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Authors: Akarca, Halit Dundar
Advisors: Hanioglu, Sukru
Contributors: Near Eastern Studies Department
Keywords: Archaeology
First World War
Ottoman Empire
Russian Empire
Subjects: History
Middle Eastern history
Russian history
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: During the First World War, the Russian Caucasian Army had occupied a territory comprising the Ottoman provinces of Trabzon, Erzurum, Van, and, for a shorter period, Bitlis. The region that the Russian forces occupied was depopulated to a great extent due to the deportation and the massacres of the Armenian population and the flight of the Muslims. In the course of the occupation, however, mainly Armenian but also a significant number of Muslim refugees returned to the region. The relative absence of resistance and inter-communal violence during the occupation is striking, given the violent periods immediately before and after the occupation. Concentrating on the Russian practice of power during the occupation period, I will try to provide one plausible reason from among many: namely, that the Russian state and society succeeded in projecting a functioning vision of empire for the occupied regions. The Ottoman state and the Russian state were empires in modern times. Both employed methods to enhance the status of their state in the international arena. The Ottoman state was not on a track to establish a nation-state. Its rulers' attempts to institutionalize an "Ottomanist" nationalism failed, paving the way for modern methods of increasing the homogeneity of the empire, including population deportation or ethnic cleansing. Had the Ottoman state successfully ended the war, it would exist as an empire. In reality, however, the Ottoman Empire disintegrated into nation-states which all condemned their imperial past and which were all ruled by the late Ottoman elites who had embraced nationalist ideas and identities. The Russian imperial territories and structure, on the other hand, remained almost intact with most of the imperial bureaucracy merely serving under a new banner. The analysis of the Russian rule in the occupied Ottoman territories provides new insights for the viability of imperial political entities.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Near Eastern Studies

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