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New Book: Nationalism and Non-Muslim Minorities in Turkey, 1915 – 1950

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Nationalism and Non-Muslim Minorities in Turkey, 1915 – 1950 by Ayhan Aktar | Published: 22 April 2021 [Society and Politics Series: 7] Transnational Press London

Ayhan Aktar has been working on anti-minority policies in modern Turkey since 1991. In the Ottoman Empire’s final decade (in 1906), non-Muslims constituted 20% of the population; by 1927, they were reduced to 2.5% and, nowadays, they make up less than 0.02% of the population of Modern Turkey. Armenians were subjected to deportations (1915), Greeks were ‘exchanged’ (1922–1924) and Jews were forced to migrate abroad (after 1945). Like many other nation-states in the Near East, Turkey has been able to homogenize its population on religious grounds. This book is a collection of Aktar’s articles about this transformation.

Aktar criticises nationalist historiographies and argues « For instance, a scholar conducting research on the Jewish community during the republican period could easily come to the conclusion that only Jews were discriminated against by the Turkish state. However, this is only partially true! All non-Muslim minorities were discriminated against and their stories cannot be understood unless the Turkish state and its policies are placed at centre stage. Utilizing diplomatic correspondence in the British and US National Archives has enabled me to understand anti-minority policies as a whole and to treat the subject within a totality. »

This book will interest scholars and students of nationalism, minority studies and Turkish history and politics.

CONTENTS

Foreword

Chapter 1. Debating the Armenian Massacres in the Last Ottoman Parliament, November – December 1918

Chapter 2. Organizing The Deportations and Massacres: Ottoman Bureaucracy and the Cup, 1915 – 1918

Chapter 3. Homogenizing the Nation, Turkifying the Economy: The Turkish Experience of Population Exchange Reconsidered

Chapter 4. Conversion of a ‘Country’ into a ‘Fatherland’: The Case of Turkification Examined, 1923–1934

Chapter 5. “Turkification” Policies in the Early Republican Era

Chapter 6. “Tax Me to the End of My Life!” Anatomy of Anti-Minority Tax Legislation, (1942 – 3)

Chapter 7. Turkish Attitudes vis à vis The Zionist Project by Ayhan Aktar and Soli Özel

Chapter 8. Economic Nationalism in Turkey: The Formative Years, 1912 – 1925

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