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A spatial inquiry into western Anatolian urban centers: Tire in the making

Caner Yüksel, Çağla
Western Anatolia witnessed a crucial and eventful period between the end of the 13th and the middle of the 15th centuries. The region stood in a critical position giving way to trade between East and West, located at the junction of the sea and land routes. This following study concentrates on a crucial aspect of Western Anatolia within these circumstances on the rise, through the 14th and 16th centuries. That is to say, this thesis focuses on the establishment and remodeling of the urban centers in Western Anatolia between the 14th and 16th centuries. In addition, it proposes an in depth analysis of one of these centers, namely Tire to further substantiate its theses on the making of these centers. The main argumentation of the dissertation is twofold. First, it asserts the influence of the socio-economic backgrounds of these urban centers, particularly the role of trade activities, trade relations, trade road and urban network in the making of these towns. Second, it asserts the influence of architectural constituents of urban form in the formation and transformation of these towns. Namely, it argues the role of particular architectural “types”, “monuments” that act as “urban artifacts” in urban development, the most significant of which are building groups in the form of külliyes or zaviyes. Accordingly, the thesis maintains that both trade, trade roads and urban network, related with the socio-economic backgrounds of the urban centers, and particular “urban artifacts”, that are the components of urban form, affect the making towns as physical entities. It claims that all these factors and the town at their intersection, are in a continuous intercourse and they steadily transform each other. Hence, the thesis endeavors to highlight and corroborate the interrelation of trade roads, urban form, and components of urban form, in regional, urban, and in architectural scale. In so doing, first it studies each of the themes separately within the general framework of Western Anatolian urban centers and next associates them particularly through the in depth analysis of Tire. In these lines, this thesis is an effort to interconnect and integrate the varied scholarly disciplines of social, cultural, economic history, urban geography and particularly architectural history through the explorations on urban space in general. It is also an undertaking to reveal the development and transformation of the urban space concentrating particularly on medieval Western Anatolia.