The Historical Background of Turkish-German Relations (1878-1914)
Keywords: Ottoman Empire, Turkish-German Relations, Europe, Treaty of Karlowitz, Tsardom of Russia, Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca
On the one hand Germany as a capitalist country was in the process of establishing an empire and looking for raw material sources and markets for its own products and on the other the Ottoman Empire was a country, which was a source of raw materials and a big market in the process of being colonised and that as such was looking for a protector. How should one analyse the alliance between these two countries with diametrically opposite degrees of evolution and social structure? In this article we have searched for an answer to this question by explaining the foreign policy followed by Germany after having established its own political unity, and the place occupied by the Ottoman state within the context of this foreign policy. We have tried to formulate our answer under the following four main headings. 1. Ottoman-German Diplomatic Relations, 2. Ottoman-German Relations in the Fields of Military Training and Organisation, 3. Ottoman-German Economic Relations, 4. Ottoman-German Intellectual Interaction and Cultural Relations. The conclusion we have reached is as following: The relationship between imperial Germany and an Ottoman Empire being colonised began in the second half of the 19th century and, having developed in the following years, by the beginning of the 20th century had become a close alliance. This close alliance could not serve the purpose of letting these two countries carry out their respective strategies dictated by the then prevalent circumstances. In the same way that Germany did not realise its aim of becoming a world power, the Ottoman Empire was not successful in its "policy of balance", the aim of which was to stop the Ottoman state's decline. Those that really gained from this alliance turned out to be the holders of monopolistic capitals in imperial Germany. The rich sources of the Ottoman lands were exploited by German imperialism, which looked like a friend - ally - comrade in arms, but was mainly interested in getting its own share in case of a break up of the Ottoman Empire.