Türker, Deniz

University of Cambridge

Research Topic: Ottoman Victoriana: Nineteenth-Century Sultans and the Making of a Palace, 1795–1909.

Dr. Türker is conducting two research projects while a Short-Term Fellow at ANAMED. The first one is the completion of a book manuscript on the Yıldız Palace, the last imperial residence, with the working title “Ottoman Victoriana: Nineteenth-Century Sultans and the Making of a Palace, 1795–1909.” The manuscript reconstructs the architectural history of the now physically fragmented site by weaving in understudied archives, court chronicles, and photographs. These materials highlight the site’s pre-palatine history, where female patrons of the Tanzimat era were its primary owners and created the stage over which Abdülhamid II later built his citadel-like palatine city at the turn of the century. Through the Yıldız Palace, the manuscript examines the nineteenth-century landscape histories of other Ottoman estates as well as the radically altered imperial institution of the gardeners’ corps. It also approaches the emerging taste in homemaking, in emerging domestic typologies, in light of the less-than monumental architectural choices that the nineteenth-century sultans made for their residences, architectural specimens of the world’s fairs, and the global circulation of prefabricated structures.
Dr. Türker’s second project is to complete an essay (to be published in a Brill anthology on Muslim collectors in the nineteenth century) on the numismatic interest and coin collection of Abdüllatif Suphi Paşa, a Tanzimat heavy-hitter, who served the state interchangeably as the Minister of Education, Endowments, and Finance. His extensive coin collection, now largely in the British Museum, was a source of scholarly exchanges between European and Ottoman historians and collectors. Suphi’s still extant residence housed assemblies to discuss history through artifacts. The essay that she would like to complete on him casts him as a scholar-bureaucrat that, alongside Ahmed Vefik Paşa (and his sizable library), helped shape collecting habits in the empire to aid in history-writing and museum-building.