Unique Example of a Crisis: German "Orientpolitik" in World War One


CTAD-CUMHURIYET TARIHI ARASTIRMALARI DERGISI, vol.14, no.28, pp.213-260, 2018 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 14 Issue: 28
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.213-260
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Scientific studies on the blossoming relations, in 19th century, of the Ottoman, German and Austro- Hungarian Empires cannot neglect following issues: First, Metternich's endeavours to recover the old system of Europe; second, Bismarck's idea of Balance of Power; third, Wilhelm II's World Policy; fourth, the political and economic aspirations of Russia and England on the same landscape and finally, the First World War. Moreover, questions concerning the German military missions in the Ottoman Empire, Baghdad Railway Project and especially the cooperation in economic, political and social affairs are much- discussed issues in this context. This cooperation changed dimension with the coming of the Young Turks to power, and flew in a brotherhood in arms in the First World War. The War brought some of the major powers shoulder- to- shoulder and some in opposite. It represents the common history of all these countries and leads therefore to many historical analyses. All these issues can be specified as the main subjects which constituted the framework of the 19th century Turkish- German relations. Within this framework, the relationship has to be addressed through different subtitles and different indicators. For example, the German Orient Policy is a crucial indicator of both German efforts in the First World War and economic, political and cultural aspirations and demands on the Ottoman Empire. This article aims to explicate the German Orient Policy before, during and after the First World War from the perspective of the German diplomats. Key problems of this policy and the attitudes, conducts and discourses of the diplomats of the German Foreign Office towards them will be examined on the basis of current examples in the documents of the Politisches Archiv in Berlin.