In the Time of the Sultans

In the Time of the Sultans : Urban Chronicles From 19th Century Istanbul

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During the 1930s, the Greek architect and writer Panos Tzelepis (1894-1976) recorded the memories and tales of Stavris, an older relative, who as a young man had lived amongst the underworld figures of late-19th century Istanbul.

Realising the importance of these memoirs as a unique record of life during the final decades of the Ottoman Empire, Panos Tzelepis published them in two volumes, the first appearing in 1965 under the title "In the Time of the Sultans."

In this first collection of urban chronicles we encounter colourful characters, from a Jewish doctor who treated the poor, the owner of a secret hash-den, the madam of a high-class brothel, to the lives of the kabadayi, or "tough guys," who developed their own codes of honour, conduct and social justice in the sprawling multi-cultural metropolis that was Istanbul towards the end of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th.

Translated into English for the first time by Charles Howard, a prominent archiver and compiler of rebetiko music, Tzelepis's literary renderings of Istanbul and its people are given new life in a book brimming with intricate and dazzling details of a world that has long since vanished.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 248 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 13mm | 290g
  • English
  • 0646839594
  • 9780646839592
  • 1,164,244