Farewell to Salonica: City at the Crossroads


At the turn of the twentieth century Salonica (now Thessaloniki in Greece) was an oasis in a swirl of conflicting powers and interests, a vibrant world of varied peoples at the crossroads of East and West.  Under Ottoman rule, the city's diverse communities - Jews, Muslim Turks, Orthodox Greeks and Bulgarians - met, traded and lived alongside one another peacefully.  But this tolerant society was not to last, eventually succumbing to the nationalist sentiment rampant among the peoples of the Empire.

Farewell to Salonica is a fascinating and nostalgic portrait of a lost society, in which Sciaky laments the encroachment of Western 'machine civilisation' on the older, more human ways of the Orient.

'It is nostalgic, beautifully written and illuminating for its evocation of how an apparently stable, multicultural, provincial Ottoman city collapsed into the tangle of Balkan rivalries that still beset the region.' The Sunday Times

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