Greek citizens in the Ottoman lands as artisans and shopkeepers, and the question of nationality: 1830-1860
Köroğlu, Murat Kıvanç (2015) Greek citizens in the Ottoman lands as artisans and shopkeepers, and the question of nationality: 1830-1860. [Thesis]
Until the emergence of an independent Greek state during the first decades of the nineteenth century Ottomans knew only one “Greek nation” (Rum milleti). Nevertheless changing realities confused the mindset of the Ottoman administration, and bureaucrats had to reinterpret the notions of nation, nationality, and governance. Ottomans’ way of thinking invented, during 1830s, various categories of Greeks: Ottoman Greeks (Rum), Greeks of Greece (Yunan Rum’u), Greek (Yunanî), and finally “Suspicious Populace” (nüfus-u müştebihe), and Ottoman administration endeavoured to differentiate these groups of Greeks. This differentiation process also attracted the attention of great powers and the issue became a long process which the intrigues of diplomacy had its share. In addition to this process numerous groups of Ottoman Greeks, who possessed properties and some of whom were artisans and shopkeepers, started to claim that they were subjects of the Kingdom of Greece, but they remained in the Ottoman lands and continued their business there. This study is about the differentiation process of the Ottoman administration, and how the Ottoman Porte dealt with the Greek shopkeepers and artisans in the Ottoman lands who placed their political allegiance to the Greek State. This thesis argues that the formation of the concepts of nation, nationality, citizenship, and the emergence of modern governance in the Ottoman Empire, during the nineteenth century, did not exclusively take place thanks to the efforts of a few “enlightened” Ottoman bureaucrats or due to the foreign influence and pressure, but unexpected popular movements had a fair share in the creation of new perceptions and ideologies, and of the novel ways of government by the administrators of the empire.
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