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Lecture | LUCIS What's New?! Series

Workers of Istanbul Unite! A Socialist Workers' Organization in the Late Ottoman Capital, 1909-1922

Thursday 23 February 2023
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What's New?! Spring Lecture Series 2023
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden
Workers of Istanbul

Studies on labor history and on the socialist movement of the late Ottoman Empire have long been founded on nation centric approaches treating the Ottoman labor and socialist movement as the prehistory of distinct national labor and socialist histories. This approach led to the neglect of labor movements or socialist organizations that does not fit into this homogenizing picture. Also, the radical demographic transformation of what would become the Republic of Turkey during the catastrophic decade of 1912-1922 eradicated almost totally the poly ethnic and multi religious working classes and activists of the late Ottoman Empire. The lecture aims to problematize this neglect and even silence in the respective national historiographies and provide a much broader picture of the late Ottoman labor and socialist movement by focusing on the Labor Center of Constantinople which until recently had received almost no attention.

About Stefo Benlisoy

Born in Istanbul, Stefo Benlisoy completed his PhD in the Department of History of the Boğaziçi University with the title Education in the Turcophone Orthodox Communities of Anatolia During the Nineteenth Century. He is the author of two books: An Unbeaten Trail in Turkish Nationalism ; 'Christian Turks' and Papa Efthim and Workers of Istanbul: A Socialist Workers Organization in the second Constitutional Period (both in Turkish). He is one of the founders and editor of the Istos Publishing which is the first Greek publishing house established in Istanbul since 50 years. Currently he works as a lecturer at Istanbul Technical University, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences. His research interests include late Ottoman History, Ottoman Greeks, nationalism, history of education, Ottoman/Turkish labor history and Turkish politics.

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