My latest contribution to the group blog Notes On Liberty
Previous posts in this series have looked at the preconditions for the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923. The Ottoman Empire was in a very difficult situation from the early 19th century, effectively lacking the capacity to prevent erosion of its territory, extraterritorial legal rights for the stronger Great Powers which were extended to non-Muslim subjects the powers claimed to protect, and ‘mediation’ regarding break away groups within the Empire. The survival of the Empire was certainly in doubt by 1914 and World War One killed it, along with three other empires: Russian, German, and Austro-Hungarian. In a more long term way, the war hastened the end of colonial European empires, though the French and British Empires gained territory from the Paris Peace Treaties.
It is hard to see how the Ottoman Empire could have survived except as a rump state, even without the war. It might have been…
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