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

Ahmet Yüksel

Sivas Cumhuriyet University, Faculty of Letters, Department of History, Sivas/TÜRKİYE

Keywords: Ottoman, Istanbul, Traffic Legislation, Accident, Punishment.


Those who are exposed to the traffic problem of Istanbul may see the drivers and pedestrians city of a hundred, one hundred and fifty years ago as more fortunate. The sound of the engine had not yet scratched the ears of the inhabitants of the capital; it can be thought that traffic did not create a state of tension and panic for people in the years when animals and cars pulled by them were the main elements in transportation and carriage services other than pedestrians. However, the news published in the newspapers of the period are ready to testify that Istanbul’s traffic problem is a bad legacy that has survived since the 1850s. The capital’s unsuitable road network and zoning plan, as well as the increase in population and naturally the number of vehicles due to factors such as migration and commercial revival, have been the main factors shaping that heritage, which is difficult to follow. Not much different from today, when the behaviour of some drivers ignoring the rules determined regarding traffic took their place in the equation, it was an ordinary development to come across an accident tidings almost every day in the newspapers of the period.

In this study, the subjects that have never been researched until now are conveyed through the case studies reflected in the newspapers of the period such as the causes of traffic accidents in the Ottoman capital, the subjects of which were animals and their cars, and the damages they caused, the laws enacted to prevent accidents in order to protect public order and other measures taken by the authorities, and the officers responsible for following and implementing them, and of course, those who violated the traffic rules.