- Die Bagdadbahn: Ein Umriss deutsch-türkische Beziehungen. Gesammelte Beiträge ed. by Max Florian Hertsch, Mutlu Er (review)
- Journal of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association
- Indiana University Press
- Volume 4, Number 1, May 2017
- pp. 215-218
- View Citation
- Additional Information
Book Reviews 215 stranger in Athens, Smyrna, and the Parliament in Istanbul, as well as Michelle U. Campos’succinctly presented tale of the Ottomanist Jewish Yellin brothers, are all refreshing for their accessibility. Darin Stephanov adds Bulgarian enthusiasm for the Ottoman monarchy and changing definitions of millet demonstrated during Mahmud II’s tours there in the 1830s, and M. Alper Yalçınkaya the history of Muslim science as a tool for ethnic nationalist claims rounding out a wealth of readings for the classroom. Parts III and IV can be supplemented usefully by a similar Ottoman lives project that grew out of the ongoing conversation with many of the same people that generated the MESA project. Living Empires: Ottoman Identities in Transition, 1700–1850, edited by Veysel Şimşek and me, is a collection of nineteen papers from a conference held at McMaster University in 2012, available in open access on the Journal of Ottoman Studies’ website.7 Of particular note is Maurits H. van den Boogert’s “Resurrecting Homo Ottomanicus: the Constants and Variables of Ottoman Identity,” that complements the editors’ introduction in Living in the Ottoman Realm. Profiles of Ibrahim Müteferrika by Orlin Sabev, Ebu Bekir Ratıb Efendi by Fatih Yeşil, Hattat Ismail Zihni Pasha by Kahraman Şakul, and Ahmed Vasıf Efendi by Ethan Menchinger add Ottoman intellectuals to Part III of Living in the Ottoman Realm. Two pieces on the Arab provinces: James Reilly on Ottoman Homs in the writings of Muhammad al-Makki circa 1700, and Dana Sajdi’s innovative mapping of “spatial imaginaries” of eighteenth-century Arab chroniclers contribute a regional dimension less evident in Parts III–IV, while Frank Castiglione’s portrait of British-Italian dragomans of the Pisani family arguably complements the wonderful pieces by Gutman and Kechriotis in Part IV of Living in the Ottoman Realm. Happily, Living in the Ottoman Realm is also available as an ebook. Virginia Aksan McMaster University doi:10.2979/jottturstuass.4.1.11 Max Florian Hertsch and Mutlu Er, eds. Die Bagdadbahn: Ein Umriss deutsch-türkische Beziehungen. Gesammelte Beiträge. Hamburg:Verlag Dr. Kovač, 2016. 282 pp. €98.80 ISBN 978-3830087878. There is hardly any other European country where Turkish culture is as present as in Germany. Turkish-speakers are part of everyday life in politics, 7. Virginia H.Aksan and Veysel Şimşek, eds., Living Empire: Ottoman Identities in Transition 1700–1850.JournalofOttomanStudies44(2014).AlsoopenaccessontheJOSwebsite:http://english .isam.org.tr/index.cfm?fuseaction=objects2.detail_content&cid=616&cat_id=21&chid=49. 216 Journal of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association, Vol. 4.1 culture, business, and university, and these individuals are becoming increasingly visible. Bilingual books containing contributions in both Turkish and German are also being published. Die Bagdadbahn belongs to this category . Die Bagdadbahn is a collection of articles focusing on the prestigious Baghdad Railway that aims to understand the relationship between Germany and Turkey. Even though there is no introduction to the collection , the work by Mehmet Yavuz, “Hochbauten der Bagdadbahn” (Building the Baghdad Railway), may be considered as an introduction to the subject . In addition, there is an introduction to the film project Die Bagdadbahn by Jürgen Lodemann offered by the director himself. In his contribution, “Gottes Schöpfungswerk verbessern” (Improving God’s Work) Lodemann offers a general view of the railway project as a showcase of international power as well as of the historical and cultural background of the Baghdad Railway project itself. He embeds these simultaneous introductions into a normative relationship of imperialism, geo-politics, world power, nationalism , and religion. In fact, along with different expectations, values, distinct objectives, and projections, the Baghdad Railway implied unequal technical-technological standards and means as well. While the Ottoman Empire, as “the sick man of the Bosporus,” saw its salvation only in the marketing of its raw materials , Germany had emancipated itself from the Holy Roman Empire, and made itself a belated nation but with technologically advanced innovations in the search for potential markets. Edward Said, in his book Orientalism, long ago unmasked the naive notion of curious travelers as the instrumentalization of science for the service of imperialism. The “scientific” projects financed by states were thus part of an epochal expansion...