Mehmet V, Sultan of Turkey
(1844–1918)
   Born in Constantinople, Mehmet V succeeded to the throne of the Ottoman Empire when the Young Turks deposed his brother, Abdul Hamid II, in 1909. His father was one of the most progressive sultans of the empire, and Mehmet was raised as a reformer and with an excellent knowledge of Arabic, Persian, and Islam. During his reign the Ottoman Empire lost Tripoli and the Dodecanese Islands to Italy and most of its remaining Balkan possessions between 1911 and 1913. Mehmet lost his remaining power to the Revolution of the Committee of Union and Progress in January 1913, and from that time, Enver and Talat Pashas controlled the government and Mehmet became a symbolic sovereign without authority. Germany gained increasing influence over Turkish affairs, resuming the construction of the Berlin-to-Baghdad Railway in 1911. Mehmet sided with the Central Powers in World War I. He died shortly before the Ottoman surrender and was succeeded by his brother, Muhammad VI.
   FURTHER READING:
    Ahmad, Feroz. The Making of Modern Turkey. London: Routledge, 1993;
    McCarthy, Justin. The Ottoman Peoples and the End of Empire. London: Arnold, 2001;
    Yapp, M. E. The Making of the Modern Near East 1792–1923. London: Longman Group UK Limited, 1987.
   ANDREKOS VARNAVA

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

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