Filling in the ‘floating gaps’ in the history of the Greek Orthodox community of Ayvalık: A study in cultural memory | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 12, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1740-8296
  • E-ISSN: 2040-0918



During the second half of the eighteenth century there was a significant increase in the Greek Orthodox Christian population in the region of the western coast of Asia Minor, which was accompanied by the establishment of new settlements and the growth of existing ones, as Ayvalık. In the following article we will study both the formation of this city’s ‘tradition of origin’ and its various transformations in the course of time. Ayvalık’s cultural memory was neither fixed nor unified since members of subsequent generations, as well as members of different sociocultural groups, often tended to fill the emerging ‘floating gaps’ according to their, sometimes, competing political agendas. In doing so, they formed nostalgic narratives by making use of certain elements of local and national history, myths and legends, folk tradition, religion and culture in order to mobilize groups and form identities.


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