Thanks to all who answered my request for info on how the Ottoman Empire entered WW1. I’m always amazed at how much I can learn by reading the comments on my own blog. I’ll try to summarize and synthesize what’s been written there. Please check out their entire comments. I’ll use liberty in editing, and if I misrepresent you, please let me know.
Superhero said that the Ottoman Empire was at the verge of collapse and everybody could see that. The Turks thought that participating in the war might help the empire to survive although they couldn’t decide which side they should join. They also knew that everybody wanted a share Anatolia, so it would be a lose-lose game for the Turks either way.
The Ottomans allied with the Germans by secretly helping German destroyer ships escaping from the English navy, by buying the ships for what 1 lira. The ships were bannered them with Turkish flags and sent to Russia to bomb civilian cities.
thats how and why we got into the war in brief. i like history and i would like to provide you a better article written by my own self, but i cant promise anything because i am already too busy with my own work load.
A2Buzer said that by betting on the wrong side, the result was catastrophe for everyone living in anatolia. The Ottoman Empire, which had continued to exist to balance the European powers against each other, was bound to fall.
Raymond commented that this decision is still having repercussions in the present as evidenced by the recent US Congressional vote regarging the Armenian issue. Incidentally I couldn’t agree with him more on his assessment of America’s role in all of this.
James in Turkey rounded off the discussion with some more history by stating that The Ottoman Empire fell into the same trap that Germany and Austria, and indeed Britain, France and Russia did, thinking it would be a short, satisfactory war bringing them territory and riches. They also thought they would win quickly but in contrast were thrown into the bloodiest conflict in history.
The Ottomans needed a victory because of great losses in Europe, rising ethnic tension within its own borders, and the approach of Russia from both sides of the Black Sea.
This decision severed ties with England, when the British cancelled an Ottoman order for two battleships and kept them for themselves. It was Germany who replaced those two battleships, and it was with those two battleships that the Ottomans bombed the Russian port of Odessa, thus entering the war.
There were several implications. One is that it was almost the end of a career for Winston Churchill, who came up with the idea of landing at Gallipolli, where thousands were killed.
Mainly the implications for Ottomans included, the end of the Empire. Istanbul was occupied, Anatolia was divided, a whole idea of Turkish nationalism was fostered in a state. Many Armenians joined the Russians and the scene was set for significant killing along ethnic lines.
Finally, some great resources were recommended by Gulay and abuzer; namely David Fromkin’s “A Peace to End All Peace,” “Ataturk” by Andrew Mango, and the Penguin history of Europe.
I look forward to hearing more about this in the comments.