Skip to main content


  • Ramazan Hakkı Öztan

In late 1912, the Ottoman imperial armies suffered a series of quick defeats at the hands of the Balkan League, comprising Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Montenegro, resulting in significant territorial losses. The Ottoman defeat in the Balkan Wars (1912–13) often stands at the center of teleological accounts of a neat and linear transition from Ottoman Empire to Turkish Republic. These teleological readings see the Ottoman defeat as a historical turning point when Ottoman elites turned nationalist, discovered Anatolia, and embraced the Turkish core. This article contends that such approaches frame late Ottoman history in anticipation of the later reality of nation-states, and overlook the messy and historically complex nature of the collapse of empire and the emergence of the nation-state. Although the defeat was certainly shocking for the Ottoman ruling elite, I argue that it initiated an era of debate rather than one of broad consensus. Similarly, the defeat neither marked the end of the Ottoman Empire nor heralded the coming of the Turkish Republic, but rather reinvigorated the Ottoman imperialist project.

Hide All


Author's note: I thank Peter Sluglett, Alp Yenen, Murat Kaya, Alex Balistreri, Eyal Ginio, Jeffrey Culang, and the anonymous IJMES reviewers for their insightful comments and suggestions.

1 See Kayalı, Hasan, Arabs and Young Turks: Ottomanism, Arabism, and Islamism in the Ottoman Empire, 1908–1918 (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1997); Philliou, Christine, “The Paradox of Perceptions: Interpreting the Ottoman Past through the National Present,” Middle Eastern Studies 44 (2008): 661–75; Blumi, Isa, Reinstating the Ottomans: Alternative Balkan Modernities, 1800–1912 (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011); Reynolds, Michael, Shattering Empires: The Clash and Collapse of the Ottoman and Russian Empires 1908–1918 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011); Campos, Michelle U., Ottoman Brothers: Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Early Twentieth-Century Palestine (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2011); Kechriotis, Vangelis, “On the Margins of National Historiography: The Greek İttihatçı Emmanouil Emmanouilidis—Opportunist or Ottoman Patriot?,” in Untold Histories of the Middle East: Recovering Voices from the 19th and 20th Centuries, ed. Singer, Amy, Neumann, Christoph K., and Somel, Selçuk Akşin (London: Routledge, 2011), 124–42; Cohen, Julia Phillips, “Between Civic and Islamic Ottomanism: Jewish Imperial Citizenship in the Hamidian Era,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 44 (2012): 237–55; and Öztan, Ramazan Hakkı, “Nationalism in Function: ‘Rebellions’ in the Ottoman Empire and Narratives in Its Absence,” in War and Collapse: World War I and the Ottoman State, ed. Yavuz, H. and Ahmad, Feroz (Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press, 2016), 161202 .

2 Wimmer, Andreas and Schiller, Nina Glick, “Methodological Nationalism and Beyond: Nation-State Building, Migration, and the Social Sciences,” Global Networks 2 (2002): 301–34.

3 For an alternative to teleology in imperial frameworks, see Comisso, Ellen, “Empires as Prisons of Nations versus Empires as Political Opportunity Structures: An Exploration of the Role of Nationalism in Imperial Dissolutions in Europe,” in Empire to Nation: Historical Perspectives on the Making of the Modern World, ed. Esherick, Joseph, Kayali, Hasan, and Young, Eric Van (Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2006), 138–66.

4 Cleveland, William L., Islam against the West: Shakib Arslan and the Campaign for Islamic Nationalism (Austin, Tex.: University of Texas Press, 1985), 24 .

5 The following is a suggestive but not comprehensive list of works that have consolidated this narrative: Toprak, Zafer, Türkiye'de Ekonomi ve Toplum: Milli İktisat - Milli Burjuvazi (Istanbul: Tarih Vakfı Yurt Yayınları, 1995), 45 ; Ülker, Erol, “Contextualising ‘Turkification’: Nation-Building in the Late Ottoman Empire, 1908–18,” Nations and Nationalism 11 (2005): 613–36; Köroğlu, Erol, Ottoman Propaganda and Turkish Identity (London: I.B.Tauris, 2007), 4748 ; Aksakal, Mustafa, The Ottoman Road to War in 1914: The Ottoman Empire and the First World War (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), 25 ; Adanır, Fikret, “Non-Muslims in the Ottoman Army and the Ottoman Defeat in the Balkan War of 1912–1913,” in A Question of Genocide: Armenians and Turks at the End of the Ottoman Empire, ed. Grigor Suny, Ronald, Göçek, Fatma Müge, and Naimark, Norman M. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), 113–25; Özkan, Behlül, From the Abode of Islam to the Turkish Vatan: The Making of a National Homeland in Turkey (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2012), 6569 ; Reinkowski, Maurus, “Hapless Imperialists and Resentful Nationalists: Trajectories of Radicalization in the Late Ottoman Empire,” in Helpless Imperialists: Imperial Failure, Fear and Radicalization, ed. Reinkowski, Maurus and Thum, Gregor (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2013), 4767 ; Yavuz, Hakan and Blumi, Isa, eds., War and Nationalism: The Balkan Wars, 1912–1913, and their Sociopolitical Implications (Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press, 2013); Kieser, Hans-Lukas, Öktem, Kerem, and Reinkowski, Maurus, eds., World War I and the End of the Ottomans: From the Balkan Wars to the Armenian Genocide (London: I.B.Tauris, 2015); and Uzer, Umut, An Intellectual History of Turkish Nationalism: Between Turkish Ethnicity and Islamic Identity (Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press, 2016).

6 This literature was certainly subject to healthy attempts at revisionism through which scholars have concluded that Ottoman patriotism became less secular after the defeat. Hasan Kayalı, for instance, has argued that secular Ottomanism became increasingly Islamist after the Balkan Wars as the CUP began to promote “Islam as the main pillar of its ideology”; Kayalı, Arabs and Young Turks, 142. Erik Jan Zürcher has similarly pointed out that the Ottoman defeat led to the rise of what one may frame as a “Muslim nationalism”; Zürcher, “The Vocabulary of Muslim Nationalism,” International Journal of the Sociology of Language 137 (1999): 81–92. Yet, I see such analytic approaches to the postwar context as equally problematic because they highlight a form of liminal identity that still anticipates the inevitable emergence of nationalism.

7 For challenges to this traditional mode of interpretation that inform the present study, see Yektan Türkyılmaz, “Rethinking Genocide: Violence and Victimhood in Eastern Anatolia, 1913–1915” (PhD diss., Duke University, 2011), 41–116; Boyar, Ebru, “The Impact of the Balkan Wars on Ottoman History Writing: Searching for a Soul,” Middle East Critique 23 (2014):147–56; and Ginio, Eyal, The Ottoman Culture of Defeat: The Balkan Wars and Their Aftermath (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016).

8 One of the master texts of this Unionist genre is Talat Pasha's postwar memoir. See Bolayır, Enver, ed., Talat Paşa'nın Hatıraları (Istanbul: Güven Yayınevi, 1946).

9 Naturally, this narrative of defeat could be seen as the extension of the notorious “decline thesis” in Ottoman historiography. See Quataert, Donald, “Ottoman History Writing and Changing Attitudes Towards the Notion of ‘Decline,’” History Compass 1 (2003): 110 ; and Sajdi, Dana, “Decline, Its Discontents and Ottoman Cultural History: By Way of Introduction,” in Ottoman Tulips, Ottoman Coffee: Leisure and Lifestyle in the Eighteenth Century, ed. Sajdi, Dana (London: I.B.Tauris, 2007), 140 .

10 Aydemir goes on to frame World War I as an opportunity that taught him more about Anatolia, the real Turkish homeland. Aydemir, Şevket Süreyya, Suyu Arayan Adam (Istanbul: Remzi Kitabevi, 1967), 54 .

11 See Çalışlar, İzzettin, On Yıllık Savaşın Günlüğü: Balkan, Birinci Dünya ve İstiklal Savaşları, ed. Görgülü, İsmet and Çalışlar, İzzeddin (Istanbul: Yapı Kredi Yayınları, 1997). One should note that if Aydemir's work and Çalışlar's historicization have set the teleological parameters of the existing literature, Zafer Tarık Tunaya's magnum opus has provided many of the quotations regularly referenced in the existing historiography; Tunaya, Türkiye'de Siyasal Partiler, vol. 3, İttihat ve Terakki Bir Çağın, Bir Kuşağın, Bir Partinin Tarihi (Istanbul: İletişim Yayınları, 2000 [1952]), 555–88.

12 Philliou, Christine, “When the Clock Strikes Twelve: The Inception of an Ottoman Past in Early Republican Turkey,” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 31 (2011): 174 .

13 White, Hayden, Tropics of Discourse: Essays in Cultural Criticism (Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997), 83 .

14 For a generic example, see Cagaptay, Soner, Islam, Secularism and Nationalism in Modern Turkey: Who is a Turk? (London: Routledge, 2006), 67 .

15 White, Tropics of Discourse, 84.

16 Atay, Falih Rıfk, Batış Yılları (Istanbul: Dünya Matbaası, 1963), 5253 ; Mahmud Muhtar, Balkan Harbi: Üçunçü Kolordu'nun ve İkinci Doğu Ordusuʾnun Muharebleri (Istanbul: Tercüman, 1979), 187–88; Cemal, Hüseyin, Yeni Harb: Başımıza Tekrar Gelenler: Edirne Harbi, Muhasarası, Esaret ve Esbab-ı Felaket, ed. Korkmaz, Aziz (Ankara: Türk Tarih Kurumu, 2014), 65 .

17 The European territories constituted the second most important region after Anatolia in terms of tax revenue. Alexander Parvus, “Köylüler ve Devlet,” Türk Yurdul (1998): 148.

18 Tetik, Ahmet, ed., Sofya Askeri Ataşesi Mustafa Kemal'in Raporları (Kasım 1913–Kasım 1914) (Ankara: Genelkurmay Basımevi, 2007), 2022 .

19 Blumi, Isa, Ottoman Refugees, 1878–1939: Migration in a Post-Imperial World (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2013), 3 .

20 We lack reliable statistics on the exact number of refugees from the Ottoman Balkans. The Ottoman records suggest that a little over 400,000 Balkan Muslims were resettled in the Ottoman interior from 1912 to 1920; McCarthy, Justin, Death and Exile: The Ethnic Cleansing of Ottoman Muslims, 1821–1922 (Princeton, N.J.: Darwin Press, 1995), 161 . For a detailed account of the assistance given to the refugees by various agencies and charities, see Halaçoğlu, Ahmet, Balkan Harbi Sırasında Rumeli'den Türk Göçleri, 1912–1913 (Ankara: Türk Tarih Kurumu Basımevi, 1994), 7994 .

21 Birinci, Ali, Hürriyet ve İtilaf Fırkası: II. Meşrutiyet Devrinde İttihat ve Terakki'ye Karşı Çıkanlar (Istanbul: Dergah Yayınları, 1990), 161203 .

22 Bloxham, Donald, “The Armenian Genocide of 1915–1916: Cumulative Radicalization and the Development of a Destruction Policy,” Past & Present 181 (2003): 150 ; Akçam, Taner, From Empire to Republic: Turkish Nationalism and the Armenian Genocide (London: Zed Books, 2004), 6567 ; Kurt, Ümit and Gürpınar, Doğan, “The Balkan Wars and the Rise of the Reactionary Modernist Utopia in Young Turk Thought and the Journal Türk Yurdu ,” Nations and Nationalism 21 (2015): 350. For a critique, see Türkyılmaz, “Rethinking Genocide,” 13–14.

23 Gelvin, James L., Divided Loyalties: Nationalism and Mass Politics in Syria at the Close of Empire (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1998), 142 .

24 Ginio, The Ottoman Culture of Defeat, 14.

25 On the emergence of women's societies in the postwar era, see Serpil Atamaz, “Fighting on Two Fronts: The Balkan Wars and the Struggle for Women's Rights in Ottoman Turkey,” in War and Nationalism, 303–10.

26 Tunaya, Türkiye'de Siyasal Partiler, 3:583.

27 Ali Nüzhet, Mirliva Mehmed, 1912 Balkan Harbinde Süvarinin Harekatı, Tayyare İstimali, Harb Tayyareciliği Hakkında Neşriyat-ı Esasiye, Osmanlı ve Düşman Süvarisinin Gördüğü Hidemat (Istanbul: Resimli Kitab Matbaası, 1331 [1912/13]); Yüzbaşı, Mehmed Arif, Balkan Harbinde Makineli Tüfenkler (Istanbul: 1329 [1911]); Suad, Yüzbaşı Ahmed, Balkan Darü’l Harbine Dair Tedkikat-ı Coğrafiye ve Mütala'at-ı Sevkü’l-Ceyşiyye (Dersaadet: Mühendishane-i Berri-i Hümayun Matbaası, 1330 [1911/12]).

28 Köroğlu, Ottoman Propaganda, 49. See also Çetinkaya, Y. Doğan, “Illustrated Atrocity: Stigmatization of Non-Muslims through Images in the Ottoman Empire during the Balkan Wars,” Journal of Modern European History 12 (2014): 460–78; and Çetinkaya, “Atrocity Propaganda and the Nationalization of the Masses in the Ottoman Empire during the Balkan Wars (1912–13),” International Journal of Middle East Studies 46 (2014): 759–78.

29 Hochwächter's, Gustav von Mit den Türkei in der Front im Stabe Mahmud Muchtar Paschas (Berlin: Mittler, 1913) was translated as Türklerle Harbe (Istanbul: Hürriyet Matbaası, 1331 [1913]), and Ashmead-Bartlett's, Ellis With the Turks in Thrace (London: n.p., 1913) was translated as Esbab-ı Hezimet ve Felaketimiz (Istanbul: Kitaphane-yi İslam ve Askeri, 1329 [1913/14]).

30 For a bibliography of publications in Ottoman Turkish on the Balkan Wars, including these memoirs, see Eren, İsmail, “Balkan Savaşına Ait Türkçe Eserler Üzerine Bibliyografya Denemesi,” İ.Ü. Tarih Dergisi 27 (1973): 111–22.

31 Conk, Cemil, Hatıraları: Balkan Harbi, 1912–13, Canlı Tarihler Series (Istanbul: Türkiye Basımevi, 1947), 914 ; von Hochwächter, Gustav, Balkan Savaşı Günlüğü: Türklerle Cephede, trans. Sumru Toydemir (Istanbul: Türkiye İş Bankası Kültür Yayınları, 2007), 6067 ; von der Goltz, Colmar Freiherr, “Causes of the Late Turkish Defeat,” Infantry Journal 9 (1913): 730–32. For a well-rounded account, see Nezir-Akmeşe, Handan, The Birth of Modern Turkey: The Ottoman Military and the March to WWI (London: I.B.Tauris, 2005), 124–32.

32 Muhtar, Mahmud, Balkan Harbi, 180 .

33 Feroze Yasamee, “Armies Defeated before They Took the Field? The Ottoman Mobilization of October 1912,” in War and Nationalism, 258–64.

34 Rıza Nur, Hayat ve Hatıratım, ed. Hasan Babacan and Servet Avşar (Ankara: Türk Tarih Kurumu, 2014), 2:385. The Unionists deeply disliked Nazım Pasa and saw him as responsible for the defeat. Bey, Mehmed Cavid, Meşrutiyet Ruznamesi (Istanbul: Altındağ Yayinevi, 1967), 1:547–48.

35 One of the best examples of these factional accounts is the memoir by Ahmet Reşit (Rey), the Minister of Interior in late 1912 and early 1913. For Rey, the CUP was the prime cause of the defeat in the Balkan Wars, due to a range of policies adopted by the Unionists since 1908. See Rey, Ahmet Reşit, Gördüklerim—Yaptıklarım (1890–1922), Canlı Tarihler Series (Istanbul: Türkiye Yayınevi, 1945), 147–66.

36 Ali Fethi (Okyar) was one such officer who published his own account in response to the account by Ali İhsan (Sabis). See Fethi, Ali, Bolayır Muharebesinde Adem-i Muvaffakiyetin Esbabı (Istanbul: Matbaa-i Hayriye ve Şürekası, 1330 [1914]).

37 Doğan Akyaz, “The Legacy and Impacts of the Defeat in the Balkan Wars of 1912–1913 on the Psychological Makeup of the Turkish Officer Corps,” in War and Nationalism, 740–42.

38 Mehmed Cavid Bey, Meşrutiyet Ruznamesi, 1:479–80.

39 Paşa, Abdullah, Balkan Savaşı Hatıratı ve Mahmut Muhtar Paşa'nın Cevabı, trans. Hülya Toker, Sema Demirtaş, and Mustafa Toker (Istanbul: Alfa, 2912), 2223 .

40 İzzettin Çalışlar, On Yıllık Savaşın Günlüğü, 31–32.

41 Nur, Rıza, Hayat ve Hatıratım (Istanbul: Altındağ Yayınevi, 1967), 2:391.

42 Zürcher, Erik J., Turkey: A Modern History (New York: I.B.Tauris, 2004), 102–3.

43 Mehmed Cavid Bey, Meşrutiyet Ruznamesi, 1:492.

44 Atay, Falih Rıfkı, Zeytindağı, 3rd ed. (Istanbul: Remzi Kitabevi, 1943), 25 .

45 Bolayır, , Talat Paşa'nın Hatıraları, 1718 .

46 See Seyfettin, Ömer, Balkan Harbi Hatıraları (Istanbul: Dün Bugün Yarın Yayınları, 2011), 142–52.

47 Rıza Nur, Hayat ve Hatıratım, 2:387–88.

48 Çağdaş Sümer, “What Did the Albanians Do? Postwar Disputes on Albanian Attitudes,” in War and Nationalism, 731–35.

49 Gülsoy, Ufuk, Osmanlı Gayrimüslimlerinin Askerlik Serüveni (Istanbul: Simurg, 2000), 162–64.

50 Mahmud Muhtar, Balkan Harbi, 166.

51 Hüseyin Cemal, Yeni Harb¸ 38–39.

52 Adanır, Fikret, “Non-Muslims in the Ottoman Army and the Ottoman Defeat in the Balkan War of 1912–1913,” in A Question of Genocide, 120–23.

53 Okday, İsmail Hakk, Yanya'dan Ankara'ya (Istanbul: Sebil Yayınevi, 1975), 114 .

54 Hüseyin Cemal, Yeni Harb¸ 83–84. Emphasis added. Yet, just like many other accounts of the Ottoman defeat, Hüseyin Cemal's memoirs provide many self-contradictory statements none of which should be interpreted as final.

55 Campos, Ottoman Brothers, 125, 134.

56 Phillips Cohen, Becoming Ottomans, 134–35.

57 Mehmed Akif Bey, “Hutbe ve Mev'ize,” Sebilürreşad, Aded 48-230, Cild 9-2, 24 Kanun-u Sani 1328, 374.

58 Ginio, Eyal, “Mobilizing the Ottoman Nation during the Balkan Wars (1912–1913): Awakening from the Ottoman Dream,” War in History 12 (2005): 173–74.

59 Bey, Satı, Vatan için Beş Konferans (Dersaadet: Kader Matbaası, 1329), 35, 24.

60 Ibid., 25–28.

61 Such debates took place between Süleyman Nazif and Ahmed Ağaoğlu in 1913, and between Ali Kemal and Yusuf Akçura in 1914. See Kara, İsmail, “Osmanlıcılarla Türkçüler Arasında bir Milliyetçilik Tartışması,” Tarih ve Toplum 30 (1986): 5759 .

62 Georgeon, François, Türk Milliyetçiliğinin Kökenleri: Yusuf Akçura (1876–1935), 2nd ed. (Istanbul: Tarih Vakfı Yurt Yayınları, 1996), 6771 .

63 Akçuraoğlu Yusuf, “Türklük Şuunu,” Türk Yurdu 1 (1998): 45–46.

64 Aksakal, The Ottoman Road to War, 36–38.

65 Ginio, “Mobilizing the Ottoman,” 173–74; Cengiz Yolcu, “Depiction of the Enemy: Ottoman Propaganda Books in the Balkan Wars of 1912–13” (Master's thesis, Boğaziçi Üniversitesi, 2014), 98–101.

66 Moul, Johns, Londra Konferansındaki Meselelerden: Anadolu'da Türkiye Yaşayacak mı? Yaşamayacak mı?, trans. Habil Adem (Dersaadet: İkbal Kütüphanesi, n.d.), 11, 15.

67 Ahin, Mustafa, “Habil Adem ya da Nam-ı Diğer Naci İsmail (Pelister) Hakkında,” Toplumsal Tarih 2 (1994): 614, 8.

68 Atay, Zeytindağı, 30.

69 Boyar, Ebru, Ottomans, Turks and the Balkans: Empire Lost, Relations Altered (London: I.B.Tauris, 2007), 146 .

70 One should note that none of the examples brought forth by the authors actually prove their point; Kurt and Gürpınar, “The Balkan Wars and the Rise of the Reactionary Modernist Utopia,” 353.

71 Akçam, Taner, The Young Turks’ Crime against Humanity: The Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in the Ottoman Empire (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2012), xiv–xv.

72 As “evidence,” Dündar quotes some rumors that the likes of Talat Bey campaigned among the Ottoman soldiers to abandon the front during the Balkan Wars. Dündar also asks some piercing questions: Why did the Unionists not quit the ongoing war effort in Tripolitania and rush to the Balkan front right after the start of hostilities? Why had Enver Bey reconquered only as far as Adrianople but not any farther in the second round of the conflict? Dündar, Modern Türkiye'nin Şifresi, 57–64.

73 Scholars often tend to evoke the notion of a “return to Anatolia” in pinning down a linear development of genocidal ideology and policy. This approach is often the result of what is called “escalation bias” in genocide scholarship. See Türkyılmaz, “Rethinking Genocide,” 15.

74 Edib, Halide, Turkey Faces West: A Turkish View of Recent Changes and their Origin (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1930), 109. Emphasis added.

75 Özkan, From the Abode of Islam, 94–98.

76 Falih Rıfkı Atay, Zeytindağı, 139.

77 Ibid., 119.

78 Aydemir, Suyu Arayan Adam, 107–8. In doing so, Aydemir weaved together a range of disparate threads of what one may call “Anatolianism.” See Atabay, Mithat, “Anadoluculuk,” in Modern Türkiye'de Siyasi Düşünce, ed. Bora, Tanıl, vol. 4, Milliyetçilik (Istanbul: İletişim Yayınları, 2002), 515–32.

79 Kushner, David, The Rise of Turkish Nationalism, 1876–1908 (London: Frank Cass, 1977), 5253 .

80 Ortaylı, İlber, İmparatorluğun En Uzun Yüzyılı (Istanbul: İletişim Yayınları, 1999), 238 .

81 Nezir-Akmeşe, The Birth of Modern Turkey, 27. On the genealogy of the notion of a Turkish–Arab partnership, see Alp Yenen, “The Austro-Hungarian Model and Turkish–Arab Relations in Late Ottoman History” (a paper presented at the conference “Collapse of Ottoman and Austria–Hungarian Empires: Patterns and Legacies,” Vienna, Austria, 16–17 January 2014).

82 Nezir-Akmeşe, The Birth of Modern Turkey, 66–67.

83 Akçura, Yusuf [Akçura oğlu Yusuf], Üç Tarzı Siyaset, Ali Kemal'in Buna Cevabı ile Ahmed Ferid'in Aynı Mevzua Dair bir Mektubunu da Havidir (Istanbul: Matbaa-i Kader, 1911), 16 .

84 Ibid., 29.

85 Akçura, Yusuf, Eski ‘Şura-yı Ümmet'de Çıkan Makalelerimden (Istanbul: Tanin Matbaası, 1329), 48 .

86 For detailed information on Akçura's political initiatives in Russia, see David S. Thomas, “The Life and Thought of Yusuf Akçura (1876–1935)” (PhD diss., McGill University, 1976), 72–80.

87 Ahmed Ferid, “Bir Mektup,” in Akçura, Üç Tarz-ı Siyaset, 64.

88 Tunaya, Tarık Zafer, Türkiye'de Siyasal Partiler, vol. 1, İkinci Meşrutiyet Dönemi (Istanbul: Hürriyet Vakfı Yayınları, 1988), 351–52.

89 Ferid, Ahmet, “Türk Ocağı,” in Nevsal-i Milli 1330 Birinci Sene, ed. T. Z. (Istanbul: Fırat, Asar-ı Müfide Kütüphanesi, 1330), 189 .

90 Quoted in Zafer Tarık Tunaya, Türkiye'de Siyasal Partiler, vol. 3, İttihat ve Terakki, 559.

91 Quoted in Kocaoğlu, Bünyamin, “Balkan Savaşlarının İttihat ve Terakki Politikalarına Etkisi,” History Studies: International Journal of History 5 (2013): 252 .

92 Thompson, E. P., The Making of the English Working Class (New York: Vintage Books, 1966), 12 .

93 Yolcu, “Depiction of the Enemy,” 121.

94 On the Rumelian origins of the Young Turks, see Erik Jan Zürcher, “The Balkan Wars and the Refugee Leadership of the Early Turkish Republic,” in War and Nationalism, 665–78.

95 Mehmed Cavid Bey, Meşrutiyet Ruznamesi, 1:521.

96 Hüseyin Cemal, Yeni Harb¸ 88–89.

97 Hilmi, Tüccarzade İbrahim, Milletin Kusurları: Felaketlerimizin Esbabı (Dersaadet: Kitabhane-yi İslam ve Asker, 1328 [1912]), 8 .

98 Hüseyin Cemal, Yeni Harb, 259.

99 Tüccarzade İbrahim Hilmi, Milletin Kusurları, 9.

100 Hüseyin Cemal, Yeni Harb, 292.

101 Nick Danforth, “İntikam: Revenge 1914,” The Afternoon Map: A Cartography Blog, accessed 1 April 2016,

102 Özkan, From the Abode of Islam, 115.

103 Sabis, Ali İhsan, Balkan Savaşı’nda Neden Bozguna Uğradık?, trans. Hülya Toker (Istanbul: Alfa Yayınları, 2012), 17 .

104 Hilmi, Tüccarzade İbrahim, Türkiye Uyan: Millet-i Osmaniyenin İntibahına, Gençlerimizin Terbiye-yi İstikbaline Hadim Ahlaki ve İçtimai Müfid bir Rehberdir (Dersaadet: Kitabhane-yi İslam ve Askeri, 1329 [1912]), 29 .

105 Ahi, Abdullah, Türk Oğlu! Vazifeni Bil ve Unutma! (Istanbul: İkdam Matbaası, 1330 [1914]), 4 .

106 Bedirhan, Celadet and Bedirhan, Kamuran, Edirne Sukutunun İçyüzü (Istanbul: Serbesti Matbaası, 1329 [1913]), 56 .

107 Ginio, The Ottoman Culture of Defeat, 128–30.

108 Cevad, Ahmed, Kırmızı Siyah Kitab: 1328 Fecaii (Istanbul: Neşr-i Vesaik Cemiyeti, 1329 [1913]), 1:19–21.

109 Ginio, The Ottoman Culture of Defeat, 229.

110 Ryan Gingeras, “A Last Toehold in Europe: The Making of Turkish Thrace, 1912–1923,” in War and Collapse, 371.

111 Meclis-i Mebusan Zabıt Ceridesi, vol. 1, İçtima Senesi 1, Devre: 3, 23.

112 Geertz, Clifford, review of Engineers of Happy Land: Technology and Nationalism in a Colony , by Rudolf Mrázek, American Anthropologist 106 (2004): 420 .

113 See Ertunç Denktaş, “Ayastefanos Rus Anıtı (1898–1914)” (Master's thesis, İstanbul Teknik Üniversitesi, 2011).

114 The defeat in 1878 was in many ways similar to the one in 1912, for it also resulted in massive influx of Muslim refugees into the Ottoman Empire topped off with significant territorial losses and a heavy war indemnity that wrecked the Ottoman finances. Although such facts easily avail themselves to a tragic narrative, they should caution us to the narrative function of these cycles of defeat and the motific repetitions readily deployed by historians. In discussing the legacy of the defeat in 1878, for instance, the existing scholarship often notes that the war made the Ottomans a more Asian and Muslim empire, thereby situating the Ottoman defeat in 1877–78 within a broader tragic narrative. See, for instance, Fortna, Benjamin C., “The Reign of Abdülhamid II,” in The Cambridge History of Turkey: Turkey in the Modern World, ed. Kasaba, Reşat (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), 4:47.

115 Hasan Kayalı, “Ottoman and German Imperial Objectives in Syria during World War I: Synergies and Strains behind the Front Line,” in War and Collapse, 1118.

116 Arar, İsmail, Osmanlı Mebusan Meclisi Reisi Halil Menteşe'nin Anıları (Istanbul: Hürriyet Vakfı Yayınları, 1986), 182 . The Great Powers, fearful of Ottoman gains, had declared at the beginning of the hostilities that they would be the guarantors of the territorial status quo in the region, regardless of the actual result of the war. The Great Powers reneged on such promises, however, after the Ottoman defeat.

117 Kayalı, Arabs and Young Turks, 130.

118 Ronald Grigor Suny, “Writing Genocide: The Fate of the Ottoman Armenians,” in A Question of Genocide, 34.

119 Alp Yenen, “The Grand Vizier's Last Visit to Berlin: Young Turk Imperialism at the Eleventh Hour of World War I” (paper presented at the Second European Convention on Turkic, Ottoman, and Turkish Studies, 14–17 September 2016).

120 See Zürcher, Erik Jan, “The Odd Man Out: Why Was There No Regime Change in the Ottoman Empire at the End of World War I?,” in Turkey between Nationalism and Globalization, ed. Riva Kastoryano (Abingdon: Routledge, 2013), 2135 .

121 See Özoğlu, Hakan, From Caliphate to Secular State: Power Struggle in the Early Turkish Republic (Santa Barbara, Calif.: Praeger, 2011); and Watenpaugh, Keith David, Being Modern in the Middle East: Revolution, Nationalism, Colonialism, and the Arab Middle Class (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2006), 160–84.

122 Boyar, “The Impact of the Balkan Wars,” 150.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

International Journal of Middle East Studies
  • ISSN: 0020-7438
  • EISSN: 1471-6380
  • URL: /core/journals/international-journal-of-middle-east-studies
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed