Articles Tagged with: Regionalism and Nepotism

Legal Residence: Regionalism and Nepotism

The Arapkirlis who migrated to Kasap ƒlyas knew that they would be facing a “soft landing” upon their arrival. This was true in terms of housing, thanks to the presence of a community of fellow-citizens and of specialized housing units that welcomed them in the Ispanakçı Viranesi. The Virane, this plot of land of dubious ownership, as we saw, functioned in the second half of the nineteenth century as an informal housing unit, a remote ancestor of the present-day gecekondu settlements of peripheral Istanbul.
The newcomers from Arapkir also received preferential treatment in their urban professional activity, as they could expect to be quickly integrated into one of the networks of ambulant fruit and vegetable sellers. As to their acquisition of legal residence in Istanbul, the notebooks of Osman Efendi, the muhtar of Kasap ƒlyas in the 1880s and 1890s, does provide important clues about the details of the process. The legal means by which the Arapkirlis managed to secure official residence in the Kasap ƒlyas mahalle and in Istanbul deserve closer scrutiny. The migrant Arapkirli community of the nineteenth century largely managed to avoid complying with the very strict migration and residence requirements that the Tanzimat administration, for security reasons, tried very hard to implement in the capital of the empire. The inquiry into how religious/ethnic/regional solidarities secured a relatively easy circumvention of these regulations requires a short detour.

Filed under : istanbul

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