Johannes Kolmodin, translator (or ""dragoman"") for the Swedish embassy in Istanbul from 1917-1931, became a keen observer of social and political events there. The fact that he lived in Istanbul during a period of great social and political transformations has turned him into a rare eyewitness of the events leading to the breakdown of the Ottoman sultanate and the setting up of the modern Turkish republic. Since Kolmodin died shortly after he had left Turkey, many of his contributions as an Orientalist have passed unnoticed. Making use of the Uppsala archives, the purpose of the present book is to present a portrait of this unusual and gifted philologist, historian, activist and diplomat and to recognize the importance of his contributions.
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Elisabeth Özdalga is Professor of Sociology at the Middle East Technical University of Ankara, and a specialist in Western and Central Asia.
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