Turkish Region: State, Market & Social Identities on the East Black Sea Coast
by Ildikó Bellér-Hann and Chris Hann
School of American Research Press, 2001
Year of publication
This region of north-eastern Turkey was part of ‘Lazistan’, a former Ottoman sub-province extending from the eastern Black Sea into lands that now lie deep inside the Georgian Republic. The social life of this region today offers rich possibilities for anthropological analysis. Most people acknowledge some form of identity as Lazi and many speak Lazuri, a language that is related to Georgian, not Turkish. However, religion appears even more significant than ethnicity. Like the other groups of this region, most Lazi are strongly committed to Islam, but critical of recent fundamental trends.
Recent developments are examined in the context of more general changes in Turkish civil society and widespread doubts about the continued viability of the secular institutions of Atatürk’s republic. The volume, based on field work between 1983 and 1999, makes a significant contribution to the anthropological literature on Turkey and the wider Middle Eastern and Black Sea regions. It will also appeal to Turkish specialists in other disciplines and to those interested in current debates in the social sciences about identity, ethnicity and globalization.
Idikó Bellér Hann is lecturer in Turkish studies, Martin Luther University, Halle, Germany; Chris Hann is director of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle, Germany