Black Ottoman Soldier

Discussions on the final era of the Ottoman Empire, from the Young Turk Revolution of 1908 until the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923.
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Peter H
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Black Ottoman Soldier

Post by Peter H » 01 Oct 2006 14:53

From ebay back in July,seller urfaust.

I assume he's an African Muslim caught up in Turkey when the war broke out or descended from black slaves brought to the Empire.
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misho9991
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Post by misho9991 » 01 Oct 2006 16:53

Could be both, quite an interesting photo indeed. Does anyone know whether Ottoman empire conscripted Africans during WWI? As far as I know the borders of the Ottoman empire at the beginning of the war were along the Sinai peninsula, including Palestine and Trans-Jordan, populated by Arabs. Maybe in these areas there was some population of African origin?

trickcyclist
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Post by trickcyclist » 01 Oct 2006 20:49

The Ottoman empire included provinces as far south as Yemen, which would mean that black Arabs were inducted into the armed forces. In fact, one of only two black pilots in World War One was an Ottoman naval lieutant named Ahmet. The other was the American Eugene Jacques Bullard, who was a member of the Lafayette Flying Corps.

Here's another interesting photo. The German soldier in question isn't black, but he seems to be east Asian. This undated photo was taken at a hospital on the western front, and our man has an EK II ribbon, so he appears to have been a combat soldier.

Strange.
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misho9991
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Post by misho9991 » 01 Oct 2006 21:07

Very interesting. I assume that he had German citizenship and that`s why he got conscripted. Could be an immigrant (or a descendant of immigrants) from east Asia, a lot of people from this region migrated to Europe and USA at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century.

stevebecker
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Post by stevebecker » 02 Oct 2006 01:08

Mate,

I don't think he looks like a full blood Asian to me, possible half caste child from a soldier or civilian from one of the German colonies who had returned to Germany and was avialible for concription.

Cheers

S.B

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cj
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Post by cj » 02 Oct 2006 06:58

I don't think he's asian, I don't see any eyebrows or eyelashes, and the eyes seem to be differently sized. I'm thinking more that he's a burn or shrapnel victum, whose eyes were narrowed by scar tissue

trickcyclist
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Post by trickcyclist » 02 Oct 2006 23:24

Here's a closer view of the man...

I can't tell if there is any wounding involved. It may be a trick of the light, but it appears that his right eye is of a lighter color than the left. It could also be that his left pupil is very dilated as a result of a brain injury. Is that a scar above his left eye, or is it a very sparse eyebrow? Don't know.

I'm still leaning toward east Asian, given the shape of his face, his nose, and his wide, flat cheeks. Maybe he's an east Asian (or Eurasian) with his eyes naturally on different levels, or maybe he's an east Asian who was wounded in the head.
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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 03 Oct 2006 12:32

The other guy looks like Louis Wolheim. :)

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infantry
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Post by infantry » 22 Feb 2007 20:12

Dear All,
There were a quantity (not many) of Black African looking soldiers in the Ottoman Army. Most of them form Arabian provinces but not all of them. Decendants of Sudanese slaves -mainly living in South-western Anatolia- and Libyan immigrants. Interestingly most of the Black officers were of Libyan origin.
Regards

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