The Three Pashasalso known as the Young Turk triumvirate or CUP triumvirate consisted of 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, who effectively ruled the Ottoman Empire after the 1913 Ottoman coup. According to historian Hans-Lukas Kieser, Talaat's power increased over time and eclipsed the others after 1913–1914.
The Three Pashas, all members of the Committee of Union and Progress, 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. The Turkish public widely criticized the Three Pashas for causing the Ottoman Empire to enter WWI.All three met violent deaths after the war — Talaat and Cemal were assassinated, while Enver died leading the Basmachi Revolt near Dushanbe, present-day Tajikistan.
After their deaths, Talaat and Enver's remains have been reburied at the Monument of Liberty in Istanbul [ citation needed ]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.They were members of the Committee of Union and Progress, a progressive organization that they eventually came to control and transform into a primarily Pan-Turkist political party.
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 Cemal 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 Cemal's most significant failures.
While the triumvirate consisted of Talat, Enver, and Cemal, some say Halil Bey was a fourth member of this clique. Historian Hans-Lukas Kieser asserts that this state of rule by the Three Pashas triumvirate is only accurate for the year 1913–1914, and that Talat Pasha would increasingly become a more central figure within the Union and Progress party state, especially once he also became Grand Vizier in 1917.Alternatively, it would also be accurate to call the Unionist regime a clique or even an oligarchy, as many prominent Unionists held some form of de jure or de facto power. Other than the Three Pashas and Halil Bey, personalities such as Dr. Nazım, Bahaeddin Şakir, Mehmed Reşid, Ziya Gökalp, and the party's secretary general Midhat Şükrü also dominated the Central Committee without formal positions in the Ottoman government. The CUP regime was also less hierarchically totalitarian than future European dictatorships. Instead of relying on strict and rigid chains of command the regime functioned through the balancing of factions through massive corruption and kickbacks. Individual governors were allowed much autonomy, such as Cemal Pasha's governorship of Syria and Rahmi Bey's governorship of the Izmir vilayet. This lack of rule of law, lack of respect to the constitution, and extreme corruption would worsen as the regime aged.
As de facto rulers, the Three Pashas have been considered[ by whom? ] 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 Cemal were assassinated in exile in 1921 and 1922 by Armenians; Enver died in a Red Army ambush 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 Angora (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 the same year, ushering in an era of multi-party democracy for the first time in the country's history.
İsmail Enver, better known as Enver Pasha was an Ottoman military officer, revolutionary, and convicted war criminal who formed one-third of the dictatorial triumvirate known as the "Three Pashas" in the Ottoman Empire.
Mehmed Talaat, commonly known as Talaat Pasha or Talat Pasha, was a Turkish Ottoman politician and convicted war criminal of the late Ottoman Empire who served as its de facto leader from 1913 to 1918. Talaat Pasha was chairman of the Union and Progress Party, which operated a one-party dictatorship in the Ottoman Empire during World War I. He undertook the Armenian genocide and other ethnic cleansing operations during his time as Minister of Interior Affairs.
Ahmed Djemal, also known as Cemal Pasha was an Ottoman military leader and one of the Three Pashas that ruled the Ottoman Empire during World War I.
The Second Constitutional Era was the period of restored parliamentary rule in the Ottoman Empire between the 1908 Young Turk Revolution and the 1920 dissolution of the General Assembly, during the empire's twilight years.
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 Minister of War, 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 Cemal Pasha.
Starting in the 19th century the Ottoman Empire's governing structure slowly transitioned and standardized itself into a Western style system of government, sometimes known as the Imperial Government. Mahmud II initiated this process following the disbandment and massacre of the Janissary corps, at this point a conservative bureaucratic elite, in the Auspicious Incident. A long period of reform known as the Tanzimat period started, which yielded much needed reform to the government and social contract with the multicultural citizens of the empire.
Bahaeddin Shakir or Bahaddin Şakir was a physician, Turkish nationalist politician, and one of the architects of the Armenian genocide. Though he was not a minister or deputy in the government, he held powerful sway in the Central Committee of the Committee of Union and Progress and was the director of the Şura-yı Ümmet, a newspaper that supported the party. He was one of the three important names of the "Doctors Group" in the CUP ; He was a part of the pan-Turkist/Turanist wing of Union and Progress.
Ahmet Rıza Bey was an Ottoman-born Turkish politician, educator, and a prominent member of the Young Turks, during the Second Constitutional Era of the Ottoman Empire. He was also a key early leader of the Committee of Union and Progress.
Mahmud Shevket Pasha was an Ottoman generalissimo and statesman of Georgian, Chechen or Circassian origin who was an important political figure during the Second Constitutional Era. During the 31 March Incident, Shevket Pasha foiled Abdulhamid II's attempt to regain absolute power by organising the Action Army to suppress the anti-Constitutionalist uprising in Constantinople. Following the crisis Shevket Pasha was War Minister for a couple years, and played a leading role in establishing the Ottoman military aviation program. During the First Balkan War, he became Grand Vizier in the 1913 coup d'état, from 23 January 1913 until his death by assassination.
Operation Nemesis was a program to assassinate both Ottoman perpetrators of the Armenian genocide and officials of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic responsible for the massacre of Armenians during the September Days of 1918 in Baku. Masterminded by Shahan Natalie, Armen Garo, and Aaron Sachaklian, it was named after the Greek goddess of divine retribution, Nemesis.
The Istanbul trials of 1919–1920 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.
Mehmed Reshid was an Ottoman physician, official of the Committee of Union and Progress, and governor of the Diyarbekir Vilayet (province) of the Ottoman Empire during World War I. He is infamous for organizing the wartime destruction of the Armenian and Assyrian communities of Diyarbekir. According to historian Hans-Lukas Kieser, despite being one of the worst perpetrators Reshid "is perceived as a patriot and martyr in official Turkish-nationalist diction".
Mehmet Cavit Bey, Mehmed Cavid Bey or Mehmed Djavid Bey was an Ottoman economist, newspaper editor and leading politician during the dissolution period of the Ottoman Empire. A founding member of the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP), he was part of the Young Turks and had positions in government after the constitution was re-established. In the beginning of the Republican period, he was executed for alleged involvement in an assassination attempt against Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
Selanikli Mehmed Nâzım Bey also known as Doktor Nazım (1870–1926) was a Turkish physician, politician, and revolutionary. Nazım Bey was a founding member of the Committee of Union and Progress, and served on its central committee for over ten years. He played a significant role in the Armenian genocide and the expulsion of Greeks in Western Anatolia. He was convicted for allegedly conspiring to assassinate of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in İzmir and was hanged in Ankara on 26 August 1926. He also served as the chairman of the Turkish sports club Fenerbahçe S.K. between 1916 and 1918.
The Committee of Union and Progress (CUP), later the Union and Progress Party, was a secret revolutionary organization and political party active between 1889 and 1926 in the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Turkey. The foremost faction within the Young Turk movement, it instigated the 1908 Young Turk Revolution, which ended absolute monarchy and began the Second Constitutional Era. From 1913 to 1918, the CUP ruled the empire as a one-party state and committed genocide against the Armenian, Greek and Assyrian peoples as part of a broader policy of ethnic erasure during the late Ottoman period. The CUP was associated with the wider Young Turk movement, and its members have often been referred to as Young Turks, although the movement produced other political parties as well. Within the Ottoman Empire its members were known as İttihadçılar ('Unionists') or Komiteciler ('Committeemen').
The Ottoman Empire's entry into World War I began when two recently purchased ships of its navy, still crewed by German sailors 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.
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 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).
On 15 March 1921, Armenian student Soghomon Tehlirian assassinated Talaat Pasha—former grand vizier of the Ottoman Empire and the main architect of the Armenian genocide—in Berlin. At his trial, Tehlirian argued, "I have killed a man, but I am not a murderer"; the jury acquitted him.