Death and Exile: The Ethnic Cleansing of Ottoman Muslims, 1821-1922

Death and Exile: The Ethnic Cleansing of Ottoman Muslims, 1821-1922

Death and Exile: The Ethnic Cleansing of Ottoman Muslims, 1821-1922

Death and Exile: The Ethnic Cleansing of Ottoman Muslims, 1821-1922

Synopsis

This is the dramatic history of the deportation and death of millions of Muslims in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries from areas that have remained centres of conflict Chr(45) the Balkans, the Middle East, and what was the Soviet Union -- and shows how these conflicts developed. The history of the expansion of the Russian Empire and the creation of new nations in the Balkans have traditionally been told from the standpoint of the Christian nations that were carved from the Ottoman Empire. 'Death and Exile' tells the story from the standpoint of the Turks and other Muslims who suffered death and exile as a result of imperialism, nationalism, and ethnic conflict. The compelling story that unfolds deepens our perspective on the history of the peoples of the Middle East and the Balkans and presents a framework for understanding modern developments in the region.

Excerpt

I came to this study of Muslim mortality and migration from research on the population of the Ottoman Empire in World War I. My interest at the time lay simply in ascertaining how many Muslims had lived in Anatolia and how their population had changed in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The results of the study amazed me, for nothing in my previous readings on Ottoman history had prepared me for the great mortality of the period. The statistics said that one-fourth of the Muslim population had been lost. I could not believe that such loss had been glossed over in the histories, but checking and rechecking the data left the same conclusion. Not only during World War I, but all through the nineteenth century, the Muslim peoples of Anatolia, the Crimea, the Balkans, and the Caucasus had suffered overwhelming mortality. Their losses were worthy of further research.

This volume is the result of that research -- a history of the mortality and forced migration of the Muslim peoples. It puts forward Muslim losses in detail, but it would be a mistake to treat Muslim losses as if they occurred in a vacuum. Past avoidance of any mention of Muslim losses in most histories does not excuse any corresponding pretense that Christians did not suffer as well. Many of the horrors and sufferings catalogued here took place in wars in which all sides suffered. The losses of Muslims were often accompanied by those of Christians. Whenever possible I have mentioned the fate of Christians who were in conflict with Muslims. This is not, however, a general history of the Ottoman peoples, nor even a history of all wartime mortality in one region. It is a history of Muslim suffering, not because Muslims alone suffered, but because a corrective is needed to the traditional one-sided view of the history of the Turks and the Muslims of these regions. I believe it is also a history that can legitimately stand alone. It is the story of massive mortality and one of history's great migrations.

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