French Trade in Istanbul in the Eighteenth Century


Author: Edhem Eldem
This work deals with French trade in Istanbul in the eighteenth century, using French and Ottoman sources, and integrating the political and social dimensions of the question. It also sheds light on the financial dimension of trade, particularly that of bills of exchange and monetary trade, linking Istanbul to other Ottoman cities and to European financial centers. Finally, it tackles the issue of western economic penetration, arguing that, despite some signs of domination, French control over the market was efficiently opposed by local actors, that economic integration with the West was often realized on equal terms, and that much of the domination witnessed toward the end of the century was, in fact, the result of French diplomatic leverage and of the gradual estrangement of non-Muslim traders from the Ottoman "commonwealth".

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Edhem Eldem, Ph.D. (1989) in History, University of Provence, is Professor of History at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul. Publications include articles on the Levant trade, Ottoman funerary epigraphy, social and economic history of Istanbul, and three books on the Ottoman Bank.
Those interested in Ottoman social, economic, financial, and monetary history, the history of the Levant trade, French economic history; specialists of financial trade and bills of exchange; specialists of Marseilles.