It is also referred to as Phokaia and/or Phocaea in English/Latin, Παλαιά Φώκαια in Modern Greek, Παλαιάς Φώκαιας in Classical Greek and Foça-i Atik in Ottoman documents. Today, in modern day Turkish Republic, it is known as Eski Foça.
Industrialization of shipping is a concept coined by maritime historians that refers to the drastic changes that took place in 19th century. These changes were related to the volume of goods that were carried and the types of vessels traversing the world. Basically it referred to a transition from wood to steel and from sails to steam in shipping industry. Downes argues that these changes in the shipping triggered further changes in the construction of modern waterfronts that constituted a part of the Ottoman modernization process. Downes, Brant William, Constructing the Modern Ottoman Waterfront: Salonica and Beirut in the late Nineteenth Century. Unpublished PhD Thesis, Stanford University, 2008, pp.3-5.
This number is derived from the number of all the residents of the county of Foçateyn in 1914. Since seasonal migration was a widespread phenomenon in the Western Anatolian region it is not possible to give exact numbers for the settlements in the county. In the times of summer, most of the residents in the county migrated to Eski Foça that was the biggest settlement of the whole county.
Tilly, Charles, “Reflections on the History of European State-Making” in Charles Tilly, Ed., The Formation of National States in Western Europe. Princeton, N. J. Princeton Univ. Press, 1975, p. 42.
This approach is based upon the approach of William H. Sewell Jr. that is presented in his article Rethinking Labor History: Toward A Post-Materialist Rhetoric (CSST Working Paper 44, 1990). It is important to underline that the examples given here are not direct adaptations of Sewell’s approach. The examples and the theoretical framework that I use represent my reformulation of Sewell’s approach.
The term is used by Faroqhi to describe the crucial role of Western Anatolian agricultural lands that supported İstanbul for centuries through Ottoman provisionist (iaşe) network. Faroqhi, Suraiya, Towns and Townsmen of Ottoman Anatolia: Trade, Crafts and Food Production in an Urban Setting, 1520–1650. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984. p. 81.
For further discussions about the long term economic affects of the increasing European presence see: Pamuk, Şevket, Yüz Soruda Osmanlı-Türkiye İktisadi Tarihi 1500-1914. İstanbul: K Kitaplığı Yayınları, 2003, pp. 248-255. Eldem, Edhem, “Capitulations and Western Trade”, in Cambridge History of Turkey, Vol. 3, p. 283-336. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006.
Although it is generally assumed that the penetration of European capital would force pre-capitalist forms of ownership and economic systems to evolve into capitalist ones, its effects in the Ottoman Empire were diverse and different than this presumption. A thesis by Birsen Bulmuş convincingly demonstrates that small peasantry in the county of Foçateyn preserved itself despite of the destabilizing affects of the increasing European presence in the county. For further details see: Bulmuş, Birsen, The agricultural structure of the Foça region in the mid-nineteenth century: An examination of the Çift-Hane system and the big farms in the light of the temettü defters, 1844-45. Unpublished master thesis, Presented to Bilkent University, 1997.
The real change came due to this resistance of small land holding peasantry. European presence increased the volume of trade and created a shortage of free labor that would be filled with the migration of Greeks from the Aegean islands.
These patterns of migration had been frequently used in the last century of the Empire. As a typical Mediterranean phenomenon, islands often became sources of labor for the mainland whenever there was a need for workers. As early as 1870 a British consular report underlines this phenomena and states that the province of Aydın has no space for British workers since migrants from the Aegean Islands easily supply any need of labor. See: Reports from Her Majesty’s diplomatic and consular agents abroad, respecting the condition of the industrial classes in foreign countries. Londres: Harrison and Sons, 1870. p. 259.
For instance in the year of 1894, 363 steamships and 2706 sail ships entered the port of Eski Foça. These ships belonged to British, Italian, Greek and Ottoman origins. See: (Provincial Almanac of Aydın) Salname-i Vilayet-i Aydın, 1893, p. 221.
When the Ottomans lost their monopoly over certain irregular customs taxes with the agreement of Balta Limanı (1838) they felt the need to go for European creditors in order to fulfill their need for cash in the Crimean War with the Russians. This was primarily because they were no longer able to extract money from this part of their income in times of need. Pamuk, Şevket, Yüz Soruda Osmanlı-Türkiye İktisadi Tarihi 1500-1914. Istanbul: K Kitaplığı Yayınları, 2003, pp. 248-249). This thought them a lesson in the long term. War and reforms were very expansive and their sustainable finance was only possible with the development of a strong national economy. This meant that although they needed European money in the short term, they had to establish their own national bourgeoisie in the long run. For further reading see: Keyder, Çağlar, Türkiye’de Devlet ve Sınıflar, Istanbul: İletişim Yayınları, 2007, pp. 82-84.
For a visual representation of this tremendous century of migration and for the approximate number of people that suffered forced migration see: McCarthy, Justin, Forced Migration and Mortality in the Ottoman Empire/An Annotated Map. Turkish Coalition of America 2010.
Scholars such as Taner Akçam, Matthias Bjornlund and Fuat Dündar wrote some prominent examples of the studies in this group. These scholars did not only write about these subjects and there are many other valuable works as well. The aim is to address some examples to the groups addressed here.
Scholars such as Donald Bloxam, Ronald Grigor Suny and Erik Jan Zürcher wrote some prominent examples of the studies in this group. These scholars did not only write about these subjects and there are many other valuable works as well. The aim is to address some examples to the groups addressed here.
Scholars such as Ryan Gingeras and Y. Doğan Çetinkaya wrote some prominent examples of the studies in this group. These scholars did not only write about these subjects and there are many other valuable works as well. The aim is to address some examples to the groups addressed here.
In the year of 1823 the Foçateyn is reported to be under constant threat of piracy. In one occasion, pirates took refuge in the island of Orak just across the harbor of Eski Foça. Their presence cause panic among people and subsequently a small group who accused Greek farmers of collaboration with pirates attacked them. The government cleverly resolved the unrest. They captured pirates and those who were responsible of attacking peasants. For details: Başbakanlık Osmanlı Arşivi (BOA) HAT 872, No 38758-A (1823), HAT 872, No 38758 (1826).
Çetinkaya accuratly demonstrates that the new public space, which became available to the Ottoman subjects thanks to the Ottoman reforms, gave people a new political arena where “different sections of the Ottoman society found appropriate and convenient ways in which they could represent themselves”. Nationalist policies were among those new forms of representations that challenged the traditional social fabric. Çetinkaya, Y. Doğan, Muslim Merchants and Working-Class in Action: Nationalism, Social Mobilization and Boycott Movement in the Ottoman Empire 1908-1914. Unpublished PhD thesis, presented to University of Leiden, 2010
Although we know today that there were a lot of exceptions to the black and white picture of the roles of the Muslims and non-Muslims in the Ottoman economy, the presence of this knowledge for Ottoman intellectuals in the past is a debate. That is to say although many Christians such as the members of the Greek bourgeoisie were not necessarily comprador and therefore work against the benefits of the Ottoman Economy the dominant perceptions of the Ottoman elite about them was saying the opposite and in the end how it was perceived mattered more than the reality.
For the affects of modern education on non-Muslims see: Somel, Akşin. “Christian community schools during the Ottoman reform period” in: Elisabeth Özdalga (ed.), 2005, Late Ottoman Society: The Intellectual Legacy. Londres: Routledge, 2005, pp. 254-273.
For one example of the various workers’ strikes in the harbor of Eski Foça see: (BOA) DH.MKT 2684/3 (1910). PDA had often written correspondence letters to İstanbul in order to deal with the various demands of the workers. These demands included increase of salaries and various resistances to modernization attempts.
Teskilat-i Mahsusa was officially administrated under Harbiye Nezareti (Ministry Of War) on 5 August 1914. However similar groups existed and operated under that name before that date.
There is no clear evidence that unravels the nature and the structure of the groups that were associated with the CUP. However it is clear that CUP, most of whose members were experienced in fighting against guerilla warfare, created their own groups to fight for their causes. Powerful CUP leaders like Enver and Talat might have had their own clandestine groups that gradually evolved into what is known as Teşkilat-ı Mahsusa. The existence of such groups and the way they organized are only partially visible in various forms of documents. For a detailed discussion of the topic see: Koçak, Cemil. “ ‘Ey Târihçi, Belgen Kadar Konuş!’: Belgesel Bir Teşkilâtı Mahsusa Öyküsü” in Târih ve Toplum (Yeni Yaklaşımlar), Sayı: 3, (Spring 2006), pp. 171-214.
For the members of CUP politics were brutalized and ends justified the means. For the discussion of the development of this political culture among Young Turks see: Gawrych, George. “The culture and politics of violence in Turkish society, 1903-1914”, in: Middle Eastern Studies XXII/3 (1986), pp. 307-330.
CUP’s physical, human and discursive tools did not diminish when Ottoman Empire was defeated in WWI. On the contrary, through processes of negotiation and competition, they were partially merged with the Turkish nationalist struggle under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal. However this period requires a specific research that is beyond the limits of this paper. For further reading on the relationship between CUP and the Kemalist national movement see: Zürcher, Erik Jan, Milli Mücadelede İttihatçılık. İstanbul: İletişim Yayınları, 2010.
For a discussion of the various elements in Young Turk mind set and especially for the influence of forced migrations, wars and identity politics see: Zürcher, Erik Jan, The Young Turk Legacy and Nation Building / From the Ottoman Empire to Atatürk’s Turkey. I. B. Tauris: London and New York, 2010.
Migration for better life opportunities can be considered as examples of limited, small-scale, private strategies in which wage earners develop ways to improve their life standards. Greek migrations from late 19th century to the Western Anatolian shores are good examples of such projects. For the concept of private and public projects: Linden, Marcel van der; Lucassen, Jan, Prolegomena for a Global Labour History. Amsterdam: International Institute of Social History, 2009. p. 13.
For the discussion of the idea of positivism among Young Turks see: Hanioğlu, Şükrü. “Blueprints for a future society: the late Ottoman materialists on science, religion and art” in: Elisabeth Özdalga (ed.), Late Ottoman society. The intellectual legacy, Londres: Routledge, 2005, pp. 28-89.
CUP was also concerned about the loyalties and identities of its Muslim subjects. Its policy was very much in line with the traditional Ottoman logic in which regional homogeneities were to be avoided. This policy is not visible in all of the documents of the CUP. On the topic see: Dündar, Fuat, İttihat ve Terakki’nin Müslümanlaru İskan politikası (1913-1918). İstanbul: İletişim Yayınları, 2008.
The term sleeping beauty here refers to the nationalist perspective of a primordial idea of the nation in which the Hellenes or the Turks are out there waiting to be made aware of their “real” selves.
There were many cases in which people seized the opportunities that were presented by the nationalist projects of their respective “national” elites. A good example of one such situation can be seen in the Ottoman boycott movements where Muslim merchants used the opportunity of protesting their non-Muslim competitors for sake of the “national” interests that helped their personal interests. For a detailed discussion: Çetinkaya, Y. Doğan, Muslim Merchants and Working-Class in Action, op.cit. 2010.
I think there is a striking similarity between how workers tired to improve their living conditions through public projects like strikes and how nationalist projects also served as public projects for various groups such as workers and merchants in the Empire. For the concept of private and public projects: Linden, Marcel van der; Lucassen Jan, Prolegomena for a Global Labour History, op.cit. pp 13-16.
The idea of a national and native economy with a powerful industry that is built and run by “loyal” national bourgeoisie plays a central role in the construction of the ideal Turkish nation. The idea of Milli İktisat had its own affects (the Boycott movements) in CUP’s fight against the “disloyal” elements in the society.
These border lands of the Ottoman Empire included places that were subject to the claims of other states and especially places that would easily be conquered in case of a war. This meant that all sea and land borders had to be homogenized or reshuffled in a way that no other “legitimate” national claims would be made. Therefore CUP’s logic required that the non-Muslim elements of the population should be locked in the middle of the Empire. For further reading see: Dündar, Fuat, Modern Türkiye’nin Şifresi/İttihat ve Terakki’nin Etnisite Mühendisliği (1913-1918). Istanbul: İletişim Yayınları. 2008, pp.179, 246.
Bayar, Celal. Ben de Yazdım / Milli Mücadeleye Giriş. Vol. 5, İstanbul: Baha Matbaası, 1967. pp. 1574-1576.
For the Eşref Kuşçubaşı report see: Bayar, Celal, Ben de Yazdım / Milli Mücadeleye Giriş. Vol. 5, Istanbul: Baha Matbaası , 1967, pp. 1579-1589.
As mentioned before, CUP was not always a nationalist group. Its perception of the non-Muslim communities was subject to change. Post 1908-1913 period represents a time interval in which CUP seeks the alliance of various groups in the Ottoman society. In the end, for various reasons, it failed to gain the trust of the non-Muslims. This worked in both ways and with the Balkan Wars, CUP was sure that non-Muslim’s intentions were against the interests of the “Ottoman unity”.
A prominent member of CUP, Halil Menteşe, explains the details of the policy against the Greeks in this period. He says that governors and other bureaucrats would not intervene and the ousting of Greeks would be taken care of by CUP and its “teşkilat”. Arar, İsmail, Osmanlı Meclisi Mebusan Reisi Halil Menteşe’nin Anıları. Istanbul: Hürriyet Vakfı Yayınları, 1986, pp. 165-166
BjØrnlund, Matthias, “The 1914 Cleansing of Aegean Greeks as a case of violent Turkification” in Journal of Genocide Research. Vol: 10-1, 2008, pp. 41-57.
For a detailed discussion on the nature of the correspondences and examples of them see: Dündar, Fuat, Modern Türkiye’nin Şifresi / İttihat ve Terakki’nin Etnisite Mühendisliği (1913-1918). Istanbul: İletişim Yayınları, 2008, pp. 191-219.
For a detailed analysis of the ousting of Greeks see: ibid. pp. 191-246.
Ibid., p. 207.
For instance in the case of the ousting of Greeks on the Western Anatolian shores Rahmi Bey, the governor of İzmir and a member of CUP openly rejected to this project more than once through its different phases. For details see footnote 50. However, it is also argued that later in his life he might have supported the ousting of Greeks based on his personal benefit. For details see: Dündar, Fuat, Modern Türkiye’nin Şifresi/İttihat ve Terakki’nin Etnisite Mühendisliği (1913-1918). Istanbul: İletişim Yayınları, 2008, pp. 201-202.
Also referred to as Σερεκιοι or Γκερένγκιοϊ.
The original of this account, which was written by Charles Manciet on 18th of June 1914 can be found in: Yiakoumis, Haris, Phocée (1913-1920). Le Témoignage de Félix Sartiaux. Paris : Éditions Kallimages, 2008, pp. 185-191.
Ibid., pp. 185-191.
Talat Pasha refuses such claims of a chain of command between Community of Union and Progress and Teşkilat-ı Mahsusa in his personal letters that were published in Murat Bardakcı’s book. Nevertheless there is a contradictory picture. He wrote those letters in exile when he was running away from possible Allied trial and Armenian terror. In the very same letter he underlines that his presence in the asylum is well known by everyone. This makes me think that he wrote a letter assuming that it might be read. On the other hand oral historical accounts and various research that is referred in this paper show us that the nature of events were rather planned than spontaneous criminal activities. For various letters of Talat Pasha about the issue see: Barkaçı, Murat, Talat Paşa’nın Evrak’ı Metrukesi. Istanbul: Everest Yayınları, 2009, pp. 152-162.
Researchers often tend to see CUP as one big homogenous group of nationalists. Although CUP evolved into a predominantly nationalist party much later, it was not always so. In addition, even among the nationalists of the party there were cliques and political differences. One good example of this is the case of İzmir governor Rahmi Bey. He always opposed to the ousting of Greeks despite the fact that he was one of he local leaders of the CUP in İzmir. It is logical to assume that his familiarity with the local networks was influential in his decision to oppose to the ousting of Greeks. He must have been able to asses the economic and social dangers of such a radical project on a regional level. In order words sacrifice of regional prosperity for sake of a greater “national good” must have given him hesitation to act. For the accounts of Rahmi Bey’s stand see: Barkaçı, Murat, Talat Paşa’nın Evrak’ı Metrukesi, op.cit.. pp. 165-170. and Bayar, Celal, Ben de Yazdım/Milli Mücadeleye Giriş. Vol. 5, op.cit. pp. 1579-1582.
According to Dündar, CUP government was cautious about the international attention. Both the boycott movements and the ousting of Greeks were closely watched by foreign observes. Based on the secret correspondence and the archive documents, Dündar argues that those governors who were “unsuccessful” in ousting of the Greeks in a silent way were removed from their positions (Menemen and Foçateyn governors) and these were presented as individual cases of misconduct. However Dündar points out that the secret and organized nature of the events shows themselves at this point. He underlines the fact that governors such as the governors of Bergama or Kınık, were not removed from their positions although Greeks were also ousted in their regions. He also states that Talat Paşa was visiting the region, when the events were taking place, in order to show to the international community that he was against the “misconducts” in the region despite he was among the ones who planned it. Dündar, Fuat, Modern Türkiye’nin Şifresi / İttihat ve Terakki’nin Etnisite Mühendisliği (1913-1918). Istanbul: İletişim Yayınları, 2008, p. 207.
Although this term means peasant and although it is also used for Muslim peasants the writer of the accounts uses this term to refer to the Greek residents of the county.
He was condemning violence publicly and he even suspended Foça, Ayvalık and Biga governors from their positions. See: Azlolan Memurlar, Ahenk newspaper, 17 June 1914, No 5453, p. 2.
Kelekyan, Diran. Seyahat Etrafında Dahiliye Nazır-ı Muhteremiyle Mülakat, Sabah newspaper, 29 June 1914, No 8902, p. ﬁ1.
There is no written material left by the Muslim population of the county of Foçateyn about the events of 1914. This is probably due to the fact that most of the residents of the county of Foçateyn were illiterate. However this paper will use oral historical documents that were archived by Prof. Dr. Engin Beber who conducted several interviews about the history of the county in the early Republican period. His interviews are especially detailed and accurate about the period after the Greek occupation (1919). However his interviewees also present valuable insights about early the period of early 1900s. There are rather limited and emotionally loaded memories about the events of 1914. References to this archive will be cited as EBOHA (Engin Berber Oral Historical Archive).
He was born in Bağarası on 1317 (1901) and he was a local resident for his entire life. EBOHA Mehmet Peker interview, conducted in Eski Foça, 1995.
He was born in Yeni Foça on 1323 (1905) and he was a local resident for his entire life. EBOHA Mehmet Tahsin Kalkan interview, conducted in Menemen, 1995-1997.
EBOHA Mehmet Peker interview, conducted in Eski Foça, 1995-1997.
EBOHA Mehmet Tahsin Kalkan interview, conducted in Menemen, 1995-1997.
For a summary of these mass movements see: McCarthy, Justin, Forced Migration and Mortality in the Ottoman Empire/An Annotated Map. Turkish Coalition of America, 2010.
EBOHA, Ferit Oğuz Bayır interview, Eski Foça, 1995-1997.
Reşat Kasaba also suggested a similar method of comparison in his work where he tried to identify the reasons of the level of destruction that was caused by Greek and Turkish nationalisms. See: Kasaba, Reşat, Greek and Turkish Nationalism in Formation: Western Anatolia 1919-1922. EUI Working Paper RSC No: 2002/17. Italy: European University Institute, 2002.
This comparison of muhacir groups to the “old” Greek neighbors is a repeated topic in both Mehmet Tahsin and Mehmet Peker interviews. Both interviewees were native residents of Foçateyn and their account shows us the discontent they had with the new community they were living with. EBOHA, Mehmet Tahsin (conducted in Menemen) and Mehmet Peker (conducted in Eski Foça) interviews, 1995-1997.
Dündar, Fuat, Modern Türkiye’nin Şifresi/İttihat ve Terakki’nin Etnisite Mühendisliği (1913-1918). Istanbul: İletişim Yayınları, 2008, p.179. Haut de page