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Spaces of Greek-Turkish encounters in 20th-century Istanbul

Council Room (K2.29) King’s Building Strand Campus
26/03/2018 (17:30-19:00)

Part of the Modern Greek Studies seminar series and Part of the Greek-Turkish Encounters series, jointly with SOAS

This event is open to all and free to attend. No booking is required.

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Spaces of Greek-Turkish encounters in 20th-century Istanbul

A seminar with Méropi Anastassiadou (INALCO, Paris)

For Istanbul, the 20th century includes a major change: from an imperial capital, the city turns to a metropolis of a national State. In spite of a totally new political framework, its inhabitants continue, as they used to do since ever, to identify themselves through religion. A « Greek » (Rum) is a Christian orthodox whereas a « Turk » can only be a Muslim. Where and in which circumstances, Istanbul’s Greeks and Turks « meet », come together, during the republican era ?

This lecture proposes to highlight two different social milieus.

First, it focuses on ordinary people’s encounters: in 20th century’s Istanbul, where Christians and Jews became increasingly rare, the “cohabitation” is mainly observed in rituals developed by Muslims in Christian sacred places.

A second part outlines middle-class and upper-middle class (businessmen, intellectuals, clergymen) encounters (social events, artistic projects…), especially during the last decades.


Méropi Anastassiadou is professor in modern history at the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations orientales (INALCO), in Paris. Most of her works concern the urban societies of Ottoman and post-Ottoman Mediterranean. Her latest books include: (ed.), Patrimoines culturels et fait minoritaire en Turquie et dans les Balkans, Anatoli no. 6 (2015) Paris, CNRS éditions, 2015; Les Grecs d’Istanbul au XIXe siècle. Histoire socioculturelle de la communauté de Péra, Leiden-Boston, Brill, 2012. 

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To celebrate the centenary Koraes Chair of Modern Greek and Byzantine History, Language and Literature distinguished experts will speak on relations between Britain and the world of Hellenism in the fields of culture, literature and history, from the time of Adamantios Koraes to the present, and prospects for the future.
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