Impacts of a levantine bourgeois family; the “whittalls” in the 19th Century Ottoman Empire
The westernization movement of the Ottoman Empire which gained speed during the 19th century brought along a contradiction. With the increasing number of European merchants coming to the Empire, the difference between Muslims and non-Muslims in the society became even more apparent. This M.A. thesis, keeping away from the military background of the period, tries to reveal how Levantines influenced economic, social, cultural, and political life of the Empire. This thesis mainly models the Whittall Family on portraying the change of Levantines. This is mostly because the Whittalls sustained their social, economic, and political life in two important trade centers of the Empire such as Istanbul and Izmir. The grooving trade relations and agreements created a European lifestyle executed through specific club memberships representing the power of money. This eventually led Levantines and non-Muslim groups to consume imported products. It is no surprise then the demand for more European style of urbanization became such apparent among these groups. This urbanization model came into existence in the Empire thanks mostly to the Whittall family and their belongings. The companies, social clubs and splendid houses established in suburbs of Istanbul and Izmir are clear examples to the issue. Their social, economic and political relations with both the Ottomans and with their own country England led the Whittalls grab a prestigious position in the society unlike other Levantine groups living in the Empire. In the view of such information, based on the social and economic life of Levantines and their own lifestyle they established among the society, this M.A. thesis tries to point out that a bourgeoisie occurred in the Ottoman Empire despite being out of the Empire.