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Ottoman Propaganda and Turkish Identity: Literature in by Erol Köroglu

By Erol Köroglu

All through international battle I the Entente Powers (France, Britain, Russia and later america) directed frequent efforts in the direction of the new release of propaganda as a weapon of battle, with devastating influence. although, within the underdeveloped and multi-ethnic Ottoman Empire, the Turkish intelligentsia couldn't produce enough propaganda to help the battle attempt. because the struggle opened up, writers deserted their preliminary makes an attempt at propaganda and grew to become in its place to the duty of defining a countrywide id. during this new reassessment of Turkish literature and propaganda in global warfare I, Erol Köroglu argues the Ottoman-Turkish intelligentsia used the stipulations created by means of the struggle to get rid of the deficiencies in nationwide tradition and construct a Turkish identification, a undertaking inherited from the pre-war years.

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Extra info for Ottoman Propaganda and Turkish Identity: Literature in Turkey During World War I (Library of Ottoman Studies)

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The reasons for this lay in the historical events of the years 19081914. 24 This situation is reflected in the number of periodicals published. During the last days of Abdülhamid II, there were around 120 newspapers and magazines actively being published in the Ottoman Empire. After the introduction of the constitution, this number shot up to 730 within one year. Of these, 377 were published in Istanbul. 25 This unfavourable environment in which the press operated was due to the difficult circumstances of the period 1908-1923.

Abdullah Cevdet wanted religious reforms similar to those desired by the Turkists. According to data provided by ‹çtihad, in 1914 there 30 Ottoman Propaganda and Turk›sh Ident›ty were 178 medreses (theological schools) in Istanbul, with a total of seven thousand students, while in the Theology and Literature Faculties of the University there were only 348 students, in the Science Faculty, 200, and in the Faculty of Law, 2119, respectively. The average age of the medrese students was thirty-five.

3 Throughout the Ottoman modernization process until the beginning of the Anatolian based struggle for independence, no political movement ever directly opposed Ottomanism. On the other hand, each loss of territory, each war and each separatist nationalist movement made the continuation of an Ottomanist policy increasingly difficult. Among all nationalisms of the Muslim Ottoman communities, Turkish nationalism was the last to appear. Especially after the Balkan War, people reached the conclusion that ‘Ottomanism was just a lot of empty words, which did not prevent anybody, but the Turks, from trying to break away’.

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