

2 See Bedri Gencer, İslam’da Modernleşme 1839-1939, Ankara: Lotus Yayınevi, 2008, p. 46.

3 Stefanos Yerasimos, “Tanzimat’ın Kent Reformları Üzerine”, Modernleşme Sürecinde Osmanlı Kentleri, ed. Paul Dumont and François Georgeon, tr. Ali Berktay, Istanbul: Tarih Vakfı Yurt Yayınları, 1999, p. 10.

4 On the use of registers in the literature of history of architecture see. Turan Açık and Ömer İskender Tuluk, “Osmanlı Mimarlığının Metinsel Dili: Mimarlık Tarihi Yazınında Şer‘iyye Sicillerinin Yeri”, Türkiye Araştırmaları Literatür Dergisi, vol. 13 (2009), pp. 461-474.

5 For more details see Turan Açık, “Gelenek ve Modernlik Arasında Bir Osmanlı Şehri: 17. Yüzyılın İlk Yarısında Trabzon’da Siyaset” (PhD dissertation), Karadeniz Teknik Üniversitesi, 2012, pp. 128-132.

6 The first volume of this big project of 40 volumes was published in 2010, and the last volume was published in 2012. It was prepared by İSAM, and published by İSAM Publications with the support of the Istanbul 2010 Europe Capital of Culture Agency. The administrative board of this project, bringing together significant experts is as follows: (Project Director) M. Âkif Aydın; (Editor) Coşkun Yılmaz; (Academic Committee) M. Âkif Aydın, İdris Bostan, Feridun Emecen, İsmail E. Erünsal, Mehmet İpşirli, Mustafa Oğuz.

7 Stefanos Yerasimos, “16. Yüzyılda İstanbul Evleri”, Soframız Nur Hanemiz Mamur: Osmanlı Maddi Kültüründe Yemek ve Barınak, ed. Suraiya Faroqhi and Christoph K. Neumann, tr. Zeynep Yelçe, İstanbul: Kitap Yayınevi, 2006, pp. 307-332; Uğur Tanyeli, “Osmanlı Metropollerinde Evlerin Konfor ve Lüks Normları”, ed. Suraiya Faroqhi and Christoph K. Neumann, Soframız Nur Hanemiz Mamur, pp. 333-349; Uğur Tanyeli, “Klasik Dönem Osmanlı Metropolünde Konutun ‘Reel’ Tarihi: Bir Standart Saptama Denemesi”, Prof. Doğan Kuban’a Armağan, ed. Zeynep Ahunbay, Deniz Mazlum and Kutgün Eyüpgiller, İstanbul: Eren Yayıncılık, 1996, pp. 57-71; Emre Can Yılmaz, “İstanbul’da Yazılı ve Görsel Kaynaklara Göre 15. ve 16. yy’da (1453-1559) Osmanlı Sivil Mimarlığı Üzerine Bir Değerlendirme: Gurfe Örneği” (MA thesis), İstanbul Teknik Üniversitesi, 2009. For the houses of Istanbul in the eighteenth century see Hatice Gökçen Özkaya, “18. Yüzyıl Istanbul’unda Barınma Kültürü ve Yaşam Koşulları” (PhD dissertation), Yıldız Teknik Üniversitesi, 2011. Additionally, two articles in this book provides detailed information regarding suriçi houses. See Emre Can Yılmaz, “Fetih Sonrasında İstanbul’da Barınma Kültürü”; Hatice Gökçen Özkaya, “XVIII. Yüzyıl İstanbul Evleri”.

8 Bilgin Aydın and Ekrem Tak (ed.), İstanbul Kadı Sicilleri Üsküdar Mahkemesi 1 Numaralı Sicil (H. 919-927/M. 1513-1521), Istanbul: Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı İslâm Araştırmaları Merkezi (İSAM), 2008, register: 143 [28a-6], p. 155.

9 Aydın and Tak (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 1 Numaralı Sicil, , p. 166.

10 Aydın and Tak (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 1 Numaralı Sicil, p. 157.

11 Aydın and Tak (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 1 Numaralı Sicil, p. 170.

12 Aydın and Tak (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 1 Numaralı Sicil, p. 205.

13 Aydın and Tak (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 1 Numaralı Sicil, p. 233.

14 Aydın and Tak (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 1 Numaralı Sicil, p. 376.

15 Kenan Yıldız (ed.), İstanbul Kadı Sicilleri Üsküdar Mahkemesi 9 Numaralı Sicil (H. 940-942/M. 1534-1536), Istanbul: Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı İslâm Araştırmaları Merkezi (İSAM), 2010, kayıt: 621 [73a-1], p. 260.

16 Rıfat Günalan et al. (ed.), İstanbul Kadı Sicilleri Üsküdar Mahkemesi 26 Numaralı Sicil (H. 970-971/M. 1562-1563), Istanbul: Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı İslâm Araştırmaları Merkezi (İSAM), 2010, kayıt: 705 [64a-1], p. 330.

17 Rasim Erol et al. (ed.), İstanbul Kadı Sicilleri Istanbul Mahkemesi 12 Numaralı Sicil (H. 1073-1074/M. 1663-1664), Istanbul: Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı İslâm Araştırmaları Merkezi (İSAM), 2010, kayıt: 27 [3a-2], pp. 116-117.

18 Günalan et al. (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 26 Numaralı Sicil, p. 391.

19 Günalan et al. (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 26 Numaralı Sicil (H. 970-971/M. 1562-1563), p. 101.

20 Aydın and Tak (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 1 Numaralı Sicil, p. 155.

21 Günalan et al. (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 26 Numaralı Sicil, p. 308.

22 Günalan et al. (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 26 Numaralı Sicil, p. 254.

23 Of course this does not mean that no house was never located on a dead end. And it must also be kept in minde that the direction of gate of the house could change according to the situation. It is possible that there were houses that either we did not see or we skipped.

24 Günalan et al. (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 26 Numaralı Sicil, p. 147.

25 Rıfat Günalan (ed.), İstanbul Kadı Sicilleri Üsküdar Mahkemesi 51 Numaralı Sicil (H. 987-988/M. 1579-1580), Istanbul: Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı İslâm Araştırmaları Merkezi (İSAM),2010, register: 717 [85a-2, Arapça], p. 339.

26 Günalan (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 51 Numaralı Sicil, p. 323.

27 Aydın and Tak (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 1 Numaralı Sicil, p. 254.

28 Yıldız (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 9 Numaralı Sicil, p. 188.

29 Yasemin Dağdaş, Zeynep Berktaş (ed.), İstanbul Kadı Sicilleri Üsküdar Mahkemesi 5 Numaralı Sicil (H. 930-936/M. 1524-1530), Istanbul: Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı İslâm Araştırmaları Merkezi (İSAM),2010, p. 130.

30 Rıfat Günalan et al. (ed.), Istanbul Kadı Sicilleri Üsküdar Mahkemesi 2 Numaralı Sicil (H. 924-927/M. 1518-1521), Istanbul: Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı İslâm Araştırmaları Merkezi (İSAM), 2010, register: 813 [111b-2], p. 417; also for other examples see pp. 419, 441; Dağdaş and Berktaş (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 5 Numaralı Sicil, pp. 73, 156-158; Yıldız (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 9 Numaralı Sicil, p. 76.

31 Günalan et al. (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 2 Numaralı Sicil, p. 105.

32 Günalan (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 51 Numaralı Sicil, p. 291.

33 Rıfat Günalan (ed.), İstanbul Kadı Sicilleri Üsküdar Mahkemesi 84 Numaralı Sicil (H. 999-1000/M. 1590-1591), Istanbul: Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı İslâm Araştırmaları Merkezi (İSAM), 2010, register: 228 [22a-4], p. 190.

34 Günalan et al., Üsküdar Mahkemesi 26 Numaralı Sicil, p. 409.

35 Günalan et al., Üsküdar Mahkemesi 26 Numaralı Sicil, p. 410.

36 Günalan et al. (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 2 Numaralı Sicil, p. 157.

37 Günalan et al. (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 2 Numaralı Sicil, p. 444.

38 Günalan et al. (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 2 Numaralı Sicil, p. 280.

39 Dağdaş and Berktaş (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 5 Numaralı Sicil, p. 73.

40 Nuray Güler (ed.), İstanbul Kadı Sicilleri Üsküdar Mahkemesi 14 Numaralı Sicil (H. 953-955/M. 1546-1549), Istanbul: Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı İslâm Araştırmaları Merkezi (İSAM), 2010, kayıt: 315 [46b-2], p. 178.

41 Günalan (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 51 Numaralı Sicil, p. 313.

42 Güler (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 14 Numaralı Sicil, p. 141.

43 Günalan (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 51 Numaralı Sicil, p. 246.

44 Aydın and Tak (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 1 Numaralı Sicil, p. 156.

45 Aydın and Tak (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 1 Numaralı Sicil, p. 386.

46 Aydın and Tak (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 1 Numaralı Sicil, p. 395.

47 Yerasimos, “16. Yüzyılda İstanbul Evleri”, p. 309.

48 For the article in this book see: Yılmaz, “Fetih Sonrasında İstanbul’da Barınma Kültürü”.

49 See Turan Açık, “Bir Yeniden İnşa Denemesi: 18. Yüzyılın Ortalarında Trabzon Evleri Hakkında Bazı Tespitler”, Trabzon Kent Mirası: Yer-Yapı-Hafıza, ed. Ömer İskender Tuluk and Halil İbrahim Düzenli, İstanbul: Klasik, 2010, pp. 215-235.

50 Jürgen Habermas, Kamusallığın Yapısal Dönüşümü, tr. Tanıl Bora and Mithat Sancar, İstanbul: İletişim Yayınları, 2010, pp. 118-119.

51 Yerasimos notes that the courtyard constituted the 77.35% of the houses in Istanbul in the sixteenth century. (See Yerasimos, “16. Yüzyılda Istanbul Evleri”, p. 313).

52 For a house that had a vegetable garden see Dağdaş and Berktaş (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 5 Numaralı Sicil, p. 120.

53 Aydın and Tak (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 1 Numaralı Sicil, p. 250.

54 Aydın and Tak (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 1 Numaralı Sicil, p. 332.

55 Aydın and Tak (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 1 Numaralı Sicil, p. 644.

56 Karaca et al. (ed.), Istanbul Mahkemesi 3 Numaralı Sicil, p. 90.

57 Günalan et al. (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 2 Numaralı Sicil, p. 170.

58 Dağdaş and Berktaş (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 5 Numaralı Sicil, p. 73.

59 Dağdaş and Berktaş (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 5 Numaralı Sicil, p.188.

60 Since one of the meanings of müsterâh is water closet, this could be a kind of bathhouse.

61 Günalan (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 51 Numaralı Sicil, p. 309.

62 Günalan (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 51 Numaralı Sicil, p. 161.

63 Mehmet Akman (ed.), İstanbul Kadı Sicilleri Balat Mahkemesi 2 Numaralı Sicil (H. 970-971/M. 1563), Istanbul: Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı İslâm Araştırmaları Merkezi (İSAM), 2011, register: 16 [3b-1, Arabic], p. 60.

64 Yıldız (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 9 Numaralı Sicil, p. 76.

65 Fuat Recep, Rasim Erol (ed.), İstanbul Kadı Sicilleri Rumeli Sadâreti Mahkemesi 80 Numaralı Sicil (H. 1057-1059/M. 1647-1649), Istanbul: Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı İslâm Araştırmaları Merkezi (İSAM), 2011, register: 2 [1a-2], v. 15, p. 41.

66 In some houses there were two wells (See Günalan (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 51 Numaralı Sicil, p. 291).

67 It is imploed that there’s a similar mentality between a multi-functional room and the units of a garden.

68Bir çatma ev ma‘a hayat ve dâire ve bir dam ma‘a hayat” (See Dağdaş and Berktaş (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 5 Numaralı Sicil, pp. 156-158).

69 In a house -that we came across previously- maintained this traditional structure to a certain extent and it presented was a similar form. There was a multi-functional small roof where fertilizers taken from the barn could be dried, one could sit and have their tea when there was no fertilizer, the poultry-house of the grandmother would be kept, and which would partially benefit from the shade of the vines of the hayat. This roof was between the first and the second floors next to the big roof on the second floor of the two-storey house; however, it was neither on the level of the first nor the second floor. It was somewhere in between.

70 The room might have been placed on the barn due to the heat of the barn.

71 Günalan (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 51 Numaralı Sicil, p. 246.

72 Günalan et al. (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 2 Numaralı Sicil, p. 105.

73 Günalan et al. (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 26 Numaralı Sicil, p. 362.

74 Günalan (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 51 Numaralı Sicil, vp. 291.

75 Günalan (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 51 Numaralı Sicil, p. 305.

76 Günalan (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 51 Numaralı Sicil, p. 88.

77 Günalan (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 51 Numaralı Sicil, p. 323.

78 Günalan (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 51 Numaralı Sicil, p. 335. For another example where the cellar is right under the house see Karaca et al. (ed.), İstanbul Mahkemesi 3 Numaralı Sicil, p. 132-133.

79 Günalan (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 51 Numaralı Sicil, p. 313.

80 Karaca et al. (ed.), Istanbul Mahkemesi 3 Numaralı Sicil, p. 269.

81 For an example see Baki Çakır et al. (ed.), Istanbul Kadı Sicilleri Eyüp Mahkemesi 3 Numaralı Sicil (H. 993-995/M. 1585-1587), Istanbul: Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı İslâm Araştırmaları Merkezi (İSAM), 2011, register: 28 [6a-1], p. 61.

82 Yılmaz, “Istanbul’da Yazılı ve Görsel Kaynaklara Göre 15. ve 16. yy’da (1453-1559) Osmanlı Sivil Mimarlığı Üzerine Bir Değerlendirme: Gurfe Örneği”.

83 Erol et al. (ed.), İstanbul Mahkemesi 12 Numaralı Sicil, p. 154.

84 Akman (ed.), Balat Mahkemesi 2 Numaralı Sicil, p. 96.

85 The concepts “private” and “public” are not used in the modern sense. Since there is no other concept that could express the traditional privacy, we have used these two concepts in quotes so that they can exclude themselves from the modern context. In this article, “private” means personal whereas “public” means can be shared with the public.

86 Uğur Tanyeli also says that in the Istanbul house “one cannot refer to the dychotomy between the private-public, but an expansion to exterior spaces that allows socialization and privacy on different levels that gradually start from the essence that forms the center of the privacy.” (Uğur Tanyeli, İstanbul’da Mekan Mahremiyetinin İhlali ve Teşhiri: Gerilimli Bir Tarihçe ve 41 Fotograf, İstanbul: Akın Nalça Yayınları, 2012, p. 19).

87 To see how the flexibility of the Ottoman house looked like in Trabzon see Açık, “Bir Yeniden İnşa Denemesi”, pp. 215-235.

88 Günalan (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 51 Numaralı Sicil, p. 208. For a similar example see Karaca et al. (ed.), İstanbul Mahkemesi 3 Numaralı Sicil, p. 441.

89 Günalan (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 51 Numaralı Sicil, p. 157.

90 Güler (ed.), Üsküdar Mahkemesi 14 Numaralı Sicil, p. 94.

91 Erol et al. (ed.), İstanbul Mahkemesi 12 Numaralı Sicil, p. 791-793.

This article was translated from Turkish version of History of Istanbul with some editions to be published in a digitalized form in 2019.

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