Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is meeting his French opposite number, Francois Hollande, Thursday evening, as France seems keener than ever to bring Russia in from the cold to join its anti-Islamic State (IS) coalition force.
The meeting is going ahead as Russia and Turkey are embroiled in tit-for-tat recriminations over the downing of a Russian fighter jet by Turkish military this week and whether it occurred in Turkish or Syrian airspace.
One of Hollande’s most immediate wishes is trying to seal the porous border between Turkey and Syria, which seems to have been a route followed by many IS fighters. This move has already been backed by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
France seems to be taking the doctrine of “my enemy’s enemy is my friend” more seriously than other Western powers.
After the tragic attacks in Paris which killed 129 people, Hollande has hardened his stance on the fight against IS and pledged an additional 600 million euros ($636 million) on additional security spending.
The pre-World War 1 Ottoman Empire included Turkey and much of Syria and much of Iraq.
The Ottoman Empire was also known as the Turkish Empire, Ottoman Turkey or Turkey. It was founded in 1299 by Oghuz Turks under Osman I in northwestern Anatolia. After conquests in the Balkans by Murad I between 1362 and 1389, the Ottoman sultanate was transformed into a transcontinental empire and claimant to the caliphate. The Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror
You were already sick learning about arab and muslim history and now Russia, Turkey, Syria and Crimea history becomes annoyingly relevant. Russia and Turkey-Ottoman fought for 300 years
In the 1700s, Russian warm seas expansion presented a large and growing threat to the Ottoman Empire. King Charles XII of Sweden was welcomed as an ally in the Ottoman Empire following his defeat by the Russians at the Battle of Poltava in 1709 (part of the Great Northern War of 1700–1721.) Charles XII persuaded the Ottoman Sultan Ahmed III to declare war on Russia, which resulted in the Ottoman victory at the Pruth River Campaign of 1710–1711.
After the Austro-Turkish War of 1716–1718 the Treaty of Passarowitz confirmed the loss of the Banat, Serbia and “Little Walachia” to Austria. The Treaty also revealed that the Ottoman Empire was on the defensive and unlikely to present any further aggression in Europe. The Austro-Russian–Turkish War, which was ended by the Treaty of Belgrade in 1739, resulted in the recovery of Serbia and Oltenia, but the Empire lost the port of Azov to the Russians. After this treaty the Ottoman Empire was able to enjoy a generation of peace, as Austria and Russia were forced to deal with the rise of Prussia.
In 1768 Russian-backed Ukrainian Haidamaks, pursuing Polish confederates, entered Balta, an Ottoman-controlled town on the border of Bessarabia, and massacred its citizens and burned the town to the ground. This action provoked the Ottoman Empire into the Russo-Turkish War of 1768–1774. The Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca of 1774 ended the war and provided freedom to worship for the Christian citizens of the Ottoman-controlled provinces of Wallachia and Moldavia. By the late 18th century, a number of defeats in several wars with Russia led some people in the Ottoman Empire to conclude that the reforms of Peter the Great had given the Russians an edge, and the Ottomans would have to keep up with Western technology in order to avoid further defeats.
By the mid-19th century, the Ottoman Empire was called the “sick man” by Europeans.
The Crimean War (1853–1856) was part of a long-running contest between the major European powers for influence over territories of the declining Ottoman Empire. The financial burden of the war led the Ottoman state to issue foreign loans amounting to 5 million pounds sterling on 4 August 1854. The war caused an exodus of the Crimean Tatars, about 200,000 of whom moved to the Ottoman Empire in continuing waves of emigration. Toward the end of the Caucasian Wars, 90% of the Circassians were ethnically cleansed and exiled from their homelands in the Caucasus and fled to the Ottoman Empire, resulting in the settlement of 500,000 to 700,000 Circassians in Turkey. Some Circassian organisations give much higher numbers, totaling 1–1.5 million deported or killed.
As the Ottoman state attempted to modernize its infrastructure and army in response to threats from the outside, it also opened itself up to a different kind of threat: that of creditors. Indeed, as the historian Eugene Rogan has written, “the single greatest threat to the independence of the Middle East” in the nineteenth century “was not the armies of Europe but its banks.” The Ottoman state, which had begun taking on debt with the Crimean War, was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1875. By 1881, the Ottoman Empire agreed to have its debt controlled by an institution known as the Ottoman Public Debt Administration, a council of European men with presidency alternating between France and Britain. The body controlled swaths of the Ottoman economy, and used its position to insure that European capital continued to penetrate the empire, often to the detriment of local Ottoman interests.
The Ottoman bashi-bazouks brutally suppressed the Bulgarian uprising of 1876, massacring up to 100,000 people in the process. The Russo-Turkish War (1877–78) ended with a decisive victory for Russia. As a result, Ottoman holdings in Europe declined sharply; Bulgaria was established as an independent principality inside the Ottoman Empire, Romania achieved full independence.
As the Ottoman Empire gradually shrank in size, some 7–9 million Turkish-Muslims from its former territories in the Caucasus, Crimea, Balkans, and the Mediterranean islands migrated to Anatolia and Eastern Thrace. After the Empire lost the Balkan Wars (1912–13), it lost all its Balkan territories except East Thrace.
The history of the Ottoman Empire during World War I began with the Ottoman’s engagement in the Middle Eastern theatre. There were several important Ottoman victories in the early years of the war, such as the Battle of Gallipoli and the Siege of Kut. The Arab Revolt which began in 1916 turned the tide against the Ottomans at the Middle Eastern front, where they initially seemed to have the upper hand during the first two years of the war. The Armistice of Mudros, signed on 30 October 1918, and set the partition of the Ottoman Empire under the terms of the Treaty of Sèvres.
History doesn’t repeat itself but it often rhymes
SOURCES – Wikipedia, CNBC