[MIDDLE EAST / ARABIA] Original photograph of Fahreddin Pasha in Medina

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FAHREDDIN PASHA, (Nickname: "The Lion of the Desert" and "The Tiger of the Desert" - The commander of the Ottoman Army and governor of Medina from 1916 to 1919), (1868-1948)., N. p., Medina, [ca. 1916].

Original photograph showing Fahreddin Pasha in Medina city with Ottoman soldiers and Arabian notables congratulating each other's bairam. His injured left leg is cast into plaster. 9x14 cm.

Fakhri Pasha or Fahreddin Pasha, known as Ömer Fahrettin Türkkan after the Surname Law of 1934, was a Turkish career officer, who was the commander of the Ottoman Army and governor of Medina from 1916 to 1919. He was nicknamed "The Lion of the Desert" and "The Tiger of the Desert" by the British and Arabs for his patriotism in Medina and is known for defending Medina in the Siege of Medina during World War I. In 1914 before the Ottoman Army was mobilized, Staff Colonel Fahreddin Bey was appointed the commander of the XII Corps stationed in Mosul. He was promoted to the rank of Mirliva on 12 November 1914 and appointed as the Deputy Commander of the Fourth Army stationed in Aleppo. During World War I, after Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca, started preparing for a revolt against the Ottoman Empire, Fahreddin, upon the orders of Djemal Pasha on 23 May 1916 moved toward Medina in Hejaz to defend it; he was appointed the commander of the Hejaz Expeditionary Force on 17 July 1916. Medina was besieged by the Arab forces who revolted against the Ottoman Sultan and sided with the British against Fahreddin Pasha, but he stood his ground and defended the city. He also protected the single-track narrow-gauge Hejaz Railway from sabotage by the Hejazi army Turkish garrisons of the isolated small train stations withstood the continuous night attacks and secured the tracks against the increasing number of attacks (around 130 major attacks in 1917 and hundreds in 1918, including more than 300 bombs on April 30, 1918). With the withdrawal of the Ottoman Empire from the war with the Armistice of Mudros between the Ottoman Empire and the Allies of World War I on 30 October 1918, it was expected that Fahreddin would also surrender. But he refused to do so and rejected the armistice. During the siege of Medina, Fahreddin sent the sacred artifacts and manuscripts of Medina to Istanbul in order to protect them from seizure. Most of the manuscripts were returned to Medina by the Ottoman Empire and are now in libraries in the city, while the rest remain in the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. 

Arabica Medina The period of the Ottoman Empire Photograph First World War