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THE SECOND LEVANTINE SYMPOSIUM IN IZMIR Friday, 31 October – Sunday 2 November 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "THE SECOND LEVANTINE SYMPOSIUM IN IZMIR Friday, 31 October – Sunday 2 November 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 THE SECOND LEVANTINE SYMPOSIUM IN IZMIR Friday, 31 October – Sunday 2 November 2014

2 THE SECOND LEVANTINE SYMPOSIUM IN IZMIR Took Place On Friday, 31 October It was Hosted by The Izmir Chamber of Commerce In their Main conference hall. This is a personal review of this event by George Galdies. Scale model at Izmir Chamber of Commerce Museum

3 Event title: THE SECOND LEVANTINE SYMPOSIUM IN IZMIR Date: Friday, 31 October – Sunday 2 November 2014 (including fringe events and tours) Friday, 31 October – Sunday 2 November 2014 (including fringe events and tours) Main event theme: WHO WERE THE LEVANTINES? Research topics: Where did they live? Who are their descendants? What is their legacy?

4 Focus: European settlers in the Aegean region, the cities and towns they lived in, European settlers in the Aegean region, the cities and towns they lived in, the businesses they created, the businesses they created, their fascinating lifestyles and traditions, their fascinating lifestyles and traditions, the different ethnic groups they encountered in the Levant, the different ethnic groups they encountered in the Levant, the unique legacies they left behind. the unique legacies they left behind.

5 Special emphasis was to be placed on current research into: the genealogy and social history of families with origins in Genoa, Malta, Smyrna and the Aegean Islands. Event was to be supported by optional tours to old Levantine suburbs of Izmir. To Ephesus, and to Chios and Cesme. the genealogy and social history of families with origins in Genoa, Malta, Smyrna and the Aegean Islands. Event was to be supported by optional tours to old Levantine suburbs of Izmir. To Ephesus, and to Chios and Cesme.

6 By December 2013 it was agreed that the Second Izmir Symposium will be announced on Levantine Heritage Foundation websites. Conference organisers in no particular order:  George Vassiadis (originally, then withdrew)  Alex Baltazzi (principal moderator)  George Poulimenos  Jacques Caporal  Marie Anne Marandet  Jerome Muniglia (co-moderator)  George Galdies (international co-ordinator and LHF trustee)

7 planning and execution Originally this was going to be a 2 centre conference with venues in Izmir and in Chios. To avoid clashing with the Istanbul conference, Izmir became the only overnight venue, with a day visit to Chios made optional. The symposium remained focused on the Levantine communities of Izmir and an academicals’ study of Levantine roots in the Aegean Islands. Eventually some 35 overseas participants came to the meeting from USA, Canada, UK, France, Italy, Greece, and Australia. In total over 100 people signed the register. 20 newspapers reported the event. As per previous Izmir meeting Karavan Travel provided all logistic support whilst Izmir Chamber of Commerce provided hosting and hospitality. Both perfectly executed.

8 Friday, 31st October 2014 Mr Akdurak reminded participants that Izmir is still a city very much open to the West, and invited foreign delegates to be its ambassadors, and promote tourism and foreign inward investment for the city. In the Chair : Alex Baltazzi, President of Karavan Travel and prolific contributor to the Levantine website.

9 15 Conference Speakers in order of appearance

10 Dr Marie Carmen Smyrnelis « Identités levantines dans le XIXe siècle ottoman «  Expounded definition of “Levantine”  Alluded to ‘Greasy Levantine’, but also how “Western Traders” felt inadequate/ intimidated/annoyed having to deal through them.  Levantines were not a “coherent”, legally defined group when compared to Greeks, Armenians, Jews …  No communality of language: spoke several languages all at same time  Staunchly held on to their national identities. Several in one same family  Term “Levantine” took a different acceptance in more recent times

11 Joanna Hyslop The life and work of the Reverend Charles Dobson  Rev. Charles Dobson Anglican Chaplain in 1922 Smyrna: Joanna’s great grandfather  A great insight into the life of a remarkable person  She examines the evidence given by him in London courts  Her research published by Modern Greek Studies Association of Australian and New Zealand  Vivid descriptions of key events during 1922 Fire and destruction  Dobson’s heroic initiatives to save lives securing evacuation of civilians


13 Joseph Murat The Murat Family of Bornova  Quest to find family roots in Trieste leads to forgotten family records and archives.  Grand Father’s migration from Bornova to Vienna  Family photos and pre-WW1 family links  Telling letters between Bornova and Vienna  WW1 family dramas  Requests more information on the Murat and Great Grandmother’s HadjiKosti (Costi) families

14 Dr Henry Frendo Levantines of Smyrna: The Maltese Presence  Rather little known about Maltese in Izmir to now  Malta in Ottoman days and British Empire days  Arrival of Maltese and sociological insights into their community  Documentary and first-hand narrations of WW1 and effects onto the Maltese  1922 catastrophe, evacuation from Smyrna and refuge to Malta  Return of refugees to Izmir, whilst migration to UK, Australia,…  WW2 and ‘exiles’ to India, Cyprus, and beyond.  Maltese in Izmir today.

15 Mark Ransome – Sally Elliott THE WALKERS OF SMYRNA  An introduction to the family and their ancestral home of Aziziye  Ancestor’s arrival to Smyrna in 1860 and family properties portfolio  Expansion of Walker industrial enterprises  “Veuve Prokopp” brewery  Walker- Issigonis and Simes families connections  Evacuation to Malta and return to Izmir  Many hitherto unseen photographs

16 Brian Webber The Webber Family in Smyrna and Canada  Talk prepared in collaboration with his cousin Joyce Medcalf  Intersections with Levantines families from pre-1914 to recent times in Canada  Several references to cousins, railroads, former properties in Paradise, Smyrna  Smyrna’s ‘comfort foods’  Joyce’s searches into family archives and revelations of roots back to 19 th Century Smyrna

17 Lunch Break Oh look! There’s Dr Philip Mansel !

18 Dr Sandra Origone The relationships between Smyrna, Genoa, the Knights of St John and other Latin presences, analysing documentary sources.  14 th Century Asia Minor  Arrival of the Genoese and trade with Governorate of Aidin  Genoese, Venetians, and the Knights  Smyrna suppliers to the Knights in Rhodes, and non-patrician merchants  The Giustinianis, Reccanello, and notable Smyrna names in 14 th Century


20 Dr Ioanna Koukounis ‘Furrowing routes of trade in the Mediterranean: The Chiots from Genoa to the Levant’  Names of Chiot commercial houses in 18 th Century Smyrna  Depiction of Chiot noble families, and the Chiot-Genoese  ‘economy intermarriages’  Chios’s riches  Chios as a clearing house for Anatolia’s agricultural produce and raw materials  Smyrna’s language and frangochiotika

21 Dr. Altug Akin “Ghosts at the Heart of the Empire”: Levantines of Smyrna in Contemporary Novels  Ghosts from Smyrna’ a novel by Loren Edizel  “In the Heart of the Empire”; an historical novel by Spiros Gogolos  Compares the two novels, and touches non-Moslem origins of each author  Emergence of “multi-cultural” or “cosmopolitan” genres since 1980s  Defines Smyrna Quay: “ Luxury, money and hedonism”  Comparison between Athens and Smyrna

22 Dr Kalliopi Amygdalou ‘From the Ottoman Empire to the Nation-State: Izmir’s architectural and urban transformation.’  The rebuilding of Izmir in the 1930s  Analysis of period photos of reconstruction  Controversies and alterations in planning process  State interventionism in urban environment  Several rarely seen photos  “post-Ottoman modern condition in Izmir”

23 Doç. Dr.Hâle OKÇAY İZMİR’DE LEVANTEN MİRASI: MEZARLIKLAR ÜZERİNE SOSYOLOJİK BİR YAKLAŞIM A Levantine legacy in Izmir: A sociological approach on the cemeteries  Levantine community of Ottoman Smyrna – Catholics and Protestants  Rites and customs  Description of ‘Levantine Tombs and Graves’  Introduction of new legislation in 2005 grating official status to Christian cemeteries  Slides and comments on Christian cemeteries of Izmir and suburbs  Comparisons between Moslem and Christian cemeteries  “Christian consecrated graves: lasting reminders of past lives

24 View of the northern pathway, Karabaglar

25 [My summary from an 11 page document in Turkish] Dr. Ahmet MEHMETEFEND İ O Ğ LU İ ZM İ R LEVANTENLER İ İ Ç İ N ÖNEML İ B İ R DÖNEM VE İ S İ M: B İ R İ NC İ DÜNYA SAVA Ş INDA LEVANTENLER VE İ ZM İ R VAL İ S İ RAHM İ BEY An important name and period for the Izmir Levantines: the Levantines during the First World War and Rahmi Bey, the Governor of Izmir  Rahmi Bey’s early life and political career.  His position in “Unity and Progress” movement; appointment as Vali of Izmir 1913  The refugees problems arising from Balkan War defeats  WW1 and his good will towards the Levantine community.  WW1 Britain, the Dardanelles, and his refusal of surrender to the British.  25 October 1918 resignation from post of Governor  Kidnapping of his son Alpaslan by rebel Cerkez [Circassian] Ethem  Exiled to Malta in 1919, emigrated to Italy, then Germany, return to Turkey in 1926, alleged implication in the 1926 Izmir terrorist attack and escape abroad and return in 1935. Died in 1947

26 George Poulimenos Digital Reconstruction of the Smyrna Quay  “The Quay”: iconic symbol of Smyrna  Exploration of the constituent parts of the Quays  The planning and preparation of the digital files  Talk is illustrated with many slides showing various stages of reconstructing digitally  A final panorama showing what more than 200 buildings would have actually looked before 1922  A few buildings are shown as exemplars resulting from the work  A truly forensic investigation and reconstruction; the results of which will be published in a book.

27 Yeni Asir 1 November 2014 Dünyanın birçok ülkesindeki Levantenleri bir araya getiren 2. Uluslararası Levanten Sempozyumu, İzmir Ticaret Odası'nda (İTO) yapıldı. Sempozyum 2010'da yapılan ilki gibi yoğun ilgi gördü. Sempozyuma, aileleri eskiden İzmir'de yaşamış olan çok sayıda Levanten ile Amerika, Malta, Fransa, İngiltere, Fransa, Yunanistan gibi çeşitli ülkelerden gelen yaklaşık 40 yabancı konuk katıldı. Açılışta konuşan İTO Meclis Başkanı Rebii Akdurak, sempozyuma gösterilen ilgiden duyduğu memnuniyeti dile getirerek, "Bildiğiniz üzere, İzmir'in ekonomik tarihinde Levanten tüccarların çok önemli bir yeri var. Ama sadece ekonomik hayatımızda değil, İzmir'in sosyal hayatının gelişmesinde de Levantenlerin büyük katkısını biliyoruz. İzmir'in bugünkü kentsel kimliğinin oluşmasında, yüzlerce yıl burada yaşayan Levantenlerin rolü büyük oldu" dedi İzmir'e yatırım çağrısı Akdurak, şöyle konuştu: "Bugün aramızda bulunan Levanten konuklarımızı bu sempozyum ile yeniden İzmir ile bağlantılarını güçlendirmeye, ekonomik, ticari ve kültürel işbirliklerini arttırmaya davet ediyorum. Sizler hem yurt dışında İzmir'in elçiliğini yapabilir, hem de İzmir'de yatırım ve ticaret ortaklıkları kurarak kentimiz ile yeniden sıkı bağlar kurabilirsiniz" ifadelerini kullandı. Dr. Marie Carmen Smyrnelis'in 19. Yüzyıl Osmanlı İmparatorluğu'nda "Levanten Sosyal Kimlikler" adlı sunumuyla devam eden sempozyumda İzmir'in ticari hayatına bir dönem etkili olan Levanten ailelerle ilgili bilgi verildi. KADİR KEMALOĞLU


29 Dr Philip Mansel’s book signing day launching his “LEVANT” published in Turkish

30 Multi-confessional Mass said in Latin, Italian, Turkish, English, and Greek at the Basilica Cathedral of St John Apostle & Evangelist, in celebration of All Saints Day. Music was provided by the excellent Turkish choir of the Cathedral. [The “New Levantines of Izmir”? ]

31 Mgr. Franceschini and George Galdies greeting members of the some 60 - strong congregation Our visitors to Chios were welcomed by the Mayor of Chios, as reported by Chios municipal news: ‘’

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