Today in Turkish history: the last Ottoman Sultan is deposed (1922)

If we’re going to talk about the beginning of the Ottoman Empire, then we ought to also talk about its end, right? So let’s discuss the removal of Sultan Mehmed VI Vahideddin (d. 1926), one of history’s great anti-climaxes. Although there was still technically an “Ottoman Sultan” until November 1, 1922, he’d been effectively out … Continue reading Today in Turkish history: the last Ottoman Sultan is deposed (1922)

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Today in Turkish history: the last Ottoman Sultan is deposed (1922)

and that's the way it was

I guess if I’m going to write about the beginning of the Ottoman Empire, I ought to at least mention the end of it, right? But the removal of Mehmed VI Vahideddin (d. 1926) as sultan is among history’s greatest anti-climaxes. The Ottomans had (obviously) lost World War I, which resulted in the dismantling of their empire under the terms of the 1918 armistice and the 1920 Treaty of Sèvres. Sèvres not only put the empire’s Arab dominions under British and French control, but it also apportioned big chunks of the real Turkish heartland of the empire, Anatolia, out to various European states (France, Greece, Italy, Britain) either as ceded territory or in the form of “zones of control.”

The immediate resistance to the Anatolian part of Sèvres was led by what should be considered a brand-new Turkish national movement, not by the remnants of the old empire. The…

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Today in Middle Eastern and European history: the Turkish War of Independence begins (1919)

There’s a kind of symmetry in the fact that the Turkish War of Independence began around three years to the date after Britain and France signed the Sykes-Picot agreement on how to divide up the Arab world. Sykes-Picot, for better or worse, has become the symbol for all of the plans the Allies had for … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern and European history: the Turkish War of Independence begins (1919)

Today in Turkish history: the last Ottoman Sultan is deposed (1922)

I guess if I'm going to write about the beginning of the Ottoman Empire, I ought to at least mention the end of it, right? But the removal of Mehmed VI Vahideddin (d. 1926) as sultan is among history's greatest anti-climaxes. The Ottomans had (obviously) lost World War I, which resulted in the dismantling of … Continue reading Today in Turkish history: the last Ottoman Sultan is deposed (1922)