Category: Infrastructures and Society in (Post-)Ottoman Geographies

“Infrastructures and Society in (Post-)Ottoman Geographies” aims to discuss and investigate the contradictory aspects of infrastructures. This interdisciplinary discussion questions infrastructures as tools that give shape to daily life not only with positive effects but also with complex connections to inequality, discrimination, and violence. In this series, soft and/or informal infrastructures are also part of the discussion. These include institutions and policies of the government, surveillance, health, education, financial, and legal systems, or cultural and alternative institutions and networks. The dynamic relationship between infrastructures in the (Post-)Ottoman context with their spatial and temporal aspects also will be examined.

Palestine Potash Limited: Industrial Development in Mandatory Palestine and the Infrastructure of Zionism

By Mona Bieling. The British Mandate for Palestine was officially instated in 1923 by the League of Nations. From its beginning, the Mandate government received applications for the rights to exploit the mineral resources of the Dead Sea and its surrounding areas.

Imagining the Telegraph in the Ottoman Empire

By Pauline Lewis. By the 1880s, approximately 20,000 miles of telegraph wires and cables stretched across the Ottoman Empire, circulating more than three million electrical messages each year. As scholars have convincingly shown, the technology offered a powerful new tool for the Ottoman central government to exert direct control over distant populations and provinces.

Missionary Anxiety Along Ottoman Istanbul’s Railways

By Gabriel Doyle. When new railway lines started to crisscross Ottoman territory at the end of the 19th century, the infrastructural change fuelled a missionary awakening. Catholic congregations, especially, were interested in the urban and rural areas around the Anatolian railway line, which started to be built in 1889 and intended to link Istanbul to Ankara.

Cultivating Flowers and Loyal Subjects: A Case Study of the Işkodra Municipal Garden

By Berin Gölönü. Starting in the year 1870, a new type of public recreation space referred to as the “people’s garden” or municipal garden took root in the Ottoman Empire’s cities and towns. These formally landscaped spaces were modeled after Haussmann-era Parisian promenades.

Tracks of Change: Labor, Nature, and the Izmir-Aydın Railroad

By Onur İnal. On an October afternoon in 1857, a great crowd gathered at the Caravan Bridge in Izmir to witness an historic moment. Mustafa Pasha, the Governor of Izmir, the müftü, or chief jurist, of Izmir, the Greek and Armenian bishops, the chief rabbi of the Jews, Izmir-Aydın railway company officials, and elegantly dressed men and women were all at present.

Ambitious yet Ambivalent: Electrical Infrastructure and Inequality in Early Republican Turkey

By Nurçin İleri. The year 1933 was particularly significant in the history of Turkey. Following a long preparation process, the tenth-year anniversary of the Republic, which ran day and night on 29 October, was held more gloriously than those in previous years, serving as a model for the future.

Infrastructures and Society in (Post-)Ottoman Geographies: Call for Contributions to the Series

We invite contributions to discuss and investigate how infrastructures shape and affect power relations and daily life; how they produce or organize inequalities, discrimination, or differentiated access to public goods and services; and how they may become part of state violence, or resistance, in Ottoman and post-Ottoman geographies.

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