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Exploring the organisation of Russian society in the emigration to Constantinople. For many it was merely a staging post on a journey further west. For some it was a business opportunity, for others a chance to forget the trauma of the recent past amid the colour of a new jazz age on the Bosphorus. In a whole range of different fields these new arrivals challenged the traditions of Ottoman society; they opened restaurants staffed by aristocrats, they brought the ballet and opera of the Russian Empire. Russian women scandalised and seduced the Turks in equal measure, confidently asserting new freedoms in public space, while the soldiers of the Russian army created from nothing miniature towns along the Dardanelles. It asks what these people brought with them, what impact it made on those there to witness their arrival, and it tackles their legacy in the new republic of Turkey, built by Ataturk in the wake of their passage. An illustrated talk with amazing, unforgettable pictures.


Edward graduated from Oxford University with first class honours in history, then spent a year working for the UN refugee agency UNHCR in Tbilisi, Georgia and travelling in Central Asia before completing a masters degree at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard. He is currently finishing his training as a solicitor at Allen & Overy with a view to practising as a lawyer and continuing his historical research in the firm's Istanbul office. He has given this talk twice elsewhere.

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