"The Three Pashas", also known as the "dictatorial triumvirate", of the Ottoman Empire included the Ottoman minister of the interior, Mehmed Talat Pasha (1874–1921), the minister of war, Ismail Enver, (1881–1922) and the minister of the Navy, Ahmed Djemal, (1872–1922). They were the dominant political figures in the empire during World War I.
It is widely believed that after the Coup of 1913, these three became the de facto rulers of the Ottoman Empire until its dissolution following World War I. It was undeniable that most of the key decisions passed through them. The idea that the triumvirate ruled the empire during World War I has been used to develop (that is, easier to ascribe) conspiratorial designs. However during the war years, more than free will of these men, the policies that they pursued (in their capacity) were to a large extent determined by the collective will of the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP). As much as these three men united, fractions existed in the party. The idea of a triumvirate as the main policy maker was challenged, however they were at the front page with negative news. Given the fact that Ismail Enver had only once took the control of any military activity (Battle of Sarikamis), and left the 90% of the Third Army in ruins. In covering this loss, two other armies were united under the Third Army to enable its operational responsibilities. The First Suez Offensive and Arab Revolt are Ahmed Djemal's most significant failures.
The Three Pashas were principal players in the Ottoman-German Alliance and the Ottoman Empire's entry into World War I on the side of the Central Powers. One of the three, Ahmed Djemal, was opposed to an alliance with Germany, and French and Russian diplomacy attempted to keep the Ottoman Empire out of the war, but Germany was agitating for a commitment. Finally on 29 October, the point of no return was reached when Admiral Wilhelm Souchon took SMS Goeben, Breslau and a squadron of Turkish warships into the Black Sea and raided the Russian ports of Odessa, Sevastopol and Theodosia. It was claimed that Ahmed Djemal agreed in early October 1914 to authorize Admiral Souchon to launch a pre-emptive strike.
On November 2, after the Armistice of Mudros, Enver, Talat and Djemal, fled from Istanbul. All three were later tried in absentia at Turkish Courts-Martial of 1919-20 and were sentenced to death. Talat and Cemal were assassinated by Operation Nemesis and Enver was killed by a Red Army soldier in central Asia during the Russian Civil war, which was also claimed by Operation Nemesis.
Journalist Hrant Dink claimed that the Parliament granted the bereft families of the Party's sentenced members, most of whom were later assassinated abroad by Armenian nationalists, a stipend using assets left over from Armenians.