The Turcophone Orthodox Karamanlis from Gelveri to Nea Karvali

Ozdemir R.

MILLI FOLKLOR, no.108, pp.197-209, 2015 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: Issue: 108
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Journal Name: MILLI FOLKLOR
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.197-209
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


The Turcophone Orthodox Karamanlis were subjected to a mandatory population exchange following the Greco-Turkish Population Exchange Convention signed on January 30th 1923 during the Lausanne Conference. The population 'exchange' was almost complete by the year 1924, some few years prior to the foundation of folkloric associations. The relatively small number of oral history studies on life in mixed villages of the Turkish speaking Orthodox Karamanlis (Karamanli, Karamanlilar) and the Muslims of the pre-republican period Anatolia may be partly attributed to this late institutionalization in Turkey. In Greece on the other hand, institutions such as the Centre for Asia Minor Studies (Centre for Asia Minor Studies, C.A.M.S.) conducted indepth interviews with the Turcophone Orthodox, archived these indepth interviews in Greek and took under record much ethnographic data gathered from the field. This study joins some of the late twentieth century individual studies in their effort to record Karamanli testimonies in Turkish. It is based upon indepth interviews conducted by the author solely in the Turkish language in 2005 at the Nea Karvali village of Kavala. The study focuses on life in a religion-wise 'mixed' and language-wise 'unified' Anatolian village in the example of Gelveri village and takes a closer look at the daily practices and interactions of its Orthodox members before and after their emigration to Greece. In this respect, the article intends to make a modest empirical contribution to the literature on the mandatory population exchange and to the literature on the rituals and traditions of the Turcophone Orthodox Karamanlis.