New Book: Ottoman-Iranian Borderlands: Making a Boundary, 1843–1914

 Ottoman-Iranian BorderlandsBy Sabri Ateş

October 2013 – Cambridge University Press – Using a plethora of hitherto unused and underutilized sources from the Ottoman, British, and Iranian archives, The Ottoman-Iranian Borderlands (1843–1914) traces seven decades of intermittent work by Russian, British, Ottoman, and Iranian technical and diplomatic teams to turn an ill-defined and highly porous area into an internationally recognized boundary.

By examining the process of boundary negotiation by the international commissioners and their interactions with the borderland peoples they encountered, the book tells the story of how the Muslim world’s oldest borderland was transformed into a bordered land. It details how the borderland peoples, whose habitat straddled the frontier, responded to those processes as well as to the ideas and institutions that accompanied their implementation. It shows that the making of the boundary played a significant role in shaping Ottoman-Iranian relations and in the identity and citizenship choices of the borderland peoples.

Table of contents

Introduction 1. The Kurdish frontier in Ottoman-Qajar relations 2. Laying the ground: the concert of Zagros 3. The long journey of the first survey commission 4. The borderland between the Crimean War and Berlin congress 5. Sunnis for the sultan: the Ottoman occupation of northwestern Iran, 1905–12 6. Boundary at last Conclusion.

Sabri Ateş is an Assistant Professor of History at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He has published a book in Turkish entitled Tunalı Hilmi Bey: An Intellectual from the Ottoman Empire to Modern Turkey (2009), as well as several articles in Comparative Studies of Asia, Africa and the Middle East and Iranian Studies.