• Imperial Ottoman Identity in Salonica at the End of Ottoman Rule

    This paper examines the development of imperial Ottoman identity at the end of Ottoman rule in Salonica. This identity transcended communal divisions and antagonized separatist nationalisms fostered by neighboring Balkan states. It is argued that this identity was promoted by the Young Turk Revolution of 1908, at least rhetorically, and more importantly, by the cosmopolitan setting of Ottoman port cities. As imperial Ottoman identity was developed within Salonica’s pre/proto-nationalist and multicommunalframework, this paper focuses on loci conducive to an imperial Ottoman imaginary, such as newspapers, urban landscape, civic festivities and events, and schools. Newspapers promoted imagination of a common Ottoman community, articulated Ottomanness, and depicted Salonica as a shared city. The conviviality of Salonica’s communities was experienced in entertainment sites and public places, while Salonicans experienced a magnificent multiplicity of architectural styles and encountered the diversity of religions, languages, and cultures in their daily life. Political events, such as the Young Turk Revolution, and civic festivities, such as the visit of Sultan Mehmed V, mobilized Salonicans across communal boundaries. High-quality and foreign schools had become loci of embryonic Ottoman cross-national elites. In tandem with the development of imperial Ottoman identity, Balkan nationalisms were competing for the minds and souls of Salonicans with their antagonism culminating in the Balkan Wars and the demise of Ottoman rule and identity.