Fish and Fishermen in Ottoman Istanbul

Suraiya Faroqhi

in Water on Sand

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199768677
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979608 | DOI:
Fish and Fishermen in Ottoman Istanbul

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This chapter explores the history of fish, fishermen, and fishing in early modern Ottoman Istanbul. Accounts from the sixteenth and the seventeenth centuries reveal various techniques used by fishermen in the Black and Marmara Seas and in the Bosporus Strait. These sources also explain which varieties of fish were caught and consumed in the city. Examining the consumption of fish reveals differences along class and religious lines, and also helps to explain the diet and—since fish were a major source of protein—relative health of the residents of early modern Istanbul. To better understand changes in the catching and consumption of fish in Istanbul, this chapter also compares early modern experiences to those of the early twentieth century, showing remarkable continuity between the two periods.

Keywords: Istanbul; fish; Ottoman Empire; fishermen; guilds; Black Sea; Sea of Marmara; Bosporus Strait

Chapter.  8539 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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