Cultural Analysis, Volume 10, 2011
Globalization in the life of small island towns: Changes for better or worse? The case of the island of Kos (Greece)
Globalization describes the process by which regional economies, societies and cultures have become integrated through communication, transportation and trade. The term is most closely associated with economic globalization: the integration of national economies into the international economy through trade, foreign direct investment, capital flows, migration, the spread of technology and military presence (Bhagwati, 2004). According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word “globalization” was first employed in a publication entitled Towards New Education in 1930, to denote a holistic view of human experience in education. However, it was only in the 1960s that the term began to be widely used by economists and other social scientists. Since its inception the term has inspired numerous competing definitions and interpretations. Most of them acknowledge the greater movement of people, goods, capital and ideas due to increased economic integration which in turn is propelled by increased trade and investment. Tom G. Palmer defines globalization as “the diminution of state- enforced restrictions on exchanges across borders and the increasingly integrated and complex global system of production and exchange that has emerged as a result”.1 Thomas L. Friedman argues that globalized trade, outsourcing, supply- chaining, and political forces have changed the world permanently, for both better and worse. He also argues that the pace of globalization is quickening and will continue to have a growing impact on business organization and practice (2008, 49).
Globalization and international tourism are interconnected processes. Tourism in the small island context involves people who come from other countries to enjoy the special atmosphere of living on an island. Usually, the tourists who come to the islands have been attracted by the image of the island environment: the sun and the sea, white sandy beaches and waving palm trees, lush vegetation and friendly natives. Tourism thus depends for its success on the quality of environment, and good tourist development requires protection and even improvement of the environment.
Economically, tourism can create jobs for local people and bring money. However, many tourists like the comfort they are used to at home, and increasingly, import a large part of their requirements, so that much of the money may leave the country again to pay for these imports. Moreover, if the hotels have been financed by foreign investors, they want to export their profits. The social impacts may also be important. Tourists often come from other societies with different values and lifestyles, and because they come seeking pleasure, they may spend large amounts of money and behave in ways that they themselves would not accept at home. Out of ignorance or carelessness, they may fail to respect local customs and moral values. Overall, tourism tends to be a mixed blessing in its benefits and impacts on the island environment. If it is allowed to grow unplanned, it can have serious social and environmental repercussions while providing little real economic benefit. If developed with care, it can bring advantages to small island communities with few other resources (Dahl, 1982).
For Western and Northern Europeans the Mediterranean region has for a long time had a special aura of relaxed and restful atmosphere. In this case, it is similar to the Soviet Union, where the idea of rest and vacation was closely linked with the Black Sea. The local populations of both the Mediterranean and the Crimean and Caucasian coasts to a large extent live off tourism, yet they tend to dislike and despise holiday- makers.2
Likewise, the opening of borders following the political changes in Europe since 1990 has been often accompanied by opposing processes of closure at the level of the local society. Border regions are particularly interesting places for the observation of such phenomena as has been demonstrated by recent research (Green, 2005; Sutton, 1998). The aim of this essay is to reflect on the effects of globalization, international tourism and migration on the island of Kos. Particular attention will be paid to the integration of “foreigners” and to the coexistence of different ethnic groups in the context of an island community in contemporary Greece.3
The case of the island of Kos
Kos is one of the main islands of the Dodecanese and one of the most important islands from an administrative, demographic and economic point of view. Because of its geopolitical location, its history and the diversity of cultural and religious influences across time, this island group is a particularly interesting place for fieldwork. In the Middle Ages, the Dodecanese belonged to the Knights of Saint John (1309-1522) and from 1522 to the Ottoman Empire. In 1912, after a war between the Ottoman Empire and Italy, the Dodecanese were subjected to Italian administration (1912-1943). During World War II, it was occupied by Germany and then placed under British control. It is the last region incorporated into the Greek State in 1947.
There are substantial differences in the manner these islands have developed in the course of the twentieth century. The Italians undertook important infrastructure work on the main islands, Rhodes and Kos. They created a naval base and settled 14 000 colonists in Leros. Yet, they did little to retain the inhabitants of Kalymnos, Symi and Kastellorizo after phohibiting sponge fishing on the Libyan coast and when cultivation of land in Asia Minor, where “many had their fields” was no longer possible. As a consequence, many inhabitants, in particular from these islands, emigrated overseas. Others, coming from smaller islands, find seasonal work in Kos and Rhodes (Kolodny, 2004).
Since the 1970s Rhodes and Kos have mainly followed a development pattern meeting the demands of the tourism sector. Each island has an international airport and both were among the first international charter flight destinations in Greece. The other islands have followed a different development pattern in the field of tourism. Patmos is mainly known as a place for pilgrimage for Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholics, whereas Kalymnos, the only island where sponge fishing is still practiced, has gained international fame as a favorite meeting place for rock climbers.
The temple of Asklipeio on the island of Kos
Kos is also known as the spiritual home of Hippocrates (460-370 B.C.), considered to be the greatest physician of antiquity. The ancient sanctuary of Asklipeion and a plane tree are consecrated to his memory. There are Roman and Greek ruins, as well as Latin, Byzantine and Ottoman monuments there. The remains of an old synagogue and the Jewish cemetery remind us of the local Jewish community of the past.
Rich and culturally diverse history of Kos is reflected not only in its monuments but also in its population. Today, the great majority are Greek Orthodox but there is also a Muslim population of ethnic Turks, as well as a small number of Roman Catholics and Lutherans. Since the 1980s Kos has been a home for large numbers of foreign residents, as well as economic migrants and refugees. The former are mainly Western and Northern Europeans, whereas the latter mainly come from the Balkans, Eastern Europe, South-East Asia and the Middle East.
Moreover, Kos is an island that has water, an important resource lacking on many Greek islands. All in all, the island covers an area of 295 square kilometers and has a population of approximately 30,000 inhabitants. The principal socio-professional activities of the population are tourism and agriculture; a smaller number of residents are employed in the public sector.
The central square in the town of Kos
A brief overview of tourism development in KosThe first tourist groups arrived in Kos in the 1970s. The 1980s saw the opening of the first larger hotels. In the 1980s, the socialist government of Andreas Papandreou granted long-term loans to returning ethnic Greeks who wanted to construct hotels or start their own businesses. A small number of Greeks from Kos who had migrated to Australia in the 1960s repatriated to Greece taking advantage of this opportunity. In the early 1990s, Kos became an important venue for Scandinavian and British youth and gained fame as a party island. The first large hotels with more than 200 rooms were constructed in the 1990s. These were “all inclusive” resort hotels, which meant that a minimum three meals a day, soft drinks, most alcoholic drinks and possibly other services are included in the price. Many also offer sports and other activities. Thus a new concept of tourism was born.4
Some of the owners of the all-inclusive hotels in Kos are native Greeks, however, the large chains are usually foreign owned. This means that the money does not stay on the island. According to the representatives of the tourism sector, the majority of clients who stay in these hotels come from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Many spend their holidays in the hotel compound – these are usually located on the seashore at some distance from the town of Kos – and do not even visit the island. Some others take pleasure in spending time in a tavern.
Tourists’ geographic choices follow a distinct pattern according to nationality. Kardemena, Kefalos and Kamari on the southern and eastern coasts are the favorite tourist villages of the British. There are numerous British pubs and food places with a “British” menu. On the western coast, Tigaki, Marmari and Mastichari are the villages of choice among the Germans and the Austrians. Tourists from the Nordic countries usually spend their holidays in the town of Kos.
In the spring and fall, most tourists are older people and families. July is the preferred holiday month of young people aged 20-30 and August of the Greeks. Traditionally tourists in Kos come from Germany, Britain, Holland and the Nordic countries. The aficionados come back every year, even twice a year. There are tourists who have visited Kos regularly for more than 20 years. Over the years, there have been changes, especially as far as the countries of origin and the type of stay of the holidaymakers are concerned. As mentioned earlier, the all-inclusive hotels are gaining predominance. Moreover, there has been a decrease in the number of Nordic tourists. On the other hand, new groups have found their way to the island, mainly from Croatia, the Czech Republic, Russia, Italy, France and Turkey. From the local perspective, the Russians and the Turks are particularly welcome tourists.
The duration of the season has also changed. In the past, it started in April and lasted until the end of October. Today, it starts in May and ends in September. There have also been other changes, for example in the practice of holiday romance. In the past, young girls, most of whom were Western and Northern Europeans, were often accompanied by local men. The latter saw the girls off to the airport (usually on a motorbike) and waited for their return to the island. Today, this is no longer the case. People are well traveled and even villagers have seen the world, so they are less attracted by newcomers than in the past. A recent documentary, The colossi of love by Maria Koufopoulou depicts the practice of kamaki5 in Rhodes during the golden years of mass tourism.
One of my interlocutors, a historian who works in the local archives of a neighboring island, recalls this period with nostalgia. In the 1980s, Greek society and the island society in particular were still rather conservative. The arrival of Nordic girls in Kos and Rhodes in the 1980s was a “social phenomenon”.
Social phenomena, according to John Markey, are considered as including all behavior which influences or is influenced by organisms sufficiently alive to respond to one another (Markey, 1925-1926, 733). Agneta, a Swedish woman who lives in Kos with her husband and children since the early 1980s told me about her experience. She first came to Kos in 1979 as a tourist. According to her, at that time one did not see Greek women.
The first mixed marriages between foreign women and Greek men in Kos were concluded in the 1980s. In most cases, these were between Greek Orthodox men and foreign Catholic or Lutheran women. Mixed marriages between Greek Muslim men and foreign women were relatively few. Many couples would share houses with the husband’s parents for years before getting married. It was not easy to get accepted because many Greek families were “afraid” of foreign brides. In particular, they feared they would take the children and leave. Such cases have been observed in mixed marriages between Greek men and Swedish women. Some foreign women converted to Greek Orthodoxy. Others concluded a civil marriage or were wedded in the bride’s country of origin.
Children of mixed marriages between foreign women and Greek Orthodox men are usually baptized as Orthodox. This is easily explained by the hegemonic position of the Orthodox Church in Greek society. Likewise, as a rule, male children of Muslim fathers are circumcised. In the choice of the name, the prevailing Greek tradition is usually followed.
In the 1990s, with the increasing number of children born out of mixed marriages, the transmission of the mother tongue to children became an issue. Today, the Finns, the Scandinavians, the Germans, the British and the Dutch have their own associations and Sunday schools where language education for school children is provided in the mother tongue. The Municipality of the town of Kos has provided the associations with a building, free of charge. After completing the compulsory school education, children tend to continue their studies in Greece or in the mother’s country of origin.
Political changes in Europe since 1990 and the effects of globalization
Political changes that occurred in Europe in the 1990s led to the arrival of large numbers of migrants from the Balkans, South-East Asia and the Middle East, causing further changes in the everyday life in Kos and the neighbouring islands. The estimated number of foreign migrants in Kos is 3,000, which makes 10% of the total population of the island and is consistent with the situation nationwide. Over the last decades, Greece formerly better known as a country exporting migrants and refugees turned into an immigrant receiving country. Today, it has one of the highest number of immigrants per inhabitant in Europe. This means that Greece has been confronted with political, economic and social challenges but also with cultural otherness: old forms have been politicized and new forms have taken shape in Greek space (Papataxiarchis, 2005).
The situation of foreign migrants varies from one case to another; as a rule, the majority of migrants from Eastern Europe are females while males prevail among migrants from South-East Asia. Albanians and Bulgarians often bring families along. In addition to “regular” migrants, there are migrants whose legal situation in the country is “irregular”; among the latter some are refugees or asylum seekers. The geographical position of Kos and the other Aegean islands, – Rhodes, Leros, Patmos, Lesbos and Samos – make them a passageway for clandestine migration from the Turkish shores. The majority are Iraqis, Afghans, Iranians, Somali and Pakistani. Both genders are represented; there are also families and newborn babies. As a rule, the Iraqis and the Afghans stay on the island only as long as it takes to obtain a medical certificate and a certificate that grants them the status of asylum seekers. Then they continue their journey to Athens, Patras and other destinations in Europe.
On the whole, the arrival of migrants and new groups is not a new phenomenon in Kos. In the late 19th century, Kos received a number of Greek-speaking Muslims from Crete. In the early 20th century, it saw the arrival of Greeks from Asia Minor. Residents of other islands also moved to Kos attracted by the employment possibilities offered by the Italians. More recently, during the expansion of the tourism sector, a significant number of Greeks from neighboring islands, Kalymnos, Pserimos, as well as from central and northern Greece, came to work on the island.
Ironically, the arrival of large numbers of migrants from the Balkans, Asia and the Middle East – who do the “worst” jobs – has altered the old hierarchy of social and ethnic groups present on the island. “With the arrival of the East-Europeans, our social status has degraded as well,” says one of my Finnish interlocutors who has lived in Kos since 1981.
The change in social hierarchies is particularly interesting as far as the perception of the old Muslim community is concerned. Until recently, the latter were largely considered to be people of a “lower God”. According to my foreign-born interlocutors,“Everybody had his rifle ready and was ready to shoot”, in particular, after the events of Imia (Kardak in Turkish) in 1996. Since 1999 the situation has been changing. This should be seen as a consequence of the political changes in Europe, pressure from European institutions6 and the recent rapprochement between Greece and Turkey and more generally between EU and Turkey.
The Ibrahim Defterdar mosque in the central sqaure in the town of Kos
Ethnic Turks in Kos: from Ottoman subjects to Greek citizens
Ethnic Turks or the “Muslims”, according to the official Greek terminology, are part of a historic minority present in Rhodes and Kos since 1522, as subjects of the Ottoman Empire.7 In the late 19th century, significant numbers of Muslim Turks from Crete settled on these islands (Savorianakis, 2000, 88). During the Italian administration, the Muslims were recognized as one of the three existing religious communities with the right to elect their own Councils. After the incorporation of the Dodecanese into the Greek State, the great majority automatically became Greek citizens. Although the Dodecanese Muslims were not recognized as a minority, because they were not deemed as a category falling under the protection of the Lausanne Treaty,8 special status was acknowledged for the waqfs9 and Turkish schools (Kurban, Tsitselikis, 2010, 7; Georgalidou, 2004).
The incorporation of the Dodecanese into the Greek State and the Cyprus conflict which took the form of a military confrontationin1974forcedlargenumbers of Muslims to leave their native islands and migrate to Turkey. In many cases migration was motivated by economic considerations. In connection with the Cyprus conflict, it was mainly a reaction to the discrimination that Muslims faced in Greece. Field research suggests that the 1960s and the 1970s were particularly difficult years for the Muslims, marked by sabotage of shops, fields and cattle. Discrimination in the fields of education and health service continued even later. Usually, those who left were deprived of their Greek citizenship and also of their property (Kaurinkoski, 2012).
Today, the estimated Muslim population in the Dodecanese is 5,000, with 3,000 to 3, 500 living in Rhodes, and 1,500 to 2,000 in Kos. In Kos, the Muslims mainly live in the town of Kos and in the village of Platani (or Gkerme-Kermentes). The latter is situated a few kilometers outside the town of Kos and is the last village on the way to the Archeological monument of Asklipeio, which is one of the most important tourist attractions on the island. The Turkish name of the village, Gkerme-Kermentes, most probably derives from the homonymic place of origin of its inhabitants whose ancestors settled there in the sixteenth century having migrated from the other side of the Aegean (Savorianakis, 2000, 58). Today, half of the population of Platani are Greek Orthodox and schools are mixed, although all the teachers are Greek Orthodox. Since the 1970s all pupils have attended Greek public schools, while the Turkish language is mainly used for purposes of oral communication within the communities.
Generally speaking, today the Muslims in Kos and Rhodes wear the same clothes,10 do the same jobs and bring their children to the same schools as their Greek Orthodox brethren. All in all, the Muslims constitute a young population. Young men are subject to compulsory military service in Greece. However, it seems they are not recruited to the Military Academy.11
Locally, the Muslims have a reputation of hard workers. Traditionally, many used to work in agriculture and cattle breeding. Today, the great majority are self-employed and work in agriculture and tourism. Other frequent occupations are mechanics, technicians, shop and restaurant keepers or specialists in the construction field. Some are employed in the public sector but hold low prestige positions. Among university graduates a few are employed in public administration or in education. Some others have opened their own businesses. Over the years, important changes have taken place in Greek society and polity, and entrance to Greek Universities has been facilitated by laws and quotas of positive discrimination. As a consequence, an increasing number of Muslims pursue their education in secondary schools in Greece and later in Greek Universities. In parallel, studying in Turkey is not incompatible with further career opportunities and a good quality of life in Greece. Religion remains a separating factor, and mixed marriages between Greek Muslims and Christians, Greek Orthodox in particular, remain rare. In the case of Muslim women, they are socially unacceptable.
In 2000, a local Muslim association was founded in Kos, called the Muslim Brotherhood of Kos. It is a cultural and educational association of ethnic Turks. The main issues on the agenda of the association are promotion of the institutionalization of the Turkish language and Islamic education in the context of the Greek public schools in Kos with a large number of Muslim pupils, as well as issues related to the management of the waqf foundation.12 Recent migrants from the Balkans, Middle East and South-East Asia do not have their own associations.
As far as the rather successful integration of the Muslims in Kos into the wider Greek society and economy is concerned, this can be partially explained by the economic development of the region and the effects of globalization which have benefited the entire population of these islands. However, what seems equally, if not more important is the fact that the Muslims in Kos pursue their education in Greek public schools together with the majority population. The public school is perceived here as an institution providing students with essential language skills in Greek and developing Greek national consciousness.
As regards neighborly relations, many Muslims in Kos emphasize that today they live like brothers with their Greek Orthodox co-islanders. Some others claim that “their best friends are Christians”. Their children go to school together, they invite each other to weddings and holiday celebrations. Official relations between the confessional groups are mutually evaluated as very good. In the end, it seems that relations between members of different confessional groups, people and individuals are characterized by a savoir-vivre where everybody knows his/her place (Kaurinkoski, 2012).
Globalization: changes for better or worse?
Globalization has brought inter aliatourism, migration and wealth to Kos. It has also brought technology, infrastructure and physical changes. As late as in the 1980s, during summer months telephone lines would collapse frequently due to overloading. With the advent of mobile phones and the internet, the communications problem has been resolved. At the same time, technology and globalization have brought uniformity.
Moreover, some feel that globalization has brought about “laziness”. Indeed, there has been a shift in the labor market. In the past, there were a number of small factories in Kos, and many people were employed in agriculture and fishing. Today, most of the factories have closed down, and few people work in agriculture and fishing perceived as hard work. “It is easier to open a supermarket or a mini-market.” Tourism has brought “easy money” to the island.
Moreover, globalization has intensified social stratification among the island people. The cost of living has risen, in particular after the introduction of the euro in 2001. ”In the past people would work five months and relax the rest of the year; today, this is no longer possible.” One of my interlocutors who arrived in Kos in 1982, recalls her first years on the island:
The change in the rhythm of life is also reflected on the associational level. In the past, the associations of foreigners organized lotteries, carnivals, bazaars, as well as celebration of Christmas and other holidays every year. Today, only the bazaar is left, its main aim being money raising for the children’s language education.
The central square in the village of Platani
While reflecting on various consequences of globalization, people often mention growing crime rate, insecurity and fear. Locally, these are often explained by the presence of large numbers of foreign migrants on the island, in particular of Albanians. Partially, this should be seen as a reflection of the image portrayed by the national Greek mass media throughout the 1990s and the following decade. It is also explained by numbers; 60% of migrants in Greece are Albanians (Baldwin-Edwards, 2004). However, there are also positive developments and signs of integration. School achievements of second- generation immigrants are often very good. Moreover, some migrants have bought plots of land and apartments on the island. In parallel, Albanians and Bulgarians also invest in their countries of origin. There are signs that Albanians are gradually becoming accepted by the host society; it is Muslim immigrants from the Middle East and South-East Asia that have become the “disturbing other” and “a cultural threat” to Greece (Tsitselikis, 2010, 243).
Since traditional tourism is on decline, local authorities in cooperation with representatives of the tourism industry began rebranding Kos in order to attract new groups of tourists to the island. As part of this process, bicycle roads have been constructed in the town of Kos and along the coast. In the summer months, various cultural events are organized to celebrate the history and the local cultures of the island. There are daily excursions to the neighboring islands and several ferry connections to Turkey. Today, despite the economic crisis that has been raging in Greece since 2008, the number of tourists in Kos is considered to be satisfactory. The trouble is they are reluctant to spend money.
In this context, the recent decision of many EU countries, including Greece,13 to allow Turkish citizens with Green passports (Yeşil Pasaport)14 to travel to EU countries without a visa is a positive step that facilitates border crossing between the two countries. In the summer time, Greek and Turkish excursion boats and private yachts are frequently seen in local harbors on both sides of the Aegean. There are some signs of new dynamics in border-crossing that are economically beneficial for both sides. As these examples show, globalization has also had an effect on people’s minds contributing to openness towards otherness. Coexistence of different ethnic groups, in particular of the ‘Greeks’ and the ‘Turks’, is much more harmonious than in the past.15 In this context, the current crisis, which is not exclusively economic as it also puts values to test, affects everybody and may contribute to greater social cohesion, at least on a local and regional level.
The deepening of the crisis that began in 2010 has triggered further changes in everyday life in Kos. What survival strategies are adopted to cope with the crisis? Among the local residents, many are property owners with fields and shops that they rent. An increasing number of plot owners have started cultivating land and growing their own vegetables for personal needs and for sale. In parallel, new agricultural techniques and biological processing methods are becoming popular. For example, there are people who are cultivating snails for export. In winter months many internal migrants and foreign nationals return to their home places or look for employment opportunities elsewhere. Return migration is becoming a common practice among Albanians employed in construction and among mixed couples with two homelands.
Globalization is widely known to widen the gap between the “rich” and the “poor” (countries). In the case of Kos we can also speak of the widening gap between the local and foreign populations. Notably, the situation is strikingly similar to that of Ancient Greece. In Ancient Athens, there was a clear distinction between the Greeks and the barbarians on the one hand, and between various groups of barbarians on the other.
1Tom G. Palmer. Globalization is Great! The Cato Institute, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Globalization, accessed November 24, 2011. [ Return to the article ]
2I wish to thank Dr. Larisa Fialkova and Dr. Maria Yelenevskaya for drawing my attention to this issue, in particular to the parallel between the images of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea resorts among the locals and holiday-makers. [ Return to the article ]
3My initial field research in Kos (October 2008) was enabled by a grant from the French School of Athens. Subsequent field research (September 2010, May 2011) was done in the framework of the BALKABAS project supported by the “Young Scholars” programme of the French National Research Agency since January 2009 (ANR-08- JCJC-0091-01). Any names of informants/ interlocutors quoted in the text are fictitious. [ Return to the article ]
4The all-inclusive model originated in the Club Med resorts which were founded by the Belgian Gerard Blitz. [ Return to the article ]
5The term kamaki literally means “harpoon” or “fish-spear”, but is colloquially used for “gigolo”. On kamaki in the Greek context see e.g., S. Zinovieff. Έλληνες άντρες και ξένες γυναίκες: το «καμάκι» σε μια επαρχιακαή πόλη». In E. Papataxiarchis, Th. Paradellis (eds.), Ταυτότητες και φύλο στη σύγχρονη Ελλάδα, Athens: Alexandreia, 1998, 3rd edition., 251- 276. [ Return to the article ]
6In 2009 a motion for a resolution on “the situation of the Turkish minority in Kos and Rhodes” was presented by Mr. Andreas Gross to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) (Doc.11904, 6 May 2009). In 2010, the PACE criticized “the recurrent invoking” of the “principle of reciprocity” by both Greece and Turkey and reminded that “first and foremost the countries in which the minorities live are responsible for their own citizens, including the members of the respective religious minorities”. Freedom of Religion and Other Human Rights for non- Muslim minorities in Turkey and for the Muslim Minority in Thrace (Eastern Greece), Resolution 1704, 2010, paragraphs 5 and 8, quoted in Kurban, Tsitselikis 2010, 8. [ Return to the article ]
7According to the Ottoman population census of 1884-1886, Kos had a population of 12,965, out of whom 10,449 were Christians, 2,439 Muslims and 67 Jews (Savorianakis 2000, 74). [ Return to the article ]
8The Lausanne Treaty sets the legal framework for minority protection in both states regarding “non-Muslims” in Turkey and Muslims in Greece. The Treaty does not enumerate the “non-Muslim” minorities in Turkey and the “Muslim” minorities in Greece. It grants legal protection to all non- Muslim communities in Turkey and all Muslim communities in Greece. In practice, Turkey has limited the protection of the treaty to Greek Orthodox, Armenian and Jewish communities. In Greece, likewise, Muslims of the Dodecanese islands have not been deemed as falling under the Lausanne protection system (Kurban, Tsitselikis 2010, 7). [ Return to the article ]
9The waqf is an organization in charge of the management and restoration of Muslim community property. The waqfs in Greece (in Thrace and in the Dodecanese) are regulated by special laws that are part of the broader minority protection measures designed for Thrace. In practice, the established laws have not always been implemented and the waqfs have often been mismanaged (Kaurinkoski 2012). [ Return to the article ]
10Atatürk’s reforms, in particular with regard to clothing ad secularism were implemented in Kos and Rhodes in the 1920s. This was not the case in Western Thrace, where head scarves are widely worn by women. [ Return to the article ]
11Until the late 1990s, the Muslims were not exempt from military service; however, they were discriminated against in other manner. For example, they had to serve unarmed and were mainly asked to carry out auxiliary tasks. [ Return to the article ]
12Currently, the President and all Council members of the waqf foundations in the Dodecanese are appointed by the Greek authorities. [ Return to the article ]
13In the case of Greece, this decision came into force on July 28, 2010. [ Return to the article ]
14The Green passport allows its bearer to travel visa-free to some countries. It is issued to 1) former members of the National Assembly; 2) first, second or third grade public servants; 3) pensioners formerly employed as first, second or third grade public servants; 4) mayors; 5) spouses of special passport holders; and 6) unwed children of special passport holders who live with their parents until they turn 25. [ Return to the article ]
15On the perception of Turks in Greek Society see, e.g., Theodossopoulos 2007, and on the situation of ethnic Turks in Kos and Rhodes, see, e.g., Kaurinkoski 2012. [ Return to the article ]
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