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The Sacred Flag of Rebellions

The Arab Revolt flag was used by Arab Nationalists who rebelled against Ottoman Empire during World War 1.

The time when Ottomans were busy defending their soil from enemy’s hands, the Arabs rebelled and back stabbed Ottomans. They killed thousands of Ottoman soldiers and looted weapons and trains. Arabs were helped by British ARMY that was stationed in  Egypt. Arabs and British had quite ignorable relations before World War 1 but during this war Arabs and Britain found a common interest, i.e. The fall of Ottoman Empire.

Britain empowered the rebels and provided them with everything they needed to weaken the Ottoman Empire. They got guns, explosives and even their flag from Britain. Yes, their flag was also made by an English.

The flag was designed by the British diplomat “Sir Mark Sykes”, in an effort to create a feeling of “Arab-ness” in order to fuel the revolt. Although the Arab Revolt was only very limited in scope and concerted by the British rather than by Arabs themselves, the flag influenced the national flags of a number of emerging Arab states after World War I. Flags inspired by that of the Arab revolt include those of Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Sudan, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, the Palestinian national movement (also used by the PLO and by the Palestinian Authority), Somali land, the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and Libya.

The Royal Angles

World War 1 ended with the tragic fall of the last Muslim Sultanate. Before the war, Ottomans started splitting in many parts due to traitor acts of some communities. Having a major part in rebellions, the Arabian Saud family took great part in making the Ottomans lose the war. The Ottomans were facing European enemies in west and in east they were fighting 2 powers, Europeans and Arabs. To have a detailed look on this rebel of Arabs we have to go back to the origin of Arab Revolt.

Arab Revolt started in 1916 by Sherif Hussien Ibn e Ali. At that time the Ottomans ruled the Arab lands including the Holy cities of Mekkah and Madina.    Arab members of Parliament supported the Counter coup which aimed to dismantle the Ottoman constitution and supported the monarchy of Abdul Hamid II. There was great anger in Arabs after the re-establishment of Ottoman constitution. Arabs could not simply go with the constitution. Their views presented extremely conservative thoughts.

In 1916, Arabs decided to revolt against the constitutional state of Ottoman Empire. Lead by Sherif of Mekkah, Arabs killed thousands of Ottoman soldiers who were fighting at both sides, east and west. The Ottoman trains to Mekkah and Medina and other Arab cities were looted an Ottomans were killed. The famous fall of Aqaba city was also the “achievement” of Arab rebellions.

Before WW1, the Arabs fought the Ottomans at low level. So the rebels were easy to handle by Ottoman government. After the WW1 broke out, the British ARMY stationed in Egypt sent many representatives to Saud rebel leaders. They studied rebel needs and assisted them in breaking the Ottoman Empire from within. Provided the rebels with the heavy weaponry like advanced guns and explosives.

Among those representatives was T.E. Lawrence (aka Lawrence of Arabia). This man went to the Arab rebel leaders and helped them with his experience of war and strategies. It was Lawrence who helped Arabs in fall of Ottoman city of Aqaba. After taking over Aqaba and the big guns within it. Lawrence met his fellow countrymen in Egypt and asked for more weapons for Arabs. Probably Aqaba was not enough for the “wish to kill”. Britiah troops in Egypt gave the “heavy guns” to the Arab rebels through Lawrence, indirectly breaking the Ottoman Empire.

Arabs used those explosives to loot the Ottoman trains moving towards Mekkah and Madina. They simply blew up the tracks and train stopped and massacre start. What more a traitor can do against his country? Hopeless.
After these little victories against Ottomans, Arabs move towards North, defeated the Palestinian territory, Syrian lands and Iraqi areas pushing Ottoman borders further an further into Turkey.

Facing 2 enemy forces and one of them being close friend in near past, Ottomans were confused who to fight. Turkey lost the war and was divided into pieces by enemy forces.

Concluding, as stated above, Ottomans were divided not only by enemy but also by Friends.

On the Arab revolt many movies are filmed, but the most famous one is the “Lawrence of Arabia”.

Watch its trailer