Department ofHistory

/
Animals in Anatolian and Turkish History

Animals in Anatolian and Turkish History

Conference, May 16-17, 2024

Co-organized by:
Penn State University’s Department of History
Koç University’s Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations

The modern industrial age has relegated most animals to the periphery of the daily human experience, confining them within farms, zoos, and protected areas. But for most of human history, animals were everywhere—both in the city and in the countryside. Animals, moreover, mattered far more than they do in today’s industrial economy. They performed vital roles as modes of transportation, as sources of food and fibers, as commodities, and as status and cultural symbols. Human history, in short, cannot be adequately understood without paying attention to animals.

The Department of History at Penn State University and the Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations (ANAMED) at Koç University are happy to announce a conference exploring the role of animals in Anatolian and Turkish history. The conference’s goal is to explore how animals shaped the human experience in Anatolia and Turkey over time, and how Anatolian and Turkish societies (in turn) have altered the past and present of different animal groups. The conference will be bilingual, in Turkish and English, and there will be a live English-Turkish and Turkish-English translation.

For any questions regarding the conference, contact Onur Çezik at ocezik21@ku.edu.tr.

Explore the program in English for detailed event times and topics.

Explore the program in Turkish for detailed event times and topics.

This is a bilingual conference. “EN” indicates that the presentation will be delivered in English; “TR” indicates that the presentation will be delivered in Turkish.

9:00-9:15 AM Opening Remarks

Amy Greenberg (Penn State University)

Faisal Husain (Penn State University)

9:15-10:30 AM PANEL 1: Urban Animals

Chair: Amy Greenberg (Penn State University)

Mine Yıldırım (Kadir Has University), “The Rabies Conundrum: Compassionate Care and Public Health Concerns in Istanbul” (EN)

Jeanne Dubino (Appalachian State University), “Canine Worlds: Orhan Pamuk’s Past and Present Encounters with Street Dogs” (EN)

F. Nihan Ketrez (Istanbul Bilgi University), “What’s in a Dog’s Name? Dog- vs. Cat-Naming Practices in Modern Turkey” (EN)

M. Emir Küçük (Boğaziçi University), “Horses of the Constantinople Tramway Company” (TR)

10:30-11:00 AM Coffee Break
11:00 AM-12:15 PM PANEL 2: Curiosity, Science, and Technology

Chair: Selçuk Dursun (Middle East Technical University)

Gönenç Göçmengil (Istanbul University), “Possessing Nature in the Late Ottoman Period: Afterlife of Animals as Skeletons and Taxidermy Collections” (EN)

Süreyya İsfendiyaroğlu (Istanbul Bird Observatory Association & Istanbul-Cerrahpaşa University) & Ömral Ünsal Özkoç (Nature Research Association & Çankırı Karatekin University), “How Did Three Game Birds in Istanbul Become Regionally Extinct before the Foundation of the Republic?” (TR)

Meliha Nur Çerçinli (Directorate of State Archives), “Animals in Ottoman Narratives from the Perspective of Education and Curiosity” (TR)

İbrahim Can Usta (Boğaziçi University), “New Agricultural Instruments in Early-Twentieth-Century Anatolia: Did Steam Power Emancipate the Oxen?” (EN)

12:15-1:30 PM Lunch Break
1:30-2:45 PM KEYNOTE PANEL

Chair: Alan Mikhail (Yale University)

Yonca Köksal (Koç University), “Animals on the Move: Epizootics, Famines and Livestock in Late Ottoman Anatolia” (EN)

Can Nacar (Koç University), “Sheep as a Cash Crop in the Late Otttoman Empire” (EN)

2:45-3:15 Coffee Break
3:15-4:30 PM PANEL 3: Law & Regulation

Chair: Nina Safran (Penn State University)

Deniz Dölek-Sever (Zonguldak Bülent Ecevit University), “Biopolitics of Interspecies Relations: Animals and Humans in the Late Ottoman Legal Regulations” (TR)

Onat Ozan Ata (New York University), “Transformations in Nomadic Livestock Practices: The Impact of Fırka-i Islahiye in Ottoman Çukurova” (EN)

Theodoros Tzanatos (University of Crete) & Elias Kolovos (University of Crete), “‘Hayvanata eza etmeden’: A Decree on Animal Slaughter in Istanbul” (EN)

Ufuk Adak (Altınbaş University), “The Governance of Horse Breeding in the Late Ottoman Empire” (EN)

4:30-4:45 PM Coffee Break
4:45-6:00 PM PANEL 4: Anatolia Through the Ages

Chair: Mevlüde Bakır (Independent Scholar)

Yasemin Yılmaz (Düzce University & Koç University Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations), “In Death Too: The Role of Animals in Burial Practices in Anatolian Prehistoric Societies” (TR)

Ahmet Göksu (Fatih Sultan Mehmet Vakıf University) & Fatma Afyoncu (Fatih Sultan Mehmet Vakıf University), “From Martikor to Healing Lion Skin: Hayâtü’l-Hayevân in the Ottoman Empire” (TR)

Sinan Akıllı (Cappadocia University) & Buket Köremezli (Cappadocia University), “An Enchanting Pestilence: Discourses on Starlings before and after the Turkish Republican Era” (EN)

Ebru Gizem Ayten (Middle East Technical University), “Dichotomy of Pigs in Hittites: Dirty but Necessary? An Assessment on Zooarchaeological Evidence of Hittite Cities” (EN)

9:00-10:30 AM PANEL 5: Fish

Chair: Derin Ertaş (Harvard University)

Irmak Ertör (Boğaziçi University), “Fish and Fisher People as Part of Anatolian and Turkish History” (EN)

Büşra Arabacı (Hacettepe University), “Big Fish Eat the Little One: Extinction of Species of Cimcim during the Integration of Beyşehir Region to the World Economy” (EN)

Fatma Esen (Georgetown University), “Anchovy in Trabzon: From a Livelihood for the Coastal Poor to Canned Fish for Foreign Countries” (EN)

Elisa Palomino (Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center), “Mesopotamian Magic: Fish Skin Rituals as Technologies of the Past” (EN)

10:30-11:00 AM Coffee Break
11:00 AM-12:30 PM PANEL 6: Insects

Chair: Martha Few (Penn State University)

Zeynep Akçakaya (Independent Scholar), “Locusts, Science, Ottoman State and Humans: Unraveling the Dynamics of an Interdependent Relationship” (EN)

Elanur Ocaktan (Istanbul Medeniyet University), “Exploring Bees in Anatolia from the Ottoman Empire to the Republic” (TR)

Ayşenur Mulla (University of Silesia in Katowice), “Locusts in Late Antique and Byzantine Religious Writings” (EN)

Efe Erünal (Koç University), “Interwoven Existence: The Interplay of People, Worms, and Mulberry Trees in Bursa’s Silk Industry in the Mid-Nineteenth Century” (EN)

12:30-2:00 PM Lunch Break
2:00-3:30 PM PANEL 7: Sheep

Chair: Dan Beaver (Penn State University)

Hristo Hristozov (Plovdiv University), “Conquering High Mountains: How Seasonal Pastoralism Shapes Highland Socio-Natural Interaction in the Ottoman Rhodope Mountains” (EN)

Dilara Avcı (Kırşehir Ahi Evran University), “Sheep and Their Importance in Early Modern Ottoman Plovdiv” (TR)

Stefan Stojadinović (Istanbul University), “Sheep Farming in the Ottoman Balkans: A Case Study of the Niš Valley in the 16th Century” (EN)

Deniz İnce (Boğaziçi University), “The Turkish State’s Sheep Policy Between 1930 and 1939: Merino Sheep as ‘National Assets’” (EN)

3:30-4:00 PM Coffee Break
4:00-5:30 PM PANEL 8: The Past, Present, and Future of Animal History

Chair: Faisal Husain (Penn State University)

M. Erdem Kabadayı (Koç University), “Tillers of the Soil or Breeders of the Oxen? Exploring the Interplay of Animal Husbandry and Grain Production in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Anatolian and Thracian Regions” (EN)

Donna Landry (University of Kent), “The Gift Horse Who Refuses to Be Gifted: Ottoman Multispecies Storytelling?” (EN)

Alan Mikhail (Yale University), “Thinking with Ottoman Animals” (EN)

Nancy J. Jacobs (Brown University), “Reflections on the Conference Proceedings from an Africanist Perspective” (EN)

Ufuk Adak (Altınbaş University) is an Associate Professor of History at Altınbaş University in Istanbul, Turkey. Adak holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of Cincinnati, where his doctoral research delved into the intersections of crime, punishment, and prisons in the late Ottoman Empire. Adak was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship from ‘the Europe in the Middle East – the Middle East in Europe’ (EUME) program in Berlin and was a Research Fellow at the Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO). Adak’s comprehensive research agenda includes topics ranging from Ottoman prisons, history of infrastructure, sanitation, and public health to the governance of horse-trading in the late Ottoman Empire. Adak’s extensive research has led to several publications in peer-reviewed journals including Middle Eastern Studies, Journal of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association, and Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, and presentations at international congresses such as Middle East Association (MESA) and workshops such as Great Lakes Ottomanist Workshop (GLOW), and the Longue Durée of Sanitation: Changing Knowledge, Management, and Infrastructure in Urban and the Mediterranean.

Fatma Afyoncu (Fatih Sultan Mehmed Vakıf University) graduated from Marmara University Atatürk Faculty of Education, Department of History. She successfully completed two separate master’s theses titled “XVII. Century Hassa Architects Association” and “Istanbul in the Occupation Period According to Ottoman Archive Documents” at the Institute of Turkiat of the same university. She worked as a History Teacher at the Ministry of National Education for a while. In 2022, she started the doctoral program of Fatih Sultan Mehmet Foundation University, Department of History of Science. She is currently continuing her education as a doctoral student at the same university. Her areas of interest are medicine and natural sciences in the Ottoman period in general, and she is doing her doctoral research on the Turkish translations of Hayat al-Hayawan in the Ottoman period.

Zeynep Akçakaya (Independent Scholar) is a historian of agriculture, economy, and environment in the Ottoman Empire of the 19th Century. Her work includes global environmental history, Ottoman agricultural history, and rural economies. She received her BA degree (2009), MA degree (2012), and PhD (2019) from the History Department of Boğaziçi University. In her master’s thesis, she focused on agricultural economy and primary education in Thessaloniki during the reign of Abdulhamid II. She completed her PhD with the thesis titled “Agriculture and Agricultural Knowledge in Bursa and Mihaliç (Karacabey) in the Nineteenth Century,” under the co-supervision of Assoc. Prof. Yücel Terzibaşoğlu and Assoc. Prof. Zühre Aksoy. In 2018, she received a scholarship under the ARIT (American Research Institute in Turkey) Turkish Fellowship Program. The author has published articles in Kebikeç, Turkish Historical Review, and Agricultural History Review journals.

Sinan Akıllı (Cappadocia University) is currently an associate professor of English at the Department of English Translation and Interpreting at the Faculty of Humanities, Cappadocia University.  After receiving his doctoral degree from the British Cultural Studies program of Hacettepe University in 2005, he has specialized in various areas in cultural studies such as cultural theory, popular culture, travel writing, and adaptation studies. In the past decade, Akıllı has been concentrating his research on ecocriticism, critical animal studies and posthumanism. His Turkish translation of Donna Landry’s Noble Brutes: How Eastern Horses Transformed English Culture (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008) was published with the title Asil Hayvanlar: İngiliz Kültürünü Değiştiren Doğulu Atlar (E-Yayınları, 2015). More recently, he has published his “The Rise of the Novel and the Narrative Labor of Horses in the English Novel of the Early Anthropocene” in the edited collection Planet Work: Rethinking Labor and Leisure in the Anthropocene (Bucknell University Press, 2022); co-edited, with Serpil Oppermann, Turkish Ecocriticism: From Neolithic to Contemporary Timescapes (Lexington Books, 2020); and contributed the article “The Agency and the Matter of the Dead Horse in the Victorian Novel” to the edited volume Equestrian Cultures: Horses, Human Society and the Discourse of Modernity (University of Chicago Press, 2019). In Türkiye, Akıllı’s work in critical animal studies has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as Pasajlar (special issue title “Antroposen Çağı” [The Anthropocene Age], Article Title: “Antroposen’de Türlerarası Adalet için Bir Model: Çalışma ve Ölüm Temelinde İnsan-Hayvan Ortaklıkları” [A Model for Interspecies Justice in the Anthropocene: Human-Animal Commonalities in Labor and Mortality”, September 2022); DoğuBatı (special issue title “Faunaya Ağıt: Hayvan” [Elegy to Fauna: The Animal], Article Title (with Adem Balcı): “Biz Kim Oluyoruz?: Hayvan Hakları/Özgürlüğü Savunuculuğu ve İnsanmerkezcilik Paradoksu” (“Who are We Becoming?: The Paradox of Animal Rights/Liberation Advocacy and Anthropocentrism”, March 2018); Şarkî Edebiyat ve Sanat Dergisi 1.2 (Ekoeleştiri Özel Sayısı [Ecocriticism Special Issue], Article Title: “Hayvan Çalışmaları “İnsan-merkezci” Olmaktan Kurtulabilir mi? “İnsansonrası” Kuramların Sundukları….” [Can Animal Studies Go Beyond Anthropocentrism? The Prospects of Posthuman Theory…], 2017). Dr. Akıllı was also the guest editor of the Şarkî Edebiyat ve Sanat Dergisi 6-7 (Hayvan Çalışmaları Özel Sayısı [Animal Studies Special Issue], June 2018). Akıllı has been serving with Serpil Oppermann in the administration of the Environmental Humanities Center at Cappadocia University since 2018. With Serpil Oppermann and Steven Hartman, he serves as co-editor of Ecocene: Cappadocia Journal of Environmental Humanities, a publication of the Environmental Humanities Center. He also edits the series in Environmental Humanities by Cappadocia University Press.

Büşra Arabacı (Hacettepe University) completed her undergraduate studies at Istanbul Şehir University’s History Department in 2018. Continuing her academic journey, she pursued a master’s degree, providing an opportunity to explore intricate dynamics between the Ottoman and British naval forces. Her master’s thesis, completed in 2020 at TOBB University of Economics and Technology’s History Department, offers a nuanced perspective on this interaction through connected history approach.  Having discovered a passion for environmental and climate history at Hacettepe University’s History Department in 2021, Arabacı had redirected her research efforts towards unravelling the narrative of environmental and climatic aspects using the resources of the Ottoman Navy. Currently, she is dedicated to crafting a compelling narrative that delves into the environmental and climatic history, drawing insights from the archival records of the Ottoman naval institution. Her diverse interests extend to animal history, naval history, Mediterranean studies, and oral history. In her studies, she strives to bridge historical intricacies with contemporary relevance.

Onat Ozan Ata (New York University) is a Ph.D. student in History and Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University. He is interested in the environmental and social histories of the Ottoman Empire, with a particular focus on nomadic pastoralism and agriculture practices around Southern Anatolia and Syria. Previously, Ata completed his M.A. degree in Comparative Studies in History and Society at Koç University, Istanbul. In his thesis “Nomads, Animal Breeding, and Agriculture in Post-Settlement Çukurova,” he focused on the forced settlement of (semi)nomadic pastoralist tribes and the transformation of pastoralist and agricultural practices in Çukurova region after the Fırka-i Islahiye operation (1865). During his master’s studies, Ata served as a graduate student researcher for research projects related to the animal trade from Anatolia to Istanbul and shipbuilding and labor migration in the late Ottoman Empire. He holds his B.A. in History and Turkish Language and Literature from Boğaziçi University, Istanbul.

Dilara Av(Kırşehir Ahi Evran University) graduated from Middle East Technical University’s History Department in 2016 and completed her master’s degree at Bilkent University in 2019 with a thesis titled “The Pomaks: Conversion to Islam in the Western Rhodope Mountains in the 15th Century.” As of 2019, she started working as a Research Assistant in the Department of History at Kırşehir Ahi Evran University. She began her doctoral studies at the same university in 2019.  Avcı continues to work on her doctoral thesis, focusing on Early Modern Ottoman history, Early Modern Balkan history, and environmental history.

Ebru Gizem Ayten (Middle East Technical University) completed her BA degree in Bilkent’s Archeology Department (2014) and her MA degree at METU in Settlement Archeology (2019). In her master’s thesis, entitled “Animal Figurines in the Early Bronze Age of Anatolia: The Case of Koçumbeli, she examined the use of animal figurines in social contexts through thematic and contextual evaluations. She continues her doctoral studies in METU’s Settlement Archeology on zooarchaeological studies in the EARU (Environmental Archaeology Research Unit) lab with Evangelia Pişkin. Her doctoral study focuses on the social and economic role of pig and its consumption in Hittite Anatolia.  She had actively participated in several projects in the past and currently she is working on a TUBİTAK project titled “Investigation of the Origin, Diversity and Mobility of Sheep and Goat Herds in the Hittite city Şapinuva with Hittite Tablets, Isotope and Ancient DNA Analyzes” as a project assistant. Her research in the scope of this project focusses on the stable isotope sampling from the archaeological animal remains.

Meliha Nur Çerçinli (Devlet Arşivleri Başkanlığı) graduated from Yeditepe University Department of History in 2010, where she received a scholarship. She completed her master’s degree at Istanbul University Atatürk’s Principles and Revolution History Institute and started her doctoral studies at the same institute. She continued her studies, which she wanted to focus on in the Women’s Modern Age department, at Yeditepe University Social Sciences Institute and received her doctorate in 2022 with her work titled “Social Manifestation of the Concepts of Loyalty and Merit in the Tanzimat Era, 1839-1876.” Çerçinli, who has been working in the Research Unit at the State Archives Directorate since 2010, teaches courses in the field of Museology at Üsküdar University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. She adapted Mustafa Reşit Pasha’s documents into today’s Turkish and published them in 2020 under the name “Documents-Politics of a Turkish Diplomat.” She is also the field editor of the Journal of Ottoman Civilization Studies and a member of the Turkish Archivists Association.

Deniz Dölek-Sever (Zonguldak Bülent Ecevit University) worked as a research assistant at Middle East Technical University (METU), Department of History. In 2012-2013, she was a visiting researcher at Georgetown University, Department of History. In 2015, she received her PhD from METU, Department of History, and in 2018, her dissertation was published as a book titled Istanbul’s Great War: Public Order, Crime, and Punishment in the Ottoman Capital, 1914-1918. In 2020-2021, she conducted a post-doctoral project entitled “A Legal Perspective on Environmental History: Regulations on Animal Theft in the Late Ottoman Empire” at METU, Department of History.  Dölek-Sever, who has authored various articles and studies on environmental and animal history in the late Ottoman Empire, local reflections of the Second Constitutional Regime, the emergence and development of Turkish nationalism, and state-society relations in the Ottoman Empire during the First World War, continues to work on human-animal and human-environment relations in the context of modernization.

Jeanne Dubino (Appalachian State University) is a professor of English, Global Studies, and Animal Studies at Appalachian State University, North Carolina, USA. She has been a visiting assistant professor of literature and Women’s Studies at Bilkent University, Turkey; a Fulbright Scholar/Researcher at Egerton University, Kenya; Fulbright Specialist at Northeastern University, China; and visiting scholar at Ain Shams University, Egypt. This summer she will be a Fulbright Specialist at the Federal University of Paraíba, Brazil. Some of her most recent publications include the edited volume Virginia Woolf and the Literary Marketplace (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010); and the coedited Representing the Modern Animal in Culture (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), Virginia Woolf: Twenty-First-Century Approaches (Edinburgh University Press, 2014), Politics, Mobility, and Identity in Travel Writing (Routledge, 2015); Virginia Woolf: Critical and Primary Sources (Bloomsbury, 2020); The Edinburgh Companion to Virginia Woolf and Contemporary Global Literature (Edinburgh University Press, 2021); Travel and War (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2023); and essays, articles, and reviews on Woolf, travel and Animal Studies. She is currently working on a book on stray/street/free-ranging dogs in literature.

 

Irmak Ertör (Boğaziçi University) is a political ecologist and works as an assistant professor at the Ataturk Institute for Modern Turkish History, Bogazici University, Istanbul. Before her current position, she was working at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, Autonomous University of Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) as a post-doctoral researcher in the ERC-funded ENVJUSTICE project focusing on global fisheries conflicts and environmental justice. She holds a BS in Economics and an MA in Modern Turkish History from Bogazici University, Turkey. She has been a Marie Curie (ITN) early-stage researcher of the ENTITLE project (European Network of Political Ecology) and completed her PhD on the “Political Ecology of Marine Finfish Aquaculture in Europe” in ICTA, UAB. Currently, she continues to research socio-environmental conflicts and social movements of fisher communities, community supported fisheries, food sovereignty, blue economy / degrowth, and environmental justice. She has research published in journals like the Journal of Peasant Studies, Journal of Agrarian Change, Marine Policy, Global Environmental Change, among others, and she is an associate editor of the journal New Perspectives on Turkey.

Efe Erünal (Koç University) studies the economic, demographic, and social history of the Ottoman Empire and its successor states. He earned his BA in History from Istanbul Bilgi University in 2016 and his PhD in History at Koç University in 2023. His doctoral thesis, titled “The Economic and Population Geography of the Bursa Region, 1820-1870,” stands as a pioneering study on the spatiotemporal aspects of economic development and population characteristics of a region in the Ottoman Empire utilizing population and economic microdata and geospatial methods. Currently, Erünal is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow for the ERC-Proof of Concept project “GeoAI-based Land Use Land Cover Segmentation Process to Analyse and Predict Rural Depopulation, Agricultural Land Abandonment, and Deforestation in Bulgaria and Turkey, 1940-2040 (GeoAI_LULC_Seg),” hosted at Koç University’s History Department. Previously, between 2016 and 2022, at Koç, he was the longest-serving and lead researcher of the first ERC-funded project on the long-term economic, demographic, and urbanization dynamics from the Ottoman Empire to Turkey, titled “Industrialisation and Urban Growth from the mid-nineteenth century Ottoman Empire to Contemporary Turkey in a Comparative Perspective, 1850-2000 (UrbanOccupationsOETR)” and partnered with Cambridge University and later with the University of Glasgow. In recognition of his expertise, Erünal was invited as a visiting researcher at the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure (Campop) in 2020 and is a regular member of the ENCHOS (European Network for the Comparative History of Occupational Structure) led by Cambridge University. Dedicated to advancing his field through digital humanities tools, particularly Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Erünal received the inaugural Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association (OTSA) Award for Digital Ottoman and Turkish Studies in 2023. His research, published in journals like Middle Eastern Studies and the Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, has been presented at prestigious international conferences, including the World Economic History Conference (WEHC), the European Social Science History Conference (ESSHC), and the Annual Economic History Society (EHS) Conference (UK).

Fatma Esen (Georgetown University) graduated from Middle East Technical University, History Department, in 2017. During her undergraduate years, she did an internship at the Başbakanlık Devlet Arşivleri. Then, she pursued her master’s degree under the guidance of Prof. Cemil Koçak at Sabancı University. At the time, she also worked under Prof. Eric. J. Zurcher for his project on the Ottoman Greek population in the late Ottoman world for a brief period. Her thesis is titled “Censorship under the Allied Occupation of Istanbul: The Analysis of Tasvir-i Efkar newspaper.” Following her graduation, she worked as a research assistant at Karadeniz Technical University. During this time, she conducted short-term research at the National Archives at Kew, supported financially by the Istanbul Research Institute. She explored the censorship mechanism in Occupied Istanbul for the project and presented its outcome at MESA 2023. Currently, she is a second-year Ph.D. student in the History Department at Georgetown University, focusing on the ecological transformation of Trabzon province after its integration into the global economic system, with a growing tobacco production and socio-economic transformation after the Tanzimat reforms until the Great War. Her research interests encompass the Ottoman modern state making in the 19th century, the political economy of Trabzon province, the population exchange, and its impact on the Black Sea region, as well as Kastamonu province. She is also interested in the animals of the region, particularly camels and anchovy.

Gönenç Göçmengil (Istanbul University) graduated from Dokuz Eylül University, Department of Geological Engineering. He completed his master’s degree at Istanbul Technical University, Eurasian Institute of Earth Sciences, and his PhD studies in the Geological Engineering program at the same university. During his PhD, he was a visiting researcher at the University of Lausanne (Switzerland) and Mainz University (Germany). As a postdoctoral researcher, he worked at Istanbul University-Cerrahpaşa, Geochronology and Geochemistry Laboratory. After this research period, he worked at Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. Currently, he is working as an Assistant Professor at the Department of History of Science, at Istanbul University. His research interests include the history of natural history, digitization and digital museum applications, the history of scientific instruments, archaeometry, analytical measurement techniques, environmental history, geological processes, mineralogy, and geochemistry.

Ahmet Göksu (Fatih Sultan Mehmet Vakıf University) graduated from the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Istanbul University and completed his master’s degree in the Genetics program of the Institute of Experimental Medicine Research at the same university. He defended his doctoral dissertation titled “On the generation of animals in Aristotle and Avicenna” at Istanbul Medeniyet University, Department of Philosophy in 2021. Since 2022, Göksu has been working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of History of Science at Fatih Sultan Mehmet Foundation University, where he has been working as a Research Assistant since 2015. During his doctoral process, he was a visiting researcher at the Department of Ancient Philosophy at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich during the 2019-2020 academic year as a guest researcher under Prof. Dr. Peter Adamson. In 2017, he studied language at the Qasid Institute in Amman for a while. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on the history and philosophy of the life sciences and his main area of research is the study of living beings in pre-modern Islamic literature.

Hristo Hristozov (Plovdiv University) is a chief assistant at the University of Plovdiv, Bulgaria, where he teaches courses in Early Modern World History, Balkan and Ottoman History. He defended my PhD thesis entitled “Highland environment and local population in the Rhodope mountains, 16th – 17th c.” in 2017 at the University of Sofia, Bulgaria. During this academic endeavor he had the opportunity to visit renown institutions such as the Leibniz Zentrum Moderner Orient in Berlin, the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies in Regensburg, and the Center for Advanced Studies in Sofia. His passion is to dive deep into Ottoman sources in their variety and he grabs any chance to spend hours and days in the rich Ottoman archive in Istanbul. His research interests are focused on the dynamic relationship between environment and society in the Ottoman Balkans. More specifically, he studies the natural resources utilization and administration during the Ottoman period and how environment shapes social dynamics and natural resources management. In his research he tries to incorporate the information of Archives of Societies and the data of Archives of Nature as much as it is possible. He believes that the stories narrated in the analyses of pollen probes and dendrochronological samples allow us to enrich our understanding of past and present relationship between humans and their natural habitat.

Deniz İnce (Boğaziçi University) has completed his bachelor’s degree in history from Istanbul Bilgi University and has also studied for one semester at Leiden University. Currently, he is pursuing his master’s degree in history from Boğaziçi University. His research focuses on animal history with a specific interest in how non-human animals, especially those used for “food” production, are incorporated into capitalist production relations and how this incorporation has affected human-animal relations. He is presently working on his master’s thesis, which examines the changes in human-sheep relations in Anatolia during the late nineteenth-century Ottoman Empire and early twentieth-century Republic of Turkey, using the perspective and methodology of animal history. Deniz Ince is also a co-founder of Hayvânât Animal History Network at Istanbul Bilgi University, along with Cihangir Gündoğdu and İbrahim Can Usta.

Süreyya İsfendiyaroğlu (Istanbul Bird Observatory Association & Istanbul-Cerrahpaşa University) began his professional civil society career with the Doga Dernegi in 2004. He conducted various  studies such as the delination of candidate protected areas when he contributed to the inventory of Turkey’s Key Biodiversity Areas, also species action plans, with a focus on the Caucasian Grouse (Lyrurus mlokosiewiczi). He managed projects about the connection between climate change and land use at the TEMA Foundation. He then proceeded his career in the private sector focusing on corporate social responsibility and sustainability. He resumed his role as Conservation Director at the Nature Research Association, where he led research projects on endangered bird species such as the Northern Bald Ibis (Geronticus eremita), the Yelkouan Shearwater (Puffinus yelkouan), and the Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus). He was awarded his master’s thesis on Imperial Eagles (Aquila heliaca) in the Thrace Peninsula. He collaborated  with BirdLife International to prepare a Red List for Turkey and  with TÜDAV at the Black Sea scale. He has been serving on the Species Survival Commission of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) since 2014 and  is a contributor to the inventory of Middle East and Levant’s Freshwater Key Biodiversity Areas. He provided support to the Underwater Research Society’s Inventory of Coastal Areas to be Protected from Urbanization. In 2020, he assumed the role of founding president of the Istanbul Bird Observatory Association. Currently pursuing his doctoral studies at Istanbul-Cerrahpaşa University, Faculty of Forestry, Süreyya İsfendiyaroğlu continues to contribute as a writer/editor to Magma magazine.

Nancy J. Jacobs (Brown University) is an historian of South Africa, of colonial Africa, of the environment, of animals, and of knowledge about the environment and animals. Her work seeks out workings of power in obscure corners, in a quiet South African dorp, in scientific collaborations, in a mysterious and forgotten diplomatic initiative, in everyday lives of Africans living under European rule, and in interspecies relationships. In one sense, she is a traditional social historian: The workings of class, race, and gender have been central to all her research. In considering those categories, she has tried to find fresh insights by looking at the more-than-human and power/knowledge relationships. She’s found microhistory and biography to provide an excellent way to frame these stories. Biography led her to an indepth study of the last-minutes negotations for an all-party election in South Africa in 1994. With her next project, a transnational history of African Grey Parrots, she will return to environmental history. With an emphasis on relations between companion species, she will add species to groups that know each other, negotiate with each other, and exercise power over each other.

 

M. Erdem Kabadayı (Koç University) obtained his BSc at Middle East Technical University, Ankara and MSc in Economics at the University of Vienna. Later, he gained his Ph.D. from the University of Munich in 2008. Until 2015 he has mainly worked on the economic, financial, and labor history of the Ottoman Empire. Since then he has been pursuing his work further as an economic historian, within the fields of digital and geospatial humanities, focusing on the Ottoman Empire, Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey. Economic and demographic geography is the current focus of his research including the impact of ecological and environmental constraints on population, agricultural and landscape development and/or un(der)development.

F. Nihan Ketrez (Istanbul Bilgi University)  is a linguist. She studied English Language and Literature and Linguistics at Boğaziçi University (BA1996, MA 1999). She received a PhD in Linguistics at the University of Southern California (2005). She taught courses on Turkish language, language acquisition, formal linguistics and modern Turkish identity at Yale University in the US, Boğaziçi University, İstanbul University and İstanbul Bilgi University in Turkey. Since 2008, she has been teaching various linguistics courses at Istanbul Bilgi University at the departments of English Language and Literature, Comparative Literature and Psychology. She is interested in child language acquisition, morpho-syntactic aspects of language, Turkish in particular, and child-directed speech. She has a recent interest in pet-versus infant-directed speech and sociolinguistic aspects of pet-pet owner communication patterns. As a part of this research agenda, she is studying animal onomastics and pet-naming practices in Turkey.

Elias Kolovos (University of Crete) is Professor in Ottoman History at the Department of History and Archaeology, University of Crete, Greece. He is the elected Secretary of the Board of the International Association for Ottoman Social and Economic History. Between 2018-2023 he was the Director of the M.A. in Ottoman History Programme in Crete. He has written, edited, and coedited 18 books and over 80 papers in Greek and international publications and journals. His research interests include the Mediterranean economic history, the history of the insular worlds, the history of the frontiers, rural and environmental history, as well as the spatial history and legacies of the Ottoman Empire.

Yonca Köksal (Koç University) is an Associate Professor of History at Koç University. Her research focuses on social networks and state reforms in the late Ottoman Empire, the animal trade from Anatolia to Istanbul, and Muslim minorities in Bulgaria and Romania. She has published several books and articles in international journals such as European History Quarterly, American Behavioral Scientist, Middle Eastern Studies, Nationalities Papers, New Perspectives on Turkey, Southeast European and Black Sea Studies, and Turkish Studies. Her most recent book is The Ottoman Empire in the Tanzimat Era: Provincial Perspectives from Ankara and Edirne (Routledge, 2019).

Buket Köremezli (Cappadocia University) is a lecturer of Turkish language and literature at Cappadocia University and the director of Cappadocia Vocational College. She received her BA degree in Turkish language teaching in 2005 from Gazi University and her MA in Turkish Language and Literature in 2009 from Erciyes University, where she is currently a PhD candidate preparing for her viva exam in March 2024. As a linguist and etymologist, in her postgraduate work Köremezli has studied Karamanlı Turkish, an extinct dialect of the Turkish language spoken by Orthodox Greeks in the Ottoman period. Her PhD dissertation is a historical study and linguistics analysis of the standardization of modern Turkish. Köremezli’s recent research interest is in the linguistic, as well as literary and cultural, constructions and traces of the human relationship with the more than human world, especially animals.

M. Emir Küçük (Boğaziçi University) is an urban historian, research assistant, and PhD candidate at the Atatürk Institute, Boğaziçi University. His research interests focus on the intersection of urban and environmental history with a focus on the late Ottoman period, Istanbul urban planning, infrastructure studies, and the interactions of human and non-human actors in everyday life. Küçük received his BA in History from Boğaziçi University and his MA from the Atatürk Institute of the same university with a thesis focusing on the 19th-century Istanbul parks. His doctoral dissertation explores the infrastructure and daily life of the city through Istanbul’s horse-drawn trams. Küçük has presented papers at various national and international conferences and is one of the 2023 Salt Research Fellows. His works have been published inBalat: Living Together (2022),Ekoloji: Bir Arada Yaşamın Geleceği (2022), Beyond Istanbul: Istanbul Yollarında kentsel politik ve ekoloji (2019). His article “The Stables of the Constantinople Tramway Company” was published in JOTSA 8 (1): 2021. Küçük is also one of the founders of the City Detective: City, Environment and Art Association (Şehir Dedektifi), an Istanbul-based organization focusing on urban, environmental, and human rights.

Donna Landry (University of Kent) is Professor Emeritus of English and American Literature at the University of Kent, and a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society. She is the author, co-author, or co-editor of seven books, including Cosmopolitan Animals (2015), Noble Brutes: How Eastern Horses Transformed English Culture (2008), and The Invention of the Countryside: Hunting, Walking, and Ecology in English Literature, 1671-1831 (2001). Her approach to animals in history considers both the possibility of their agency and their status as animate commodities. Noble Brutes explored how blood horses from the Ottoman Empire revolutionised British equestrian culture, inspiring Part 4 of Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels and George Stubbs’s sporting art. These horses’ effects upon British culture and society may be understood as evidence of collective equine agency. With Ercihan Dilari, Gerald MacLean and Caroline Finkel, she founded the Evliya Çelebi project leading to Turkey’s first equestrian UNESCO-approved cultural route (http://kent.ac.uk/english/evliya/index.html). Landry regards horseback travel as a form of multispecies cross-cultural exchange. Her current projects include a study of horses at Waterloo in relation to the ‘Eastern Question’, and with Gerald MacLean, a book collecting their various essays about Evliya Çelebi.

Alan Mikhail (Yale University) is Chace Family Professor of History and Chair of the Department of History at Yale University. He is widely recognized for his work in Middle Eastern and global history. His new book My Egypt Archive is at once a chronicle of Egypt in the 2000s and a historian’s bildungsroman. Narrating the practices, oppressions, and joys of archival research, it provides a singular on-the-ground account of the everyday authoritarianism that produced the Arab Spring in Egypt. His previous book God’s Shadow: Sultan Selim, His Ottoman Empire, and the Making of the Modern World won the Gold Medal in World History from the Independent Publisher Book Awards, was a finalist for the Connecticut Book Award, was longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence, and was named a book of the year by the Times Literary Supplement, History Today, Publishers Weekly, and Glamour. Four earlier books and over thirty scholarly articles helped to establish the field of Middle East environmental history. Under Osman’s Tree: The Ottoman Empire, Egypt, and Environmental History received the Fuat Köprülü Book Prize from the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association and was named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title. Nature and Empire in Ottoman Egypt: An Environmental History won the the Roger Owen Book Award of the Middle East Studies Association. Both it and The Animal in Ottoman Egypt won Yale’s Gustav Ranis International Book Prize. Mikhail’s articles in the American Historical Review, Environmental History, and the International Journal of Middle East Studies received prizes as well. His books and articles have been translated into a dozen languages, and his writing has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Literary Hub, and Time and was featured on Jeopardy!

Ayşenur Mulla (University of Silesia in Katowice) completed her undergraduate degree in English Language and Literature at Bilkent University. She received her MA in History from the same university in 2023 with a thesis titled “‘And to Every Beast of the Earth and To Every Bird of Heaven and To Everything that Creeps on the earth’: Animals in Byzantium.” Since 2023, she has been working on her PhD on insects in Byzantine hagiographies at the University of Silesia, Katowice, within a project called Byzantine Cultural Entomology.

 

Can Nacar (KUniversity) is an Associate Professor of History at Koç University. His research focuses on the lives of artisans and workers, transportation industries, and animal trade from Anatolia to Istanbul in the late Ottoman Empire. His monograph, entitled Labor and Power in the Late Ottoman Empire: Tobacco Workers, Managers, and the State, 1872-1912 appeared from Palgrave Macmillan in 2019. His articles have been published by journals such as Archív Orientální, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and Journal of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association.

Elanur Ocaktan (Istanbul Medeniyet University) was born in the Ünye district of Ordu. She completed her primary, middle, and high school education in Ünye. She started her undergraduate education in the History department at Ibn Haldun University in 2017 and graduated in 2022. In her undergraduate thesis titled “Street Animals in the Ottoman Empire: Cats and Dogs,” she attempted to explain how the relationship between humans and street animals evolved. She began her master’s studies in the History department at Istanbul Medeniyet University in 2022 and she is continuing. Since December 2023, she has been working as an assistant specialist in the corporate communication department at Halic University. Her love for animals and growing fascination with environmental history played a significant role in her decision to focus her future academic studies and research in this field. Specifically, she aims to conduct thorough research on the relationship between humans, animals, and the environment during the Ottoman period. Her master’s thesis will be shaped accordingly, aiming to explore the complex relationship between the environment and animals during the Ottoman era. She believes that the work she will do in this field will contribute greatly to both her interests and enthusiasm, as well as her academic career.

 

Ömral Ünsal Özkoç (Nature Research Association & Çankırı Karatekin University) graduated from Marmara University, Department of Biology, in 2012. He completed his master’s degree in ornithology, focusing on migration and stopover ecology of birds. Currently, he is doing his PhD in ornithology. Engaged in birdwatching since 2009 and a licensed bird ringer since 2015, Özkoç has conducted research on bird migration, the feeding ecology, habitat preferences and conservation biology of birds. His studies focus on preparing, implementing, and monitoring species action plans to conserve endangered species under the Species Conservation and Monitoring Program of the Nature Research Association.

Elisa Palomino (Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center) works at the intersection of anthropology, education and sustainable fashion. She has conducted research, written publications and developed educational programs on Indigenous knowledge, participatory design, ethics, and heritage. She has explored themes of subsistence materials from Arctic cultures with the aim of protecting Indigenous Peoples’ rights as tradition holders, alongside the rights of animals and the natural environment. She leads global collaborations with Natives, scholars and institutions, linking education to sustainable development across ecological, social, cultural, and economic dimensions. As a KHI-ANAMED fellow, Elisa has researched fish demigods in the aquatic landscapes of ancient Anatolian civilisations.  Elisa has led EU funded projects such as Horizon 2020 FishSkin, she has been a Fulbright scholar, a Kluge fellow at the Library of Congress, a fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science and a joint KHI-ANAMED fellow. Currently, she is a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center, specialising in Indigenous cultural heritage, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, Visual Anthropology, and Museum Studies. Elisa holds 25-year experience designing for luxury fashion brands including John Galliano and Christian Dior. As Fashion Print director at Central Saint Martins, London, and international lecturer for over a decade, she focuses on sustainability and nature-based materials. She earned a Ph.D. in Sustainable Fashion and Anthropology from London College of Fashion.

Stefan Stojadinović (Istanbul University) completed his bachelor’s and master’s studies in the Department of History at the University of Belgrade. During his undergraduate studies, he developed an interest in the history of the Ottoman Empire, mainly focusing on the history of the Ottoman Balkans. His first master’s thesis involved the analysis of the discourse in medieval Western travel accounts and their perceptions of the Ottoman Empire in the first half of the 15th century. Following his education in Belgrade, he continued his studies in Istanbul, enrolling in a second master’s program at Istanbul University. He is in the final stages of completing his second master’s degree at the Department of History. The topic of his second master’s thesis revolves around the structural economic and social relationships in the Niš region in the 16th century. In his exploration of the history of the Balkans during the Ottoman period, he is particularly interested in economic relationships and environmental history. In addition to his historical pursuits, he also delves into social theory and the theory of history.

Theodoros Tzanatos (University of Crete) holds a MA in Ottoman History from the Department of History and Archaeology, University of Crete, Greece. He curates the ottoman archive of Holy Theological School of Halki, Heybeliada, Istanbul and the ottoman archive of St. Euphemia of Kadıköy. He is also an affiliate of the Archive of Ecumenical Patriarchate. He has won several scholarships and prizes and he has participated in international conferences both in Greece and abroad. His research interests include social mobilities focusing on Ottoman Rumelia, Ottoman paleography as well as religious and ecclesiastical history, focusing on the Greek-speaking Orthodox Christians of the Ottoman Empire.

İbrahim Can Usta (Boğaziçi University) studied political science at Galatasaray University. In 2019, he completed the MA program at Boğaziçi University, Atatürk Institute for Modern Turkish History, where he presented a dissertation entitled “The First Five-Year Industrial Plan: Discussions on Turkish Industrialization During the Great Depression.” During the COVID-19 pandemic, Usta grew an interest in environmental history and history of diseases, which eventually introduced him to the growing academic literature on animal history. He is currently a PhD candidate at Atatürk Institute. Under the guidance of his advisor Prof. Cengiz Kırlı, he is writing a dissertation with a perspective of social history focusing on the role of Anatolian oxen in late-nineteenth-century Ottoman rural life. More specifically, he is investigating archival records of the Ottoman Empire to grasp information about practical rural issues such as the usage patterns of agricultural instruments or the ravages of cattle plague epidemics. Since March 2020, he has been working as a research assistant at İstanbul Bilgi University, Department of History. Along with Cihangir Gündoğdu and Deniz İnce, he is also one of the founders of Hayvânât Animal History Network, an academic research group at İstanbul Bilgi University.

Mine Yıldırım (Kadir Has University) earned her Ph.D. from The New School in 2021. Currently, sh is an Assistant Professor in the Core Program at Kadir Has University, Istanbul, Turkey, and works extensively on urban animals. She is a political scientist, urbanist, critical animal studies scholar and animal rights activist. Her scholarship, teaching practice and activism converge around urban studies, infrastructural, medical and technopolitical history, political ecology and critical animal studies. She is currently working on her first book manuscript, Between Care and Violence: Street Dogs of Istanbul, which critically explores the making of transcarceral politics of mass dog exiles, displacement and killing, and the countervailing politics of care, witnessing and vulnerability and encompassing dogs’ affectionate, unruly and erratic bodies in Istanbul. By tracing the role of witnessing dogs’ pain, suffering and prolonged death in shaping the affective registers of fear, compassion and endurance, Yıldırım’s book analyzes the emergent forms, daily practices and spaces of human-animal relationality against the backdrop of ecological disturbance, disasters, ruination and concurrent crises. Yıldırım is also currently working on a new book project, which she co-edits with Joseph Heathcott, Urban Animalia: Towards a Multispecies Metropolis. The edited volume explores how urban residents from varied species relate to their surrounding landscapes and to each other, and how human understandings of such entanglements might make us better companions to our co-inhabitants through policy, planning, design, and other spatial practices. Yıldırım’s research and writings have appeared in a wide range of venues, from books and edited volumes to journals, magazines, exhibits and various art shows. Dr. Yıldırım also co-founded and is still coordinating The Four-Footed City: Urban, Nature, Animal Studies Association, a non-governmental organization dedicated to animal rights advocacy, search and rescue, rehabilitation, and resilience in Turkey.

Yasemin Yılmaz (Düzce University & Koç University Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Prehistory at Düzce University. She is an archaeo-anthropologist, specializing in archaeothanatology. She received her PhD from the Department of Prehistory at Istanbul University and the Department of Biological Anthropology at the Doctoral School of Science and Environment at the University of Bordeaux 1 with a thesis entitled “Burial Practices in the Neolithic Period in Anatolia: The Case of Çayönü” (co-tutelle, 2010). She focused on disseminating the archaeothanatology method via applying this method both in the field and in the laboratory. She has been conducting archaeothanatological studies on burials in the Yenikapı, Pendik, Sirkeci, Boukoleon, and Beşiktaş excavations in Istanbul, the Çemialo excavation in Batman, and the Ovcular and Kültepe excavations in Nakhchivan. For a deeper analysis of fieldwork, she established the Biological Anthropology Laboratory at Düzce University, where she teaches courses in archaeothanatology. She conducted archaeological surveys in Tunceli during 2015–2021. In 2022, she served as the scientific advisor for the rescue excavations carried out at Tunceli Pertek Tozkoparan Höyük under the directorship of the Tunceli Museum. She actively participated in the excavation of the kurgan cemetery in Beşiktaş that was conducted via the archaeoanatological method. She is one of the 2023-2024 senior fellow of Koç University Research Centre for Anatolian Civilisations.

This is a bilingual conference. “EN” indicates that the presentation will be delivered in English; “TR” indicates that the presentation will be delivered in Turkish.

Mine Yıldırım (Kadir Has University), “The Rabies Conundrum: Compassionate Care and Public Health Concerns in Istanbul” (EN)

Rabies, a deadly zoonotic specter, haunts the intricate human-dog relations of Istanbul and Anatolia. Since the early twentieth century, entrenched practices of caring for street dogs have tragically clashed with fears of rabies transmission and municipally orchestrated decaninization campaigns and random dog culls. This abstract unpacks the multifaceted interplay between rabies, animal welfare, and human compassion, exploring its impact on responsible ownership, street dog management, and the very fabric of human-animal bonds in Istanbul’s modern history. Delving into the emotional tightrope between care and public health concerns, the abstract exposes the paradox of compassion, where empathy intertwines with fear, fracturing trust and jeopardizing lives. It analyzes the labyrinthine challenges of rabies control: limited resources, inadequate infrastructure, and conflicting priorities. Vaccination, sterilization, and population control initiatives struggle to take hold in the hearts and minds of Istanbulites who cherish their canine companions. Drawing on news articles, memoirs, fictions, official writings, and municipal decrees, the abstract explores this intricate historical, political, and cultural landscape. It illuminates the shifting dynamics of care and violence, revealing their impact on human-dog relations in the modern history of Istanbul.

Jeanne Dubino (Appalachian State University), “Canine Worlds: Orhan Pamuk’s Past and Present Encounters with Street Dogs” (EN)

Nineteenth-century European travelers wrote extensively about the street dogs they encountered in Istanbul. Their travelogues greatly interest the Nobel prize-winning novelist Orhan Pamuk, who reflects upon them in his writing about his excursions throughout his native city. Two of his works of nonfiction, Other Colors: Essays and a Story (1999) and Istanbul: Memories and a Story (2003), also include narratives of his own traipses through Istanbul’s neighborhoods. In several of the essays and chapters included in these collections, Pamuk refers both to the dogs described by nineteenth-century travelers and to those whom he directly meets. In my paper, I plan to address both the recursive nature and the present-day immediacy of these two collections by focusing on Pamuk’s representations of street dogs. The hüzün, or melancholy, a strong sense of pastness, that pervades both Other Colors and Istanbul applies as well to Pamuk’s references to previous travelers’ dog tales. In his depictions of his own encounters, Pamuk, on the other hand, renders street dogs as very much part of the present day, especially in the essay titled “What I Know about Dogs” (Other Colors 48-49). In 1854, the British traveler Thomas Galland Horton wrote, “The dogs of Constantinople are among its wonders” (33). Through his writing about street dogs, Pamuk keeps that sense of wonder alive.

F. Nihan Ketrez (Istanbul Bilgi University), “What’s in a Dog’s Name? Dog- vs. Cat-Naming Practices in Modern Turkey” (EN)

Pet-naming practices reflect the attitudes of pet-owners towards their pets and their place in their lives and society. In the US and other western countries, pet animals are given names that are reserved for human and this trend is considered an endorsement of family membership granted to pet animals (Abel 2007; Abel & Kruger 2007; Brandes 2012; Safir 1985, among others). In this study, 247 cat and dog names reported in questionnaires filled out by Turkish speaking pet owners living in metropolitan cities in Turkey were examined in terms of the proportion of human (e.g., Leyla) vs. non-human (e.g., Lokum) as well as foreign (e.g., Goldy) versus domestic (e.g., Paşa) names. It was observed that cats were more likely to have human names. They also had more traditional Turkish names (e.g., Leyla, Ömer) while dogs were more likely to have more modern or foreign names (e.g., Cesur, Vegas). The differences observed in dog- vs cat-naming practices are evaluated in relation to the status of pet-dogs in the modernization and secularism of Modern Turkey. Cats have always had free access to homes in Turkish society. Although Turkish people were fond of dogs, as well, and enjoyed keeping them around, they were granted limited access to homes because of their ritually impure status in Islam (Fortuny 2014; Shick 2019). Gündoğdu (2023) reports that this attitute changed during the last century of the Ottoman Empire with the modernization and westernization trends. Breed dogs were imported from Europe and having a pet dog at home became a symbol of modernity. Pet-naming trends observed in the present study complements and confirms the observation regarding the status of dogs vs. cats in the history of Modern Turkey.

M. Emir Küçük (Boğaziçi University), “Horses of the Constantinople Tramway Company” (TR)

By focusing on the horses of the Constantinople Tramway Company, this paper seeks to highlight the significance of animal labor in the extensive economic and socio-cultural transformations that occurred in nineteenth-century Istanbul.

There were horses in Istanbul before the tramways started to operate. However, with the introduction of horse-drawn tramways in 1871, hundreds of horses belonging to the Tramway Company, a joint stock company, were passing through the busiest parts of the city and sheltering in neighborhoods. This increase in the number and visibility of horses in the city caused changes in the physical and social structure of the city. Neighborhood residents’ responses to the stables of the tramway company, accidents, contagious diseases among horses, and the development of veterinary services are the main issues of this research. Moreover, the social relations in the city were not limited to humans: The relationship between dogs, the other inhabitants of the streets of Istanbul, and the tramway company’s horses is also the research subject.

By considering the feeding, stables, and health of the horses, this study considers horses not only as laborers of the tramway company but also as the actors that enabled the company’s functioning and shaped the everyday life of Istanbul.

Gönenç Göçmengil (Istanbul University), “Possessing Nature in the Late Ottoman Period: Afterlife of Animals as Skeletons and Taxidermy Collections” (EN)

Throughout its history, live animals in the Ottoman Empire were turned into commodities of spectacle-entertainment, either as labor or for personal charisma and curiosity. Although this understanding continued until the mid-19th century, with the proliferation of zoo premises, personal hunting collections and educational-museum collections, the skeletons of these animals or their taxidermy collections continued to be used in other ways after their end of life.

This post-life use is generally documented from the mid-19th century onwards and is primarily characterized by collections used for medical and zoological education. Parallel to this, the afterlife of the animals collected irregularly around the Ottoman Sultanate and the Yıldız Palace turned into a rare cabinet of curiosities consisting of specimens, including stuffed animals and skeletons, scattered around the “proto” zoo.
In the late 19th and 20th centuries, both in Ottoman medical, veterinary, and secondary educational institutions, as well as in American (Robert College, Merzifon Anatolian College) and French (Saint Joseph) schools and their museums, taxidermy collections were systematically assembled, experts were brought in for taxidermy and/or attempts were made to train them.

In the late Ottoman period, the boundaries of “possessing nature” generally disappeared with little trace of the collections gathered around the Ottoman Sultanate due to poor preservation, those collected for education in schools were generally damaged by institutional apathy and neglect of the specimens, and today, except for a few successful examples, both the collections themselves and the history of their acquisition have been lost. In general, the use of animals in the afterlife has alternated between being pragmatic curiosity cabinet objects or educational specimens, but in neither case has the preservation and survival of the collections been long-lasting.

Süreyya İsfendiyaroğlu (Istanbul Bird Observatory Association & Istanbul-Cerrahpaşa University) & Ömral Ünsal Özkoç (Nature Research Association & Çankırı Karatekin University), “How Did Three Game Birds in Istanbul Become Regionally Extinct before the Foundation of the Republic?” (TR)

Istanbul is the gateway to Anatolia for many explorers, travelers, and natural scientists, and for some, it is the essence of “Eastern travel.” Pierre Belon, who reached Istanbul with a diplomatic delegation in 1547, shares his first bird records and observations about Istanbul. Italian Domenico Sestini (1750-1832) is a numismatist, archaeologist, botanist, and explorer. Collecting samples from Anatolia between 1781-1782, Sestini provides a list of 116 bird species from Istanbul in the fourth part of his notes titled Opuscoli del Signor Abate Domenico Sestini, published in Florence in 1786. This inventory is the first systematic bird list published about Istanbul. Following him, Lorenz Rigler (1815-1862), a physician practicing in Istanbul, made regular bird observations and published his diary in Vienna in 1852 in two volumes. Pyotr Alexandrovich “Tchihatchef” (1812-1890), although better known for his contributions to Geology, is a comprehensive naturalist and geographer. He worked at the Russian Embassy from 1845-1848 and published his work Le Bosphore et Constantinople in 1864-1877, which went through three editions. Jean Gérard Amédée Alléon is the first known Istanbulite ornithologist. Born in 1838 in Büyükdere as the fourth generation descendant of a Levantine family, he pursued natural sciences and taxidermy. His publication Istanbul Birds shares historical ornithological data about 262 species in Istanbul from 1888-1894. In his published list titled Birds of the Istanbul Bosphorus and Surroundings in 26 parts, he provides detailed records of 334 species. Hans Kummerloeve, who came to Anatolia in the early years of the Republic of Turkey, compiled his bird observations in Anatolia by examining these records in his series of articles and books titled Zur Kenntnis der Avifauna Kleinasiens.

When these studies are examined in a historical context, it is observed that the populations of three hunted bird species, which were intensively hunted and valued for their meat, have disappeared in Istanbul. Forest grouse (Lyrurus tetrix) and grey partridge (Perdix perdix), whose first records were shared by Lorenz Rigler and Pierre de Tchihatchef, and the populations of Turaç (Francolinus francolinus), shared by Rigler and Evliya Çelebi, have been evaluated. The disappearance of these three species and how their populations in Istanbul have been hunted down over the previous potential distribution areas and two centuries have been examined.

Meliha Nur Çerçinli (Devlet Arşivleri Başkanlığı), “Animals in Ottoman Narratives from the Perspective of Education and Curiosity” (TR)

The contribution of animals to many areas of life is an undeniable fact. It is seen that this reality is easily accepted within the framework of an understanding that puts people at the center and does not change according to conditions or point of view. As a matter of fact, it is obvious that animals exist in a wide range of different areas, from nutrition to labor, from science to economy, and the benefits provided by this existence have facilitated the lives of human beings at every stage of history. In this context, it is seen that they are the subject of many scientific and social research issues and that they have ceased to be a side element that contributes to human life, especially in modern societies, with the awareness of the protection of all kinds of rights. This being the case, it is impossible for this importance of animals not to spread to the human literary world. As a matter of fact, it has been noted that some characteristics of animals are mentioned in stories, novels and poems written from ancient times to the present, and in visual arts, they are sometimes depicted as a human, and sometimes they are depicted with words describing humans.

The aim of this article is to open a door to watch the reflections of animals’ contributions to life in the human world of thought. In this context, how animals gained a place as an intermediary in the public perception of the Ottoman Empire through the perspective of “education and curiosity” in the 19th and 20th centuries, and their direct or indirect effects on the organization process of knowledge will be examined. Especially stories, novels and pamphlets of education-centered press and educators will be used as sources.

İbrahim Can Usta (Boğaziçi University), “New Agricultural Instruments in Early-Twentieth-Century Anatolia: Did Steam Power Emancipate the Oxen?” (EN)

Until the second half of the twentieth century, the Anatolian countryside joined most corners of the world where reigned an energy regime built upon non-human animals. In this regime, oxen plowed the fields, mules carried the water, and cattle heated the houses that were constructed on top of the barns. This regime also expressed a relationship of interdependence and partnership between humans and non-human animals.

Towards the end of the nineteenth century, the first pieces of steam-powered agricultural machinery appeared in the Ottoman Empire. This new technology remained far from threatening the popularity of the traditional plowing practice that relied on the usage of a pair of oxen. It neither threatened the established social inequalities in the countryside. It was not a coincidence that steam-powered locomobiles worked the vast fields of landholders. The lack of capital, infrastructure, equipment, and skilled labor stood against the extensive mechanization of Anatolian agriculture, which mainly relied on small-scale subsistence farming.

Archival findings bring forth that Ottoman authorities and intellectuals favored and highly encouraged the purchase and widespread usage of the developed instruments of agriculture. These machines were praised as a means of agricultural development. However, such a mechanization had no promise to alleviate the burden on the shoulders of the oxen. Without these laborious beasts, the new machines could not be moved an inch. The arrival of a number of steam-powered instruments would not mean an automatic alteration of the energy regime in agricultural production in Anatolia.

This paper will elaborate on the early-twentieth-century efforts for mechanization in Ottoman agriculture from a perspective framed by labor, capital, and non-human nature.

 

Deniz Dölek-Sever (Zonguldak Bülent Ecevit University), “Biopolitics of Interspecies Relations: Animals and Humans in the Late Ottoman Legal Regulations” (TR)

The nineteenth century was a period of radical change in the relationship between humans and nonhuman animals. In this century, the Ottoman Empire also began to modernize in a variety of areas. Law was one of these fields. In this paper, I examine various legal texts and regulations that were introduced to prevent the theft of animals through a biopolitical analysis, considering the key role of legal regulations in reconstructing human-animal relations in the Anthropocene.

From the 1870s onwards, the increasing cases of animal theft in various parts of the Ottoman country prompted both the central and local governments to take several legal measures to prevent this crime. Starting with a proclamation (ilanname) issued in 1872, the legal regulations did not lead to a decrease in thefts over the years. Therefore, a provisional law (geçici kanun) was issued in 1913, which provided for quite radical measures. In addition to these general measures, local legal regulations were also enacted in some provinces and sanjaks where cases of animal theft were frequent. When we analyze all these legal texts and regulations from the perspective of animal history by using the conceptual framework of biopolitics, we draw conclusions not only about the changing dynamics of the human-animal relationship in the nineteenth century, but also about the ways in which the state governed the animal and human species. To illustrate these conclusions, I evaluate legal regulations from two perspectives: as a means of information gathering, control and order; and as a means of discipline and punishment.

In addition to secondary sources on biopolitics, this study is mainly based on Ottoman primary sources, including correspondence between the center and local governments, legal texts, and parliamentary records.

Onat Ozan Ata (New York University), “Transformations in Nomadic Livestock Practices: The Impact of Fırka-i Islahiye in Ottoman Çukurova” (EN)

In Ottoman Çukurova (historical Cilicia), nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes constituted a substantial portion of the local population, engaging primarily in animal breeding pastoralism and diverse forms of seasonal mobility across a vast region extending from Central Anatolia to Syria. This paper examines the profound changes brought about by the nineteenth-century Fırka-i Islahiye (the Reform Division operation,  initiated by imperial and local authorities to consolidate state authority in this region.  The operation, mainly driven by the objectives of increasing taxation and conscription  capacity, significantly altered the socio-political and economic landscape of Çukurova.  The Fırka-i Islahiye intervention not only transformed the traditional order in the region but also reshaped the dynamics of human-animal relationships and pastoralist  practices. Prior to the forced settlement policy of Fırka-i Islahiye, livestock held key socio economic and political significance, playing pivotal roles in negotiations and  confrontations between tribal elites and imperial agents. Moreover, these animals were  integral to local culture, featuring prominently in poems and legends. The subsequent  forced settlement process, coupled with the dominance of cotton monoculture, led to the commodification of livestock. This shift resulted in the minimization of animal  breeding pastoralism and the elimination of the non-economic functions of livestock in  Çukurova. Drawing primarily from documents in the Ottoman State Archives, in this  paper I explore how the forced settlement of tribes and the promotion of commercial  agriculture transformed livestock from companions of nomads and central figures in  provincial politics into mere sources of meat in the late nineteenth-century Ottoman Çukurova.

Theodoros Tzanatos (University of Crete) & Elias Kolovos (University of Crete), “‘Hayvanata eza etmeden’: A Decree on Animal Slaughter in Istanbul” (EN)

Our presentation is based on a copy of an Ottoman decree of the Grand Vizier, included in a manuscript codex located in the Holy Theological School of Halki in Heybeliada, Istanbul. The manuscript codex consists of copies of decrees concerning Wallachia, issued both from the Sultan and the Grand Vizier, dated from 1818 to 1820. In this paper, we present a decree issued on 17 Şevval 1234 (=Monday, 28 July/9 August 1819) by the Grand Vizier, in response to a petition by the merchants of the Kapan. In their petition, the merchants of the Kapan complained that the animals incoming in herds to the imperial capital were not, as used in the past, slaughtered before August 15, in order to be sold to them, but later, in order to gain better prices for their skins. In particular, they used spits for killing the animals, torturing them. In response to this complaint, the Grand Vizier ordered that the slaughter of animals must be done according to the “ancient custom” (deb-i kadîm üzere), before August 15,“without tormenting the animals” (hayvanâta ezâ etmeden). Even if both the petition of the merchants and the response of the Grand Vizier had clearly economic issues in mind, they both share and claim as justification for their argument an ethical concept suggesting not to torture animals during their slaughter. In our research, we will focus, to the extent possible, especially into the word “ezâ” in the vocabulary of Ottoman legal and administrative texts.

Ufuk Adak (Altınbaş University), “The Governance of Horse Breeding in the Late Ottoman Empire” (EN)

The Ottomans employed horses dominantly in the military, transportation, and postal  service. In the nineteenth-century world, horses were still prestigious and diplomatic gifts that  the sultans and emperors gave to each other. The exhibition of Ottoman horses in Paris in 1900,  and the famous photo albums of Abdulhamid II that allocated a special section for his horses  clearly show the economic importance and symbolism of this animal in the late Ottoman  Empire. However, due to droughts occurred in the Empire finding purebred Arabian horses in  the nineteenth century was not very easy. This paper aims to examine the governance of horse  breeding in the late Ottoman Empire. By delving into the primary sources drawn from various  collections of the Prime Ministry’s Ottoman Archives (BOA) in Istanbul, this paper attempts to  shed light on the processes of horse breeding with a special focus on the State’s regulations to  protect the Ottoman economy and also increase the number of horses in the Empire. I argue that  Ottoman officials closely followed the international developments in horse breeding and trading  in the nineteenth century and they shaped their trading and customs policies to protect the  number and quality of horses in the Empire.

Yasemin Yılmaz (Düzce University & Koç University Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations), “In Death Too: The Role of Animals in Burial Practices in Anatolian Prehistoric Societies” (TR)

Traces of life revealed in burial practices unearthed in archaeological sites are important ways of reconstructing ancient societies. With the conscious burial of the dead, objects and animal remains also accompany the deceased. In burials, remnants varying by period such as everyday items, jewelry, shells, pigments, and other items used in daily life are observed. Although not common, there are examples where sometimes the entire animal, sometimes part of the animal, or sometimes a bone or bone fragment of the animal is deliberately placed in the grave with the deceased. Another form of the relationship between death and animals is observed in the areas chosen by humans to bury their dead. An area where an animal bone is placed can also be preferred as a space for burying the dead. With the transition to sedentary life and permanent settlements starting from the Neolithic Period without Pottery in Anatolia, living spaces are also used for the dead. Along with this period, remnants of burial practices of ancient societies also increase. The presentation aims to evaluate the place of human-animal association in burial practices, the meaning of death rituals, starting from the earliest settled societies, within the framework of archaeological remains in prehistoric Anatolian societies.

Ahmet Göksu (Fatih Sultan Mehmet Vakıf University) & Fatma Afyoncu (Fatih Sultan Mehmet Vakıf University), “From Martikor to Healing Lion Skin: Hayâtü’l-Hayevân in the Ottoman Empire” (TR)

Kemâleddin Demîrî’s (d. 1405) work “Hayâtü’l-Hayevân,” which examines living beings from various aspects, is a notable piece in Islamic literature. To understand this interest, it suffices to briefly examine the translations, summaries, and abridgments made after Demîrî (seven translations into Turkish and four into Persian from the 15th century onwards, ten summaries have been written, and there are 189 Arabic manuscripts recorded only in manuscript libraries in Turkey). In the work, besides verses, hadiths, stories, and poems involving animals, regulations regarding the use of animals as commodities, experiential knowledge regarding the medical and pharmaceutical uses of animals, in short, almost all themes concerning animals in daily life are present, which is again the most visible reason for this interest. The Turkish translations of “Hayâtü’l-Hayevân,” made by different names during the Ottoman period at different times, constitute an important part of the literature concerning animals in Anatolian and Turkish history. In this paper, we will attempt to examine five different translations of “Hayâtü’l-Hayevân” that we have identified in manuscript catalogs in Turkey (1474, Muhammad bin Sulaiman, Topkapı -Revan 1664; 1532, translator unknown, Ayasofya 2913; 1567, Bali Efendi, Halet Efendi 1367; 17th century, Muhammad Bosnevî, Şehit Ali Paşa 1823; and 1738, Abdulhalim bin Ali bin Mehmed, Halet Efendi-1627). As the work is quite extensive (approximately a thousand pages), a sample comparison has been made focusing on the lion, which is an important subject. The ruling elites constitute a part of the group interested in this work, which has been translated at different times and repeatedly transcribed. Three of the five Turkish translations we examined mention the names of sultans and statesmen. The inclusion of religious sciences in the work may have led to the selection of religious scholars for translation and also generated interest among the ulema, as three of the translators we examined belong to the ulema class. Furthermore, when looking at the five translations, the translators’ additions and omissions in the tradition of translation and authorship can be interpreted as an indication that information about animals is constantly being constructed in a dynamic manner. In our presentation, we will attempt to analyze the approaches to the practical and theoretical treatment of animals over time through the reception of “Hayâtü’l-Hayevân.”

Sinan Akıllı (Cappadocia University) & Buket Köremezli (Cappadocia University), “An Enchanting Pestilence: Discourses on Starlings before and after the Turkish Republican Era” (EN)

Human and nonhuman species have evidently coevolved in Anatolia since the Neolithic Age. The common starling (Sturnus vulgaris), more popularly recognized by their mesmerizing flocks known as murmurations, is a highly adaptive species and thus has rapidly adapted to living near areas inhabited by humans or in man-made environments such as farms, fields, and orchards once human societies began to settle on land. As a result of this proximity, from at least the Classical Age onward, the human-starling encounters in the Mediterranean world has been defined by anthropocentric forces such as language, culture, economic base, and the dominant political discourse. This native species of Anatolia has had a visible place in the evolution of the Turkish society since the eleventh century when nomadic Turkish tribes first began to arrive in Anatolia and then settled there permanently. From the word that signifies the starling in Turkish (i.e., sığırcık in modern Turkish) to the powers and meanings attributed to this avian, the “discourse on starlings” seems to have coevolved in Anatolia in line with the evolution of the human society.

In this paper, we offer, adopting a Foucauldian point of view, an analysis which argues that the “discourse on starlings” in Turkish Anatolia has evolved during the transition from the theocratic, agricultural Ottoman Empire to the secular and modern Republic of Türkiye. During this transition, there was clear shift from the superstition-ridden discourse (i.e., the myths of starling lords, and starling waters) of an agricultural society to one that reflects the tropes and concerns of an industrialized and mechanized society (as exemplified by Yaman Koray’s novel Sığırcıklar -Starlings- published in 1967). Put differently, the starlings evolved in the popular imaginary from being miraculous agents of God’s will to a pestilence in the fields, damaging crops and attacking the livelihood of the Anatolian peasant.

Ebru Gizem Ayten (Middle East Technical University), “Dichotomy of Pigs in Hittites: Dirty but Necessary? An Assessment on Zooarchaeological Evidence of Hittite Cities” (EN)

Although it is clearly stated in the Hittite religious cuneiform tablets that the pig should be  considered dirty and should not be allowed to enter temple, the domestic pig remains found in  different archaeological contexts show that there is a contradiction between religious beliefs  and life. The zooarchaeological remains found in the Hittite settlements prove that there is pig  breeding and consumption in the Hittite cities, although not as common as sheep / goat and  cattle breeding and consumption. In addition, the presence of domestic pig and wild boar images  in the Hittite material culture, such as statuettes and reliefs, rituals involving pigs and the  presence of Hittite laws about domestic pigs reinforce this peculiar contradiction. One of  reasons for this contradiction is often based on social class differences. It has been argued that  pig husbandry is preferred by low social classes due to the fact that pigs can be fed by domestic  waste and multiply rapidly hence they are a source of cheap meat. Another alternative to this  statement could be ethnicity. Hittites obtained different cultural elements during conquests of  different states. For this reason, it would be wrong to argue that everyone living in the Hittite  borders had a similar diet. Therefore, the presence of pig bones in archaeological contexts  despite of the pig taboo in the Hittite texts may also be related to the diet of people from different  ethnic origins. It will be useful to examine the spatial context of animal remains from selected  sites contexts along with other material culture elements, to understand the contradiction of pig  consumption in Hittites and to reveal the social and economic effects of pig husbandry in  Anatolia.

Irmak Ertör (Boğaziçi University), “Fish and Fisher People as Part of Anatolian and Turkish History” (EN)

Fish species and fishers have been an important part of the social and economic life of  especially coastal Anatolia. The most well-known historical piece with a comprehensive  study on fish species and fish markets in this geography is the one written by Karekin Deveciyan, the head of the fish markets in Istanbul, called “Türkiye’de Balık ve  Balıkçılık”, which was first published in Ottoman Turkish in 1915, and then translated to  French in 1926. Other glimpses into the history of fish and fishers often come from old Istanbul pictures, portraying Istanbul’s streets with big bluefin tuna or swordfish on the  shoulders of vendors, as well as local fish markets in the city center or later in different  districts of an expanding city. These images already indicate the changing nature of fish  species, fishers, and fish markets. They imply the transformation of marine ecosystems (as well as species that have been going extinct or yields that are getting smaller in size),  fisheries actors, and fisheries policies. Focusing on Istanbul, this study will first intend to  historicize small-scale fishing culture, and then scrutinize the current political economy  and ecology of fisheries in Istanbul and Turkey. The relatively lesser-known human and  non-human actors in this animal history currently show some species in danger of  extinction: both fish and small-scale fishers. Against this threat of extinction and socially  and ecologically destructive industrial fishing practices and fisheries policies, small scale fishing cooperatives in the Istanbul region—organized under the Association of  Istanbul Fishing Cooperatives, called Istanbul Su Ürünleri Kooperatifleri Birliği—have  been mobilized social actors highlighting social and ecological injustices they confront.  This research will thus explore ecological and social transformations fish and small scale fishers have been experiencing and examine the political agency Istanbul Birlik has acquired through its local and international alliances striving for food justice and food  sovereignty. The methodology of this study is based on four years of participant  observation and participatory action methods as well as in-depth interviews conducted  with Istanbul Birlik members.

Büşra Arabacı (Hacettepe University), “Big Fish Eat the Little One: Extinction of Species of Cimcim during the Integration of Beyşehir Region to the World Economy” (EN)

Cimcim, literally translating to ‘tiny thing,’ was the smallest fish species inhabiting Beyşehir Lake. It served as a crucial source of nutrition for disadvantaged people, swimming close to the shore and making itself accessible for hand-catching. In the 1970s, foreign zoologists visiting the region advised Turkish government officials to release a new fish species to the lake, to enhance fishing activities. This newcomer, locally known as “monster of the lake,” was perch, known for its aggressive nature and penchant for consuming smaller fish. The introduction of perch boosted commercial activities in the region, with six factories experiencing a surge in fillet production. These fillets were exported to European and Middle Eastern countries, connecting the lake and its environs to the global economy. However, this economic transformation came at a cost, leading to endangerment of at least four species in the lake, along with Cimcim.

Today, Cimcim survives only in the memories of local people who once earned their livelihoods through fishing activities. This proposed research aims to explore the intricate relationship between fish and human by employing the oral history method. Interviews with local individuals aged between 40 and 70 will provide valuable insights into the impact of introducing the perch on their lives. The findings from these interviews will be compared and integrated with information from the Turkish Republican Archives, offering a comprehensive understanding of the reciprocal fish-human interaction during Beyşehir’s integration into the capitalist economy.

Fatma Esen (Georgetown University), “Anchovy in Trabzon: From a Livelihood for the Coastal Poor to Canned Fish for Foreign Countries” (EN)

The aim of this paper is to assess the Trabzon provincial yearbooks, with a focus on the fishes of the Black Sea, particularly anchovy, and to explore how its definition transformed from being a voluminous food source for the region’s needy population into a proposition for a governance strategy concerning the abundant anchovy sources. This strategy aimed to provide job opportunities for the region’s population and increase national capital by exporting the fish to foreign countries in canned form, as directed by the editors of the yearbooks.

The primary source for this paper is the provincial yearbooks (salnames) from 1892 to 1905 and my methodology will involve a deep reading of them and will integrate Foucault’s concept of governmentality. I also intend to incorporate information on dolphin hunting in the Surmene region. My argument aligns with the discussions about the Ottoman state making in the 19th century, emphasizing the state’s concerns over taxation, perceiving the population and the land as a source of wealth. However, in this paper, I would argue that the abundant source of anchovy was also the part of this process and the proposal for the commercialization of anchovy as an economic resource originated from the bottom up in Trabzon. Furthermore, it was presented to the state for the betterment of the region’s population. Within this context, the main theme of the paper will be how the editors of the yearbooks evaluated the anchovy of Black Sea in Trabzon and the transformation of their perception over time, with the aim of exploring possible job vacancies for the population and subsidizing the lack of economic capital in the region.

Elisa Palomino (Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center), “Mesopotamian Magic: Fish Skin Rituals as Technologies of the Past” (EN)

Ancient Mesopotamians dwelled in a world surrounded by benevolent and malevolent supernatural powers embedded in objects, locations, plants, and animals. Governed by gods and kings, their society maintained a connection with the divine, interpreting any object or event as a message from the gods. Rituals conducted by the king, priests, and scholars sought protection and purity, evolving with the expansion of city-states and the emergence of city gods like Enki, associated with fish, a staple food and symbol of primordial wisdom.

The fish-cloaked apkallu, a hybrid creature part-human and part carp from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and a survivor of the archetypal Deluge, embodies the connection between the terrestrial and watery realms, a link to the underworld. Depictions of fish-skin apkallu can be found in water basins for ritual cleansing, amulets, cylinder seals, wall reliefs and clay figurines signifying their protective and purifying roles. In Mesopotamian medicine, illness was attributed to evil forces. Rituals were conducted by the Asipu, while fish-garbed figures provided protection and purification.

Fish skins, often overlooked in archaeological studies, served not only as food or offerings but also as materials for clothing and rituals. The processing of skins was a vital craft in Mesopotamian society, using various tanning and dyeing agents like oak bark and sumac leaves. Despite the lack of archaeological evidence, ancient texts and depictions suggest the use of fish skins in Mesopotamia. The integration of natural resources into daily life reflected a deep spiritual connection with the environment, personifying all creatures and worshiping natural forces. Fish skin clothing symbolised a connection with the animal and reverence for its essence.

This paper challenges academia’s dismissal of ancient magical systems, emphasising the significance of fish skin practices in Mesopotamian civilisations. Rooted in intimate environmental knowledge, these practices challenge contemporary perspectives on ancient civilisations.

Zeynep Akçakaya (Independent Scholar), “Locusts, Science, Ottoman State and Humans: Unraveling the Dynamics of an Interdependent Relationship” (EN)

Since the beginnings of agrarian societies, humans developed symbiotic relationships with animals,  leveraging their assistance in production, e.g., oxen, horses, or relying on them income-generating  assets, e.g., sheep, silkworms, but also as the adversaries of production such as locusts which had always been perennial threats. Locust plagues have sparked crises, especially famines, drawing the attention of rulers. However, it wasn’t until the 19th century that this attention turned into central policies, aligning with the era’s burgeoning emphasis on agricultural development.

By analyzing the changes in these central locust policies through the evolving discursive concept of science, this presentation discusses the dynamics among locusts, humans, and the state. To Moore the  job of science in this process is to make the nature legible for capital accumulation and job of the state  is to ensure and enforce the capitalist mechanism. Together they constitute an organic whole,  indicating a new pattern of environment-making. While agreeing with Moore regarding the eventual  dominance of the capitalist mechanism, putting whole nature—including humans and units of nature  without the duality between the two—to work for capital, it remains essential to elucidate the unfolding dynamics along this path. By scrutinizing how the content and significance of scientific methodologies in the state’s discourse evolved from forced mobilization of locals in the late 19th century to the use of chemicals in the early 20th century, this presentation aims to shed light the nuances in these dynamics and interdependent relationship among locusts, humans, and the state. It argues that the fluctuations and limitations of state actions, justified by science, uncover the  contradictory and mutual interplay among these elements, projecting how this relationship evolved  over time.

Elanur Ocaktan (Istanbul Medeniyet University), “Exploring Bees in Anatolia from the Ottoman Empire to the Republic” (TR)

The climate and geographical conditions of Anatolia are conducive to beekeeping.The prevalence of  beekeeping in Anatolia can be attributed to several factors, including its relatively low cost com pared to other agricultural activities, minimal labor requirements, high profitability within a short  period, and the diverse range of products such as honey and beeswax that cater to a broad market,  when compared to other livestock activities. This article aims to examine the relationship between  Anatolian people and beekeeping practices. Initially, the characteristics and species of Anatolian  bees are discussed. Then, the evolution of beekeeping techniques in Anatolia from the Ottomans to  the Republic period is explored, along with its impact on the lives of beekeepers. The effectiveness  of beekeeping and honey production in various sectors during the Ottoman Empire, as well as a brief overview of taxes levied on hives, is provided. Furthermore, the transition in beekeeping prac tices from traditional to modern hives, influenced by the expansion of the sugar industry, is high lighted. Emphasis is placed on the significance of transitioning to modern beekeeping techniques,  supported by an analysis of key texts such as “Ameli ve Fenni Arıcılık” by A. Ferid, “Ameli ve  Nazari Arıcılık” by Mehmed Ali, and “Kadınlara Ameli Sanayi-i Ziraiye Dersleri: Arıcılık Sanatı”  by İhsan. Additionally, the historical practices of honey production in Anatolia from the Ottomans  to the Republic era are explored. The role of beekeeping and honey production in society and  household economies, particularly their economic significance is discussed.

Ayşenur Mulla (University of Silesia in Katowice), “Locusts in Late Antique and Byzantine Religious Writings” (EN)

This paper argues that insects cannot be understood from just one perspective, even though the first thought that comes to mind is that most insects evoke a feeling of  disgust and threat, and cannot be seen in a positive light unless they appear pleasant, such as ladybugs and butterflies. This paper offers a case study of locusts in particular and their various symbolic meanings in Byzantine religious texts. The aim is to demonstrate the multi-dimensional connotations of locusts. The analysis will categorize locusts into two main aspects: first, locust invasions as threats for society and indicators of God’s divine justice. Locusts are often considered destructive; they can cause famine by decimating crops and infesting environments. Consequently, a swarm of locusts is predominantly perceived as a bad omen or a sign of God’s wrath, exemplified by John Chrysostom’s interpretation of the locust attack in Exodus as an indication of divine judgment. Another instance is John of Damascus’s emphasis on locusts not harming crops without divine command. The second aspect of the locust concept in Byzantine religious writings is their association with sanctified figures, exploring the theological and symbolic implications. In this second part, the paper explores the relationship between saints and locusts, such as the Cappadocian bishop Gregory of Nazianzus’s reference to Matthew, and emphasis on John the Baptist’s diet of wild honey and locusts. Beyond merely serving as sustenance for holy men and ascetics, the interaction between saints and locusts proves significant; for instance, when a locust infestation struck Constantinople, Constantine the Jew miraculously dispelled the swarm with a small amount of holy water, resulting in a more fertile harvest. This paper will, therefore, offer a multi-dimensional concept of the locusts in religious writings, such as hagiographies, biblical commentaries, and homilies between Late Antiquity and the Byzantine era.

Efe Erünal (Koç University), “Interwoven Existence: The Interplay of People, Worms, and Mulberry Trees in Bursa’s Silk Industry in the Mid-Nineteenth Century” (EN)

This paper examines the cohabitation of humans, silkworms, and mulberry trees that underpinned raw silk production in the mid-nineteenth-century Bursa region of northwestern Anatolia. As a historical global center for raw silk and silk-cloth manufacturing in the Ottoman Empire, Bursa played a pivotal role in the Silk Road trade. Annually, local residents engaged in a unique collaboration, nurturing silkworms in their homes and feeding them with leaves from privately owned mulberry trees, creating a distinctive cultural legacy while generating significant income.

The Industrial Revolution brought technological advancements that reshaped labor relations. The mechanization of silk reeling in France and of cotton fabric manufacturing in Britain resulted in large-scale deindustrialization of the reeling and weaving sectors, transforming traditional silk yarn producers and weavers into home-based cocoon raisers. The importation of high volumes of inexpensive cotton cloth and the establishment of European-owned filatures in Bursa from the 1840s onwards marked a crucial turning point, significantly boosting the region’s raw silk production.

While silk production in the Ottoman Empire has been extensively studied in different contexts, this paper addresses a notable gap by taking this matter at the subregional and household levels and specifically focusing on the multifaceted human-non-human relationship underlying silk production during the advent of mechanized production.

Using tax surveys and census data from the 1840s covering the entire Bursa region, the paper, for the first time, quantitatively analyzes interactions among individuals, silkworms, and trees. Scrutinizing the variables of cocoon production, income generated from this activity per household, as well as household size and the potential space allocated for silkworm raising in them, the paper will offer valuable insights into the intricate dynamics of this relationship.

Supplemented by travelogues, consular reports, and various other sources, the investigation extends beyond economic aspects to explore the cultural dimensions of cocoon raising. It sheds light on traditions associated with this livelihood, revealing cultural practices that sustained the people of Bursa until the latter part of the twentieth century.

Chair: Dan Beaver (Penn State University)

Hristo Hristozov (Plovdiv University), “Conquering High Mountains: How Seasonal Pastoralism Shapes Highland Socio-Natural Interaction in the Ottoman Rhodope Mountains” (EN)

This paper tends to reveal the process of transformation in the highland socio-natural correlation caused by the intensification of seasonal pastoralism in the Balkans during the Early Modern Ottoman empire (15th – 18th c.). Seasonal herding between cool summer pastures in the mountains and warm winter grazing zones in the plains is one of the key features of the Balkan economy during the Ottoman rule. Pastoralism and pastoral communities are important part of imperial socio-economic metabolism that provides with lamb the capital Istanbul, major cities, and the army. Social networks of skilled workers are engaged in processing raw materials provided by the sheep breeding for different manufactures in leather, textile and milk production.

The case study region of the Rhodope mountains, surrounded by the vast Thracian plains, are an important hub of summer pasturage during the Ottoman period. Moreover, this mountain-plain grazing system is located along the European hinterland of Istanbul and provides thousands of sheep annually. The process of colonization and socio-ecological change in this area is well documented in both archives of societies and archives of nature. This study is going to combine the information of Ottoman administrative documents, Anthropological studies and Paleo-botanical data of pollen analyses to shed light on environmental changes and social dynamics in the mountain.

The mountains will be considered as socio-natural site constituted by the nexus of social practices (grazing, logging, milk production, mobility etc.) and pastoral arrangements (grazing zones, sheepfolds, dairy farms etc.) that inevitably shaped the highland ecology. This analytical tool, introduced and widely applied in historical research by scholars such as Verena Winiwarter, Martin Knoll and Martin Schmid, provides a great opportunity to trace socio-natural transformations over a long time span in different aspects of the Environmental history and could be applied on the studies of Balkan past under the Ottomans.

Dilara Avcı (Kırşehir Ahi Evran University), “Erken Modern Osmanlı Filibe’sinde Koyun ve Koyunun Önemi” (TR)

In the early modern period, livestock activities were significant in the Ottoman Balkans. Small ruminant husbandry, especially sheep farming, was crucial to ensure the supply of meat to the palace and the population of Istanbul. Many of the sheep sent to the capital were sourced from Filibe (present-day Plovdiv). Filibe held an important position in supplying sheep to Istanbul due to its proximity to the capital. Celepkeşans played a vital role, especially in the provision of meat supplies to Istanbul. Sheep were sent from Filibe to Istanbul through celepkeşans at regular intervals and specific periods according to the demands from the capital. The breed and physical characteristics of the desired sheep were meticulously specified. During the early modern period, sheep and lamb meat were indispensable for  Ottoman cuisine. While beef was less preferred, meat dishes were predominantly made from sheep or lamb meat. When there was a shortage of meat in the capital, shipments of sheep from other regions were expected to meet the demand, adhering to the specified characteristics. It would be challenging to isolate sheep as a subject from the Ottoman archives because, as expected, animals were documented by humans. Individuals living in the early modern Ottoman Balkans or Anatolia included sheep in documents as long as it provided them benefits, both in terms of food and taxation. The status of sheep in early modern Plovdiv (Filibe) will be elucidated through the use of Mühimme registers, Sicils (administrative registers), Tahrir registers (land survey records), and travelogues. This presentation will focus on sheep husbandry activities in the Balkans, particularly in Filibe, during the late 16th century, and explain Filibe’s role in supplying meat to Istanbul. Additionally, the importance of the environment in sheep husbandry will be detailed, particularly in the context of Filibe.

Stefan Stojadinović (Istanbul University), “Sheep Farming in the Ottoman Balkans: A Case Study of the Niš Valley in the 16th Century” (EN)

Sheep farming played an important role in the economy of the Ottoman Empire,  particularly within the Balkan Peninsula, due to its favorable geographic characteristics for this economic activity. The Niš Valley emerged as a significant region where sheep breeding  intensified, benefiting from its geographical features, abundant pastures, meadows, and a ready supply of potable water. This research focuses on sheep husbandry in the Kaza Niš based on two cadastral surveys (Tapu Tahrir) and two Adet-i Ağnam and Resmi Ağıl defterleri from the 16th  century.

The early 16th-century cadastral survey reveals widespread engagement in sheep farming across almost every village, proving to be a lucrative source of income for timar holders. This paper analyzes the economic significance of this sector for rural households, urban economies, and regional and global trade. However, in the latter half of the 16th century, the Ottoman Empire experienced significant climatic changes adversely affecting sheep breeding. This led to a decreased supply of sheep to cities throughout the empire, particularly Istanbul, thereby shaking one of the pillars of the Ottoman economy – the provisioning.

While the cadastral survey from the late 16th century scarcely mentions the tax on sheep  and goats, the Adet-i Ağnam and Resmi Ağıl defterleri from the same period show minimal changes  compared to the first half of the century. In light of these discrepancies, this study aims to  investigate the main causes contributing to the disparities in the records and examine how these changes influenced rural and urban economies and regional and global trade by the end of the 16th  century.

Deniz İnce (Boğaziçi University), “The Turkish State’s Sheep Policy Between 1930 and 1939: Merino Sheep as ‘National Assets’” (EN)

An important amount of research has been conducted on national economy discourses and practices during the early Republican period. These studies have exclusively focused on state-led import substitute industrialization and the formation of a national bourgeoisie. However, the impacts of national economy policies on non-human animals and human-animal relations remain an understudied field of research.

With the national economy discourse gaining prominence, Merino sheep started to be referred to as “national assets” along with other non-human animals and deemed useful for the economy, especially after 1908. During the 1930s, the state promoted the breeding of Merino sheep and created a nationalistic discourse around the breed through national economy policies and state-led industrialization projects. As a result, Merino sheep were “reformed” both biologically and symbolically through state-led initiatives ranging from the establishment of laboratories and state farms to providing rewards to the breeders.

This study investigates the historical trajectory of Merino sheep in Anatolia by highlighting the intersections of economic policies, state interventions, and the construction of a nationalistic discourse. In doing so, it will explore the transformation of the early Turkish Republic’s approach to Merino sheep, revealing their integral role in supplying raw materials for industrialization, focusing on the pivotal period of 1930–39 within the broader context of late Ottoman and early Republican history. I argue that to fully understand the impact of the national economy approach, it is essential to examine how non-human animals were integrated into the changing economic, social, and political landscape, similar to other historical actors or groups.

M. Erdem Kabadayı (Koç University), “Tillers of the Soil or Breeders of the Oxen? Exploring the Interplay of Animal Husbandry and Grain Production in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Anatolian and Thracian Regions” (EN)

This data-driven quantitative paper examines the intricate relationship between animal husbandry and agricultural production in mid-nineteenth-century Anatolia and Thrace from a regional perspective. Drawing from the extensive dataset of micro-level household-based Ottoman tax registers, collected as part of the European Research Council Project “UrbanOccupationsOETR,” this study focuses on four regions: Ankara, Bursa, Edirne, and Manisa, delineated by the administrative borders of their respective districts (sancak).

Utilizing innovative geosampling methods, we curated and analyzed Ottoman temettuat registers to extract information from rural populated places representative of each district and subdistrict (kaza) in our four regions. The dataset used in this paper comprises exhaustive data on 12,755 individuals in 11,322 households across 223 villages in the four areas of interest. To analyze this immensely detailed dataset, we employed purpose-fitting coding practices, utilizing internationally accepted taxonomies such as the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) 2020 Census and the European Commission’s CORINE (Coordination of Information on the Environment) Land Cover 2018.

Through these coding schemes, we identified, grouped, and compared animal husbandry and agricultural production data per household across the 223 villages. Specifically, we focused on dry-agriculture fields for grain production and oxen for plow draft animals. By assessing the total and regional distribution of oxen per agriculturally active households, we compared the total hectares these oxen most likely tilled for grain production.

Our analysis reveals distinct regional patterns of differences, rooted in environmental and logistical constraints, evident in the varying total animal and human populations of these subdistricts and their densities. By elucidating these patterns, this study contributes to a deeper understanding of the historical dynamics of animal husbandry and agricultural production in Anatolia and Thrace during the mid-nineteenth century.

Donna Landry (University of Kent), “The Gift Horse Who Refuses to Be Gifted: Ottoman Multispecies Storytelling?” (EN)

This paper contributes to the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)-funded network, ‘Rethinking Fables in the Age of Global Environmental Crisis’, led by Kaori Nagai of the University of Kent. It seeks to understand how animal agency operated in a specific environment, bringing about a crisis, not in the natural world, but in the naturalcultural one. How might we most productively read Evliya Çelebi’s account of the ‘Arab thoroughbred spectacle’ (‘Temâşâ-y› garîbe-i küheylân’) that transpired during the Ottomans’ 1665 diplomatic peace mission to Vienna? The proposed gift horse, seeing only ‘black hat wearing’ (i.e., non-Muslim) grooms in his future, rebels, employing species-specific fight and flight responses. Death and destruction result, with the horse expiring in the square where in 1529 a Circassian cavalryman and his charger were martyred. This cross-cultural exchange is fraught by cultural difference and a horse speaking a political truth. Seeking to ratify a peace treaty, the Ottomans become a legend through their horse’s actions: ‘There were so many kafirs injured it is still a legend in kafiristan’. Might this account be read as an instance of Ottoman multispecies storytelling, in which, according to Walter Benjamin’s model of the storyteller as adapted by Yeliz Özay, a story is kept ‘free from explanation as one recounts it’ and ‘thus the narrative achieves an amplitude that information lacks’? If with John Hartigan we read with both ethological and ethnographic lenses, a rich instance of intercultural interspecies literacy, and illiteracy, emerges. Might we follow Laura Brown in her investigation of ‘cultural fables’, which ‘can tell a story that seems to grasp the processes of history with a peculiar discernment, or to represent the contradictions of such processes with a striking clarity’? What does it mean that horses are represented by Evliya as Ottoman-identified cultural agents in themselves?

Alan Mikhail (Yale University), “Thinking with Ottoman Animals” (EN)

This presentation will be improvised, reflecting on the conference papers in light of the field of Ottoman environmental history.

Nancy J. Jacobs (Brown University), “Reflections on the Conference Proceedings from an Africanist Perspective” (EN)

This presentation will be improvised, reflecting on the conference papers in light of the field of African environmental history.

The conference will be held at:

Koç University Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations, İstiklal Caddesi No. 181, Merkez Han, 34433 Beyoğlu, İstanbul/Türkiye

The conference is open to the public. There will be a live English-Turkish and Turkish-English translation. Food, coffee, and snacks will be served. Seats and space are limited, so access will be based on first-come, first-served.

Register for the conference by following this link.

Those interested in attending the conference should register online through the link below so they can receive drafts of the presentation papers in advance. We encourage all attendants to read as many papers as they can so they can engage the presenters with questions and feedback during the conference.

People with special needs who are interested in attending the conference should request accommodation no later than May 1, 2024 by emailing Onur Çezik at ocezik21@ku.edu.tr.

Dog and raptor handlers, 1586. Österreichische Nationalbibliothek

Dog and raptor handlers, 1586

Österreichische Nationalbibliothek.
https://onb.digital//result/10F15CDC