Documentary film “Croatians on the Bosphorus” (Hrvati na Bosporu)

The first Croatians in Istanbul, the capital of the Ottoman Empire, were old Ragusans. They came initially as diplomatic representatives of the Republic of Ragusa, which was a vassal of the sultan. Then, Ragusan merchants, attracted by the lucrative trade with the Levant, settled in the city on the Bosphorus in great numbers.

In the 19th century the Republic of Ragusa came to an end. Then, however, with the opening of the Ottoman Empire toward the world economy, new waves of Dalmatians began to arrive in Istanbul in search of work. Some Croatian immigrants achieved enviable careers and success in various fields, including typography, the tobacco industry, cartography, health and social care, as well as pastoral care for the Catholics of Istanbul. During the 20th century, the number of Croatians in Istanbul started to decline. Today, in this Eastern Mediterranean megapolis half a dozen Croatian families remain.

Interviews: Prof. Dr. İlber Ortayli (Istanbul), Dr. Philip Mansel (London), Ivan Lovrenovic (Sarajevo), Prof. Dr. Ivo Banac (Zagreb)

Director: Srdan Segaric
Writers: Vjeran Kursar and Vesna Miovic
Cinematographer: Karmelo Kursar
Film editing: Zoltan Wagner
Production: Croatian Television, 2011
Runtime: 54 minutes

Click for the details of another documentary with an Ottoman connection done by this team.

An old map of the geography of Constantinople/Istanbul.
The author and historian Dr. Philip Mansel.
A sheet showing the work of the celebrated Croatian Levantine cartographer, Jacques Pervititch.
The author and historian, Prof İlber Oltaylı.
The ancient St. Peter and St. Paul Catholic Church in Galata, Istanbul.