Three Pashas

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The "Three Pashas" (Turkish: Üç Paşalar, also known as the "dictatorial triumvirate") of the Ottoman Empire refers to the Grand Vizier (prime minister) and Minister of the Interior, Mehmed Talaat Pasha (1874–1921); the Minister of War, Ismail Enver Pasha (1881–1922); and the Minister of the Navy, Ahmed Djemal Pasha (1872–1922). They were the dominant political figures in the empire during World War I, largely responsible for its entry into the war.

Legacy[edit]

The front page of the Ottoman newspaper İkdam on 4 November 1918 after the Three Pashas fled the country following World War I.

Western scholars hold that after the 1913 Ottoman coup d'état, these three men became the de facto rulers of the Ottoman Empire until its dissolution following World War I.[1] They were members of the Committee of Union and Progress,[2] a progressive organization that they eventually came to control and transform into a primarily Pan-Turkist political party,[3] which meant, in the words of Enver Pasha, "relocating the dhimmi"[4] (the non-Muslim population) of the Ottoman Empire.

The Three Pashas were the principal players in the Ottoman–German Alliance and the Ottoman Empire's entry into World War I on the side of the Central Powers. One of the three, Ahmed Djemal, was opposed to an alliance with Germany, and French and Russian diplomacy attempted to keep the Ottoman Empire out of the war; but Germany was agitating for a commitment. Finally, on 29 October, the point of no return was reached when Admiral Wilhelm Souchon took SMS Goeben, SMS Breslau, and a squadron of Turkish warships into the Black Sea (see pursuit of Goeben and Breslau) and raided the Russian ports of Odessa, Sevastopol, and Theodosia. It was claimed that Ahmed Djemal agreed in early October 1914 to authorize Admiral Souchon to launch a pre-emptive strike.

Ismail Enver had only once taken the control of any military activity (Battle of Sarıkamış), and left the Third Army in ruins. The First Suez Offensive and Arab Revolt are Ahmed Djemal's most significant failures.

Reputation in the Republic of Turkey[edit]

After World War I and the ensuing Turkish War of Independence, much of the population of the newly established Republic of Turkey as well its founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk[5] widely criticized the Three Pashas for having caused the Ottoman Empire's entrance into World War I,[6] and the subsequent collapse of the state.[7] As early as 1912, Atatürk (then just Mustafa Kemal) had severed his ties to the Three Pashas' Committee of Union and Progress, dissatisfied with the direction that they had taken the party,[8] as well as developing a rivalry with Enver Pasha.[7] Although Enver Pasha later attempted to join the Turkish War of Independence, the Ankara government under Atatürk blocked his return to Turkey and his efforts to join the war effort.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Emin, 310; Kayali, 195
  2. ^ Derogy, 332; Kayali, 195
  3. ^ Allen, 614
  4. ^ Joseph, 240; Bedrossyan, 479
  5. ^ George Sellers Harris; Bilge Criss (2009). Studies in Atatürk's Turkey: The American Dimension. BRILL. p. 85. ISBN 90-04-17434-6. 
  6. ^ Barry M. Rubin; Kemal Kirişci (1 January 2001). Turkey in World Politics: An Emerging Multiregional Power. Lynne Rienner Publishers. p. 168. ISBN 978-1-55587-954-9. 
  7. ^ a b Muammer Kaylan. The Kemalists: Islamic Revival and the Fate of Secular Turkey. Prometheus Books, Publishers. p. 77. ISBN 978-1-61592-897-2. 
  8. ^ Erik Jan Zürcher (1 January 1984). The Unionist Factor: The Rôle [sic] of the Committee of Union and Progress in the Turkish National Movement, 1905-1926. BRILL. p. 59. ISBN 90-04-07262-4. 
  • Allen, W.E.D. and R. Muratoff. Caucasian Battlefields: A History Of The Wars On The Turco-Caucasian Border, 1828-1921. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1953. 614 pp.
  • Bedrossyan, Mark D. The First Genocide of the 20th Century: The Perpetrators and the Victims. Flushing, NY: Voskedar Publishing, 1983. 479 pp.
  • Derogy, Jacques. Resistance and Revenge: "Fun Times" The Armenian Assassination of the Turkish Leaders Responsible for the 1915 Massacres and Deportations. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers and Zoryan Institute, April 1990. 332 pp.
  • Düzel, Neşe (2005-05-23). "Ermeni mallarını kimler aldı?". Radikal. "Enver Paşa, Talat Paşa, Bahaittin Şakir gibi bir dizi insanın ailelerine maaş bağlanıyor... Bu maaşlar, Ermenilerden kalan mülkler, paralar ve fonlardan bağlanıyor."
  • Emin [Yalman], Ahmed. Turkey in the World War. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1930. 310 pp.
  • Joseph, John. Muslim-Christian Relations and Inter-Christian Rivalries in the Middle East. Albany: State Univ. of New York Press, 1983. 240 pp.
  • Kayalı, Hasan. "Arabs and Young Turks: Ottomanism, Arabism, and Islamism in the Ottoman Empire, 1908-1918" 195 pp.