|Re: genocide part 2|
- Monday, December 24 2007, 21:53:01 (CET)|
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Political background in brief
When the war started in 1914, the Ottoman government signed a defense treaty with Germany. This treaty was a natural result of the Ottoman empire's long and close relationship with Germany. As a part of this cooperation, thousands of German officers started to come in 1913 in order to make reform in the Ottoman army. It was quiet natural for the Ottomans to turn to Germany; the British and especially the Russians were the main enemies. Since the war in 1877/78, Russia had been following a policy of instabiltity against the Ottoman empire. This campaign included the support given to the struggle of the Armenians for independence. After such a disasterous war with Russia in 1877/78, the Ottoman government was forced in the Berlin conference to accept big European forces as the bodyguards of the Ottoman Christians. When the war broke out, this truth got the Christians into greater trouble.
Since the mid 19th century, efforts were sustained to make the country contemporary despite all the violent resistense. A reform act had been put into force in 1856 provided all the minorities with equal rights, they were only exempt from military service, which was to be fulfilled by Muslims. Although a liberal constitution was prepared in 1876, it was soon abrogated by the sultan. As for the internal politics, there was a struggle between the liberal Greeks, Armenians and Jews who were controlling the Ottoman economics and the conservatives who did not want any change. The struggle for internal politics came to an end in 1908/09 when the Young Turks came to power by military coup and put into force the constitution of 1876 again thus providing everyone, regardless of religion equal responsiblity and obligations.
Within the framework of the process of making the country contemporary, administration of the territories was cebtralized in the 1870s. New and smaller provinces and states were established and they were also divided into two or more sanjaks. Each sanjak had more than one district. For example, Diarbekir province included the district of Ergani, Diarbekir and Mardin. The Mardin sanjak on the other hand, included the districts of Savur, Midyat, Djezire and Nusaybin.
Provinces were under the authority of governors with broad authorities. Sanjaks were administred by sanjak governors while districts were directed by district governors.
External politics had more importance before the world war. In 1912, the libyans took contol from Italy. During the same year, first of the two Balkan wars broke out and the Ottoman empire was forced to abandon all of its provinces in the Balkans excluding the province of Edirne.
There was Iran in the east which had been the eternal enemy of the empire. For a long time, this country had been over shadowed by then the strongest country. Penetrations were made by the Russians from the North East and the Britrish from the South West. Many of the Iranian states were almost autonomous and were dircted by governors who took over control from their fathers.
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