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Abstract


TARSUS IN THE LATE 19th CENTURY ACCORDING TO TARSUS COURT RECORDS COLLECTION NO. 330
Despite a significant amount of scholarship, there is still much to learn about Tarsus, one of the most historically rich and geographically fertile places in the Çukurova region. The fact that Tarsus has served as the meeting point for transit roads from history until today, the fact that it has become the home to many migrants and settlers, its suitable climate and geography, and the presence of a vibrant economy enabled Tarsus to support a dense population; this, in turn, has inspired an increasing amount of research lately on Tarsus and other cities of the Çukurova region. The fact that many ethnic and religious groups—from Turkmen and Arabs to Greeks, Armenians, and Maronites—have lived in the region makes it an attractive region to study for those interested in history and culture. By the later part of the 19th century, the socio-cultural and demographic vibrancy of Tarsus had stabilized. Nevertheless, the arrival in 1897 of migrants from Crete to an already densely populated Tarsus added another dimension to the region’s social makeup. While the rise in population might have added a new cultural and social flavor, it also came with difficulties that were to shape the socio-economic life of the region. The fact that a majority of the population’s means of production and subsistence was based on working the land meant that the new population resulted in court cases and struggles over property. This study represents a small contribution to the literature on Tarsus by looking at the region’s population, economy, social and legal relations between Muslims and non-Muslims, work and leisure, the status of women, villages (an important part of social and cultural life), urban neighborhoods, religious foundations, and religious schools.

Keywords
Çukurova, Adana, Mersin, Tarsus


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