In preparation for the peace conference that was expected to follow World War I, in the spring of 1917 the British Foreign Office established a special section responsible for preparing background information for use by British delegates to the conference. Anatolia is Number 59 in a series of more than 160 studies produced by the section, most of which were published after the conclusion of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. Anatolia is the peninsula jutting westward from Asia between the Black Sea and the easternmost part of the Mediterranean Sea, corresponding roughly to most of present-day Turkey. The book includes sections on physical and political geography, political history, social and political conditions, and economic conditions. Anatolia was at this time a region of considerable ethnic and religious diversity, and the book discusses in particular the Greek and Armenian communities. It concludes with a bleak assessment of the consequences of Turkey’s alliance with Germany in World War I, which included large casualties in the majority Muslim population, massacres of Armenians, and deportation or drafting into forced-labor battalions for many other Christians. The study did not venture predictions for the future and thus did not foresee the complete collapse of Ottoman authority that was to result from the war.

Last updated: January 4, 2016