24 Nov 2015 5:00pm - 6:30pm SG1, Alison Richard Building (Sidgwick Site), Cambridge


Conspiracy Theories about Jews in the Ottoman Empire and Turkey

Professor Marc Baer (Professor of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science)



As seen in the book covers that make up this photo montage, Ergün Poyraz has written a string of best-selling antisemitic books in Turkey. Why have secularists such as Poyraz written conspiracy theories in the past decade and why are they so popular? What is the relation between the books they have written and those published by Islamists and extreme rightists? Can secular nationalists’ conversion to antisemitism have something to do with their losing power to the Islamists? In order to answer these questions, this presentation analyzes the antisemitic notions central to these conspiracy claims, traces their first emergence to the late Ottoman Empire, and follows the thread of antisemitic opinion from Islamists and extreme rightists in the twentieth century to leftists and secularists in the twenty-first. In so doing, it offers a comprehensive and original history of antisemitism in Turkey. 

Marc David Baer is Professor of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is the author ofHonored by the Glory of Islam: Conversion and Conquest in Ottoman Europe (Oxford University Press, 2008), which received the Middle East Studies Association’s Albert Hourani Book Award. He is also the author of The Dönme: Jewish Converts, Muslim Revolutionaries, and Secular Turks (Stanford University Press, 2010). The recipient of the Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship, Baer is currently researching the interconnected histories of Jews and Muslims in Germany. Recent outcomes of this research include “Turk and Jew in Berlin: The First Turkish Migration to Berlin and the Shoah” inComparative Studies in Society & History (April 2013) and “Muslim Encounters with Nazism and the Holocaust: The Ahmadi of Berlin and Jewish Convert to Islam Hugo Marcus” in The American Historical Review (February 2015).


Open to all. No registration required.

This event will be followed by a wine reception. 

This is part of a series of public talks from the Leverhulme-funded project Conspiracy and Democracy. More information at http://www.conspiracyanddemocracy.org

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