“The central point between the heart of Germany and the remote interior of Mesopotamia was Constantinople, the capital of the Ottoman Empire. At a time when the apathetic ruler of the Turks was making a belated, almost desperate effort to reform, the Germans were irresistibly drawn to this imperial seat of Muslim empire.
The Teutonic “superman” instinctively sensed that the Turkish Caliphate would be his natural ally.
By the turn of the century, the destinies of both countries were inextricably linked. In 1898, Kaiser Wilhelm II vowed Germany’s eternal friendship for the Muslim world as he stood with Turkish leaders before the tomb of Saladin the Great in Damascus.
During the years leading to the First World War, Berlin assumed more and more this role of “Protector of the Arabs” and “Savior of Islam,” a role which she has never relinquished. Even after the outbreak of war, with the encouragement of his German ally, the Ottoman Sultan-Caliph Muhammad Rashed invoked his subjects to rise in a jihad against the Western infidels.