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Interpreting the Evidence

Turkish Soldiers Drilling for War, Konia, Asia Minor

  • Documents in this Activity:
  • Historical Eras:

    Turn of the Century and WWI (1890 - 1930)

  • Thinking Skill:

    Historical Analysis & Interpretation

  • Grade Level:

    Middle School
    High School
    College University

  • Topics:

    Global History and Geography
    World War I

  • Primary Source Types:


  • Regions:


  • Creator:

    NYS Archives Partnership Trust Education Team

  1. Load Turkish Soldiers Drilling for War, Konia, Asia Minor, 1913 in Main Image Viewer

Suggested Teaching Instructions

Document Description
Turkish soldiers practicing for War, Konia, 1913.
Historical Context
Although World War I is often thought of in terms of its major combatants like Germany, Austria-Hungary, France, England, Russia, and the United States, it is important to remember that these six powers were not the only participants in the war.  World War I truly was a global conflict.  At its various points in time, the conflict involved countries from every settled continent on earth.

The Ottoman Empire sided with the Central Powers, and joined the war on October 29, 1914.  This development posed a particular challenge to the British.  Since Britain had valued colonies in both India and the Middle East, it was not long before clashes between the two powers began, and the Middle Eastern Theatre of World War I opened.  This photograph shows Turkish military forces drilling in 1913.

Although the Ottoman Empire was active in World War I from October 29, 1914 to October 30, 1918.  By the end of World War I, the Ottoman Empire was crushed in defeat.  With its territories partitioned and its leadership divided, the Ottoman Empire dissolved with the end of World War I.
Essential Question
How does geograph determine the effects of war?
Check for Understanding
Describe the scene in the photograph and explain the role of the Ottoman Empire in World War I.
Historical Challenges
What was the Goeben-Breslau Incident and what role did it play in leading the Ottoman Empire to join World War I? Compare these circumstances to the factors that led another country (of your choice) into the war.
Interdisciplinary Connections
Technology: One of the reasons the British responded to the Ottoman entry into the war was that nearby British colonies were rich in oil. What were two military and civilian uses of oil during the World War I era?
Science: Just as organisms are best suited to survive in certain conditions and must adapt when entering new environments, the armies of World War I also needed to adapt to changing conditions in various global climates. What considerations might a European army like Britain or France need to take into account before engaging in war in the Middle East?