AN EXAMPLE FOR SOCIO-ECONOMIC INTERACTIONS IN THE SANJAK OF ALEXANDRETTA IN THE MANDATE PERIOD (1921-1938): AN EVALUATION OF THE DOCUMENT IN KESHISHIAN FAMILY HERITAGE

Mustafa Tayfun Üstün
1.820 244

Öz


 

Demographic composition forming of the multi-ethnic and religious subjects can be a serious challenge for imperial powers especially in the time of dissolution. In the case of the Ottoman Empire, this reality was experienced deeply throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. After collapsing of the Ottoman Empire, movement of the population increased and varied. The Sanjak of Alexandretta (hereafter Sanjak) can be an interesting case to show movements of population in the first half of the 20th century. After the First World War, the region was occupied by following the agreement of Sykes-Picot. Following the French national interests, the providence of the Sanjak was changed demographically and administratively. It could be argued that demographic engineering in the Sanjak has been treated marginally in historiography. From the Turkish records and archives, there are not enough record on the settlements of Armenians and their exodus from the Sanjak. This paper is about interactions of the Armenians in the Sanjak between 1921 and 1939.

This paper seeks to put forward a snapshot of socio-economic activities of Armenians from the micro-history point of view. It consists of two sections. Firstly, a historical transformation of the Sanjak will be summarised. Despite Sanjak`s short history, political power changed several times. Change in political power emerged out dramatic demographic shifting. This section will provide an overview of the Sanjak’s political history from the mandate regime to the independence. Secondly, it will focus on the history of ordinary people. A document showing the debtor-creditor relationship between Agop Keshishian and Yusuf, a son of Mohammed will be transcribed. From the micro-history perspective, it argues that focusing on casual documents will be important in two ways. It not only shows socio-economic activities of Armenians in the Sanjak between 1921 and 1939, but also it helps us to evaluate the Armenian properties from a different point of view. Before members of the Armenian community left from the Sanjak, some properties had passed into other hands due to commercial disputes, which is ignored by “genocide scholars” claiming that the Turkish state seized the Armenian properties. Overall, this paper can show that polarisation between Armenians and Turks at the ground level of socio-economic life was not depth. They did not hesitate to trade with each other.  


Anahtar kelimeler


Sanjak of Alexandretta; Armenian; Migration; Resettlement;Micro-History

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Referanslar


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