From Anatolia to the New WorldLife Stories of the First Turkish Immigrants to America

From Anatolia to the New World Rıfat N. Bali
From Anatolia to the New World
From Anatolia to the New World
From Anatolia to the New World

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Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…

Those are the verses of Emma Lazarus inscribed on the pedestal of New York's Statue of Liberty. The USA is a country founded by people who immigrated from every corner of the globe. Though it is little known, immigrants also came from the Ottoman Empire when it was collapsing. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, both Muslim and non-Muslim Turks went to try their luck in the New World. The political, economic, and social disasters created in the empire by the Balkan Wars and the First World War; the fear of being drafted into the army; letters portraying America as a land of opportunity whose streets were paved with gold; the introduction of steamships and the telegraph…these were all factors that stimulated immigration to the USA. The non-Muslims, and especially the Armenians, had no intention of going back and joined their communities there. The Muslims, on the other hand, dreamed of making money and going back home, and most of them did in fact go back. Drawing upon eyewitness testimony, Rıfat N. Bali tells the story of a century of Turkish immigrants to the USA.









  1. Causes-America's Policy of Admitting Immigrants-Returnees.

General Causes of Immigration and Those Peculiar to Turkey

America's Policy of Admitting Immigrants.

Ottoman Subjects Who Returned Home After Becoming American Citizens.

  1. The Voyage: Oceanic Travel and Ship Conditions.

  2. Arrival at Ellis Island

  3. Conditions on Ellis Island.

Ida Mouradjian from Cilicia Remembers Escaping from the

1915 Armenian Genocide to Ellis Island.

  1. Working Conditions .

  2. The Number of Turkish Immigrants




  1. The 1893 World's Columbian Exposition and the First Ottoman Immigrants

  2. The 1904 St. Louis World's Fair and Ottoman Immigrants

The Story of Lahana Bey from Izmir,

Who Participated in the St. Louis World's Fair.

The Story of Ahmet Abdullah from Harput

Who Worked at the St. Louis World's Fair

  1. The Causes of Emigration

Compulsory Military Service .

America: The Land Where Dreams Come True.

Other Causes .

  1. The Number of Immigrants

  2. The Immigrants' First Months in the New World .

The First Days

The Language Barrier and Relations with Ashkenazim

Coffeehouses and Restaurants

Connection to Turkey


Places of Settlement.

Turkish Immigrants in Seattle

Turkish Immigrants in California:

The Story of Hollywood Rabbi Isaac Varon from Istanbul

The Turkish Jews in Hollywood.

The Turkish Jews in New York.

Turkish Jews in Cincinnati.

  1. Life Stories

The Story of Milas Native Albert Amateau

The Story of Istanbul Native Albert Morin, a Character Actor

in the Films Gone with the Wind and Casablanca

The Story of Oud Virtuoso Sadaka Efendi

The Story of Tekirdağ Native Leon Moscatel, the California Flower King.

The Story of Isadore Hattem, Millionaire from Kuzguncuk.

Izmir Native Rita Cohen's Story

The Story of Izmir Native Eli Levi, Director of Public Relations, Columbia Studios.

The Story of Izmir Native Chelebi Cardoso, Manufacturer of Ladies' Lingerie.

The Story of Hasköy Native Nessim, The Simit Maker of Kansas City

The Story of Ankara Native Sara Asher Crespi.

Israel Edvar Ojalvo's Story.

The Story of Moisés and Elie from Izmir.

Musa (Moris) Schinasi's Life Story


  1. Reasons for Immigration and Number of Immigrants.

  2. Where They Settled .

  3. The Paths of Immigration

  4. The Armenian Leaders' Stance on Immigration .

  5. Professions and Working Conditions.

Oriental Rug Merchants.

  1. Anatolian Armenians in California

  2. Life Stories

The Story of George Mardikian, Proprietor of the Omar Khayyam Restaurant.

The Story of Nazlı from Yozgat

The Story of Pırlanta from Yozgat

Harput Native Artin Shamshoian's Story

The Story of Civan, Who Sent to Istanbul for a Bride

The Story of "Two-Wheel" Keork

The Story of Istanbulite Kirkor Arakelian

The Story of Manok Efendi and Shamram Hanım

The Singer Hadji Hanım's Story

The Story of the Phony Wrestler Parmaksızoğlu Agop, Also Known as Ali Baba

The Story of Ida Mouradjian From the Village of Hadjin in Cilicia.

The Story of Jeanne, Molly, and Miriam Assidian, Who Fled from the Deportation

The Story of Donik "Haji Bey" Yessaian

  1. Armenians in Turkish Memoirs


  1. The Number of Greek Immigrants

  2. The Greeks in the Memoirs of Turkish Immigrants .

Zekeriya Sertel

The Journalist Tarık Binat

Ahmet Emin Yalman, Editor of the Newspaper Vatan

Mehmet Çınarlı's Michigan Memories.

Fuad Gedik's New York Memories

  1. Life Stories.

From the Pen of Sara Korle

From the Pen of Hikmet Feridun Es.

Istanbul Native Yordan Lefter's Story.

Istanbulite Maurides Alyanakoğlu's Story

The Story of the Grocer Panayot Gamlıoğlu from Kuledibi

The Story of San Francisco Florist Grigor, Otherwise Known as Dayı Bey

The Story of Hadji Harry from Bozcaada Island

The Story of the Singer Amalia Hanım and Her Daughter Diamond.

The Story of Hadjapoulos from Istanbul.

The Story of Vasil, the Baklava Maker.

The Story of Andon Merdjimekoğlu from Aydın

The Story of Yianni Baresoğlu from Antalya

The Story of Michael Pappas from Istanbul.

The Story of Doukenie Papandreos from Kırklareli.

The Story of Stephen D. Stephanides, Owner of the Prudential Lines Company

The Story of Charles G. Taylor, Owner of the St. Moritz Hotel

  1. The Impressions of Attorney Süreyya Ağaoğlu.



  1. The First Turkish Immigrant: Hadji Ali, the Camel Driver.

  2. Early Twentieth Century Immigration.

  3. The Tour of Dr. Fuad Mehmed Bey, General Secretary of the Society for the Protection of Children

From the Pen of Dr. Fuad Mehmed Bey: His Visit to Peabody

  1. The Immigrants in Turkish Memoirs

Views of Immigrants in the 1910s and the 1920s

Sabiha Sertel's Observations.

Ahmet Emin Yalman's Observations

An "American Adventure" as Told by A Grain Merchant from Uzunköprü

Views of Immigrants in the 1930s

Views of Immigrants in the 1940s

  1. Life Stories

The Story of Harput Native Hüseyin Kayma, As Told by His Son

The Story of Hasan from Erzincan

The Story of Detroit's Nuri Ahmet Yardımcı

The Story of Detroit's Mehmed Malik

The Story of Salonican Native Fazıl Ismail,

Known in Los Angeles as Fred Martin.

The Story of Ahmet Abdullah from Harput .

The Story of Handan Hanım from Istanbul

The Story of Jack Mehmet, As Written by his Grandniece Ayşe Önal.

The Story of How Hüseyin Bektaş Emigrated

From His Village of Yağlıdere in Giresun to Philadelphia

The Story of Ahmet Robinson of Galatasaray from the Pen of Sara Korle

The Story of Hamdi Efendi, the First Turkish Chauffeur,

Written by Cevat Fehmi Başkurt

The First Generation of Immigrants, as Written by Doğan Uluç

The Story of the Immigrants in the 1940s, as Written by Doğan Uluç.

The Story of Kiğı Native Rumi Bey

Stories of Those Who Came from America to Retire

The Story of Ali Haydar İbrahim from Elazığ

Halil Zekeriya Coşkun's Story.

Businessman Mustafa Birol's Story



Where the Longing Was Expressed: The 1939 New York World's Fair

Characteristics of the First Immigrants

Immigration after the Second World War.





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