The Turkish Army was made up of Anatolian Turks, Arabs, Armenians, Kurds and Syrians. The army performed badly during the Balkan Wars (1912-13) and it was clear that there was great need for reform. In 1913 Turkish government invited the German Liman von Sanders to help modernize its army.
On the outbreak of the First World War, 36 divisions were organised into three armies. Each division had three battalions, a machine gun detachment and 36 field guns. Although attempts were made to dramatically increase the size of the army, desertions meant that full strength was never above 43 divisions.
Enver Pasha, the War Minister, held overall control over the Turkish armed forces, but the influence of the German Army increased during the war. The army's greatest success was at Gallipoli but it was less successful fighting against the British Army on the Mespotamian Front.
The Turkish government did not keep accurate records of its wartime losses so estimates of battle deaths varies from 470,000 to 530,000. Another 770,000 were wounded and another 100,000 probably died from illness.