Necati Çavdar

Keywords: The First World War, Coal, Food, Transportation, Lighting


While The First World War was preparing the end of the Ottoman Empire, it also caused the Ottoman society to face with major economic destruction. The major troubles of the people in Istanbul were the most essential requirements for the survival such as food, heating, lighting and transportation in also Armistice Period, as in the years of War. In late October 1918, inhabitants in Istanbul faced with hunger. Especially bread shortages had reached a peak. Coal crisis also posed another problem in this cycle in which everything was in an intricate situation. Coal crisis had come to such a degree at the beginning of the Armistice period that; everything in need of coal such as ferry, train, mills, factories, electric lighting came to almost at a standstill. As this case brought the coal smuggling with it, the government established a Coil Control Office in Sarıyer, began to coal control in transportation vehicles sailing to the Black Sea or coming to Istanbul, and banned boats loaded with coal to cruise in the Bosphorus. the Halic Ferries had increased the fares one hundred percent due to the coal crisis. Istanbul had experienced great suffering in many areas of life depending on first grain and coal shortages since the end of the War until the middle of 1919. This situation continued until the middle of 1919 and the daily life in Istanbul began to come back its regular course with starting operation of factories, tramways and ferries as a result of measures taken by the governments. In our study, we shall try to reveal the shortages of the requirements in Istanbul such as food, coal, transportation and lighting, and execution of the state for the supplying these needs in the days when the War ended and the first months occupied.