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capture“A Great Turkish Policy: Winston Churchill, the Ottoman Empire and the Origins of the Dardanelles Campaign” by A. Warren Dockter (Aberystwyth University) was published in the latest issue of History (102: 349, January 2017). It provides an examination of Churchill’s role in Anglo-Ottoman relations in the years before 1914 as well as during and after the First World War, including how his views of the Ottomans impacted the planning of the Dardanelles campaign. Dockter, the author of Churchill and the Islamic World: Orientalism, Empire and Diplomacy in the Middle East, comments that his subject “reflected on the Ottoman empire and Turkey a great deal before the First World War even started and his positions were often complex and at times contradictory. Specifically the author comments that Churchill, who had worked for an Anglo-Ottoman alliance since 1911, based his controversial decision in 1914 to commandeer two battleships being built for Turkey by the British on his belief that “German diplomacy had already won Turkish affections.” Dockter concludes that “Churchill had a much more complex, if not sympathetic, relationship with the Ottoman empire than is typically understood.” The website for History is available here.

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