Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

Turkish Migration to the United States: From Ottoman Times to the Present

Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

Turkish Migration to the United States: From Ottoman Times to the Present

Article excerpt

Turkish Migration to the United States: From Ottoman Times to the Present. Edited by A. Deniz Balgamis and Kemal H. Karpat. Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 2008. 238 pp. $39.95, paper

Very little is known about the history of migration from the Ottoman Empire and Turkey to the United States. Authors who contribute to this book provide rich insight into this topic through examination of historical archives in the United States as well as in Turkey and from the personal accounts of immigrants. As such, their valuable work provides an important contribution to the subject.

Readers leam that there have been three stages of immigration to the United States by Turkish speakers: 1820-1921, 1950-70, and post19708. The motives behind each phase are complex and were led by economic considerations and the search for a better life in a new world. Two factors served as vehicles in this process: missionary schools in the Ottoman Empire where American teachers and preachers provided support for bright students to pursue further education in the United States and connections among those born in the same township or village who often followed neighbors to America. Moreover, the early immigrants represented a mix of ethnicities of the Ottoman Empire with the smallest numbers being from among ethnic Turks (only 20,000 out of a half million). …

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