Talaat Pasha, Father of Modern Turkey, Architect of Genocide

Talaat Pasha, Father of Modern Turkey, Architect of Genocide

Iran Academia News Archive
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IAUP's Book Archive
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This book by Hans Lukas Kieser, historian and professor at Newcastle University, Australia, was translated by Amir Moghadam into Persian


Talaat Pasha (1874–1921) led the triumvirate that ruled the late Ottoman Empire during World War I and is arguably the father of modern Turkey. He was also the architect of the Armenian Genocide, which would result in the systematic extermination of more than a million people, and which set the stage for a century that would witness atrocities on a scale never imagined. Here is the first biography in English of the revolutionary figure who not only prepared the way for Atatürk and the founding of the republic in 1923 but who shaped the modern world as well. In this explosive book, Hans-Lukas Kieser provides a mesmerizing portrait of a man who maintained power through a potent blend of the new Turkish ethnonationalism, the political Islam of former Sultan Abdulhamid II, and a readiness to employ radical “solutions” and violence. From Talaat’s role in the Young Turk Revolution of 1908 to his exile from Turkey and assassination — a sensation in Weimar Germany—Kieser restores the Ottoman drama to the heart of world events. He shows how Talaat wielded far more power than previously realized, making him the de facto ruler of the empire. He brings wartime Istanbul vividly to life as a thriving diplomatic hub and reveals how Talaat’s cataclysmic actions would reverberate across the twentieth century. In this major work of scholarship, Kieser tells the story of the brilliant and merciless politician who stood at the twilight of empire and the dawn of the age of genocide.

Following the Young Turk Revolution of 1908, a group of pashas rose to power in Istanbul. These individuals, driven by a potent blend of ethnic Turkish nationalism and political Islamism, were determined to resurrect the waning authority of the Ottoman Empire. Among these influential pashas, Talaat Pasha emerged as a prominent figure who spared no effort in his pursuit of enforcing an authoritarian ethno-religious uniformity within the empire. Unfortunately, his actions left behind a trail of violence and bloodshed.

Hans Lukas Kieser’s book, translated with precision and fluidity, introduces Persian-speaking readers to the career and era of a statesman whose destructive idealism resulted in nothing but the loss of lives and the collapse of an empire.

Toraj Atabaki professor of social history at Leiden University and senior researcher at the International Institute of Social History

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