Taking readers on a guided tour through six centuries of Istanbul history, Professor Doğan Kuban’s new book, “Osmanlı’nın İstanbul’u / The Ottomans’ Istanbul,” provides a comprehensive overview of the architecture that put its mark on imperial Istanbul.
Kuban’s presents the Ottoman architectural heritage with differing typologies and scales ranging from mosques to palaces and hamams to fountains.
Kuban examines the architecture of the imperial period by sampling 112 buildings made by eminent Ottoman masters like Sinan the Architect, Dalgıç Ahmed Ağa, the Balyan Family and Raimondo D’Aronco. The lasting traces left by the Ottomans on Istanbul’s silhouette, cultural and social life are enriched with original photographs and drawings accompanying the brief and essential texts including architectural, aesthetical and historical appreciations made by Kuban.
The buildings covered in both Turkish and English editions of the same book are listed alphabetically in eight regions organized by topography and arrangements of access that may be connected through short walks within the city.
The Suriçi region encompassing the historical peninsula is divided into four regions, namely Sultanahmet-Sirekci, Beyazıt-Eminönü, Fatih and Aksaray-Yedikule. Eyüp-Haliç, Galata-Beyoğlu and Üsküdar-Kadıköy are the fifth, sixth and seventh regions. The Bosphorus is the eighth region.
Highlighting the fact that Istanbul preserved its historic physiognomy from the time of the first letters, Kuban comments on how that continuity remained uninterrupted and developed in the Ottoman period: “Istanbul is a city surrounded by water. Pagan, Christian and Muslim societies settling in this location for 2,700 years have, to an extent, preserved the settling places and buildings formed thus far by adapting to the topographical data. Hence, the continuity is preserved with the city’s historic physiognomy.”
The book, which is published by Yem Publications, is available at bookshops.