Before the Nation: Muslim-Christian Coexistence and its by Nicholas Doumanis

By Nicholas Doumanis

It's common for survivors of ethnic detoxification or even genocide to talk nostalgically approximately previous instances of intercommunal concord and brotherhood. After being pushed from their Anatolian homelands, Greek Orthodox refugees insisted that they 'lived good with the Turks', and yearned for the times once they labored and drank espresso jointly, participated in every one other's gala's, or even prayed to an analogous saints. Historians have by no means confirmed severe regard to those stories, given the refugees had fled from terrible 'ethnic' violence that looked as if it would replicate deep-seated and pre-existing animosities. Refugee nostalgia appeared natural fable; might be contrived to minimize the discomfort and humiliations of displacement.

Before the Nation argues that there's greater than a grain of fact to those nostalgic traditions. It issues to the truth that intercommunality, a style of daily dwelling according to the lodging of cultural distinction, was once an ordinary and stabilizing characteristic of multi-ethnic societies. Refugee reminiscence and different ethnographic assets supply plentiful representation of the ideals and practices linked to intercommunal residing, which neighborhood Muslims and Christian groups likened to a standard ethical atmosphere.

Drawing mostly from an oral archive containing interviews with over 5000 refugees, Nicholas Doumanis examines the mentalities, cosmologies, and cost platforms as they relate to cultures of coexistence. He in addition rejects the usual assumption that the empire was once destroyed by means of intercommunal hatreds. Doumanis emphasizes the position of state-perpetrated political violence which aimed to create ethnically homogenous areas, and which went a way in remodeling those Anatolians into Greeks and Turks.

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74 Similar views were held by subsequent generations of his class, which indicates that the Greeks in Greece were different. More broadly, this distinction was seen in the commonplace designation of Greek nationals as ‘Ellines’ (Greeks). The Byzantinist Peter Charanis recalled as a boy a moment of cultural dissonance on Limnos in 1912, after the Greek navy seized the remaining Ottoman-controlled islands. 75 The Greeks in Greece were similarly ambivalent about their brethren in the empire. The Romioi who did not support the Greek revolt and were indeed hostile to it, like Vogorides, were branded as traitors in Greece, and there was some frustration shown towards those members of Vogorides’ class in Constantinople who continued to serve the empire.

The Byzantinist Peter Charanis recalled as a boy a moment of cultural dissonance on Limnos in 1912, after the Greek navy seized the remaining Ottoman-controlled islands. 75 The Greeks in Greece were similarly ambivalent about their brethren in the empire. The Romioi who did not support the Greek revolt and were indeed hostile to it, like Vogorides, were branded as traitors in Greece, and there was some frustration shown towards those members of Vogorides’ class in Constantinople who continued to serve the empire.

E. working class and bourgeoisie) and hastening the decline of the traditional professions and institutions, such as the guilds. These immense changes inevitably caused great social dislocation as well as social mobility. 41 It is certainly true that foreign interests preferred dealing with Christian and Jewish intermediaries, in part because of their facility with Western languages and established expertise in commerce, especially external trade. 42 Recent research has shown, of course, that non-Muslims did not have a monopoly in commercial activity (or in any occupation for that matter), and that Muslims continued to dominate the empire’s domestic trade.

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