ISSN: 0041-4255
e-ISSN: 2791-6472

Mehmet Demi̇rtaş

Keywords: Vagrant, Beggar, Kulhanbeyi, Istanbul, Public Life


The capital city, Istanbul, was a center of attraction for centuries. The population of the city has increased continuously since the conquest. People from every part of the Ottoman country, even from outside the country, came to Istanbul for various reasons. Some of them wanted to stay permanently while others had to come to get things done, then they went back. In order to ensure their livelihood, some of those who came to Istanbul thought to shelter temporarily. However these people cause population increase in the city and they also struggle to make a living as they couldn't find any jobs and they started to disturb people by living a vagrant life. The state has taken and implemented various measures to prevent population increase and the problems arising therefrom. Especially those who are idlers, unemployed, living by unlawful ways and the groups disturbing people were kept under constant supervision, control and removed from the city. Groups involving theft, pickpocketing, robbery, seize and murder can be considered in this framework. Besides, there were also beggars who were begging without a license and making it a habit to batten on people. It is possible to consider people who resort to non-moral ways although they are few in number. These illegal groups, often referred as tramps in archival records, draw attention as threats to public life in Istanbul in the first half of the 19th century. In this article, it is aimed to address the activities of illegal groups that have a negative impact on the public life and the struggle and the measures of the state has taken against them in the first half of the 19th century in Istanbul.