Family Zénehat, c. 1600-1625

I continue the tradition in my family of having tailoring as a trade. However, many things have changed since my family first came here to Constantinople. The population rises daily and the city is constantly evolving.[1] I, along with my family, continue to live in Galata. Galata is an area that is filled with many different types of people. We live towards the west of the Tower of Galata. This is an area where most Muslims congregate. However, we also live amongst and interact with the Jews, Spanish, Italians, Germans, Russians, English, French, Dutch, fellow Turks, and many more.[2] Our trade receives business from many of these different types of people too. There are many different types of officials who come to me for tailoring. Ottomans, Frenchman, and even some Venetians come to me for my expertise. The Venetians are slowly losing power and this is something that is not favorable to me. I feel this way because I will be losing business, but also because I count some Venetians as good friends of mine. While I do not like to be involved in politics, it does bother me to see my friends upset over their loss of power. The French have been becoming a larger of our community ever since the French moved their Embassy to Galata. Another change that is occurring currently is the growing number of my fellow Turks living here in Galata. Due to this increase in Muslims living here, there are more Mosques and less non-Muslim churches. I, along with many other Muslims, have always been very interested in these other faiths. Since, I am a Sufi, I am extremely open to different religions. In fact, as a child my mother took me to one of these churches when I was sick in the hopes that I would be healed.[3] On a daily basis I trade with and encounter many different people.


[1] Eric R. Dursteler, Veneians in Constantinople: Nation, Identity, and Coexistence in the Early Modern Mediterranean (Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press, 2006), 156.

[2] Ibid., 155.

[3] Ibid., 182.

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