Seminar in Ottoman and Turkish Studies: Cemil Aydın

When and Where

Friday, February 09, 2024 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Room 208N
North House (1 Devonshire Place, Toronto)


Cemil Aydın, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Decolonization by Non-European Empires? Rethinking the Lausanne Treaty of 1923 and the End of the Ottoman Caliphate in 1924 as Global Intellectual and Political History

Despite the achievements in writing a non-Eurocentric world history of decolonization, current scholarship has difficulty situating the Lausanne Treaty of July 1923 into the political transformation of the world in the last one hundred years from the world of empires to its current partition into nation states. The recognition of a sovereign Turkish State at the Lausanne Treaty was hailed by contemporary observers in Asia and Africa as the victory of an Eastern/Muslim nation against Western colonialism. Yet, the Treaty also formalized the legal recognition of the colonization of Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire, namely Palestine, Syria, and Iraq, by the British and French empires. Abolishment of the Ottoman Caliphate by the Turkish parliament in March 1924, just seven months after the Lausanne Treaty, further complicates the narratives. While Turkish nationalist historiography marks this as a completion of the Republican revolution, it led to the erasure of a Pan-Islamic political symbol for a globalist world making visions across Asia and Africa aiming to critique and reform the unequal racialized imperial world order. This presentation will explore the contradictions of the 1923 and 1924 moments in the broader context of the role of nonEuropean empires and pan-nationalism in the global history of decolonization.

This event is Co-sponsored by the Michael E. Marmura Lectures in Arabic Studies.

* See the event poster: PDF iconAydin, SOTS 2024-2-9.pdf