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Extraterritorial DreamsEuropean Citizenship, Sephardi Jews, and the Ottoman Twentieth Century$
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Sarah Abrevaya Stein

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226368191

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226368368.001.0001

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Citizens of a Fictional Nation

Citizens of a Fictional Nation

(p.73) Chapter 3 Citizens of a Fictional Nation
Extraterritorial Dreams

Sarah Abrevaya Stein

University of Chicago Press

This chapter rethinks the First World War as a richly complex legal terrain, exploring the history of a novel form of protection created in France during the First World War and extended to seven thousand Ottoman-born Jewish émigrés. In branding these men, women, and children protected “foreigners of Jewish nationality from the Levant,” the French Foreign Ministry cannily borrowed a category born of the early modern empire state (the protégé), legally codified an amorphous, geo-cultural entity (the Levant), and strategically repackaged an element of Ottoman Foreign Policy (the Capitulations regime) to craft wartime policy at home. The policy (and a cognate policy in England) allowed émigré Ottoman Jews to avoid surveillance, deportation, or internment as enemy aliens, and to acquire the passports, residency permits, and papers ever more indispensible to the modern world; it also allowed France and England to sharpen their colonial ambitions in the eastern Mediterranean. Arguing that citizenship existed on a spectrum for many Jews born in the Ottoman Empire, this chapter operates at the intersection of various fields, including Jewish, British, French, and Ottoman histories, and contributes to the study of the legal ambiguities unleashed by the Great War.

Keywords:   First World War, emigration, immigration, citizenship, legal status of minorities, classification, England, friendly aliens, enemy aliens, internment

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