This book shares the conclusions of a remarkable conference marking the centennial of Thessaloniki’s incorporation into the Greek state in 1912. Like its Roman and Byzantine predecessors, Ottoman Salonica was the metropolis of a huge, multi-ethnic Balkan hinterland, a center of modernization/westernization, and the de facto capital of Sephardic Judaism. The powerful attraction it exerted on competing local nationalisms, including the Young Turks, gave it a paradigmatic role in the transition from imperial to national rule in southeastern Europe.
Twenty-three articles cover the multicultural physiognomy of a ‘Levantine’ city. They describe the mechanisms for cultivating national consciousness (including education, journalism, the arts, archaeology, and urban planning), the relationship between national identity, religious identity, and an evolving socialist labor movement, anti-Semitism, and the practical issues of governing and assimilating diverse non-Greek populations after Greece’s military victory in 1912. Analysis of this transformation extends chronologically through the arrival of Greek refugees from Turkey and the Black Sea in 1923, the Holocaust, the Greek civil war, and the new waves of migration after 1990. These processes are analyzed on multiple levels, including civil administration, land use planning, and the treatment of Thessaloniki’s historic monuments.
This work underscores the importance of cities and their local histories in shaping the key national narratives that drove development in southeastern Europe. Those lessons are highly relevant today, as Europe reacts to renewed migratory pressures and the rise of new nationalist movements, and draws lessons, valid or otherwise, from the nation-building experiments of the previous century.
Table of Contents
Introduction Dimitris Keridis
Part 1: Searching for identity
1. Towards a History of Thessaloniki’s Future Mark Mazower
2. Thessaloniki and the Cities of the Enlightenment Paschalis M. Kitromilides
3. Was Salonica a Levantine City? Philip Mansel
4. The Place of Thessaloniki In Greek National Awareness: From Greek Independence to 1912 and beyond Spyridon Ploumidis
5. Salonica through Bulgarian Eyes Yura Konstantinova
6. The Municipality of Salonica between Old Regime, Ottoman Reforms and the Transition from Empire To Nation State Nora Lafi
7. Amateur and Professional Theater in Ottoman Thessaloniki: Multicultural Identity and Its Implications Olivia Pallikari
8. A New Look at an Ancient City: Thessaloniki in Ottoman Archaeology, 1832–1912 Edhem Eldem
9. Urban Transformation and the Revolution: Salonica and the Young Turks, 1908–1912 Sotiris Dimitriadis
10. Bulgarian Newspapers in Thessaloniki, 1869–1913 Vlasis Vlasidis
Part 2: A City in Transition
11. The Boundaries of Hellenism: Language and Loyalty Among Salonican Jewry, 1917–1933 Devin E. Naar
12. In the Aftermath of the Balkan Wars: The Incorporation of Thessaloniki in the Greek State Elpida Vogli
13. Refugee Resettlement 1922–24. A Watershed in the Ethnic, Social and Economic Transformation of Thessaloniki Constantinos Katerinopoulos
14. Integration through the Past: Jewish Scholars Write History in Inter-War Salonica Eyal Ginio
15. Destruction and Reconstruction of Thessaloniki’s Class Structure, 1912–1940 Evangelos Hekimoglou
16. From the Call Of the Muezzin To the Silence of the Museum: Salonica Soundscapes in Transition Eleni Kallimopoulou, Kostis Kornetis, and Panagiotis C. Poulos
Part 3: Mapping the Future of Thessaloniki
17. The Muslims of Thessaloniki (1912–2012): A Discontinuous and Uncomfortable Presence Konstantinos Tsitselikis
18.Urban Change and the Persistence of Memory in Modern Thessaloniki Eleni Bastéa and Vilma Hastaoglou-Martinidis
19. French Interests and Salonika’s Port, 1872–1912: Entrepreneurial and Architectural Innovation Vilma Hastaoglou-Martinidis
20. The Post-War Transformation of the Thessaloniki Periphery: Urbanization and Landscape Charis Christodoulou
21. Land Policy in Thessaloniki and the Transition to a Contemporary Metropolitan Area, 1922–1967 Athena Yiannakou
22. The Care of Monuments in Modern Thessaloniki: Perceptions and Practices Kornilia Trakosopoulou-Tzimou
23. A Past for Every Possible Future: Concluding Remarks Basil C. Gounaris
Dimitris Keridis is Professor of International Relations at the Panteion University in Athens, Greece, and has been a member of the Greek Parliament since 2019. He has written widely on foreign policy, particularly on the Balkans and on modern Greek history.
John Brady Kiesling is an archaeologist and former U.S. diplomat, whose work includes Greek Urban Warriors (2014), Diplomacy Lessons (2007), the ToposText application, and various edited works on Greek history.