Developments in the legal status of Foreigners in the Ottoman Empire during the second half of 19th Century
Friday 26th October 2018: opening talks from 3 pm with an evening reception to be announced nearer the date.
Saturday 27th October: Main conference in 3 themed sessions – change in the legal status, economic consequences, case studies
Sunday 28th October: Cultural tours and networking day Organised by the Levantine Heritage Foundation in collaboration and the kind support of the Beyoğlu Municipality
Call for papers deadline: 15 September 2018
Decision of selection and information given out to prospective speakers 30 September 2018 There will be a limited amount of accomodation offered courtesy of the municipality in local hotels, however this is available only for oversees applicants and their request must arrive by with the abstract submission. We would like to hear from friends and associates who would like to support this conference through funding, or backing a side event, such as a dinner, exhibition, or guided tour. In addition we will be very grateful for volunteers to step forwards to help during the conference.
The Levantines were a small minority concentrated in the port cities of the Ottoman Empire, but their influence on commerce, ideas and industrialisation was considerable. The Ottoman State made a clear distinction between its citizens and foreigners as laws applicable to both groups were incompatible. As the native born foreign population that we term Levantines grew both in size and influence this created great tensions in the system, particularly when it came to legal disputes, ‘mixed’ marriages and property ownership.
After the 1839 Gülhane Edict which recognised the basic rights of Ottoman citizens, a second edict, the 1856 Reformation Edict extended these rights to non-Muslims and foreigners living in Ottoman Empire who had been enjoying some economic privileges under the capitulations granted to European powers. With this legal status change the Ottoman territories started receiving large number of foreigners, investors, bankers, businessmen who brought about major changes to the economic and social changes to the 6 century old empire.
We would like to explore how this long-standing issue was addressed from both sides and how it was at times abused by foreign governments or Levantines, and how the successor states and the Turkish republic adjusted to the status of Levantines and its legacy today. We are happy to accept proposals across a wide chronological, geographic and thematic spectrum as long as the broad focus revolves around the title.
Conference languages: English and Turkish (simultaneous cross-translation should be available)
For more information click below.