Two Sides of the Same Coin? Contrasting Narratives of Bosnian-Muslims Migration to Turkey in Late 19th and Early 20th Century
Keywords:Migration, nostalgia, Ottoman Empire, Bosnia, financial
The decline of the Ottoman Empire at the end of the 19th century caused numerous consequences for the region of South-eastern Europe, most notably the mass migrations of Muslims from the European regions of the Ottoman Empire to Anatolia. In Bosnia, thousands of local Muslims feeling intra-state, but also external pressure by the non-Muslim population, left their homeland to find a safer refuge. Recognizing limited scholarly attention which was given to the sphere of the lived experiences of the migrant trajectories, this paper aims to give a portrayal of the reality regarding the nostalgia and financial everyday life of Muslims from Bosnia at the turn of the century in the Ottoman Empire. To this end, it predominantly through a narrative analysis of two letters sent by Bosnian Muslims who migrated to the Anatolian town of Durgut. The oddity of these letters is in two heavily conflicting views on the lived experience of migration. The first one embarked on a highly nostalgic, sceptical, and pro-return perception reflecting on a specific “othering” of Bosnian Muslims in Turkey.
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