Skip to main content

Enver Pasha


Enver Pasha (centre) visiting the Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem, in 1916 accompanied by Cemal Pasha (right), commander of the Ottoman Fourth Army.

Enver Pasha

Born 22 November 1881 in Constantinople, Enver came from an upper class Turkish family and was groomed for a military career from an early age, attending various military schools before graduating from the Officer’s Academy in Constantinople in 1903. He went straight into the Army and had risen to the rank of major when he joined the Young Turk movement while stationed in Salonika. He played a prominent part in the Young Turk Revolution of 1908 and subsequently consolidated his position as one of the movement’s main leaders in the years that followed.

He served as Minister of War from 1913 through to October 1918 when he fled to Germany just before the armistice between the Ottoman Empire and the Allied Powers was due to come in to effect.

During the war Enver effectively controlled the strategic direction of the Ottoman Empire’s war effort and he tried to channel it against the Russians in the Caucasus and Central Asia, often at great cost to Ottoman armies fighting on other fronts, in pursuit of his pan-Turkic nationalist dreams.

He was condemned to death in absentia by an Ottoman military court in June 1919 for war crimes which included his role in the mass deaths of Armenian civilians during the deportations of 1915. He left Germany that year for Russia and later emerged as a leader of anti-communist Basmachi partisans in Turkestan where he was killed in a clash with a Red Army patrol on 4 August 1922.

How to cite this page

Enver Pasha, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated