- Ottoman-German Alliance
The Ottoman-German Alliance was established between the
Ottoman Empireand the German Empireon August 2nd, 1914. It was this binding alliance that ultimately led the Ottoman Empire to enter the First World Waron the side of the Central Powers.
There was a movement in the Ottoman Empire in favour of an alliance with
Franceand Great Britain. Figures such as Talat Pashafavored an alliance with the Allied powers. It was impossible to reconcile an alliance with the French however, as France's main ally was Russia, the long-time enemy of the Ottoman Empire since the Wars of 1828.
The Ottoman Sultan
Mehmed Vspecifically wanted the Empire to remain a non-belligerentnation; however, pressure from Germany and Mehmed's advisor led the Empire to align with the Central Powers.
Germany needed the Ottoman Empire on its side. The
Orient Expresshad run directly to Istanbulsince 1889, and prior to the First World War the Sultan had consented to a plan to extend it through Anatoliato Baghdadunder German auspices. This would strengthen the Ottoman Empire's link with industrialised Europe while also giving Germany easier access to its African colonies and to trade markets in India. To keep the Ottoman Empire from joining the Triple Entente, Germany encouraged Romaniaand Bulgariato enter the Central Powers.
The secret treaty was signed between the
Ottoman Empireand Germany on August 2nd, 1914, to enter the war on the side of the Central Powers, one day after Germany declared war on Russia. [ [http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/turkgerm.htm The Treaty of Alliance Between Germany and Turkey] 2 August, 1914] The alliance was ratified by many high ranking Turkish officials, including Grand Vizer Said Halim Pasha, the Minister of War Enver Pasha, the Interior Minister Talat Pasha, and Head of Parliament Halil Bey.
However, there was no signature from the
House of Osman, and the Sultan himself had not signed it. As the Sultan was the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, as written in the constitution, this made the legitimacy of the Alliance questionable, as this would mean that the army would not be able to fight a Jihadon behalf of the Sultan. As the Sultan had wanted the Empire to remain neutral, he did not wish to command a war himself, and as such, left the Cabinet to do much of his bidding.
Middle Eastern theatre of World War I
* [http://www.gwpda.org/naval/turkmill.htm First couple days]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.