Valentijn Vermeer (2013)
During several short stays at the NIT during summer and autumn 2013 I was able to work on my research project about Turkish-Ottoman cultural relations around World War I. The outcomes of this research provide the basis for a larger research interest and can make a valuable contribution to the work that has been done in this field. In Istanbul I mainly focused on reading and analyzing the “Osmanischer Lloyd”, a daily newspaper that was published in Istanbul from 1908 until 1918 in German as well as in French and served not only as an important propaganda tool for the political ties between the German Reich and Ottoman Empire but was also a medium that provided a platform for cultural exchange between German and Ottoman culture. Since this newspaper is only available in the library of the German Archaeological Institute located in the German Consulate in Istanbul I was fortunate to do research on a subject that is difficult to access and has therefore been much neglected. During this work I also included other texts (mostly ego documents) by German expats living in Constantinople that give insight in the daily and cultural life of Germans in the Ottoman Empire from a personal and German perspective.
I especially valued the opportunity of doing archival research on important but hard-to-access sources which was made possible by my NIT fellowship. The accommodations the NIT offers its fellows, the friendly atmosphere and helpful staff provide comfortable working conditions I’m very thankful for.
My stays at the NIT contributed much to my further research and stimulated my interest and motivation to continue the work I was able to do in Istanbul.