Guild Dynamics in Seventeenth-Century Istanbul: Fluidity and Leverage

Synopsis

The Istanbul guilds of the Ottoman Empire witnessed a period of profound economic and political turbulence throughout the seventeenth century. Drawing on the kadi court records of Istanbul, the author explores issues of guild organization, questions the so-called traditionalism of Ottoman guilds, and examines the ability of the guilds to negotiate with the state during times of peace, war and revolt. Not only does this study shed new light on the question of what the Ottoman guilds were and what they were capable of, but it also places the guilds of Istanbul into the wider, dynamic context of contemporary history. This work is a valuable addition to anyone interested in Ottoman social and political history.