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Pre-Print Censorship in Allied Occupied Istanbul: Who Censored What, When, Where, and Why (1918-1923)
This paper analyzes the radical change in pre-print censorship and the censored content of Istanbul-based Turkish newspapers from 1918 to 1923. The main question that leads up to this research paper is why interallied censorship did not remove the writings propagating a nationalistic cause. That news could have easily led to incitement in public opinion, provided material or immaterial support to the Anatolian movement, and even a harsher reaction from the Muslim population of Istanbul under the Allied occupation. It also covers the questions of what kind of news might be censored, who censored the press, when it began, where was the censorship bureau and why it established in the first place. While the mainstream scholarship on the press censorship of Late Ottoman history focuses on the restrictive features of the regime on the news about the Anatolian movement, more recent writings on the issue demonstrated the lightening of censorship intensity, particularly after the battle of Sakarya. However, I will argue that the censorship regime had already been unstable and fluctuated throughout the period. I will also discuss that the only consistent censorship policy of the Interallied censorship mechanism was against the writings not to the Anatolian movement but to the news related to the Allied states from the beginning to its abolition. Therefore, the claim that pre-print censorship was loosened after the battle of Sakarya will also be discussed by admitting that the Interallied censorship regime eased against the writings about Anatolia. My sources will be the censorship guidelines published in several newspapers, the state archives, the foreign office documents in the British archives, and the Parliament and Senate minutes. I will also provide a unique first draft of the censored content of Tasvir-i Efkâr.
Geographic Area
Ottoman Empire
Sub Area