Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

The 1918 Ottoman Campaign in Palestine

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

The 1918 Ottoman Campaign in Palestine

Article excerpt

On Nov. 10, the 78th anniversary of the death of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of the Turkish Republic, Dr. Edward Erickson, author and professor of military history at Marine Corps University, delivered the American Friends of Turkey's annual Atatürk lecture on the topic, "Palestine 1918-The Impact of Mustafa Kemal."

"If you write about World War I in the Middle East, Atatürk is woven through the narrative," Erickson told some 60 guests gathered at the Turkish Embassy in Washington, DC.

Erickson described Atatürk as a complex man fluent in several languages who in his spare time translated German field manuals into Ottoman Turkish. "This was a guy who was tough, intellectual and a born soldier," he said.

The professor discussed the fighting by the Ottomans against the British in the Palestine theater, which also included Syria, southern Turkey and parts of the Arabian Peninsula-an important chapter of history often overlooked in accounts of the war, the professor lamented. …

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