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Cemberlitas Hamami in IstanbulThe Biographical Memoir of a Turkish Bath$
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Nina Macaraig

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474434102

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474434102.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 06 July 2022

Old Age

Old Age

(p.173) 6 Old Age
Cemberlitas Hamami in Istanbul

Nina Macaraig

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter describes how the hamam began to show signs of aging. This included a redefinition of its economic family relations, as it became a burden to the endowment and was rented out according to a practice that approximated the status of renters to that of owners. Furthermore, old age now meant that after a disastrous fire in 1865 novel city planning practices assigned less value to the sixteenth-century structure and allowed the monument to be mutilated for the sake of building a European-style boulevard wide enough for tramway traffic. At the same time, the hamam took on a new identity as an emblem of Ottoman cultural heritage to be displayed at nineteenth-century world fairs and exhibitions which required each nation to represent itself by easily recognizable architectural icons. With the establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, this split identity continued: on the one hand, hamams constituted an old, redundant institution standing for the Ottoman Empire and lifestyle, resulting in neglect and destruction; on the other hand, they were part of the cultural heritage that every nation-state needs to legitimise itself. Nevertheless, the Çemberlitaş Hamamı managed to survive for practical reasons, as it still provided hygiene and entertainment.

Keywords:   Aging, Mutilation, Charitable endowment, Economic History, Fire, City planning, Cultural heritage, Turkish Republic, Nationalism, World Fairs

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