Turkifying Poverty, or: the Phantom Pain of Izmir’s Lost Christian Working Class, 1924–26
Morack, Ellinor (2019): „Turkifying Poverty, or: the Phantom Pain of Izmir’s Lost Christian Working Class, 1924–26“. Abingdon: Routledge, Taylor & Francis doi: 10.1080/00263206.2018.1559157.
Title of the Journal:
Middle Eastern studies
Year of publication:
This article shows that ‘Turkification,ʼ a term widely used by historians of modern Turkey to refer to the forced transfer of property from Christian into Muslim hands, ought to be conceptualized not only in the sense of ‘enrichment’ but also, with regard to the working classes, as a process in which Muslim people inherited the poverty of their Christian predecessors. Taking İzmir as a case in point, the paper first describes the plight of the overwhelmingly Christian working class prior to 1922. It then studies reports and editorials that discussed the economic and social situation in İzmir in the years 1923 to 1926, after the Turkish victory and forced migration of her Christian population. Over the course of these years, İzmir experienced a serious economic crisis, and bread prices reached lev-els that lead to widespread undernourishment and hunger among the cityʼs poor. Agricultural pro-duction was lagging behind pre-war levels, and positive effects of ‘Turkificationʼ policies were fail-ing to materialize. By analyzing the contemporary journalistsʼ attempts at explaining the crisis, but also pointing out national and transnational factors that they were probably unaware of, the paper makes an original contribution to the economic and social history of early republican Turkey.
Izmir ; Arbeiterklasse ; Soziale Situation ; Wirtschaftliche Lage ; Armut ; Geschichte 1922-1926
; ; ; ;
June 13, 2019