After the Ottoman
arrival in the Balkans, the cities were gradually reshaped to adapt to the new
culture that is related to a new religion. The Ottoman rulers used the T-shaped imaret as a way to encourage urban
growth and were consistent in the creation of mahallas. Mahallas are
neighbourhoods of the Ottoman cities that were designed solely as housing
quarters surrounding the bazaar. The
social factor was very important and a value to these neighbourhoods. When
focused only on the houses in these quarters it is also visible that as
specific architectural structures they stand as a reflection of the new way of
life brought with the Ottoman domination. The architecture of the living space
and its change and development is a clear indicator of the time that has passed,
because it carries these changes long after in its own foundation. It is also
an indicator of the habits, traditions and values the population had. This is
why it is important to know how people built their houses, and why they did it
in such a way. The existence of the Ottoman type of house is not due to the
expansion of the Ottoman Empire, but as a possible result of its loss of power
that led to larger Western influence. The preserved houses date from the 17th
to 19th century in the Balkans, according to Ekaterina Manchevska in her paper about Islamic influence on
the traditional way of building residential houses. Apart of the earlier
condition, the economic state allowed to build more stable houses which would
explain the delay in the adoption of the Ottoman type. Their structure can help
us not only understand the way of life then, but even compare between the rich
and poor. After this comparison it should be understandable if it is true that
the plan of constructing the house was the same, since it all represented an
Ottoman legacy, with possible differences between the cities about specificity
of the geographical context and the shape of the details of the house.
Furthermore, whether the common elements between the houses were the same, but
with different variety of representation and motives implemented in the design.

A major earthquake in
1509, followed by fires that destroyed Istanbul lead to the Supreme Court
Decree to try to shape the idea of a successful creation of an Ottoman house
construction that would be more stable and resistant. Some of the oldest houses
that could be found in a record after this change are in the district of Bursa
according research done by Ibrahim Canbulat
in his paper about the evolution of the structure and form of the Ottoman
house. These requirements are important since they led to the development of a new housing structure as a result.
The biggest influence which led to the Ottoman concept of housing was on the
form and organization of the urban concept of living. There were some
elements kept, but mostly there was intense modification and adoption of Muslim
housing style which goal was to increase the functionality of the house (Manchevska).

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