The talk will be about Yonca Köksal’s recent book The Ottoman Empire in the Tanzimat Era: Provincial Perspectives from Ankara to Edirne (Routledge, 2019). It will explain the Ottoman reforms and their variation across the two provinces and the crucial role of local intermediaries such as notables, tribal leaders, and merchants. It attempts to understand the Tanzimat as a process of negotiation and transformation between the state and local actors. The author argues that the same reform policies produced different results in Edirne and Ankara. The talk will explain how factors such as socioeconomic conditions and historical developments played a role in shaping local networks, which influenced the outcome and variation in reform outcome. Therefore, it invites audience to rethink taken for granted concepts such as centralization, decentralization, state control, and imperial decay.