Çiğdem Kafescioğlu's Constantinopolis/Istanbul: Cultural Encounter, Imperial Vision, and the Construction of the Ottoman Capital focuses on a distinguished period in the city's history, marked by its transformation from the capital of the Byzantine Empire to that of the Ottoman Empire after 1453 during the reign of Mehmed II. Based on her highly regarded doctoral dissertation, the book is remarkable for the depth of its research, the comprehensiveness of its content, and the potency of its historiographical approach. Without falling into the trap of an ideologically charged historical narrative revolving around either “the fall” or “the conquest” of the city, this approach emphasizes continuity amid change, and it reveals itself starting with the suggestive title, Constantinopolis/Istanbul.

As outlined in the introduction, the book's main argument develops along four intersecting lines of inquiry: how the construction/reconstruction of the city as the capital...

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