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WINDS OF CHANGE: URBAN AND ARCHITECTURAL TRANSFORMATION OF SALONICA COMMERCIAL CENTRE 1863-1903

Issue 2018 N 3

Ceylan Irem Gençer
Yildiz Technical University, Istanbul

Abstract: As a cosmopolitan port city imbued with various cultures in the Levant, Salonica took its share from the modernization efforts triggered with Tanzimat Period. By mid-nineteenth century, Salonica’s embankment and customs facilities were limited and the transport of goods was problematic due to limited access. Meanwhile, burgeoning trade activities as a result of Ottoman treaties granting special privileges to foreign tradesmen necessitated a comprehensive reorganization of the harbour area.

This paper aims to study the urban and architectural transformation of the commercial centre of the city, with a special focus on the re-organization of the sea shore supported with new findings from the Ottoman archives. After its completion in 1882, Salonica Quay became the most prestigious area of the city, lined with buildings which represented the transforming socio-economic life. The urban transformation emerging from the quay area also reflected on the traditional commercial centre concentrating around Frank Street, where new types of commercial buildings started to appear.

Keywords: Salonica, Quay Construction, Port, Tanzimat, Ottoman