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Partitioning of the Ottoman Empire

advert The partitioning of the Ottoman Empire was brought about by the Allied forces, which were enemies of the Ottoman Empire. This happened because the Ottoman s were strongly supportive of Germany during World War I. Moreover, the chaos and unrest in the Ottoman Empire at the time made it an easy target for partitioning.

How It All Began

It all started due to the extremely repressive and backward policies of Abdul Hamid II who was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire in the early 1900s. His policies made the educated elite - especially those educated in Europe- unhappy and gave birth to the "Young Turks". This group's basic objective was to restore the constitution drawn up in 1876 and unite all the diverse factions of Ottoman society.

However this was met with strong opposition from the Sultan. The Young Turks ultimately disbanded because of disagreements and was taken over by a nationalist Enver Pasha. By this time the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire had already begun because the Ottoman Empire had lost pretty much all of its European territories except a small portion of Thrace.

The Balkan Wars didn't help matters much. The first war happened in 1911, where the Ottoman territories in Europe were lost. The Second was happened in 1913, when the Balkan allies who had sided with each other in the first war began quarrelling among themselves as to who would get the spoils of the first war.

British Interference

The British ceased this opportunity to strengthen their military power. They promised the Arabs who were a part of the Ottoman Empire - and who were increasingly dissatisfied- freedom from the Empire if they promised to aid them by revolting against the Ottomans. The Arabs did so willingly, but unfortunately, after the British got their objective, they acted as if no agreement had been made.

They occupied Istanbul and the Treaty of Sevres was signed in 1920. However events like the "Turkish War of Independence" forced the allied forces to reconsider their decisions. The Treaty of Lausanne was signed in 1923, followed by the League of Nations.

Partitioning of the Ottoman Empire led to the formation of approximately forty new countries. Broadly, this can be divided into today's Modern Arab world and the Republic of Turkey. Mandates were granted to France over Lebanon and Syria and to the United Kingdom over Transjordan and Palestine. Partitioning of the Ottoman Empire, though tragic was probably a necessary evil.

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