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Synopsis


Why, when faced with a brutal occupation and then a bloody civil war, did the Muslims on Greece's border with Turkey remain passive? The Lausanne Treaty of 1923 had recognized them as a vulnerable minority and there were a number of international and local factors that might have led to ethnic conflict. This first in-depth historical study of the minority explores the puzzle of the absence of conflict, the complex patterns of identity of the minority, and the strategic relevance of this community to the international relations of a region long seen as a powder-keg. It is based on extensive Greek, Turkish and Bulgarian archive materials, many of which have not been analyzed before, as well as the official documents of the British and US governments and personal interviews with many of those who lived through these events. The Last Ottomans traces a fascinating, untold story and tells it through an inter-disciplinary lens, raising important questions of relevance not only to the 1940s but also to the inherited assumptions and images of today.

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