[WW1 / OTTOMAN POSTER / AWOL] Beyannâme-i resmî. [i.e. Ottoman official declaration printed for those who did not join the army and AWOLs during WW1]
[OTTOMAN POSTER FOR AWOLS DURING WORLD WAR 1], Matbaa-yi Âmîre, [Istanbul], [c. 1914-1918].
Original lithograph poster. 82 x 52 cm. In Ottoman script (Old Turkish with Arabic letters). Some tears and creasing, otherwise a good poster.
An unusual lithographed declaration for the people who escaped from their compulsory military service during the mobilization period during World War I and who were late in surrendering to become soldiers. This poster is probably hung in various places, especially in crowded cities, to make the relevant announcement. Penalties for deserters are explained in six articles on the poster. Penalty rules such as the death penalty, hard labor, and hard labor were determined for each day not attended by the military.
Desertion was one of the biggest problems of the army and Anatolia during the First World War (1914-1918) and the War of Independence (1919-1922). According to the reports and Ismet Inönü's statement during World War I, there were nearly three hundred thousand deserters in the Ottoman army. This number was the highest among the countries participating in the war. Prolonged war, longing for family, lack of supply and hunger, etc. were the reasons for desertion. Soldiers mostly fled while being dispatched in their troops. Some fugitives took their weapons with them when they left. Those who escaped from the military formed gangs after a while, causing security problems in villages and cities. Complaints from local authorities were quite numerous. The local governments of the places where they were caught could also impose penalties, including the execution of deserters. Death sentences were rarely pardoned at that time.