As someone who’d read history from a biased point of view from the Turkish side, here’s what I can summarize:
The Ottoman Empire was being acceleratingly weakened by the numerous mutinies, the Balkan Wars and the constant provocations of the Russian Empire and the British. At that time, the tension between Austria-Hungary and Serbia was making the world restless. The Ottoman Empire initially tried to forge an alliance with the Entente powers but they declined, since the regrowth of the Ottoman Empire would vastly weaken their mandates in the Middle East. Germany, however, had no such problems. Fearing that they would fall weak before the Triple Entente and not trusting the instable Austria-Hungary enough, they decided to enlist the help of the crumbling Ottoman Empire. Not only would this open another front in war, but also after they won the war, Germany could very easily subjugate the Ottomans and take hold of the Middle East. So, with the aid of Enver Pasha and İttihat ve Terakki, the Ottoman Empire joined the war alongside the Central Powers and was crushed. Turkey officially joined the war when Russia bombed the Black Sea shore.
The Eastern Front proved to be disastrous. The French were dominating the southeast, the Russians were advancing at large from the northeast and the Arabs, provoked by the British, backstabbed the Ottomans which was a huge blow to them and caught them off-guard (Since the Caliph, who was also the Emperor of the empire, had declared a Holy Jihad calling for all Muslim peoples to join the Central Powers). The campaign of Galipolli is what marked the fate of Turkey in the war. Through great acts of heroism etc. etc. the front was won and this marked the end of Churchill’s WWI career. The battle was partly won by the constant aids of the newly formed Bolshevik Interregnum between the Russian Empire the Soviet Republic. Moreover, Lenin had given back the lands the Russian Empire had invaded back to Turkey. Nevertheless, even after these campaigns, Rauf Orbay signed the treaty of Sevres and Turkey was partitioned.
Then came Kemal Ataturk and the war of independence. The Western Front proved to be especially troublesome and Ataturk called for total war. The Greeks were hardly subjugated and the British and the French took a great deal of time before being kicked out and the treaty of Lausanne was signed. Through great ordeals the battle was won and the secular, democratic Republic of Turkey was established, but that was only a beginning…
This is what is taught here in our schools, sans the deeper politics.[/quote]
Sounds close enough from my knowledge. Do they teach you that the Marmara region, the Black Sea region, the Aegean region and 95% of these islands(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkish_islands) were continously inhabited by Greeks for thousands of years? Invasion of Cyprus and annexation of the North followed by declaration of an indenpendent state? I already mentioned the genocidal pogroms. You won’t want to mention them in your project or you’ll be arrested for ‘denigrating the Turkish state/institutions.’[/quote]
Yes actually they did, though very vaguely. No comment was made and I remember the whole topic of the issues with the Greeks, including the exchange (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_exchange_between_Greece_and_Turkey) took merely one lesson of 40 minutes. The issue of Northern Cyprus is an incendiary topic here. As we were taught, the Greeks were causing troubles, mirroring the pre-Balkwan War rebellions and Enosis was becoming more and more a terrorist organization. They started killing the local population and implementing terror tactics until Turkey had to intervene and “take care” of the Turks living there. I myself am agnostic about the Cyprus issue: I don’t know enough to comment on it thoroughly. And the genocide. During the whole curriculum, the phrase “Armenian Genocide” was never ever uttered. It’s as if even the concept had never originated. I do not deny the Genocide myself, however I can’t get in a serious debate about it. Ever. Whenever I open the topic, the focus of the conversaion changes with almost a divine intervention and if it does not change, I get bashed for being pro-American, pro-Imperialist and pro-capitalist (saying which is ironic in a democratic country with capitalism as an economical base) whenever I’m outside the boundries of my school (Which is an American College actualy). And on that last issue, have you ever heard of Ergenekon and the mass-arrest of generals and deans?
The first things which comes to mind is the genocide of the armenians, which seems to be a disturbingly ignored topic in Turkey. Almost like it never happened. Not to mention the massive and much more recent, (still ongoing?) state terror against the kurds, which was almost completely ignored by the rest of the world for some reason.
Thats not true, they only ignored it until the Kurds exploded a few banks in Europe which immediately led to the PKK being declared a “terrorist” organization, so I guess we know now what is worth more, Kurdish lifes or bank held property.
Also, there are no Kurds, only mountain Turks, snicker, incidentally there are no Alewites in Turky either.
Turky is a fascinating example of a society that is based on denial.
Come to think of it, maybe that is quite common?[/quote]
I myself couldn’t have put it better. The problem is that Turkey falls a bit on the racist side on the right-left spectrum, and there is a wide, common-spread delusion that Turks are the supreme race.[/quote]
Yes I have heard of Ergenekon. Very interesting and mysterious. I have a lot to say about the Dardanelles and how we could’ve forced Turkey out of the war with ships alone and even after we fucked that up we could’ve taken the peninsula and Constantinople with ground forces but I don’t have time now. I will visit this thread again soon.