Week9 - Week 9 E. Zrcher: pg 119-137 The Ottoman Empire...

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Hist301 Week 9 E. Zürcher: pg 119-137 The Ottoman Empire during the First World War Holy war (cihat) was declared by the sultan on 14 November after consulting the eyhülislam. In spite of the doubts about the strength of the Ottoman military, with the German encourage and through the efforts of Te ± kilat-i Mahsusa the expectations of war high. Fisrt attact was from Russia which had been successfully stooped. However, under the command of Enver Pasha , the Ottomans were heavily defeated at Sarıkamı ± , on the road to Kars, in January. The Armenian Question This military fiasco left eastern Anatolia open to a Russian advance; it also marked the beginning of the Ottoman Armenians which formed an important part of the population of the eastern Anatolian provinces. In May, 1913, representatives of the Dasnakzutioun had demanded the establishment of a foreign gendarmerie to protect the Armenians in eastern Anatolia. Although some agreement was reached the outbreak of war prevented the scheme from being put into operation. At the outbreak of the war, a few thousand Armenians joined the Russian army. Confronted with this situation, the Ottoman government, on the initiative of Talat ,Pasha decided to relocate the entire Armenian population of the war zone to Zor in the heart of the Syrian desert. This relocation (tehcir) had some controversies on three points. First is the military necessity of the operation, second is over numbers: Turkish historians have put the number of deaths as low as 200,000, while the Armenians have claimed ten times as many. The third was whether genocide was committed. The Turkish side point out that there were no government involvement, while the Armenian side tried to demonstrate this involvement. Attacks on the Suez Canal In January there was a first attempt to take the Suez Canal, but it was defeated. Also there wasn’t an anti-British insurrection in Egypt to support the holly war, as had been expected. A second attempt to attack the canal, in 1916, also failed. Offensives by the Entente
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Week9 - Week 9 E. Zrcher: pg 119-137 The Ottoman Empire...

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