A major world capital since the fourth century, Istanbul has an enormously rich and complex history. Understanding its story is complicated by a modern historiography and periodization that are heavily inflected by modern political perspectives. Architectural historians of the early- to mid-Turkish Republican period, for example, glorified the apogee of Ottoman power, the fifteenth century, as the classical moment of Ottoman architecture, celebrating an era that could nourish the pride of the nascent nation-state. Initially designed to denigrate post-seventeenth-century Ottoman rule as the decline out of which the Republic of Turkey would emerge, phoenix-like, in 1923, this perspective has been since revised by scholars of history and architectural history, who have revealed the nineteenth century to be an era of dynamic modernization. Still, this second emphasis left the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries somewhat overlooked, perceived as a continuation of the classical...

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