Enslaved and Emancipated Africans on Crete

Terence Walz and Kenneth M. Cuno

in Race and Slavery in the Middle East

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9789774163982
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9781617970221 | DOI:
Enslaved and Emancipated Africans on Crete

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As in Istanbul and Izmir, those on Crete practiced the religio-spiritual belief system known as zar/bori and celebrated a yearly “festival” in May that appears to mirror Izmir's festival in many respects. Trans-Saharan African slaves were for the most part acquired by Muslim owners, they were thus considered nominally Muslim and as a result they were, in the words of Esma Durugönül, statistically “non-existent”. The language used to describe trans-Saharan Africans in Ottoman (and modern) Turkish leads to additional problems. Nationalism has also rendered the study of trans-Saharan Africans in the late Ottoman Empire more difficult. It is presented in terms of southeastern Europe and western Anatolia, with a linear progression towards the rise of Atatürk and the modern Turkish Republic.

Keywords: Istanbul; festival; Africans; nationalism; Anatolia

Chapter.  10105 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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