Among the Ottomans: Diaries from Turkey in World War I

TitleAmong the Ottomans: Diaries from Turkey in World War I
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsLyster, Ian
Number of Pages159
PublisherI.B. Tauris

During World War One, the Ottoman Empire, one of the largest and longest-lasting empires in history, faced severe challenges to its structure and existence, which eventually resulted in its dissolution. This volume introduces two unique diary accounts written by two generations of the same family in the declining years of the Ottoman Empire. Written in the heart of the crumbling Ottoman Empire, Marie Lyster's World War One diaries describe the political and social climate of Constantinople as Allied troops swept through Turkey, wreaking havoc on the country's infrastructure and forcing residents, regardless of their national affiliations, to endure the hardships of war. Just 200 miles away in the Dardanelles, her son Henry was fighting with the Allies against the Turks. Following the Allied retreat in 1915, he was posted to Salonika in northern Greece, where he worked with the 'Comitajis' as they fought the Bulgarians. Later, as the Military Governor of Eastern Thrace, he witnessed the rise of Turkish Nationalism and the struggle for control of the fragmented pieces of the fallen empire. Published for the first time, these two diaries provide an unprecedented account of the Great War's impact across generations and geographical borders and a unique insight into the final years of the Ottoman Empire.

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