Ottoman Encounters with Global Capital

with Coşkun Tuncer

hosted by Taylan Güngör and Michael Talbot

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The period from the 1870s to 1914 was the peak of the nineteenth-century globalisation characterised by increased movement of capital across the world. In this podcast, Coşkun Tuncer discusses his recent book on ‘Sovereign Debt and the International Financial Control: the Middle East and the Balkans, 1870-1914’, the role of banks as intermediaries between the Ottoman government and international financial markets, the Ottoman Public Debt Administration and the cases of sovereign debt in Egypt, Serbia and Greece.

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Coşkun Tuncer is Lecturer in Modern Economic History at University College London, Department of History. Previously he taught and worked as a researcher at the London School of Economics and the European University Institute. He received his PhD from the London School of Economics in 2011 after completing his BA, MSc and MPhil degrees in Turkey and Greece. His research focuses on the economic and financial history of the Middle East and Southeast Europe, and long-term history of international financial markets. His recent book is entitled Sovereign Debt and the International Financial Control: the Middle East and the Balkans, 1870-1914 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015).
Taylan Güngör is a doctoral candidate at SOAS in London. His interests are in Medieval and Pre-Modern Eastern Mediterranean trading circles and his research is on trade in Istanbul after 1453.
Michael Talbot received his PhD from SOAS in 2013 for a thesis on Ottoman-British relations in the eighteenth century, and now lectures and researches on a range of topics in Ottoman history at the University of Greenwich in London.


Episode No. 264
Release Date: 29 August 2016
Recording Location: School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)
Audio Editing by Taylan Güngör
Recorded at SOAS Radio studios. SOAS Radio is an outlet for creative media and talent housed by the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Run by alumni, current students and staff at the School, including volunteers from like-minded communities, SOAS Radio is dedicated to varied and original programming on world music, culture and current affairs.
Musical Excerpt: Baglamamin Dugumu - Necmiye Ararat and Muzaffer
Bibliography courtesy of Coşkun Tuncer


Andreades, A. (1925) Les Controles Financiers Internationaux, Athens.

Birdal, M. (2010) The Political Economy of Ottoman Public Debt Insolvency and European Financial Control in the Late Nineteenth Century. London: Tauris Academic Studies.

Blaisdell, D. C. (1966) European Financial Control in the Ottoman Empire. New York:  AMS Press, Inc.

Clay, C. (2000) Gold for the Sultan. Western Bankers and Ottoman Finance 1856–1881. New York: I. B. Tauris.

Eldem, E. (2005) “Ottoman financial integration with Europe: foreign loans, the Ottoman Bank and the Ottoman public debt”, European Review, Vol. 13, No. 3, pp. 431–445.

Esteves, R. and Tunçer, A. C. (2016) “Feeling the Blues. Moral Hazard and Debt Dilution in Eurobonds Before 1914”, Journal of International Money and Finance Vol. 65, pp.46-68.

Kiray, E. Z. (1988) Foreign Debt and Structural Change in ‘The Sick Man of Europe’ – The Ottoman Empire – 1850–1875, unpublished PhD thesis, MIT.

Pamuk, Ş. (1978) Foreign Trade, Foreign Capital and the Peripheralization of the Ottoman Empire 1830–1913, PhD thesis, University of California, Berkeley.

Platt, D. C. M. (1968) Finance, Trade, and Politics in British Foreign Policy 1815– 1914. Oxford: Clarendon P.

Sağlam, M. H. (2007) Osmanli Devleti’nde Moratoryum 1875–1881 – Rusum-i Sitte’den Duyun-i Umumiyye’ye, Tarih Vakfi Yurt Yayinlari: Istanbul.

Suter, C. (1992) Debt Cycles in the World Economy: Foreign Loans, Financial Crises and Debt Settlements, 1820–1990. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press.

Tunçer, A. C. and Pamuk, Ş. (2014) “Ottoman Empire: from 1830 to 1914”, in South-Eastern European Monetary and Economic Statistics from the Nineteenth Century to World War II, Bank of Greece, Bulgarian National Bank, National Bank of Romania, Oesterreichische Nationalbank.

Tuncer, A. C. (2015) Sovereign Debt and International Financial Control: the Middle East and the Balkans, 1870-1914. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Waibel, M. (2011) Sovereign Defaults before International Courts and Tribunals. Cambridge University Press.

Wynne, W. (1951) State Insolvency and Foreign Bondholders. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press.

Yackley, J. (2013) Bankrupt: Financial Diplomacy in the Late Nineteenth-Century Middle East, PhD thesis, University of Chicago.


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