1918-1923 World War II

The Dodecanese in the years 1923 to 1940

Italian was introduced as language of administration, jurisdiction and education; Italian rule was oppressive, causing many Dodecanese Greeks to emigrate.
The Italian administration attempted to modernize the city of Rhodos, to make it a transit hub in the Eastern Mediterranean and a center for the 'spread of Italian civilization' in the same region. They built hotels, hospitals. aqueducts, provided the city with electric lighting. Malaria was eradicated, an architectural and an ethnographic museum established.
The island group's economy was mainly agricultural (grains, olives, fruits, vegetables, tobacco) and pastoral (sheep, goats). On Rhodos there was some industry, mainly dealing with the processing of agricultural products. The COMPAGNIA COMMERCIALE ITALIANA PER L'EGEO with seat in Triest ran salines and a cement factory. The COMPAGNIA AGRICOLA INDUSTRIALE RODI produced wines of various qualities (wine production had practically ceased under Ottoman rule). Some industrial enterprises extracted oil from olives. Further, Rhodos had a ceramic industry. Fishery was also of importance, especially for sponges.
685 vessels entered the port of Rhodos in 1927, with a combined total of 667,879 register tons. Imports greatly exceeded exports; Italy's share in both was between 5 and 25 %, Britain being the most important trading partner. Export products included sponges and dried fruits such as sultanines (raisins).
The Dodecanes Islands were administrated by a GOVERNOR who resided on Rhodos; he exercised legislative power. On the other islands he was represented by district chiefs actibf as his deputy. The administration consisted of 4 departments, the 1st being responsible for finances and telecommunication, the 2nd for commercial affairs, the 3rd for urban development, water supply etc., the 4th for justice. A CONSIGLIO DEI SINDACI (Council of Syndicates, Italian-dominated) met annually, as an advisory body.
The administration of justice was based on Italian law. The currency used was the Italian Lira.

Article : Dodecanese Islands : Italian Rule, from Wikipedia
Gli Anni Dorati 1923-1936, from Dodecaneso, in Italian
Dodecaneso : La Presenza Italiane 1912-1943, from Wikipedia Italian Version
DOCUMENTS 1932 Jan. 4 Convention between Italy and Turkey, from HRI; also from greece.org; from Hellenic Nationalist Page; from diaspora.net; from oldeee.see.ed.ac.uk, in English translation; part of text in original French. Caution, some of the websites posting this treaty are nationalistic
License Plate, from License Plate of the World
REFERENCE L.V. Bertarelli, Guida d'Italia del Touring Club Italiano : Possedimenti e Colonie. Isole Egee, Tripolitania, Cirenaica, Eritrea, Somalia. Milano 1929, pp.16-168, in Italian [G]
Article : Aegean Islands, in : Statesman's Yearbook 1924 pp.1047-1050, 1925 p.1056, 1926 pp.1023-1025, 1928 pp.1051-1052, 1929 pp.1034-1035, 1932 pp.1049-1051, 1937 pp.1085-1087 [G]
Article : Dodecanese, or Twelve Islands, in : Americana Annual 1927 p.254, 1928 p.231 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on August 24th 2007

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