Dissolution of the Ottoman Empire

Dissolution of the Ottoman Empire

Overview

With the Young Turk Revolution in the Second Constitutional Era (1908–1922), the Ottoman Empire was dismantled. Under the Ottoman parliament, it reinstated the Ottoman constitution of 1876 and introduced multi-party politics with a two-stage electoral system (electoral legislation). The Constitution gave inhabitants of the empire optimism by modernising the state's institutions and resolving inter-communal problems.  Instead, this period became known as the empire's final fight. Despite military improvements, the Ottoman Army was defeated in the Italo-Turkish War (1911–1912) and the Balkan Wars (1912–1913), driving the Ottomans out of North Africa and nearly out of Europe. The Ottoman countercoup of 1909 preceded the 31 March Incident (Restoration, 1909) and the 1912 Ottoman coup d'état (Saviours). The Ottoman Empire was torn apart by a coup d'état in 1913 in the years leading up to World War I. The Treaty of Sèvres, which partitioned the Ottoman Empire's remaining territory, marked the end of the Ottoman Empire's involvement in World War I in the Middle East. The Ottomans were given nominal land and the designation of "Ottoman Caliphate" (similar to the Vatican, a sacerdotal-monarchical state ruled by the Catholic Pope), leaving them weak enough not to be a further threat but powerful enough to protect Britain from the Khilafat Movement, as designed in the London Conference. The occupation of Constantinople (Istanbul) and Smyrna (Izmir) galvanised the Turkish national movement, which won the Turkish War of Independence in the end. The Grand National Assembly of Turkey completed the formal liquidation of the Ottoman Sultanate on November 1, 1922. Since 1299, the Sultan has been deemed persona non grata in the areas held by the Ottoman Dynasty.

Concepts

Social Conflicts

With the advent of nationalism in Europe, the continent became dominated by nation-states. The Ottoman Empire was founded on religion. Under the Ottoman Empire, nationalism grew in the 19th century, resulting in the independence of Greece in 1821, Serbia in 1835, and Bulgaria in 1877-1878. During the battles and killings in these countries, many local Muslims were killed, while others escaped. Unlike the European states, the Ottoman Empire did not attempt to assimilate conquered peoples culturally. The Porte had no formal policy of converting Balkan and Anatolian non-Muslims to Islam. Instead, the millet system, consisting of confessional groups for each religion, was used by the Ottomans to control. The empire never economically integrated its conquests, and as a result, it never created a strong bond with its citizens. Between 1828 and 1908, the empire attempted to change governance and society to keep up with industrialisation and a rapidly developing global market. Ottomanism, which arose from the Young Ottomans and was influenced by Montesquieu, Rousseau, and the French Revolution, encouraged equality among the millets and stated that all of its subjects were equal in the eyes of the law. Ottomanists believed that by accepting all nationalities and religions as Ottomans, social problems could be solved. Following the Tanzimat reforms, the empire's organisation underwent significant modifications. The millet system was not eliminated in its entirety, but secular organisations and policies were implemented. Non-Muslims and Muslims alike were to be subjected to primary schooling and Ottoman conscription. The growth of nationalism in the Ottoman Empire, according to Michael Hechter, was the result of a backlash against Ottoman attempts to impose more direct and central forms of government over communities that had previously had more autonomy.

Economic Issues

During this time, the main topic of discussion was the Capitulations. Incoming foreign support with submission was thought to be beneficial to the empire. Ottoman authorities from a variety of jurisdictions demanded bribes at every opportunity, kept the revenues of a brutal and discriminatory tax system that ruined every faltering company via bribery, and opposed any attempt by the empire's various subject peoples to declare independence. The Ottoman government's debt was part of a larger political control plan. World business interests attempted to gain benefits that were not necessarily in the empire's best interests. The Ottoman Public Debt Administration was in charge of the debt, and its authority was extended to the Imperial Ottoman Bank (or Central bank). Empire owed $716,000,000 in debt before World War I. France accounted for 60% of the total. Germany holds a 20% share. The United Kingdom held 15% of the claims. Many of the empire's actual income was under the authority of the Ottoman Debt Administration. The Council had complete jurisdiction over financial matters, including the determination of cattle taxes in the districts.

The Second Constitutional Era 1908–1920

1908 Abdul Hamid

During the First Constitutional Era, Sultan Abdul Hamid created the constitutional monarchy in 1876. Two years later, in 1878, the system was abandoned.

Young Turk Revolution

The Young Turk Revolution, which occurred in July 1908, altered the empire's governmental system. The Second Constitutional Era began when the Young Turks revolted against Sultan Abdul Hamid II's autocratic control. Sultan Abdul Hamid II surrendered his post on July 24, 1908, and the Ottoman constitution of 1876 was restored.  Multi-party democracy was established as a result of the revolution. The Young Turk movement declared its parties after being underground. "Freedom and Accord Party" and "Committee of Union and Progress" (CUP), sometimes known as the Liberal Union or the Liberal Entente, were two of them (LU). Smaller parties like the Ottoman Socialist Party and ethnic parties like the People's Federative Party (Bulgarian Section), Bulgarian Constitutional Clubs, Jewish Social Democratic Labour Party in Palestine (Poale Zion), Al-Fatat (also known as the Young Arab Society; Jam'iyat al-'Arabiya al-Fatat), and Ottoman Party for Administrative Decentralisation, and Armenians were organised. At first, there was a desire to keep the country united, and the warring factions wanted to keep it that way. So, the "CUP" members partnered with the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization, and Greeks and Bulgarians formed the "LU," the second-largest party. The Bulgarian federalist wing greeted the revolution with open arms, later becoming the People's Federative Party (Bulgarian Section). The Bulgarian Constitutional Clubs were created by former IMRO centralists, and they, like the PFP, ran in the 1908 Ottoman general election.

New Parliament

Political campaigning preceding the 1908 Ottoman general election. The CUP put out several political initiatives in the summer of 1908. In its election manifesto, the CUP declared that it wanted to modernise the state through reforming finance and education, supporting public works and agriculture, and upholding equality and justice ideals. In terms of nationalism (Armenian, Kurdish, Turkic, etc.), the CUP identified the Turks as the "dominant nation" around which the empire should be built, similar to how the Germans were positioned in Austria-Hungary. According to Reynolds, only a tiny percentage of the empire's population was interested in Pan-Turkism. The Ottoman general election of 1908 was held in October and November of that year. The LU was against CUP-backed candidates. The latter became a focal point for opponents of the CUP. When Sabaheddin Bey returned from exile, he believed that a decentralised government was ideal in non-homogeneous provinces. In the regions, LU was poorly structured. It could not persuade minority candidates to run for office under the LU flag; it also failed to capitalise on the previous regime's continued popularity in less developed areas.

The significant Hejaz Railway, which had been under construction since 1900, opened in September 1908. With the construction of the railroad from Damascus to Medina, Ottoman power was firmly restored in Hejaz and Yemen. Historically, the interior of Arabia was primarily ruled by pitting one tribal group against another. Opposing Wahhabi Islamic extremists reasserted themselves when the railroad was completed, led by Abdul al-Aziz Ibn Saud. The CUP no longer represented the aspirations of Christian communities in the Balkans. Under the Tanzimat reforms, they had heard the CUP's arguments before The concept of Ottomanism had been taken by reformers. Still, the inconsistencies inherent in the practical fulfilment of this philosophy – persuading Muslims and non-Muslims alike that true equality required both the acceptance of obligations and rights – presented a difficulty for CUP. The loss of Bulgaria, Bosnia, and Crete, which the empire still claimed nominal control over, dealt a significant blow to the new regime in October 1908. Until the CUP took control of the government in 1913, the system became multi-headed, with old and new structures coexisting. Power was exerted without accountability in the midst of the tumult of transformation.

Annexations

Prince Ferdinand of Bulgaria, who later acquired the title "Tsar," issued the de jure Bulgarian Declaration of Independence from the empire on 5 October [O.S. 22 September] 1908 in the former city of Tarnovo. On October 6, 1908, the Bosnian crisis occurred when Austria-Hungary proclaimed the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, regions legally under the empire's control. Bulgaria's proclamation of independence from the kingdom (5 October) was timed to coincide with this unilateral action. The Ottoman Empire was more outraged by Bulgaria's announcement than by Bosnia-annexation, Herzegovina's, which had no realistic chance of managing. A boycott of Austro-Hungarian goods and shops took place, costing Austria-Hungary approximately 100 million kronen in financial damages. For the public land in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Austria-Hungary agreed to pay the Ottomans 2.2 million marks.  Bulgaria's independence was irreversible. The Cretan MPs declared union with Greece shortly after the revolution in 1908, taking advantage of the revolt and the timing of Zaimis's vacation away from the island. The problem between the empire and the Cretans remained unresolved by the end of 1908. The CUP majority determined in 1909, after the parliament elected its ruling body (first cabinet), that if the order was maintained and Muslims' rights were respected, the matter could be resolved through discussions.

CUP Government

On December 17, 1908, the Sultan inaugurated the Ottoman Empire's Senate. The results of the 1908 elections were announced in the new year. The Chamber of Deputies met on January 30, 1909. CUP required a plan to make their Ottomanist goals a reality. The job of preventing the empire's downfall fell to the CUP, which held the majority seat. The new method, on the other hand, may have arrived too late to have any effect. The empire was already in continual strife, and the Great War was just four years away. In 1909, public order laws and the police were unable to keep the peace; demonstrators were willing to risk retaliation in order to air their grievances. More than 100 strikes occurred in the three months following the new regime's inauguration, affecting three-quarters of the empire's labour force, primarily in Constantinople and Salonika (Thessaloniki). During prior strikes (Anatolian tax revolts in 1905-1907), the Sultan escaped criticism while bureaucrats and administrators were blamed; this time, the CUP was held responsible. The LU accused the CUP of authoritarianism in parliament.

Nevertheless, said and Kâmil Pasha, Abdul Hamid's Grand Viziers, and Tevfik Pasha, Abdul Hamid's Foreign Minister, remained in office. They were now autonomous of the Sultan, and they were taking steps to fortify the Porte against the Palace and the CUP's encroachments. Despite this, Said and Kâmil were guys from the old system. After nine months in power, discontent manifested itself in a fundamentalist movement that wanted to deconstruct the Constitution and replace it with a monarchy.

When Sultan vowed to re-establish the Caliphate, eradicate secular policies, and reinstate the reign of Islamic law, as the mutinous troops alleged, the Ottoman countercoup gained traction. CUP also abolished religious observance time. Unfortunately for proponents of representative parliamentary governance, mutinous rallies by disgruntled regimental commanders erupted on April 13, 1909, resulting in the government's fall. The "31 March Incident" put down a countercoup on April 27, 1909, employing the Third Army's 11th Salonika Reserve Infantry Division. Some leaders of the Bulgarian federalist movement, such as Sandanski and Chernopeev, marched on Capital to protest the "effort to undermine the constitution." Mehmed V succeeded Abdul Hamid II as Sultan when he was deposed from the throne. The first Albanians to join the constitutional movement were those in Tirana and Elbassan, where the Albanian National Awakening developed. In the hopes of gaining autonomy for their people within the empire.

On the other hand, the Albanians have been marginalised as nation-less people due to fluctuating national borders in the Balkans. The most important thing that brought Albanians together was their spoken language, which lacked a conventional literary form and even an alphabet. The Ottoman ban on Albanian-language schools and writing has been repealed under the new rule. To shatter the Albanians' cohesiveness, the new leadership called for Islamic brotherhood and employed the Muslim clergy to impose the Arabic alphabet. The Albanians refused to succumb to a forcible "Ottomanization" program. As a result, at the Congress of Manastir on November 22, 1908, Albanian intellectuals chose the Latin alphabet as the standard script.

1909–1918 Mehmed V

Sultan Abdul Hamid II was deposed after the 31 March Incident in 1909.

Constitutional Revision

The new Sultan Mehmed V approved the revised Constitution on August 5, 1909. Like the previous one, this updated Constitution declared the equality of all subjects in taxation, military service (for the first time permitting Christians to serve in the military), and political rights. The new Constitution was viewed as a significant step toward establishing a standard law system for all topics. The Sultan's role was reduced to that of a figurehead, though he still had some constitutional powers, such as declaring War. Because of the international nature of critical public services, such as the Ottoman public debt, the Ottoman Bank, and the Ottoman Public Debt Administration, the new Constitution, which aspired to give the people more power, was unable to handle them. Most of the firms founded to carry out public works, such as the Baghdad Railway and the tobacco and cigarette trades of two French enterprises, the "Regie Company" and "Narquileh tobacco," were no exception.

Italian War, 1911

On September 29, 1911, Italy declared war on the Empire, the Italo-Turkish War, seeking the handover of Tripoli and Cyrenaica. Because the empire's response was inadequate, Italian soldiers took control of those areas on November 5th of that year (this act was confirmed by an act of the Italian Parliament on 25 February 1912). Despite its insignificance, the conflict fostered nationalism in the Balkan states, which served as a forerunner to World War I. The Ottomans were losing control of their last African region. In addition, the Italians transported weaponry to Montenegro, supported Albanian insurgents, and seized Rhodes and other islands. Before the War with Italy ended, the Balkan League launched an attack on the empire, observing how easily the Italians defeated the disorganized Ottomans. Italy and the Empire signed a pact in Ouchy, near Lausanne, on October 18, 1912. The First Treaty of Lausanne is also known as the Treaty of Ouchy.

Elections, 1912

When the First Balkan War broke out in October, the Liberal Union was under a power-sharing arrangement. In the 1912 Ottoman general election, the Committee of Union and Progress won by a landslide. In this election, the CUP established itself as a legitimate political party. All efforts were oriented at streamlining the government, streamlining the administration (bureaucracy), and bolstering the military forces rather than decentralisation (the Liberal Union's position). The CUP, which received a public mandate from the electorate, did not make the same compromises with minority parties as their predecessors (Sultan Abdul Hamid). For the first three years, relations between the new administration and the Great Powers were bleak and challenging. The Powers refused to budge on the Capitulations or relinquish control over the empire's internal affairs. When the Italian War and counterinsurgency efforts in Albania and Yemen began to fail, a group of high-ranking military commanders in the Capital organised a political committee to protest the detrimental political engagement in these wars. Members of the Group of Liberating Officers, also known as the Savior Officers, were devoted to weakening the CUP's authoritarian control over the military activity. Backed by the Liberal Union in parliament, these officers threatened to use violence if their demands were not met.

On 17 July 1912, Said Pasha resigned as Grand Vizier, and the government fell apart. Ahmet Muhtar Pasha founded a new government, dubbed the "Great government." The members of the government were renowned politicians and technocrats, and they earned a resounding vote of confidence. Cabinet posts are not included in this CUP. On August 9, 1912, the Mürefte earthquake struck, killing 216 people. In 1912, the Ottoman Aviation Squadrons were formed, mostly under French direction. Squadrons were formed quickly after Louis Blériot and Belgian pilot Baron Pierre de Caters made the empire's first flight demonstration on December 2, 1909.

Balkan Wars, 1912–1913

Behind their nationalistic claims, the three new Balkan states founded at the end of the nineteenth century, as well as Montenegro, desired additional lands from Albania, Macedonia, and Thrace. The Balkan Wars were sparked by the incomplete formation of these nation-states on the empire's periphery during the nineteenth century. On October 10, 1912, the powers' joint note was handed over. On October 14, the CUP replied to European powers' requests for reforms in Macedonia. However, war broke out before any more action could be taken. While Powers pressed the empire to reform Macedonia, a series of agreements were signed, with Russia's encouragement: between Serbia and Bulgaria in March 1912, Greece and Bulgaria in May 1912, and Montenegro and Serbia in October 1912. The partition of Macedonia was particularly asked for in the Serbian-Bulgarian agreement, which led to the First Balkan War. After a nationalist rebellion in Albania, the Balkan League, which included Serbia, Montenegro, Greece, and Bulgaria, launched a joint attack on the Empire on October 8, sparking the First Balkan War. The Ottoman army was pushed to the gates of Constantinople by the strong march of Bulgarian forces in Thrace. Soon after, the Second Balkan War erupted. On November 28, Albania declared independence. On December 2, the empire agreed to a cease-fire, and the treaties of London and Bucharest formalised the empire's territorial losses in 1913. As a result, Albania gained independence, and the kingdom lost nearly all of its European territory to the four allies (Kosovo, Sanjak of Novi Pazar, Macedonia, and western Thrace). As a result of these accords, they lost 83 per cent of their European territory and nearly 70% of their European population.

Inter-communal Conflicts, 1911–1913

Hundreds of thousands of Muslim refugees, or muhacir, flooded into the empire during the two-year period between September 1911 and September 1913, adding to the empire's economic load straining the social fabric. During the conflicts, the kingdom was beset by food shortages and hundreds of thousands of refugees. Following the war, the Muslim peasants of eastern Thrace were violently expelled.

Cession of Kuwait and Albania, 1913

The Anglo-Ottoman Convention of 1913 was a short-lived agreement reached in July 1913 between Ottoman Sultan Mehmed V and the British on a number of topics. However, Kuwait's status became the sole enduring result, as the outcome was Kuwait's legal independence. Since around 1478, Albania has been under Ottoman authority. When Serbia, Montenegro, and Greece claimed Albanian-populated regions during the Balkan Wars, the Albanians declared independence. After the Second Balkan War, when more than half of the Albanian population and their lands were partitioned between Montenegro, Serbia, and Greece, the European Great Powers recognised an independent Albania in 1913. Aubrey Herbert, a British MP who ardently lobbied for their cause in London, aided them. As a result, Herbert was offered the throne of Albania, but British Prime Minister H. H. Asquith persuaded him not to accept. Instead, William of Wied, a German prince, accepted the offer and became the new Principality of Albania's king. Albania's neighbours continue to be envious of this new, predominantly Islamic state. The new form, on the other hand, crumbled within weeks of World War I breaking out.

CUP Takes Control

The Ottoman Modern Army failed to quell insurgencies in the empire's periphery at the turn of the century, Libya fell to Italy, and the Balkan Wars started in the fall of 1912. The LU flexed its powers when the parliament was forced to dissolve in 1912. The CUP benefited from the marks of humiliation from the Balkan conflicts. The CUP was able to take control of the government after a series of defeats in 1912. On 22 January 1913, the Liberal Union Party presented the Ottoman government with a collective peace proposal, almost immediately supported by the Ottoman cabinet and an overwhelming majority of the parliament. The Ottoman coup d'état of January 23, 1913, was carried out by a group of CUP members commanded by Ismail Enver Bey and Mehmed Talaat Bey, who staged a surprise raid on the Sublime Porte (Turkish: Bâb-lî), the primary Ottoman government buildings. Nazm Pasha, the Minister of the Navy, was slain during the coup, and Kâmil Pasha, the Grand Vizier, was forced to resign. The CUP tightened control over the Ottoman state, which was on the verge of collapse. Only five months after the coup in June 1913, Mahmud Sevket Pasha was killed. The assassination had been carried out by LU followers, and they were crushed. Cemal Pasha was in charge of exacting vengeance. Since the Tanzimat (the 1840s) period, the execution of former officials had been a rarity; the punishment was exile. Seventy-five years after the Tanzimat, public life could scarcely be more brutal. The Foreign Ministry was always filled by someone from the CUP's inner circle, with the exception of Muhtar Bey's brief appointment. Said Halim Pasha, who had already served as Foreign Minister, was appointed Grand Vizier in June 1913 and served until October 1915. Halil took over as his successor in the Ministry. Otto Liman von Sanders was deployed to help train and reform the Ottoman Army by a German military mission in May 1913. As an advisor [he gained command of this Army in November 1914] and began working on its active region, the straits, Otto Liman von Sanders was ordered to reorganise the First Army, his model to be reproduced to other forces. This became a national embarrassment and unbearable in St. Petersburg. In reaction, the Russian Empire devised a plan to invade and seize the Black Sea port of Trabzon or the Eastern Anatolian city of Bayezid. To deal with the problem, Germany degraded Otto Liman von Sanders to a level where he could hardly command a corps of soldiers. If a naval occupation of Constantinople failed to provide a solution, the Russians' next plan was to strengthen the Russian Caucasus Army.

Elections, 1914

Before the 1914 elections, the empire lost territory in the Balkans, where many Christian voters resided. By making conciliatory gestures to Arab leaders, the CUP was able to gain support in the Arab provinces. The LU's Arab backing was weakened, allowing the CUP to organise elections with unionists in the lead. The democratic framework had better representation in the parliament after the 1914 elections; the parliament that came from the 1914 elections had a better ethnic composition of the Ottoman populace. There were more Arab deputies than in previous parliaments, which had been under-represented. As a result, the CUP governed with a majority. In January 1914, the Ottoman imperial government was created. Ismail Enver was made a Pasha and appointed Minister of War; Ahmet Cemal, the military governor of Constantinople, was appointed Minister of the Navy; Talaat, a former postal officer, was appointed Minister of the Interior. During World War I, these Three Pashas maintained the de facto rule of the empire as a military regime and practically as a personal dictatorship under Enver Pasha. With the onset of World War I, any other input into the political process was limited until the 1919 Ottoman general election. On October 4, 1914, the Burdur earthquake struck.

Local-Regional Politics

Arab Politics

The Hauran Druze Rebellion began in 1909 as a bloody Druze uprising in Syria's Hauran region. The al-Atrash family spearheaded the insurrection to win independence. In the village of Basr al-Harir, a business dispute between Druze chief Yahia bey Atrash and Ottoman-backed local peasants evolved into a clash of weapons. During the second constitutional area, the economic change sparked large revolts, particularly among the Druzes and the Hauran; the spread of taxation, elections, and conscription to areas already undergoing economic instability due to the construction of new railroads sparked large revolts. In August 1910, Sami Pasha al-Farouqi led an Ottoman invasion force of 35 battalions to Damascus. The resistance was shattered. In 1911, a small Arab nationalist society called "The Young Arab Society" was founded in Paris by Muslim intellectuals and politicians. Its claimed goal was to "raise the Arab nation's status to that of modern nations." Al-Fatat advocated for more autonomy inside a unified Ottoman state rather than Arab independence from the empire in its early years. Al-Fatat hosted the Arab Congress in Paris in 1913 to discuss desired reforms with other dissenters from the Arab world. They also demanded that Arab conscripts in the Ottoman army be exempted from serving non-Arab areas during wartime. As the Ottoman authorities clamped down on al-operations Fatat's and members, the organization went underground, demanding total independence and union for the Arab regions. During the Ottoman Empire, nationalist movements became popular. It should be emphasized that this was primarily among the Arab aristocracy since most Arabs considered themselves to be loyal subjects of the Caliph. During the First World War, the British, rather than the Ottoman Caliph, incited the Sharif of Mecca to lead the Arab Revolt.

Armenian Politics

The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF), also known as the Dashnak Party, adopted a public position in 1908 favouring participation and reconciliation in the Ottoman Empire's Imperial Government, as well as the rejection of the idea of an independent Armenia. Stepan Zorian and Simon Zavarian ran the political campaign for the Ottoman elections in 1908. ARF field workers were sent to areas with considerable Armenian populations; for example, Drastamat Kanayan (Dro), a political organiser, was sent to Diyarbakir. In the 1908 Ottoman general election, the Committee of Union and Progress was only able to elect 10 Armenians to the 288 seats available. The other four Armenians represented non-ethnic political parties. The ARF was well aware that the elections were on fragile footing, so it kept its political direction and self-defence mechanisms intact while smuggling weaponry and ammunition. While Constantinople was struggling with the aftermath of the Ottoman countercoup of 1909, an outburst of violence known today as the Adana Massacre shook the ARF-CUP relationship to its core on April 13, 1909. On the 24th of April, the 31st of March Incident occurred, followed by the suppression of the Adana unrest. Military forces were brought in by the Ottoman authorities in Adana, who violently suppressed both genuine and perceived opponents while massacring thousands of innocent civilians. The CUP government announced the trials of numerous local government and military officials in July 1909, alleging that they were "involved in the Armenian atrocities." The Ottoman parliament was dissolved on January 15, 1912, and political campaigns began almost immediately. Andranik Ozanian served as a commander of Armenian auxiliary troops in the Balkan Wars of 1912–1913, alongside general Garegin Nzhdeh. Andranik met with revolutionist Boris Sarafov, and the two agreed to work together for Armenia's and Macedonia's oppressed peoples. Andranik served as the Chief Commander of the 12th Battalion of the Lozengrad Third Brigade of the Macedonian-Adrianopolitan militia under Colonel Aleksandar Protogerov during the First Balkan War Garegin Nzhdeh. 273 Armenian volunteers made up his detachment. The Armenian Revolutionary Federation officially severed ties with the Ottoman government on May 5, 1912, with a public declaration from the Western Bureau addressed to "Ottoman Citizens" contained in the official announcement. An editorial on it appeared in the June issue of Droshak. Rumours circulated shortly after the conflict began that Armenians fighting alongside Bulgarians near Kavala had slaughtered Muslims. During the Balkan wars, there were a large number of Armenians who distinguished themselves by serving in Empire formations. The ARF quickly dismissed 273 Armenian volunteers of Macedonian-Adrianopolitan militia from killing Muslims by pointing out that no Armenian names were on the list of those accused and circulating telegrams and testimonies from Armenians in Ottoman troops. George V of Armenia met with General Illarion Ivanovich Vorontsov-Dashkov in October 1912 to discuss Armenian reforms within the Russian Empire. Boghos Nubar was appointed to the Armenian National Delegation by Kevork V in December 1912. The delegation arrived in Paris and set up shop. James Malcolm, who lived in London and became the group's point man in interactions with the British, was also chosen to the delegation. Early in 1913, Armenian diplomacy was shaped as Boghos Nubar was in charge of external negotiations with European governments. The Political Council "seconded by the Constantinople and Tblisi Commissions" was to be in charge of internal negotiations with the Ottoman and Russian governments on the reform question. The Armenian reform package was developed in February 1914, based on the agreements reached in the Treaties of Berlin (1878) and San Stefano (1878). The provinces experienced worsening relations between Kurds and Armenians in 1913, necessitating an urgent necessity for the ARF to resurrect its self-defence capability. In 1913, the Social Democrat Hunchakian Party (which was followed by other Ottoman political parties) modified its stance. It stopped cooperating with the Committee of Union and Progress, turning away from Ottomanism and forging its brand of nationalism. The plan called for the unification of the Six Vilayets, the appointment of a Christian governor and a religiously balanced council to govern the unified provinces, the creation of a second Gendarmerie to replace the Ottoman Gendarmerie commanded by European officers, the legalization of Armenian schools and language, and the formation of a special panel to look into land confiscation emporiums. The most crucial element required European authority to enforce the reforms by overriding regional governments. The Armenian conference at Erzurum took place from the end of July to the 2nd of August 1914. The Armenian Revolutionary Federation and the Committee of Progress and Union had a meeting. Liaisons with Armenia Dr Behaeddin Shakir, Omer Naji, and Hilmi Bey, as well as Arshak Vramian, Zorian, and Khatchatour Maloumian, and Ottoman liaisons Dr Behaeddin Shakir, Omer Naji, and Hilmi Bey, were accompanied by an international entourage of Caucasus people. The CUP urged that Russian Armenians rebel against the Tsarist rule in Russian Armenia in order to aid the capture of Transcaucasia in the event of the opening up of the Caucasus Campaign. A representative gathering of Russian Armenians convened in Tiflis, Russian Armenia, around the same period. The Tsar begged Armenians for their allegiance and support in the struggle. The plan was accepted, and approximately 20,000 Armenians responded to the request to organise Armenian volunteer battalions inside the Russian Caucasus Army, with just 7,000 receiving weapons. The first battle of the Caucasus Campaign (the Bergmann Offensive) began on November 2, and the Ottoman Empire officially destroyed the Armenian reform package on December 16, 1914. The ARF was quite effective at this point. Still, the Social Democrat Hunchakian Party had a problem: 1913, and the Ottoman intelligence service had an operative working for the Hunchakian Party. The Ottoman authorities captured the central Hunchakian operatives in a single operation in July 1914, using the entire report of the decisions adopted by the Hunchakian Congress (1913) along with the list of participants. The participants, known as the 20 Hunchakian gallows, were executed on June 15, 1915, after a year of trials.

Kurdish Politics

The earliest Kurds who defy the Ottoman Empire's rule did so mainly as Ottoman subjects, not national Kurds. They banded together with other Ottoman issues who disagreed with Sultan Abdul Hamid II's policies to join the CUP in 1889. Abdul Hamid responded with a campaign of persecution and assimilation, co-opting notable Kurdish opponents into the Ottoman power structure and providing them with high-ranking positions in his Ministry. Given the Kurdish Hamidiye Cavalry's commitment, this tactic appears to be a success. The Hamidiye was disbanded as an organised army in 1908 after the fall of the Sultan. Still, because they were "tribal forces" before official recognition by Sultan Abdul Hamid II in 1892, they remained "tribal forces" after disintegration. Because of its role in tribal feuds, the Hamidiye Cavalry is regarded as a military disappointment and failure. In 1910, Shaykh Abd al Qadir petitioned the CUP for an independent Kurdish state in the east. Working within a self-contained framework. Said Nursi travelled through the Diyarbakir region the same year, urging Kurds to unify and forget their differences while still claiming allegiance to the CUP. Other Kurdish Shaykhs in the area began to advocate for regional autonomy as well. Throughout this period, the Badr Khans had been in communication with unhappy Shaykhs and chieftains in Anatolia's far east, extending as far as the Iranian border, although mainly in the context of secession. Shaykh Abd al Razzaq Badr Khan later allied with another strong family, Shaykh Taha and Shaykh Abd al-Salam Barzani. Ottoman army moved against the alliance in 1914, citing the potential Kurdish danger and the league's relations with Russia. The rebellions of Barzan and Bitlis, both brief and insignificant, were promptly put down. General Muhammad Sharif Pasha offered his Mesopotamian services to the British in 1914. Members of the Badr Khan family also maintained close ties with Russian authorities, discussing their plans to build an independent Kurdistan.

Politics in Yemen

Yemen Vilayet was the empire's first-level administrative division. The Zaidis revolted against the kingdom in the late 1800s, and Imam Mohammed ibn Yahya established a hereditary dynasty. When Imam Yahya ibn Mohammed died in 1904, his successor, Imam Yahya ibn Mohammed, staged an uprising against the empire in 1904–1905, forcing the realm to make significant concessions to the Zaidis. In Yemen, the Ottomans agreed to remove the civil code and reinstate sharia law. The Idrisi leaders of Asir revolted against the Ottomans in 1906. They dominated most of Asir by 1910, but the Ottoman Modern Army and Hejazi forces eventually overcame them. In October 1911, Ahmed Izzet Pasha signed a pact with Imam Yahya, recognising him as the Zaidis' temporal and spiritual leader and granting him the authority to appoint officials and collect taxes from them. In the Sunni-majority portions of Yemen, the Ottomans kept their form of rule. The Anglo-Turkish Treaty of March 1914 defined the border between Yemen and the Aden Protectorate. This was the setting for Yemen's last partition into two states (up to 1990).

Foreign Policy

At the turn of the twentieth century, the interstate system was multipolar, with no single or two states dominating. Mukipolarity has traditionally allowed the Ottomans to play one power against the other, which they did with exquisite skill at times. Initially, CUP and LU focused on the United Kingdom. Germany had gained a solid foothold by supporting Abdul Hamid II's rule. Empire anticipated that by enabling Britain to compete against Germany and France, it would break France and Germany's influence on the Porte and obtain greater autonomy. When Germany's ally Austria-Hungary conquered Bosnia and Herzegovina, tensions between the two countries grew. Tanin, a pro-Unionist, even suggested that Vienna's motivation for carrying out this deed was to deal a blow against the constitutional state and aid reaction in bringing it down. Ahmed Riza Pasha and Dr Nazim Pasha, two senior Unionists, were dispatched to London to consider collaboration options with Sir Edward Grey and Sir Charles Hardinge. Though we formed ententes and friendships, we preferred to keep our hands free. We did have an alliance with Japan, but it was limited to a few far-flung issues in the Far East. They [Ottoman representative] said that the empire was the Near East's Japan (alluding to the Meiji Restoration period, which lasted from 1868 to 1912). The Cyprus Convention, which was still in existence, was already in place. Mehmed Rifat Pasha, the successor to Foreign Minister Tevfik, was a career diplomat from a merchant family. The CUP, which was mostly made up of civilians, condemned the Army's encroachment into administration. The CUP, which took power from LU in January 1913, was more persuaded than ever that only an alliance with Britain and the Entente could ensure the empire's survival. Tevfik Pasha, who simply reiterated his proposition from October 1911, resurrected the subject of an Anglo-Turkish alliance in June. The offer was rejected down once more. Such suggestions could not possibly be accepted by the CUP. They felt misled by what they saw as Europe's prejudice during the Balkan Wars. As a result, they had little faith in Great Power assurances about the empire's independence and integrity; one of CUP's main goals was to abolish European financial and administrative surveillance. Sir Louis Mallet, the Ambassador, seemed completely unaware of this. The remark wasn't based on a lack of knowledge. Even though these imperial powers had had few significant battles in the previous hundred years, an underlying competition known as "the Great Game" had aggravated the issue to the point where a solution was sought. By establishing limits that marked their respective sovereignty in Persia and Afghanistan, the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907 brought fragile British-Russian relations to the fore. Overall, the Convention was a calculated move on the side of each country, as they chose a formidable alliance over the sole potential rule of various portions of Central Asia. The Ottoman Empire was strategically located at the crossroads of Central Asia. The Convention acted as a catalyst for forming the "Triple Entente," which formed the backbone of the anti-Central Powers alliance. With that pact, which was part of the Great Game, the Ottoman Empire's route in World War I was established. Attacking Germany in the press and advocating friendship with Germany's opponent, Great Britain, were two ways to question and undermine the Army's position. However, neither the United Kingdom nor France responded to CUP's offer of friendship. France, on the other hand, despised the government's (Porte) quest for financial autonomy. Early in 1914, the Ottoman government was focused on three key objectives. The first was to improve relations with Bulgaria; the second was to entice German backing, and the third was to finalise negotiations with Europe on Armenian reform. Regarding the first, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria expressed sympathy for one another due to the Balkan Wars (1912–1913), which resulted in the loss of lands. They had a tense relationship with Greece as well. It was natural and advantageous for them to contribute to the establishment of policies that would allow them to advance in the region. In terms of the second, at the turn of the century, three military missions were functioning. Admiral Limpus commanded the British Naval Mission, General Moujen led the French Gendarme Mission, and Colmar Freiherr von der Goltz led the German Military Mission. Among these three, the German Military Mission became the most important. Military links between Germany and Turkey date back to the 1880s. The Ottoman Minister of War Ahmet Izzet Pasha (11 June 1913 – 3 January 1914) and Grand Vizier Said Halim Pasha (12 June 1913 – 4 February 1917) were essential in building the early relations. General Goltz was tasked by Kaiser Wilhelm II with establishing the first German mission. General Goltz served for two terms, each lasting two years. Enver Pasha, the Ottoman Minister of War in early 1914, was a former military attaché to Berlin (who became a member of the Three Pashas). Around the same time, General Otto Liman von Sanders was selected to lead the German 1st Army. It was the largest on the European continent. General Liman von Sanders and Enver Pasha effectively shared command of the Army. In terms of the third, the Russian Empire negotiated an Armenian reform package. Russia was essential in bringing changes to the Empire's Armenian people, working on behalf of the Great Powers. The Armenian reform package was finalised in February 1914, and it was based on the agreements made in the Treaties of Berlin (1878) and San Stefano (1879). The inspectors general, whose powers and responsibilities were at the heart of the matter, were to be named for a ten-year term, and their engagement was not to be removable during that time.

World War I

The Ottoman Empire's World War I history began on October 29, 1914, with an Ottoman attack on Russia's Black Sea coast. In November 1914, Russia and its allies, Britain and France, declared war on the Ottoman Empire as a result of the attack. The Ottoman Empire fought in both the Balkans and the Middle East, with five significant campaigns: the Sinai and Palestine Campaign, the Mesopotamian Campaign, the Caucasus Campaign, the Persian Campaign, and the Gallipoli Campaign in the latter. All three campaigns were small: the North African Campaign, the Arab Campaign, and the South Arabia Campaign. In the early years of the war, the Battle of Gallipoli and the Siege of Kut were two major Ottoman victories. On October 31, 1918, the Ottoman participation in World War I came to an end with the signing of the Mudros Armistice.

1918–1922 Mehmet VI

Sultan Mehmet V died just before the end of World War I, and Mehmed VI became the next Sultan. The Ottoman participation in World War I came to an end with the Armistice of Mudros, which saw Constantinople occupied. The occupation was divided into two stages: the first took place from November 13, 1918, to March 16, 1920, and the second took place from March 16, 1920, to March 16, 1920, when the Treaty of Sèvres was signed. The Byzantine city of Constantinople changed hands for the first time since the Ottoman Turks seized it in 1453 in 1918. Early in December 1918, an Allied military administration was established. The Allied administration restored Hagia Sophia back into a cathedral, and the tower was temporarily given to the Greek Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch. During the Turkish courts-martial of 1919–1920, CUP members were charged with subverting the Constitution, wartime profiteering, and killings of both Greeks and Armenians. Political confrontations were fought in the courts-martial. The trials aided the LU in removing the CUP from politics. The Palace regained control of the situation when the CUP was defeated, but only for a year. The British also arrested and imprisoned a number of members of the Imperial Government in Malta, only to exchange them for British POWs without being tried later. Only members of Tevfik Pasha's government and military/political figures were included in Sir Gough-list. Calthorpe's In order to construct ephemeral governments and conduct personal diplomacy, discredited officials of the Ottoman regime were resurrected. Between November 1918 and March 1919, Ahmet Tevfik Pasha created two governments, followed by Abdul Hamid's brother-in-law Damat Ferid Pasha, who led three cabinets in seven months. Damad Ferid was considered an advantage in the discussions for the Ottoman state and dynasty's survival since he had served in diplomatic missions throughout Europe during the Hamidian era and was familiar with European leaders during his term as a Liberal politician. In the end, the empire was shattered by military defeats. The end came just as the Ottoman reforms were reaching their pinnacle. The Young Turk revolution of 1908 had stripped real power away from the Sultan (albeit the sultanate remained in place) and given it to the Committee of Union and Progress.

Partitioning

Ottomanism's theory lost its legitimacy after the conflict. As the empire became more linked to the global economy, many regions (the Balkans, Egypt, Iraq, and the Hijaz) developed stronger economic ties with Paris and London, or even British India, than with Constantinople, which was renamed Istanbul in English around 1930. The Treaty of London (1915) began the division of the Ottoman Empire, which was followed by a series of primarily bilateral multilateral agreements among the Allies. The Armistice of Mudros was the first peace treaty with the Ottoman Empire. The Occupation of Constantinople came after that. International tensions arose as a result of the partition of the Ottoman Empire, which was discussed at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. The Treaty of Sèvres, a peace treaty signed by the Ottoman Empire (but not ratified) and the Allied authority, was eventually signed. As a result of the Peace Settlement, each of the empire's indigenous peoples was given their state.

Treaty of Sevres

The Ottomans did not receive the text of the Treaty of Sèvres until May 1920. The Allies agreed that the empire would only be given a little area to rule in Northern and Central Anatolia. The Sultanate along the Caliphate was not abolished. It was allowed to keep its Capital and a tiny strip of territory around the city, but not the straits, contrary to popular belief. The Bosphorus and Dardanelles coastlines were scheduled to be internationalised so that the Black Sea's gates could remain open. Greece was to receive West Anatolia, while Armenia was to receive East Anatolia. Although still part of the empire, the Mediterranean coast was divided into two zones of influence for France and Italy. Anatolia's interior, which was the first seat of Ottoman power six centuries ago, would remain under Ottoman control.

Theodor Herzl attempted to set up debt relief for Sultan Abdul Hamid II in exchange for the Palestinian territory, and the World Zionist Organization was founded in Constantinople. Its activities mainly were focused on cultural issues until the First World War, and however political goals were never far behind. Herzl's attempts to achieve a political compromise with the Ottoman authorities of Palestine before the First World War were fruitless. On the fringes of the ancient port city of Jaffa, Tel Aviv was created on April 11, 1909. The World Zionist Organization favoured small-scale settlement in Palestine and emphasised boosting Jewish feelings and consciousness and forming a global federation. When World War I began, the majority of Jews backed the German Empire in its fight against the Russian Empire. The Balfour Declaration (dated November 2, 1917) and Henry McMahon's correspondence with Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca, in 1915 signalled a transition to a different vision (Jewish national home vs Jewish state), which is detailed under Homeland for the Jews. The notion of an independent Armenian state survived the Ottoman Empire's demise among Russian Armenians, thanks to the Democratic Republic of Armenia, which was eventually taken over by the Bolsheviks. Sharif Pasha, a Kurdish tribal leader, lobbied the British in 1918 to create an autonomous Kurdish state. He proposed that British officials be in control of the region's administration. A Kurdo-Armenian peace agreement was made between Sharif Pasha and Armenian officials at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. The British hoped that by signing this pact, autonomous Kurdish and Armenian nations would emerge, providing a buffer between British Mesopotamia and the Turks. The Arab armies were promised a state that would encompass most of the Arabian Peninsula and the Fertile Crescent; however, the secret Sykes-Picot Agreement between Britain and France stipulated that much of that region would be divided between the two imperial powers. With the Treaty of Sèvres, the Allies dictated the terms of the Ottoman Empire's split. These criteria were rejected by the Turkish nationalist Ottoman Parliament because they did not comply with the Parliament's partition conditions, the Misak-ı Millî, released in early 1920. While Parliament remained unyielding, no Ottoman consent was possible. The Allies agreed to actively crush Turkish nationalist resistance to the Treaty after the London Conference on March 4, 1920.

On 14 March 1920, Allied troops moved into Constantinople to take critical buildings and arrest nationalists. On March 18, 1920, Parliament met for the last time before Sultan Mehmed VI dissolved it on April 11, 1920. Nationalists moved to Ankara and established a new government. The Allies were now free to deal directly with the Sultan. The Treaty was signed by Mehmed VI on August 10, 1920. The Imperial Government in Constantinople attempted but failed to summon the Senate to approve the Treaty, and the Turkish nationalists' reluctance to comply severely undermined its credibility. Due to the Turkish War of Independence and the subsequent nationalist victory, the Treaty was never signed. The Turkish War of Independence resulted in the control of much of Anatolia by Turkish nationalists. The Ottoman Empire was formally abolished on November 1, 1922, by the Turkish provisional government. On November 17, 1922, Mehmed VI left Constantinople for exile. In Lausanne, Switzerland, the Allies and Turks met to explore a substitute for the unratified Treaty of Sèvres.

End of the Ottoman Empire

The Treaty of Lausanne that followed ensured that the nascent Turkish state and its borders were recognized internationally. On July 24, 1923, the Treaty was signed, and Turkey ratified it on August 23, 1923. The Republic of Turkey was formally formed on October 29, 1923. The republic designated 150 Turkish personae non-gratae, including the previous Sultan, personae non-gratae the following year, on April 23, 1924. On June 28, 1938, the majority of these limitations were relaxed.

Last updated: 2021-October-28
Tags: History Ottoman Empire
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