Power, conflict and negotiation between the agents: an alternative vision for contestation on the public space in the late Ottoman empire
AuthorTozoglu, Ahmet Erdem
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This article posits the territorial claim and control of the Ottoman government in the city centre by analyzing confrontations and conflicts of the state with the other agents via critical examination of a provincial case in the late nineteenth century. I examine the critical moments in making of public space to understand how the state authority claimed and enlarged its territorial influence during foundation and development of Dedeagac (Alexandroupolis) port in Edirne province through many agency confrontations. The conflicts between the state and other agents extend from the choice of location for a new port and taxation of the new port neighbourhood to the provision of public works and constitution of an administrative centre. In this context, foundation and growth of Dedeagac case demonstrate presence of many civic agents in clash with the state and they had to agree on an interim resolution for spatial construction of the town centre. This article aims to provide an alternative ground to examine the agency of the state in the late nineteenth century urban setting. It aims to be more inclusive by revealing the dynamic and substantial role of the other underrepresented agents in making of the cityscape in the late Ottoman Empire.