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European Imperialism, the 'Eastern Question' and the Ottoman Empire

In this episode of Talking History, Djene and Patrick speak with Dr. Ozan Ozavci about the history of European intervention in the Middle East.

Since the end of the Second World War, and more acutely since the end of the Cold War, policymakers in Washington have often viewed the Middle East as a land of perpetual crisis, instability, and unrest, a state of affairs to be managed through diplomatic and, at times, military intervention. However, in many ways, such perceptions are neither novel nor unique to the United States. Rather they can be traced back to the nineteenth century. This was a period that saw a rapid intensification of European diplomatic and military intervention into the affairs of the Ottoman Empire, the so-called sick man of Europe.

In this episode of Talking History, Djene and Patrick speak to Dr. Ozan Ozavci about his 2022 book, Imperialism, Security, and Civil Wars in the Levant, 1798-1864, which explores European-Ottoman relations in the nineteenth century.

Dr. Ozan Ozavci
Dr. Ozan Ozavci

In Talking History Extra, continuing at 25:55 in the audio, they go to discuss Dr. Ozavci's work on the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne. To learn more, see

Dr. Ozan Ozavci is Assistant Professor of Transimperial History at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. His research interests are in the entangled histories of Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa from the late eighteenth century until the 1950s.

Djene Bajalan is a historian and a member of the faculty in the Department of History at Missouri State University. He was born, raised, and educated in the United Kingdom and holds a DPhil in Oriental Studies from the University of Oxford. His research focuses on the Ottoman Empire and he teaches courses on the history of the Middle East.<br/><br/>
Patrick Needham is a mechanic and fabricator with a love for History. Born in Colorado and raised in Taney County, Missouri, Pat loves the Ozarks with the zeal of a convert. Not formally trained in History, he brings an everyman touch to the show. He hopes his fellow Ozarkers find lessons and parallels in the past.