Waqfs in Ottoman cities and the values added to the city
by the Waqf System
Waqfs (religious emdowments) are mentioned almost in every research published on Ottoman cities. The great diversity of waqfs caused the Ottoman Empire to be known as a land of waqfs, and consequently Ottoman identity became characterized by waqfs. As a matter of fact, almost all services that are provided in a society were included in the waqf system.
The waqf system contributed to the social development of Ottoman cities, and flourished in accordance with the conditions of the period, and became an essential element of the urban fabric. As a result of the developments in political conjuncture and the changes in the world economic equilibriums, the waqf system, which had greatly contributed to the city life in the past, became unable support and sustain city life as in the classical period of Ottoman history, because it could not keep pace with these divers and multi-dimentional changes.
Key words: Waqf, Ottoman, City, Historical geography; Anahtar kıelimeler: Vakıf, Osmanlı, Şehir, Tarihi coğrafya.