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Basar Eryoner "BasarEryoner" (Istanbul)
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The Berlin-Baghdad Express: The Ottoman Empire and Germany's Bid for World Power, 1898-1918
The Berlin-Baghdad Express: The Ottoman Empire and Germany's Bid for World Power, 1898-1918
by Sean McMeekin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.68

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great review of WWI in Eastern Theater, 18 Dec. 2012
In depth coverage of the conditions leading to World War and unbaised review of the war in Eastern Theater built around the story of Baghdad Railway Company with a lot of lessons to be taken for today.


Paradise Lost: Smyrna 1922 - The Destruction of Islam's City of Tolerance
Paradise Lost: Smyrna 1922 - The Destruction of Islam's City of Tolerance
by Giles Milton
Edition: Hardcover

6 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 'Wars when fought by great nations are often very dangerous for the proxy', 13 Sept. 2008
Giles Milton's sentence in page 180 of this book in fact is the root of the Smyrna tragedy. Book clearly summarizes the behind the scenes war taking place between the victors of the WWI, as well as the war between the invading Greeks -hoping to reach their Great Ideal- and the Turkish Nationalist forces to deffend their home country.
This book could have been a better one if Mr. Milton had referred to the following book and magazine articles:

The Struggle For Power In Muslim Asia, E(dward) Alexander Powell, 1923

Actualities at Smyrna by Mark Prentiss, 1924, His report can easily be read from the following link : [...] and

G. Ercole's article in Fench L'Illustration magazine dated 30 September 1922.

These articles would have added to the book a great deal. Finally for those readers who wish to know more about similar 'Paradises' lost earlier in the Levant, I highly recommend the following books:

Salonica, City of Ghosts: Christians, Muslims and Jews 1430-1950 by Mark Mazower Salonica, City of Ghosts: Christians, Muslims and Jews

The Lavender Seller by Nicholas Stavroulakis

These two books will shed a light to the readers who really want to have in depth knowledge to the events leading to occupation of the most fertile and richest city in the orient and the biggest trading hub.
Happy reading.
Basar Eryoner
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 25, 2010 1:28 PM BST


Constantinople: City of the World's Desire, 1453-1924
Constantinople: City of the World's Desire, 1453-1924
by Philip Mansel
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.59

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Somethings never change in Constantinople, 11 Aug. 2007
In his book Mr. Mansel brings to light why all the great powers in the history wanted to control Constantinople and its hinterland. Their motives were not only politic but economic as well. All wanted Constantinople to be an open city.

By giving quotes from contemporary diplomatic corresspondances, accounts of travel writers and history books writen back then; he explains the power strugle behind the scenes.
Sultans ruled the city and the Ottoman empire but, who influenced them? Answer is in the book, Mothers, Eunuchs, dragomans, Pashas, Ambassadors. It clearly shows that when Mehmed conquered the city he adopted the Roman system. In fact he was the continuation of the Roman Empire.
After Pagan Rome (I) and Christian Rome (II), he established the third, Muslim, Rome. As money does not have any religion, the inhabitants of the city wanted to continue their trade and increase their wealthy under the new administration. Cons.ple continued to be the magnet for the rest of the world whether they were firends or foes.

The palace entriques, just like in Rome, continued until last day of the Ottoman empire. (and also it is still continuing today)to control the power and wealth.

The book also gives a good example of the modernization and democratization efforts in the Ottoman empire trying to catch up with Europe and the forces opposing it, which is still continuing today, too.

Mr. Mansel's knowledge on other dynasties of Europe and Midddle East adds a lot into the book. I would have enjoyed more extensive comparison between the other rulers of their times and ottoman sultans, which would help readers to evaluate; the Sultans, the Ottoman Empire, the city and its population, fairly as most of the time Ottoman Empire and its system is critisized on today's value system.

Super powers again wanted to control Istanbul and its hinterland by enforcing their value system. Each super power prefers that Istanbul should better be run by weak administrations rather than another rival super power fully controls it. And today, the history repeats itself.

Constantinople will be Constantinople (multi cultural, multi ethnic, indulgent, intriquing, passionate, full of conflicting interests) until the end of time as it is the city that everyone desires.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 29, 2012 11:25 AM GMT


1453: The Holy War for Constantinople and the Clash of Islam and the West
1453: The Holy War for Constantinople and the Clash of Islam and the West
by Roger Crowley
Edition: Hardcover

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Holly war or economic war?, 21 Dec. 2005
Don't be misled by the title of the book, Roger Crowley succesfully explains in his book that under the motives of a 'holly war' this war in fact was the war for the inheretance of the Roman Empire; Mehmet's aim to establish a world empire, and to become a super power. The inner motives to conquer Constantinople was political, economical and strategical rather than religious.
Isn't it still the same motives that underlie the wars?
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 24, 2012 8:00 PM GMT


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