XVI. YÜZYILIN İKİNCİ YARISINDA İSTANBUL'UN EKMEĞİ: İLLE SOMUN
Çekil Turgul, Eda
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In early era of Ottoman Empire, the bread was “indispensibly” necessary food for rulers, ordinary people, soldiers, tradesmen and slaves. Because of this, the scarcity of bread deeply affected all the spheres of life. The Little Ice Age which influenced the Mediterranen basin at the end of the 16th century is usually associated with arid climate. At these years, the precipitation was extremely fluctuating causing drought or flood. As a result of this, paucity of wheat had emerged across Mediterranean basin including Ottoman terrain. The Ottoman Empire whose economy mainly based on grain production had falled into a agricultural crisis. The impacts of this crisis were mainly seen in the agricultural life. The peasants had migrated to the cities as a result of the pressures coming from bad climate, increasing taxes and especially the Celali Rebellions. The migrants had created a double pressure on the bread crisis in the cities, they left the agricultural land so caused decreasing agricultural production, at the same time they caused increasing consumption of bread in the cities. The severe drought had caused long periods of famine, an increase in uncultivated agricultural land, increasing taxes, outbreak of epidemic diseases, disasters, and long lasting and costly wars, these events triggered smuggling, brigandage and irregularity, all these events were reflected to İstanbul as “subsistence shortage” Although the capital city, which was dependent on the other cities, had the priority of provision, it continued to be negatively affected from the problems of other regions. The climate crisis that deeply affected the Ottoman terrain is reflected to Istanbul Court Records as scarce bread. It is seen in the Istanbul court records that there is a decrease in the quality and weight of the bread in the peak times of the crisis.