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The Young Turk Years, World War I
Enver Pasha, Turkish entry, Turkish armed forces, Gallipoli campaign, Arab revolt
At first, the triumvirate tried to avoid involvement in World War I, but German offers to help regain lost provinces, British confiscation of Turkish warships being constructed in England, and manipulation by Enver Pasha led to an alliance with the Central Powers and Turkish entry into the war in 1914. The Turkish armed forces performed well during the Gallipoli campaign and drove back and captured an entire British expeditionary force at Al Kut in Iraq. A campaign across the Sinai Peninsula with the aim of capturing the Suez Canal and Egypt was unsuccessful, however, and led to the British organization of an Arab revolt in the Arabian Peninsula. With Arab help, a British force from Egypt then invaded Syria and had reached southern Anatolia by the time the war ended. A campaign led by Enver Pasha into the Caucasus at the start of the war was defeated less by the Russians than by poor organization and revolts in the eastern provinces. Thereafter the Russians invaded eastern and central Anatolia at will in 1915 and 1916, until their campaign was brought to an end in 1917 by the Russian Revolution. The destructive effects of these foreign invasions were compounded by internal revolts, famine, starvation, and disease. Some 6 million people of all religions, one-quarter of the entire population, died or were killed, and the economy was devastated.
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