HISTORY OF İZMIR BEFORE 19TH CENTURY About 3000 B.C., it is certainly known that settling around Bayraklı was established Izmir was ridden many times and it was under the different nation and civilizations It was built again after it was conquered by Alexander the great in 344 B.C. But this time it was not settled in Bayrakli, it was around Pagus Mountain which was located on Kadifekale. According to some researches Izmir is defined as the most beautiful city of Asia around the starting date of christian era.
After Christ it was dominated by Rome, Byzantine, Arab and Byzantine again. After that it was conquered by Caka Beyi, Byzantine, Anatolian Beylics and then Ottoman Empire. There was a period that Turks were living at the higher region of the city and Rhodes Knights were living at lower parts. Till Greek invasion at the end of World War I, Izmir was only invaded by Venetian for a short time in 1472 and this is the only interruption while it is under Ottoman Empire. The city which was invaded many times will sure contain overtones from all of them and will gain complex and mixed ethnical formation. While it tried the open the gates of Front Asia, Venetians which were settled and making trade in Aegean Coasts, started a competition with Dutch and Genoese by opening new markets. One of the most important markets in there was Izmir.
ECONOMIC CULTURE It was based on capitulations Turk nation dependent to other countries in an economic way in their own territories.
RELIGION SUBJECT Religious missions came into city before the capitulations of 1535 which were caused by Byzantine, and it was understood from popery decision was effected by Genoese and Jesuit It is understood that the church of Netherland settled in the city in close time, in the year of 1612 Levanter community in other words generalized community was shaped as a result of marriages it its own and with local Greek (Rum). Increasing of foreign population in Izmır and its around in time formed the term “Unbeliever Izmir”(Gavur İzmir)
Except from Greek, Armenian, Jewish minorities settled in Izmir, there were smaller minorities which were generalized group named Frank or Levanter. Their settling in city based on the first period of 15th century Conflict of interest in Izmir of groups and countries which supported these groups for a long time effected social and physical structure of city besides its appearance.
POPULATION STRUCTURE AND SOCIETIES OFIZMIR IN 19TH CENTURY In a period of half century we can say that average population rose approximately from 100,000 to 130,000. In 50 years period large amount of increase was not observed. According to opinions of different travelers and authors in the period began from the beginning of 19th century to 1860s in Izmır, opinions about distributions by ethnic groups of population number were shown on table.
BELGIUM CONSULATE DUCKERS WHO STATED POPULATIONCENSUS WERE NOT SO CONFIDENTIAL EVEN IN 20THCENTURY, PREDICTED THAT IZMIR HAD 250,000 CITYPOPULATIONS AT THAT TIME. SETTLEMENT AROUND IZMIRARE STATED ON THE FOLLOWING TABLE
IN THE MIDDLE OF 19TH CENTURY TURK POPULATION INIZMIR WAS DECREASING PROPORTIONALLY, ACCORDING TOMANY RESEARCHERS, REASONS OF THAT WERE ASFOLLOWINGS Young people went to army in their most productive period. Turkish people hired their own houses which needed repairmen and maintenance to Greeks. Greeks married in young ages and had kids while these were rare in Turkish people because of westernization policy of Ottoman Empire. Turks were forced to migration.
Greek villages had many schools and Greeks were making most profitable business. Therefore Turks started to become second class citizen in their own country. Ottoman started to be called “Sick Man” at that time As a result of Kırım war Ottoman Empire won and Russia defeated, so dreams of Greek and Armenians were ruined As a result of being together of Greeks, Armenians, Jewishes and Turks, it is observed that all societies started to approach others especially Turks in ways of traditions and customs except for religion. In the mix structure of Anatolia and Izmir, there were some Levanters which were inharmonious with the general character of society.
WHAT IS LEVANTERS? It is a name which is given to immigrants. These immigrants were like Greek, Armenian, Assyrian and Christian who were firstly not local, then integrated to Anatolian culture. Their population was growing rapidly in big harbor cities At the end of the 19th century, Frank streets, in which foreign citizens in Izmir lived, were like small states dependent to their consulates. The biggest source of this power was Levanters of Izmir.
Foreigners in Izmir lost their ethnical identity by marrying each other and living together with the people of Izmir. These marriages were made with Greeks and rarely Armenian and Georgian girls. That helped to Europeans get closer to east traditions. Addition to that, Levanter families from Izmir had Greek cleaners or nannies from Izmir or Kusadasi. This situation affected growing type of children. For this reason the Greek language became a common language for Levanters who had different ethnical roots. Some examples of Levanter Families: Van der Zee, Reggio, Penetti, Missir, Maltass and etc.
GREEKS (RUMS) Greeks’ gaining independence determined the faith of Greeks who were living in Izmir. Greeks’ gaining independence started with that Greeks, which were citizens of Ottoman Empire since 15th century, staged a rebellion against Ottoman Empire in 1821 with Greek Riot. Greece was known as an independence country with Istanbul Agreement which was signed in 1832 Ottoman Empire accepted the independence of Greece with Edirne Agreement which was signed with Russia in 1829 as a result of being defeated at the 1828-1829 Ottoman-Russia War. Therefore Greeks became a first society which was gaining independence under the authority of Ottoman Empire
Greeks in Izmir had a peacefulpolicy. In Morean peninsulaGreeks made all kind ofviolence to gainindependence. In wars,behaviors of Greeks lived inIzmir showed alternation. Butat some point, all of themstated that Greeks in Izmirwere living in danger and withfear at that period. It isunderstood that ideas aboutGreeks in İzmir were living in abig oppression werecontroversial except theactions which occurred duringthe war. After theindependence of Greece, itcan be observed that theywere living freely in manyaspects.
SUPERSTITIOUS BELIEF IN GREEKS It is stated that many superstitious beliefs are coming from Greeks. For example the test of “loving or not” from the flower of daisy, seeing owl is a messenger of death, extra care and interpreting styles about different luck and bad luck. These have been reached until today.
ERMENIANS Second interested group after Rûms for writers Like jews, Ermenians also werent carrying any weapon or hadnt involved with any rebel issues It showed more resemblance than other ethnic groups to Turks
JEWS They were the poorest jews as ever seen in the world They had no trouble with authority so they never treated badly by Turks They had privileges such as tax payment was almost same with a muslim
TURKS There were good comments and bad comments for Turks from various writers In general Turks described as calm, gentle, protective, polite and trustworthy
INTERCOMMUNAL SOCIAL RELATIONS The citizens of Izmir, no matter they are from any nationality, are strongly hospitable and likes to serve their guests (including Levantens) Because of the marriages between different societies in Izmir, those people acquired common customs and tradations
Itd known that the foreigners who lived in Izmir had social relations only with offical invitations and visits Authority had to be careful how to rule over europeans and christian ethnic groups and muslim folk
The social solidarity is quite intense during the disasters such as fire, fload, earthquake or plague The aid collected with the support of communities through concerts, shows, lottery or such activities
SOCIAL CLUBS IN THE LIFE OF PEOPLE OFIZMIR Izmir has been a cosmopolitan city from very early age of the history but especially foreign minorities (also sometimes indigenous minorities) established social clubs in order to isolate themselves from society in the beginning, to enter those clubs had been very difficult, however in time the ones which established by Europeans and Levantens moderated themselves
Those clubs were named European Club, Cercle Européen but most common and knowned names were Frenk Casino or Casino (Gazino) According to a French writer, those casinos were such place for discussing bureaucracy, nations and its kings and making commercial treaty
GAMES OF HAZARD In 19 century, in most of clubs card games were pretty common whirst and écarté some of them Chess was also played especially at the end of 19 century Raffle and tombola
INTERCOMUNAL ETHNIC AND RELIGIONORIGIN CONFLICTS In 19 century, Izmir was a complicated city, which could not be seen in any other cities or countries, when we look at it population Many different nation and ethnical groups, in addition there were different religions The most detached one was Turks Jews were in se ond place The most problematic group was Rûms