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The "Three Pashas" (also known as the "dictatorial triumvirate") of the Ottoman Empire included the Ottoman minister of war, Ismail Enver (1881–1922); the minister of the interior, Mehmed Talaat (1874–1921); and the minister of the Navy, Ahmed Djemal (1872–1922). They were the dominant political figures in the empire during World War I.
Western scholars hold that after the Coup of 1913, these three men became the de facto rulers of the Ottoman Empire until its dissolution following World War I (Emin, 310; Kayali, 195). They were members of the Committee of Union and Progress (Derogy, 332; Kayali, 195) a party with goals of creating a “Pan-Turkish” state (Allen, 614) which meant, in the words of Enver Pasha, “relocating the dhimmi,” (Joseph, 240; Bedrossyan, 479) 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 took 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.
- 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.