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The dirt of İstanbul : coping with pollution in the 19th century

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2019
Özeren, Deni
This thesis analyzes the impact of political, economic,sanitary and environmental transformations in theOttoman Empirein relation to urban pollution management in Istanbulin the 19th century. By examining this transformationin the local administration and municipalorganization, it aims to underline the relationship between the Ottoman ideas of modernity and the changing perceptions of dirt and consequently cleanliness.The economic transformations and increasing commercial activities in the Tanzimat period had put a pressure on the municipal infrastructure of the imperialcapital city wheredirt became morevisible in the urban life. Furthermore, changing sanitary discourses in the 19th century shiftedthe perceptions of urban pollution from something inconvenient to something formidable. Associating filth with contagious diseases like cholera opened up new channels of discussion in terms of disease prevention and waste management procedures. As such, the construction of various quarantine practices and sewer systems were the most prominent features of these prevention efforts. They werealso the backbone of sanitary policies of the Ottoman government. This thesisalsoseeksto comparethe Ottoman case with that of British and French examples of urban pollution management inLondonand Paris.