Anti-British Movements in the Indian North West Frontier Province (NWFP) during World War I and the Impact of the Ottoman Empire
Ankara Hacı Bayram Veli Üniversitesi, Edebiyat Fakültesi, Tarih Bölümü, Ankara/ TÜRKİYE
Keywords: North West Frontier Province, India, Ottoman Empire, Afghanistan, greater jihad, World War I.
The North West Frontier Province (NWFP) was part of the administrative division established by the British Indian administration in 1901. The NWFP, which remained within the present borders of Pakistan and neighboured the borders of what is today Afghanistan, was a scene of important rebellions and attempts to complicate Britain’s mobilization during the World War I. To prevent the build-up of the enemy actions in this region, Britain tried to ensure the loyalty of the tribes and their leaders in the NWFP. The present study reveals that two main motivations were behind the anti-British activities in the NWFP. The first of these was the anti-British jihadist activities that had gained strength since the last quarter of the 19th century. The second was the cihadı ekber (holy war, jihad) announced after the Ottoman Empire joined the First World War. The NWFP itself was not a direct target area for TurkishGerman propaganda, but it was influenced by the propaganda attempts emanating from two main target areas. The first of these attempts was the agitation conducted from Afghanistan and from Afghanistan through Iran. In this case, attempts were launched from the territory under the rule of the Afghan Emirate to create a panIslamic mobilization between Afghanistan and India. The second attempt involved propaganda directed at NWFP through India. It is highlighted in the study that certain milestone developments such as the Dardanelles Campaign, the British defeat at Kut al-Amara and the fall of Baghdad had been influential on the anti-British movements in the region. The sources used mainly comprise British archive records as well as Ottoman archival documents and works of modern research.