Muslim Land, Christian Labor

Transforming Ottoman Imperial Subjects into Bulgarian National Citizens, 1878-1939
ISBN: 
978-963-386-161-5
cloth
$65.00 / €60.00 / £52.00
Publication date: 
2017
250 pages

Focusing upon a region in Southern Bulgaria, a region that has been the crossroads between Europe and Asia for many centuries, this book describes how former Ottoman Empire Muslims were transformed into citizens of Balkan nation-states. This is a region marked by shifting borders, competing Turkish and Bulgarian sovereignties, rival nationalisms, and migration. Problems such as these were ultimately responsible for the disintegration of the dynastic empires into nation-states.

Land that had traditionally belonged to Muslims—individually or communally—became a symbolic and material resource for Bulgarian state building and was the terrain upon which rival Bulgarian and Turkish nationalisms developed in the wake of the dissolution of the late Ottoman Empire and the birth of early republican Turkey and the introduction of capitalism.

By the outbreak of World War II, Turkish Muslims had become a polarized national minority. Their conflicting efforts to adapt to post-Ottoman Bulgaria brought attention to the increasingly limited availability of citizenship rights, not only to Turkish Muslims, but to Bulgarian Christians as well.

List of Maps, Tables, and Illustrations
Acknowledgements
List of Key Ottoman Turkish and Bulgarian Terms
Note on Names, Transliterations, and Dates

INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER ONE
The Eastern Crisis, Russia’s “Civilizing Mission” in the Balkans, and the Emergence of Eastern Rumelia

CHAPTER TWO
Repatriation, Postwar Reconstruction, and the Limits of Pluralism in Eastern Rumelia

CHAPTER THREE
An Experiment in Pluralistic Governance: Emigration and the Emergence of National Politics

CHAPTER FOUR
Anchoring Unified Bulgaria on “Muslim” Land

CHAPTER FIVE
Muslim Land vs. Bulgarian Labor: The Cost of Building a Modern Capitalist Nation

CHAPTER SIX
Land, Nation, Minority

CHAPTER SEVEN
Debating Community and Citizenship

CONCLUSION

Select Bibliography
Index

"The author focuses on the judicial issues concerning land holdings and transference during the period of the revived Bulgarian state, especially in the ephemeral region of Eastern Rumelia, which is now the southern area of Bulgaria. As a part of the issues of land ownership transference, the author also examines the wider consequences of the emigration of the Turkish and other Muslim minorities of Bulgaria to Turkey. This is an excellent study for those who wish to understand the legal processes by which the Bulgarian nationalist order replaced the imperial Ottoman establishment in the agricultural economy. Overall Mirkova demonstrates the determination of the revived Bulgarian state to maintain its authority over a system of land ownership based upon law and to use this authority to develop or modernize the agricultural segment of the economy, even if this law was not always exercised fairly to Bulgaria’s Muslim minorities."