Legacy of the Ottoman Empire

دَوْلَتِ عَلِيّهٔ عُثمَانِیّه


Many people are puzzled by all the turmoil, confusion and bloodshed that exists in the Middle East today, and seek answers in the complexities of current events, however, the root of the Middle eastern problem lie in the past, and in particular in that entity known as the Ottoman (Osman) Empire - the great Empire of the Turks created by the Osman dynasty.
The Osmans were Sultans (سلطان)‎ (holders of power) and Caliphs, (خليفة‎ ḫalīfah/khalīfah -  title for the ruler of the Islamic Ummah), over all of what is now known as the Near and Middle East.

The Ottoman Empire, or Sublime Ottoman State, which lasted from 27 July 1299 to 29 October 1923, is one of 16 Turkish empires established throughout history.
The Ottoman Empire was one of the largest and longest lasting empires in history.
It was an empire inspired and sustained by Islam, and Islamic institutions.
At the height of its power, in the 16th and 17th centuries, it controlled territory in southeast Europe, western Asia, and North Africa.

Osmanlı İmparatorluğu Haritası
Map of the Ottoman Empire - 1914

Osmanlı İmparatorluğu
 (The Ottoman Empire)

The Ottoman Empire contained 29 provinces and numerous vassal states, some of which were later absorbed into the empire, while others were granted various types of autonomy during the course of centuries.
With Constantinople (present-day Istanbul, - Kostantiniyye) as its capital city, and vast control of lands around the eastern Mediterranean during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent (ruled 1520 to 1566), the empire was at the center of interactions between the Eastern and Western worlds for six centuries.

The Ottoman Empire came to an end, as a regime under a monarchy, on 1 November 1922.
It formally ended, as a de jure state, on 24 July 1923, under the Treaty of Lausanne.
The Republic of Turkey, which was officially proclaimed on 29 October 1923, became one of the successor states of the Ottoman Empire as part of the treaty.

Palace of Nations
Milletler Lwague Sarayı
League of Nations
The League of Nationa
Milletler Lwague
At the end of the First World War, the Allied powers were confronted with the question of the disposal of the former German colonies in Africa and the Pacific, and the several non-Turkish provinces of the Ottoman Empire. The Peace Conference adopted the principle that these territories should be administered by different governments on behalf of the League – a system of national responsibility subject to international supervision.
This plan, defined as the mandate system, was adopted by the "Council of Ten" (the heads of government and foreign ministers of the main Allied powers: Britain, France, the United States, Italy, and Japan) on 30 January 1919 and transmitted to the League of Nations.
League of Nations mandates were established under Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations.
The Permanent Mandates Commission supervised League of Nations mandates, and also organized plebiscites in disputed territories so that residents could decide which country they would join. There were three mandate classifications: A, B and C.
The A mandates (applied to parts of the old Ottoman Empire) were "certain communities" that had
...reached a stage of development where their existence as independent nations can be provisionally recognised subject to the rendering of administrative advice and assistance by a Mandatory until such time as they are able to stand alone.
The wishes of these communities must be a principal consideration in the selection of the Mandatory.

Article 22, The Covenant of the League of Nations

Osmanlı İmparatorluğu'nun çözülme
(The Dissolution of the Ottoman Empire)

The Dissolution of the Ottoman Empire (24 July 1908 – 30 October 1918) included the watershed events of the Young Turk Revolution and the establishment of the Second Constitutional Era, and ended with the Partitioning of the Ottoman Empire by the victorious sides of World War I.
The initial peace agreement with the Ottoman Empire was the Armistice of Mudros.
This was followed by Occupation of Constantinople.
The partitioning of the Ottoman Empire brought international conflicts which were discussed during the Paris Peace Conference, 1919.
The peace agreement, Treaty of Sèvres, was signed by the Ottoman Empire and Allies.
The Treaty of Sèvres presented one of the thorniest problems before the Paris Peace Conference, 1919.
The text of the treaty with Ottomans was not made public until May, 1920. Contrary to general expectations, Sultanate was not terminated and allowed to retain Constantinople and a small strip of territory around the city.
The shores of the Bosporus and the Dardanelles planned to be internationalized, so that the gates of the Black Sea kept open.
The interior of Asia Minor (Anatolia), the first seat of Ottoman power six centuries ago, continues to be under Turkish sovereignty.
The United Kingdom obtained virtually everything it had sought—according to the secret Sykes-Picot Agreement made together with France in 1916, while the war was still going on—from the empire's partition.
The subsequent years showed that it was impracticable.
Sèvres was the end of the Ottoman Empire.

Question of the İttihat ve Terakki Cemiyeti (إتحاد و ترقى) (CUP)

 İttihat ve Terakki Cemiyeti 
Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) was the ruling party during this period.

The Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) (İttihat ve Terakki Cemiyeti) began as a secret society established as the "Committee of Ottoman Union" (İttihad-ı Osmanî Cemiyeti) in 1889 by the medical students İbrahim Temo, Abdullah Cevdet, İshak Sükuti and Ali Hüseyinzade.
It was transformed into a political organization by Bahaeddin Sakir aligning itself with the Young Turks in 1906, during the period of the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire.
At the end of World War I most of its members were court-martialled by the sultan Mehmed VI and imprisoned. A few of the members of the organization were executed in Turkey after trial for the attempted assassination of Atatürk in 1926. Members who survived continued their political careers in Turkey as members of the Republican People's Party (Turkish: Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi) and in other political parties as well.

Turkish Courts-Martial of 1919–1920 were courts-martials, which the leadership of the CUP and selected former officials were court-martialled with/including the charges of subversion of the constitution, wartime profiteering, and the massacres of both Greeks and Armenians.
The courts-martial became a stage for political battles. The trials helped the Liberal Union root out the CUP from the political arena.

Question of the Sultanate

Mehmed VI Ayrılış
1922, Departure of Mehmed VI who was the last Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
The Treaty of Sèvres was destined never to be ratified.
Elections were held throughout Anatolia and with the participation of some parliamentarians, who had escaped from Constantinople, a new government was formed in Ankara.
The rest of the story is the Turkish War of Independence
The Treaty of Lausanne made the new Turkish State internationally recognized.
This new state gave the 'coup de grâce' to the Ottoman state, in 1922, with the overthrow of Sultan Mehmet VI Vahdettin by the new republican assembly of Turkey.

The Question of the Caliphate

Abdülmecid, II
Osmanlı hilafetinin son halifesi
Abdülmecid II, the last Caliph of the Ottoman Caliphate
Besides the control of the physical lands, another question of importance was originated from the Ottoman Caliphate.
The Ottoman Caliphs never claimed to be religious descendant of the Prophet but they were nonetheless an important authority figure within the Ottoman Empire.
Muslims of India and of Anatolia supported and recognized the Ottoman caliphate for instance.

حسین بن علی
Sayyid Hussein bin Ali
As Sultans of the Empire, the Ottoman rulers had a very strong position, but the Sultan of Morocco, the Mahdists of the Egyptian Sudan, the Senussi in the Libyan Desert, the Wahabis in central Arabia, never acknowledged the title of Caliph as being higher than the Sultans' as the leader of state.
Such recognition was also not given by the Arabs of the Hedjaz, Palestine, and Syria, which contain the holy places of Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem.
The last official remnant of the empire—the title of caliphate—was constitutionally abolished on 3 March 1924.
With the abolishment of the Ottoman Caliphate by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, throughout the country from Mecca to Aleppo, the Ottoman Caliph's name was replaced in the Friday liturgy by that of Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca, the hereditary guardian of the holy cities of the Hedjaz, who briefly assumed the title of caliph.
حسین بن علی (Sayyid Hussein bin Ali, GCB 1854 – June 4, 1931) ( Ḥusayn bin ‘Alī), was the Sharif of Mecca, and Emir of Mecca, from 1908 until 1917, when he proclaimed himself King of the Hejaz, which received international recognition.
He initiated the Arab Revolt in 1916 against the increasingly nationalistic Ottoman Empire during the course of the First World War.
In 1924, when the Ottoman Caliphate was abolished, he further proclaimed himself Caliph of all Muslims.
He ruled Hejaz until 1924, when, defeated by Abdul Aziz al Saud, he abdicated the kingdom and other secular titles to his eldest son Ali.

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