Emre Erol (Sabancı University)
NIT, Istanbul, Turkey
14 Sep 18:30
Slightly more than a hundred years ago some parts of the Middle East were much more diverse then they are today. Peoples from different ethnicities, religions and linguistic groups lived together in the rather cosmopolitan port towns and port cities of the Eastern Mediterranean. The Western Anatolian seaboard, or the Aegean shores of today’s Turkey was among such cosmopolitan regions. The Ottoman county of Foçateyn, or modern day Foça, with its two economically and demographically expanding port towns was among the principal examples of such regions. Most of those once diverse towns and cities, including those of Foça, had been radically transformed during the first decade of the 20th century in the process of the transformation from the Ottoman Empire into the modern day Republic of Turkey.
What was life like before the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in a major Aegean port town? How did Greeks (then Ottoman Orthodox Christians or Rum) and Turks (then Muslims) live at the time? How did a predominantly Turkish modern nation state like the Republic of Turkey emerged out of that past? This lecture discusses these questions based on a recent book by Dr. Emre Erol that opens a window into the history of the county of Foçateyn that is located on the Western Anatolian seaboard of the Ottoman Empire at the turn of the century. It will discuss global issues of the time such as the incorporation with the world markets, influence of nationalisms, wars and migration in relation to the regional history of the Aegean. The lecture is open to public participation and it will be followed by a Q&A session.