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Emotions and narratives of the spirit of Gallipoli: Turkey’s collective identity and status in international relations

Gursoy, Yaprak (2022) Emotions and narratives of the spirit of Gallipoli: Turkey’s collective identity and status in international relations. British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies. ISSN 1353-0194

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Identification Number: 10.1080/13530194.2022.2056432


This article examines Turkish narratives of the Gallipoli Campaign fought during the First World War, based on newspaper archival research covering the last 50 years. It argues that the memorialization of the Gallipoli Campaign reflects collective emotions underpinning Turkish national identity and self-perceptions of ambivalence in international relations. Compared with the Sèvres Treaty, which is the most frequently cited episode of the First World War in the context of Turkish history, the Dardanelles Victory provides a more nuanced understanding of Turkish collective identity and international status. Fought primarily against the British and resulting in victory, the narratives reveal emotions related to humiliation and betrayal, as well as desires for validation vis-à-vis Europe. However, the spirit of Gallipoli also signifies the birth of collective consciousness, restoration of honour after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and compassion for the victimized soldiers of the opposing side. Thus, the different memorialization of the First World War, especially in contrast to Europe, sets Turkey’s status above the colonized nations while manifesting aspirations to place Turkey on an equal footing with the West. This duality in the narratives reproduces Turkey’s own understanding of its ambivalence and liminal status between the West and the East.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Author
Divisions: European Institute
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DR Balkan Peninsula
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D501 World War I
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2022 10:15
Last Modified: 07 Apr 2024 23:13

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