The Role of Demographic Transformation in the Socio-Economic Foundation of Turkey

Monday, 11 July 2016: 11:00
Location: Hörsaal 21 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Oya GOZEL DURMAZ, Kocaeli University, Turkey
One of the foundational origins of the Turkish Republic was the drastic change in the demographic composition of Anatolia following the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913 and World War I. According to the population census of 1906, the Ottoman population in Turkey’s current boundaries was about 15 million: 80% Muslims, 10% Greeks, 7% Armenians, approximately 1% Bulgarians and 1% Jews and other religious groups in small numbers such as Protestants, Armenian Catholics, Syriacs, Roman Catholics (Latins). In 1927 the population of Turkey decreased to 13.6 million despite high level of the Muslim immigration from the Ottoman territories that had been lost. This change was a result of factors such as the deportation of Armenians, the exchange of populations between Turkey and Greece and the high number of deaths in successive wars. This process greatly altered the composition of the population and the non-Muslim population decreased to 2.6% of the total population by 1927. This change in the demographic composition of Turkey corresponded to a significant era in Turkish history: the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the establishment of the Turkish Republic as a nation state. Thus, this process of demographic transformation became significant in the socio-economic foundation of the new Republic. This presentation will focus on this transition period from the Ottoman Empire to Turkish Republic and tries to answer the role of demographic transformation, especially the Armenian deportation, in the restructuring of the Turkish society and also economy.