Just finished reading Eugene Rogan’s book The Fall of the Ottomans, which presents a wholistic and detailed account of the middle eastern front during the Great war. It does contain controversial content and there are various chapters and sections that I cannot fully agree with, but regardless, I do heavily recommend reading It.
On a separate note, I find the above historic photography work from 1913 fascinating in its details. The look on Enver pasha is so incredibly familiar, as if I have seen his twin before somewhere in the streets of İstanbul. You can almost feel his ambition and the Albanian unrelentingness through this image. The way he sharply looks straight into the eyes of the ‘yabancı’ Lieut.-Colonel Tyrrell with so much meaning considering his aspirations and the historic context of that particular day, and the way other Ottoman soldiers in the background glance at their commander trying to interpret his body language is fascinating. If only he was better at planning, which unfortunately still is the common problem of us Turks. So many burning desires we have but at the same time so little patience for planning and realistically scheduling. Our current city plans, main stream building processes and football teams are just a few living proofs of this innate deficiency of ours. We can only hope that through time as the Millennial and Z generations eventually rise to power that they can somehow pick on these weaknesses by first studying and understanding history and then by decidedly voicing the importance of teaching how to “comprehensively plan for the long term” in our currently obsolete educational systems, which currently tend to reward short term glamour and big ideas, or in other words the ego more than anything. I am still optimistic on these two generations. Also, I want to highlight the strange fact that since at that time photography was still a new technological instrument of the visual arts, some people used to cut photos delineating the contour of figures. I often see this treatment on these old historic black and white photographs during the early 20th century. Were they trying to take figures out of the frame like two dimensional sculptures? Just another mystery.