Gangsters, kidnappers, killers and other patriots: the writing of a new social history of the Turkish War of Independence
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The Turkish War of Independence, fought between 1918 and 1922, is arguably the definitive event in modern Anatolian his tory. Certainly one could counter that the First World War, which entailed such pivotal turns as the Armenian Genocide, the Battle of Gallipoli and the Sykes-Picot Agreement, represents a far more devastating and defining era in the evolution of Asia Minor. Yet if one is to fully reflect upon the Great War and its aftermath, it appears to me that the events of 1914 and 1918 opened the door to the kinds of changes that gripped Anatolia in the years to follow. More than simply leading to the establishment of the Turkish Republic in 1923, the Turkish War of lndependence sealed and made nearly irreversible a total political and social transformation of the region. One could state, without hyperbole, that this complete re-engineering of Anatolia's political and social landscape rivals or surpasses any event since the Battle of Manzikert in 1071.
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