Discussions of the First World War have, as I've noted before, focused on Christian suffering, especially in Armenia in 1915. Far less attention has been paid to the slaughter, at that same time, of Assyrian Christians and Pontic Greeks. Still less attention is given to the postwar massacres of Greek Christians in the forced exchanges of population after the war, events which came with the razing of Smyrna, inter alia, and the expulsion of Greeks from Anatolia. But the more we learn of Christian-Muslim relations in the antebellum period, the more we realize that it was not all bloodshed and violence. A new book continues to help us see the messiness of history in this period and place: Vally Lytra, ed., When Greeks and Turks Meet: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Relationship Since 1923 (Ashgate, 2014), 319pp.
Thursday, January 22, 2015
A Greek and a Turk Walk into a Bar...
About this book the publisher tells us:
The relationship between the history, culture and peoples of Greece, Turkey and Cyprus is often reduced to an equation which defines one side in opposition to the other. The reality is much more complex and while there have been and remain significant divisions there are many, and arguably more, areas of overlap, commonality and common interest. This book addresses a gap in the scholarly literature by bringing together specialists from different disciplinary traditions - history, sociology, anthropology, linguistics, literature, ethnomusicology and international relations, so as to examine the relationship between Greeks and Turks, as well as between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, since the founding of the Republic of Turkey in 1923. When Greeks and Turks Meet aims to contribute to current critical and comparative approaches to the study of this complex relationship in order to question essentialist representations, stereotypes and dominant myths and understand the context and ideology of events, processes and experience. Starting from this interdisciplinary perspective and taking both diachronic and synchronic approaches, the book offers a fresh coverage of key themes including memory, history and loss; the politics of identity, language and culture; discourses of inclusion and exclusion. Contributors focus on the geographical areas of Greece, Turkey and Cyprus and on the modern historical period (since 1923) up to the present day, offering in some cases an informed perspective that looks towards the future. When Greeks and Turks Meet will be essential reading for students and researchers working on the cross-roads of Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, on South-East Europe and the Middle East more generally. It will also be a valuable resource for students and researchers in inter-cultural communication, cultural and media studies, language and education, international relations and politics, refugee and migration studies, conflict and post-conflict studies.