This collection of articles offers a comprehensive study of the roots of Socialism in the Ottoman Empire. It emphasizes the heterogeneous character of leftist movements in Turkey as well as their multi-ethnic history.
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In this collection of articles, Paul Dumont, Professor at the University of Strasbourg, traces the origin of Socialist ideas in the Ottoman Empire and scrutinizes the Socialist and Communist movements in Turkey before the arrests in 1925. Thirteen of the articles have been previously published while four articles are presented for the very first time in this book. Leftist movements are one of the most thoroughly researched topics in Turkish history, but the research has often been subject to political agendas. Here, Dumont builds on new readings of publications of the Socialist Press in Turkey and Europe. Among the most important new sources explored in this volume is the correspondence between the Socialist Workers’ Federation in Salonica and the International Socialist Bureau. Dumont’s work underlines the influence of the Ottoman non-Muslim minorities on the development of Socialism in Turkey, particularly the importance of Jewish intellectuals and industrial workers in Salonica. Above all, this book demonstrates the diversity of agents and political objectives of the Socialist movements in Turkey, challenging traditional Kemalist historiography on the subject.