Finding the Forgotten Memory: A Spatial History of the Ottoman Imperial Slave Market

Spring 2023 GGR Recipient

Musa Kazim Azimli (History)

The Ottoman Imperial Slave Market (Esir Han) in Istanbul operated for over two centuries and was conceivably the largest slave market in the Middle East until the date of its closure by the order of Sultan Abdülmecid in 1847. After this date, the remnants of Ottoman slavery gradually faded from the cityscape, and before long, the location of the official slave market was lost to time. Benefitting from interdisciplinary methodologies of spatial analysis and digital history, my research tries to rediscover its history by questioning the economic, social, and cultural impacts of the slave trade on the Ottoman Imperial Capital.