"Studies of early modern Middle Eastern cities, whether classified as Islamic, Arab, or Ottoman, have stressed the atypical, the idiosyncratic, or the aberrant. This bias derives largely from orientalist presumptions that these cities were in some way substandard or deviant. One purpose of this volume is to normalize Ottoman cities, to emphasize how, on the one hand, they resembled cities in general and how, on the other, their specific historical situations individualized each of them.
The second is to present a challenge to the previous literature and to negotiate an agenda for future study. By considering the narrative histories of Aleppo, Izmir (Smyrna), and Istanbul during their Ottoman periods, the book offers a fundamental departure from the piecemeal methods of previous studies, emphasizing the importance of these cities during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and highlighting their essentially Ottoman character."--BOOK JACKET.