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The United Colors of Turkey and The Mosaics that Have Spread from Anatolia to the World

Cemil Ozyurt
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The Anatolian territory, which has been located on the migration lines for centuries, has hosted millions of immigrants. Jews who fled from Spain to İstanbul in 1492, refugees from the Caucasus who came to various Anatolian cities as a result of the Crimean War of the 1850s and the Ottoman-Russian War in 1870s, victims of Balkan Wars who moved from Bulgaria and Greece… The paths of all refuges crossed in Anatolia.
These people moved to such cities of the Ottoman Empire as İstanbul, Edirne, Salonica, İzmir, Bursa, Tekirdağ, and Rhodes. For years, they continued their lives.

Towards the end of the eighteenth century, with the French Revolution, nationalism spread to the whole world. Consecutive wars broke out, such as the Balkan Wars (1912), World War I (1914), which included the Gallipoli Campaign (1915), and The Arab Revolt (1916). These wars cluttered the territory ruled by the Ottoman Empire.  Faced with wars, raids, and economic problems, the Anatolian soil lost its children by the hundreds of thousands.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in the years between 1895-1924, a total number of 318,945 Ottoman citizens moved to the United States. The migration waves from Ottoman lands were not only toward United States; people were rushing to Brazil, Argentina, Canada, Australia and Cuba as well.  

In the year of 1913, 1670 people moved to Havana, Cuba, in 1893 410 people moved to Melbourne, Australia. In 1906, 66,558 Ottomans emigrated to Argentina.  In the years between 1880-1901, about 1 million Ottomans emigrated to the United States, Brazil, Argentina, Canada and other countries.

The most valuable research about immigration from the Ottoman Empire to the United States and Latin America countries was conducted by Kemal Karpat, Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Karpat’s magnificent work, Ottoman Population, 1830-1914: Demographic and Social Characteristics, gives many details about the immigration of the Ottomans.

Karpat writes in his book that in the years between 1908-1912 a total of 26,065 Ottoman citizens immigrated to Brazil.  In Brazil Ottomans were the fifth-largest group of immigrants in the period. The probable number of Syrians in Argentina in 1909 was 51,936. By 1914 the total was 64,369. In Argentina, the Ottomans were the sixth-largest group of immigrants. Between 1901-1924, a total of 65,756 Armenians and 18,848 Turkish immigrants arrived in the New World.

Karpat indicates that the general classification terms for Ottoman immigrants were non-descriptive; in Argentina they were called “Syrians,” while in Brazil they were referred to as “Turks” and “Arabs.”

Before the first waves of immigration to United States, the famous historian gives important population figures for İstanbul. By the middle of the nineteenth century, the population of İstanbul consisted of about 722,000 people, divided into 380,000 Muslims, 205,000 Armenians, 100,000 Greeks, and 37,000 Jews.

Karpat emphasizes that in about 1850, İstanbul had more than 350 mosques of all sizes, 91 Greek and Armenian churches, 8 Catholic churches, and 37 synagogues. İstanbul was the capital of the worlds’ faith and cultures.
Today there are hundreds of thousands of Americans whose grandfathers and fathers were born in Turkey; hunger, wars and economic crises forced them to emigrate to the United States. They call themselves Lebanese, Syrian, Iraqi, Egyptian, Greek, Armenian or Jewish. No matter what religion or nationality they claim, they are the people of the same soil. They are different colors of a rainbow and the pieces of a mosaic. Some pieces of the mosaic are still in Anatolia, and some pieces are in the various corners of the world. If someone has a dream of establishing a greater Turkey, these mosaics have to be combined and never allowed to be divided again.

IMMIGRATION FROM TURKEY
Year    to the U.S.       to Argentina       to Brazil       to Cuba       to Canada**
1897    4,884                        -                    648                -                      -
1898    4,451                        -                    978                -                      -
1899    4,516                        -                1,823                 -                      -
1900    4,247                        -                   874                 -                    662
1901    6,169                        -                   781                 -                 1,268
1902    6,410                        -                   772                23               1,050
1903    8,647                        -                   481                88                  540
1904    9,579                        -                1,097                86                  788
1905    10,699                     -                1,446               228                 812
1906    15,864              66,558             1,193              264                 758
1907    28,820                    -                  1,480              248              1,842
1908    21,043                    -                  3,170              190                 510
1909    16,521                    -                  4,027               277                803
1910    33,617                    -                  5,257               210                619
1911    24,667                    -                  6,319               313*              838
1912    27,269                    -                  7,302               651*          1,119
1913    38,083                    -               10,886             1670*              625
1914    29,915                    -                 3,456                239*              148
1915    4,551                      -                    514                   71                    3
1916    1,983                59,272               603                   68                 17
1917    545                         -                     259                   33                   4
1918    58                           -                        93                  13                    -
1919    29                           -                      504                  79                 29
1920    6,966                     -                   4,854              1138*            410
1921    18,126               162                 1,865                216*               80
1922    3,658                  199                2,278                249*               64
1923    5,926              1,611                4,829                 868*             516
1924    4,301              1,309                4,078             1,178*              336
Total   364,014         144,903           72,025             8,400          13,841
(1856-1924)

Source: Imre Ferenczi and Walter F. Willcox, International Migrations, Vol. 1 (New York 1919)
* From Turkey and Turks from other countries.
** All Turkish    





Last modified onSaturday, 06 May 2017 10:07

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