Claiming “Imagined Property” : Ṭaṣfiye Ṭalebnāmes and the Lost Material World of Migrants after the Greek-Turkish Population Exchange of 1923–24

Faculty/Professorship: Turkish Studies  
Author(s): Morack, Ellinor  
Publisher Information: Bamberg : Otto-Friedrich-Universität
Year of publication: 2022
Pages: 24
Source/Other editions: Diyâr : Zeitschrift für Osmanistik, Türkei- und Nahostforschung. 1 (2020), 1, S. 129-152. - ISSN: 2625-9842
is version of: 10.5771/2625-9842-2020-1-129
Year of first publication: 2020
Language(s): English
Licence: Creative Commons - CC BY-NC-ND - Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivatives 4.0 International 
URN: urn:nbn:de:bvb:473-irb-531322
According to the exchange convention signed in Lausanne in January 1923, all people who were “subject to the exchange” between Greece and Turkey were entitled to compensation in the receiving country with property of a value equal to that they left behind. In 1925, the Mixed Commission asked “exchangees” in Turkey to fill in “applications for property liquidation”. These documents provide a wealth of information about “exchangees” that was previously unavailable.
This article studies a sample of these applications (tasfiye talepnames) that were drawn up in 1925 in western Turkey in order to find out how the applicants described their houses, living conditions and belongings back in Greece. Utilizing theoretical approaches from anthropological literature, the article analyses these standardised forms as places of encounter between the bureaucracy and those who were subject to the exchange convention. The property listed is conceptualized as “imagined”, i.e., lost property that people had to present in certain ways in order to be compensated for it. The paper traces different presentation strategies in the documents, showing how social status, bureaucratic literacy, and narrative content were utilised in this endeavour.
GND Keywords: Griechenland; Türkei; Bevölkerungsaustausch; 1923-1924
Keywords: Greek-Turkish population exchange, Turkey 1922-, property, material culture, memory
DDC Classification: 940 History of Europe  
RVK Classification: NQ 4670   
Peer Reviewed: Ja
International Distribution: Ja
Type: Article
Release Date: 19. April 2022

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