Ottoman Empire

From Kaiserreich

دولت عالیه عثمانیه
Devlet-i Âliye-yi Osmâniyye
Sublime Ottoman State
125px-Ottoman_Flag.svg.png 85px-Osmanli-nisani.svg.png

Flag and Coat of Arms of the Ottoman Empire

دولت ابد مدت

Devlet-i Ebed-müddet ("The Eternal State")

Mecidiye March

Official Languages Turkish
Capital Constantinople
Sultan and Caliph Abdul Mejid II
Grand Vizier Mehmed Cavid Pasha
  - Foundation by Osman

Government Monarchy
Currency Ottoman lira
Area Circa 3.170.000 km²
Population Around 29 million

The Ottoman Empire is a Asian country with holdings in both Europe and Africa. It borders Georgia and Armenia to the northeast, Persia to the east, Hejaz to the south, Oman and German Aden to the southeast, the German Suez Canal Zone to the southwest and Bulgaria to the northwest.

The Ottoman Empire, once the greatest empire in existence, spanning three continents and ruling over a multi-ethnic multi-religious hundreds of thousands of populace, the Ottoman Empire had declined by the late 19th century to the point of being known as the 'sick man of Europe'. An inability to effectively industrialize combined with the fierce conservative opposition to any reform whatsoever meant that the Ottoman Sultanate had dropped back well behind the European powers by 1876. When Abdul Hamid II came to the throne, attempts were made to change this, despite the failure of these efforts and the rise of the Committees of Union and Progress(AKA the Young Turks) as aresult however, they did lead to closer ties between Germany and the Empire. This can be shown by the start of construction of the Berlin-Baghdad railway in 1888. As the Weltkrieg began in Europe the Ottomans signed a treaty with the Germans and soon after joined the war against the Entente powers. Despite some initial promising advances, Ottoman forces had begun to collapse by 1918 under British and Arab Pressure and seemed likely to surrender. However, renewed offensives in western Europe by the Germans drew many allied soldiers away from the Middle Eastern theater. Finally, with the fall of France, Germany was finally free to send troops to reinforce their Ottoman Allies. Faced with superiorly trained, equipped and trained German Opposition, the British, along with their Arab Allies, were rapidly driven out of Baghdad and Jerusalem. When peace came in 1921 the Ottoman Empire gains constituted Cyprus directly and a set of puppet governments in Albania and Libya. The Berlin-Baghdad railway was finally completed and extended to Basra as well. However despite these victories the Sultanate remained in desperate need of reform. In 1936, the Sultanate is seemingly staggering and slipping, More and more groups demanding reforms are appearing to be joined by ever increasing ethnic tensions, economically too it is reliant on German support especially the oil trade from the Middle East.



During The Weltkrieg

While the Ottoman Empire officially entered the Weltkrieg on October 29, 1914 with the arrival of Wilhelm Souchon with the Goeben and Breslau and the commencement of the shelling of Odessa under the Ottoman Flag, it had secretly pursued and attained the signature and affirmation of the Ottoman-German Alliance on August 2nd, 1914. The Ottomans won several important victories in the early years of the war, such as the Battle of Gallipoli and the Siege of Kut; but there were setbacks as well, such as the disastrous Caucasus Campaign against the Russians.

Disaster continued in 1916 with the start of the Arab Revolt by the Hashimates combined with a new British Offensive under the command of General Edmund Allenby, Ottoman Forces were under a great deal of pressure in Mesopotamia and Syria. Coming to a head in 1918 when Allenby led a joint major Cavalry offensive with his Arab Counterparts shattering more than 80% of the Ottoman Army, and effectively damning the career of Ismail Enver Pasha, the Ottoman Minister of War.

At that point, the atmosphere of the Empire was generally a defeatist one and it seemed the Ottoman War effort would inevitably collapse. However the timing of recent German Successes in Greece and the commencement of the German Great Spring Offensive on the Western Front caused the British offensive in the Middle Eastern Front to suddenly stall, the Ottoman Government used this reprieve to reorganize the remains of their forces, Enver Pasha was dismissed for "Gross Incompetence" by Talaat Pasha, the Grand Vizier, after meeting with Djemal Pasha, Minister of Marine and his counterpart in the so-called "The Three Pashas"' Triumvirate. Kâzım Karabekir, was appointed Minister of War in his place, who instituted a severely needed changes in the officer corps and field command, among which was the promotion of Mustafa Kamal Pasha to the rank of General and his appointment as commander of the Syrian frontier.

The continuation of German Success in the Western Front led to the recall of Edmund Allenby from the Middle Eastern Front, His successor, Sir William Marshall, launched two attacks on the Turkish defences which were barely but surely repulsed, bringing some measure of hope to the Ottoman Empire. In 1919, the Central Alliance was finally able to reinforce Ottoman positions, German and Austrian reinforcements drove the British back out of Palestine and Mesopotamia through 1920. However this gave time for the British to build a fortified line along the Suez Canal and the Central Powers spent the rest of the war beating their heads against it in vain. The Arabs also managed to reorganize their forces and cling to the Hejaz using the Desert to their advantage. Ottoman Frontiers seemed back to original pre-war boundaries.

The "Peace With Honour"

When the peace treaty was signed with the British, the so-called "Peace with Honour" which effectively ended the Weltkrieg, the Ottoman staked many claims on former territories in Africa and the Balkans. However the general poor performance of the Ottomans made sure that little can be asked for in compensation in terms of land, at the end the Ottomans regained Cyprus and Kuwait under direct control, while Ottoman Influence in Albania and Libya was duly recognized.

However, due to the extraordinary amount of war weariness sustained by the Ottomans and its allies a major coup against the Ottomans was gained by the Arabs when the Ottomans were forced to recognize the independence of the Kingdom of Hejaz and formalize borders with them.

While the Ottoman Government celebrated the conclusion of the Weltkrieg as a victory, calling it "a successful struggle for the Sultanate against the Imperialist and Colonial ambitions of the hostile foreigners in Paris, Petrograd and London", many wondered whether or not was the Weltkrieg a Pyrrhic victory for the Ottomans, reflecting on the large costs in manpower, equipment and infrastructure, especially in the Middle East.

Post Weltkrieg (1920-1936)

Following the End of the Weltkrieg, the Ottoman government found itself faced with many difficulties, ranging from economic shortages to political instability. A major concern also was the need to reform the Ottoman Army from scratch following its near annihilation during the Weltkrieg. Also to be noted was the decline of the power of the "Three Pasha" triumvirate with the departure/exile of Ismail Enver Pasha to Turkestan.

In 1922, faced by increasing factionalism and splintering in the CUP, Grand Vizier Talaat Pasha resigned in favor of a formation of a more stable government, most notably Said Halim Pasha was reinstated Grand Vizier, while Talaat Pasha was reappointed Minister of Interior, Mehmed Cavid Pasha as Minister of Finance, Ali Fethi Pasha as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kâzım Karabekir was kept as Minister of War, Djemal Pasha was instated Minister of Military Inteilligence, while Mahmud Mukhtar Pasha was made minister of Marine.

The New Government was a clear indication of the end of the rule of the dictatorial triumvirate, while Talaat and Djemal Pashas continued to hold great influence, it was recognized that their power bases were not as strong as they once were and early signs of other factions emerging as major players in Ottoman politics began to surface.

One of the earliest issues the new government needed to deal with was the issue of restoring Ottoman government in the Middle East, the proposed policy of reintegration was in much debate, but finally the government agreed on a gradual reintegration plan along with the formalization of Arab rights in the Empire following meeting with the local leaders, this policy drew much criticism from the more hardliner members of the CUP, who continued to point out the slow progress and increasing bureaucratic and corruption problems of the program. Regardless, by 1936, many agree that Ottoman Control has been established in Iraq and much of Syria, however, there significant rebel tribal activity in the inner desert regions.

In cooperation with the German Ambassador, Germany diverted significant resources to aid their allies. German investments help minimize the severity of shortages caused by the Weltkrieg, when the Ottoman Economy began more or less to stabilize, German investment help develop Ottoman industry and infrastructure, most noteworthy of which are the Oil extraction industry in Iraq. In 1928, The Baghdad Railway was completed and efforts to extend to Basra were complete by 1932, providing modern rail infrastructure to the Middle East, specifically Iraq. This allowed a period of industrialization to undergo in Anatolia where for the first time the Ottoman Economy was in a boom.

A special commission was formed to begin the process of reformation the Ottoman Army, the Commission, headed by General Mustafa Kemal Pasha, noted the inefficiencies and mishaps of the Ottoman Army during the Weltkrieg, blamed on the ineffectiveness of Ismail Enver Pasha as War Minister, proceeded to instate a more effective military through the organization of Mobilization plans as well as the modernization of recruitment and training methods. The immediate need for manpower for operations in the Middle East was met by the committee, enabling crucial garrison efforts for the reintegration of the Middle East to go on as planned.

The 1930's would show a great change in the balance of political powers in the Ottoman Empire, As Talaat Pasha would die out of illness in 1930 and Djemal Pasha would retire three years later. In 1935, even the Grand Vizier, Said Halim Pasha as well retired retire and would succumb to sickness three months later. Allowing a new government to be formed in 1935 with veteran Minister of Finance, Cavid Pasha as Grand Vizier.




The Ottoman Imperial government

Sultan and Caliph of the Ottoman Empire: Abdul Mejid II(born 29 May 1868)

Grand Vizier and Minister of Finance: Mehmed Cavid Pasha (born in 1875)

Foreign minister: Hüseyin Nihâl Pasha (born 12 January 1905)

Minister of Interior: Behaeddin Shakir Pasha

Director of Imperial Security Services: Şükrü Âli Pasha (born 1886)

Minister of War: Mushir Mustapha Kemal Pasha (born 1881)

Chief of Staff of the Imperial Army: General Mustapha Fevzi Pasha (born 12 January 1876)

Minister of Navy: Admiral Huseyin Rauf Pasha (born 1881)

Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Army Air Force: Ali Pasha




Foreign relations




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