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The Ottoman Road to War in 1914: The Ottoman Empire and the First World War

Feroz Ahmad once described contemporary Turks as suffering from the “Sèvres Complex,” by which he referred to Turkish paranoia about having Anatolia carved up into small bits under foreign rule such as was to be their fate in the abortive Sèvres Treaty of 1920. In this new study, Mustafa Aksakal demonstrates with authority that the general apprehension of dissolution and partition that drove Ottoman officials in 1914 derived from the disastrous Balkan Wars of 1912 and 1913, not 1920, and was based on a plethora of very real threats and secret negotiations leading up to the Ottoman signing of the alliance with Germany on August 2, 1914.

 

Feroz Ahmad once described contemporary Turks as suffering from the “Sèvres Complex,” by which he referred to Turkish paranoia about having Anatolia carved up into small bits under foreign rule such as was to be their fate in the abortive Sèvres Treaty of 1920. In this new study, Mustafa Aksakal demonstrates with authority that the general apprehension of dissolution and partition that drove Ottoman officials in 1914 derived from the disastrous Balkan Wars of 1912 and 1913, not 1920, and was based on a plethora of very real threats and secret negotiations leading up to the Ottoman signing of the alliance with Germany on August 2, 1914.

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