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Abstract


AN INTERPRETATION OF HISTORY FROM YUSUF AKÇURA IN THE CONTEXT OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR: HISTORICAL RELATIONS OF TURKS, GERMANS AND SLAVES
Yusuf Akcura gave a conference titled “Historical Relations of Turks, Germans and Slaves” on 19 November 1914, at Türk Ocağı. Moving from the title of conference, we can think that Akcura gave a history conference. However this historical issue to be dealt with in the days of the Ottoman Empire entered the First World War is interesting. In the days Ottoman Empire were also in a great war, saying something about historical relations of Turks, Germans and Slaves, was inevitably saying something about war. Indeed, Akcura, analyzed these relations in a historical context but in a way legitimizing the war. He explained Turkey’s to the entering the war on the side of the Germans, by two great historical currents. The first of these current was historical conflict between Slaves and Turks. In this conflict, Germans strategic ally of Turks. The second great current was the struggle between Islam and Christianity. Akcura saw the Germans as allies of the Islamic world, in the final phase of the struggle between Islam and Christianity. He explained this situation also, by the England-Germany rivalry. Eventually Akcura, moving from historical data, justified the entry of the Ottoman Empire into the First World War with the Germans and found that it was necessary. He conceptualizes the situation of the Turks in the war, as “historical position”. Fighting of the Turks alongside the Germans againts the British and Slaves was most suitable to the their interests and historical position. Obviously, reviews of Akcura’a about distant and recent history, legitimized the entery of the Ottoman Empire into the war. But, it would be unfair to think about Akcura giving this conference only to justify the war and look nice to politicans who made the decion of the war. Akcura, had begun to develop the basic ideas of the concerence with various articles written before the Balkan Wars. From this perpective, Akcura’s thoughts was not the product of a pragmatic stance that could be evaluated only in the context of the First World War. <

Keywords
Yusuf Akcura, First World War, Turkish-German relations, Turkish-Russian relations, Turkish-British


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