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The "Three Pashas" (Ottoman Turkish : اوچ پاشلار) refers to the triumvirate of senior officials who effectively ruled the Ottoman Empire during World War I: Mehmed Talaat Pasha (1874–1921), the Grand Vizier (prime minister) and Minister of the Interior; Ismail Enver Pasha (1881–1922), the Minister of War; and Ahmed Cemal Pasha (1872–1922), the Minister of the Navy.
The Three Pashas were largely responsible for the Empire's entry into World War I in 1914 and also largely responsible for the death of over one million Armenians in the Armenian genocide. All three met violent deaths after the war - Talaat and Djemal were assassinated, while Enver died leading the Basmachi Revolt near Dushanbe, present-day Tajikistan.
However, after their deaths, Talaat and Enver's remains have been reburied at the Monument of Liberty in Istanbul and many of Turkey's streets have been renamed in their honour.
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. [ page needed ] They were members of the Committee of Union and Progress, [ page needed ] a progressive organization that they eventually came to control and transform into a primarily Pan-Turkist political party, [ page needed ].
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. Goeben, SMS Breslau, and a squadron of Ottoman 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.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
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.
As de facto rulers, the Three Pashas have been considered the masterminds behind the Armenian Genocide. After the war the three were put on trial (in their absence) and sentenced to death, although the sentences were not carried out. Talaat and Djemal were assassinated in exile in 1921 and 1922 by Armenians; Enver died in an ambush by Armenians in Tajikistan in 1922 while trying to raise a Muslim anti-Russian insurrection. Enver charged the Armenian assassins, which resulted in his death.
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 Atatürkwidely criticized the Three Pashas for having caused the Ottoman Empire's entrance into World War I, and the subsequent collapse of the state. 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, as well as developing a rivalry with Enver Pasha. 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.
Young Turks was a political reform movement in the early 20th century that favored the replacement of the Ottoman Empire's absolute monarchy with a constitutional government. They led a rebellion against the absolute rule of Sultan Abdulhamid II in the 1908 Young Turk Revolution. With this revolution, the Young Turks helped to establish the Second Constitutional Era in 1908, ushering in an era of multi-party democracy for the first time in the country's history.
Ismail Enver Pasha was an Ottoman military officer and a leader of the 1908 Young Turk Revolution. He became the main leader of the Ottoman Empire in both the Balkan Wars (1912–13) and in World War I (1914–18). In the course of his career he was known by increasingly elevated titles as he rose through military ranks, including Enver Efendi, Enver Bey, and finally Enver Pasha, "pasha" being the honorary title Ottoman military officers gained on promotion to the rank of Mirliva.
Mehmed Talaat, commonly known as Talaat Pasha or Talât Pasha, was one of the Three Pashas that de facto ruled the Ottoman Empire during World War I. He was one of the leaders of the Young Turks and ruled the empire during the Armenian Genocide, which he initiated as Minister of Interior Affairs in 1915.
Hüseyin Rauf Orbay was an Ottoman-born Turkish naval officer, statesman and diplomat.
Ahmed Djemal Pasha, also known as Jamal Basha as-Saffah in the Arab world, was an Ottoman military leader and one-third of the military triumvirate known as the Three Pashas that ruled the Ottoman Empire during World War I and carried out the Armenian Genocide. Djemal was Minister of the Navy.
The Second Constitutional Era of the Ottoman Empire established shortly after the 1908 Young Turk Revolution which forced Sultan Abdul Hamid II to restore the constitutional monarchy by the revival of the Ottoman Parliament, the General Assembly of the Ottoman Empire and the restoration of the constitution of 1876. The parliament and the constitution of the First Constitutional Era (1876–1878) had been suspended by Abdul Hamid in 1878 after only two years of functioning. Whereas the First Constitutional Era had not allowed for political parties, the Young Turks amended the constitution to strengthen the popularly elected Chamber of Deputies at the expense of the unelected Senate and the Sultan's personal powers, and formed and joined many political parties and groups for the first time in the Empire's history.
Musa Kâzım Karabekir was a Turkish general and politician. He was the commander of the Eastern Army of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I and served as Speaker of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey before his death.
The 1913 Ottoman coup d'état, also known as the Raid on the Sublime Porte, was a coup d'état carried out in the Ottoman Empire by a number of Committee of Union and Progress (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. During the coup, the army chief of staff, Nazım Pasha was assassinated and the Grand Vizier, Kâmil Pasha, was forced to resign. After the coup, the government fell into the hands of the CUP, now under the leadership of the triumvirate known as the "Three Pashas", made up of Enver, Talaat, and Djemal Pasha.
The Special Organization was an Ottoman imperial government special forces unit under the War Department known for its key role in the commission of the Armenian Genocide. The organization was led by Bahaeddin Şakir and Nazım Bey and formed in early 1914 of tribesmen as well as more then ten thousand convicted criminals—offered to redeem themselves if they served the state—as a force independent of the regular army that could be used to attack civilians. It was the progenitor of the National Security Service of the Republic of Turkey, which was itself the predecessor of the modern National Intelligence Organization.
Operation Nemesis was a covert operation and an assassination campaign by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) carried out between 1920 and 1922, during which a number of former Ottoman political and military figures were assassinated for their role in the Armenian Genocide, as well as Azerbaijani figures for the 1918 massacre of Armenians in Baku. Shahan Natalie and Armen Garo are considered its masterminds. It was named after the Greek goddess of divine retribution, Nemesis.
Turkish courts-martial of 1919–20 were courts-martial of the Ottoman Empire that occurred soon after the Armistice of Mudros, in the aftermath of World War I. The leadership of the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) and selected former officials were charged with several charges including subversion of the constitution, wartime profiteering, and the massacres of both Armenians and Greeks. The court reached a verdict which sentenced the organizers of the massacres – Talat, Enver, and Cemal – and others to death.
After World War I, the effort to prosecute Ottoman war criminals was taken up by the Paris Peace Conference (1919) and ultimately included in the Treaty of Sèvres (1920) with the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman government organized a series of courts martial in 1919–1920 to prosecute war criminals, but these failed on account of political pressure. The main effort by the Allied administration that occupied Constantinople fell short of establishing an international tribunal in Malta to try the so-called Malta exiles, Ottoman war criminals held as POWs by the British forces in Malta. In the end, no tribunals were held in Malta.
Dr. Nâzım Bey was an Ottoman-born Turkish physician, politician, and theorist, who was known for his anti-Armenianism. He played a significant role in the Armenian Genocide and the expulsion of Greeks in Western Anatolia. He was convicted of the attempted assassination of Atatürk in İzmir and hanged in Ankara on 26 August 1926. He also served as the chairman of the Turkish sports club Fenerbahçe S.K. between 1916-18.
The Committee of Union and Progress (CUP), later the Union and Progress Party, was a secret revolutionary organization established as the society Committee of the Ottoman Union in Constantinople on 6 February 1889 by a group of medical students of the Imperial Military School of Medicine. It was transformed into a political organisation by Bahaeddin Şakir, aligning itself with the Young Turks in 1906 during the period of the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. In the West, the CUP was conflated with the wider Young Turk movement and its members were called Young Turks, while in the Ottoman Empire its members were known as İttihadçı or Komiteci, which means Unionist and Committeeman respectively.
The Black Sea Raid was an Ottoman naval sortie against Russian ports in the Black Sea on 29 October 1914, supported by Germany, that led to the Ottoman entry into World War I. The attack was conceived by Ottoman War Minister Enver Pasha, German Admiral Wilhelm Souchon, and the German foreign ministry.
The Ottoman Empire's entry into World War I began when two recently purchased ships of its navy, still manned by their German crews and commanded by their German admiral, carried out the Black Sea Raid, a surprise attack against Russian ports, on 29 October 1914. Russia replied by declaring war on 1 November 1914 and Russia's allies, Britain and France, then declared war on the Ottoman Empire on 5 November 1914. The reasons for the Ottoman action were not immediately clear. The Ottoman government had declared neutrality in the recently started war, and negotiations with both sides were underway.
The Ottoman Empire came into World War I as one of the Central Powers. The Ottoman Empire entered the war by carrying out a surprise attack on Russia's Black Sea coast on 29 October 1914, with Russia responding by declaring war on 5 November 1914. Ottoman forces fought the Entente in the Balkans and the Middle Eastern theatre of World War I. The Ottoman Empire's defeat in the war in 1918 was crucial in the eventual dissolution of the empire in 1921.
Talaat Pasha: Father of Modern Turkey, Architect of Genocide is a 2018 academic book by Hans-Lukas Kieser, published by Princeton University Press. It is a biography of Talaat Pasha. As of 2018 there hitherto had been no recent biographies of Talaat, nor of Enver Pasha, in western European languages. The book discusses the author's thesis that Talaat was co-Father of the Nation to modern Turkey along with Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, as well as Talaat's rule and significance.
Ahmet Faik Erner (1879–1967) was an Ottoman Turkish bureaucrat and a member of the Committee for Union and Progress (CUP).
Mustafa Rahmi Arslan was a Turkish politician, who was a prominent member of the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP). Being a leading Unionist, he was known for his anti-Greek policies.