Defeat and dissolution of the Ottoman Empire (1908–1922)

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The period of defeat and dissolution of the Ottoman Empire (1908–1922) began with the Young Turk Revolution which restored the Ottoman constitution of 1876 and the reconvening of the Ottoman parliament effectively started the Second Constitutional Era. The partition of the Ottoman Empire was carried out under the terms of the Treaty of Sèvres after the World War I. The occupation of its capital along with the occupation of İzmir mobilized the Turkish national movement, which won the Turkish War of Independence. The formal abolition of the Ottoman Sultanate on 1 November 1922 was performed by Grand National Assembly of Turkey and the sultan and his family were declared personae non gratae. With the death of Ertuğrul Osman on 23 September 2009, the last of the line born under the Ottoman Empire was extinguished.

Main Issues of the period[edit]

Fate of Ottoman subjects at seceded lands[edit]

The 19th century saw the rise of nationalism in the Balkans which resulted in the establishment of an independent Greece, Serbia and Bulgaria. As the empire quickly disintegrated the Ottoman subjects (generally Muslim members of millet) of the empire found themselves between nationalistic states. The persecution of Ottoman Muslims refers to the persecution, massacre, or ethnic cleansing of Muslims (most prominently Ottoman Turks) by non-Muslim ethnic groups during the dissolution.[1] Most of the local Muslims in these countries suffered and as many died during the conflicts and others fled. The persecution of Muslims continued into World War I by the invading Russian troops in the Caucuses and south of Anatolia. During these centuries many Muslim refugees, called Muhacir, settled in what is to be the Republic of Turkey after the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire.

Ottomanism a viable solution?[edit]

The Ottoman Empire was out of its time like the other multi-national, multi-religious empires in Europe, which was dominated by nation states. The Ottoman Empire differed in that its ruling class made no attempt to integrate conquered peoples culturally.[2] Why was toleration of other religions necessary to the Ottomans? The sultans had no-policy of converting the non-Muslims of the Balkans or Anatolia into Islam (their policy was to rule through the Millet system which was the confessional community [a]) or converting them to single nation; the idea of nationality simply did not exist.[2] It was in the interest of the Empire to be tolerant of other religions. Phanariots were members of the prominent Greek families, who came to traditionally occupy major positions in the Empire. An Ottoman Greek, a Christian, had a major position in the Ottoman Empire, could reach to such a position any other state of its time? There is a list of Ottoman Grand Viziers, de facto prime minister, which also include their ethnic origins. The Empire never integrated its conquests economically and therefore never established a binding link with its subjects.[2] During decline and modernization of the Ottoman Empire (1828–1908) tried to catch up with the industrial capitalism and a rapidly emerging world market by reforming their own state and society. Ottomanism was a concept proponents believed that it could solve the social issues.[4] Ottomanism was strongly influenced by thinkers such as Montesquieu and Rousseau and the French Revolution.[4] It promoted the equality among the millets.[4] The idea originated among the Young Ottomans as an acceptance of all separate ethnicities, and religion, as Ottomans.[4] Ottomanism stated that all subjects were equal before the law.[4] It seems as though reform alone could not stave off the fatal day as already some of the Ottoman Christians — the Greeks, Bulgars and Serbs saw a rosier future in their own national states before this period began.[5]

Major changes were introduced into the structure of the Empire. The essence of the Millet system was not dismantled, but secular organizations and policies were applied during the dissolution. Primary education, Ottoman conscription was to be applied to non-Muslims and Muslims alike.

Ottoman Jews subscribed to the idea of ‘Ottomanism.’ Ottoman Jews hold prominent positions in the CUP even after the 1908 Young Turk revolution.[5] Just until the end (that is partitioning of the Empire), many of them saw a homeland within the Empire as the best guarantor of their security.[5]

The Second Constitutional Era 1908-1920[edit]

Public demonstration during Young Turk Revolution in the Sultanahmet district of Constantinople, 1908

In July 1908, the Young Turk Revolution changed the political structure of the Empire. Young Turks rebelled against the absolute rule of Sultan Abdul Hamid II to establish the Second Constitutional Era ushering a multi-party democracy for the first time in the country's history. Young Turk movement members once underground (named committee, group, etc.) established (declared) their parties. Among them two major parties; Committee of Union and Progress (CUP), Freedom and Accord Party also known as the Liberal Union or Liberal Entente (LU), Hürriyet ve İtilâf Fırkası, and smaller ones; Ottoman Socialist Party, Ottoman Committee of Alliance, Ottoman Democratic Party (merged with the Freedom and Accord Party), etc. There were also ethnic parties which included; 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), Ottoman Party for Administrative Decentralization (Hizb al-lamarkaziyya al-idariyya al'Uthmani), Armenians organized under Armenakan, Social Democrat Hunchakian Party (Hunchakian) and Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF, Dashnak, Tashnag), begin to work openly as there was no more of Abdul Hamid's pressure on them.

Abdul Hamid's regime, the autocratic system that lasted more than 35 years, was destroyed. At the onset; there was a unification theme, and the groups which fought against each other wished to salvage a common country. The heads of the Macedonian bands (IMRO) fraternized with the members of the "CUP"; Greeks and Bulgarians embraced one another under the second biggest party, the "LU". The Bulgarian federalist wing welcomed the revolution, and they later joined mainstream political life as the People's Federative Party (Bulgarian Section). The former centralists of the IMRO formed the Bulgarian Constitutional Clubs, and, like the PFP, they participated in Ottoman elections. The system became multiple headed old and new living together, (until CUP became sole controller in 1913), under the chaos of change, the power exercised without responsibility (no accountability).

1908–1909 Abdul Hamid II[edit]

During Abdul Hamid II's reign, the economic crises of the nineteenth century (the Long Depression was a worldwide economic recession), and aggressive exploitation and tutelage on the part of industrializing states the Empire became a semi-colonial state.[6]

Abdulhamid’s reign had new economic and infrastructural enterprises (insurance companies and banks, ports and railways) but when looked closely they were foreign owned or sometimes in partnership with Ottoman non—Muslims.[6] Abdul Hamid II's reign marked with high-cost of servicing the Government debt.[6] The debt was administered by the Ottoman Public Debt Administration and its power extended to the Imperial Ottoman Bank (had powers of modern Central Bank). Government debt was administered by a council of seven, of whom five members were foreign.[6]

Election, parliament, dissatisfaction, 1908[edit]

The theme of unification did not last long. Once the enthusiasm had passed with little progress, dissatisfaction with the new regime became evident as early as 1909. The newly established political system assumed that the citizens of the Empire could unite under one flag representing Ottomanism. The process of replacing the monarchic institutions with constitutional institutions and electoral policies was neither as simple nor as bloodless as the regime change itself. The periphery of the Empire continued to splinter under the pressures of local revolutions. Due to Abdul Hamid's policies, equilibrium between Muslims and Christians was impossible to reach. Overburdened with religious and ethnic strife, the new government had little ability to solve the problems of the empire.

Summer of 1908 a variety of political proposals were put forward by the CUP.[7] The CUP’s desire for modernization of the state by reforming finance and education and promoting public works and agriculture, and the principles of equality and justice revealed during this time.[7] These were in CUP's election manifesto and Parliamentary elections held in October and November 1908. CUP-sponsored candidates were opposed by the LU. LU became a center for those hostile to the CUP.[8] Sabaheddin Bey, who returned from his long exile presented his view that in non-homogeneous provinces a decentralized government was best.[8] LU was poorly organized in the provinces, and failed to convince many minority candidates that they should contest the election under LU banner; it also failed to tap into the continuing support for the old regime in less developed areas.[8]

During September 1908 the Hejaz Railway opened, which the construction started in 1900. This was an big achievement.

The Christian communities of Balkans (that is remaining lands) did not feel that the CUP any longer represented their aspirations.[7] They heard the same arguments under the Tanzimat reforms.[7] The fact is put as

Those in the vanguard of reform had appropriated the notion of Ottomanism, but the contradictions implicit in the practical realization of this ideology — in persuading Muslims and non-Muslims alike that the achievement of true equality between them entailed the acceptance by both of obligations as well as rights — posed CUP a problem.[8]

The ideas were tested before the year ended. October 1908 saw the new regime suffer a significant blow with the loss of three territories (Bulgarian, Bosnian and Cretan) over which the empire still exercised nominal sovereignty.[8]

Bulgarian, Bosnian and Cretan issues, 1908[edit]

The de jure Bulgarian Declaration of Independence on 5 October [O.S. 22 September] 1908 from the Empire was proclaimed in the old capital of Tarnovo by Prince Ferdinand of Bulgaria, who afterwards took the title "Tsar".

The Bosnian crisis on 6 October 1908, erupted when Austria-Hungary announced the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, territories formally within the sovereignty of the Empire. This unilateral action—timed to coincide with Bulgaria's declaration of independence (5 October) from the Empire. The Ottoman Empire protested Bulgaria with more vigor than the annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which it had no practical prospects of governing. A boycott of Austro-Hungarian goods and shops did occur, inflicting commercial losses of over 100,000,000 kronen on Austria-Hungary. Austria-Hungary agreed to pay the Ottomans 2.2 million for the public land in Bosnia-Herzegovina.[9] Bulgarian independence could not be reversed.

Just after the revolution (1908), the Cretan deputies declared union with Greece by taking advantage of revolution as well as the timing of Zaimis's vacation away from the island.[10] The 1908 left the issue unsolved between the Empire and the Cretans. In 1909, after the parliament elected the governing structure (first cabinet), majority CUP, decided that if order was maintained and the rights of Muslims were respected, the issue would be solved with negotiations.

Initially — CUP and LU — turned to Britain. Germany had supported the Abdul Hamid II regime and acquired a strong foothold. By encouraging Britain to compete against Germany and France, Empire hoped to break France and Germany’s hold and acquire greater autonomy for the Porte. Hostility to Germany increased when her ally Austria-Hungary annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina. The pro-Unionist Tanin went so far as to suggest that Vienna's motive in carrying out this act was to strike a blow against the constitutional regime and assist reaction in order to bring about its fall.[11] Two prominent Unionists, Ahmed Riza and Dr Nazim, were sent to London to discuss options of cooperation with Sir Edward Grey and Sir Charles Hardinge.

Our habit was to keep our hands free, though we made ententes and friendships. It was true that we had an alliance with Japan, but it was limited to certain distant questions in the Far East.
They [Ottoman delegate] replied that Empire was the Japan of the Near East (referring to Meiji Restoration), and that we already had the Cyprus Convention which was still in force.
I said that they had our entire sympathy in the good work they were doing in the Empire; we wished them well, and we would help them in their internal affairs by lending them men to organize customs, police, and so forth, if they wished them.[11]

Albanians and alphabet, 1909[edit]

The Albanians of Tirana and Elbassan were among the first groups to join the constitutional movement. Hoping that it would gain their people autonomy within the empire. However, due to shifting national borders in the Balkans, the Albanians had been marginalized as a nationless people. The most significant factor uniting the Albanians, their spoken language, lacked a standard literary form and even a standard alphabet. Under the new regime the Ottoman ban on Albanian-language schools and on writing the Albanian language lifted. The new regime also appealed for Islamic solidarity to break the Albanians' unity and used the Muslim clergy to try to impose the Arabic alphabet. The Albanians refused to submit to the campaign to "Ottomanize" them by force. As a consequence, Albanian intellectuals meeting, the Congress of Manastir on November 22, 1908, chose the Latin alphabet as a standard script.

Albanians
First Albanian school, 1899
Commissione Dell'alfabeto Monastir, 1908
Skopje after being captured by Albanian revolutionaries, 1912

Political situation, 1909[edit]

The new year began with the results of 1908 elections. CUP won a majority, and a parliament opened by Sultan on 17 December I908. The task of stopping the collapse of the Empire became the CUP's burden, as had the majority seats.[7] They had required a strategy to the ends [which they lacked before the takeover] for the young ideals envisaged.[7] The truth was different. Ottoman government was a big bureaucracy. They may be late to arrive in this stage (in four years the Great War will be on heir door).

It was 1909, but public order laws and police was not a match to the ideals represented. Protesters were prepared to risk reprisals on the part of police and soldiers in order to express their grievances.[8] In the three months following the new regime there were more than a 100 strikes: Mainly in Capitol and Thessalonica, which was estimated that three-quarters of the labor force of the Empire went on strike.[8] CUP had little time with ‘we the people’.[8] An inteteresting point was, the strikes and revolts happened before Sultan remained above criticism (Anatolian tax revolts in 1905-7) and bureaucrats and administrators deemed corrupt. This time CUP took the blame.[12] The LU in parliament accused the CUP of authoritarianism.[13]

Abdul Hamid’s Grand Vezirs,Said and Kâmil Pashas, and his Foreign Minister, Tevfik Pasha, continued in office. They were now independent of the Sultan and were taking measures to strengthen the Porte against the encroachments of both the Palace and the CUP. Said and Kâmil were nevertheless men of the old regime. After nine months into the new government, discontent found expression in a fundamentalist movement which attempted to dismantle the Second Constitutional Era and revert it with a monarchy under Sultan Abdul Hamid II.[13] The Sultan's countercoup gained traction when he promised to restore the Caliphate, eliminate secular policies, and restore the rule of Islamic law, the mutinous troops claimed. CUP also eliminated the time for religious observance.[14]

The countercoup culminated "31 March Incident". However, it failed. On 27 April 1909, the counter-revolution (countercoup) crushed by the Third Army. Some of the leaders of Bulgarian federalist wing like Sandanski and Chernopeev participated in the march on Capitol to depose the "attempt to dismantle constitution".[15] Abdul Hamid II was removed from the throne, and Mehmed V became the Sultan.

The events of 1908 didn’t look like real revolution. In 1909 when the coup overthrew Abdul Hamid II, it was a real revolution.[16] Foreign Minister Tevfik s successor, Mehmed Rifat Pasha was a career diplomat. Mehmed Rifat belonged to the declining class of Turkish Muslim merchants, whose fortunes the CUP hoped to revive by instituting protectionism and abolishing the privileges of foreigners (capitulations). Nevertheless, the CUP, who were predominantly civilian, resented the intrusion of the army into government.[17] One way to challenge and undermine the army’s position was by attacking Germany in the press and supporting friendship with Germany’s rival, Great Britain. But neither Britain nor France responded to CUP's advance of friendship. In fact France resented the government's (Porte) desire to acquire financial autonomy.[17]

Political situation, 1909
The "Army of Action" to regain power from the countercoup.
Hristo Chernopeev's band, which will be part of march in deposing the countercoup
Chamber of Deputies after a session

1909–1918 Mehmet V[edit]

On 5 August 1909, the constitution granted by the Sultan Mehmed V, proclaimed the equality of all subjects in the matter of taxes, military service (allowing Christians into the military for the first time), and political rights. The new constitution was perceived as a big step for the establishment of a common law for all subjects. The position of Sultan was greatly reduced to a figurehead, while still retaining some constitutional powers, such as the ability to declare war.[18]

The new constitution, aimed to bring more sovereignty to the public, could not address certain public services, such as the Ottoman public debt, the Ottoman Bank or Ottoman Public Debt Administration because of their international character. The same held true of most of the companies which were formed to execute public works such as Baghdad Railway, tobacco and cigarette trades of two French companies the "Regie Company", and "Narquileh tobacco".

Italian War, 1911[edit]

Italian forces in Tripoli

Italy declared war on the Empire on 29 September 1911, demanding the turnover of Tripoli and Cyrenaica. The empire's response was weak so Italian forces took those areas on 5 November of that year (this act was confirmed by an act of the Italian Parliament on 25 February 1912). Although minor, the war was an important precursor of World War I as it sparked nationalism in the Balkan states.

Ottomans were losing their last directly ruled African territory.[18] The Italians also sent weapons to Montenegro, encouraged Albanian dissidents, seized Rhodes and the other.[18] Seeing how easily the Italians had defeated the disorganized Ottomans, the members of the Balkan League attacked the Empire before the war with Italy had ended.

On October 18, 1912, Italy and the Empire signed a treaty in Ouchy near Lausanne often called Treaty of Ouchy (also named as the First Treaty of Lausanne).

Elections, political situation, 1912[edit]

The LU was in power sharing when the First Balkan War broke out in October. CUP won landslide the Ottoman general election, 1912. In this election CUP proved/developed into a real political party.[18] Decentralization (Lu's position) was rejected and all effort was directed toward streamline of the government, streamlining the administration (bureaucracy), and strengthening the armed forces.[18]

CUP, which got the public mandate from the electrode, did not compromise with minority parties like their predecessors (that is being Sultan Abdul Hamid) had been.[18] The first three years of relations between the new regime and the Great Powers were demoralizing and frustrating. The Powers refused to make any concessions over the Capitulations and loosen their grip over the Empire's internal affairs.[17]

Balkan Wars, 1912–1913[edit]

See also: Balkan Wars

The three new Balkan states formed at the end of the 19th century and Montenegro, sought additional territories from the Albania, Macedonia, and Thrace regions, behind their nationalistic arguments. The incomplete emergence of these nation-states on the fringes of the Ottoman Empire during the nineteenth century set the stage for the Balkan Wars.

On 10 October 1912 the collective note of the powers was handed in at Constantinople. CUP responded to demands of European powers on reforms in Macedonia on 14 October.[19] But before further action could be taken war broke out. While Powers were asking Empire to reform Macedonia, under the encouragement of Russia, a series of agreements were concluded: between Serbia and Bulgaria in March 1912, between Greece and Bulgaria in May 1912, and Montenegro subsequently concluded agreements between Serbia and Bulgaria respectively in October 1912. The Serbian-Bulgarian agreement specifically called for the partition of Macedonia which resulted in the First Balkan War. In 1913 a nationalist uprising broke out in Albania, and on 8 October, the Balkan League, consisting of Serbia, Montenegro, Greece and Bulgaria, mounted a joint attack on the Ottoman Empire, starting the First Balkan War. The strong march of the Bulgarian forces in Thrace pushed the Ottoman armies to the gates of Istanbul. The Second Balkan War soon followed. Albania declared independence on 28 November.

Second Balkan War First Balkan War Battle of Vidin Battle of Kresna Gorge Battle of Kalimanci Battle of Knjaževac Battle of Demir Hisar Battle of Bregalnica Battle of Doiran (1913) Battle of Kilkis-Lahanas Battle of Adrianople (1913) Battle of Bizani Second Battle of Çatalca Battle of Lemnos (1913) Battle of Şarköy Battle of Bulair Battle of Elli Battle of Merhamli Battle of Merhamli Naval Battle of Kaliakra First Battle of Çatalca Battle of Bitola Battle of Sorovich Battle of Pente Pigadia Battle of Prilep Battle of Yenidje Battle of Lule Burgas Battle of Kirk Kilisse Battle of Kumanovo Battle of Sarantaporo Battle of Kardzhali Defeat and dissolution of the Ottoman Empire (1908–1922)#Balkan Wars.2C 1912.E2.80.931913 Balkan Wars

During the wars, food shortages and hundreds of thousands of refugees haunted the empire.[20] After the war there was an violent expel of the Muslim peasants of eastern Thrace.[20]

It is not possible to understand CUP policy and behavior after 1913 without realizing what a traumatic effect the disaster of the Balkan Wars had. Empire had lost the very lands that had provided the life-blood for centuries. Empire agreed to a ceasefire on 2 December, and its territory losses were finalized in 1913 in the treaties of London and Bucharest. Albania became independent, and the Empire lost almost all of its European territory (Kosovo, Sanjak of Novi Pazar, Macedonia and western Thrace) to the four allies. Loss of 83 percent of their European territory and almost 70 percent of their European population.[20]

Balkan Wars
1913-Military Hospital Camp.
1913-Cholera was common among soldiers
Retreating Ottoman soldier
Muslim refugees
Ethnic exchanges & expulsions during Balkan wars Ottomans (190,000–200,000) Greeks (150,000–160,000) Bulgarians (200,000)

Political situation, 1913[edit]

The liberal opposition, Liberal Entente, flexed its muscles with the forced dissolution of parliament in 1912.[6]

The peace agreement was not signed yet but the signs of humiliation of the Balkan wars worked to the advantage of the CUP.[6] The 1913 Ottoman coup d'état (23 January 1913), was carried out in the by a number of CUP members led by Ismail Enver Bey and Mehmed Talaat Bey, in which the group made a surprise raid on the central Ottoman government buildings, the Sublime Porte (Turkish: Bâb-ı Âlî). During the coup, the Minister of the Navy Nazım Pasha was assassinated and the Grand Vizier, Kâmil Pasha, was forced to resign.

The liberal opposition, Liberal Entente, had been crushed by means of the executions that followed Mahmud Sevket Pasha’s assassination in June 1913.[6] Liberal Entente supporters had been involved in the assassination. Cemal Pasha was responsible for exacting revenge against the liberals after Mahmud Sevket’s assassination.[6]

The execution of former officials had been an exception since the Tanzimat (1840s) period. During this time exile was the punishment. 75 years after the Tanzimat the public life could not be far more brutish.[6] Except for the interim appointment of Muhtar Bey, the Foreign Ministry was always occupied by someone from the inner circle of the CUP. Said Halim Pasha who was already Foreign Minister, became Grand Vezir in June 1913 and remained in office until October 1915. He was succeeded in the Ministry by Halil.

The Unionists, who seized power in January 1913, were more convinced than ever that only an alliance with Britain and the Entente could guarantee the survival of what remained of the Empire. In June, therefore, the subject of an Anglo-Turkish alliance was reopened by Tevfik Pasha, who restated his proposal of October 1911. Once again the Turkish offer was turned down. Sir Louis Mallet, who became Britain’s Ambassador to the Porte in 1914, noted that

Turkey’s way of assuring her independence is by an alliance with us or by an undertaking with the Triple Entente. A less risky method [he thought] would be by a treaty or Declaration binding all the Powers to respect the independence and integrity of the present Turkish dominion, which might go as far as neutralization, and participation by all the Great Powers in financial control and the application of reform.

The Unionists could not possibly accept such proposals. They felt betrayed by what they considered was Europe's anti-Turkish bias during the Balkan Wars, and therefore they had no faith in Great Power declarations regarding the Empire's independence and integrity; the termination of European financial control and administrative supervision was one of the principal aims of CUP's movement. Sir Louis Mallet,ambassador Extraordinary to his imperial majesty, seemed totally oblivious to that. The response was not based on an ignorance as Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907 brought shaky British-Russian relations to the forefront by solidifying boundaries that identified respective control in Persia (Empires eastern neighbor), Afghanistan. Though these imperial powers had experienced relatively few major conflicts between them over the previous hundred years, an underlying rivalry, otherwise known as “the Great Game”, had exacerbated the situation to such an extent that resolution was sought by the early 20th century. Overall, the Convention represented a carefully calculated move on each power's part in which they chose to value a powerful alliance over potential sole control over various parts of Central Asia. Ottoman Empire lied on the crossroads to Central Asia. The Convention served as the catalyst for creating a “Triple Entente”, which was the basis of the alliance of countries opposing the Central Powers, which Ottoman Empire's path was set with that agreement part of the Great Game.

Political situation, 1913
Depiction of assassination of Minister of War Nazım Pasha during the coup.
The Sublime Porte shortly after the coup.
Enver Bey (center) speaking to the British attaché shortly after the coup.
Arabs, 1908-1913[edit]

The Hauran Druze Rebellion was a violent Druze uprising in the Syrian province, which erupted in 1909. The rebellion was led by the al-Atrash family, in an aim to gain independence. The conflict A business dispute between Druze chief Yahia bey Atrash in the village of Basr al-Harir escalated into a clash of arms between the Druze and Ottoman-backed local villagers.[21] Though it is the financial change during second constitutional area; the spread of taxation, elections and conscription, to areas already undergoing economic change caused by the construction of new railroads, provoked large revolts, particularly among the Druzes and the Hauran.[22] Sami Pasha al-Farouqi arrived in Damascus in August 1910, leading an Ottoman expeditionary force of some 35 battalions.[21] The resistance collapsed.[21]

In 1911, Muslim intellectuals and politicians formed "The Young Arab Society", a small Arab nationalist club, in Paris. Its stated aim was "raising the level of the Arab nation to the level of modern nations." In the first few years of its existence, al-Fatat called for greater autonomy within a unified Ottoman state rather than Arab independence from the empire. Al-Fatat hosted the Arab Congress of 1913 in Paris, the purpose of which was to discuss desired reforms with other dissenting individuals from the Arab world. They also requested that Arab conscripts to the Ottoman army not be required to serve in non-Arab regions except in time of war. However, as the Ottoman authorities cracked down on the organization's activities and members, al-Fatat went underground and demanded the complete independence and unity of the Arab provinces.[23]

Nationalist movement become prominent during this Ottoman period, but it has to be mentionas that this was among Arab nobles and common Arabs considered themselves loyal subjects of the Caliph.[24] Instead of Ottoman Caliph, the British, for their part, incited the Sharif of Mecca to launch the Arab Revolt during the First World War.[25]

Armenians, 1908-1913[edit]

ARF, previously outlawed, became the main representative of the Armenian community, replacing (though the Armenian assembly and the Constitution not abolished) the pre-1908 Armenian elite, which had been composed of merchants, artisans, and clerics who had seen their future in obtaining more privileges within the boundaries of the state's version of Ottomanism.[26] During the same time the ARF was moving out of this context (Ottomanisim) and developing, what was just a normal extension of its national freedom concept, the concept of the "Independent Armenian State". With this national transformation ARF's activities become a national cause.[27] ARF, in the early 20th century was socialists, and marxist, which can be seen from the party's first program.[28]

The conflict between Ottoman government and Armenian fedayi wasn't put to rest. At Battle of Sulukh, Kevork Chavush was critically wounded, escaped the fighting but later his body was found in Kyosabin-Bashin under a bridge. Andranik Ozanian participated in the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913, within the Bulgarian army, alongside general Garegin Nzhdeh as a commander of Armenian auxiliary troops. Andranik met revolutionist Boris Sarafov in Sofia and the two pledged themselves to work jointly for the oppressed peoples of Armenia and Macedonia. Andranik participated in the First Balkan War of 1912–1913 alongside Garegin Nzhdeh as a Chief Commander of 12th Battalion of Lozengrad Third Brigade of the Macedonian-Adrianopolitan militia under the command of Colonel Aleksandar Protogerov. His detachment consisted of 273 Armenian volunteers, which was more than half of the 531 non-Macedonian born fighters in the group.

Armenians, 1908-1914
Garegin Njdeh, Chief Commander of 12th Battalion, 1913
Zoravar Andranik, Armenian auxiliary troops, 1912
Kurds, 1908-1913[edit]

The first Kurds to challenge the authority of the Ottoman Empire did so primarily as Ottoman subjects, rather than national Kurds. They worked with other Ottoman subjects who were in opposition to the policies of Sultan Abdul Hamid and in 1889 formed the CUP. Abdul Hamid responded with a policy of repression, but also of integration, co-opting prominent Kurdish opponents into the Ottoman power structure with prestigious positions in his government. This strategy appears successful given the loyalty displayed by the Kurdish Hamidiye.[29]

In 1908, after the overthrow of Sultan, the Hamidiye was disbanded as an organized force, but as they were “tribal forces” before official recognition (Hamidiye (cavalry) trained and organized Kurdish force by the Sultan Abdul Hamid II in 1892), they stayed as “tribal forces” after dismemberment. The Hamidiye Cavalry is described as a military disappointment and a failure because of its contribution to tribal feuds.[30]

Kurds, 1908-1914
Hamidiyeh Cavalry
Hamidiyeh Cavalry, 1901
In 1908 decision to disbanded as an organized force,[30] which was put in force 1909

Cession of Kuwait and Albania, 1913[edit]

The Anglo-Ottoman Convention of 1913 was a short-lived agreement signed in July 1913 between the Ottoman sultan Mehmed V and the British over several issues. However the status of Kuwait that came to be the only lasting result, as its outcome was formal independence for Kuwait.

Albania had been under Ottoman rule in about 1478. When Serbia, Montenegro, and Greece laid claim to Albanian-populated lands during Balkan Wars, the Albanians declared independence.[31]

The European Great Powers endorsed an independent Albania in 1913, after the Second Balkan War leaving outside the Albanian border more than half of the Albanian population and their lands, that were partitioned between Montenegro,Serbia and Greece. They were assisted by Aubrey Herbert, a British MP who passionately advocated their cause in London. As a result, Herbert was offered the crown of Albania, but was dissuaded by the British prime minister, H. H. Asquith, from accepting. Instead the offer went to William of Wied, a German prince who accepted and became sovereign of the new Principality of Albania. The young state, however, collapsed within weeks of the outbreak of World War I.[31]

Elections, census, political situation, 1914[edit]

In 1914 the ottoman published the updated (lost of territory since 1905-06 census) tables. Before the 1914 elections, the Empire lost territory in the Balkans, where many of its Christian voters were based. The CUP made efforts to win support in the Arab provinces by making conciliatory gestures to Arab leaders. CUP overtures to Arabs was opposite to Liberal Entente's position and enabled the CUP to call elections with unionists holding the upper hand.

Elections, census, political situation, 1914
1914, Ottoman population

After 1914 elections, the democratic structure had a better representation in the parliament; the parliament that emerged from the elections in 1914 reflected better ethnic composition of the Ottoman population[32] There were more Arab deputies, which were underrepresented in previous parliaments. The CUP was in the majority[6] Ottoman imperial government in the turn of 1914; January 1914 Enver became a Pasha as assigned as a minister of war; Ahmet Cemal who was the military governor of Istanbul became minister for the navy; and once a postal official Talat, became the minister of the interior.[32]

Ottoman cabinet in 1914
Said Halim Pasha,
Grand Vizier June 1913 -February 1917
Talat Bey,
Minister of the interior January 1913– February 1917
Ismail Enver Pasha,
Minister of War January 1913–October 1918
Ahmed Cemal Pasha,
Minister of Navy January 1913

The Empire lost territory in the Balkans, where many of its Christian supporters were based. The CUP made efforts to win support in the Arab provinces by making conciliatory gestures to Arab leaders, which also weakened Arab support for the Entente and enabled the CUP to call elections with unionists holding the upper hand.

Until the Ottoman general election, 1919, any other input into the political process was restricted with the outbreak of the World War One. The situation was summarized with a question and answer:

Could the Ottoman government of 1914 be described as a personal dictatorship under Enver, single party state under the Union and Progress party or a straight forward military regime? Answer lies between all three.[6]

Armenians and Russia, 1914[edit]

Russia, the protector of Armenians and acting on behalf of the Great Powers, played a crucial role. The Russian Ambassador at Constantinople Baron von Giers raised the Armenian question once more and handed the Minister of the Interior with the note on November 26, 1912.[b] An Armenian reform package was negotiated with Russia. The Armenian reform package, was solidified in February 1914, was based on the arrangements nominally made in 1878 (Treaty of Berlin (1878)). According to this arrangement the inspectors general, whose powers and duties constituted the key to the question, were to be named for a period of ten years, and their engagement was not to be revocable during that period. The Russians had acclaimed this agreement as a substantial political success.[c][34]

From the end of July to August 2, 1914, the Armenian congress at Erzurum (8th World Congress of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation), happened. There was a meeting between CUP and Armenians. Armenian liaisons Arshak Vramian, Stepan Zorian (Rostom), and Khatchatour Maloumian (E. Aknouni), and Ottoman liaisons Dr. Behaeddin Shakir, Omer Naji (Omer Naci), and Hilmi Bey, accompanied by an international entourage of peoples from the Caucasus. CUP requested to incite a rebellion of Russian Armenians against the Tsarist regime in order to facilitate the conquest of Transcaucasia in the event of the opening up of a Caucasus Campaign.[35] At the same time, a representative meeting of Russian Armenians assembled in Tiflis, Caucasus, during August 1914.[36] Tsar asked Armenian's loyalty and support for Russia in the conflict.[36] The proposal was agreed upon and nearly 20,000 Armenians[d] responded to the call (Armenian volunteer units), of which only 7,000 were given arms.[37] The Empire dismantled the Armenian reform package on December 16, 1914, just after the first engagement of the Caucasus Campaign the Bergmann Offensive on November 2, 1914.

Kurds and autonomy, 1914[edit]

Operating within the autonomist framework, Shaykh Abd al Qadir in 1910 appealed to the CUP an autonomous Kurdish state in the east. That same year, Said Nursi traveled through the Diyarbakir region and urged Kurds to unite and forget their differences, while still carefully claiming loyalty to the CUP.[38] Other Kurdish Shaykhs in the region began leaning towards regional autonomy. During this time, the Badr Khans had been in contact with discontented Shaykhs and chieftains in the far east of Anatolia ranging to the Iranian border, more in the framework of secession, however. Shaykh Abd al Razzaq Badr Khan eventually formed an alliance with Shaykh Taha and Shaykh Abd al Salam Barzani, another powerful family.

In 1914, because of this possible Kurdish threat as well as the alliance's dealings with Russia, Ottoman troops moved against this alliance. Two brief and minor rebellions, the rebellions of Barzan and Bitlis, were quickly suppressed.[39] The problem for these early Kurdish rebels was one of coordination. The British vice-consul in Bitlis reported that "Could the Kurds combine against the government even in one province, the Turkish troops in their eastern part of Asia Minor would find it difficult to crush the revolt."[40]

In 1914, General Muhammad Sharif Pasha offered his services to the British in Mesopotamia. Elsewhere, members of the Badr Khan family held close relations with Russian officials and discussed their intentions to form an independent Kurdistan.[41]

Kurds, 1914
Ottoman Kurds in Majority (brown), 1910
Yemen and autonomy , 1914[edit]

Yemen Vilayet was a first-level administrative division of the Empire. In the late 19th century, the Zaidis rebelled against the Empire, and Imam Mohammed ibn Yahya laid the foundation of a hereditary dynasty.[42] When he died in 1904, his successor Imam Yahya ibn Mohammed led the revolt against the Empire in 1904-1905, and forced them to grant important concessions to the Zaidis.[42] The Ottoman agreed to withdraw the civil code and restore sharia in Yemen.[42] In 1906, the Idrisi leaders of Asir rebelled against the Ottomans. By 1910 they controlled most of Asir, but they were ultimately defeated by Ottoman Modern Army and Hejazi forces.[43] Ahmed Izzet Pasha concluded a treaty with Imam Yahya in October 1911, by which he was recognized as temporal and spiritual head of the Zaidis, was given the right to appoint officials over them, and collect taxes from them. The Ottomans maintained their system of government in the Sunni-majority parts of Yemen.[42]

In March 1914, the Anglo-Turkish Treaty delimited the border between Yemen and the Aden Protectorate.[42] This was the backdrop to the later division in two Yemeni states (up to 1990).

World War I[edit]

The Ottoman entry into World War I (28 July 1914) came in 11 November 1914, after three months and eight days of being neutral. The reasons for the Ottoman Sultan's entry is not entirely clear, not then, not after many years.[44] The Ottoman Empire was an agricultural state which had thrown itself into an industrialized war.[45] The economic resources of the empire were depleted by the cost of the Balkan Wars of 1912 and 1913

The great land mass of Anatolia was between the Ottoman army’s headquarters and many of the theaters of war. During Abdulhamit II reign civilian communications had improved, but the road and rail network was not ready for a war.[45] It took more than a month to reach Syria and nearly two months to reach Mesopotamia. To reach the border with Russia; the railway was only 60 km east of Ankara, and from there it was 35 days to Erzurum.[45] It took less time to arrive any of these fronts from London than from Ottoman War Department, given the poor condition of Ottoman compared to British supply ships.

The Empire fell into disorder with the declaration of war along with Germany. On 11 November a conspiracy was discovered in Constantinople against Germans and the Committee, in which some of the Committee leaders were shot. This followed the 12 November revolt in Adrianople against the German military mission. On 13 November a bomb exploded in Enver Pasha's palace, which killed five German officers but missed the Enver Pasha. These events were followed on 18 November with more anti-German plots. Committees formed around the country to rid the country of those siding with Germany. Army and navy officers protested against the assumption of authority by Germans. On 4 December widespread riots took place throughout the country. On 13 December there was an anti-war demonstration by women in Konak and Erzurum. Throughout December the CUP dealt with mutiny among soldiers in barracks and among naval crews. The head of the German Military Mission Field Marshal von der Goltz had a conspiracy against his life.

The military power remained firmly in the hands of War Minister Enver Pasha, domestic issues (civil matters) on Interior Minister Talat Pasha, and an interesting point, CernaI Pasha had the control over Ottoman Syria singlehandedly.[46] Rest of the governance, provincial governors, ran their regions with differing degrees of autonomy.[46] An interesting case is Izmir; Rahmi Bey behaved almost as if his region was a neutral zone between the warring states.[47]

Siege of Medina Battle of al-Samn Battle of Wadi Musa Battle of Aqaba Capture of Yanbu Battle of Mecca (1916) Battle of Taif (1916) Urfa Resistance Shabin-Karahisar Resistance Musa Dagh Resistance Defense of Van (1915) Zeitun Resistance (1915) Zeitun Resistance (1914) Charge at Haritan Battle of Aleppo (1918) Battle of Sharqat Pursuit to Haritan Charge at Khan Ayash Charge at Kiswe Charge at Kaukab Battle of Jisr Benat Yakub Capture of Damascus (1918) Charge at Irbid Capture of Damascus (1918) Battle of Nablus (1918) Capture of Tiberias Battle of Samakh Battle of Haifa (1918) Capture of Jenin Capture of Afulah and Beisan Battle of Nazareth Battle of Arara Battle of Tabsor Battle of Tulkarm Battle of Sharon Battle of Megiddo (1918) Action of Arsuf Second Battle of Amman Capture of Jisr ed Damieh Third Transjordan attack Battle of Abu Tellul Second Transjordan attack on Shunet Nimrin and Es Salt First Battle of Amman Battle of Hijla First Transjordan attack on Amman Occupation of the Jordan Valley Capture of Jericho Second Transjordan attack on Shunet Nimrin and Es Salt Action of Khan Baghdadi Battle of El Burj Battle of Jaffa (1917) Battle of Nebi Samwil Battle of Jerusalem (1917) Battle of Ayun Kara Battle of Mughar Ridge Battle of Mughar Ridge Charge at Huj Capture of Wadi el Hesi Battle of Hareira and Sheria Third Battle of Gaza Battle of Tel el Khuweilfe Battle of Beersheba (1917) Southern Palestine Offensive Battle of Buqqar Ridge Battle of Ramadi (1917) Stalemate in Southern Palestine Second Battle of Gaza First Battle of Gaza Samarrah Offensive Battle of Istabulat Battle of Jebel Hamlin Fall of Baghdad (1917) Battle of Tell 'Asur Raid on Bir el Hassana Raid on Nekhl Second Battle of Kut Battle of Rafa Battle of Magdhaba Battle of Bir el Abd Battle of Romani Siege of Kut Battle of Katia The Jifjafa raid Battle of Dujaila Battle of Hanna Battle of Wadi (1916) Battle of Sheikh Sa'ad Umm-at-Tubal Battle of Ctesiphon (1915) Battle of Es Sinn Battle of Hill 60 (Gallipoli) Battle of Scimitar Hill Battle of Chunuk Bair Battle of Lone Pine Battle of the Nek Battle of Sari Bair Landing at Suvla Bay Battle of Krithia Vineyard Battle of Gully Ravine Third Battle of Krithia Second Battle of Krithia Battle for No.3 Post Third attack on Anzac Cove Second attack on Anzac Cove Landing at Anzac Cove Landing at Anzac Cove Battle of Shaiba First Battle of Krithia Landing at Cape Helles Naval operations in the Dardanelles Campaign Raid on the Suez Canal Battle of Qurna Battle of Basra (1914) Fao Landing Battle of Erzincan Battle of Bitlis Trebizond Campaign Battle of Koprukoy Erzurum Offensive Battle of Kara Killisse (1915) Battle of Manzikert (1915) Battle of Dilman Battle of Ardahan Battle of Sarikamish Bergmann Offensive Battle of Odessa (1914) German Caucasus Expedition Battle of Baku Battle of Karakilisa Battle of Abaran Battle of Sardarabad First Republic of Armenia Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic Defeat and dissolution of the Ottoman Empire (1908–1922)#Empire in home front Defeat and dissolution of the Ottoman Empire (1908–1922)#War with Britain and France Defeat and dissolution of the Ottoman Empire (1908–1922)#War with Russia Middle Eastern theatre of World War I
War with Russia[edit]
Top: Destruction in the city of Erzurum; Left Upper: Russian forces; Left Lower: Wounded Muslim refugees; Right Upper:Ottoman forces; Right Lower: Armenian refuges

Ottoman's entrance into the war greatly increased the Triple Entente's military burdens. Russia had to fight on the Caucasus Campaign alone and in the Persian Campaign along with the United Kingdom. İsmail Enver Pasha set off for the Battle of Sarıkamış with the intention of recapturing Batum and Kars, overrunning Georgia and occupying north-western Persia and the oil fields. Fighting the Russians in the Caucasus, however, the Ottomans lost ground, and over 100,000 soldiers, in a series of battles. 60,000 Ottoman soldiers died in the winter of 1916—17 on the Mus—Bitlis section of the front.[48]

The 1917 Russian revolution gave the Ottomans a new chance. On 5 December 1917, the armistice of Erzincan (Erzincan Cease-fire Agreement) signed between the Russians and Ottomans in Erzincan that ended the armed conflicts between Russia and Ottoman Empire.[49] On 3 March, the Grand vizier Talat Pasha signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with the Russian SFSR. It stipulated that Bolshevik Russia cede Batum, Kars, and Ardahan. These lands had been captured by Russia during the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878). In addition to these provisions, a secret clause was inserted which obligated the Russians to demobilize Armenian national forces.[50]

Between 14 March – April 1918 the Trabzon peace conference held among the Ottoman Empire and the delegation of the Transcaucasian Diet. Enver Pasha offered to surrender all ambitions in the Caucasus in return for recognition of the Ottoman reacquisition of the east Anatolian provinces at Brest-Litovsk at the end of the negotiations.[51] On 5 April, the head of the Transcaucasian delegation Akaki Chkhenkeli accepted the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk as a basis for more negotiations and wired the governing bodies urging them to accept this position.[52] The mood prevailing in Tiflis was very different. Tiflis acknowledge the existence of a state of war between themselves and the Ottoman Empire.[52]

In April 1918, the Ottoman 3rd Army finally went on the offensive. In early May 1918, the Ottoman army faced with the newly declared Democratic Republic of Armenia. The conflict led to the Battle of Sardarapat, the Battle of Kara Killisse (1918), and the Battle of Bash Abaran. On 28 May 1918, the Dashnaks of Armenian national liberation movement declared the Democratic Republic of Armenia. The new Republic of Armenia was forced to sign the Treaty of Batum.

In July, Ottomans faced with the Centrocaspian Dictatorship at the Battle of Baku, with the goal of taking Baku on the Caspian Sea.

War in the Caucasus and Persia
1st battalion of the Armenian volunteer unit. It was under the command of the Andranik during Persian Campaign.[53]
5th Infantry Regiment officers of the Battle of Sardarabad
War with Britain and France[edit]
February–April 1915, The Battle of Gallipoli

The British captured Basra in November 1914, and marched north into Iraq.[48] Initially Ahmed Djemal Pasha was ordered to gather an army in Palestine to threaten the Suez Canal. In response, the Allies—including the newly formed Australian and New Zealand Army Corps ("ANZACs")—opened another front with the Battle of Gallipoli. The army led by Ahmed Djemal Pasha (Fourth Army) to eject the British from Egypt was stopped at the Suez canal in February 1915, and again the next summer.[48] The canal was vital to the British war effort. The 1915 locust plague breaks out in the Palestine region, be exact the Ottoman military hospitals record the period as March–October 1915:

The expected, and feared, British invasion came not through Cilicia or northern Syria, but through the straits.[46] The aim of the Dardanelles campaign was to support Russia. Most military observers recognized that the uneducated Ottoman soldier was lost without good leadership, and at Gallipoli Mustafa Kemal realized the capabilities of his man if their officers led from the front.[54] The war was something from a different are, as the agrarian Ottoman Empire faced to industrialized forces, at silent predawn attacks in which officers with drawn swords vent ahead of troops and only the troops to shout their battlecry of "Allahu Akbar!" when they reached the enemy’s trenches.[54]

The United Kingdom was obliged to defend India and the southern Persian oil territory by undertaking the Mesopotamian campaign. Britain also had to protect Egypt in the Sinai-Palestine-Syria Campaign. These campaigns strained Allied resources and relieved Germany.

The repulse of British forces in Palestine in the spring of 1917 was followed by the loss of Jerusalem in December of the same year.[48] The Ottoman authorities deport the entire civilian population of Jaffa and Tel Aviv, The Tel Aviv and Jaffa deportation, pursuant to the order from Ahmed Jamal Pasha on 6 April 1917. The Muslim evacuees allowed to return before long, At the same period the Balfour Declaration was being negotiated (published on 2 November 1917) in which the British Government declares its support for the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine. Ahmed Jamal Pasha effectively separates these groups. The Jewish evacuees returned after the British conquest of Palestine.[55]

The Ottomans were eventually defeated due to key attacks by the British general Edmund Allenby.

War in Mesopotamia, Sinai and Palestine and Gallipoli
British troops entering Baghdad March 1917
6th Army field HQ
In 1917, Ottoman forces at the shores of the Dead Sea
Empire in home front[edit]
"Top:" The size of the stars show where the active conflicts occurred in 1915 "Left Upper:" Armenians defending the walls of Van in the spring of 1915 "Left Lower:" Armenian Resistance in Urfa "Right:" A seventy-year-old Armenian priest leading Armenians to battle field.

The war tested to the limit the empire’s relations with its Arab population.[56] In February 1915 in Syria, Cemal Pasha exercised absolute power in both military and civil affairs.[57] Cemal Pasha was convinced that an uprising among local Arabs was imminent.[56] Leading Arabs were executed, and notable families deported to Anatolia.[56] Cemal’s policies did nothing to alleviate the famine that was gripping Syria; it was exacerbated by a British and French blockade of the coastal ports, the requisitioning of transports, profiteering and — strikingly — Cemal’s preference for spending scarce funds on public works and the restoration of historic monuments[56] During the war, Britain had been a major sponsor of Arab nationalist thought and ideology, primarily as a weapon to use against the power of the Empire. Sharif Hussein ibn Ali rebelled against the Ottoman rule during the Arab Revolt of 1916. In August he was replaced by Sharif Haydar, but in October he proclaimed himself king of Arabia and in December was recognized by the British as an independent ruler.[56] There was little the Empire could do to influence the course of events, other than try to prevent news of the uprising spreading, prevent it to demoralize the army or act as a propaganda for anti-Ottoman Arab factions.[56] On 3 October 1918 forces of the Arab Revolt enter Damascus accompanied by British troops, ending 400 years of Ottoman rule.

The idea of an independent and united Armenia was the main goal of the Armenian national movement during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.[58] During the first year of the war Russia, armed Armenian insurgents fought against their own government in north-east Anatolia at the battlefield zone which were regarded as traitors.[59] The Armenians of Anatolia particularly exposed to Muslim resentment after Russian Armenians called on their Ottoman co-religionists to join the Russian army and "liberate" [f] eastern Anatolia in November 1914.[61] The Ottoman government also faced difficulties on the home front (behind the battle zone), including Armenian rebellions in Anatolia (Zeitun, Van, Musa Dagh, Urfa, Shabin-Karahisar). In eastern Anatolia attacks on Ottoman government offices, on representatives of the government, and on Muslim civilians alike went on throughout the early months of the war and/with the war effort in peril on all fronts.[62] The Minister of the Interior Mehmed Talaat Bey with his order of April 24, 1915 requested arrest and detain at holding centers to be later court-martialed.[g] Matters became alarming when in mid-May a Russian-Armenian army (not a reference to Russian Caucasian Army which had Tovmas Nazarbekian, Movses Silikyan, but the Armenian volunteer units that included Karekin Pastermadjian who was an Ottoman Deputy before the war [h]) reached to city of Van (in the article Siege of Van) driving out the garrison and massacring the population before setting up an Armenian government (in article Republic of Van).[62] The Armenians declared their own state, and Armenians congregate[i] in a large group.[64] On 27 May the government passed the ‘Deportation Law’ (in article Tehcir Law), whereby the military authorities were authorized to relocate the Armenians.[62] From 1 June 1915 to 8 February 1916 (deportation) of Armenians from the region. Most academics define the deportations as the Armenian Genocide.[65]

Home front
Lt. Col. Gerard Leachman disguised as a Bedouin.
Soldiers of the Sharif of Mecca carrying the Arab Flag during the Arab Revolt of 1916–1918
Resistance members from the Adapazari committee, 1915.
Murad of Sebastia and his comrades fought at Sivas during 1915

Political situation, 1915[edit]

The Constantinople Agreement on 18 March 1915 was a set of secret assurances, which Great Britain promised to give the Capitol, and the Dardanelles to the Russians in the event of victory.[66] The city of Constantinople was intended to be a free port. In April 1915, Nikolai Yudenich reported the following to Count Illarion Ivanovich Vorontsov-Dashkov:

The Armenians intend to occupy by means of their refugees the lands left by the Kurds and Turks, in order to benefit from that territory. I consider this intention unacceptable, because after the war, it will be difficult to reclaim those lands sequestered by the Armenians or to prove that the seized property does not belong to them, as was the case after the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78. I consider it very desirable to populate the border regions with a Russian element... with colonists from the Kuban and Don and in that way to form a Cossack region along the border.[67]

During 1915, British forces invalidated the Anglo-Ottoman Convention, declaring Kuwait to be an "independent sheikdom under British protectorate."

Capitulations and public debt, 1915[edit]

10 September 1915 was an important date for Ottoman Economy. An institution that undermined Ottoman sovereignty was the Capitulations, or extraterritorial privileges enjoyed by foreigners residing in the Empire.[68] When the Capitulations were first established it was supposed that foreign assistance could benefit the Empire. Capitulations stipulated that the privileges were based on religion, and intercourse of the Christian world with the Muslim world was founded upon different principles. Privileges were based on religion is against free market values. The Muslim business was challenged against non-Muslim in international exchanges as the market was not free from any intervention by government.

Foreigners had secured many privileges or "capitulations" that they could not be brought under local jurisdiction, but were subject only to the codes of justice of their own countries, administered through their own consular courts. As a result, almost all the business of the country was in the hands of non-Ottoman citizens – Armenians, Greeks, Jews, Italians, French, Germans, and English, which were under non-Ottoman (local) jurisdiction. Wherever mines have been developed, railroads or irrigation works constructed, foreign capital and foreign brains have been chiefly responsible. This system produced an environment in which the citizens of the Empire stayed poor, and the standard of education for this group never increased. And so it would, if it were not that foreigners occupy a privileged position in the country. In fact, citizens of the United Kingdom, Italy, France, Germany, and Austria-Hungary were in many respects in a separate class from Ottoman citizens, whether Turks, Greeks, Armenians, or Jews. The Empire also perceived the capitulations as a reason for corruption. Officials, representing different jurisdictions, sought bribes at every opportunity, withheld the proceeds of a vicious and discriminatory tax system, ruined every struggling industry by graft, and fought against every show of independence on the part of Empire's many subject peoples. A citizen of any of the great powers was practically exempt from the payment of income taxes and several other kinds of taxes to which the Turk was subject. He was immune from search, could secure passports from his own consul, and could be tried in courts of his own nationality. All these special privileges together constituted a body of privileges known as "Capitulations."

On 10 September 1915, Interior minister Talat Pasha abolished the "Capitulations". On 10 September 1915 Grand Vizier Said Halim Pasha annulled (Vizer had the authority on annuls) the Capitulations, which ended the special privileges they granted to foreign nationals. The capitulation holders refused to recognize his action (unilateral action).[45] The American Ambassador expressed the Great Power view:

The capitulary regime, as it exists in the Empire, is not an autonomous institution of the Empire, but the result of international treaties, of diplomatic agreements and of contractual acts of various sorts. The regime, consequently, cannot be modified in any of its parts and still less suppressed in its entirety by the Ottoman Government except in consequence of an understanding with the contracting Powers.[68]

Beside the capitulations, there was another issue which evolved under the shadow of capitulations. The dept and financial control (revenue generation) of the empire was intertwined under single institution, which it's board was constituted from Great Powers rather than Ottomans. There is no sovereignty in this design. In fact, the Public Debt could and did interfere in state affairs because it controlled (collected) one-quarter of state revenues.[68] The debt was administered by the Ottoman Public Debt Administration and its power extended to the Imperial Ottoman Bank (equates to modern central banks). Debt Administration controlled many of the important revenues of the empire. The Council had power every financial affairs. Its control even extended to determine the tax on live stock in districts. Ottoman public debt was part of a larger schemes of political control, through which the commercial interests of the world had seek to gain advantages that may not be to Empire's interest. The immediate purpose of the abolition of capitulations and the cancellation of foreign debt repayments was to reduce the foreign stranglehold on the Ottoman economy; a second purpose — and one to which great political weight was attached — was to extirpate non—Muslims from the economy by transferring assets to Muslim Turks and encouraging their participation with government contracts and subsidies.[69]

Political situation, 1916[edit]

The French-Armenian Agreement of October 27, 1916, was reported to the interior minister Talat Pasha which agreement negotiations were performed with the leadership of Boghos Nubar the chairman of the Armenian National Assembly and one of the founder of the AGBU.

Political situation, 1917[edit]

In 1917 the Ottoman Cabinet considered maintaining relations with Washington after the United States had declared war on Germany on 6 April. But the views of the war party prevailed and they insisted on maintaining a common front with their allies. Thus, relations with America were broken on 20 April 1917.

1918–1922 Mehmet VI[edit]

Just before the end of the war, Sultan Mehmet V died and Mehmet VI became the new Sultan.

Political situation, 1918[edit]

In the overall war effort, the Unionists were convinced that Empire's contribution was essential. Ottoman armies had tied down large numbers of Allied troops on various fronts, keeping them away from theatres in Europe where they would have been used against German and Austrian forces. Moreover, they claimed that their success at Gallipoli had been an important factor in bringing about the collapse of Russia, resulting in the revolution of April 1917. They had turned the war in favor of Germany and her allies.[70]

Hopes were initially high for the Ottomans that their losses in the Middle East might be compensated for by successes in Causes Campaign. Enver Pasha, one of the most influential members of the Ottoman government, maintained an optimistic stance, hid information that made the Ottoman position appear weak, and led most of the Ottoman elite believe that the war was still winnable.[71] Developments in Southeast Europe quashed the Ottoman government's hopes. The Macedonian Front, also known as the Salonika campaign, had been largely stable since 1916. In September 1918, the Allied forces (under the command of Louis Franchet d'Espèrey) mounted a sudden offensive which proved quite successful. The Bulgarian army was defeated, and Bulgaria was forced to sue for peace in the Armistice of Salonica. This development undermined both the German and Ottoman cause simultaneously - the Germans had no troops to spare to defend Austria-Hungary from the newly formed vulnerability in Southeast Europe after the losses it had suffered in France, and the Ottomans suddenly faced having to defend Constantinople against an overland European siege without help from the Bulgarians.[71]

Grand Vizier Talaat Pasha visited both Berlin, Germany and Sofia, Bulgaria in September 1918, and came away with the understanding that the war was no longer winnable. With Germany likely seeking a separate peace, the Ottomans would be forced to as well. Grand Vizier Talaat convinced the other members of the ruling party that they must resign, as the Allies would impose far harsher terms if they thought the people who started the war were still in power. He also sought out the United States to see if he could surrender to them and gain the benefits of the Fourteen Points despite the Ottoman Empire and the United States not being at war; however, the Americans never responded, as they were waiting on British advice as to how to respond which never came. On October 13, Talaat and the rest of his ministry resigned. Ahmed Izzet Pasha replaced Talaat as Grand Vizier.

Armistice of Mudros, 1918[edit]
The front page of the Ottoman newspaper İkdam on 4 November 1918 announcing that the Three Pashas fled the country.

Two days after taking office, Ahmed Izzet Pasha sent the captured British General Charles Vere Ferrers Townshend to the Allies to seek terms on an armistice.[71] The British Cabinet were eager to negotiate a deal. British government interpreted that not only should Britain conduct the negotiations, but should conduct them alone. There may be a desire to cut the French out of territorial "spoils" promised to them in the Sykes-Picot agreement. Talaat (before resigning) had sent an emissary to the French as well, but that emissary had been slower to respond back. The British cabinet empowered Admiral Calthorpe to conduct the negotiations, and to explicitly exclude the French from them.[71] The negotiations began on Sunday, October 27 on the HMS Agamemnon, a British battleship. The British refused to admit French Vice-Admiral Jean Amet, the senior French naval officer in the area, despite his desire to join; the Ottoman delegation, headed by Minister of Marine Affairs Rauf Bey.[71]

Unknown to both sides, both sides were actually quite eager to sign a deal and willing to give up their objectives to do so. The British delegation had been given a list of 24 demands, but were told to concede on any of them except allowing the occupation of the forts on the Dardanelles as well as free passage through the Bosphorus; the British desired access to the Black Sea for the Rumanian front. Prime Minister David Lloyd George also desired to make a deal quickly before the United States could step in; according to the diary of Maurice Hankey:

[Lloyd George] was also very contemptuous of President Wilson and anxious to arrange the division of Empire between France, Italy, and G.B. before speaking to America. He also thought it would attract less attention to our enormous gains during the war if we swallowed our share of Empire now, and the German colonies later.[71]

The Ottomans, for their part, believed the war to be lost and would have accepted almost any demands placed on them. As a result, the initial draft prepared by the British was accepted largely unchanged; the Ottomans did not know they could have pushed back on most of the clauses, and the British did not know they could have demanded even more. The Ottomans ceded the rights to the Allies to occupy "in case of disorder" any Ottoman territory, a vague and broad clause.[71] The French were displeased with the precedent; French Premier Clemenceau disliked the British making unilateral decisions in so important a matter. Lloyd George countered that the French had concluded a similar armistice on short notice in the Armistice of Salonica which had been negotiated by French General d'Esperey, and that Great Britain (and Czarist Russia) had committed the vast majority of troops to the campaign against the Ottomans. The French agreed to accept the matter as closed.

On 30 October 1918, the Armistice of Mudros was signed, ending Ottoman involvement in World War 1. The Ottoman public, however, was given misleadingly positive impressions of the severity of the terms of the Armistice. They thought its terms were considerably more lenient than they actually were, a source of discontent later that the Allies had betrayed the offered terms.[71]

Ottoman casualties[edit]

Ottoman casualties of World War I both for civilian and military is enormous regardless of the method used in the calculations. The military casualties were published in the book Ordered to Die: A History of the Ottoman Army in the First World War, but the post-war partitioning of the Ottoman Empire made the estimation of the total civilian casualties harder. Also, it was not a novelty in world history to see from time to time people forced to move from one region to another, be it in the form of refugees, of population transfer, or of search for political asylum, but World War I and its aftermath caused migrations at unprecedented large scales, including the Ottoman Empire citizens.[72]

One result of the enormous loss of life was a shortage of manpower to work the land. At a time when the army’s requirements took precedence over civilian needs, those left at home often endured conditions as miserable as those serving at the front.[56] By 1916, two years before the end, the cost of living risen by %2,500 and resulted in starvation in some areas.[73]

Destruction
1918 was marked by food shortages and famine, which wreaked havoc on the Empire
Collection of civilian corpses from Erzinzan
General Assembly of the Ottoman Empire's investigation committee in eastern anatolia
Occupation of the Capitol, 1918[edit]

The occupation of the capitol by British (first), French (second) and Italian (third) forces.[56] Occupation took place in accordance with the Armistice of Mudros. Mudros ended Ottoman participation in the First World War. The occupation had two stages: the initial occupation took place from 13 November 1918 to 16 March 1920; from 16 March 1920, it was made lasting by the Treaty of Sevres. 1918 saw the first time Constantinople had changed hands since the Ottoman Turks conquered the Byzantine capital in 1453.

Allied troops occupied zones based on the sections and set up an Allied military administration early in December 1918.[56]

Allied inability to resolve administrative matters in an amicable fashion was symbolized by the curious episode that emerged almost immediately to convert Ayasofya back to a church from the mosque which it had been for over four and a half centuries.[56] The event became a symbol of Christian activism to reclaim the former Byzantine basilica.[j][56] The occupying force has to deal with the division between Orthodox and Latin Christians with an unexpected outcome that the church should not be Greek Orthodox at all, but Greek Uniate, in union with Rome.[56] The same argument that Ottoman Sultan faced in 1453.

Political situation, 1919[edit]

The fall of the CUP allowed the Palace to regain the initiative once again, though only for less than a year. In those months, Sultan Mehmed VI Vahdettin reverted to the diplomacy of the Liberal Young Turks and that meant total reliance on and subservience to Great Britain. Old and discredited members of the Ottoman ancient regime were resurrected in order to form ephemeral governments and conduct personal diplomacy. Thus, Tevfik Pasha formed two ministries between November 1918 and March 1919, to be followed by Abdul Hamids brother-in-law Damad Ferid Pasha who led three cabinets in seven months. Damad Ferid, having served in diplomatic missions throughout Europe during the Hamidian era, and having been acquainted with European statesmen during his tenure as a Liberal politician, was considered an asset in the negotiations for the very survival of the Ottoman state and dynasty.

Partitioning[edit]

The initial peace agreement with the Ottoman Empire was the Armistice of Mudros. This was followed by the Occupation of Constantinople. The partitioning of the Ottoman Empire brought international conflicts which were discussed during the Paris Peace Conference, 1919. The peace agreement, the Treaty of Sèvres, was eventually signed by the Ottoman Empire and Allies.

The Treaty of Sèvres presented one of the thorniest problems before the Paris Peace Conference, 1919. The text of the treaty were not made public with the Ottomans until May 1920.

Thee Allies decided that the Turks would be left only a small area in Northern and Central Anatolia in which to live. All the great cities of the empire, in which reform had been most successful, were to be taken by the Allies and their friends. It seemed that reforms established during this period had ultimately been a failure, defeated in war. Contrary to general expectations, the Sultanate was not terminated, and it was allowed to retain capitol and a small strip of territory around the city. The shores of the Bosporus and the Dardanelles were planned to be internationalized, so that the gates of the Black Sea would be kept open. West Anatolia was offered to Greece, and East Anatolia was offered to Armenia. The Mediterranean coast, although still a part of the Empire, was partitioned between two zones of influence for France and Italy. The interior of Anatolia, the first seat of Ottoman power six centuries ago, continued to be under Turkish sovereignty.

Ottomans (Empire) had indeed sick, but with a twist of fate, a war to end all wars prevented to cure themselves. Unity of all religions and nations left itself to separate national and religious states. It is not a remarkable event that at the end Ottoman Empire was partitioned. As a final note, at its end, sick man of Europe held on amazingly well. Fighting against the industrial English, the French and the Russians the agrarian Ottomans lasted through almost four years of war to the day (couple days short).

Turkish War of Independence Middle Eastern theatre of World War I Treaty of Lausanne Conference of Lausanne Conference of Lausanne Armistice of Mudanya Conference of London Treaty of Ankara (1921) Treaty of Kars Treaty of Moscow (1921) Treaty of Sèvres Cilicia Peace Treaty Conference of London Treaty of Alexandropol Sanremo conference Conference of London (February 1920) Misak-ı Milli James Harbord King-Crane Commission Long-Berenger Oil Agreement Paris Peace Conference, 1919 Faisal-Weizmann Agreement Occupation of Istanbul Armistice of Mudros Treaty of Batum Treaty of Brest-Litovsk Balfour Declaration, 1917 Agreement of St.-Jean-de-Maurienne French-Armenian Agreement (1916) Sykes-Picot Agreement Hussein-McMahon Correspondence London Pact Partitioning of the Ottoman Empire

Question of the Ottomanism[edit]

What could the Ottomans have done to succeed, or were they doomed to fail by situations beyond their control? After the war, the Ottomanism lost it's validity. At the turn of the 20th century, multi—ethnic empires failed to satisfy the aspirations of large numbers of their subjects, and national states were widely viewed as the wave of the future.[69]

Ottoman Jews who subscribed to the idea of ‘Ottomanism,’ also had the World Zionist Organization established in Istanbul; and until the First World War its activities focused on cultural matters, although political aims were never absent.[45] Before the First Word War Herzl's attempts to reach a political agreement with the Ottoman rulers of Palestine were unsuccessful. But on 11 April 1909 Tel Aviv was founded on the outskirts of the ancient port city of Jaffa. The WZO supported small-scale settlement in Palestine and focused on strengthening Jewish feeling and consciousness and on building a worldwide federation. At the start of World War I, most Jews (and Zionists) supported Germany in its war with Russia. The Balfour Declaration (dated 2 November 1917) and also Henry McMahon had exchanged letters with Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca in 1915, was a turn (or beginning) to another concept (Jewish national home vs. Jewish state) which is explained under Homeland for the Jewish people

Whether Ottoman Armenians favored gradual (autonomy under the empire) or revolutionary change (the First Republic of Armenia), they too had had close, if uneasy, relations; like other non—Muslim groups under the Empire during this period.[45] Many, however, saw a chance of achieving an independent state[k] if Russia won the war, and Russian propaganda encouraged them in this hope.[45]

Whether Ottoman Kurds favored the Empire or not, in 1918, Kurdish Tribial leader Sharif Pasha pressed the British to adopt a policy supporting autonomous Kurdish state. He suggested that British officials be charged with deputizing administer the regions and control their finances. Strategically, he desired movement towards this plan to be made before the end of the war and the Paris Peace Conference. Because of Sharif Pasha's friendship with Armenians, after he was chosen to represent the Kurds by various Kurdish nationalist organizations at the Peace Conference, a Kurdo-Armenian peace accord was reached between Pasha and Armenian representatives at the conference in 1919. The British persuaded the Kurdish and Armenian representatives to sign this Kurdish-Armenian declaration of solidarity. The British thought this would increase the likelihood of independent Kurdish and Armenian states that would create a buffer between British Mesopotamia and the Turks.[39]

Whether Ottoman Arabs favored the Empire or not, the Arab forces were promised a state that included much of the Arabian Peninsula and the Fertile Crescent the secret Sykes-Picot Agreement between Britain and France provided for the territorial division of much of that region between the two imperial powers.

Why Ottomanism failed?[edit]

What was it about the Europeans (England, French, Russia) that made them such a threat to the Ottomans? Nationalisim was the talk of the period. Later analysis claim that basics of economy play the major role. As the Empire was integrated into the world economy, certain of its regions (the Balkans, Egypt, Iraq, and Hijaz) established closer economic links with Paris and London, even with British India, than with Istanbul.[2] Abdul Hamid recognized the weakness of his Empire and attempted to compensate for it by integrating local ruling groups (Albanian, Arab and Kurdish) into his system by according to each certain privileges and a measure of autonomy.[2] When the CUP attempted to restore central authority, reversing Abdul Hamid, they were confronted with rebellions and general discontent, supported in part by some of the Powers.[2]

The millet system and the Capitulations were most consequential in undermining the authority of the Ottoman state and hastening its end. The rapid rise of nationalism among the non-Muslim population would not have been possible without European patronage. (Eastern Question, Armenian Question, ...) Members of the non-Muslim bourgeoisie would have been unable to acquire foreign citizenships without the conflict with the Powers, thereby being able to evade Ottoman laws and taxes.[75] Without this privilege, given by Great Great Powers, such groups might have tried to further their interests via the Ottoman state, by supporting its development rather than stunting its growth. The active participation of the non-Muslims would have strengthened both state and economy and perhaps provided the basis of a multi-national society, and therefore a different end to Empire.[75]

One could argue that the Powers propped up the Empire by their failure to agree to a partition scheme. The Great Powers accelerated the process of disintegration by encouraging the centrifugal forces in the Empire. But that was in the nature of imperialist rivalries.

Question of the CUP, 1920-1922[edit]

The CUP was the ruling party during this period. There were Turkish Courts-Martial of 1919-20 in which the leadership of the CUP and selected former officials were court-martialled with/including the charges of subversion of the constitution, wartime profiteering, and the massacres of both Greeks and Armenians.[76] The courts-martial became a stage for political battles. The trials helped the LU root out the CUP from the political arena.

In the end, military losses destroyed the empire. The end came just as Ottoman reforms were having their greatest success. As explained in this period, a revolution in 1908 had taken real power out of the hands of the sultan (although the sultanate remained) and put it in the hands of reforming soldiers and bureaucrats. They made great strides, explained in reform attempts in the Ottoman Empire, building on the earlier reformers. However, World War I destroyed their work. How do the Ottoman problems compare to the problems of developing countries turn of the 21th century, such as Egypt. Iraq, Syria, Yemen, even Armenia?

Said Halim Pasha,
Grand Vizier June 1913 -February 1917
Talat Bey,
Minister of the interior January 1913– February 1917
Ahmed Cemal Pasha,
Minister of Navy January 1913
Bahaeddin Shakir, Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies.

Question of the Sultanate, 1922[edit]

The Treaty of Sèvres, signed 10 August 1920, which gave a nominal amount of land to the Sultan, keeping the empire in the name, but it was destined never to be ratified. The Ottoman general election of 1920 was held and with the participation of some parliamentarians who had escaped from occupied Capitol, a new government was formed in Ankara (see Turkish War of Independence).

Suleiman Shefik Pasha assigned as the commander of "Caliphate Army", which was established on 18 April 1920 by the imperial government in order to subdue the rebellion of the Turkish National Movement. On 1 November 1922, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, Turkey's provisional government, gave the coup de grâce to empire with the abolition of the Ottoman Sultanate. The Sultan and his family were declared personae non gratae.

The Turkish general election of 1923 occurred without the shadow of sultan. This election created the assembly which ratified the Treaty of Lausanne on 24 July 1923 which nullified the Treaty of Sèvres. Treaty of Lausanne provided international recognition to the Government of the Grand National Assembly, that had previously been accorded to the Ottoman Empire. On 29 October 1923, the provisional government of Turkey declared itself the Republic of Turkey.

c. 1920 Sultan Mehmed VI on his throne.
Princess Dürrühsehvar, Princess of Berar; Caliph Abdulmecid Khan II , and Nawab Azam Jah, Prince of Berar.

Question of Ottoman Heritage[edit]

More than 6 centuries of it's existence, Empire left behind many Christian, Muslim, Jewish, simply from every millet, and public works through out Europe and Middle East.[77] The Christian works in the Anatolia was left to Republic of Turkey. It is undeniable that Republic left many to crumble. But selected Christian works either turned into mosques or as museums to tourist by the Muslims of Turkey. In the Balkans, there is not Christian tradition of preserving the Muslim works, comparable to Turkey.[78] In Balkans, few public work structures survived as storage structures (generally well build ones) or in crumble. David Nicole states that over 95% Ottoman civic buildings in the Balkans was lost.[78] The fine 14th-century monuments which were dynamited as late as in 1960.[78]

Bibliography[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ from the 15th century ordinary functions of government left out of state's own control and every Millet in the system began to run their own schools, to leave money to their children according to their own laws (not those of the state), to collect taxes to support welfare for its own group, to organize and police its own neighborhoods, to punish transgressors according to its own laws in its own courts. Under this system, different religious and later ethnic groups enjoyed a wide range of religious and cultural freedoms and considerable administrative, fiscal and legal autonomy.[3]
  2. ^ The text of ultimatum (necessary for our troops to enter) on November 26, 1912.

    Since the memorable events of 1894 1896 (referring to Armenians 1890s) when Asia Minor and Constantinople were bleeding from the barbarous Armenian massacres the position has in no way improved Effect has not been given to the reforms decreed by Sultan Abdul Hamid on October 20th 1895 (referring to Armenian reform package) as a result of Russian French and English pressure The agrarian question is becoming more and more acute from day to day
    Most of the landed estates have been or are being seized by the Kurds and instead of forbidding this illegal confiscation the authorities are protecting and assisting the usurpers The reports of all our consulates agree as to the acts of brigandage perpetrated by the Kurds the unprecedented exactions the murder of Armenians and forced conversion of Armenian women The miscreants are hardly ever dealt with according to law The memoir presented by the Armenian Patriarch in Constantinople to the Sublime Porte and the Minister of the Interior gives a true picture of the miseries and persecution to which the Armenian subjects of the Sultan are exposed This state of things sufficiently accounts for the fact that the Armenian nation is looking more and more to Russia The Russian consulates in Armenia all bear witness to the state of public feeling there The Armenians are demanding the introduction of reforms under Russian supervision or even a Russian occupation The Armenians professing the Catholic faith are imploring Russia the ancient protectorates of the Christians of the East in the name of the Almighty to take the wretched Armenian population in Turkish Armenia under her protection The Ambassador is of opinion that the Armenian question is of the highest importance to Russia and desires the Government will do what is necessary to remedy matters He regards an occupation as premature and advocates reforms But in doing so he does not forget the tragic fate of the decree of 1895 and insists upon the necessity of the reforms being effectively supervised by Russian or European officials
    In view of the state of anarchy in which Empire is plunged at the moment the possibility must be reckoned with that the reforms will not have the calming effect desired and that it may be necessary for our troops to enter this region[33]

  3. ^ The Russian cable informing the coming agreement: "Thus the Act of January 22nd 1914 signifies without doubt the opening of a new and happier era in the history of the Armenian people. In political significance: it is comparable with the Firman of 1870 in which the Bulgarian Exarchate was founded and the Bulgars were freed from Greek guardianship. The Armenians must feel that the first step has been taken towards releasing them from the Turkish yoke. The agreement of January 26th 1914 has at the same time great significance for the international status of Russia. It has been signed personally by the Grand Vizier and Russia's representative and pledges the Turks to hand to the Powers a note the contents of which have been precisely set forth. The outstanding role of Russia in the Armenian question is thus officially emphasized and Art 16 of the Treaty of San Stefano to some extent ratified.[34]
    M Gulkievitch the Charge d Affaires of the Russian Embassy
  4. ^ For the size of the initial Armenian Volunteers the Washington Post article,The Washington post Friday, November 12, 1914, "ARMENIANS JOIN RUSSIANS" (image detail)
  5. ^ Said Nursî, appealed to ethnicity, rather than religious compatriot, in 1910 at Diyarbakir, "Kudistan belong to the Kurds and Armenians, not to the Turks." He continued "... Union (Union and Progress) is the great task of our time, that non-Muslims may be convinced that our union is an offensive against the ills of our time."[38]
  6. ^ During December, Nicholas II of Russia visited the Caucasus Campaign. The head of the Armenian Church along the president of the Armenian National Council of Tiflis in Tiflis Alexander Khatisyan received the excellence:

    From all countries Armenians are hurrying to enter the ranks of the glorious Russian Army, with their blood to serve the victory of the Russian Army... Let the Russian flag wave freely over the Dardanelles and the Bosporus, Let your will the peoples [Armenian] remaining under the Turkish yoke receive freedom. Let the Armenian people of Turkey who have suffered for the faith of Christ received resurrection for a new free life...[60]

    —Nicholas II of Russia
    .
  7. ^ The original position was stated in the s:Circular on April 24, 1915: Armenian committees with their political revolutionary organizations (referring to Armenian national movement) ... The immediate closing down of the branches of the Nubar’s (referring to Boghos Nubar the chairman of the Armenian National Assembly and one of the founder of the AGBU), Hinjack and Tashnak committees as well as of the similar organizations in the capital and in other provinces, seizing of all the documents and the material without any loses, arresting of the leaders and the members of the committees, of the people who have taken part in the activities, of the Armenians who are well known by the police forces, gathering of the suspicious people in an area in the towns so as to prevent their escape, launching of researches for weapons in suitable places have been found appropriate. Furthermore, for any inconvenience that might arise the commanders should be consulted. The measures taken shall be realized justly; and should there be any arrests after the thorough investigations of the documents the criminals shall be sent to the military courts immediately. Should you approve, I hereby kindly request the issuing of the necessary orders. -signed Interior Minister Talat Bey
  8. ^ Karekin Pastermadjian was also considered one of the masterminds of Operation Nemesis.[63]
  9. ^ Throughout June and July, as Turkish and Russian forces battled to the north of the Van region, thousands of Armenians from Mush and other neighbouring provinces started flooding into the city of Van. There were as many as 250,000 Armenians crowded into the city.[51] This included people who broke away from the deportation columns as they passed the vicinity of the province on their way to Mosul.[51]
  10. ^ The return of the building to the Ecumenical Patriarch, under the impetus of philanthropic sentiment, was seen as a means of cementing a strategic alliance with Greece.
  11. ^ About First Republic of Armenia.

    "In the summer of 1918, the Armenian national councils reluctantly transferred from Tiflis to Yerevan to take over the leadership of the republic from the popular dictator Aram Manukian and the renowned military commander Drastamat Kanayan. It then began the daunting process of establishing a national administrative machinery in an isolated and landlocked misery. This was not the autonomy or independence which Armenian intellectuals had dreamed of and for which a generation of youth had been sacrificed. Yet, as it happened, it was here that the Armenian people were destined to continue [their] national existence."[74]

    —R.G. Hovannisian
    First Republic of Armenia May 28, 1919-December 2, 1920.

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  2. ^ a b c d e f Kent 1996, pp. 18
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