The Triad of Domineering:
Anwar, Jamal and Talaat
The last period of the Ottoman Empire’s life was distinguished by the abundance of military coups, and a state of instability that contributed greatly to the acceleration of the fall of the state, but the most dangerous of these coups was what occurred in 1913 when a group of officers led by “Anwar Bey” stormed into the headquarter of the Ministers Cabinet; Where he shot the Minister of War, “Nazem Pasha” and forced “Kamel Pasha” to resign.
Bernard Lewis, in his book The Emergence of Modern Turkey, provides an important and shocking description of this period. He summarizes the progress of events from (1913) until the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in the First World War in (1918), stating: “From then until 1918 Turkey was ruled by a de facto military dictatorship, dominated by three men, Anwar, Talaat and Jamal Pasha.” Who are the horror trio?
Anwar Pasha was born in Istanbul in (1881) and the historical sources differed about his origins, but they were unanimous that he came from a modest Istanbul family, then he graduated from the military college and joined the young Turks and participated in the coup of (1908), and in (1913) he became the Minister of War, then he was granted the title of Pasha, and in (1914) he married an Ottoman princess, to gain a higher social status. In addition, “Jamal Pasha” was born in Istanbul in (1872) to a military family and graduated from the Military College, and was recruited early in the Young Turks group, and after the coup of (1913) he became a military governor of Istanbul, then he took over the Ministry of War, and became a commander of the Ottoman army in the levant.
As for the third one in the horror trio: “Talaat Pasha”, who was born to a poor family in Adrianople in (1874), and took over several civil positions, especially in the Postal Administration, which facilitated the secret communications of the group. After the coup of (1913), he assumed the position of the Minister of Interior, and in (1916) he took over the position of the Grand Vizier, i.e. the Prime Minister.
Historical sources describe “Anwar Pasha” as a bloody person (1913) and some sources indicate that he was the real founder of what was known as “Specific Formations”, i. e. the special formations that are the new Ottoman intelligence Service, which was established with the help of the Germans to be the state’s secret Service for its dirty operations. The fingers were pointed at this Service in carrying out the massacres and extermination against the Armenians; however, Turkish historians deny that. The sources as well as indicated the role of the special formations in following Arab secret associations. The special formations also played an important role in preparing for the Ottoman army’s campaigns against Egypt during the First World War, and trying to raid the Suez Canal. The special formations also managed to recruit some agents in Egypt for Ottoman country, on top of them was “Sheikh Abdul Aziz Gawish”. The special formations provided material support to some of the Egyptian newspapers supporting the Ottoman state. They supervised the organization process of secret contacts between the Ottoman state and the Senossians in Libya, and they planned to invade Egypt from the western side. Moreover, the special formations held secret contacts with the Sultan of Darfur in Sudan in order to be in the side of the Ottoman state, and to carry out a rebellion movement there against the Egyptian authorities and the British army.
As for “Jamal Pasha” who was described by Turkish and Arab sources as having a sharp temper and was immersed in his lusts. “Jamal Pasha” gained a bloody fame during his stay in the Levant countries, where he carried out a wide execution movement among the leaders of the Arab movement in both of Syria and Lebanon. Sources mention that in Damascus and in one day only, the following leaders were executed: Prince Omar Al-Jazaery, Abdel-Wahab Al-Meligy, Shukri Al-Ali, Rafiq Rizk Salloum and Rushdi Al-Shamaa; and in Beirut, on the same day, all of the following leaders were executed: Salim Al-Jazaery, Ali Al-Nashashibi, Saif Al-Din Al-Khatib, Muhammad Al-Shanti, Amin Lotfi Al-Hafiz, Tawfiq Al-Bassat, Jalal Al-Najari, Prince Aref Al-Shehabi, Sheikh Ahmed Tabbara, Abdel-Ghani Al-Arisi, Jarjis Al-Haddad, Patro Bali and Saeed Akl. “Jamal Pasha’s” argument for this expansion of the death movement was that he discovered by the special formations that there are secret contacts between Arab leaders and foreign consulates, particularly the French consulate. While the Arab Movement believed that the Federalists and their representatives in Levant countries, i.e. “Jamal Pasha”, gave up the policy of decentralization and adopted the policy of imposing Turkification on the Arab peoples. Moreover, the link between the Arab component and the Turkish component was severed. Indeed, the “Anwar, Gamal, and Talat” Triad’s policy was harsh against Arab component. In addition, they even began a movement of mistrust in Arab officers who were working in the Ottoman army itself. So, the Triad deported the Arab officers based in Istanbul to different Turkish states. They also employed the Turkish officers in senior positions at the Arab countries, and dismissed the Arab officers as much as possible in areas which have an Arab majority of population.
Probably, the most serious arbitrary measures against the Arab officers in the Othman army were the detainment of the famous officer Colonel “Aziz Ali Al-Masri”, although his tendency was with the Ottoman state, only in a decentralization manner and by giving the Arab states a privileged status similar to that of Hungary under the empire of Austria-Hungary. However, the Triad were not satisfied, put “Aziz Ali Al-Masri” into trial, and charged him with a trumped-up charge, namely treason. He was sentenced to death, yet this ruling provoked a wave of anger and condemnation in the Arab regions, especially in Egypt.
England intervened to challenge the death sentence, so Turkey reneged on the sentence against “Aziz Ali Al-Masri” and sent him to Egypt.
Generally speaking, the Triad’s period led to the end of the Ottoman state. As they conducted a fierce campaign against any opposition to them. The period between (1913) and (1918) was characterized as a cruel repressive period, even some people described it as close to the era of terrorism during the French Revolution. As that era was marked by guillotine execution penalty, the elimination of dissent, and the supremacy of one voice.