Fighting Under the Same Banner

Episode 451

What did it mean to individuals from different ethnic and religious backgrounds to participate in World War I under the same banner? What do personal narratives tell us about the World War I? Accounts of soldiers, officers, and women as well as non-textual sources such as medals and postcards provide novel perspectives into thinking about the experience of the Great War. This episode brings together interviews conducted at Boğaziçi University during the Fighting Under the Same Banner: Memories from the Ottoman Theater of the Great War Conference in September 2019.

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Contributor Bios

Yaşar Tolga Cora is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Boğaziçi University. His research is on the social and economic history of the late Ottoman Empire, with a particular focus on Armenian communities in Anatolia, and life narratives of Ottoman Armenians.
Edhem Eldem is a professor in the Department of History at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul and holds the International Chair of Turkish and Ottoman History at Collège de France since 2017. He has published extensively on the economic, intellectual and cultural history of the Ottoman Empire and Turkey.
Nicole van Os works at Leiden University as a student advisor and programme coordinator and is an affiliated researcher of the Leiden Institute of Area Studies. She has been working on Ottoman women’s history since the late 1980s.
Johann Strauss taught at the universities of Munich, Birmingham, Freiburg and Strasbourg University. He has published numerous articles in English, French, and German on a variety of topics, in particular translations from Western languages, history of printing and publishing, and linguistic and cultural contacts between the various communities of the Ottoman Empire.
Işın Taylan is a PhD candidate in History at Yale University. She is interested in intellectual history, history of knowledge and global history of early modern science. Her dissertation examines the history of atlas and geographical knowledge in the Ottoman Empire.


Episode No. 451
Release Date: 22 February 2020
Recording Location: Boğaziçi University, Istanbul
Audio editing by Işın Taylan
Music: Silicon Transmitter - Electric Storm; Aitua - IV Volcano; A.A. Aalto - TraverseHarmandali - Recep Efendi, Cemal Efendi; Scanglobe - Beanbag Fight
Images and bibliography courtesy of Yaşar Tolga Cora, Edhem Eldem, Nicole van Os and Johann Strauss

Recruiting for the "Holy War" near Tiberias, 1914. Source: Library of Congress
An Ottoman poster announcning mobilization for war (seferberlik). The text at the bottom reads: "The first day of mobilization is ______," indicating that the posters were created in anticipation of mobilization before the date was determined. Source: Reddit

Ottoman WWI Medal or Harp Madalyası at left, German Iron Cross at right

Postcard depicting Sultan Mehmed V, Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany, and Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary. Source: Art-A-Tsolum

The conference booklet is available here

Select Bibliography

Alışlar, İzzeddin and Mesut Yaşar Tufan, Yüz yıl sonra savaşan çizgiler. Istanbul: Türkiye Bankası, 2017.

Beşikçi, Mehmet. “Tarihyazımında hatırat ve günlükler nasıl kullanılmalı?:  Birinci Dünya Savaşı’na katılan Osmanlı askerlerinin benlik belgeleri özelinde metodolojik bir analiz,” Toplum ve Bilim 144 (2018): 255-256.

Beşikçi, Mehmet. Cihan Harbi'ni Yaşamak ve Hatırlamak, Osmanlı Askerlerinin Cephe Hatıraları ve Türkiye’de Birinci Dünya Savaşı Hafızası. İletişim Yayınları, 2019.

“Debate” in  Journal of Genocide Research 19:2 (2017): 258-297.

Edib, Halidé. Memoirs of Halide Edib, New York, London: The Century Co,1926. (at

Eldem, Edhem. Pride and Privilege. A History of Ottoman Orders, Medals and Decorations. Istanbul: Ottoman Bank Archive and Research Centre, 2004.

Eldem, Edhem. İftihar ve İmtiyaz. Osmanlı Nişan ve Madalyaları Tarihi. İstanbul: Osmanlı Bankası Arşiv ve Araştırma Merkezi, 2004.

Eldem, Edhem. “The Changing Design and Rhetoric of Ottoman Decorations.” Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts 28 (2016): 24-43.

Erman, M. Demir. Harp Madalyası. Ankara: 2012.

Fortna, Benjamin C. (ed.). Pervin’in Savaşı: Kuşçubaşı Eşref’in Eşinin Hatıratı. Istanbul: Timaş Yayınları, 2019.

Fussell, Paul. The Great War and Modern Memory. New York: Oxford University Press, 1975.

Harari, Yuval Noah. “Military Memoirs: A Historical Overview of the Genre from the Middle Ages to the Late Modern Era.” War in History 14:3 (2007): 289-309.

Holt, Tonie and Valmai. Till the Boyas Come Home. The First World War Through its Picture Postcards, (2nd edition) Barnsley: South Yorkshire, 2014.

Hynes, Samuel. “Personal Narratives and commemoration.” in War and Remembrance in the Twentieth Century, edited by Jay Winter and Emmanuel Sivan, 205-220. Cambridge University Press, 1999.

Kayra, Mediha.Hoşça Kal Trabzon Merhaba Istanbul: Bir Kız Çocuğunun Günlüğünden I. Dünya Savaşı’nda Anadolu. Istanbul: Tarihçi Kitabevi, 2013.

McLaughlin, Kate. (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to War Writing. Cambridge University Press, 2009.

Sandalcı, Mert. Max Fruchtermann Kartpostalları, 3 vols. Istanbul: Koçbank, 2000.

Schumann, Christoph. “Individual and Collective Memories of the First World War” in O. Farschid, M. Kropp ve S. Dahne, ed. The First World as Remembered in the Countries of the Eastern Mediterranean. Ergon Verlag (2006): 247-264.

Somay, Bülent. Tarih, Otobiyografi ve Hakikat: Yüzbaşı Torosyan Tartışması ve Türkiye’de Tarihyazımı. Bilgi Üniversitesi Yayınları, 2015.

Watson, Janet S. K.  Fighting Different Wars: Experience, Memory, and the First World War in Britain. Cambridge University Press, 2004.


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