Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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(949 words)

The Balat quarter of Istanbul, situated on the southern shores of the Golden Horn, was heavily populated by Jews from the seventeenth to the mid-twentieth century. There were Jews living in Balat as early as the Byzantine period, and they were joined by a substantial influx of exiles from Spain in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, but Balat became the principal center of Jewish presence in Istanbul only after the Great Fire of 1660. This calamity caused the destruction of thousands of Jewish homes and shops in the districts of Eminönü, Bağçekapusu, T…

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Onur Yildirim, “Balat”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 24 October 2021
First published online: 2010

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