‘History of Turkey’ is a compulsory course for all Bilkent University undergraduate students. This course is designed to encourage students to work in group projects about any topic of their choice that relates to the history of Turkey. Since the beginning of 2011 Spring Semester, students from each department at Bilkent University have been presenting their group projects based on their research topics. Each of these projects shed light on a specific field of Turkish history. These projects are then examined by a panel from Bilkent University and successful projects are chosen to receive awards in the September of the following academic year.
Browsing History of Turkey by Subject "1. Dünya Savaşı"
Nearing the end of the year 1918, humanity thought it had finally overcome one of its worst
catastrophes — World War I. Just as the world escaped the death and destruction of the war,
however, an even bigger calamity took hold of the globe: that is, a pandemic. In the summer of
1918, Spain reported the existence of influenza — with the symptoms of the common flu, which
deteriorated into pneumonia, bronchitis, etc. — which was later given the misnomer of the
infamous “Spanish flu.” The tragedy of the war often overshadows the crippling effect the Spanish
flu had on the world and the Ottoman Empire — a warzone, in more than one way — in particular.
The fact of the matter remains that Spanish flu had a just as catastrophic effect as World War I —
if not worse. This paper aims to explore the ramifications of World War I and the Spanish flu taking
place in the same time period through the use of first-hand accounts of both the war and influenza.
It will do so in the form of letters, pictures dating back to Ottoman times, memoirs of soldiers,
newspaper articles — both from inside and outside the Ottoman Empire — and the Turkish Red
Crescent archive. In addition to those primary sources, research papers and books that offer varying
perspectives on the subject will also be used. This begs the question — did the war exacerbate the
effects of influenza and its aftermath? Simply put, yes; this paper realizes that the fallout of World
War I, joined with that of the Spanish flu, resulted in devastating repercussions for the Ottoman
Empire in terms of health, the quality of life of its population, and even its economy.