"A very important book that fills a significant lacuna in our field. It is the product of meticulous labor in the archives and contains a great deal of previously unknown information."—Taner Akçam, Director of Armenian Genocide Research Program, UCLA
"In her timely and meticulously researched book, Yılmaz demonstrates how the evolving modern state used the passport to extend control over its citizens. Using the Ottoman Empire as a case study firmly situated within wider international developments and collaborations, she historicizes governmental anxieties about migrants and political activists which seem very familiar in present times."—Ulrike Freitag, Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient
"Security concerns caused by transnational terrorism and uncontrolled migration are not just features of our time. In this original and innovative study, Yilmaz shows that over a century ago the policies of the Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid were grounded in similar fears, and a desire to control the movement of people. That makes it highly relevant for a contemporary readership."—Erik-jan Zurcher, Leiden University
In Ottoman Passports, İlkay Yılmaz reconsiders the history of two political issues, the Armenian and Macedonian questions, approaching both through the lens of mobility restrictions during the late Ottoman Empire from 1876 to 1908. Yılmaz investigates how Ottoman security perceptions and travel regulations were directly linked to transnational security regimes battling against anarchism. The Hamidian government targeted “internal threats” to the regime with security policies that created new categories of suspects benefiting from the concepts of vagrant, conspirator, and anarchist. Yılmaz explores how mobility restrictions and the use of passports became critical to targeting groups including Armenians, Bulgarians, seasonal and foreign workers, and revolutionaries. Taking up these new policies on surveillance, mobility, and control, Ottoman Passports offers a timely look at the origins of contemporary immigration debates and the historical development of discrimination, terrorism, and counterterrorism.
İlkay Yılmaz is a DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) funded research associate at Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut at Freie Universität Berlin. Her articles have appeared in several publications, including the Journal of Historical Sociology, Middle Eastern Studies, and the Journal of Ottoman and Turkish Studies.
6 x 9, 352 pages, 3 black and white illustrations