A study on the daily life and coffeehouse culture in Gaziantep: Tahmis Coffeehouse
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The nineteenth century may be seen as a rupture in the field of history regarding its changing focus from glorious narratives of empires, wars and treatises to lives of ordinary people and individual stories. The actors of historical narrative ignored up to that time came to the forefront with the new micro-historical approach and individual stories gained importance in historical process. By using oral history, the very beginning of the social structures of societies can be revealed and a new historical narrative can be constructed upon daily life events and micro-histories. In a parallel vein, in the twentieth century, researchers studied individuals and their role in construction of society to re-interpret social and cultural conditions under the title of cultural studies. Importantly, culture is handled as an accumulation of shared values and daily life praxis and public spaces are regarded as valuable cores where collectively shared values are spatialized in the urban context. In this paper, the historical Tahmis Coffeehouse in Gaziantep is determined as case and micro-historical and cultural studies are combined to construct a connection between past and present by intertwining oral narratives of Coffeehouse regulars to written evidence. This interconnection is found precious because Tahmis Coffeehouse is a public space involved in daily life routine of the city lively with its traces from the history carried by the building itself and its regulars by revealing how it was used as a political and social space connecting its regulars to social, cultural and political context of the time.