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Europe on the MoveRefugees in the Era of the Great War$
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Peter Gatrell and Liubov Zhvanko

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781784994419

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781784994419.001.0001

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Becoming and unbecoming refugees: the long ordeal of Balkan Muslims, 1912–34

Becoming and unbecoming refugees: the long ordeal of Balkan Muslims, 1912–34

(p.304) 14 Becoming and unbecoming refugees: the long ordeal of Balkan Muslims, 1912–34
Europe on the Move

Uğur Ümit Üngör

Manchester University Press

In the process of Ottoman imperial collapse, roughly in the decade 1912-1923, millions of soldiers were killed in regular warfare. But hundreds of thousands of unarmed civilians were also victimised as a result of expulsions, pogroms, and other forms of persecution and mass violence. The Balkan wars of 1912-13 erased the Ottoman Empire from the Balkans and marked a devastating blow to Ottoman political culture. The wars produced an unparalleled refugee stream from the European provinces of the empire to Istanbul, and shaped politics and policy for years to come. The scale of displacement was such that any and all relief measures, both private and public, fell short in accommodating and providing for the refugees. Barely having recuperated from this crisis, the First World War brought more violence to Ottoman society, this time closer to its heartland. The years 1915-16 saw the destruction of the Anatolian Armenians, organized by the Young Turk political elite and carried out by a host of military, paramilitary, and civilian forces. The genocide uprooted a civilian population of over two million Armenians and made them into refugees for decades to come.

Keywords:   Refugees, First World War, Ottoman Empire, Balkan Muslims, Armenia, Balkan wars, Genocide

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