Baghdad Railway

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Baghdad Railway,

railroad of international importance linking Europe with Asia Minor and the Middle East. The line runs from İstanbul, Turkey, to Basra, Iraq; it connected what were distant regions of the Ottoman EmpireOttoman Empire
, vast state founded in the late 13th cent. by Turkish tribes in Anatolia and ruled by the descendants of Osman I until its dissolution in 1918. Modern Turkey formed only part of the empire, but the terms "Turkey" and "Ottoman Empire" were often used
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. The railroad was initially financed chiefly by German capital; its Anatolian sections were completed in 1896. The ambitious project was then formed to extend the railroad to Baghdad, and a company, again backed chiefly by German capital, was organized for the purpose. Immediate protests were made to Turkey by France, Russia, and, particularly, Great Britain, which saw in the projected line a direct threat to its empire in India. Operations were held up for several years by these international representations and by engineering difficulties, but in 1911 work was resumed. By playing on imperialistic rivalries, the construction of the railroad was a factor in bringing about World War I. By the end of the war only a stretch between Mosul and Samarra remained to be completed on the main line, which Syria and Iraq later undertook and finished.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The Deutsche Bank obtained the concession for the Baghdad railway (Orient Express) to the chagrin of Britain, France and Russia.
McMeekin (international relations, Bilkent U., Turkey) relates the story from the standpoint of the Turco-German side, detailing key events in the war, including Turkey's entry, Gallipoli, the Armenian massacres, the Arab revolt, the Russian Revolution, and German efforts to complete the Berlin to Baghdad railway, designed to win the war and ensure German dominance over the Middle East.
Summary: AYN AL-ARAB, Syria: Only the old Berlin to Baghdad railway separates the Syrian town of Ayn al-Arab from Turkey's Mursitpinar, but the contrast between the two sides of the track is so stark they could be on different planets.
During this time the Baghdad railway was being discussed and critiqued on a growing basis.
Germany began building the Berlin to Baghdad railway a century ago, hoping to open a route through Turkey to the Gulf.
Deutsche Bank's commitment in the MENA region is more than a century old, beginning with the Bank's financing of the construction of the Baghdad railway. Deutsche Bank opened its first office in Cairo in 1959, followed in the early seventies by an office in Bahrain.
McMurray, Distant Ties: Germany, the Ottoman Empire and the Construction of the Baghdad Railway (Westport CT and London, 2001); D.
Left: the interior of Qasr Azraq, Built by the Romans in 300 AD and restored by the Marmelukes in the 13th century, the castle was used as headquarters by TE Lawrence during the Arab Revolt; Above: archaeologists at a dig in Babylon, 1914; Below: built in 1888, the Baghdad railway linked Europe with Asia Minor and the Middle East.
True, Turkey was an ally during much of the time, Wilhelm II visited Palestine in 1898 (as did Franz Joseph of Austria before him), and the building of the Baghdad railway generated apprehension in French and British foreign ministries.
(53) Subsequently, in late 2000, the Baghdad railway was reopened to freight and passenger transport.
forces controlled "several of [Saddam's] palaces, at least six ministries, the main Baghdad railway stations, the Al Rashid hotel, the Parliament building, the government's main conference center and the principal government broadcasting headquarters."
Tell Halaf was discovered by Baron Max von Oppenheim, a German diplomat and Banking heir, while he was surveying the area to build the Baghdad Railway.