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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 Talat 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 was also killed by an Armenian in Tajikistan in 1922 while trying to raise a Muslim anti-Russian insurrection.
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 Abdul Hamid 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.
SMS Goeben was the second of two Moltke-class battlecruisers of the Imperial German Navy, launched in 1911 and named after the German Franco-Prussian War veteran General August Karl von Goeben. Along with her sister ship, Goeben was similar to the previous German battlecruiser design, Von der Tann, but larger, with increased armor protection and two more main guns in an additional turret. Goeben and Moltke were significantly larger and better armored than the comparable British Indefatigable class.
The pursuit of Goeben and Breslau was a naval action that occurred in the Mediterranean Sea at the outbreak of the First World War when elements of the British Mediterranean Fleet attempted to intercept the German Mittelmeerdivision consisting of the battlecruiser SMS Goeben and the light cruiser SMS Breslau. The German ships evaded the British fleet and passed through the Dardanelles to reach Constantinople, where they were eventually handed over to the Ottoman Empire. Renamed Yavuz Sultan Selim and Midili, the former Goeben and Breslau were ordered by their German commander to attack Russian positions, in doing so bringing the Ottoman Empire into the war on the side of the Central Powers.
Mehmed Talaat, commonly known as Talaat Pasha, was one of the triumvirate known as the Three Pashas that de facto ruled the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. 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, commonly known as Jamal Basha as-Saffah or Jamal Pasha the Bloodthirsty 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 the 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.
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 Muhammad Talaat Bey, in which the group made a surprise raid on the central Ottoman government buildings, the Sublime Porte. During the coup, the Minister of the Navy 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 Ottoman–German Alliance was an alliance between the German Empire and the Ottoman Empire that was ratified on August 2, 1914, shortly following the outbreak of World War I. The alliance was created as part of a joint-cooperative effort that would strengthen and modernize the failing Ottoman military, as well as provide Germany safe passage into neighbouring British colonies.
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.
Fakhri Pasha or Fahreddin Pasha, known as Ömer Fahrettin Türkkan after the Surname Law of 1934, was a Turkish career officer, who was the commander of the Ottoman Army and governor of Medina from 1916 to 1919. He was nicknamed "The Lion of the Desert" and "The Tiger of the Desert" by the British and Arabs for his patriotism in Medina and is known for defending Medina in the Siege of Medina during World War I.
Pasha or Paşa, in older works sometimes anglicized as bashaw, was a higher rank in the Ottoman political and military system, typically granted to governors, generals, dignitaries and others. As an honorary title, Pasha, in one of its various ranks, is similar to a British peerage or knighthood, and was also one of the highest titles in the 20th century Kingdom of Egypt.
Cemal Mersinli, also known as Mehmed Djemal Pasha, Mersinli Djemal, or Djemal Kuchuk was a general of the Ottoman and Turkish armies and a politician of the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Turkey.
Çürüksulu Mahmud Pasha, was an Ottoman army general and statesman of ethnic Georgian background.
The Committee of Union and Progress (CUP), later the Party of Union and Progress, began as a secret society established as the Committee of the Ottoman Union in Istanbul on 6 February 1889 by medical students Ibrahim Temo, Mehmed Reshid, Abdullah Cevdet, İshak Sükuti, Ali Hüseyinzade, Kerim Sebatî, Mekkeli Sabri Bey, Nazım Bey, Şerafettin Mağmumi, Cevdet Osman and Giritli Şefik. It was transformed into a political organisation by Behaeddin Shakir, aligning itself with the Young Turks in 1906 during the period of the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. In the West, members of the CUP were usually called Young Turks while in the Ottoman Empire its members were known as Unionists.
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 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.