PowerPoint - Levantine Heritage Foundation

Friday, 31 October – Sunday 2 November 2014
Took Place On Friday, 31 October
It was Hosted by The Izmir Chamber of Commerce
In their Main conference hall. This is a personal review of this event by
George Galdies.
Scale model at Izmir Chamber of Commerce Museum
Event title:
Friday, 31 October – Sunday 2 November 2014 (including fringe
events and tours)
Main event theme:
Research topics:
Where did they live? Who are their descendants? What is their
• European settlers in the Aegean region, the cities and towns
they lived in,
• the businesses they created,
• their fascinating lifestyles and traditions,
• the different ethnic groups they encountered in the Levant,
• the unique legacies they left behind.
Special emphasis was to be placed on current research into:
• the genealogy and social history of families with
origins in Genoa, Malta, Smyrna and the Aegean
Islands. Event was to be supported by optional tours
to old Levantine suburbs of Izmir. To Ephesus, and to
Chios and Cesme.
By December 2013 it was agreed that the Second Izmir Symposium will be announced on
Levantine Heritage Foundation websites.
Conference organisers in no particular order:
 George Vassiadis (originally, then withdrew)
 Alex Baltazzi (principal moderator)
 George Poulimenos
 Jacques Caporal
 Marie Anne Marandet
 Jerome Muniglia (co-moderator)
 George Galdies (international co-ordinator and LHF trustee)
planning and execution
Originally this was going to be a 2 centre conference
with venues in Izmir and in Chios.
To avoid clashing with the Istanbul conference, Izmir became the only overnight
venue, with a day visit to Chios made optional.
 The symposium remained focused on the Levantine communities of Izmir and an
academicals’ study of Levantine roots in the Aegean Islands.
 Eventually some 35 overseas participants came to the meeting from USA,
Canada, UK, France, Italy, Greece, and Australia. In total over 100 people
signed the register.
 20 newspapers reported the event.
 As per previous Izmir meeting Karavan Travel provided all logistic
support whilst Izmir Chamber of Commerce provided hosting and
hospitality. Both perfectly executed.
Friday, 31st October 2014
Mr Akdurak reminded participants that Izmir is still a city very much open to the West, and invited foreign
delegates to be its ambassadors , and promote tourism and foreign inward investment for the city.
In the Chair : Alex Baltazzi, President of Karavan Travel and prolific contributor to the Levantine Heritage.com
15 Conference Speakers
in order of appearance
Dr Marie Carmen Smyrnelis
« Identités levantines dans le XIXe siècle
ottoman «
Expounded definition of “Levantine”
Alluded to ‘Greasy Levantine’, but also how “Western Traders” felt
inadequate/ intimidated/annoyed having to deal through them.
Levantines were not a “coherent”, legally defined group when compared
to Greeks, Armenians, Jews …
No communality of language: spoke several languages all at same time
Staunchly held on to their national identities. Several in one same family
Term “Levantine” took a different acceptance in more recent times
Joanna Hyslop
The life and work of the Reverend Charles Dobson
Rev. Charles Dobson Anglican Chaplain in 1922 Smyrna: Joanna’s
great grandfather
A great insight into the life of a remarkable person
She examines the evidence given by him in London courts
Her research published by Modern Greek Studies Association of
Australian and New Zealand
Vivid descriptions of key events during 1922 Fire and destruction
Dobson’s heroic initiatives to save lives securing evacuation of
Wallis Kidd
The MacAndrews & Forbes Company as the Forbes family
 He recounts how the company was started by the Forbes
 Was much encouraged to continue his research having met
 current neighbours of his family’s ‘de Hochepied Mansion’ in
Seydikoy/Gaziemir suburb of Izmir.
 Visits and provides up to date photo of the Forbes mansion in
Buca undergoing restoration.
 Invites further information on MacAndrews and Forbes, the
Forbes and the Cadoux families.
 Available to assist others into their researches.
Joseph Murat
The Murat Family of Bornova
 Quest to find family roots in Trieste leads to
forgotten family records and archives.
 Grand Father’s migration from Bornova to Vienna
 Family photos and pre-WW1 family links
 Telling letters between Bornova and Vienna
 WW1 family dramas
 Requests more information on the Murat and
Great Grandmother’s HadjiKosti (Costi) families
Dr Henry Frendo
Levantines of Smyrna: The Maltese Presence
 Rather little known about Maltese in Izmir to now
 Malta in Ottoman days and British Empire days
 Arrival of Maltese and sociological insights into their community
 Documentary and first-hand narrations of WW1 and effects onto
the Maltese
 1922 catastrophe, evacuation from Smyrna and refuge to Malta
Return of refugees to Izmir, whilst migration to UK, Australia,…
 WW2 and ‘exiles’ to India, Cyprus, and beyond.
 Maltese in Izmir today.
Mark Ransome – Sally Elliott
 An introduction to the family and their ancestral home
of Aziziye
 Ancestor’s arrival to Smyrna in 1860 and family
properties portfolio
 Expansion of Walker industrial enterprises
 “Veuve Prokopp” brewery
 Walker- Issigonis and Simes families connections
 Evacuation to Malta and return to Izmir
 Many hitherto unseen photographs
Brian Webber
The Webber Family in Smyrna and Canada
 Talk prepared in collaboration with his cousin Joyce
 Intersections with Levantines families from pre-1914 to
recent times in Canada
 Several references to cousins, railroads, former properties
in Paradise, Smyrna
 Smyrna’s ‘comfort foods’
 Joyce’s searches into family archives and revelations of
roots back to 19th Century Smyrna
Lunch Break
Dr Sandra Origone
The relationships between Smyrna, Genoa, the Knights of
St John and other Latin presences, analysing documentary
 14th Century Asia Minor
 Arrival of the Genoese and trade with Governorate of Aidin
 Genoese, Venetians, and the Knights
 Smyrna suppliers to the Knights in Rhodes, and non-patrician
 The Giustinianis, Reccanello, and notable Smyrna names in 14th
Dr Michel Balard
de l’Ancienne à la Nouvelle Mahone de Chio
(The Levantines of Genoa: from the Old to the New Maona
of Chios)
Latin presence in the Aegean 1346 to 1566
The Maonas: “New” and “Old” in Chios
Trading of Maona shares between families
Contracts and conventions
Orientalisation process
‘Levantinasation’ through inter-communal marriages
Hellenization of Latins when Genoa succumbed to French rule.
Dr Ioanna Koukounis
‘Furrowing routes of trade in the Mediterranean: The Chiots from
Genoa to the Levant’
 Names of Chiot commercial houses in 18th Century Smyrna
 Depiction of Chiot noble families, and the Chiot-Genoese
 ‘economy intermarriages’
 Chios’s riches
 Chios as a clearing house for Anatolia’s agricultural produce and
raw materials
 Smyrna’s language and frangochiotika
Dr. Altug Akin
“Ghosts at the Heart of the Empire”:
Levantines of Smyrna in Contemporary Novels
 Ghosts from Smyrna’ a novel by Loren Edizel
 “In the Heart of the Empire”; an historical novel by Spiros
 Compares the two novels, and touches non-Moslem
origins of each author
 Emergence of “multi-cultural” or “cosmopolitan” genres
since 1980s
 Defines Smyrna Quay: “ Luxury, money and hedonism”
 Comparison between Athens and Smyrna
Dr Kalliopi Amygdalou
‘From the Ottoman Empire to the Nation-State: Izmir’s
architectural and urban transformation.’
 The rebuilding of Izmir in the 1930s
 Analysis of period photos of reconstruction
 Controversies and alterations in planning process
 State interventionism in urban environment
 Several rarely seen photos
 “post-Ottoman modern condition in Izmir”
Doç. Dr.Hâle OKÇAY
A Levantine legacy in Izmir: A sociological approach on the cemeteries
 Levantine community of Ottoman Smyrna – Catholics and
 Rites and customs
 Description of ‘Levantine Tombs and Graves’
 Introduction of new legislation in 2005 grating official status to
Christian cemeteries
 Slides and comments on Christian cemeteries of Izmir and suburbs
 Comparisons between Moslem and Christian cemeteries
 “Christian consecrated graves: lasting reminders of past lives
View of the northern pathway, Karabaglar
[My summary from an 11 page document in Turkish]
An important name and period for the Izmir Levantines: the Levantines during the First
World War and Rahmi Bey, the Governor of Izmir
Rahmi Bey’s early life and political career.
His position in “Unity and Progress” movement; appointment as Vali of Izmir
The refugees problems arising from Balkan War defeats
WW1 and his good will towards the Levantine community.
WW1 Britain, the Dardanelles, and his refusal of surrender to the British.
25 October 1918 resignation from post of Governor
Kidnapping of his son Alpaslan by rebel Cerkez [Circassian] Ethem
Exiled to Malta in 1919, emigrated to Italy, then Germany, return to Turkey in
1926, alleged implication in the 1926 Izmir terrorist attack and escape abroad
and return in 1935. Died in 1947
George Poulimenos
Digital Reconstruction of the Smyrna Quay
 “The Quay”: iconic symbol of Smyrna
 Exploration of the constituent parts of the Quays
The planning and preparation of the digital files
 Talk is illustrated with many slides showing various stages of
reconstructing digitally
 A final panorama showing what more than 200 buildings would have
actually looked before 1922
 A few buildings are shown as exemplars resulting from the work
 A truly forensic investigation and reconstruction; the results of which
will be published in a book.
Yeni Asir 1 November 2014
Dünyanın birçok ülkesindeki Levantenleri bir araya getiren 2. Uluslararası Levanten
Sempozyumu, İzmir Ticaret Odası'nda (İTO) yapıldı. Sempozyum 2010'da yapılan ilki gibi yoğun
ilgi gördü.
Sempozyuma, aileleri eskiden İzmir'de yaşamış olan çok sayıda Levanten ile Amerika, Malta,
Fransa, İngiltere, Fransa, Yunanistan gibi çeşitli ülkelerden gelen yaklaşık 40 yabancı konuk
katıldı. Açılışta konuşan İTO Meclis Başkanı Rebii Akdurak, sempozyuma gösterilen ilgiden
duyduğu memnuniyeti dile getirerek, "Bildiğiniz üzere, İzmir'in ekonomik tarihinde Levanten
tüccarların çok önemli bir yeri var. Ama sadece ekonomik hayatımızda değil, İzmir'in sosyal
hayatının gelişmesinde de Levantenlerin büyük katkısını biliyoruz. İzmir'in bugünkü kentsel
kimliğinin oluşmasında, yüzlerce yıl burada yaşayan Levantenlerin rolü büyük oldu" dedi
İzmir'e yatırım çağrısı
Akdurak, şöyle konuştu: "Bugün aramızda bulunan Levanten konuklarımızı bu sempozyum ile
yeniden İzmir ile bağlantılarını güçlendirmeye, ekonomik, ticari ve kültürel işbirliklerini
arttırmaya davet ediyorum. Sizler hem yurt dışında İzmir'in elçiliğini yapabilir, hem de İzmir'de
yatırım ve ticaret ortaklıkları kurarak kentimiz ile yeniden sıkı bağlar kurabilirsiniz" ifadelerini
kullandı. Dr. Marie Carmen Smyrnelis'in 19. Yüzyıl Osmanlı İmparatorluğu'nda "Levanten Sosyal
Kimlikler" adlı sunumuyla devam eden sempozyumda İzmir'in ticari hayatına bir dönem etkili
olan Levanten ailelerle ilgili bilgi verildi.
Dr Philip Mansel’s book signing day launching his
“LEVANT” published in Turkish
Multi-confessional Mass said in Latin, Italian, Turkish, English, and
Greek at the Basilica Cathedral of St John Apostle & Evangelist, in
celebration of All Saints Day.
Music was provided by the excellent Turkish choir of the Cathedral.
[The “New Levantines of Izmir”? ]
Mgr. Franceschini and George Galdies
greeting members of the some 60 strong congregation
Our visitors to Chios were welcomed
by the Mayor of Chios, as reported by
Chios municipal news: ‘Polistischios.gr’

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