A History of Christianity in the Balkans

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Orpheus — legendary Thracian musician, poet, prophet and king. Ancient Greek philosophers Socrates, Aristotle and Plato. Spartacus — Roman gladiator of Thracian origin, who led the major slave uprising against Rome. Emperor Simeon of Bulgaria — the first Tsar. Nikola Tesla - Serbian and US inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current AC electricity supply system. See the Balkans. Why the Balkans. The immigration of Turks from Romania can be analysed in two stages during the early Republican period: i the — migrations, which were lesser in scale and could be characterized as immigrations of small groups of voluntary migrants; and ii the — migrations, which were larger flows—of a less voluntary nature—who were received as migrants-to-be-settled by the Turkish state Duman This latter interwar period was characterized by the emergence of states where authoritarian regimes were introduced in Central Europe, and when anti-Semitism became an important additional factor, increasing Jewish emigration from Romania Stola It was also the time when ethnic purification, rather than assimilation or integration of ethnic minorities, was becoming a dominant idea in Romania Achim The convention had remained in effect, and by April 15, 70, ethnic Turks had already left.

Achim , p.

Religion in the Balkan Wars

There were also migration flows of Turks from Yugoslavia 10 during this early Republican period, which were a result of the economic, political, social, and cultural conditions. While Turks of Yugoslavia were subjected to political pressures—which made it impossible for them to unite and take action—socially and culturally, they were also devoid of minority rights to vote and for education in their own language. It is important to note that in this period, while the importance of religion compared to language was declining in terms of defining the characteristic of these flows, immigration was still considered more in terms of religion than nationality.

The Albanian case was illustrative in this sense, as many Albanians migrated to Turkey between and , during the colonization of Kosovo by Yugoslavia De Rapper Even during this incident, the categories of Albanian, Turk, and Muslim were interchangeable. As described by de Rapper : Especially after , measures were taken to encourage the emigration of Albanians to Albania and to Turkey.

An agreement was signed in July between the Yugoslav and Turkish governments, the latter agreeing to take up to , Albanians, Turks and Muslims from Kosovo and Macedonia 40, families. This agreement however was not ratified by the Turkish Parliament and the funds were never released to implement the movement and settlement of refugees in sparsely populated Anatolia.

Between and , however, Yugoslavia strove to organize the departure of Albanians on the basis of international agreements, and managed to provoke a wave of departures to Albania and Turkey. During the period following World War II until the s, there were two kinds of international migration on the Balkan peninsula—ethnic and labour migrations Bonifazi and Mamolo Only the former is applicable to the context of Balkan migration to Turkey, which was very political in nature.

These movements can be categorized as refugee movements, but in a rather different sense than the conventional refugees who are subject to the Geneva Convention.

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The second type is non-convention refugees and consists of those coming from non-European countries, such as Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan. Owing to the geographical limitation that Turkey holds to the Geneva Convention—that is, only asylum seekers from the West can settle in Turkey as refugees—these people are usually resettled in a third country. The third category is that of national refugees , which refers to immigrants of Turkish origin mainly coming from the Balkans, including non-Turkish speaking Muslims, ethnic groups associated with the Turks from Central Asia and the former Soviet Union, and Muslims associated with the Ottoman Empire, such as Albanians, Bosnian Muslims, Pomaks, and Tatars.

Thus, the movements mentioned above fit into this third category of so-called national refugees. It is important to note that especially for the first two periods, it is rather hard to provide exact figures for the migration flows, as the sources on both sides are biased, either reducing or increasing the numbers based on their own ideological interests Parla , The migration flows of the — period were a result of the policies of the newly-formed communist state, which decided to unify the education system, restrict religious practices, and centralize agricultural production.

As a result of these policies, , Bulgarian Turks migrated to Turkey between January and November They were accepted by the Turkish as settled immigrants and received financial support Beltan , p. Estimates of the number of Turks migrating from Bulgaria to Turkey after the agreements which aimed at uniting separated families , vary from 50, to , depending on the source Parla , Parla , p. The third stage of migration flows from Bulgaria to Turkey was during the so-called Revival Process in Bulgaria, which was an assimilation campaign that began in with bans on wearing traditional Turkish dress and speaking Turkish in public places.

It continued with a name-changing campaign targeting Turks. The Revival Process was implemented not only in Bulgaria, but was part of a socialistic unification policy in all of the communist regimes of the Balkans. Thus, during the Cold War period, immigrants from other Balkan countries also disembarked to Turkey. From the s to the s, approximately , immigrants arrived in Turkey composed not only of Turks, but also Albanians, Pomaks, and Bosnians Beltan , pp.


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In this sense, Albanians were an interesting case. Until , the Albanians of Yugoslavia benefited from the situation created by the good relations between Albania and Yugoslavia. However, as Yugoslavia broke its ties with the USSR and its satellites, including Albania, the Albanians of Yugoslavia started to be suspected of being manipulated by Albania and aiming to destabilize Yugoslavia De Rapper With the Balkan Pact, many Albanians began to depart for Turkey. There were three novel characteristics of this new wave of departures Poulton , p.

First , in addition to the political dimension of the previous departures, there was a national dimension of these movements. Secondly , in order to legally migrate to Turkey in line with the Balkan Pact, Albanians pretended to be members of the Turkish minority.

According to De Rapper , one third of the people who then declared themselves as Turks did not speak Turkish. Thirdly , though 20 years after the previous wave, these latter immigrants benefited from the existence of an Albanian community in Turkey with family ties, which facilitated their rapid integration. The Turkish population in the FR Yugoslavia according to official documents.

Source: Geray , pp. During the years of the Cold War, migration from Greece was the third largest demographic movement to Turkey after those from Bulgaria and Yugoslavia. It was only after the internal situation had returned to normal in that Turkey ended its policy of admitting Muslims from Greece. Subsequently, approximately 26, Muslims from Greece migrated to Turkey during the s and s Beltan , pp.

The smallest migration flows during the Cold War years came from Romania, with only immigrants arriving in Turkey. Accordingly, it would not be wrong to argue that while bilateral relations were also important, the levels of migration from the Balkans during this period were highly correlated with the internal politics of the Balkan countries—especially with their treatment of their minorities. The reasons for migration to Turkey in the next period were rather different.

The end of the Cold War had two main consequences for migration dynamics in the Balkans. First , the transition stage from communist totalitarian regimes to capitalist democracies generated ethnic conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, which produced certainly the most dramatic forced ethnic migrations on the European continent in the last two decades Bonifazi and Mamolo Secondly , this transition formed the political and economic foundations for the extension or emergence of a series of migration flows that previously had been strictly controlled by states.

Generally, it can be argued that while migrations of the previous periods were more ethno-religious in character, the current movements from the Balkans to Turkey can be characterized more as labour migrations 19 —maybe with the two exceptions of the Bosnian Muslims and Kosovars who took refuge in Turkey during the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia. Although there are no statistics, in the case of Muslims from Greece i. With the fall of communism, Turkey became a strategic choice of emigration destination for Muslim Albanians from Albania, due to the presence of networks, existing relations, the lack of entry requirements most migrants buy a tourist visa at the border , and the absence of anti-foreigner and anti-Albanian racism.

There were two main waves De Rapper The Embassy of Turkey hosted about 30 people who settled in Turkey with the help of the authorities, promoting the arrival of others later on the basis of kinship networks. These first arrivals were mostly fathers. Once the situation was stabilized they brought their families. For a number of them, Turkey became a transit point for other countries, especially the USA. The second wave was in and , during the economic and political crises and rising corruption in Albania, when some families—42, people—arrived in Turkey De Rapper Rather than the migration of fathers of families or young single men seeking employment abroad, this wave was for the purpose of taking the family to safety and ensuring normal living conditions.

Much of the recent migration flows from the Balkans to Turkey are a result of economic difficulties in the home countries. The case of Romanian migration to Turkey is illustrative in showing that these countries are now part of a migration system in which economic conditions, not only in these countries themselves, but in the entire region, affect patterns of movement. For example, the first wave of Romanian migration took place from to At that time, Turkey was a major destination for traders and informal service workers; once migration networks for the Italian, Spanish, and Greek labour markets started to consolidate in the second half of the s, and economic opportunities shortly became modest for the prospective migrant in Turkey, the number of Romanian migrants in Turkey decreased substantially Ban , p.

At the same time, it is possible to speak of a return migration to the Balkans from Turkey. With the regime change in Bulgaria in , one third of the refugees who had arrived in the previous period returned, while the rest remained and acquired Turkish citizenship. Data confirm the decreasing scale of immigration from the Balkans to Turkey. Bulgaria remains a part of migration trends towards Turkey, albeit of lesser importance.

Figures provided by the Ministry of Interior also show a declining trend of immigration from Bulgaria and the Balkans in general. One explanation for this decline is the accession of Bulgaria and Romania, two important migrant-sending countries, to the EU—leaving Turkey as a less attractive destination compared with the new opportunities in the EU Sert and Korfali. Looking at these numbers, one might claim that immigration from the Balkans to Turkey has taken a more rational volume and that migrants seem to be making their decisions based on economic interests rather than ethnic kinship ties.

The years of the Cold War were a direct reflection of the political and economic climate. The current stage of Balkan migrations to Turkey is rather different—with less importance of ethnic kin, more significance of economic conditions, more two-way flows, and indifference on the part of the authorities towards the situation of irregular labour migrants.

All in all, Balkan migrant flows to Turkey represent a lively migration system that has adapted to changing local, bilateral, and global conditions over time. Owing to the fact that Yugoslavia did not exist as a country before , it is taken here as a region at least until this date. The selection criteria for the period were not clear while conceptions of Turkishness were very vague. Such people retain their Turkish citizenship as both countries allow dual nationality. This was the practice by which the Ottoman Empire recruited boys, forcibly, from Christian families, who were selected by skilled scouts to be trained and enrolled in one of the four imperial institutions—the Palace, the Scribes, the Religious, and the Military.

The immigration of Turks from Western Thrace was an exception.

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According to Article 2 of the Exchange Agreement between Greece and Turkey, which comprised 19 articles and which was appended to the Lausanne Treaty, the Greeks in Istanbul and the Turks in Western Thrace were to be excluded from exchange. For strategic reasons, Turkish governments did not view immigration from Western Thrace positively. Hatay was part of Aleppo in Ottoman Syria. Unlike other regions historically belonging to Syrian provinces, Alexandretta was considered as Syrian territory in the Treaty of Lausanne, but it was granted a special autonomous status because it contained a large Turkish minority.

Concomitant to a series of border disputes with France-mandated Syria, in an agreement was signed with France recognizing Alexandretta as an independent state, and in following a referendum this state, called the Republic of Hatay, was annexed to Turkey as the 63rd Turkish province. The exodus of the Muslims from Greece began much earlier; for details, see Baldwin-Edwards and Apostolatou Here it refers to the country called Yugoslavia that existed between and Unfortunately, there are no data providing specific information on how many people came from different regions, such as Macedonia.

The western province of Turkey, which is a point of entry from the Balkans. The number included Pomaks who were considered to be of Turkish origin through their Islamic orientation, but there are no data differentiating this group from the larger Turkish minority. While ethno-religious elements are still important, non-Muslims from the Balkans are also involved in these current movements. Open Access This book is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License, which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author s and source are credited.

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History of the Balkans

Open Access. First Online: 02 June This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves. Download chapter PDF. The demographic conditions that the Republic of Turkey inherited from the Ottoman Empire are known to be the result of the Russian-Ottoman War of — and the subsequent wars, which caused the uprooting of many Muslim migrants from various ethnic backgrounds Ulukan , p. The immigration of the Muslims caused drastic demographic changes in the proportion of non-Muslims within the population: before World War I, while one in every five persons was a non-Muslim within the geography consisting of the territories of the Republic, after the war this ratio had decreased to one in every 40 persons Keyder , p.

Table 5. Year Muslims 12, 18, 31, 71, Greeks 76 8 3 Armenians 77 60 64 67 50 Jews 82 77 38 29 27 Others 71 38 74 50 45 TOTAL 15, 13, 18, 31, 57, 72, Percentage of non-Muslims According to the Law of Settlement, only those of Turkish descent and culture would be accepted as immigrants in Turkey. However, the law did not define who was of Turkish descent and culture, but left the matter to be determined by the Council of Ministers.

Edirne 13 resembles the Armageddon People hugging each other, filled with tears, bewildered Uprooted and forced to leave They have a wry look around Blow thy demented blow, blow You are not blowing, where are you? Where on the Earth are you?


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