Baer: Globalization, Cosmopolitanism, and the Dönme
torical record. When the Dönme were expelled by the Greek govern-ment and sent to Istanbul, secular nationalism erected roadblocks totheir recreating a familiar cultural space in their adopted city, whoselinks to the global economy were cut, which points to an unnoticedtrend in the literature on global cities: namely, the rise and fall of indigenous globalization led by unrecognized groups in marginal zonesof the world.
The Dönme and the Historian
The Dönme trace their origins to the messianic rabbi Shabtai Tzvi,who converted to Islam rather than become a martyr before the Otto-man sultan Mehmed IV in
Unlike other Muslims, the Dönmemaintained a belief that Shabtai Tzvi was the messiah, practiced kab-balistic rituals, and recited prayers in Ladino, the language of Ottoman Jewry. But the Dönme also ostensibly followed the requirements of Islam, including fasting at Ramadan and praying in mosques, one of which they built. The “Eighteen Commandments,” ordinances artic-ulated by Shabtai Tzvi, were observed by the Dönme as late as theearly twentieth century and served as the basis for the group’s organi-zation.
The commandments ordered the Dönme to “be scrupulous intheir observance of some of the precepts of the Muslims,” and toobserve “those things which are exposed to the Muslims’ view.”
TheDönme were to perform all public Muslim customs and rituals so otherMuslims saw them carrying them out, and would consider them piousMuslims. The commandments admonished the Dönme not to haveany relations with other Muslims and to only marry among themselves.In practice, they also avoided relations with Jews. The Dönme activelymaintained their separate identity, keeping detailed genealogies andburying their dead in distinct cemeteries walled off from others.
See the seminal work by Gershom Scholem,
Sabbatai Sevi: The Mystical Messiah,1626–76,
trans. R. J. Zwi Werblowsky, Bollingen Series no.
(Princeton, N.J.: PrincetonUniversity Press,
Abraham Danon, “Une secte judéo-musulmane en Turquie,”
Revue des études juives
; and Gershom Scholem, “The Sprouting of the Horn of the Son of David: A New Source from the Beginnings of the Doenme Sect in Salonica,” in
In the Timeof Harvest: Essays in Honor of Abba Hillel Silver,
ed. Daniel Jeremy Silver (New York: Mac-millan,
Scholem, “Sprouting of the Horn,” p.
Dönmeler: Hunyos, Kuvayrus, Sazan
[The Dönme: Kunios, Cavalleros,Sazan] (Istanbul: S¸ems Matbaası,
; Avram Galanté,
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