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Before the NationMuslim-Christian Coexistence and its Destruction in Late-Ottoman Anatolia$
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Nicholas Doumanis

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199547043

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199547043.001.0001

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Ottoman belle époque, c.1890–1912

Ottoman belle époque, c.1890–1912

Intercommunality in Practice

(p.43) 2 Ottoman belle époque, c.1890–1912
Before the Nation

Nicholas Doumanis

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on intercommunality and why groups that have suffered ethnic cleansing tend to long for pre-war days of inter-ethnic harmony. The chapter demonstrates why such nostalgia, while often depicting implausibly perfect times of social harmony, nevertheless contains more than a grain of truth. The focus is placed on the memories of Greek refugees who were victims of the population exchange between Greece and Turkey in 1923, and who depicted their former lives with the Turks in idyllic terms. These sources help recreate a picture of social order and the norms of communal interaction, and explain why Muslims and Christians believed it to be important to interact socially on an everyday basis. These arrangements were sought because they ultimately provided enormous practical benefits.

Keywords:   intercommunitality, ottoman social history, Anatolia, radical nostalgia, commensality, communal boundaries

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