Djemal Pasha (Ahmad Djemal) - Encyclopedia




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"DJEMAL PASHA (AHMAD DJEMAL) (1875-), Turkish politician and soldier, was born at Bagdad about 1875. His father, a person of some distinction, gave him a careful French education, and placed him in the army, where his energy and activity speedily brought him to the rank of lieutenantcolonel. As such' he went to Salonika, where he spent five years, and not only gained an intimate understanding of the Young Turk ideas, but became their most able supporter. In 1909, when Djemal went as governor to Adana in Cilicia, he was charged with the task of strengthening the Young Turk ideas and the elimination of contrary currents. It was in administrative matters that Djemal's talents were most conspicuous. In 191:1 he was made governor of his native town, Bagdad, but a year later he was sent to the Balkan War in command of a division, and subsequently contrived to become Vali of Constantinople.

After once more filling a military role for a short time as commander of the I. Corps at Constantinople, he handed over the command to the German general, Liman von Sanders, and devoted himself to politics. At that time Djemal, Talaat and Enver constituted a triumvirate which was the only effective Turkish Government, and already a certain antagonism, which had its roots in personal ambition, had sprung up between Djemal and Enver. Djemal obtained the Ministry of Public Works and immediately afterwards the Ministry of Marine. Djemal gave Adml. Limpus and the English naval mission a free hand, as Enver did the German military mission. In the spring of 1914 Djemal attended the French fleet manoeuvres, and on Aug. 9 1914, after the outbreak of the World War, he wished the homegoing Frenchmen glory and victory. He was unwilling that Turkey should attach herself to Germany at once, even though the victory of the Central Powers might be certain. Enver, fearing Djemal's influence in Constantinople, banished the Minister of Marine, at the end of 1914, to Syria, as commanderin-chief of the IV. Army. There his military achievements were insignificant, but he fought the plagues of locusts and the epidemics, exerted himself over the cultivation of the land, the draining of the marshes, the building of new and the improvement of old streets, even began the work of afforestation, and made efforts to raise the level of public education. In Oct. 1917 he was removed by order of Enver from the command of the IV. Army and made commander-in-chief of all the troops in Syria, Palestine and the Hejaz, with the exception of the army operating on the Sinai front. This edict led to disorder and friction. Djemal's power was not lessened south of the Taurus, but he took no more interest in the conduct of the military operations. In Dec. 1917 he betook himself to Constantinople, and, greatly to the wrath of Enver, resumed his activities as Minister of Marine. However, he was given no more opportunities, either political or military. When, in the autumn of 1918, Turkey, and with her the Young Turk Government, was broken in pieces, Djemal Pasha was forced to flee, and he repaired to Germany where he wandered about under an assumed name. Later he obtained refuge in Switzerland, and subsequently he made his way to the East. In 1921 he was reported to have found employment as military adviser to the Amir of Afghanistan.

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