In the summer of 1934 a pogrom took place against the Jewish population of Thracia, the European part of Turkey. Jews were beaten, Jewish women were raped, houses burnt and shops looted. In the course of the incidents hundreds of thousands of Jews fled the region in search for security. This expulsion of Jewish people has been concealed for more than sixty years. Today we have a considerable picture of what happened. With historical retrospect the Jewish expulsion significantly marked the deterioration in the existence of minorities. Other violent manifestations followed, such as forceful conscription into the military, consignment to hard labour, or the imposition of the ‘wealth tax’, which literally wiped out all the resources of non-Muslims. This article analyses the so-called ‘Thracian incidents’ within the context of long-term developments of Kemalist policy in the Republican era: the exclusiveness of Turkish nationalism and its implementations for violent nation-building, and the population- and settlement policy concerning the influx of Muslim refugees mostly from the Balkan states together with the problems surrounding their settlement.
Author(s): Berna Pekesen,