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The Tofre Begadim Synagogue and the Non-Muslim Policy of the Late Ottoman Empire

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Chapter Summary

This chapter deciphers non-Muslim architecture in an Ottoman context, while stressing an Ottoman identity whose early beginnings were based on Turkish and Muslim origin but by the effect of state policy obtained multiethnic-religious features that were promoted until the end of the nineteenth century. It offers a better understanding of the importance of Galata and the contribution of its ethnic diversities to the cosmopolitan nature of Ottoman architectural history. The Tofre Begadim Synagogue's plans, drawings, and photographs assist in revealing the architectural language of the synagogue and its parallels with the broader agenda of late period Ottoman architecture. The chapter addresses a gap in the study of architectural history and brings a new methodological approach to the field, so as to meaningfully include non-Muslim architecture within the context of late period Ottoman architectural history.

Keywords: Galata; late period Ottoman architecture; nineteenth-century Jewish life; non-Muslim architecture; Tofre Begadim Synagogue; Turkish origin



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