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CHRISTIANS AND MUSLIMS IN AN OTTOMAN CITY: THE FORMATION OF THE SOCIETY OF EARLY OTTOMAN THESSALONIKI

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Abstract: Thessaloniki was the biggest city conquered by the Ottomans before Istanbul. Furthermore, it was conquered by force. Thus, this city is a good example for researchers to understand how the Ottoman state transformed a Byzantine metropolis into an Ottoman one, starting from a zero point – in terms of the population – in 1430. This paper, based on a meticulous analysis of the three extant Ottoman tax registers of the first Ottoman century and a variety of other sources, tries to discern the urban and demographic development until ca. 1530, when the Ottomanization process had been accomplished and Thessaloniki became an Ottoman metropolis, having, together with Edirne, the highest population in the Balkans.

Keywords: Thessaloniki, Tahrir Defteri, Early Ottoman City, Urban Development, Population