Turkifying Poverty, or: the Phantom Pain of Izmir’s Lost Christian Working Class, 1924–26

Faculty/Professorship: Turkish Studies  
Author(s): Morack, Ellinor  
Publisher Information: Bamberg : opus
Year of publication: 2019
Pages: 24
Source/Other editions: Middle Eastern studies 55 (2019), 4, Seite 499-518
is version of: 10.1080/00263206.2018.1559157
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.20378/irbo-54760
Licence: Creative Commons - CC BY - Attribution 4.0 International 
URN: urn:nbn:de:bvb:473-opus4-547609
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.
GND Keywords: Izmir; Arbeiterklasse; Soziale Situation; Wirtschaftliche Lage; Armut; Geschichte 1922-1926
Keywords: Turkification, Turkey, 1922-1938, bread prices, labor history, work migration
DDC Classification: 300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology  
330 Economics  
930 History of ancient world & archaeology  
RVK Classification: NQ 5752     NR 9360   
Peer Reviewed: Ja
International Distribution: Ja
Type: Article
URI: https://fis.uni-bamberg.de/handle/uniba/45615
Year of publication: 5. August 2019

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