The analysis will focus on the factories and mills built in the late nineteenth century in the islands of Crete and Mytilini (in Greece) and the areas of Ayvalık, Edremit, and Izmir, in Turkey. The historical examination of these “factories” aims to go beyond the World-Systems theory that focuses on the industrial decline in this region with the advent of European industrial products. Instead, this research proposes to evaluate the modalities and limits of incorporation into the world economy by concentrating on the production of olive oil in terms of adaptability, complementarity, and rivalry within the economic structure of the period. The interdisciplinary approach at the crossroads of history, economy, and technology will open the way for a more accurate evaluation of the role of industrial and technological developments in the economic life of these regions and their influence on the social life. The comparative dimension integrating different olive oil producing regions of the Eastern Mediterranean will make possible an evaluation of the positions of these regions within the world economic system and the Ottoman central government’s policies to control the economy of these regions. Thus, by focusing on the olive oil production in Eastern Mediterranean, the proposed study aims to bring an original contribution by highlighting the growing role of the inner dynamics of the Eastern Mediterranean in economic transformation.
Dilek Akyalçın Kaya
Dilek Akyalçın Kaya obtained her PhD degree in 2013 with a thesis entitled “The Salonican Sabbateans (1845-1912): plural individuals in an urban society in transition” at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. Her research focuses on urban as well as rural history in the eastern Mediterranean in modern times. She studies more particularly the trajectories of individuals who were the driving force of the economic and social transformations of port cities. She wrote, together with Bilgi Arif Kenber, a book titled Bir Defterin Işığında Selanikli Mustafa Arif Efendi (1852-1941) ve Ailesi (İstanbul: Libra, 2018). She curated an exhibition entitled Oh My Sister! Salonica-Smyrna (1880-1912): Regional Centers, Global Port Cities, 4 October-30 November 2019 (Izmir Havagazı Fabrikası). Recently, she got HORIZON TMA MSCA post-doctoral fellowship with her project entitled At the Crossroads of History, Industry, and Technology: Olive Oil Production in the Eastern Mediterranean in the Late Nineteenth Century (1839-1914) and started to work as researcher at IMS-FORTH in Rethymno-Crete.