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Twice a Stranger: The Mass Expulsions That Forged Modern Greece and Turkey

4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  180 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
In the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire following World War I, nearly two million citizens in Turkey and Greece were expelled from homelands. The Lausanne treaty resulted in the deportation of Orthodox Christians from Turkey to Greece and of Muslims from Greece to Turkey. The transfer was hailed as a solution to the problem of minorities who could not coexist. Both govern ...more
Hardcover, 274 pages
Published September 29th 2006 by Harvard University Press (first published 2006)
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"I remember the day they went away. Some kissed the earth, some took bowls of soil with them. They were decent types; their menfolk used to attend our funerals, and we would exchange presents of food on each other's feast days...They were regular people and they cried as they left us...."

Twice a Stranger: The Mass Expulsions That Forged Modern Greece and Turkey is a tightly reasoned, well-balanced and thought-provoking book about a highly contentious subject. It is also a heart-rending last chan
My maternal grandparents were born in Asia Minor and my grandmother suffered during the population exchange of 1923-4. They never really talked to my brothers and me about it like they did to my much older cousins, so I have always been fascinated and curious about that era in Greek-Turkish history. I wish, now, that my grandparents had spoken to me more about what happened, and I wish I was more aware of this period in Balkan history to ask them questions. But I was in my mid- to late teens whe ...more
Apr 30, 2010 Chrissie marked it as to-read
Recommended to Chrissie by: Lynne
Mehmet Akif  Koc
Apr 01, 2015 Mehmet Akif Koc rated it it was amazing
20. Yüzyılın savaşlarla dolu ilk çeyreğinin en hazin hikayelerinden, Lozan Antlaşmasıyla karşılıklı tehcir ettirilen yüzbinlerce Anadolu Hristiyanı ve Yunanistan Müslümanının, ayrıldıkları ve gittikleri yerlerde "iki kere yabancı" olmasının trajik öyküsü. İrlandalı gazeteci Helen Clark, objektif ve hadisenin beşeri boyutuna yoğunlaşan ve genel okuyucuya hitap eden mükemmel bir "insan odaklı tarih" okuması kaleme almış, kitap Bilgi Üniversitesi tarafından da iyi bir çeviriyle Türkçeye de kazandır ...more
An enlightening book that earns its fifth star on the strength of an outstanding final chapter. Clark makes some terrific arguments, for example:

- Pace Ascherson, the expulsion of Anatolian Greeks was not without prior provocation - had it not been for the ill-advised Greek invasion of Turkey in 1919 and the subsequent defeat and the scorched-earth retreat, burning villages and what not, some sort of Black Sea Greek community might very well have remained in situ today. Perhaps with its identity
Colleen Clark
Sep 04, 2012 Colleen Clark rated it really liked it
A fascinating story that I knew a little bit about having lived in Turkey 45 years ago, having studied Turkish and Middle Eastern history, and also having seen at least one Turkish movie about the population exchanges between Greek and other Christians living in Turkey after WW I and Muslims living outside Turkey in lands that formerly had been part of the Ottoman Empire.

"Twice a Stranger" refers to the migrants having been left "strangers" in the homelands of their forefathers and "stranger" in
Nikos Tsentemeidis
Sep 11, 2016 Nikos Tsentemeidis rated it it was amazing
Συγκλονιστικό βιβλίο
Margaret Sankey
Sep 25, 2011 Margaret Sankey rated it really liked it
In the wake of WWI and the Greco-Turkish War, the new League of Nations brokered the Lausanne Treaty to oversee the mass relocation of Orthodox Greeks from Anatolia and Muslims from Salonika and Crete. Taking place in a bitterly cold winter, chaotically supervised by military troops who could be surprisingly professional and compassionate or brutal and careless depending on the individual participants, beset with diseases and disorganization and the hostility and hospitality of the receiving com ...more
Jul 26, 2009 Yvonne is currently reading it
Shelves: non-ficciones
a history of the huge population swap between Turkey and Greece in the 1920's forged from documents and personal accounts. About 2 million people were actively relocated to homogenize the populations of these two modern nation states. Was my grandfather among them? A mystery. The more I learn about the history of Turkey and Greece the more intrigued I am by how nationalism resolved and created problems that emerged during the decline of the ottoman empire. The whole history of Macedonia and West ...more
Dec 29, 2015 Adam rated it liked it
During the 20th century, there have been several mass exchanges of population. One of these was the panicky mass movement of different groups of people between the newly formed Pakistan and the newly independent India during the Partition of 1947. Another was the expulsion of the Sudeten Germans from Czechoslovakia at the end of WW2. Two notable examples of this mass disruption and transfer of population occurred in the eastern Mediterranean, and both of them involved Greece and Turkey. In one c ...more
Matthew Griffiths
a thought provoking study of the process by which the nascent republics of Greece and Turkey were formed in the wake of the first world war and the greco-turkish war. The book focusses on the population exchanges that took place between the two countries and the role these exchanges played in the formation of a state for the Muslim subjects and one for the orthodox Christian subjects of the former Ottoman empire. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the modern history of ei ...more
Zafer Sattouf
Jan 09, 2016 Zafer Sattouf rated it it was amazing
It was not long time ago that ethnic engineering was not a condemned policy to create the strong nations that we view today as modern and developed. It happened multiple times in the past century that politicians agreed and worked on population exchanges or even forced population exodus of people out of their homelands as an end to specific political conflict or humanitarian crisis. In the book Twice a Stranger: The Mass Expulsions That Forged Modern Greece and Turkey, Bruce Clark studied one of ...more
Christopher Rex
Apr 08, 2012 Christopher Rex rated it liked it
Four stars if you like history and/or are interested in geopolitical concepts like "humanitarian intervention" and/or "nation-building." If you take interest in the so-called nation-building in the Balkans, this is an interesting read for sure (also 4-stars). Though, this is not a "starter" book for those interested in history. 3-stars overall.

In what was arguably one of the "forgotten" treaties of WWI (Lausanne), one of the first attempts at modern nation-building took place. This involved a ma
Heidi Archer
Sep 23, 2016 Heidi Archer rated it really liked it
I started reading this after I went to volunteer in the migrant/refugee camps on Lesvos and before I went back for a vacation in August. I love to read history books about areas I visit and travel in. It helps me to understand the people and culture I am interacting with, rather than just being a consumer of "stuff" in my travels.

The last chapter in particular, "The Price of Success," helped me to understand a bit of Turkish-Greek relations in the past and going into the future - and even curren
May 15, 2014 Ipek rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good non-fiction book trying to examine the population exchange (mübadele) around 1923. If you are interested about Greek-Turkish history, enjoyed 'Birds Without Wings' and would like to learn more about those years, this book is for you. I found it a bit too repetitive and believe it could have been edited to half its size. There are interesting things I learned from it though: The notion of a Turkish Orthodox Church and Papa Eftim is one example.
Apr 06, 2016 Marissa rated it liked it
Shelves: history
A solid introduction to the aftermath of the First World War and the Treaty of Lausanne, which resulted in the massive exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey. While at times overly emotive, this book manages to convey both the ambivalence of immigrants facing life in new and unknown places, and the undoubtedly horrific conditions in which many were forced to move.
May 14, 2013 Judy rated it really liked it
The enormous, tragic upheaval endured by Greek and Turkish people involved in being transported from either Greece or Turkey to the country to which the Treaty of Lausanne decreed they 'rightly' belonged is told here. Supported by substantial archival material and brought alive by the personal accounts of several people still alive at the time of writing, this vivid account is a valuable record. Skilfully related in a style that is easy to read, it captures the reader's attention, providing a va ...more
Oct 03, 2015 Samantha rated it really liked it
Clark does a good job of illuminating a lesser-known case of "population exchange" than, say, that of India and Pakistan at the time of partition. The book is accessible but not polemical. The lessons are applicable to any contemporary scenario where "ethnic conflict " is seen by outsiders as "unresolvable. " The Greeks and Turks had good relations on the individual and village level. It was the particular political concerns of extreme and totalizing nationalism that mandated they be separated. ...more
Jun 01, 2015 Gamze rated it really liked it
Very interesting and easy read - keeps a good balance between the history of politicians and diplomats and that of the individual people in their daily lives, and keeps away from Greek vs Turk biases. Some terminology and phrasing I don't quite agree with, but overall well balanced and an enjoyable read!
Jan 12, 2016 Walk rated it really liked it
This is a part of European history I did not know. Maybe we spent ten minutes in Modern European history class in college, but I didn't remember. So sad. The story is well told and documented.
Jeri Bidinger
Jul 29, 2015 Jeri Bidinger rated it it was amazing
Not for everyone, but as one who lives in Turkey, I found this book has reshaped my understanding of the Turkish people. Specifically, the identity between being Muslim and being Turk, and the vision of Turkey as a mono-cultural nation. Twice a Stranger is written with clarity and compassion, and occasionally captures firsthand stories of a generation that, in 2015, is almost gone. I am grateful to Bruce Clark for taking a part of his life to write these things.
Apr 19, 2008 Elaine rated it liked it
This book provided me with great information about a historical event I knew nothing about. Yet it helped me to understand many things about my Greek ethnic background and modern international politics. The author painstakingly details the political events of the population exchange between Turkey and Greece in the early 1920s under the Lausanne Treaty and its effects on the victims of the exchange. He quoted many of the people who had to leave their homes and move, under horrifying conditions, ...more
May 15, 2010 Diane rated it it was amazing
The story of the demise of the Greek community in Turkey and the Turkish community in Greece after the First World War, as told by a reporter for "The Economist". Very well-written, and I learned a lot from it. I would recommend reading it along with "Birds without Wings", a fictional account of the same period dealing with the same subject. The author is honest both about the tragedy of the expulsions for the individuals involved, and about the reasons that there may have been no other way. Ver ...more
Jan 14, 2014 Armag rated it really liked it
i hope, all of turk n hellas people read n talk bout this disaster and think and visit each other often.
yes, we got terrible statesmen, yes we got brits, frenchs to force us to sign but after ALL past years, we gotto learn n teach our girls and sons, resist for themselves. guess,they already know..
Zachary Moore
Dec 08, 2013 Zachary Moore rated it it was amazing
A strong book dealing primarily with the stories of the people forcibly moved between the two countries that navigates between the nationalistic myths on both sides. A moving chronicle of a terrible human tragedy.
Mick Maye
Jun 21, 2011 Mick Maye rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ottoman-turkish
The expulsion by both Greece and Turkey in the aftermath of WW1. A subject completely new to me, but this seems to cover the expulsions fairly from both viewpoints. A very good read.
Simon Andrew
Jul 03, 2012 Simon Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really interesting book looking at an area of history I have not come across in detail before. Highly recommend it.
Jul 30, 2010 Marilyn rated it liked it
Hard to read - almost incredible that people can be so cruel to each other.
Apr 02, 2011 James rated it really liked it
Wow. Interesting historical account.
Sep 21, 2013 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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Bruce Clark is the international security editor of The Economist, and notable as the author of Twice A Stranger: How Mass Expulsion Forged Modern Greece and Turkey.

He studied Philosophy at St John's College Cambridge. His writing for The Economist is usually focussed on religion or defence.

His book Twice A Stranger is a history of the population exchange between Greece and Turkey which took place
More about Bruce Clark...

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