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ÖĞLE'YE KALAN SÜRE

Period of Reforms
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Period of Reforms

ABONE OL
15 Ağustos 2015 18:25
Period of Reforms
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BEĞENDİM

ABONE OL

Despite some faults of him, Abdulaziz Han was a fairly nationalist and conservative ruler and he had spent exorbitant amounts of money for the establishment of a modern army and a superior navy. Meanwhile, he had constructed magnificent palaces. He possessed the 3rd biggest andthe most modern armoured navy of the world following England and France and he organised Turkish shipyards so as to be maintained under armoured protection. It was rumoured that he wanted to recapture the Crimea with this army. The Turkish finance had become on the verge of bankruptcy due to the foreign debts obtained from England and France. Pan-Slavist agents that were provoked by Russia caused provocationand confusion within the Turkish lands in the Balkans. Under these circumstances, several stupid statesmen they were personal enemies of the ruler dethroned Sultan Abdulaziz (30th May 1876). His nephew, (the eldest son of Abdülmecit) Murat V ascended the throne. Turkish State was in an extremely terrible turmoil and conflicts. After 5 days, Sultan Aziz was found dead as his wrists cut. Those who performed the coup d’etat advocated that he had committed suicide. However, there were slight indicators that provided evidence for suicide. The palace and the wealth of the ruler were despoiled. Only two of the people that alleged that they had performed the coup d’etat for the declaration of the Constitutional Period were actually the real supporters of the constitutional period. The rest of them were composed of the people that knew that this regime could not be executed in the empire of that period and those who had fairly despotic characters.
The dethronement and death of his uncle and the event of Circassian Hasan Incident caused Murad V to lose his balance. He was forcibly dethroned pursuant to the shortest sultanate of the Ottoman history that had lasted only for 93 days. He was at the age of 36 and he would live in Çiragan Palace for more than 28 years and actually, he would recover from his disorder within a short period. His brother, Abdulhamit II (1876-1909) ascended the throne.

The year of 1876 was one of actual the turning points of Turkey. There were some vital problems in the Turkish state such as the dethronement of Sultan Aziz and his debated and doubtful death in an ambiguous manner that would never be illuminated, the forced dethronement of the young Murad V within 3 months to whom all hopes were relied on, the debates about the Constitutional period, and the question of whether the anticipated new regime would be applied in the Ottoman Empire that was in the form of a mosaic of nations. In relation with the foreign affairs, the inevitable war with Russia was approaching. Seveal provinces were under outrageous circumstances including slaughter, fire, rebellionsand disorders in the Balkans. In case that Turkey would be defeated in such a war, it was absolute that most of the national benefits would be lost against the European imperialism that entirely become inflamed. The gap between the state and the European civilisation was so far andaway that the recovery was not even hoped much. Actually, Japan had not done its great revolution yet in the year of 1876 and it was an underdeveloped state that could not be even compared with Turkey in the year of 1876. However, it possessed the proper geography and the national union for such a revolution. Nevertheless, the geographical position of the Turkish Empire was exposed to all the invasions andforeign interventions. The national union was not established. Non-Turkish provinces were not treated as colonies like in the European Statesand they were considered as the integral parts of the homeland. The continuous foreign pressures and the non-stop wars forced the development of Turkey into a hopeless atmosphere.

Upon the death of Ali Pasha in the year of 1871, the beautiful principles of the Period of Reforms were damaged. Under these circumstances, all the ways reached at a dead end of a personal dictatorship. This dictatorship would come into existence in the character of the ruler that was considered as the personal owner of the state. The proper conditions for the transfer of the state administration from the Sublime Ottoman Government to the Palace by Abdulhamid II for his personal government of 30 years would take shape as a result of the Defeat in 93. The Turkish Empire would be dissolved in the years following in the year of 1876 and it would be disintegrated in the period when the European imperialism reached to its peak. Therefore, the prolongation of such an empire for another 30 years provided endless national benefits although this extension had the quality of a temporary precaution. In case that the state would take the advantage of these benefits and the passing of time against the European imperialism, the empire could be maintained within a narrower framework but with newer institutions. In case this opportunity could not be benefited, the last Turkish Empire of the history was obliged to undergo dissolution and disintegration.

Although he did not have any confidence in it, Abdülhamit II declared the First Constitutional Period upon the irresistible impulse of Mithat Pasha (23rd December 1876). However, he could not tolerate Mithat Pasha that was out of control and tried to establish a kind of constitutional dictatorship. Therefore, he forced him to get out of Turkey (5th February 1877). After a while, the first Parliamentary Council was assembled (19th March 1877). Meanwhile, the Russian war approached day by day. Abdulhamit II could not attain sufficient influence and therefore, he could not prevent the war that he completely opposed to. Mithat Pasha and his accomplices had been carried away by the madness and they considered themselves as Reşit Pasha and his team. Besides, they believed that England would take side with Turkey like in the Crimean War in such a war with Russia. However, there was not any sign that supported or indicated such a belief. The conjuncture of the world and the balance of the great States had changed in the last quarter century.

Between in the years of 1850 and 1875, the population of the world increased from 1.137 millions to 1.326 millions. Of this population, the share of the Great States increased from 898 millions to 1,108 millions and the share of the other states decreased from 219 millions to 189 millions. The situations of the Great States together with their colonies were as follows: The increase from 259 millions to 303 millions in England, the increase from 17 millions to (only Prussia) 42 millions in Germany, the increase from 68 millions to 89 millions in Russia, the increase from 39 millions to 45 millions in France, the increase from 54 millions to 64 millions in Turkey, the increase from 39 millions to 38 millions in Austria, the increase from 380 millions to 430 millions in China, the increase from 23 millions to 45 millions in the United America, the increase to 27 millions in Italy, and the increase from 19 millions to 25 millions in Spain.

In comparison with the year of 1580, the number of the cities with the population over one million increased from 5 to 8; the number of the cities with the population between a half million and one million increased from 6 to 14, the number of the cities with the population between a hundred thousand and a half million increased from 187 to 192; and the number of the cities with the population over fifty thousands increasedfrom 291 to 375. In the year of 1875, the number of the cities with the population over fifth thousand was 86 in England, 39 in Turkey, 34 in China, 28 in Germany, 26 in France, 23 in the United America, 16 in Russia, 15 in Spain, 14 in Italy, 13 in Japan, 11 in Austria, 10 in the Netherlands, 9 in Iran, and 51 in all the other states. In the year of 1875, Istanbul retrograded to the 5th line among the world cities: The population of 4,000,000 in London, the population of 1,650,000 in Peking, the population of 1,200,000 in Istanbul, the population of 1,120,000 in Berlin, the population of 1,000,000 in Vienna, and the population of 1,000,000 in Canton. In this year, the population of a city (London) reached to the number of 4 millions for the first time in the history of the world.

Towards the year of 1875, England was doubtlessly the most developed state of the worlds in the principal fields (navy, marine trade, economy, finance, foreign trade, colonies, urbanisation, education, political stability, real parliamentary democracy, etc.) excluding its land forces. Germany had the second land forces of the world. The Turkish army was the fourth and the Turkish navy was the third powers in the world. This situation would be turned upside down with the strike observed as a result of the war in 93.

The princedoms of Srbija, Romania and Montenegro rebelled against their sovereign, Turkey and they took side with Russia. Greece followed the same path. Upon the transcendence of Russians beyond the Danube River (22nd June 1877), the war broke out in this front. The Chief Commander Abdülkerim Nadir (Abdi) Pasha was only a mere spectator of the transcendence of Russians beyond the Danube River. Therefore, the war was nearly lost on the fifty-fifty basis. The Field Marshal Ghazi Osman Pasha had won glorious victories against the enemy in Plevna for three times successively (20th July, 30th July, and 11th September 1877). He also had some successes in the defensive war against the new princes (10th December). The Field Marshal Suleyman Pasha attacked to Şıpka for 7 days and nights but could not capture it (20-26 August 1877). Therefore, the Turkish army was divided in the north and south of the Balkan Mountains. These events essentially caused despair for the hope of capture of Plevna. Sofia (3rd January 1878), Niş (10th January), Vidin (24th February) were lost and thus, the Russians captured Edirne and came to the region in front of Yeşilköy. In the Eastern front, the Field Marshal Ghazi Ahmet Muhtar Pasha had defeated the Russians successively but these defeats could not stop the enemy that was continuously supported with great reinforcement. Kars was lost (18th November 1877). However, the enemy stopped in front of Erzurum. As a result of the legendary defence of this state in which the people of the state had also participated, the Russians could not capture Erzurum, and therefore, they had to retreat. Edirne Armistice was signed on the date of 31st January 1878. This war had broken out as a result of the provocation of both the Pan-Slavist on one hand and the team of Mithat Pasha on the other hand despite the fact that the Tsar and the ruler opposed to this war. The Turkish forces were expected to accomplish a successful defence. They sometimes acquired great victories and caused the enemies to suffer from terrible losses and casualties. Therefore, they sometimes forced the Russians to very critical conditions. However, there were very graceless competitions among the Turkish field marshals that were reflected even in the battlefields. Therefore, the enemy could come to the regions in front of the doors of Istanbul andthreaten the city thereof. The superb and the modern armed forces that were established by Sultan Aziz through great sacrifices could not be used in an efficient manner. Abdulhamit II who was involved in the graceless struggles for post among the field marshals was blamed with “commanding the war from Star”.

The Parliamentary Council was closed for an indefinite period (13th February 1878). However, (Principle Law) Kanun-ı Esasî (Constitution of 1877) was not annulled. Therefore, the 1st Constitutional Period had been effective for 1 year and 1 month and the Parliamentary Council had been in service for only 10 months and 25 days. In this period, the personal government of Abdulhamit II began and this period of 30,5 years was called as (Devr-i İstibdat = Autocracy Period”) The factors such as the Non-Muslim member of parliaments that were more than half of the parliament in number and their excessive demands endangered the parliament as a threatening institution for the future of the empire. Actually, there was not a discrimination between homeland- colonies in the Ottoman State. The European states like England, France, etc. could easily execute the democracy. As a matter of fact, the parliament of England was composed of the members of parliament from the Great Britain. The colonies of England in which millions of people lived could not even designate one member of parliament into this parliament. The indiscrimination of Ottoman States between homeland-colonies led to this empire to dissolve with a swift pace. Besides, it led the democracy to an impossible basis that could not be applied under difficult situations.

The Russians had Turkey to sign the Ayastafanos Agreement (3rd March 1878) in haste. This agreement was extremely harmful anddisadvantageous for the Turkish State. It aroused reactions in the European States. The personal diplomacy of Abdulhamit II evaluated these reactions as much as possible and he provoked them thereof. A congress was assembled in Berlin. Berlin Agreement (13th July 1878) was the heaviest and the most offensive agreement that Turkey has signed since Karlofça Agreement in 1699. However, this agreement mitigated the terrible conditions of Ayastafanos Agreement and it did not discharge Turkey from the Balkans. Moreover, it extended the life of Turks in the Balkans for a period of a generation. Abdulhamit II could provide the conclusion of this agreement through leasing Cyprus to England. In this great civil turmoil, Lord Disraeli who was the Prime Minister of England and an enemy of Russia declared Queen Victoria as the “Empress of India” and the Great States that started quarrelling among each other recognised this title. Upon the revolution of Cavalry in 1857, England had abolished the empire of Tamburlaine dynasty in India that had been composed of only a title and then, it exiled Bahadır II Shah who ws the last Turkish emperor to Burma. However, it could not venture to entitle the ruler of England with the title of “Emperor of India”- that had been under the possession of Turks for 9 centuries.

According to the Berlin Agreement, Turkey acknowledged to have accepted that 3 Balkan States that were subject to Turkey had acquired their independence after a half century pursuant to the independence of Greece. Therefore, the princedoms of Romania, Srbija and Montenegro got separated from Turkey. In the north of the Balkan Mountains, a Princedom of Bulgaria would be established and this princedom would be subject to Turkey in respect of its foreign affairs; and it would be autonomous in respect of its internal affairs. On the south, a privileged provinde of Eastern Roumelia would be established and their capital cities were Sofia and Filibe. Therefore, the province of Danube pertaining to the empire (its borders were much more wider than today’s Bulgaria) became a thing of the past. The government of Bosnia and Herzegovina was entitled to Austria-Hungary. Kars, Artvin and Batum were abandoned to Russia. Furthermore, the war reparations for Russia with the amount of 802,500,000 golden francs would be paid through annual instalments. The definite loss of lands in Europe was the surface area of 237,298 km2 and the population of 8,184,000 (the population in these lands is above 25 millions today). The privileged Bulgaria, Eastern Roumelia,and Bosnia and Herzegovina and the places that were lost as a result of this war such as Kars, Artvin, Tunisia, etc. were excluded from the aforesaid figures. Considering the addition of these lands, the loss of the empire was a terrible figure and the state had left the lands on which 50 millions of people live today. Despite the opposition of the ruler, this war was accepted in order not to abandon a district to the Montenegro. The balance of the trouble that Mithat Pasha and his accomplices caused was stated above.

The state got out of a terrible defeat. One million of immigrants came in great crowds to Istanbul and Anatolia. The finance of the state that had actually been on the verge of bankruptcy was burdened with the war reparations to be paid to Russia. The amount of this war reparation was paid regularly by the ruler in every year until the end of his sultanate. There was not any financial power that could maintain the 4th army andthe 3rd navy of the world that had been handed down by Sultan Aziz in its present levels. Since great investments could not be accomplished under these circumstances, the gap between the state and the Europe got deepened. Despite this situation, the ruler had given much importance to the public works and particularly to education.

In this period, a new element under the name of Armenians joined to the various enemies of the state. The Ottoman Armenians were provoked by England, Russia and the Armenians in the foreign countries. This provocation was carried out on a systemised and extensive basis. There were some rebellions that were caused by this provocation in Anatolia and Turkish and Kurdish villages were attacked and thousands of Muslim were killed as martyrs. This tumult spurted out to the big cities and even to Istanbul. The ruler had replied these events in a severe manner and he had immediately suppressed these rebellions. As a matter of fact, the article 61 in the Berlin Agreement stipulated the arrangement of improvements in favour of the Armenians in 6 Ottoman provinces (states) that have 19 cities in them today. Although the ruler was forced to sign this article, he did not ever apply this article in the course of his sultanate. Even the most terrifying pressures of the great states could not force Abdulhamit II to apply and execute the article 61. The inclusion of the Eastern Anatolia to today’s Turkey was a result of this policy. Abdulhamit II was obliged to take severe precautions against the Armenians. Therefore, the Europe called him as the “Red Sultan”;and this title was also used by the opponents of this ruler in the future –up to now.

While the regime of Sultan Abdulhamit was at the summit of his prestige on the verge of the century XX, this prestige started to suffer from great losses since the first years of the new century and then, it finally started to become declined. The problem of Macedonia had played the leading role in this decline. The entire Macedonia was under the domination of Turkey. There was nearly a population of 4 millions of people that lived in this country with the surface area of 96.400 km2 in that period. Nearly half of this population was composed of Muslims (Turks andAlbanians) and nearly half of this population was composed of Christians (Bulgarians, Greeks, Serbians, etc.). There were 3 Turkish provinces in the country (Salonika, Monastery, Kosovo= Scopje). The Bulgarian activities were widespread in Macedonia, and they had formed big gangs. They wanted to overwhelm the Greek and Russian people rather than Turks and to become isolated alone in their region. The intervention of the Great States always turned up in Macedonia. The Army II that was centred in Salonika supervised all these conflicts. The youngest officers were sent to this army and they became spiritually guerillas through the continuous brigand (guerilla) wars. Although the Revolution of Macedonia between the years of 1902-1903 was suppressed, it was not possible to force the Bulgarian guerillas for disarmament.

The principal foreign affairs of this period were as follows: France invaded Tunisia (12th May 1881). Tunisia was left to the share of France in the backstage of Berlin Agreement. Abdulhamit II opposed to this invasion in a stiff manner; however, he was not in a proper stage to save Tunisia. Berlin Agreement left the district of Thessalia to Greece (13.488 km2). Although the ruler could delay the enforcement of this article for 3 years, he was not able to withstand the pressures at the end. Thessalia was transferred to the domination of Greece (2nd July 1881). Englandintervened into Egypt (15th September 1882), and the Princedom of Bulgari integrated with the province of Eastern Roumelia (18th September 1885). The Great States and the Sublime Ottoman Government were occupied with these events as the most important issued of the European policy. Greece that relied on the Great States longed to possess the provinces of Crete and Ionia. The Sublime Ottoman Government declared war against Greece. In this short war (18th April- 20th May 1897), the Turks overwhelmed and defeated the Greek army with an blitzkrieg. While the way to Athens was totally exposed to the invasion of Turks, the Great States intervened in this issue. Turkey got out of the war without nearly anything that it had won; and it was also obliged to provide privileges to Crete in favour of Greece.


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