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Book: Archaeology, Politics and Islamicate Cultural Heritage in Europe

Chapter: 9. The Material Past of the Other: The Ottoman Architectural Heritage of Greek Macedonia

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.36078


The Ottoman empire left a deep imprint in the social, cultural, economic and political life of the Balkan peninsula. The Balkan states, however, never fully accepted the Ottoman heritage as their own. De-Ottomanization became an essential factor of nation and country building in the Balkans. An integral part of this process was the destruction of Ottoman architecture. Greek Macedonia ceased to be part of the Ottoman Empire and was incorporated into the Greek state in 1912-13. In Greek Macedonia a policy of deOttomanization was also implemented. This article concerns the management of the Ottoman/Islamic architectural heritage in the region from its annexation to the Greek state, to the present. I have attempted to describe how the Ottoman monuments were used by public and private agents and if they were destroyed or preserved. Regarding those preserved I am discussing their uses in the past and their present condition. During one century of Greek rule the greatest part of the Ottoman architectural heritage was destroyed. After the removal of the Ottoman buildings the urban and rural landscapes of the area were altered, material evidence of otherness were erased and Macedonia was finally Hellenized.

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