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At The Ottoman Empire'S Industrious Core: The Story Of Bursa

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Chapter Summary

Among the numerous cities of the Ottoman Empire, Bursa occupies a special place. This was the first major city that the Ottomans conquered, in 1326, perhaps still during the lifetime of the eponymous ruler Osman Gazi. It appears, however, that from the seventeenth century onwards Bursa textiles became less luxurious, and efforts to sell were less exclusively directed at sultans, viziers and other personages at the apex of the Ottoman state apparatus. The next &t;turning point&t; in the city's economic fortunes came only in the 1830s, when the silk industrialists of Lyons and Great Britain, &t;discovered&t; the mulberry groves surrounding Bursa as a source of raw material. In a sense, we can say that Bursa industries existed as long as the Ottoman Empire did, as it was World War I that spelled the empire's end, and, at least for the time being, that of the Bursa industry as well.

Keywords: Bursa; Osman Gazi; Ottoman Empire; silk; World War I



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