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Among the Ottomans: Diaries from Turkey in World War I

Among the Ottomans: Diaries from Turkey in World War I

Edited by: Ian Lyster

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During World War One, the Ottoman Empire, one of the largest and longest-lasting empires in history, faced severe challenges to its structure and existence, which eventually resulted in its dissolution. "Among The Ottomans" introduces two unique diary accounts written by two generations of the same family in the declining years of the Ottoman Empire. Written in the heart of the crumbling Ottoman Empire, Marie Lyster's World War One diaries describe the political and social climate of Constantinople as Allied troops swept through Turkey, wreaking havoc on the country's infrastructure and forcing residents, regardless of their national affiliations, to endure the hardships of war. Just 200 miles away in the Dardanelles, her son Henry was fighting with the Allies against the Turks. Following the Allied retreat in 1915, he was posted to Salonika in northern Greece, where he worked with the 'Comitajis' as they fought the Bulgarians. Later, as the Military Governor of Eastern Thrace, he witnessed the rise of Turkish Nationalism and the struggle for control of the fragmented pieces of the fallen empire.

Published for the first time, these two diaries provide an unprecedented account of the Great War's impact across generations and geographical borders and a unique insight into the final years of the Ottoman Empire.

Table of Contents

The Lyster family in Turkey
The Imperial Ottoman Bank
Turkey enters the War
Greece invades Asia Minor
Diaries of Mrs Marie Lyster
Diaries of Henry Newbolt Lyster
Early life up to Military training
Posting to the Dardanelles
With the Comitajis
Posting to Adrinople / Edirne
Posting to Izmit
The Kemalists take over
General musings on the Political situation

Author Info

Ian Lyster was born in 1937 in London and educated in Istanbul, where his father and grandmother had earlier lived, as well as in the UK. After studying at the London College of Printing he worked in publishing for many years and later set up his own book distribution company.


These diaries make engrossing reading. They really capture the period, contain some fascinating personal stories and illuminate key episodes from this turbulent period.
– Steven Morewood, Senior Lecturer in International History, University of Birmingham

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.

ISBN: 9781848855212
Publication Date: 25 Oct 2010
Number of Pages: 208
Height: 216
Width: 134
Illustrations: 8 bw plates

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