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By Erol Köroglu

All through global struggle I the Entente Powers (France, Britain, Russia and later the united states) directed frequent efforts in the direction of the iteration of propaganda as a weapon of struggle, with devastating influence. despite the fact that, within the underdeveloped and multi-ethnic Ottoman Empire, the Turkish intelligentsia couldn't produce enough propaganda to aid the conflict attempt. because the battle spread out, writers deserted their preliminary makes an attempt at propaganda and became as a substitute to the duty of defining a countrywide identification. during this new reassessment of Turkish literature and propaganda in international battle I, Erol K?¶roglu argues the Ottoman-Turkish intelligentsia used the stipulations created via the warfare to cast off 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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These were supposed to be reviews of German books on the subject of war. The unsigned (although most probably written by Yusuf Akçura) introduction to the first review argued that in the present war “mobilization” could not be limited to armies but should encompass the whole society. All writers, intellectuals and scientists published articles in favour of and about the war. The author of this introduction, who made it clear that he was closely following the European literary scene, stressed the importance of writing about war time and post-war conditions.

55 As in the case of education, it is a known fact that by the time the war began the process of creating a national consensus also had not achieved the desired results in this sector. The Ottoman Empire was in very unfavorable circumstances from the point of view of its material infrastructure and superstructure Mater›al Cond›t›ons of War Propaganda 23 at the beginning of the twentieth century. All the efforts undertaken to eliminate these disadvantages prevented the organization of an effective propaganda network during the war.

The Ottomanist thought or ideal was to be present on the political scene and in the works of writers with ties to different ideologies. This presence would sometimes be dominant but always implicit. Even in times when it was strongly criticized as an ideology, Ottomanism would always be the main reference point of Ottoman political life. The reason for this was the need for the survival of the state. This need was felt even by Turkists trying to create a nation state. When looked at from this point of view, Ottomanism appears to be a protective reflex of the state.

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