Did Europe Drag the Ottoman Empire into World War I? https://mosaicmagazine.com/picks/history-ideas/2015/05/did-europe-drag-the-ottoman-empire-into-world-war-i/

May 18, 2015 | Efraim Karsh
About the author: Efraim Karsh is director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University, emeritus professor of Middle East and Mediterranean Studies at King’s College London, and editor of the Middle East Quarterly. He is the author most recently of The Tail Wags the Dog: International Politics and the Middle East (Bloomsbury, 2015).

This is the conventional view, and the one taken by Eugene Rogan in a recent book entitled The Fall of the Ottomans. According to Efraim Karsh, it is incorrect:

The truth of the matter is that the Ottoman empire was neither forced into the war in a last-ditch attempt to ensure its survival nor maneuvered into it by an overbearing German ally and a hostile Entente; rather, it plunged head on into the whirlpool. . . . [And] just as the fall of the Ottoman empire was not the result of external machinations but a self-inflicted catastrophe, so too the creation of the modern Middle East on its ruins was not an imperialist imposition but the aggregate outcome of intense pushing and shoving by a multitude of regional and international bidders for the Ottoman war spoils in which the local actors, despite their marked inferiority to the great powers, often had the upper hand. . . .

But to acknowledge [the truth] would mean abandoning the self-righteous victimization paradigm that has informed Western scholarship for so long, and [would mean] treating Middle Easterners as equal free agents accountable for their actions, rather than giving them a condescending free pass for political and moral modes of behavior that are not remotely acceptable in Western societies.

Read more on Middle East Forum: http://www.meforum.org/5240/fall-of-ottomans