A Communist Center in Thessaloniki at the Junction of Mediterranean and Post-Ottoman Spaces


  • Burak Sayım The Graduate Institute, Geneva




communist, sailor, Mediterranean, post-Ottoman, Thessaloniki


This paper investigates a communist plan in the 1920s to establish a Middle Eastern center in the port city of Thessaloniki. To explain this counterintuitive choice, the paper situates Thessaloniki within two radical spaces. First, it shows the importance of post-Ottoman radical networks in making Thessaloniki a critical point of liaison in the 1920s. Second, it discusses the radical connections across the Mediterranean and the agency of revolutionary sailors in establishing these linkages.

Author Biography

Burak Sayım, The Graduate Institute, Geneva

Burak Sayım is a PhD candidate in the International History Department of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, and an incoming postdoctoral fellow at the New York University Abu Dhabi. His dissertation project, “Transnational Communist Networks in the Post–WWI Middle East: Anti-Colonialism, Internationalism and Itinerant Militancy,” focuses on communist militancy in the Middle East between 1919 and 1928. His work has appeared in Itinerario: Journal of Imperial and Global Interactions and the Journal of Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association.


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