The Historical Transformation Of Urban Space Within The Context Of Property-Society Relations In Muğla, Turkey

Feray KOCA


Muğla is a town in southwestern Turkey that has for centuries been on the major trade routes. Property-society relations during the periods of the Anatolian Turkish Principalities and the Ottoman Empire have had a significant influence on the structuring of the town space, with its main evolution outside the fortress beginning in the 12th century. Neighbourhoods first began to form arbitrarily around pious structures, following no particular plan, and this was the case up until the advent of the Ottoman Era. Thereafter, it was the Ottoman administration and property system that determined and controlled the organization of space in the commercial centre, the administrative centres and the residential areas in the town for many centuries. Waqf, mülk and miri lands were the main property types of the Ottomans and their implementation had significant repercussions on the urban space and fabric of Muğla. Property relations in the town transformed the social structure of the residential districts as well as shaped the built environment. This article begins by explaining the ownership structure in the times of the Anatolian Turkish Principalities and under Ottoman rule, and then delves into the historical evolution of Muğla and the transformation of urban space as a result of the changing property-society relations of different historical periods, including the first years of the Republic.

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