Turkey History Part III
The Crimean War of 1853 / 54–56, in which the Western powers intervened on the Ottoman side to prevent the Ottoman Empire from becoming completely dependent on Russia, forced the state to become so indebted that in 1875 the bankruptcy had to be declared. In 1881 a public debt administration (“Dette Publique”) under the control of European creditors was set up. Despite all reform efforts, the empire’s weakness increased; After the Russo-Turkish War of 1877/78, Serbia, Montenegro and Romania (Moldova and Wallachia) received at the Berlin Congress Full independence in 1878, Bosnia and Herzegovina were placed under Austrian administration. Great Britain took over as part of a guarantee agreement concluded on June 4, 1878, which gave the Ottoman Empire British military protection against the expansion policy of Russia v. a. in the Balkans assured the administration of Cyprus; France, which had already annexed Algeria in 1830–70, occupied Tunisia in 1881, and Great Britain again occupied Egypt in 1882. Under the impression of increasing internal and external difficulties, Abd ül-Hamid II suspended . on February 13, 1878 the constitution of 1876 (dissolution of the recently formed parliament). The national movement of the Armenians under Ottoman rule that awoke at the end of the 19th century also used terrorist methods in the struggle to achieve their goals (including the attack on the Ottoman Bank in Constantinople on August 26, 1896, failed assassination attempt on the Sultan on July 21, 1905). Severe reprisals hit the Armenian population in the Kurdish-dominated provinces and Cilicia (1894–96 massacre of Sasun, 1909 Adana).
As a result of an army coup by the Young Turks, Abd ül-Hamid II, who ruled as sole ruler for 30 years, was forced to reinstate the constitution of 1876 in 1908 and he himself was deposed in 1909. His successor Mehmed V (1909-18) finally lost political power to the Young Turks under the leadership of Enver Pascha and Talat Pascha. Bulgaria had already declared its independence with Eastern Rumelia in 1908, Austria had annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina; Crete had become Greek. The Italo-Turkish War (1911/12) ended with the loss of Tripoli, Cyrenaica and the Dodecanese; in the Balkan Wars In 1912-13 the remaining European possessions were almost completely lost.
The entry into the war on the side of the Central Powers on November 1, 1914 forced the Ottoman troops to carry out costly operations against Russia (winter battle of Sarıkamış on January 1, 1915 with 90,000 casualties) and against the western allies on the Dardanelles, in Mesopotamia and Palestine. Regardless of the military conflict, the Young Turkish government tried to introduce numerous reforms in the areas of law and education (German professors’ mission in 1915), which were withdrawn after 1918. The forced resettlement of the Armenian population – some sympathizing with the war opponent Russia and some rebellious – from the “combat zone” in Eastern Anatolia to the southern desert areas of Syria and Mesopotamia, ordered by the Young Turks in 1915, led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Armenians (given the inhuman deportation conditions and numerous massacres) (According to Armenian data, around 1.5 million, according to Turkish data between 200,000 and 300,000; until recently, official Turkey denied genocide). There were further mutual massacres in 1917 / 18-21. In the armistice of Mudros (October 30, 1918) the Ottoman Empire surrendered.
The end of the Ottoman Empire (1918-23)
On August 10, 1920, the government of Sultan Mehmed VI signed. the Peace Treaty of Sèvres, which sealed the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. The Allies restricted the Sultan’s territory to central and northern Anatolia and the area from Istanbul to the Çatalca line (Çatalca). In addition to large-scale ceding and occupation of Turkish territory by Allied forces, the government had to agree to the internationalization of the straits, the occupation of Istanbul (until October 2, 1923) and the independence of Turkish Armenia and submit to Allied military and financial control; the Kurds were granted autonomy. However, the peace treaty never came into force. Fore more information about Turkey and Middle East, please visit Loverists.
Mustafa Kemal Pascha (called Ataturk from 1935) had organized the national resistance in unoccupied Anatolia since May 1919. At their first congress on July 23, 1919 in Erzurum, the nationalist-republican forces demanded the formation of a sovereign Turkish state within the closed Turkish settlement area and at the same time formed a provisional government under Ataturk. On April 23, 1920, he convened the first Great National Assembly in Ankara. She no longer recognized the Sultan’s government and chose Ataturk as President of the National Assembly. Under his leadership, Turkish troops fought against the Greek army, which had occupied Western Anatolia since May 1919 with the consent of the Allies. The Turks won decisive victories at İnönü (1/10/30/3/1921) on Sakarya (9/13/1921) and at Dumlupınar (8/30/1922). As a result of the evacuation of Smyrna (İzmir; September 1922), Greece was forced to conclude the armistice of Mudanya (near Bursa) on 10.1922. After victories over the Armenians, the republican government in Ankara was able to secure the border with the later Soviet Union through treaties with the Bolshevik government in Moscow and the Transcaucasian Soviet republics in 1920/21. On November 1, 1922, the Grand National Assembly abolished the Sultanate. A change in the interests of the Allies led to the withdrawal of the French from Cilicia in 1921 and the Italians from southwestern Anatolia in 1922. In the Treaty of Lausanne (July 24, 1923) Turkey gained its sovereignty and essentially its present territorial scope (forced resettlement of the approx. 1.2 million Greeks from Asia Minor in exchange for approx. 400,000 Turks from Greece). In 1926 Turkey renounced the Mosul area in favor of Iraq (Mosul Treaty).
The first phase of the republic (1923-45)
The republic was proclaimed on October 29, 1923 (capital: Ankara). The Grand National Assembly also elected Ataturk as President, Mustafa İsmet Pascha (from 1935 İsmet İnönü) as Prime Minister. The caliphate was abolished on March 3, 1924, and a constitution was passed on April 20, 1924. Ataturk led on the basis of a one-party system supported by the Republican People’s Party Reforms through: i.a. Introduction of European civil, criminal and commercial law (following the example of Switzerland, Italy and Germany), separation of religion and state, equality for women, westernization of the education system, conversion from Arabic to Latin script, replacement of traditional headgear by the Cap. Oriented towards the liberal and republican ideas of Europe, these measures were particularly directed against the Islamic social order of the Ottoman Empire. After Ataturk’s death in 1938 İnönü became President of the Republic.