The Incredible Life of Antoine Köpe

Episode 387

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Antoine Köpe was never a prominent politician or public figure, but he was witness to extraordinary events. Born in late Ottoman Istanbul to French and Hungarian parents, Antoine was there to celebrate the 1908 Young Turk revolution, fight in the First World War, live under an Allied occupation, and experience the emergence of the national resistance and the establishment of the Republic of Turkey. Driven by an irresistible instinct to document, he produced writings, drawings, audiovisual recordings, and a 10-volume memoir of his unusual life. In this episode, our guest filmmaker Nefin Dinç shared more about the life of Antoine Köpe, which is the subject of a documentary project titled "Antoine the Fortunate."

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Contributor Bios

Nefin Dinç currently teaches at James Madison University, School of Media Arts and Design as an Assistant Professor. She studied Economics at Ankara University, Political Science Faculty and has a Masters degree in Media and Culture from Strathclyde University, Scotland as well as a MFA degree in Documentary Filmmaking from the University of North Texas, U.S.A. She has produced six documentaries on Turkey and its surrounding countries and is currently producing "Antoine the Fortunate."
Chris Gratien is Assistant Professor of History at University of Virginia, where he teaches classes on global environmental history and the Middle East. He is currently preparing a monograph about the environmental history of the Cilicia region of the former Ottoman Empire from the 1850s until the 1950s.


Episode No. 387
Release Date: 20 October 2018
Recording Location: Hanover, Germany
Audio editing by Chris Gratien
Bibliography, images, audio clips courtesy of Nefin Dinç


Aaron the Idiot. A soldier depicted by Antoine at the military hospital in Damascus.
A self-charicature by Antoine Köpe
Young Antoine Köpe (right) with friends
Antoine Köpe in his uniform during WWI
Antoine Köpe in his later years. (In one of the pictures he is holding his memoirs.)

Select Bibliography

Aksakal, Mustafa. The Ottoman Road to War in 1914: The Ottoman Empire and the First World War. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

Rogan, Eugene L. The Fall of the Ottomans: The Great War in the Middle East. New York: Allen Lane, 2015.

Woodward, David R. Hell in the Holy Land: World War I in the Middle East. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 2014.

Zürcher, Erik Jan. The Young Turk Legacy and the National Awakening: From the Ottoman Empire to Atatürk's Turkey. London: I.B. Tauris, 2010.


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