War and Nationalism

The Balkan Wars, 1912–1913, and Their Sociopolitical Implications

War and Nationalism presents thorough up-to-date scholarship on the often misunderstood and neglected Balkan Wars of 1912 to 1913, which contributed to the outbreak of World War I. The essays contain critical inquiries into the diverse and interconnected processes of social, economic, and political exchange that escalated into conflict. The wars represented a pivotal moment that had a long-lasting impact on the regional state system and fundamentally transformed the beleaguered Ottoman Empire in the process.

This interdisciplinary volume stands as a critique of the standard discourse regarding the Balkan Wars and effectively questions many of the assumptions of prevailing modern nation-state histories, which have long privileged the ethno-religious dimensions present in the Balkans. The authors go to great lengths in demonstrating the fluidity of social, geographical, and cultural boundaries before 1912 and call into question the “nationalist watershed” notion that was artificially imposed by manipulative historiography and political machinations following the end of fighting in 1913.

War and Nationalism
will be of interest to scholars looking to enrich their own understanding of an overshadowed historical event and will serve as a valuable contribution to courses on Ottoman and European history.

M. Hakan Yavuz is a professor of political science at The University of Utah. He is the editor of War and Diplomacy: The Russo-Turkish War of 1877–878 and the Treaty of Berlin (The University of Utah Press, 2011).

Isa Blumi is an associate professor of history at Georgia State University and a Senior Research Fellow for the Centre for Area Studies at Leipzig University. He is the author of Reinstating the Ottoman Empire and Foundations of Modernity.

Table of Contents:

List of Illustrations
A Note on Transliteration
Foreword by Edward J. Erickson
Foreword by Peter von Sivers
Introduction: Lasting Consequences of the Balkan Wars (1912–1913) - Isa Blumi and M. Hakan Yavuz

Part I - The Origins of the Balkan Wars
1. Warfare and Nationalism: The Balkan Wars as the Catalyst of Homogenization - M. Hakan Yavuz
2. Bulgaria and the Origins of the Balkan Wars 1912–1913 - Richard C. Hall
3. Young Turk Policy of Macedonia: Cause of the Balkan Wars? - Mehmet Hacisalihoglu
4. Rebels with a Cause: Armenian Macedonian Relations, 1890–1913 - Garabet Moumdjian
5. The Balkan War of 1912: An Assessment of Responsibilities - Feroze Yasemee
6. Epidemic Diseases seen in the Traceian Front of the Ottoman Empire During the Balkans - Oya M. Daglar

Part II - External Influences and Consequences
7. Ottoman Diplomacy and the Origins of the Balkan Wars - Gul Tokay
8. Austria-Hungary’s struggle for status quo and the Serb and Montenegrin Propaganda in Sandžak Novi Pazar (1879–1908) - Tamara Scheer
9. The Balkan Wars in the Perspective of the European Powers: The Italian Case - Francesco Caccamo
10. Between Cross and Crescent: British Diplomacy and Press OpinionToward the Ottoman Empire in Resolving the Balkan Wars, 1912–1913 - Pamela Dorn Sezgin

Part III - Transforming Ottoman Society
11. The Balkan Wars and the Turkish Women’s Movement - Serpil Atamaz
12. And the Awakening Came as a Result of the Balkan War: The Changing Conceptualization of the Body in Late Ottoman Society - Melis Hafez
13. Making Sense of the Defeat in the Balkan Wars: Voices from the Arab Provinces - Eyal Ginio

Part IV - Ethno-Religious Cleansing and Great Power Epistemologies
14. Paramilitaries in the Balkan Wars: The Case of Macedonian Andrianople - Sahara Tetsuya
15. Nationalism of Coercion: The Case of Pomak Christianization (Pokrasvane) in Bulgaria, 1912–1913 - Fatme M. Myuhtar-May
16. Bulgaria’s Policy towards Muslims during the Balkan Wars - Neriman Hacisalihoglu
17. Perceiving the Balkan Wars: Western and Ottoman commentaries on the 1914 Carnegie Endowment Balkan Wars Inquiry - Patrick Adaimak
18. Savagery and the “Modern” State: Competency and Civilization in the Late Ottoman and Early North American Empires - Jon Schmitt

Part V - Balkan States
19. Shifting Possibilities Before and After 1912: Empire to Nation-State - Isa Blumi
20. Ottoman Disintegration in the Balkans and its Repercussions - Sevtap Demirci
21. Aggressiveness of Bosnian and Herzegovinian Serbs in the Public Discourse during the Balkan Wars - Amir Duranovic

Part VI - Republic of Turkey and Republican Introspection
22. Balkan Ward and Population Movement - Nedim Ipek
23. The Refugee Elite of the Early Republic of Turkey - Erik-Jan Zurcher
24. The Loss of the Lost: Selective Memory and The Construction of the Modern Turkish National Identity - Mehmet Arisan
25. The Political and Military Consequences of the Balkan Wars on the Republican Military - Dogan Akyaz
26. The Impact of the Balkan Wars on the Emergence of Modern Turkey - Preston Hughes
27. The Impacts of the Balkan Wars on the Turkish Intellectuals - Funda Selcuk Sirin
28. What Did the Albanians Do?: Post War Disputes on “Albanian Attitudes” - Cagdas Sümer
29. More History than they Can Consume?: Perception of the Balkan Wars in the Turkish Republican Textbook (1932–2007) - Nazan Cicek

List of Contributors

Praise and Reviews:

“Professors Yavuz and Blumi have edited an excellent and much needed study on the interdisciplinary aspects of the Balkan Wars (1912-1913). By avoiding nationalist narratives that came to dominate the recent scholarship, the chapters rigorously develop the social, economic, cultural, and diplomatic connections between local, regional, and European dimensions of this catastrophic event that resulted in the annihilation of the Ottoman Muslim civilization in the Balkans. This book argues for a new theoretical approach to studying the complex connections between warfare, nationalism and homogenization. This book is more so a study of the patterns of the nation-building than a military history. It is a must read for the Balkan and Ottoman specialists and students of nationalism.”—Ilber Ortayli, Galatasaray University, Istanbul and the author of Discovering the Ottomans

“A very impressive collection. Not only will this be the most comprehensive volume on the Balkan Wars, but the interdisciplinary approach which it incorporates casts new light on the origins of contemporary conflicts in the Balkans.”—Uli Schamiloglu, University of Wisconsin

“War and Nationalism is the second volume in this series, which covers the causes, course and consequences of the end of the Ottoman Turkish empire. It had famously been multi-ethnic and multi-religious, and its destruction was accompanied by mass deportations, what we have learned to call ethnic cleansing, and vicious murder. This volume's originality lies in its demonstration that the first instance of this came with Greek independence, and that the model was then adapted to the rest of the Ottoman Balkans and then to Anatolia itself. The articles are of high quality, bringing various elements of history—social, intellectual, diplomatic and economic—together to present a coherent narrative of these tragedies.”—Norman Stone, Bilkent University and author of The Eastern Front 1914-1917

“War and Nationalism offers a new perspective on understanding the process of nation-building in the Balkans at the end of the nineteenth century. It indicates very clearly that war-making became an effective agent of homogenization through ethnic cleansing and mass killing. A number of papers argue that the Ottoman military defeat and the deportation of so many Muslims from southeastern Europe, and the destruction of long-established Muslim communities, radicalized the Young Turks and helped to create a revanchist (rather than nationalist) political atmosphere. Ottoman public opinion concluded that the very existence of the Ottoman state was in the balance, and that they needed a major ally. This is a large part of the explanation for the Ottomans' decision to enter the First World War. This book offers a clear and original narrative of the social and political implications of the Balkan Wars.”—Peter Sluglett, President of the Middle East Studies Association of North America, 2012-13, Visiting Research Professor, Middle East Institute, National University of Singapore

“Those with an interest in and familiarity with the south Balkans will find real merit in these papers.”—CHOICE