Jonathan Conlin talks to Daniel-Joseph MacArthur-Seal about Britain’s short-lived post-WWI empire in the eastern Mediterranean.
Daniel is Assistant Director of the British Institute at Ankara.
Occupied postwar Istanbul has been celebrated and romanticized by twentieth-century Turkish writers as well as by many of the twenty-first-century descendants of its merchant elite. Based on the personal letters and memoirs of British servicemen as well as more familiar diplomatic and political sources, Daniel’s study of Britain’s Levantine Empire was published last July by Oxford University Press. In collaboration with Gizem Tongo he is putting finishing touches to a bibliography of occupied Istanbul, bringing together sources and secondary works in Turkish, French, English and other languages. In this conversation, recorded on 5 April 2022, Daniel discusses how the interaction of these soldiers and the communities of Istanbul, Thessaloniki, Alexandria and other port cities changed the spatial and temporal geographies of the eastern Mediterranean. He reflects on the “Levantine” label itself, as well as the apparent ease with which Britain abandoned this vast empire at Lausanne.
Episode 13 – Occupational History
FEATURE IMAGE: Philip Connard, Admiral of the Fleet Sir Somerset Arthur Gough-Calthorpe GCB GCMG CVO DL (1918) Wikimedia Commons
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