100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

Ottoman Army Officers Force Grand Vizier To Resign

The Ottoman Empire is called “The Sick Man Of Europe”. It increasingly falls under the financial control of Europeans and has lost European territory in a series of disastrous wars. Nationalism has swept through many of its territories and the Ottoman government itself had struggled with attempts at a more Western constitutional style government as it had in 1876. The Second Constitutional Era began after the Young Turk Revolution in July 1908 with the restoration of the 1876 constitution and the reconvening of the Ottoman Parliament. Ottoman politics is now dominated by the Committee of Union and Progress and the reform movement known as the Young Turks. This begins the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. The aging Sultan Mehmed V is put on the throne in April 1909 but he is largely a figurehead with no real political power.

In 1911-1912 the Ottoman Empire was first attacked by Italy then assailed by an Albanian uprising. The members of the Balkan League plotted to liberate their ethnic territories. With disastrous events such as these the Committee of Union and Progress started looking around for a scapegoat. Minister of War, Mahmud Shevket Pasha had been “the most capable and energetic of contemporary Ottoman statesmen” but was no friend of the CPU. Shevket Pasha was forced to resign as Minister of War by Mehmet Said Pasha, the Grand Vizier (Prime Minister). The Ottoman old guard political elite had no confidence in the Grand Vizier and refused to name a successor for Minister of War so the Grand Vizier dissolved the government. The Army did not like the reformist Young Turks and a group of young military officers known as “The Savior Officers” who were concerned about the erosion of Ottoman power in the Balkans decided to take matters in their own hands.

On July 16, 1912 the Grand Vizier and the whole cabinet were forced to resign by the Army. A new Grand Vizier will be named, most likely from the military.

Mehmet Said Pasha, Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire
Forced to resign – July 16, 1912


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