The island of Crete under Ottoman rule in the nineteenth century saw successive revolts from its majority Christian population, who were set on union with the newly-independent Greece. This book offers an original perspective on the social, political and ideological transformation of Ottoman Crete within the nationalist context of the late nineteenth century. It focuses on the Cretan revolts of 1896 and 1897, and examines the establishment of the autonomous Cretan State and the withdrawal of Ottoman troops from the island in 1898. Based on Ottoman, British and American archival sources, the author demonstrates that, contrary to the standard view that the uprisings were merely an expression of discontent at Ottoman rule, Cretan Christians in fact aimed to radically change the socio-economic and political structure of Cretan society and to actually overthrow and expel the Ottoman administration. This dynamic transformation is explored within the wider context of the continuous negotiations and conflicts in the Eastern Mediterranean region - as a place where Christianity, Islam, ancin regimes and nation-states had interacted and intersected throughout human history. With detailed analyses of the Cretan revolts of 1896 and 1897, and a fresh look at the establishment of the autonomous government which led to the withdrawal of the Ottoman troops from the island, this book provides a deeper understanding of the Cretan experience, and of the wider politics of the Eastern Mediterranean, in the late nineteenth century.
Transformation of Ottoman Crete, The
Revolts, Politics and Identity in the Late Nineteenth Century