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Cappadocian Out-Migration

Author(s) : Karachristos Ioannis (3/10/2003)
Translation : Velentzas Georgios

For citation: Karachristos Ioannis, "Cappadocian Out-Migration ",
Encyclopaedia of the Hellenic World, Asia Minor
URL: <http://www.ehw.gr/l.aspx?id=7994>

Μετανάστευση από Καππαδοκία (1/23/2006 v.1) Cappadocian Out-Migration  (2/15/2006 v.1) 

1. General Outline

Migration from Cappadocia was a long-term phenomenon, indissolubly connected with the history of the region already from the 15th century. Apart from external factors, such as a decision of the central administration, people migrated because of the limited agricultural production, population fluctuations and the lack of safety conditions in the countryside, probably due to the activity of irregular armed forces and the competition between powerful local rulers, at least until the early 19th century.

The most important place of reception for Cappadocian immigrants between the 15th and the early 20th century was Constantinople. Migration increased in the 18th and mainly the 19th century. These events are connected with the development of the capital and, on the other hand, with the improved means of transportation and the increased transactions. Other places of reception for the Cappadocian immigrants in Asia Minor were the Pontus between the 17th and the 20th century (mainly in the 19th century, due to the development of Samsun / Amisos and other lesser commercial centres), Smyrna and the western coast from the mid-18th century onwards (mainly after the 1860s, due to the development of cotton farming and trading in the area), and, finally, some cities of Cilicia and the central Asia Minor, such as Adana, Ikonio (Konya), Mersin and Ankara. Although central Asia Minor was an early place of reception for immigrants from Cappadocia,1 this movement increased mainly in the 19th century. The immigrants who went there were mainly occupied with drapery trade and tahini (sesame paste) production, or owned oil presses, potteries and groceries; they even were active as animal traders and exporters.2 Towards the late 19th century, in particular as regards Adana, migration was connected with the development of cotton and oil trade.3 Some Cappadocians migrated to regions outside Asia Minor, such as Egypt, the newly established Greek state and –in the late 19th century– America, although those destinations never became as important as the previous ones.

It should also be noted that workers migrated seasonally on an annual basis. Cilicia and the nearby areas often absorbed those immigrants, who worked as lime - kiln workers,4 in tahini production and in quarries5 in the winter months, while in the summer they usually returned to their places of origin.6 Seasonal movements of builders are also reported in the summer months, as well as small-scale movements, such as the movements of the inhabitants of Floita, who toured as press manufacturers, while in winter they worked in the presses of Kaisareia.7

Finally, there were some individual immigrants who aimed at receiving education. During the patriarchal office of Ieremias III, in the early 18th century, there was a prediction for young Caramanlis from the area of Kaisareia, who wished to study for 4-5 years at the ‘Megali tou Genous Scholi’ (The Greek Patriarchal High School) so that they could understand the Bible and the liturgical books.8 A similar movement was also noted in the 19th century. Some Cappadocian scholars, who had studied at the Megali tou Genous Scholi, the School of Chalki and the "Evangeliki" school of Smyrna, Hellenized and archaized their names.9

2. Settlement and Migration Patterns

Migration, particularly after the 18th century, concerned almost all Cappadocian settlements and mainly those with a limited agricultural production. The immigrants were mostly men in the productive age group. They were in contact with their places of origin, where they returned regularly, since most of the family members lived there. The working immigrants made a significant economic contribution to the survival of the people in their birthplaces; they sometimes were the one and only source of income. The cases when entire families migrated were rare and were noted mainly towards the late 19th and the early 20th century.

Family and local networks facilitated the reception and the integration of the new immigrants. This often led to their professional specialisation and the formation of guilds organised on a local basis. The guilds and clubs established during the 19th century arranged also the relations of the immigrants with their places of origin. Migration patterns different from the traditional pattern were followed in the new commercial centres, such as Samsun and Smyrna, and were related to the professional activities and mentalities of the groups that went there. They were mainly groups of wholesale merchants, but also of unskilled workers, who deviated from the groups of professionals and craftsmen of the guilds. The full integration of those immigrants into the local society and their final assimilation must have been easier, at least in the case of wholesale merchants.

An example of those processes is the case of Theodorakis Arzoglou, born to an immigrant family from Androniki (Endürlük), who became one of the most important tobacco traders of Samsun. He was also engaged in politics, he became mayor and represented Samsun as a member of the Ottoman Parliament during 1914-1918. The case of Giannakis Giatzoglou or Karloglou, who was born in Androniki in 1795, was also interesting. He migrated to Smyrna and became involved in commerce and public affairs both in Smyrna10 and in Samos, where he was the deputy of the first sovereign Stefanos Vogoridis, from 3 January until 11 March 1841.11

1. In the second half of the 17th century, the Cappadocians were a significant part of the Christian community of Ankara, where they traded the Angora wool. Μπαλλιάν, Α., ‘Η Καππαδοκία μετά την κατάκτηση των Σελτζούκων και οι χριστιανικές κοινότητες από το 16ο έως το 18ο αιώνα’, in Μπαλλιάν, Α. – Πετροπούλου, Ι. – Παντελεάκη, Ν. (eds.), Καππαδοκία: Περιήγηση στη Χριστιανική Ανατολή (Athens 1993), p. 36.

2. Καρατζά, Ε., Καππαδοκία: Ο τελευταίος ελληνισμός της περιφέρειας Ακσεράι Γκέλβερι (Καρβάλης) (Athens 1985), pp. 288-289.

3. Ρενιέρη, Ει., ‘Ανδρονίκιο: Ένα καππαδοκικό χωριό κατά τον 19ο αιώνα’, Μνήμων 15 (1993), p. 42.

4. Ασβεστή, Μ., Επαγγελματικές ασχολίες των Ελλήνων της Καππαδοκίας (Athens 1980), p. 116.

5. Καρατζά, Ε., Καππαδοκία: Ο τελευταίος ελληνισμός της περιφέρειας Ακσεράι Γκέλβερι (Καρβάλης) (Athens 1985), p. 289; Ασβεστή, Μ., Επαγγελματικές ασχολίες των Ελλήνων της Καππαδοκίας (Athens 1980), p. 39.

6. Ασβεστή, Μ., Επαγγελματικές ασχολίες των Ελλήνων της Καππαδοκίας (Athens 1980), pp. 117; Καρατζά, Ε., Καππαδοκία: Ο τελευταίος ελληνισμός της περιφέρειας Ακσεράι Γκέλβερι (Καρβάλης) (Athens 1985), pp. 288-289.

7. Ασβεστή, Μ., Επαγγελματικές ασχολίες των Ελλήνων της Καππαδοκίας (Athens 1980), pp. 32, 39, 98.

8. Clogg, R., ‘A Millet Within a Millet: The Karamanlides’, in Gondicas, D. – Issawi, C. (eds.), Ottoman Greeks in the Age of Nationalism: Politics, Economy, and Society in the Nineteenth Century (Princeton 1999), p. 122.

9. Πετροπούλου, Ι., ‘Ο εξελληνισμός-εξαρχαϊσμός των ονομάτων στην Καππαδοκία τον δέκατο ένατο αιώνα’, Δελτίο Κέντρου Μικρασιατικών Σπουδών, 7 (1988-1989), p. 165 ff.

10. Τσαλίκογλου, Ε., Οι εν διασπορά Καππαδόκες: Βίος και δραστηριότητες αυτών (Athens 1954), p. 221; Σολομωνίδης, Χ., Η Εκκλησία της Σμύρνης (Athens 1960), pp. 330-331.

11. Αλεξανδρής, Α., ‘Οι Έλληνες στην υπηρεσία της Οθωμανικής αυτοκρατορίας’, Δ.Ι.Ε.Ε. 23 (1980), p. 369.


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