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This article explores the responses of Sephardi Jews to two moments of heightened tension and politicized violence in the Ottoman Empire during the late 19th century—the massacres of Armenians in Istanbul in 1896 and the Greco–Ottoman War of 1897. It argues that many of the strategies of representation that Jewish elites employed during these moments speak to their ability and willingness to work within a framework of Islamic Ottomanism. Recognizing this pattern complicates scholarly assumptions about the relationship of religious minorities to the deployment of state religion in general and about the responses of non-Muslims to the Hamidian regime's mobilization of Islam more specifically. Identifying the pattern is not to celebrate it, however. Sephardi Jews' relationship with Islamic Ottomanism was in many cases deeply ambivalent. Finding themselves torn between civic and Islamic forms of imperial identification during this period, Ottoman Jews soon learned that both positions could entail uncomfortable choices and disturbing consequences.

Corresponding author
Julia Phillips Cohen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History and the Program in Jewish Studies, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn.; e-mail:
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Author's note: I thank the participants in the “Symposium on Modern Jewish History” led by Leora Auslander and Orit Bashkin at the University of Chicago and the “Jews and Empire” symposium convoked by Sarah Abrevaya Stein at UCLA for valuable feedback on earlier versions of this essay. I am also grateful to Olga Borovaya and Michelle Campos as well as the four anonymous reviewers and the editors of IJMES for their incisive comments.

1 Pears Sir Edwin, Life of Abdul Hamid (London: Constable & Company, 1917), 195, 199–200; Karal Enver Ziya, Osmanlı tarihi: Birinci meşrutiyet ve istibdat devirleri (1876–1907) vol. VIII (Ankara: Türk Tarih Kurumu, 1988), 264; Georgeon François, Abdulhamid II: Le sultan calife (Paris: Fayard, 2003), 159–64; Yosmaoğlu İpek, “Chasing the Written Word: Press Censorship in the Ottoman Empire, 1876–1913,” Turkish Studies Association Journal 27 (2003): 1549.

2 Hanioğlu Şükrü, The Young Turks in Opposition (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995). On self-censorship under Abdülhamit II, see Yosmaoğlu, “Chasing,” 22–23.

3 See, for example, Frierson Elizabeth, “Gender, Consumption and Patriotism: The Emergence of an Ottoman Public Sphere,” in Public Islam and the Common Good, ed. Salvatore Armando and Eickelman Dale F. (Boston: E. J. Brill, 2004), 99125; and Özbek Nadir, “Philanthropic Activity, Ottoman Patriotism and the Hamidian Regime, 1876–1909,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 37 (2005): 5981.

4 On state patriotism, see Hobsbawm Eric, Nations and Nationalism Since 1780 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990).

5 Frierson Elizabeth, “Women in Late Ottoman Intellectual History,” in Late Ottoman Society: The Intellectual Legacy, ed. Özdalga Elisabeth (New York: RoutledgeCurzon, 2005), 154.

6 Georgeon, Abdulhamid II, 197, suggests that Ottoman Muslims constituted 75 percent of the empire's total population by 1880, up from 66 percent in 1875.

7 Georgeon, Abdulhamid, 192–212. On Abdülhamit II's Islamic politics, see also Deringil Selim, The Well-Protected Domains: Ideology and the Legitimization of Power in the Ottoman Empire, 1876–1909 (London: I. B. Tauris, 1998); and Karpat Kemal, The Politicization of Islam (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001).

8 On “Holy Russia” see Cherniavsky Michael, Tsar and People: Studies in Russian Myths (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1991), passim; Hobsbawm, Nations and Nationalism, 49; Crews Robert, For Prophet and Tsar: Islam and Empire in Russia and Central Asia (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2009), 1. On the sacred and even Christ-like image attributed to Franz Joseph, see Shedel James, “Emperor, Church, and People: Religion and Dynastic Loyalty during the Golden Jubilee of Franz Joseph,” Catholic Historical Review 76 (1990): 7192; and Unowksy Daniel, The Pomp and Politics of Patriotism: Imperial Celebrations in Habsburg Austria, 1848–1916 (West Lafayette, Ind.: Purdue University Press, 2005). On Nicholas I as “blessed tsar” see Cherniavsky, Tsar and People, 156, 193. Abdülhamit II, for his part, adopted of the title of “the holy personage” (zat-ı akdes-i hümayun). Deringil, Well-Protected Domains, 17.

9 Unowsky, Pomp and Politics, 97.

10 Crews Robert, “Empire and the Confessional State: Islam and Religious Politics in Nineteenth-Century Russia,” American Historical Review 108 (2003): 5083, 57.

11 Kayalı Hasan, Arabs and Young Turks (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1997), 31. Kemal Karpat has also argued that Islamist politics alienated Ottoman non-Muslims. See Karpat, Politicization, 320, 392, 402.

12 Hanioğlu Şükrü, A Brief History of the Late Ottoman Empire (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2008), 143.

13 Deringil, Well-Protected Domains, 11; Karpat, Politicization, 12, 317.

14 Frierson, “Women,” 144.

15 For Christians as “metaphorical foreigners” in Meiji Japan, see Gluck Carol, Japan's Modern Myths (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1985), 135.

16 For negative portrayals of Armenian and Greek Orthodox communities in the Ottoman press and administration, see Frierson Elizabeth, “Mirrors Out, Mirrors In: Domestication and Rejection of the Foreign in Late-Ottoman Women's Magazines (1875–1908),” in Women, Patronage and Self-Representation in Islamic Societies, ed. Ruggles D. Fairchild (Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, 2000), 197; and Kasaba Reşat, “Izmir 1922: A Port City Unravels,” in Modernity and Culture: From the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean, ed. Fawaz Leila and Bayly C. A. (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002), 222.

17 Crews, “Empire,” 58.

18 Unowsky, Pomp and Politics, 141.

19 Findley Carter, Ottoman Civil Officialdom (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1989), 316.

20 Sarah Stein Abrevaya, Making Jews Modern: The Yiddish and Ladino Press in the Russian and Ottoman Empires (Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 2004), 64. For a contemporary claim to this effect, see “Be-Ḥuts le-Artsenu,” Ha-Melits, 5 November 1895, 5.

21 Crews, For Prophet, 303.

22 On such events in 1897 alone, see “Gran balo de benefezensia en Kadi Koy,” El Tiempo, 25 February 1897, 4; “El balo del espital Or Ahaim,” El Tiempo, 29 February 1897, 2–3; “El balo del espital Or Ahaim,” El Tiempo, 22 March 1897, 3; “El balo del espital Or Ahaim,” El Tiempo, 1 April 1897, 3.

23 I use the term “Sephardi” here to refer to the Judeo-Spanish or Ladino-speaking Jews of Iberian origin who settled in the empire after their expulsion from Spain in the late 15th century. From that time on, Sephardim constituted the overwhelming majority of Jews in Ottoman southeastern Europe and western Anatolia, including the imperial capital. Despite the absence of reliable statistics, Sephardi Jews are generally thought to have comprised approximately half of the empire's Jewish population, which numbered between 250,000 and 500,000 souls by the early 20th century. Benbassa Esther and Rodrigue Aron, Sephardi Jewry: A History of the Judeo-Spanish Community, 14th–20th Centuries (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 2000), 70.

24 Alliance Israélite Universelle Archives (hereafter AIU), Série Turquie, IC 7.3h, Gerson to Paris, 27 September 1896.

25 Gerson's use of “Ottomans” is ambiguous, as it might refer to the imperial authorities specifically or Ottoman Muslims more generally. His concerns were echoed by an author who wrote to London's Jewish Chronicle claiming to be “informed by those in a position to know” that public expressions of “pro-Armenian” sympathies by Jews anywhere in the world could have a deleterious effect on the position of Jews within Ottoman realms. “Jews and the Armenian Cause,” Jewish Chronicle, 24 January 1896, 8.

26 “İlan-ı Resmi,” Tercüman-ı Hakikat, 19 Rebiülevvel 1314, 1 (28 August 1896); “Los azhitadores—ofisial,” El Tiempo, 1 September 1896, 2–3.

27 Quataert Donald, “Clothing Laws, State, and Society in the Ottoman Empire, 1720–1829,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 29 (1997): 420; AIU Série Turquie, IC 7.3h, Gerson to Paris, 27 September 1896; Eldem Edhem, “26 Ağustos 1896 ‘Banka Vakası’ ve 1896 ‘Ermeni Olaylari,’Tarih ve Toplum 5 (2007): 113–46, 121, citing Osmanlı Bankası Arşivi, LA 23, 999, Sir Edgar Vincent to London Committee, 28 August 1896. Different authors have attributed Kurdish involvement in the massacres to Kurdish migrants as well as to a Hamidiye light cavalry unit composed of Kurds from southeastern Anatolia stationed in Istanbul at the time. For more on the Hamidiye institution, see Klein Janet, The Margins of Empire: Kurdish Militias in the Ottoman Tribal Zone (Palo Alto, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2011).

28 For the first quote, see Sonyel Salahi Ramsdam, The Ottoman Armenians (London: K. Rustem & Brother, 1987), 215. On uniform clubs and police involvement, see Herbert to Marquess of Salisbury, 7 September 1896, in Turkey No 1 (1897), Correspondence Respecting the Disturbances at Constantinople in August 1896 presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of Her Majesty January 1897, 18, 27–29; Bérard Victor, La politique du sultan (Paris: Calmann Lévy, 1897), 11, 30; Rambert Loius, Notes et impressions de Turquie (Geneva: Atar, 1926), 18; Blunt Wilfrid Scawen, My Diaries (New York: Knopf, 1932), 186; and Walker Christopher, Armenia: The Survival of a Nation (Chatham, U.K.: Mackays of Chatham, 1991), 167. On this debate, and other aspects of the massacres, see Eldem, “26 Ağustos.”

29 Eldem, “26 Ağustos,” 116.

30 Claims about the varied responses of Greek Orthodox Ottomans to the massacres of Armenians in the mid-1890s also surfaced during these years. See Hassiotis J. K., “The Greeks and the Armenian Massacres (1890–1896),” Neo-Hellenika 4 (1981): 69109.

31 Albert Adatto, “Sephardim and the Seattle Sephardic Community” (master's thesis, University of Washington, 1939), 262.

32 “Our Ambassadors Abroad: The Legation Near the Sublime Porte,” Harper's Weekly, 24 February 1900, 180. On Jews who aided Armenians, see also Adatto, “Sephardim,” 259–62.

33 “False Accusations against the Jews of Crete and Constantinople,” Jewish Chronicle, 2 October 1896, 5–6.

34 AIU Série Turquie, IC 5, Fresco to Paris, 4 September 1896; “Jews and the Massacres in Constantinople,” Jewish Chronicle, 18 September 1896, 8; “Die Woche,” Allgemeine Zeitung des Judenthums 60 (1896): 519.

35 See Turkey No 1 (1897), 18, 34; Davey Richard, The Sultan and His Subjects, vol. 2 (London: Chapman and Hall, 1897), 215; AIU Série Turquie, IC 5, Fresco to Paris, 4 September 1896; “The Constantinople Massacre,” Contemporary Review 70 (1896): 462; Documents diplomatiques. Affairs Arméniennes. Projets de Réformes dans l'Empire Ottoman 1893–1897 (Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, 1897), 276; Bérard, La politique, 14, 20; and, most recently, Auron Yair, The Banality of Indifference: Zionism and the Armenian Genocide (New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 2009), 150–52.

36 Başbakanlık Osmanlı Arşivi (hereafter BOA) İ HUS 49, 19 Rebiülevvel 1314 (28 August 1896).

37 “Peace in Constantinople,” New York Times, 2 September 1896.

38 Adatto, “Sephardim,” 260.

39 Aaron Menahem, “Un skandal sin eshemplo,” El Amigo del Puevlo, 29 May 1897, 645.

40 “Die Woche,” Allgemeine Zeitung des Judenthums 60, no. 37 (11 September 1896): 435; “Jews and the Massacres in Constantinople,” Jewish Chronicle, 18 September 1896, 8.

41 “The Riots in Constantinople,” Jewish Chronicle, 4 September 1896, 8.

42 Turkey No. 1 (1897), 18.

43 “Die Woche,” Allgemeine Zeitung des Judenthums 60, no. 39 (25 September 1896): 459.

44 “Die Woche,” Allgemeine Zeitung des Judenthums 60 (1896): 519.

45 Gerson's view of Jews' structural vulnerability in this context is worth noting: although Muslims also helped protect Armenians during the Istanbul massacres, Gerson feared that exposing the actions of the Jews who had done so might shift Ottoman perceptions of the loyalty of the Jewish community as a whole. This was a predicament peculiar to non-Muslims. On Muslims who sheltered Armenians in 1896, see “Havadis-i Dahiliye,” Tercüman-ı Hakikat, 8 Rebiülahir 1314, 1 (16 September 1896); Bérard, La politique, 25, 27; and Eldem, “26 Ağustos.”

46 “Die Woche,” Allgemeine Zeitung des Judenthums 60 (30 October 1896): 519.

47 “Jews and the Massacres in Constantinople,” Jewish Chronicle, 18 September 1896, 8; “Echos de la ville,” Journal de Salonique, 25 January 1897, 1.

48 “Monsinyor Ormanian en Haskoy,” El Tiempo, 14 January 1897, 2. See also “Turkey,” Jewish Chronicle, 19 February 1897, 27; and “News,” Jewish Missionary Intelligence. Monthly Record of the London Society for Promoting Christianity amongst the Jews (1897): 79. On El Tiempo, see Stein, Making Jews Modern. Fesch Paul, Constantinople aux derniers jours d'Abdul-Hamid (Paris: Rivière, 1907), 68, suggests it had a print run of 900 issues, while its competitor, El Telegrafo, produced only 500. Since such papers were passed from hand to hand, read in cafes and libraries, and read aloud to groups of listeners, their audience can be assumed to have been many times the number of paying subscribers. A Jewish journalist from late Ottoman Salonica suggested a figure of as many as eight to ten readers and listeners for every subscriber, a reckoning which would imply a reach of 7,200 to 9,000 for El Tiempo. Lévy Sam, Salonique à la fin du XIXe siècle (Istanbul: Isis, 2000), 101.

49 Children orphaned as a result of the massacres of Armenians in Istanbul and on a much greater scale in eastern Anatolia were flooding the Ottoman capital by 1897. See Maksudyan Nazan, “‘Being Saved to Serve’: Armenian Orphans of 1894–1896 and Interested Relief in Missionary Orphanages,” Turcica 42 (2010): 4788. Their resettlement was also mentioned in the Ladino press; see, for example, “Novedades del interior,” El Tiempo, 25 March 1897, 1.

50 The chief rabbi soon visited the new Armenian patriarch as well. “Novedades del interior,” El Tiempo, 28 January 1897, 2.

51 Rodrigue Aron, French Jews, Turkish Jews. The Alliance Israélite Universelle and the Politics of Jewish Schooling in Turkey, 1860–1925 (Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 1990).

52 For attacks on the newly formed Zionist organization in the Ottoman Ladino press, see “El kongreso de la utopia,” El Tiempo, 19 July 1897, 6. Although Ottoman Jewish leaders vociferously opposed the new “utopian” movement, Zionism made inroads among the Sephardi Jewish communities of Bulgaria, a troubling prospect for the empire's Sephardi Jewish leaders, as the Jewish inhabitants of that principality (autonomous since 1878) maintained close contacts with their co-religionists in the empire. Benbassa and Rodrigue, Sephardi Jewry, 116–17.

53 On the Greco–Ottoman War, see von der Goltz Colmar Freiherr, Der thessalische Krieg und die türkische Armee (Berlin: E. S. Mittler und Sohn, 1898). Pears, Life of Abdul Hamid, 205–13; Driault Édouard and Lhéritier Michel, Histoire diplomatique de la Grèce de 1821 à nos jours, IV (Paris: PUF, 1926), 301456; Sun Selim, 1897 Osmanlı-Yunan Harbi (Ankara: Genelkurmay Basımevi, 1965); Tatsios T. G., The Megali Idea and the Greek-Turkish War of 1897: The Impact of the Cretan Problem on Greek Irredentism 1866–1897 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1984); Kodaman Bayram, 1897 Türk-Yunan Savaşı (Ankara: Türk Tarih Kurumu Basımevi, 1993); Hülagü Metin, 1897 Osmanlı-Yunan Savaşı (Kayseri, Turkey: Erciyes Üniversitesi Matbaası, 2001); and Mehmet Uğur Ekinci, “The Origins of the 1897 Ottoman–Greek War: A Diplomatic History” (master's thesis, Bilkent University, Turkey, 2006).

54 For tensions in Izmir, see Archives du ministère des Affaires étrangères de Nantes (hereafter AMAEF-Nantes), Ambassade Constantinople, E 241, 4 April 1897; Nahum Henri, Juifs de Smyrne, XIXe - XXe siècle (Paris: Aubier, 1997), 21; and Noémi Lévy, “Salonique et la Guerre Gréco-Turque de 1897: Le fragile équilibre d'une ville Ottomane” (Mémoire de maîtrise, Université Paris 1, 2002), 72–74, which additionally mentions conflicts in Ankara and Scutari. On Scutari (also Işkodra or Shkodër), Albania, see also “Désordres a Scutari,” L'Indépendance belge, 29 March 1897, 1 and 31 March 1891, 1.

55 Documents diplomatiques Affaires d'Orient. Affaire de Créte. Conflit gréco-turc. Situation de l'empire Ottoman, février-mai 1897 (Paris: Imprimerie nationale, 1897), 237; AMAEF-Nantes, Ambassade d'Athènes, A 218, 11 May 1897, also mentioned in Lévy, “Salonique et la Guerre,” 72–73.

56 “False Accusations,” Jewish Chronicle, 2 October 1896, 5. The report's author questioned these allegations, suggesting they were suspiciously similar to claims being made about Jewish involvement in the massacres of Armenians in Istanbul during the same period. Whether fact or fiction, however, the circulation of stories about Jews' cooperation with Muslims was often a powerful force in shifting relations between different Ottoman communities.

57 AMAEF-Nantes, Ambassade d'Athènes, A 218, 11 May 1897; National Archives, U.K., Public Record Office (hereafter PRO), FO 78/4828, 9 June 1897, J. E. Blunt to British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs; AIU, Série Grèce IC 40, 25 June 1897; Molho Rena, “The Zionist Movement in Thessaloniki, 1899–1919,” in The Jewish Communities of Southeastern Europe: From the Fifteenth Century to the End of World War II, ed. Hassiotis I. K. (Thessaloniki, Greece: Institute for Balkan Studies, 1997), 330; Lévy, “Salonique et la Guerre,” 70–72; Fleming K. E., Greece: A Jewish History (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2008), 5758.

58 “Novedades lokales,” La Buena Esperansa, 11 May 1897, 3; AIU, Série Turquie, IC 4, Eskenazi to Paris, 5 July 1897; Galante Abraham, Histoire des Juifs d'Anatolie, vol. 2 (Istanbul: Babok, 1939), 107.

59 War was declared on 18 April 1897 and a peace treaty signed on 18 December. The treaty is reproduced in Ekinci, “The Origins.”

60 BOA, A.MKT.MHM., 612/10; BOA, Y.A.RES., 86/20; Ekinci, “Origins,” 61, 69. European observers stationed in the empire at the time also suggested that the Ottoman government restricted the movements of its Greek Orthodox citizens near the border and prevented them from leaving their hometowns or from joining the Ottoman army on the front. PRO/FO 195/1988, 24 March 1897; Nevinson Henry W., Scenes in the Thirty Days War (London: J. M. Dent, 1898), 13.

61 Ottoman Greek Orthodox contributions to the imperial army in 1897 included donations made by the employees of the Istanbul Patriarchate, Jerusalem's patriarch, and members of the Greek Orthodox communities of Salonica, Istanbul, and Izmir. See “Havadis-i Dahiliye,” Tercüman-ı Hakikat, 11 Şaban 1314 (15 January 1897), 1; 8 Ramazan 1314 (10 February 1897), 1; 24 Zilkade 1314 (26 April 1897), 2; 25 Muharrem 1315 (26 June 1897), 2; Özbek Nadir, “Philanthropic Activity, Ottoman Patriotism and the Hamidian Regime, 1876–1909,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 37 (2005): 74; Lévy, “Salonique et la Guerre,” 53. On volunteers for Greece, see Clogg Richard, “The Greek Millet in the Ottoman Empire,” in Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Empire, vol. 1, ed. Braude Benjamin and Lewis Bernard (New York: Holmes and Meier, 1982), 199; AMAEF-Nantes, Ambassade Constantinople, E 241, 4 April 1897; Sürgevil Sabri, “1897 Osmanlı-Yunan Savaşı ve İzmir,” in Tarih Boyunca Türk-Yunan İlişkileri (Ankara: Genelkurmay ATASE Başkanlığı, 1986), 303; Lévy, “Salonique et la Guerre,” 78; Hülagü, 1897 Osmanlı-Yunan Savaşı, 48; Bartlett Ellis Ashmead, The Battlefields of Thessaly (London: John Murray, 1897), 299; BOA Y.PRK.HR., 23/68; BOA, Y.A.HUS., 369/4; Ekinci, “Origins,” 52–53.

62 Vangelis Kechriotis, “The Greeks of Izmir at the End of the Empire: A Non-Muslim Ottoman Community between Autonomy and Patriotism” (PhD diss., University of Leiden, 2005), 59–60, cites an announcement of this regulation published in Izmir's Greek-language periodical Aktis but suggests that the regulation was designed less to make local Greeks flee than to “incorporate them into the tax system,” an idea echoed in the correspondence of the British consul of Salonica at the time; see PRO FO 195/1989, 12 May 1897 and 19 May 1897. The measure is also mentioned in Süleyman Tevfik and Abdullah Zühdi, Devlet-i Aliyye-i Osmaniye ve Yunan Muharebesi (Istanbul: Mihran Matbaası, 1315 [1897/1898]); and Ekinci, “Origins,” 74. Announcements calling for Greek citizens to take Ottoman citizenship or leave the empire were also posted in Ladino- and French-language Jewish newspapers of the empire: see Journal de Salonique, 19 April 1897, 1; El Meseret, 30 April 1897, 3; and La Epoka, 7 May 1897, 5. By late May, large numbers of Greek citizens in Izmir had reportedly applied for Ottoman nationality in order to stay in the empire. See Tercüman-ı Hakikat, 26 Zilhicce 1314 (28 May 1897), 2; and “Havadis-i Dahiliye,” Hanımlara Mahsus Gazete, 2 Muharrem 1315 (3 June 1897), 7.

63 Kechriotis, “The Greeks of Izmir,” 54. The majority of Izmir's Hellenic subjects were long-time residents of the city, many having come in search of a livelihood from the Aegean Islands in previous decades. Karpat Kemal, Ottoman Population, 1830–1914 (Madison, Wisc.: University of Wisconsin Press, 1985), 46.

64 See, for example, BOA, A.MKT.MHM., 612/10; BOA, Y.A.RES., 86/20; and “Novedades del interior,” El Tiempo, 10 August 1896, 2.

65 On prayers for the state, see “Gran rabinato de Turkia,” El Tiempo, 29 April 1897, 3.

66 Important work has also been done on Jewish political mobilization in peacetime and at war during the Second Constitutional Era. For some of the most recent examples, see Ginio Eyal, “‘Yehudim ‘Otmanim! Ḥushu le-Hatsel et Moledatenu!’: Yehudim ‘Otmanim be-Milḥemot ha-Balkan (1912–1913),” Pe'amim 105–106 (2005/2006): 528; and Campos Michelle, Ottoman Brothers: Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Early Twentieth-Century Palestine (Palo Alto, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2010).

67 “Los echos de Kreta,” El Tiempo, 22 March 1897, 3; “Politika i estranzher,” El Meseret, 2 April, 1897, 1; El Telegrafo, 30 July 1897, 2.

68 On the coincidence of Jewish and Muslim refugee patterns during this period, see Karpat Kemal, “Jewish Population Movements in the Ottoman Empire, 1862–1914,” in Studies on Ottoman Social and Political History (Boston: E. J. Brill, 2002), 153.

69 On Indian Muslim support for the Ottoman cause, see “Los musulmanos delas indias i las viktorias delas armadas,” El Tiempo, 31 May 1897, 1–2. On Viennese Jews' patriotic mobilization see the same issue, p. 3, and “Vitman ve Avrupa'dan Mecruhin-i Askeriyeye Muayenet,” Tercüman-ı Hakikat, 1 Zilhicce 1314 (3 May 1897), 2.

70 On the Bosnian Muslims who came to fight: “Novedades del interior,” El Tiempo, 26 July 1897, 2. On Jewish volunteers from Vienna: “Los medicos israelitas enel kresiente kolorado,” El Tiempo, 1 July 1897, 3. On young Jewish doctors arriving from Paris: Journal de Salonique, 10 May 1897, 1; and “Medikos voluntarios israelitas,” El Tiempo, 14 June 1897, 3.

71 “Ismirna,” El Tiempo, 6 May 1897, 5.

72 According to Kechriotis, “The Greeks of Izmir,” 54, there were 52,000 Ottoman Greeks and 25,000 Greek citizens living in Izmir in 1890 out of a total population of 200,000.

73 “Ofisiales zhudios en la flota ofisial,” El Meseret, 2 April 1897, 4.

74 “La muerte de un bravo,” El Tiempo, 8 July 1897, 5–6.

75 “El halifato,” El Tiempo, 16 August 1897, 2–3.

76 “La communauté israélite,” Le Moniteur oriental, 1 May 1897, 3; “Las sosiedades Tzaror and Makor Ahaim,” El Tiempo, 20 May 1897, 4.

77 “La fiesta patriotika de alhad ultimo,” El Tiempo, 1 July 1897, 4.

78 Projects supporting the needy Muslims of Crete were reported regularly in the Ottoman Jewish press and included Jewish names among the lists of donors. See “Novedades del interior,” El Tiempo, 1 April 1897, 2; “Patriozmo,” La Buena Esperansa, 27 April 1897, 1; “Los nesesitozos de Kreta,” El Tiempo, 10 June 1897, 4; and “Echos de la ville,” Journal de Salonique, 8 April 1897, 1. For an Ottoman booklet issued to raise money for Muslim refugees from the island, see Girid Ahali-i İslamiyesi Muhtacini Menfaatine Mahsus Resimli Gazete Nüsha-i-Fevkaʾl-adesi (Istanbul: Mahmud Bey Matbaası 1315 [1897/1898]).

79 In Izmir, the Alliance directed efforts to absorb and care for Cretan Jews. El Meseret, 5 March 1897, 4. In the capital, Salomon Isaac Fernandez eventually requested support for Crete's Jewish refugees from the central Alliance committee in Paris. AIU, Série Turquie, IC 5, Fernandez to Bigart, 18 March 1897.

80 During this time calls were made to reopen Jewish schools that had been closed due to lack of funds. “La eskuela de izhos dela aliansa en Ortakoy,” El Tiempo, 21 June 1897, 3. The chief rabbinate also issued a notice announcing financial troubles and noting that many of its employees had gone without pay for months. “El gran rabinato de Konstantinopla,” El Tiempo, 24 June 1897, 3.

81 For the conflation of the terms “Muslim” and “Ottoman” during this period, see Karpat, Politicization, 143, which suggests that after 1878, the term milli, or national, became “synonymous with the faith.” Relatedly, Benjamin Fortna mentions an imperial decree of 1887 that referred to Ottoman state schools as “Muslim” schools. See his “Islamic Morality in Late Ottoman ‘Secular’ Schools,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 32 (2000): 369–93, 376.

82 The society is identified as the Cemiyet-i İmdadiye by Serpil Çakır, “Fatma Aliye,” in Biographical Dictionary of Women's Movements and Feminisms. Central, Eastern, and South Eastern Europe, 19th and 20th Centuries, ed. Francisca de Haan, Krassimira Daskalova, and Anna Loutfi (Budapest: Central European University Press, 2006), 23. Its activities are noted but no name provided in Nezihe Muhiddin, Türk Kadını (Istanbul: Numune Matbaası, 1931), 82. Contemporary Ottoman-language reports suggest other names may have been used, including Muhadderat-ı Osmaniye Cemiyeti, Nisvan-ı Osmaniye, and Cemiyet-i Muhtereme-i Muhadderat-ı İslamiye.

83 “Sokoros en favor delos feridos dela armada imperial,” El Tiempo, 10 May 1897, 3; “Sokoros en favor delos feridos,” El Tiempo, 13 May 1897, 4.

84 “Havadis-i Dahiliye,” Hanımlara Mahsus Gazete, 18 Zilhicce 1314 (20 May 1897), 7.

85 Madame Elias Pasha (Esther Cohen), decorated by the sultan for her philanthropy in the 1880s, was an active public figure in the Ottoman capital and president of a Jewish women's charitable society formed in Pera in 1892. “Sokoros en favor delos feridos,” El Tiempo, 17 May 1897, 3; “Constantinople,” Jewish Chronicle, 29 August 1884, 12; “Una sosiedad interesante,” El Tiempo, 10 March 1892, 2–3; “Une fête de charité israélite à Constantinople,” Archives israélites, 20 April 1894, 133–34; “The Jews in Constantinople,” Jewish Chronicle, 11 May 1894, 9. For reports on her activities in 1897, see “Sokoros en favor delos feridos dela armada imperial,” El Tiempo, 24 May 1897, 4; “Muhadderat-ı Osmaniye Cemiyet-i Hayriyesi,” Sabah, 21 Zilhicce 1314 (23 May 1897), 2; “Les blessés,” Le Moniteur oriental, 24 May 1897, 3; “La guerre turco-hellène,” Le Moniteur oriental, 10 June 1897, 3; “Décorations,” Le Moniteur oriental, 28 July 1897, 3; and “Elias Pasha,” El Telegrafo, 29 July 1897, 563.

86 El Tiempo issued donors’ lists on 13 May, 17 May, 24 May, 3 June, 10 June, and 24 June 1897. For donors’ lists including Jewish names in the Ottoman-language press see the series of articles entitled “Muhadderat-ı Osmaniye Cemiyet-i Hayriyesi ve Mecruhin Gazilerimize İane,” Sabah, 21 Zilhicce 1314 (23 May 1897), 2; 3 Muharrem 1315 (4 June 1897), 2; 5 Muharrem 1315 (6 June 1897), 2; 7 Muharrem 1315 (8 June 1897), 2; 12 Muharrem 1315 (13 June 1897), 2. In Le Moniteur oriental/Oriental Advertiser, Jewish donations to the committee were mentioned on 12 May 1897, 3; 21 May 1897, 3; 24 May 1897, 3; 28 May 1897, 3; 29 May 1897, 3; 1 June 1897, 3; 3 June 1897, 3; 5 June 1897, 3; 7 June 1897, 3; 10 June 1897, 3; 19 June 1897, 3.

87 Fatmya Aliye, “Yaralílara İmdad,” Tercüman-ı Hakikat, 25 Zilkade 1314 (27 April 1897), 2; “Muhadderat-ı Osmaniye Cemiyet-i Hayriyesi ve Mecruhin Gazilerimize İane,” Sabah, 3 Muharrem 1315 (4 June 1897), 2; “Comité des dames ottomanes,” Le Moniteur oriental, 21 May 1897, 3; BOA BEO 958/71794, 29 Zilhicce 1314 (31 May 1897); BOA Y. PRK. ASK 128/12, 24 Muharrem 1315 (25 June 1897).

88 The names given to the society in other publications also varied. From Salonica one author referred to it as the “Ladies’ Relief Committee,” while the Istanbul correspondent for the London-based Jewish Chronicle simply called it a “Ladies’ Committee.” Sam, “Turquie,” Archives israélites, 10 June 1897, 183; “Turkey,” Jewish Chronicle, 4 June 1897, 26.

89 “Sokoros en favor delos feridos dela armada imperial,” El Tiempo, 3 and 10 June 1897, 3. “Madame Şükrü” was married to Ibrahim Şükrü Pasha and the eldest daughter of the grand vizier of the time, Halil Rıfat Pasha.

90 “Komite delas damas otomanas por los eridos,” El Tiempo, 24 June 1897, 4. Reports in Ottoman, French, and English publications of the empire noted Christian women's donations to the committee much earlier than the Jewish press did. One such report even labeled the society a “Muslim and Christian Women's Committee,” indicating that the type of discursive erasure employed by Jewish journalists during the war could cut both ways: “Les blessés,” Le Moniteur oriental, 14 May 1897, 3.

91 “Madam Elias Pasha,” El Tiempo, 1 July 1897, 3.

92 “Turkey,” Jewish Chronicle, 4 June 1897, 26.

93 AIU, Série Turquie, IC 1, Nahum to Paris, 15 May 1908; AIU, Série Grèce, IC 40, 25 June 1897; Galante, Histoire, 216.

94 Aksakal Mustafa, “Holy War Made in Germany? Ottoman Origins of the 1914 Jihad,” War in History 18 (2011): 184–99, 199.

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International Journal of Middle East Studies
  • ISSN: 0020-7438
  • EISSN: 1471-6380
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