A transnational millet in the Jewish state: A Judeo-Spanish diaspora between Israel and Turkey, 1948–1958

Aviad Moreno, Tamir Karkason

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Between 1948 and 1956, 36,302 Jews migrated from Turkey to Israel, forming the largest Turkish diaspora hub at that time. Drawing on the nine newspapers published by Turkish Jews in Israel in their vernacular, Ladino (Judeo-Spanish), this article sheds light on the complex nature of the migrants' transnational affinity to the Turkish Republic and on how it coexisted with their Jewish nationalism. In addition to situating this development within the broader context of post-WWII Turkish transnationalism, we also delineate their unique historic status as ethnic Jewish communities or millet. Examining the post-Ottoman era, we show how they leveraged their political, commercial and leisure-related ties with Turkey—deemed more developed in those terms than Israel—to empower themselves as an ethnic community and to facilitate their integration into the Jewish state. In so doing, this study bridges some of the gaps in the analyses of Muslim and non-Muslim migrations, and it suggests that we rethink the languages used to explore Turkish transnationalism as well as its geographical borders and underlying characteristics.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1093-1111
Number of pages19
JournalNations and Nationalism
Volume29
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2023

Keywords

  • Israel
  • Jews
  • Ladino (Judeo-Spanish)
  • Turkey
  • transnationalism

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Political Science and International Relations

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