Did the Ottoman Empire have any expansionist ambitions before 1914?

Discussions on the final era of the Ottoman Empire, from the Young Turk Revolution of 1908 until the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923.
Futurist
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Did the Ottoman Empire have any expansionist ambitions before 1914?

Post by Futurist » 04 Sep 2018 00:22

Before 1914, did the Ottoman Empire have any expansionist ambitions?

I mean, I would think that the Ottomans would have desired to retake the territory that they lost to Russia in 1877-1878 if it ever became possible to do this, but did the Ottomans desire to acquire any additional territory before 1914?

stevebecker
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Re: Did the Ottoman Empire have any expansionist ambitions before 1914?

Post by stevebecker » 05 Feb 2019 02:17

Mate,

I would think they were more interested in retaking the land lost during the last Balkan War against Greece.

The problem was the Ottoman Army was still rebuilding after the Balkan War of 1913. They still had to get guns or all types and well as MG's.

Most Ottoman units went to war in 1914/15 with little equiptment, as well as limited manpower.

The Ottoman Empire was not ready for this war and any ideas of gains failed in the snows of the Eastern areas during 1914/15

S.B

Tosun Saral
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Re: Did the Ottoman Empire have any expansionist ambitions before 1914?

Post by Tosun Saral » 06 Feb 2019 18:42

Although we had great victories in our great military history we had also great disasterious defeats. One of the most sad defeat was Balkan War not the 1877-78 turco russian war. Yes Russians come to the gates of Istanbul. It was a great pain. But Balkan war was the most sad failure. Not 4 of the Balkan states Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro were enought to defeat Turkey. But Turkey crashed like an ice on the pool or like a glass window. Our grandfathers never forgot the defeat. They could not mind such a defeat. So we entered into WW1 hoping to gain the old lands in Balkan by the side of Germany because our old friend Britain had another aims on our territory. I am a Balkan Turk. We call Rumeli (Rumelia) to Balkan. I was raised with the sad stories about Rumeli. I learned from my grandparents that The city Kozana (today greek: Kozani) there were 82 turkish villages. no greeks or others.

The 2nd Aim was to gain the lost territories at the east such as Kars Ardahan which was lost during 1877-78 turco russian war.
3rd aim was Turan. Turan is a great idea to reunite all the turcic nations under Ottoman turkish flag. They were all russian satelites. The idea Turan first came into mind in Budapest Hungary. The hungarians were not alike to all germans, serbs, slavs ect. Their language was different. Their music and culture was differnt. They begun to search their old ancient history. They found that they were the children of Attila the Hun who was a turk also. The idea Turan reached to Ottoman Turkey and found great sympary amoung ottoman turkish intellectuels. The empire was callopsing. All the non turkish elements were on the dream to safe themselves from Turkish jorke. The turkish citizens for that reason hold the idea of Turan for their future. Their symbol was a grey wolf. Mustafa Kemal was also one of them.

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Cantankerous
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Re: Did the Ottoman Empire have any expansionist ambitions before 1914?

Post by Cantankerous » 22 Aug 2020 20:21

stevebecker wrote:
05 Feb 2019 02:17
Mate,

I would think they were more interested in retaking the land lost during the last Balkan War against Greece.

The problem was the Ottoman Army was still rebuilding after the Balkan War of 1913. They still had to get guns or all types and well as MG's.

Most Ottoman units went to war in 1914/15 with little equiptment, as well as limited manpower.

The Ottoman Empire was not ready for this war and any ideas of gains failed in the snows of the Eastern areas during 1914/15

S.B
As a great-grandson of Armenian Genocide survivors, I now remember that Enver, Jemal, and Talaat Pasha before WW1 dreamed of a greater Turkey encompassing Anatolia, the Caucasus, and Central Asia, whereby Turkic peoples living in those areas would be united under the Aegis of the Ottoman sultan. The Armenians were rattled by this plan, yet the Ottomans began their quest to create a greater Turkey at the wrong time during the first months of WW1, because most of the Ottoman 3rd Army troops caught frostbite in the winter during the Battle of Sarikamish and died.

stevebecker
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Re: Did the Ottoman Empire have any expansionist ambitions before 1914?

Post by stevebecker » 22 Aug 2020 22:59

Mate,

Of cause as the war against Russia ended in late 1917, these old dreams came back and the Ottomans again tried to regain these areas, which they did in 1918 with the help of those old Russian subjects.

Back in 1914 Enver was certainly looking at the Caucasus, trying to draw in these areas, but the 3rd Army was not strong enough or supplies ever going to make this a main effort.

Clearly the Ottomans had a number of these Allies in there ranks, at lest four Ashiret Reserve Cavalry Divisons (kurds and others) but what the Ottoman report these did not perform well and many just never showed up to the fighting, so were disbanded soon after the fighting. Of course this could also be blame shifting from Enver's poor performance also?

It was not just the winter that destoryed the 3rd Army, Enver's command and strong Russian forces did.

Cheers

S.B

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