The exchange of Greek and Turkish populations in the 1920s and its socio-economic impacts on life in Anatolia

MS Erden*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The topic of this paper is the population exchange that took place between the Turkish and Greek states in the 1920s. The socio political conditions that led to the exchange, the official agreements between the two states, the real experiences of the immigrants, the regulations of the Turkish state, the ignorance of the Turkish state and academia about the exchange, and the socio-economic effects of the exchange on life in Anatolia are the topics mentioned in this article. The basic aim of this paper is to reintroduce the topic, which seems to be put aside, in a systematic manner based on the referenced books. Another aim is to stress its importance for the nationalization process for both Turkish and Greek lands. The major concern here is life in Anatolia. Therefore, it is claimed that the population exchange was very effective in nationalization of the population, economy and culture in Anatolia. How the immigrants took part in nationalization and how nationalization provided them a way of constructing their identity are explained. It is argued that the nationalism of the young Turkish Republic provided the immigrants with a possibility to construct their identity in a way to differentiate themselves from the native Turks. The socio-economic impact of the population exchange on life in Anatolia is so big that this forgotten topic deserves to be dwelled upon. Therefore, it is stated that in order to understand the nationalization and socio-economic development of Anatolia the population exchange of the 1920s should be studied and understood in more detail.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-282
Number of pages22
JournalCrime, Law and Social Change
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2004


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