When the first Balkan War broke out in October 1912, few Ottomans anticipated that it would prove to be a watershed moment for the Empire, ending in igminy, national catastrophe, and the loss of its remaining provinces in the Balkans. Defeat at the hands of an alliance of Balkan powers comprising Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia and Montenegro set the stage for the Balkan Crisis of 1914 and would serve as a prelude to WWI. It was also a moment of deep national trauma and led to bitter soul-searching, giving rise to a so-called 'Culture of Defeat' in which condemnation and criticism flourished in a way seemingly at odds with the reformist debate which followed the Young Turk Revolution of 1908.Eyal Ginio's clear-eyed and rigorously researched book uncovers the different visual and written products of the defeat, published in Ottoman Turkish, Arabic and Ladi, with the aim of understanding the experience of defeat -- how it was perceived, analyzed and commemorated by different sectors in Ottoman society -- to show that it is key to understanding the actions of the Ottoman political elite during the subsequent World War and the early decades of the Turkish Republic.
Eyal Ginio is Associate Professor for Turkish Studies at the Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He completed his Ph.D. at the Hebrew University in Middle East studies (1999) and post-Doctorate at Oxford University (1999-2000). He served as the chair of his department in 2009-2012. His recent publications include Late Ottoman Palestine: The Period of Young Turk Rule (edited with Yuval Ben Bassat), and Ottoman Legacies in the Contemporary Mediterranean: the Balkans and the Middle East Compared (edited with Karl Kaser).