Turkish Region

Turkish Region

Culture and Civilization on the East Black Sea Coast

Ildiko Beller-Hann, Chris Hann

Examines contemporary identities in a region of Turkey's eastern Black Sea coast.
Based on fieldwork carried out between 1983 and 1999, this is an exploration of contemporary social identities in a little-known region of Turkey's eastern Black Sea coast abutting the border with the Republic of Georgia.
Regional developments have included the promotion of tea as a cash crop, disappointments in this market, and the opening of a border crossing to Georgia shortly before the collapse of the Soviet Union. These are analysed in the context of more general changes in Turkish civil society and widespread doubts about the continued viability of the secular institutions of Ataturk's republic.

Series Editors: Wendy James & N.J. Allen

Keywords: World Anthropology,


Beller-Hann and Hann have supplied an inestimable service to scholarship by researching and publishing a major work centred on the Black Sea coast. At its heat, just as the title Turkish Region implies, this is a description of the successful incorporation of a once brutally remote, often mountainous region into the national and world system. It is also, however, the most sustained, depiction of the Laz, a large indigenous minority, and the region that they inhabit that has yet appeared...In organisation, this seamlessly jointly-authored volume is divided into general chapters respectively entitled State, Market, Civil Society, Patriarchy, Marriage, Islam, and Ethnicity. As these general headings imply, they can be read partly as individual essays, and partly as a continuous theoretical argument with a specific geographic focus...Having read the book through as a whole, I couldn't help concluding that the region is remarkable precisely for what the title implies: a Turkish region, not one that is particularly Laz, or wrought with separatist movements...The work beautifully captures therefore what might on the one hand be regarded as a triumphant success for the forces of nationalism, from another point of view as a sad loss of regional divergence and, like all good books, raises supremely important questions without presuming to offer easy answers.- David Shankland in SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY

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