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Reading Clocks, Alla TurcaTime and Society in the Late Ottoman Empire$
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Avner Wishnitzer

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226257723

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226257860.001.0001

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Ferry Tales

Ferry Tales

Chapter:
(p.124) 5 Ferry Tales
Source:
Reading Clocks, Alla Turca
Author(s):

Avner Wishnitzer

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226257860.003.0006

As railways, telegraph and ferry lines weaved together hitherto loosely connected localities into well-integrated systems, growing parts of Istanbul were gradually subjected to a clock-based temporal order that dramatically rearranged daily and nightly routines. The Ottoman government and the classes best situated to manipulate its power played a decisive role in forming this new order in line with their practical and ideological needs. Yet, common city dwellers were not passive spectators. Rather, they actively interfered in the sphere of time organization, seeking to secure their own interests within the emerging temporal order. It is thus shown that time is not some vague entity that hangs over the city like fog. Urban temporal arrangements were product of specific power structures and social relations, and were grounded in the hardware of newly assembled infrastructures.

Keywords:   time, Ottoman, clocks, railways, Istanbul, city, telegraph, ferry, night

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