Levantine Heritage
The story of a community
 
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This site is intended to provide a wide range of information about the Levantine community, serve as a discussion forum, and provide a meeting point for descendants.

For our purposes the term “Levantines” designates primarily those Europeans and Americans who settled in the Levant - a region generally conterminous with the Ottoman Empire though a precise definition may be subject to debate - from the early 17th century until 1923. It also includes certain members, sometimes whole families, of non-Turkish groups of Ottoman subjects - Greeks, Armenians, Persians - drawn into the Levantine orbit by virtue of business and professional contacts with the expatriates.

The material presented here thus far happens to refer predominantly to the British presence in the Smyrna (Izmir) area, but information about other national groups and parts of the Levant will be warmly welcomed. Indeed it is hoped that a more complete picture will emerge as such information comes in.

The web site not only brings together information from various written sources and personal recollections, but aims to serve as an open platform for discussion and exchange of views on a still under-researched subject. The site is still under construction and the content and style of presentation will be determined and amended in accordance with the feedback we receive from the readership. This can be e-mailed to us at and we will also act as the intermediary for connecting you with other descendants. More information on our grouping:
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First Levantine Conference in Istanbul, 3-5 November 2014: Call for Papers

Invitation to submit proposals, papers, funding and networking for our First Levantine Conference in Istanbul, ‘The Levantines: Communities, Commerce and Diplomacy’, to be held in Istanbul on 3-5 November 2014 (with optional sightseeing on 6 November), 2014 - flyer - Türkçe bilgi - en Français. Attendance at the conference will be free of charge, though prior registration is essential. Some of the optional events associated with the conference will have attendance fees, and these will be confirmed as soon as possible. Your ideas and support are appreciated, please e-mail us at .

In addition, Call for papers for the Second Levantine Symposium in Izmir, Friday 31 October, 2014 with an optional visit to Chios on 2-3 November - flyer -

To view comments, photos and videos of the First Levantine Symposium in Izmir held on 3-8 November 2010, please click here:

E-mail administrator to obtain copies of aid documents: ‘How to research archive in a Levantine context’ and ‘Template of Questions for Levantine Oral Interviews’ (also in Italian).
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Announcing the start of the ‘Veteran Levantines Speak’ project headed by Görkem Daşkan, click video to learn. Please get in touch with us if you can assist in any way. For transcript of the interview, click here:- for further information, click here:
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Would you or your business be interested in sponsoring one of our researchers on the ground or hiring them for personal family research - details:
Announcing the start of the ‘Alsancak House Ownership Research Project’ managed by Görkem Daşkan, click video for first interview sample. Please get in touch with us if you can assist in any way - for further information, click here:
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If you would like to contribute to the commitee working for the repair and upkeep of the Christian cemeteries of Izmir, click for details:
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Announcing the recent publication of the ‘Traditional Recipes of the Levantine Cuisine’ in English and Turkish, that can now be purchased, through contacting the administrator.
Upcoming lectures by the author of ‘Levant’ - buy hardback on ebay & signed paperbook of ‘Sultans in Splendour’ -, Philip Mansel - 13 November 2014, 4pm, Stevenson Lecture Theatre, British Museum, London, ‘Cities of the Levant: the Past for the Future?’ - flyer - listen to an interview of Philip Mansel on the BBC programme ‘Excess Baggage’, January 2011.
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If you wish to contribute to the ongoing restoration work at St. Mary Magdalene Church and Anglican Cemetery in Bornova, click here for details: & updated information:
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New MSc educational programme that combines Middle Eastern and Diaspora studies in Edinburgh, Scotland, the first of its kind concentrating on minorities of the Levant - pdf details:
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Announcing the launch of our registered charity foundation arm, ‘The Levantine Heritage Foundation’ in December 2011, the web site can now accept membership and donation payments. Your generosity will ensure the continuation of research in the field.
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Film release coming soon, trailer of ‘Hello Anatolia’ by Valantis Stamelos: the journey of a young Greek-American who returns to the land of his ancestors... Izmir, Turkey - trailer - audio interview - facebook page:
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The first book to be published, the result of the group collaboration around this site: A Lexicon Of Smyrneika - İzmir Rumcasi Sözlüğü - Alex Baltazzi, George Galdies, George Poulimenos - Tarih Vakfı Yurt Yayınları / Araştırma - İnceleme Dizisi - 2012 - cover
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Information on the Claire Arkas painting exhibition in Ankara, 9 April 2014 - 10 May 2014 in the Bilkent University Library Art Gallery.
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Images site map Presented, compiled and site designed by Craig Encer

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