Bureaucrats into merchants: tea, capitalism and the making of the Republican bourgeois

Date
2023-05-03
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Source Title
Middle East Policy
Print ISSN
0026-3206
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Routledge
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Pages
1 - 16
Language
en
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Abstract

This article uses the story of the Albayrak Tea Company and its founder Mustafa Nezih Albayrak as a prism to examine the formation of a class of Muslim merchants in early Republican Turkey. Mustafa Nezih Bey, an Ottoman bureaucrat who ventured into business in the late 1910s, became one of the most prominent tea merchants in the early Republic, paving the way for its mass consumption. Looking at the overlap between the late Ottoman bureaucracy and the Turkish bourgeoisie, this study aims to show a continuation in the economic field rather than a break between the Late Ottoman Empire and Early Republican Turkey. The making of the Republican merchant elite was a complex process that involved not only state policies and long legacies of merchant activity from the Ottoman era but transformations in education and mass media in the aftermath of the 1908 Revolution.

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Published Version (Please cite this version)