Ottoman Entry into WWI: Politics, Nationalism and Diplomacy


Lisa Adeli, the National Council for Social Studies 2012 Global Education award recipient, develops programs for the University of Arizona Center for Middle Eastern Studies, primarily for K-12 students and for educators. Adeli specializes in Ottoman and Balkan history with a special interest in World War I, with academic degrees from Georgetown, Indiana University and the University of Arizona.

When the Great War erupted, the Ottoman Empire was already depleted from years of conflict in the Balkans and elsewhere. Why, then, were the Ottomans so quick to join the Central Powers in early November 1914? The immediate answers involve internal Ottoman politics and a struggle for dominance within the Young Turk ruling elite. This presentation examines the Ottoman decision within the broader context of European relations and the challenges caused by the rise of competing forms of nationalism within the Empire, issues which shape the history of the Middle East throughout the war and the century that followed.

Presented November 7, 2014 as part of the National World War I Museum and United States World War I Centennial Commission 2014 Symposium, "1914: Global War & American Neutrality."

The Symposium was held in association with The Western Front Association East Coast Branch and the World War I Historical Association. Sponsored by Colonel J's, the Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund and Verlag Militaria.


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