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The Last Days of the Ottoman Empire de Ryan…
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The Last Days of the Ottoman Empire (edição: 2024)

de Ryan Gingeras (Autor)

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431593,183 (2.75)3
'Impressive ... It is a complicated story that still reverberates, and Gingeras narrates it with lucid authority' New Statesman The story of the fall of the Ottoman Empire, published to coincide with the centenary of its dissolution The Ottoman Empire had been one of the major facts in European history since the Middle Ages. By 1914 it had been much reduced, but still remained after Russia the largest European state. Stretching from the Adriatic to the Indian Ocean, the Empire was both a great political entity and a religious one, with the Sultan ruling over the Holy Sites and, as Caliph, the successor to Mohammed. Yet the Empire's fateful decision to support Germany and Austria-Hungary in 1914, despite its successfully defending itself for much of the war, doomed it to disaster, breaking it up into a series of European colonies and what emerged as an independent Saudi Arabia. Ryan Gingeras's superb new book, published for the centenary of the last Sultan's departure into exile, explains how these epochal events came about and shows how much we still live in the shadow of decisions taken so long ago. Would all of the Empire fall to marauding Allied armies, or could something be saved? In such an ethnically and religiously entangled region, what would be the price paid to create a cohesive and independent new state? The story of the creation of modern Turkey is an extraordinary, bitter epic, brilliantly told here.… (mais)
Membro:RichardOrme
Título:The Last Days of the Ottoman Empire
Autores:Ryan Gingeras (Autor)
Informação:Penguin (2024), 368 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
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The Last Days of the Ottoman Empire de Ryan Gingeras

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The Hapsburg and Russian Empires both collapsed at the end of the First World War, but the Ottoman Empire ended the war still at least nominally in charge of its own territory. Despite being on the losing side and being widely known as "the sick man of Europe", there seemed to be no immediate prospect of the Sultan being forced to step back. The main modernisers of the Ottoman state, the Committee of Union and Progress ("Young Turks"), who had come to power in 1908, were in disgrace in 1918 because of the large-scale human-rights abuses committed under their leadership against Armenian and Greek Christians, Kurds, and other non-Turkish-speaking or non-Muslim communities. Yet, four years later, and after a lot of at best misguided intervention by Britain, France and Greece (and hundreds of thousands of people on all sides killed and millions made homeless), everyone seemed to be quite happy to see the Sultan displaced by an authoritarian, nationalist Ankara government led by Mustafa Kemal, with an ideology that seemed to have a lot in common with that of the CUP.

Ryan Gingeras takes us through the complex events of 1918-1923, which involves a lot of back and forth as there were usually several different conflicts going on in parallel in different corners of what had been the empire. The Turkish state has long been determined to control what historians have to say about its origins (basically, you weren't allowed to go beyond Mustafa Kemal's own account of events) and has typically kept academics out of late Ottoman records because of sensitivities about the Armenian genocide; that has softened a little under Erdoğan, who identifies more with Ottoman history than with Kemal, but it's still problematic, and it means that most outside accounts have had to lean heavily on what was written by foreign occupiers or Armenian and Greek exiles. Gingeras tries to compensate for this built in bias and dig down into what Turks themselves thought about the situation through the memoirs of officers in the Ottoman and Nationalist armies, but there's still a lot of speculation involved.

It's difficult to come to any conclusions from this book, except that all parties — states and individual leaders — seem to come out of it equally badly. The Ottoman Empire was a mess, and every attempt to resolve that mess seems to have made things worse by overlooking the human effects of what was being done. It certainly undermines any idea we might have had of Mustafa Kemal as an enlightened reformer. He was a successful fighter and an opportunistic negotiator with foreign powers, who came home from Lausanne with treaty that legitimised ethnic cleansing (as "population exchange"). Not exactly an enlightened role model for the twentieth century. ( )
  thorold | Jul 22, 2023 |
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'Impressive ... It is a complicated story that still reverberates, and Gingeras narrates it with lucid authority' New Statesman The story of the fall of the Ottoman Empire, published to coincide with the centenary of its dissolution The Ottoman Empire had been one of the major facts in European history since the Middle Ages. By 1914 it had been much reduced, but still remained after Russia the largest European state. Stretching from the Adriatic to the Indian Ocean, the Empire was both a great political entity and a religious one, with the Sultan ruling over the Holy Sites and, as Caliph, the successor to Mohammed. Yet the Empire's fateful decision to support Germany and Austria-Hungary in 1914, despite its successfully defending itself for much of the war, doomed it to disaster, breaking it up into a series of European colonies and what emerged as an independent Saudi Arabia. Ryan Gingeras's superb new book, published for the centenary of the last Sultan's departure into exile, explains how these epochal events came about and shows how much we still live in the shadow of decisions taken so long ago. Would all of the Empire fall to marauding Allied armies, or could something be saved? In such an ethnically and religiously entangled region, what would be the price paid to create a cohesive and independent new state? The story of the creation of modern Turkey is an extraordinary, bitter epic, brilliantly told here.

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