A WEEK IN REVIEW, NOVEMBER 9-16, 1914:

(My school semester is nearly over, and I’ll begin to compose my own posts again)

NOVEMBER 11 1914 – SULTAN MEHMED V DECLARES JIHAD ON THE ALLIES

(Text from First World War.com)

Ottoman Issuance of Fetva, November 1914

Reproduced below is the text of the Fetva – a holy commandment directed to Muslims worldwide – issued by the Ottoman government (in the name of Sultan Mehmed V), which ordered its Muslim readers to rise up in arms against those nations currently engaged in war against the Ottoman Empire, chiefly Britain, France and Russia. The Allies had long feared the issuance of a Fetva, worried that it might indeed be acted upon by Muslims throughout the world (notably in India and Egypt); in the event however it passed largely without action. The Fetva, which took the form of a question and answer document, was issued by Essad Effendi, Sheik-ul-Islam.

Issuance of Ottoman Fetva by Essad Effendi, Sheik-Ul-Islam:

Fetva

If several enemies unite against Islam, if the countries of Islam are sacked, if the Moslem populations are massacred or made captive; and if in this case the Padishah in conformity with the sacred words of the Koran proclaims the Holy War, is participation in this war a duty for all Moslems, old and young, cavalry and infantry? Must the Mohammedans of all countries of Islam hasten with their bodies and possessions to the Djat? [Note: Jihad, Holy War.]

Answer: “Yes.”

The Moslem subjects of Russia, of France, of England and of all the countries that side with them in their land and sea attacks dealt against the Caliphate for the purpose of annihilating Islam, must these subjects, too, take part in the holy War against the respective governments from which they depend?

Answer : “Yes.”

Those who at a time when all Moslems are summoned to fight, avoid the struggle and refuse to join in the Holy War, are they exposed to the wrath of God, to great misfortunes, and to the deserved punishment?

Answer : “Yes.”

If the Moslem subjects of the said countries should take up arms against the government of Islam, would they commit an unpardonable sin, even if they had been driven to the war by threats of extermination uttered against themselves and their families?

Answer : “Yes.”

The Moslems who in the present war are under England, France, Russia, Serbia, Montenegro and those who give aid to these countries by waging war against Germany and Austria, allies of Turkey, do they deserve to be punished by the wrath of God as being the cause of harm and damage to the Caliphate and to Islam?

Answer: “Yes.”

Source: Source Records of the Great War, Vol. III, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923

. . . .

NOVEMBER 16- 1914 – THE BERGMANN OFFENSIVE

(text from wikipedia)

The Bergmann Offensive was the first engagement of the Caucasus Campaign during World War I. General Georgy Bergmann, commander of I Caucasian Army Corps, took the initiative against the Ottoman Empire. On 2 November, Bergmann’s troops crossed the border in the general direction of Köprüköy. On the right flank, a brigade under Istomin moved from Oltu in the direction of İd. On the left flank a Cossack division under Baratov moved into the Eleşkirt valley towards Yuzveran, after it crossed the Aras River.

In response the Ottoman 3rd Army went on a general counter-offensive. As a result Russian forces were threatened by an enveloping movement on both sides. Only quick arrival of Russian reinforcements saved the situation. The fighting finally petered out on 16 November. Russian losses were up to 40% and their morale was shaken. Meanwhile, Turkish morale was high. The success during this first engagement encouraged Enver Pasha in his plan to attack at Sarıkamış.

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