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The tangled web of the Eastern Question became the single most explosive force in European great power politics during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and Constantinople became the epicenter of this contentious dispute in Ottoman-European relations. Eyewitness commentaries by diplomats, travelers, residents, and others who visited this fabled city conveyed images and episodes about various topics, including European interactions with the Ottoman Empire, European designs on contested lands, and Ottoman politics and policy. These scenes and stories not only shed light on the geopolitical heart of the Eastern Question but also reinforce the centrality of this volatile issue in the relationship between the Ottoman Empire and Europe.


Published in Chronos 35 (2017): 93-111

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