FAREWELL TO ANATOLIA: BEING A SOLDIER IN THE FIRST WORLD WAR

Abstract

Author(s): ?ehnaz ???MANO?LU ??M?EK

This article focuses on the novel Benden Selam Söyle Anadolu’ya (1970) (Matomena Homata, -Bloody Earth- in Greek) written in 1962 by a Greek writer Dido Sotiriou who was born in Ayd?n. The novel, being awarded by Abdi ?pekçi Peace and Friendship Prize in 1982 in Turkey, tells the fictional memoirs of a non-muslim soldier called Manolis Axiotis who fought in the Labour Battalions of the Ottoman army in the First World War. First, to contextualize and analyze the text accordingly, historical background is given in the article about the conscription of the non-muslims in the Ottoman Army and the labour battalions in the First World War. As a result, the narrative is evaluated as one of the few texts that make the readers witness an ordinary soldier’s experience which is usually absent in war narratives. Besides, the novel reveals unknown details that lie outside the official historical narrative about the Greco-Turkish War (1922) for the Turkish readers.

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