Camel 14 of 17

While the possibilities for the location of Andreas’ education have dauntingly expanded with the discovery of references to Smyrna in the League of Nations Treaty and the Middle East Chronicle, so also have the possibilities for working with the Turks. The Middle East Chronicle did mention that “It was well known that from the end of the 19th and into the 20th century, that Greek Asia Minor inhabitants, especially merchants from Smyrni began settling in the cities of Alexandria and Cairo, Egypt, and continuing their work in the economic sector (Vol. 2, Athens, 1939 p. 99). If he went to school in Smyrna, it is possible that his first job was not in Alexandria, Egypt, as family stories have it; it might have been in Smyrna itself. Andreas might have discovered financial opportunities and an opportunity to avoid the 1912 Balkin War, by moving to Cairo.

The two pictures mentioned above, the 1910 one with Englishman Thomas Cook and the 1914 one with two British passengers seem to discount Andreas’ working with Turks during the period these were taken, which was soon after he arrived in Egypt. It makes more sense later in late 1920s, when the Ford Motor Company attempted to create manufacturing plants in both Egypt and Turkey. Ford had offered to pave a road through Egypt, if its government would allow them to build a plant in the country. The Egyptians refused that offer.

Turkey might also have been reluctant. Henry Ford might have received encouragement from the US Government or its diplomats to pursue a deal with the Turks as a way to ease tensions between the US and Turkey, former enemies, in order to retain access to the Dardanelles, an important strategic access to the Black Sea. The US was also involved with the League of Nations, untangling the mess over Smyrna and other Anatolian disasters. American capitalism has often worked as a tool for developing relations with former enemies. Ford might have received some benefit from the US government to pursue these interests in the Mid-East. Mr. Ford was an outspoken anti-Semitic, and this might have given him an advantage with the Egyptians and Turks. By 1926, dealerships arose in Egypt, and an assembly plant was built in 1931. A Turkish entrepreneur, Vehbi Koc (pronounced coach), to become Turkey’s most famous and successful businessmen, became a Ford representative with several dealerships throughout Turkey by 1928 and got an assembly plant initiated the next year. This would have been the period that Andreas Halkiopoulos might have been involved with Ford production or sales and might have worked with the Turks.

(Next: One more look back to Izmir; Forget Samsun…)


Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: