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.