Chapter

Ottoman <i>belle époque, c.</i>1890–1912

Nicholas Doumanis

in Before the Nation

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199547043
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191746215 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199547043.003.0003
Ottoman belle époque, c.1890–1912

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This chapter focuses on intercommunality and why groups that have suffered ethnic cleansing tend to long for pre-war days of inter-ethnic harmony. The chapter demonstrates why such nostalgia, while often depicting implausibly perfect times of social harmony, nevertheless contains more than a grain of truth. The focus is placed on the memories of Greek refugees who were victims of the population exchange between Greece and Turkey in 1923, and who depicted their former lives with the Turks in idyllic terms. These sources help recreate a picture of social order and the norms of communal interaction, and explain why Muslims and Christians believed it to be important to interact socially on an everyday basis. These arrangements were sought because they ultimately provided enormous practical benefits.

Keywords: intercommunitality; ottoman social history; Anatolia; radical nostalgia; commensality; communal boundaries

Chapter.  18471 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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