As the borders of the Ottoman Empire crumbled throughout the latter half of the nineteenth century, unprecedented amounts of foreign capital poured in from investors who were eager to capitalize on its sparsely regulated industries. Yet the abundance of literature concerned with the Empire's tumultuous financial landscape has done little to examine the role of foreign direct investment within the country's ultimate attempt to modernize. Economist V. Necla Geyikdagi sheds light on the motives, means and policies which shaped foreign direct investment (FDI) in the Ottoman Empire. In addition to providing a general overview of the Empire's successive financial crises throughout the nineteenth century, she looks at the Ottoman Public Debt Administration which served as the guiding authority for foreign investment entering the country. The book weighs political motivation against economic incentive in an in-depth look at the trade practices and foreign policies of the major capital exporting countries. Delving into the tangled network of investors, foreign representatives and government officials, Geyikdagi indentifies the key players in each sector of the Ottoman economy. As investors channelled millions into the Empire's evolving infrastructure, FDI emerged as a complementary extension of international trade relations. From the railways to mining and manufacturing, Geyikdagi uncovers the hidden motives and political ambitions of commercial foreign entities. Drawing from political speeches, personal journals and popular publications, the socio-economic implications of FDI across the Empire's heterogeneous population are explored. In hopes of attracting much needed capital to finance modernization, the Tanzimat government's sweeping free trade reforms provoked widespread protest from Turkish intellectuals, military officers and religious scholars who expressed concern over the droves of foreign investors who flocked to the country's largely untapped wealth of natural resources. A synthesis of historical, economic and political analysis, 'Foreign Investment in the Ottoman Empire' offers an immensely valuable new perspective on the impact of FDI within the ailing Empire, and represents a significant contribution to Ottoman History more widely.
Foreign Investment in the Ottoman Empire
International Trade and Relations 1854-1914