World War 1 and the Middle East: Collapse of the Ottoman Empire

World War I had a lasting impact on the Middle East. At the most basic of levels, the war led to the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and laid the foundations for the establishment of several new states whose borders have defined the Middle East as a region ever since. However, there was much more to World War I in the Middle East than this important geopolitical reality. As recent scholarship has made clear, the war was also the biggest crisis in the history of the Ottoman Empire. Thus, your task is to write a paper that is at least 3 full-length pages (you can go over this minimum if you want) in which you explain how any one of the following themes as they appear in Ihsan Turjman’s diary Year of the Locust helps us understand that nature of this crisis:
• • Changing notions of identity
• • Lack of faith in government
• • The harsh realities of war
• • Gender
• • Natural disasters (this can include locust attacks, diseases, weather, etc.)
• • An alternative theme that you have identified (get prior approval from me first if you choose this option!)

In addition to Turjman’s diary, you must incorporate information at least one article and at least one podcast to give greater substance to your analysis:
• • Yiğit Akin, “‘The Greatest Enemy of the Ottomans and Muslims’: The Russians in Ottoman Propaganda during the First World War,” in The Central Powers in Russia’s Great War and Revolution: Enemy Visions and Encounters, 1914-22, ed. John Deak et al. (Bloomington, Ind.: Slavica Publishes, 2020), 89-110.
• • Samuel Dolbee, “The Desert and the Armenian Genocide,” Past and Present, no. 247 (2020): 197-233.
• • Zachary Foster, “The 1915 Locust Attack in Syria and Palestine and Its Role in the Famine during the First World War,” Middle Eastern Studies 51 (2015): 370-394.
• • Nicole van Os, “Women’s Mobilization for War (Ottoman Empire/Middle East),” 1914-1918 Online: International Encyclopedia of the First World War (

• • M. Kemal Temel, “The 1918 ‘Spanish Flu’ Pandemic in the Ottoman Capital, Istanbul,” Canadian Bulletin of Medical History 37 (2020): 195-231.

• • “Fighting Under the Same Banner,” Ottoman History Podcast, 23 February 2020 (
• • “Ottoman Children and the First World War,” Ottoman History Podcast, 9 December 2019 (
• • “Indian POWs in the Ottoman Empire during WW1,” Ottoman History Podcast, 28 December 2012 (
• • “WWI in the Syrian and Lebanese Diaspora,” Ottoman History Podcast, 2 March 2019 (
• • “How War Changed Ottoman Society,” Ottoman History Podcast, 3 October 2019 (

1-inch margins; 12-point Times New Roman Font; Double-Spaced; In-Text Citations [for example: (Akin, 23)]; no bibliography; name, date, class number upper left-hand corner; title

The paper must make a compelling argument in answer to the prompt (i.e. it has a strong and clear thesis) makes thorough use of specific and well thought out evidence, follows the formatting requirements, and will be free of grammaticaiqul, spelling or punctuation errors.

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