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Özyeğin Forum on Modern Turkey

Beyond the Siege: Cultural Traffic between Austrians and Turks in the 20th Century


April 7, 2016
4:15pm - 6:00pm
Hoffmann Room, Busch Hall
April 7, 2016
4:15pm - 6:00pm
Hoffmann Room, Busch Hall

The 1683 Ottoman siege of Vienna has had a long and malleable cultural afterlife. Central Europeans have 're-written' the siege story in modern times to support Habsburg patriotism, Austrian republicanism, Polish nationalism of the nineteenth century, German nationalism of the twentieth, and post-1960 scares about Muslim immigration. This talk takes up one unexpected chapter in the story: In the 1920s, Turkey became a desired destination for unemployed Austrians. In job seekers’ accounts of their dreams and travails in “the Orient” we find a surprising reversal of the Gastarbeiter phenomenon.

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