MEMORY, HERITAGE AND ETHNICITY

in Ethnologia Europaea
Author:
Magdalena Elchinova New Bulgarian University in Sofia melchinova@hotmail.com

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The community of Istanbul-based Orthodox Bulgarians traces its origins as far back as the end of the eighteenth century. With the passage of time, it has decreased in number and changed its composition, but its members preser ved a strong feeling of Bulgarian ethnic belonging. The article discusses the transformations of their ethnicity in a challenging historical context. How is ethnicity sustained at the margins of two nation states? How did the restrictive politics of the Turkish Republic towards non-Muslim minorities affect the Bulgarian Orthodox community in Istanbul? W hat is the role of religion and material heritage in the identity formation of the community at focus? These and related questions are discussed in the article.

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