Title: Constantinople, City of the World’s Desire 1453-1924
Author: Philip Mansel
At once scholarly and entertaining, Constantinople depicts the Ottoman capital as a place of shifting boundaries and categories. It was the capital of both Islam and the Orthodox church, part of the “system of Europe” and a magnet for people and ideas from Paris to Isfahan. It was also a city of critical strategic importance, coveted at different periods by Russia, Germany, Bulgaria, and Greece. After the Great War, in its last years as an imperial capital, Constantinople was occupied by British, French, and Italian forces. Within a broad chronological framework, here is the story of the city and of the impact the Ottoman Sultans and their dynasty had on it; here too are the families who settled in Constantinople and served the Sultans, among them the Turkish Koprulu, the Italian de Testa, the Greek Mavrocordatos and the Hashemites from Mecca.