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Leaving Distance between Pubs and Sacred Places: Examples from İstanbul during Sultan Abdulhamid II Reigns
Alcohol, known since the Sumerians, was well accepted and welcomed by some religions but forbidden by Islam. Due to this prohibition Ottoman Empire did not allow Muslims to either consume or sell alcohol nor open a pub. But Ottoman society did not consist only Muslims. Therefore non-Muslims within certain conditions were allowed to consume alcohol or open a pub. Accordingly, it was possible to open a pub in non-Muslim neighborhood and away from places considered sacred by Muslims. It was forbidden to open a pub near Mosque, madrasah, cemetery, and shrines. A certain distance (100 Turkish yards) have been appointed for this and license applications was accepted or denied based on this distance frame. Nevertheless, due to lack of close examination some pubs were observed in near sacred places. Such licenses were cancelled later but these practices led to objections and there had been some problems. This article focuses on the distance issue which was the most important requirement to open a pub and addressed the resulting problems with several examples. <

Pub, Alcohol, Mosque, Sacred Place, Coffeehouse

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