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A Collection on the Russo-Japanese War at the Atatürk Library

Author: Muratcan Zorcu

Source: Global Perspectives on Japan (GPJ), No.5 (2022), pp.105-118
Publisher: Forum Tauri Press
Keywords: Russo-Japanese War, Ottoman Army, Pertev [Demirhan], Mustafa Kemal [Atatürk], Vladimir Semenoff , Atatürk Library


This paper draws attention to a collection of the Atatürk Library in Istanbul because this collection has significant materials about the Russo-Japanese War from 1904 and 1905. Throughout and after the wartime, many of the Ottoman military staff translated military books about the war from different languages, as well as gathered numerous materials like postcards and maps in their own individual collections. It is impossible to highlight that this military staff were not solely from the collapse period of the Ottoman Empire but also were the founding fathers of the new republic in Anatolia and a military group. The Russo-Japanese War shaped the understanding of these figures, such as the top people from Marshall Mustafa Kemal [Atatürk] and General Kazım [Karabekir] to General Fahreddin [Türkkan] Pashas and the ordinary army officers. Pertev Bey [Demirhan], who was sent to this war as an observer by Abdülhamid II, also impacted the Ottoman military staff in the following years because he gave lectures at the Military School in Istanbul. We are able to understand and uncover the dimensions of the impacts of the Russo-Japanese War on the Ottoman military staff with the collection in the Atatürk Library. Accordingly, this collection helps us remember the impacts of the Russo-Japanese War on the mentality of the Ottoman military staff during the late Ottoman period, as well as the early phase of the Turkish Republic.