Author: Giordano ALTAROZZI
Abstract: The paper aims to analyze the history of the Levantine community living into the Ottoman Empire and its development during centuries, by the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople until the foundation of the Republic of Turkey by Mustapha Kendal. In this ambit, very important is the transition between XIXth and XXth centuries, when the Levantine community increases (so called Golden Age) before the WWI’s beginning. During the Great War, minorities in the Ottoman Empire decrease and this trend keep on after the Turkish Republic’s foundation. The new laic State operates a minorities’discrimination founded on ethnic and national items, but on religious too, because in the Turkish point of view, people maybe Turks just if they are Muslims: who is not Muslim, can’t be Turk. The paper is based on bibliography regarding the Ottoman and Turkish history and culture, as well as on an analysis of the documents collected in several Catholic archives in Istanbul.
Keywords: Ethnic Relations-Levant-Minorities-Ottoman Empire-Turkey.