Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Thursday, July 15, 2021

2 August, 1914: Treaty of Alliance Between Germany and Turkey

Signatories Grand Vizier Said Halim Pasha and German Ambassador Baron Hans von Wangenheim

A secret treaty was concluded between the Ottoman Empire and the German Empire on August 2, 1914. The Ottomans were to enter the war on the side of the Central Powers one day after the German Empire declared war on Russia. The alliance was ratified on 2 August by many high-ranking Ottoman officials, including Grand Vizier Said Halim Pasha, the Minister of War Enver Pasha, the Interior Minister Talat Pasha, and Head of Parliament Halil Bey. Austria-Hungary adhered to the Ottoman-German treaty on 5 August. However, Turkey did not go to war when Germany went to war against Russia.

It seems not all members of the Ottoman government accepted the alliance. There was no signature from the Sultan Mehmed V, who was nominally in charge of the army but had little power. The third member of the cabinet of the Three Pashas, Cemal Pasha, also did not sign the treaty as he had tried to form an alliance with France. 

Berlin grew annoyed as the Ottomans stalled but offered two ships and a large loan. On the 29 October 1914, the Ottomans entered the war after their fleet had bombarded Russian ports on orders from Enver Pasha.

On 22 January 1915, a more general alliance was signed between the Ottoman Empire and Germany that was to last into 1920. On 28 September 1916, a treaty against separate peace was signed. In 17 October 1917, the 1915 treaty was amended to enhance military cooperation between the empires. On March 21 1916, Austria-Hungary had joined the Ottoman-German pact.

Russia declared war on Turkey on 3 November 1914, and on 5 November 1914, Great Britain and France also declared against Turkey.

First and Last Pages of the 2 August Document

Treaty of Constantinople, 2 August  1914

1. The two contracting parties agree to observe strict neutrality in regard to the present conflict between Austria-Hungary and Serbia.

2. In case Russia should intervene with active military measures, and should thus bring about a casus foederis for Germany with relation to Austria-Hungary, this casus foederis would also come into existence for Turkey.

3. In case of war, Germany will leave her military mission at the disposal of Turkey. The latter, for her part, assures the said military mission an effective influence on the general conduct of the army, in accordance with the understanding arrived at directly between His Excellency the Minister of War and His Excellency the Chief of the Military Mission.

4. Germany obligates herself, if necessary by force of arms ... [cipher group lacking] Ottoman territory in case it should be threatened.

5. This agreement which has been concluded for the purpose of protecting both Empires from international complications which may result from the present conflict goes into force as soon as it is signed by the above-mentioned plenipotentiaries, and shall remain valid, together with any similar mutual agreements, until 31 December 1918.

6. In case it shall not be denounced by one of the high contracting parties six months before the expiration of the term named above, this treaty shall remain in force for a further period of five years.

7. This present document shall be ratified by His Majesty the German Emperor, King of Prussia, and by His Majesty the Emperor of the Ottomans, and the ratifications shall be exchanged within a period of one month from the date of its signing.

8. The present treaty shall remain secret and can only be made public as a result of an agreement arrived at between the two high contracting parties. In testimony whereof, etc.



(With regard to 3: The Turks wished to use this phraseology in view of the fact that His Majesty the Sultan is the Commander-in-Chief of the Turkish army. General Liman, however, had officially informed me in advance that he had arranged a detailed agreement with the Minister of War Enver which provided the Military Mission with the actual chief command -- as required by your telegram 275....)


Sources:  Upcoming Armageddon Blog; WWI Document Archive; Wikipedia

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