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The End of the Ottoman Empire - Essay Example

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Module title: Module ID: Submission date: ‘The End of the Ottoman Empire’ The present paper aims to make a critical evaluation of the work ‘The End of the Ottoman Empire’ created by Elie Kedourie (1968), by elaborating the reasons behind the fall of the mighty empire as well as the abolishment of the traditional caliphate, which had been an essential part of the age-old political system of the vast region encompassing the entire Middle East for the last five centuries…
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The End of the Ottoman Empire

Download file to see previous pages... The Ottoman Empire had been established by the mid of the fifteenth century in the wake of the conquest of Constantinople at the hands of Sultan Mehmet II in 1453 A.D., which lasted for over five and half centuries till the armed forces of the empire had to surrender before the Allies in the Armistice of Mudros in October 1918 (19). The critics pertinently blame the Ottoman caliphs and their inefficiency and unruliness to be one of the most significant reasons behind the empire’s growing weaker and unstable, leading to its ultimate fall eventually. The theorists also view the caliph’s irrational decision to participate in WWI on the German side to be the most effective cause of the empire ruination. Somehow, vested political and economic interests established by Great Britain, Russia and France, and the difference of the religious ideology emulated by the Christian Allies and the Muslim Empire, respectively, could be stated to be the turning point behind the abolishment of the caliphate and the partition of its territories into several sovereign states ultimately in the aftermath of the First World War. There is no doubt in the bitter reality that the empire had turned out to be the sick man of Europe by the end of the nineteenth century; therefore, the four small states appeared on the horizon to inflict a humiliating defeat on the empire during the Balkan War of 1911. However, the sympathetic inclinations demonstrated by the Christian nations, including England, France, Italy and Russia, towards Greece and against the Ottomans in Asia Minor also added their share in the rise of the Greeks and destruction of the Muslim empire (20). The British-led alliance appeared to be determined to exert its influence in different parts of the Ottoman Empire, which could only be possible through launching a formidable attack on the unity of the Muslim community. As a result, the ethnic and racial sentiments were projected and promoted in the hearts and minds of the Arabs belonging to the Middle East and North Africa, who raised a decisive revolt against the Turkish supremacy and made demands for the separate and independent states to be established on the foundations of absolute sovereignty, where there would be no chances of any interference from the Turkish political domination altogether. Consequently, the sentiments of ethno-racial and regional hatred and prejudice were harboured with the aim of adding fuel to the fire of the Arab nationalism that could lead to the eventual disintegration of the Ottoman Empire (23). Kedourie (22) seems to be justified in making his argument that the caliph ruling over the Ottoman Empire was thought to be the religious and political leader of the entire Muslim community. Consequently, all the Muslim states not only revered him as their religious patron, but also traditionally used to seek spiritual and political guidance from him. Therefore, the certificate issued by the caliph in favour of a ruler was considered to be the final ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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