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Черноморский научно-исследовательский центр

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The Volunteer Ottomans in the Greco-Turkish War of 1897
The Greco-Turkish War of 1897 broke out due to the annexation of Crete Island by Greeks to realize the Megali Idea and attacks carried out on the Ottoman borders. Greek administrators, who thought that they were superior to the Ottomans, were certain about winning the war; however, the war did not go as planned and in no time, the roads to Athens were lying naked in front of the Turkish soldiers. Meanwhile, big states, especially Russia, helped the Greeks and they led to the truce negotiations between Greece and the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Empire consisted of volunteer soldiers as well as the regular (nizamiye), the reserved (redif), and the home guard (mustahfiz) soldiers. Both Muslims and non-muslims applied in order to be drafted as volunteer soldiers. The volunteers consisted of different ages; from children to the elderly. Those soldiers whose applications are accepted were sent off to the fronts with big ceremonies and crowds and the same thing applied when they returned. On top of that, monetary, food, and clothing aids were made to the volunteer soldiers and those that they left behind by the local authorities and the wealthy people of the region. The volunteer soldiers as well as the other soldier branches contributed to the success of the Ottoman Empire on the borders. The success and loyalty of the volunteer soldiers on the borders led them to be awarded with medals in different ranks or to be awarded with “Medal of Greco War" solely prepared for this war. Therefore, in this research, we examined the registration of the volunteer soldiers in the Greco-Turkish War of 1897, the dispatch of those who are admitted, and their return.

The Ottoman Empire, Greece, War, Soldier, Volunteer

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