The book describes different facets of the Greek-Turkish conflict (1919-23) through the eyes of of the Australian press. Australia’s national identity was forged on the shores of the Gallipoli Peninsula fighting against the Ottoman Empire in 1915. After the war, Australia stayed involved with that area of the world as it sought to chart an 'independent' foreign policy within the framework of the British Empire. This book discusses the role that Australia's press played during that conflict and how it shaped Australian nationalism and identity going forward.
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This book describes different facets of the Greek-Turkish conflict through the eyes of two Melbourne newspapers: The Age and Argus. There were times when the Melbourne press favored the Greek and opposed the Turks. It also outlines the role that the Australian press played in the development of Australian nationalism and identity. The Melbourne press covered the Greek-Turkish conflict for three important reasons. Firstly, Australian forces had played a major part in the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East in the 1914–18 War. Secondly, the Greek-Turkish War involved the clash of two opposing armies: the Greek army of occupation at Smyrna (Izmir) and the Turkish Nationalist movement led by Mustapha Kemal Pasha (later known as Ataturk).
Australia had no direct involvement in the actual conflict but the Colonial Office did provide the Australian Government through the Governor General’s office, with some information on the events unfolding in Asia Minor. Throughout the period 1919–23, Australia was trying to chart an ‘independent’ foreign policy within the framework of the British Empire. The Imperial Conferences was the only forum where the Dominions could question Britain on foreign and Imperial policy issues.
The Australian Prime Minister W. M. Hughes wanted the Dominions to have some input into the foreign policy formulation of the British Empire. The Chanak crisis of September 1922 nearly brought Australia into direct conflict with the Kemalists following the defeat of the Greek army.
Stavros T. Stavridis is a historical researcher at the National Centre for Hellenic Studies and Research, Latrobe University, Bundoora, Australia. He holds an MA in Greek/Australian history from RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. He has written extensively on Greek, Armenians and Assyrians and conflict in Asia Minor covering the period 1890–1923.