SPEECH delivered by GHAZI MUSTAPHA KEMAL President of the Turkish Republic OCTOBER 1927


SPEECH delivered by GHAZI MUSTAPHA KEMAL President of the Turkish Republic
Copyright 1929 by K. F. Koehler, G, m. b. H., Leipzig Printed in Germany
INTRODUCTION This volume comprises a speech which lasted from the 15 th to the 20 th October, 1927, delivered by Ghazi Mustapha Kemal Pasha, President of the Turkish Republic, at Angora before the deputies and representatives of the "Republican Party/ 7 of which he was the found er and head. Unconventional as the length and character of this speech is, the subject of it, which is a comprehensive account of one of the most remarkable events in the many centuries of Turkish history, is equally unique. It reveals the activity of the speaker from the time when he first felt himself called upon to take the leadership of his nation into his own hands and guide it from shame and threatened ruin to free dom and power. Now that danger from abroad has been averted and since the foundations have been prepared in the country on which a revivified State is arising, Mustapha Kemal Pasha is moved to show r his people how this new Turkey has been built up, on what foundations she is standing and what are the paths she must tread in future. The speech was delivered before Turks by a Turk, by a man who from the commencement of his military career w r as intimately associated with the political events occurring in his country; before men who, like himself, have lived to witness or to share in the two eventful decades of the modern history of his native land. This fact alone will explain that the speaker presumed many a circumstance to be perfectly well known to his hearers with which the reader is not familiar.
The present Turkish State under its new Constitution is an ex tremely democratic republic, which emphatically declines to be in fluenced by religious considerations. As an easily to be understood, and we may even say inevitable counter-blast to the close connection existing for many centuries between the most absolute monarchy and a religion permeating every sphere of private and public life, the freedom of the citizen and the complete separation of State from Kemal Pasha J
Religion have become the battle-cry of the present day. The most liberally conceived Western ideas are accepted with the most jubilant enthusiasm. Western development, civilisation, progress are the aiTT>5 and substance of the efforts that were made. But the main object of all the anxiety and all the bitter struggle is the nation itself, the people of Turkey. In the West the national idea has a long and variable history; in the East it is new, and with ail the ardour and the exalted flight of imagination of which an unexhausted people are capable of concentrating on a new ideal, it is seized upon and contended for in the leading circles. It is evident that between these two ideals, the civilising and the national, conflicts and dissentions must arise. Extensive adoption of the western or, at all events, foreign advantages of culture on the one hand, and the maintenance of their own native culture on the other, is the main choice that new Turkey has to make. Historical development never advances by leaps and bounds, but is the consequence of mutually recognised stages. It is the same in regard to Turkey, but here also, through the prolonged resistance of stubborn elements and the moral pressure exerted from without, the effects of which were felt even in the most remote districts, and, finally, through the appearance of a great leader, the last phase of the development occurred with remarkable rapidity. During the first half of the ig th century efforts to reform the obsolete political system of Turkey could already be observed. At that time it was the Sultan himself, Mahmud II the c Reformer" (1808 1839), who, succeeding Sultan Selim III, was amicably inclined towards reform and who made these attempts. Besides the annihil ation of the over-powerful and irregular corps of the Janissaries, the proclamation of reform of the year 1839, known as the Hatti Sherif of Gulhine and published after the death of the Sultan, is of historical importance. But unfortunately this attempt at reform remained dormant from its inception. The .successors of Mahmud had neither the understanding nor the strength for leadership. At first they had a retarding influence and afterwards were the declared enemies of every kind of development. While the Turkish Empire, which at one time had made Europe tremble, came politically and economically by degrees more dependent upon the Great Powers, these rulers unswervingly upheld the ancient ideas and antiquated institutions and squandered the revenues of the State and allowed its most important means of power to lie idle. A class of educated men who dreamed of restoring the Turkish Empire to its former glory and whowere increasingly influenced by liberal Western ideas in the ig th
century, became impressed with the new ideas. Under the leadership of Reshid (1802 1858) and later of Midhat Pasha (18251884) they succeeded, after overthrowing the versatile but politically inept Sultan Abdul Aziz, in obtaining the grant of a new Constitution to Turkey in 1876. But already in the following year all the hopes attached to this event were suddenly destroyed. Abdul Hamid II, the second successor of Abdul Aziz, had overthrown his brother Murad V and under the pressure of the prevailing conditions had granted a new Constitution. Several months later this was again withdrawn. Midhat Pasha was exiled, and for a whole generation the dark cloud of reaction, of which one could scarcely form an idea in the West, lowered upon Turkey. The figure of Abdul Hamid and his activity belongs in a measure to our own time, and the secrecy surrounding this undoubt edly important ruler has added to the interest taken in him. In the country his interest was chiefly directed towards the suppression of any modern or independent movement, and every means was welcome for the attainment of this aim. Drastic control of religion, which was connected outwardly with Panislamic endeavours, a system of espionage to an extent never previously experienced ramifications of which were intended to serve the purpose of spiritual guardianship and supervision hitherto unknown were among them and, indeed, they fulfilled their purpose for several decades. Banishments and executions the latter mainly in secret which the Sultan inflicted upon his adversaries or those whom, in his fanatical and ever-in creasing distrust, he considered to be such, were innumerable. But spiritual development could not be arrested, the counter-pressure against that exercised from Constantinople was slowly growing and expanding. In the nineties there arose in Macedonia, especially at Salonika, the "Committee of Union and Progress" in which undoubt edly important moral forces were at work*). Kemal Pasha, at that time a young officer on the General Staff, also belonged to this movement. The hour of deliverance arrived in 1908. In July open rebellion broke out against Tyranny. The Sultan, notwithstanding his system of spies, was unprepared for this blow *) From the name of the "Committee of Union and Progress", its members and adherents are often referred to in this volume as "Unionists", while they are often described also as the "Young Turks". It must be observed, however, that these two expressions do not mean exactly the same thing, because not all of the "Young Turks" were intimately associated with the "Committee of Union and Progress".
and did not immediately grasp the situation. He gave the impression that he surrendered to the inevitable and granted the desired Con stitution, and it is significant of the attitude of the Unionists that in the essential points they were satisfied and still allowed the man who was their bitterest enemy to occupy the throne. But scarcely had Abdul Hamid imagined that he could throw off the fetters imposed upon him, than he delivered a counter blow (13^ April, 1909), repealed the Constitution and proceeded against the followers of the "Committee of Union and Progress." This time, however, the prudent man had miscalculated the situation. With surprising rapidity the Macedonian troops reappeared before Constantinople, even before the Sultan s auxiliary troops from Anatolia could reach the spot. After a fitter fight, the garrison of Constantinople was defeated. Abdul Hamid lost his throne and his liberty, and Mehmed V was proclaimed Sultan in
his stead. The windows of the old Turkish edifice of State were thrown open amidst scenes of wild enthusiasm. But the building itself remained the same. Revolutionary as the beginning of the regime of the Young Turks was, they still remained in their character a party seeking development and not revolution. This is neither the place nor exactly the proper time in which to pronounce final judgment on the "Committee of Union and Progress." Their rule was short ; lasting scarcely ten years, it was by no means free from attack within the country and was constantly threatened by violent storms from without. The annexation of Bosnia and Herzego vina by Austria-Hungary and the declaration of independence by Bulgaria introduced a chain of political catastrophes affecting foreign policy, and from the time of the Turco-Italian war and during the whole of the World War this decade was almost entirely filled with bitter warfare. If the wise diplomacy of Abdul Hamid had been able to steer the weak state financially and militarily through the foreign political dangers threatening it on every side, his less able successors were totally unsuccessful and it was impossible in this short and tempestuous period to eliminate the material and psychological results of the past. But in any case it may be admitted that the revolutionary period of 1908 and 1909 exercised a powerful moral influence. Forces were liberated which hitherto had been able only to work in secret and under constant pressure, or else lie dormant. Side by side with powerful leading figures, who in the realization of their power, their energy and their unscrupulousness in the choice of their
methods recall the Italian Renaissance, stand representatives with, remarkable minds. Perhaps, even the existing inclination for spiritual experimentalisation with different problems and the long time of forced theoretical preparation were not consistent with the practical activity of the party that had come into power. Ideals, such as the Pan-Ottoman or Turanian that dreamed of a union between all the Turkish tribes in Asia, or like the Panislamic that considered it justifiable to claim the unity of all Mohamedans, or the Osmanli that imagined as happened in old Austria that the dynasty could be regarded as a firm link connecting all the tribes peopling the wide Ottoman Empire, were interwoven in such a manner as to produce a policy that lacked the capability of establishing reforms and had no definite aim to inspire it. The edifice of the State in its essential parts still remained in existence and with it the grave evils of cliquism, of spiritual and material corruption, of religious conservatism and of the fatalist tendency of which the Turkish State and the Turkish people had been suffering from for a very long time. All the exalted ideals referred to broke down and were shattered by the inexorable demands on real vital strength, which resulted naturally from the war. It proved that the foreign nations, whether they were Balkans or Armenians, Greeks of Asia Minor or Arabs, felt the same as the Ottomans. It was also proved that English money and the power of the Western States triumphed over the sense of unity among the Mohamedans, and Enver Pasha was vanquished and broken in his fight for the Turanian ideal.
One force, however, was at work during the years of liberation and survived the storm, and this was the conception of the Turkish national ideal. The beginning was made to free literature from foreign example both in form and language. The will to Achieve something innately their very own gained ground. Noble spirits felt themselves drawn into the task of co-operation in the common aim, and when, in the year 1910, Hamdullah Subhi Bey founded the na tional organisation known as the "Turkish Hearth 3 an educational community aiming at the development of the national conscience he planted a sapling which has grown into a powerful tree, with ramifications throughout the country. The wars which undermined the existence of the old Empire also shook the hearts of the people. During the World War the Turkish officer and soldier no longer fought for the Padishah alone, as they had formerly done. The appreciation of the value of, and anxiety for the existence of the country had been awakened. A spark still glowed when in the year
IQI8 all hope seemed to be sheer madness a spark almost extinct, yet strong enough to brighten into flame when fanned by genius. At the end of October, 1918, after eight years of uninterrupted struggle, the resistance of Turkey was broken. Bulgaria had laid down her arms, communication with the Central Powers, who them selves had reached the limit of their strength, was cut. In Palestine and Mesopotamia the English drove the completely exhausted Turkish divisions northward in front of them. The end had come. The leaders of the Unionists, with the Grand Vizier Talaat Pasha, Enver Pasha and Djemal Pasha, surrendered and fled; Ahmed Izzet Pasha person ally assumed the difficult task of carrying on the affairs of the State. A commission under Rauf Bey, the Minister of Marine, went out to the Allied squadron lying in the Dardanelles. On the 30 October, 1918, Rauf and the English Admiral Calthrop signed the armistice at Mudros. Its terms were severe and inexorable. The DardaneUes and the Bosphorus, as weU as the forts commanding them, had to be evacuated and handed over to the Allies, the Army had to be dis armed and all ships surrendered. The Allies reserved to themselves the right to occupy every strategic point in Turkey should their ,,safety" require it. Turkish railways were to be controlled by officers belonging to the Allies, all the Turkish harbours were to be thrown open to them, all telegraph lines were to be placed under their control. Turkish prisoners of war were to remain in captivity, Turkish troops fighting far from their homes in the Hedjas, Tripoli, etc., were compel led to surrender. The prisoners of war belonging to the Allies confined in Turkey were immediately to be liberated. It was originally stipul ated that all the German and Austrian troops in Turkey were to be considered prisoners of war, but the Turkish Government under Ahmed Izzet Pasha categorically refused to agree to this and obtained their freedom. Their loyalty towards their comrades in arms in such a desperate position shows a remarkably noble side of the Turkish character, of which Germany must always feel proud. Allied and Greek men-of-war cast anchor before Constantinople, and a terrible fate gathered over Turkey. The maps accompanying these volumes clearly show what were the intentions of the Entente and speak for themselves in eloquent language. The stipulations of the Treaty of Sevres (in the summer of 1920), which Mustapha Kemal Pasha analyses at the conclusion of -his speech, prove that the Powers
who pretended that they were fighting for the freedom and the selfdestination of the nations had no hesitation in practising the most glaring and unrestrained imperialism with regard to Turkey. They
intended, beyond doubt, that it should be a peace of annihilation in the strictest sense of the word. By annexation, placing territories under mandate and influence, besides the erection of new vassal states, nothing was to remain of Turkey except a small district in the interior of Anatolia an island surrounded as it would be by foreign Powers, in which it would scarcely be possible ever to carry on political life or national power. Detachments of foreign troops occupied important points in the interior of the country. Foreign officers were ranging through it in all directions. When, on the 15^ May, 1919, Greek troops landed at Smyrna with the consent of the Entente, treated the Turkish popul ation as a subjugated class and prepared for the erection of a new Great Greece, the curtain had, apparently, risen on the last act of the Turkish tragedy. But this happened to be the hour of the birth of a new Turkey. The decision had already been made, Mustapha Kemal Pasha was already struggling to reach the shores of Asia Minor. The events during the following years are related in the pages of this work. They unfold a development of world-historical magnitude and importance. We are made aware in an overwhelming manner of the part enacted by a great leader chosen by fate, who keeps his high aim ever before his eyes unflinchingly, regardless of counsel proffered by those who thought they knew better than himself, who advances on his stormy path, who has the faculty of revivifying the flood pul sating from the heart of his nation that was thought to have run dry, and who presses everything and everybody into the service of a great conception. Of what a nation that does not lose courage but is resolved to the bitter end is capable, is shown once more by his example and, simultaneously, we are afforded an insight into the very soul of the Turkish people who misunderstood by those not intimately aquainted with them have never learned how to bend their necks under a foreign yoke. Mustapha Kemal Pasha s mission is not yet fully accomplished. What he publishes herein is the story of the birth of the new Turkey. Freedom from molestation from abroad, freedom within its frontiers to develop on modern lines and on a national foundation these are her twin guiding stars. Mustapha Kemal Pasha has pointed both of them out to his people. The preservation of this freedom from foreign interference and of this national development are the tasks of the future, and are fraught with dangers enough in every sphere of political activity. We pointed out at the beginning the great problems presented
by the new development, the blending of all that was good, efficient and worthy in life, and at the same time consistent with the inherent character of the people, with all that is new but in so many ways essential. The magnitude of this task can perhaps be estimated when we realise that only twenty years ago the system of Abdul Hamid, with its enslavement of the spirit and its demoralising system
of espionage, was still flourishing. As yet it is impossible to guess how far Mustapha Kemal Pashas work will finally be crowned with success. He is still in the prime of manhood. But it is certain even now that Turkey as she has been created by Mustapha Kemal Pasha will for ever stand as a monument of ardent patriotic love, of crowning ability and of a titanic will.
The numbers in brackets (Document i, etc.,) appearing throughout this volume refer to a supplement in the French language published under the title : "Documents referred to in a Speech by Ghazi Mustapha Kemal Pasha, 33 by K. F. Koehler, Publishers, Leipzig, at 20 shillings net.
I. Gentlemen, I landed at Samsoon on the ig th May, 1919. This was the position at that time : The group of Powers which included the Ottoman Government had been defeated in the Great War. The Ottoman Army had been crushed on every front. An armistice had been signed under severe conditions. The prolongation of the Great War had left the people exhausted and empoverished. Those who had driven the people and the country into the general conflict had fled and now cared for nothing but their own safety. Wahideddin, the degenerate occupant of the throne and the Caliphate, was seeking for some despicable way to save his person and his throne, the only objects of his anxiety. The Cabinet, of which Damad Ferid Pasha was the head, was weak and lacked dignity and courage. It was subservient to the will of the Sultan alone and agreed to every proposal that could protect its members and their sovereign. The Army had been deprived of their arms and ammunition, and this state of affairs continued. The Entente Powers did not consider it necessary to respect the terms of the armistice. On various pretexts, their men-of-war and troops remained at Constantinople. The Vilayet of Adana was occu pied by the French ; Urfah, Marash, Aintab, by the English. In Adalia and Konia were the Italians, whilst at Merifun and Samsoon were English troops. Foreign officers and officials and their special agents were very active in all directions. At last, on the 15 th May, that is to say, four days before the following account of events begins, the Greek Army, with the consent of the Entente Powers, had landed at Smyrna. Christian elements were* also at work all over the country, either openly or in secret, trying to realise their own particular am bitions and thereby hasten the breakdown of the Empire. Certain information and authentic documents that fell into our hands later on prove that the Greek organisation "Mawrimira" (Docu ment i), established by the patriarchate in Constantinople, was forming bands, organising meetings and making propaganda in the
vilayets. The Greek Red Cross and the official Emigrants Commission supported the work of the "Mawrimira." The formation of Boy Scouts in the Greek schools directed by the "Mawrimira" were rein forced by the admission even of young men over twenty years of age. The Armenian Patriarch, Sawen Effendi, also worked in con nection with the "Mawrimira." The preparations made by the Armeni ans progressed side by side with those made by the Greeks. A society called the "Pontus" at Trebizond, Samsoon and other places along the whole of the Black Sea coast, having their head quarters in Constantinople, worked openly and successfully (Docu ment 2). On account of the appalling seriousness of the situation which was apparent everywhere, particularly in all the vilayets, certain prominent personalities had begun, each on his own account, to discover some way by which he could save himself. This resulted in new organisations being started. Thus, for instance, there were unions or societies at Adrianople and the surrounding districts called "Thrace" and "Pasha EH." In the east (Document 3), at Erzerum and El Aziz (Document 4), the "Union for the Defence of the National Rights of the Eastern Provinces" had been formed, also with their headquarters in Con stantinople. Again, in Trebizond there was a society called the "Defence of Rights" and in Constantinople a "League for the Separ ation of Trebizond and its District." Through the exertions of the members of this league (Documents 56), sub-committees had been established at Of and in the district of Lasistan. Some of the young patriots at Smyrna, who since the 13^ May had noticed distinct indications of the approaching occupation of the town, had held meetings about the distressing condition of affairs during the night of the 14 th , and in principle had agreed to oppose the occupation by the Greeks, which at that time was considered to be practically an accomplished fact, designed to end in annexation, and resisted it on the principle of "no annexation." During the same night, those of the inhabitants who were unable to meet at the Jewish cemetery at Smyrna drew up a protest and spread it broadcast. But as the Greek troops actually landed on the following morning this attempt failed to achieve the desired result. I would like to give you a short account of the object and political aims of these organisations. I had already had a conversation in Constantinople with some of the leaders of the "Thrace" and "Pasha Eli" Societies. They con sidered that the breakdown of the Ottoman Empire was extremely
probable. In face of the threatened danger of the dismemberment of their country, their first thought was to save Eastern Thrace and later on, if possible, to form a Turco-Mohamedan community that would include Western Thrace. The only way by which they thought
they could realise this aim was to put their trust in England or, if this was not possible, in France. With this object they tried to get into touch with certain political personalities belonging to foreign countries. It was believed that their intention was to establish a Thracian Republic. The object of the "Defence of the National Rights of the Eastern Provinces" Union, on the other hand (Art. 2 of the regulations), was to use all lawful means to ensure the free exercise and develop ment of their religious and political rights for all elements inhabiting these provinces; to defend, if it should become necessary, the historical and national rights of the Mohamedan population of these provinces; to institute an impartial inquiry for the purpose of discovering the motives, the instigators and agitators implicated in the extortions and cruelties committed in the Eastern Provinces, so that the guilty ones might be punished without delay; to do their utmost to remove the misunderstandings that existed between the different elements in the country, and to restore the good relations that had formerly existed between them; and, finally, to appeal to the Government to alleviate as far as it lay in their power the misery resulting from the war. Acting on these principles that emanated from the Central Commit tee in Constantinople, the Erzerum Branch decided to undertake, in defence of the rights of the Turks, to inform the civilised world by means of convincing documents that since the deportation the people had been taking no part whatever in the excesses. Further, that the property of Armenians had been protected up to the time when the country was invaded by the Russians. On the other hand, that the Mohamedans had been compelled to suffer from the cruellest acts of violence and that some Armenians who had been saved from deport ation had, in disobedience of orders, attacked their own protectors. The Branch were doing their very best to resist any attempt to annex the Eastern Provinces. (Proclamation by the Erzerum Branch.) The members of the Erzerum Branch of the "Defence of the Na tional Rights of the Eastern Provinces" resolved, as stated in their printed report, after having studied the propaganda circulated in these provinces as well the Turkish, Kurdish and Armenian questions, from the scientific and historical point of view, to concentrate their further efforts on the following points:
1, On no account to emigrate; 2, Forthwith to form scientific, economic and religious organi sations; 3, To unite in the defence of even the smallest part of the Eastern Provinces that might be attacked. m It can be seen that the headquarters of the "Defence of the National Rights of the Eastern Provinces" were far too optimistic in their ex pectation to succeed by working on religious feelings. They continued to exert themselves indefatigably in this direction. For the purpose
of defending the rights of Mohamedans dwelling in the Eastern Provinces they published a French journal, which they called "Le Pays." They acquired the right to publish a magazine called "Hadissat." They also presented memorials to the representatives of the Entente Powers in Constantinople and tried to send a delegation to Europe (Document 7). From the foregoing statements, it appears to me to be clearly evident that the possible cession of the Eastern Provinces to Armenia was the most important reason for this Society having been formed. They anticipated that this possibility might become a reality if those who tried to prove that the Armenians were in the majority in these provinces, claiming the oldest historical rights, were to succeed in misleading the public opinion of the world by alleged scientific and historic documents and by perpetuating the calumny that the Mohamedan population was composed of savages whose chief occu pation was to massacre the Armenians. Consequently, the Society aimed at the defence of the national and historic rights by corre sponding methods and arguments. The fear also existed that a Greek Pontic State might be founded on the shores of the Black Sea. At Trebizond several persons had formed another society with the object of protecting the rights of the Mohamedan population, to safeguard their existence and prevent them from falling under the yoke of the Greeks, Their political aim and programme is already sufficiently obvious from its name; "The Society for the Cession of the Territory of Trebizond," whose head office was in Constantinople. In any case, they set out with the idea of separating this district from the Central Government. Besides these organisations, which were being formed in the manner I have described, other societies and enterprises began to make their appearance. In the provinces of Diarbekr (Documents 8 9), Bitlis and El Aziz, among others, there was a League for the Resuscitation of the Kurds, with its head offices also in Constan-
13 tinople. Their aim was to erect a Kurdish State under foreign pro tection. Work was going on at Konia and the surrounding district for the formation of a league having for its object the revival of Islam also with its offices in Constantinople. The "Unity and Freedom" and "Peace and Salvation" parties had branch committees throughout almost the whole of the country. In Constantinople there were numerous public and secret organi sations, calling themselves parties or societies and pursuing various aims. One of the most important of these, the "Society of the Friends of England" is worthy of special mention. It does not follow from its name that its members were necessarily friends of England. In my opinion, the founders of this society were people who thought, before anything else, of their own safety and their own particular interests, and who tried to secure both by inducing Lloyd George s Government to afford them English protection. I wonder whether these misguided
persons really imagined for a moment that the English Government had any idea at all of maintaining and preserving the Ottoman State hi its integrity? At the head of this Society were Wahideddin, who bore the title of Ottoman Sultan and Caliph, Damad Ferid Pasha, Ali Kemal, Minister of the Interior, Aadil Bey, Mehmed Ali Bey and Said Molla. Certain English adventurers, for instance a clergyman named Frew, also belonged to this Society. To judge from the energy the latter displayed, he was practically its chairman. The Society had a double face and a twofold character. On the one hand, it openly sought the protection of England by methods inspired by civilisation. On the other, it worked in secret and showed that its real aim was to incite the people to revolt by forming organisations in the interior, to para lyse the national conscience and encourage foreign countries to inter fere. These were the treacherous designs underlying the work of the secret section of the Society. We shall see later how Said Molla played just as active a part, or even a still more important one, in this secret work as in the public enterprises of the Society. What I have just said about this Society will become much clearer to you when I enter into further particulars later on and lay before you certain documents which will astonish you. Certain prominent personalities amongst them some women in Constantinople were convinced that the real salvation of the country lay in securing an American protectorate over it. They stubbornly persisted in this idea and tried to prove that acceptance of their
14 point of view was the only thing possible. About this I shall also have a great deal more to say at the proper time. So that you may clearly appreciate the general situation, I would like to point out exactly where and in what condition the military units were at the time of which I am speaking. Two Army Inspections had been established on principle in Anatolia. Immediately after the conclusion of the armistice the regular soldiers at the front were disbanded. Deprived of their arms and ammunition, the Army con sisted only of units having no fighting value. The distribution of the troops under the second Army Inspection, with its headquarters at Konia, was as follows: The XII th Army Corps, with its Staff at Konia, consisted of one division the 41 st at Konia and another the 23 rd at Afium Kara Hissar. To this Army Corps was attached the 57 ta Division, stationed at Denisli, belonging to the XVII tla Army Corps, which had been captured at Smyrna. The XX th Corps and its Staff was stationed at Angora one of its divisions, the 24 th , in Angora itself and the other, the n* 1 ^ at Nigdeh. The I st Division stationed at Ismidt, was attached to the XXV th Army Corps, which also included the io m Caucasian Division. The 6i st and 56 th Divisions were quartered in the district of Balikesri and Brasa and formed the XIV th Army Corps, with head quarters at Panderma and directly under the command of Constan tinople. The late Jussuf Izzet Pasha commanded this Army Corps
until the National Assembly was opened. I was myself at the head of the third Inspection when I landed with my Staff at Samsoon. I was to have had two Army Corps under my personal command. One of them, the III rd , had its base at Sivas and was commanded by Colonel Refet Bey, who came with me to Samsoon. One division of this Corps, the 5 th Caucasian, was at Amasia; the other, the 15 th , was at Samsoon. The second Army Corps under my command was the XV th , stationed at Erzerum and commanded by Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha. One of his divisions, the 9^, commanded by Rushi Bey, was in garrison at Erzerum; the other, under the com mand of Lt. -Colonel Halid Bey, was at Trebizond. After Halil Bey had been called to Constantinople, he abandoned his command and hid himself at Bayburt. Another man took command temporarily of the division. One of the two remaining divisions of the Army Corps, the 12 th , was near Hassan Kale, on the eastern frontier, and the II th was at Bayazid.
15 The XII th Army Corps consisted of two divisions stationed in the district of Diarbekr and was independent, as it was directly under Constantinople. One of its divisions, the 2 nd , was at Seerd, while the other, the 5 th , was at Mardin. These two Army Corps were directly under my command and I was also authorised to give orders to other troops lying within the district of my Inspection, in all the vilayets comprised within it and in the neighbouring provinces. In virtue of the authority vested in me, I had the right to enter into communication and correspondence with the XX th Army Corps at Angora, with its superior Army Inspection, as well as with the Army Corps at Diarbekr and the heads of the Civil Administration in nearly the whole of Anatolia. You might, perhaps, be inclined to ask why those who sent me to Anatolia with the idea of banishing me from Constantinople en trusted me with such wide powers. The answer is, that they did not know themselves what they were doing. They invented the pretext that it was necessary for me to go to Samsoon to report on the spot on the unsettled condition of the district and to take the necessary measures to deal with it. I had pointed out that in order to do this I should be given special authority and special powers. There did not seem to be any objection to this. I discussed the question with men who were on the General Staff at that time and who to a certain extent guessed my intentions. These were the persons who conceived the idea of my taking up the position, but the order giving me full powers was drawn up from dictation. Apparently Shakir Pasha, the Minister of War, after reading them, hesitated to sign them and the seal that was attached to the document was scarcely recognisable. Let us return to a closer examination of the facts, so that we may rapidly review them as a whole.
Morally and materially, the enemy Powers were openly attacking the Ottoman Empire and the country itself. They were determined to disintegrate and annihilate both. The Padishah-Caliph had one sole anxiety namely, to save his own life and to secure the tranquillity of himself and the Government. Without being aware of it, the nation had no longer any one to lead it, but lived in darkness and uncer tainty, waiting to see what would happen. Those who began to under stand clearly the terrors and extent of the catastrophe were seeking some means whereby to save the country, each guided by the circum stances that surrounded him and the sentiments that inspired him.
i6 The Army existed merely in name. The commanders and other officers were still suffering from the exhaustion resulting from the war. Their hearts were bleeding on account of the threatened dismemberment of their country. Standing on the brink of the dark abyss which yawned before their eyes, they racked their brains to discover a way out of the danger. Here I must add and explain a very important point, ihe Nation and the Army had no suspicion at all of the Padishah-Caliph s trea chery. On the contrary, on account of the close connection between religion and tradition handed down for centuries, they remained loyal to the throne and its occupant. Seeking for means of salvation under the influence of this tradition, the security of the Caliphate and the Sultanate concerned them far more than their own safety. That the country could possibly be saved without a Caliph and without a Padishah was an idea too impossible for them to comprehend. And woe to those who ventured to think otherwise! They would imme diately have been looked down upon as men without faith and without patriotism and as such would have been scorned. I must mention another point here. In seeking how to^save the situation it was considered to be specially important to avoid irritating the Great Powers England, France and Italy. The idea that it was impossible to fight even one of these Powers had taken root in the mind of nearly everybody. Consequently, to think of doing so and thus bring on another war after the Ottoman Empire, all-powerful Germany and Austria-Hungary together had been defeated and crushed would have been looked upon as sheer madness. Not only the mass of the people thought in this strain, but those also who must be regarded as their chosen leaders shared the same opinion. Therefore, in seeking a way out of the difficulty, two ques tions had to be eliminated from discussion. First of all, no hostility was to be shown towards the Entente Powers; secondly, the most important thing of all was to remain, heart and soul, loyal to the Padishah-Caliph. Now, Gentlemen, I will ask you what decision I ought to have arrived at in such circumstances to save the Empire? As I have already explained, there were three propositions that had been put forward: 1. To demand protection from England;
2. To accept the United States of America as a mandatory Power. The originators of these two proposals had as their aim the pre servation of the Ottoman Empire in its complete integrity and pre-
ferred to place it as a whole under the protection of a single Power, rather tfian allow it to be divided among several States. 3. The third proposal was to deliver the country by allowing each district to act in its own way and according to its own capability. Thus, for instance, certain districts, in opposition to the theory of separation, would have to see that they remained an integral part of the Empire. Others holding a different opinion already appeared to regard the dismemberment of the Empire as an accomplished fact and sought only their own safety. You will remember that I have already referred to these three points. None of these three proposals could be accepted as the cor rect one, because the arguments and considerations on which they were based were groundless. In reality, the foundations of the Otto man Empire were themselves shattered at that time. Its existence was threatened with extermination. All the Ottoman districts were practically dismembered. Only one important part of the country, affording protection to a mere handful of Turks, still remained, and it was now suggested also to divide this. Such expressions as : the Ottoman Empire, Independence, PadishahCaliph, Government all of them were mere meaningless words. Therefore, whose existence was it essential to save? and with whose help? and how? But how could these questions be solved at such a time as this? In these circumstances, one resolution alone was possible, namely, to create a New Turkish State, the sovereignty and independence of which would be unreservedly recognised by the whole world. This was the resolution we adopted before we left Constantinople and which we began to put into execution immediately we set foot on Anatolian soil at Samsoon.
These were the most logical and most powerful arguments in support of this resolution: The main point was that the Turkish nation should be free to lead a worthy and glorious existence. Such a condition could only be attained by complete independence. Vital as considerations of wealth and prosperity might be to a nation, if it is deprived of its independence it no longer deserves to be regarded otherwise than as a slave in the eyes of civilised humanity. To accept the protectorate of a foreign Power would signify that Kemal Pasha 2
we acknowledge that we lack all human qualities; it would mean that we admit our own weakness and incapacity. Indeed, how could we make people understand that we can accept a foreign master if we have not descended to this degree of abject servitude? But the Turk is both dignified and proud; he is also capable and talented. Such a nation would prefer to perish rather than subject itself to the life of a slave. Therefore, Independence or Death! This was the rallying cry of all those who honestly desired to save their country. Let us suppose for a moment that in trying to accomplish this we had failed. What would have been the result? why, slavery! In that case, would not the consequence have been the same if we had submitted to the other proposal? Undoubtedly, it would; but with this difference, that a nation that defies death in its struggle for independence derives comfort from the thought that it had resolved to make every sacrifice compatible with human dignity. There is no doubt whatever that in the eyes of both friend and foe throughout the world its position is more respected than would be that of a craven and degraded nation capable of surrendering itself to the yoke of slavery. Moreover, to labour for the maintenance of the Ottoman dynasty and its sovereign would have been to inflict the greatest injustice upon the Turkish nation ; for, if its independence could have been secured at the price of every possible sacrifice, it could not have been regarded as secure so long as the Sultanate existed. How could it be admitted that a crowd of madmen, united by neither a moral nor a spiritual bond to the country or the nation as a whole, could still be trusted to protect the independence and the dignity of the nation and the State? As for the Caliphate, it could only have been a laughing-stock in the eyes of the really civilised and cultured people of the world. As you see, in order to carry out our resolution, questions had to be dealt with about which the nation had hitherto known practically nothing. It was imperative that questions should be brought forward that could not be discussed in public without giving rise to serious dissentions. We were compelled to rebel against the Ottoman Government, against the Padishah, against the Caliph of all the Mohamedans, and we had to bring the whole nation and the army into a state of re bellion. It was important that the entire nation should take up arms against those who would venture to attack the principle part of Turkey and
its independence, whomsoever they might be. It would undoubtedly have been of little advantage if we would have put forward our demands at the very beginning in a resolution of such far-reaching importance. On the contrary, it was necessary to proceed by stages,
to prepare the feeling and the spirit of the nation and to try to reach our aim by degrees, profiting meanwhile by our experience. This is actually what happened. If our attitude and our actions during nine years are examined in their logical sequence, it is evident from the very first day that our general behaviour has never deviated from the lines laid down in our original resolution, nor from the purpose we had set out to achieve. In order to dispel any doubts which might still be entertained, one fact is urged upon us for mutual examination. As the national struggle, carried on for the sole purpose of delivering the country from foreign invasion, developed and was crowned with success, it was natural and inevitable that it would gradually, step by step to the present day, have established all the principles and forms of government founded on national sovereignty. The sovereign of the dynasty who, thanks to his traditional instincts, foresaw this fatal course of historical events, declared himself from the very beginning the most embittered enemy of the national struggle. I, also, from the first could see what would be the result. But we never disclosed the views we held. If we had done so we would have been looked upon as dreamers and illusionists. If we had offered explanations we might from the outset have alienated those who, discouraged by the possibilities arising from dangers that threatened from abroad, were fearful of eventual revolu tionary changes which would be contrary to their tradition, their way of thinking and their psychology. The only practical and safe road to success lay in making each step perfectly understood at the right time. This was the way to ensure the development and restor ation of the nation. This was how I acted. This practical and safe way, however, as may easily be understood, provoked certain differences of opinion of more or less importance, and even the discouragement and dissention which was observable from time to time between us and our most intimate co-workers; differences of opinion, sometimes in regard to principles, at others as to the method of the execution of our programme. Some of my companions who had entered into the national fight with me went over to the opposition, according as the limitation of their own mental appreciation led them and their moral courage succumbed in the effort to develop national life, to proclaim the Republic and enact 2*
its laws. I shall refer to these cases individually as I proceed with my statement. To summarise what I have been saying, I may add that it was incumbent upon me to develop our entire social organisation, step by step, until it corresponded to the great capability of progress which I perceived in the soul and in the future of the nation and which I kept to myself in my own consciousness as a national secret.
My first object now, Gentlemen, was to get into touch with the whole of the Army. In a telegram in cipher, on the 21 st May, 1919, I told the com mander of XV th Army Corps at Erzerum that "I was greatly dis tressed at the seriousness of our general situation ; that I had accepted my present position in the certainty that it would be possible to fulfil our highest duty towards the nation and the country if we worked together with all our strength; that, although I had wanted to go to Erzerum before this, I was obliged to remain for a few days longer at Samsoon, because serious events were threatening the pos ition there, which was very uncertain." I further asked him, if he thought it necessary, to keep me well informed about anything I ought to know. (Document 10.) In fact, the position had been made considerably worse by attacks that had been made by Greek bands against, the Mohamedans at Samsoon and its surroundings, as well as many difficulties that had been placed in the way of the local government by foreign interference, the former being incapable of rendering any resistance. Whilst I was undertaking steps to secure the appointment of a person well known to us and from whom we expected a great deal as Mutessarif of Samsoon, I provisionally appointed the commander of the XIII th Army Corps Governor of Djanik. Besides this, we took all steps that were possible on the spot itself; that is to say, we en lightened the population as to the real state of affairs and told them that they need not he alarmed about foreign bodies of troops or their officers being among them, and to do nothing to resist them. The formation of national organisations was immediately undertaken in this district. On the 23 rd May, 1919, I informed the commander of the XX th Army Corps at Angora that I "had arrived at Samsoon and would keep in close touch with him/ I requested him to inform me about everything he could ascertain concerning the district of Smyrna.
21 Before I had left Constantinople I had turned my attention to the position of this Army Corps. It had been suggested that it should be transported by rail from the south to the district of Angora, but being well aware of the difficulties attending this, I asked General Djevad Pasha, the Chief of the General Staff, to lead the Army Corps to Angora on foot, in case the transport by rail would involve any delay. For this purpose, I inquired in the telegram in cipher I have already mentioned, "whether all the units belonging to the XX th Army Corps had succeeded in reaching Angora." After having added certain in formation about the district of Djanik, I announced that "in a few days I would be going with my Staff from Samsoon to Kawsa for some time and that I hoped, in any case, to receive the required information before my departure/ In his reply, which arrived three days later, on the 26 th May, the commander of the XX th Army Corps reported that he had not received any regular communication from Smyrna; that the occupation of Manisa had been reported by telegram ; that the detachments belonging to the Army Corps stationed at Eregli had already left on foot as it
was impossible to transport them by rail, but that, because of the great distance they had to march, it was uncertain when they would arrive. In the same telegram the commander of the Corps remarked that "the actual strength of the 23 rd Division at Afium Kara Hissar was low and that for this reason all the men that could be mustered at Angora had been ordered to join this division/* He added that "news had recently been received about unrest in the districts of Kastamuni and Kaisaria, and that he would keep me well informed/ In a despatch dated the 29 th May, from Kawsa, I ordered the commander of the XX th Army Corps and the Army Inspection at Konia, under whose command this Corps was, to inform me from what sources the reinforcements destined for the division at Afium Kara Hissar were being drawn ; whether there was any practical possi bility of reinforcing them and what in the present circumstances their duty would be. (Documents 12 13.) On the 28 th May the commander of the Corps gave me the in formation I had been awaiting: "In case of any attempt at occupation by the enemy, the 23 rd Division will not surrender its position, but if it is attacked it will defend it, recruiting reinforcements from among the inhabitants/ (Document 14.) On the 30 to May the Inspector of the Army replied: "While main-
taining order and security at Kara Hfssar at the same time, the 23 rd Di vision will resist any attempt at occupation with all the means at their disposition/ He reported that he was making all preparations and that he was trying to collect reinforcements at Konia, but could get no further in formation or documents concerning them. In my telegram to the Army Inspector, I had said : "Rumours are in circulation about the raising of an army at Konia which is called the Patriotic Army . What is its composition and how is it organised?" I asked this question, because I wanted to encourage it and hasten it on. I received the reply I have already mentioned. (Document 15.) The commander of the Corps had replied to the same^ question, saying that he knew nothing about the formation of a "Patriotic Army" at Konia. On the I st June I informed the commanders of the XV th Army Corps at Erzerum, of the III rd at Samsoon and of the XIII *& at Diarbekr of the intelligence that had reached me through my communication with the XX th Army Corps and the Inspection at Konia, as far as it concerned them. (Document 16.) I had received no information about the troops in Thrace or their commander and had, therefore, also to get into touch with this district. To do so, I applied to General Djevad Pasha, -Chief of the
General Staff in Constantinople, in a telegram in cipher on the i6 th June, 1919, (I had arranged a private cipher personally with Djevad Pasha before I left), asking him to tell me who was in command of the Army Corps at Adrianople and where Djafer Tayar Bey was. (Do cument 17.) On the 17 th June, Djevad Pasha replied: "I have been informed that Djafer Tayar is at Adrianople in command of the I st Army Corps." (Document 18.) The report I sent in cipher on the 18 th June, 1919, to Djafer Tayar Bey, commanding the I st Army Corps at Adrianople, mainly contained the following: "You are aware of the actions of the Entente Powers, which strangle our national independence and pave the way for the disintegration of our country; you have also heard of the servile and apathetic attitude of the Gov ernment. "To confide the fate of the nation to the hands of a Government of this type means to abandon it to ruin. "It has been decided to set up an energetic assembly at Sivas which is a safe place for the purpose of bringing together the na tional organisations of Thrace and Anatolia, so that they can boldly proclaim the voice of the nation before the whole world. "The League of Thrace and Pasha Eli 7 may have a represen-
23 tative corporation in Constantinople, but they are not provided with full powers. "When I was in Constantinople I spoke to several members of the Thracian League. Now is the time for us to begin. "After you have spoken in confidence to these people you will immediately begin to form the necessary organisations. Send one or two competent men to me as delegates. Before they arrive send me a telegram in cipher, signed by yourself, giving me authority to uphold the rights of the Vilayet of Adrianople. "I have sworn by everything I hold sacred that I shall work loyally and devotedly with the nation until we have ganined our complete independence. I have firmly resolved not to leave Anatolia." In order to raise the spirits of the inhabitants of Thrace, I added the following: "From one end to the other of Anatolia the population is united. They have decided to obey all the commanders and our comrades. Nearly all the Valis and Governors are on our side. The national organisation in Anatolia comprises every district and community. The propaganda aiming at the erection of an independent Kurdistan has been successfully countered and the followers of this movement have been dispersed. The Kurds have joined the Turks." (Document 19.) I had been informed meanwhile that the districts of Manisa and Aidin had been occupied by the Greek army; but I could not obtain any further particulars about the troops that I understood were at Smyrna and Aidin. I had sent orders directly to their commanders. At last, on the 29^ June, I received a telegram in cipher, dated the
27 th , from Bekir Sami Bey, commanding the 56 th Division. According to this telegram a certain Hurrem Bey had previously commanded the 56 th Division at Smyrna. He and nearly all the surviving officers of the two regiments at Smyrna had been taken prisoners. The Greeks had sent them to Modania by sea. Bekir Sami Bey had been sent to take over the command of what remained of these troops. In his telegram of the 27 th June, 1919, Bekir Sami Bey reported that he had received both of my orders of the 22 nd on his arrival at Brusa. Among other things, he said: "As I am unable to obtain the necessary means for the realisation of the national aims and as I consider that I could render better service by reorganising my division, I thought it better to leave Kula for Brusa on the morning of the 2i st June. In spite of many obstacles, I have still been able to spread the idea everywhere that our national movement is abso lutely necessary if we are to save the country."
He added that he had full confidence in my intentions and mode of procedure and that he had energetically set to work at once. He asked me to send further orders to the 57^ Division at Tshine, as well as to himself. (Document 20.)
After I had stayed for a week at Samsoon, and from the 25 * May to the 12** June at Kawsa, I went to Amasia. While I was there I sent pressing circulars to all the commanding officers and higher civil officials, urging them to proceed with the formation of national organisations throughout the country. I must observe that the people had not been fully informed about the occupation of Smyrna and, later, of Manisa and Aidin. Neither had they been made aware of the severity and ill-treatment that was being inflicted, consequently there had been no public manifestation of indignation and protest against the dastardly blow that had been aimed at their national independence. Their silence and apathy in face of this unjust conspiracy could only be explained in a very unfavourable light for the nation. The chief thing, therefore, was to arouse them and force them to take action. For this purpose, on the 28 th May, 1919, 1 gave these instructions to the Valis, the independent Governors, the leaders of the XV th Army Corps at Erzerum, the XX t]1 at Angora, the XIII* 11 at Diarbekr and the Army Inspection at Konia: "The occupation of Smyrna and the unfortunate occupation of Manisa and Aidin that followed distinctly prove more than anything else could do how imminent the danger is. More unity and more power must be given to the national manifestation for the preservation of the integrity of our territory. Such events as occupation and annexation touch the very life and independence of the country, whose entire nation is deeply agitated by these shameful attacks. It is impossible to suppress this rebellion. Next week, from Monday to Wednesday, if circumstances will allow, you will raise the people to hold great and imposing meetings, appealing to justice and demand ing the intervention of all the civilised nations and the Great Powers to put an end to this intolerable state of affairs. These manifestations must extend over the whole of the district under you. Energetic and impressive telegrams must be sent to the representatives of the
Great Powers and the Sublime Porte. It is important to influence the foreigners, where there are any, by strictly maintaining dignity and order while the manifestations are being held and avoiding any moles-
25 tation of , or hostile demonstrations against the Christian population Thanks to the fortunate fact that your own conviction supports these ideas, I feel certain that you will carry this matter to a successful conclusion. Please let me know the result of your efforts." In obedience to these instructions, meetings were immediately organised in every direction. A few localities only had any hesitation, because they were troubled with vague fears. For instance, this was notably the case at Trebizond, as could be seen from a telegram in cipher, dated the g th June, from the officer commanding the XV th Army Corps, which said that "although it had been decided that a meeting should be held, it could not take place, because they wanted to avoid any unpleasantness with the Greek elements and obviate incidents that might take place without any cause .... and that Strati Polides had been a member of the organis ing committee." Trebizond was a very important place on the Black Sea, and it showed weakness to hesitate in such a town and allow Strati Polides Effendi to take part in any meeting that had to do with national manifestations. This attitude indicated that the work was not being taken seriously, and it might be accepted in Constantinople as a fa vourable sign and argument that supported our enemies. Also there were some people clever enough to turn my orders against ourselves. Thus, the new Governor of Sinope led all the manifestations in that town himself, drew up the resolutions that were to be put to the meetings himself, pretended to have induced the population to sign them, and even sent us a copy of them. In this lengthy document, which the poor population were urged to sign in the midst of all the turmoil that surrounded them, the follow ing lines were concealed: "If the Turks have not made any progress, if they could never have been able to adapt themselves to the principle of European civilisation, the reason is that hitherto they have never been under good administration. The Turkish nation can only exist under a Government that is organised under the supervision and control of Europe naturally, with the proviso that it remains under the sovereignty of its Padishah." When I glanced at the signatures under this memorandum that was handed over to the representatives of the Entente Powers on the 3 rd June, 1919, in the name of the population of Sinope, the one that I immediately noticed following that of the provisional Mufti showed me the spirit that had inspired and dictated these lines. The signa-
ture was that of the Vice- President of the party known as "Unity and Freedom." Exactly three days after I had ordered these meetings to be or ganised everywhere that is to say, on the 31 st May I received this telegram from the War Ministry: "I send you herewith a copy of the Note addressed by the English Commissioner to the Sublime Porte and the War Ministry. "Although according to the last reports there is nothing of special importance to be noted, except the customary robberies in the dis trict of the III rd Army Corps, you will order a special inquiry to be made as to the facts referred to in this Note and report the result of your inquiry as soon as possible/ Shefket 31. 5. 1919. Minister of War. Copy. 1. I have to bring to the knowledge of your Highness that I have recently received somewhat disquieting information regarding the situation at Sivas as well as the safety of the Armenian refugees, who are very numerous in the town and its vicinity. 2. I have therefore to request your Highness to give orders to the War Minister to send an urgent telegram to the officer in command, instructing him to do everything that is possible to protect the Ar menians dwelling in the district under his command, and, further, to inform him that, in case of massacres or excesses occurring there he will be held personally responsible for them, 3. I specially request that orders to the same effect shall be sent to the civil officials. 4. Knowing how much your Highness is justly concerned about the insecurity prevailing in the interior of the country, I feel convinced that you will immediately do what is necessary. 5. I shall feel greatly obliged to you if you will inform me when these orders have been sent out. A telegram received from the Vilayet of Sivas on the 2 nd June stated that another had been received on the same day, signed by Colonel Demange, of which this is an extract: "On account of the occupation of Smyrna, the lives of the Chris tians at Asisie are in danger. This cannot be tolerated any longer. In virtue of the authority conferred on me, I draw your attention to the fact that such occurrences will probably lead to the occupation of your province by the troops of the Allies ..." In reality, nothing whatever in the shape of unrest had taken
2 7 place at Sivas, and it is natural, therefore, that the lives of the Christians had not been endangered. The fact is, that the Christian
elements, influenced by the meetings which the people had begun to organise and which they regarded as damaging to their own interests, intentionally spread these rumours abroad for the purpose of at tracting the attention of foreign countries. (Documents 22 24.) I give you the answer that I sent to the War Minister in reply to their telegram, together with the exact wording of the Note. Extremely urgent. No. 58. June 3 rd , 1919. To the Imperial Minister of War. Reply to your telegram in cipher of June 2 nd , 1919. No incident has occurred which could in any way be calculated to disturb the Armenians at Sivas and its vicinity; the refugees arrived there later. Neither at Sivas nor in its neighbourhood is there any cause whatever for uneasiness. All of the inhabitants carry on their business as usual. I am able emphatically to confirm this. For this reason, I must request to be informed what is the source from which the English have obtained the information referred to in their Note. It is quite possible that some people have been alarmed about the meetings that have been held by the Mohamedan population, following the news of the distressing occupation of Smyrna and Manisa. These meetings, however, have not caused any ill-feeling at all against the Christian elements. There is no reason to be anxious about the non-Moslem elements, so long as the Entente Powers respect the rights and in dependence of our nation and so long as the integrity of our country is guaranteed. I beg you, therefore, to be assured that I willingly accept all responsibility in regard to this matter, and believe that you are justified in putting full confidence in me. But, as far I can see, neither I nor anyone else can possibly suppress the revulsion and indignation that is felt by the nation in face of the threats and attacks represented by the territorial occupation and the various assaults that are delivered against its independence and its very existence. Nor are there any means of prohibiting the natural national mani festations that are the direct consequence of these events. I cannot imagine that there is a single military commander or civil official or any government that could accept responsibility for any events that could arise under such conditions. Mustapha Kemal. A copy of this Note and my reply to it were communicated in a circular to all the military commanders, the Valis and the Mutessarifs,
28 You must be aware of a telegram of this date, signed by Said Molla, which was sent to all the civil heads and in which the nation was in vited to join the Society of the "Friends of England/ appealing for the help of Great Britain. You also know of the steps I took with regard to the Government, as- well as my efforts to minimise the effect of this telegram (Document 25) by enlightening the people as to the real state of affairs. Among other particulars, the Turkish-HavasReuter Agency had published news about a Privy Council to the effect that "the ruling opinion at the full sitting of the Privy Council in question was that Turkey must seek the protection of one or other of the Great Powers." Whereupon the Grand Vizier wrote to me saying "that the nation is determined to preserve its .independence; that it is willing to submit to the greatest sacrifices in order to resist fatal possibilities, and that to circulate erroneous ideas about the
national conscience is calculated to provoke disquieting countermanifestations." I think I have told you already how I brought this fact to the knowledge of the whole nation. With regard to the request of Fend Pasha, the Grand Vizier, that I should go to Paris, I have already given some account of this at the first sitting of the Grand Assembly. In order to explain ray own point of view and my procedure in this matter I must read this document to you: Telegram in cipher. Urgent. Personal. Kawsa, 3 rd June, 1919. To Refet Bey Effendi, commanding the III rd Army Corps at Samsoon, His Excellency Kiasim Pasha, command ing the XV th Army Corps at Erzerum, Hamid Bey Effendi, Governor of Djanik, Munir Bey Effendi, Vali of Erzerum, Hakim Hasbi Effendi, Commissioner Vali of Sivas, Ibrahim Bey Effendi : Vali of Kastamuni, His Excellency All Fuad Pasha, commanding the XX th Army Corps at Angora, His Excellency Djemal Pasha, Inspector of the "Jildrim" corps at Konia, Djevdet Bey Effendi, temporary commander of the XIII th Army Corps at Diarbekr, Haidar Bey Effendi, Vali of Van. From the public communique from the Ministry of the Interior and from reports published by the Telegraph Agency, it can be seen that M. Defrance, the diplomatic representative of France, called on the Grand Vizier and advised him to go to Paris with the object of defend ing Ottoman rights at the Conference. The national revolt produced
29 by the incident at Smyrna and the determination expressed by the nation to defend its independence are facts deserving unstinted praise and admiration. Nevertheless, the Greeks were not prevented from occupying Smyrna. In any case, there is no doubt at all that the Entente Powers will respect our nation and its rights, for in future we shall show them that the nation is conscious of these rights and is ready to act as one man in their defence, rather than allow them selves to be trodden underfoot. His Highness the Grand Vizier will undoubtedly do everything he possibly can to uphold Ottoman interests at the Conference. Among these national interests that are to be defended in the most energetic manner, there are two of vital im portance: i. Complete independence in every possible way of the State and the Nation; and, 2. The majority in the purely national districts of the country shall not be sacrificed in favour of the minority. It is imperatively necessary that there shall be complete agree ment on these points in the minds of the delegates who are preparing to go to Paris, as well as in respect to the formal demands advanced by the national conscience. If this should not be so, the nation might find itself in a very difficult position and, judging from past ex perience, it might never be able to hold up its head again. The reasons that justify these fears are these: From the accounts that have reached us, His Highness the Grand Vizier has affirmed that he has accepted the principle of Armenian
autonomy, but he has not defined what the frontiers of this Armenia will be. The population of the Eastern Provinces, astounded at this, have felt themselves bound to demand an explanation. Nearly the whole of the Crown Council have insisted on the maintenance of national independence and have demanded that the fate of the nation shall be entrusted to a National Council. Sadik Bey, the leader of the "Unity and Freedom" Society, supported by the Government, was the only one who proposed in a written statement an English Protec torate. From this it can be seen that the national will and the con ception of the Government on the questions of a wide autonomy being granted to Armenia and the acceptance of a foreign protectorate are not in accord with one another. We cannot help feeling seriously uneasy about these questions so long as the principles and the pro gramme by which the Grand Vizier and the delegation accompanying him permit themselves to be guided are not laid openly before the nation. In these circumstances, it is necessary that the delegates of the Unions for the Defence of the National Rights and the Anti-annex ation Unions in the Vilayets, their branches, and the representatives of
30 those communities where the national organisation has not yet been completed, should appeal to the Grand Vizier, and directly to the Sultan himself, insisting upon the conditions that are vital to the nation that is to say, the preservation of complete independence and recog nition of the rights of the national majority and demanding that the principles of defence on which the delegation now ready to start will lean for support shall be brought officially to the knowledge of the country. By this, the Entente Powers will see clearly what the principles are which the delegates will endeavour to defend and which actually correspond to the wishes and claims put forward by the nation. It is natural that, as a result of this, they will be treated with more serious consideration and that the work of the delegation will be facilitated. In the highest interests of the nation, I appeal earnestly to your patriotism, and beg you to bring these facts to the knowledge of all those concerned. I beg you, also, to inform me when you receive this telegram. Mustapha KemaL I have already had the opportunity of explaining to you that on the 5 th June five days after this telegram was sent I was ordered by the Minister of War to come to Constantinople, and that in reply to my confidential request I was informed by a high personage all about those who wanted me to be summoned and why the order was sent to me. This personage was no other than Djevad Pasha, who at that time was the Chief of the General Staff. Part of the correspon dence that followed is generally known. My correspondence with the Minister of War and direct with the Palace continued until the day of my resignation at Erzerum. A month had gone by since I had set foot on Anatolian soil. During this period permanent communication with the divisions of all the Army Corps had been kept up; the nation, informed as far as possible about current events, had been aroused; the idea of national organi sation was growing. After this it was no longer possible for me to control the whole movement in my position as a military commander. Now there could no longer be any doubt about my having joined the Revolutionary Party. I continued to lead the national movement and the national organisations, but, nevertheless, I refused to obey the order
of my recall. Besides, it was not difficult to guess that the measures and procedure which I was determined to carry through would be of a radical and decisive nature. Consequently, these measures and actions had to lose their individual character and be conducted in the name of a corporation or body that represented the unity and singleness of
the whole nation. The moment had come to carry out the programme I had laid down in Thrace on the iS* 11 June, 1919. As you will remem ber, this was to form a general assembly at Sivas, in which the national organisations of Anatolia and Rumelia were combined, so that they could be represented as a single body and be controlled from one centre. The main points in the circular note which I dictated with this end in view to Djevad Abbas Bey, my A. D. C. at Amasia, during the night of the 21 st June, were these: 1. The integrity of the country; the independence of the nation being in imminent jeopardy. 2. The Government is unequal to the task for which it has assumed responsibility; the consequence being that our nation is not considered at all. 3. The energy and the will of the nation alone can save its inde pendence. 4. It is absolutely necessary that a National Assembly shall be formed to protect the country from foreign influence and be indepen dent of all control, so that it will be free to examine the position of the nation and assert its rights before the whole world. 5. It has been decided to convene a national congress forthwith at Sivas, which from every point of view is the safest place in Anatolia for that purpose. 6. Every district in all the vilayets must therefore immediately send three delegates each who possess the confidence of the nation, and they must start without delay, so that they may arrive as soon as possible. 7. To avoid any danger, this must be kept a national secret and the delegates must travel incognito through all the districts, if it should be considered necessary to do so. 8. On the io ttl July a congress of the Eastern Provinces will meet at Erzerum. If the delegates of the other provinces can reach Sivas in time, the members of the congress at Erzerum will also start for Sivas in order that they may be present at the general meeting. (Document 28.) What I dictated had, as you see, the purpose of spreading through out the whole of Anatolia the decision I had already taken and com municated four days previously to the organisation in Thrace. You will, I hope, readily admit that this decision was no new terrible and secret resolution taken in the dark in the night of the 21 st June. I would like to say a few words about this for your information.
32 These sheets of paper comprise merely a draft. (The speaker here showed the document to those present.) It comprises four articles. I have already indicated their contents. It bears my signature at the bottom, and following it those of Colonel Kiasim Bey (now Kiasim Pasha, Vali of Smyrna), who is my Chief of Staff, Husref Husri Bey (now holding the rank of an ambassador), who is also on my staff and who directed the transport of troops, Musaffer Bey my A. D. C. ? director of communications in cipher with the military authorities, and, finally, a civil official who was in charge of the communications in cipher with the administrative authorities. Beneath these there are other signatures. All of those at the bottom of this draft were obtained through a happy chance. While I was still at Kawsa, I received a telegram in cipher from AH Fuad Pasha commanding the XX th Army Corps at Angora. It ran : "A certain person whom you know has arrived here with some of his comrades. What shall I tell them to do?" This enigmatic telegram set me thinking very deeply. I knew the person he referred to : he asked me for instructions. He was at Angora with a reliable commanding officer who was a comrade of mine, and the telegram was in cipher! Why, therefore, did he hesitate to mention his name in cipher? I thought over this for a long time and then fancied I had solved the riddle. You will admit that it was not a particularly good time for guessing conundrums. But I was very anxious to see Fuad Pasha, because I wanted to talk to him about his official district, his surroundings and his views. Therefore the enigmatic telegram inspired me with the idea of sending him this request: "Come here immediately for a few days. Make your arrangements in such a way that your departure from Angora will not attract attention. Disguise yourself and change your name. Bring your friend from Constantinople with you. M Fuad Pasha actually came to Kawsa, as I have already told you, but for pressing reasons I had to leave Kawsa immediately and go to Amasia. On his way to Kawsa, Fuad Pasha heard of this and altered his journey in the direction of Amasia, Thus he met me there on the evening of the 21 st . The person whose name he had refrained from mentioning in the telegram in cipher was, Rauf Bey. Rauf Bey came to me just as I I left Constantinople. He had the ship in which I was going likely that she would be sunk was getting into my motor-car when heard from a confidential source that would be followed and that it was very in the Black Sea, if I could not have been
33 detained in Constantinople. This is what he came to tell me. I prefer red to risk being drowned rather than being made prisoner in Con stantinople. So I started off, telling him that if sooner or later he should feel himself obliged to leave Constantinople I would advise him to come to me. As he wanted to do more work, the idea of leav ing Constantinople grew on him and eventually he left, but he did not come direct to me. He thought he would be able to do better at
some place nearer the Smyrna front, and so he went to the district of Manisa, via Panderma and Ak Hissar, to meet his comrade Colonel Bekir Sami Bey, commanding the 56 th Division. When he arrived there he saw that the moral of the population had been shaken and that the situation was extremely dangerous and threatening. He changed his name immediately and travelled via Odemish Nasilli Afium Kara Hissar, and then by an ordinary vehicle via Asisie Siwii Hissar to Angora, where he met Fuad Pasha; then he came in my direction. Very well ; that was all right, but why upset me by concealing his real name? Moreover, I wanted at last to send Refet Bey, com manding my III rd Corps, whom I had left behind as Governor of Samsoon, to Sivas on the Staff of the Army Corps. I had repeatedly ordered him to come, and now he was on the way; but I had received no reply from him to my order. At last, he also arrived on the same day quite by chance. Now let us return to the question of the signatures. I wanted my comrades who had just arrived also to sign the draft of the circular we were speaking about. Rauf Bey and Refet Bey were at that moment in my room ; Fuad Pasha was in another. I pressed the latter to sign, assuring him that this document would be of historic al value: this induced him to sign. Refet Bey, however, declined, saying that he could not understand why and with what object we were convening the congress. I was astounded at his attitude and mentality. It seemed incredible to me that a comrade whom I had brought with me from Constantinople could take such an extraor dinary view about so simple a question, especially as he understood perfectly well what we were going to do. I sent for Fuad Pasha, and as soon as he understood my point of view he signed. I told him that I could not understand why Refet Bey had demurred. After Fuad Pasha had reproached him rather sharply, Refet picked up the draft and put some sort of signature to it, which it is rather difficult to make out. This is the document I am talking about. All who are interested in it might like to look at it. Gentlemen : At first sight this account might appear to be superKemal Pasha 3
34 fluous. I have submitted it to you, because I think it will throw some light on certain dark points connected with subsequent events. The circular convening the congress had been sent in cipher to the civil and military authorities. It had also been transmitted to certain persons in Constantinople; to the latter I wrote an accom panying letter. They were, Abdul Rahman Sherif Bey, Reshid Akif Pasha, Ahmed Izzet Pasha, Sayd Bey, Halid Edib Hanem, Kara Vassif Bey, Ferid Bey (then Minister of Public Works), Ferid Pasha, the leader of the "Peace and Salvation" party and who was sub sequently Minister of War, Djami Bey and Ahmed Riza Bey. I will now go back to the chief points in this letter. 1. Meetings and similar demonstrations can never attain the re alisation of great aims by themselves alone.
2. They can only have a healthy result when they are directly supported by the spiritual power emanating from the soul of the nation. 3. The most important facts that reveal the situation, already suffi ciently serious, as being exceedingly dangerous, are the manoeuvres of the opposition going on in Constantinople, as well as the political and anti-national propaganda of every description designed to re present the true aspirations of the nation in a false and injurious way. We experience the frequently dangerous consequences of this at the expense of the country. 4. Constantinople is unable to govern Anatolia any longer. It will in future be compelled to take a subordinate position. 5. The sacrifice imposed upon you is of the greatest importance (Document 27). I remained at Amasia until the 25 ttl June. You have not forgotten that Ali Kemal Bey, at that time Minister of the Interior, had issued a circular in which he announeed that I had been recalled. In it he added that all official correspondence with me had ceased and he gave directions that any orders issued by me were not to be obeyed. This telegram No. 84, is dated the 23 rd June and is a document revealing a very strange way of thinking. Here is the complete wording of it: Copy of a deciphered telegram from the Minister of the Interior, Ali Kemal Bey, dated 23 rd June, 1919. " Notwithstanding that Mustapha Kemal Pasha is a prominent leader, he is not qualified to follow the present policy, in spite of his ardent patriotism and the untiring zeal displayed by him. He has
entirely failed in his new position. In accordance with the demands of the English High Commissioner he has been recalled. What he has been doing and writing since his recall shows his incompetence more than anything else could do. As an administrator, he has ag gravated his political errors still more by the telegrams he has con tinued to send in favour of certain organisations for instance, the Anti-annexation League organisations that have been formed without authority and without due consideration, and which in the end only serve the purpose of instigating the ill-treatment of Mohamedans in the districts of Karassi and Aidin and extorting money from the inhabitants. It is the duty of the Ministry of War, of which he is a member, to recall him to Constantinople. The formal order, however, which the Ministry of the Interior gives you, in addition to the intimation of the recall of this man, is to the effect that every body is forbidden to enter into official correspondence with him and nobody is to attend to any request of his regarding administrative affairs. You will surely understand the responsibility you will avoid if you follow these instructions. At this serious and critical moment, when our fate will hang in the balance at the Peace Conference and the consequence of our five years madness will be decided upon, is it not the most imperative duty of every official and all the people, every Ottoman subject, to show that at last we have become reasonable and are anxious to give evidence of our wisdom and foresight, so that
we may be able to save our own lives, our property and the honour of the nation, without distinction of party, religion or race, and avoid the possibility of our country being further discredited in the eyes of the entire civilised world?" It was only on my arrival at Sivas on June 27 th , that I heard of this circular in cipher. On the 26 th June, Ali Kemal Pasha retired from the Government, after having rendered great service to the enemies of our country and the Sultan by disseminating this circular note on the 23 rd June, It was not until much later that I learned of his letter addressed officially to the Grand Vizier in which he tend ered his resignation, of the other one he had presented personally to the Sultan, as well as the verbal declaration he had made and the reply of the Sovereign to it. In his letter of resignation more particularly in the one he presented to the Sultan Ali Kemal Bey, after speaking of the "unrest and revolts" that had broken out in different parts of the Ottoman Empire, declared that, although it should have been the concern of the Departments to take the necessary steps for the loca3*
36 lisation and immediate suppression of the rebellion, "certain of his colleagues, jealous of the Imperial favour and confidence he was enjoying, had furthered the outspread of the revolt for unworthy reasons." He added that, although he resigns his office, he still offers his loyalty and special services to His Majesty. He presented this petition verbally: "May it please Your Majesty to protect me from the attacks of my enemies, who will regard my resignation as a favour able opportunity to show their malice against me." The Sultan overwhelmed him with friendly expressions, and re plied: "I feel convinced that I can place entire confidence in you. Your fidelity has been a great consolation and a source of great hope to me. The Palace will always be open to you at any time. Continue to work in harmony with Refet Bey" (Document 28). We have seen All Kemal, whose loyalty inspired the Sultan with such great hope and gave him so much strength, sitting before the Sultan in his ministerial seat as Minister of the Interior. Let us now look at him in the exercise of his real work. If I am not tiring you, let us just glance through one of Said Holla s letters to Mr. Frew, the English clergyman: "I have informed Ali Kemal Bey of the regret you have expressed concerning his last misfortune. We must get hold of this man. We must not let this opportunity slip, because this is an excellent moment to offer him a present. "Yesterday Ali Kemal Bey spoke to a man whom you know. He told him that it is necessary to think a little about what we shall do with regard to the Press. It will not be easy for us to induce intellec tual people and journalists to change front after they have been supporting the opposite side. All the official functionaries are for the moment sympathatically inclined towards the national movement. Ali
Kemal Bey will follow your instructions to the letter. He is trying to work with the Seinel-Abidin party. In short, the question is becom ing very complicated." The postscript to the letter reads: "P. S. I have entirely forgotten to mention something I particu larly wanted to tell you some time ago. So that we can get Mustapha Kemal to come here in full confidence, we ought to pretend that we have a certain amount of sympathy with him and his followers. Will you kindly think seriously about this. We cannot support his cause in our own papers." I shall give you further details about these documents as the oc casion arises. This will suffice for the moment.
37 All Kemal Bey s circular note about which as yet I knew nothing when I was at Amasia, had actually confused the heads of the offici als and the people themselves. Some who are totally unable to appreciate facts and who are to be found everywhere, devoted them selves to making active propaganda against myself personally. Sivas was the fertile breeding spot for the most important of these reactionary agitations. If you will allow me, I will briefly describe them. On the 23 rd June, the date of Ali Kemal Bey s circular note, a certain Ali Galib Bey was at Sivas. He v/as a man ready for anything and was accompanied by about ten of his companions. This individual was a Colonel on the General Staff, who had been sent from Constantinople as Vali of Mamuret-ul-Asia. The people whom he took with him, alleged under-officials of the vilayet, were selected by himself. Ali Galib stopped en route at Sivas and collected influential followers there, which circumstance left no doubt as to his intentions. He began at once to make the necessary arrangements to carry out his plans. As soon as the order issued against me by the Ministry of the Interior arrived, he began to act. Posters were stuck on the walls in the streets of Sivas, proclaiming that I was "a dangerous man, a mutineer, a traitor/ One day he went personally to the late Reshid Pasha, who was then Vali of Sivas, to talk to him about this order that had been sent by the Ministry of the Interior, and asked him what steps he would take about me if I happened to come to Sivas. Reshid Pasha asked him what he expected he ought to do, "If I were you," answered Ali Galib "I would bind him and arrest him. There is no doubt that you ought to do this/ Reshid Pasha did not think that it would be quite so easy to do it. They discussed the question for a long time. There were so many people who were interested in the question that many of them came to listen, wondering what was going to happen. All this occurred on the 27*^ June.
Let us now turn our attention for a moment from this scene and revert to it later. Let us see meanwhile what was happening at Amasia. On the 25 th of the same month I was told of certain suspicious plots that were being carried on against me. On the night of the 25 th June I sent for my aide-de-camp, Djevad Abbas Bey, and told him that we would leave Amasia before daybreak and proceed southwards. At the same time I told him to make all the preparations as secretly as possible.
3$ I had privately arranged with the officer commanding the 5^ Division and the officers on my Staff what they were to do. The Commander of the 5 th Division was ordered to get together in all haste, during that night if possible, a strong detachment consisting of mount ed officers and specially selected men. I was to start by motor-car for Tokat before dawn on the morning of the 26 th June, accompanied only by my immediate followers. As soon as it was formed, the detachment was to march off, via Tokat, on the road to Sivas and try to keep in touch with me. I ordered that news of our departure was not to be telegraphed to any place, and, as far that would be possible, not to let it be known at Amasia that we had left. I started from Amasia on the 26 th . When I arrived at Tokat I put the Telegraph Office under control and took every precaution to prevent my arrival being announced, either at Sivas or elsewhere. Tokat is about six hours journey from Sivas. I sent an open telegram to the Vali of Sivas to announce that I had left Tokat for Sivas. I signed it with my rank as Army Inspector. I intentionally avoided letting him know the exact hour of my depar ture, and I had previously arranged that the telegram was not to be sent off till six hours after I had left, and that in the meantime Sivas was to know nothing about my having left. Now let us resume the narration of the events that took place at Sivas from the point I had left off namely, the discussion that was going on between Ali Galib and Reshed Pasha about what they would do with regard to myself. In the middle of the conversation, while they were ardently de bating the question, a telegram from Tokat was handed to Reshed Pasha. Reshed Pasha handed it to Ali Galib Bey, saying: "He is coming here now, You must do what you think proper about arresting him/ Reshid Pasha, reading the hour I was supposed to have left, took out his watch, looked at it and replied: "No he is not coming or else he would have been here already/ Then Ali Galib remarked: "When I said I would arrest him, I meant to say, that I would arrest him if he were to set foot within the district for which I was responsible/ This alarmed all the people who were listening to him. They all exclaimed: That being the case, we shall go out and welcome him/ The meeting promptly broke up in confusion. They hoped that they would have time enough to prepare a bril
liant reception for me, in which the notables, the inhabitants and the troops would take part, while, as a matter of fact, I was actually
39 outside the gates of Sivas. They tried to delay me for a short time at a farmstead in the neighbourhood of the town. The Vali immediately asked Tali Bey, the chief of my Medical Staff, whom I had sent in advance to Sivas to inquire what was going on in the town and who was there, to come to see him. He asked him to induce me to make a halt at that spot, and added that he would come out to us as soon as preparations for my reception were completed. Tali Bey himself actually came in a motor-car just outside the farm. We got out of our car and sat down in the farmhouse. Tali Bey gave me all the particulars I have just described and said that he was instructed to detain me for a little while. I replied by rising and saying: "Jump into the car quickly. Off to Sivas at once!" I will explain why I said this. It had suddenly struck me that they might have deceived Tali Bey and that under the pretence of gaining time for making preparations for my reception their real intention was to delay me long enough to prepare a sudden attack on me. As we mounted the car, another one approached; it was the Vali s. Reshed Pasha immediately asked me whether I would not prefer to rest for a little while. I replied that I did not want to rest, even for a moment, and that we were going on immediately. I invited him to come and sit by my side. "Effendim," he said, "please let Rauf Bey take my seat. I prefer to sit in one of the other cars." "No, no," I retorted, "get in here with me." You can easily guess what led me to invite him to sit with me! When we arrived at the gates of Sivas, a dense crowd lined both sides of the road. The troops stood under arms. We got out of our car, and as I walked through them I greeted the soldiers and the inhabi tants. This scene provided strong evidence of the sympathy and devotion which the honest inhabitants of Sivas, as well as the gallant officers and men stationed there, felt towards me. Then I went straight to the headquarters of the command and ordered Ali Galib Bey and his followers, as well as the villains who, according to the information we had received, were his tools, to come to me. It is unnecessary for me to describe the reception I had in store for them, or to go in to details about matters I imagine you are tired enough of already. It will be sufficient if I mention one incident. This same Ali Galib, after the reception I gave him, wanted to come alone to me in the night, pretending that he had certain con fidential communications to make to me. I received him. He tried by
all kinds of sophistries to convince me that I ought not to judge from
appearances that were so deceptive; that in accepting the position of Vali at Mamtiret-ul-Asia he had had the intention of serving my plans, and that he had stopped at Sivas on purpose to meet^me, so that he could receive orders personally from me. I must admit that he man aged to keep me busy till the morning.
When I had given instructions as to the organisations and what was to be done at Sivas to the persons concerned, we left in the di rection of Erzerum, on a certain morning during Bairam, after we had spent the night of the 27 th June without closing our eyes. After a fatiguing journey by motor-car for a whole week, we arrived at Erzerum, where we were cordially and sincerely greeted by the whole of the population and the army on the 3 rd July. On the 5 th July I impressed upon all the commanding officers that they were to do everything that was necessary along the main thoroughfares to watch for and prevent any hostile movement emanating from the Government (Document 29). I entered into communication with the commandant, the Vali and the Erzerum Branch of the "Defence of the National Rights of the Eastern Provinces/ 7 Munir Bey, the Vali, had been recalled to Constantinople. He was still at Erzerum, as I had asked him to remain there. Mashar Murfid Bey, who had given up his post as Vali of Bitlis and who was at Er zerum on his way to Constantinople, was also waiting there to see me. I thought it just as well to come to a clear understanding with these two Valis and with Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha, commanding the XV th Army Corps, Rauf Bey who was accompanying me, the former Governor of Ismidt, Sureya Bey, Kiasim Bey, and the Chief of the Staff at my headquarters Husrey Bey, another of my Staff officers, and Dr. Refik Bey. I talked to them about the state of affairs in general and partic ularly about the present situation, as well as about the main lines it would be advisable for us to follow. On this occasion I went into the most adverse possibilities, the general and personal dangers and sacrifices to which we would all have to submit whatever happened. I pointed out that to-day only the Crown, the Government and the foreigners thought of annihilating all those who ventured to come forward for the protection of the national ideas. But in regard to this the possibility had to be considered that the entire country had
been misled and prejudiced against the movement. The leaders had to decide, if they entered into the struggle, that they would never desert the cause whatever might happen; that they would hold fast and fight till their last breath to sacrifice themselves for their ideal and for the last inch of national territory. It would be fax better for those who felt that they were not imbued with this ambition to decline to embark on this enterprise, for if they did they would only be deceiving themselves and their country. Moreover, the task we had in view was one that could not be undertaken in secret under the protection of the authorities and the
uniform. Up to a certain time this could have been done, but now that time had passed. Henceforth we had to go out into the public squares and places and raise our voices in the name of the rights of the nation and win the people, heart and soul, over to our cause. "There is no doubt about my having been called to this cause and having rendered myself liable to the most tragic consequences if my efforts should end in failure. To work with me in public, therefore, is to render yourselves henceforward liable to share a similar fate. Besides, from many points of view, it is not quite certain whether, after all, I am exactly the right man to face the situation, such as we have understood it to be." However, in any case, it was necessary that a son of the country should be its leader. They might have somebody else in mind who was more fitted to lead them. All that would be expected of him, I told them, would be that he should agree to do whatever the actual circumstances demanded. As I thought it would not be judicious to come to a decision too hastily, I adjourned the meeting after having tendered this advice, so that my followers could have a little time in which to think it over and exchange their personal opinions. When we came together again my comrades expressed their wish that I would be the leader of the movement and cordially promised me their support. One of them, Munir Bey, begged that for important reasons he might be excused for the moment from taking part in the movement. I pointed out that, in spite of my formal resignation from the Army, the essential condition for success was obedience to my orders, exactly as though I were still Commander-in-Chief. Then our meeting came to an end. After beginning with Djevad Pasha and Fewsi Pasha, who in turn had been Chief of the General Staff in Constantinople, and with Ismet Bey, who was engaged in matters connected with the coming
42 Peace Commission, I arrived at an understanding, as I had now done here and at Erzerum, with all the commandants and other officers and official and private persons with whom I had been in contact up to the time of my arrival at Erzerum. You will recognise the advantage of my having done so.
The question that occupied me during the first few days of my stay at Erzerum was to make all the necessary arrangements for the congress to be held there. The branch of the League for the "Defence of the Rights of the Eastern Provinces/ which had been founded on the 3 rd March, 1919, at Erzerum for the purpose of forming an executive committee, had, in agreement with Erzerum, undertaken to convene a congress of the Eastern Provinces to be held on the ig 111 June. When I was still at Amasia this branch proposed to send delegates, and accordingly sent
invitations to them. From that time until my arrival, and afterwards, the committee showed extraordinary activity in carrying this out. It can easily be understood how great were the difficulties en countered in realising such an aim under the conditions prevailing at the time. Although the io th July, the day fixed for the congress to meet, was already drawing near, the provincial delegates had not yet been chosen. It was now of the utmost importance to make sure that this meeting would take place. For my part, I had also done everything I could to help. While I was sending open communications simultaneously to each of the vilayets, instructions in cipher were sent to the Valis and the Commanders telling them what to do. After a delay of thirteen days we at length succeeded in getting together a sufficient number of delegates. It was very important indeed for the success of our national movement to get the Army to agree to the civil and military arrange ments. The Division at Trebizond was under the temporary command of an officer. Halid Bey, the Commander, was hiding himself at Bayburt. He had to be induced to leave his place of concealment for two reasons. The first, and the more important of the two, was to raise the moral of the people, and especially of the troops, by showing them that the order from Constantinople and the refussal to obey it need not cause them any anxiety or make it necessary for anybody to hide himself.
43 The second reason was, that it was very important to have an energetic and fearless commander at the head of the division in case Trebizond, such a conspicuous place on the coast, should be attacked from outside. Consequently, I ordered Halid Bey to come to Erzerum. I gave him special instructions and ordered him to stay at Matshka, so that he could be ready to take up the command of his division immediately it became necessary for him to do so. While we were occupied with this, we had to lose time in giving some answer or other to the misleading telegrams from Ferid Pasha, the Minister of War in Constantinople, and the Sultan that were continually being sent to compel me to return to Constantinople. "Come to Constantinople," the Minister of War ordered me. "Go on leave for a time/ the Sultan suggested at first ; "Stay somewhere in Anatolia, and do not meddle with anything/ But afterwards they began to shout in chorus : "Return immediately, without further delay." I replied: "I cannot return." At last the curtain fell suddenly while the telegrams were still being exchanged with the Palace on the night of the 8 th July, and the comedy that had been going on for a month from the 8 th June to the 8 th July came abruptly to an end. Constantinople immediately cancelled my official commission.
At the same moment 10.50 p.m. on the 8 th July I had sent a telegram to the Minister of War and another at n p.m. to the Sultan himself, in which I announced that I resigned my duties and my commission in the Army. I communicated this to the troops and the people. Henceforward I continued to do my duty according to the dictates of my conscience, free from any official rank and restriction, trusting solely to the devotion and magnanimity of the nation itself, from whom I drew strength, energy and inspiration as from an inexhaustible spring. You can easily imagine that many other persons, among them certain of those who were deeply interested in them, listened to my nightly communications with Constantinople. I hope you will permit me to lay before you a document that will give you some idea about those who, in these critical moments and subsequently, attempted to describe as tact and ability what I, to use a very mild expression, would prefer to call simplicity and weakness. No. 140 Konia g th July, 1919. 6 o clock To the first A. D. C. of the 3 rd Army Inspection. Refik Halid Bey, Director-General of Posts and Telegraphs, and Djemal Bey, Vali of Konia, have been in telegraphic communication
44 during the night of the 6 th July. I have heard that it was to the following effect: "Mustapha Kemal Pasha is done for. He will be brought ^to Con stantinople. The same thing will happen to Djemal Pasha/ The Vali of Konia replied: "Thank you/ I beg you to bring this in a convenient way to the knowledge of His Excellency the Pasha. (Signed) Hassan Director of Communications in cipher to the 2* d Army Inspection. I had, indeed, heard four days previously, very much to my surprise, that Djemal Pasha, Inspector of the II nd Army at Konia, had left on ten days leave for Constantinople. Ever since I had landed at Samsoon I had kept up correspondence with him in connection with our co-operation in the national movement and the military dispositions we had to make. I had always received positive and encouraging replies from him. That a commanding officer who had been in such close relations with me could start on his own account for Constantinople, was scarcely the attitude of a careful and prudent man. I commissioned Selaheddin Bey, commanding the XII th Army Corps, in a telegram in cipher on the 5** July, to give me information on these two points: 1. I beg you to inform me clearly and without delay the actual reason for Djemal Pasha s departure for Constantinople on ten days
leave. 2. You are on no account to give up the command of the troops in your district. It is absolutely necessary to take steps to guard against the most unfavourable possibilities, by putting yourself immediately into communication with Fuad Pasha. I beg you to send me short reports daily as to your position. In the telegram in cipher that Selaheddin Bey sent me on the 6tn July, at the very moment when the telegraphic communication was being carried on between Refet Halid Bey and Djemal Bey, Vali of Konia, he said: "Djemal Pasha has gone voluntarily to Constan tinople to get into touch with certain persons and at the same time to visit his family there." (Documents 30 33.) It is quite true that Djemal Pasha started, but he could not return. Later on we shall see him as Minister of War in the Cabinet of All Riza Pasha. Unfortunately, we heard some time later that Selahed din Bey, the witness of these events whom we had advised to remain in command of his troops, had also gone to Constantinople. After the
45 bad example shown by Djemal Pasha, I sent the following telegram of the 7 th July, to all the commanding officers: 1. The national forces, which are formed and organised for the preservation of our independence, are protected against any kind of attack or interference. The national will is sovereign in regard to the guidance of the fate of the State and the people. The Army is the willing servant of the national will. 2. If, for some reason or other, inspectors and commanders should be removed from their command, they may transfer it to their suc cessors provided that these have the necessary qualifications to work with, them; they should, however, remain in the district where they have any influence and continue to carry on their national duties as before. If, on the other hand, men should be appointed who might have been responsible for incidents similar to those that took place at Smyrna, the command is not to be handed over to them, and the inspec tors and the other commanders will refuse to recognise such appoint ments, and declare that they have entirely lost their confidence in them. 3. If, on account of pressure exercised by the Entente Powers for the purpose of facilitating the occupation of the country, the Govern ment should order any Coips or any part of the Army or of any national organisation to be disbanded, such order must neither be taken any notice of nor obeyed. 4. The Army will resist any influence or interference which would produce the weakening or dissolution of anti-annexation societies or unions for the defence of national rights, the efforts ^of which are aimed at the maintenance and preservation of national independence. 5. The Civil Administration, in the same way as the Army, is the lawful protector of the union for the defence of national rights and anti-annexation leagues in their effort to safeguard the independence of the State and the Nation.
6. If any part of the country is attacked, the entire nation is ready to stand up for its rights. In that case, each district will imme diately communicate with the others in order to insure co-operation and joint action. These instructions were addressed to each of the Army Comman ders and all commanders of Corps in Anatolia and Rumelia, as well as to every other person concerned. Five or six days after this circular had been sent out, I received a telegram in cipher from Kawak signed by "Refet, commanding
4 6 the III rd Corps/ dated the 13 th July. This is the text of the tele gram: "Colonel Selaheddin, the Chief of the War Department, has arrived from Constantinople on board on English ship to supersede me. The Ministry has commanded me to return on the same vessel. Selaheddin Bey will work in the interest of our cause. As things are at the present moment, I think I would be doing right if handed over the command to him, and I have sent in my resignation to the Ministry of War. I will give you further particulars in a special message. I am leaving for Sivas. Will you be good enough to send your reply to me through Arif Bey, commanding the 5 th Division at Amasia." I must confess that I was not at all satisfied with Refet Bey s action. Constantinople had been informed of his co-operation with me. If a man who is regarded as a member of this active body arrives on board an English ship to supersede him, it must directly and naturally follow that he is serving the designs of the English. Even allowing that this is no more than a mere surmise, Refet Bey ought not suddenly to have surrendered his command, but ought at least to have waited until he had heard what I thought about it. On the other hand, if he had had sufficient confidence to hand over his command to a successor, I should have thought that it would have been better if he had remained there for some time longer, so that he could work with him and explain the situation and our own views to him, and at the same time have put himself into communication with me before he left. But as I was now facing an accomplished fact, there was nothing left for me to do but console myself with these two considerations : Firstly, the expression in Refet Bey s telegram "Selaheddin Bey will work in the interest of our cause/ was a definite statement; secondly, Refet Bey had not actually left for Constantinople. As it was, I sent a message to all the commanding officers, drawing their attention to the fact that "if they made the mistake of going to Constantinople, they would be doing something for which the country might be called upon to pay dearly, and, therefore, in future we should be very careful to carry out our programme strictly." On the same day, the 14** July, I sent a telegram in cipher to Refet Bey contain
ing, amongst other things, this expression : "The news that Selaheddin will take care to carry through our plans has made our comrades very happy indeed and has encouraged them very much."
To Selaheddin personally I sent the following telegram : July 14 th . To the commanding officer of the 5 th Division at Amasia: For Refet Bey. "Do you consider it advisable to send the following telegram to Selaheddin Bey?" Mustapha Kemal To Selaheddin Bey Effendi. "We are very glad to hear of your departure from the narrow sur roundings of Constantinople and that you are taking refuge in the sacred bosom of the nation and can join your companions in their patriotic labours. The Almighty will give us the victory in our united endeavours to gain our sacred aim. I greet you with brotherly feelings/ (Mustapha Kemal) Kiasim Colonel, C. O. S., III rd Army Inspection The first signs of doubt and uncertainty about Selaheddin Bey arose through this same Refet Bey, who had shown his confidence in him when he said that "Selaheddin Bey will work for the cause/ and who, after he had handed his command over to him, had left for Sivas. Refet Bey s telegram from Amasia, indeed, expressed not only doubt concerning Selaheddin, but also contained certain other im portant things. If you will allow me, I will read it to you. Urgent. Strictly confidential. No. 719. From Amasia, I3 t!l July, 1919. To the officer commanding the XV th Army Corps at Erzerum. For His Excellency Mustapha Kemal Pasha. "You know Selaheddin Bey. We must be very careful not to alarm him suddenly. Kiasim Pasha must get into correspondence with him under the pretence of congratulating him, and in doing so he must be very careful what he says. I have heard nothing yet about the recall of Hamid Bey. Something has happened to detain him. There is scarcely any hope that he will stay here after he has been recalled. Nevertheless, I shall work on him. It is certain that the English will do all they can to induce me to return. But I shall remain here and do what is necessary, as the situation demands. From what I can hear from Englishmen and an American passing through here, Kiasim Pasha is also in danger. Once more, I advise you to be very careful and watch what it going on." (Refet) Arif Commanding the 5 th Division.
4 8
Hamid Bey, who is mentioned in the telegram, was at that time Governor of Samsoon. Refet Bey had known him for a long time. He had already recommended him to me soon after we had arrived at Samsoon. He was convinced that he was a man who combined in himself the necessary qualifications to work loyally with us in the interests of the cause. We had succeeded in getting him appointed to Samsoon by writing to the Grand Vizier and, privately, to Djevad Pasha, Chief of the General Staff. Could there have been any doubt at aU that such a person would sooner or later be dismissed? Refet Bey, however, stated that steps were being taken to detain him. "To detain" him but where? 1 Something has happened" but what ? and by whose authority? He added that he did not think that he would remain in that district if he were dismissed from his office, but all the same, "I shall work on him"! But where would he go to? To Constantinople? How? Has he not been working with us till now? In his telegram Refet Bey says that he considers it certain that the English will exert pressure on the Government to have him re called, but that nevertheless he will remain on the spot ^and act according to circumstances. The position, however, was quite clear, and I had indicated in the instructions I had circulated on the 7^ July what he was to do (No. 2 of the instructions). No other steps were to be undertaken. Refet Bey had been able to learn from the Englishmen and an American travelling through that "Kiasim Pasha was also in danger." What did all this mean? To what should we attribute the attitude of these men who should be the very first to give proof of their firmness, and yet who appear to be dreaming of imaginary dangers and put their faith in others who are certainly not our well-wishers and who speak of these fanciful dangers in a tone of conviction? At the end of his telegram, Refet preaches to us all, including myself, and advises me personally to be "very careful and watch what is going on." The interpretation of the expression "very careful" I leave to the judgment of sane persons of understanding. If the person who advised me to proceed carefully would have given me this advice before he had abandoned his post, it seems to me that he would have acted with far greater sincerity. Hamid Bey had sent me this short telegram on the 14^ July from Samsoon :
49 "I have learned from a confidential source that I have been recalled. I expect the order to reach me in a day or two. I shall then go to Constantinople." If I had already regretted that Refet Bey had given up his command, I was very sorry indeed to learn on the very same day that another
comrade on whom we had absolutely relied had taken up an incom prehensible attitude on an important question, just as though we were still living under normal conditions. On the 15 th July, I sent this message to Hamid Bey; "My dear brother, the news has reached us that Ibrahim Edhem Bey has been appointed to succeed you. I have written to Refet Bey, asking him to accompany you when you go into the interior. I cannot think what can induce you to go to Constantinople. While we are trying to draw our friends who can be useful to us away from Constantinople and bring them to Anatolia, so that we can let the good patriots have an opportunity of co-operating in carrying out our ideals, you want to go into the narrow and dependent environ ment of the metropolis to say nothing worse of such a proceeding. We do not approve at all of your attitude. Join Refet. Either stay in the district of Sivas with him or come to us by whatever route you prefer. We are waiting for a straightforward answer from you." (Document 34.) The telegram we received from Hamid Bey, Governor of Djanik, five days later, the 2O th July, from Samsoon was couched in these words : "The nation, driven to despair by the ever-increasing scandals in Constantinople, is trusting that a ray of hope will come from the east. The people have endowed these places and those who dwell in them with such phantastic shapes and forms that I ask myself whether they are real. I am ashamed of my own indifference. "Surely we are not asleep. We are eager to do something. But I have come to the conclusion that we are going to be entangled in theories and that we have chosen the longest road to arrive at our goal. The time and the condition of affairs in the country will not allow us to go on waiting. The situation is getting worse every moment. Therefore, we must decide promptly what we are going to do, and do it at once. "I suggest that we sent telegrams to the Sultan simultaneously from all parts of the country. Let us tell him straightforwardly that the people, seeing clearly what the scandals that have been perpeKemal Pasha 4
50 trated for the last ten months under his very eyes, just to humour him and suit his frame of mind, will lead to, have decided, at all costs, to take the reins of government into their own hands. We ought to add that in future we shall decline to recognise either himself or his Government unless a Cabinet possessing the confidence of the nation is formed within forty-eight hours, and unless within the same time it has been decided to convene a constitutional assembly. There is no reason that I know of why this should not be done. Let us go forward! Let us trust that the nation, traditionally accustomed to bend its neck under the yoke, will stand loyally behind us." Considering that Hamid Bey told us five days before that he
intended to go to Constantinople if he should be recalled, I think you will find his telegram rather energetically worded, but all the same it shows a decided and active spirit. The Governor wonders whether things are really what they seem and whether the nation may look for a ray of hope coming from the east. He must think us to be dolts and fools, who do not know what we are doing or how to act decisively and quickly. He would have done better if, after having said all this, he had not aired his opinions, which only showed his total incapabil ity of judging rightly. History is teeming with examples showing what fate awaits people whose battle-cry is "Onward! and let us trust that the nation that is accustomed to be downtrodden will follow us!" Statesmen, and espe cially the leaders of a nation, ought never to allow themselves to be carried away by such absurd nonsense. Hamid Bey did not refer at all in his telegram to the advice we had given him about going into the interior with Refet Bey. In our message of the 2i st July, we had told Hamid Bey that: "With God s help, everything will turn out just as we wish. But before we can form a Cabinet possessing the con fidence of the nation, we must establish the power that is to stand behind it. This result can be attained only by calling together the congress of the Eastern Provinces and later on the general congress at Sivas." I will now return to the affairs of the III rd Army Corps and take the opportunity to refer to Refet Bey and Selaheddin Bey. I do so, because the English were spreading rumours to the effect that they were sending a battalion to Sivas. To meet every contin gency, military dispositions had been taken all along the differ ent routes leading to Sivas. An order I gave to the commander of the 5 th Division at Amasia on the i8 tjl July, contained the follow ing about Refet Bey, who was still at Amasia: "I want to draw the
51 serious attention of Refet Bey to this matter. It is impossible, after he has considered the situation arising from this, that he will prefer to remain at Amasia." The answer of the commander of the 5 th Di vision, dated the ig m July, included these remarkable expressions: "Selaheddin Bey is still at Samsoon. I have not been able to get into touch with him until to-day. As there has not been any correspon dence of importance between us, I do not know what his opinions are or what he intends to do. "Refet Bey, however, had given it to be understood that if he were called upon to do so he would not have the necessary courage to offer resistance to the English. "Refet Bey left for Sivas on the i8 th July." (Document 35.) Then I sent the following telegram in cipher to Refet Bey: Telegram in cipher. Personal. No. 151. 19^ July, 1919. To Colonel Ibrahim Tali Bey, Medical Inspector of the III rd Army at Sivas.
For Refet Bey. "Have you handed my telegram to Selaheddin Bey? It is most important to find out what his attitude is. It is a patriotic duty to put an end to a situation that might possibly lead to disaster, which would certainly happen if we begin to hesitate or appear doubtful ; it is ab solutely necessary to get a straightforward answer from him yes or no and to decide accordingly. The only course left for him to follow is from the point where you left off. What has moved me to send you this telegram is the fact that we have not been able to get any positive news for about a week, and we have not been able to form any clear opinion about him since we heard from Constantinople. Besides, we have heard complaints that before his departure he had a secret meeting with Sadik Bey and is in close touch with him. It is your special duty to look into this and what consequences might ensue from it : for we must think what a very bad impression might be produced in any quarter of the population by the slightest injudi cious remark he might make that would not be favourable to the national cause, and the consequences it might lead to." (Mustapha Kemal) Kiasim, Colonel C. O. S. of the III rd Army Inspection. Here is Refet Bey s telegram, which is not only a reply to our tele gram but also to very many other questions.
52 Very urgent. Strictly confidential. 1828. Sivas, 22 nd July, 1919. To His Excellency Kiasiin Kara Bekir Pasha, temporary Chief of the III rd Army Inspection at Erzerum. For His Excellency Mustapha Kemal Pasha. 1. I was unable to give your telegram to Selaheddin, because it did not reach me until after I had left. You know Selaheddin, as everybody else knows him. He is a man of vacillating character. He has apparently come with no in tention of staying in this district longer than about ten days. He was very nearly running off to Constantinople without taking over the command. I calmed him down and reminded him of his duty as a patriot. There is no doubt about his love for his country, but he is incapable of any initiative. He is rather more useful than Reshid Pasha, the Vali He is well informed about military transports passing through the III rd Army Corps; he has been successful in organising this business in Constantinople. He owes his appointment here to Djevad Pasha, so that he could not do anything harmful to the cause, nor could he possibly say any thing against it. On the contrary, he has promised to work for its success, but only in secret. I cannot believe the news about his re lations with Sadik Bey. Moreover, to work without a definite pro gramme, would mean to split up our forces. If, when you spoke to me about the position in the east, you had not allowed yourself to be influenced by exaggerated rumours, I could possibly have arranged
matters better and would not have been obliged to leave my com mand. You will undoubtedly recognise that the men who are called upon to make decisions on their own initiative must be well informed about what is going on. What have we to gain by frightening Selaheddin unnecessarily and force him to answer in the negative? He is already prepared to run away. Whom could we put in his place? I beg you to give me precise and clear orders. Will you kindly read your telegram referring to Selaheddin over again. From it, which begins stormily and calms down towards the end, I have not been able to guess what you really mean. However, in a few days Selaheddin will return to Samsoon. I shall have a talk with him. In any case, I shall try to spare his feelings and induce him to work hard in the interests of the cause. 2. From the conversations I have had with the Englishmen, I gather that the landing of a battalion at Samsoon, which at the same time will give them an opportunity to embark the Indian Mohamedans.
53 is specially intended to be a threat against the place where Your Excellency is living, because you are believed to be at Sivas. An English officer called on me at Kawak and tried to convince me that I ought to go to Constantinople. He has spread the report that I have been recalled because I have resisted the English; but his real in tention was to undermine you. Another supporter of Your Excellency is Kiasim Pasha. He ought also to avoid giving any pretext to the English for similar demands. The fact that when he retired, Ferid Pasha asked Kiasim Pasha to represent him temporarily, indicates that some of the people in Constantinople have no evil intentions, but they cannot do anything on account of the attitude of the English. The provisional appoint ment of Kiasim Pasha is a further proof that Selaheddin Bey has not come here with the intention of working with Sadik Bey. 3. It is very likely that the English will formally insist on my being recalled to Constantinople, because there is an "official channel of communication" (sic) between me and the English. If this pressure should increase, I shall cover up my tracks, so that I shall not put Selaheddin Bey in a precarious position. 4. The rumour about Hamid Bey being transferred has not yet been confirmed. Selaheddin, as well as the English, have applied to Constantinople to make sure that he will remain where he is. The at tempt to replace him is attributed to his difference with the Ministry of the Interior. It is also doubtful whether Sedad Bey has yet arrived at Konia to succeed Selaheddin Bey. Although he writes that he has heard that there will be a change of all the commanders, the provisional appointment of Kiasim Pasha proves that there is no truth in the rumour. 5. Have you heard anything about the telegram that the Grand Vizier has sent direct to aU the Valis about the congress that is going to be held at Sivas? It is reported that the officer commanding the
division at Kara Hissar has issued a proclamation for the election of delegates to this congress. Do you approve of this? Ought we not, judging from the German Peace Treaty and the calm that prevails in the East, to maintain a guarded attitude and wait till the situation is clearer? You can have no doubt, at last, that so far as I am personally con cerned I have no cause for anxiety. But everything we do without a definite programme before us is liable to injure the cause. We must wait and watch and allow nothing to stand in our way, working openly and without losing time.
54 But, whatever we do, do you really think that we shall gain any advantage from a congress publicly assembled at Sivas under present conditions? Or, do you not rather think that it is dangerous? An attack against Sivas from the south would be very dangerous indeed and would divide Anatolia into two parts, principally because the population in this vilayet seems to be quite apathetic. As an indication of this, the aUeged neutral attitude recently adopted by this vilayet is of the greatest significance. If it is absolutely necessary to convene this congress, would it not be better if it were held in a town farther to the east, provided that it could be ascertained that the delegates could get there easily? 6. The inhabitants of the towns of Sivas and Amasia are not worthy of it: those in the districts and villages are better in com parison. In future I shall act as I think best, according to circum stances. 7. In a letter I have received from Constantinople I am advised to pacify the English by showing them a manifesto of yours, in which you proclaim that the national movement aims at the salvation^ and the independence of the nation, but not in accordance with the indi vidual politics of any particular party or person. If such a manifesto were published, I suggest that it would be advisable for this to be done in the form of a proclamation issued by yourself personally, but at the same time as a supplement to the resolutions passed at the Erzerum Congress. 8. The agencies are talking about parliamentary elections. What is your opinion about this? Refet> c.O.S. III rd Army Corps. Seki. Here is the verbatim reply to this telegram: Telegram in cipher, to be delivered personally by an officer. Urgent. No. 171. July 3 rd , 1919.
To Seki Bey, commanding the III rd Army Corps at Sivas. For Refet Bey Effendi. i. So that I can read it again, I have been looking everywhere for the telegram about Selaheddin, but I cannot find it. As far as I can remember, the statements about him came from Constantinople. It is seldom that I have the time to re-read all the information that comes to me, much as I might like to do so. The news that came about the situation in the east is certainly not
free from exaggeration, but I am certain that it vdll not have led us into error. In making up our minds what to do, we did not rely on what was happening in the east. Is it likely that we could have achieved all that we have done already if we had acted differently or had taken greater precaution in the organisation and the development of the national movement? Look at the results: The manifestation of the national demands at the congress, the co-operation of the Army in the national organisa tions, and the resolutions we arrived at as to what we considered we ought not to do in regard to the command and the arms, so as to avoid compromising the national cause. In any case, the present situation is satisfactory all round. 2. The temporary appointment of Kiasim Pasha has been made just at the right time. He is trying not to give the English any ostensible reason for taking any steps whatsoever against us. But it cannot be said that we have been negligent, either in the question of arms or the resistance that would be offered to the landing of troops at Trebizond. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that we have not done precisely what the English would have liked. 3. The English strongly urged the Government and exercised all possible pressure on them to have me recalled to Constantinople. This is perfectly evident from the exchange of telegrams that went on for several days between the Government and the Sultan. I will tell you all about this correspondence when I see you. After I retired from the Army, this pressure ceased. I gather from this that after my resignation they were not so anxious about you. Nevertheless, I would in any case prefer to leave Selaheddin in a difficult dilemma than lose touch with you. The Government and the English have repeatedly put pressure on Kiasim Pasha, on account of Halid Bey. The latter is actually in command of his division, although he holds no official rank, because Kiasim Pasha persists in maintaining that nothing can be done to prevent this. In his last telegram, Hamid Bey showed a stronger inclination to act rapidly than we do ourselves. We have kept him quiet for the moment. 5. I have heard nothing yet of the telegram about the Congress
at Sivas. In fact, we may be quite sure that there are extremists whose opinions take a definite shape in some districts, while in others they assume reactionary forms. I am satisfied that we must proceed so cautiously that our oper-
56 ations will be assured of success, being guided by circumstances as they arise. A definite programme that will be intelligible to everyone will be adopted at the Congress at Erzerum, which has begun its work to-day. _ _ 7 . I expect important results from the Congress at Sivas. You will remember that I have anticipated the great probability of an attack being made from all sides, and that not only now, but ever since it was decided that a congress should be held at Sivas, I have urged that the necessary steps should be taken for our protection. We must think out in a practical way what is to be done about the number of delegates who will come to Sivas when the sitting of the Congress at Erzerum is over and when we can see what the probable result of that congress will be and what impression it produces. 6. I quite agree with you about the organisation of the work, but I hope, also, that the inhabitants of the towns will conform to national sentiments. 7. The aims and objects of the national movement will be an nounced in the way you propose, namely, by issuing manifestos while the congress is in progress. 8. Parliament will be convened, but not in Constantinople. It must meet in Anatolia. This question will be discussed at the congress, and after that the necessary steps will be taken. I send you my fraternal greetings. (Mustapha Kemal) Kiasim Colonel C. O. S. III rd Army Inspection. I think it is now my duty to refer with satisfaction to the deep impression made on me by the confidence and cordiality quite openly and unanimously shown to me after I retired from the Army by the entire population of Erzerum and the Erzerum Branch of the "League for the Defence of the National Rights of the Eastern Provinces/ In a letter, dated 10 th July, the Erzerum Branch of the League proposed that I should act as chairman of the Executive Committee, The names of five other persons were mentioned to me as having been selected to work with me. They were : Raif Eff endi, Suleiman Bey, a retired officer, Kiasim Bey, a retired officer, Nedjati Bey, editor of a newspaper caUed "Al Beirak," Dursun Bey and Sade Djevad Bey. In the same letter I was told that Rauf Bey had been elected vicechairman of the Excecutive Committee. (Document 36.) At this time Raif Effendi was the chairman of the committee of the
Erzerum Branch. Hadji Hafis Effendi, Suleiman Bey, Maksud Bey,
57 Messud Bey, Nedjati Bey, Ahmed Bey, Kiasim Bey were members, with Djevad Bey acting as secretary. In a telegram which they tried to have delivered at the headquar ters of the League in Constantinople, the Erzerum Branch requested them "to telegraph that I had been authorised to act in the name of headquarters/ (Document 37.) Kiasim Bey, the retired officer, and Dursun Bey, as well as Djevad Bey, all of whom had been elected delegates to represent Erzerum at the congress, sent in their resignations to make it easier for them to take part in this assembly. II As all the world knows, the Congress met at Erzerum on the 23 rd July, 1919, in a humble schoolroom. On the first day I was elected Chairman. In my opening speech I informed the assembly as to the real state of affairs and, in a certain measure, the aim we had in view. I emphasis ed the fact that it was surely impossible to imagine that there was one patriot in the country who was not already perfectly well aware of the dark and tragic dangers that surrounded us, and who was not deeply stirred by them. I spoke of the attacks that had been made against me and of the occupation of the country which had been carried out in total dis regard of the stipulations of the armistice. I told them that history will never fail to recognise the existence and the rights of a nation, and that the judgment pronounced against our country and the nation would surely not be ignored. I solemnly laid stress on the certainly that the power that will have the last word to say on the subject of the preservation of the sacred rights of our country, and ensure that their resolution and determination shall be respected and honoured, reposes in the undaunted spirit that inspires the national movement and which, like an electric flash, penetrates even to the remotest parts of our country. To raise the spirits of the assembly, I then proceeded to survey the facts regarding the activity exhibited by all downtrodden nations to maintain their national rights at the present time. I expressed clearly that the will of the Turkish Nation to be master of her own destiny could only spring from Anatolia, and, as a first step, I suggested the creation of the National Areopagus founded on the will of the people, and the formation of a Government that derives its strength from this same will.
5S The Congress at Erzerum lasted a fortnight. Its labours were
confined to the drawing up of regulations and deciding upon the wording of a manifesto in which they were to be published. Apart from certain views and questions of minor importance, so far as their form and matter is concerned, if we examine the contents of these documents within the limitations of time and environment, we can deduce from them a certain number of governing principles and resolutions which are of the greatest value to us. With your permission, I shall give you some idea of my opinions at this time about these principles and decisions. 1. The entire country within its national frontiers is an undivided whole. (Manifesto Art. 6: section regarding Regulations Art. 3, Art. i of the Regulations and the Manifesto.) 2. In the event of the Ottoman Empire being split up, the nation will unanimously resist any attempt at occupation or interference by foreigners. (Arts. 2 and 3 of the Regulations ; Art. 3 of the Manifesto.) 3. Should the Government be incapable of preserving the indepen dence of the nation and the integrity of the country, a provisional Government shall be formed for the purpose of safeguarding these aims. This Government shall be elected by the national congress, and, if it should not be sitting at the time, the Excecutive Committee shall proceed to elect it. (Regulations Art. 4; Manifesto Art. 4.) 4. The chief object is to consolidate the national forces into a ruling factor and to establish the will of the nation as the sovereign power. (Art. 3 of the Manifesto.) 5. No privileges which could impair our political sovereignty or our social equilibrium shall be granted to the Christian elements. (Manifesto Art. 4.) 6. It is out of the question to accept a mandate or a protectorate. (Manifesto Art. 7.) 7. Everything that is possible shall be done to secure the immediate meeting of the National Assembly and to establish its control over the proceedings of the Government. (Manifesto Art. 8.) Perhaps you will have observed already, or you will do so, that these principles and decisions, although they have been put forward in different forms, can be carried into effect without in any way losing their original character. Gentlemen, while we were working in the congress to lay down the principles and come to the decision which I have just been talking about, Ferid Pasha, the Grand Vizier, published certain declarations. These declarations deserve to be described as a threat against the nation.
59 On the 23 rd July, the Grand Vizier announced urbi et orui that: fc Unrest has taken place in Anatolia. Without any regard to the Constitution, assemblies have been held under the pretence that they are parliamentary sittings. It is the duty of the military and civil
authorities to prevent such proceedings." The requisite steps were taken to counteract this order issued by the Grand Vizier. On the other hand, we insisted on our right to assemble a parliament. (Document 39.) As the congress was coming to an end, on the 7 th August I declared to the assembly that we had "passed serious resolutions and had proved in the face of the whole world the existence and the unity of the nation/ History, I added, will characterise the work we have done at this congress as a wonderful performance that has seldom been equalled. I am convinced that time will show that what I said was no exag geration. According to the regulations drawn up at the Erzerum Congress, a Representative Committee was formed. In the statement which, in accordance with the regulations, was put before the Vilayet of Erzerum on the 24 th August, 1919, to obtain the authority for the Representative Committee to meet, the names and rank of its members were the following: Mustapha Kemal Pasha, formerly Inspector of the III rd Army Corps, retired from the Army; Rauf Effendi, ex-Minister of Marine; Raif Effendi, ex-Deputy for Erzerum ; Izzet Bey, ex-Deputy for Trebizond ; Servet Bey, ex-Deputy for Trebizond; Sheikh Fewsi Effendi, Sheikh of the order of the Nakshibendi, of Erzingan; Bekir Sami Bey, formerly Vali of Beirut ; Sadullah Effendi, ex-Deputy for Bitlis; Hadji Mussa Bey, Chief of the Mutki tribe. Let me say, incidentally, that these people never met to work together. Izzet Bey, Servet Bey, Hadji Mussa Bey and Sadullah Effendi never showed up at all. After taking part in the Congress at Sivas, Raif Effendi and Sheikh Fewsi Effendi left the former for Erzerum and the latter for Erzingan and never put in an appearance again. Rauf Bey and Bekir Sami Bey, who were present at the Congress
6o at Sivas, stayed with us until they entered the Parliament in Con stantinople. I would like to mention a less important matter while I remember it. As there had been some discussion about my taking part in the
Erzerum Congress, there were some people who, when I joined this assembly, showed some hesitation about electing me Chairman. If we may attribute that hesitation on the part of some of them to their good-faith and sincerity, it was not the case as regards certain of the others. At that time there was no doubt that these latter were very far from being straightforward, but, on the contrary, were carrying on despicable intrigues against me. One, for instance, was Omar Fewsi Bey, who had come to the congress as a spy of the enemy, after he had succeeded in being elected a delegate for some place in the pro vince of Trebizond. His companions were of the same kidney. The treachery of this man was discovered lately through his actions at Trebizond, after he had fled to Constantinople from that town. Two or three days before the Congress came to an end, another question was discussed. Some of my confidential associates expressed the opinion that it might be difficult for me to carry on the work publicly as a member of the Representative Committee. In a few words this is what these people thought: "It is evident that patriotic deeds spring from the heart and soul of the nation and that they are national in the fullest meaning of the word. That being so, these actions will gain in strength and will not be liable to be misconstrued by anyone : moreover, they will not make unfavourable impressions on the minds of foreigners. "But if a man like myself is seen at the head of this national movement, who is in revolt against the Government, the Caliphate and the Throne itself and who is exposed to attack from every side, it is possible that his actions will be attributed more to his personal ambition than to purely national considerations. "Consequently, the Representative Committee should consist of delegates selected from the provinces and the autonomous districts. In this way alone can national unity be expressed." I shall not attempt to show whether these conceptions were right or wrong. I shall only mention several of those points on which I lean to justify my attitude. It was essentially necessary that I should take part in the congress and be its leader, for I was convinced of the importance of converting the national will into deeds and urging the nation to do what it will
6i be called upon to do by deeds and arms. I considered it imperative for me to inform, enlighten and guide the people in such a way that I would be able to emphasise this view and induce them to accept it. As a matter of fact, this is what actually happened in the end. I admit that I had no confidence in the ability of any representative body to carry through the principles and decisions I have described that were adopted by the congress.
Time and events have proved that I was right. Besides, I feel myself compelled to say quite frankly that I was not convinced that anybody could feel assured that we would be able to hold this congress at Sivas, the convening of which had already been decided upon at Amasia and brought to the knowledge of all the people by every possible means ; or that such a body was capable of representing the nation and the country as a whole by a single representative body and then, with equally energetic attention and care, give themselves up to finding a sure way to defend and liberate, not the Eastern Pro vinces alone but every part of the country. If I had thought this possible, I would have found an excuse to delay my departure and wait and see what would be the result of the efforts of those who had resolved to act, and in that case I should not have deemed it necessary to rebel against the Government and the Sultan-Caliph. On the contrary, like certain hypocrites who fought in both camps, I need not have resigned my positions as Army Inspector and A. D. C. to His Majesty, both of which gave me high dignity and authority. There was certainly more than one consideration that induced me to place myself openly at the head and assume the leadership of the entire national and military movement. But could this mean other wise than the liability of incurring the severest penalties, to which I personally, more than anybody else, would be exposed in the event of failure? As for the rest, can those who call themselves patriots allow themselves to think for a moment about their own fate when the existence of the country and of the whole of a great nation is at stake? If I had allowed myself to be influenced by the imaginary fears entertained by certain of my comrades, two important things would have happened : i . It would have meant that I admitted I had been entirely wrong in my judgment and decision, and that my character was devoid of energy. Such a confession would have been an irretrievable mistake from the point of view of the undertaking which I had morally imposed upon myself.
62 History shows irrefutably that in all great enterprises the conditio sine qua non of success lies in the fact that there must be a leader available who possesses special qualifications and untiring energy. At a time when all statesmen have been seized with despair and are paralysed by their impotence, when the nation is plunged into the darkness of night without any one to show them the way, when people of every possible description calling themselves patriots think and act in precisely as many different ways, is it possible for anybody to proceed with confidence, clear-sightedness and energy, and succeed in the end to achieve one of the most difficult of all aims when he feels himself forced to accept this or that advice, to succumb under a host of varying influences and avoid hurting the feelings of a multi tude of other persons? Can history point to a single human being who has had the good fortune to succeed in such circumstances?
2. Could the situation and the object in view be placed in the hands of any representative body that was recruited, in all probability, from such miserable fellows as, let us say for instance, the Sheikh of Nakshibendi or the Chief of the Mutki tribe, who had never learned any thing about governmental questions, politics or the army, and who had never had an opportunity of showing his aptitude for such work? And in confiding this to the hands of such men, should we not have made the grave mistake of deceiving ourselves and the rest of the nation, after we had solemnly pledged ourselves to save the people and the country? Even if the question had arisen of granting secret support to a representative body of this description, could that have been regarded as a proper way to inspire confidence? I have no doubt that at the present moment the world will admit the undisputable truth of what I have just said, although it did not appear to be so at that time. Nevertheless, from the standpoint of the social and political opin ion of the coming generation, I consider it to be my duty to support my assertion by certain events that are still fresh in my memory and by documents relating to the past. What I have just been trying to make clear is still further borne out by events which I shall now touch upon. When the Erzerum Congress was over, an order arrived at the headquarters of the XV th Army Corps, dated the 30 th July, signed by a certain man called Nasim Pasha, who, from what we had heard, had only recently joined the War Ministry. It ran as follows: "As the Sublime Porte has decided to arrest Mustapha Kemal
Pasha and Refet Bey immediately, on the charge that they are dis obeying the orders issued by the Government, and send them both to Constantinople; and as the necessary orders have already been given to the local authorities, your Army Corps is commanded to execute this order without delay and to report that this has been done/ The officer commanding the Army Corps sent an appropriate reply. I sent a copy of this telegram to all the commanders, directing their attention to it. The Manifesto issued by the congress was circulated throughout the country, as well as being communicated to the representatives of foreign countries in a different manner. The Regulations had also been telegraphed in cipher, and some of them to the commanding officers and other trustworthy authorities. A great number of copies were printed in different localities for easy distribution. Naturally, all this occupied several days. On this occasion Selaheddin, commanding the III rd Army Corps at Sivas, informed me in a telegram, dated the 22 nd August, that "in his opinion the publication of Arts. 2 and 4 of the Regulations would be received with some hesitation/ and he advised me to have them revised. (Document 42.) Art. 2 provides for the principle of united defence and resistance, which was unanimously agreed to.
Art. 4 provides for the formation of a provisional Government. While we were trying to find a way at Erzerum to make the mean ing of the decisions that were passed by the congress intelligible to everybody and secure their unanimous acceptance, we received the news that certain circulars, called the "Regulations of the Organisation of the Karakol Society" and "Instructions concerning the General Authority of the Karakol Society/ had been distributed among the soldiers and officers. In fact, they were circulated everywhere. All who read them even the commanding officers who were closely associated with me were perplexed, because they thought that I was the author of them. On the one hand, they thought that all through the congress I had displayed open and systematic endeavours in a national sense; but, on the other, that I was trying to form a committee of some mysterious and formidable character. In reality, this propaganda emanated from certain men in Con stantinople who, apparently, were acting in my name. According to the regulations of this "Karakol Society/ the names of the members of the committee, their number, the place and manner of their meeting, as well as their election and their objects, were kept absolutely secret.
6 4 Moreover, the circulation, even in part, of anything concerning it or any intimation that it was in any way dangerous or was consid ered to be so was punishable with instant death. In the instructions relating to its general powers a "National Army" is mentioned, and it is clearly expressed that the "Commanderin-Chief" of this Army, the officers on his Staff, the officers command ing the troops, the Army Corps and the Divisions, with their Staff officers, had been selected and appointed. Their names were not divulged. In the same way, their duties were carried out secretly. I enlightened the commanding officers immediately by instructing them that they were on no account to obey such orders and instruc tions. I added that an inquiry had been instituted for the purpose of discovering the origin of this enterprise. After I had arrived at Sivas I learned from Kara Vassif , who had come there, that he and his companions were the authors of these circulars. In any case, they had been acting without authority. It was a dangerous thing to try to make people obey the orders of an anony mous committee, with an unknown chief in command and a host of unknown commanding officers, by threatening them with the penalty of death of they dared to disobey. Signs of mutual distrust and fear began, indeed, to make their appearance among the military forces. For instance, it was not improbable that the commanders of some of the Army Corps might ask with perfect right, "Who is in command of my Army Corps? When and how will he take over the command? What will my position be then?"
When I asked Kara Vassif who constituted the committee and who were the superior officers and anonymous high persons on the General Staff, he replied: "You and your comrades, of course!" His answer took me completely by surprise. It had neither reason nor logic in it, because I had never been spoken to about such an enterprise or such an organisation, nor had I given my assent to it in any form. When we know that this Society tried subsequently to carry on its work, particularly in Constantinople, without altering its name, surely we cannot be favourably impressed with its honesty. The main thing was to induce the Government in Constantinople not to offer further resistance to the national movement, because such an alteration in its attitude would strengthen and facilitate the suc cess of the cause.
65 With this idea, I took advantage of the fact that Fend Pasha, who had returned to Constantinople, had completely failed and had almost been subjected to humiliation, and decided to send him a telegram in cipher on the i6 th August, 1919, from which I give you some important extracts: "Having just heard of the detailed reply which M. Clemenceau has addressed to Your Highness, I am fully conscious of the great weight of sorrow and bitterness that must weigh upon you now on your return to Constantinople . . . ." "I cannot think that there is any sensitive person who would not be stirred to the depths by the irrevocable decision arrived at to divide and annihilate the Empire in such a glaring and humiliating manner. Thank God, our nation is endowed with such fortitude of mind and intrepidity of spirit that it will never sacrifice its life and its historic traditions from a feeling of discouragement, or allow itself to submit to such a sentence of execution." "I am firmly convinced that Your Highness can no longer look upon the general situation and the real interests of the Empire and the nation with the same eyes that you regarded them with three months ago." "It is, indeed, very unfortunate from the point of view of the dig nity of the nation to be compelled to admit that the different Cabinets that have succeeded one another during the last nine months have all shown gradually increasing weakness, until, unhappily, they have at last exhibited complete incompetence. It is imperative, if we are to appeal with authority to the country itself and foreign nations on matters connected with the fate of the country and expect them to give us a fair hearing, that we shall have their unqualified support." "As an answer to the candour and seriousness which characterise the ideals of the nation in their struggle for life and independence,
the Government prefer to maintain a passive attitude. This is most deplorable, and is liable to drive the people to take regrettable action against the Government. "Permit me to insist in all sincerity that the nation is capable of enforcing its will in every way. No power can hold it back. Every negative act on the part of the Government is foredoomed to complete failure. The nation, following out the programme that has been de cided upon, is marching forward to its goal with rapid and resolute steps. "Your Highness has already personally taken account of the actual state of affairs and is aware that the counter-measures adopted by the Government will not be crowned with success. Kemal Pasha 5
66 "It is equally against common sense to look for a way out of our difficulties as suggested by the English. Sooner or later, that would be certain to end in failure. "Moreover, the English themselves are already convinced that the real power lies in the hands of the nation, and at last have arrived at the conclusion that it is totally impossible to have dealings with a Government that is not supported by the people and that is not in the position to accept obligations in the name of the nation and, if they venture to do so, to whom the nation would not render allegiance . . ." "All that the nation desires can be condensed into this: If the Government will abandon its resistance to the national movement, which is quite legitimate, and leans for support on the nation and is in full accord with everything that has been done to fulfil the aspir ations of the nation, it must guarantee as quickly as possible that it will convene a Parliament that shall represent the well-being of the nation and carry out its will/ Meanwhile, everything was being done at Amasia to hasten on the election of delegates to the congress we were trying to assemble at Sivas, and we were doing all we could to make sure of the safe arrival of the delegates. All the military commanders and a great number of patriots showed extraordinary enthusiasm. But, at the same time, we were hampered by the reactionary propaganda that was spread in all directions by our enemies, and chiefly by the counter-measures adopted by the Government, which also made our work very difficult. Some districts not only declined to elect delegates but replied to us in a manner that had a very damaging influence upon the people and nearly drove them to desperation. Thus, for instance, the telegram in cipher sent by Omer Haliss Bey, an officer on the Staff, on the 9^ August, in the name of the officer commanding the XX th Army Corps, contained among other news from Constantinople the following, which is worth noticing: 1. Constantinople is not sending any delegates. Although it ap proves of what has been done in Anatolia, it does not wish to do anything rashly or without full consideration. 2. It is impossible for us to send delegates from Constantinople.
The persons we have spoken to about it, uncertain whether they will be able to work successfully in Anatolia, do not see their way to go there or risk the trouble and expense involved in a fruitless journey. (You are aware that we had specially invited certain men by letter.) While we were struggling to overcome obstacles that stood in our way, so that we would be able to rely on the election of delegates in
6 7 every part of the country, unrest began to show itself in Sivas, the very town we had chosen for the congress to be held in because we believed it to be the safest place. I ought to mention that, although I regarded Sivas as a perfectly safe place from every point of view, I had thought it prudent all the same during my stay at Amasia to take every necessary military precaution and disposition along all the roads leading to Sivas from places in the vicinity, as well as from those situated at a distance. This is how the news of the unrest that had broken out at Sivas reached me. At noon on the 2O th August I was asked to come to the telegraph office by Reshid Pasha; he was just going to send off a long telegram. It ran as follows : To His Excellency Mustapha Kemal Pasha, Erzerum. Pardon me for troubling you. First of all, let me ask how you are. This is what I want to tell you. Yesterday morning I returned the visit of some French officers who had arrived at Sivas the day before yesterday from Constantinople and who had called on me in the vilayet. These officers were accompanied by some Jesuits, who had come ostensibly to take over some French institutions, but in reality to see what was happening in this district. Before I left, Major Brunot, the Inspector of the Gendarmerie, who was present, said he would like to speak to me privately, and took me into another room. This is, word for word, what he said: "I have heard it rumoured that Mustapha Kemal Pasha and the delegates are coming here to hold a congress. I have heard this from some French officers who came from Constantinople. What astounds me is that, in spite of our being in such close touch with one another and the high esteem I have for you, you have told me nothing about this." I tried to molify him by saying something that I thought would ease his mind, but at last he said: CC I know for certain that we have definitely decided that if Mustapha Kemal Pasha comes to Sivas and attempts to hold a congress here, this territory will be occupied within five, or at the utmost ten days. I am only telling you this because I have so much respect for you. If you do not want to believe me now you will have to do so when what I am saying is an accomplished fact. You will be one of those who will be guilty of the misfortunes of your
68 The telegram in cipher that came yesterday from the Minister of the Interior seems to give the same impression, although it was dif ferently worded. One of the French officers who arrived recently had a long talk yesterday to the officer commanding the Corps, and tried to draw out from him what he knew about the congress. This morning Major Brunot came to tell me that the question of the congress would be discussed at three o clock in the presence of the French officers but that, on account of our friendly relations with one another, he was particularly anxious to speak privately to me about it beforehand. After we had been talking for a little while, he said : "I have been thinking a great deal about this matter since yester day and I have finally decided that if Mustapha Kemal Pasha and the members of the congress do not make speeches or do anything else in a hostile spirit against the Entente Powers, there will be no objection to the congress being held here. I am going to write personally to General Franchet d Esperey to ask him to cancel the order for Mu stapha Kemal Pasha s arrest. I have also asked him to induce the Minister of the Interior to request you not to interfere with the con gress, but only on condition that you will not withhold anything from me. Our sincere friendship obliges me to speak quite openly to you." He told me that it is important to know when the congress is going to meet. I replied that I did not know anything about it, but that if I should hear anything I would let him know, and that on account of our friendship I would not hide anything from him. I feel it my duty to trust to your keen judgment to discover what could have led the major to be in this lenient mood to-day after the emphatic remarks he made yesterday about occuping the country. It is unnecessary for me to say anything more about it. It seems that their intention is to let you come here with all the other members of the congress, under the impression that they have taken up a benevolent attitude towards this meeting, and then turn round suddenly and arrest you and all your friends together. Then they would probably carry out their threat of occupation. A telegram in cipher which I received yesterday from the Minister of the Interior was somewhat to the same effect, but couched in dif ferent terms. I am giving you the facts exactly as they are and beg you to keep them secret. It is now my duty to advise Your Excellency in view of the net of intrigues and dangers that surround you, as I
69 might say, practically under my eyes. I cannot abstain from sending
you this information, and I urgently suggest that you abandon the idea of holding the congress at Sivas. I implore Your Excellency and our other honourable comrades to give up the idea of holding this second congress, unless you consider it to be absolutely necessary. If you cannot abandon it, I beg you, for the country s sake, to hold it at Erzerum instead, for that is a place that is not likely to be oc cupied; or, if you prefer, at Erzingan. In any case, I urge you to give up the idea of Sivas, which is so much exposed from every side. Selaheddin Bey Effendi, commanding the Corps, will also send you his views through his Excellency Kiasim Pasha. Rassim Bey, the former deputy for Sivas, who is here with me now, will telegraph himself to Hodsha Raif Effendi, the former deputy for Erzerum, and give him his news and views about this. They will forward his telegram to Hodsha Raif Effendi on his return from Ilidsha naturally after you have read it. This is the exact state of affairs, Your Excellency. Trusting to your widely-known patriotism, I will not venture to press you further, and meanwhile I am awaiting your orders. Reshid. Then he quoted Rassim Bey s telegram. This is the answer I sent to this telegram. On the following day we tried to keep Reshid Pasha quiet by sending him a telegram to the same effect in the name of the Representative Committee. (Document 43.) Another telegram was sent indirectly to Cadi Hasbi Effendi. (Document 44.) We also sent a message to the officer commanding the Army Corps. (Document 45.) I wrote personally to Rassim Bey to calm him. (Document 46.) 2O th August, 1919. i.o p.m. To His Excellency Reshid Pasha, Vali of Sivas. I am very much obliged to Your Excellency for the information you have sent me and for your remarks upon it. I consider the threaten ing behaviour of Major Brunot and his colleagues to be mere bluff. The convening of the Congress at Sivas is not a new question. Every body has known all about it for months past. But it is surprising that the authorised political representative of France in Constantinople should imply that they consider the national movement is justified and legitimate and that they are now ready to assure me in writing
70 that they feel they ought to take into account the claims of the nation and support them, if they are laid clearly before them. It is quite possible that the change in his tone and the moderate language Major Brunot has employed in his second interview with you are intended to convert me to his way of thinking. The occupation of Sivas by the French within five or ten days is not quite such an easy thing as Major Brunot seems to imagine. ^
Your Excellency will undoubtedly remember that the English went stiU farther in their threats, and decided to land their troops in Batum at Samsoon. They did, in fact, land a battalion there to threaten me; but when they realised that the nation was firm in its resolution to reply to such an attempt by firing on them, they discreetly arrived at the conclusion that it would be wiser to think twice about it, and withdrew, not only the troops that they had landed at Samsoon but the battalion that was already there. The questions we shall discuss are made clearly evident in a mani festo issued by the Erzerum Congress. Therefore, it can easily be seen that there is no idea of the new congress attacking the Entente Powers. Besides, I may say that I am not one of those who would humiliate themselves so far as to agree to a French protectorate or that of any other foreign Power. For my part, it is upon the nation alone that I rely and from which I derive all my strength. The questions as to the opportunity, the time for, and the place of the meeting of the congress, depend entirely on the will of the nation, whose decision is far above any personal opinion of mine. The idea of the French pretending that they will allow the congress to be held at Sivas and then find some excuse for laying their hands on its members, as you seem to anticipate, is in my opinion greatly exaggerated. I have no objection to your telling Major Brunot and his colleagues, word for word, what I am saying to you. Major Brunot and those with him will thus have an opportunity of knowing that it is altogether out of the question that the nation will hesitate for a moment or for any reason whatever to carry out the deliberate decisions that have been taken to safeguard their rights and defend their independence, as we have repeatedly informed their political representatives in Constanti nople, and not them alone but the whole world. Major Brunot must be well aware that if the French were to decide to occupy Sivas, they would have to face a new and very ex pensive war, which would entail the necessity of their bringing up fresh troops and incurring very considerable expense. Even if Major Brunot, the honourable Inspector of the Gendarm-
erie, and his colleagues really contemplate doing anything of this sort, it is most improbable that the French nation would approve of it. I have read the telegram from Rassim Bey addressed to Raif Bey. I request you to tell him that there is no cause at all for anxiety. I shall place the information and your observations which you have sent me, as well as Rassim Bey s telegram, before the Representative Committee. A final decision about the Congress at Sivas will only be arrived at after the Representative Committee has gone into the question. Whatever they decide will naturally be communicated to you. Mean while, I must request Your Excellency to take every care that Major Brunot s threats will not become known, because if they are it will excite the people. I beg you, my highly esteemed Pasha, to be assured of my special regards. Please convey my greetings to Selaheddin Bey
and Refet Bey. .... __ Mustapha Kemal. A second telegram from Reshid Pasha, which came after I had replied to the first, read thus: It is my duty to inform Your Excellency what I have been able to ascertain. I must ask you to pardon me if I have not clearly understood the views expressed by the French representatives in Constantinople and have misjudged the action I thought they might take against you. Considering your well-known patriotism and the fact that the salvation of the country is at stake, it is for you and the honourable members of the congress to decide what will be the best thing to do after you have thought the matter over carefully. I shall implicitly obey your orders. With the expression of my high esteem. Reshid To make the matter fully understood in the districts of Diarbekr and Bitlis, I wrote privately to the chiefs of several tribes, some of whom I had met when I was in command of the Army there. I had already got into touch with some of the chiefs in the Dis tricts of Van and Bayazid. (Documents 47 53.) At last, in August, we heard that the delegates had started from all the districts and were on their way to Sivas. Some of them were
72 already beginning to arrive there. These latter were asking me when I thought I would be able to come to Sivas. This made it necessary for me to leave Erzerum. But as can rea dily be seen from what I have told you, the Congress of Sivas wanted to link up all the vilayets in the east and the west, as well as those in Thrace in fact, the whole of the country. The eastern vilayets had, therefore, to send delegates to the congress, but it was impracticable to elect delegates in these provinces. It was also discovered that it was impossible to arrange for those delegates who had met at the Erzerum Congress to come to Sivas. Besides, these delegates had received from their districts only a limited mandate in the name of the Committee of the "Defence of the Rights of the Eastern Provinces," and did not consider that they were authorised to extend that mandate generally. In the same way, it was evident that the Erzerum Congress had no authority to send a delegation to the Sivas Congress in the name of the Eastern
Provinces. It was just as impracticable to go to the trouble of electing new delegates, who would find themselves unnecessarily lost in a labyrinth of theories. The simplest and most practical thing to do was to bring the Representative Committee of the "Union for the Defence of the Rights of the Eastern Provinces" to Sivas. I knew that the thought of coming down from his mountains would inspire the chief of the Mutki tribe with dread. Sadullai. Bey, the deputy for Seerd, was nowhere to be found. Servet Bey and Izzet Bey, making some excuse or other, had gone to Trebizond when the congress was over. Rauf Bey and Rail Bey were at Erzerum. Raif Bey also made excuses. We thought that, perhaps, on the way we might meet Sheikh Fewsi Effendi. I tried to persuade Servet Bey and Izzet Bey, but they did not come. Raif Bey agreed to come with us. Altogether we numbered five members of the Representative Committee; three from Erzerum, one from Erzingan, and Bekir Sami Bey, whom we found at Sivas. Now as we thought that we ought to examine the powers of the delegates who had come to the Congress at Sivas, I drew up a document and sealed it with the seal of the Representative Committee. It ran as follows ;
73 From the Representative Committee: Mustapha Kemal Pasha, Rauf Bey, Raif Effendi, Sheikh Fewsi Effendi, Bekir Sami Bey. The persons whose names appear above have been elected by the Erzerum Congress to take part in the Congress at Sivas as represen tatives of the Eastern Provinces. (Official seal). We left Erzerum on the 29 th August. You will remember an incident that occurred when we were travel ling from Amasia to Erzerum, and about which we have spoken al ready. Strangely enough, we found ourselves in a similar position when we were going from Erzerum to Sivas. On the morning of our departure for the west from Erzingan, when we had reached the Pass of Erzingan, our motor-cars were stopped by some gendarmes and officers, who were in a great state of excitement.
"The Kurds of Dersim have occupied the pass. It is very danger ous for you to go on," they told us. Some of the officers offered to send a message to the chief town in the district asking for reinforcements to be sent, and when they arrived they would attack the brigands, drive them back, and clear the road . . . Very good; but how strong are these brigands? Where do they carry on their depredations? How strong are the reinforcements likely to be when they do come? Before these questions could be answered, I would have had to go back to Erzerum and lose, who knows how many days? But we were in a great hurry. If I failed to arrive at Sivas on the appointed day by covering the distance lying between Erzerum and Sivas in the ordinary time, and if it became rumoured in Sivas and elsewhere that I had altered my mind and for some reason or other was coining by a dif ferent route, there would surely have been panic amongst the people, and this would have wrecked all our plans. In this emergency what ought I to have done? Go on and risk the danger? That was the only thing that could be done. But I thought it just as well to take some precautions. Therefore, we sent another motor-car in advance, equipped with some light machine-guns, and put some of our loyal comrades in it
74 with Osman Bey, known as Tufan Bey (now commanding a regiment), in charge of the party. Without taking any notice of shots that might come from the right or left, the party was ordered to push forward as fast as possible. If any chanced to be killed or wounded, they were to be left behind. If the bandits should hold them up, either on the road itself or in the immediate vicinity of it, they were to get down quickly from the car, attack them and force their way through. The survivors were im mediately to get in again and drive on as fast as possible. These were the orders I gave. Many people will probably think that it was not a very prudent or safe thing to do. But we happened to know that just at that very time Ali Galib Bey, Vali of El Aziz, was ranging through the district of Dersim and that he was doing all sorts of things there, but I cannot say that I really believed that the pass was actually occupied. From the beginning I thought that this was all part of a plan invented by certain persons who were kindly disposed towards the Government and who wanted to delay me on my journey. Moreover, even if the Kurds would have blocked the pass it is most unlikely that they would have done more than fire a few shots onto the road from a hill some way off. So we went on, and crossed the pass and arrived at Sivas on the 2 nd September. Long before we reached the town, the inhabitants came out to meet us and greeted us with great enthusiasm.
Selaheddin Bey, commanding the III rd Army Corps, was at Sivas. He and the Vali had shown extraordinary interest in our arrival, and extended the greatest hospitality to us in arranging accommodation for the delegates who were coming to the congress. He also prepared the school, which he had chosen for the Representative Committee to meet in, and the larger halls for the congress. Refet Bey was not there. Nobody knew where he was; but on the 7 th July we had ordered him not to leave the district where the III rd Corps was quartered. His presence would have been very ad visable, especially while the congress was sitting. We heard by letter that he was at Angora. I ordered Ali Fuad Pasha, commanding the Army Corps at Angora, to tell him to come immediately, without fail. He arrived on the 7 th September, and I introduced him to the congress as a member of the Representative Committee. The delegates who had arrived before us had already held a meet ing among themselves and had drawn up several preliminary propo-
75 sals while they were awaiting our arrival. Several private meetings and discussions also took place after we came, and it was even said that some important resolutions had already been passed at them. If you will allow r me, I will tell you something about these charac teristic proceedings. The Congress was opened on Thursday, the 4 th September, at four o clock in the afternoon. Husri Sami Bey, one of the delegates, whom I had known per sonally for a long time, came to me in the morning with the following information. "Rauf Bey and several others are rumoured to have held a private meeting at Bekir Sami Bey s house and to have decided that they would not elect you as chairman." I could not believe it possible that one of my trusty comrades least of all Rauf Bey had taken up such an attitude as this. I told Husri rather sharply not to talk such rubbish, and added that what he said could not possibly be true; further, that he had no busi ness to spread rumours that could only lead to misunderstanding amongst our friends. I attached no importance to the question as to who should take the Chair at the Congress. As far as I was personally concerned, I thought it far preferable that an older man should be selected. I asked some of the others what they thought about it. I met Rauf Bey with others in the corridor as we were going into the congress room. "Whom shall we elect Chairman?" I asked him. Rauf Bey an
swered at once, though he appeared to hesitate and indecision was written on his face immediately betraying that he was thinking what he should say: "We do not think that you ought to be Chairman." This convinced me that Husri Bey was right and, naturally, I was rather upset about it. It is true that at the Erzerum Congress some people had thought that I ought not to be elected Chairman, but I happened to know something about their characters. Now that my most intimate associates appeared to be of the same frame of mind I began to wonder. "I understand," I said to Rauf Bey, "this is the conclusion you came to at Bekir Sami Bey s house." Without waiting for him to reply, I left him and walked into the congress room. When the Congress met, a high personage, who addressed the meet ing first, made the following declaration, which I quote literally from the official minutes:
7 6 "The first business, naturally, will be to elect the Chairman. I pro pose that the Chair shall be taken in turns daily or weekly in alphabet ical order, either according to the names^of the members or of the vilayets or sanjaks which they represent/ It is a remarkable coincidence that the proposer with A, and so did that of the province which he I had formally opened the meeting with a speech, occupied the Chair in my capacity as the founder "Why should that be necessary?" I asked. "Because," replied the mover of the proposal, "it would avoid all personal questions and would make a good impression in the outside world when they see that we respect equality." While I, in spite of infinite difficulties and obstacles, devoted my self heart and soul to the work which I felt convinced would enable me to find a way to save the country and the homes of each one of us including that of the mover of the proposal from falling into the abyss of misfortune that lay in front of us, the next speaker in troduced personal questions. He was an old man, for whom I had great esteem but who had only just arrived from Constantinople and, therefore, could naturally have had only a superficial knowledge of the real situation. I proposed that the motion should be put to the vote. This was rejected by a large majority. Then I proposed that the Chairman should be elected by secret ballot, and this resulted in my being elected practically unanimously, with only three votes against me. It was agreed that the Sivas Congress should deal with the resolu tions and the manifesto already passed by the Erzerum Congress, as well as a certain motion drawn up by the members approximately numbering twenty-five who had arrived at Sivas before us. The first three days the I st , the day of the opening, the 5 th and s name began represented. After I provisionally of this Congress.
the 6 th September were taken up with discussions about the oath we were to take, to show that we were not "Unionists"; also, with the exact wording of this oath, an address to the Sultan, and replies to telegrams that came when the Congress was opened. An important question was, whether the Congress should concern itself or not with politics. Does not the last one appear very strange, considering that the struggle in which we were engaged was essentially of a political char acter? At length, on the 4 m day, we reached the principal object of our meeting and began to discuss the resolutions passed by the Erzerum
77 Congress, to which we lost no time in agreeing. The reason for this was that we had already prepared amendments to the main resolution, so that everybody was familiar with them in advance. I will mention the most important of them, because later on they gave rise to dissentions, lengthy correspondence and bitter opposition. 1. The title of the union, namely, the "Union for the Defence of the Rights of Eastern Anatolia/ was altered to the "Union for the Defence of the Rights of Anatolia and Rumelia." 2. The phrase, "the Representative Committee is representative of the whole of Anatolia" was amended to "The Representative Commit tee is representative of the whole of the country/ Four new members were added to the number of those already appointed. 3. The clause: "Considering that we regard any sort of occupation or intervention as leading to annexation by Greece and the separation of Armenia, the principle of unified defence and united resistance will , be adopted/ was amended to "The principle of unified defence and united resistance will be adopted for the purpose of resisting any attempt at occupation or intervention, and particularly any movement designed to lead to annexation by Greece or the separation of Armenia." These two clauses palpably differ from one another in a very im portant manner. In the first, no hostile attitude and no resistance with regard to the Entente Powers is referred to, while this is clearly inferred in the second clause. 4. The question proposed in Art. 4 led to a long discussion. The wording of it is: "To decide upon the attitude to be adopted in regard to adminis tration, politics and the military power in the event of the Ottoman Government being forced, under pressure from the Powers, to cede and abandon these territories (namely, the Eastern Provinces)/ This question evidently refers to a provisional administration as a body. In the text of the resolutions passed by the Sivas Congress, the expression "this territory" was amended by the more comprehensive
and general phrase "to cede or abandon any part of our country." Then, at our sitting on the 8 th September we passed on to the motion I have referred to. This motion principally relates to the question of an American mandate. Some persons who had come to Sivas from Constantinople had brought with them an American journalist, named Brown. Before speaking of the dissentions that occurred at the Congress
78 over this question, I will first of all say something about it for your information. You will be able to understand better from certain correspondence which was carried on at Erzerum and which I shall put before you verbatim: Very urgent. Amasia, 25 th July, 1919. To the C. O. S. of the Inspection of the III rd Army Corps, Erzerum. For Mustapha Kemal Pasha. 1. BeMr Sami Bey Effendi has arrived at Amasia to-day. I have had the honour of speaking to him for a long time. He declares that he has a very high opinion of Mustapha Kemal and Rauf Bey Effendi and begs to forward them the following: 2. On principle, independence is undoubtedly preferable and desirable. Nevertheless, it is certain that if we claim absolute in dependence the Empire will be divided into several zones. If that should be the case, a mandate that will guarantee the integrity of our country is surely far better than independence that would be restricted to two or three provinces. I hold that the most satisfactory solution for our nation would be to plead for an American mandate limited to a certain time, provided that we preserve our Constitution and our right to send represen tatives of the entire Empire to foreign countries. I have discussed this with an American representative. He told me that it would be advisable to appeal to America, not by the voice of a few people alone but that of the whole nation. He proposes that we should lay the following considerations before Wilson, the Senate and the Congress: a) The establishment of a suitable Government; b) The extension of public education; c) The guarantee of freedom in education and religion ; d) The abolition of the Capitulations, and e) The acceptance of a general mandate over the whole of the Empire by the Government of the United States.
3. Further, the representative of the United States has declared himself willing to take a delegation elected by our congress to America on board a man-of-war. 4. As Bekir Sami Bey will still be here for a few days longer, he requests to be furnished with orders and instructions through me and, above all, that he may be informed of the date on which the Congress
79 at Sivas will be opened. He would like to know, also, what place you think will be the best for him to wait at till then. Arif, Temporarily commanding the 5 th Caucasian Division. % Ciphered. Urgent and personal. 196. Erzerum. To the C. O. 5 th Division at Amasia. For Bekir Sami Bey ? formerly Vali, now at Amasia. i. Your telegram has interested me very much. The Congress of the Eastern Provinces, which is now sitting, is a powerful body com prising prominent persons possessed of great influence and prestige among the inhabitants of their districts. The complete independence of the State and the Nation is strenuously demanded in the dis cussions that are being carried on at this Congress. There will, also, be no difficulty in bringing directly before the Congress the question of an American mandate, all the more so as the nature and form of such a mandate has not yet been determined upon. Referring to the conversations you have had in Constantinople, we particularly request you to give us further information on these points without delay. As the news we have received from Constantinople hitherto appears to be somewhat vague, we ask you to make these points clear. Similar vagueness can be seen in the communications from Constantinople coming through Refet Bey at Sivas on the 21 st July. Consequently, we think it very advisable to demand full parti culars direct from Constantinople. a) You say that, in case we demand complete independence, it is certain that the country would be divided into several zones. What makes you so certain about this? b) What are we to understand by the expression "territorial integrity ? Does it mean the integrity of the country or its sovereign rights? c) You consider that the best course would be to accept a mandate, providing that our Constitution throughout the Ottoman territories shall not be impaired, and that we shall also have the right of being
represented in foreign countries. The remarks made by the representative of the United States seem, however, to contradict these terms. For, if the Constitution were to remain intact, the Government would consist of a Cabinet enjoying the confidence of the legislative power and would be directly under its
8o control; but, in that case, the United States would have no influence at all on the composition of this Cabinet. Then the Constitution would either remain in force and it would be unnecessary to ask America to form a suitable Government for us, or, if we were to put forward such a request, the Constitution would become an empty word, without any meaning at all in it. d) What are we to understand by the development and extension of public education? The first thing about it that strikes us is that it means the establishment of American schools in every part of the country. At present we have about 25 educational establishments at Sivas, one of them alone being attended by about 1,500 Armenians. This being so, how can the extension of Ottoman and Islamic teaching be brought into agreement with this proposition? e) The paragraph relating to freedom in education and religion is, to a certain extent, important. But what particular signification can it have if the privileges of the Patriarchates still exist? f) What are the borders of the whole of the Ottoman possessions which the representative refers to in Art. 5? Are we to understand that they are the pre-war boundaries? If this expression is intended to include Syria and Irak, will the population of Anatolia be entitled to demand a mandate over these provinces in the name of Arabia? What is the policy of the present Government? Why has Tewfik Pasha gone to London? It is being said that for their part the English are also trying to obtain a mandate, exactly as the Americans are doing. What is the difference between them? What does the Government think about the American mandate? Are they inclined to accept it or not? Why have the Americans given up the idea of a mandate over Armenia? How far are they inclined to accept such a mandate? 2. The meeting of the Congress at Sivas is dependent upon the results of the Erzerum Congress. We are particularly interested in this question. In the meantime, it seems advisable that you should remain at Tokat or Amasia. With the assurance of our highest esteem, Mustapha Kemal . Strictly private. Very urgent, 96. Amasia, 3O th July, 1919. To the C. O. S. of the III rd Army Corps Inspection. For Mustapha Kemal Pasha.
i. We forward you herewith the reply we have received from Bekir Sami Bey:
8i a) The Council of Four has decided to divide our country into several parts and force us to accept several mandates, if we continue to demand our complete independence. For this reason, he has suggested that the best way of avoiding such a possibility would be to ask for a mandate. b) The preservation of our territorial integrity is founded solely on its sovereign rights. c) We would not ask the United States to form a government for us. We would only assure America that we will form a proper govern ment ourselves. We will ask America to help us in our development and on financial questions, only on condition that our Constitution and all the sovereign rights of the dynasty and our diplomatic repre sentation in foreign countries would remain untouched. These are the terms on which we would ask for a mandate. d) The extension of public education does not infer that we would consent to American Schools being established, even in our villages, but that we would accept America s support in this direction, assuring her that we would do all we possibly could to encourage the extension of national and Islamic education. We want to entrust America with the mandate and not merely the American missionaries. e) Freedom in education and religion is based on the precepts of Islam; as American opinion has no knowledge about this truth, we want to give positive assurances on the subject. The borders about which the President of the United States speaks are the pre-war borders. The question as to whether we are justified in demanding a mandate over Syria and other territories, is one for the Congress to decide. By the way, the American representatives in Syria and the Irak have appealed for a plebiscite. The population, while demanding the formation of an autonomous Arabian State in Syria and Palestine, have expressed the opinion that an American mandate would be preferable to that of any other Power. f) As the Government was formed only a short time ago, its policy is so far unknown. That of the preceding Cabinets was dictated by weakness and servile submission to the commands of the Entente. Tewfik Pasha has not gone to London, but has returned here with Ferid Pasha. The opinion of the Americans, based on the reports of missionaries who have made inquiries on the spot itself, is that there is no possible way of setting up a Great Armenia before an actual Armenia has been Kemal Pasha
82 defined. I will send you shortly a detailed letter on the question of the mandate. 2. For the present I shall remain at Tokat and will await further communications from you, I hope that the propaganda that is being distributed in the provinces will meet with success. I send my best respects to all. . ., Commanding the 5 th Division. Ciphered. Personal. Erzerum. I st August, 1919. To the officer commanding the 5 th Division at Amasia. I beg that the following telegram may be forwarded without delay to BeMr Sami Bey with the request that he will reply immediately: To Bekir Sami Bey Effendi. Reply to your message of the 3 rd July, 1919. We have read your detailed statements concerning the American mandate. In principle, we have nothing to be afraid of. We must, however, draw your attention to another matter. What advantage can the American Government expect that will compensate them for accepting the burden of a mandate on terms that are so much in our favour? What, in that event, are the aims and objects that the Americans have in view? We are impatiently waiting to hear further news from you on this subject and what your own impressions are about it. Mustapha Kemal. Amasia, 3 rd August, 1919. To the C. 0. S. of the III rd Army Corps Inspection. I beg to forward you Bekir Sami Bey s reply. To Mustapha Kemal Pasha. Considering that the negotiations with the Americans have natur ally been carried on privately and mean nothing but mere pro posals, an exchange of opinions on the terms to be imposed on the parties to the agreement has not yet taken place. Speaking generally, I think I ought to draw your attention to the necessity of making arrangements for a congress to be convened and, if possible, to be opened without any delay. Aarif Lt.-Colonel on the Staff.
83 To His Excellency Mustapha Kemal Pasha. The political situation in the country has reached a specially critical point. The time is rapidly approaching when the Turkish nation, having crossed the Rubicon, must take up a decisive attitude that will enable us to determine the course we shall follow. The situation in Constantinople relating to foreign affairs is this : Although France, Italy and England have offered a mandate over Turkey to the American Senate, they are trying by all possible means to prevent them from accepting it. There is no doubt that each of these Powers wants to make certain of their share when the country is divided up. France, having met with disappointments in Syria, wants to compensate herself in Turkey. Italy, being frankly and openly im perialistic., declares plainly that she has entered the war with the sole object of getting a good share of the Anatolian booty. The part played by England is rather more complicated. With an eye to the future, England has no desire that Turkey shall remain united or become modernised or enjoy real independence. A Turco-Mohamedan State, powerful and equipped with all modern requirements and ideas, and particularly with a Caliph at its head, would be an exceedingly bad example to the Mohamedan subjects of England. If she could get power over Turkey without being interfered with at all, she would soon decapitate and dismember her without any compunction, and would try within a few years to convert her into a loyal colony. Above all, the religious class has already pursued this idea for a long time, but, as it could not be realised without opposition from France, England cannot advance it. But if it became necessary to preserve Turkey as a whole that is to say, if England is satisfied that its partition could only be achiev ed at the price of great military sacrifices she would give her consent to an American mandate and support it, with the simple ob ject of preventing Latin nations from coming into the question. This tendency is already noticeable among English statesmen. Well-known people, such as Morisson, are now considering the possi bility of Turkey being placed under an American mandate. Another solution has been suggested : ostensibly to allow Turkey her freedom so that she would suffocate within her own territory, by maintaining the Capitulations, but at the same time to deprive 6*
8 4 her of Thrace, Smyrna, Adana yea, even Trebizond and, beyond all doubt, Constantinople. We who are living in Constantinople consider that a provisional mandate by America, extending over all the provinces of old and new Turkey, would be a minor misfortune for us. The following are our reasons for thinking so: 1. Whatever the terms may be, the Christian minorities will still remain. They will enjoy the privileges of Ottoman subjects and, relying on foreign countries on some European Power, they will always make trouble. This will continually provide a pretext for foreign interference, and year by year we shall lose a certain degree of our independence in favour of these minorities. Before we can set up a well-organised government and a modern Constitution, we must sweep away the privileges of the Patriarchates and deprive the minorities of the possibility of perpetually threaten ing us under the segis of the Powers. An enfeebled Turkey, reduced in area, would not be in the position to accomplish this task. 2. Instead of the main principles of the governments that succeed one another and do nothing beyond satisfying the ambition of those who live only for profit, robbery, adventure and their own glorifi cation, we must insert a clause that will ensure the welfare and the progress of the nation and transform the people the peasantry into a modern nation, sound both in body and mind. We possess neither the financial means nor the special knowledge and power requisite for the execution of such an idea. Political loans merely in crease dependence. We do not feel that we are competent to create a state of existence that could produce any other results than the present ruling system, ignorance and vapid discussion. Even allowing that our Government is incapable of appreciating American statesmen, notwithstanding that America is the only country that understands what the soul of a nation means and how a demo cratic regime is constituted the only country that has succeeded in creating modern state machinery operating automatically in a country as wild as the Phillipine Islands America is, I say, the only foreign Power that is more acceptable to us than all the rest. It is the only political efficiency existing in the New World that could create a new Turkey within the space of twenty years, which, thanks to the education and mental development that would be acquired by every one of her sons, would enjoy true spiritual and economic independence. 3. We want help that will be capable of protecting our own country
85 from the influences and rivalries of foreign nations. Our only hope to obtain this is from a quarter that lies beyond the boundaries of Europe and that is mightier than Europe. 4. In order to eradicate the evils that confront us and defend our
cause with greater energy in the eyes of the whole world, it is impera tive that we appeal for aid to a Power that is strong enough to support us. If we can win America over to our side and lay before her a form of mandate under which she could protect us from the thousandfold methods of oppression that are practised on us by imperialistic Europe, as well as its objectionable foreign policy, the solution of the Oriental Question, including that of Turkey herself, would thereby be achieved. It is quite natural that America, whose mandate we must urgently appeal to her to accept, is rather doubtful in her mind about it, for reasons that have just been explained. We must sacrifice a great deal of our pride. The inclination to espouse a religious cause does not, as many people imagine, exist in the official character of America. American missionaries, who distribute money among the Christians, do not take any part at all in the administrative machinery, which is not influenced either by religious or national considerations. It is organised for the purpose of maintaining perfect harmony between people of different races and professing different religious creeds. America is not inclined to accept a mandate in the Orient and is anxious to avoid incurring any trouble for herself in America. But, in virtue of their systems and their ideals, the Americans consider them selves superior to European nations and treat this question as one that affects her pride. If any people in any part of the world appeal to America in true sincerity, she takes a pride in showing Europe what an exalted form of administration she is capable of organising for the benefit of such a nation. A movement that is rather in sympathy with us can be noticed among the prominent personalities in official America. A large number . of influential Americans who have come to Constantinople as friends of the Armenians have departed as staunch friends of the Turks, resolved to make active propaganda in our favour. The secret of official and non-official conception in America is this: She desires to obtain a general and undivided mandate over Turkey, on condition that her old frontiers shall be left to her and that no part of her territory shall be wrested from her. During the stay of the American Commission in Syria, a public meeting was held for the purpose of asking for an American mandate.
86 This request met with a very favourable reception in America. Official America seemed to be disinclined to create an Armenia on Turkish territory. If she were to be entrusted with a mandate, she would cany it out by looking upon the people of all nationalities in habiting the country as brothers, members of the same nation, living on equal terms with one another. I have had this information from an absolutely reliable source.
But Europe especially Great Britain wants at any price to raise the Armenian Question and to see that the Armenians are adequately compensated. In the name of the Armenian martyrs, she does all she can to influence the public opinion of America. The danger that threatens us from Europe occupies the thoughts of all our intel lectuals. Reshad Hikmet Bey, Djami Bey, even our diplomatists who organised the national union, have all proposed different solutions of the American question. I will inform you officially about this in writing. We are passing through an exceedingly critical time. America is following the course of events in Anatolia with the closest attention and sympathy. The Government is working hand in hand with Eng land to deceive America with the idea that the Government is aiming at a massacre of the Armenians and intend to bring the "Unionists" into power. Plans are continually being made to send troops to suppress the national movement. Everything is being done to win the English over to this idea. In prominent quarters the assurance is given that the national movement would find immediate support in America as soon as it made definite proposals and was not influenced by tendencies antagonistic to the Christians. We are trying to delay the American Commission till the opening of the Congress at Sivas. We might even succeed in getting an American journalist to attend the Congress. In consideration of what I have just said, and distressed by the fear of the possible dismemberment of the State, I feel sure that we would do well to put our trust in America, without losing this favour able opportunity, and rely upon her to defend our cause. Vassif , my brother, will explain to you the points in which we are in agreement on this question himself. It is quite possible that one or two determined men can save Turkey. The time for dissension and speculation has gone. We must fight with all our strength to safeguard our future, our development and
87 our unity. Our unfortunate country has lost a great number of her sons on her frontiers. But how many heroes have fallen in the struggle for our spiritual progress and our civilisation? We want the good patriots of Turkey to become the founders of our future. We are expecting you and Rauf Bey to work together, bearing in mind with judicious foresight the great future that lies before our country, which is shaken to its very foundations. I send you my highest esteem and all good wishes for success in your enterprise. I assure you that I, a plain Turkish soldier like yourself, am among
the loyal champions of the national cause. Halid Edib io th August, 1919. Kara Hissar Sahib, 13 th August, 1919. To the Officer Commanding the XV tl1 Army Corps. To Mustapha Kemal Pasha. All the political parties in Constantinople have unanimously decided to send the following resolutions to the American Embassy: I. The Committee are of the opinion that the Turks in the Eastern Provinces and prominent persons at the head of the Government would be willing to agree to the surrender of part of the territory in the east of Turkey to form, eventually, an Armenian State, on con dition that their own welfare and their future development would be duly taken into consideration. They believe, however, that the Turks concerned would not like this proposal to be publicly known, because they have made common cause with the Kurds, who are by no means favourable to the idea of abandoning any territory to the Armenians. Even if they should consent to this, the Turkish majority in these provinces would differ on this point from the Kurds, reserving the following conditions: 1. The integrity of the territory of the Turkish and Kurdish major ity and of the other minorities dwelling among them. 2. The guarantee and confirmation of complete independence. 3. The abolition of the Capitulations, which hinder the free devel opment of Turkey on its way to progress ; to allow her the possibility in the surest way of gaining her independence and her rights as pro vided for in Wilson s points. 4. ... (illegible) with the League of Nations, American help in the realisation of these desires and the rapid development of Turkey. II. Immediate accomodation in their new dwelling places for the Turks and Kurds living in the abandoned districts, with the guarantee
88 of American help, thus securing them the possibility of immediately taking possession of this property. III Immediate transportation of all the Armenians who are in habiting crowded settlements in these districts specially between Erzingan and Sivas to the territory of new Armenia. IV The cession of territory, the possibility of which we keep in view in the name and in favour of Armenia, shall not be earned out in the name of an independent Armenia, but in that of a modern State to be developed under the mandate of a Great Power; because the cession of territory in favour of an Armenia already in existence would mean the creation of a second Macedonia on the flank of Turkey and a centre of discord in the Caucasus. V All the foregoing is still in a state of ... (illegible). But in
order to put all this into a definite shape, it is absolutely necessary to enter into negotiation with the Commissions now in the country and send a deputation to one of the important officials attached to them. VI It stands to reason that this question would have to be laid before the Ottoman National Assembly, so that it could receive legal and proper sanction. Selaheddin, Commanding the XII th Army Corps. In cipher. Personal No. 339- Erzerum 21 st August, 1919. To the officer commanding the XII th Army Corps. To the officer commanding the XX th Army Corps. For the XII th Army Corps only, referring to telegram in cipher of 13 th August, 1919. The resolutions arrived at by different parties in Constantinople to be communicated to the American Embassy have been received with the deepest regret by our Representative Committee. In para graph I the question of ceding a part of the territory of the Eastern Provinces to Armenia is mentioned. It is not only practically imposs ible to-day to cede even an inch of this territory to the Armenians, but it would be dangerous, considering that the overwhelming majority of the population consists of Turks and Kurds, to settle Armenians there en masse, even if they cared to dwell there again in face of the violent irritation and thirst for revenge that prevail among these elements. The widest concessions that could be granted to the non-offending Ottoman Armenians would be, consequently, to suffer their return ^on equitable and equal terms. To contend that a compact Armenian population is dwelling between Erzingan and Sivas, as laid down for
in paragraph III, shows complete ignorance of the actual facts. Even before the war, the inhabitants of these districts consisted of a pre ponderating Turkish majority, an infinitesimal proportion of Kurds, who are known by the name of "Sasa," and an insignificant number of Armenians to-day there are scarcely enough to be worth men tioning. These committees should, therefore, first of all recognise the limitations of their competence and, if they really want to do some thing useful, take the trouble to study the statistics and graphic delineations drawn up for the peace negotiations by the Ministries of War and Foreign Affairs. We beg that you will forward this telegram to Constantinople. Mustapha KemaL Strictly confidential. Angora, 14** August, 1919. To the C. O. S. III rd Army Inspection. For Mustapha Kemal Pasha. i. Your last replies addressed to Constantinople have been for warded to the proper quarter. In answer to these communications I have received a printed report and two long letters from Kara Vassif or rather, from "Djingis" and from Halid Hanem, who are both full of ideas that agree with the opinions of many others, like Ahmed
Riaz Bey, Ahmed Izzet Pasha, Djevad Pasha, Turuk Suli Mahmud Pasha, Reshad Hikmet Pasha, Djami Bey, Reshid Saadi Bey and Essad Pasha. I will have a copy of these made for you and will send the originals to Sivas. All these documents plead that foreign help is necessary, and reasons are given why the acceptance of America is the least of all possible evils. The printed report was drawn up in agreement with the leading opinions, after Djami Bey, Rauf Ahmed Bey, Reshad Hikmet Bey, Reshid Saadi Bey, Halid Hanem, Kara Vassif, Essad Pasha, and all the different parties and societies had been consulted. According to their opinion there is still time to act. It is only necessary for the Congress to get to work as soon as possible and that the result can be made known before the Americans leave. An attempt is apparently being made to postpone their departure ^on various pretexts. Will the Congress be able to arrive at a final decision soon? The Americans, in urging this question, show that they are well disposed towards us. You are earnestly begged to hasten on the Congress. All Fuad Commanding the XX th Army Corps. The letters referred to in this telegram were forwarded by tele graph in cipher, which kept the telegraph lines fully engaged for
90 several days. One of these telegrams, which followed one another in rapid succession, was to this effect: Personal. Strictly confidential Angora, 17** August, 1919. To Kiasim Bey Effendi, C. O. S. III rd Army Inspection. To His Excellency Mustapha Kemal Pasha. (Continued from paragraph 9 of the telegram in cipher, No. 880, of the i6 tl]L August, 1919. From Kara Vassif, supplementing the particulars communicated in Art. 10). i. If we were to take up a favourable attitude regarding American support, and if the Congress of the Eastern Provinces a national congress were to inform our Government of this fact in the shape of a unanimous desire communicated by telegram, it would provide Wilson with excellent material to lay before the American Congress. Most of the intellectuals approve of this idea and are preparing something to this effect. They say that it would be a very good thing if Anatolia would do the same. The American mandate would allow us to get rid of all the other scoundrels. We could arrange matters afterwards with the Americans alone, and the struggle would be made all the easier. The Americans are criticising us severely and hold our Govern ment up to public scorn and our nation to derision. . . . (illegible) the departure of the Plenipotentiaries from Constantinople, their arrival in Paris and the . . . (illegible). They say in addition that you assume that Europe will not dare to do it. You say, for instance,
that Europe will not create a Great Armenia. Your Grand Vizier supports the idea of the frontier line running along the Taurus. He wants an Armenia, whereas none of the American Commissions has reckoned with such a possibility. All accounts agree in emphasising the fact that it is impossible to establish an Armenia in Asia Minor indeed, even autonomous administrative councils. An Armenian population does not exist, nor is there a purely Armenian district. Such an administration., therefore, would be unable to function unless it were supported by a considerable military force. The Armenians do not possess this force. America cannot provide them with one. No other Power would entertain the proposal, except in so far as they would agree to occupy these districts and convert them into . . . (illegible), which is not practicable. Their rivalries are quite suffi cient to stand in the way of any other kind of agreement. This is all the news from Constantinople. Please study it care-
fully. We still have time. Wilson will soon lay the question before the American Congress. 2. In Constantinople they are continually discussing whether Mustapha Kemal will rally his followers or submit to whatever Con stantinople decides to do and support it. Their aim is to secure the unity of the nation, the integrity of the country, its independence and its sovereignty. If Mustapha Kemal does not rally his followers and does not speedily enter into negotiations with America, England and the other Powers, we shall continue to act independently here. In that case, it is not impossible that something unpleasant will happen. I draw your particular attention to this point. . , . (illegible) would be better to undertake this and direct the policy. As regards relying on Mustapha Kemal Pasha and what he is doing . . . (illegible), his declarations and actions are contradictory to ... (illegible). 3. Hussein Selaheddin ("the clumsy or one-armed man") is a hypocrite; he must be turned out. We must see that this individual, who is one of Sadik Bey s minions and stands high in his favour, will not be appointed to any official position. Ali Fuad, Commanding the XX th Army Corps. This is the telegram I sent in reply to Kara Vassif Bey: In cipher. Personal. Urgent. Erzerum, 19 th August, 1919. To His Excellency Ali Fuad Pasha, commanding the XX t& Army Corps. Reply to your telegram of 17 th August, 1919. 1. It is of the utmost importance for you to study minutely the nature of the American mandate and the proposed American help, and find out whether these are in accord with our national aims. Assuming that the object of all that has been done in Constantinople is to secure the unity of the nation, the integrity of the country, its independence and its sovereignty, will the acceptance of the American mandate be the best way to realise these aims?
2. As resolutions that do not agree with the desires of the nation cannot be entertained by it for a moment as being possible of execution, we cannot discharge our duty, which consists in conscienciously gaug ing the future of the country and the conscience of the nation in such a way as to give the impression that we are specially authorised to act in all questions, before the ultimate aims of the nation have been def initely laid down. For this reason, we prefer that our negotiations and
relations with foreign countries shall be conducted in the name of the nation, founded on the proceedings of the Congress. The develop ment and expansion that the national movement, thank Gpd,^is showing throughout the country and its strength, which is daily in creasing, support me in this opinion. 3. It must not be overlooked, that the only Government that could have the right to come to an understanding with America or any other nation, would be one that recognises the sovereignty of the nation, approves of the national council and possesses its confidence. This being the case, it is essential that all persons who constitute the Government shall combine these qualifications in themselves. Your work there, as well as ours here, must keep these conditions in view as our chief aim. 4. You will soon be informed of the resolutions passed by the Congress. With brotherly greetings, Mustapha Kemal. I would like to add that I think I ought to have a personal interview with the American journalist who has arrived at Sivas. He is a very intelligent young man, who has no difficulty in understanding what he is told. I shall now try as well as I can to give you an account of the de bates and discussions that took place in the Congress on the question of the mandate. Many deputies took part in them. Before I joined in the debate, I said a few words as Chairman, which I quote from the official minutes : "Before I enter into any discussion on this motion, I would like to draw your attention to certain matters. For instance, the name of Mr. Brown has been mentioned, and it has been alleged that he has spoken about the arrival of an army of 50,000 labourers. "Mr. Brown has assured me that he has no official status whatever, and whatever he said was merely in his character as a private in dividual. He denies that he said that America will undertake the man date, but, on the contrary, declares that in his opinion it is probable that she will not accept it. In any case, he can speak solely in his own name and on no account on behalf of America. For his part, he has no idea what the mandate would be like. I can only suppose that the mandate will be exactly what you want it to be , he told me. The chief subject of this motion is the question of the mandate. Before we discuss it any further, I will adjourn the meeting for ten minutes/* (3.25 p. m.)
93 When we met again I gave Vassif Bey permission to speak. He made a long statement defining the mandate. Then he gave way to others, and later on said: "Let us accept the mandate in principle and leave the details to be discussed later on/ Madshid Bey, another delegate, spoke to this effect: "The main question before the meeting is, whether we shall be able to exist in future if we are left to look after ourselves. In what form shall we accept the mandate? and what terms shall we be able to come to with the Mandatory Power? Which of the Powers is it to be? That is the question/ Here the Chairman intervened with the remark : "It strikes me that two points arise from this discussion. One is that the Government cannot and must not abandon their demand for internal and external independence; the other is the question as to whether the Government and the nation, surrounded by enemies belonging to foreign countries, are justified in appealing for foreign support. To me this is very astonishing. If you are also of this opinion, we had better refer the matter again to the Committee for Motions. In any case, we have no intention whatever of losing our internal and external independence/ The next speaker was Bekir Sami Bey, who said: "The task that lies before us is as difficult as it is important. We must not waste a minute in empty discussions. Let us get on with our debate on this motion and pass it without any further delay." "Allow me to explain this question," I said, "in my capacity as Chairman of that Committee. The motion has been read in Committee and was discussed for a long time. Our discussions did not result in a definite decision. The motion had been previously referred back to the Committee before it was read in a full sitting. That is why we tried to come to a final decision on the question in Committee, in case the meeting, after having debated the question without arriving at an agreement, referred it once more to the Committee/ Ismail Fasil Pasha (since deceased) also spoke, and said: "I beg to associate myself with the views expressed by Bekir Sami Bey. We have no time to lose. After all, the question is a very simple one. Which are we asking for, full independence or the mandate? The decision we shall come to is limited to these alternatives. Let us lose no more time, or else this important question perhaps the most important of all would be referred once more to the Committee, only to be brought up before the meeting later. This would drag the question on indefinitely and our time is precious. To-day, to morrow or the day after, at latest, we must pass this motion in a
94 full sitting. Do not send it back again to the Committee, for it is a vital question," Hami Bey followed. After he had declared that he shared the opinion of His Excellency Ismail Fasil Pasha and Bekir Sami Bey, he expressed himself in these words: "Whatever happens, we must seek help. The elementary evidence of this necessity is that the revenues
of the State are barely sufficient to cover the interest on our debt." The next speaker was Raif Effendi, who opposed the mandate. Instead of simply replying to Ismail Pasha, he started a long discussion, during which Sami Bey spoke again. He said: "I would only like to add a word to what his Excellency Ismail Fasil Pasha has just been saying and with which I am in complete agreement. It is this : At the Paris Conference in which we took part after the Crimean War from which we emerged victorious our Allies imposed certain conditions, of which you are aware. If we compare the ideas expressed in this motion with those conditions, I think that we shall see which affects our independence more powerfully/ 1 Then Bekir Sami Bey, Hami Bey and, following him, Refet Bey, who subsequently was raised to the rank of Pasha, carried on the discussion. This is what Refet Bey said: "While there cannot be any doubt that the mandate will not prejudice our independence, some of our colleagues are putting questions like this: Shall we remain independent or shall we accept the mandate? Before we can answer them, we must know what the mandate will mean to us. But before I say anything more, I think it will be well to explain the meaning of the word itself, which occurs in the report and causes so much alarm. Fasil Pasha speaks of a mandate under the reservation of our inde pendence ! The motion proposed by Hami Bey in regard to the mandate is divided into two parts ; the first is an explanation of the reasons for it, and the second gives a definition of it. Before I can form any opinion on the question of the mandate, so far as it is referred to in this document, I would like to know whether the actual text of the motion has been discussed in a full sitting or not?" Ismail Fasil Pasha then withdrew the motion in these words: "Three of us, Bekir Sami Bey, Hami Bey and myself, beg to be allowed to withdraw this motion, because it has caused a great deal of misunderstanding and we prefer not to proceed with it." (They kept the draft and the copy of the motion in their own possession.) In my capacity as Chairman, I declared that the motion had been withdrawn.
95 Although the discussion should have a very effective speech that filled I think it will be quite sufficient to show what the speaker was aiming He said: "The object we are striving to reach in preferring an American mandate is to avoid being placed under an English mandate, for this would lead every human community into slavery and suffocate the minds and consciousness of the people; that is why we would prefer America, a nation that is moderate and respects the feelings of other nations .... The question of money is not all a vital one . . ." terminated, Refet Bey made five or six pages of the minutes. if I quote a few passages from it at.
"Ideas concerning the mandate and independence expressed in words are not contradictory to one another. The mandate will strangle us if we are not really firm, and in that case it would injure our in dependence. On the other hand, let us agree that what we really want is complete internal and external independence; shall we then be strong enough to realise this by ourselves or not? Moreover, would we be permitted to act as we would like ? This is a point that we must consider very seriously. There is no doubt that England, France, Italy and Greece want to disintegrate us to-day. But if we make peace under the segis of a foreign Power, we shall be able in our own interest to revise its stipulations as soon as the conditions are favour able. If the situation grows worse, would we not be liable to be utterly destroyed? . . ." "In any case, we are compelled to accept the American guarantee. In the twentieth century it is impossible that a nation with a debt of 500 million pounds, its State property ruined, its soil barely productive and its revenues not exceeding, at the utmost, from 10 to 15 millions, could protect its existence without foreign aid. If in future we remain in this condition without insuring our progress by foreign assistance, we shall probably be incapable of defending ourselves even from an attack by Greece. "In the event of Smyrna remaining in the hands of Greece God forbid it ! and war should break out between the two countries, the enemy would transport his troops by sea; but what railway line have we that would enable us to bring up our troops from Erzeram? The American mandate, therefore, must be accepted by us as a guarantee and an unavoidable source of assistance." The speaker concluded with these words: "I shall be very well satisfied if I have succeeded by what I have said in preparing the ground for further discussion."
96 You will have no difficulty in understanding how completely this skilful and brilliant speech was calculated to confuse the minds of all who heard it. . I immediately adjourned the meeting for ten minutes (5.30 p.m.) to prevent the minds of the deputies from being altogether poisoned by other speakers who might foUow and who shared the same opinion, and so that I could have a chance to talk privately to some of the deputies. , . 1 The concluding passages in this speech are worthy of your special attention, Refet Bey Effendi appears to think that the Greeks are only temporarily at Smyrna and does not acknowledge that a state of war exists. I am convinced that if the Greeks remain there and war actually breaks out, we should not be able to extricate ourselves from a very difficult position. * -^ * , + At the following sitting Ahmed Nuri Bey, one of the delegates from Brusa, spoke for a long time against the mandate. Kami replied at still greater length. Towards the end of his extremely long-drawnout speech, he emphasised his contentions by adding: "I shall now say something about one part of the question with
which I am particularly well acquainted. As I have been talking personally to competent persons on this matter, what I am about to say is not mere conjecture but precise fact. Before I left Constanti nople I called on Izzet Pasha, the former Grand Vizier. His Highness was also convinced that a mandate was the only possibility. He asked me what I thought about it. I explained my own point of view ^ to him. Several days afterwards he sent for me and confided me with this. The members of the American Commission of inquiry, who had arrived in Constantinople after having travelled through the districts of Syria and Adana, and who are now trying to draw out the opinions of the political parties here, paid a visit to Izzet Pasha in his Konak. They expressed their conviction that the national organisation in Anatolia represents the Turkish nation and, looking upon^ Izzet Pasha as the founder of this movement, they said: If you can induce the Erzerum and Sivas Congresses to ask for an American mandate, America for her part will accept it over the whole of the Ottoman Empire ! After having told me this, the Pasha said that the nation had no longer the strength to carry on a new war, and we must not at any price attempt to lay ourselves open to anything of the kind. He advised me, if I happened to go to Sivas, to explain to the Congress the true state of affairs. Izzet Pasha is also convinced that a mandate demanded under these conditions would have a go?/ chance of being accepted;
97 but it would be necessary to propose definite terms. The Pasha even added that as America could only accept the mandate if it correspond ed to the desires of the nation, the will of the nation to that effect would have to be definitely expressed. It would help America to support this view before the European Powers. I communicated all this to Rauf Bey in a telegram in cipher from Constantinople when he was at Erzerum. All who have more objection to the expression mandate than to its actual meaning are obsessed by undue fear. The word itself is of no importance whatever. The essential point consists in the actual reality, in the nature of the question. Instead of saying that we have been placed under a mandate, we shall rather say, we are now an imperishable State ." Among the replies produced by these words, this is what Husri Sami Bey had to say: "Our duty is to protect ourselves and prove that we are an imperishable nation / Kami Bey gave the impression in his speech that he was sounding the retreat. Kara Vassif , who followed him, was still speaking when we adjourned for the day. I quote verbatim some paragraphs from his speech, just as they are recorded in the minutes : "Even if all the nations agreed to grant us complete independence, we should still need help." (At the beginning of his speech Vassif Bey had proposed to substitute the expression "mandate" ^by that of "help".) "We owe something between 400 and 500 million pounds. No one can afford to make anybody else a present of such a sum. We shall be asked to pay our debt. Our revenues, however, are not even enough to pay the interest. What sort of a position shall we be in then? It is clear from this that our finances will not allow us to live in independence. Besides this, we are surrounded by countries whose only wish is to divide us up between them. If we agree to do what we are asked we shall perish. What can we do without money? How can we protect ourselves without an army? While their aeroplanes are
gyrating over our heads, we will have to jog along in carts. They send their dreadnoughts against us, while we cannot even build sailing ships. Even if we preserve our independence to-day, they will sooner or later begin to dismember our country." Vassif Bey brought his speech to a close with these words : "The Americans who are now in Constantinople say: ; Do not be afraid of the mandate ; it is mentioned in the original regulations of the League of Nations. This is why I look upon England as our eternal enemy and America as the lesser of the two evils. If you agree with me,
Kemal Pasha
9 8 we can write from here to the representative of the United States in Constantinople and ask for a torpedo boat to be sent to take a de legation there secretly." In the sitting on Tuesday, 9 th September, Rauf Bey spoke about the mandate. I quote from the minutes: "There has been a great deal said and written in the Press and in other quarters hitherto on this mandate question. Although this honourable assembly has agreed in principle to a mandate, itjhas not yet been clearly shown under whom it is to be. From certain hints and suggestions, we understand that America is referred to. I cannot see any reason why we should not say so quite openly/ This left no doubt that the opinion expressed by Rauf Bey and the conclusions arrived at by the Erzerum and Sivas Congresses were divided. From the statements representing Rauf Bey 7 s point of view, it is possible to arrive at the conclusion that they originated from the wording of Art. 7 of the manifesto issued by the Erzerum Congress, as well as by the Sivas Congress. Indeed, the wording of this article seems to have the peculiarity that it tries to agree with those who are going too far on the mandate question and disturb public opinion by the immense amount of propaganda they disseminate. But if we examine the wording of the article logically, it is evident that the idea of a mandate is not even referred to in it, and still less was there anything said about asking America to accept it. To explain this point, I shall quote the wording of this article. Article 7: "Our nation fully appreciates modern ideals and is fully enlightened about our condition and our needs from the scientific, industrial and economic points of view. Consequently so long as we preserve our internal and external independence, as well as the integrity of our country scientific, industrial and economic help from any Power would be warmly welcomed by us, provided that it respects our national feelings and the frontiers laid down in Art. 6, and exhibits no imperialistic intentions towards us. For the sake of humanity and the peace of the world, the speedy conclusion of peace based on these just and humane conditions is our ardent wish/
Where can we find in this article the shadow of a suggestion of a mandate or that America should accept it? At most, we might gather the idea of a mandate from the phrase, e scientific, industrial and economic help from any Power would be warmly welcomed by us/* But it is certain that this is not the interpretation or the object of a mandate. We have always been pleased to accept every kind of help
99 and shall accept it even to-day which is accorded to us on the terms referred to. In this spirit, we have accepted with pleasure the scientific, industrial and economic help given to us by a Swedish group in the construction of the railway lines running from Angora to Eregli and from Keller to Diarbekr, and by a Belgian group in the construction of the lines from Kaisaria via Sivas to Turkal. We will also accept the help of foreign capitalists who, for instance, would offer to develop the town of Angora and other towns in Anatolia, and generally to construct and extend all our other railways, our streets and our harbours, on suitable terms. It will be sufficient for us if those who invest their capital in our country have no ulterior intention to destroy our independence and the integrity of our country. Nor is the slightest hint to be gleaned about the United States from the phrase in the article that I will now quote : "Any Power that respects our national feelings and exhibits no imperialistic intentions/ because, America is not the only nation to honour these principles. For instance, is it not the same with Sweden and Belgium? And then again, if we had any intention to hint at the United States, we would have had to say "the power" or simply "power/ instead of "any power/ Therefore, it is evident that the favourable reception of scientific, industrial or economic help in the terms expressed in this article, can refer equally to all nations. Can anybody understand how my point of view on this question of the mandate a point of view so well known through the many written and verbal discussions that have been going on for such a long time and which you all know about at the present moment should not yet have been appreciated by a comrade who had been associated with me, day and night, for several months? Consequently, we cannot help believing that, in reality, Rauf Bey did not agree with me and that he had changed his mind after he had been talking to some people at Sivas who had come from Constantinople. It is difficult for me to say what I think about this. Let us hear a little more of what Rauf Bey has to say. He continues in this strain : "When the armistice was declared, it was expected that the Germans would not sign the Peace Treaty. English newspapers published certain revelations. The first of them referred to the event ual possibility of Germany signing. They were confirmed by the events. The second related to the dismemberment of Turkey. This latter has fortunately not been realised. Consequently it may be concluded that the districts east of the Kisil Irmak should be considered, according to the decisions of the Conference, as part of Armenia under
an American protectorate. It was also suggested that Georgia and Azerbeijan would probably be assigned to America. On the other hand, Turkey would comprise the districts west of the Kisil Irmak and would have access to the sea through Anatolia, whilst Smyrna and Constantinople would be cut off from her. The northern part of this territory would be a protectorate of and administered by Italy and France, and the southern part would be under England. The occupation of Smyrna showed that these disclosures were right. Threatened by this danger, we are obliged to accept the help of America, who adopts a most impartial attitude towards our country. I am firmly convinced of this/ I do not know whether you think it necessary to listen any further to Rauf Bey in order to gather what his opinions were like. The interminable debates that took place, interspersed with lively discussions on this question, resulted in a compromise which brought the partisans of a mandate to silence. It was Rauf Bey who proposed it. The chief point consisted in demanding that a delegation from the American Congress should be sent over to study the country and report upon its real position, in order to counteract the effect of hostile propaganda which had been carried on against us for several years past in America. This proposal was unanimously agreed to. I remember very well that a document to this effect was drawn up and signed by the Chairman of the Committee, but I cannot re member exactly whether it was sent off or not. In any case, I never attached any particular importance to it. We will now leave this subject for a moment. The official minutes which I have been quoting in support of my statements were drawn up by Shukri Bey, the delegate for Kara Hissar and secretary of the committee, and Hami Bey, whose speech I read just now, from the notes made in his handwriting.
The Congress came to an end on the n th September. On the 12 th , a public meeting was held in which the inhabitants of Sivas took part, and several of them spoke. The most important questions that had been discussed at the Congress referred to the hastening on of the election of deputies and the necessity of deciding where they should meet. But certain others, which I shall refer to, caused us to curtail the proceedings. Later on the Representative Committee went into these questions.
All the information that arrived on the g th September I laid before the Congress in these words: "The English troops at Eski-
Shehr and Afium Kara Hissar have been doubled. General Miller has arrived at Konia. Djemal Bey, Vali of Konia, and Muheddin Bey, Vali of Angora, have persisted in objecting to their presence there. It appears that All Riza Bey, the new Vali of Kastamuni, is a man of similar character to that of Djemal Bey." Knowing that my honourable colleagues were anxious for decisive action, I requested Fuad Pasha to act promptly and energetically. Relying on the confidence of the Congress, Fuad Pasha, acting in its name, ordered that the necessary communications should be made and steps taken forthwith. He begged the assembly to approve of this. Fuad Pasha severely reproved the Vali. He appointed officers of high rank to take command of the national troops in the various districts and invested them with full power to act in the name of the nation. After the Congress had approved of this proposal, I continued: "A certain Vali, named Galib Bey, who is already on the way, has apparently been appointed to Sivas. We have not been able to ascertain whether he is Ali Galib Bey, Vali of Karput, or Mehmet Galib Bey, Vali of Trebizond. We have also been informed that Major Nowill, an English officer, had arrived at Malatia, accompanied by Kiamran Bey, Djeladet Bey and Djemil Bey, a member of the Bedrihani family, escorted by fifteen mounted Kurds. He was received by Halil Bey, the Mutessarif of Malatia, who is also a Bedrihani/ The Vali of Karput also came by motor-car, ostensibly to pro secute the brigands who plunder the mail-coaches. On the same pre tence, a Division from Husnamansur was placed at his disposition. We understood that their real object was to rouse the Kurds and incite them to attack us, promising them in return a constitution for an independent Kurdistan. We took precautions to guard against such a possibility. Among other things, we intended to have the Vali and his companions arrested. As the Mutessarif of Malatia for his part had called the Kurdish tribes together in this town, we had also decided to take adequate measures with the assistance of the XIII th Army Corps. These steps were already completed. A Division of troops was got under arms that very night, and were dispatched to Malatia to suppress this agitation. The officer commanding the Army Corps here did every thing that was necessary. Orders were given to Malatia and elsewhere. Gentlemen, in this way I continually received intelligence while
the Congress was going on. It was quite enough to a put severe strain on my nerves. But I was under the impression that it would do more harm than good if I told the Congress about it. You have just heard that I preferred to mention the case of All Galib merely as a warning. You will see presently that it was a very serious matter. In spite of all the difficulties and dangers that surrounded us,
the most important thing in my opinion was to bring the discussions of the Congress to an end as soon as possible, by keeping to the motions before the meeting and putting them in force in the country without delay. I obtained my wish. We took care that the resolutions passed by the national organi sations were published all over the country as widely as possible, as well as the manifesto issued by the Congress, which had been printed. As unforeseen events were to be anticipated, notwithstanding that the Congress was over, I thought it better to induce members of the Congress to remain at Sivas till the atmosphere cleared. At the same time, I made preparations for convening an extraordinary and still more influential congress if it should become necessary. However, after the flight of All Galib there was no object in detain ing the members in Sivas any longer. After the fall of Ferid Pasha s Cabinet there was no more need to arrange for an extraordinary congress. (Document 55.) ^ With your permission, I will now say something about All Oaiib s case, which was a very important incident in our national struggle. At the beginning of July, while we were still at Erzeruin, we re ceived information that two individuals, Djeladet and Kiamran All, who had been supplied with considerable sums of money by foreigners in Constantinople, had been sent to Kurdistan to agitate and intrigue against us there. We were told that they had already started or would do so at once. After I had learned this, I wrote, on the 3 rd July, to the officer commanding the XIII^ Army Corps at Diarbekr and Halid Bey ? Chief of the Staff, as well as the Mutessarif of Djanik (Samsoon), to the effect that these men were to be watched and arrested on their arrival, but care was to be taken to avoid causing any disturbance. In an order I gave to the Commander of the XII th Army Corps on the 20 tlL August, I told him that I had heard that these persons were reported to have started, and advised him, among other things, to keep a sharp look out at the station at Mardin. On the 6 t]tl September, the second day of the Sivas Congress, I made the following announcement:
103 "We have been informed by the XIII th Army Corps that these three persons, Djeladet and Kiamran of the Bedrihani family, and Ekrem, Djemal Pasha s son, have arrived at Malatia via Elbistan and Arga, coining from Diarbekr, accompanied by a foreign officer who has previously been spreading anti-Turkish propaganda in the Vilayet of Diarbekr, escorted by armed Kurds. They have been received by the Mutessarif and civil officials of the town. The officer commanding the XIII th Corps further informs us that Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha, commanding the XV th Army Corps, has reported to him in a telegram in cipher, No. 529, dated the 6 th September, that a foreign officer states that he has been authorised
by the Government to study on the spot the proportion of Turks, Kurds and Armenians living in these districts, and that, on account of its unsatisfactory strength, the cavalry regiment quartered at Malatia had not ventured to arrest the individuals in question, but had applied to Constantinople for their arrest. I have requested the Vali of Karput to tell me all he knows about the subject, what the purpose of this commission is and how they intend to travel/ (Document 56.) But it happened that Ali Galib Bey was at that time the Vail of Karput. We had already known since the 5 th July the purpose for which these people had come into these districts. The actual strength of a cavalry regiment one would have thought was surely sufficient to deal with five, or even ten, armed Kurds! It was said that they lacked sufficient courage to arrest them and, what appears to be specially astounding, that they had applied to Constantinople to arrest them. I merely mention these details, which seem at first sight to be unimportant, because they reveal the remarkable differences of opinion that existed and throw some light on the situation that will make it easier for you to form a clear judgment on the subject. As I had reason to suspect the attitude of the Commander of the XIII th Army Corps at Diarbekr, I turned to the C. O. S. of this Corps in a message in cipher, dated the 7 th September, signed by the Com mander of the III rd Corps and marked "personal," informing him that, to save time, the III rd Corps had thought it necessary to order Bias Bey, commanding the 15 th Regiment stationed at El Aziz, to go personally with sixty men, mounted either on horses or mules, on the 9 th September, at latest, to Malatia and arrest the Vali Galib, the Mutessarif of Malatia, Halil, Kiamran Bey, Djeladet Bey, Ekrem Bey and the English major, and escort them to Sivas. The C. O. S. was ordered to march this detachment off without delay. He was
104 informed that officers in motor-cars would be sent to Sivas. (Doc ument 57.) I received the following reply from the Chief of the Staff in a telegram in cipher, dated the 7 th September, from Diarbekr: "I have received your order for the arrest of these persons. I do not believe it possible that the officer in question, whose military spirit I am well aware of, will obey this order. "But I think he will not hesitate to obey an order given by me. We are in correspondence with Constantinople about this matter. In these circumstances, it rests with yourself to do what you think advisable." Telegram in cipher, No. 357, signed Halid, C. O. S. XIII th Army Corps. Ilias Bey, commanding the regiment at El Aziz, on his part, sent the following reply on the 8 th September by telegram in cipher after the communication from the III rd Corps had been sent off: "The commandant of the Army Corps has ordered me to postpone my departure.
"As it appears to me to be impracticable to march off without orders from here, I beg you to intervene and see that I receive the necessary orders to leave." (Document 58.) I replied to Halil at once: 7 th September, 1919. "I have proof of the treachery of the persons concerned. The Government is involved in it by .... (illegible). "If I wait for your orders, it will favour the enemy. "I hope that I may receive formal orders immediately, without loss of time. If you expect that the commander will hesitate, you must yourself instruct the officer commanding the regiments at El Aziz and Malatia to obey your orders. "If it should become necessary, you had better appoint the best man you can find to take over the command of the Army Corps. This is not the time for dallying or trickery. Act promptly on your own initiative, dear brother, and tell me what you have done." Mustapha Kemal. On the same day I sent the following order personally to Ilias Bey, commanding the regiment : "The treachery of the persons concerned is proved, "The Government in Constantinople is implicated in it. It is possible that the officer commanding your Corps will apply for in-
105 structions as to what he should do, and will receive no reply. There fore, I look to you to settle this affair on your own account. I am awaiting your answer. "When you have performed your duty at Malatia, and if you think it necessary to do so, you may come to us at Sivas." Mustapha Kemal. The non-ciphered signature to this telegram was that of Seki Bey, the C. O. S. of the III rd Corps. During the night of the 7- September, I ordered the Commander of the 12 th Cavalry Regiment at Malatia to come to the instrument to have a telegraphic conversation with me. From Djemal Bey, com manding the regiment, I was told about the state of affairs in general and about the troops under his command. He reported to me that the escort of the persons who had arrived consisted of fifteen or twenty" armed Kurds and that the actual strength of his regiment that he could muster was "barely more numerous/
I told him that I considered this number quite sufficient. Strictly speaking, the officers of the artillery and cavalry regiments combined would alone have been quite sufficient by themselves. I only wanted to know exactly what the real position was and what the moral outlook was like. Our telegraphic conversation was to the following effect: I said: It is absolutely necessary to lay clever plans to arrest Vali Galib Bey, the English major, Kiamran Bey, Djeladet Bey and Ekrem Bey this very night and to send them immediately on their way to Sivas. Can you do this? Reinforcements will be sent to you from here and Karput. Djemal Bey: Is the Vali included among them? I: Yes, he is the first one to be arrested. Djemal Bey: As I have already told you, my troops are not strong enough for the purpose. I have been in correspondence with the Commander of the Xlll^ Corps about the arrest of Kiamran Bey, Djeladet Bey and Ekrem Bey. I have definitely received an order that their arrest is not advisable, because the position is very critical. I could not urge this man further. Therefore, I confined myself to advising him to keep a strict and secret watch over all the persons concerned, assuring him at the same time that an order to his Army Corps would certainly arrive, without fail. If they should leave, I instructed him to inform me by what route and how they would march. (Document 59.)
On the 8 tfi , I asked Djemal Bey in a telegram in cipher "whether these persons were still there and how he thought our plans were going on/ I also urged him to send me news twice daily. On the following day (g th September), in reply to my telegram, Halid Bey told me that the necessary order had been given to the officer commanding the regiment at El Aziz and quoted the text of it. (Document 60.) Djevdet Bey, commanding the Corps, reported to me that Ilias Bey had marched off on the morning of the 9 th September with fifty-two men mounted on mules and with two machine guns, and that he was expected to arrive at Malatia on the evening of the io th September. In the same telegram in cipher, Djevdet Bey added: "I am sorry I cannot do more, because I am surrounded by reaction aries." (Document 61.) On the 9 th September, besides Ilias Bey s detachment, two squa drons of cavalry from El Aziz and a squadron belonging to the regiment at Malatia which was then at Siverek, had left for Malatia. (Doc uments 62, 63, 64.) I wrote on the same day personally to Halet Bey (now a deputy), who was at that time at Kimah and who, I was aware, was in touch with the districts of El Aziz and Dersim, asking him to proceed to El Aziz and put himself in communication with Haidar Bey, so that
they could counteract the effect of the propaganda that was being spread in this district by Ali Galib the Vali, a Bedrihani, and Djemal Pasha s son. (Document 65.) Towards the end of the month Halet Bey arrived at his destination. But Haider Bey, Vali of Van, received instructions to leave Erzerum and proceed to El Aziz to take up his duties there as Vali. He was ordered to get into communication with the commander of the cavalry regiment at Mama Katun, which was under the command of the XV th Corps, and lead this regiment to El Aziz if he thought it necessary to do so. He also reported that some officers would be sent by motor car to Malatia. As a matter of fact, our comrade Redsheb Suchdi Bey, holding the assumed rank of A. D. C. to the officer commanding the III rd Coips, had left by motor-car on the 9 th September with some of his companions in the direction of Malatia, furnished with special orders from me. Unfortunately, the roads were dirty and impassable; at Kangal the car broke down, so that the deputation was unable to reach Malatia at the proper time. From Kangal they travelled day and
night by road, sometimes on horseback, at other times by any vehicle they could procure ; but still they could not reach Malatia before the evening of the fourth day after their departure from Sivas. The reports sent to us by Redsheb Suchdi Bey are very helpful for us to get a general idea of the situation. On the evening of the io th September we received this telegram: Urgent and personal. Malatia, io tb - September, 1919. To the Headquarters of the III rd Corps at Sivas. For His Excellency Mustapha Kemal Pasha. 1. "Arrived at Malatia on the io t& September, at 2 p.m. 2. "I am sorry to say that the persons in question had already fled in the direction of Kiachta. Detailed report follows." (Signed) Ilias Commanding the 15 th Regiment. On the same day, somewhat later than Ilias Bey s, the following telegram arrived: Very urgent. Malatia, io tjl September, 1919. To the Headquarters of the III rd Army Corps at Sivas. For His Excellency Mustapha Kemal Pasha. 1. "The Vali of Karput, the Mutessarif of Malatia, the English major and their accomplices fled at daybreak, immediately they heard that the 15 ^Regiment had left El Aziz and that they would be arrest ed. It is reported that they have gone to Kiachta, near Bedr Agha, and that they intend to raise a band of Kurds there for the purpose of attacking us by surprise.
2. "An order has arrived from the commandant of the Corps that they and the people belonging to the tribe of Bedr Agha are to be resisted if they attempt a surprise attack. We are on the track of the fugitives. A further report will follow. 3. "The officer commanding the 15** Regiment arrived here at 2 p.m. at the head of his detachment/ j)4 ema i Commanding the 12** Cavalry Regiment. When I compared these two telegrams that were sent off on the same day I began to wonder. DjemalBey, commanding the cavalry regiment, had been ordered to keep these persons pnder strict supervision and report twice daily to us.
io8 Notwithstanding this, they had fled on the morning of the io th September, and yet Djemal did not report this to me until after Ilias Bey had arrived with his troops and had sent in his report. Besides Djemal Bey said that the fugitives had heard that troops commanded by Ilias Bey had left El Aziz. But the Telegraph Office was controlled by Djemal Bey. He also reported that the fugitives were going to raise a band of Kurds and attack Malatia. All this made me uneasy about the action of the commander of the cavalry regiment. We heard later that All Galib and his accomplices had been kept well informed of all that was going on since the evening of the 9^ Sep tember. This caused Ali Galib to spend the whole night in the Govern ment Konak without going to sleep. On the following day, the io th September, they all met at the Konak, accompanied by some gendarmes and armed Kurds, and broke into the cashier s office, opened the safe, counted out 6,000 pounds, which they wrapped up in a parcel, and left a receipt behind them, worded thus: "In obedience to orders received, we have drawn 6 3 ooo pounds to cover the necessary expenses connected with the suppression of Mustapha Kemal Pasha and his followers." io thL September, 1919. (Signed) Halil Raami, Ali Galib. When confirmation was received that the troops commanded Ilias Bey were approaching Malatia, the commander of the regiment decided to act. He pointed out the Mutessarif s officers, surrounded it and, after cutting the telegraph by cavalry house to his wires, entered it.
Halil Bey s family, who since the beginning of the operations had known exactly what was happening, sent a warning to the Konak. As soon as the Vali, the Mutessarif and their companions, who were busy taking the money from the Government safe, heard the news, they were seized with terror and, forgetting everything else, fled, leaving the money and the receipt behind them. In all haste they
mounted their horses which were waiting for them and without losing a moment they were off with their escort. (Documents 66, 67.) It is useless to pretend that the officers commanding the cavalry and the artillery were not aware that the Vali had spent the night in the Konak. They knew that it was much more important to capture the Vali than the Mutessarif. It was evident, therefore, that gross negligence had been shown in allowing them to escape. Even if we look at it from the most favourable point of view, we
iog can only conclude that what induced the people of Malatia to act as they did was the fear of the consequences they might suffer. They were dealing with a dozen armed gendarmes and Kurds, who formed the escort, and they thought it would be safer to put terror into them and let them escape. The chief orders I sent to Ilias Bey on the I st September were: 1. To arrest the fugitives without loss of time. 2. To proceed in such a manner as to destroy the possibility of a separatist movement by the Kurds. 3. To appoint Tewfik Bey, commanding the gendarmerie, Mutessarif of Malatia, and some honourable man who was an ardent patriot, Vali of Karput as quickly as possible. 4. To obtain complete command over the Government troops at Malatia and Karput, in order to prevent any movement against the country and the nation. 5. To make it known everywhere that any one who ventured to join the fugitives would be proceeded against with the strictest severity; and to inform the loyal elements of the population as to the real situation. 6. To consider what steps should be taken if we were compelled to defend ourselves against foreign troops who threatened our national existence, and to report to me what had already been done in this direction. (Document 68.) We had to reckon with the fact that the fugitives would undoubt edly succeed in raising a certain number of Kurds belonging to the neighbouring tribes, and that these might even find support from the foreign troops stationed at Marash. The most urgent thing for us to do, therefore, was to strengthen the dispositions we had already made and increase the number of troops. To make sure of this, another detachment mounted on mules was despatched to Malatia on the evening of the 9 th September, while in the meantime we began to transfer all the troops of the III rd Army Corps as far as possible to the south. The XIII th Corps was reserved
for the pursuit. As it was also important to frustrate the traitors by raising as many troops as we could, the cavalry regiment at Mama Karput itself had to be pushed forward. Orders and instructions were accordingly sent to the officers commanding the III rd , the XIII tlx , and the XV th Army Corps. (Document 69.) Now, while the pursuit is being taken up in the manner we had planned, let me read you some documents that fell into our hands. As I am sure that they will throw considerable light on what was
going on> as well as on the activities of Ali Galib and the perfidiousness of the Government, far better than any criticisms I might make, I cannot refrain from quoting them in extenso. I will first read you the orders that were sent to Galib Bey, Vali of El Aziz, on the 3 rd September and which bear the joint signatures of Aadil Bey, Minister of the Interior, and Suleiman Shefik Pasha, Minister of War. We shall then revert to the telegram from the Sublime Porte, relating to the troops to be sent and the sums to be expended on this expedition, that was sent out by the Minister of the Interior. To be deciphered personally. Constantinople. No. 906. To Ali Galib Bey Effendi, Vali of El Aziz. Reply to your telegram of the 2 d September, 1919. No. 2. The matter has been laid before His Majesty. The Irade relating to it will be published later in the day. It may be taken as definitely settled. The instructions are the following: As you are already aware, some of the persons assembled at Erzertun dignify their meeting by calling it a congress and have passed certain resolutions there. These persons are of no more importance than their resolutions. But, notwithstanding this, their so-called congress has caused certain rumours to be spread abroad in the country, which find an exaggerated echo in Europe and produce a very bad effect. Although nothing really important has taken place and there are no troops worth mentioning, the English, alarmed by these threats and the effect of them, appear to be very much inclined to land a considerable number of troops in the immediate future at Samsoon. It is not improbable that they will be pushed forward afterwards in the direction of Sivas and beyond it, and will occupy very large districts if any incidents occur again in opposition to the orders of the Government of which you have also been informed. This would undoubtedly be unfavourable to the interests of the country. From correspondence with persons whom you know and who met at Erzerum, it is clearly evident that they intend to hold another congress at Sivas. The Government is we]l aware that nothing of real importance can result from a meeting that comprises only
five, or even ten, persons in this town; but it is impossible to make Europe understand this.
Ill For this reason, it is advisable to prevent this meeting from being held. The first thing to do is to appoint a Vali at Sivas who enjoys the full confidence of the Government and who can be relied upon to obey to the letter, for the sake the country, all orders sent to him. We have appointed you to this post. We are confident that you will have no difficulty in preventing this mere handful of men from holding a congress at Sivas. But we have been informed that officers of all ranks and some of the men share the ideas of these people and will do all they possibly can to frustrate the Government, so we think it would be well, in order to carry out our plans, if you are escorted by about 100 or 200 trustworthy men. Consequently, as we have already advised you, if you could manage to arrive at Sivas quite unexpectedly, without anybody knowing what your intentions are, with about 100 or 150 mounted men recruited from the Kurds in your district, and if you would take over the dual functions of Vali and Commandant, you would be able by skilfully using the gendarmerie and Government troops there although there are so few of them firmly to establish your authority. This would be comparatively easy, as you would not have to anticipate any resistance. You will be able to stop this meeting from taking place and arrest those who have already arrived there, and then send them at once under escort to Constantinople. The authority of the Government having been re-established, the adventurers in the interior of the country would be discouraged. The effect of this in foreign countries would be excellent and the Govern ment would be provided with a good argument to dissuade foreigners from their intention to land their troops and occupy the country. After making exhaustive inquiries among the leading people at Sivas, we have ascertained that the inhabitants are tired of the intrigues of these people and of the pressure they exercise to extort money from them. They have declared themselves ready and willing to support the Government in any way they can. From another quarter we have learned that it would be possible immediately to recruit as many gendarmes as we may require in this district and that we could rely upon the assistance of influential people. When you can get together gendarmerie strong enough and abso lutely loyal to the Government, you will dismiss your mounted escort, pay them off, and send them to their homes. You are ordered to carry out these instructions. It is absolutely imperative, in order to ensure success, that strict
secrecy is observed. You are forbidden to speak about this to anybody in Sivas or about your commission or your intention to go there even to those with whom you are closely associated. You will also be very careful, until the moment of your arrival at Sivas, that those who accompany you know nothing about your object. Your success depends upon this. For the present, you will have to leave your family at El Aziz and let them understand that you are going on a ten days journey of inspection among the tribes in the neighbourhood. You will start immediately and take the necessary precautions to arrive unexpectedly at Sivas. When you arrive there, you will inform those concerned of the wording of the accompanying telegram, assume your duties as Vali and Commandant, and proceed without delay to carry out your orders. Go personally to the Telegraph Office and report to the Ministry, from whom you will receive further orders as soon as they are duly informed of the actual situation. ^ Then, if you want to do so, you may transfer your family and possessions to Sivas. Reshid Bey, the present Vali, who has by some means been informed that he will be replaced and recalled, has appealed to this Ministry. We have learned, on the other hand, that the persons whom you know all about will meet very soon. Therefore, it is very urgently necessary that you act promptly and arrive at Sivas without losing a moment. Let us know immediately you start and how long you expect it will take you to arrive there. This is the telegram that you will produce at Sivas: "By an Imperial Irade, approved by the Cabinet, you have been appointed Vali and Commandant of Sivas. You will, therefore, start for Sivas immediately, bring this telegram to the notice of the civil and military authorities concerned, take up your duties as Vali and Commandant, and report to us that you have done so/ 3 rd September, 1919. Aaadil Suleiman Shefik Minister of the Interior. Minister of War. Very urgent. Sublime Porte, 6 th September, 1919. To Galib Bey, Vali of El Aziz, Malatia, Reply to your telegram of 6 th September, 1919. The expenditure incurred in sending troops to suppress the rebels must be covered by the Treasury and be transferred to the credit of
the gendarmerie. Inform us immediately by telegram what sum of money will be required, what will be the strength of the expedition and the day of its departure. Aadil Minister.
Three days later the Minister of the Interior sent this telegram, which appears to be a reply to one from Ali Galib. Urgent. Constantinople, g th September, 1919. To the Vali of El Aziz, Malatia. Reply to your message of 8 th September, 1919. No. 2. Although we cannot get sufficient and .... (illegible) news, because there are no reliable agents at Sivas, we are given to understand from what we have learned from an inhabitant of that town who is here, as well as from general information we have received from other places, that: 1. The people are antagonistic to these movements, and 2. The troops are very weak in number. The movement is led by persons who are known to you as well as to some commanding and other officers. These men are trying to attract others to adopt their cause by giving it an apparently national character. But the people are not in favour of these intrigues. As you are on the spot, it will be easier for you to get the required information. Your immediate departure, however, for Sivas is becoming still more pressing, because the papers have not yet referred to your appointment. The stronger the escort that accompanies you, the easier your success will be. Decide as soon as possible about the strength of your expedition and the date of your departure, and report accordingly. Aaadil Minister. The last telegram sent by Ali Galib Bey from Malatia in answer to the telegrams he had received was as follows : Very urgent and strictly confidential. To be deciphered personally. To the Minister of the Interior. Everything is ready for my departure from Malatia on the 14.^ inst. I shall leave with sufficient troops to follow and arrest the rebels. You may rely that, with God s help, we shall be successful on the day that the meeting takes place. I beg you to reply immedi ately and do all that is necessary. Ali Galib Vali of El Aziz. Kemal Pasha 3
1 14 From this telegram there is no doubt that All Galib, who had passed a sleepless night between the g t31 and 10^ September in a state of extreme agitation, was still in a bellicose frame of mind on the previous day, the 9^, and full of hope for a happy issue, with the help of God, from the meeting that was to take place. At that time we thought of sending telegrams to Aadil Bey, the Minister of the Interior, and to Shefket Pasha, the Minister of War,
informing them of our distrust of the heads of the Civil Administration ; and to the commanders who had heard all about the above-mentioned facts and documents. We called the attention of everybody concerned to this matter, How strangely did Aadil Bey s answer to a telegram from Reshid Pasha, the Vali of Sivas, end! This is the wording of it: You will undoubtedly see the necessity of conforming with the terms of the Imperial Irade in every particular/ (Document 70.) While these telegrams were being exchanged I chanced to be at the Telegraph Office. I could no longer restrain myself, and imme diately wrote out this telegram and told the official it must go at once :
September, 1919. To Aadil Bey, Minister of the Interior. You are cowards and criminals to prevent the people from laying their demands before their Padishah. You are conspiring with foreign countries against the nation. I did not think it possible that you are so incapable of estimating, the strength and the will of the nation or their value ; but I cannot believe that you can play the part of traitors to and executioners of the nation and country. You had better think well what you are doing. Beware lest the day should come when you will be called upon to render account to the nation for the infamous acts you are committing when you put your trust in the deceptive promises of nonentities like All Galib and his colleagues, and by selling your conscience to such foreigners as Major Nowill, who are doing all they can to injure the country and our people. When you will hear some day of the fate of the people and the annihilation of the troops on whom you are leaning for support, you may be sure that you will recognise the fate that is lying in wait for yourselves. Mustapha Kemal. Appropriate telegrams were sent individually to all the command ing officers. From the reports that reached us up to the 12 th September, we
H5 learned that the fugitives had spent the night of the io th at Raka, and hoped to spend the following night with the chief of a tribe in a village half an hour s distance from that place. (Document 71.) The commanding officers of the XX th , XV th and XIII th Army Corps were informed of this. (Document 72.) The exchange of telegrams with Malatia during the II th September and that night led us to think that, notwithstanding the instruct ions and orders they had received, the minds of the people of Malatia were not quite free from doubt and uncertainty.
Ilias Bey, commanding the regiment from El Aziz, wrote on the II th September: (Document 73) "A messenger from the Mutessarif tells us that Ali Galib, the Vali, and Halil Bey, the Mutessarif, are inclined on certain conditions to return to their posts/ and he added: "I want to know whether in the interests of the country you will accept this offer/* Afterwards, during the night of the II th , nias Bey sent a telegram in his own name, as well as in those of Djemal Bey, commanding the cavalry regiment, Tewfik Bey, the acting Mutessarif, Munir Bey, commanding the artillery, Faruk Bey, captain in the gendarmerie, and Mehmed Bey, a major in the Veterinary Corps, who were all together at the telegraph instrument. This is what he said: From Ilias Bey, Malatia. We have just been informed by Faruk Bey, captain in the gen darmerie, a trustworthy man who has been patrolling the district of Kiachta and its surroundings, that a body of Kurds had assembled at Raka, a place five hours distant from Malatia; the Mutessarif and his colleagues are here now. He states that the Kurds belonging to the tribes in these districts as far Siverek are ready to join the others, and the tribes of Dersim itself had been summoned to come there in the name of the Kurdish cause. It is reported that the Mutessarif intends to attack Malatia first and then sack it before marching with all his forces against Sivas, after having killed and dispersed all the Turks in Malatia. Simultaneously, the people of Dersim will march on Karput. It is rumoured that the Kurds regard the expulsion of the Mutessarif from Malatia as a serious offence against the whole nation. The Vali is said to have declared that he agrees neither with the pillage nor the massacre, but he was unable to oppose the Mutessarif. It has been decided that after Malatia has been occupied by this force they will hoist the Kurdish flag. The English major is said to have declared that the English Division at Uriah is ready to march, but that Hadji 8*
n6 Bedr Agha does not consent to this. The Kurdish tribes maintain that Malatia belongs to Kurdistan and that the Kurdish flag must be flown there. The Vali is said to have expressed the wish yesterday evening to return to Malatia, but he has been prevented from doing so. Their conditions are: 1. The Vali to be reinstated. 2. The Mutessarif to retain his position. 3. The troops from El Aziz to return to their quarters. 4. Order to be maintained at Malatia when the Vali, who is now on his way to Sivas with a hundred armed Kurds, arrives there. 5. Seven rifles and one revolver, the property of members of the Kurdish tribes, to be returned to them. I am awaiting further orders from you.
I replied: To Hias Bey, Malatia. 1. The Congress has discussed the matter referred to in your report. Who are these people who want to impose conditions on you? You are not to enter into negotiations with them. The order is to arrest the Vali, the Mutessarif, and their accomplices who have been con victed of treason, and to lead those simple people who are inclined to wander on the wrong road into the right one. Consequently, they must be dealt with rigorously. The officers commanding the XIII th , XV th and III rd Corps are trying by telegraph to come into agreement as to the necessary steps to be taken by them. The available troops are marching from all directions. We are satisfied that you have done all that is necessary after carefully considering the question. All the Telegraph Offices must be occupied. We expect to hear from Tewfik Bey, our friend the acting Mutessarif, that he is exercising all the power and authority of the Government that has been vested in him for their protection. 2. At the present moment petitions are being forwarded to the Padishah from all the important places in Anatolia, complaining about the treason that is being committed. You must send one also. 3. What the English major says is mere bluff. As for the Kurds, they can judge for themselves what prospect of success they can have against our military force, even if they were to combine. 4. It would be advisable to try to win over Bedr Agha, the leader of the Keven tribe, and the leaders of the others who are hostile to the procedure of the traitors.
5. Are you in communication with the squadron that left Husnamansur and the two battalions from Siverek and Diarbekr? How far have they marched by this time? nr + v. v i ^ ~ ^ Mustapha Kemal. n t]1 September, 1919. * In the name of the Members of the Congress assembled at the Telegraph Office. As a matter of fact, the members of the Congress had not assembled yet, and therefore they could not have been present at the Telegraph Office. But I thought it just as weJl to mention the Congress and the interest taken by it in this affair, so as to give moral support to those I was addressing. With the same idea, I sent another telegram, identical in terms with the first one, and merely signed it "The Con gress." (Document 74.) In a second telegram, which was the continuation of the first, I said that a small number only of foreign troops were at Uriah, Aintab and Maxash, and added: "The scoundrels who talk to you about a whole Division of foreign
troops are trying to weaken your moral by spreading lies that are invented by traitors to the country and to the nation." (Doc ument 75.) In his reply, Ilias Bey assured me that "energetic defence was decided upon in case of an attack/ and he said: "The troops we are able to dispose of are not strong enough to hold Malatia for a long time if they are attacked by the Kurds. We would earnestly beg you, therefore, to order that reinforcements are sent immediately/ (Doc ument 76.) I ordered Ilias Bey to carry on his important work and keep an officer at the Telegraph Office to receive any messages I might wish to send him. (Document 77.) On the 12 th September another telegram came from Ilias Bey, which I will read to you verbatim, because it contains information that is useful in many ways to our officers and officials. Malatia, I2 tjl September, 1919. To the Commander of the III rd Army Corps, Sivas. At noon to-day a certain Colonel P. Peel, an English officer, has arrived at Aleppo. It is reported that he has come to see the notables and the civil and military officials in the districts of Malatia, Karput and Diarbekr. He pretends that he knows nothing about the fugitive Major Nowill. He says that the English Government knows nothing
about him either, that for his part he would not allow any officer to travel about in these districts and make propaganda, and that he would immediately order him to leave the tribes and come to him. If he were convinced that Major Nowill had bad intentions, he would arrest him at once and sent him under escort to Aleppo. He also intends to ask the Vali AH Galib to come here and speak to him. I have told him that without orders from my superiors I could not permit Ali Galib to come here, but promised to write for the necessary authority. He begged me urgently to exert my influence to obtain this permission. He says that his title is that of "High Commissioner/ and added that he is known to the Government in Constantinople. He states that he intends to remain here for two or three days and then go on to Karput. He can produce no official documents. He has been told that we shall regard him as our guest and that we shall treat him with special honour. Are we to authorise this man to summon the Vali to come here? And are we to allow him to continue his journey to Karput? Two officers have just arrived from Sivas. j^ Commanding the I5 tjl Infantry Regiment. Our opinion as to what he should do about it is comprised in this telegram:
Telegram. Very urgent. Sivas, 12** September, 1919. To the Officer Commanding the 15 t& Regiment, Malatia. Reply to your telegram of 12 th September. 1. No foreign officer, whoever he may be, unable to produce official documents has any business whatever on Ottoman territory. Tell him so courteously but at the same time energetically, as becomes a military man, and inform him that he must return immediately to the place whence he came. Take care that he is accompanied by an intelligent and capable officer until he is out of the country, to prevent him from holding any political conversations with prominent men or officials. 2. You will further inform him that the fugitive Vali is accused of treason against his country, that he will be handed over to justice as soon as he is caught and that nothing can be done to save him. Mustapha Kemal. Thus, eventually, Ali Galib s activities were put an end to, thanks to the steps I took to counteract them and mainly to the promptness
119 and firmness we displayed. The tribes Ali Galib and Halil Bey tried to raise in rebellion against us dispersed, and Ali Galib fled in despair, first to Urfah and then to Aleppo. Major Nowill was treated properly but was escorted to Elbistan. The others dispersed, each in his own direction. I do not think it will be of any interest to you if we follow this incident any farther. When you read the documents which will be published as supplementary to what I have said on this question, I hope you will find them very instructive, both now and in the time to come. (Documents 78, 79, 80, Si.) I am sure that these documents will leave no doubt at all in your minds that Ali Galib s enterprise was arranged with the consent of the Padishah, Ferid Pasha s Cabinet and foreigners. There is no doubt, also, about our action against the originators of this treachery without distinction of persons. But, it was necessary that we should avoid as far as possible such a direct frontal attack at this phase. It was wiser to concentrate our endeavours on a single point and not scatter our forces. Therefore, we chose Ferid Pasha s Cabinet alone as our target and pretended that we knew nothing about the complicity of the Padishah. Our theory was that the Sovereign had been deceived by the Cabinet and that he himself was in total ignorance of what was really going on. We wanted to give the impression that we were convinced that he would summarily punish those who had deceived him as soon as he was made clearly aware of the facts. Our first object was to lay these facts directly and exclusively before the Padishah, trusting that he would assuredly find a remedy for the existing evils by depriving the Government, whose treason
was patent, of his confidence. With this intention, we composed a telegram on the II th September and addressed it to the Sultan. After the usual rigmarole of expressions of our devotion, as was customary at that time, our telegram ran as follows: "Since we, the undersigned officers commanding Army Corps in this district, have duly considered the matter, we deem it to be our duty to lay before you the following facts: The Government has conspired to shed the blood of Mohamedans in a fratricidal war, by planning a sudden attack upon the Congress. It is also proved by certain documents in our possession that they have spent public funds in the attempt to dismember our territory by raising Kurdistan into revolt. In trying to accomplish this and having failed, the agents
of the Cabinet have run away in a disgraceful manner. When they have been arrested they will be handed over to the avenging arm of justice. The nation has no confidence whatever in a Government that is capable of organising such crimes and issuing commands like those issued by the Minister of the Interior and the Minister of We continued: "The nation demands that immediate steps shall be taken for the pursuit of this gang of traitors; that they shall be severely punished, and that a new Government shall be formed that will be composed of men of honour. The nation also declares that henceforth all communication and relations with the Government shall be broken off. Under these circumstances, the Army cannot do otherwise than declare itself in accord with the will of the people." (Document 82.) We thought it advisable that each of the Army Corps should send similar telegrams to Constantinople. Being at the telegraph instru ment myself, I sent this circular to the different Army Corps on the II th September: "We shall send you the wording of a telegram immediately. It must be signed jointly by the commanders of the III rd , XV th , XX th , XIII tfcl and XII* 11 Army Corps. You will pay attention to this and hold yourselves in readiness to send it off at exactly the same time as the other commanders send theirs. Text. To the Grand Vizier. "We feel ourselves urgently and directly obliged to lay before our Highest Chief and Glorious Caliph a matter of the most serious importance. We beg you not to put any obstacles in our way if you do not want personally to accept the heavy responsibility for^the serious consequences which will inevitably ensue a responsibility which would lie solely on the shoulders of Your Highness/
The Army Corps, etc., etc. The serious consequences referred to were none other than those mentioned in the telegram to the Padishah, which I have already mentioned. During the day of the ii a , and particularly during that night, all the Telegraph Offices were occupied by the Commanders of the Corps, who tried to come into connection with Constantinople for the purpose of sending off the telegrams as agreed.
121 But the Grand Vizier seemed to have disappeared. He did not reply. But we remained at the instrument and did all we could to send off the telegrams to the Grand Vizier, and awaited his answer to them. After lengthy negotiations with the officials of the Chief Telegraph Office in Constantinople, one of them sent us the following: "The message addressed to the Grand Vizier has been forwarded on to him by telephone." The answer sent by the Director of the Telegraph Office read: "The wording of the telegram has been forwarded to His Highness the Grand Vizier. His Highness has replied that telegraphic com munication can only be conducted in the regular manner and that messages cannot be brought before high authorities unless they are sent in the proper way." (Document 83.) Then the following telegram was handed in at the Telegraph Office at Sivas. II th September, 1919. To Ferid Pasha, Grand Vizier. "It is evident that by your regardless actions and enterprises, that have been conducted in the most inconsiderate manner, you have trodden underfoot the rights of the nation and all that it holds sacred, while at the same time you have outraged the dignity and honour of His Imperial Majesty. The nation has completely lost confidence in your Cabinet and in yourself. It retains confidence in its Sovereign alone. To him alone, therefore, will it disclose the real state of affairs and present its demands. Your Cabinet, fearing the fatal consequences of their unlawful actions, try to erect a wall between the nation and its Padishah. If you persevere in your stubbornness one hour longer, the nation will consider itself free to proceed in any manner that it considers right, and will forthwith break off relations throughout the country with the lawless Cabinet of which you are the head. "This is the last warning we shall give you. The attitude that the nation will take up in future will be explained to the representatives of the Entente through the mediation of the foreign officers who are now among us." ( Signed ) The General Assembly of the Congress. Simultaneously, we sent the following order to the Director of the
Telegraph Office at Sivas by telephone: "We understand that Constantinople refuses to receive a telegram that a delegation of the Congress will bring you to transmit.
"Inform your superior that if, within an hour from now, you are not granted authority to send this telegram, we shall see ourselves obliged to cut all the telegraph lines between Anatolia and Stambul." ^h & General Assembly of the Congress at Sivas.
We also sent the following circular telegram to each of the officers commanding the Army Corps: Sivas, II th September, 1919. To the Commanders of the XX*, XV* XIII^ lit* Army Corps. "The Director of the Chief Telegraph Office in Stambul refuses to transmit certain messages from the Congress to be laid at the foot of the Imperial Throne. We have informed him in reply that, unless within an hour connection with the Imperial Palace is open, we shall cut all the telegraph lines between Anatolia and the metropolis. As this lawful demand by the Congress has not been acceded to, we beg you to suspend all telegraphic communication with the head offices at Angora, Kastamuni, Diarbekr and Sinope, except telegrams that are sent by the Congress. At the same time prohibit the reception of all telegrams that are sent from Constanti nople, and disconnect the line running through the gorge of Geiveh, or suspend it temporarily if it will not prevent us from communicating with western Anatolia. Report to us the steps you have taken for this purpose. "All telegraph officials who refuse to obey these orders are to be put immediately before a summary court martial, and they are to be dealt with most severely. The officers of the XX th , XV^, XIII* 11 and III rd Aimy Corps are commanded to carry out these orders. Please report receipt of this." The General Assembly of the Congress. The orders contained in this message were supplemented by further telegrams. (Documents 84, 85.) Following the circular sent during the night of the II th September , we issued the following order: "Military commanders, heads of the Civil Administration and others concerned are requested not to leave the Telegraph Offices during the night until they have succeeded in getting satisfactory results >" The General Assembly of the Congress,
123 This was sent to the Telegraph Offices: "Continued from last message: As we want to carry on telegraphic communication between ourselves, when the office of the Congress has received the information that this message has actually been transmitted we request you to leave an official permanently in the Telegraph Office. It was evident that the head office in Constantinople would not open communication with the Palace within the prescribed limit. Therefore, on the 12 th September we circulated the following infor mation among the commanders and the Vilayets: "Within an hour, the following message will be telegraphed to the Grand Vizier in the name of the General Assembly of the Congress. Will you, therefore, immediately send a telegram to the same effect and report that you have done so." The General Assembly of the Congress. This circular was transmitted to all concerned at five o clock, and a copy of it was sent to the Grand Vizier, marked: "For your information/ 1. As the Cabinet continues to prevent any communication between the people and their beloved Sovereign and stands in the way of their expressing their desires, and as they also persevere in their malicious schemes, the nation has decided to break off all official relations with the Government, as well as all telegraphic and postal communication with Constantinople, until it is succeeded by a lawful Government. In agreement with the military commanders, the civil officials of the provinces will see that the necessary steps are taken to give effect to this and inform the General Assembly of the Congress at Sivas of the result. 2. This has been communicated to all commanders and the heads of the Civil Administration. 12 th September. The General Assembly of the Congress. The result of this was that all communications and relations with the Government were broken off on that date. Later on I shall explain which localities in particular wanted to offer resistance and what discussions we had with them on the subject. If you will allow me, I shall first make some remarks on a question that you will consider very important. As you probably know, Ferid Pasha s Government had given formal orders for the election of the legislative body. But up to that time, that is to say, the I2 tjl Sep-
124 tember, at the moment when the rupture between Anatolia and Stambul took place, this order had not been carried out. You will under stand that after the turn of events that had taken place, it was urgently necessary for us to concern ourselves with this question. We began
to do so on the 13 th September. (Document 86.) Instead of going into lengthy details, it win be better if I place before you the general instructions we issued for this purpose. Here they are: Telegram. T 3 th September, 1919. To the XIII th Army Corps at Balikesri, to the XII th at Konia, to the XIII th at Diarbekr, to the XV at Erzerum, the XX th at Angora, to the 17 th Division at Brusa, the 58 th Division at Tshine, the 6i st Division at Panderma, the I st Army Corps, via the 6i st Division, the n th Division at Nigdeh, and the Vilayets and autonomous Sanjaks and the authorities in towns where there are Branches of the "Union for the Defence of the Rights." On account of the reactionary attitude of the Government and in order to secure the defence of our rights in these most dangerous days through which we are passing, the election and speedy meeting of a National Assembly is our most urgent duty to undertake. The Government has deceived the people and has postponed the elections from month to month. In the same manner, on different pretexts, it has postponed the execution of the order it had eventually issued. The Note which Fend Pasha has just laid before the Peace Conference shows that he will surrender our vilayets beyond the Taurus. His next step, which will be to make the frontier line pass through the Vilayet of Smyrna after having previously come to an agree ment with the Greeks distinctly shows his intention of giving up the territory already occupied by the Greeks. Last of all, the thoughtless and malicious policy pursued by him in other occupied parts of the country, enables us to foresee in a similar way that he will expose the country and the nation to dis memberment and confront them with an accomplished fact by signing the Peace Treaty before the National Assembly can meet. In these circumstances, the General Assembly of the Congress urges the Army and the people to be watchful, and declares that it is
125 in the vital interest of the nation to proceed as rapidly as possible in the following manner: 1. The town authorities and the "Unions for the Defence of the Rights " must immediately set to work to complete all the necessary preparations for the elections to take place in the shortest possible time that the law sanctions. 2. The number of deputies must now be fixed in proportion to the number of the inhabitants of each sanjak, and the Representative Committee must be duly informed in advance.
The question of the candidates will be settled in later correspondence. 3. Any difficulties that may arise that will be liable to postpone the preparations for the elections must be guarded against imme diately, so that the elections can take place as quickly as possible. You are requested to bring the foregoing to the knowledge of the authorities of the different towns and the committees for the "Defence of the Rights in your district, and assist in hastening on the arrangements. The Representative Committee. Fend Pasha s Government remained obdurate. It persisted in its obstinacy, as you know, till it was overthrown. But it seemed exceed ingly dangerous to leave the country without guidance for an indefinite time. So, during the night of the 13 th September, I drafted the follow ing resolutions, which I circulated first in the form of an inquiry intended to produce expressions of opinion, and later as an order, without taking any notice of certain objections: I beg to inform you in the following statement of certain proposals that have been considered by the Congress. They will be laid before the General Assembly for discussion and will be carried through after you have expressed your opinion on them. We hope to be informed of that opinion before the evening of the 15 th September. The General Assembly of the Congress feels itself obliged to break off all relations with a Government which interprets the will of nation in an unsatisfactory way, which regards the national actions and the national proceedings as unlawful, and which, although we have never ceased in a legal and legitimate manner to prove our unfailing fidelity to the Padishah-Caliph, interposes itself like a solid wall between the nation and its Sovereign, and which arms the citizens to fight against one another and tear each other to pieces. In these circumstances, the General Assembly considers it to be its duty to inform you of the resolutions they have arrived at :
126 I. be of as be The official business of the State will in future, as hitherto, carried on strictly according to the laws in force and in the name His Imperial Majesty, The lives, property and honour, as well the rights of all citizens, without distinction of race or creed, will protected.
2. The State officials will continue to exercise their offices; adapting themselves, however, to the legitimate wishes of the nation. But those who are not willing to do so will ipso facto be considered to have resigned their posts, and will be temporarily superseded by other qualified persons. 3. Those officials who work actively against the aims of the nation and the national movement, will render themselves liable to severe punishment, for the sake of the security of the people and their religion.
4. Whoever, whether he be a discharged official or a private individual, does anything that is contrary to the national resolutions or makes propaganda that is calculated to spread confusion among the people, will likewise be very severely dealt with. 5. The welfare and happiness of the country and people can only be secured by right and justice, and by the maintenance of order throughout the country. The Assembly trusts that the Commanders of Corps, the Valis and the autonomous Mutessarifs will adopt measures to effect this. 6. In anticipation of the moment when, after we have succeeded in laying the demands of the nation before our Sovereign, we shall also have succeeded in forming a proper Government possessing the confidence of the nation, the Representative Committee of the Sivas Congress will remain in office and continue to conduct the affairs of the nation. 7. These resolutions are to be communicated to all the general committees of the national unions and to be publicly circulated. Mustapha Kemal. I will not disguise the fact that this declaration gave rise to a great deal of criticism, sometimes of an insignificant kind but at others it was rather violent, and we had to encounter active resistance and face hostile demonstrations and threats. The criticisms and objections, by the way, were not directed solely against what I have just read to you. At the same time they applied to other points also, and to give you a clear idea of this I must ask you to let me give you a short account of some correspondence that was exchanged on the subject.
127 On the 14 th September, the Committee of the "Defence of Rights" at Erzingan telegraphed to us: "We have unanimously resolved that it would be advisable to grant the Government a final extension of forty-eight hours before putting our decision into execution." After all, this was rather a harmless proposal. I will now quote from a long telegram in cipher, dated the 14 th September, that we recived from Djevdet Bey, commanding the XIII th Army Corps at Diarbekr: "If we break with the Government completely and appoint the Representative Committee of a congress to act as the leading authority, our opponents and all those who entertain political ideas will construe it to be a revolt against the Caliph, and this will confuse the minds of some people. "Has the question of providing for the requisite expenditure been considered, and has anything been done to cover the cost of the pay and food of the officials and the Army, in case the situation will be prolonged for any length of time?
"The Government is under the tutelage of England. No pressure, no effort on our part, could bring a Government into power that would act differently. If the English, with the consent of the Cabinet, were to get the idea into their heads of carrying out an extensive programme of occupation, have you decided to take up arms against them? And how far do you feel assured of success in the event of our being forced to do that? "Would it be in the highest interests of our country to carry our obstinacy as far as this?" (Document 88.) In their telegram of the 15 th September, the committee at Erzemm expressed the opinion "that we will have to obtain the consent of the general committees and to insert a special clause in the regulations before the 6 th clause of the resolutions can be carried out" that is to say, the one relating to the establishment of the Representative Committee as the highest authority in the land. Ilias Bey telegraphed from Malatia on the 15^ September that "in his opinion, while reserving his acquiescence, he thought the right thing to do would be to postpone the matter until the population of the Vilayet of El Aziz had been fully informed of the aims and objects of the Congress, thus giving them time to think it over." (Document 89.) The General Committee in the town of Sivas itself, where we were living at the time, sent us a long account, which began by saying, "it is evident from the whole of the resolutions arrived at, that the intention is to proclaim a provisional administration." It further
128 drew our attention to the fact that cc this did not seem to be supported by the regulations of the union or by any clause in them/ In the end, it advised us "to confine our proceedings within a reasonable compass and seek for proper means to put them into execution before we laid our considered demands calmly and sincerely before His Majesty/ 7 (Document 90.) Servet Bey, a member of the Representative Committee, who, in spite of our invitation and pressing, had declined to join us and had invented all kinds of excuses for not taking part in the Sivas Congress, sent the following non-ciphered message to us on the 15 th September, beginning with the devout Arabic expression : "Salaam aleikum/* "We have received the manifesto issued by the Sivas Congress and your other communications. We have submitted our reply to it to His Excellency at his own request. In the first place, it appears that the Sivas Congress has taken up the position of a General Congress and has created a Representative Committee, contrary to our reso lutions. "The Sivas Congress had no authority to provide for the possi bility of introducing its members into our Executive Committee. "The rupture with the Government is an accomplished fact. It will produce a very bad impression that the Representative Committee has been appointed the highest authority in the land. This cannot possibly
be done. "The Sivas Congress is not competent to alter the regulations passed at Erzerum. The Congress must be subordinate to the re presentative body of the Eastern Provinces. "You may be certain that public opinion, which has been passing through a period of agitation caused by the resolutions passed at Erzerum, must regard all other decisions with suspicion." Servet Bey closed his message with this protest: "We cannot agree to any measures which exceed the scope of the resolutions agreed upon by the Erzerum Congress/ (Document 91.) Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha, commanding the XV th Army Corps, telegraphed to us on the 15 th September: "I have read the document which Servet Bey, Izzet Bey and Seki Bey, members of the Trebizond delegation persons whom I know intimately and in whom I have the greatest confidence and the highest opinion of wish to send in reply to the question put to them by the Sivas Congress. I understand and share the actual ideas on which they have based their remarks/ Then he laid down his opinions about the details of the different
I2 9 points, and said : "The Erzerum Congress met in the name of the Eastern Provinces. As for the Sivas Congress, it represents the entire nation and, therefore, it is natural that it should be represented by a special body. But the Representative Committee of the Eastern Provinces has been automatically abolished by this. Nevertheless, it still exists at the present moment. At the utmost, it could only include those persons who have become members of the Representative Committee of Sivas and who already were members of the Represen tative Committee of the Eastern Provinces, if any were to be asked to resign from that committee. "The Sivas Congress represents the interests of the whole nation ; the representative body of the Eastern Provinces confines itself exclusively to defending the special rights and interests of the latter. "As for the highest authority and the competence of the Represen tative Committee, this is the chief question in this affair. I am ab solutely of your opinion that nothing should be done rashly. With regard to Arts, i to 5 of the proposals of the Representative Com mittee, I think that it is superfluous not only to make them a question to be voted upon, but also to publish them in the form of a pro clamation or as an expression of opinion." (Document 92.) I will now read you the telegraphic reply we sent to Servet Bey at Trebizond and our answer to Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha. The former was worded thus : To Servet Bey, Trebizond. We have not yet received a reply from the committee at Trebizond
to our question. We asked His Excellency Kiasim Pasha for his opinion also on this question. Naturally, we cannot understand the necessity of bringing these two opinions into connection with one another. I will answer your remarks in their proper order. Firstly, it is generally known that the Sivas meeting was in the nature of a General Congress. You are the first man who has told me that it had been suggested it could have any other character. As to the question of the Representative Committee, it is essentially the same as that elected by the Erzerum Congress. Rauf Bey, Bekir Sami Bey, Raif Effendi and Sheikh Hadji Fewsi Effendi are here with me at Sivas at the present time. Although some of our colleagues are still away, the majority of them are doing their duty. We have no doubt that you know all about this, because, feeling how important it was, I had asked you while I Kemal Pasha 9
130 was still at Erzerum to come to Sivas, and I told you then that I was leaving with the others. After It had been fully discussed and decided that a general con gress at Sivas was empowered to increase the Representative Com mittee by the addition of new members under Art. 8 of our regulations there had been no further question concerning this, but, on the contrary, we had found that this provision would ensure that the committee would be fully representative. We did nothing more about it at the Sivas Congress. With regard to the rupture with the Government., it cannot be considered as an infraction of Art. 4 of our fundamental resolutions. The cause of it is the treason of the Government, a possibility that could not be provided for in these resolutions, because it had never entered into the mind of any one. After all, we are not responsible for the actual fact, but the Govern ment themselves. It is irrevocable that we carry out the terms of our telegram in cipher. We cannot depart from them in any particular. We thought it right to take the initiative in obtaining your consent to this. You must decide whether you will join us or not. I should like to draw your attention to this: To-day, when the whole of Anatolia and the whole of Rumelia feel compelled to march forward on the road they have both chosen to take, it is absolutely necessary for us to identify ourselves with the views of the majority rather than with those of the minority, and afterwards convert the latter to our own views.
If you have any better proposal to offer about our work and our qualifications for doing it, I shall be glad to hear of it. When you carefully examine to-day the attitude which we thought it right to assume, you cannot help seeing that it is accurately in accord with the programme laid down in the fundamental resolutions accepted by the Erzerum Congress. I cannot see a single point in which we have exceeded them. I must, therefore, ask you to define what we have done contrary to these regulations to cause Your Excellencies to hesitate to join us. The only thing that we have not been able to prevent is the wretched attitude of the Government, which timidly confides the de stiny of the country and of the nation to the caprices of .... (illegible) and has sacrificed them to their own personal interests. If there is any possible way of meeting the situation by taking a different course than the one we are now following, I shall be greatly obliged to you if you will let me know what it is. Mustapha Kemal.
The introduction to the long reply we sent to Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha reads as follow: We have received the open telegram sent by Servet Bey and Izzet Bey to the Representative Committee on the questions that the General Committee of Trebizond had referred to them. The Represen tative Committee considers that it should not have been sent open, because its circulation might give rise to some doubt, considering that it reflects no more than the personal opinion of these gentlemen. The Representative Committee in their circular letter had not asked for the opinion of Izzet Bey and Servet Bey, but for that of the Trebizond Committee. However, I think we ought to give you some information about the private telegram which shows you the view held by Izzet Bey and Servet Bey, as well as your own, which, as Your Excellency indicates, had been communicated in reply to these gentlemen and to the Representative Committee. A. Firstly, it is unfortunate that the Representative Committee has not able to discover the real motive that induced these two gentle men to make the remarks of which you are aware. B. Art. 4 of the declaration gives the reasons for the establishment of a provisional administration and the way in which it is to be established. The steps that have been taken on account of the recent events, which are known everywhere and reveal the treason, have never for a moment aimed at creating a provisional administration. Con sequently, there is no reason to try to find any connection between this and Art. 4. The object of these measures is to discover a way to give the Sultan directly a description of what is going on and to ask him to form a legitimate Government. C. The Sivas Congress by resolution has elected a special body, which is entitled to act in the name of the delegates of the western districts of Anatolia and the Erzerum Congress, which would represent the entire Eastern Provinces. In creating this body, it has apparently
assumed the character of a General Congress representing the whole of Anatolia and of Rumelia, and is, therefore, representative of the whole nation. This Congress has adopted the resolutions of the Erzerum Congress and the organisation created by it in toto, but has considerably widened them. It follows that the Union for the Defence of the Rights of Eastern Anatolia" consolidated and at the same time extended itself under the more comprehensive title of the "Union for the Defence of the Rights of Anatolia and Rumelia/ This, after all,
132 was the realisation of the highest aim which Art. 3 of the regulations and the fundamental resolutions of the Congress laid down as an unalterable object. The General Congress at Sivas has confirmed its full confidence in the Representative Committee elected by the Erzerum Congress in the name of the eastern unions and has recognised it in its entirety as representative of the "Union for the Defence of the Rights of Anatolia and Rumelia." Evidently there is no question of regarding the resolutions passed by the General Congress at Sivas, those by the Erzerum Congress, the Representative Committee of the "Union for the Defence of the Rights of Eastern Anatolia" and the Representative Committee of the "Union for the Defence of the Rights of Anatolia and Rumelia" as totally different things. To make such a distinction between them would be extremely fatal to the chief object of the union which we are all striving to attain as our sacred ideal. Therefore, when we look at matters from this point of view, there are no representative bodies which annul one another, nor members who should be called upon to retire if they happened to belonged to another committee. The only representative body belonging to our union, which to-day comprises the whole of Anatolia and Rumelia, is at Sivas, where it continues to carry on its functions with the co-operation of five, out of the nine, members who were elected in the usual way by the Congress of Erzerum. To leave Western Anatolia, whose rights, interests and privileges are not in any way less important than those of the Eastern Provinces, in a subordinate position and ignore her rightful and well-founded claims and proposals, is a proceeding that our reason forbids us to tolerate. It is because our Representative Committee was called upon to deal with this, that is was enlarged by the addition of six new mem bers. (Document 93.) This telegram, which contained references to many other matters, was also communicated verbally to the Trebizond Committee. These questions involved further extensive correspondence.
It happened even that telegrams antagonistic to us were sent from Trebizond to other vilayets with the forged signature of the Trebizond Branch of the "Union for the Defence of the Rights." (Document 94.) At length, after a fortnight had passed, we received another tele gram from Trebizond, but this time it was not from Servet Bey.
133 I had better quote this telegram verbatim, so that you may get a close view of the situation then prevailing. To His Excellency Mustapha Kemal Pasha. For the Representative Committee at Sivas. The following telegram from the civil authorities of Trebizond is now being sent to Constantinople. A copy of it has been handed to the officer commanding the XV th Corps. Ali Riza Commandant. I st October, 1919. Copy of the telegram. To His Highness Ferid Pasha, Grand Vizier, Constantinople. The inhabitants of Trebizond, with the dignity and calmness that are their natural characteristics, have heard the national cry of protest that is being raised throughout Anatolia. The people have come to the end of their patience. If Your Highness possesses the slightest patriotic sentiment, you can no longer remain at the head of the Government. Hussein President of the Town Council. Husni, Mehmed, Salih, Mehmet Awni, Ahmed Shefik Mehmet, Temel, Members. On the 17 th September, I received a telegram in cipher from Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha, addressed personally to myself. This telegram, which was couched generally in exceedingly cor dial and brotherly terms, contained several warnings. "Pasha," he said, "the communications and circular notes coming from Sivas are sent sometimes in the name of the Representative Committee and at others in your own. An example of the latter was when you sent those communications and warnings addressed to the Government in Constantinople on the lo* 11 September. Will you
believe me when I tell you that the communications signed in your own name are the cause of friendly and sincere criticism, even by those who love and honour you most? You can yourself judge what consequences and reactionary feelings can be produced by them. Therefore, I beg you to send all the resolutions arrived at by the Representative Committee- and the Congress signed merely in the name of the Representative Committee/
134 This was the ending of the telegram: "It is in the interests of the nation that Your Excellency, what ever happens, will not appear prominently. "I am sure that you will accept these requests that we think it right to send you in a friendly spirit. I have not yet been informed what persons or bodies have been interrogated and who are stated to be united, "I kiss your hands." (Document 96.) Surely it is necessary to explain and discuss the circumstances which apparently could have led Kiasim Pasha to express his sincere doubts and objections. As I do not wish the opinion I held at that time to be affected by what occurred subsequently, I prefer to give you the exact wording of the reply that I sent: To His Excellency Kiasim Pasha, commanding the XV th Army Corps. Reply. 19 th September, 1919. My dear brother, the friendly language you employed when you informed me of your conviction, the deep sincerity of which I do not for a moment doubt, can only help to strengthen the brotherly bonds that unite us and afford me the most cordial satisfaction. Be assured that I perfectly understand your anxiety. No com munication was sent to the Government on the g m September signed by myself. I happened to be at the Telegraph Office on a certain day and accidentally noticed that Aadil Bey, the Minister of the Interior, was handing in some messages. Remembering the stupid answers -he had sent to Reshid Pasha, Vali of Sivas, I turned round to him in quite a personal way and remonstrated with him rather sharply you know how I can do this. The conversation was quite of a private character. All the messages we sent to the Government or the Sovereign or to foreign countries were signed as coining from the Congress itself or the "Representative Committee/ One letter only, addressed to the American Senate and which you know all about, was, according to the resolution of the Congress, signed by five persons including myself.
In the same way we continued to use the signature "Representative Committee" in all non-ciphered correspondence with the authorities of Anatolia. But we found out that this gave an unfavourable im pression and produced a feeling of distrust in certain quarters.
135 In fact, the names of persons and the authority they represented, that were included in this indefinite term, were not disclosed; therefore, it was not publicly known who was responsible for these messages. From Kastamuni, Angora, Malatia, Nigdeh, Djanik (Samsoon) and other places, people began to put themselves into telegraphic com munication directly with me. Signs of doubt began to appear. I was asked whether I was actu ally working in conjunction with the persons who were hiding their identity under the title of the "Representative Committee/ Servet Bey at Trebizond, who had received the messages from the Represen tative Committee in very bad part and had drawn many erroneous conclusions concerning the character and the composition of this committee, asked me to come personally to the telegraph instrument. After we had discussed the matter by telegraph, he declared that all this misunderstanding was due to the fact that the title chosen for the signature suggested that somebody was posing as the "Represen tative Committee/ All this caused us, even before your brotherly warning came, to consider very carefully this question of the signature. As the Representative Committee was not the executive committee of a secret society, but comprised the representatives of a lawful union which had been formed in a legal manner with the official consent of the people, we considered it to be obligatory for us to follow the usual practice laid down by law, by having all our resolu tions and communications signed by a responsible person. We thought that any doubt that existed about our lawful position that would fall on the Representative Committee if their communications and publications were signed in the name of a fictitious authority, would certainly considerably counterbalance the prejudice that could possibly arise from a signature that might be exploited by the hostile propaganda circulated by the enemies of the national movement. In the end, we unanimously decided that all our communications should be signed personally by somebody. In spite of their previous decision, when I received your friendly warning I proposed to the Committee to bring this question up again. My colleagues, however, again decided unanimously, being influenced by the foregoing reasons and considerations, to mention in the text of all such documents that it had been drawn up by the special resolution of the Representative Committee. As I was involved personally in this question, I considered it correct for me to remain neutral during these discussions. After the principle of a personal signature had been adopted, a discussion arose as to whether somebody else should
136 not take my place. My colleagues raised the following objections to this suggestion. The whole world knows the part I am playing in this movement.
If we begin to-day to let the correspondence be signed by someone else and if my name ceased to appear, it would immediately be con cluded that discord and dissention reigned among us, and, whoever might be appointed to sign in my stead, it would immediately be thought that I am in an unlawful position that prevented me from coming conspicuously forward, and that the national movement is tainted by some illegality. But apart from this, even if we were to decide to empower another person possessing general confidence to sign, the same doubts that are raised to-day about myself would certainly be attached to my successor. He would find himself obliged to hand over his authority to someone else, which would lead to perpetual change and which would eventually reduce us to a con dition of weakness, I cannot imagine how such a result as this could appeal to you. It is true that we calculated, particularly at first, that my own person would present a target for attack from every side. These anticipated attacks were actually delivered from within the country itself, as well as from abroad, but hitherto they have turned out, with God s help, completely in my favour. The Government and certain evil-disposed opponents have been overthrown in all their assaults. As for foreign countries, very close relations have been established with Americans, French and English. Their Plenipotenti aries came to Sivas and arrived at a good understanding. We know, with absolute certainty, that they have sent reports to their Govern ments that prove that the national movement to which we belong is far from having been instigated by two or three persons, but, on the other hand, bears the stamp of a truly national and general character. You are aware that, on account of the characteristic mentality of our country, it is impossible to prevent the ca.hiTrmi.es which certain despicable people invent and circulate about those who are taking more or less leading parts as pioneers in a movement of this kind. But, after all, the same thing occurs in every country. The only thing we considered would be effective against such obstacles would be to go on, without hesitating a moment, and tread the road we had chosen in a spirit of unshakable unity and concord. You are surely convinced that I prefer to proceed in my acts and in affairs of public interest with the unanimous and loyal consent of my honourable colleagues, instead of following my own personal
137 opinion. Nevertheless, I would be glad to hear your friendly ob servations on the subject. I greet you cordially and respectfully. Between the 12 th September, the date on which we suspended intercourse with the Government in Stambul, and the overthrow of Ferid Pasha s Cabinet, we repeatedly sent messages to the Sultan, to the representatives of Foreign Powers, to the Prefecture of Con stantinople and the whole of the Press. (Document 97.) No doubt you will recall that on the 20 th September a Proclam ation was issued by the Sultan, with a supplement to it by Ferid Pasha, the Grand Vizier. (Document 98.) I would like to bring to your recollection once more the main
points of it : 1. The policy followed by the Government resulted in the tragic events at Smyrna having attracted the sympathetic attention of the civilised States and nations of Europe. 2. A special delegation has begun to institute an impartial inquiry on the spot. Our clear rights are beginning to be recognised by the civilised world. 3. We are not confronted by any decision or proposal intended as an attack against our national unity. 4. Some people speak of so-called dissention, which is supposed to exist between the people and the Government. 5. The present state of affairs can only lead to the postponement of the elections, which we desire to carry through as soon as possible in accordance with the regulations laid down by law, as well as the meeting of the Chamber of Deputies, the existence of which is more necessary than ever, because the peace negotiations will very shortly take place. 6. I expect complete subjection to the orders of the Government from all my people. 7. The sense of fair-play on the part of the Great Powers and the spirit of justice exhibited by European and American public opinion, strengthen us in our hope for a speedy peace which would save our own dignity and our position in the world. As you see, the publication of this Proclamation took place at a time when relations and communications between the country and the Government had already been interrupted and while we per severed in maintaining this rupture. If our orders and instructions had been taken into due consider ation this message ought not to have been brought before the eyes of the public anywhere in Anatolia.
138 I shall read you a telegram which will show you that, in spite of our orders and in opposition to our point of view, this publication had been circulated in several localities: To the Commandant of Trebizond. The officials and inhabitants of the town must be informed im mediately about the Proclamation which His Majesty has deigned to issue to his people, so that everybody shall be aware of the shameless presumption shown by the present Cabinet of traitors, who continue to deceive our good ruler in case there are any who may still be ignorant of this. What stands out most conspicuously in this Proclamation and shows how His Majesty s heart is overflowing with love and anxiety for his nation and country, is the fact that the petition presented by the people, in which they complained of the treason of the Government,
has not yet been laid before the Sovereign. The sincerity of expression which characterises this Proclamation provides beyond doubt that His Majesty would not permit the members of the Cabinet to remain for a moment longer in office if he knew that they employed the weapon of treachery against the people. It is on the people, therefore, that the duty rests at the present moment to manifest their unalterable devotion and loyalty to thenglorious Padishah, and to make certain that the assurance shall reach the steps of the Imperial Throne that the Nation and the Army, united in striving for the same object, will work together to protect the unquestionable rights of His Majesty, as well as the very existence of the country and the nation; and that, in opposition to them, this Cabinet of traitors conceal this legitimate movement of his faithful subjects from him, and only bring it to his knowledge in quite a different light. We enclose the text of the telegram that will be sent by the in habitants of Erzerum. Kiasim Kara Bekir 2i st September, 1919. Commanding the XV* 11 Army Corps. Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha informed me about this telegram and added: "Has Your Excellency anything to say about this? This Imperial Proclamation provided the nation with a new reason for bringing the truth before the eyes of the Padishah. The inhabitants of Erzerum will take this opportunity to denounce once more all the crimes
139 perpetrated by the Cabinet. I shall also communicate the text of it to your honourable Committee, so that they may take notice of it, and, if they think fit, also send a telegram." Kiasim Kara Bekir. We went to the Telegraph Office and sent off this reply: Undoubtedly you are aware that we were unable to distribute the documents about the treachery of Fend Pasha s Cabinet as widely as we wanted to do in the smallest towns and villages. Even if we had succeeded in doing so, it would not have been at all certain that the people would have arrived at the truth by comparing them with our messages. Having been informed beforehand that the Sublime Porte was drawing up such a Proclamation, we thought it would be well to prevent its circulation from confusing the minds of the people. Considering that all official relations with Constantinople had been broken off, we thought that this Proclamation, emanating not from the Palace itself but from the Sublime Porte, accompanied by some remarks made by Ferid Pasha himself, not having reached Sivas, Angora, Kastamuni and certain places, had also not been received elsewhere. Before this Proclamation was issued to the nation, the people ought to have had an opportunity of laying their petitions
and complaints before the Sovereign. That is why we did not think it advisable to aid the circulation of the Proclamation; but as soon as it had been read by the persons interested in certain places, like Erzerum and Sivas, it clearly became necessary, as you suggest, to send telegrams from every office to Constantinople. Mustapha Kemal. To counteract as far as possible the effect which the Imperial Proclamation would surely produce in certain minds, the only thing we thought most advisable to do was to draw up a reply to the Sultan, rejecting the assertions made in this Proclamation, and to publish and circulate it so that the people could have a chance of studying it. This is what we did. (Document 99.) I had come to the definite conclusion that there were some at Trebizond who, without the people being aware of it, were them selves very patriotic and loyal and had assumed the right per sonally to represent the national conscience in this district; thus we did not succeed in carrying on the national movement and the resolutions arrived at as satisfactorily in this town as we would have wished.
140 I had no doubt about the fact that a certain Galib Bey, who was Vali of Trebizond, was somehow involved in this hostile movement. I considered it advisable to commission Halil Bey, who was at Torul, near Trebizond, and had not yet taken over the command of his division, to organise the national movement in Trebizond and its vicinity. We wrote to this effect to the Commander of the XV th Army Corps. In his reply, which he sent on the 20 th September, he put forward certain suggestions, one of which was that "at this critical moment it would, perhaps, be impossible for us to face the difficulties that might arise if Halil Bey took up his official duties, for we are con cealing his presence here from the English." Later on he said: "If Halil Bey should send you any communications without my know ledge, I beg you to take no notice of them." (Document 100.) We replied to Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha in a telegram in cipher on the 22 nd September, telling him that the English danger was non existent, so far as we could see. But, as he appeared to think we ought to take a strong hand, we asked him to do whatever he thought necessary to meet the situation in Trebizond. (Document 101.) While this correspondence was being carried on with the Com mander of the XV th Corps, Lt.-Colonel Halil Bey, of Torul, began meanwhile to put himself into direct communication with us. As we did not wish to leave his messages unanswered, we kept him informed about the position. On the 27^ September, we received a telegram in cipher from the Commander of the XV th Army Corps, which to a certain extent was a reply to ours of the 22 nd September. After he had told us that he had carried through his principle, the result of long experience, which consisted in informing and enlightening the people first and then arresting those who appeared to be refractory, he informed us that he had sent Rushdi Bey, commanding
the 9 t]1 Division, with his Chief of Staff, to Trebizond to take over the command of the 3 rd Division temporarily, because Halid Bey did not appear to him to be the right man for Trebizond. He then expressed the conviction that "with regard to our conception of the English question, I hold the opinion that we must avoid showing any open and active hostility to them as long as possible." In my private and personal reply to him on the 29^ September, I said: "We are now perfectly well informed as to the public opinion prevailing in the Vilayet of Trebizond. We are in correspondence with all the chief places of the sanjaks and kazas in this vilayet,
with the exception of Trebizond itself. But after the arrest removal of the Vali, some doubts have been disseminated. (At signal from me, Halid Bey had arrested the Vali and had sent under escort to Erzerum.) I shall now tell you the reasons I my mind when I sent Rushdi Bey to Trebizond to take over the temporary command of the 3 rd Division,
and a him had in
"In the first place, it was Halid Bey who had arrested the Vali. If Ruhsdi Bey were sent there a few days afterwards it would appear to evil-minded persons in the place to be a criticism of the attitude taken up by Halid Bey. "Secondly, Halid Bey, who was waiting to take over the command of his Division in difficult circumstances, might be astounded to find somebody else replacing him in the critical and historical period through which we were passing. I ask you, therefore, to abandon your plan. At the same time, I am very loth to interfere with the military matters of your Army Corps/ (Document 103.) On the 2 nd October, Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha wrote to me telling me in detail what had been done at the request of Halid Bey, and said that he had been ordered to go to Erzerum to have the situation fully explained to him. (Document 104.) Now, Djevad Abbas Bey, my senior A.D.C., had received a private telegram in cipher on the I st October, signed by Tarik, the adjutant of the 3 rd Division. The last sentence of it read: Testerday the commanding officer demanded from the Army Corps that the conditions under which the command of the 3 rd Division is now being carried on should be altered. If the Army Corps does not accept this proposal, I have to inform you that, whether I receive the order or not, he will take over the actual command of the Di vision, he will detach himself from the Army Corps according to previous intentions, and will recognise the Congress itself as his sole and immediate superior authority. Will you inform His Excellency the Pasha about this in due course/ (Document 105.) About two weeks later I received the following telegram, dated 17 th October, from Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha: "In order to carry on the national movement within my command, it is absolutely necessary in my opinion to enforce strict discipline in future, so that the military spirit and the principle of subordination shall not be weakened. Experience proves everywhere and in all
undertakings that where firmness is not combined with foresight the aim in view is fraught with danger, however brilliant it may appear to be.
142 "Respect for the principle of subordination and a cautious attitude are specially necessary at Trebizond, where there are representatives of England and France. "It unfortunately happened that, in disobedience of distinct orders given to him, Halid Bey went personally in uniform and arrested the Vali, a proceeding that immediately gave rise to all kinds of criticisms that were passed from mouth to mouth, as a result of his strange attitude." (I have already mentioned the name of the person who had instigated Halid Bey to take this step,) "If Halid Bey is going to act like this during the elections, the English will be certain to repeat their procedure in regard to him and this will lead to difficulties." (We asked Halid Bey and a number of others to whom we could appeal to help us quite privately in setting the elections on foot and to secure their agreement with the will of the nation. As far as I am personally concerned, I am quite at a loss to understand what difficult situation could inevitably arise from anything the English might do.) "Consequently I ask you not to carry on any correspondence with him, but give your orders to him through me. I further beg you to give me your opinion about the election of Halid Bey as deputy for any particular district, and whether you think that his personal attitude would lead to any adverse criticism/ I simply replied to this on the ig th October by saying: "I cannot say anything about the election of Halid Bey as a deputy, because I know nothing about his views." There was no end to the questions that cropped up during the following days, before the overthrow of Ferid Pasha s Cabinet, and the difficulties we had to encounter were equally numerous. It would tire you too much if I attempted to tell you all about them, so I shall confine myself to mentioning a few facts only, which will be supplementary, I think, to what you know already. On the recommendation of Ali Galib, Osman Nuri Bey had been appointed Mutessarif of Dersim by the Government, and when he arrived at Sivas on the 8 t]1 September we detained him. Muheddin Pasha, Vali of Angora, whose treachery against the national movement was fully substantiated, had gone on a circular tour for a special purpose and on the 13^ September happened to be at Tshorum. We ordered the Commanders of the Army Corps at Angora and of the 5^ Caucasian Division at Samsoon to arrest this official and send him under strong escort to Sivas. He was actually brought a prisoner to Sivas. I had a personal interview with him.
After I had warned and advised him, I sent him, because of his advanced age, to Constantinople via Samsoon. Sami Fethi, Mutessarif of Tshorum, was also privately requested several days later to come to Sivas. On the i6 th September we ordered the officer commanding the Division at Nigdeh to arrest the Mutessarif of that place, the Collector of Taxes, and the Commissioner of Police, who had shown themselves antagonistic to the national movement, and to send them, also under escort, to Sivas. Ibrahim Bey, Vali of Kastamuni, was known personally to Colonel Kiasim Bey (my C.O.S. when I was an Inspector in the Army). This is the reason we had entrusted him with all manner of secrets and carried on correspondence with him in cipher. The Government ordered him to return to Constantinople. Instead of directly refusing to obey this order, for some unexplained reason he left Kastamuni and went to Constantinople, where he was immediately arrested. Stambul had appointed somebody else, who had arrived at Ineboli on the i6 th September, to take his place. We gave the requisite order to the competent authority in that town to arrest him. An inter esting little incident followed, about which I trust I may speak at some length. After I had personally observed certain symptoms of hesitation and uncertainty in the Vilayet of Kastamuni and at Kastamuni itself, I requested Ali Fuad Pasha, who was at Angora, to send a capable and trustworthy officer there. Fuad Pasha sent Colonel Osman Bey as Commandant of the place. Osman Bey ar rived at Kastamuni exactly on the i6 th September. We expected him to arrest the Vali, who had simultaneously arrived. After having given him orders to this effect, I waited at the Telegraph Office for news. Night had fallen and I was unable to speak to anybody at Kastamuni who could give me the information I required. During the night, Colonel Osman Bey, Commandant at Kastamuni and the district, came to the Telegraph Office and sent me the following message: "I have arrived at Kastamuni to-day. Through the machinations of Government agents, the provisional Vali and the Commander of the Gendarmerie, I was arrested in my house. I have only just been liberated by some of our officers, who are all the very soul of patriot ism. I have promptly retaliated by arresting both the provisional Vali and the Commander of the Gendarmerie. I have taken possession of the Telegraph Office. The position is very serious. I beg the Congress to send all their resolutions here to enlighten the loyal population of
144 this town. I hear that the new Vali has landed at Ineboll. What shall I do about it? I shall wait at the telegraph instrument until I receive authority from the Congress to appoint a temporary Vali and the other officials." My exchange of telegrams with Osman Bey then continued thus : I asked him: "Are you really master of the situation there? How many men have you at your disposal? Who are the really trustworthy persons among the leading officials in the vilayet? What is the name of the new Vali who you have heard has arrived at
Ineboli?" Osman Bey replied: "I am complete master of the vilayet. All I want is the support of the Congress and to be kept well informed of all that is going on. The Vali is said to be a discharged official who was at one time Vali of Konia. His name is Ali Riza. My troops consist of a battalion of 250 men and a machine-gun detachment with four machine-guns. I have been unable as yet to get into touch with the inhabitants. Among the high officials of the vilayet is Fend Bey, the General Treasurer/ I gave Osman Bey the following order: "You are authorised immediately to take up your duties temporarily as Vali and to take the entire civil administration and the armed power into your own hands. Be ready to airest the Vali immediately on his arrival. Do not hesitate to use force against all those who offer resitance to your authority. If the General Treasurer of the vilayet is the same Ferid Bey whom I met at Diarbekr, he may be relied upon to help you. Inform the Mutessarif of Bolu immediately of your authority and of the attitude you are taking up. Command him in our name to adopt the same attitude towards Constantinople. Issue the same orders, as coming direct from me, to Tewfik Bey, the Mutessarif of Sinope. What cipher are you using?" Osman Bey replied: "I shall transfer the office of acting Vali to Ferid Bey, the General Treasurer. I cannot take it myself. Ferid Bey is the same man you know. The Mutessarif of Sinope is also a man whom you know. He has been dismissed. We have appointed Remsi Bey, commanding the gendarmerie, temporarily in his place. I have been informed that Mashar Tewfik is at Sinope. The cipher key is in the possession of the Commander of the Gendarmerie who is under arrest I shall order him to hand it over to me and will inform you of the result/ Our telegraphic conversation proceeded in this way:
145 Question: "Have you another cipher key? Where is Ferid Bey at the present moment? Has he been told about the position of affairs?" Answer: "No, he has not yet been informed. I had sent for him and he has just come. I have not brought any cipher key with me, because I hoped that I would be able to use the official cipher here." Question: "Who commands the gendarmerie battalion there? What is the strength of the Division? Is it under your own command?" Answer: "Emin Bey, commanding the gendarmerie, is here with me now. He is working with me. The gendarmerie numbers about thirty-five men. Halid Bey, chief of the police, is also at my side now and is working with me. He can dispose of over forty men. As Sherif Bey, in command of the infantry battalion, is a rather foolish man, we thought it advisable to arrest him. Emin Bey, commanding the gendarmerie battalion, holds the rank of captain. Ferid Bey, the General Treasurer, has just arrived; he is standing by my side."
Question: "Will you be good enough to tell me something about Emin Bey?" Answer: "He is Emin Bey of Uskub, whom you know and whose commission dates from 1902. He greets you." Then I dictated the following to the telegraph clerk: "Thanks, I remember Emin Effendi very well indeed. Have you explained the position to Ferid Bey? You can send important news to us by the official government cipher. If the Commander of the Gendarmerie at Sinope who administers the sanjak is not reliable, you must look for some other man to take his place. Do you want any help?" To this he replied: "I shall be able to see a little later on whether I shall require reinforcements or not. The Commander of the Gen darmerie battalion is quite a new hand and I have not yet been able to form any opinion about him." After I had asked Osman Bey whether there was anything more that he wanted to say and whether he had yet spoken to Ferid Bey about the situation, and after I had received his reply to these questions, I sent him the following official telegram: i6 th September, 1919. To Osman Bey and Ferid Bey Effendi. "I wish you success in all your undertakings. We are awaiting further information about the situation and would like to hear that you have arrested the Vali, who must surely arrive at any moment." Mustapha Kemal. Kemal Pasha IO
146 Some days after Fend Bey had become acting Vali and Osman Bey Commandant of Kastamuni and its surroundings, I ordered them to come once more to the telegraph instrument, and asked them for further news. They informed me that they had sent telegrams to the desired effect to the Office of the Government in Constantinople, signed by all of them, and that these messages had also been published in all the vilayets and sanjaks. Then they asked me several other questions : "Pasha, the people are very anxious to know, i. whether the public opinion of the other vilayets is favourable to us or not? 2. how long you think this abnormal state of affairs will continue? 3. what you intend to do if the Cabinet persist in their resistance? We beg you to answer these questions." It was easy to see that these questions were ask by the people who were troubling the acting Vali and the Commandant. It was worth while to answer them, I sent them a long message, that kept the telegraph line between Sivas and Kastamuni occcupied for many hours. What I said may
be condensed into this: 1. The national movement, full of energy and glowing with enthusiasm, is actively going on even in the remotest parts of the country. The inhabitants, even of the smallest villages, and the Army, down to the smallest units, are responding loyally to our efforts and cheerfully follow our instructions in complete unity. 2. The position which you describe as being abnormal will change automatically on the day when the population of Kastamuni abandon their miserable pessimism, which comes from their habit of looking upon the present state of affairs as abnormal, and will stand firm to the last, determined to realise our common ideal. 3. It is natural that the Cabinet will persist in their attitude. Before thinking how we can overcome their resistance, we must first carry through what we have decided to do in every direction and by all possible means. What, for instance, has been done at Bolu? Can we be certain that all official communication between Constantinople and all the towns lying this side of Bolu has actually been cut? We are still awaiting news that they were told to send us here. In my opinion this is the first step that would destroy the Cabinet s power of resistance if it extended as far as Constantinople. But if the Cabinet continue to show their misguided obstinacy, there would surely be other and still more effective ways left to us.
The Vali and Commandant added: "The Vali who had embarked at Ineboli to return to Constantinople had received on his arrival at Songuldak the f ollowing order from the Minister of the Interior : Bolu and its surroundings are free. Disembark at Songuldak and get into communication with the places in your vilayet. Remain there until you get further orders/ The Vali actually landed at Songuldak, and began to send out threats from there. Ferid Bey and Osman Bey had commanded the Mutessarif of Songuldak to arrest the Vali and send him overland to Kastamuni. The Mutessarif had disobeyed this order, but the Vali, who heard of this, did not feel himself safe any longer and returned to Stambul." (Document 106.) I have mentioned before that Ali Fuad Pasha, commanding the XX th Corps at Angora, had followed certain instructions and taken steps in the name of the Congress. Ali Fuad Pasha had been appointed by the Congress to the rank of Commander of the National Forces in Western Anatolia. As, from the standpoint of the national movement, he regarded Eski-Shehr and the surrounding territory as a military zone, he appointed Atif Bey, Lt.-Colonel in the cavalry, commander of this zone, and Omar Lutfi Bey, commanding the 23 rd Division, commander of the Afium Kara Hissar zone. I have already indicated that we had to pay particular attention to this Division from the first days we arrived in Anatolia. The Government in Constantinople had appointed Hamdi Pasha to succeed Ali Fuad Pasha, and had sent him to take up his duties.
Hamdi Pasha got as far as Eski-Shehr. On the i6 to September he was told to return to Stambul. The English ordered Atif Bey, commanding the national forces in the Eski-Shehr zone to be arrested, and he was sent to Constanti nople. An officer commanding the national forces ought to have known better than to fall so easily into the hands of the enemy. This lack of foresight on his part led to a great deal of trouble in Con stantinople in the effort to obtain his release. As you are probably aware, at that time there were English troops in Eski-Shehr. Fuad Pasha himself, with all the national troops he could muster, had gone to Djemshid, a place near Eski-Shehr, and had surrounded the town. General Solly-Flood, in command of the Allied Troops at EskiShehr, wrote a letter to Fuad Pasha which contained expressions that could only be regarded as an insult to the honour and dignity of 10*
148 the national troops and the officers commanding them. We were satisfied that the General had exceeded his authority, and forthwith sent a protest to the foreign representatives in Constantinople. The General sent a deputation, consisting of a staff officer^and an officer belonging to the English Control Commission at EsH-Shehr, which arrived on the 25 th September. They were received by Fuad Pasha and they gave him every assurance that the English had no intention of interfering in any way with our internal affairs and our national movement. At the same time, the English tried to find out whether it would be more agreeable to us if they withdrew their troops from Mersiwan. We promptly gave them to understand that we would be very pleased indeed if they would do so. They actually proceeded to withdraw their troops from Mersiwan with all their munitions and baggage, marching to Samsoon and embarking for Constantinople. After we had become masters in Eski-Shehr, we thought of sending Fuad Pasha to the districts of Brusa and Biledshik. Djemal Bey, Vali of Konia, had become one of the most important supporters in Anatolia of Ferid Pasha s Cabinet. The impossibility for Djemal Pasha, Army Inspector at Konia and who had been in Constantinople, to return to Anatolia, and the hesitating attitude of Selaheddin Bey, commanding the Army Corps at Konia, who had suddenly left for Constantinople without telling anybody he was going, had made Djemal Bey undisputed master of Konia and the surrounding district. It was necessary that we should send someone there who was well acquainted with our plans.
We chose Refet Bey, who was with us at Sivas, and he started at once. When the news reached Konia that the Representative Com mittee had sent a military commander there, the patriots were roused. To counteract this, Djemal Bey tried to form a bodyguard for himself by setting free all the criminals, murderers and other jail-birds, and arming them. The loyal population of Konia rose against such an infamous act, determined to perform their patriotic duty. As soon as Djemal Bey saw this, he fled to Constantinople on the 26 th September. (Document 107.) The people, who had assembled in the Town Hall, elected Hodsha Wehbi Effendi as acting Vali. I remember a strange incident that occurred at this time and which I cannot help relating to you. On his way from Sivas to Konia Refet Bey sent me a telegraphic message.
149 In it he told me that, in order to secure the success of his com mission in the district of Konia, he ought to hold the rank and author ity of Inspector of the II nd Army Corps. Later on, after Refet Bey had been sent into the district of Bolu from Angora to quell a rising there, he sent me a telegram in cipher in which he applied for the dignity of Pasha to be conferred on him, giving as his reason for making the application that it would make a very good impression on the people. I need not tell you that I had no authority to gratify Refet Bey s ambition. He ought to have known better than anybody else that I could not do so. He could not have expected that I would intervene with the Government on his behalf to obtain his request. The whole world knew beyond any doubt that I had not only resigned my post as an Inspector in the Army and had retired from military service, but that my name had been struck off the list and that I had been con demned to death by the Padishah and the Government. My activities were confined to my work in the Committee which had been elected by the Congress and which I carried out in the name of the Committee. I was not entitled, nor had I the authority offi cially vested in me as the leader of the national struggle. It was surely evident to everybody who knew anything about my position that it was useless to apply to me for any title or privilege. When we sent Refet Bey to Konia we had instructed him, to do all he could to help us. It was his business to show what he could do in this direction. While we were trying hard to establish the national movement and organisation all over the country, it happened that we received threatening and intimidating telegrams from certain heads of the Civil Administration, who were partisans of the Government. One of these, a certain Ali Riza, Mutessarif of Uriah, telegraphed to us with reference to information he alleged he had received from foreigners
with whom he had been in touch, to the effect that the national movement was regarded by the Entente Powers as an organisation directed against them, and that, consequently, they intended to put an end to the Turkish Empire by militarily occupying the whole of Turkish territory. There can be no doubt that this telegram was dictated to the Mutessarif by foreigners. You can well imagine that naturally he received from us the reply he deserved. (Document 108.) You must remember that at this time the American Government had sent a Commission, under the leadership of General Harbord,
150 to study our country and the Caucasus. This Commission also came to Sivas. On the 22 nd September, I had a long conversation with General Harbord on the question of the aims of the national move ment, its organisation and the main factors that would contribute to the establishment of national unity, and about our feelings with regard to the non-Moslem elements, and concerning propaganda and the hostile acts committed by certain foreigners in our country. The General asked me some strange questions, such as: "What will you do if, in spite of every imaginable effort and sacrifice made by the nation, it should all end in failure?" If my memory does not deceive me, I replied that the nation that exerts every imaginable effort and makes every possible sacrifice to secure its freedom and independence cannot help being successful. But if we failed, we would have to admit that our nation is dead. The possibility of failure, therefore, cannot be dreamed of in the case of a nation that is full of life and capable of making every kind of sacrifice. I did not trouble to attempt to ascertain what could have been the General s real object in putting this question to me. I only mention the matter, incidentally, to tell you that he respected my reply. On the evening of the 25 ta September I received the following telegram from Mahmud Bey, acting commander of the XX th Army Corps at Angora: "Last night Fuad Pasha was asked to go to the telegraph instru ment by the Telegraph Office in Constantinople. A telegram in cipher was dictated according to the cipher-key which the Ministry of the Interior usually uses when communicating with the vilayet. The contents may be summarised as follows : c "The country could certainly be saved if the wise provisions of the Padishah s Proclamation were to be observed. The national movement is understood by cultured public opinion to be pursuing fatal aims. The estrangement between the nation and the Govern ment must lead to foreign intervention. The existence of such op position at a moment when the Conference is deciding our fate cannot be accepted as a promising sign of success or salvation/ "Then a proposal was made that the leaders of the national movement and high personalities should meet at a place to be decided
upon; they appeared to take it for granted that we would agree to such a meeting. c As time is pressing, we are waiting impatiently for a reply. Promises are made with repeated assurances that the freedom of individual opinion and the dignity of those taking part in it will be respected/
"The sender of this telegram is Abdul Kerim Pasha, a staff officer holding the rank of brigadier-general. The answer was to be given in the same cipher-key to Hadi Pasha, per the Ministry of Commerce and Agriculture. "It is evident by this ruse that Abdul Kerim Pasha wanted to make the impression on the public mind that this step originated from our side. "As you are there at the telegraph instrument, would you let me know as soon as possible whether we are to receive them and what answer we are to give them. Fuad Pasha has also been informed about this." (Document 109.) At 7 o clock in the evening on the same day I was at the telegraph instrument and telegraphed to Mahmud Bey: "Tell Kermin Pasha and Hadi Pasha that Fuad Pasha is officially detained outside Angora, but if they have anything they want to say they may telegraph in any way they wish to the Representative Committee at Sivas and com municate direct with Mustapha Kemal Pasha, who is a member of it. Be sure that you use the words if they have anything that they want to say , 1 (Document no.) Mahmud Bey sent us a copy of the telegram he sent to Kerim Pasha at Angora. It was practically the same as the one he had sent to us. (Document in.) It was now about a fortnight since our rupture with the Govern ment began. The places that had shown a disinclination to join us in the national movement had either to join us voluntarily or would be obliged to do so by force. All the officers faithful to the Govern ment had fled or were compelled to submit. Thousands of telegrams from all parts of the country were sent to Constantinople every day, demanding the overthrow of the Cabinet. Officers and representatives of the Entente Powers who were travelling about in Anatolia publicly declared everywhere that they were neutral regarding the national movement and that they had no intention of interfering in the internal affairs of the country. I think that we cannot be mistaken if we come to the conclusion that the Padishah and Fend Pasha had at last realised that in these circumstances there was nothing left for them to do but to come to an understanding with the leaders of the national movement, and that they had begun to seek for some means to bring about such an understanding, provided that their own position would be safe guarded. The late Abdul Kerim Pasha referred to was one of our oldest
comrades. He was a very honourable patriot, with a straightforward
and loyal mind. We had worked together in the same office at Salonika when I was an aide-de-camp there and he held the rank of major; we had been intimate friends for many a year. His personality and manner of speaking gave the impression that he might be a member of some religious order. He had been seen visiting certain convents. But nobody had been able to say what sheikh he was a follower of. In his conception of the world, as an anthroposophist, he actually considered that he held the dignity of "Hasret-i-Ewel" or "Bujuk Hasret" ("Chief, or Most Exalted Excellency" or "Grand Excellency"). According to the merit he considered due to them, he bestowed upon his intimates various titles in Mohamedan theosophy, such as Hasret, Kutb, and others. He honoured me with the designation of "Kutb-ul-Aktab", meaning literally "Pole of Poles", by which he intended to confer on me the attribute of the spiritual representative of God on earth. We shall meet similar allusions in the conversation which I shall refer to directly. Kerim Pasha had also a distinct individual manner of speaking and writing. These he did with sincere eloquence, that had procured him a great reputation in his time. He was also credited with possessing a rare gift of persuasion. When he was Commander and Inspector in the Army at Salonika, Hadi Pasha had known Kerim Pasha and also knew that he was loved and honoured by his comrades on account of the qualities I have described. Therefore, there is no doubt that it was Hadi Pasha who had invented this clever way of coming to the help of the Padishah and his chief Ferid Pasha in the difficult dilemma in which they found themselves. Kerim Pasha had also met Fuad Pasha at Salonika. During the night of the 27 th September, an hour before midnight, I found myself suddenly in direct communication with Kerim Pasha. This is how we greeted one another: Telegraph Office at Sivas. "Mustapha Kemal is at the instrument ; he wishes Kerim Pasha to know that he is ready to speak to him." Stambul: "Is His Excellency Mustapha Kemal Pasha my Soul there?" I: "Yes, my dear and venerable Kerim Pasha." Then Kerim Pasha began to dictate at the other end of the wire the following address: "To His Excellency Mustapha Kemal Pasha,
at Sivas," and added as a kind of password, "Tell the Pasha that Hasret-i-Ewel is here: he will understand." Then followed: "I hope you are in good health, my brother. 7
I quote Kerim Pasha s introduction literally so that you may understand the way the Stambul Government had captured him by playing on his simplicity and the nobility of his character. 4 Tor the good of the people, I want to converse with the great patriot you are, my brother, and with my honoured brethren of the Representative Committee. "I sent a telegram through Fuad Pasha which was meant to reach you personally. Following that telegram, which you will have received, I hope by the grace of God you may attain happy success. Thus Divine Mercy will help our country through this critical time, so full of seriousness and unrest, which it has to pass through. "Guided by our earnest desire for freedom, let us act for the sake of the country in such a way that we may understand one another. "Do you not think this very necessary, my very learned and wise brother? What do you think about it, O my Soul? Let us destroy the calumnies that our enemies May the earth swallow them up ! continually circulate about our beautiful country, as well as their publicly declared criminal designs. Let us unite in bringing the Nation and the Government into concord for the sake of the common weal, so that they can work together under the same Head ; for is it not true that the sacred aim of both is identical? Let us set aside all hindrances and open a still wider field for our patriotic manifestations, which are of inestimable value for the protection of our beloved country. "To find a way to this end, let us you and I, my dear brother exchange views with one another. I am hoping to see you, my brother. I must add, my Soul, that the Government shows the best intentions in this undertaking/ This conversation with Kerim Pasha, which began in the night of the 27 th September at n o clock, lasted exactly eight hours, till 7.30 o clock in the morning. It may be divided into three parts and fills twenty-four large sheets of paper. I fear it would strain your indulgence if I were to inflict you with the reading of the whole of this tremendous rigmarole. So that all may read the gentle wording and the high-sounding periods in Kerim Pasha s message, I shall reproduce the text of our telegrams in the documents which I am going to publish, although it
154 must be admitted that the matter is unfortunately supported neither by well-grounded opinions nor very logical deductions. Allow me to say something about one of these phrases, so that I may give you a clear idea, especially in the face of results, of the essential point from which we started regarding the aim we had in view. You will observe that in my reply to the first telegram from Kerim Pasha, I adapted myself somewhat to his style.
I, too, began my reply to him with the words : "Tell His Excellency that Kutb-ul-Aktab is here. He will understand." And after this opening, I said: "I am answering at once: "To His Excellency Abdul Kerim Pasha, my highly honoured brother with a pure heart. "My health, thank God, is excellent. I am happy to find that our great and noble nation thoroughly recognises its legitimate rights and is working with all its soul to preserve and protect them. I thank you sincerely for your wish that we should exchange our opinions "We have received the telegram you sent through His Excellency Fuad Pasha. "Even from a cursory perusal of the contents of the Proclamation on which Your Excellency relies, it is easy to recognise that it is no more than a reproach by Ferid Pasha and his colleagues. "The circumstances and events which have filled the heart of His Majesty with such deep sorrow, are not due to any acts of our nation but those of Ferid Pasha, Aadil Bey, Minister of the Interior, Suleiman Shefik, Minister of War, and their collaborators AH Galib Bey, Vali of Karput, Muhiddin Pasha, Vali of Angora, Galib Bey, Vali of Trebizond, All Riza Bey, Vali of Kastamuni and Djemal Bey, Vali of Konia. "If the treacherous incident that occurred at Malatia, the criminal conspiracy at Tshorum, the desperate strategem at Konia, have not been represented to you in their true light, it is pardonable that Your Excellencies have failed to estimate rightly the consequences from the very beginning .... "It is perfectly true that foreign countries begin to look upon us more favourably. But this development is by no means the fruit of the policy followed by Ferid Pasha s Government. It is the immediate consequence of the determined stand the nation has taken up on its own initiative to maintain and give evidence of its existence. "It is exactly on this very point that the Sovereign has been deceived. "The sole means of salvation and the only support of our existence are based on the fact that the national strength shall become the
155 ruling factor, and the will of the nation the sovereign power. To depart in the slightest degree from this firm and lawful basis would May God forbid it ! mean a source of disappointment to the State, the people and the country. "It is an unfortunate and an undoubted fact that there are many evil-minded persons May the earth swallow them up ! who have no scruples about falsely describing and representing our noble na tional enterprise publicly before the world.
"But what is extremely sad, is the fact that at the head of these accursed evil-minded people there are political personalities in our immortal State, such as Ferid Pasha, the Grand Vizier, Aadil Bey and Suleiman Shefik Pasha, who are Ministers. "These are the wretches who announce officially and spread rumours that the Bolsheviks are invading our territory in bands and that the national movement is in reality a Bolshevik movement. These are the misguided persons who officially and openly publish to the world through the mouths of foreign journalists that our noble national movement is nothing but a desperate enterprise of the Unionists and that it is supported by their money. "And these are the badly-informed men who officially spread the news through the various agencies that Anatolia is a theatre of unrest, and who, referring to the special stipulations of the armistice, try to surrender our beloved country to occupation by our enemies. "And finally, these are the depraved creatures who intend to incite the Mohamedan population of Malatia and Sivas to butcher one another. "These are the traitors who, so that they would be able to stop the national movement, would like to see Sivas and all the other places where the awakening of the national feeling is developing occupied by foreigners. "But, notwithstanding this, it is our most sacred duty (as you, my brother, also suggest) to annihilate the calumnies which evil-tongued people are spreading abroad throughout our beautiful country, as well as the criminal machinations in which they are publicly engaged; to condemn them to impotence in their hidden lurking places, and bring the actions of the Government, in their effort to save the country, into accord with the aims of the nation. "Thank God that our nation, on its road to its goal, has over come all the attempts of the malicious people, whoever they may have been, and has begun resolutely to move forward with renewed courage.
156 "As for the foreigners, they understand how great the strength of the nation really is and how fixed its purposes are. ^They recognise how powerless the Government is in comparison ; it is without character and entirely out of touch with the people. They have evacuated Mersiwan and have also begun to evacuate Samsoon. They declare that they axe neutral in regard to the national movement, and have declined to interfere in our internal affairs. This is the first result attained by our national movement, which is striving for our in dependence. "In the end the national movement will win the respect of the Administration in Constantinople. Let me assure you that it is quite a mistake to believe that the present Government are inspired with good intentions. "Before I left Erzerum, I wrote to Fetid Pasha and explained the
true state of affairs to him, giving him definitely to understand that no power on earth can stand up against the national will and the national strength, and at the same time warning him against further persistence in his opposition. "But this misguided man, instead of answering me, announced that the national movement was being conducted by merely a few in dividuals. "Instead of listening to my patriotic and unselfish warnings, he preferred to depend on misleading reports from certain Valis who, blinded by their anxiety about their own private interests and led away by their ignorance, imagined that they would be able to save the situation by proceeding guardedly with both parties at the same time. "Now that the Government has sunk to the lowest depths of scoundrelism, treachery and impotence, and the nation has plainly recognised the true condition of affairs, it is clearly our duty to see that a new Cabinet, representing the will of the nation, shall come into power as soon as possible. "In case the members of the present Cabinet should be anxious about their own persons or their lives, we hold the opinion that it is in the highest interests of the nation that it should stand far above such paltry considerations, and is prepared to give them all the assu rances and guarantees they desire. "But if they remain obdurate and continue their course along the evil road they have chosen, the reponsibility for the consequences that might result therefrom will fall entirely on their own shoulders. "We feel quieter in our own minds now that we have at last been able to lay all we wanted to say before exalted personages, thanks to
the opportunity afforded to us by the benevolence of Your Excellency by you, my brother, whose heart is beating and overflowing with loyalty and affection for our Padishah and with true love for the country and the nation, and of whom I shall always preserve the most affectionate memories." The words I have just quoted embody the gist of a very long message. After I had said this : "The national movement is forcing its way on ward towards Constantinople and is gaining considerably in strength; Ferid Pasha and his colleagues are well aware of this fact. Will you on your part gather all the information you can about it and confirm the truth of what I say;" I went on to give Abdul Kerim Pasha further details by telling him all I could about the movements which had so far been perfectly successful. I added that, "to check this movement there is only one way possible, namely, to put a man at the head of the Cabinet who is subservient to the national ambition in the fullest meaning of the word and who can grasp its real objects and act accordingly. If you have any brotherly observations to make on what I have said, I earnestly beg you to be kind enough to do so." And then I attached this signature: "Mustapha Kemal, in the name of the Representative Committee of the Union for the Defence of the Rights of Anatolia and Rumelia."
Then Kerim Pasha opened a second stage of our exchange of tele grams with the following introduction : "First, I beg you to be kind enough to present my greetings and respects to all the honourable persons who are with Your Excellency." Then Kerim Pasha continued: cc Your Excellency has covered the questions I referred to. Twice you excused yourself for having to point out errors in the suggestions I made. You will understand how very difficult it is for me to act as intermediary without knowing all the particulars and local conditions. But we are really anxious to protect the interests of the country and this anxiety is the only guiding star that illuminates our path. "At this hour, when the fate of our country is wavering in the balance, I would like to express my earnest hope that, thanks to the close co-operation between the Government and the nation, we may arrive at a happy issue. "It is possible that I am wrong in my interpretation of the Imperial Proclamation, as you pointed out at the beginning. Allow me, however, to explain fully to you the meaning of what His Majesty said in the Proclamation, which we regard as the soundest foundation for the settlement of the question. It appears to me that His Majesty " Here I interrupted Kerim Pasha, and said:
158 "Your Excellency, superfluous explanations can only lead both of us away from the mam question. More than that, it is quite un necessary to try to explain the Imperial Proclamation to us in detail. Let us keep to the main point." Kerim Pasha answered: tc Yes, we shall keep to the main point. Allow me to continue." "Let us come to it and keep to it," I said. "Yes," was the reply, "we are coming to it." "Your Excellency," I interrupted, "we can no longer suffer our legitimate acts or the manifestation of the national will to be misinter preted or exposed to criticism and correction. In particular, we cannot admit that the counter-proposals of a Cabinet convicted of treason should serve as a ground for reproaches. Representing ^ the formal desire of the nation, we made our position quite clear. Is it necessary to revert to it? "If, instead of aswering this national demand which categorically insists shall be realised, you attempt to intervene in favour of Fend Pashas s Cabinet, so that he may continue to defile the supreme dignity of the Empire, your efforts will not lead to any satisfactory results. Besides, I am afraid that the friendly regard we entertain for you may be shaken by such an attempt. "If Ferid Pasha immediately hands over his position to an irre proachable person and if you are convinced that he will do so, there is no question left to be settled. If he is not prepared to do this, your mediation can have no other result than to do you harm and lead to
unnecessary trouble. "By his obstinacy in remaining in power, Ferid Pasha is exposing himself to an unfortunate fate. This is our last word. We intend to make this truth known to His Majesty. If you will undertake this noble task, it will be the only way by which you will be able to fulfil the religious and national duty which the nation expects from Your Excellency." Although Kerim Pasha had commenced by saying that the main thing was not to make the conversation too lengthy, he himself dragged it out a great deal farther than was necessary. His long speeches ended with the following words: "The task we have assumed in the interest of the country will be looked upon as pure by the Almighty, and will also appear to be the same in the eyes of the nation. The Good God who guides our destiry will undoubtedly show the leaders the best way to save the nation and the country. I send you my brotherly greetings."
159 It was 4.30 in the morning when my turn came to reply. I could not leave the questions raised by Kerim Pasha unanswered. After having explained my views to him, I concluded my message by saying: "What must be the aim of patriots like ourselves? Is it to seek the impossible by endeavouring to reconcile the nation to Ferid Pasha, from whom the nation can expect nothing in the future but mischief? Or, is it to attempt to convince the Padishah of the necessity of confiding the reins of Government, without loss of time, to a Cabinet to succeed that now in power, which will appreciate the needs and destiny of our country and nation? "If you will do me the kindness of answering "yes" or "no" to these questions we shall, at least so far as we ourselves are concerned, have fulfilled the noble task whose settlement you have taken upon yourself and which undoubtedly will receive the highest reward from God and from the nation." Instead of replying clearly, Kerim Pasha answered again with long circumlocutions. By some of his phrases, however, he gave me to understand that the Sovereign had not been deceived, but that he was fully informed about everything that was going on. These were some of his ex pressions: "In the antechamber of the Imperial Throne Room sits the Superior Council who examine all questions and discuss them. In a lawful government this antechamber may be compared to an altar to which the eyes of all the people are turned. His Majesty has told me that he knows all about the petitions that have been presented to him from Anatolia; not a single one of them has escaped the know ledge of His Majesty, our Sublime Sovereign, who is the Pole where all the affairs of the country centre and to which all the highest desires converge." Continuing for a long time in his peculiar strain, Kerim Pasha said:
"The Almighty will bestow upon us the grace to discover the way out of this difficult question and will inspire us. It is sure that His decisions are sublime and that their manifestations are near at hand. His hand is over all others. Thanks to His Divine benevolence, my beloved Soul, everything will turn out well in the end and will cor respond to the great merits of the nation." It was I who introduced the third phase of our telegraphic con versation, although it was then 6.10 a. m. I began by addressing him as "Bujuk Hasret," which I knew would please Kerim Pasha: "It is just because it is the highest altar of our
i6o nation/ I said, "that we have not failed to lay the wishes and com plaints of the nation before His Majesty. We must add, however, to guard you from falling into serious error, that the nation is not so absolutely sure that His Majesty the Caliph, has taken any notice of the wishes of the whole of Anatolia, for it cannot help feeling that, if the Sultan really knew them, he would not listen to certain individ uals convicted of treason in preference to the entire nation." To the other points emphasised by Kerim Pasha, I answered in these terms: "We implore the most Gracious and most Merciful God to reveal His sublime manifestations, which are so near at hand, for the salvation of our unhappy and noble nation, and we trust that the obstinacy exhibited by certain interested people in Constantinople, where the political horizon is veiled by perpetual fog, will disappear. The noble heart of the nation is beating in harmony with this desire. "I must beg, however, to be permitted to point out once more that the questions I am urging you to answer with "yes" or "no" have unfortunately remained unanswered. Undoubtedly, my most venerable Pasha, "the Hand of God is over all others," but it is none the less a fact that those who try to find a way to solve this question and overcome all the difficulties that encompass it must have a fixed aim .... "The nation will act according to the Divine Will and, as you have said, its desires will come to a happy issue. I beg you, also, to give us your blessing on the future that lies before us. Man proposes, God disposes." Mustapha Kemal. I was fully convinced that Kerim Pasha was fatigued. He de clared: "Only two more words, my Soul", and continued, "the most sincere aspirations are included in the demands of the national move ment in the hope that those principles will be honoured and respected and that the decision in the end will be guided by God s hands and thus be accepted and obeyed." At last he wanted to retire, and said: "Good bye; we shall speak to one another again at another time." But we would not let him go; we wanted to have the last word.
"I want to say something more to you/ I said, "and beg you to keep it in your mind. The nation is strong, conscious of its rights and firm in its resolutions. The movement is spreading very rapidly. It is now time that His Majesty the Sultan will deign to come to a decision and settle this question," (Document 112.)
As the result of this exchange of telegrams Ferid Pasha s Cabinet could only hold out for three days longer. It is said, from what my friend Kerim Pasha who has since died without my having been able to see him again told certain people, that he had succeeded in showing the Sultan the text of our telegraphic conversation, and that after that all further resist ance was broken. Kerim Pasha refers to it in a letter he wrote to Kara Vassif Bey on 8 th October, 1919. Here is a quotation from this letter: "In consequence of the deep and lasting impression produced by the interchange of the last telegrams, the late Grand Vizier clearly understood the necessity of his resignation. He lost all power of resistance and retired .... "This is the splendid work carried out by a single man on behalf of the country, by simple and loyal firmness and without any fuss. "I would like to remark that I have written all of this down with my own hand. And that it was only following this exchange of telegrams that the late Grand Vizier and our sublime Padishah made up their minds, after having taken everything possible into consideration. This incident and this document, which comprises questions of such magnitude and reproduces, faithfully and impartially, the true course of events, will indoubtedly perpetuate a great event in the history of the nation." What has led me to go at length into these details is that the never-to-be-forgotten Kerim Pasha had added at the end of his letter: "If you will have the kindness to send a copy of this document to the Representative Committee, you will contribute to the propagation of these exalted truths/ This letter was actually given to me in the original and not a mere copy of it. I shall include it among the documents I am publishing. (Doc ument 113.) On the day following the exchange of these long telegrams, extracts were circulated by telegrams in cipher among all the Army Corps. We have seen that in his first telegram to Fuad Pasha, Kerim Pasha, of imperishable memory, spoke of a meeting between high per sonalities in Constantinople and the leaders of the national movement at some place to be mutually agreed upon. Another proposal of a similar kind, suggesting that we should ourselves go to Constantinople, had previously emanated from Trebizond. Let me speak about this, just for a moment.
Kemal Pasha II
l62 On the i8 th and ig th September, Galib Bey, Vali of Trebizond, was travelling in Ardassa. His intention was to meet Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha, who was also travelling there for the same purpose. On the 19 th , we telegraphed to Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha on the subject. A telegram that came from Trebizond the day before was the ostensible pretext for this communication. It ran as follows: "We cannot accept Art. 6, because it is against the interests of the nation. (This article relates to the order given to break off all communication with Constantinople.) "In regard to the question of laying our complaints before the Sultan, we think this could be done by sending a delegation to Con stantinople/ 1 (Document 114.) Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha then told me in detail about his tele graphic conversation with the Vali. The Vali expressed certain views in the form of questions, which Kiasim Bekir Pasha had answered in a fitting manner. "At last," the telegram said, "the Vali has proposed to send a delegation, which he offered to accompany personally, for the purpose of laying the petition at the foot of the throne. So he said; but he immediately abandoned this idea." It was then proposed to send a delegation with Seki Bey, the deputy for Gumushhane, who is well informed about the opinions prevailing in the Palace. Strangely enough, two days later, on the 21 st September, a tele gram in cipher from Halid Bey, Deputy-Governor of Torul, also suggested that a delegation should be sent. Referring to Seki Bey s declarations, he said in his telegram that it would be a good thing, so as not to drive the Sultan who was the victim of groundless fears into the arms of foreign countries and Fend Pasha, to send a secret deputation to Constantinople, and that, from what he had heard from Seki Bey 5 he himself and the Deputy Servet Bey would willingly join this deputation. (Document 116.) In my reply, on the 22 nd September, I told Halid Bey that it would not be wise to send a delegation as he proposed with Seki Bey and Servet Bey. Halid Bey telegraphed to me on the night of the 24 th that he felt obliged to send Galib Bey, Vali of Trebizond, the founder of the opposition who had appeared there during the night of the 24 t]1 Sep tember, under escort to Erzerum, as he had not obeyed an order of the Army Corps and the Vali of Erzerum to go there. (Document 117.) By a strange coincidence, the first telegram sent by the late
Kerim Pasha, in which he offered his services as mediator, was sent
on the day following the arrest of the Vali of Trebizond, that is to say, the 25 th September. It was the same day that the Vali Seki Bey, Servet Bey and others whom they had won over as their followers, had tried to prevent the rupture with Constantinople and had failed in the same way as their plan to go there secretly as delegates had also failed. It was only in the night of the 27 th September that they felt it necessary to appeal to us. As can be seen from the correspondence that we received, a telegram came on the 27 th September from Kiasim Kara BekLr Pasha, in which he told us that the Vali Galib Bey, who had arrived at Erzerum, had spoken to him again about sending a deputation to Con stantinople. The Pasha telegraphed to me to ask my opinion about it. In my reply on the 28 th September I said: "Will you be good enough to refer to the quotation from the correspondence with Kerim Pasha and tell me whether in your opinion the proposed step is advisable or not. If, however, we decide that it will be necessary, I beg you under no condition to let the Vali of Trebizond join the national movement, because there is no dif ference between him and Aadil Bey, the Minister of the Interior, in their hostility to it." (Document 118.) In his reply on the 30 th September, Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha, recognised the justice of my remarks "with regard to the refusal to allow the Vali to join the deputation," and he reported at the same time that the situation in the district of Trebizond had been improving for a long time, as we had anticipated it would. (Document 119.) In connection with these last statements, I would like to shed a little light on another incident. Vali Galib Bey, Seki Bey and Ferid Pasha were in constant touch with one another. There is no doubt that these gentlemen, who wanted to form part of the deputation to be sent to Constantinople, had no desire to further the national cause, but rather to inform those who held high authority in Con stantinople about the situation and advise them what to do and give them new instructions. In fact, Seki Bey, who went later on to Constantinople, was sent back with special instructions about the formation of counter-organisations in the districts of Trebizond and Gumushhane. He was also promised money and ammunition when he returned there. I had him arrested at Ineboli and escorted to Angora. He admitted everything I have been telling you. He added, however, that he had been misled in Constantinople and that he ii*
164 intended so he said to hand over to me all the money and arms he might receive. Can we imagine that anybody, then or now, would be so foolish as to believe his statements? Nevertheless, in consideration of the part he took in the Erzerum Congress I set him free and merely gave him some advice and warning.
We sent Said Pasha, who had been appointed to the command of the Army Corps at Konia by the Government, back to Constan tinople on the 30** September. Then, thanks to the steps we had undertaken, with the help of XX to Army Corps and the II th Division at Nigdeh, we succeeded in parrying the first blow Djemal Bey, Vali of Konia, had prepared at Boskir before his flight, and thereby frustrated the designs of Constantinople. Towards the end of September, the national organisations we were trying to form in the districts of Eregli, Bolu, Ada Basar and Ismidt began to show extreme restlessness. The leaders of these organisations reported that were ready to march on Constantinople if the Cabinet persisted in its stubbornness, In a circular letter we informed the whole of the country, naturally including Constantinople, about this on the 28 *& September. But on the 2 nd October, we found ourselves face to face with a new difficulty at Ismidt that might be described as a reactionary movement. The Mutessarif of the town at that time was a certain Suad Bey. We asked hirri to come to the telegraph instrument, and inquired whether he had received all the messages we had sent recently and whether he had done everything that he had been instructed to do. The Mutessarif replied: "I have received your messages. To prevent dissention and unrest, I have considered it very advisable to allow the people complete freedom, and have listened to what they had to say. " Unsatisfactory rumours have been circulated in the town. "The inhabitants have decided Representative Committee, and possible whether there is any Government in its old form or to demand explanations from the wish to be informed as clearly as intention of reviving the Unionist not,
"Being a more impartial man than anyone else, it is my duty to maintain order and security. I do not consider it right to drive others into ventures the end of which cannot be seen, whatever their object or personal interest may be.
i65 "My wide experience leads me to believe in moderation and caution." (Document 120.) I give you my answer verbatim: Sivas, 2 nd October, 1919. To Suad Bey. (Reply) Your most important duty is to prevent the existence of the slightest difference of opinion or confusion in the minds of the
people. This was precisely the object of my special request to you. We have no longer any doubt whatever that in the very clear manifestos and letters we have already published and will yet publish, whether addressed to Your Excellency or a number of people at Ismidt or to the whole world, we have made it evident, even to our most malicious enemies, how perfectly justified are the aims and character of our national organisation and our national movement. We can no longer allow that our resolutions shall be accepted under the influence of harangues that are nothing but stump orations to the rebels. Moreover, if the people want information, why do they not turn directly to us and learn the facts. It seems that Your Excellency prefers to remain neutral. But if you want to do your duty you cannot remain neutral, for if you pretend to remain neutral towards the legitimate movement of the nation you are merely a tool in the hands of Ferid Pasha s Cabinet, which, on account of its treason, is an unlawful body that is not recognised by us. You are in the position to judge from our actions that we do not belong to those nonentities who trouble their heads about the revival of Unionism. I declare to you quite sincerely, and at the same time most em phatically, that if you have no more confidence in Ferid Pasha s Cabinet you must tell the Minister of the Interior so. But if, in opposition to the considered judgment and wish of the nation, you continue to put your trust in this Cabinet, you must immediately resign your office and go to Constantinople, so that the loyal inhabitants of Ismidt may act in complete freedom to carry out the legitimate intentions of the nation. I believe conscienciously that it is my duty to warn you frankly that, if you do not choose one or the other of these two alternatives,
166 you will yourself be responsible for whatever may result from your conduct, and you will personally have to bear this responsibility. Mustapha Kemal, In the name of the Representative Committee. His reply began : "Listen to me calmly, Your Excellency ; I have not expressed myself properly. There cannot be any doubt about the pure and legitimate character of your aim." And he ended with these words: "Give me till the hour of prayer of Friday. You look askant at me, although I have so often attacked Fend Pasha with my pen." (Document 121.) In answer to this, I told him that we would wait till the time
he mentioned, and added: "You are quite wrong in imagining that I am looking askant at you, because the judgment we shall form about you without hurting our conscience will depend entirely on actual events that may occur/ (Document 121.) At that time, Colonel Assim Bey was commanding the Division at Ismidt. I was at the telegraph instrument for several days sending messages to him, but failed to get any reply to them. On the 2 Bd October I told him to come to the telegraph instrument, and I had a conversation with him. I told him that: "I am certain the Cabinet will soon be overthrown, if it has not been so already. Therefore, the nation is imbued with a firm determination to hesitate no longer." Then I informed him that I was waiting for his final opinion and decision. (Document 123.) The actual meaning to be gleaned from Assim Bey s reply, which was full of long explanations and excuses, may be summarised thus : The reason why he had not replied to me was that he was himself waiting for an answer from the Commander of his Army Corps in Constantinople to his request for orders, and that he would decide definitely on the following day at the hour of Friday prayer. (Doc ument 125.) We then gave him special advice and encouragement and, among other things, I told him that Ferid Pasha would probably resign on the following day. I asked whether in this event he would send messages to the Sultan (and, if the new Cabinet had already been formed, to its new head) to the effect that the Cabinet must comprise impartial men who are loyally devoted to the desires of the nation;
167 further, that it is confidently expected that these hopes will be realised. I ended: "Furthermore, as we shall have to work together with the new Cabinet for a considerable time, I beg you to go on with your organising work and pay particular attention to the questions I have just put before you and which are based on the resolutions arrived at by the Representative Committee/ (Document 126.) While I was sending this to Assim Bey on 2 nd October at 3.40 p. m. an unsigned telegram arrived. It ran : cc Your Excellency, I have just heard from confidential friends, and it appears also in all the evening papers, that Fend Pasha is reported to have resigned for reasons of health. It is said that Tewfik Pasha has been entrusted with the formation of a new Cabinet. "Rumours were in circulation about this during the morning, but the news was not confirmed then. Now at this very moment it is officially confirmed/
I inquired who was sending me this telegram, but the message continued : "We, the telegraph operators of Angora, send our respects to His Excellency the Pasha, We congratulate him on having suceeded in overthrowing the Cabinet that was a scourge to the nation. Will you communicate this to him." The telegraph line was interrupted. It was true that Fend Pasha s Cabinet had been overthrown, but it was not Tewfik Pasha who was to form the new Cabinet; it was Ali Riza Pasha, a General commanding a Division and a Senator. Let me take this opportunity to tell you that the unselfish service that all the telegraphists placed at the disposal of our national move ment and our operations will hold a high place in the history of our nation. It is my pleasing duty on this occasion to thank them publicly for their services. III. Gentlemen, I told the entire nation in a circular letter, dated the 3 rd October, that Ferid Pasha s Cabinet had been overthrown and that Ali Riza Pasha had been asked to form a new Cabinet. I sent a copy of this document to the new Grand Vizier, marked: "For your information/ (Document 127.) On the same day we tried to get into communication with the new head of the Cabinet. He promised to speak to the Representative Committee when the Cabinet Council met on the following day.
i68 The points I referred to in my circular letter were: 1. If the new Cabinet will recognise the organisation formed by the Erzerum and Sivas Congresses and the aims decided upon by them, the national forces will support it. 2. The new Cabinet will not undertake anything of a binding character regarding the fate of the nation until the National Assembly has met and actual control has been permanently established. 3. The delegates who will be sent to the Peace Conference must be selected from among those who are cognisant of the aims of the nation and who enjoy its confidence. After I had Cabinet was pressed the before noon laid stress in this circular letter on the fact that the new invited to accept the above fundamental points, I ex wish that I might be informed, as quickly as possible, on the following day, of all other matters of importance.
I sent a telegram to All Riza Pasha, the Grand Vizier, on the 3 r <* October, in which I said: "The nation has been painfully affected by the proceeding^ of
the Cabinets that have hitherto succeeded one another, including acts that were in contradiction to the Constitution and the demands of the nation. "For this reason, the nation has emphatically resolved that its legitimate rights shall be recognised and that its destiny shall rest in capable and reliable hands. "In endeavouring to ensure this, it has taken the most energetic action that it considered necessary. The regularly organised troops have taken the power into their own hands and insist that the will of the nation shall be made known everywhere. "The nation has no desire to place Your Highness and your col leagues, who enjoy Imperial confidence, in a difficult position. "On the contrary, it is ready in all sincerity to assist you. "However, the presence in the Cabinet of Ministers who have been working with Ferid Pasha obliges us to ascertain to what degree the policy of your Ministry agrees with the national aspirations. "Until the nation has regained confidence, it is impossible to delay its demands for reform and be satisfied with half measures. "Therefore, we must insist on being informed clearly and definitely whether you share these views or not/ Having expressed ourselves in this manner, we repeated the three main points set out in the circular. Then I announced that, with the object of alleviating the present abnormal situation, we should bring forward certain considerations of secondary importance as soon as we
169 had come to an agreement on the essential points already mentioned. (Document 128.) We were told that All Riza Pasha had gone to the Palace that day to take his oath of office, and we would receive an answer on the following day. But, judging from certain events, we had come to the conclusion that a considerable amount of uncertainty was reigning in Ali Riza Pasha s Cabinet, and that a good deal of confusion prevailed in the minds of some of those who were members of the Cabinet. For this reason we thought we ought to take certain steps. So, on the same day we published another circular, in which we stated that we deemed it necessary to maintain the rupture of official correspondence as we had done hitherto until an agreement had been reached between the views of the Government and the demands of the nation. (Document 129.) In addition, we sent certain confidential despatches on the 3 rd Oc tober to all the officers commanding Army Corps, as well as to those Valis who supported the movement, summarising all the proposals and questions we had received from all parts of the country.
I think you would prefer me to lay before you verbatim all the documents relating to our first negotiations with the new Cabinet, to help you to understand our position towards one another. I shall also read the correspondence that was carried on, if you allow me to do so: Telegram in cipher. Sivas, 3 rd October, 1919. To all officers commanding Army Corps and the Valis and acting Valis who belong to the national movement. Will you be good enough to address the following telegram to the Minister of War and the Minister of the Interior and report to us that you have done so. ec We demand the immediate arrest of Djemal Bey, Vali of Konia, Ali Galib Bey, Vali of El Aziz, and Halil Bey, Mutessarif of Malatia, and that they shall be tried by court martial on the charge that they have armed the population and have attempted to produce massacres, being themselves tools of the villainous machinations of the Minister of the Interior. Further we demand that Galib Bey, Vali of Trebizond, Ibrahim Bey and Ali Bey, formerly Valis of Kastamuni, and Muheddin Pasha, Vali of Angora, shall not be permitted to hold any post whatsoever. Also that Reshid Pasha, Vali of Sivas, who was recalled without notice because he did not oppose the legitimate rights of
170 the nation but, on the contrary, rendered assistance to the movement and the rightful claims of the nation, shall be reinstated in his office; and, finally, that Mashar Mufid Bey, formerly Vali of Bitlis, and Haidar Bey 3 formerly Vali of Van, shall immediately be appointed to the office of Vali where there are vacancies." Mustapha Kemal, In the name of the Representative Committee of the "Union for the Defence of the Rights of Anatolia and Rumelia." Telegram in cipher. Sivas, 3 rd October, 1919. To all Valis, officers commanding Army Corps and auto nomous Mutessarifs. Will you be good enough to send the following communication to the Grand Vizier, and report to us the result: "In the name of the sacred character and the inviolability of the law, we demand that steps shall be taken to prevent the flight of Ali Kemal Bey and Suleiman Shefik Pasha, the former Ministers, as well as of Aadil Bey, Minister of the Interior, who have taken it upon themselves to arm the Mohamedan population and incite them to massacre one another; who have given orders with the object of breaking up the Army and leaving the country defenceless ; who have
betrayed military secrets by endeavouring to steal the cipher-key and who have interfered with the private correspondence of the people, who are protected by the Constitution against such procedure. When the National Assembly has been opened the above-mentioned persons shall be brought to justice. "For the same reason, we demand that Refik Halid Bey, DirectorGeneral of the Telegraph Administration, shall be arrested and brought to trial." ,, , , .. . Mustapha Kemal, In the name of the Representative Committee of the "Union for the Defence of the Rights of Anatolia and Rumelia." Djemal Pasha, the new Minister of War, on the occasion of his appointment had, naturally, to address an official circular note to the Army. We gave the officers commanding Army Corps to under stand that they should first, in answer to this circular note, send him the telegram which I shall quote.
Telegram in cipher. To the Officers Commanding the III rd , XX th , XII**, XV t* and XIII^ Army Corps. To Fuad Pasha, Commander of the XX th Corps (special). To Refet Bey, Konia (special). Will you be good enough to send the following telegram to Djemal Pasha in reply to the first circular issued by the Minister of War; We are fully aware that Your Excellency, in the firm belief and deep conviction that inspire you, has been at the head of the legitimate national movement since the beginning of the operations. We have received with satisfaction the news of your appointment as Minister of War. The whole of the Army and all the national organisations will do everything we can to ensure Your Excellency s success. It is solely to this end that we beg you to see that the following will be carried out as quickly as possible: a) That you will do all you can to have Djevad Pasha or Fewsi Pasha, formerly an Army Inspector, appointed Chief of the General Staff; b) That Galatali Shefket Bey or Jussuf Izzet Pasha will be appoint ed Commandant and Corps Commander of Constantinople respectively. Jussuf Izzet Pasha might be appointed Commandant and Colonel Galatali Shefket, Commander of the XV th Army Corps;
c) That Colonel Ismet Bey will be appointed Under-Secretary of State in the Ministry of War; d) That Lt.-Colonel Kemal Bey, commanding a Division, will be appointed Director-General of the Police; e) That those officers who were previously dismissed, and who for certain political reasons and without the approval of the National Assembly were re-appointed, shall, on account of the bad impression produced thereby in the Army and the discredit that has consequently fallen on the Ministry of War, be again dismissed and the important and responsible posts given to reliable men; f) That, as Colonel Refet Bey, formerly commanding the III rd Army Corps, has been forcibly compelled to resign without any reason being assigned, his resignation shall be cancelled and he him self be appointed to the command of the XII th Army Corps at Konia, where he is at the present moment. It would also be of great import ance to let Fuad Pasha remain in command of the XX th Army Corps and to quash the proceedings that have been instituted against him;
172 g) That Hamid Pasha, who was appointed to succeed Fuad Pasha, and Said Pasha, appointed to the command of the XII th Army Corps, shall promptly be reinstated in their former commands ; h) We consider that it would be appropriate, on the first opportu nity that presents itself, to re-establish the Army Inspection and to entrust the group of Army Corps in East Anatolia, including the XIII tb , to the command of Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha; and that of West Anatolia, including those of Constantinople and Adrianople, to Ali Fuad Pasha. We think, however, that it would be advisable to restrict ourselves for the moment to re-establishing these two In spections. Mustapha Kemal, In the name of the Representative Committee. Eventually we received the reply from the new Grand Vizier that we had been waiting for. It ran: Very urgent. Vizierate, 4 th October, 1919. To the Representative Committee of the "League for the Defence of the Rights/ Sivas. Reply to your telegrams of the 2 nd and 3 rd October. The Cabinet has not been informed about the character of the organisations and the claims drawn up and passed by the Congresses of Erzerum and Sivas, referred to in Your Excellency s telegrams. Please wire me urgently the resolutions passed by these congresses, so that we may be in the position to consider them and keep them for reference. Ali Riza,
Grand Vizier. Is it not surprising that the Grand Vizier and his colleagues should pretend that they had known nothing up the day of their taking office about the character of the national movement, when the same Djemal Pasha who, as we shall soon see, declared in his capacity as a delegate of the national forces that he was a member of the Cabinet? It is still more remarkable that they asked for information about the resolutions passed at the congresses so that they might be able to decide whether they would take the aims of the national movement into consideration or not. Could it be imagined that they were not perfectly well informed about the resolutions passed by the congresses and which had attracted
173 so much attention throughout the country, resulting in the overthrow of the late Cabinet? I had no doubt whatever that their object was to gain time and, while disclaiming any obligation towards us, to devise some new devilish schemes to deceive the nation and shake its solidarity. But if it should actually come to a rupture, I decided, as far as I was personally concerned, to reveal all their nefarious schemes to the nation. So, I set to work to conform to the request of the Grand Vizier and his colleagues. In a telegram, dated the 4 th October, I sent them, word for word, the Manifesto issued by the Congress and extracts from the essential points of its regulations regarding the organisation. (Document 130.) Circular notes were again distributed in all directions confirming the order to abstain from all official correspondence. (Document 131.) On the same day we received the following telegram: Vizierate, 4 th October, 1919. Reply. "The Cabinet is in perfect agreement about taking energetic action, in accordance with the wishes of the nation. In order to secure the welfare of and save the country, there is no doubt that the maintenance of Ottoman unity, national independence, and the throne and Cali phate can only be secured by leaning for support on the strength and the will of the nation, as provided by the Constitution. It is under stood that the well-defined a.im of the present Government must be to keep all the territories that belonged to the Empire at the time of the armistice, on the principles declared by Wilson, under the imme diate sovereignty of the Ottoman State ; to prevent the dismemberment of its territory remaining within these frontiers and inhabited by a Mohamedan majority, and to act in such a manner that a just and equitable decision will be arrived at, which will safeguard the his torical, ethnographical, religious, and geographical rights which we possess in these districts.
"It is perfectly clear that no formal obligation of a binding nature regarding the fate of the nation can be undertaken until the Assembly has met. "The delegates to be chosen for the Peace Conference will be select ed from among experts who are worthy of confidence and capable of understanding the demands of the nation. "As, according to the Constitution of this country, the nation is a sovereign power, the present Government recognising that it cannot
174 come to any decision without first appealing to the will of the nation will make the necessary provisions for holding the elections as early as possible, and thus hasten the opening of the Chamber of Deputies. "The programme of the present Government aims at bringing all its acts into agreement with the stipulations laid down by law and preventing and checking any action that is contrary to this. "Any abnormal and unlawful situation might, if it continued for any length of time, result in a separation between the Metropolis and Anatolia, which could produce very grave consequences ; it might may God forbid it! endanger the Metropolis and lead to the oc cupation of different parts of the country. "The Government, therefore, requests you forthwith to evacuate the State buildings which you now occupy, to remove the obstacles that are placed in the way of business being carried on in the State offices, to respect the authority of the Government, which will not submit to any interference, to desist from entering into political relations with foreign countries, and, lastly, not in any way to restrict the freedom of the people in carrying out the Parliamentary elections." You will notice that this telegram has no address and no signature. It is evident that it was sent by the Grand Vizier, and it is also clear that the persons who had written it had refused to recognise the Representative Committee as having any authority or to enter into formal correspondence or an official exchange of views. But the President and the members of the new Cabinet believed that the resolutions passed by the Congresses were natural, and ex pressed their intention to consider these proposals. They pretended that they would carry out the provisions and principles of these resolutions. After the telegram had begun by pointing out that the Govern ment would be guided by law and acknowledged that it would be their duty to prevent any illegal action, it referred to the abnormal and illegal character of our movement. It adds that such a state of affairs, if continued, would lead to a separation between the Metropolis and Anatolia, and suggests the dangers that would ensue. In fact, the Cabinet shows its hand. It demands that we should bind ourselves to evacuate the State buildings occupied by us, not to
interfere with business being conducted in public offices, to respect the authority of the Government, not to enter into political relations with foreign countries, and in no way to restrict the freedom of the voters during the elections for the Chamber of Deputies.
175 In short, it implies that their intention is to rid themselves of our presence and, at the same time, ignore our movement. Before I enter into further details I must remark, while I remember it, that we had not occupied any Government building whatever. The Vilayet of Sivas alone had received the Representative Com mittee as guests in the principal school in this town, and that was during the holidays. The State building referred to in the telegram could only have been this school. The first business of the Cabinet was to expel the Representative Committee, so that it would be discredited in the eyes of the public. Following this telegram, which indicates neither the sender of it nor his address, a conversation began between the Telegraph Office at Sivas and that of Constantinople, in these terms: Very important. Constantinople. To the Head of the Government. As the message sent from the Telegraph Office in the Vizierate bears no address or signature, the Representative Committee of the "Union for the Defence of the Rights of Anatolia and Rumelia" declines to receive it. We shall keep a copy of it in our office. Please inform the sender of this. (Signed) Telegraph Office of the Congress. Then followed this telegraphic conversation: "The Keeper of the Great Seal handed in the telegram with this heading, Reply of His Highness the Grand Vizier. A copy of the telegram is lying at the Telegraph Office. Be good enough to give it to the Pasha it is / "It is not addressed to the Representative Committee. The name of the sender also is unknown. "As it was not signed, it has not been accepted." "The Cabinet have just concluded their sitting. "When the Cabinet will give me further particulars in writing about this, naturally the matter will be cleared up. This answer was given to us by the Ministers when they were leaving. "From that moment we have not received anything more.
"Perhaps the Grand Vizier will write when he gets home. The telegraph in our head office ceases work immediately the Cabinet rises."
176 "Inform the Keeper of the Great Seal what we said just now." "He has also gone away. I am here alone/ 7 "Tell him about it by telephone." "There is no telephone here belonging to the Telephone Company. Keep the telegram as it is. To-morrow morning we shall get something official in writing." "Telephone to the Grand Vizier." "But, brother, we cannot get into communication with the Grand Vizier." Very urgent: Sublime Porte. 4 th October, 1919. To the Telegraph Office of the Congress, Sivas. "We have been trying to speak by telephone to His Highness the Grand Vizier, who lives at Eren Keui, but we have not been able to find him, although it is 9.25 p. m. We cannot put this exchange of telegrams before him until to-morrow morning." Hussein Husni, Director of the Telegraph Office of the Sublime Porte. Very urgent. Constantinople, 4 th October, 1919. Telegraph Office of the Congress. Reply. "In the same way that the Director of the office of the Sublime Porte has now communicated, at 9.25 p. m., we also have not been able to receive a reply from the Konak of the Grand Vizier, although we have been trying to get into touch with him by telephone. I shall try again a little later. If I receive a reply, I will let you know imme diately. If not, we shall have to wait till to-morrow morning." Tewfik, Director of Telegraphs, Stambul. On the following day, the 5 tl1 October, we were told that the unsigned telegram was sent by the Grand Vizier to the Representative Committee and that it represented his reply. Although it was not an official and signed message, we considered it neither expedient nor necessary to continue to dwell on so unimportant a point. We con sidered it better to send a reply to the Grand Vizier. This is a summary of the main points in our long telegram to him :
177 After having drawn attention to the fact that we had understood that our proposals had been approved of and accepted in full, we continued to express our opinion from the point where we were asked to bind ourselves, and said that the driving power and source of the abnormal and unlawful situation was Ferid Pasha s Cabinet. "This situation will disappear automatically if you take decisive steps to put an end to the consequences produced by the unlawful acts of that Cabinet. Before our movement can declare its loyalty to the present Cabinet and give its support to it, the Government must first declare, in concise and definite terms, that it has friendly feelings towards our national organisation. "If this is not the case, it is exceedingly doubtful whether we shall be able to succeed in establishing mutual sincerity, the result being that they would probably encounter active opposition." The unsigned telegram from Ali Riza Pasha contained the follow ing phrase: "According to the Constitution of this country, the nation is the sovereign power." Our answer to this was that undoubtedly this is a fact ; but the Constitution likewise stipulates literally that the Chamber of Deputies must be elected within four months after its dissolution, and up to the present day the registers of voters even had not been compiled. And we said that this procedure of Ferid Pasha s Cabinet was a blow directed against the Constitution and a formal infingement of the constitutional charter. It is the solemn and natural duty of every Constitutional Govern ment that recognises the sovereignty of the nation and who believes that it is legally bound to obey the law, to look upon such actions as a crime, according to the corresponding clause of the Penal Code, and to apply the provisions laid down by law as widely as possible in dealing with those who axe found guilty. Then we put forward the following proposals: 1. To publish an official manifesto and declare that rest and order prevail throughout the country and that the national movement is justified and legitimate; showing thereby that the Government is in sympathy and accord with a united nation. 2. Some of the higher officials constituted themselves agents of the Government that has been overthrown and have aided them in their treachery. These must be tried by competent courts of law. It must be laid down that certain ex-Valis, who have resisted the national movement, will be debarred from any further state service. Certain officials who have been dismissed because they have Kemal Pasha 12
served the national movement, shall be reinstated in the offices they formerly held.
3. All those who have been reinstated in their former offices and have not been recognised by the National Assembly, because such reinstatement was due to the false policy of the Government, must be dismissed again. AH important military posts shall be filled by capable men. 4. Until the former Ministers, Ali Kemal Bey, Aadil Bey, and Suleiman Shefik Pasha have been handed over to the State Court for trial after the National Assembly has met, we demand, in the name of the inviolability of the law and the sacred character of the national rights, that they shall be prevented from leaving the country; that Refik Halid Bey, Director of Posts and Telegraphs, shall be arrested immediately and made to stand his trial before a competent court of law. 5. Any kind of persecution or molestation of persons who have participated in or have favoured the national movement shall im mediately cease. 6. The Press shall be free from foreign censorship. Having set forth these considerations and proposals, of which the foregoing is a summary, we concluded our telegram to this effect: "Guided by the resolutions arrived at by all the vilayets and autonomous sanjaks and the places under their jurisdiction, we declare emphatically that until you give us a clear and definite reply to our demands and desires in a form that will satisfy the nation, we feel ourselves compelled to maintain, as we have been doing hitherto, the attitude adopted by the nation, in order that the national aims shall be safeguarded/ (Signed) Mustapha Kemal, In the name of the Representative Committee of the "Union for the Defence of the Rights of Anatolia and Rumelia/ (Document 132.) As soon as we had finished our exchange of telegrams with Con stantinople, I immediately informed the country in this communique : Circular Note. To the Prefectures in every town. To the Press. As His Highness the Grand Vizier has declared that he finds the essential resolutions passed by the Erzerum and Sivas Congresses and the aims pursued by the national organisations to be natural, and as some points in his remarks require explanation, we have sent a reply
179 to him and have put forward certain proposals, based on the collective opinions of all the chief places, for the purpose of establishing a real understanding between the Government and the nation. We give you herewith the literal wording of the reply and the pro posals referred to in a circular note. We shall inform you immediately we receive an answer and the decisions we shall arrive at concerning it.
Mustapha Kemal, In the name of the Representative Committee of the "Union for the Defence of the Rights of Anatolia and Rumelia." We have now reached the fifth day of government by All Riza Pasha s Cabinet. So far, we had not come to any understanding. The official relations and correspondence between the country and Constantinople were still interrupted. His Highness the Grand Vizier did not reply to our proposals; you will see directly that he never had any intention of replying. None of the members of the Cabinet had any intention of coming to terms with us. On that day, the 6 th October, Junus Nadi Bey, after having been invited to do so, paid a visit to Djemal Pasha, the Minister of War, in his office. Djemal Pasha spoke to Junus Nadi Bey about the situation and particularly about the fact that no agreement had yet been anived at between the Government and the Representative Committee. It appears that the Minister pointed out to him that we were in the wrong ; that the Cabinet itself was prepared to accept and carry through everything, and that, in any case, the Representative Committee was responsible for the conflict and continued in its obstinacy. He seems also to have asked Junus Nadi Bey, of whose personal relations with us he was well aquainted, to act as mediator in bringing about an understanding between us. Junus Nadi Bey willingly accepted his proposal. From the con tents of the telegram I shall refer to in a moment, it can be seen that he relied on the information he received from Djemal Pasha, believing it to be true, and on it based his view of the situation. The exchange of telegrams between Junus Nadi Bey and ourselves is very important, because it was an effort to reach at least an apparent understanding between us and the new Cabinet. For this reason, I will give you some particulars about it. I was asked to come personally to the telegraph instrument, and was told that Djemal Pasha, the War Minister, wanted to speak to me I went there ; it was inside our offices. This was our conversation : 12*
i8o Constantinople : "This is the Telegraph Office of the War Ministry. JUOTS Nadi Bey wishes to speak to Your Excellency." Then somebody said, "I am at the telegraph instrument/ I asked: "Who are you?" The telegraph official answered: "Junus Nadi Bey is here and Djevad Rifat Bey, the Minister s aide-de-camp, is standing by his side. Would you like to speak to the Minister?"
When we were about to begin our conversation I was told that the Minister had asked me to come, therefore I asked: "Has the Minister requested me to come or have you?" Junus Nadi Bey: "I am authorised by the Minister, and through the mediation of his aide-de-camp we have asked the Chief Telegraph Office of the War Ministry to get into touch^ with Your Excellency. That is how the misunderstanding has arisen." I: "Thank you; I hear." % Then came the message from Junus Nadi Bey. He began with these words: "I have been hoping that on account of the change in the Cabinet, which is due solely to the fact that the will of the nation has succeeded in realising its sovereignty, an understanding and agreement between the Government that has been formed here and the national movement will now soon be arrived at. As far as I can see, there remain only two points on which there is any difference of opinion. Being satisfied myself that the postponement of an agreement would lead to regret table consequences within the country itself, as well as abroad, I feel it my duty to submit some considerations to you." Then he began at first to make statements which are contained in the following summary: 1. There is no reason for looking with displeasure on certain members of the Cabinet because they belonged to Ferid Pasha s. Abuk Pasha took part in overthrowing the latter s Cabinet. 2. Riza Pasha s Government is only a temporary one. It can only hold office until the result of the elections for the legislative body become known. 3. Junus Nadi Bey declared that nothing done by the present Government could leave any doubt that they were favourable to the adoption of all the claims and aims of the nation and were fully resolved to realise them. 4. He ended by assuring us that people like Djemal Pasha and Abuk Pasha must be regarded without any hesitation as guarantors and delegates of the national organisation within the Cabinet.
The next subject Junus Nadi Bey touched upon was quite personal. Sharing our feelings entirely in this regard, he said: "I venture to advise you to act with moderation/ and he developed his point of view that it would be very important to prevent the good effects produced by the success of the national cause appearing in the eyes of certain persons as being tainted with a spirit of revenge. Junus Nadi Bey continued: "From my association with the members of the present Cabinet, I am satisfied that they are determined to further the claims of the national organisation in their entirety." He added, "Djemal Pasha, the Minister of War, has declared that this idea has been sufficiently
clearly expressed in the manifesto which will be published to-day, but, as it has been drawn up in official language, it is not advisable to lay too much emphasis on purely formal expressions, which have been used to meet so many contrasting opinions." After Junus Nadi Bey had assured us of the sincere desire of the new Grand Vizier and his Cabinet to receive a deputation appointed by the leaders of the national organisation immediately, so as to obviate any misunderstanding, he crystallised his observations in this sentence: "What I consider to be the most urgent thing to do at the present moment is to prevent the postponement of this crisis, which is fraught with so much confusion and uncertainty/ Junus Nadi Bey said that he was waiting to hear my views, and I sent him this reply: Sivas, 6 th October, 1919. To Junus Nadi Bey Effendi. Have you studied the essential, as well as the minor, proposals which the Representative Committee has laid before the Grand Vizier, and His Highness s answer particularly the last paragraphs of it? Judging from your last remarks, we have come to the conclusion that you have never set eyes on these documents and that you have merely been told of their contents by people who have not completely understood the sincerity of my proposals. For this reason, we find it very difficult to enter into an exchange of opinions with you concerning the main point of the question. We will give you some of our opinions in their proper order and throw a little light on some of your remarks, which seem to represent your own personal opinion. We also thought that there would soon be harmony between the new Cabinet and our national movement.
The cause of the delay is not to be attributed to our side, but to the hesitating and vacillating attitude the new Cabinet has taken up during the last four days. We have not even yet been told by them that any difference of opinion exists between them and ourselves. Without casting doubt on the honour of the former Ministers who have now joined this Cab inet it is still a fact that, consciously or unconsciously, they have been taking part in the treacherous actions of the late Cabinet and this is an important point that we must be careful not to lose sight of . wHire notmmindful of the part which Abuk Pasha played in the overthrow of the last Cabinet. But we also know very well what power really brought about this result. . Our aim is not, as you seem to think, to look upon this Govern
ment as a temporary one. Our desire is quite the contrary, namely, that it will be a very stable Government with the power to consolidate the future of the nation and conclude peace. > In all that affects the vital interests of the nation, everything that does not emanate from us has no importance whatever in our eyes. We are among those who condemn the weak-kneed policy that forces us to proceed on the lines indicated in empty speeches which are antagonistic to our ideas. We know the internal and external situation very intimately. Our standpoint has not been adopted haphazard. Our method of procedure is based on complex considerations, on a firm foundation, on the true force of the nation as a whole, consisting of a regular organisation and the firm will of the nation. The nation is resolutely determined that its full sovereignty shall be recognised by the whole world. We have taken the necessary steps everywhere to ensure this. We demand that the present Government shall accept the national claims and shall do everything in agreement with us to achieve success. If it will not do this, it will be unable to govern the nation. We do not know about Abuk Pasha, but with regard to Djemal Pasha we expect only one thing from him, namely, that he shall be the represen tative of our national organisation. (I must explain that Djemal Pasha was not our representative and, after his behaviour of which you have heard, there was no reason for putting him in that position or entrusting him with such a com mission. But Junus Nadi Bey, having said in his telegram that there was no reason for us to entertain any doubt about making Djemal
Pasha our representative, we trusted his opinion and did what he wished.) We hoped that as soon as he became a Minister he would keep in touch with us, so that we would be well informed as to the actual state of affairs, and then act as the intermediary to bring the ideas of the Government and those of the national organisation into agreement. But now it seemed as though he were trying to avoid coming into close touch with us. The proposals and demands which we addressed to the new Cab inet had in no way the character of personal and arbitrary opinions. They were the essence of all the proposals collated by our Represen tative Committee to avoid placing the Cabinet in a difficult position. These proposals had been put forward by all the vilayets and auto nomous sanjaks and the places under their administration, the five commanders of Army Corps and all the heads of the Civil Adminis tration who are faithful to the national organisation. They do not suggest any of the doubts, such as those you anticipate and speak about. If the Government will sincerely and seriously enter into communi cation with us for the purpose of exchanging opinions with us, nothing
else will be left for us to do but to fix the time when our proposals and demands will be fulfilled and the form they will take. The concluding paragraphs of the Grand Vizier s telegraphic reply to our Representative Committee, on the 4 th October, deserves very careful attention. There is no doubt that there can be no unity so long as the con ception exists that our lawful national organisation and their leader are illegitimate and unlawful. If the manifesto, the publication of which you announce will take place to-day, will for any reason or in any manner speak disparagingly about our national organisation and our national movement, if only by some formal expression, we shall immediately come to the con clusion that there will be no possibility of our arriving at any under standing. Moreover, we shall not allow the Government s manifesto to be distributed anywhere before the Government has come to a definite understanding with the Representative Committee. Its publication will be limited to decorating the walls of Constantinople. Our Representative Committee is a national and legitimate body elected by the General Assemblies of Erzerum and Sivas, consisting of representatives chosen by the free vote of the nation in all the vilayets and autonomous sanjaks.
184 It is evident that the Government will strengthen its position and its authority by keeping in close connection and sincere relations with our Committee. It is equally clear that the interests of the country and the nation will suffer if they follow different leaders. We wish to avoid what we have experienced before, namely, that certain persons whom we are convinced will be useful to the country and the nation in the present Cabinet, should become the victims of the tactics employed by the Cabinet which aim at elbowing them, one by one, out of their offices. (Gentlemen, you will see by what follows that this is exactly what did happen.) The Representative Committee assembled at Sivas is prepared to enter into sincere and direct relations with the Government. It does not possess the power of delegating their authority to anyone else. If a perfect understanding with the Government can be reached, then we can consider taking further steps that will facilitate and firmly establish our unity. In short, to put an end to the present state of confusion as quickly as possible, the Government must publish a manifesto in terms similar to those we have proposed and demanded, which will not consist merely of empty words, but will be expressed in sincere language. In addition to this, the Grand Vizier must give us a straightforward
answer, in which he will declare that he has favourably received our other proposals and that they will be carried out. But as our telegrams and manifestos have been controlled, stolen, and waylaid hitherto by RefikHalidBey, it seems very strange indeed to us to hear anybody speak about the sincerity of the Government. If the Government persists, even for a few days longer, in their vacillating attitude, it will be entirely their own fault if the nation fails to have the confidence in them which so far it has not had time to experience. We are receiving telegrams from all parts of the country asking us whether confidence can be placed in the new Government or not. I assure you, dear brother, of my esteem. -- , , . J Mustapha Kemal. From the communications that passed between Junus Nadi Bey and ourselves and the information I gave him, he was able to get a good idea of the real position. He did not consider it necessary to continue the subject.
On the contrary, he was apparently trying to advise the new Government, and Djemal Pasha in particular, what was the right thing for them to do. In fact, as I shall explain to you, some kind of understanding perhaps, only an apparent one seemed to be arrived at. The 6 th October had now passed. We sent a circular note round, ordering that the attitude we had taken up was to be strictly main tained and that special attention was to be paid to our directions. (Document 134.) At last, on the next day after our exchange of telegrams with Junus Nadi Bey, we received the following telegram from Djemal Pasha although no reply had yet arrived from the Grand Vizier, From the Ministry of War. 7 to October, 1919. 12.7 p. m. To His Excellency Mustapha Kemal Pasha. The correspondence hitherto exchanged can be summarised thus: 1. The Cabinet is in accord with you and recognises that the will of the nation is sovereign. It is only afraid that it will be looked upon as a Government of revenge. It shares your opinion that those who are guilty must be punished in the manner prescribed by law. 2. It pledges itself unreservedly to prevent any further punishments being inflicted on those Valis who have been injured in their rights, and indemnify them for what they have suffered; to select and appoint worthy and suitable persons to fill Government offices; to restore dignity and order in the Army. 3. It will rely on the national will and the Representative Com mittee to restore the authority and prestige of the State in the eyes of foreign countries.
4. In my position as the delegate of the Representative Committee, I declare to you in full sincerity and with deep esteem that the Cabinet is desirous that the Representative Committee should support it, but without assuming supreme authority in matters relating to internal affairs or foreign policy. It is aware of the advantage that would accrue from such a great power. Above all, it considers that it would be well if telegrams were exchanged freely between the two parties; that it should be possible for Valis and Military Commanders who are newly appointed or reinstalled in their former offices to take up their posts immediately, and that the recently sanctioned electoral law should be circulated and published throughout the country.
186 5. I pledge myself personally to the effect that all acts directed against the national will shall cease; the only point that remains open for discussion is the fixing of the time and the manner of carrying out the details, about which I feel sure we shall easily come to an agreement. So that we shall be able to work together hand in hand at once to realise our aim, which is the liberation of our country, I earnestly beg you not to insist on details but grant me your support. I express to Your Excellency and your honourable colleagues my sincere esteem. (Signed) Djemal, Minister of War. We sent the following friendly and sincere reply to this telegram. Telegram in cipher. Sivas, 7 m October, 1919. To His Excellency Djemal Pasha, Minister of War. Reply. Your Excellency will find in the following the answers, point by point and in their proper order, to the proposals contained in your telegram: fc 1. We thank the Cabinet in the name of the nation for having declared themselves ready to accept the sovereignty of the national will in complete accord and unity with us. We, also, would feel great anxiety if the Cabinet, the Representative Committee and the whole of the national organisation were to be suspected of pursuing a policy of revenge. On this point we are perfectly in harmony with the Cabinet; also in regard to the necessity of punishing those who are accused before the law.
2. We also thank you specially for the conclusion contained in the second point. For the following reason, we had thought it necessary in our preceding telegram to enter into details about this question. We were afraid that if certain Valis and commanding officers who were deprived of office by the people on account of their opposition to the national movement and the national activities, were to be reinstated even temporarily on the ground of observing due forms, they would not return to their duties, and this would injure the authority of the Government, who thereby would lose prestige. 3. We are specially grateful to you concerning the third point. Let us trust that, with God s help, we shall be able by our joint efforts to secure the welfare and freedom of our country and our nation.
i8 7 4. We declare in all good faith and assure you that, in return for the sincerity and earnestness shown by the Cabinet, the Represen tative Committee will never assume the position of being a supreme authority, either in the country itself or in regard to foreign relations. On the contrary, the Committee consider that it is their duty, for the sake of the country and the nation, to support and uphold the authority of the Government within the limits of the principles adopted by common consent. We desire to convey the solemn assurance that we make no re servation whatever in this matter. That, in accordance with Art. 8 of our regulations, Your Ex cellency is a member of the Cabinet as the delegate of our Reprentative Committee, is a fact that has given us the greatest satisfaction, all the more so, because it ensures perfect harmony between the actions and decisions of both parties. When in future, in all the questions pending between the Cabinet and our national organisation, harmony and mutual interpretation will be arrived at, there will, naturally, be no further interruption in our communication with one another. As, however, the Representative Committee must necessarily still keep in close touch with the organising centres of our movement throughout Anatolia and Rumelia, we urgently request that we may be permitted to carry on our telegraphic communication in an official way as we have hitherto been doing. We would like to take this opportunity, also, of putting the following matter before you: As it is absolutely necessary for the maintenance of the authority of the Government that, from the moment it begins to issue its orders, it shall not encounter any opposition, we request you to grant us a delay of 48 hours to enable the Committee to transmit the necessary instructions to the principal places. We earnestly request you to send us in confidence, before its publication, a copy of the manifesto that the Cabinet is going to issue, and which we had asked for, so that the instructions sent out by the Representative Committee may be founded on it and thus
we may inspire the nation with confidence. For, in all loyalty, we must point out to you that if appropriate word were to creep into this manifesto it misunderstanding in the minds of the people and might Representative Committee in a very difficult position of the nation. a single in might cause put the in the eyes
i88 After we have received it we shall immediately send you a copy of the address which we shall present to His Majesty expressing our thanks, as well as a copy of the manifesto we shall address to the nation. Any remarks that the Cabinet may desire to make about it will be taken into our respectful consideration. Will you be good enough to inform us what particular idea inspired you when you drafted the new electoral law, so that we shall be able to make our comments on it. 5. Having arrived at a complete agreement on the main points, no doubt can exist any longer as to Your Excellency s sincerity and that of your honourable colleagues, and it is quite natural that perfect harmony should exist between us concerning the details. My colleagues and I beg you to feel assured that we shall work with all our strength, in all sincerity and with all possible energy, to assist the work carried on by Your Excellency and the Cabinet of which you are a member, so that it will be crowned with success and lead to our country attaining its freedom as soon as possible. I send you our greetings and the esteem of all my colleagues, who are present with me here. (Signed) Mustapha Kemal. During the same night Djemal Pasha replied to this telegram. He told us in it, "that it had been felt necessary to expedite the publication of the manifesto and that the points we wished to be specially em phasised had already been duly taken into consideration." (Doc ument 135.) To show our politeness, we replied immediately during the same night. (Document 136.) But, as we had been given to understand that the Government did not want TIS to see their manifesto before it was published, we published our own manifesto to the nation without consulting the Government, and the same thing applies to the telegram we addressed to the Sultan. Our manifesto of the 7 th October showed the people that we were right in all we had been doing hitherto and that it would lead us to success. We explained why it was necessary for us to continue to act in perfect unity as we had been doing till then. In fine, this manifesto was intended to raise and strengthen the moral of the population. (Document 137.) The telegram that we sent to the Sultan expressed our thanks
on behalf of the nation. (Documents 138, 139.)
I would like to divert your attention here for a moment to tell you that in trying to enforce the universal will of the nation upon the whole of the country, our Committee was at the same time in direct communication with Smyrna, which was occupied by the enemy. On the 7 th October, while we were engaged in impressing our opinions on Ali Riza s Cabinet, we also sent the following telegram to Smyrna. Urgent. Sivas, 7 th October, 1919. To the Vilayet of Smyrna. We beg you to let us know immediately whether the messages and instructions we have hitherto sent you have reached you or not ; if they have done so, whether they have been attended to. If you have not received them, we would like to know what has prevented you from having done so. Mustapha Kemal, In the name of the Representative Committee of the "Union for the Defence of the Rights of Anatolia and Rumelia." We were undoubtedly very well informed about what was happen ing at Smyrna, about its VaH and the general conditions prevailing there. Even if it was doubtful whether they had received our in structions, it was certainly quite impossible that they had been obeyed. But at the same time we thought it just as well to let our enemies see that there was some power and authority watching over the destiny of the whole country and which refused to recognise the occupation. Having touched superficially on the facts and events of that time, let me explain to you another circumstance. In his telegram of the 8 th October, Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha advanced these ideas: "I believe that Your Excellency, Rauf Bey and other persons of equal importance in the Representative Committee, being deputies, should remain conspicuously at the head of the parliamentary party without being involved in any way in the affairs of the Government, and that it would answer the purpose quite as well if you were to continue to assert your authority and your influence, no matter what the form or composition of the Government, or the importance or character of its Ministers, might happen to be. I consider this to be an essential condition for success and for coming to a decision which it is indispensable should be put into effect. Whenever persons who
have represented a party or an ideal in a prominent way have exceeded the limits of their own particular sphere of work and have meddled in the affairs of the Government, the National Assembly has thereby lost strength, has been tossed hither and thither by the varying currents, swirled into a wrong course and has ultimately been
shattered on the rocks. At this time, when the chief question concerns the complete liberation of our country and nation, I respectfully urge Your ExceEency to proceed so that we shall be able to recognise your definite decision on the matter we had the honour of laying before you." Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha had already expressed the same opinion to me before I left Erzerum. I thought it all over in this wise: First of all it is necessary clearly to emphasise the fact that the will of the nation is paramount and that its representation in the National Assembly must be firmly insisted upon. This can only be done by giving the whole country a stable organisation with a national ideal before it and by forming a party in the Chamber which is supported by it. This must be the chief aim of the most influential members. As far as our experience had led us hitherto, all those who had discovered that they possessed some merit themselves were seized with ambition and tried as quickly as possible to get into power, without paying the slightest attention to this vital point. As governments that had been formed by such men could not find any support from a strong party connected with the national movement in the Assembly, nothing was left to them but to lean on the author ity of the Sultanate and Caliphate. Consequently, the Legislative Assemblies could not represent the national power and dignity in the proper manner, nor could they express the desire of the nation and its claim that it was resolved to realise. Our essential and fun damental principle, therefore, was in the first place to establish a national organisation in the country, and after that to work in Parlia ment at the head of a party which was supported by that organisation. It is of no avail to do everything that is possible to form a government or to try to join any ministerial combination or coalition, for such a government is doomed either immediately to fall without having done anything at all for the nation or State, or else to take up a position against the Assembly and, consequently, the nation and lean on the sovereign for support. In the first case a very serious state of uncertainty would arise, whilst in the latter case it would lead gradually to the disappearance of the sovereignty of the nation. As you are aware and as events have proved, we formed
igi our national organisation first and then called in the Assembly; we first formed an "Assembly-Government" and then a Government in the real meaning of the word. Meanwhile, we never allowed an opportunity to pass without declaring to the nation in our manifestos that we had no intention of joining any Cabinet; that our sole aim was the realisation of the great national ideals, and that our efforts hitherto were consistently directed to concentrating the forces of the nation and bringing them into agreement with one another/ After having mentioned and agreed with my ideas and the state ments based on them, Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha added in his message that "he sincerely hoped that this good resolution would be carried through as far as possible in the face of the experience and the results gained in our country." (Document 140.)
As Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha had said at the end of his telegram, as I have explained already, there was surely no justification for demanding the formation of any government or taking part in it at the moment when our first thought was the liberation of the country a country in which there was neither proper organisation nor a Parliament ; nor had any party appeared in the Assembly with any ideal or programme which was supported by the organisation and full strength of the nation. Such procedure, which would have been inspired rather by personal interests than any desire to serve those of the country, was, as far as I could see without wishing to be unjust, nothing but ambition or at least ignorance. The fact, however, that the most influential members of a political party organised in Parliament shall indefinitely dominate, control and supervise the Chamber, whatever might be the power of the Cabinet or the character and personal merit of the individual members who formed it, cannot be regarded as the most important factor for success or for coming to a decision which it is "indispensable" to carry out, as Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha constantly persisted in declaring. The principle recognised and customarily observed in civilised States governed on the principle of the sovereignty of the nation, is that the administration of the State is confided to the hands of that political party most powerfully representing the general tendency of the nation and which is able to serve its demands and interests with the greatest authority and power; thus the responsibility is entrusted to the most prominent -leaders of the nation. A government which does not combine all these conditions could
never fulfil Its task. It could not reasonably be conceived that a weak government composed of second-rate elements chosen from a powerful party could carry on such a government by relying on the advice and instructions given to it by first-rate leaders belonging to the same party. The tragic results of such a system became evident in the last days of the Ottoman Empire. Can we enumerate the untold miseries this nation had to suffer, whether under the Grand Viziers who were merely puppets in the hands of the leaders of the Committee of Union and Progress" or through the actions of the governments led by these Grand Viziers? It could never happen that a party with the upper hand in the Assembly could delegate the power to^an opposition that was in a minority. In theory as well^as in practice, it is the party representing the majority of the nation and whose particular programme is generally known that assumes the respon sibility of forming a government and carrying out the aims and policy of the country. When I refer here to a generally known truth and dwell on it one with which our own actions are entirely in accord I do so for the purpose of calling the attention of the nation to it and awakening it and the generations to come to its importance. I want to protect them from the specious fallacies imposed upon them in the^ guise of patriotism, of morals, of human perfection and similar virtues.
I have no doubt that Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha, who has given me the opportunity to make these observations, was, on the whole, of the same opinion as myself. For surely Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha s intention could never have been to prevent me and some of my colleagues on the Representative Committee from forming a govern ment or taking any part in it. As Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha when referring to this question mentioned in his message the names of Rauf Bey and myself and spoke of "high influential personalities of importance" and as, naturally, he had included himself among them, it was evident that he personally could not decline to put these principles into force. However, if I remember rightly, the question of forming the new Cabinet arose at the time when Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha was a deputy in the Assembly and there was a change in the state of affairs. So that we could exchange our opinions about this, I called together Tshan Kaya Fethi Bey, Fewsi Pasha, Fuad Pasha, Kiasim Pasha, Ali Bey, Djelal Bey, Ishan Bey, the members of the Cabinet, as well as ten or fifteen other colleagues; amongst them also was Kiasin Kara Bekir Pasha. Before the latter came, he went into the Chamber to
see Redsheb Bey, who was at that time general secretary of the party, and told him that I had invited him and would probably offer him the presidency. He asked Redsheb Bey whether he had any information that would help him to understand the situation and, if so, whether he would give it to him. (Redsheb Bey is present here now. If I am wrong in this statement I beg him to correct me.) Those who were present found that during the meeting and the discussion that followed the attitude of Kiasim Pasha was very characteristic. During the debate, quite correctly and at the right time, Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha declared "that he would not refuse to serve the nation, even in this way." At a certain moment the debate had wandered into a cul-de-sac. The question was, to decide whether Fethi Bey or Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha was to be the leader of the future Government. When the discussion on this began, Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha no longer declared, as he had written on the 8 th October, "that he regarded it as an infaillible decision to remain permanently an element of control and supervision within Parliament, whatever the Cabinet and the importance and character of the members that formed it might be/ On the contrary, his present attitude showed us that he preferred that he should be entrusted with the formation of the Government. Nevertheless, we were still groping in the darkest and most tragic days of a period when the salvation of the country and the nation was trembling in the balance. I adjourned the debate, and during the interval I took His Ex cellency Marshal Fewsi Pasha into the garden. I begged him to come to an agreement about the election that was pending between Fethi Bey and Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha for the presidency of the future Cabinet. I asked him to get them both together and, after having explained to them that it was not a personal matter but that the responsibility they had to take upon themselves was an onerous one and of patriotic import, beg each of them honestly to consult his own conscience and decide which was the better fitted to fill this office worthily and say quite frankly what opinion he had arrived at.
We reassembled. "It seems to me from the discussions," I said, "that the Government is to be formed either by Fethi Bey or Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha. I move that we appoint His Excellency Fewsi Pasha as arbitrator." This propsal was accepted. The Pasha asked Fethi Bey and Kara Bekir Pasha to come into the garden with him. It turned out exactly as I have been telling you. Fethi Bey is said to have declared that he considered that he was the better fitted of the two for the position. Fewsi Pasha agreed with him, and so Kemal Pasha I 3
194 Fethi Bey was elected and the question of Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha being called upon to form the Government was abandoned. * * * Let us now return to the question of the relations which we had induced Ali Riza Pasha s Cabinet to adopt towards us. I have told you that, as the result of the Government in Stambul not having communicated the contents of their manifesto to us before its publication, we considered it right to publish our proclamation without previously consulting them. Following this, the Government informed us through Djemal Pasha, on the 9^ October, that they considered it necessary to bring the following four points to the knowledge of the country by every possible means: 1. That there was no connection between the national movement and the "Committee of Union and Progress." 2. That the intervention of the Ottoman Empire in the Great War was wrong; that it is essential to draw up accusations against those responsible for this mistake, mentioning their names so that they could be brought to justice and punished by law. 3. That those guilty of committing crimes of any description during the war should not escape the punishment laid down by the law. 4. That the elections would take place with perfect freedom. After mentioning these four points, Djemal Pasha declared that these statements would obviate certain misunderstandings in the country itself, as well as in foreign countries, and specially asked us, for the sake of the best interests of the country, to receive these proposals with favour. (Document 141.) These requests can serve as a criterion to enable us to understand the indecisive manner in which Ali Riza Pasha s Cabinet faced facts, and how weak was the foundation on which they based their decisions. These unfortunate persons were incapable of gauging the depths of the terrible abyss into which the State was plunging, and they deliber ately shut their eyes so that they could not see what was the true way to salvation, because if they had seen it they would have been still more appalled. The narrowness of their understanding and the limits
of their hoiizon were sufficient to account for the weakness and indecision of their character. Was it not quite natural, after the Sultan-Caliph had degraded himself practically to the position of a servant, that the power derived from his servility was merely a sign of his impotence?
195 What else could All Riza Pasha, as Fend Pasha s successor, and those of his colleagues who were transferred from the previous Cabinet do but continue to work from the point at which Ferid Pasha had left off and carry on their hostile schemes? We were perfectly well aware of this. But for reasons and considerations of various kinds, which you will quite appreciate, there was no other prospect of success lying before us except to appear perfectly passive towards certain things and be patient and forbearing. So that we may get a clearer view of the initial stages of the dif ferences of opinion that prevailed at that time between the new Cabinet with whom we had thought it advisable to appear to be in perfect accord and ourselves, I must ask you to read once more the text of the reply which contains our observations regarding these four points in the proceedings of the Grand National Assembly. (Doc ument 142.) Meanwhile, the journalists of Stambul had founded a society, and in the name of certain newspapers, the Tasviri-Efkiar, Vakit, Aksham, Turk Dunjassi and Istiklal, they put forward certain questions on the 9 th October, and begged that they might be inspired with some news to guide them. They were put in possession of the actual state of affairs and were given all the information they desired. (Document I43-) Among the telegrams we received, was one from Velid Bey, chairman of this Press Society, that referred to certain questions which are worthy of notice. I told my aide-de-camp to attend to them. (Document 144.) You will find particulars about them among the documents. The correspondence that passed between Djemal Pasha, a member of the new Cabinet in Stambul and the delegates of the Represen tative Committee, and which was still actually going on, has prevented me from speaking before to this honourable Assembly about Damad Sherif Pasha, who was at that time Minister of the Interior. While we were trying to find a basis on which to build up an understanding with the new Cabinet, Sherif Pasha had been doing all he could for a long time to poison the spirit of the nation. If you will go back to the first circular note he sent out on the 2 nd October, announcing his entry into office, you will find it contains this: "As the real interest of the State demands that there should be complete concord between all persons who constitute the nation, it is exceedingly regrettable that signs of discord should appear in the
ig6 interior of the country, for these can have no other effect than to increase the difficulties ... "As success ... can only be achieved if the injunctions of the Government are respected and all actions contrary to the interests of the nation cease, you are requested to send urgent instructions to this effect to all the principal towns and those under their administration. (Document 145.) Damad Sherif Pasha, who was thought to be a more reasonable man than Damad Ferid Pasha, had begun his work in a very clumsy manner. . At that time writers of fiction in Stambul described me as being a common mutineer and a bandit. But Damad Pasha, in his distorted mind, apparently considered us to be nothing but arrant boasters and dummy leaders. However, we soon detected the criminal intent of the Pasha and consequently became more cautious. Sherif Pasha recognised in our actions and proceedings, as well as in all that the nation had been doing to hasten the overthrow of Ferid Pasha s Cabinet, evidence of rebellion and anarchy, and he seemed to be very dejected about it. He evinced much zeal in trying to get the people to submit to the wishes of the Government and do nothing at all that would be an tagonistic to its policy. Now let us go through some of the phrases and expressions con tained in the manifesto that bears the signature of Mehmed Sherif Pasha, Minister of the Interior: (Document 146.) "The present Cabinet is united/ This is very true. Clearer light will be thrown on this by subsequent events. "It is unanimous on all vital questions/ "It is not in connection with any party/ 7 "It has even no partiality for any particular political party." "It depends for moral support on every party." The meaning of these phrases is perfectly clear. The Government is neither on the side of the national organisations nor of the Represen tative Committee that leads them. It has no partiality for either. It expects from us exactly what it expects from the party of the "Union of the Friends of England," the "Red Kandshars" and Nikehbandjis," and other similar unions. There is not a word of truth in any one of the telegrams that were
sent to us through Djemal Pasha and which were only intended to mislead us.
Look at this sentence : "Our chief aim is to see that the destiny of the country is in the hands of the real representatives of the nation." This means that certain individuals have assembled at Sivas and speak in the name of the nation. They are interfering with the fate of the nation. They describe themselves as the "Representative Committee" and meddle in the affairs of the country without having any authority whatever to do so. Take no notice of them, because they are not the representatives of the nation at all. On the question of Peace, the Government declares itself in its manifesto thus: "We shall not fail to take any steps that we may think necessary to secure the maintenance of the Ottoman Empire as an independent and united State with its Sovereign at the head of it, in conformity with the principles of Wilson, as our perfect right/ And to show that it is confident of success, the Cabinet introduces this argument to support it: "The sense of justice exhibited by the Great Powers and the moderation shown by them, which is becoming more and more evident in the public opinion of Europe and America, inspire us with confidence." Do not these sentiments agree literally with the wording of the proclamation issued by Perid Pasha s Cabinet and which purported to have emanated from the mouth of the Padishah? Has not the pub lication of such a manifesto the object of lulling the nation to sleep and leading it astray? Where is the justice talk about? Is there that what the Powers Metropolis, strongly they refer to? Where is the moderation they the slightest ground for either? Is it not clear are doing within the Empire, beginning at the contradicts such a contention?
Was it not the fact that Wilson had actually retired from the stage with all his principles and had taken up the position of a mere spectator, while the occupation of the territories in the Ottoman Empire, including Syria, Palestine, the Irak, Smyrna, Adana, and all the other places, was quietly going on practically under his eyes? Is it conceivable, in face of so many distinct signs of collapse, that any person possessed of reason and conscience and capable of discernment could allow himself to be so completely led astray? If people are really simple enough to deceive themselves to such an extent, can those who are reasonable and able to appreciate the tragic reality possibly be suffered to control the destiny of the country? If we may suppose that these individuals know the true state of affairs and are not deceiving themselves, to what must we attribute
the indefatigable energy displayed by them in misleading the nation
and driving the people like a flock of sheep into the clutches of their enemies? I leave it to public opinion to probe this problem and come to a right judgment about it. In spite of the nonsense and misstatements appearing in the Government s manifesto, we resolved on the 7^ October, in the name of the Representative Committee, to support the new Cabinet. We announced to the people the glad news that complete unity had been arrived at between the new Cabinet and the national organisations. We took the necessary steps everywhere to prevent any inter ference with the affairs of the Government and to support its authority and its actions. We took up an attitude that should prove by events relating to matters of internal policy, as well as to foreign countries, that real and complete unity existed. In short, we tried to do everything which in our judgment men should feel themselves bound in soul and conscience to do if they were considering the welfare of their country in all sincerity and with pure intentions. We pressed the people to elect their deputies as quickly as possible. But there was one thing we did not do : We did not suppress the national organisations we did not dissolve the Representative Committee. This was the only error that we committed. We gave them to understand that after Damad Fend Pasha, we would not allow any other Damad Pasha (Damad means a relative of the Sultan: Author s note] in his capacity as Grand Vizier and Minister to surround himself with a handful of weaklings and execute without hinderance the criminal fancies of a craven Sovereign. Our delegate Djemal Pasha continued to try by every means to win our good opinion of and confidence in the new Cabinet. He called Ahmed Izzet Pasha as his witness in favour of this Cabinet, and advised us through him to suppress our organisation. On the 7 th October, we actually received the following telegram from Djemal Pasha, the Minister of War, which was also signed in cipher by Ahmed Izzet Pasha. Ministry of War. 7 tt October, 1919. To His Excellency Mustapha Kemal Pasha. : I have been talking to my old faithful colleagues who constitute the majority in the new Cabinet. I asked them to give me their opinions, and I discussed the situation with them.
Through some facts that have come to my knowledge, I hasten to let you know the following, because I am anxious about certain vital matters concerning the nation and for the sake ottr comradeship in arms and the ties of friendship that bind us. Everybody knows the advantage of the work performed by the national troops and organisations, which was intended to counter
act the danger of an invasion and the breakdown which threatened our country for several months. People with foresight, however, believed it to be an incontrovertible fact that in order to reap the fullest advantage from these measures, our first aim in future should be to establish a wise and proper administration. In my humble opinion, it is urgently necessary and imperative that an end should be put to this dissension between the people and the Government, and that perfect unity should exist between them. I am sure that everybody is convinced of the honesty and spirit of moderation shown by the members of the Cabinet. It is superfluous to point out the fatal effects which internal dissensions that make it impossible for any Government to carry on their work may have on our foreign policy. The Imperial Government undertakes immediately to hasten on the election of the deputies and the convening of the Chamber. As you can easily judge from to-day s manifesto, the leaders know perfectly well how to appreciate your brave endeavours and noble intentions, and I am firmly persuaded that an agreement in views will mutually be arrived at in perfect sincerity. A trustworthy and well-informed personage to whom I have spoken to-day has informed me that certain regrettable incidents have taken place in the districts in Kutachia and Biledshik. You will undoubtedly recognise that provocations can easily arise from the interior as well as from abroad, and that certain things might happen that would drive us into discord and anarchy. On the other hand, in a telegram from the acting Vali of Kastamuni, which a member of the Cabinet showed me yesterday, it seems that there was an intention, amounting practically to dictation, of ordering the Government to appoint certain officials and to punish others. Such events would be attributed to bad government, which has already brought the State into its present position. We notice with satisfaction in your statements and in the written wording of your undertaking to what extent you do not agree with them. Therefore, I Vely on your tact and your well-known discrimination that they shall not be afforded an opportunity of behaving in that manner again.
In short, I hasten to urge and sincerely beg that, at last, you will restore unity in the country and enter into relations with the Govern ment according to the laws of the land. (Signed) Ahmed Izzet. (Signed) Djemal, Minister of War. We considered it best to send a moderate and even reassuring reply by trying not to express any particular opinion or give any special impression about it. It ran as follows: Ciphered. Sivas, 7** October, 1919.
To His Excellency Djemal Pasha, Minister of War Reply to your telegram of 7 th October. To His Highness Ahmed Izzet Pasha. Your remarks have been appreciated as they deserve to be. We thank you for your good opinion about the success of the national movement. We beg to assure you that in future, as hitherto, the same wisdom in the guidance of our national activities will prevail and that we shall work with all our strength to bring about the restoration of a regular administ-ation as far as that will be possible; for this is exactly what we are striving for the establishment of a lawful regime. The Government and the nation being, with the help of God, per fectly united in their opinions, the mutual sincerity and complete unity, which we are convinced will be of lasting duration, will in future secure the highest interests of the country and the people. The fact that the nation has not obeyed Ferid Pasha s Cabinet, the criminal actions and policy of which are publicly known and that it has not taken part in his activities and intrigues, has, nevertheless, instead of in juring our foreign policy, resulted in our present political position, which on the whole may be regarded as rather satisfactory in that it has destroyed the fatal impressions produced by Ferid Pasha s Cabinet. There is no doubt that our understanding with the new Cabinet, which enjoys the confidence of the nation, will allow our home policy to influence our foreign policy very favourably and effectively. Unfortunately, under the abnormal conditions now existing, some regrettable, but at the same time unavoidable, incidents do take place in certain localities. If we consider for a moment the humiliating oppression that weighs heavily upon some districts, such as Kutachia, Biledshik and EsM-Shehr and their innocent and suffering citizens, we can easily find justification for the acts of which we complain. If, on the other hand, we realise that the deplorable and heartrending state of affairs in these districts can be traced directly to the pitiful
201 conduct of the late Government, I am convinced that it would be unjust to make the national movement a target for criticism and reproach. I ask you, also, to excuse the acting Vali of Kastamuni for the telegram that was shown to you. Messages of this description have arrived not from Kastamuni alone, but from other places as well, and if the former attitude of the Government, which appeared to be hesitating in the beginning, had lasted for another day or two, similar communications would have poured in from all parts of the country. However, we shall take all the requisite steps and exert the desired influence energetically to prevent the recurrence of such incidents. As Your Highness advises, we shall try in all good faith to secure complete unity and enter into sincere relations with the Government in accordance with the law of the land. I respectfully kiss your hands. Mustapha Kemal. While I was reading the warning letter from Ahmed Izzet Pasha and the answer we sent to him, I was reminded of something I ought
to mention, so that it may be put on record and find a place in history. One day All Riza Pasha called on Ahmed Izzet Pasha, and, after having abused me freely, exclaimed in the course of the conversation just as though he had made a sudden discovery: C You will proclaim a republic a republic!" To tell you the truth, it was by no means improbable that the Commander-in-Chief of the Western Armies of the Ottoman Empire, who had caused countless hosts of Turkish heroes in Macedonia to be decimated and annihilated and who had given priceless Mace donian territory as a free gift to our enemies, possessed all the necess ary qualifications to make himself the slave of the designs of Wahideddin in the most critical hours of the Empire, and that the first thing this notorious Commander-in-Chief of the Army would think of doing when he came into power would be to put his most skilful collaborator, his Chief of the General Staff, in charge of the War Ministry. But why should he not be congratulated on his sagacity in having guessed so quickly and so easily that the real aim of the national movement was the creation of a republic? This story was related to me by a very honourable colleague who is present here now and who heard it from the lips of Izzet Pasha himself. Djemal Pasha told us in a telegram in cipher on the 9 th October, that they had decided to send Salih Pasha, Minister of Marine, to
202 restore direct communication with the Representative Committee. Djemal Pasha, after having explained that it seemed advisable, owing to the bad state of Salih Pasha s health, that the rendez-vous should be as near as possible and that he would travel by sea, asked me what members of the Representative Committee would be there and where the meeting would take place. We replied on the 10 th October that the place would be Amasia, and we told him at the same time that Rauf Bey and Bekir Sami Bey had been chosen by the Representative Committee to go there to meet him. We requested him to let us know in good time when Salih Pasha would leave Constantinople and when he might be expected to arrive at Amasia. We continued to do everything we could to extend the national organisations and consolidate them. We worked simultaneously to arrange for the elections and hasten them on. We informed all the people concerned what our views were on this question, and suggested candidates wherever it seemed to be necessary. Although adhering to our principle that the union should not put any candidates in the field, we ardently hoped that those candidates who had accepted the programme and decisions of the Committee for the "Defence of the Rights of Anatolia and Rumelia" should stand, and we let it be under stood that they came forward voluntarily as representing the policy of the union.
On the II th October, we repeated these orders. (Documents 147, 148, 149.) From some districts we received protests in which cases vfere quoted where certain officials who were loyal to the national movement had been transferred, while other officials still remained at their posts, notwithstanding that they had been expelled by the people on account of their hostility to the national movement. In each of these protests we were asked in what way and to what extent our understanding with the new Cabinet was to be accepted. On the II th October, we wrote to Djemal Pasha with the object of drawing the attention of the Government to these facts. You are aware also that a rebel society called "Askeri-NikehbanDjemijeti"*) had made its appearance in Stambul, at the head of which, according to information we had demanded, were the following : Kiras Hamdi Bey, Refik Bey, Colonel on the General Staff, whose name at one time had been struck off the Army List on account of *) Literally, "Military Society of Protectors/
203 embezzlement, Major Kemal Bey, member of the former Halaskar party, Hakki Effendi, a Major in the Artillery and formerly head of the railway service at Panderma, Newres Bey, a degraded major on the General Staff, about whom it was uncertain whether or not he still belonged to this union, all of these persons had been expelled or dismissed from the Army on account of serious offences as well as a few others who were notorious for their vices and immorality. In No. 8,123 of tne "Ikdam," of the 23 rd September, 1919, this society had published an article hi which they had constituted them selves "Protectors of the Country and Nation." While Djevad Pasha was a member of the War Ministry, this society was persecuted, but this ceased as soon as there was a change in the Ministry. The officers became anxious about the existence and activities of this society, and complaints began to reach the Representative Committee. On the 12 th October, I asked Djemal Pasha, the Minister of War, in his own interest to suppress this centre of rebellion, to punish all of its members severely and to publish a circular note informing the Army of the fact. On the 14 telegram, (Document the 15 th th October, Djemal Pasha sent me a clear and detailed in which he said: "This has been officially decided upon/ 151) and I made this known to the whole of the Army on of the same month.
But I have no recollection of this formal decision of Djemal Pasha s ever having been in any way carried out. You will remember that the English had successively left Mersifun and Samsoon. To celebrate this event, which happened simultane ously with the overthrow of Ferid Pasha s Cabinet, the citizens of
Sivas had arranged a torchlight procession and manifestations to express their joy. Appropriate speeches were delivered and, while the people were rejoicing, some shouts were heard in the crowd of "Down with the Occupation \" The newspaper "The National Will," published at Sivas, gave a detailed account of this event. In a communication to the Vilayet of Sivas, Damad Sherif Pasha, Minister of the Interior, referring to this publication, observed that articles like this and such ex clamations were not in accord with the present policy of the Government. What did that mean? Were the Government carrying on a policy that regarded the occupation as a circumstance not worth objecting to? Or, did they believe that an outcry against it might lead the enemy to extend the occupation still further?
204 Did the Government believe that it was reasonable and politically correct that the people should remain passive and docile in face of the occupation and should not express their unhappiness about it? Could such erroneous and foolish notions underlie a policy which we looked up to for the liberation of the Empire, which was already goaded to the verge of the abyss and found itself threatened with collapse and extermination? On this occasion, in a telegram dated 13* October addressed to Diemal Pasha, Minister of War, I said that, "we considered it to be absolutely right and understandable that the people, after having seen the evacuation of part of their territory, should express their feelings in this way - indeed, it was surprising that they had not done so stffl more emphatically" and that "we had thought that the Government, actuated by the true sentiments of the nation, would in their official diplomatic language have condemned the unjust occu pation and would have protested against the wrongful interventions which even at this moment are still persisted in, in defiance of the stipulations of the Armistice." Moreover, I told him that they should have claimed indemnities. I added: "I wish to take this opportunity of asking you whether there are any points in the policy of the Cabinet which have not yet been made known to the Representative Committee and, if so, what they are." (Document 153.) The reply from our delegate Djemal Pasha, Minister of War, is very interesting. (Document 154.) Special attention must be given to this reply, which bears the date of 18 th October. Here is what he said: "The Government, having assumed the responsibility for the management of affairs within the limits of the nation s demands, finds itself obliged to act according to political exigencies and to adopt a more moderate and hospitable attitude." Riza Pasha s Cabinet and the Minister holding the portfolio of the War Ministry are receiving foreigners as their guests foreigners
who are occupying our beloved country and trying to pierce the heart of the nation with their bayonets. They consider that they are com pelled to treat them amicably and hospitably! What a remarkable idea! What strange mentality! Did this be haviour represent the sentiments comprised in the national movement ? Besides, the Minister of War expressed the following conviction : "You win recognise that the guarded attitude about which I am
205 speaking is by no means out of place when the attempt to represent the meaning of the national movement has not yet died out/ This implied that the national activities had been somewhat in jurious to the country s cause, and that the steps taken by the Govern ment to compensate for this alleged evil are not inappropriate. He concluded his telegram thus: "It is absolutely necessary that the Government, possessing the confidence of our noble nation and having proved their political ripeness in deeds, will be able to secure a hearing in the outside world with all the greater authority the less they are hampered in their actions. Therefore, I ask the Representative Committee to accept now and henceforward the acts of the Government in a favourable manner." Here Djemal Pasha touches very important considerations. Firstly, admitting that the nation has reached maturity, he gives us to understand that it is superfluous for us to take an active and lead ing part in its name, and that, in consequence, he looks upon us as persons who are interfering on their own account in the affairs of the nation, without having any authority whatever to do so. He further asserted that in not allowing the Government to act freely we were preventing it from being listened to by people abroad. What revealed the maturity of our noble nation were the meetings of the Erzerum and Sivas Congresses and the resolutions passed at their sittings; the national determination and unity which resulted from these resolutions having been put into force; the overthrow of Ferid Pasha s Cabinet, which had attempted to put those who had held the Congress at Sivas out of the way, all of these facts being of the highest importance and bearing witness to the unceasing watch fulness of the nation. To stop here and object to do our conscientious duty by continuing to lead the nation as we had been doing and allow the Government unrestrained freedom in their actions, was only possible under one condition : namely, that we were guaranteed that a national Government, supported by a National Assembly that had proved itself capable of acting independently, would seriously accept the responsibility of the destiny of the nation. Could it be expected that prudent and reasonable people and patriots would be content with remaining spectators of the stupid, inexperienced and disgraceful proceedings of a gang of obstinate men, among whom were traitors and others devoid of feeling and con
science, who had tried to stifle an outburst of indignation on the part of the nation, like "Down with the Occupation?" Furthermore, Djemal Pasha was guilty of making glaring misstate-
206 ments; for instance, when he spoke of "the present Government possessing the confidence of the nation." It was very far from being the fact that the people had confidence in the new Cabinet. Such a thing could only be said after the Cabinet had been accorded a vote of confidence by the National Assembly. But the members of that Assembly had not even yet been elected ! At the moment when the Minister of War said this, he only pos sessed the confidence of one single person. This was Wahideddin, the traitor who polluted the highest office in the State by his presence. If these people accepted it as a sign of the confidence of the nation that the Representative Committee had felt that they ought to come to an understanding with them if this was really their idea what need had they then to attempt to suppress the very body through which they would be able to gain the confidence of the country? The overthrow of Ferid Pasha s Government produced a good effect on the spirits and minds that were still hesitating in some places. Work for the national movement was everywhere re doubled under the leadership of high civil and military officials. Ali Fuad Pasha personally undertook to look after nearly all the western provinces. He travelled through all the districts of EskiShehr, Biledshik and, later on, Brusa, and put himself in touch with all likely persons, Colonel Kiasim Bey (now Kiasim Pasha, President of the Chamber of Deputies), who was at Balikesri, energetically took charge of the national organisations and the military forces in that district. On October 8 th , Colonel Bekir Sami Bey sent the Vali of Brusa, who was a creature of Ferid s, back to Stambul, began to put in force the resolutions of the Congress and also formed a local committee. The same zeal was exercised about the national organi sations and the elections to the Chamber. The principle of bringing all the national organisations simultane ously into connection with the Representative Committee was applied to the whole of the country. We took steps to reinforce the organisations in the districts of Eski-Shehr, Katachia, and Afium Kara Hissar, and to facilitate the connection between the districts of Aidin, Konia, Brusa, and Karassi. With regard to the Western Front, we were doing our best to let the Ministry of War know what was being done and to interest the Government in it by asking them what they proposed to do here. We considered the necessity of sending a commanding officer to the different parts of the front at Aidin, which was under the leader-
207 ship of the Efes*). On the 14 th October we wrote to Fuad Pasha and Omer Lutfi Bey, commanding the 23 rd Division at Afium Kara Hissar, and asked them to form national organisations secretly in the occupied districts. We were clear about the fact that our intentions had not been altogether understood in certain places. For instance, the Anti-annexation League published commun ications on their own account, and on the io th October we were told in an anti-annexation document, bearing the signature of the president, that a great congress would meet on the 2O th of that month. The provinces were asked to send two delegates each to attend it, and they were urged to carry out certain matters. On the other hand, we learned that the "Karakol Society" was very busy in the vicinity of Stambul, in the Brusa district. We did everything that was necessary to avoid any confusion, and sent instructions to this effect to Ali Fuad Pasha, to Kiasim Pasha (at Balikesri), to Bekir Sami Bey (at Brusa) and to the local committee at Brusa. (Document 155.) We also heard that the committee of the "Liberal Understanding" had sent seventy-five persons to Anatolia to form a counter-organ isation there in conjunction with the enemy. We called the attention of the Army Corps to this fact. We decided to work secretly in Constantinople. We gave instructions to Thrace to develop the organisation there with the assistance of Djafer Tayar Bey. While we were preparing for the elections to take place, we con sidered which was the best place for the Chamber to meet at. You will remember that in answer to Refet Pasha s telegram from Erzerum on this question, I had said that the Chamber ought not to meet either in Anatolia or Constantinople. I could imagine nothing more impracticable or futile than to convene the Chamber at Constantinople. But it was impossible for us to come to any decision about it before we had consulted the people and learned the opinions in the chief quarters about the question. Above all, it was necessary for us to show how inconvenient it would be to meet in Constantinople. With this object and through the mediation of the Minister of War, we drew the attention of the Government to what Ali Kemal Bey and Mehmet Ali Bey were doing and how they were trying to represent
*) Efe, an expression used in the neighbourhood of Smyrna, means a man (armedl; probably used here in the sense of a leader of volunteers.
208 our movement in the eyes of the Greeks and other foreigners, as being directed against the Christians, and that they had held a secret
meeting with the Armenian Patriarch, as well as having been as sociated with the Society of "Liberal Understanding." On the I3 t& October we tried through Djemal Pasha to ascertain what the Government considered the "Union for the Defence of the Rights" ought to do after the Chamber was opened; we asked him what political guarantees they thought could be obtained after the meeting of the Chamber in Constantinople. On the same day we asked Colonel Shefket Bey, commanding the fortress of Tshanak Kale, who belonged to our head organisation in Stambul, what was being done to maintain order and secure pro tection for the Chamber in Constantinople and what he personally considered ought to be done in this direction. You will remember that a meeting with Salih Pasha, Minister of Marine, was arranged to take place at Amasia. As it was most probable that the main outlines of the foreign policy and the home administration, as well as the future of the Army, would be discussed during our conversation, I considered that it would be well to know beforehand what the commanders of the Army Corps had to say about this. In a circular in cipher, dated October 14*, I requested the officers commanding Army Corps to give me their opinions on these three subjects. You will find their reports among the other documents. (Document 156.) Salih Pasha left Stambul on the 15 th October, while we started from Sivas on the 16 th and arrived at Amasia on the i8 th . We had given special instructions to all our organisations to give Salih Pasha a particularly cordial reception at every place and to welcome him on our behalf. (Document 157.) We received him personally at Amasia, amid the great enthusiasm of the people. We began our discussions with Salih Pasha on the 20 th October and they came to an end on the 22 nd . At the end of this conference, which lasted three days, five copies of the minutes were drawn up. Three of the copies which Salih Pasha kept were signed by us, and he signed those that remained in our possession; two other copies, which were regarded as confidential, were not signed at all. The resolutions arrived at during this meeting at Amasia were communicated to the Army Corps. (Document 158.)
209 I would like to take this opportunity of emphasising one point. It was essential that we obtained confirmation that the National Organisation and the Representative Committee were one, officially recognised by the Government; that our negotiations had an official character, and that both parties had taken upon themselves the solemn obligation towards one another to regard the results of the discussions as binding. For this reason, it was important to have
these results accepted in the form of minutes and to have the doc uments signed by the Minister of Marine in his capacity as the delegate of the Government. It may be said that the contents of the minutes of the 21 st October consist almost entirely of suggestions made by Salih Pasha, which we had had no hesitation in accepting. (Document 159.) The second minutes, dated 22 nd October, contained a summarised account of the long discussions that took place. When the preliminary introduction, containing a clear statement of mutual assurances with regard to the Caliphate and Sultanate, was over, a discussion of the articles contained in the manifesto issued by the Sivas Congress on the II th September took place. i. We agreed that it would be necessary to maintain the frontiers mentioned and set forth in the first article of this manifesto as our minimum demand. We deemed it appropriate to cut short the intrigues which had been hatched under cover of the independence of the Kurds. The conversation turned on certain proposals to separate Cilicia, which at that time was part of the territory occupied by foreigners, from Turkey and convert it into a buffer-state lying between Turkey and Arabia. We were unanimous on the principle that we could not consent to this district, which was purely Turkish and which constituted one of the most productive and fertile districts of Anatolia, being torn away from us on any pretext whatsoever; a similar and equally decisive agreement was reached on the question of the Vilayet of Aidin. As for Thrace, we reckoned with the possibility that this province would also proclaim itself a free and independent State in reality, a foreign colony which would practically mean that the whole of the territory up to the line Enos-Midia in Eastern Thrace would be robbed from us. We agreed that under no condition would we consent to the cession of Adrianople and the territory on this side of the Maritza, even if it were proposed that these territories should be annexed to and incorporated with an independent MoKemal Pasha I 4
hamedan State. We agreed, however, in respect to the terms of this article, that the ultimate decision would rest with the legislative body as the final Court of Appeal. 2 A long discussion arose over the fourth article of the manifesto, which lays down that the adjudication of such privileges as might encroach on our political sovereignty and our social stability to non-Mohamedan elements would not be accepted. It was declared that this point had to be regarded as an absolute demand for the purpose of safeguarding our independence effectually, and that the
slightest sacrifice that we would make in this direction would be exceedingly dangerous. As an aim that could be realised, we accepted the resolution that no unreasonable privileges should be conferred on the Christian elements, as laid down in Art. 4 referred to above. Regarding this, however, as well as our other claims concerning the defence of our right to exist, it was mentioned that the opinion and decision of the National Assembly would be binding, as laid down at the end of Art. I. 3. The question of satisfying our technical, industrial and economic needs, on condition that we are granted our complete independence, as provided for in Art. 7 of the manifesto, was also discussed. In the event of any country desiring to invest a considerable amount of capital in Turkey, it was agreed that, being unable to foresee from the beginning the advantage of our public finances being controlled (which would certainly be demanded), the decision of the National Assembly on this question should be accepted after experts had exhaustively studied the details and formulated some scheme that would not endanger our independence or our real national interests. 4. The remaining articles of the resolutions passed on the n th Sep tember by the Sivas Congress were approved of in principle, provided that the Chamber of Deputies gave their consent to them. 5. The discussion also turned on the regulations of the " Union for the Defence of the Rights of Anatolia and Rumelia," which formed the subject of Art. n of the resolutions passed by the Sivas Congress on the 4 to September, touching the question of organisations and the manner and extent of their future activity. This article contains a special provision that the actual character of the activities of these organisations shall be fixed by the decision arrived at by a congress after the National Assembly, which will restore the sovereignty of the national will, has been assured that it can safely and freely exercise its right of legislation and control, and
211 after they have satisfied themselves that this state of security actually exists. It was added that there would be no necessity for the congress just mentioned to be held as a special congress of a similar description to those of Erzerum and Sivas. As those deputies who accept the programme of the union may be regarded as the deputies provided for in the regulations, a special meeting which they might hold could not be treated as a congress. It was further declared that the Chamber of Deputies in Constan tinople could only assemble on condition that they performed their duties there freely and in complete security. An examination of the prevailing conditions was made, to discover how far this would be possible. It was generaUy considered that Constantinople, being under foreign occupation, was not a very favourable spot for the deputies to carry on their legislative duties unmolested.
In the same manner as the French had done at Bordeaux in 1870 1871, and the Germans quite recently at Weimar, we agreed that it would be far better that we should sit in some safe place in Anatolia, selected by the Imperial Government, until Peace was concluded. How far the National Assembly could be considered secure could only be ascertained after it had begun its work, and, therefore, it was agreed that when safety was assured, the question of dissolving the Representative Committee might be considered, and the new aim and purpose of the existing organisation would be definitely settled at a special meeting which, as we have already said, would supersede the congress. As the Government had ordered that the election of the deputies should take place in perfect freedom, the assurance was given that the Representative Committee would not in any way influence the elections. The opinion was expressed, however, that, by way of a discreet canvass, advice could be given with the object of preventing members of the "Union and Progress" party or compromising military people, who might sneak in among the candidates, from being elected. This manner of procedure by the Representative Committee was settled in a section of the third minute. (Document 160.) The fourth, which was not signed because it was considered con fidential, related to the following questions: 1. Alteration and withdrawal of the Imperial Irade and sundry orders concerning the dismissal of certain commanding officers and charges against a certain number of officers to be tried by court martial. 2. Taking the necessary steps for the repatriation of the exiles 14*
who were arrested by the English from Malta to Constantinople, so that they could be tried by their own competent courts of law. 3. Also, changing the venue of the trial of Armenians who were accused of cruelty, to the Chamber of Deputies. 4 Sending a new protest by the Government against the occu pation of Smyrna; this protest to be accompanied by a demand for evacuation; if necessary, secret instructions should be given to the people inciting them to hold meetings. 5 Dismissal of the Commander of the Gendarmerie, the Com mandant, the Director of Police and the Under Secretary of State in the Ministry of the Interior. (This referred to the Ministries of War and of the Interior.) 6. The Society of the "Friends of England" were to be prevented from canvassing from door to door to obtain new members and their signatures.
7. An end should be put to the activity of the Societies and the injurious publications in the pay of foreign countries (special pro hibition against officers and officials joining such Societies). 8. Strengthening of the national organisations at Aidin; facilities and safeguards for their supply of provisions (to be regulated by the Minister of War). The amount of money required for this might be taken from the T 400,000 allocated to the Navy. 9. Officials who had taken part in the national movement should not be transferred until general rest and security have been restored. Before the officials who had been dismissed and discharged by the nation on account of their hostile behaviour towards the national movement are appointed to new offices, the Representative Committee should be privately consulted. 10. The transport and removal of the refugees from Western Thrace to be safeguarded. 11. Adjemi Saadun Pasha and his associates to be assisted in an adequate manner. The fifth memorandum, which was unsigned, contained the names of persons eligible as members of the Peace Delegation. But the Government would not be hampered in their choice if they acted according to the principles laid down. Delegates His Highness Tewfik Pasha, President. His Highness Ahmed Izzet Pasha, Military Delegate. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Diplomatic Delegate. Reshad Hikmet Bey, Diplomatic Delegate.
213 Experts Haamid Bey, Finance, Colonel Izmet Bey, Army, Reshid Bey, Political Affairs. Mukhtar Bey, engineer, Public Works. Ali Riza Bey, Captain in the Navy. Refet Bey, Statistics. Emiri Effendi, History. Munir Bey, Legal Adviser. An expert, Commercial Affairs. An expert, privileges of the various Religious Communities. Secretaries Reshid Safwet Bey, formerly Financial Adviser to the Government. Shefki Bey, Sali Bey, Orkan Bey. Hussein Bey, Professor of Turkish at Robert College. I presume that among all the details of this conference, the question of the eventual meeting place of the Chamber of Deputies will have specially engaged your attention. We persuaded Salih Pasha to agree with our original contention
that Constantinople would be an inconvenient and impossible place for the Chamber to meet at. Although Salih Pasha shared this opinion, he only agreed on condition that his personal opinion should not be taken as binding on the rest of the Cabinet. He promised to do everything in his power to convince his col leagues and lead them to the same opinion, and he declared that nothing would be left for him to do but leave the Chamber if he should be unsuccessful in his mission. Salih Pasha did not succeed in this. I will now conclude my account of the meeting at Amasia and then return to the question of the meeting place of the Chamber of Deputies. I will just say one word more. Just as we were leaving Sivas for Amasia, a rather regrettable incident occurred in this town. I think I ought to tell you something about it. On our arrival at Amasia, we heard that the members of the "Liberal Understanding/ together with some foreigners, were carrying on intrigues which practically amounted to treason. I immediately spread this news by sending out a circular note. I also heard at Sivas that they intended to send a telegram to the Sultan about myself, but I did not believe it. However, I felt sure that the watchfulness of our comrades on the Representative Committee, the officers at our headquarters, the Valis and others, would undoubtedly prevent it. But it appears that three persons, Sheikh Redsheb and his two companions, Ahmed Kemal and Djelal by name, through the good
214 services of a telegraph operator who was one of their adherents, had discovered a way to send the telegram they wanted to transmit. The following telegram addressed to Salih Pasha was actually brought to ns from the Telegraph Office at Amasia: K. 8216613 Sivas, i8 th October, 1919. To His Excellency Salih Pasha, Minister of Marine. To His Excellency Nadji Bey, A.D.C. to His Imperial Majesty. In the interest of the country and the nation we beg you to do us the favour of coming to the chief town in the vilayet, so that you may understand the actual conditions that have been prevailing in our country for several months and obtain a clear view of the state of affairs. For the same reason we beg you to come to the telegraph in strument. Redsheb Kiamil, of the tribe of the Shemseddin Sivassi. Sareli Sade Djelal.
The original bears 160 seals of mullahs, notables, merchants and working men. j^ Sade Ahmed Kemal.
For my part, I received the following telegram on the xg ilQ - October, To Mustapha Kemal Pasha, Amasia. Our people cannot consider that the existing discord has been allayed until they have received from Salih Pasha himself or some other trustworthy person a statement as to what the Padishah and the Government think about the matter. Therefore, we have the honour to inform you that you are facing a difficult alternative. Redsheb Kiamil, of the tribe Shemseddin Sivassi. Sareli Sade Djelal. Ilias Sade Ahmed Kemal. While we were energetically trying to enlighten the country and to show the people how it could be saved, our enemies succeeded in corrupting some of the people who were in a position to aid them in all directions in the criminal execution of their nefarious designs even in the town of Sivas, where we had our headquarters and in every way were complete masters. The relaxation of their watch-
215 fulness by the leaders at Sivas, after my departure and in spite of all my warnings, can only be regarded as a typical instance of the negligence which was in some degree almost universally apparent. On the 19 th October, our colleagues at Sivas dispatched the following telegram, which was signed by the Representative Com mittee. To His Excellency Mustapha Pasha, Amasia. The following is the complete text of the telegram which Sheikh Redsheb and his companions have just this moment handed in at the Telegraph Office for transmission. Kemal Bey, Major in the Artillery, is attending to the matter. Then followed a copy of the telegram I have mentioned. On the same day the Director of Telegraphs at Sivas sent me this message : To His Excellency Mustapha Kemal Pasha. I have the honour to forward you the telegram signed by Redsheb, of the tribe of the Shemseddin Sivassi, Ilias Sade Ahmed Kemal and Sareli Sade Djelal. These telegrams were brought here at night and were sent off by our officials under threats. Undoubtedly everybody has the right to send telegrams, under certain conditions. But, nevertheless, no person whatsoever has the power to force his way
into the telegraph room and intimidate and threaten officials while they are performing their official duties. It is surely an unlawful proceeding to act in such a manner as to injure the authority and dignity of the Government. I have brought this matter to the know ledge of the Vilayet. I have the honour to inform Your Excellency about it also as you are engaged in securing order in the country. I beg Your Excellency to receive the expression of my deep esteem. 19^ October, 1919. Lutfi, Chief Director. I replied: To the Director of the Chief Telegraph Office in Con stantinople. Any person who intercepts telegrams sent by people with the request that they may be forwarded to high quarters in the interests of the nation and the country, is a traitor to his religion and to the State. Such act might easily lead to bloodshed. We are determined that our message shall be delivered to His Majesty. We await your reply.
2l6 To the General Secretary of the Imperial Court. "For the sake of the country and the nation we are waiting at the instrument for the reply to the petition which we had the honour of presenting to His Majesty the Caliph, through the general secretary of the Imperial Court. "Mustapha Kemal Pasha, Chairman of the Congress which has been held in our district of Sivas under the title of the "Union for the Defence of the Rights of Anatolia and Rumelia," by circulating the report that he is provided with letters from Your Majesty, and with the aid of a small number of followers who are endeavouring to conceal their criminal actions in the country, tries to proclaim himself the representative of the will of the nation. "Actuated by our religious duty, however, we are in every way subject and entirely devoted to our glorious Caliph and our dearly loved Sovereign. We have been informed that Salih Pasha, Minister of Marine, and Nadji Bey Effendi, Your Majesty s A.D.C., had been sent to Sivas. We have been unable to obtain a reply to the telegram we had addressed to you, signed by 2,000 mullahs, notables and working men praying you to alleviate the indignation felt by the people. We pray Your Majesty, urgently and respectfully, to send this Commission to Sivas, in order that they may personally convince themselves of the actual state of affairs prevailing here. We have the honour to be at all times, Your Majesty s devoted and obedient servants." Our enemies attributed a really important part to Sheikh Redsheb. In a letter to Mr. Frew, the English clergyman, on the 24 th October of which I shall speak at the proper time when I am referring to the documents Said Molla asked: "What do you think about the
incident at Sivas?" He added: "There is something wrong here with the organisation, but it will gradually improve." It was surely significant that the dispatch of the telegram could be accompanied by threats, trying to prove that all the inhabitants of Sivas were in a state of revolt against the chairman of a body that had been speaking everywhere about the unity and concord of the nation and the outspread of the national organisation. A body which, acting on the unanimous desire of the people with the support of national and military organisations, had overthrown the Cabinet and which at that very moment was about to enter into negotiations with the delegates of the present Government, having on that same day started from Sivas for this purpose.
217 Even if the population of Sivas itself, in the midst of whom the Representative Committee was established, showed such an antag onistic attitude, it was indeed difficult to prove that the whole nation shared the same feeling and opinion. Would it not clearly show the weakness of the support behind this body that so feebly represented the people and behind its chairman? You can imagine how important our enemies regarded this voice from Sivas and how it helped them. When Salih Pasha arrived at Amasia I had the telegram that had arrived for him handed to him. But I demanded that Sheikh Redsheb and his companions should be punished by the Government, and on the ig th October I asked the members of the Representative Committee at Sivas the following questions: 1. Have you seen the telegram addressed to the Imperial Palace, signed by Sheikh Redsheb, Ahmed Kemal and Djelal? 2. Is there no officer in charge of the Telegraph Office? 3. How can such impertinence be possible when you are all there at Sivas? This seems all the more impossible as you are so well aware of all the plans and intentions of these idiots. We had heard here that they had prepared a telegram signed by these three people to be sent to Salih Pasha and Nadji Pasha. Did you not hear anything about it? 4. Has my circular note which I issued yesterday regarding the criminal and subversive intrigues of members of the "Liberal Under standing" with foreigners reached you? 5. Why did not the telegraph officials, after having been threatened and intimidated, immediately inform the competent authorities, including the Vali, about it? How could the officer in charge be guilty of such carelessness and negligence? 6. What has been done about the communications from the Director of the Telegraph Office? Mustapha Kemal.
Having learned that the Vilayet had handed this matter over to the military authorities, I wrote to Seki Bey, Chief of the Staff of the Army Corps : "Has this affair been handed over to the Army Corps because the Vilayet had exhausted every possible means to arrest and punish those who are guilty, or are the available means considered inadequate? Or, has the Vilayet hesitated to do anything against such impudence? "It would be better not to do anything decisive until the matter has been cleared up/ 7 Mustapha Kemal.
218 To those who were at Sivas I sent the Mowing orders: 1. The Telegraph Office is to be put completely under control. A detachment of troops under the command of an officer will be sta tioned there. Everything shall be done to prevent the possibility of traitors being allowed, as has happened in this instance, to take possession of the Telegraph Office, intimidate the officials, and stir the people up against national unity and disturb public order. In such circumstances, wherever it may occur, arms are to be used without hesitation against any person who breaks the law and attacks the troops. 2. In accordance with the report of the Chief of Staff concerning the maintenance of order, necessary proceedings shall be taken without delay against all who are guilty of such careless acts, before they have time to escape, and the result must be communicated to us within two hours. It is a matter of regret that in this extraordinary case there was no one at Sivas who was willing to take the initiative and act immediately, instead of waiting for orders. This order has been forwarded by Djemal Djahid Bey to the officer commanding the 5 th Division and the officer commanding the battalion belonging to the division at Sivas. I urgently request you to attend to this immediately. 3. You will continue to keep a strict watch. All those concerned will act promptly and with severity in maintaining order at Sivas. Mustapha Kemal. I gave the following instructions privately to Osman Turan Bey and Redsheb Sushdi Bey: "We have informed the competent authority what is to be done in the case of those who offer resistance to the national movement. It will be your duty to watch the situation carefully and see whether our orders are obeyed to the letter or not. In case of any negligence, you will interfere personally and arrest those who are under suspicion and restrain their accomplices. As the occasion may require, you will not hesitate to do anything you consider necessary against any person/ Mustapha Kemal.
After having told us of this incident in detail, Vali Reshid Pasha wrote to us on the 20 th October that "this incident, which might have led to further developments, has been checked and we may be sure that, owing to the quick and energetic dispositions that had been
219 adopted, similar events would not occur again in future." (Doc ument 161.) You have naturally concluded that the Government did not punish Sheikh Redsheb and his accomplices. We shall witness later on many offences that were committed by this low and dishonourable Sheikh who had allowed himself to be made a tool of by the enemy this individual who signed himself "of the tribe of the Shemseddin Sivassi." The situation which had developed while we were still at Amasia was not marked alone by the incident at Sivas. Another similar occurrence took place in the district of Ada Basar. With your permis sion I will also say a few words about this. A certain Talustan Bey, who haunted the country of Ak Jasi in the district of Ada Basar, and Bekir Bey, who had arrived with funds and instructions supplied from Stambul and who had promised to pay those who were willing to serve at the rate of thirty Turkish pounds to mounted men and fifteen Turkish pounds to those on foot, and, thirdly, Beslan, a tax-collector from the village of Awdjar near Sabandja, met and prepared an attack on a small place in Ada Basar at the head of a certain number of armed men, mounted and on foot, which they had recruited in the neighbourhood. Tahir Bey, Kaimakam of Ada Basar, heard of it, ajid with a major, who had been sent from Ismidt with about twenty-five mounted men whom he succeeded in mustering, marched out to meet those who had planned to attack the town. The two bands met near the village of Latife. The attacking gang were asked what they wanted. They replied: "We want to go to the Telegraph Office at Ada Basar to find out whether His Majesty is alive or dead, and whether he is still seated on the glorious throne of the Caliph or not. We cannot acknowledge Mustapha Kemal Pasha as the successor of the Padishah . . ." According to detailed reports which Tahir Bey made concerning this verbally to the Mutessarif of Ismidt, these individuals declared that they were in communication with influential persons in Constan tinople and that the Sultan was fully informed about their enterprise. This occurs in the official report: "Bekir declared to the men belonging to this gang that they had been granted by Stambul a limit of one week to finish this business, five days of which had already elapsed, and that as, therefore, only two days remained, they had to act promptly." (Document 162.) The commander of the division at Ismidt had to send a detachment to Ada Basar and All Fuad Pasha had also to dispatch sufficient troops to Duzje.
On the 23 rd October, we wrote to the commander of the division at Ismidt, informing him that Bekir had been sent by our enemies outside our movement and by the "Liberal Understanding/ 7 and urging him to suppress his revolutionary intrigues. On the same day I ordered Tahir Bey, Kaimakam of Ada Basar, directly "not to hesitate to take prompt and rigorous steps against Bekir and his gang, to render them harmless, and to inform us of the result." (Document 163.) In a telegram in cipher, dated the 23 rd October, we told Djemal Pasha, Minister of War, of the information we had gathered regarding the operation, the persons involved, and the characters of Bekir and his accomplices, and we added that in case the Imperial Government would not take adequate steps at the right time against revolutionary intrigues and operations of this kind, we would consider ourselves justified in resorting to the extremest measures as soon as the national organisations became involved in them. (Document 164.) The national military detachment that had started from Ismidt and had obtained reinforcements en route, had succeeded in dispers ing the gang of miscreants, which meanwhile had been considerably reinforced and showed signs of being still more so. Bestan, the taxcollector, and his brother had been taken. Bekir, who had arrived a week earlier furnished with instructions and the necessary funds from Stambul, had taken to flight. This Bekir was formerly an officer who had been expelled from the army; he was a native of Manias. (Documents 165, 166.) Then, in obedience to the orders we had given, the persecution began of an individual named Inglis Ibrahim, who was one of the originators of the movement at Ismidt, and sundry other men of a like description. (Documents 167, 168.) On the 26 th October, I wrote to Djemal Pasha, Minister of War, from Amasia, informing him that on account of the steps that were taken on the spot Bekir s enterprise had been wrecked, that Bekir had fled, but, as in all probability he would return to Constantinople and continue his offensive activity, it would be necessary to keep a sharp eye on him and follow him. (Document 169.) On the 27 th October we heard by telegram from Haidar Bey, Mutessarif of Bolu, that Bekir, accompanied by two officers and forty armed men, was engaged in inciting the inhabitants of the villages of Abasa against the national movement, that he was spending large sums of money with this object and that the report they had made to the Ministry concerning this had met with no response. (Document 170.)
221 I cannot think that these warnings we sent to the Government with the intention of exposing their behaviour and requesting them to perform their duty could be regarded as interference with their affairs.
Considering the various schemes planned in Stambul under the eyes of the Government by our enemies at home and abroad and the Padishah knowing and, as far as we could see, approving of them, it was perfectly unjustifiable for us to wait until these machinations had been crowned with success, in the puerile hope that the Government would put a stop to them. The news we received on the 20 th October, at the moment when we were opening our negotiations at Amasia, may be summarised thus : The "Liberal Understanding" party and the unions of "Nikehban" and the "Friends of England" formed one party. They continued, with the help of individuals like Ali Kemal and Said Molla, to incite the non-Mohamedan elements against the national forces. The Greek and Armenian patriarchs turned to the representatives of the Allied Powers in an attitude that was hostile to the national forces. In a letter published in the "Neologos," Sawin Effendi, the Georgian Patriarch, states that the Armenians are emigrating again on account of the national operations. A man called Hikmet, a brother of Kiasim who had been hanged, acting on instructions received from Constantiople, had began to collect armed men in the vicinity of Ada Basar. We shall come across this name of Hikmet again in another important document. Also at Deirmendere, in the neighbourhood of Ada Basar, mercenaries had been collected. The rumour was spread that those who had been brought together and formed into bands were preparing to invade the district of Geiveh. It seems that the same thing was happening at Karadsha Bey. Raids were reported from the country around Brusa that were carried out against the national troops by gangs organised by, and in the pay of Gumudshineli Ismail. The "Nikehban" adherents who were in prison were all set free on the same day. The appearance of bands organised by our enemies against the national troops, the undisguised activity of the opposition party, the hostile attitude of the Director of Police in Stambul, the inclusion in Ali Riza Pasha s Cabinet of Ministers who were opposed to us all these circumstances were liable to produce discouragement and pessimism in our organised centres, especially in Constantinople itself. (Documents 171, 172.) The Government were incapable of showing any sign by which we could feel that they were, speaking generally, following a clearly defined aim. On the other hand, they merely approved of the energetic
reactionary activity of Sherif Pasha, Minister of the Interior. These facts were enough to provoke criticism and cause uneasiness. In this connection, Angora was the first place to show unrest and indecision. . Accompanying a telegram in cipher signed by the late Hajati Bey I received on the 22 nd October at Amasia another telegram, also in cipher, that was sent by Yahia Galib Bey, the acting Vali of Angora, to Sivas on 15 th October.
It ran : To His Excellency Mustapha Kemal Pasha. Your Excellency, we cannot confide the fate of the nation to the hands of a government that understands nothing whatever about it, nor to the very first persons they send to us as Valis. As the in dications which we repeatedly had the honour of addressing to Your Excellency have not been attended to, the Government has become bold. As preliminary evidence of this mental attitude, we observe the appointment of Zia Pasha, formerly Vali of Bitlis, who had been appointed at that time by the notorious Cabinet of Ferid Pasha but could not be sent to take up the post as Vali of Angora, and the appointment of Subhi Bey, who could never show the ^ slightest ca pability in the whole of his administrative career, to Konia. At length we were driven to demand that no new official in Anatolia, who was a stranger to the place, should be chosen from elswhere until the Chamber of Deputies had been opened. If the present Government intend to send a new Vali to Angora, it can only be with the object of stifling the national movement that is so strong there. In the same way as Your Excellency retired from the Army and decided to work as a simple citizen, so has your servant made up his mind to retire from his office and in the same way dedicate himself to the service of the nation. I beg Your Excellency to be kind enough to let me know to whom I shall hand over the management of affairs until the arrival of the Vali. 15 ** October, Yahia Galib, Acting Vali at Angora. The next day, the 23 rd , I received this telegram, dated the 2i si Oc tober, from Djemal Pasha: No. 419 Kadi Keui, 21 st October, 1919. To His Excellency Mustapha Kemal Pasha, Amasia, The Civil Administration and Mufti of Angora announce that they do not want to accept a Vali who is a stranger to the place, and
223 demand that the Vali appointed to this province shall be chosen from Angora itself. Similar claims, which are advanced practically everywhere, place the Government in a very difficult position. Our enemies and others explain this fact in different ways. Relying on your promise to assist the Government, I beg you to prevent a repetition of such attempts. You will naturally agree that the departure of the Vali, whose appointment has been confirmed by Imperial Irade, is out of the question, Djemal? Minister of War With the Mufti at their head (His Eminence Rifaat Effendi, at present at the head of religious affairs), the population of Angora had actually addressed a protest to Constantinople.
I went to the telegraph instrument and sent a great deal of good advice to Angora that was calculated to allay their anxiety, and I begged them to refrain from doing anything that could injure the authority and influence of the Government. But, at the same time, I could not help recognising that Angora was in the right. At last, I wrote to Mahmud Bey, the provisional commander of the Army Corps at Angora, and recommended him to proceed quietly till I received an answer to the telegram I had sent to the Government through Djemal Pasha. There is one more fact that must not be overlooked. We, the Representative Committee, had very accurately grasped the situation and the mentality of the Government. We understood that some of the Ministers regretted that they had consented to join the Govern ment and were looking for an excuse to retire. On the other hand, it did not escape us that our enemies at home and abroad were, in agreement with the Padishah, resolved to put another Cabinet in power to succeed Ali Riza Pasha s Ministry a Cabinet that would be capable of carrying out their designs openly and rapidly. For this reason, we regarded Ali Riza Pasha s Cabinet as the lesser of the two evils. We had also to consider the advice given to us during the four or five days negotiations that followed the overthrow of Ferid Pasha with the intention of bringing about a speedy understanding with the new Cabinet. Consequently, we felt it necessary to make further sacrifices if need be to gain our end. I had drawn attention to this matter in my telegram in cipher to Mahmud Bey. (Document 173.) This is my reply to Djemal Pasha:
224 In cipher. Amasia, 24 th October, 1919. Strictly confidential. To His Excellency Djemal Pasha, Minister of War. Reply to telegram in cipher of 21 st October. No. 419. There is no doubt that the demand made by Angora regarding the Vali was the result of the following : From reliable information received from Constantinople, it was evident that the English there, in combination with the Union of the "Friends of England" and the members of the "Liberal Understand ing" and the "Nikehban," were working in conjunction with the Christian elements; that they had undertaken to send a great number of the followers of the opposition to Anatolia with the object of breaking up the national organisation and eventually overthrowing the Imperial Government ; that these agitators had actually started for Ada Basar and Brusa. Moreover, certain signs of their activity had been observed recently at Ada Basar. All these facts and circum stances were quite sufficient to produce unrest.
This uneasiness increased when it was rumoured that a statement had been made to Refet Bey by Subhi Bey, the new Vali of Konia, who had quite recently arrived there, to the effect that he was himself a member of the administrative council of the Society of the "Friends of England" in Constantinople. Although no objection can be raised as to the character and the honour of Zia Pasha, who has just been appointed to the Vilayet of Angora, and no doubt can exist as to his importance and capability, they have hesitated to agree that a Vali who has not yet given suffi cient proof of these qualifications should be put at the head of a province like Angora, which was the centre of the national organisa tions and operations, until the situation had improved and quiet and confidence had been completely restored. Whereas, as the result of the correspondence that had passed between the Representative Committee and the acting Vali, as well as the military commandant of Angora, it has been taken as natural that the orders of the Government were to be obeyed (and this has actually been the case), the people themselves considering that the guaran tees against the dangers are inadequate have thought it necessary to appeal direct to the Government and request that the present acting Vali, who is regarded as being devoted to the national movement, should be allowed to remain at his post until complete confidence has been restored. Touching this last request, we had again exchanged
225 opinions with the competent authorities at Angora and we tried to ensure the reception of Zia Pasha even if that should be fraught with difficulty solely because we had no desire to impair the in fluence and authority of the Government. But we have failed to convince the people, who are alarmed at the possible dangers which the revolutionary intrigues and the anarchical agitation we have referred to could produce. Surely His Excellency the Pasha, the Minister of the Interior, will not fail accurately to estimate the importance and the difficulty of the present situation and to notice the indefatigable and fiendish behaviour on the part of our enemies. Considering that he has only been in office for a short time, it is natural that we should excuse him for not yet knowing which of the officials can be trusted, as well as the additional fact that Keshfi Bey, who was Undersecretary of State under Aadil Bey, is still at his post. That it behoves us to be very careful in the election of a higher official can easily be appreciated. Consequently, we beg Your Excellency to exercise your influence to postpone for the time being the dispatch of Zia Pasha and inform us that you agree to this. Mustapha Kemal. On the 28 th October Ali Fuad Pasha transmitted the contents of a telegram in cipher which our organisation in Constantinople had addressed personally to myself. The information in this telegram was important. The incident referred to that happened at Tsherkess Bekir has been looked upon as the beginning of a revolt of the people at Ada Basar and its vicinity against the national forces. A Council, consist
ing of His Imperial Majesty, Fend Pasha, Aadil Bey, Said Molla and Ali Kemal Bey, had discussed how they could gain advantage from this incident and had erected a mountain of conjectures out of it. This telegram also contained information about the man Hikmet, whom we have already heard about. This individual had left Amasia two months earlier and had gone to Ada Basar. He noticed that all those who were hostile to his family and his person in this district had joined the national organisations. He declared that he came from Amasia, that he know me, and that he alone had any right to form a national organisation; further, that he had tried to get into touch with Sivas. He met with opposition; whereupon Hikmet formed a counter-organisation. Said Molla, who heard about this, discovered a way to win Hikmet over. He incited him to persecute the Christians. I beg you not to look upon the information I am giving you about Kemal Pasha *5
226 Hikmet and the intrigues of our enemies to cause an anti-Christian movement as being waste of time, because these details will make it easier for you to understand certain events which we shall see later resulted from them. (Documents 174, 175.) In this connection I would like to draw your attention to a tele gram I sent to Djemal Pasha: Ciphered. Sivas, 3* st October, 1919. To His Excellency Djemal Pasha, Minister of War. Your Excellency will surely be aware of what has been happening in the district of Ada Basar in opposition to the Government and the national forces. Although this incident, thanks to the will of the united nation and the appropriate and decisive steps taken by the Imperial Government to counteract it, has been nullified, germs of discord and anarchy still exist in this district. There is no doubt whatever that the national movement will succeed in suppressing them also. It has, however, been reported that Damad Ferid Pasha, the former Minister of the Interior, Aadil Bey and Kemal Bey, as well as Said Molla, are among the originators and organisers of this revolt. Besides their treason against the country, these persons have committed another serious and dangerous offence by spreading the base rumour that His Imperial Majesty has presumably been well informed about their criminal attempts. We urgently beg the honourable Ministerial Council to acquaint His Imperial Majesty of this in such manner as appears to them most desirable. The nation and the organisations surely cannot credit these calumnies. We consider that it is of the greatest importance to dispel any kind of distrust by publishing an official dementi on the spot in the name of the Imperial Government, and qualify such actions on the part of these agitators as falsehoods disseminated to sully^the reputation of the national unity; also to institute the necessary inquiries about these malicious individuals with the view of taking legal pro ceedings against them. Mustapha Kemal.
In the name of the Representative Committee. I have explained to you in a few words why we thought it necess ary to uphold and assist Ali Riza Pasha s Cabinet as far as possible, in spite of our opinion of the people who comprised it. After my return to Sivas from Amasia, at a meeting of the Represen tative Committee at which others of our colleagues were also present, I entered into the most detailed particulars about the meeting that
227 had been held at Amasia, as well as other matters. At this meeting we arrived at the following resolution, which is literally shown on the page recording our conference on the 2g t!l October: Considering that all the members of Ali Riza Pasha s Cabinet, with the Grand Vizier at their head, are weaklings incapable of acting with decision and have no higher ambition than to make themselves popu lar with and welcome to His Imperial Majesty; that some of them are favourably inclined towards and others antagonistic to the na tional movement; that His Majesty would be ready on the first favourable opportunity that presented itself to replace them by a Cabinet that will be strong enough to uphold autocracy, the Representative Committee determines and resolves that it is in the interest of the country and the nation to keep this Cabinet in power until the National Assembly has met and commenced its legislative duties." We actually passed this resolution. Let me tell you something that occurred to support it. Our organisation in Constantinople sent us certain information on the 31 st October, which according to them emanated from a trust worthy source. This is what they said: Tor the last two days, Kiras Hamdi Pasha has been going to the Imperial Palace and has remained there in audience for several hours. A plot has been hatched to form a Cabinet with Marshal SeM Pasha at its head. The other members are to include: Hamid Pasha, Minister of War; Prince Sabaheddin, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Tewfik Hamdi Bey, Minister of the Interior. Eshref, Mahir Said and others will be given the remaining portfolios. Sabaheddin and Mahir Said have not as yet been officially consulted. It is possible that His Majesty at a convenient moment, perhaps in the course of the next day or two, will propose to Ali Riza Pasha that he hands in his resignation. The party and the secret society we have mentioned before are involved in this plot." Then we wrote to Djemal Pasha on the 2 nd November, asking him to tell the Grand Vizier that he must not resign for any reason whatever, and that if he does the whole country will definitely break off all communication with Stambul. (Document 176.) All the military commandants in Rumelia and Anatolia were informed about the actual state of affairs and the contents of this telegram, and were given to understand that all information concerning current events must be communicated to the general committees of
the "Union for the Defence of the Rights" with which they were in direct touch. (Document 177.) 15*
228 After Salih Pasha had returned to Stambul we entered into com munication with the Government on the question mentioned in the minutes of the 21 st October, and which during the course of my remarks I have emphasised as being of special importance, namely, the place where the Chamber of Deputies should meet. I am sure that the representations made to the Government through Djemal Pasha, as well as our own observations, are worthy of being re membered. As you will be able yourselves to form an idea about the exchange of opinions from the minutes of the first meetings of the Grand National Assembly, I think it will be unnecessary for me to refer to this question again. Our exchanges of opinion and our discussions, however, on this point were not confined to the cor respondence we carried on with the Government and with Djemal Pasha. We insisted on ascertaining the views of the whole of the country and, especially, those of our organisations hi Constantinople. Here are some of the facts: Our organisations in Stambul stated in the reply they sent us on the 20 th October to our question of the 13 th of the same month, "that they were convinced, and could not see that there was any danger in their doing so, that the Chamber of Deputies ought to meet in Constantinople; that, as anything the Entente Powers were to do against the Chamber itself would produce the worst impression on the opinion of the world, the possibility of this happening need not be thought of for a moment." They further added that "only in the event of the legislature attempting to exceed their present powers would His Majesty decide to dissolve the Chamber; that the opposition had taken up a dangerous attitude, and that the Entente Powers were taking advantage of it and found courage enough to attack persons like Your Excellency." Finally, they advised us "not to come to Constantinople until Peace had been signed, and not to stand for election as deputies." (Documents 178, 179.) In the telegram we received on the 30 th October from the Con stantinople Branch of our organisations, signed by Kara Wassif Bey under a pseudonym and Shefket Bey in his real name, the views of the members of our organisation and those of many others were confirmed. The first paragraph of this telegram read as follows : "I have had an opportunity of talking to Ahmed Izzet Pasha, the Grand Vizier, the Minister of War, the Chief of the General Staff, the
229 Minister of Public Works, Essad Pasha, the oculist, who shows remarkable fidelity to our principles and commands great influence, and, sometimes at their request and sometimes as the opportunity offered, to Reuf Ahmed Bey and certain others. All of them agreed unanimously to the following: "i. It is absolutely necessary that the Chamber of Deputies shall meet in Constantinople. But we ourselves must not go to Constanti nople. The Grand Vizier has promised that when the foreign countries have given their consent, the Chamber shall be allowed to pass its resolutions without interference. But as it would be impossible to obtain guarantees with regard to ourselves, we were given to under stand that we must stand on a higher plane in the general devotion of the people, either by considering ourselves absent on leave if we happened to be deputies, or simply by not becoming deputies/ Paragraph B contained some items that were completely new to us: "After all, in the treaty to be drawn up the Government will be forced to accept proportional representation, based on the rights of the minorities. Because, it is anticipated in certain quarters that the Chamber will be dissolved and new elections will take place in which the minorities will be able to vote." In Paragraph C of the same document this phrase occurs: "Surely the Government is actuated by good-will and is quite disinterested." The second disjointed desire was associated article gave us the impression of a confused and mentality that seemed quite incomprehensible to us. The expressed that some Socialists, or members more or less with the "Liberal Understanding/ should be elected.
The third article suggested that the Government should not be led into difficulties. The fourth article inspired these ideas: "I should like to win over to our cause all those who might injure us, by giving them every possible assurance and guarantee. I am advised on every side to proceed on lines that would be agreeable to, for instance, Refi Djevad, the Socialists, etc." (Document 180.) The replies we sent on the I st and 4 th - November to our organi sations in Constantinople contained our criticism and views in detail. We explained, among other things, that "the meeting of the deputies in Constantinople would give rise to doubts in many minds, and the people consider that it would be exceedingly dangerous." We summarised the remarks that we made to the Government through Salih Pasha. We tried to prove that "the danger supposed
to threaten us personally was fictitious, because the same thing might apply to all the other representatives of the nation;" and we added, "that we demanded, if they really insisted on our remaining merely onlookers, that they would be good enough to let us know why they think that such a course would be necessary." (Document 181.) Here is an extract from a telegram we sent to Kara Wassif Bey: "His Excellency Ahmed Izzet Pasha originally feared that the national movement might lead to sanguinary conflicts in Constan tinople. So that we can follow his advice, it is of the greatest im portance that we should first know whether he has changed his mind on the subject. As for His Excellency Djemal Pasha, you will probably know that he, also, is in state of hesitation and indecision. Abuk Pasha, too, is in the same quandary. I cannot be sure about Essad Pasha the oculist. Some people seem to think that this man is exceedingly narrow-minded and that he only thirsts for honour and glory. In short, we have come to the conclusion that those men, whatever may be their rank, whose determination and views are at all doubtful and whose judgment is influenced by pressure exerted by our opponents in Constantinople, must be watched/ After having reconsidered and calculated the doubts and dangers that threaten our selection of the place for Parliament to meet at, we explained "that what astounded us most was the question as to how the Government, giving proof that they were powerless to guarantee the safety of two or three specially prominent persons, could expect to protect the other deputies. The conviction that gradually forced itself upon us was, unfortunately, to the effect that it was not so much the foreigners as the leaders of the present Government, and certain others, who had such extraordinary mis givings about our being present/ We observed that, "it must appear to be quite natural that we did not want the Chamber of Deputies to meet in a centre where the dissolution of Parliament was^already being anticipated in case that it were decided to adopt proportional representation/ We added that, "we could not understand what was meant by the hint about the disinterestedness on the part of the Government/ 1 Were we to understand that it was their intention to abandon us in our difficult circumstances? And, answering one of their sug gestions, we said that "the fear that the opposition might come into power is not to the point : it is quite impossible for us to deny our principles on account of any such fear as that/ (Document 182.) From this interchange of opinions and their causes, we can easily
231 arrive at the conclusion that the leaders of our organisations in Constantinople were influenced by the views expressed by the Ministers and others, and had merely become their mouthpieces. Here is another telegram in cipher sent on the 6 th November, signed by Djemal Pasha, Minister of War, and Kara Wassif Bey, which contains nothing but suggestions.
Touching the place where the Assembly was to meet, we read the following : "First of all, there are political objections and, secondly, ad ministrative misgivings ; thus it is impossible that the meeting Necessity is of far greater importance than sentiment. ... Be good enough to tell the Government as soon as possible that you agree with them." This meant that a sort of pressure was being put upon us. After that came a promise of happy events : "We shall soon send you some good news by Riza Bey, the Japanese." This was intended to mean that we had almost succeeded in winning the "Sulh-i-Selamet" (Peace and Salvation) Party, as well as the "MflU-turk" Party to our side. We are destroying our "Milli-Ahrar"; the national Congress will at last come to reason. The good news they were so anxious to send us concerned nothing but matters of trivial importance. (Document 183.) On the 7 th November, I wrote to Kara Wassif Bey, asking him to come to Sivas immediately. In his telegram of the ig th November he told us what he thought about it: "Whom would Anatolia accept as their leader incase the Assembly, which would be in accord with the national forces, assumed a hostile attitude towards the Padishah? Would Anatolia submit to the national forces? ... It is, therefore, a patriotic duty to abandon the idea of allowing the Chamber to meet in Anatolia . . . ." (Do cument 184.) It might become very dangerous if we decided arbitrarily on this question of the meeting place and allow the nation and the deputies elected by them to carry out that decision. Therefore, I saw myself confronted with the inevitable necessity of most carefully and attentively studying the ideas and feelings of the people, of drawing my own conclusion from the actual desire of the nation and, then, of coming to a practical decision on the result. I set to work to study the public opinion in different ways, by corresponding, as you already know, with the leading personalities in Constantinople.
232 It was also essential for me to know the standpoint of the Army, so that I could feel sure that they would help me in carrying out my decision as to what was best to be done. For this purpose, on the 2g t]1 October I ordered the commanders of the XV**, XX tfa , XII th and III rd Army Corps to meet me at Sivas. I wrote to the officer commanding the Army Corps at Diarbekr, to Djafer Tayar Bey, commanding the Army Corps at Adrianople, to Yussuf Izzet Pasha at Brusa, to Kiasim Pasha at Balikesri, and to Bekir Sami Bey at Brusa, telling them that it was not on account
of the distance and their special position that I invited them, but that I wanted to keep them well informed about the decisions we had arrived at. (Documents 185, 186.) Of all those whom I had invited, Salaheddin Bey, who was already at Sivas, Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha, who came from Erzeram, Ali Fuad Pasha from Angora and Shemseddin Bey, who represented the officer commanding the Army Corps at Konia and had personally to decide upon certain important matters concerning the front, met at Sivas. Those who attended the conference, which began on the i6 th November, were members of the Representative Committee, some people who were not members but whose collaboration was useful to us, and the commanding officers I have mentioned. The Agenda was confined to these three questions : 1. The place for the meeting of the Chamber of Deputies. 2. The position of the Representative Committee and the procedure of the national organisations after the Chamber had met. 3. What attitude would have to be taken up by each of these after the Peace Conference in Paris had come to a decision, whether favourable or unfavourable to us. Gentlemen, the answers which had reached us to these questions which we had addressed to the general committees of our union may be divided into four groups, arranged according to the several points of view expressed in them. 1. According to the first, it was decided that it was advisable that the Chamber should not meet in Constantinople. 2. The second view was that the meeting should take place in Constantinople. The chief supporters of this opinion were the Com mittees of Erzerum, Trebizond, Balikesri, and the whole of the districts of Karassi and Sarukan. We know that the most important personalities in Stambul were nearly all of this opinion. The Padishah himself desired it and the Government supported the idea. 3. The third point of view, which was represented by the Committee
233 of the "Thrace and Pasha-Eli" Society, advocated some place in the neighbourhood of Constantinople. 4. Lastly, a certain number of the general Committees deferred to the personal view of Salih Pasha and saw no reason why Parliament should not meet outside Constantinople if the Government consented. You will easily see from these differences of opinion pronounced by the nation to what extent the Government and their creatures had succeeded in producing confusion and anarchy in the public mind. On that account, it was not difficult to feel that stronger pressure on our part would lead to disaster. I will now read you from the minutes the resolutions arrived at
after a long discussion on this question, that took place between the 16 th and 29 th November. 1. Notwithstanding the doubts and dangers attending the meeting of the Chamber of Deputies in Constantinople and considering the fact that the Imperial Government had not yet consented to the meeting taking place elsewhere, it was agreed, in order that a crisis in the country should be avoided, that the meeting should take place in Constantinople. It was resolved, however, that care should be taken about the following: a) To inform all deputies about the situation and to ask them individually to express their opinion on it; b) Before going to Constantinople the deputies should meet in groups in such centres as Trebizond, Samsoon, Ineboli, EsM-Shehr, Adrianople in case the Assembly meets in Constantinople for the purpose of forming strong parties that would decide upon the steps to be taken to secure their protection in Constantinople as well as in places outside it, and that should be delegated to defend the principles laid down in our programme; c) Through the mediation of the commandants in the different districts and the principal recruiting offices, it would be the duty of all Corps commanders to make preparations without delay for the extension and reinforcement of our organisations. d) In anticipation of any promises being held out to them, inquiries should be instituted among all the high civil officials for the purpose of ascertaining whether they will remain true and faithful to the national movement; their own personal energetic co-operation shall be solicited to strengthen and spread our organisations with all the means at their disposal. 2. The Representative Committee shall continue to perform their duty by keeping in the background until the National Assembly has
234 met in Constantinople, when the deputies will be assured that they can exercise their legislative duties in perfect security and freedom. It is, however, requested that one representative shall be selected from the deputies for every Sanjak and two for every Vilayet and every autonomous Sanjak according to Art. 8 of the regulations, and will meet as members of the Representative Committee near EskiShehr. They will discuss the situation and settle what they will be called* upon to do in the Assembly. To facilitate this, the Represent ative Committee will also be transferred to that place. When the Representative Committee will be consolidated in this way, the re maining deputies will join the Assembly in Constantinople. So long as the Representative Committee is holding office, the constitution and procedure of the national organisations shaU be the same as is laid down in the regulations referred to. When the Chamber of Deputies have felt assured that they are in complete security, the Representative Committee, by virtue of the fall powers accorded to them by the regulations, shall convene the General Congress and shall, according to Art. n of these regulations,
leave it to the Congress to settle the form and policy which ^the union shall adopt in future. The place and manner of the meeting of the Congress will then be governed by circumstances. In the meantime, between the date of the Congress being convened and the actual meeting of it, the Representative Committee shall abstain from all official relations with the Government and the Pre sident of the Assembly, unless it should become absolutely necessary. 3. In the event of the Peace Conference in Paris deciding un favourably towards us, and should such a decision be accepted and approved of by the Government and the Chamber, an effort shall be made to realise the aims clearly laid down and expressed in the regulations, by consulting the will of the nation in the speediest and most practicable manner. Mustapha Kemal, Kiasim Kara Bekir, Hussein Rauf, Hussref, Ali Fuad, Mashar Mufid, Bessim, Omar Mumtaz, Bekir Sami, Ibrahim Sureya, Hassan Selaheddin, Hakki Behidsh, Shemseddin (C. 0. S. XII tt Army Corps), Wassif. This is an accurate copy of the information and instructions which we transmitted to the deputies in terms of these resolutions. Article I. It is well known that Constantinople is occupied by the land forces and blockaded by the naval forces of the Allied Powers, in particular
235 those of Great Britain; that the police and gendarmerie are in the hands of foreigners and have come under a mixed administration. Moreover, it is confirmed that the Greeks have elected forty men as delegates in Constantinople ; that they have organised secret police and revolutionary corps under the leadership of Greeks and officers who have come from Athens, and that they are ready to rise in revolt against the Government at a given moment. We must recognise that, unfortunately, our Government in Con stantinople has no freedom of action. On this account, there has been a great deal of discussion concerning the place of the meeting of the National Assembly. In the event of this meeting taking place in Constantinople, the dangers to which the deputies would be exposed would naturally give rise to a great deal of anxiety, particularly when the patriotic duty that lies before them is taken into consideration. It is by no means improbable that the Allied Powers will cause the members of the Assembly to be arrested and banished if, in energetically defending the integrity of our territory and our political independence, they felt themselves called upon to criticise and object to the attitude of the representatives of those States that, in defiance of the law, disregarding the stipulations of the Armistice, and without thinking it necessary to wait until Peace has been signed, have occupied the most important territories in our country and have given the Christian elements an opportunity to infringe our own vital rights.
Following the example set by the English when the Moslem National Council met at Kars, it may be expected that the Christian elements, who have taken no part in the elections, the Societies of the "Friends of England" and the "Nikehban," which they have taken under their wing, will resort to all possible intrigues and horrors in adopting the cause of our enemies. Consequently, the meeting of the Chamber of Deputies in Constantinople would not be ad vantageous to the historic undertaking which is expected from them, and, being a symbol of the independence of the State and the Nation, any attack directed against the Assembly would simultaneously be a blow aimed at our independence. For this reason, Salih Pasha, Minister of Marine, who had been commissioned by the Cabinet to proceed to Amasia and enter into negotiations with the Representative Committee, having also re cognised this truth, was morally convinced of the necessity of Par liament meeting in a safe place outside Constantinople, and he con firmed this view in writing and attached his signature to the do-
236 cument. If the Assembly were to be held at a place that is secure from foreign influence and afforded the necessary freedom from danger, all objection to Constantinople would be dispelled and the result would prove to the whole of the world especially to the entire Mohamedan world that the Caliphate and Sultanate are in a perilous position in Constantinople. If the Assembly should find that they were called upon to come to a firm decision on the question cf our existence and our independence, they would be in a far better postion to perform their patriotic duties, and the fact that the fate of the nation is resting solely in the hands of the As sembly would be clearly recognised by the Allied Powers. Any objections that might exist to the meeting of the Chamber outside Constantinople could possibly be these: The meeting under such conditions might be accepted as a sign that Constantinople would be abandoned, and malicious people would use this idea as a pretext for spreading poisonous propaganda. Connection with the Chamber would not be so easy for the Govern ment as it would be if it were sitting in Constantinople. But, to save His Majesty the inconvenience of changing his place of residence, the ceremony of opening Parliament would have to be performed by a commission appointed by him. On account of these objections, the present Government has not consented to the proposal that the Assembly should meet at some place outside Constantinople. In default of the consent of the Government, the following ob jections must be added to those already existing: As the convention of the National Assembly stipulates in legal terms that the opening of the Chamber of Deputies and of the Senate should take place simultaneously at the same place, the refusal of the Government to consent to the meeting of the Assembly at a place selected by them outside Constantinople, would result in neither the Senate nor the Government being present at the opening and in
His Imperial Majesty not allowing the Assembly to be opened in the proper manner provided by law. In face of all these considerations there is legally no longer any possibility of convening Parliament outside Constantinople and, in spite of the objections that have been put forward, the meeting in that town is inevitable. If the deputies were to decline to go to Constantinople and were to meet on their own account in some other town, their meeting held under such conditions would, naturally, not have the legislative character which must be possessed by the National Assembly. It
237 would, perhaps, be a meeting representing the conscience, the aims and the independence of the nation. In these circumstances, it would be in the position to criticise and object to any decision that affected the fate of the nation, by relying, if necessary, on the support of the people themselves. In that case, the National Assembly would obviously be prevented from meeting in Constantinople. This would mean that the Government would naturally offer resistance and resort to coercion, which would entail a rupture between the nation and the Government. If some only of the deputies were to go to Constantinople, the inconveniences we have indicated would be still greater. The "Union for the Defence of the Rights of Anatolia and Rumelia," having carefully examined and studied all the above-mentioned possibilities, consider it their duty to inform all the deputies what would happen if they should find it necessary to meet in Constantinople, and to ask each one of them individually to express his opinion on the subject. Moreover, we thought it necessary that the honourable deputies, before sitting in the National Assembly in Constantinople, should consider the advisability of meeting in some other town, and with that in view they should first meet at certain places so that they could study the following questions and communicate the result of their deliberations to the Representative Committee. These questions were: A. If it were found unavoidably necessary to meet in Constan tinople, what measures and dispositions would have to be taken hi that town and throughout the country? B. The possibility to be studied for the formation of a united and determined party in the National Assembly to preserve and protect our aims, namely, to safeguard the integrity of the territory of our country and the independence of our State and Nation. The towns most convenient for the meeting of the deputies who should discuss these questions are, Trebizond, Samsoon, Ineboli, Eski-Shehr, Brusa, Panderma and Adrianople. Article 2.
You are requested: i. To transmit the contents of the first article to the deputy of your district. As soon as possible to ask him for his personal views, and to communicate them forthwith to the Representative Committee;
To bring them likewise to the knowledge of the General Committees, and secure their corresponding co-operation. 2 To assist and protect the meeting of the deputies in the locali ties mentioned in the first article, and to take the necessary steps to bring the result of their discussions to the knowledge of the Represen tative Committee. . . It would be advisable to invite the deputies elected in their own electoral districts, who are at that time in Constantinople, to come to one of the above-mentioned meeting places near Constantinople. * * * I beg you to allow me to mention briefly certain events that took place in October. The Mohamedan population of that part of the Vilayet of Smyrna which was occupied by the enemy were the victims of oppression and criminal acts culminating in sanguinary deeds of violence. We urged the Government to do what was necessary with the representatives of the Allies to put an end to this condition. We told them that if the acts of violence and cruelty perpetrated by the Greeks were not stopped, we would be compelled to make reprisals. It was intended to hold a meeting of protest in Constantinople against these cruelties. When we heard that this public meeting had been prohibited, we drew the attention of Djemal Pasha to the matter Ansawur had begun to display his criminal and treacherous acti vity in the district of Panderma. We wrote to Kiasim Pasha, who was at Balikesri, as well as to other interested persons, urging them energetically to put an end to all these degradations and at the same time to do everything^they could to prevent a number of officers being landed in the district of Kara Bigha and Panderma, for they were members of the "Nikehban" Society. We were also informed that about thirty officers belonging to this society were preparing to land at Trebizond and Samsoon with the object of starting a campaign against the Christians, and thereby bringing forth further interference and occupation by the foreigners. We immediately drew the attention of the XV to Army Corps and the Mutessarif of Djanik to this fact. You know that at the very beginning an English division had occu pied Marash, Urfah and Aintab. These troops were subsequently replaced by French. We tried on that occasion to prevent this new occupation by first taking diplomatic steps and later on, when it was an accomplished fact, by military operations.
239 A new and rather important revolt broke out at Boskir. We tried in different ways to suppress it. Kilidsh Ali Bey was sent to Marash and Aintab, while Kemal Bey, a Major in the Artillery, and Captain Osman Tufan Bey were sent to the district of Cilicia to collect sufficient troops there and enter into action. I now recall an important fact that I would like to mention. After the Sivas Congress was over, the Representative Committee took it upon itself, after the regulations and manifestos of the Congress had been drawn up, to bring out secret instructions, marked "Private and Confidential/ for the armed national organisations, under the title "An Appendix to the Regulations of the Union for the Defence of the Rights." According to this appendix, Army Corps and Divi sions were to be formed in the districts that were in contact with the enemy. (Document 188.) On the 2 nd November, Djemal Pasha, Minister of War, informed me in a telegram in cipher that "a new rumour has been added to those whose number is already considerable, to the effect that Zia Pasha s non-arrival at Angora could not be accounted for in any other way than that the authority of the Government we supported is diminishing, and that therefore the Government were persisting in their attitude and were urgently awaiting a reply." The Government had thought it advisable not to consider the request we had sent to them (not to send Zia Pasha) in a favourable light. They confirmed the appointment of that official and insisted that he should take up his duties. But Zia Pasha had not proceeded farther than Eski-Shehr when he returned and went on leave. In the same telegram Djemal Pasha continued: "The Government regard the terms of the manifesto issued to the Press referring to the incident at Boskir as a breach of the under standing that existed between us." But we had never published a manifesto of this description My answer to Djemal Pasha was: In cipher. Urgent. Sivas, 3 rd November, 1919. To His Excellency Djemal Pasha, Minister of War Reply to your telegram in cipher of 2 nd November. No, 501. i. We have adopted the principle of loyal understanding and real unity in our communications between the Government and the na tional organisation. Through the mediation of Your Excellency we
240 had expressed a very important desire with the object of protecting the national organisations, whose aim is lawful, from any vexatious interference. We demanded that all the higher officials should be elected on these terms and that those who opposed them should be dismissed and replaced by others. We have received no reply to our repeated request regarding this. We do not yet know what has been done about the Valis of Trebizond and Diarbekr, and the Mutessarif of Antalia. On the contrary, without studying the circumstances, the Minister of the Interior has sent Subhi Bey, who is as weak as he is inefficient and who is a member of the Society of the "Friends of England/ as Vali to Konia. The Minister of the Interior has totally ignored questions of this description. This leads us to think that he is following a policy that is antagonistic to the national movement If we are mistaken, we beg you to point out to us where we are in error, so that we may set the matter right in our minds. I had written to tell you that Zia Pasha, the Vali of Angora, had been granted leave at his own request; of course, he is still officially regarded as Vali of Angora But until all doubt on this point has been dispelled, the extension of this Vali s leave may be considered as the most satisfactory solution that could be found. If a man like Nurreddin Bey were to remain in his office as Director of Police in Constantinople, it would suggest that Your Excellency is not inclined to see the importance of this question. Your indifference would have a very bad consequence for the Government, as well as for the national organisation. You will undoubtedly find it quite excusable that the Representative Committee cannot tolerate the slightest thing that could be injurious to the national organisation and the national unity. 2. No communication of any kind has been issued to the Press by the Representative Committee referring to the incident at Boskir. There must be some misunderstanding about this. Possibly the information has been extracted from something that was published in the newspaper called "The National Will." Your Excellency surely knows that the Representative Committee has not thought it to be their duty to exercise a censorship over any newspaper. We beg you, however, to give us some information about this agency that appears to you to have led to a misunderstanding with the Govern ment, so that we can draw the attention of the persons concerned to it. Mustapha Kemal In the name of the Representative Committee.
241 The reply of Djemal Pasha, who pretended to be an agent of the Representative Committee and a partisan of the national movement, was as follows: Ministry of War. 41* November, 1919.
To the Command of the III rd Corps at Sivas, To His Excellency Mustapha Kemal Pasha. The present Government, as stated in their official manifesto, having taken upon themselves the heavy responsibility of power under the present conditions with the sole intention of serving the country, and being devoted to this duty with the fullest loyalty and impartia lity, consider it to be urgently necessary to give you information on the following points: 1. The non-Moslem elements have not voted at the elections; the different political parties also show a reserved and waiting attitude. The various political parties justify their reserve by saying that there are two governments in the country and that the elections were not conducted with the necessary impartiality. In addition, it is very probable that the Christian elements will put forward the same claim themselves as a reason for not having voted. The complaints and grievances about irregularities occurring during the elections are accumulating and find an echo in foreign circles and newspapers. If the Chamber of Deputies is not representative of the different parties and, specially, if it should be formed under pressure from the national forces, it is unnecessary to say what the world will think about it. For this reason it is imperatively necessary to avoid any kind of pressure during the elections. 2. Based on numerous doubts to which the meeting of the metropolis would give rise, the Assembly should meet in of a home and foreign description deputies at any other place than the it is of vital interest to the country that Stambul.
3. From news which is constantly reaching us, it becomes evident that certain people in the provinces, appearing on behalf of the na tional organisations, interfere in the affairs of the Government. It is necessary and of the greatest importance that an end should promptly be put to this interference. The Government insist on these three demands, otherwise it is impossible for them to carry on the administration of the country Djemal Minister of War. Kemal Pasha J 6
242 I will give you the literal wording of my reply to this telegram, in which I observed in a note at the beginning that it was to be de ciphered by Salih Bey, the senior A. D. C. In cipher. Sivas, 5 th November, 1919. To His Excellency Djemal Pasha, Minister of War. Reply to your telegram of 4 th November, 1919. 1. There is surely no ground for attributing the abstention from the elections of the non-Moslem elements and of certain political
parties that are doing more harm to the country even than these elements to motives which they themselves prominently display with intention. Is it not well known that the Christian elements declared that they would not vote at the elections, even long before the national organisation existed and before its name was ever mentioned? As for the political parties that make such a fuss, everything they say is deliberately false, because, as a matter of fact, they have voted everywhere at the elections. But as these parties have no more than five or ten followers, the nation has no confidence whatever in them, and as the nation is determined this time to elect deputies from its own sons and not from the candidates in Constantinople, the parties in question are only upset because they know that they have not the faintest chance of succeeding. What can we do abdut it ? We are aston ished at the undecidedness of the Cabinet. Wheye is the pressure that you speak of exercised? by whom? under what fcircumstances? You must be good enough to give us precise facts on these points, so that the Representative Committee will be in the position to do their duty. No importance need be attached to these fairy tales, nor need they cause you the slightest anxiety. 2. Time will show whether the Government have been right or wrong in their views concerning the convention. We have told you that we will inform you of our conclusions on this question after we have received replies from our committees. 3 Before we can do what is necessary, we must be informed where and by whom there has been any interference in the affairs of the Government by any person acting in the name of the national or ganisations. But we think we ought to call Your Excellency s atten tion to certain acts of the Minister of the Interior which are calculated to create suspicion. Mustapha Kemal In the name of the Representative Committee.
243 The Minister of the Interior decided to send several Commissions into the country. One of them, with Ahmed Fewsi Pasha, the former Under Secretary of State in the Ministry of War, at the head of it, consisted of Ilshami Bey, member of the Court of Appeal, and Hassan Effendi, the Fetwa Emini. Djemal Pasha, the delegate of our Representative Committee, had told us nothing at all about this. We asked him on the 5 th No vember to tell us what would be the duties of this Commission and what was the purpose of its dispatch. We added that "we were totally unable to find any reason why the Fetwa Emini (a religious dignitary, administering the Fetwas) and another man who had been Director of Police in Kiamil Pasha s Cabinet, were appointed members of this Commission/ (Document 189.) The reasons that had necessitated Fuad Pasha remaining at the
head of his Army Corps at Angora gradually became apparent. The chief reason was that they had begun in the interior of the country to poison the minds of the people. The intrigues of our enemies at home and abroad, who were in connection with one another, began to produce results which they considered satisfactory under the Cabinet of Ali Riza Pasha, as they had done under that of his predecessor Ferid Pasha. Kiasim Pasha tried to build up a front in the district of Balikesri and to make himself master of the situation. On the Salihli and Aidin fronts it was important to restore the prestige and the administration of the troops from the military standpoint, and to send an officer for this purpose who was more or less known in these places. We had only Refet Pasha at our disposal and he was at Konia. Fashreddin Bey (now Fashreddin Pasha holding the rank of Inspector in the Army) had taken over the command of the Army Corps at Konia. Conse quently, we wrote to Refet Pasha ordering him to leave for the front and take up the command of the national troops at Aidin. We ordered Ali Fuad Pasha to return to Angora. When we heard that Refet Pasha had arrived at Nasilli, I asked Djevad Pasha, who was Chief of the General Staff, to send four or five officers on his Staff who had gained experience in the war to Refet Pasha, whom I also informed that I had ordered this to be done. When Refet Pasha arrived at Nasilli, he did not consider it necess ary to take over the command from Demirdshi Efe; whether it was that he really thought it was not necessary or that he was prevented from doing so, I do not know. The fact remains that he preferred to continue his duties on the Staff under Demirdshi Efe s command. . . 16*
244 Refet Pasha reported the position to us. It is often very difficult to contest and refute the opinion of somebody who has been forced to come to a decision after considering all the evidence that he has gathered on the spot itself. In this case, it was either really advan tageous to leave Efe in command and be satisfied to work side by side with an officer of equal rank, as Refet Pasha preferred to do, or for some other unexplained reason the latter was unable to take over the actual command on this front. Whichever it was, it would have been of no use at all if he had taken over the command. But the strangeness of his behaviour, especially later on, became still more evident. Some time afterwards Refet Pasha actually dis appeared from Nasilli, and it was only after he had asked whether he could get into communication with some foreign officers that we heard of his being at Balikesri. On the 22 nd December, we replied to him that "we did not desire that persons who were in touch with the national organisations, and particularly one who was a member of the Representative Committee, should enter into communication in any way whatever with these foreigners."
Following that, Refet Pasha again disappeared. One day we received a short telegram from Brusa, signed Refet, which ran as follows: "Have arrived at Brusa from Constantinople." I could not understand what that telegram meant. What on earth had the Pasha to do in Constantinople? Since when had the way Nasilli Balikesri led via Constantinople? I could not solve the problem. At last, we heard what had happened. After Refet Pasha left Nasilli and had met Kiasim Pasha at Balikesri he arrived at Panderma, and had gone from there to Con stantinople on board a French torpedo-boat. He had interviews there with some of his friends and then returned to Brusa. Gentlemen, even to-day I can throw no light on this dark incident. I am sorry I am unable to do so. From what I have said before, you know that at one time Refet Bey had been succeeded by Selaheddin Bey, who had arrived at Samsoon on an English ship and who had brought him an invitation to go to Constantinople. At that time he had preferred to resign so that he could return there, and mean while the Government in Stambul had issued an order that he was to be arrested, and myself at the same time, and that we were to be sent to Constantinople. Those who understand anything about algebra will conceive it to be unpardonable that an unknown quantity should not be found when
245 there were so many large known quantities available. Nevertheless, I must confess my own incapability to do this. It is true that Ali Riza Pasha s Cabinet had replaced Ferid Pasha s. But we all known that the means at hand for detecting and punishing the errors of the new Cabinet were identically the same. Refet Pasha s weak and remarkable behaviour was responsible for the fact that no serious dispositions for defence could be established at the Aidin and Salihli fronts until a regular army had been formed. Let us now return to the narrative of events from the place where we left off. Djemal Pasha had not been able to grasp the meaning of a certain sentence in our telegram of the 5 ilL November, and asked us in a tele gram sent from the Head Office of the Sublime Porte to give him an explanation. He said: "We cannot understand what you mean by: We think that we ought to draw your attention to certain acts of the Minister of the Interior which are calculated to create suspicion . We request you to give us a full detailed explanation of this sentence without delay/ (Document 190.) We answered this short request in a rather exhaustive telegram, which I shall quote literally, although I am afraid I shall tax yuor patience by doing so.
In cipher. Sivas 12 th November, 1919 To His Excellency Djemal Pasha Reply to telegram of 8 th November, No 8084. Some of the actions and indications of the Minister of the Interior which are calculated to create suspicion and which we recollect at this moment are: 1. The most important civil officials of some of the vilayets, amongst them those of Angora, have been ordered to come to the telegraph instrument for the purpose of being interrogated in a threatening manner regarding an inquiry which was to be held con cerning certain acts directed against Ferid Pasha s Cabinet during the course of the national movement, the reasons that gave rise to the accusations and their relation to the law. 2. In a telegram in cipher, as though it was a very mysterious affair, the Vilayet of Sivas had been asked what had caused the death of the Mutessarif of Tokat, who had died in a natural way from an attack of typhoid fever, from which he had been suffering for a long time.
246 3- During the confidential conversation which the Minister of the Interior, accompanied by the Minister of Justice, had had with the national delegation that came from the Balikesri front, it was reported that the Minister of -Justice (in the presence of the members of this delegation) had asked whether there was any possible way for proceed ings to be taken against the leaders of the national movement! 4. Even at the present day the Minister retains Keshfi Bey, Under Secretary of State in the Ministry of the Interior, in his office, in spite of the fact that he was the evil genius and confidant in all the acts and machinations of Aadil Bey the former Minister, whose treason has been exposed by material proof, while his chief care as a true patriot when he took office should have been to dismiss him. On the advice of this same official, the Minister is still transferring other officials in his Department. You will find it quite natural that officials appointed by such a chief do not exactly enjoy the confidence of the nation. All Ulvi Bey, the former Mutessarif of Kaisaria, for instance, who adopted an unfriendly attitude towards the national movement from the very beginning, and who, after having been suspended from his duties by the people, escaped arrest and banishment solely on account of his illness, notwithstanding his notorious inefficiency and inexperience in administration, was given an appointment at Burdur. Edhem Bey, also, who had been sent back to Constantinople, because of his in capacity and the impossibility of allowing him to remain in the Sanjak of Djanik, has been appointed to Menteshe. Moreover, Djavid Bey, the former Mutessarif of Nigdeh who had recently been brought to Sivas, has been appointed Mutessarif of Aidin; and, lastly, the Mutessarif of Antalia, one of Djemal Bey s creatures, the traitor who was formerly Vali of Konia, still remains
at his post, in spite of the repeated applications and remonstrance of the people. 5. The management of a Department, equally as important as that of any other, has been given to an Armenian. 6. No alteration has been made in the control of the Press and the Agency service. 7. It is well known that the unity of the nation is the only power by which the fate of the nation can be secured, and it is the national organisation alone that can maintain this unity. Those who are endeavouring to compromise the sacred cause of upholding this unity and this organisation a cause whose aim is the safeguarding of the country from disintegration and partition, and the
247 security of the independence of the State and Nation are the mali cious politicians who are the agitators in Constantinople. They can only be rendered innocuous by stern and efficacious measures being taken against them. The first way to bring about this result is to confide the Direction of the Police to a man who shall be selected from among honourable, patriotic and competent persons who have the courage to act on their own initiative. Your Excellency is well aware, however, that the present Director of Police is the chief support and a strong partisan of the old Cabinet that is accused of treason and of their creatures. As can be seen, on the other hand, from the letters written by Said Molla to Mr. Frew, the English clergyman, the official in question is a supporter and a refuge of the opposition, that is to say, of the enemies of the nation. His Excellency Salih Pasha also acknowledged this fact at Amasia. In other words, this means that the Minister of the Interior not only has no scruples about confiding the destiny of the country and the nation to the hands of such a man, but he may even think that there is an advantage in doing so. As for Kemal Pasha, the Commander of the Gendarmerie, consider ing beyond all doubt that he is as dangerous to the national movement as he is to yourself, can it be believed that his retention at his post is due to the good will of the Minister of the Interior? Mustapha Kemal In the name of the Representative Committee. The telegram from the Minister of War, dated g th November, is also very interesting. In this telegram Djemal Pasha expresses the ideas of the Cabinet by emphasising these points : 1. The elections must take place in a lawful and proper manner. 2. The Chamber of Deputies shall meet in Constantinople. 3. The communications sent to you hitherto by the Government, to the effect that you are prohibited from interfering in the affairs of the State on behalf of the national organisation, are hereby officially
confirmed. 4. It is clearly evident that the demands expressed by you in a number of your telegrams have given the impression that you are assuming authority. 5. The Government have no intention of abandoning the neutrality announced in their manifesto, and, therefore, cannot exercise any pressure on persons whose opinions differ from those held by the national organisation, nor can they punish them.
248 This telegram concluded with the following threat: "If the present situation continues for a moment longer, the Ministerial Council will certainly resign." (Document 191.) These statements revealed the true state of affairs. The Cabinet did not care to admit that among those who held convictions that were antagonistic to the national organisation were the enemies of the country and the nation ; they made no distinction between the national organisation and those traitorous organisations that had been formed by our enemies between Ali Kemal or Said Molla and ourselves. The incidents at Ada Basar, at Karadsha Bey, at Boskir and Ansawur were not regarded by them as crimes. After having emphasised these points in our reply to Djemal Pasha, we added a few words that we thought would have the effect of draw ing out the Government s intentions: "Judging from what you say, the Imperial Government consider the national organisation as unnecessary. If this is so and if you are strong enough to save the country without any support from the na tional organisation, we asked you to say so frankly, and then we can do all that is necessary to put matters straight between us. " (Document 192.) It was only on the 28 t31 November, that is to say, eighteen days after he sent it off, that I received the letter which Djemal Pasha had specially sent to me at Sivas on the 10 th November, in which he had returned to all the questions upon which we had been corresponding, summarising them and commenting on them. Speaking, among other things, about the deputies meeting else where than in Constantinople, he wrote: "It is evident that the Padishah will refuse to give his consent to the Assembly meeting in those circumstances. The Americans have hinted have even expressly stated that attacks on the Chamber of Deputies by the Allied troops might be to the advantage of the Empire, but they did not believe that this would be at all possible." Then he told us, as though we did not know it already, that "the fat-heads among the officials who are not inspired by the spirit and sentiments that guide the national movement, put their trust in the armies of the occupation:" and he added that "the majority of the members of the former Cabinet are included in this category." To illustrate this contention by a typical example, he quoted the instance
when the Director of Police, who was clearly included, was superseded. And after administering a reproof that was intended for us, he said: "The Cabinet have planned to do a great deal, but they cannot
249 depend upon the strength of the forces on which they rely and hesitate to act boldly/ He continued: "And I am not exaggerating when I say that the Minister of the Interior is the first to speak of relying on these forces, namely, the nation/ 1 Djemal Pasha, after having signed this letter, added a postscript (also signed), of which I will quote a few words: "The opposition and the foreigners are determined to prevent the Chamber being opened. If the Representative Committee perseveres in its opposition by continuing to make difficulties about the place of its meeting, all that we can do is to trust in God/ (Document 193.) Comment on the logic, the judgment and the truth of the views expressed in this letter, as well as his remarks in general, is quite superfluous. I shall confine myself to quoting a paragraph of the lengthy reply to this letter that we sent on the 28 th November. It ran thus: "We cannot treat the arguments seriously which, from your point of view, would result in shaking confidence in the strength on which the Imperial Government leans for support in such an important crisis/ Damad Sherif Pasha, Minister of the Interior, did other things to destroy national unity and drive the nation into a state of passive resistance against the culpable efforts that were still being made and which were multiplying. We observed that he induced other Departments to adopt similar tactics. Here is an example: There was a Cadi at Eski-Shehr, named Hamdi Effendi. As he could not remain there on account of his opposition to the national forces, he went to Stambul without any intention of returning. This Cadi was now sent back to Eski-Shehr and was reinstated by the new Cabinet. The Mutessarif appealed to the Minister of Justice and demanded his recall; he received no rely to his appeal. The Mutessarif and the officer commanding the zone of Eski-Shehr sent us a report on this state of affairs, and added: "If the Ministry con tinues to ignore our request, we shall feel ourselves obliged to remove this person. Please be good enough to let us know what we are to do/ We replied : "If you are unable to convince the Imperial Governmen t who have promised to conform to the national aspirations and who in accordance with this promise enjoy the complete support of the national organisation of the necessity for the removal of this Cadi, it is evident that the only thing left for you to do will be to turn him out/
250 The number of officials appointed in Constantinople and sent back, as this Cadi was, was naturally very considerable. The first paragraph of a telegram, dated 24 th November, in which Djemal Pasha, the Minister of War, explained to us the viewpoint of the Cabinet on questions of this kind, stated that, "the internal and external affairs of the State do not permit of any foreign inter ference." (Document 194.) We sent a detailed answer on the 27 th November: "Although we recognise, in principle, that the leadership of the home and diplomatic affairs of the State does not permit of any inter ference from abroad, it is, under the abnormal conditions in which we are now living, very natural and legitimate that the nation cannot allow any event or act that could injure national unity to weaken (consciously or unconsciously) the national organisations, whose duty is to safeguard the destiny of the country and the nation." And the telegram ended with these words: "The Representative Committee has remained faithful to the obligations it has pledged itself to fulfil but provided, nevertheless, that those obligations will be mutual. . . . The Government have hitherto failed to fulfil any of the obligations drawn up and signed by Salih Pasha, and if reasons that they could not control have hindered them from doing so, they have kept us in ignorance of them." (Document 195.) You will see clearly from the evidence I will now lay before you, what little justification All Riza s Cabinet had to criticise us, and how careless they were in the choice of the expressions they used. The secret unions in Constantinople and some of their leaders were all relying on foreigners. This is likewise shown in the letter from Djemal Pasha, Minister of War. Thanks to the extensive support from, and the supineness and absolute indifference of Ali Riza s Cabinet, they worked energetically and unceasingly to plunge the country, from one end to the other, into blood and flames. However, we had not left the Cabinet in the dark regarding the news and documents that were in our possession. A number of doc uments which our organisations had succeeded in obtaining in Con stantinople were handed over in their original condition to Djemal Pasha and the Grand Vizier. As these documents had already been brought to the notice of the foreign representatives and, consequently, were known to most of the Entente Powers, and as extracts were also sent to all of the military commanders and all others concerned, I do not see why I should
hesitate to bring them to your knowledge and to that of the nation, now that this incident is a matter of history. I think that I ought to read these documents to you verbatim, so that they will give you a clear idea of the difficulties, visible and invisible, to which we were exposed during the course of the national struggle. They will also serve as an education and an example to coming generations. These documents are copies of the letters that Said Molla, known as the chairman of the "League of the Friends of England," wrote to Mr. Frew, the reverend gentleman who was an English clergyman. The authenticity of these documents is unquestioned, although Said Molla, when he heard that copies had been made of this correspondence, tried to contest their genuineness in a long and violent dementi, which was published in the Turkish edition of the "StambuT on the gtfc November, 1919. The copies of these letters were made inside Molla s own house, and were taken down word for word in a note book. But apart from this, the contents of these letters agree in their minutest details with the events as they happened at that time, as well as with the doings of the persons they refer to as has been borne out in another quarter. With your permission, I shall now proceed to read these letters, which are arranged according to their dates. Dear Friend, I have sent the 2,000 that I have received to Hikmet Bey at Ada Basar. Our affairs there are going on very well. You will see the good results in a few days. I hasten to send you the following information which I have received. I shall give you further details to-morrow morning when I see you. Our agent 285/3 tells us in a letter he sent by a special courier from Angora that the national troops show an inclination towards France and that the officers sent by General Franchet d Esperey to Sivas, after having had a conversation with Mustapha Kemal Pasha, are taking certain steps against the English Govern ment. Although D. B. Q. 91/3 is a member of our league, I am convinced that he is spying for France, and he tells everyone that you are the president of our society. In spite of your favourable opinion of him and the confidence you put in him, what I tell you in this particular
252 case will show how mistaken you have been in believing all this time in this man. Yesterday I called on his Highness Damad Fend Pasha and Aadil Bey. I told them on your behalf that we mnst have a little
more patience yet. His Highness thanks you and declares that the national forces have taken root throughout Anatolia; that he, being unable to come into the Government until the confounded leaders of this movement are knocked down by a counter-stroke, does not see any possibility of upholding the terms of the agreement concerning the Peace Conference which had been approved of by His Imperial Majesty. He urgently recommends that something else should be done by His Britannic Majesty s Government to disperse the national troops and that a Joint Note should be presented to the Sublime Porte before the elections for the Chamber take place. He also urges that greater energy should be employed in carrying out our aim^ by stirring up bands to commit acts of violence and extortion against the Greeks at Ada Basar, Karadsha Bey and Shile, which will all be attributed to the national troops, who will then be accused of dis turbing public order; also to provoke a campaign in the English Press against these troops, and give instructions by wireless concerning the questions which we discussed yesterday with E. B. K. 19/2, who had been sent expressly in a torpedo-boat. To-night, at eleven o clock, Aadil Bey will see you personally at K. and will tell you certain personal requests made by Fend Pasha. Afterwards His Majesty will be able to talk to Mr. T. R. Do not trust Refik Bey any longer. Saadik Bey will also be able to work in company with us. With the expression of my esteem, ii t& October, 1919. Said. P.S. We have not received any news yet from Karadsha Bey and Boskir. Second letter. From a letter that T. B.D. 285/3 sent on the 12** from Angora, it can be seen that Vassif Bey, a retired colonel on the General Staff and a member of the Representative Committee at Sivas, will be sent to get into touch with d Esperey and that he will leave in a few days. Hikmet Bey has received the money. He is asking for some more. When I saw you the other day I forgot to tell you that I am being followed. When I came back after seeing you, I noticed two men who were waiting for me at the corner of the street; one had a fair
253 moustache and the other was of dark complexion and had no mous tache. As it was night, I felt rather anxious. I heard them say in a whisper: "This is Said Molla. We can go away now." I feel that these frequent meetings will be dangerous for me. We shall be able to see more of one another when you are living in Fuad Pasha s house in the neighbourhood of the Turba (tomb) we have spoken about. Nassim Pasha has heard about our organisation; he was apparently very angry that he had not been told about it before. Assuming that you will agree, I have registered him under section N.B.S. 495/1. Until the question of a house has been arranged he will keep in touch with me. The 1,200 that was sent to N.B.D. 298/3 at Karadsha Bey
has been received. He will go. Fend Pasha is waiting impatiently for the Note to be given to the Sublime Porte. His Imperial Majesty is very unhappy about the present state of affairs. It will be to our advantage if you can send him consolation and encouragement in an indirect way. Do not forget that our Sovereign is showing weakness about everything. Said Abdul Kaadir Effendi has given very strange accounts about the affair in question. His colleagues seem to say that this is not compatible with his patriotism. It rests with you to do what is necessary. The rumour has been circulated that Nureddin Bey, Director of Police, has been dismissed. Will you draw the attention of the authorities to this man, who is a protector of all of us. I send you my esteem. 18 th October, 1919. Said. P.S. Ali Kemal Bey has been talking to this person. Being clumsy in saying what he wants to, I am told that the man he was talking to easily saw through him and answered disdainfully: "We can see that you are working for the English." Third Letter. The party belonging toEssad Pasha, the occulist, and in particular Tshuruk Sulu Mahmud Pasha, have your propaganda continually denied by referring to official documents and try to allay the excitement of the people. I beg you to let the person we were talking about yesterday be ordered by His Majesty not to take any notice of the people who appeal to him. 19 th October, 1919. Said.
254 Other Letters. Dear Sir, The Freemasons encounter opposition and find mixed opinions among their friends. They do not want to follow the example of the Unionists. We shall carry our programme through by allowing young men who are convinced of our ideas to join this organisation. As my dress prevents me from personally intervening, your old friend K.B.V. 4/35 will act on our suggestions. There is no news yet from Angora and Kaisaria. I send you, dear Sir, my esteem. 19 th October, 1919. S. Dear Master, Kassideshi Sade Riza Molla yesterday told Adam Block, an old
friend of his, that he thinks he ought to warn him that he considers it incompatible with English dignity and English policy to afford protection to the members of the "League of the Friends of England," who are under my presidency, that this would have an unpleasent effect on public opinion and, further, that this union should be re presented by men of honour. He is said to have talked about hanging me, and even of doing worse than that to me. I would like to remind you that Riza Molla is personally very irritated with me. His son-in-law s sister was formerly my wife I incurred the animosity of the family when I sent her back to them. Please bring this to the knowledge of His Excellency Adam Block ; and I would like to take this opportunity to tell you that this Molla is not a friend of England at the present time, for he is acting as an agent of the national movement and is still in touch with Kemal Pasha. His calumnies about me show his true character. 21 st October, 1919. S. P.S. If you have no objection, I would ask you to let His Ex cellency Adam Block know all about what I am doing for you. Honourable Sir, It is reported in the letter of the 20 ih October, which was sent by courier from N.B.K. 295/3, that he has left for Kaisaria in accord ance with our instructions and that he has left K.D.S. 93/1 at Angora; he has sent a literal copy of the instructions to Galib Bey. As the funds supplied to him have come to an end, he asks for more. He learns that the secret organisations are extending the field of their
255 activity and that our friends who have escaped from the clutches of the rebel leaders are beginning to work in secret by remaining in the villages for the present. He adds that the steps taken recently at your instigation will soon bear fruit. M.K.B., who speaks very pure Turkish, would like to take a more important part ; he would be an efficient substitute for Hodsha. The preparation of the instructions X. W. is completed. If no newcomers have sneaked into our ranks, our plan will be carried out before it is discovered. I have kept the courier 4. r. here, beause I am waiting for the funds to arrive. 23 rd October, 1919. S. P.S. At the end of the little work, I have appended what Ahmed Riza Bey has said about the Italian mandate. It would be a dangerous thing for us if he went to France. Perhaps you can prevent it. Sir, Ali Kemal Bey spoke to this person yesterday. He is said to consider that we ought to proceed slowly with the Press. It is not an easy thing for us to lead intellectual people and journalists into
another path which goes in an opposite direction to the one they had previously chosen. In his opinion, all the officials are supposed at the present moment to be in sympathy with the national movement. Ali Kemal Bey will implicitly follow your instructions. He is also trying to secure for himself the co-operation of the Seinel Abidin Party. In fact, things will get complicated. It seems that a great deal has been said about me in French and American quarters for several days past. I have not been able yet to find out what it is all about. On account of the influence which the followers of the national movement have on the politicians of the present Government, my life is in your hands. This gives me confidence. I have had a private conversation with Hikmet. This time I found him rather undecided. Nevertheless, he gave me strong assurances. "I am a loyal man/ he told me; "I always keep my word/ What do you think about the incident at Sivas? Our preparations are rather backward, but they will gradually improve. The "man of Kadi Keui" is busy about this. But the confounded unionist Press sometimes harasses us. Their publications must be watched. Our Pasha is still nervous: "When is it going to happen? * he asks.
256 Communication between us is very difficult now, because you have not settled the question of the house. N.B.S. 495/1 advises you to watch what is going on at Konia. He asks me to call your attention to the matter he explained verbally to you. I told him that you were sorry about Ali Kemal Bey s last mishap. We must get hold of this person. Do not miss this opportunity. It is the very time to make him a present. I am sorry that you did not receive my letter of the ig* 11 October. Please caution the agent. It is most important to avoid all danger. Send me a new password. I shall give their numbers of membership to Hikmet and the man of Kadi Keui. I am yours, with the greatest esteem, 24 th October, 1919. S. P.S. I always forget to tell you something I have wanted to tell you for a long time. So that we can get Mustapha Kemal Pasha and his followers to come here in perfect confidence, we must pretend that we have some sympathy with them. I would like you to think seriously about this. We cannot champion his cause in our own Press. Dear Sir, According to your instructions, I had a long conversation with Mustapha Sabri Effendi, Hamdi Effendi and Vasfi Effendi about postponing the elections and watching them. They have agreed to do this. Propaganda has begun in various quarters. Try to win over
all those who can be of use to us. Spend money in splitting up the votes. His Majesty will be informed about this. I feel quite sure that through your clear-sighted efforts we shall succeed. 26 th - October, 1919. S. More Letters. The courier 9. R. has arrived. The Keskin organisation has been completed. I have given the necessary instructions about propaganda to our comrades. I am convinced that very soon indeed we shall reap our first successes. 27 tb - October, 1919. S. Dear Sir, There are rumours at Court that in all probability a new Cabinet will be formed. This must be hastened on. Certain operations of our organisation have been discovered by the national troops. A move ment against us has been set on foot, chiefly at Angora and Kaissaria.
257 In spite of their assurances, the Kurdish Society has not succeeded in doing anything at all. Some of our bands have dispersed. At any cost and without fail we must bring the Cabinet we propose to form into power. I expect All Riza Pasha to take steps to hinder our plans. Those whom we have chosen to go to Boskir seem rather afraid to go, because they are very well known there. I must point out to you how important it is for you to use your in fluence to get K.B. 81/1 at Konia to make the most of the incident, and to urge our propaganda section to redouble their efforts in this direction. 29 th October. S. P.S. Somebody has been talking letters. How have the contents personally to Hikmet about it, told me that this indiscretion in your camp or mine? Dear Sir, I have been speaking to our confidential friends in the League about the revolt of the Kurds. They told me that, having arrived only quite recently, they would obey the instructions that had been given to them soon after their arrival and that they were in need of rather considerable sums of money to send to their various colleagues in Kurdistan. They showed me the letter from D.B.R. 3/141. He speaks of exaggerated agitation that is said to have taken place at Urfah, Aintab and Marash against the French and of their efforts to influence the people to oppose the policy of reconciliation that is being followed by the officer commanding the Army Corps. to Hikmet about one of my of it been discovered? I have spoken and to my great astonishment he has has actually taken place. Is the spy
I do not think that it was justifiable to prevent Seki Pasha from being appointed President of the Ministerial Council. He exercises authority and influence with the Kurds. The Armenian massacres of by-gone days have not been forgotten. In any case, your obser vations are premature. If need be, the matter can be skilfully adjusted. We expect you to help us at any moment. We are trying to draw the others into this affair. With my best respects, 4 th November, 1919. S. Dear Sir, The statements made by Ahmed Riza Bey to the correspondent of "Le Temps" must naturally have aroused your attention. The Kemal Pasha J 7
258 political finesse shown in the advice lie gave to Emir Feisal, namely, to come to an understanding with the French, cannot have escaped your keen observation. The leaders of the national troops have for a considerable time shown a remarkable bias towards France and, simultaneously provoking unrest in the Irak, they intend in the same way to assail your sovereignty in Syria. Any indifference or negligence respecting such action would lead to an extraordinary outburst of popular feeling against England throughout the Mohamedan world. Special attention should be given to noting the most im portant point and drawing the attention of your statesmen to^it. I beg you not to imagine for a moment that I am underestimating your ability in what I say, but we hold that it would do a great deal of harm and would be contrary to our political ideals, tf any other Power or political influence than your own should prevail in Turkey. The various kinds of sympathy which certain statesmen and the Press of France, Italy and, specially, the United States, evince towards the national forces, is palpable proof of the jealousy they have of your political and military power. Be assured that men, like Ahmed Riza, who from former times are still enjoying the most intimate friendship of men like Clemenceau, Pichon and other politicians, will play a very important role in France and will succeed in winning public opinion there to a very great extent. Respecting the news of Ahmed Riza s coming journey to Switzer land, you may be sure that he is determined to go from there to France. Our bands that were scattered and routed in the district of Balikesri have taken refuge at A.R. We shall form new ones. We shall still require at least 5,000. It can be seen from a letter from D.B.S. 40/5 of Karaman that they must content themselves for the present with assuming a waiting attitude. According to another letter from Kaisaria from K.B.R. 87/4,
we learn that they will begin operations immediately. Zia Effendi says that now that everything is ready at his post H.R. and Dsch.H., nothing is left for him to do but take relief funds there. If you wish, he will tell you personally all particulars about the situation. I must point out to you that we are being watched in an extra ordinary way and that Sivas is regularly kept well informed about all we are doing. Do not put any confidence in Mehmed Ali; he is not careful enough. He is always making mistakes. It would be advisable if
259 you did not make use of anyone but myself for anything of an outside nature. Ali Kemal Bey must, at any cost, be put down on our list. If we estrange this man, who knows so many of our secrets, our enemies will immediately know everything that we are doing. Treat this man gently and smoothe him from time to time. With the expression of my esteem, 5 th November, 1919. S. P.S. It is rumoured that Kemal has been arrested. As he belongs to our organisation, all about our relations with K.B.R, 15/1 might be discovered. This man must be protected. * * * Gentlemen, we did everything with all the means at our disposal to counteract these extensive intrigues, to nullify the dangers, and disentangle the situation which had been created. We made violent efforts to suppress the notorious risings and revolts by repelling the attack of official hostile troops, as I have told you already or as I shall try directly to recall to your memory. Ali Riza Pasha s Cabinet would not have lent us any support at all if they had not been aiming at the destruction of the national forces, which they could not endure, and in trying to do this they continually quarrelled with us. Their worthy colleagues who succeeded them in the Government simply followed their example, which led them from one scandal to another and from one disaster to another. Concluding that all these secret and revolutionary organisations emanated from the skull of Mr. Frew, and that poison was flowing from this fertile source poison that was being instilled into the minds of the traitors, our so-called fellow-believers, by whom these instigations were transformed into deeds I wrote a letter personally to Mr. Frew, the reverend gentleman in question, in the hope that he would suspend his activities and restrain his energy for some time. So that you may know what I said to him and understand the circumstances throughly, I must tell you first of all that I had already had an opportunity of talking to, and discussing some points with Mr. Frew.
I wrote in French: Sir, I have pleasant recollections of the conversation I had with you with the help of Mr. Marten. It gave me the impression that your long residence in Turkey and 17*
260 among Turks had given you a perfectly true conception of the country. But now I observe with regret that your contact with certain quarrelsome and self-seeking persons has led you off into a wrong direction. Permit me to inform you that the plan you had concocted with Said Molla, about which we have received trustworthy information and which you had even begun to carry out, will surely be dis approved of by the English nation. If, instead of relying on people like Said Molla, you would judge Turkey and the Turks according to the sentiments of true patriots, you would see how impracticable such plans as yours are. In proof of this, it is sufficient for me to point out the miserable failure that followed the ill-advised incidents at Ada Basar and Karadsha Bey, which occurred so recently. They could easily have been avoided. Has not the undertaking planned against Sivas by Captain Nowill, in conjunction with the late Vali of El Aziz and the Mutessarif of Malatia, after all ended in no other result than the utter confusion of its ori ginators an undertaking that relied on the support of the Kurds, to mislead whom, however, ended in a fiasco, notwithstanding all that was done to insure its success? I feel that it is my duty to inform you, in all good faith and in the most serious manner, that England is making a great mistake in not trusting in the good will of the Turks. On the contrary, the measures which you consider it necessary to take to reach success are entirely wrong and lead you exactly in the opposite direction to the one in which you want to go. I would like you to know that it is very dangerous indeed to pretend that His Imperial Majesty the Sultan is your collaborator and is entangled in your enterprises, in precisely the same manner as the impostors with whom you are associated do. You are well aware that our Sovereign, who in his position is not held responsible and is compelled to be impartial, will surely have no intention of altering the national will and the national sovereignty. It appears to me that if the people of England were to be informed of the brutal and uncivilised intrigues carried on by English officials in Turkey documents proving these intrigues are in our possession which are undoubtedly contrary to the intentions and interests of the English nation, they and the rest of the world would see in them strong reasons for disapproval.
I would like to emphasise one more point, which is specially remark able. You call yourself a servant of God. May I ask whether the zeal
26l which you display in mingling yourself in political intrigues and in taking an active part in questions that can very easily lead to sangui nary conflicts and vain bloodshed is compatible with your spiritual duties? When I conversed with you I had no idea that you were a politican of this description. I took you to be a man who is seriously devoted to the cause of humanity and justice. How completely mis taken I was, is evident from the latest information I have received from a reliable source. The Rev. - Frew. Believe me Sir etc " British Embassy Constantinople.
Is there still any doubt in your mind about the Government being better informed than the Representative Committee as to the ori ginators and the source whence the criminal enterprises emanated, which, under the nose of and with the knowledge of the Government, had taken place and are still doing so in Stambul, as well as the mani festation which revealed the fatal effects of these enterprises in such a glaring manner throughout the country? And how is it conceivable that the leaders of a Government so well informed about the actual facts could accept as true the calumnies and insinuations of our enemies, whose sole aim was to disguise the situation and confound the minds of the people? Instead of inflicting this august Assembly with the trouble of answering these questions, I prefer to let Djemal Pasha, the Minister of War, who expresses the thoughts of Ali Riza Pasha s Cabinet, speak for himself. I will admit that I was very much astonished when I received Djemal Pasha s telegram in cipher. I found it very difficult, indeed, to grasp its meaning, so much so, that I asked him to repeat it. Then the Minister sent me two telegrams on the 9 th December in quick succession. Here they are: To the Command of the III rd Army Corps. Sivas, 9 th December, 1919. To His Excellency Mustapha Kemal Pasha. Repetition of the telegram asked for by you. It is well known that the Government is making arrangements to be represented at the Peace Conference.
The Conference can only lead to favourable results if the delegates who attend it represent a Government that enjoys the confidence of the nation and is furnished with authority that is recognised to be efficient in the internal administration of the country. The foreign representatives emphatically advise that order and security in the interior of the country should be restored, and they refer in energetic terms to the emigration of the Christian population, who are fleeing from Anatolia in fear of being massacred and are seeking refuge in swarms in the territories occupied by foreign troops. It is true that those who go to the occupied towns, particularly to Adana, do so with the intention of increasing the already dense population of Armenia. But the lack of order and moral security in Anatolia of which they speak destroys the efforts of the Government to rectify matters. In spite of the assurances of the Representative Committee, certain persons in the provinces continue to interfere with the Government, recall officials just as they think fit and dismiss others if they are not satisfactory to them, prevent the taxation of the population and compel them by violence to pay contributions to themselves. As this procedure has not yet been put an end to, there is much concern about it in foreign quarters. In any case, it is not very advisable for our Government, in face of all the difficulties lying before them on land and at sea, to assume a threatening attitude towards the Powers that are called upon to decide our fate. Besides, the representative of France has publicly declared that the dispatch of telegrams to foreign missions by the Representative Committee is evidence that two governments are existing in the country. The employment of offensive expressions towards any one of these Powers in particular is incompatible with the inborn tact and common sense which are characteristic of us. We must not forget that dignity and calmness in misfortune and danger are qualities that are inherent in our race, and the higher interests of the country must not be sacrificed to conceptions or exaggerated and dangerous actions which are sometimes inspired by discouragement and despair. We can only defend our rights by pursuing a wise policy and by adapting ourselves judiciously to the exigencies of the occasion. These observations do not convey to your Excellency anything that you do not know already, but it is absolutely necessary that I should give your colleagues and committees patriotic advice as to their procedure.
263 We trust that the Chamber of Deputies, which will soon meet, will form a correct estimate of the prudent course they must follow for the salvation and liberation of our beloved country, and will devote themselves entirely to the fulfilment of this noble ideal. These are the views of the Cabinet. Diemal Minister of War.
I think it is unnecessary to weary the honourable Assembly by analysing the telegram you have just been listening to. I shall there fore confine myself to telling you what I said in reply. In cipher, Sivas, n th December, 1919. To His Excellency Djemal Pasha, Minister of War. Our Committee has received your telegram of 9 th December, in which you explain the standpoint of the Cabinet. In spite of the many declarations and communications we have sent you, we find that this telegram is no more than a repetition of the opinions you have given us already. We have repeatedly declared and insisted that the aim of the Representative Committee has always been to protect the Govern ment from being interfered with and to strengthen the confidence of the nation in it. We are forced to the conviction that unfortunately our communi cations have not been treated by you as they deserve. 1. It is not true that the spirit of order and moral confidence has been threatened in Antolia. On the contrary, the confusion and uncertainty caused by Ferid Pasha s Cabinet have recently disappeared under the influence of the national union. 2. It is not a fact that private people have dismissed and replaced officials just as they thought fit. But it seems to us that the Ministry of the Interior is pursuing a very significant course by insisting on the appointment of certain officials who are notorious and who have been turned out under the late Cabinet on account of their hostility to the national movement. The actions of the Ministry of the Interior, which are directly opposed to the national aims and which give the impression in the opinion of the public that the spirit of AadilBey, the former Minister, is still living in the Ministry, are apparently not accepted by the people. Is there anything more justifiable and legitimate than this? The fact that the same Under Secretary of State and the same chiefs of the Departments are retained in their posts, places both
264 your honourable Cabinet and our Representative Committee, who have accepted obligations towards the nation, in a very difficult postion. The affair of the Mutessarif of Dersim, which we refered to in our telegram of the *) December deserves attention. The Representative Committee can do nothing more in this matter. Considering the fact that the representations made hitherto for the purpose of mitigating the consequences of such acts on the part of the Ministry of the Interior have not met with the favourable reception they merited, we must decline to renew our requests.
However, we must tell you, for the last time, that if the Imperial Government is honestly desirous of gaining the confidence of the nation which the Representative Committee does not for a moment doubt and wishes to serve the country, it must adopt an attitude that conforms more to the spirit of the nation and adapts itself better to the peculiar situation, and must try to eradicate the evil that lies within itself. This object cannot be obtained by using the Represen tative Committee as a target and by continually writing to it on the same subject, as it has been doing since it came into power. 3. It is quite possible that irregularities have been committed at the Aidin front, where the situation is an unfortunate inheritance of the treacherous policy followed by the late Government, which was regarded by the nation as an enemy and which treated our enemies as friends. But it may be said with perfect truth that, thanks to the national unity realised by the General Congress at Sivas, as well as to the efforts and patriotic co-operation of the Ministry of War, this state of affairs has come to an end. 4. The nation has refrained from taking up a threatening atti tude against any of the Powers with whom it has concluded an armistice. But, should the necessity arise, it has decided that it will oppose every attack upon the legitimate and sacred rights of the country by force of arms. 5. Regarding the question of the dispatch of telegrams to foreign representatives by the Representative Committee, these were con fined to protests to which your honourable Cabinet gave their consent. Moreover, it is the legitimate right of the Representative Com mittee, being representative of the unity of the nation, to do this on behalf of the nation. It is certain that if the Government would evince the same feeling *) The date is omitted in the original.
265 and would hasten to show an agreement of opinion in such matters between themselves and the nation, there would be no obstacle stand* ing in their way, but, on the other hand, very distinct advantages would result therefrom. But the French say that you have not even protested against such an apparent injustice as the occupation of Adana. This it what gave rise to the formal declarations made by the French represen tative. In short, we consider it necessary to declare to you that the Representative Committee have never given way to despair or dis couragement, nor have they failed to appreciate their sacred duties to the extent that they have been unable to understand what the welfare of the country and the nation expected from them. But their principle is to prefer dignity to degradation in all that they do and undertake to do for the welfare of the nation. They hold
the infallible belief that on these lines alone can a skilful policy, based on the exigencies of the situation, be followed. For this reason, they cannot recommend any principles to the nation which are antagonistic to those they derive from the very soul of the nation, which is so vigilant in the face of painful realities. They have the fixed hope that the Chamber of Deputies, whose convention is looked upon as a necessity, will be permeated by the same spirit and imbued with the same sentiments. 6. We have already explained to you the standpoint of the Represen tative Committee. We respectfully declare that for the welfare of the country it is necessary that your Excellency, as our representative, shall inform the Cabinet of the matter referred to and assure them that this is all pure imagination. Mustapha Kemal In the name of the Representative Committee. To give you an example of the confusion that the corrupt at mosphere of Constantinople produced at this time in the minds and thoughts of persons who were regarded as being most honourable and judicious, and who accepted the most difficult tasks for the liberation of the country, I would like to tell you of an individual case which engaged my personal attention while I was still at Sivas. There might perhaps be some amongst the honourable members here present who have not forgotten it. Senator Tshuruk Sulu Mahmud Pasha had given the editor of the "Bosphorus" some of his ideas about our political position. You will remember that General Mahmud Pasha was at that time a member of
266 the Peace Commission. Seventeen days later I read another statement at Sivas made by the same general, which had been published in the u Taswiri-Efkiar" on 31 st October. One sentence attracted my atten tion: "Without accepting the exaggerated demands of the Armenians as being reasonable, we are willing to consent to certain alterations being made in the frontier line." It was, indeed, an astonishing and remarkable thing that a states man, a member of the Peace Commission, could commit himself to a statement that was practically a promise to grant territorial compen sation in Eastern Anatolia to the Armenians. In a telegram that I thought it right to send to His Excellency Tshuruk Sulu Mahmud Pasha on the 17 th November, I said that "the population of Eastern Anatolia were perfectly justified in feeling in censed and irritated at this phrase; that the nation, according to the decisions arrived at at the Erzerum and Sivas Congresses, had no idea of ceding an inch of their territory and had decided to defend their own rights, as already announced to the whole world, even if the Government should tamely submit to a shameful promise of this description/ I added that this decision of the nation was very well known to
the honourable members of the Peace Commission and that they must follow it. (Document 196.)
During our stay at Sivas, a great number of questions and incidents attracted our attention, and we were moved by force of circumstances to take certain steps within the national movement itself, as well as with reference to administrative, military and political affairs. It would take far too long to enter into them fully in detail. I shall only show you how forcibly the concatenation of facts influenced our actions. It was very important to carry out the national organisations to the end. For this purpose, we took definite measures. Others had also to be taken to remove certain differences of opinion that had arisen concerning the elections. Some of our Circassian compatriots at Marash had, as I have said already, sent a telegram on behalf of all the Circassians in that district to the French military commander at Aintab, requesting that the Governor of Djebeli Bereket should be sent to Marash. We expressed our regret to the Mutessarif of Marash that he had approved of such
267 a step. We informed him that the notables of Marash were not to think of preparing a reception for him when he arrived at that town. We also called the attention of the Government to this matter. Insecurity in the district of Bolu increased. Instructions about it were sent to Rushdi Bey, commanding the I st Division, who had succeeded Assim Bey in the command of Ismidt. In a telegram in cipher from our organisation in Constantinople, dated 20 th - November and signed by Kara Vassif Bey and Colonel Shefket Bey, we were informed that "the Kaimakam of Gebse is hostile to the national forces. In order to minimise and counteract their authority he was considering how he could veil the misdeeds of Yahia Kapdan, who had committed all sorts of infamous crimes and was concocting further intrigues." The necessity was emphasised that this Kaimakam should be removed. (Document 197.) We sincerely shared this opinion and replied that they should secure his removal by applying to Djemal Pasha. (Document 198.) This case of Yahia Kapdan marked one of the most important phases of the revolution and, being very instructive, I would like to give you some striking details about it. As what I have already said undoubtedly proves, an essential part of the plan which our united enemies were endeavouring to carry through consisted in showing to the world by material proofs and facts that unrest was prevailing in the interior of the country and that the Christian elements were the object of constant attacks, pretend ing that all this was the work of the national forces. Imbued with this secret and insidious intention, they had begun, as we have seen,
to organise bands and to incite them against the Christian population, so that later on the national forces would be charged with the crimes they had themselves committed. These enterprises, which had begun to spread all over the country, found a specially important field of activity in the districts of Bigha, Balikesri and, chiefly, Ismidt and Ada Basar, because they were near the capital and, therefore, were bound to attract attention. As the consequence of this, which in some way showed dark malice, but otherwise, it must be admitted, considerable skill, we found ourselves placed in the necessity of exercising special initiative and of undertaking steps of a specific nature. For, the Government was openly attributing all these hostile intrigues to the national forces and, instead of taking energetic steps to stop them, they began to criticise and bring pressure on the Representative Committee and continually
268 demanded that we should suppress the activity of these gangs and the crimes they committed. Besides, the Government had unfortunately succeeded in instilling their ideas and convictions on this question into the heads of the leaders of our organisations in Constantinople. The arrangements we made to carry out our operations in the district of Ismidt, in the neighbourhood of Constantinople, consisted in organising armed national parties and, with the help of the military commanders and some trustworthy officers in this district, we perse cuted and annihilated these treacherous gangs. The most important, and numerically the strongest, of the national parties that we could assemble for this purpose was commanded by a devoted patriot who was known by the name of Yahia Kapdan. We first came into touch with the late Yahia in this way. On a certain day, the operators at the Telegraph Office at Sivas told us that a very urgent telegram had been intercepted that is to say, had not been transmitted by Constantinople and that the contents of it were as follows : To His Excellency Mustapha Kemal Pasha, Sivas. "It is I, Yahia, who was recommended to you yesterday from Ismidt. I shall await your orders to-morrow evening at the Telegraph Office at Kushdshali." (Kushdshali is a village between Scutari and Gebse.) Yahia Kapdan had actually been recommended to us by our organisation at Ismidt. On the 4 th October I received the following message from Kushd shali: Important and very urgent. His Excellency Mustapha Kemal, Sivas. I am Yahia, who was recommended to you two days ago from
Ismidt. In obedience to your orders, I have come to the instrument to receive your orders by telegram. To-inorrow evening, at latest, I shall be at the Telegraph Office at Kushdshali. Yahia. Yahia Kapdan had probably noticed that his message from Con stantinople had not been transmitted, and had sent the above telegram to the office at Kushdshali to be forwarded before he arrived there himself. (Document 199.)
269 I gave the following order: (Document 200.) 4 th October. Through the Telegraph Office at Ismidt to Yahia Effendi at Kushdshali. Do all you possibly can to raise a strong force in the district where you are. Keep in touch with us through Tahir Bey, the Kaimakam at Ada Basar. Meanwhile hold yourself in readiness. Mustapha Kemal President of the "Union for the Defence of the Rights of Anatolia and Rumelia." After Yahia Kapdan had received this order he raised the force I had requested him to do, and succeeded for several months to come in preventing the intrigues of the treacherous gangs in Constantinople and the neighbourhood. Eventually, the Government in Constantinople had him assassin ated. Although the activity of Yahia Kapdan and his tragic death took place some months later, I feel, as I have already alluded to this affair, that I ought to give you all the particulars about it while I have the opportunity, so that I need not refer to it again. On the 24 tb November, the following telegram came from the Telegraph Office at Kartal: "We are compelled to hand Yahia Kapdan over to the Govern ment, because he has murdered an innocent man in the middle of the village, he has caused the mayor to be flogged in public and he has pillaged several villages. The Ministry of the Interior is following up this affair very energetically. We must hand Yahia Kapdan over to obviate the Government being driven into a difficult position. I am awaiting Your Excellency s orders here at the instrument. Ahmed Nedjati, Major (Document 201) Chairman of the Representative Committee of the "Union for the Defence of the Rights of Anatolia and Rumelia." The chairmanship of the committee of our national organisations was seldom conferred on military officers and official persons.
Moreover, the chairman of a committee ought to have been in formed of and to have known all about our regulations, and that there was only one Representative Committee and not another in every town.
270 After the receipt of this suspicious telegram, I telegraphed to the officer commanding the troops at Ismidt as follows : In cipher. Urgent. Sivas 25^ November. To Memed Rushdi Bey Effendi, Commanding the I st Di vision, Ismidt. In a telegram from Nedjati Bey, who signs himself chairman of the Union for the Defence of the Rights at Kartal, we have been informed that he has to hand Yahia Kapdan over to the Government as he is accused of murder, of an assault on the mayor, and of pillaging villages. Further, that the Ministry of the Interior insists very energetically on this being done at once. In the critical times our country is now passing through, it cannot be tolerated that the person referred to shall be handed over to the Government, because he has distinguished himself by performing useful services from the very beginning of the national movement. I ask you, therefore, urgently to settle this affair on the spot and see that Yahia is delivered from legal persecution with the authority and in the name of the Govern ment. Give the necessary orders to Nedjati Bey at Kartal and report the result to me. Mustapha Kemal, In the name of the Representative Committee. On the 26 th November I received the following telegram from the office at Hereke: I appeal to you urgently on behalf of the nation. The abuses Major Nedjati Bey is guilty of dishonour the national forces in such days as these. I beg you immediately to institute an k^ Yahia Commanding the troops at Gebse. The reply I received from the officer commanding the Division at Ismidt reads: Ismidt 29 th November. To the Commander of the III rd Army Corps, Sivas. Reply to the telegram of 25 th November. To the Chairman of the Representative Committee. From the inquiries I have made so far, it seems evident that Yahia has not committed any murder nor has he been guilty of an assault on the mayor. On the contrary, Major Nedjati Bey wants
271 Kapdan out of the way, because he regards him as an obstacle stand ing in the way of his own personal ambition. Just when they appealed to Your Excellency in a telegram, they had conspired to induce Yahia to go to them and to kill him; but he saw through their trap and did not fall into it. I am carrying on my inquiries in due course and shall immediately inform you of the result - Rushdi Commanding the I st Division. A few days later Rushdi Bey sent me the following supplementary information : Ismidt 5 th December. To the Officer commanding the III rd Army Corps, Sivas. For the Representative Committee. Major Nedjati Bey, while carrying on his actual duties at the School of Musketry at Maltepe and assuming the title of chairman of the Union for the Defence of the Rights, is pillaging the district with gangs belonging to Kutshuk Arslan, the Albanian, which he has assembled round him and which he pretends are national forces. Nail Effendi, Captain in the Gendarmerie, is in collusion with him. I have no doubt at all about the truth of these statements. This gang has been employed to perpetrate crimes, such as the assassination of the Greek watchman at Daridsha and robbing and assaulting a rich man named Stelianos crimes that have recently put the Government in difficulty. Considering that these offences are attributed to Yahia Kapdan, who has had nothing whatever to do with them, and that false evidence inculpating him has been sent both to you and the Government, we can only come to the conclusion that these two individuals, by carrying on their intrigues under the cover of the national forces, intend to create difficulties for the people and the Government, and meanwhile fill their own pockets. It is possible that they may also have some political object in view. Yahia Kapdan, who up to the present moment has behaved very honourably, as he is accustomed to do, and has not taken part in any of these acts of violence, but, on the contrary, has prevented these gangs from committing crimes in the zone for which he is responsible, is now the object of official persecution by men who want to get rid of him either through the Government or otherwise by attacking him personally. Yesterday Yahia Kapdan came to see me and told me officially that his life is in danger, that he must get away from here,
272 and that he would hand over the arms and ammunition in the posses sion of his men before he goes away. I have given him the requisite advice and have sent him back to
his duties, telling him that he is needed for further more important services in days to come. The information I have received from the Kaimakam of Gebse, who is very well informed about everything that is going on, confirms what I have just reported in every particular. He is very much against Nedjati Efiendi and Nail Effendi, but has a high opinion of Yahia Kapdan. Although I do not know with whom Nedjati Bey is in communi cation in Constantinople, it is rumoured that he receives money from time to time from some secret source or other. As they are staying in this district and as their weapons are stained with blood, Yahia Kapdan does not want to remain here any longer. Consequently, it seems necessary that Nedjati Effendi, who is an officer on the active list, should be transferred to another post and Nail Effendi to one in an opposite direction. Personally, I cannot do anything in this matter, because these men are directly under the authority of Constantinople. I appeal to you to do all you can to see that the necessary steps are taken. RusMij Commanding the I st Division. I sent a telegram to Djemal Pasha, the Minister of War, on the 8 th December, and in it I mentioned in detail the information that I had received from Rushdi Bey. (Document 202.) On the same day the leaders of our organisation in Constantinople were informed about what was happening and the appeal we had sent to Djemal Pasha. We begged them to do all they could to further our appeal. (Document 203.) Nineteen days later, on the 27 ^ December, a long telegram, with the ciphered signature of Vassif and the proper signature of Colonel Shefket Bey, contained this: ". . . . the bands belonging to Yahia Kapdan and his associate Kara Arslan, as well as those of Sadik, specially infest the district of Alem Dagh and are the cause of a great deal of insecurity." After having enumerated some of the excesses attributed to Yahih Kapdan, the telegram went on: " they have compelled us to take steps that will render these criminals harmless."
273 "The fact that Kutshuk Arslan s gang, with whom he has been on bad terms for some time, is welcome (?!), has moved him to veil his own criminal deeds in various ways." "Captain Nail is an enemy of Yahia s. With regard to Nedjati Bey, he was elected chairman by the Kasa of Kartal when the
Government was overthrown, and he has broken off relations with the chief authority in favour of the national forces. (?!) He has effectively co-operated in the national organisation For the purpose of preventing the raids on, and robberies of the Greeks of Yeni Keui, he has fitted out and led Kutshuk Arslan s gangs. .... You have provided him with relief funds yourself (?!)." <c Yahia Kapdan .... proceeds in a way that prevents him from doing anything of importance. 3 "It is true that Major Nedjati is not skilful enough, but at the same time he does not deserve to be punished." ". . . . to put an end to the Greek and Armenian intrigues and to dismiss the Kaimakam of Gebse immediately from his office . . . ." (Document 204.) There were many things in this information that were quite un known to me. For instance, I knew nothing about the existence of Kutshuk Arslan s gang, and still less that it was welcome. I have no recollection of ever having given money to this gang through Nedjati Bey. On the other hand, we knew very well that Yahia Kapdan, in obedience to the orders we had given him, was actually engaged in suppressing enemy bands or, at any rate, preventing them from succeeding in carrying out the schemes of the enemies by molesting the Christian population. I think that the documents I shall now show you will throw a % very lurid light on the real part played by the Kaimakam of Gebse. I wrote again to Rushdi Bey, commanding a Division, on the 4 th January, and repeated to him accurately the information sent by Vassif Bey, begging him, as this information did not agree with the news he had personally sent me, to institute fresh inquiries through trustworthy persons and to inform me of the opinion he had come to. (Document 205.) As I am anxious that you shall be fully informed, I must trouble you to listen to Rushdi Bey s reply. Kemal Pasha l8
274 Command of the XX t]1 Army Corps. Duzje, 7 th January, 1920. Reply to tlie ciphered telegram of January 4 th . To the Chairman of the Representative Committee. As different allegations had been advanced against Yahia Kapdan,
I had repeatedly commissioned Captain Ali Agush Effendi to inquire into them and find out whether there was any truth in them. The result of all these researches has been entirely in his favour. It is quite possible that through ignorance he may have made some trifling mistakes with the idea of doing his best. As regards the great and the little Arslan*) they are mainly robbers. Here is the answer verbatim that came from the Kaimakam of Gebse, to whom I had written in connection with this affair on I st December, 1919, No. 17. There is no doubt that in his heart the Kaimakam is an enemy of the national organisations. Consequently, it is quite natural that he should be the first to complain about Yahia. I was obliged to refer, at gram in question, and with in question to Shefket Bey to me Constantinople would I would not be called upon Copy. Reply to your esteemed letter of 20 th November, No. 53. The statements made by Major Nedjati Bey, Chairman of the Union for the Defence of the Rights at Kartal, about a murder and certain acts of violence against the person of the mayor are inaccurate, because they gave no precise indications as to the date and the persons concerned. Burhaneddin Bey, the Mayor who was alleged to have been flogged, has stated officially in writing that he has not been the victim of an assault at the hands of Yahia Kapdan, nor has he addressed any complaint to me on the subject. As far as the charge of murder is concerned, neither the Govern ment nor the judicial authorities have been consulted about any accusation of the kind. No order for the arrest of Yahia Kapdan has been issued. If the assassination of the two Greeks of Daridsha and the robbery and assault on Stelianos Tshorbadshi in the village of Pasha Keui at Kartal are what is referred to, everybody knows that *) Kutshuk Arslan = Little Arslan; Kara Arslan = Black Arslan ; Bujuk Arslan = Great Arslan. least in part, to the contents of the tele the same confidence I showed the letter in Constantinople. If for reasons unknown do anything against Yahia, of course to do anything.
275 these crimes were perpetrated by Kutshuk Arslan s bands, and that there has been a very bad feeling between them and Yahia Kapdan for a considerable time. Some time ago, a gang, consisting of eighteen men, was under the protection of Captain Nail Effendi, but at present it is under the command of Major Nedjati Bey. It is rumoured that each of the man are paid 50 a month. Therefore, they are able to attend to their usual business, which consists chiefly in pillaging villages. Major Nedjati Bey is an old schoolfellow of Captain Nail Bey s. About six weeks ago they met at a notorious feast that Ali Kapdan,
a member of Kutshuk Arslan s gang, had arranged to celebrate his marriage. The expenses connected with the feast were defrayed from the money that had been robbed from Tshorbadshi, who had been kidnapped by Ali Kapdan. Later on, Nedjati Bey spent several nights at Nail Bey s house. They understand one another very well, because they share the same views. For a long time Nail Bey has been against Yahia Kapdan and when he was engaged in forming organisations here he did all he could to get him removed from my district. The idea prevails here that these two crimes were committed with the intention of getting the national forces and Yahia Bey accused of them. It is quite evident and generally accepted that these crimes were committed by Kutshuk Arslan s gang in the district where they carry on their depredations. Besides this, it is an undoubted fact that Nail Bey has been in correspondence with Constantinople, with the object of getting Hakki Bey recalled. He commands a Cavalry Division belonging to the Guard in Constantinople, which had been sent out to hunt this gang. Pretending that Hakki Bey is not wanted, it is through him that the matter has not been carried any further. If it is another murder that is referred to, precise details, with dates and names of the persons concerned, must be furnished. On the day that the Greek watchman was murdered at Daridsha, the crime became known through the members of Kutshuk Arslan s gang, who were walking about openly in the bazaar discussing it. As he was afraid of the consequences, Captain Nail had applied to be transferred to another post, and declared that he would not stay here any longer ; but the officers commanding the regiment and the other troops, as well as Major Nedjati Bey, who intervened, calmed him and promised that they would make it unpleasant for Yahia Kapdan with the help of Sirri Bey the delegate. They took his part in this way so that they could keep him here. 1 8*
276 On Tuesday, the 25 tjl November, Nedjati Bey came back, and the captain persuaded him to his way of thinking and induced him to give false evidence against Yahia. Then he tried to waylay him. He asked him by telephone to come to a certain place where Kutshuk Arslan J s gang were waiting in readiness in his house to throw themselves on him. But he lacked the courage to carry out his plan no one knows why and he threw up the attempt when it was half completed. Meanwhile Nedjati Bey had to return to Kartal. It is evident that Captain Nail Bey is continually at work concoct ing false evidence against Yahia Kapdan. Trying to lay traps for him by sometimes using Nedjati Bey s and at others Kutshuk Arslan s gang, the latter being his tool in affairs of this sort. Lastly, I have the honour to bring to your notice the fact that Yahia Kapdan will not allow the villagers to be pillaged or the Christians persecuted,
as is being done by the gang of his adversary Kutshuk Arslan. When Bujuk Arslan Bey s gang, which is under his command, happens to do undesirable things he stops them immediately; he is actively engaged in maintaining order and security, so that he may further the national plans, which aim at the independence and salvation of our country. He had also previously done useful service by winning over Bujuk Arslan s gang and otaining their pardon from the Govern ment. The accusations against Yahia may be traced to his having identified himself with the personal interests of the captain and to his having severely reproached him for the crimes committed by Kutshuk Arslan s gang, with which he is now credited, and screening the perpetrators of them Mehmed Nureddin, Kaimakam of Gebse. Rushdi, Commanding the I st Division and the District of Bolu. Before this information reached us, we received the following message : "Yahia Kapdan has been surrounded at Tawshandshil by the military force that has been sent from Constantinople." When we received this message we asked the commander of the troops at Ismidt in a ciphered telegram, dated 7 ttx January, to account for this, and we waited at the instrument for his answer. We told
277 him: "If this information is correct, let the commander of the troops know that we are aware of his having been sent from Constantinople, that Yahia Kapdan is our man, and that if he has done anything wrong we shall do all that is necessary, because we shall not allow him to be surrounded and arrested/ (Document 206.) Two telegrams were sent on the 7 th January, which we only received on the 8 th . One of them was signed by Fewsi Bey, temporarily commanding the I st Division at Ismidt. He said: "A party consisting of two thousand men has landed at Tawshandshil to-night and has surrounded Yahia Bey, commanding the national troops. Please tell us what we are to do/ The second message was from the actual commander of the division, who was at Duzje. Rushdi Bey reported to the same effect as Fewsi Bey had done. (Document 207.) In Fewsi Bey s reply on 7 th January to our request for details that we had sent on the same date, he told us that Yahia Kapdan had not been made a prisoner up till then, that a meeting between the troops
from Constantinople and our own would probably take place, and that orders must be given to the commander of this division. At the same moment a telegram, dated the io tlx January, arrived from Djevad Bey, my aide-de-camp, who was then a deputy in Constantinople : Harbie, io th January. To the Command or the XX th Army Corps. To His Excellency Mustapha Pasha. On the night of the 6 th January before daybreak the "Panderma," with her lights covered, arrived at Hereke having on board four officers and fifty gendarmes under the command of Hilmi Bey, assistant of the Chief-in-Command of the Gendarmerie, and Nasmi Bey, commanding the Gendarmerie at Scutari, with ninety men of the battalion of Guards in Constantinople under the command of Captain Nahid Eff endi. They landed in the early hours of the morning at Hereke, and immediately marched to Tawshandshil, where they searched different houses. The civil council declared emphatically that Yahia Kapdan had not been in the village during the last two days and that they had no idea where he was. It will not be possible to take Yahia alive. If he were killed, it would apparently be to the great advantage of the Greeks who dominate the Marmara coast and who are supplied daily
278 with arms and ammunition by the English and French. At the same time, the corrupt people in Constantinople would be pleased. Another thing that would happen would be that a great number of gangs would be formed in the district of Ismidt, at Ada Basar and in Con stantinople, who would vie with one another in provoking unrest there in favour of our enemies, because his death would mean the end of the national forces commanded by Yahia. Consequently, I beg your Excellency to give orders to the com petent authorities so that his Excellency Djemal Pasha can personally take this matter hi hand and that Yahia, hi accordance with my former communication, will be liberated under another name. (Djevad) Djemal, Minister of War. The fact that this telegram was ciphered according to the key used by the Minister of War and bore Djemal Pasha s signature, and that it contained the phrase "so that Djemal Pasha can personally take this matter in hand, etc. ..." is worthy of particular notice. It means that Djemal Pasha ciphered Djevad Bey s message with his own key and had it transmitted with his signature, without having con sidered it necessary to read it over first. For it was Djemal Pasha himself who originally ordered the operations against Yahia. If this had not been so, he surely would not have permitted the telegram to be send off in which I was begged to give the order so that Djemal Pasha could intervene to secure Yahia s liberation.
In the two telegrams from the acting commander of the Division at Ismidt, dated the 9 th and io th January, we were informed of the rumour that two skirmishes had taken place and that Yahia Kapdan had been killed. (Document 209.) On the n tl1 January, I asked the temporary commander whether he had sent our message to the officer commanding the force that had been dispatched from Constantinople. (Document 210.) Three days later, his report of the 14 th January told us that "my personal inquiries have resulted in ... that no encounter has taken place; but Yahia, after surrendering, was killed outside the village with some sharp instrument; the fact that his head was cut off and cannot be found confirms this." (Document 211.) When we received this sad news we sent a telegram to our organi sation in Constantinople, through Colonel Shefket Bey, on the 20 ^Jan uary. It read: "Will you be good enough to inform us what led the Government to send troops against Yahia Kapdan ; at the same time we want to
279 know the names of the persons who are guilty of murdering him. It has been reported to us that he was killed deliberately after he had surrendered. Some of our loyal comrades in Constantinople demand to be furnished with details. I beg you to reply as soon as possible/ Mustapha Kemal, In the name of the Representative Committee. In reply to a former message, we also received from Constantinople this telegram, dated 2i st January, which reached us a day later. Beshiktash, 21 st January. To the Command of the XX th Army Corps, Angora. To His Excellency Mustapha Kemal Pasha. Reply. 1. A trustworthy person who is on the spot states that, after he had been captured, Yahia Kapdan was escorted to the guard in the village. It is reported that about ten bandits fired on the escort on the way and that, in trying to escape, he was killed. The Government have, nevertheless, demanded an inquiry to be instituted. 2. The Government is said to have decided to arrest Yahia Kapdan, because he is accused of a number of offences that he is alleged to have committed under cover and on behalf of the national troops offences which are said to be generally known and confirmed by official and private inquiry. Our organisation had demanded that these per secutions should be stopped, and had offered in return to guarantee that Yahia would disappear for a time, that he would have nothing more to do with the national troops, that he would not commit any more acts of violence, and that he would discharge the deserters and
gendarmes whom he had gathered around him. We had already made the necessary arrangements to this effect with the competent autho rities, and had even sent a special deputy for this purpose to Gebse. Meanwhile, the Government had secretly sent troops, declaring that it was their intention to arrest Yahia Kapdan, the result of which has been as I have reported. Vassif Commanding the fortress of Tshanak Kale. Shefket. It was reported that fire had been opened in the neighbourhood while he was being escorted to the guard outside the village, and that he was trying to escape and had been killed in the attempt.
280 We would have been very stupid if we had not understood at once that these expressions were similar to those commonly employed in cases of murderous attacks like this. The statement that the Government, who co-operated with the leaders of our organisation in Constantinople and formed their decision jointly with the object of suppressing Yahia Kapdan, should suddenly and secretly have created an accomplished fact, is particularly worthy of notice. Men belonging to the Gendarmerie and a Guards battalion from Stambul are called out in Constantinople . . . and the leaders of our organisation, who pretend to be masters of the situation, do not know anything about it! We demanded an explanation of this telegram from Constantinople. Telegram in cipher. Angora, 22 nd January. To Colonel Shefket Bey Commanding the fortress at Tshanak Kale Constantinople . "A great number of people, especially in Constantinople, are following the account of Yahia Kapdan s assassination with the greatest interest and demand to be furnished with full particulars about it. So that we may know the truth, would you send us a reply urgently telling us what the offences were which you state are known everywhere/ Mustapha Kemal In the name of the Representative Committee. (Signed) The acting Commander of the XX th Army Corps. I hope I shall not be straining your patience too far if I quote verbatim the reply we received to our demand for details. Beshiktash, 24 tlx January, 1920. To the Commander of the XX th Army Corps, Angora. To be handed to His Excellency Mustapha Kemal Pasha,
Reply to the telegram of 22 nd January. I. We have heard it rumoured that Yahia Kapdan was murdered after he had surrendered. We are making further inquiries and will inform you of the result. These are the reasons advanced by the Government for the sup pression of Yahia Kapdan :
28l 2. He would listen to nobody, but publicly committed atrocities and robberies in the name of the national troops. For a long time he had been harbouring and concealing bandits; he had not obeyed orders that had been given him to go to any particular place. Lastly, the complaints that had been sent to them from the villages and the surrounding country made it impossible for the Government to hold back any longer, so they made up their minds to take strenuous action against him without letting our organisation know anything about it. Vassif Commanding the fortress of Tshanak Kale. Colonel Shefket. It was altogether inexact to state, as was done in the second clause of this telegram, that Yahia Kapdan did not listen to anybody, and to give that as the reason for the action taken against him and his subsequent assassination. The deceased man listened to me and received orders from me, and acted upon them. I had not ordered him to recognise any other authority or any other person, nor to take orders from them. We ourselves desired that he would not obey any orders that came from the Minister of the Interior and Kemal Pasha, the traitor, or from the Commander of the Gendarmerie that were brought to him by any person coming from Constantinople. It was still more untrue that he committed robberies and brutalities in the name of the national troops; they were committed rather by nu merous gangs like that belonging to Kutshuk Arslan, that were formed, as documents in our possession prove beyond doubt, by traitors and enemies of the country. It is likewise reported by reliable persons who have been making inquiries, that Yahia devoted himself to circumventing these gangs in their lawless work. I cannot proceed without mentioning a message that was tele graphed to us before this regrettable incident occurred, and which bore the joint signatures of the chairman of the Defence of the Rights and the Kaimakam of Gebse. It was to this effect: "From information received by the people, it is evident that, on account of the slanderous statements made by certain individuals, Yahia Kapdan, commanding the national troops at Gebse, has now been surrounded at Tawshandshil by about two thousand men under the command of high officers who were sent from Constantinople last Tuesday evening, and he cannot escape. Your Excellency will understand how unjust such treatment is in the case of one who is
282 doing so much good work for his country. We are waiting at the instrument, and beg you to let us know what can be done to save him. Fewsi, Kaimakam Hadshi Ali, Chairman of the Committee for the Defence of the Rights. Let me read you another message I received about the same affair from Sirri Bey, the deputy, who was working for the organisation of the national forces in the district of Ismidt. Ismidt, II th January, 1920. To the Command of the XX th Army Corps. To His Excellency Mustapha Kemal Pasha. 1. The affair of Yahia Kapdan, about which we exchanged mes sages four days ago, has ended in his being assassinated, as you will surely have heard. 2. The idea that Yahia might possibly stand before the gates of Constantinople at the head of the organised troops must have put these persons, who are enemies of the national forces, into a state of terror. This is undoubtedly the reason for his removal having been decided upon. 3. This being the probable motive for the crime, the incident loses its local character and deserves to be taken into serious consideration by the Representative Committee. 4. Hikmet Bey, commanding the Gendarmerie, who never moves a finger and still less sends parties under his command to pursue the gangs that haunt the district of Ismidt, who considers the daily escape of prisoners in batches of fifteen to twenty at a time from the gaol, which is next door to his own house, as a common event of no importance, has shown himself remarkably active when there was the question of doing away with Yahia. Then he placed himself personally at the head of the detachment of gendarmes who had been called out. At last he was successful in dealing this heavy blow against the national forces. Continuation follows. Sirri, Deputy. Fewsi Acting Commander of the I st Division.
283 To the Command of the XX th Army Corps.
5. These districts will be alarmed at the national forces organised at Gebse losing their leader. 6. The murder of Yahia, who was known in this district as the support of the national troops, under such distressing conditions has naturally produced considerable confusion. 7. The removal of Yahia is regarded as evidence of the aggressive attitude which the Government intend to adopt in future towards the national forces. 8. Following these facts, the foreigners will undoubtedly assume that the national forces are unimportant in the eyes of the Govern ment and that the latter believe that they are in a position to play with them. In consequence of this, it is necessary to act promptly. Sirri, Deputy. Fewsi, Acting Commander of the I st Division. To the Command of the XX th Army Corps. Continuation of the telegram in cipher, No. 68. 1. Unless a reliable man is appointed immediately to take command of the national troops at Gebse and the situation is made more satis factory, we must resign ourselves to the fact that throughout the whole of the Sanjak of Ismidt and Scutari there will not be a single man left who will declare himself to be an adherent of the national movement. 2. Hikmet Bey, commanding the Gendarmerie, must be dismissed from his post without further delay. 3. In order that the national forces in the Sanjak of Ismidt will be able to exist and be properly organised, Fewsi Bey, Lt. -Colonel on the active list, must be appointed commander of the Gendarmerie. I state emphatically that there is no other course possible. Sirri, Deputy. Fewsi, Acting Commander of the I st Division. To the Commander of the XX th Army Corps. Continuation of the telegram in cipher, No. 79. i. The rumours that are being circulated to the effect that the national forces in Anatolia have fallen into disgrace, have given fresh encouragement to our adversaries through this regrettable incident.
284 We must do all that we possibly can to prove that the energy and vital power we possessed hitherto have by no means deteriorated.
2. I think that His Excellency Ali Fuad Pasha ought to come here himself. 3. I feel obliged to repeat that the Sanjak of Ismidt must not be neglected and that something effectual must be done to show the interest we take in it. sirri? Deput y. Fewsi, Acting Commander of the I st Division. Rauf Bey, who was at that time in Constantinople, wrote me the following letter: Constantinople, 1 9 th February, 1920. To His Excellency Mustapha Kemal Pasha. It is understood here also that Yahia Kapdan has been assassinated. The Commandant of Constantinople has been ordered to take the affair in hand. A post-mortem examination of his body has been made. The Government have ordered that those who are guilty of this crime shall be brought to trial. Hussein Rauf. There was no longer any doubt remaining that Yahia Kapdan had been murdered. This truth having been fully established, did it follow that the Government by taking legal proceedings would ensure that the perpetrators of the crime the Government themselves being the actual murderers would for ever remain undiscovered? But, it is merely a question of time when every detail, every truth will be thoroughly and impartially sifted and laid bare by history. It is in the firm conviction that the examination of the motives and factors that drove the Government and the leaders of our organi sation in Constantinople to commit such a base crime will lead to really instructive results, that I have supported the many details concerning an incident which at first sight might appear unimpotant by actual proofs and documents. If in the preceding account I have succeeded in contributing something that will be considered parti cularly enlightening in the eyes of the nation, I believe I shall have performed a conscientious duty and shall feel more satisfied. In this thought, it might be well to bear in mind two points. Firstly, the secret organisation to which Said Molla belonged and the role played by individuals and gangs in the districts of Gebse and Kartal, all of whom belonged to this organisation; the skill they
285 displayed in attributing their deeds to our own people and organi sations and thereby misleading people who were regarded as patriots, and the success of their manoeuvres. Secondly, the attitude of the leaders of our organisation in Con stantinople. These men, relying on ourselves, the Representative Committee, who were asked to follow our instructions and communi cations, ought to have understood that steady advance in the direction of our common aim could only be possible if they faithfully did their duty. But they did nothing of the sort. In spite of the warnings of
the Representative Committee, they believed in their own superiority and acted accordingly. In their comparatively isolated position their vanity increased, they lost their nerve and, under the delusive in fluence of this, they went so far as to allow themselves to be hood winked. (Document 212.) Before bringing my account of this affair to an end, I would like to read a final telegram, which must fill everyone who has a conscience with sadness. To His ExceUency Mustapha Kemal Pasha, President of the National Forces at Angora. Constantinople 4960. Constantinople, 14^ January, 1920. Yahia Kapdan, my husband, has been brutally murdered after he had surrendered. He committed no crime, and the only reason given for it is that he was associated with Your Excellency. The murder was committed by Captain Nail Effendi, commanding the Gendarmerie at Gebse, and Lieut. Abdurrahman Effendi. All ^ the inhabitants of Tawshandshil were witnesses of the deed. The Minis tries of Justice and of the Interior are making inquiries about this crime. I am left in a desolate position with two children. We rely that Your Excellency will do all you can to obtain support for us. Shefket Hanem, widow of Yahia Kapdan. Kara Gumruk, Karabash, No. 19. The affair of Yahia Kapdan commenced on the 20^ November, and in order to follow its development we have had to extend our account of it over a long period. Let me now return to the point where we were describing other events. The Allied Powers objected to the railway line that ran from Angora to Eski-Shehr being used. On the 21 st October we called upon the General Committee at Angora to protest energetically to
286 the representatives of the Allied Powers, so that we could make use of this line. We requested the persons who had taken the initiative in forming organisations at Adana to go to Nigdeh or Kaisaria in order to get into communication with us. By doing so we would be able to carry on our work with them. The situation at the Aidin front grew more serious from day to day. We wrote to the Ministry of War asking them to decide that the =400,000 allocated to the fleet should be applied, as we had already agreed with Salih Pasha at Amasia, to the needs of this front. We urged the officer commanding the XII th Army Corps at Konia to provide the men fighting at this front with arms and ammunition and self-loading guns, and with new batteries of Artillery. The French, under the pretence of controlling the railway line
running from Panderma to Soma, had landed a Division at Panderma. It was clear that they had no right whatever to send troops into this town where complete safety was prevailing. We drew the attention of the officers commanding the XIV th Army Corps and the 6 th Division to this matter on the 24 th November. Foreign officers visited the Aidin front, made propaganda there and tried to find out what was really going on there. We gave orders at the front that they were on no account to allow these officers to come into contact with the fighting troops, and to tell them that they must apply officially to the Government. They were to tell them also that if they had anything to say about the national forces, they were to address our General Committee on the subject. We added, that those officers who were making propaganda were to be removed from the district under escort and, if it should become absolutely necessary, they were even to shoot any Allied soldiers who were found at the front. We wanted to make sure that the people of Smyrna would vote at the elections, and we conveyed our intention to them regarding this in different ways. But, of course, the Greeks objected to our doing this. We protested to the representatives of the Allied Powers and the Neutral Mission on the 29 th November. We also wanted to inform the population of our protest, and communicated with Edhem Bey, Director of the Posts and Telegraphs in this town. Probably many of you will remember that during the enemy s occupation a foreign newspaper called "Ferda," which was hostile to the national forces, was published at Adana. This newspaper printed many columns of abuse about us, simply to mislead and distract
287 national public opinion in Anatolia. We decided to stop the circu lation of it in the country. Nevertheless, Damad Sherif Pasha, Minister of the Interior in All Riza Pasha s Cabinet, about whom Djemal Pasha had repeatedly spoken in terms of praise, regarded the publication of this paper as undoubtedly very useful in the country and gave orders to the effect that free circulation of this poisonous rag was not to be interfered with. Therefore, we considered it necessary to draw the attention of Djemal Pasha, Sherif Pasha s friend, to this fact on the 3 rd December, 1919.
As we could not prevent Parliament from meeting in Constanti nople itself, we thought of forming a united and determined party in the Chamber, because we thought that this would be the only way left to us to "uphold and defend our aim, which was to safeguard the integrity of our country and the independence of our nation." Among the instructions we issued by circular letters on the i8 tlx No vember, we had pointed out that this plan was one of the main questions the deputies would have to discuss when they met in groups in certain localities. On the same day, in order to form this party, we had the idea of
requesting the deputies to send a representative from each sanjak to Eski-Shehr, so that they would be able to get into touch with the other deputies who were going by train to Constantinople from EskiShehr. By going personally to this town we wanted to organise a general meeting at which we could discuss matters. Amongst other questions, the safety of the deputies while they were in Constantinople was a matter we wanted particularly to talk over. I shall show you later on when I go into details why we wished to remain in Angora instead of being present at this meeting. At last, after still waiting at Sivas for another month, we left for Angora. In order to make our arrival known in this town, we circulated this open telegram on the 27 th December. "The Representative Committee, which has left Sivas for Angora, via Kaisaria, has arrived to-day and has been the object of sincerely patriotic and enthusiastically cordial demonstrations on the part of our great nation, not in Angora alone but along the whole of their journey. The spirit of unity and determination shown by our nation is enough to encourage our optimistic and firm convictions concerning the future of our country.
288 "For the time being Angora will be the seat of the Representative Committee. We send you the renewed expression of our high esteem." Mustapha Kemal In the name of the Representative Committee. On the 2 nd January we sent a further message to the General Committees of the Union, to Tjelebi Djemaleddin Effendi at Hadji Bektaj and Hadji Mussa Bey at Mutki. Here are some extracts from it : ct . . . The statements made to us and the inquiries we have made during our journey have happily shown us that the national organi sations on which our national unity, with the help of Providence, is based, are flourishing, and that they have become a power and a source of energy upon which we can justly rely in our endeavours to secure the welfare of the nation and the country/ 7 "Owing to this determination the foreign outlook as regards the interests of our country and our nation has become favourable, on the lines laid down by the Erzerum and Sivas Congresses." "In this circular note we beg you all to work with the greatest energy until the day arrives when our legitimate claims will be secured through our unity, our resolution and our sacred faith, and we beg you to bring the foregoing statements to the knowledge of the country people, so that the whole nation may be fully informed about them/ 7 Mustapha Kemal In the name of the Representative Committee
of the "Union for the Defence of the Rights of Anatolia and Rumelia/ We had had the idea for a considerable time of transferring the seat of the Representative Committee to Angora. I shall read you a telegram from Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha that was sent to us when this question was first mooted. In Cipher. Erzerum, 3 rd October, 1919. To the Command of the III rd Army Corps. To the Representative Committee. I do not think that the honourable committee, which represents the national forces, ought to be removed to Angora. In fact, I do not think that it ought to be transferred to any place at all that is lying west of Sivas. Because, if the committee, which is organising the national forces of the vilayets in the East, were to leave suddenly
289 these vilayets would immediately become disorganised. To avoid giving our enemies, who always detect something bad in every one of our moves and comment on them in an adverse spirit, a fresh opportunity and new pretext for slandering the national movement which has hitherto been led so legitimately and logically it is advisable that the seat of the Representative Committee should re main in one place, or in no case be transferred to any place west of Slvas * Kiasim Kara Bekir Commanding the XIII th Army Corps. I would not like to admit the authenticity of this telegram. But what was I to do? This ciphered telegram had been transmitted to the III rd Army Corps at Erzerum; after it had been deciphered, the III rd Army Corps forwarded it to us with the remark "deciphered on the 4 th - October/ and it was signed "Fethi". There is no doubt that Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha had come to Sivas in answer to our invitation and had talked with us, and con sequently he must have known perfectly well how wrong he was in expressing such an opinion. It is evident, however, that it would not have been necessary to discuss the matter verbally in order to discover the futility of his opinion. It is easy to see at a glance how he got this erroneous notion into his head. First of all, he ought to have been convinced from the very begin ning of the fact that the Representative Committee did not organise and represent the national forces in the eastern vilayets alone, but in those of the whole of the country, the whole of Anatolia and Rumelia. This is all the more the case, as the telegraphic communications on this subject that had been going on for many days show. The
transference of the Representative Committee from Sivas to Angora could not have been the reason for the eastern vilayets still being disorganised. The orders and instructions that the Representative Committee had given by telegraph to the eastern vilayets from Sivas could be transmitted equally as well from Angora. Moreover, the logical reason that the Representative Committee would be nearer to Constantinople and the Western Provinces than to the Eastern was much stronger. Firstly, there were some among our western and south-western vilayets that were actually occupied by the enemy. Under the very eyes of the enemy occupying these vilayets strong defences had to be erected and unremitting care taken in their fortification. Our eastern vilayets, on the other hand, were Kemal Pasha J 9
not in such a perilous position; neither was there any apparent certainty that immediate danger was actually threatening them. Even if the possibility of an Armenian attack from the east was feared a possibility that was rather an improbability the XV th Army Corps, the reinforcement of which by national troops had been provided for and which was commanded personally by Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha, was ready to repel it. Then again, at the Smyrna front there were commands and troops of different kinds, as well as vital influences arising from various sources encouraged by the opposition. Moreover, no defensive measures were yet taken against the oc cupation troops at Adana. It is a general rule that persons whose duty it is to direct and as sume supreme command in time of war must be as near as possible to the most important field of operations, where the danger is greatest. Lines of communication must not be so far away that he would be unable to control the general situation. Angora was the most suitable place in such conditions. In any case, we did not insist on going to Balikesri, Nasilli or Kara Hissar because we wanted to be busy at the fronts, but we wanted to go to Angora because it was connected with the fronts and with Constantinople by a railway line and because it was absolutely on a par with Sivas regarding the general control of the situation and the supreme guidance of the operations. I will refrain from giving you further reasons to show that our presence at Angora was considered advantageous and necessary, especially as the meeting of the Chamber of Deputies in Constanti nople itself was now inevitable. Of all the reasons that were advanced against the removal of the seat of the Representative Committee to Angora, that in which our enemies were mentioned as "detecting something bad in every one of our moves and commenting on them in an adverse spirit was particularly incomprehensible to me. In fact, as Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha himself asks, what attitude or what initiative of ours has ever been liked or could be liked by our enemies, unless they had been adapted to their own wishes! There is a Government in Constantinople under All Riza Pasha which is in favour of the national movement ; the Chamber of Deputies having assumed the chief control of affairs regarding the fate of the
nation and the country after they had met in this town, what need would there be for the Representative Committee to interest themselves in the western fronts or in the Chamber? and why should they be in communication with one another? Under these conditions, would it
2gi not have been sufficient, and would it not have been more efficacious if the Representative Committee had devoted themselves exclusively to the organisation of the eastern vilayets? If these had been the considerations governing the opinions in question, they would have deserved a certain amount of attention, though of minor importance; but in that case, it had to be admitted that there was a wide gulf lying between the views of the Representative Committee and those entertained by Kiasim Kara BeMr Pasha about the situation in gen eral, and that their suggestions concerning the actual situation differed entirely from one another. If we consider for a moment what the phrase that referred to the removal of the Representative Committee to Angora being con sidered unfavourably by our enemies means, we may perhaps discover the source of this opinion and will be better able to understand it; but we have no leisure at the present moment to occupy our minds with it. As -I have told you already, after having explained to them the fundamental question, we had said in the original telegram in which we had requested the Chamber of Deputies to hold a preliminary meeting that would last for several days a telegram the copies of which I had sent also by post that the date of the meeting would be settled at the place where the Representative Committee would be at the time, after an agreement in writing had been come to with the Deputies as soon as their names and addresses were known. We added that the Representative Committee would then immediately move to a place nearer to Constantinople. (Document 213.) The railway line running from Angora to Eski-Shehr having been opened again, when we arrived at Angora we informed the persons concerned, in continuation of our previous communication, that An gora had been chosen as the place where the deputies would meet. This we did in a circular note on the 29 th December. We pointed out in the note that this would be extremely desirable, because we wanted as many as possible to join in the discussions. (Document 214.) I think that you will not be very much astonished to hear that certain persons in Constantinople tried to interfere with this benevo lent and patriotic proposal on which we had put so much hope. Let me explain what I mean. While we were inviting the deputies to come to Angora, there were others who were doing all they could to make our invitation ineffective and wreck our preparations for the proposed meeting. Some of the deputies informed us about this by telegram. One of the telegrams, for instance, signed by Hussein Baki, Deputy for Burdur, dated the 29^ December, was to this effect: r J 19*
292 "In a telegram to the president of the election committee signed by Hussein Kiasim, Deputy for Aidin, on behalf of all the deputies assembled in Constantinople, he informs us that I am to go immediately and by the shortest route to the seat of the Caliphate. A telegram that has come to-day from the Ministry of the Interior confirms this request. "After the receipt of the order from his Excellency Mustapha Kemal Pasha, who signed it in the name of the honourable Represen tative Committee, I informed you of my opinion. As I have not yet received any reply, I urgently beg Your Excellency to let me know what I am to do." A telegram of the same date, signed by "Bachri, Deputy for Ak Dagh Madeni", contained the following: "Although we had been instructed in a telegram from Hussein Kiasim, Deputy for Aidin, that the deputies should go immediately and by the shortest route to Constantinople, I am not clear as to whether this invitation is meant exclusively for those deputies who have been elected members of the Representative Committee or whether it applies to all the deputies. I beg Your Excellency to tell me what I shall do." Other similar telegrams arrived. I gathered from them that the most important point was that our colleagues the deputies regarded the Representative Committee, as well as the Government and the persons who claimed the right to invite all the deputies to go to Constantinople, as being unanimously devoted to the common ideal and in full accord with one another. They had no idea about the unfriendly intentions of the Government and of the persons concerned. At most, they might have come to the conclusion that possibly a new position had been created through an understanding between ourselves and those in Constantinople, or that an error might have occurred concerning the organisation of the meeting; this was clearly evident in the candour and sincerity of their communications. I replied to their question in these terms: We know nothing at all about Hussein Kiasim Bey s communi cation. Apparently he is ill-informed about the situation. It seems more in conformity with the interests of our country and nation to obey the instructions contained in our telegrams of the 19 th and 29 th December last. Be good enough immediately to take the neces sary steps about this and send a suitable reply to Kiasim Bey, and let us know the result. With our best greetings, Mustapha Kemal, In the name of the Representative Committee.
293 The following circular note was sent to all the deputies : Angora, 30*^ December, 1919. "We have heard that Hussein Kiasim Bey, Deputy for Aidin, has sent telegrams to a number of honourable deputies to the effect that they should hasten their departure for Constantinople. As this shows that Hussein Kiasim Bey has not been fully informed about the posi
tion, we have had it properly explained to him, and at the same time the contents of our communication . . . No. . .*). Consequently we repeat the invitation sent out by the Representative Committee and request the deputies who have been elected members of the Represen tative Committee and the others who desire to be present at our discussions to come after the 5 th January to Angora." Mustapha Kemal, In the name of the Representative Committee, In a telegram in cipher that we sent on the 30 th December, we informed our organisation in Constantinople what Hussein Kiasim Bey had done. We asked them to let him know the contents of our circular telegram and at the same time beg him to expedite his depart ure for Angora if he wished to take part personally in the discussions. (Document 215.) Who was the man who stood in our way when we expected effective help from our organisation in Constantinople? I see you have already guessed who he was. Yes; he was our delegate in Constantinople, who at the same time was a Minister Djemal Pasha himself. Now listen to the telegram he sent us, signed by himself, on the I st January : To the Command of the XX ttx Army Corps, To His Excellency Mustapha Kemal Pasha. I have the honour to bring to your notice the fact that a group of deputies who are at present in Constantinople have appealed to me and have handed me the following list of their claims: 1. It is necessary that the Chamber of Deputies shall be called together as soon as possible. The fact that some deputies have recently been invited to go to Angora may delay the opening of Parlia ment. 2. The delay of the opening of Parliament and the fact that the deputies are invited to go to Angora is regarded among other things which are especially exploited by the enemy that the legislative *) The date and number are not mentioned in the Turkish original.
294 power is apparently tinder the influence of other secret designs. It is evident that this fact is capable of producing a great deal of mistrust throughout the country, as well as abroad. 3. The Chamber cannot perform its functions under such con ditions. 4. Sending a delegate to Constantinople with wide powers, as has been done previously, to maintain contact between the deputies will be sufficient for the purpose. 5. It is expected that those concerned will give urgent instructions to postpone the departure of those deputies who desire to go to Angora and ask those who are already there to come immediately to Con stantinople. Djemal
Minister of War. I ask you, is there a shadow of sincerity and dignity to be found in such conduct and in such a communication? First of all, our de cision to meet the deputies and our instructions for this meeting had already been made six weeks before. If this was dangerous and really incompatible with the interests of our country, ought not these gentle men and the Government, who pretend to have as their aim the same national ideal as ourselves, have tried to come to an understanding with us, or at least have told us what their opinions were and what they intended to do, before they telegraphed to the deputies invited by us, urging them to come to Constantinople? Was it right to neglect doing anything of the sort? Was it right to try to wreck our arrange ments by putting forward their own ideas to confuse the deputies from the provinces and send them urgent telegrams addressed to the election committee, signed by Sheikh Muchsini Fani and the Minister of the Interior, asking them to come to the seat of the Caliphate as quickly as possible and by the shortest route? Secondly, why should these persons, who had shown no sign whatever of impatience when the legal limit had long been exceeded and the new elections could not take place, show so much energy now after the elections had taken place? The latter had only been secured by our unceasing activity and through our numerous urgings since we had held the Congresses at Erzerum and Sivas above all, when they owed their own election to our efforts? I repeat, ought they to have been so violently impatient that they could not wait even a few days longer, especially when it was the question of our attaining one of our chief aims that necessitated this postponement, so that we could discuss precautionary details and confer with those who
295 had shown so little wisdom in allowing the meeting of the Chamber to take place in Constantinople? Where they all in such a hurry to cause another scandal and expose themselves to insult without taking any protective steps against such possibilities? Thirdly, did not these very gentlemen, who deceived their loyal and honest comrades and wanted to draw them even one day earlier into the "vortex of dangers and mortification" in which they them selves were floundering in Constantinople, also belong to the Union for the Defence of the Rights of Anatolia and Rumelia? Were they not members of this national union? Are not the members of a union obliged, even if they happened to be deputies, to come to an understanding with the leaders of the union and adapt their conduct to the programme that has been drawn up in agreement with them? Is this not the rule in all civilised countries? Why were they afraid of the members of a group or a party coming into contact with their leaders? How could this fact have led the foreigners to believe that the legislative power was carried on under the influence of other secret designs? Did these gentlemen believe it beneath their dignity to appear to be under the influence of a force that was embodied in our organisation and which had succeeded to bring about the new elections and the appointment of the deputies?
Were these gentlemen unable to appreciate that, from the very fact that these deputies belonged to a strong national organisation ex tending throughout the country and that so long as they kept to the clear path laid down by this great organisation, if they declared that they were acting in the full knowledge of all that lay before them under the leadership of this organisation I repeat, from this very fact the greatest confidence would be established in our country as well as abroad and that this alone would compel the respect of the whole world? Moreover, would we not have been prophets to foresee that the Chamber could not render the services expected from them unless the deputies were in a position to take up a determined attitude and brave every danger, inspired by firm confidence in the reality of a clear national aim? Or were they, as later events showed, possessed of such mentality that they could unblushingly swallow every insult like cowards? These gentlemen did not want me personally to be in communi cation with the deputies. The Government, also, and certain other persons believed it to be still less desirable that I should go to Con stantinople. They merely advised that a delegate with wide powers
296 should be sent. Wonderful and praiseworthy sagacity! Were not the delegates whom we did send responsible for the fact that the deputies of our nation fell into the hands of the enemy? Again, were they not our delegates who in the end were proved to be incapable of even looking after the safety of their own persons? And what have we to say about the tact shown by these gentlemen who, after having been unsuccessful with their own invitation to the deputies and after having been unable to deceive them or create a fait accompli, had asked us to influence the deputies on the lines of their manoeuvres? Is not this a very remarkable kind of tactfulness? In reply to the telegram which I shall speak about directly, I sent this short message in cipher: 5 th January, 1920. To His Excellency Djemal Pasha, Minister of War. Reply. "Will you be good enough to let us know the names of the de puties who signed the appeal and to whom it was addressed." Mustapha Kemal, In the name of the Representative Committee. Harbie, 6 th January, 1920. To the Command of the XX th Army Corps, Angora. Reply to telegram of 5 th January.
To His Excellency Mustapha Kemal Pasha. "These are the names of the deputies: Hussein Kiasim, Tahsin, Djelaleddin Arif, Hamid . . ., etc. The two former brought the appeal to me/ As we learned from later information, it was not at all a group of deputies who had sent the telegram in question. It is reported that the Grand Vizier, after having heard that a certain Hakki Bey, whom he knew, had been elected Deputy for Siverek, asked him and Hussein Kiasim to come to him and dictated to them a telegram they were to send to me. It was further said that this telegram had been passed from hand to hand by some of the deputies, who also signed it. Then it was reported that Hakki Bey and Hussein Kiasim Bey had taken the telegram to Djemal Pasha to get it ciphered. The telegram, which contained five articles and was meant to represent an appeal, had therefore been drawn up later in a fraudulent manner. To call attention to this deception, it was enough that an
297 appeal was mentioned and that it bore no address. The Chamber had not actually met yet, nor had the presidency of it begun to exercise its functions. Nevertheless, I replied to the questionable message from Djemal Pasha in this telegram in cipher: Telegram in cipher. Angora, gth January. To His Excellency Djemal Pasha, Minister of War. To be handed to Hussein Kiasim Bey, Tahsin Bey ; Djelaleddin Arif Bey and Hamid Bey. We have seen from the telegram you sent to us through his Ex cellency Djemal Pasha, that you consider that the departure for Angora would produce malicious comments. This question is of vital interest to the country and the nation. If a strong party, supported by the national organisation, is not formed in the National Assembly; if the resolutions which the nation has brought to the knowledge of the whole world through the General Congress of Sivas are not adopted by a crushing majority as a guiding principle and article of faith, the results which our national unity is aiming at will be destroyed and the country will be exposed to disaster. The propaganda made by a group of people "without country and without religion" cannot be accepted by us as a practicable principle. Our aim is to secure the salvation of the nation and to save the country. We attach the greatest importance to the fact that you are coming to Angora for several days so that we can exchange opinions and that the adoption of uniform principles will be possible. Taking the above into consideration, we hope you will do what you consider right and will receive the assurance of our feelings of esteem. Mustapha Kemal,
In the name of the Representative Committee. Whilst we were engaged in dealing with the difficulties that re sulted from the disgraceful behaviour in Constantinople which I have spoken about, a sanguinary and rather serious incident, brought about by a false prophet, took place on our eastern frontier. We received numerous reports about it from the XV th - Army Corps. Four leagues from Baiburt there is a village called Hart. A certain Sheikh Eshrif living in this village had been spreading the doctrine of Shiism there. Roused by this propaganda, the Mufti and Ulema of Baiburt sent a deputation to Hart to consult the Sheikh.
298 In the name of the local authority, he was requested to answer certain questions, but failed to do so. Thereupon the local government sent a detachment of fifty men against him. The Sheikh, incensed at this, ordered his pupils to disarm the detachment sent against him and cast the officers and men into prison, while some of them he executed. Then some troops were collected at Baiburt, but in the end it was thought advisable to settle the affair without any further bloodshed. Several deputations consisting of Ulema and notables went to the Sheikh to give him advice and bring him to obedience. Sixteen days elapsed. The requests of the last deputation, under the leadership of the Cadi of Erzerum, had scarcely any effect at all on the Sheikh. He addressed them in these words : e You are all unbelievers. I do not recognise one of you. I refuse to surrender. I shall fight you to the end. God has told me that He has chosen me to preach His religion." Meanwhile, to attract the people to support him and incite them to revolt, he caused statements to be circulated in the neighbouring villages and signed them as "The Founder of a Religion" or "The Expected Messiah." Lt-Colonel Halid Bey had gone to Baiburt to take over the com mand ot the 9 th Division, which was quartered there, and he marched to Hart at the head of sufficient troops on the 25 th December. The Sheikh refused to surrender, and declared that he would defend himself with the aid of the rebels he had succeeded in gathering round him. A skirmish was unavoidable. Both the artillery and the infantry came into action, and some more of the Sheikh s disciples from the neighbouring villages reinforced him. As Halid Bey told me in a telegram in cipher, which he sent directly from Baiburt on the I st January, "the affair at Hart terminated after the false prophet, his sons and some of his adherents were killed. Then Hart capitulated." In the same telegram Halid Bey also gave me some information about the deputies. I replied on the 21 st January: "I congratulate you heartily on your success at Hart, and thank you for all you have done to hasten the departure of the deputies for Angora."
Mustapha Kemal.
There was a chronic difference of opinion between the Minister of War and the Representative Committee. The Minister intended to put the generals and senior officers, from the rank of colonel down-
299 wards, who were in Constantinople at the head of the various Army Corps and Divisions. He also stated that he wanted to transfer the senior and junior officers who were in that town to regiments in Anatolia. To inaugurate this intention of his, he proposed to appoint Ahmed Fewsi Pasha, formerly Under Secretary of State in the Ministry of War, to the command of the XX th Army Corps at Angora vice Ali Fuad Pasha, and Nureddin Pasha to the command of XII ttL Army Corps at Konia vice Colonel Fahreddin Bey. This was his intention. If this principle had been carried out, nearly all the younger officers of high rank who had distinguished themselves in the War and who had been appointed to command Army Corps and Divisions would have lost their commands. In that case, the generals and higher officers in Constantinople on the retired list would, on account of their long service and rank, be preferred to the younger officers who were in command of the larger units of the Army. We could never have consented to such a principle, especially under the conditions then prevailing. Consequently, whenever the opportunity offered we wrote to Djemal over and over again explaining our point of view and asking him not to allow these officers to take up their appointments. Fahreddin 1 Pasha at the head of his Army Corps was busily engaged in making his dispositions on the Aidin front. Ali Fuad Pasha had been dismissed in Ferid Pasha s time. Djemal Pasha had no inclination to put an end to this injustice. The late Mahmud Bey, commanding the 24 th Division, who was at Angora, had taken over the command of the XX th Army Corps for the time being. As he was at the same time in command of the national troops, Ali Fuad Pasha kept his Army Corps well in hand. We resolved categorically to oppose any change being made in the command of the great units of the Army and not to sacrifice those officers whose personality and friendly attitude towards the national movement were well know to us, in favour of a principle which had been put forward with some sinister intention. We considered it necessary and desirable that only the young and loyal officers and medical men who were in Constantinople should be sent to Anatolia, without loss of time, to serve in the different branches of the Army there. As soon as we arrived at Angora, Djemal Pasha began to show
greater obstinacy and impatience on this question. He made it a personal matter and theatened to resign.
300 He urgently called me to the telegraph instrument so that I could reply to him immediately. On the 29^ December I sent him the following telegram in cipher: We have never recognised the removal of All Fuad Pasha from his command as being final. For this reason, we cannot allow Fewsi Pasha to be appointed to succeed him. To carry out the principle you are adopting before Peace is con cluded will lead to very serious consequences. It is impossible for us to consent to men who have acquired rank and position during the war being reduced in rank now. Such a step would compel those who are working at the present moment for the national organisation to send in their resignations, and this would lead to national unity suffering a severe setback. The position of capable men on the retired list would be improved by giving them appointments in the offices of the Army Corps and in the recruiting offices or giving them commands in districts and places which are under the various Army Corps. As for the junior officers and officers on the Medical Staff, they ought to be sent without delay to Anatolia. With regard to the XII th Army Corps, it has declared its adherence to the national movement and is now on active service against the enemy. The mutual confidence that has emerged from this actual co-operation inspires both parties at the present moment. Any change in the command would not be tolerated. The state of affairs in these districts would not allow such an alteration to be thought of." I entered into communication with all the officers commanding in Anatolia and Rumelia and called their attention to this matter. At the beginning of January, I gave the following order to Fahreddin Pasha at Konia: "If Nureddin Pasha is appointed to your command you are not to surrender it to him, and you will continue to perform your duty towards the nation and country as you have hitherto been doing. Report to us at once any communication that reaches you on the subject/ A similar order was sent simultaneously to Fuad Pasha at Angora. During the first days of January, Djemal Pasha sent Salih Bay, his A.D.C. now Salih Pasha commanding the VIII th Army Corps with two letters to us, the Joint Note from the Allied High Commis sioner, dated 24 th December, and a copy of the Government s reply to this Note. In these letters Djemal Pasha also spoke of his principle of replacing the commanding officers and of the necessity of sending Ahmed Fewsi Pasha and Nureddin Pasha to take up their commands. He also
insisted that if men who had openly joined the national movement were allowed officially to retain their important commands, the opinion would be gathered especially in foreign countries that the Army was taking an interest in politics; an unpleasant im pression would undoubtedly be produced thereby and the Ministry would receive many expressions of similar opinions about it. Speaking again of his resignation, he added that the meeting of the Chamber in such an event would be nothing more than an empty hope. (Docu ment 216.) The replies I sent to this communication may be summarised in the following: "We repeat that we are convinced that our views are the correct ones. The present situation and the future of the front and the districts of Aidin which has been handed down to us through the criminal acts of Ferid Pasha as well as the national forces in these districts, are questions of continual and most serious anxiety. We are doing everything we can to avoid being troubled in the future. "It is very important for us that the Government should not regard All Fuad Pasha as guilty as the world seems to think he is. The resignation and removal of persons who were the early pioneers of the national movement would be attributed to the fact that their loyalty is regarded as a crime. In our opinion, this is a suggestion that we consider intolerable. " Every thing has been done to eradicate the political objections that have been raised by the Government. "Ahmed Fewsi Pasha is quite unfitted to work with us. We have told you of the perfectly unreasonable speeches he made during the journey of inspection which he took by order of the Government. You told us that you did not believe that he had expressed himself in such terms. In a private telegram in cipher which he addressed to our comrades he says that "the catastrophy looming before our country will be inevitable unless an. end is put to the anarchy prevail ing in the Army to-day/ This man appears to see anarchy in the support which the national movement renders to the Army. He ought to know, however, that the Army is not independent of the national organisations, but is, indeed, the very heart and soul of them. "The first thing that Ahmed Fewsi Pasha did at Gonan was to demand the release of the criminals who were implicated in the affair at Ansawur and whose capture was only effected after endless trouble. "Do not try to make a personal question out of this matter, because you are well aware what reasons influenced us to refuse to consent to
302 your appointment of these two persons, which you made without previously consulting us. This would be incompatible with a feeling of fidelity and attachment to the country and the nation.
"Your remark that in case of your resignation the meeting of the Chamber would be nothing more than an empty hope/ means that the Cabinet, including the Grand Vizier, is opposed to the Parlia mentary regime. We would be very glad if you will explain this im portant point/ (Document 217.)
I would like to say a few words about the Joint Note presented by the Allied High Commissioners to Ali Riza Pasha s Government and which we received, as I have said already, from Salih Bey, A.D.C. After having called the attention of the Ottoman Government to correspondence between General Sir George Milne, commanding the Black Sea Army, and the Minister of War, the High Commissioners of France, Great Britain and Italy expressed themselves in these terms: "From this correspondence it is clearly evident that Djemal Pasha, Minister of War, instead of carrying out the instructions given to him by the officer in chief command of the Black Sea Army, accord ing to the decision of the Supreme Council in Paris, avoids the re sponsibility attached to his high office and puts forward certain excuses and reasons which we cannot accept. "The High Commissioners, in calling the attention of the Ottoman Government to the serious consequences that will follow the attitude of the Minister of War, are desirous of knowing what steps the Govern ment consider it is necessary to take to carry out the decisions of the Supreme Council which have been communicated to them by the officer in command of the Black Sea Army. "In order that they may be in the position to inform the Supreme Council who are aware of this the High Commissioners request the Ottoman Government to inform them immediately what they propose to do about the neglect of the orders given to the Minister of War on behalf of the Supreme Council," In their reply to this Note, the Ottoman Government first describe how the occupation of Smyrna took place. Then they mention the investigation made by the Mixed Commission, the distress of the population, who only thought what they could do to escape from the murders and acts of violence arising from the cruelties of the Greeks
303 up to the time when the investigation began. Then they speak of the confidence felt by the Government and the Army in consequence of the sense of justice and fair-play shown by the Commission of Inquiry. They recall the proposal made by the Ottoman Minister of War to General Milne in their letter of the 23 rd August, 1919, with the sole object of putting an end to the bloodshed, if only for a short time, and they add that their proposal to interpose Ottoman troops between the Greek and national troops had been rejected. It is further pointed out in this Note that two other letters, dated 20 th and 27 th August, proposing that the occupied territory should be occupied by Allied troops, other than those of Greece, had remained
unanswered. It is emphasised, in addition, that the letter from General Milne on the boundary question was sent to the Minister of War on the 3 rd November, but that he, not being authorised to deal with the contents of this communication himself, had applied to the High Commissioners to explain his position. The Note also mentioned that the entire population unanimously opposed the Greeks alone occupying the boundary line. Explaining that the Government and the Army lacked the power to restrain the people, the Allied Powers were asked to suggest a fair solution of the question. Accompanied by the traditional solemn declarations of the deepest respect, the Note ended with this urgent request: "We ask for your kind mediation in helping us to dispel the suspicion that the Government and the Minister of War refuse to carry out the decisions of the Supreme Council/ (Document 218.) I will now refer to the points dealt with in Djemal Pasha s letters. While the Minister of War informed us, on the one hand, about the Note presented by the Allied High Commissioners, on the other he reminded us again of the points he had wished for a long time we would agree to and which he now continued to insist upon. I do not know whether we ought to believe that, in fully explaining his wishes to us once more and at the same time giving us this Note to read, Djemal Pasha wanted to influence our opinions. After having spoken of the aims of the policy of the Allies, Djemal Pasha continued: "The Government intend shortly to publish a declaration promising that the reforms which can be accepted within the points proposed by Wilson will be carried out. We must not irri tate the Minister of the Interior, for if we do he will resign and this will lead to a crisis. It is certain that when Parliament opens there will be a change in the Ministries of the Interior and of Foreign Affairs.
304 Our enemies do not want the Chamber to be opened. We have heard that the Union of the Friends of England, pretending that the recent elections were not conducted according to law, intends to appeal to His Majesty to dissolve the Chamber/ (Document 219.) He mentions once more the question of the deputies going to Angora. Now let us keep in mind what has been said in these three doc uments and subject them to a short analysis. From the Note presented by the High Commissioners, it can be seen that Sir George Milne, commanding the Black Sea Army, had personally given counsel and orders to Djemal Pasha, Ottoman Minister of War, just as though the latter was directly under him. Till now, Djemal Pasha had not mentioned this to us. We see, also, that the Minister of War of the Ottoman Empire is criticised because he was unable to carry out the instructions and orders that had been given to him, and because he brought forward reasons and excuses that were inacceptable.
We can well understand what the orders were that the Minister received and why he could not execute them. The reason was, that the national forces resisted them . . , The national forces did not obey the orders given to them then or afterwards by the Minister of War and the Government in accordance with those issued by Sir George Milne . . . This is what the High Commissioners, on behalf of the Supreme Council in Paris, call in their Note "inacceptable reasons and excuses/ In other words, they mean to say: "If you are a Government, if you are Minister of War, you must govern the country, the people and the Army; if you do so, reasons and excuses are superfluous/ All Riza Pasha s Government came into power on the 2 nd October, 1919. It succeeded Ferid Pasha s Cabinet. Therefore, it was the latter that proposed on the 23 rd August that Ottoman troops should be interposed between the Greeks and the national troops. And again, it was Ferid Pasha s Government that proposed on the 20 ih and 27 tn August that the territory should be occupied solely by Allied troops. Ali Riza Pasha s Government had not yet made any proposal. On the other hand, General Milne indicates the boundary of the occupied territory and orders Djemal Pasha, Minister of War, to extend the Greek troops up to this border-line . This was the command that Djemal Pasha found himself unable to obey. In any case, it is a remarkable fact that he and the Cabinet of which he was a member, after having been in power for a month, were at last able to declare
305 to the foreign Commissioners that they were powerless in face of the national forces. In theGovernment s relpy to the JointNote of the HighCommissioners, one point is passed over in silence, while the answer to all the demands of this Joint Note shows perfect deference and courtesy. In my opinion this fact is the most important and most significant thing of all in these documents. This main point, I maintain, is that Sir George Milne ventures to give direct orders and instructions to the Minister of War of the Ottoman Empire and yet this does not seem to wound the pride of the Minister of War, who, in all his transactions with the national organisation, is ever referring to questions of selfrespect and scarcely every mentions the dignity of the Government who accepted the responsibility of safeguarding the independence of the Ottoman Empire. They will not allow that their dignity is already assailed and the independence of the State jeopardised. They do not even protest against this attack; they do not even venture to assert that they decline to make themselves the instrument for this blow against our independence. They do not venture: why? because they are afraid ! They had to suffer for their fear, as we shall soon see. To ovoid being afraid, we must live in surroundings and in circum stances where human dignity and national pride are immune from any attack, . . f As for those who do not appreciate this necessity, we would err it we assumed from the very start that they are insensitive and in different to the sacerd sentiments which it is the highest and most
honourable duty of a nation and an individual to protect from assault. It is not by urgent petitions or by appealing to justice and pity that the affairs of a nation and a State are promoted or their dignity and independence guaranteed. To sue for justice and commiseration should never be accepted as a principle. The Turkish nation, generations to come, must never lose sight of this for an instant.
I told you of the answer we had sent to Djemal Pasha about the change of commands. Let me tell you what the views were that we expressed on different questions at the beginning of this reply. Our interpretation of the main sub j ects was this : i All the Allied Powers intend to obtain for themselves as much as possible of the interests they covet in every part of Turkey. This Kemal Pasha
leads them to create for themselves individually a strategical point of support in Turkey upon which they can rely. The neutral attitude of the Government discourages them. To this fact we must attribute the cause of the hostility and dissatisfaction shown by the foreigners , as well as the weakness of the Government that have not the country behind them. 2. The Government must not be in too great a hurry to publish their declaration. It must not be published before the position of the Cabinet has been established. The Cabinet can have no strength unless they pursue a course which carries the conviction that they rely entirely on the national forces, and unless they publicly declare their identity with these forces and proclaim the fact openly before the whole world. When the Chamber has met and a strong party within it is com posed of adherents of the Defence of the Rights, it will be time enough to think of giving explanations. In any case, it must be drawn up before the departure of the Peace Delegation, in co-operation and in accordance with such a party. For, without this co-operation it would be of no use at all. Besides, it would be altogether wrong to begin with a list of the reforms which it is proposed shall be carried through. On the contrary, the main consideration, namely, the independence of the nation and the integ rity of the country, must be put forward from the very first ; then the proposed administrative reforms will come up later automatically for discussion. The manifesto issued by the General Congress at Sivas and its regulations contain very important guiding principles, and on them this statement can be based. Accurate indications of the future frontiers, the independence of the State and Nation, the rights of minorities, the interpretation that the nation puts on the expression "foreign help", are all referred to in them.
A statement on these lines can be prepared at once, but it must not be published before the Chamber has been opened and until union with the majority in power has been effected. This is the procedure that must be adopted. 3. We can see no reason why the resignation of the Minister of the InteriorvShould lead to a crisis in the Government. You give the impression that you look upon the Minister of the Interior as being the Grand Vizier, because it is only the resignation of the Head of the Government that produces a crisis. The impression is given that the Cabinet falls with Sherif Pasha and that he is dependent on Ferid Pasha.
307 We cannot understand what you mean when you say that a change in the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is certain to occur when Parliament is opened. Have these Ministers already threatened to retire then? It is quite natural that our enemies are doing all they can to prevent the Chamber meeting. But ought the Sovereign to allow himself to be used for the dissolution of Parliament? If this is at all probable, we would have assembled Parliament in Constantinople merely for the purvose of dissolving it and leaving the nation without a Parliament. Consequently, it is very important that we should be accurately informed of the intentions of the Sovereign concerning this probability at once, in order that we can make arrangements for the deputies to meet in a safe place outside Constantinople. If the Chamber meets in Constantinople and this suggested fate should befall it, the responsibility will rest on those who insist that it shall meet in Constantinople. 4. It would be better if the deputies came to Angora to discuss matters with us. I felt it my duty to get into closer touch with the honourable inhabitants of Angora, who had received me in such a wonderful manner and had shown me such really sincre and encouraging sen timents, and discuss the questions of the day with them. Therefore, we held a public meeting. This took place at the time when we were expecting the deputies whom we had invited to come to Angora to meet us. (Document 220.) I will tell you as quickly as possible what we talked about at this meeting. First of all, Wilson s principles. Some of the fourteen points included in them apply to Turkey. The Ottoman Empire, vanquished and driven to ask for an armistice, had trusted in a miracle in view of the reassuring influence offered by these principles. Next, the 30 th October, 1918. The articles of the armistice at Mudros, especially Art. 7, were like "corroisive poison eating intb the brain of every patriot." This article alone was enough to wreck the fate of what still remained to us of our country, as it provided for the possible occupation
and invasion of the country by the enemy. The miserable spectacle, without dignity or the Cabinets composed of weak and incapable one another in Constantinople, was regarded guiltless and long-suffering nation. It was 20* honour, presented by men which succeeded as a true picture of our considered to have no
influence at all, and the civilised States went so far in their in difference to it that they ignored the claims of civilisation in their treatment of Turkey. The most absurd rumours, which it had been their custom for a long time to spread abroad in the world against the Turkish people, were received with more credence that had ever been the case before. The awakening of the nation and the activity shown during the last nine months has altered the picture. The situation has improved and will continue to do so. If the nation succeeds in preserving its independence and does not shrink back from any sacrifice that may be necessary to win independence, the end is sure. The foundation laid by the Erzerum and Sivas Congresses is the . principle upon which Turkey must build her future. The nation caused the overthrow of Ferid Pasha s Cabinet. But it is not the nation that must bear the responsibility of the Government having been entrusted to Ali Riza Pasha. Nevertheless, we accept it. I shall now review the discussions we had with the deputies who had arrived at Angora. They could not all get there on the same day; they came singly or in small groups, and left in the same way. As a result of this, we had to repeat, day after day, almost the same points to each individual or to each group. As you are aware, it was most important to establish confidence in all of them. Actuated by this, we sought first of all for the satis factory features in the home and foreign conditions and tried to make them understand these as thoroughly as was possible. We were never tired of repeating this truth to them, that conscious and sound unity is an indestructible power that will guide us to a definite result. We explained that the existence and happiness of human society entirely depend on perfect cohesion being shown in critical times. We told them that our national unity, which aimed at the salvation of the country and the victory of independence, required the creation of serious regular organisation, and we spoke of the amalgamation if I may use the term of the capable leaders and the forces required to mould them into one indivisible whole. In this way we expressed the necessity for the formation of a strong and uniform party in the Chamber which was soon to be opened in Constantinople. The nation was passing through such a critical time as is recorded in history in periods of disaster and which mark and extinction of States. The future that nations prepare selves by neglecting to take their destiny into their own only the fall for them hands is
problematical and fraught with misfortune.
30Q The Turkish nation began to realise this truth. And thus it hap pened that they hastened to respond to every sincere call that could promise them salvation. It would, however, be an error to believe that the spiritless education and administration that had been going on for several centuries could allow any human society to obtain its freedom in a day or even in a year. Therefore, those who had pene trated into the inner depths of human affairs and had recognised the truth, must regard it as the highest duty on earth to enlighten and educate the people as far as possible and guide them on a path that leads them to their goal. The heart-felt longing that wells from the innermost of the Turkish nation, the firmest faith of their consciousness, was already crystallised in the single word: Freedom. The cry Turkish people. pressed for liberation resounded from one end to the other of our native land. There was no longer any need to consult the It was easy for them henceforward to find words that ex their yearning.
In the Erzerum and Sivas Congresses the national will had clearly been formulated. Those who had been elected deputies by the nation, because they had openly declared their fidelity to the principles laid down at these congresses, had before anything else to form a party that shared these principles and that bore a characteristic name which expressed the purpose of the union that had supported these principles, namely, the "Party representing the Union for the Defence of the Rights." Supported by the national organisations and emanating from the nation itself, this party had to accept the duty of courageously re presenting and defending the sacred claims of the nation throughout the land. We also consulted the deputies as to the way in which the claims and aims of the nation should be expressed in short and weighty terms, so that these could form the basis of a concise programme. To gather some idea of it, preliminary drafts of such a programme were made which was called the "National Pact." These bases were finally determined upon in the Chamber in Con stantinople and were clearly defined. All the individual persons and parties with whom we had dis cussed these questions left us with the assurance that they were fully in accord with us. Nevertheless, we never heard that they had formed a party in the Chamber in Constantinople that was called the "Party for the Defence of the Rights." Why was that?
Yes, indeed, why? I have waited for a reply to that question until to-day. Because, these gentlemen felt that they were bound to look upon the formation of such a party as a crime against their conscience, as a sin against the nation; were men without faith, were cowards, were incapable. They lacked faith, because they did not believe in the seriousness of the claims of the nation, in their paramount character; nor did they trust in the steadfastness of the national organisations from which the strength of these claims originated. They were cowards, because they thought it was dangerous to belong to the national organisations. They were incapable, because they were unable to appreciate that the only factor of salvation was the very nation itself and that it ever would be so. They were stupid enough to imagine that great aims could be attained simply by bowing down before the throne, by trying to gain the favour of foreigners by suave and conciliatory behaviour. In addition to all this, they were ungrateful and selfish. They put little value on the fact that nationalism and the national organi sation had won respect in a very short space of time and had secured their very existence. They cared only for the satisfaction of their despicable conceit by adopting the false view that a settled position and certain existence were things of easy attainment. Was it a shame to adopt a title such as that expressed and approved of at Erzerum and Sivas? Was there any other title more characteristic or comprehensive? Yes: we have heard that there was such a title as "Fellahi Watan Grupi"*). I want to describe fully and accurately certain phases and events that we passed through. I would also like to unveil one side of the question with which we are dealing at this moment. I was absolutely certain that an attack would be made in Con stantinople against the Chamber and that it would bi dissolved. I had even decided what wei would do if this should happen. We made preparations and gave instructions to the effect that the Chamber would meet at Angora. While doing all that I thought it would be my duty to do concerning this, I had also considered what I would have to do to prevent any
*) "Fellahi Watan Grupi" literally means: "Negro party of the native land." This is an ironical rendering of the real name, which is "Felahi Watan Grupi", meaning the "Party for the Salvation of the Country".
misunderstanding that might possibly arise in the minds of the people. This led me to wonder whether I ought to be elected President of the Chamber.
My idea was, that as President of the Chamber I would have the necessary qualifications and authority to recall the deputies who had been dismissed. I admit that this step was only intended as a matter of form and that I could only make use of it temporarily. Nevertheless, in critical times it is necessary to take advantage of anything that might be of assistance, even if it should have only a temporary effect. As a matter of fact, in any case I would not have gone to Con stantinople. Without betraying my intention , however, I would have temporised ; the business would have been carried on as though I were only absent for the time being and the Chamber had been under a Vice-president. Of course, those of our colleagues who were able to grasp the true state of affairs and actually went to Constantinople had to be very careful to avoid any hitch in our plan. I discussed this with several people who were interested in it. They agreed with me, and left for Constantinople promising and assuring me that they would carry out this plan to the letter. But I heard afterwards that, with the exception of one or two of them, they did not even open their mouths to say a word on the subject. The first suggestion that had been made was that the question should be asked whether there was not one among so many deputies representing the nation who was worthy to be elected President of the Chamber, even if they had to vote for a deputy who was not present? Would it not degrade the Chamber in the eyes of our enemies if the deputies who formed the Chamber were not people who recognised their own importance? Another conclusion was: "From the very beginning it will give the impression that the Chamber would be exposed to criticism if the leader of the national forces was to be elected President; therefore, this would not be expedi ent/ Those who noticed that the people who came to such con clusions were not altogether strangers to me are reported to have preferred to keep silence. I must admit that the defeat of this measure put me in rather a difficult position when the Chamber was dissolved. I shall explain this to you when the opportunity occurs.
312 IV. The Chamber was opened on the ig^ January, 1920. Three days afterwards I received a telegram from the Minister of War which I shall read to you. Telegram in cipher. Harbie, 21 st January, 1920.
(To be delivered immediately.) To the Command of the XX th Army Corps, Angora. To His Excellency Mustapha Kemal Pasha. In a Note they have presented to the Government, the English have demanded that I shall dismiss His Excellency Djevad Pasha. Although this demand is energetically opposed by the Cabinet, cir cumstances have made it necessary that the Government should remain in power and that we, Djevad Pasha and myself, should resign. Salih Pasha will temporarily take over the office of Minister of War, I beg you to refrain from saying or doing anything that could add to the difficulty that the Government is facing. Otherwise, the position will become much more serious than you can imagine. Djemal, Minister of War. This telegram arrived on the 22 nd January. I immediately sent the following reply at 11.30 a.m. 22 nd January. To His Excellency Djemal Pasha, Minister of War. 1. Will you be good enough to send me the actual wording of the Note. 2. When I have read it I will inform you of our views about it. Do not be in too great a hurry to agree to the proposal. Mustapha Kemal. The reply came with Djemal Pasha s signature in cipher. Very urgent. Kadi Keui, 22 nd January. To the Command of the XX th Army Corps, Angora. To His Excellency Mustapha Kemal Pasha. Here is a summary of the Note. We are reproached for: 1. Having appointed specially selected officers to the Staff of the national forces; 2. Having sent soldiers dismissed from the XIV th Army Corps, and drawn from the strength of that Corps, to the national forces;
313 3. Having sent munitions, etc., for artillery; 4. Having delayed the demobilisation of the battalion that had returned to Constantinople from Songuldak; 5. Having transferred a regiment from Afium Kara Hissar to Allah Shehr; 6. Having transferred a regiment from Brusa to Panderma. 7. It is known that the Minister of War and the Chief of the Gen eral Staff are personally responsible for the above. Both of these officers must be dismissed from their posts within forty-eight hours.
Please observe that the question of the Aidin front has not even been referred to in this Note. In reply to it we said: "There is no truth in Nos. i, 2, and 3. No. 4 refers to a matter which has not taken place since I accepted office. In accordance with suggestions made to me I have sent these soldiers back to Songuldak. With regard to No. 5 the officer commanding the division has been recalled. "The sixth point, concerning Ahmed Ansawur; this was necessary for security s sake and has been the subject of correspondence with you. I refer you to the documents. " These explanations were not accepted. Therefore we have con sidered these alternatives : either, not to send any other reply than the first one or take any notice of the orders contained in it ; that the Cabinet should resign, or that I alone should do so. In the first case, we were afraid that it would give rise to a scandal here; in the second case, they would obtain precisely what they desire, namely, to bring Ferid Pasha back into Government: we rejected this proposal also. Therefore, we agreed upon the third, that is to say, that I should resign, and we preferred that the department should be administered temporarily by some other Minister. In any case, I would first like to hear what you decide, and I beg you to accept the assurance of my esteem. Djemal, Commanding the Division. Salih, A. D. C. What does Djemal Pasha mean when he points out that the Aidin front was not even referred to? There is no doubt that the Aidin front and the support given to it is part of the national defence, and that is what is referred to. Djemal Pasha wants us to understand from this remark that the Representative Committee is responsible.
314 In my reply I gave Djemal Pasha to understand this: 22 nd January. To His Excellency Djemal Pasha, Minister of War. If you comply with the demand of the English and resign, the consequences will be dangerous and much more serious than you suggest will be the case in the other event. Besides, we cannot allow Your Excellency, who is a delegate of the Representative Committee, to resign without the knowledge of and in opposition to the declared opinion of the Committee. We have also considered the possibility that the English might compel you to resign, and we have taken all necessary steps to meet this possibility.
Therefore, we would like to know the exact wording of the Note ; after we have read it we will give you our decision. Meanwhile we beg you to keep us well informed of what is going on and continue to remain in the Cabinet. We ask you officially to carry out our instructions. Mustapha Kemal. In the name of the Representative Committee. I also sent this message to Ali Riza Pasha : Angora, 22 nd January. To His Highness the Grand Vizier. The fact that the English have demanded the recall of the Minister of War and the Chief of the General Staff is a formal attack upon the political independence of the Empire. Does it not indicate that all the discussions about the division of our country and the annihilation of our political existence, which has stirred the public opinion of the whole world for a considerable time, have led to a final decision? Or, is this only a manoeuvre to find out what is to be done to put an end to our political existence? Or is it, perhaps, nothing more than one of those acts the Allies have come into the habit of performing, without even conferring with one another, to show their individual power? We do not know and we have no means of discovering which of these three possibilities is the right one. Neither can we find out whether there is any connection between this and the offensive which the Greeks have begun on the Salihli front. But there is no doubt that if the Government of the Empire were to give in to this barefaced attack upon our political independence, and if the nation were to reply to it only by silence, we should be
315 making it easier for our enemies to deliver further deadly attacks upon our political existence. Therefore, we formally demand that the Government, which is regarded by foreign countries and our own as being supported by the Union for the Defence of Rights, will energetically reject the proposal in question and at all costs retain the Minister and the Chief of the General Staff, whatever shape the aggressive attitude of the English in Constantinople might take and however powerful it might be. The slightest degree of conciliation would not only be injurious to the independence and existence of our nation, but it would place the Government in a position that would be accepted as having abandoned their obligations towards the nation and would only delay and -check our national struggle for independence. Consequently, if the Government would adopt such an attitude, we would be forced to declare that, as they have not fulfilled their obligations towards our Committee, they have lost all the power be stowed upon them by the nation, and that we should hold them responsible for having taken up an attitude which is not compatible with our claim for independence. In case of resistance, even if the English would take upon themselves to remove the Minister of War from his office by force and overthrow the entire Government, the situation that would result would be still more favourable, both to foreign countries and our own, than would be the case if the Govern ment consented to sacrifice the Minister as they are ordered to do. We beg Your Highness to reply within an hour or two. If the English
forbid us to hold communication with Constantinople, we shall declare a national and religious war for the purpose of gaining our independence. Mustapha Kemal In the name of the Representative Committee of the "Union for the Defence of the Rights of Anatolia and Rumelia." On the same day I sent the following telegram to Djemal Pasha: Personal and very urgent. 22 nd January. To His Excellency Djemal Pasha, Minister of War. You appear to have resigned your seat as Minister of War by command of the English. It is our duty and your own not to consent to this, because it impairs the independence of our State and our Nation. We shall take all necessary steps to enable us to perform our duty to the end. We beg you to do yours, and retain your office and administer your department. If, from any personal cause or
3i6 difference of opinion with your colleagues, you do not wish to remain in office, you may resign. But you are not to do so at the request of the English, but rather in a manner that behoves the Minister of a free nation. We beg you not to consider the matter from a personal point of view, but reckoning with the probability of serious disasters threatening our country which this intervention would conceivably be the forerunner. If you retire from the Government under other conditions, the English intervention and the attacks on our indepen dence will be considerably facilitated. If you insist on not returning to your office, we shall feel ourselves obliged to add in serious terms that the Minister of War is also responsible through not fulfilling his patriotic duty. We shall declare that the English are attacking the independence of the nation. The fact that you have delayed for a whole day before communicating the contents of the Note to us and that your resignation precludes you from the possibility of carrying on further communication with our Committee makes your position still worse. We demand and insist upon an immediate reply. Mustapha Kemal In the name of the Representative Committee. This was the reply sent by the Grand Vizier: Sublime Porte, 22 nd January. To the Representative Committee of the "Union for the Defence of the Rights of Anatolia and Rumelia." It is not the English alone who have demanded the dismissal of Djemal Pasha and the removal of the Chief of the General Staff. The representatives of England, Italy and France have presented a joint ultimatum to the Sublime Porte, in which they give the reasons that led them to make this demand, and wherein they give us fortyeight hours within which to accede to their demand. As this demand
was considered to be inacceptable by the Government, they resolved, after careful consideration, to resign. Even if the Chamber had already met they could not have acted differently. To induce the representatives of the Powers to withdraw their demand, we have done certain things and have proved to them that their arguments were inconclusive. But the representatives have reiterated their demands. The resignation of the Cabinet was already a fact. Djemal Pasha has addressed them personally and has said that the resignation of the Government before the Chamber of Deputies had been able to begin their discussions would be very injurious to the country. He emphas-
ised the probability that the resignation of the Government at such a critical time would lead to exceedingly grave consequences even to a rupture between Constantinople and Anatolia and he preferred that the question would be solved by his resignation. These are the different stages of the development. As the Chamber of Deputies will surely meet in sufficient strength in a day or two, the Government will put all these question before it. It is important that you should not interfere in this matter, because the Chamber will take the matter in hand. The Ministers are perfectly well aware how serious the position is and are satisfied that they are doing the right thing. They have resolved to accept the lesser of the two evils. We inform you that unless you tell us by Saturday morning that you will cease interfering, the Cabinet will resign and will accept no further respon sibility for what may follow. ... - - Tr . . J J Ah Riza, Grand Vizier. This terrible ultimatum was not addressed to those who had offended him, but to us ! Congress. 22 nd January. To His Highness the Grand Vizier. Before the Representative Committee can come to any decision about the contents of your telegram, it is absolutely necessary for them to know the text of the ultimatum. I beg you to let us know it immediately. , T , , r7 . , J Mustapha Kemal In the name of the Representative Committee. Eren Keui, 22 nd January. To the Representative Committee of the "Union for the Defence of the Rights of Anatolia and Rumelia." Reply. It will be sent to you after the meeting of the Cabinet Council. The Grand Vizier. I must here remark that we could never get a verbatim copy of the Note from the Government, and have not done so up to the present moment.
This is my reply to the Grand Vizier. 22 nd January. To His Highness the Grand Vizier. We shall send Your Highness our final decision after we have seen a copy of the ultimatum. There is, however, a difference of opinion existing between the Government and ourselves regarding the prin ciples that govern the present situation, which we should first like to clear up. The Government have regarded our communications as interference in their own affairs, that is to say, they have thought it necessary to ignore the diplomatic aspects and insist that they are dealing with a question of an internal character; but the only question before us is that a Minister has been removed from his post by for eigners. It is not a question of the person of the Minister of War, as you appear to maintain. The incident must be judged in exactly the same way as if any other Minister or a totally different person had been in a similar position. Moreover, it is doubtful at the moment whether the Power ordering the resignation of the Minister will allow the Chamber to be opened and will accept the declarations made by the Government. As we must be ready to guard against accomplished facts which might be created before the Chamber has been able to say a word, we are anxious to know the views of the Imperial Government. Your Highness will readily admit that if we should be called upon to face another accom plished fact before the Chamber has been able to say anything, and if there should be a postponement for the adoption of measures relating to delicate questions of foreign policy, the responsibility for this would not lie with ourselves. When the Chamber has actually met and has assumed its duties, we shall, naturally, not appeal to the Government on any question. The fact that the Note was not presented on behalf of the English alone, but was a Joint Note from the Allied Powers, is another reason for holding that the entire importance of this is, that it is a matter of foreign policy. Mustapha Kemal, In the name of the Representative Committee. In reply to our telegram of 23 rd January, Djemal Pasha stated that his resignation was inevitable and that he must wait until the National Assembly had shown what its attitude would be. (Document 221.) At noon on the same day we communicated our own new point of view of the situation to the officers commanding at Angora, Erzcrurn,
319 Sivas, Diarbekr, Panderma, Balikesri, Konia, Adrianople, Constanti nople and Brusa, drawing their attention to it and asking them for their opinions. (Document 222.) In addition to this, I sent this message to Kemaleddin Sami Bey
(now Kemaleddin Sami Pasha, Ambassador in Berlin), who was com manding the io th Caucasian Division and was then in Constantinople.
January. To the Officer Commanding the io th Caucasian Division. We request you to go immediately to Rauf Bey and to take the necessary precautions for your safety; to follow with him the devel opment of the situation on the spot and in that neighbourhood. It is entirely out of the question to think of yielding to the demand of England. We have taken steps at once to meet the situation. You must secure telegraphic communication between Constantinople and ourselves. (Document 223.) Mustapha Kemal. Through Kemal, commanding the Caucasian Division, Shefket com manding the fortress and the A. D. C. of Salih Bey the Minister of War, I also approached Rauf Bey, Bekir Sami Bey, Djami Bey and all the other deputies in the following communication in cipher (22 nd January) : The English have demanded that Djemal Pasha, Minister of War, and Djevad Pasha, Chief of the General Staff, should resign. This constitutes a deliberate attack on the independence of the Empire. For this reason, the steps which the nation shall take against this proceeding are part of the struggle which will be carried on to maintain our independence. During the first phase of this struggle the re sponsibility will fall on the deputies. They will have the paramount duty of repelling the attack which the English have made on the political independence of the Empire by interfering in the election of the Ministers and by exerting pressure upon the Government, Will you make definite plans regarding the part you will have to play in this, and tell us what you decide. When we go into action, however, the following points must be made sure : Firstly/ we must not expose ourselves to the possibility that, in some unforeseen way, an Irade will be read in the Chamber proclaiming its dissolution. If this appears at all probable, it will suffice if the deputies hold a private meeting and decide upon the course they will take. It is important that we declare to the Peace Conference, to the European Nations, to the Islamic World and the country in general, that a deliberate
32 blow has been struck at the political independence of the Empire. If the English do not stop their aggressive policy it will be incumbent on the Chamber to transfer their meetings to Anatolia and to take the administration of the affairs of the nation into their own hands. This course will be supported in every possible way by the national forces, who combine in themselves the entire strength of the nation. The necessary arrangements about this have already been made. Mustapha Kemal, In the name of the Representative Committee. The contents of the above were communicated to all the com manders. In addition, I sent a message in cipher to Rauf Bey on the 23 rd January, through the officer commanding the io th Caucasian
Division, to this effect: "Although the resignation of the Minister of War has been handed in, this question has not lost its importance. "The representatives of the Foreign Powers have chosen to elect members of our Government just as it pleases them! This establishes a precedent that will give them the same power to treat a government that had the confidence of the Chamber in a similar way to-morrow. The pliability shown by the Government in this case, in leaving the nation and the Press in total ignorance of this incident and declining to treat it as a Cabinet question, also constitutes an attack on the independence of the nation. Consequently, this incident must not be passed over in silence, and it is imperative that the Government shall be overthrown publicly in the Chamber, because they have been incapable of upholding the independence of the nation." I wrote all this to Rauf Bey. (Document 224.) On the same day I gave the following directions to the officer com manding the io tlx Caucasian Division and Rauf Bey: "It is necessary that the Government, on account of their resistance to the commands of the Allies, shall impress upon the Peace Conference the necessity of declaring before the whole world that they have decided to overthrow the Ottoman Government and that they do so on account of the national forces. The fact that the Cabinet and the former Government had tacitly consented to make concessions on questions that touched the national independence , distinctly shows that their members have ex posed their weakness; it further discloses that this term equally applies to their intelligence and understanding, and that they are entirely undeserving of confidence. We cannot co-operate in solving such complicated questions with people who are so deficient, both in charac ter and intelligence. Therefore, the Government must be overthrown
321 as the outcome of this last incident. They must take care to bring a Ministry into power that is worthy of the confidence of the whole nation/ (Document 225.) In view of the possibility that foreigners might extend their aggres sive intentions and might attempt to arrest certain Ministers and deputies in Constantinople, I resolved, in anticipation, to make reprisals by arresting some foreign officers who were in Anatolia. I informed the officers commanding the Army Corps at Angora, Konia, Sivas and Erzerum of my resolution in a private telegram in cipher on the 22 nd January, and ordered them to act accordingly on the same day. (Document 226.) The answer to the telegram I sent to the deputies was signed jointly by Vassif Bey, Rauf Bey and Bekir Sami Bey. They told me that "as soon as the discussions, in the Chamber officially begin the Cabinet will resign as a result of the recent incident. In order to save the situation, it is necessary to keep the Cabinet in power till then. Abstain from doing anything meanwhile, and give us your instructions. You may feel assured that your point of view will be unanimously accepted by all the authorities/ (Document 227.) I decided to issue no more communications, either to the Govern ment or the Chamber, but to leave it to my honourable colleagues among the deputies to make the necessary arrangements. (Doc
ument 228.) In order to show you what ideas inspired the persons in Constanti nople to act as they did, I will give you one or two examples as shortly as I can. Some consider this or that diplomatic representative to be a very honourable man. He tells us that we may have confidence in him. He is a friend of the Turks. This man has expressed himself in very sincere and sympathetic terms. If the Minister of War and Djevad Pasha had not resigned, the War Ministry would have been occupied. The reserve and firmness shown by the national forces is very irritating to some people. But do not be too impatient they will be crushed, depend upon it. If an offence has been committed, there is no doubt that those who are guilty will be put to shame. Perhaps other insane acts will still be perpetrated, but be very careful to avoid doing them yourselves. The persons who were in Constantinople felt convinced that such ideas as these were the right ones. (Document 229.) It is reported that for a week after the deputies had been meeting in Constantinople they were busy with the selection of the officials of the Chamber and among other questions that of the presidency Kemal Pasha 2I
322 naturally cropped up in its turn. I have already mentioned that I thought it would be advantageous and even necessary that I should be elected President of the Chamber, and that I had expressed my opinion about this to influential persons. In the first days when the deputies, as I have said, began to discuss this question, Rauf Bey told me in his messages of the 28 th January and I st February, after having referred to other matters, that: "We did not continue to discuss the question, because it was surrounded by considerable difficulty/ (Document 230.) And he continued . . . "the question has been discussed recently at a private and confidential meeting. Sherif Bey explained the advantage of your being elected ... We feel that at the moment the votes will be divided and we declared that Your Excellency would rather continue to direct the affairs of the nation and remain the power behind the Chamber. Our statement was received with applause, and we could see the sincerity of the manifestations for the person of Your Excellency that was shown in all parts of the Chamber. At the full sitting Reshed Hikmet Bey was elected President, while Hussein Kiasim Bey and Hodsha Abdul Aziz Medsheddi Effendi were elected first and second Vice-presidents." After all, Sherif Bey was the only member who advocated my election as President. At the meeting which they called "private and confidential/ the other persons had not even suggested any reason for my being elected President. The question of my election ought to have been raised first of all, and then it could have been ascertained afterwards whether the proposal would have led to the votes being divided. Sherif Bey s arguments were so weak and in conclusive that it was not easy to guess how the voting would have gone. In my reply to Rauf Bey on the question of the election of the President, I said: "The doubts you express have been considered
already and have been provided for. The reasons given in favour of my election are well known. They are that I would take care that the national forces are recognised by the nation; that I would carry on the duties of President very well in case the Chamber were to be dissolved; that I would endeavour, with the authority that would be vested in me as President, to consolidate the material and moral forces of the nation for its defence, in case a national upheaval should result from peace proposals that were irreconcilable with our future existence. What you say distinctly shows that these reasons relating to the defence of our country are regarded in certain circles in Con stantinople as not being of any importance. If the defence of the
323 nation was to be in jeopardy to-day or in the future on account of mistaken points of view, the responsibility would fall only on those who have committed this error. I need not assure you that I have no personal ambition concerning this question/ We know that the Minister of War and the Chief of the General Staff had been forced to resign. We have also heard that this same Reshed Hikmet Bey, who had been elected President of the Chamber and who has since died, had been arrested on some pretext by the foreigners. At that time, Rauf Bey himself informed us, on the 28 th January, that the arrest of the members of the Representative Committee who were in Constantinople had been contemplated. This state of affairs proved that the hour was nearer than was generally anticipated when a hostile attitude would be taken up against the national forces, that the Chamber would be dissolved, and that, consequently, the necessity for providing for national defence was great. But only a few people anticipated this fact. We had to do what was necessary at Angora for the release of Reshed Hikmet Bey. (Document 231.) A telegram in cipher, dated 27^ January, in which Rauf Bey described the dilemma in which the Chamber was placed, contained some disturbing phrases. Here are some of them: "The Cabinet had first thought of resigning; but they did not. The present attitude of the Chamber does not help the solution of this question. The deputies who are present here are not inclined to allow telegrams to be read in a full sitting of the Chamber which the nation has addressed to the Chamber about the district of Marash. We are advised to behave amicably on this subject towards the Allied Powers indivi dually. There is not even a proper place for us to meet in." (Doc uments 232-233.) In our telegram of the 7 th February, we mentioned to Rauf Bey the following matters: The deputies, yielding to local and foreign influences which are increasingly in evidence in Constantinople, have lost sight of peace and are divided, some cringing before the foreigner and others trying to gain special favour for themselves or giving way to distrust. Our colleagues continually sacrifice their own conceptions and convictions with the object of winning as large a majority as possible of the deputies. In trying to be conciliatory, they have lost all their influence with the Government and recognised circles. If the present condition of things is allowed to go on, they will probably become the tools of anti-national movements and of ambitious people
of various kinds, and decisions on national questions unfavourable 2T*
3*4 to us will be the inevitable consequence. The only thing to obviate this is to be content with one party even though it be a small one consisting of friends who are absolutely loyal to our principles. This would be far better than giving in, as has been done hitherto. Without hesitation and unconditionally, the Government must be overthrown. We must take up a determined stand about this. (Doc ument 234.) All Riza s Government had not resigned. To avoid raising a controversy, the Chamber had not the courage to overthrow them, and had put their confidence in this newly-formed and inexperienced Cabinet. I do not know whether you remember the terms of the declaration made by this Cabinet before the Chamber. In a kind of introduction to it, the Grand Vizier pointed out the most important task he had fulfilled, namely, to put an end to the discord existing between the Government and Anatolia, which had even reached a rupture of relations between the two parties. He said that henceforward the national movement would find its expression in this High Assembly; that he did not see what there was to prevent them from acting together constitutionally in future. He wanted it to be interpreted from these words that in future the Representative Committee should no longer act in the name of the national will and would not maintain an opposition that was contradictory to the principles of the Constitution. The Grand Vizier did not think it necessary to speak about the injurious attack of which he himself had been the object on the very day that the National Assembly had met and with him the Chamber and the nation and which was in contradiction to the national will and the principles recognised by the whole world. But he warmly resented the National Committee, and our honourable colleagues among the deputies v stoopcd to listen to his words. The Government, contending that they had not acted otherwise than impatially towards the political parties and would continue to do so ? left it to the Chamber to appreciate the success they had hitherto gained. Declaring that the administration of the country needed improve ment, and referring again to the old system in which the Ottoman Empire had always taken refuge when pressed by the Powers, the Grand Vizier promised new reforms. "We shall/ he said, "introduce the system of decentralisation to a wide extent/
325 He enumerated the principles of the intended reforms and said that, for the purpose of safeguarding the rights of minorities, proportional
representation would be introduced and sufficient full powers would be given to foreign inspectors for the control of questions connected with Justice, Finance, Public Works, Police and even the Civil Administration . Referring to foreign affairs, the Grand Vizier pointed out the ob ligation that: "The Imperial Government considered it their duty not to fail to carry out the stipulations of the Armistice/ whilst on the other hand he was content to say that peace would put an end to the excitement and disorder caused by the occupation of Smyrna, and he brought his statements to a close by expressing his firm conviction that "foresight and determination" will turn the "misfortune" into "happiness." (Document 235.) It would be waste of time to analyse and criticise this statement, which was approved by the Chamber. But let me read you the precise wording of a document that shows the secret designs and shameful behaviour of Ali Riza Pasha s Cabinet. Very urgent. Constantinople 14 ih February, 1920. To the Vilayets and independent Sanjaks. Whereas the National Assembly, which is the only place in which the national movement can find expression, has met and, with the help of God, has begun its work; Whereas the complete carrying out of the constitutional laws in the country must now take place free from all obstacles and influences, and claims in the name of the nation s will in any other place than in the said assembly are prohibited ; and Whereas this is one of the main points laid before the Chamber by the Government and which by a large majority has shown its confidence in them, I hereby bring to the knowledge of all concerned by this circular note, that all machinations and actions tending to interfere with the affairs of the Government will be liable in future to be punished according to law. Ali Riza, Grand Vizier. What was the purpose of this circular note? What advantage could be gained by depreciating the Representative Committee in the eyes of the nation and declaring that it would be liable to be punished? The Representative Committee, feeling from time to time the necessity for calling the attention of the Government to one matter or another, could have no doubt that their initiative was based on
the purest and noblest intentions and dictated by strictly patriotic motives. The Government, considering their chief aim to be the suppression of the Representative Committee thereby destroying the unity and integrity of the nation show on the other hand no concern about the encounters which took place on the fronts of Aidin, Adana, Marash, Urfah and Aintab. They seem to care less about the attacks made by the Foreign Powers, of which they them selves were the victims. I must openly mention here, also, that un fortunately there was no sign that the National Assembly, which was called "the only place in which the national movement can find expression/ devoted itself to anything in particular, as the Grand Vizier had emphasised with thanksgiving to God.
In face of the statement of the Grand Vizier which I have just quoted, we decided to warn the nation in a circular message. Circular Note. Telegram. 17 th February, 1920. Having succeeded in strengthening the national unity by achieving the opening of the Chamber this authority which expresses the will of the nation in a lawful manner our union looks upon it as one of their most important and fundamental duties to preserve the national unity till a peace is concluded that accords with the national aims. , It being of importance that our union, animated by the spirit of determination and having ever-growing faith that they will over come all their difficulties, should continue its work for the liberation of the country and the salvation of our national existence, we renew our request to the general committees and the executive committees to continue their work so that the national organisation, whose aim is to secure the existence of the nation and its maintenance, may be formed with branches extending to the farthest corners of our country. Mustapha Kemal In the name of the Representative Committee of the "Union for the Defence of the Rights of Anatolia and Rumelia." A communication from Constantinople on the ig th February brought us the news that: "The English diplomatic representative has verbally given definite information to the Government from the Foreign Office that the capital will be left to the Ottoman Empire, but, at the same time, he has demanded that the Armenian massacres shall cease forthwith and that our operations against the Allied troops
327 including those of Greece shall also cease immediately. He added that if this was not done, our peace conditions would be altered. Certain advice was given to us at the same time to the effect that no incident, however insignificant, should be allowed to occur that could give rise to complaints being made concerning them." What could be the meaning of this verbal threat? Could it mean that, in addition to the districts occupied by the Greeks, the French, and others, they resolved to occupy Constantinople as well? But that their if conditions are accepted they will abandon the idea of laying hands on Constantinople? Or, perhaps, it meant that the Greeks, French and Italians, have only temporarily occupied certain districts. Perhaps the Allied Powers intended to seize Constantinople, but they would abandon the idea if we observe the conditions they imposed. Or did the Allied Powers intend to indicate this: "The occupation by the Greeks, French and Italians is an accomplished fact ; the occu pation of Constantinople is contemplated; if you will allow the Greeks,
French and Italians to remain in security and unmolested in their zones of occupation and if you actually give evidence that you consent to the occupation, we shall abandon the idea of occupying Constanti nople?" Finally, did the Allied Powers entertain some doubt about the Government not succeeding in disbanding troops at the front which the national forces had sent into the occupied districts to oppose the forces of the enemy and put an end to the fight they carried on and the movement they made against them, and did they consequently plan to occupy Constantinople on the pretext that the Government could neither prevent the attacks against the Allied Powers (including the Greeks) nor put an end to the Armenian massacres which, by the way, did not exist? ! I believe that later events have shown that the last of these sug gestions was the nearest of all to the truth. It was, however, noticeable that the Government, far from interpreting the proposal made by the English diplomatic representative in this light, had, on the con trary, founded their hopes on it. In order to understand how ill-advised this proposal was, we shall recall certain phases of the situation as they presented themselves at that time. The assertions regarding the Armenian massacres were undoubtedly not in accordance with the fact. For, the Armenians in the south, armed by foreign troops and encouraged by the protec tion they enjoyed, molested the Moharnedans of their district. Anima-
328 ted with the spirit of revenge, they pursued a relentless policy oi murder and extinction everywhere. This was responsible for the tragic incident at Marash. Making common cause with the foreign troops, the Armenians had completely destroyed an old Mohamedan town like Marash by their artillery and machine-gun fire. They killed thousands of innocent and defenceless women and children. The Armenians were the instigators of the atrocities, which were unique in history. The Mohamedans had merely offered resistance and had defended themselves with the object of saving their lives and their honour. The telegram which the Americans, who had remained in the town with the Mohamedans during the five days that the massacres continued, had sent to their representative in Constanti nople, clearly indicates in an indisputable manner who were the originators of this tragedy. Threatened by the bayonets of the Armenians, who were armed to the teeth, the Mohamedans in the Vilayet of Adana were at that time in danger of being annihilated. While this policy of oppression and annihilation carried on against the Mohamedans, who were only trying to save their existence and their independence, was liable to attract the attention of the civilised world and excite their commisera tion, how could the denials or the proposal made to us to abandon the attitude attributed to us be taken seriously? Was not the position in the districts of Smyrna and Aidin similar or, perhaps, more tragic?
The Greeks daily reinforced their troops and multiplied their munitions, and in this way completed their preparations for an offen sive. On the other hand, they did not fail to deliver partial attacks all along the line. We had received news that during these days an in fantry regiment , a fully equipped regiment of cavalry , twenty-four motor-lorries and a number of other wagons, six guns and a considerable quantity of ammunition had been disembarked at Smyrna, and that enormous quantities of ammunition were on the way to the different fronts. The truth was that our nation had never taken up an aggressive attitude anywhere against any foreigner without good reason. Would it have been reasonable in these circumstances to place exaggerated importance on the base calumnies before the enemy had evacuated parts of our country which he had occupied, or before it was absolutely certain that he would do so? Was it so difficult to understand that such proposals and enterprises were only intended to destroy the national forces which had been the sole mainstay of
329 the country? Considering how uncertain the future seemed to be, was it allowable to desert the national cause suddenly? Was it not the aim of our nation to keep not only Constantinople under our sovereignty, but also the Straits, Smyrna, the district of Adana, and, in short, every part of our country within our national frontiers? How could it be expected that the Turkish nation could be satisfied with the undertaking that Constantinople alone would be left to the Ottoman Empire even if this would be a subject of satisfaction to Ali Riza Pasha, the Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire and that the nation, contented with this promise, would decide to remain calm and passive? Did not Wahededdin s Grand Vizier wish to ponder over his responsibility before history for all these machinations which were aimed at the disbandment of the national forces? It was natural that the nation and the national forces refused to submit either to the demand of the foreigners or to the wishes and commands of the Government who tried to enforce them.
In a telegram in cipher to Rauf Bey, which I sent on the ig th February, I gave him information about the Government and the Chamber which deserves your attention. This is a summary of what I said: "On the 19 th February, the Grand Vizier, the Minister of the Interior and the Minister of Marine attended a meeting of the "Felahi Watan" party. The Grand Vizier said that he did not con sider it necessary or politically advantageous for the national forces to constitute themselves a second Government; that they had no right to interfere in the affairs of the Government ; that the operations that had taken place in the district of Marash should cease and not be carried on any more ; that quiet and security should be guaranteed. He stated that Zia Pasha and Ahmed Fewsi Pasha should be sent to Angora, respectively, as Governor General and Commander of the Army Corps. The Minister of the Interior had also expressed his
wish that his freedom of action should not be interfered with; he said that the Government had not succeeded in making the change in the appointments of the Prefect of Police and the Command of the Gendarmerie; he referred to the honesty of his old friend Keshfi Bey, and informed them that he had appointed him Governor General of Brusa, and Faik Ali Bey to be Under Secretary of State. With regard to Salih Pasha, he said that he was of the opinion that political
330 reasons prevented the Government from taking possession of the places which had been abandoned at Marash and the neighbouring district. He added that such an attitude would incense the French Press against us. "The Sovereign has more influence over the Government than the Chamber. Considering the spirit prevailing in the Chamber, it is impossible to overthrow the Government and put a national Govern ment in their place that would fulfil the desired conditions." (Doc ument 236.) I brought this information to the knowledge of all commanding officers in Anatolia and Rumelia, and added: "The Representative Committee appreciate the difficulty of bringing a government into power which is more devoted to the national cause in a city like Constantinople, which is occupied by the enemy and is suffering under foreign pressure, and has therefore announced and communicated its opinion about the Grand Vizier s statement on the 17 th February in a circular addressed to all the organisations. Acting within reasonable limits, it is essential that every attempt to injure national unity shall be wrecked. We specially ask you once again to draw the attention of the persons concerned to the well-known fact that the national forces cannot abandon their activity until a peace is attained which is in accord with the national movement, and that they must redouble their watchfulness and guarded attitude in order to safeguard and strengthen the national unity and consolidation/ (Document 237.) I sent the following reply to Rauf Bey. 2i st February. To Salih Bey, A. D. C. to the Ministry of War. For Rauf Bey. Reply to your telegram in cipher of 19 th February, 1920. From the discussions that have taken place between the Grand Vizier and his colleagues who had accompanied him, and the "Felahi Watan" party, it is clearly evident that the present Government, supported by the confidence placed in it by the National Assembly, are preparing to destroy the authority and influence which the national forces have gained throughout the country. The fact that Faik Ali Bey, who was dismissed on account of his resistance to the national movement, has been appointed Under Secretary of State; that the rank of Governor General of Brusa has been conferred on Keshfi Bey, Under Secretary of State, who worked with Ferid Pasha and Ali Kemal,
331 and the persistance in the intention to send Ahmed Fewsi Pasha and Zia Pasha to Angora, whose appointment has not been approved of by the nation, clearly show that they are working openly against the national forces. As we are more than ever convinced of the fact that it is necessary for the Government and the nation to work in com plete concord for the purpose of attaining a peace based on the prin ciples agreed upon in accordance with the national movement, we consider that it is a national duty not to oppose or place difficulties in the way of the Government. All has not yet been accomplished and the national aim has not yet been attained. Almost insuperable diffi culties are still lying before us. It is important to ask the Government, in face of the complete uncertainty that veils the future, whether they consider that they can do without the efforts of the national forces in the struggle for liberation. As for ourselves, we consider that any attitude that could injure this national unity and solidarity, which has never before been apparent to the same extent in the history of our country, is a crime against our country, and we shall not hesitate to meet it by making reprisals. It will be very satisfactory if the members of the Government will be perfectly clear about the irrevocableness of the attitude which we should feel ourselves forced to adopt in such an event. The concord and unity existing between the Government and ourselves can only continue if the present state is maintained. The fact that appointments and dismissals are made which are by no means necessary and, especially, that an unyielding attitude is shown in the case of certain officials who had been dismissed on account of their hostile attitude to the national movement, must be regarded as a sign of antagonism against the national forces ; like wise, we shall not suffer that offices shall be entrusted to such persons. There is no doubt about the fact that Ahmed Fewsi Pasha and Zia Pasha will be sent back without any further delay. If our colleagues in the National Assembly, although fully con scious of the seriousness of the present situation, remain silent about these abnormal facts, the Government, who are being pressed and urged themselves on every side, will encourage it. It is, therefore, essential that those colleagues who adhere to our ideal must take up a definite and decided attitude in this particular case. If the Govern ment were to rule the Chamber, it would lose the supreme control and it is evident that in such an event it would be impossible to come to beneficial decisions for the liberation of our country and realise a national aim. We implore you to put forward your utmost patriotic efforts to force the Chamber to adopt the aims of the national forces,
332 which are accepted as an article of faith by the entire nation. They are looked upon as sacred and they adopt them as their own. In addition, we beg you to take care that control is placed over the Government to see that they act on these principles in their fullest meaning. Mustapha Kemal In the name of the Representative Committee. Let me read you another reply we sent to Rauf Bey:
Telegram in cipher. . 21 st February. To Salih Bey A. D. C., Ministry of War. For Rauf Bey. Reply to your telegram in cipher of 20 th February. If the Government have taken up a threatening attitude against the party formed in the National Assembly, it is because this group has not been able to develop and strengthen itself as a political party which is solid throughout. Thus it appears above all other things necessary that this party gets really to work and becomes an element of conscious control. The fact that the Government, with the intention of treating you with consideration and being amiable to you, have invited you again, arises from the fact that they have recognised your present weakness and wish to distract your attention, so that meanwhile they can gain time and strengthen their own position. It is time that you take up a determined attitude towards the Govern ment. The Grand Vizier and the Minister of the Interior must be told plainly that the national forces will continue their activities until they have been successful. Our enemies, who are still occupying the country and want com pletely to enslave the nation, might well consider themselves justified in objecting to the activity of the national forces. But that a national power struggling for the salvation of the State and Nation should be the object of attack from their own Government is a matter that astounds us. In the same way as the opinion held by the Allied Powers that Constantinople should remain under Ottoman Government has given us satisfaction, their demand that we should cease our activity has equally astonished us. We have informed Fewsi Pasha, the Minister of War, that we shall not lay down our arms until we are certain that Smyrna and Adana will remain under Ottoman rule. We also want it to be recognised that we have not attacked the Armenians, and that if certain incidents have occurred between the Armenians and ourselves the former having been armed and incited by the
333 French the responsibility for this must rest on the shoulders of the Armenian nationalists and those who have encouraged them. With regard to the Government s proposal that we shall not extend our operations beyond Marash and Uriah, the immediate evacuation of Adana by the French must be insisted upon, so that the population may be quieted and that the national forces may be restrained. The French must be told straightforwardly that it will be impossible to prevent the national forces from continuing thenstruggle for liberation if Adana is not immediately evacuated; that the flame of patriotism is on the point of spreading to Aleppo and Syria; that the success of the French will increase immediately they evacuate Adana and its surroundings; and, in order to allay the violent articles in the Anatolian Press, the Allied Powers must dis continue their attacks and oppression. To silence a guiltless nation that cries out against so much injustice,
oppression even massacres which it has been called upon to endure, is a kind of tyranny that it is impossible to submit to. Throughout the world the Press is entirely free from such arbitrary restriction. We would rather that you had never helped the English to remove a great quantity of ammunition from Akbash. We do not think that a single cartridge should have been returned to the English. If the Government think that they will succeed in exciting the pity of the Allied Powers by rendering them such services, and if they think that such hypocritical behaviour would carry weight in bringing about any amelioration in the Peace conditions, we can only regret that they lack so much common sense. In short, as it is quite certain that in these critical moments, when the question of our peace is in the balance, every act that gives the impression of weakness on the part of the national forces will have a disasterous influence on the fate of our nation, we beg our colleagues to do their duty in controlling the Chamber resolutely and with the utmost devotion. ,, , , , Mustapha Kemal, In the name of the Representative Committee. On the same day it was considered necessary to send the following telegram also to Rauf Bey, because we wanted to find out what opinion prevailed about the work of the Representative Committee and the national forces. I had its contents also forwarded to Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha at Erzerum.
334 Very urgent. 2i st February, 1920. To be delivered immediately. To Rauf Bey. In order to convene the congress which will have the power under the last article of our regulations to alter the constitution of the Union for the Defence of the Rights of Anatolia and Rumelia, the Chamber of Deputies must give evidence that they are performing their legis lative duties in safety and complete freedom. The Representative Committee, being the head of all the organisations in their present form, must continue to act officially until Peace is signed, as this is agreed to and demanded by all our comrades. What excite public opinion against them and place them in a difficult position are: the attacks of the opposition Press, which are practically encouraged by the Government ; the public insults thrown out by the Senate; the attitude and the acts of the Government, and, specially, the declarations made by the Grand Vizier and the speeches he makes in the Chamber, which were applauded whenever the question of the unlawfulness of the national forces are mentioned. On the one hand, the organisations that exist under the title of the "Union for the Revival of Islam/ to form which according to the Sovereign s wishes is the object of persons like Seinel Abidin, Hodsha Sabri and Said Molla, have no other object than to destroy the
national forces by directly attacking them. Among other things they did on the 19^ inst., they incited the inhabitants of Nigdeh and New Shehir by such expressions as, "the Chamber of Deputies has already been opened/ "our Sovereign does not desire that there shall be any more national organisation, or that there shall be any more public meetings or demonstrations held/ It is not improb able that such ideas as these were spread as far as Konia and all over the country, and that similar incidents may take place there as well , Consequently: 1. The Government must be asked to inform us definitely whether they are for the maintenance of the national forces, or not; 2. It is necessary that the "Felahi Watan" party should ascertain whether they enjoy complete safety and freedom; whether they are convinced that the national forces must be dissolved, or not; and that in case it is considered that they should be maintained, a statement to that effect should be laid before the Government and properly supported in the Chamber. We are agreed that the party should be asked to discuss this question ;
335 3. If the suppression of the national organisations and the national forces should be decided upon in the interests of the country, it would be imperatively necessary to compel the Government themselves to take the necessary dispositions against the troops of the enemy on the fronts of Smyrna, Marash, and elsewhere. We beg you to consider what we have said above with the greatest seriousness and do what we have demanded. Also, we beg you to inform us of the result as quickly as possible, to relieve us from the difficult position we are in. We are under the impression that some of our colleagues in Constantinople are consoling themselves by putting great trust in foreign powers that are far away, instead of seriously concentrating their final efforts on doing something practical to protect us against the blows aimed at the unity of the national forces, which are the cause of so much anxiety and trouble. With regard to ourselves, we ask you to bear this in mind: If we do not succeed in making the best use now of the power we have in our hands, foreign Powers will no longer consider us worthy of mercy being shown to us. __ , __ . Mustapha Kemal, In the name of the Representative Committee. In his reply of the 23 rd February, Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha said: "I do not think it at all likely that the Representative Committee and the national forces will take up an antagonistic and domineering attitude against the tendency that is now apparent in the National Assembly in Constantinople. As far as I can see, the only course open to the Representative Committee is to withdraw from the affair in a dignified way and leave it to the sense of honour and patriotism of the National Assembly to decide what to do and assume the respon sibility for their decision. " . . . "If the National Assembly does not
agree to the maintenance of the national forces and the Representative Committee, they can express their thanks to them and, according to the resolutions of the Congresses and exercising their authority of legislative control in perfect security, they can inform them that they must be dissolved and stop their activity, meanwhile taking it upon themselves to watch over the destiny of the nation henceforward . . . But it is very doubtful whether the National Assembly could assume the responsibility of coming to the decision and declaring that they are secure in their present position now and in the future. If Rauf Bey Eff endi puts forward this proposal, carries through the resolutions mentioned above, and induces the Assembly to write to the Represen-
336 tative Committee calling upon them to cease their activity, they must surrender voluntarily. They must publish the fact in the Press and announce it to the country, and from that moment they must stop all further activity. They will preserve their honourable position and their dignity in a legitimate way. It is understood that the Aidin front, which has been specially established during the last year on the urgent demand of the nation, will not be broken up nor will its fate be en trusted to the Greeks. Nor can the Government break it up. The men fighting on the front will continue to fight as they have been doing hitherto. But it will be a local fight, and the commanders of the Army Corps will carry it on from their own bases, according to cir cumstances and the object it is intended to attain. With regard to our position and our future actions, we shall do what we think neces sary as events require. This is our opinion." (Document 238.) This conception, this opinion expressed about twenty days before the actual occupation of Constantinople, is very important. I shall confine myself to calling your attention to one expression, namely, that "we shall do what we think necessary as events require." It was evident that we could not adopt such an attitude of resignation. On the contrary, we were merely adherents to the principle of anticipa ting what might possibly occur, of calculating and deciding upon the course we should take and following it promptly and energetically. That is why from the very beginning we endeavoured to find out what they intended to do. When I read to you literally the reply which I sent to Mashar Mufid Bey s letter, you will appreciate what it was necessary to say in reply to Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha. I shall not quote Mashar Mufid Bey s letter. If necessary he will publish it himself. But this was my answer to it: Angora 25 th February, 1920. To Mashar Mufid Bey, Deputy for Hakkiari. I did not receive your long letter of the 14 th February till yesterday, and I shall send my reply to it to-morrow by courier. Your account of the present state of affairs in the high National Assembly and in the cc Felahi Wat an" party has distressed me. The picture that arose before my eyes when I read all you told me is a very unhappy one. The unfortunate people see that their honourable deputies, whose duty they imagine it to be is to defend, preserve and secure their lives, their existence and destiny, have forgotten what their real duty is
towards the nation and country from the very beginning. At a time
337 when the West and all those whom we call our enemies are pretending that Turkey and the Turks lack any capability and, consequently, assign to themselves the right to take up any hostile action they think fit against us, and whilst we are all resolved to prove the error of this opinion so far as each one of us is concerned, it is painful to have to admit that our selfishness, our narrow-minded passions, are blinding us and depriving us of the power to see things as they are. "The deputies who first arrived wanted to do one thing; those who came later wanted to do something else; one deputy is treated by the Representative Committee as a confidential friend, and another as a narrow-minded man . . ." Do those deputies who make speeches of this kind represent the great Turkish nation? The mentality and the character here revealed astound and confuse me, and I do not know what to think about it. You speak of the formation of a new group or party . . . With regard to myself, my dear Mashar Mufid Bey, I cannot believe that any group or party comprising men of the mentality and character you describe could assume such an attitude in the belief that it will help them to save the country. While my companions and I, who are doing our duty devotedly in the name of the Representative Committee, only desire to continue to work for the salvation of the country and the nation till we die, I can see from the attitude and behaviour of the honourable deputies a complete lack of foresight on their part, which leads them to stand in our way. We have written to Rauf Bey telling him to demand from the Chamber of Deputies and the "Felahi Watan" party, who in their childishness and short sightedness have given us to understand that they no longer consider it necessary to rely on the organisation of the "Union for the Defence of the Rights" and the national forces who have created these organi sations, that they should come to a final decision and tell us what they intend to do. We beg you also to exert your influence to obtain this decision as quickly as you can. In arriving at it I want to remind you that you must not forget the fact that at the seat of the Caliphate, which is the meeting place of the honourable deputies, there are 40,000 French, 35,000 English, 2,000 Greek and 4,000 Italian troops, and that the English Mediterranean fleet has cast anchor in front of the Palace of Funduklu. Mustapha Kemal. The first telegram in cipher that we sent to Rauf Bey referred to the leaders of our organisation in Constantinople; it is mentioned Kemal Pasha 22
338 therein that they had agreed that part of the ammunition lying in the depot at Akbash was to be handed over to the English. Allow mi to tell you something about this. There was an ammunition depot at Akbash, which is situated on the European coast not far from
Gallipoli. In this depot, which was guarded by the French, there was an enormous quantity of arms and ammunition. The Govern ment, believing it to be in their interest to show their complacency respecting the desires of the Allied Powers, had promised to surrender some of the arms and ammunition stored in this depot. The Allied Powers intended to send them to Wrangel s army; a Russian ship had arrived at Gallipoli to carry them to Russia. The Government had previously obtained the consent and support of the leaders of our organisation in Constantinople to this. But now, Koprululi Hamdi Bey, one of our heroic comrades at the head of a division of national troops, crossed the Straits on rafts during the night of the 26 t]1 February, reached the European shore, seized the depot at Akbash, arrested the French guard and cut the communications. Then he sent all the arms and a large part of the ammunition to Lapseki, meanwhile taking the French soldiers with him under escort. After he had taken the arms and ammunition into the interior of the country, he sent his prisoners back. We estimated that about 8,000 Russian rifles, 40 Russian machine-guns and 20,000 cases of ammunition were stored in the Akbash depot. (Document 239.) Following this incident, the English landed 200 men at Panderma. Foreseeing the possibility that the arms and ammunition which were stored in localities in this district behind the territory garrisoned by the national forces, where there were also some Allied troops, would be brought to another place by them or be rendered useless, or that Allied soldiers might occupy the depot, we issued orders to all com manding officers to take certain steps, and commanded them to act firmly and decisively. (Document 240.) Almost at this identical moment, Ansawur had succeeded in creating a serious and almost dangerous situation in the districts of Balikesri and Bigha. At Balikesri he intended to take the national forces in the rear. He commanded a rather considerable number of men. A sanguinary skirmish took place at Bigha between his men and the national forces that were sent against him. Ansawur was victorious. He scattered our troops, captured our guns and machineguns, killed some of our officers and men and took some prisoners. Hamdi Bey, the hero of Akbash, was among the killed. Then Ahmed
339 Ansawur, acting in the name of the "Union Ahmedie" which was named after himself continued and extended his criminal activity.
On the 3 rd March, I received a telegram in cipher which was of extreme importance. Ismet Pasha sent it from Constantinople. After I had arrived at Angora, Ismet Pasha came to see me there. We were working together. But now His Excellency Fewsi Pasha had suc ceeded Djemal Pasha in the Ministry of War. In obedience to the explicit request of his Excellency and for a specially weighty reason, I had sent Ismet Pasha back to Constantinople a few days before. The matter which we regarded as of special importance was this. The Greeks had prepared an offensive. The reasonable thing to do
in such a case was to mobilise our forces and begin a regular war. His Excellency Fewsi Pasha was perfectly convinced of the necessity of doing this. The presence of Ismet Pasha in Constantinople would be expedient, so that he could take the necessary steps, and by appointing him chief of the General Staff we would have been able to rely on his official co-operation. That is why I thought it would be a good thing to send him to Constantinople. Ismet Pasha s telegram ran as follows : Harbie 3 rd March, 1920. To His Excellency Mustapha Kemal Pasha. It is reported that a union has been formed in Constantinople which, in agreement with the English, has passed certain resolutions. Some of them are said to be : To overthrow the Government and hand over the power to another; to dissolve the Chamber and disband the national forces; to clear the way for the occupation of Smyrna and Adana ; to establish a Supreme Council of the Caliphate in Constanti nople which would serve as the factor of peace and good-will amongst all Mohamedans ; to draw up and publish a Fetwah against Bolshevism. The Minister of War attaches importance to the objects of this union. The activity of Ansawur in Anatolia is the result of the work of this union, and so is the ever-increasing pressure of the English on the Government. The Minister desires me to send you this for your in formation. Ismet Salih, Major A. D. C. to the Minister of War. 22*
340 As you already know, the British representative had proposed to the Government that the operations against the Allied troops, includ ing those of Greece, shall cease, and had informed them of the "gilded promise" made by the English, according to which Constantinople would still belong to the Ottoman Empire, on condition that this proposal was accepted. But we had been informed of the fact that at the precise moment when this proposal was made in Constantinople, the Greeks had landed fresh troops, new means of transport, and enormous quantities of ammunition at Smyrna, on the i8 th , 19^ and 20 th February, and were preparing for a new offensive. We lost no time in passing this information on to the Government and drawing their attention to it, ignoring the fuss they had made in trying to prevent our so-called interference in the affairs of the Government. While the Greeks were preparing for this new offensive, Ali Riza Pasha s Cabinet was confronted with a new proposal, namely, "to retire the national forces who had taken up a position against the Greeks for a distance of three kilometres ! It was evident that Ali Riza Pasha s Cabinet was incapable of carrying out this proposal, but they intended to oppose it. The Grand Vizier, under force of circumstances, had replied that it was impossible to do this.
The Greeks began their offensive on the 3 rd March. They seized the plateau of Goldshek and Bos Dagh. Meanwhile, Ali Riza Pasha resigned ; the only thing he could do to extricate himself from his responsible position was to hand in his resignation and go. For, could it not be seen beforehand that Ali Riza Pasha, who had done everything he possibly could to put an end to the activities of the national forces and had completely failed, would be held responsible by the Allied Powers if he had brought forward new proposals and had again failed? Had not Djemal Pasha been turned out of the Cabinet because he had not obeyed the orders of Sir George Milne, the Commanderin-Chief ? If they were preparing the same fate for Ali Riza Pasha, was he not sure that the Sovereign would lack the power to keep him in office? In that case could he have relied on the National Assem bly which, as he said, was "the only place where the national aims found their expression"? Would be have condescended to lean for support on the Representative Committee, whom he had threatened to punish, by declaring that it was impossible any longer that they should speak or put forward claims in the name of the national will?
To withdraw, therefore, was mere by to follow the line of least resistance, and this he did. (Document 241.) Ali Riza Pasha had not consented to resign when we had asked him to do so during the first attack on the Cabinet. He had declared that he would be of greater service to the country if he did not resign. And the Chamber had supported him by accepting his opinion, which only showed their ignorance. Did it happen that the duty which he referred to consisted in letting the Greeks have as much freedom as they desired to complete their preparations for the offensive which was intended to tread another part of the sacred soil of our country underfoot and cause more of our beloved countrymen to groan under their yoke? Rauf Bey and Kara Vassif Bey who had told us about this resig nation in a ciphered telegram, dated 3 rd March, 1920, also told us that the chairman of the "Felahi Watan" party and the Vice-president of the Chamber had been sent as a deputation to the Palace. They were not received by the Sultan; but he sent them an Irade in which they were instructed to consult the First Secretary and the First Chamberlain. The chairman of the party had declared the loyalty of the national organisation to the Sultan and led the conversation to the question of the resignation. The Sovereign, through the First Secretary handed them the following Irade: "I send my greetings to all the deputies. With you, I appreciate the seriousness of the situation. As the exigencies of the present moment demand, I will select someone to take over the office of Grand Vizier. I cannot interfere with him in his position nor in his choice of the Ministers. But I^shall advise him to come to an agreement with the majority party/ The depu tation from the Chamber left the Palace after having expressed their loyal thanks to the Sovereign. Among other information we received was the following: "The deputies are anxious; but they have confi dence that the new Government will be satisfactory. Nevertheless, it is possible that the foreigners will urge the partisans of the "Liberal Understanding" and the union "Nigehban" to ask Ferid Pasha or one of his friends to form the new Government, so as to ensure the success of the reactionary scheme they are planning. In this case, the Chamber
will be dissolved as a matter of course. If you take effective steps at Angora . . . with the Sovereign." Is it not a strange thing that those who appealed to me that day with such a request were the same persons who had written to me a few weeks previously in this strain: "Considering that the Chamber has been officially opened, we ask you in future to give us your orders
342 and to be assured that your ideas will be thoroughly supported by all concerned." These persons who, in agreement with the Govern ment, had tried to prevend me from interfering in their affairs and actions now expected that steps would be undertaken by the Represen tative Committee at Angora, thus admitting that they were incapable themselves of doing anything at all in Constantinople. We yielded to this wish also, not because they asked us but because we felt compelled to do so for the sake of the country. We spent the 3 rd March and the whole of that night in telegraphic communication with Constantinople to keep them fully informed of all that was going on. Acting on the information we received, partly from Ismet Pasha and partly from others, I sent a circular note to all the troops, the headquarters of the organisations and to the nation on the 4 tjl March. (Document 245.) To the President of the Chamber I wrote : Angora, 4 tb March, 1920. To His Excellency the acting President of the Chamber of Deputies. We are sorry to hear that All Riza Pasha s Cabinet has resigned and has informed the Chamber that the reason for their having done so is that they have been repeatedly interferred with by the Entente Powers. The national forces are fighting on the Aidin front against the enemy who is trying to invade our dear country, in every inch of whose soil the bodies of her faithful and devoted sons are interred. No power, no authority can prevent our nation from fulfilling the duty that history imposes upon us. The righteous indignation felt by our nation, that is ready to make every sacrifice, can only be allayed if a Government comes into power that show they can be trusted. In these historic days the nation is awaiting with impatience the definite resolutions of the deputies, who are the elected representatives of the free national will. We are sure that, conscious of the responsi bility you have accepted before our country and before history, regardless of the fact that the eyes of the entire world are upon you, you will arrive at decisions in accordance with the steadfastness and devotion of the nation, and we inform you that the whole nation is following and supporting you in your patriotic endeavours, Mustapha Kemal, In the name of the Representative Committee,
343 To the Sovereign we sent the following telegram : Angora 4 ih March, 1920. We lay this petition at the foot of Your Imperial Majesty s Throne. The fact that there is a new Ministerial crisis following the resigna tion of the Cabinet, because they could no longer resist the attacks of the Entente Powers on our independence and dignity and their in trigues and interventions which are not in accord with the stipulations of the Armistice, has produced a feeling of intense excitement in the public opinion of the nation. All Your Imperial Majesty s subjects have united their thoughts and desires around your Throne as Emperor and Caliph, resolved to agree to make every sacrifice to secure the independence and inviolability of Your Majesty and the integrity of your Empire. Anxious and distressed as they are in face of the forces commanded by the enemy who is striving to sow discord and provoke trouble, your people await with grave anxiety a speedy end to be put to the Ministerial crisis, and pray that a Cabinet will be formed that consists of honourable Ministers and that it will agree in every parti cular with the aspirations of the nation. Our Committee, in unity with all Your Majesty s subjects, is certain that the aims and claims of the nation, which had been expressed by the majority, will enjoy Your Majesty s support and protection. We consider it to be our patriotic duty to lay at the foot of the Throne the expression of our view that our country, in which the unfettering of a thousand passions is threatening peace in foreign countries as well as in our own, could not suffer for a moment that a Prime Minister who would be unable to restore peace in the national conscience should be entrusted to form a Government. And we consider that if may God forbid it ! such a possibility should arise, regrettable events, unexampled in the history of the Ottoman Empire, would follow. We are Your Imperial Majesty s, etc. . . Mustapha Kemal, In the name of the Representative Committee of the "Union for the Defence of the Rights of Anatolia and Rumelia." We sent copies of this telegram to the President of the Chamber and to the commanders of the Army Corps for their information. We ordered the Telegraph Office in Constantinople to transmit a copy of it to the newspapers and the Press Society.
344 In addition, we sent the following circular note to the commanding officers, Valis, Mutessarifs and the Central Committees of the Defence of the Rights:
4 t51 March, 1920. On account of the interference and pressure exercised by the En tente Powers, which have become absolutely insupportable, the Government resigned yesterday, the 3 rd March. From reliable information, we learn that the overthrow of the Ministry is the result of the activity of a secret union which is led by our foreign enemies and is formed with the co-operation of the parties of the opposition, with the ostensible purpose of bringing Ferid Pasha, or a man of similar character to his, into power and of establishing in Constantinople a Supreme Council of the Caliphate, destined to serve the plans of the enemy. That is to say, in order to prepare the ground for the work of the secret unions, the Entente Powers have first exerted pressure to compel the Cabinet to resign. Considering the seriousness of this position, the Chamber of Deputies naturally con tinues to do all that is necessary. With the object, however, of con firming and actually supporting these steps, we must urgently and very seriously inform the Imperial Chancellor, the President of the Chamber of Deputies and the Press, that the nation can no longer tolerate any head of the Government who would not act in agreement with their demands. We beg you urgently on receipt of this telegram not to lose a minute in sending telegrams to this effect and to make sure that they will be sent off without fail this very night. Please send us the result to-morrow morning. Mustapha Kemal, In the name of the Representative Committee of the "Union for the Defence of the Rights of Anatolia and Rumelia."
The flood of telegrams which, in obedience to our instructions, inundated the entire country during the night of the 4 th March, produced the desired effect in the Palace of the Sovereign and in the Chamber of Deputies on the following day. From a person, whose identity or rank I could not recognise, we received the following news on the 6 th March :
345 Constantinople 6 tjl March, 1920. To the Representative Committee The office of Grand Vizier has been offered to Salih Pasha, Minister of Marine. TT ,. ., HaJid Acting General Secretary of the Union for the Defence of the Rights. This message was followed by another:
Chamber of Deputies. 6* 11 March, 1920. To His Excellency Mustapha Kemal Pasha. I beg to inform you that His Imperial Majesty the Caliph, has just granted an audience to the President of the Chamber of Deputies, in the course of which His Majesty has deigned to inform him that he has offered the office of Grand Vizier to Senator Salih Pasha, formerly Minister of Marine. The latter is engaged in forming his Ministry and the crisis may therefore be considered to have terminated, at latest, by to-morrow evening. Djelaleddin Arif President of the Chamber of Deputies. On the same day, before we heard of the Grand Vizier being ap pointed, we received a message from Rauf Bey. I will read it to you literally, because it deserves your notice. Harbie 6 tJl March, 1920. To the command of the XX tl1 Army Corps, Angora. Personal. Very urgent To be delivered without delay. To His Excellency Mustapha Kemal Pasha. i. Last night I spoke to Izzet Pasha and Salih Pasha. The office of Grand Vizier has not been offered to either of them. The provisional Cabinet has no idea who will be Grand Vizier. From a reliable source, we have learned that Reshid Bey, the former Minister of the Interior, is driving to and fro between the Palace and the French and English Ambassadors. According to a rumour that is current, it is suggested that he will take over the Government. The evening before last His Majesty received Tewfik Pasha. Then he received Ferid Pasha, with whom he had a long conversation from five o clock in the after noon until ten at night. Yesterday, Friday, long consultations took
346 place at Balta Liman*) at which Kemal and Mehmed All, the former Minister of the Interior, were present. The discussions were continued at Ali Kemal s house, and Mr. Frew, the English clergyman, took part in them. Djelaleddin Arif Bey was received in audience yesterday at 4.0 p.m. He told His Majesty that the present crisis should not be allowed to last much longer, and he repeatedly pointed out the necessity of a Cabinet being formed that possesses the confidence both of the country and the deputies. At first His Majesty declared that he himself understood as well as he did how delicate the situation is. He spoke of the necessity of the national forces and delivered himself to this effect: "The selection of a person as Grand Vizier who has the confidence of the country and foreign countries as well, cannot be made in too great haste; it will take at least until next Sunday." My personal impression, which has been derived from the facts and information I have quoted, is that the Sovereign is in communication and negotiating with the English, and is waiting for a reply from London. In any case, the position is very critical indeed. If he should decide to trust in England, it is not improbable that he will even ask Ferid Pasha to form a Government. In short, the only people whom
he has personally received are Tewfik Pasha and Ferid Pasha, and his meeting with them was of a secret character. A person who is in connection with the Palace and whom I know to possess your confidence, came to me last Thursday on behalf of some persons in close touch with his Majesty and asked me for my opinion. I told him plainly in reply that the only person who could clear up the situation in favour of the Crown, the State and the Nation, would be Your Excellency, but, as in present circumstances in face of the occupation you cannot return to Constantinople, it would be better to hand the Government over to Izzet Pasha. Salih Pasha hints that the dissolution of the Chamber is quite possible. We have been informed that Hussein Kiasim Bey, the Vice-president, is intriguing in the name of the Chamber with the Palace and the English. I send this to you for your information. Djelaleddin Arif Bey will go to the Palace to-day and will explain the situation very clearly to His Majesty. He will declare to him that if the Government were to be handed over to members of the opposition, the organisations in Anatolia would be shaken, and that thereby the principles announced in Eastern Europe which would in the end prove fatal to him would gain ground in our country *) A town and palace on the Bosphorus.
347 and the Caliphate would come into a miserable position in the eyes of Islam. He will show him all the telegrams concerning this question which have arrived from the different headquarters of the national organisations in Anatolia and, in addition, will hand him a written account which we have jointly composed. We will send you a copy of it later. Rauf 2. This telegram was handed in at the Telegraph Office at Harbie on the 6 th March, 1920, at 5.15 p.m. g^ A. D. C. to the Minister of War. Surely it was unnecessary for Rauf Bey to mention me with regard to the post of Grand Vizier. Nothing of the sort had ever been men tioned between us. Incidentally, I had no belief that the Government in Constantinople could live. With regard to the Ottoman Empire, I had been convinced for a long time that it had run its course. An idea so utterly foolish as that I should accept the post of Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire would, of course, never have entered my head. While I was calmly and deliberately watching the natural course of the revolution, I had thought of nothing but the plans that would be necessary to adopt in the future. Rauf Bey sent me a copy of Djelaleddin Arif Bey s account which he had referred to. (Document 245.) After the Cabinet had been formed, he sent us this message : Harbie, 8 th March, 1920. To the Provisional Command of the XX th Army Corps. To His Excellency Mustapha Kemal Pasha.
1. This is the composition of the Cabinet: Salih Pasha, Grand Vizier; Sheikh ul Islam, unchanged; Minister of the Interior, un changed; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sefa Bey, unchanged; Minister of War, unchanged; Minister of Marine (temporary), SaJih Pasha; Minister of Public Works, Tewfik Bey; Minister of Finance (temporary) Tewfik Bey; President of the Council of State (temporary) Abdurrah man Sheref Bey; Minister of Education, Abdurrahman Sheref Bey; Minister of the Ewkaf, the late Sheikh ul Islam, Omer Hulussi Effendi; Minister of Justice, Djelal Bey; Minister of Commerce, Zia Bey, Director General of Taxes. 2. The leading political opinions of Djelal Bey are unknown to us. The present composition of the Cabinet is the work of the Palace, with the object of gaining time for Ferid Pasha. Salih Pasha hopes
that he is rendering a service to the country by putting an end to the crisis. We are not inclined to put any faith in this Cabinet, and we are doing all we can to induce the party to adopt our view. The danger of Ferid Pasha coming into power is still threatening, and we beg you to do what you think necessary to meet it. 3. We must also call your attention to one matter, which we think is very important. Salih Pasha intended to consult the party about their opinion. He wanted to know the names of Ministers whom he would have to select from outside the Chamber in case he found it impossible to find suitable ones inside it. But later on he changed his mind and formed the Cabinet composed as I have told you without any assistance. Rauf Salih. A. D. C. to the Minister of War. The account I have given you of the crisis in Constantinople is rather a lengthy one. As the situation develops, we shall see many other things that happened in Constantinople.
We shall now glance at what was going on in Adrianople, and then return to Constantinople. I think I have always mentioned in the course of my general remarks that we have never lost sight of Thrace in our organisations and plans. Our connection and correspondence with Adrianople were maintained and continued in just the same way as with every other district in the country. I consider that this is a fitting opportunity to bring some interesting points in this correspondence to the knowledge of this honourable Assembly. Djafer Tayar Bey, commanding the 1st Army Corps, described in an excellent way in a very detailed account, dated 31 st August, 1919, the activity of the Greeks in Thrace especially in Western Thrace and the enterprises they were engaged in there. He complained that he could not act efficiently in face of their extraordinary activity there.
He informed us that, "from certain correspondence it was evident that General Milne had not allowed him to make dispositions in his Army Corps that would enable him to do his duty in view of the situation and the consequences that might possibly ensue." (Doc ument 246.)
349 Of course, there could not be the slightest doubt that he would not consent to do anything of the sort. I cannot imagine what could have put the idea into their heads to enter into correspondence on this subject, which was already as clear as daylight. In the instructions I had given to Djafer Tayar Bey on the 3 rd Ja nuary, 1920, I repeatedly reminded him of the necessity of organising armed national troops, on the basis of the "Secret Instructions" with which we had furnished him. "It is necessary/ I said, "to gain the advantage in this way, which cannot be attained by distributing the troops in any other." (Document 247.) On the same day, I also wrote to Djemal Pasha, Minister of War, telling him about the position of affairs and begging him to resist the preparations made by the Greeks, at least in Eastern Thrace. (Doc ument 248.) From the reports coming from the union of "Thrace and Pasha Eli," it was clear that the formation of organisations had not been as successful as had been anticipated, and certain high officials were reproached for this. (Document 249.) From the very beginning, I sent certain observations to these officials. (Document 250.) But before long the most serious complaints were directed against Djafer Tayar Bey. The letter I will now read to you will, I think, give you some idea about this. My esteemed Pasha, 26^ January, 1920. I approve of what Arif Bey says about the population of Thrace. The union of Thrace is not composed in proportion to their material strength. Unfortunately, Djafer Tayar has misled aH of us; he has not carried through any organisation at all, and has done nothing about arms and munitions, even to the extent of a single rifle. I accuse Djafer of pursuing personal aims. Also, knowing nothing whatever about Bulgarian affairs, he is absolutely ignorant concerning prevailing conditions. An order from Djafer to his troops has come by chance to our knowledge within the last few days. He mentions in it what the Greeks are doing and intend to do, and although the present situation necessitates that at last organisations should be formed in obedience to the instructions issued by the "Defence of the Rights," he asks the commanding officers whether they think that help ought to be given
350 to the population by the officers, or not. Think of it! May the curse of God fall on those who ask such absurd questions and deceive the people when the fate of the nation is at stake ! Lastly, Thrace, which we expected would stand up for our country by carrying on war and the revolution, could not do anything at all although the Bulgarian troops had evacuated Western Thrace and had left only about five or ten officials and no more than about 150 to 200 gendarmes there. I do not know whether Djafer was troubled about this condition of things. Consequently, we shall send Tordji Ihsan and Rassim, the veterinary surgeon (an intelligent, smart, steady and thoroughly reliable comrade), to the organisations in Thrace. We shall also send arms from here. We can only hope that this confounded Djafer will not hinder them from doing their duty. All we ask him to do is to get out of our way and never inflict us with his presence again. The English are receiving reinforcements on the Adrianople line of detachments composed solely of Englishmen. The Greeks are taking up positions at Hademkeui, at Tshorlu and Lule Burgas. There is a state of unrest in Bulgaria. The criminal actions of the Greeks are too abominable to describe; the Governor is powerless in face of the pitiable complaints of the population. Djafer shows his weakness. It cannot be foreseen that the concentration of foreign troops now taking place against Bolshevism in Thrace will become the object of any action on the part of the Bulgarians, against whom they are directed. A firm hand and an energetic brain are needed there. Neither Djafer nor the Governor axe the men who are wanted there ; they are not energetic enough. These are the actual facts and the exact state of affairs. I am doing all I can against both of them. The other day I received a telegram in cipher from you which troubled me very much indeed and I asked in cipher for certain explanations, but I have received no^reply. Do you believe, Pasha, that I am following a personal policy? Or, do you take me for one of those imbeciles who cannot appreciate the importance of a plan or estimate the difficulty of a situation? I protest against both of these insinuations. My faith and my conviction are unchangeable. I go straightforward without deviating to the right or to the left. I only ask you to tell me frankly what is in your mind. These severe and reproachful expressions wound me very deeply, but they would neither prevent me from work ing faithfully nor drive me over to the side of the opposition.
351 But this is a personal matter, and I want to draw your attention to it and beg you to let me tell you now that in your delicate position, requiring tact and forethought which must never be lost sight of, it is necessary that you should do nothing until you are quite clear about what troubles me and until you ascertain the exact truth about it.
I send you the expression of my esteem, Pasha, and sincere wishes for your success. v .. From the reports and messages that came from Adrianople I realised that they presented a false account of what was going on there. In the letter which I have just read, certain sentences indicate that this false view prevailed there. To counteract this, I repeated once more on the 3 rd February to Djafer Tayar Pasha and Rauf Bey in Stambul the opinion which we had consistently held from the beginning. The consideration I reiterated was the following: To speak of united Western and Eastern Thrace is bad policy. Eastern Thrace is incontestably an integral part of our country. As for Western Thrace, this territory had once been ceded by Treaty. Eastern Thrace can, at best, serve as a base of operations for those who are struggling for the liberation of Western Thrace. If we insist on claiming a united Eastern and Western Thrace, this may give rise to certain other claims on Eastern Thrace. On the other hand, it must be remembered that the Bulgarians, too, are demanding an economic exit to the Aegean Sea. Bulgaria is very eager about this. (Document 251.) Djafer Tayar Pasha on his part complained about the officials, notables and the population. He said, in a telegram in cipher on the 7 t]1 March : "The people here expect everything from the Government. On account of the neutral attitude shown by the higher officials, the national organisations cannot be formed according to Your Excellency s desire. I am specially trying to get into contact with the villagers by making frequent tours of inspection into the interior of the province . . . but it is impossible for me to visit all the villages." He added: "We all wish that the national organisations will spread and rest on a firm foundation, but this will only be possible if we work hard to surmount the obstacles I have just indicated." (Document 252.) General Milne did not allow Djafer Tayar to dispose his troops as he wished to do. The Vali and Mutessarif remained neutral and ab stained from leading and guiding the people who expect everything from the Government relating to the national organisations. And we cannot see how these organisations could possibly spread
352 and be put on a solid foundation until these hindrances had been surmounted. I have occasionally mentioned a certain society called "Karakol" and the steps that were taken to restrict its influence. We learned that this union was trying to extend its influence in Stambul. Consequently, it was necessary to send a fresh warning. 12 th March, 1920. To Colonel Shefket Bey, Commanding the fortress of Tshanak Kale.
It is noticeable that our organisations in Stambul are not sufficient for us to reach our aims. According to the reports of some well-in formed people who have come from time to time, and particularly recently, to Angora, the cause of our failure is to be traced to the fact that endeavours are being made to put in force the decisions of the "Karakol" society in the name of the organisation for the "Defence of the Rights of Anatolia and Rumelia/ The regulations of this "Karakol" Society had alarmed many people who wanted to get into communication with the organisations. With this object, it is quite enough for Stambul to form organisations on the lines of the regulations governing the organisation for the Defence of the Rights. For it is to the unification of the different ideas that we have to look for the main strength of Stambul. For the armed organisations, the particular enterprises and the actual activities which might become necessary in Stambul, it is sufficient to put into force a clause of the regulations for the De fence of the Rights. If objections were raised to the publication of the names of the persons who form the council of the head committee in Stambul and its branches, the members of these organisations could hide their identity. I particularly urge you to inform me clearly about the organisations, the foundation on which they are already formed or are going to be formed, and the names of the persons who constitute the head com mittee and the leading councils. Mustapha Kemal, In the name of the Representative Committee. If you will allow me, we will now return to Stambul. In a second telegram, dated II th March, I said to Rauf : "On the afternoon of the 10** March the representatives of the Entente, as the result of an order which had come from London, had met to discuss the question of
353 arresting the leaders of the national forces in Stambul and had decided to execute this order. This information had been given to us secretly by a confidential person, and those concerned had been advised to leave Stambul immediately. Having looked into the matter and weighed all the different possibilities, however, they had come to the conclusion that they would stay in Stambul to the last and do their duty there as their honour prompted them to do. It is reported that it was Salih Pasha, the Grand Vizier, who was deliberately responsible for this resolve. They were apparently endeavouring to overthrow the Ministry, because they felt certain they would succeed in doing so. (Document
On the same day, in a short the preceding one, Rauf Bey from you as to your opinion the Ministry, we are afraid
telegram which was in continuation of said: "As we have not received any reply of our last message and the position of that it has not reached you, and I am
naturally anxious about your health. We are awaiting your reply/ I had given the following information to Rauf Bey on the n 131 March, and it was also communicated to the XV th and III rd Army Corps. % n 111 March. Yesterday evening, the io th March, Captain Boizeau, the drago man of the French representative at Angora, who has given us con fidential information from time to time, has told us to-day that Withall the English representative at Angora has just left Angora and that, accompanied by his staff, he is going to Stambul with all his furniture and baggage and that the English would suspend railway traffic after his train had left. According to our information, Withall has actually left. It is very likely, therefore, that railway traffic will be interrupted. There is no doubt that this is connected with the steps taken by the Entente Powers in Stambul. Musta pha Kemal Mahmud Provisional Commander of the XX th Army Corps. This is what I said in reply to Rauf Bey s last message: "Even if you intend to attack the Cabinet by introducing a motion of want of confidence in them, you will not have adequate reasons to support you. Until I have a clear and definite idea about the * cohesion and courage of the party and whether it will show a precise indication of unity, I cannot offer any opinion as to whether it is Kemal Pasha 2 3
354 advisable to make this a constitutional question or not until Salih Pasha has come to an understanding with the leaders of the party.^ "It would be a very good thing if the Chamber, confronted with the decision of the English to proceed to make arrests, will act courage ously now and wfll continue to do their duty. Only, it is absolutely necessary that you and those comrades whose presence is needed for our enterprises will definitely decide to throw in your lot with us. "If you do not, it is very important that those persons who can organise the unified procedure of the party and their wffl should already at the present moment be instructed to do this and that you wiE come here immediately. Those people who do come should possess the necessary qualifications to represent the country and should be able, if called upon to do so, to form a Government and carry on the administration. There is no doubt that the Entente Powers will institute radical coercive measures . . ." (Document 254.) Mustapha Kemal. Before three or four days had elapsed, events proved that we had appealed to Rauf Bey and the others in the nick of time. Unfortunate ly, our request was not accepted in its full importance and significance. Men like Rauf Bey and Vassif showed themselves pliable enough to be taken to Malta. You know all about that.
I have been told that some of our friends had arranged and pre pared the way to reach Anatolia and come on to Angora. If that is so, the reason why they did not come to Angora and preferred to give themselves up to the English and be taken to Malta deserves to be inquired into. Indeed, starting with the idea that the position and the final destiny of Turkey is hanging in the balance, surrounded by gloom and danger, it is not improbable that, influenced by the fear of plunging into this dark peril and exposing themselves to such a horrible and terrifying fate, they preferred to surrender to the enemy and spend a certain time in prison. Nevertheless, I shall refrain from pronouncing stern judgment upon them. Acting on these possibilities, I lost no opportunity to do everything I could to obtain the release of these persons from Malta, On the 16 th March, the command of the XX th Army Corps at Angora received a letter in cipher from the officer commanding the io th Division in Stambul. (No. 465, dated 14 th March.) It read as follows :
355 9 th March, 1920. To His Excellency Mustapha Kemal Pasha. As the English have commandeered the offices of the "Turkish Hearth/ a national organisation, the latter has been transferred to the building of the National Institute for Education and Instruction, which was also commandeered by the English yesterday. TT jAt 10 a.m. on the 16^ March, while we were at the telegraph instrument, we received the following message : "The English have made a surprise attack this morning on a Government building at Shahsade Bashi and have had a skirmish with the soldiers. At the present moment they are beginning to occupy Stambul. I send you this for your information." Monastirli Hamdi. I made a pencil note on this telegram: "To be transmitted imme diately to the Army Corps with my signature. Mustapha Kemal/ Then I began to question the sender of the telegram. Monastirli Hamdi Effendi continued without stopping to report as follows: "Not only a trustworthy man, but all who come here confirm what I have reported. We have just this moment heard that the Military School has been occupied. English soldiers are on guard outside the Telegraph Office at Pera, but it is not yet known whether they intend 18 to occupy it or not." Meanwhile an official of the Telegraph Office belonging to the Ministry of War told us that: "In the forenoon the English have fought their way in ; five have been killed and about fifteen wounded. At this moment the English are patrolling the town. They are now entering the Ministry. They have occupied it. They have reached the Nisamie Gate. Interrupt the connection. The English are here."
Monastirli Hamdi Effendi was still able to get into communi cation with us: i6 th March. "Your Excellency, English sailors have occupied the Telegraph Office at the Ministry of War and have cut the wires. They have occupied Tophane, and troops are being landed from their men-ofwar. The situation is getting worse. Your Excellency, during the fight this morning six of our men were killed and fifteen wounded. Your Excellency, I am awaiting your orders. Hamdi." 23*
356 Hamdi Ef f endi continued : "Early this morning, while our soldiers were still sleeping, British sailors occupied the Post Office. Our men, being suddenly aroused, were still half asleep when the fighting began and which resulted in six of our men being killed and fifteen wounded. "Meanwhile, the English who had prepared this dastardly attack moored their warships at the quay, occupied Tophane and the Pera Quarter, and later on the Ministry of War. At the present moment it is impossible to get into connection with the Telegraph Offices at Pera and the Ministry of War. "From news just received, the occupation is reported to include Derindshe. "The Telegraph Office at Pera does not reply any more. Prob ably it is also occupied. God grant that they will not occupy this office. The director and officials of the Telegraph Office at Pera are just arriving here; they have been turned out of their office. "Your Excellency, I have just this moment heard that this office will be occupied within an hour." The late Hajati Bey, following the order I had given him at the end of my first message, made a summary of the news that had come through and transmitted it to all the commanding officers in Rumelia and Anatolia. I had instructed that these communications should be sent to Adrianople without delay, via Stambul. (Document 255.) Hamdi Effendi reported in these words: "I am carrying out Your Excellency s orders. I am writing to Adrianople and all the Telegraph Offices are ready." I asked Hamdi Effendi: "Have you heard any thing about the Chamber of Deputies? Is the Telegraph Office there in working order?" "Yes/* replied Hamdi Effendi, "it is. The Commander of the XV th Army Corps is there. The Pasha asks to be put into communi cation. Shall I do this?" From this moment we were unable to get into connection with Hamdi Effendi. We concluded from this that the chief Telegraph
Office in Stambul had also been occupied. If we had not had such a courageous patriot as Monastirli Hamdi Effendi there, who knows how long we would have had to wait before we heard of the misfortune that had befallen Stambul? As I have already remarked, not one of the Ministers, Deputies, Commanders and members of our organisation in Stambul had thought of sending us any information in good time.
357 It must be assumed that all of them were affected by deep emotion and were very much excited. I cannot say whether this was any reason why they should lose their heads to such an extent that they could not get onto the telegraph line between Stambul and Angora. Hamdi Effendi, the telegraph official, came to Angora later and took charge of the Telegraph Office at our headquarters. I believe it my duty to the nation as a patriot to express publicly here how grateful I am to him. In face of these events I issued the following command in order to guard against every possible untoward incident : Circular to all Valis and Mutessarifs. To the officers commanding the III rd Army Corps at Sivas, XIV ^ Army Corps at Panderma, XX th Army Corps at Angora, XV** Army Corps at Erzerum, XII<* Army Corps at Konia, XIII** Army Corps at Diarbekr. To Refet Bey at the Smyrna front, the Command of 6i st Division at Balikesri, the head Committees and leading Coun cils of the Union for the Defence of the Rights. Telegram. Urgent. Angora, i6 th March, 1920. Although still convinced of the solidarity of the entire Mohamedan and civilised world, which is inspired by feelings of humanity, our nation will not be able for the time being to maintain connection with the friendly or hostile outside world. The humane attitude which we shall adopt towards the Christian population dwelling in our country will be all the more appreciated at the present time, and the possibility that the Christian population will not enjoy any real or apparent protection from any of the foreign Governments will be conclusive evidence of the civilising factors existing in the character of our race. I request you to proceed in strict accordance with the law and enforce it with vigour if any persons should act contrary to the interests of our country and disturb order and quiet in the country. Administer the law impartially, without distinction of race or creed. And I beg you to treat all those who do their duty as citizens in a conciliatory spirit and show due solicitude for them ; pay honour and obedience to the local authorities. Finally, I request you to communicate the above urgently to all persons concerned and bring it before the people in such manner as appears most expedient to you. Mustapha Kemalj In the name of the Representative Committee of the Union for the Defence of the Rights.
358 When the Entente Powers had occupied the Telegraph Offices in Stambul their intention was to circulate an official communique throughout the country by telegraph. However, on account of the warning we had received, this communique was not accepted at any, except a very few, of the Telegraph Offices. The most important of those who received it and replied to it were Suad Bey, Mutessarif of Ismidt (Document 256) and Subhi Bey, Vali of Konia. (Doc ument 257.) Official Communique. Five-and-a-half years ago the leaders of the "Committee of Union and Progress," who had taken the destiny of the Ottoman Empire into their hands, aided by unknown circumstances but at the instigation of Germany, led the Ottoman Empire and people to enter the General War. The result of this iniquitous and fatal policy is known. After having passed through sufferings of every description, the Empire and the people had to submit to such a defeat that the leaders of the "Committee of Union and Progress" found that their only means of salvation was to ask for an armistice and flee. After the armistice was concluded the Entente Powers had one duty to fulfil. This consisted in preparing the ground for a Peace that will secure the happiness, the future development, the social and economic life of the entire population of the former Ottoman Empire, without distinction of race or religion. While the members of the Peace Conference were engaged on this question, certain individuals, partisans of the fugitive leaders of the "Committee of Union and Progress/ 7 formed an organisation, calling it a "National Organisation/ and, disregarding the orders of the Sultan and the Central Government, dared to commit certain acts, such as calling the population, which was completely reduced through the fatal consequences of the War, under arms and producing discord between the individual elements, besides robbing the population on the pretence of levying national contributions. In this way they have not secured peace but have commenced a new period of war. In spite of these intrigues and provocations, the Peace Conference has contin ued to do its duty and has just decided that Stambul shall remain under Turkish administration. This decision will have a soothing effect on Ottoman minds. While communicating this decision to the Sublime Porte, they have been informed of certain conditions which will affect the decision referred to. These conditions consist in safeguarding the lives of the Chris tians living in Ottoman provinces and in putting an end to the con-
359 tinual attacks that are specially directed against the troops of the Entente Powers and their Allies. Although the Government has shown a certain amount of good-will in respect to this warning, the
men who are working under the adopted name of "National Organi sations" have unhappily not agreed to abandon their policy of provo cation and intrigue. On the contrary, they have tried to win the Government over to their side to co-operate in their enterprises. In view of this situation, which constitutes a grave danger to the Peace for which everybody is anxiously longing, the Entente Powers have seen themselves forced to consider certain steps that will secure the conduct of the Peace negotiations which will soon begin. For this purpose, they have discovered one way only to do this, namely, to proceed to a temporary occupation of Stambul. The decision having been put into execution to-day, the following points are brought to public knowledge : 1. The occupation is temporary. 2. The aim of the Entente Powers is not to weaken, but rather to strengthen the authority of the Sultanate in the territories that will remain under Ottoman administration. 3. The aim of the Entente Powers, also, is not to separate Con stantinople from the Turks. But if which God forbid extensive unrest or sanguinary persecution should occur, it is very likely that this decision will be altered. The duty imposed on all Mohamedans and non-Mohamedans in this time of difficulty is to carry on their business, to assist in the maintenance of order, to close their ears to the lies of those who want by their acts of madness to destroy the last hope of building up a new Turkey on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire, and to obey the orders issued from Stambul, which at the present moment is the seat of the Sultanate. Some of the persons who have been taking part in the intrigues referred to have been arrested in Stambul. They will natur ally be held responsible for their acts and for the events that have been produced thereby. The Army of Occupation. As a sequel to this Communique, I issued a circular note to this effect : x6 ih March, 1920. To all Valis and Commanding Officers, To all the Committees of the Defence of the Rights. The military occupation of Stambul by the Allies has taken place after resistance. It is quite probable that the people who are pursuing
360 malignant plans will make use of this conspiracy to deceive the people. Tims, we have learned that an attempt is being made to spread certain unsigned proclamations in the form of official communiques. No importance whatever is to be attached to rumours of this de scription, so that errors and excitement which might be justified by them will be avoided. The "Union for the Defence of the Rights of Anatolia and Rumelia, "
who are following the course of events with the closest attention, will keep the people fully informed of them. Mustapha Kemal. By various means on the same day I issued this protest : i6 th March, 1920. To the Italian Representative at Adalia. To be forwarded to: The Diplomatic Representatives of England, France and Italy; The Diplomatic Representative of the United States in Stambul ; The Foreign Ministers in Neutral Countries; The Legislative Chambers in France, England and Italy. All the official buildings in Stambul, including the Chamber of Deputies, which represents the symbol of our national independence, have been formally and forcibly occupied by the troops of the Entente Powers, and they have proceeded to arrest a great number of patriots who have been acting in accord with the aims of the national move ment. This last blow, which has just been directed against the sover eignty and political freedom of the Ottoman nation, strikes still more than at the Ottomans who are resolved to defend their lives and their independence at all costs at the principles that have been re garded by humanity and civilisation of the 2O th century as sacred, such as the sense of freedom, of nationality and of country; at the prin ciples also of modern society and human conscience which has cre ated them. As for ourselves, we are imbued with the sacred character of the struggle we have entered upon for the defence of our rights and inde pendence, and we are convinced that there is no power on earth that can deprive a nation of its right of existence. We are not content to leave it to official Europe and America, but to the Europe and America of science, culture and civilisation, to judge rightly the character of this step, which constitutes a con-
36i spiracy such as history has never recorded down to the present day and which is incompatible with the honour and self-respect of the peoples who have joined it. It is actually based on downright dishon esty. By an armistice based on Wilson s principles, the nation has been deprived of all means of defence. Once more, and for the last time, we draw your attention to the great responsibility in the eyes of history which this event will involve. Next to God, the lawfulness of our cause and its sacred character are our surest strongholds in these painful hours of difficulty, Mustapha Kemal, In the name of the Representative Committee
of the Union for the Defence of the Rights of Anatolia and Rumelia, During the night I circulated the following instructions : Telegram in cipher. 16^ March, 1920. To all Valis and Commanders. It is necessary that meetings should be held for the purpose of informing the Heads of the Legislative Chambers of the Entente Powers and all the neutral countries, as well as the representatives of the Entente Powers, by telegram that Stambul, the public buildings there, and especially the Chamber of Deputies, have been formally and forcibly occupied, and of protesting energetically against this occupation having been carried out after the nation had been disarmed according to the stipulations of the armistice. It must be set out clearly in these telegrams that this ignominious affront constitutes a fatal blow, not less against Ottoman sovereignty than against the principles of freedom, nationality and country which civilisation and humanity have erected in the course of twenty cen turies. Further, that this can in no way shake the faith of the Ottoman nation and their will to defend their independence and existence, but that the civilised nations by suffering this ignominy will take upon themselves a grave responsibility in the eyes of history. The tele grams addressed to the Parliaments and Foreign Ministers of neutral countries shall be handed to the respective authorities in Stambul, but shall also simultaneously be dispatched through the Italian representative at Adalia. I request you to send us a copy of the telegrams of protest. Mustapha Kemal, In the name of the Representative Committee.
362 Telegram in cipher. 16* March, 1920. To Colonel Refet Bey. We think it would be advisable to send to the President^ of the Parliaments of the Entente Powers now sitting and to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs in neutral countries, copies of the telegrams of protest which will be dispatched during the course of the meetings that are held in consequence of recent events. We beg you to obtain the good services of the Italian representative at Adalia for this puipose. Musta pha Kemal, In the name of the Representative Committee. On the same day I caused the following proclamation to the people to be published:
Proclamation ! To all Commanding Officers; To all Valis and Mutessarifs; To the Unions for the Defence of the Rights; To the United Press. The various steps which have been taken by the Entente Powers with the object of dividing up our country are already known to you. Firstly, after having come to an understanding with Ferid Pasha, they decided to subject our defenceless nation to foreign administration and to annex different important parts of our country to the Colonies belonging to the victorious Powers. The will and determination of the national forces, supported by the whole of the nation, shown in the defence of our independence have shattered these designs. Secondly, they have addressed themselves to the Representative Committee with the object of ensnaring the national forces and of pursuing a policy of predominance in the Orient with their consent. The Committee has refused to enter into negotiations of any kind until the independence of the nation and the integrity of its territory has been secured and, before all else, until the occupied districts have been evacuated. Thirdly, they have interfered in the acts of those Governments that had associated themselves with the national forces; they have attempted to shake national unity and encourage the treachery of the opposition. One after another, these attacks have been wrecked by the deter mination and solidarity which sprang from the national unity.
363 Fourthly, they have begun to influence public opinion by speaking about disconcerting decisions which had been arrived at regarding the fate of the country. These threats, also, have had no effect, on account of the will and determination of the Ottoman people, who have resolved to submit to every necessary sacrifice for the defence of their honour and their country. Lastly, the forcible occupation of Stambul to-day has destroyed the seven-centuries-old existence and sovereignty of the Ottoman Empire. Consequently, the Turkish nation is compelled to-day to defend its civilising capabilities, its right of existence and independence and its entire future. We shall have won the applause of mankind and shall pave the road to liberation which the Islamic world is yearning for, if we deliver the seat of the Caliphate from foreign influence and defend it with religious fidelity in a manner worthy of our glory and realise the independence of the nation. God is with us in the Holy War which we have entered upon for the independence of our country.
Mustapha Kemal, In the name of the Representative Committee of the "Union for the Defence of the Rights of Anatolia and Rumelia." Simultaneous^, I issued a proclamation to the entire Islamic world, in which the above-described infamous proceedings were referred to in detail. This proclamation was spread abroad by various means. On the very day of the occupation, without waiting for further news, after having been informed about the situation by the messages sent to me by Monastirli Hamdi Effendi, the telegraphist, and the wording of the proclamation issued by the Army of Occupation which confirmed the news sent by Hamdi Effendi, I still took measures which I regarded to be urgently necessary, and carried them through as I have just explained. Contradictory and exaggerated news about the way in which Stambul had been occupied and the arrests that had been made, began to reach us from different quarters. We made many inquiries ourselves. We learned that the deputies, who had scattered after they had been assured of the impossibility of performing their legislative
364 functions, and several other persons in Stambul had fled and were on their way to Angora. I gave the necessary orders to the authorities along the line of their route to facilitate their journey.
Among the steps I took on the i6 th - March after the occupation of Stambul had become known there are some which I need not refer to here, because I already mentioned them when the National Assembly was opened. For instance, you will have read in the first account of the Grand National Assembly some details of what was done about the dis arming and removing of the foreign troops at Eski-Shehr, at Afium Kara Hissar, the destruction of the railways in the districts of Geiveh and Ulu Kishla, the arrest of foreign officers in Anatolia, and other matters. The most important thing was our determination to fulfil our patriotic and national duty by securing the meeting of an assembly at Angora furnished with extraordinary powers, and the way that this was to be carried out. On the 19 th March, that is to say, three days after Stambul had
been occupied, I issued a communique regarding the question I have just described and the manner of its execution. For two days I was personally at the telegraph instrument and came into communication with the commanding officers. I discussed the position with them and asked them to give me their views about it. In the draft I had first made, I had used the expression "Con stitutional Assembly/ My intention was that the assembly which was to be convened would from the very first be endowed with full powers to alter the governmental system. But, because I did not or could not explain this expression with sufficient clearness, they pointed out to me from Sivas and Erzerum that the people were not familiar with it. Thereupon, I contented myself by using the expression : "Assembly endowed with Extraordinary Powers/ To all Vilayets; To Autonomous Livas; To the Officers commanding Army Corps. The formal occupation of the metropolis by the Entente Powers has disorganised the national forces of the State, that is to say, the
365 legislative, the executive and the judicial power. The Chamber of Deputies has been dissolved through the Government having been officially informed that under prevailing conditions there is no possi bility for the deputies to perform their duties. With the object of considering and carrying out the best way to secure the inviolability of the capital, the independence of the nation and the liberation of the country under these conditions, it has been deemed absolutely necessary to convene an assembly to be held at Angora that will be furnished with extraordinary powers and will permit those members of the Chamber that has been dissolved to come to Angora to take part in it. Therefore, we expect from your patriotism and your capabilities that you will proceed to carry out elections on the following lines : 1. An Assembly, furnished with extraordinary powers, will meet at Angora for the purpose of conducting and controlling national affairs. 2. The persons elected as members of this Assembly are subject to the same legal conditions that apply to deputies. 3. The Livas will form the electoral constituencies. 4. Five deputies will be elected in each Liva. 5. The elections will take place in all the Livas on the same day and at one uninterrupted sitting of a committee consisting of electors of the second class, who will be chosen by the Kasas belonging to the Livas ; of electors of the second class in the chief places in the Livas from among the administrative and local councils in the Livas ; of the leading committees of the Defence of the Rights in the
Livas. In the Vilayets it shall consist of the central councils of the chief places in the Vilayets ; of the general councils of the Vilayets ; of the local councils of the chief places in the Vilayets, of the elec tors of the second class in the chief provincial towns, in the chief towns in the Kasas, and of the electors of the second class in the Kasas belonging to the chief town. 6. In the same manner that each party, group and union may chose candidates, so every one individually has the right in his constituency to put forward his candidature and thus actually take part in the sacred struggle. 7. The elections will be conducted by the highest official of the town in which they take place, and he is held responsible for the regularity of the election. 8. The elections shall be conducted by secret ballot and there shall be a clear majority. The result of the polling shall be controlled by two persons nominated by the committee and in their presence.
g. A protocol shall be drawn up giving the result of the elections in triplicate, and attested by the signature or the personal seal*) of all the members. One copy shall be kept in the town, the second shall be handed to the successful candidate and the third sent to the Assembly. 10. The expenses incurred by the members shall be settled later on by the Assembly. Travelling expenses, however, are to be guaran teed by the local authorities and determined by the electoral committee, based on the unavoidable expenses that had been incurred. 11. The elections shall be finished so that within a fortnight, at latest, the majority of the members will be able to meet at Angora. The members are to leave immediately, and the result of the elections, as well as the names of the members, shall be communicated forthwith. 12. You are requested to inform us of the hour when you receive this telegram. Note: For the information of officers commanding Army Corps, the Vilayets and the independent districts. Mustapha Kemal, In the name of the Representative Committee. During the course of the week I put myself into personal telegraphic communication with the deputies who came to Angora from different directions. They were given information calculated to raise their spirits and allay their unhappiness. Nobody was left in Stambul who could have represented our ideas there. As for those who, in spite of the warnings we had been sending them in different ways for many a month, had not formed any or ganisation as we had instructed them to do and had worked for the "Karakol" Society, their leaders had been sent to Malta and their adherents in Stambul had given no evidence that they were still active or even any sign that they were still alive. In order to form a new organisation, I would have been obliged to
make very exhaustive efforts to spend more money than our financial position at that time would allow. In the course of my general remarks I have spoken several times about the question of my election as President of the Chamber of Deputies in Stambul and my intentions about this. I have already pointed out that in this attempt I met with certain difficulties and the plan did not succeed. In fact, as the Chamber in Stambul had become the object of a *) The possession of a personal seal was customary by law, because many persons were unable to read or write.
367 conspiracy and had broken up, I hesitated for a moment to call the deputies together and undertake to form an assembly, particularly of the nature I have described. Let it be understood that I did not know whether Djelaleddin Arif Bey, President of the Chamber, would come to Angora. I thought that in case he might come there, I would wait for him and let him call the Assembly himself. But the situation required an urgent and quick decision. I did not think it prudent to lose any time in expecting an improbability. But at the same time, in order to secure the decision I had to make, I was obliged to put communication with all the commanders, and I in obtaining their opinions and listening to execution of the myself in telegraphic spent several days what they had to say.
Communication had been re-established with Djelaleddin Arif Bey on his arrival at Duzje in the night of the 27^ March. Then I sent him this telegram: No. 34. Angora 27 th March, 1920. To the Honourable Djelaleddin Arif Bey, President of the Chamber of Deputies. Duzje. The formal and actual occupation of Stambul by the English, which has subjected the power of the State to slavery and oppression; the attack on the Chamber of Deputies by which a great mistake was committed in assailing the independence and honour of the nation; the impossibility thereby imposed on the representatives of the nation of fulfilling their duty on questions concerning the fate of the country; the necessity in which they found themselves of taking refuge behind the nation; all these events have made it necessary to call together an Extraordinary Assembly which shall have the administration of the State and the Nation under their authority and in their control. No doubt you have been informed that the Representative Com mittee has decided to convene an assembly provided with extra ordinary powers at Angora, and that orders have been sent every where for this purpose.
We think it advisable that you should take notice of the com munication of the 19 th March that was sent out with this object, that you should confirm it and that you should express your opinion on this matter of public interest in a short proclamation, so as to hasten the elections and the meeting of the assembly. I await your reply. Mustapha Kemal.
36* This is Djelaleddin s reply: Duzje 27 th March, 1920. To His Excellency Mustapha Kemal Pasha, Angora. I have not read the proclamation of the 19 th March to which Your Excellency refers. Although it would be well to convene an extraordinary assembly, it is necessary that it should be constituted as fax as possible according to law. It is true that our Constitution does not provide for anything like the meeting of such an extraordinary assembly, but it is helpful in this case to refer to the provisions of other Constitutions. Thus, for example, the French Constitution provides that if the Chamber were to be legally dissolved or had been attacked, the members of the Chamber who had been able to escape should assemble in a suitable place with members of the councils of departments or arrondissements two of each from every council and discuss the necessary plans for the re-opening of the Chamber, and in this manner overcome the effect of the attack made upon it. The decisions arrived at by this assembly are lawful, and any one who does not obey them is liable to be accused of high treason. As a matter of fact, I had these principles in my mind. My opinion is that when I arrive at Angora, after I know on what principles the proclamation of the 19 th March is based, a new proclama tion must be drawn up. We shall discuss this later on. Ismail Fazil Pasha, Ismet Bey, Reshed Bey, the Deputy for Sarujan, who are here at the instrument, send you their respectful greetings. Riza Bey, a colleague and the deputy for Kirshehr, also sends you expressions of his esteem and begs you to tell his father at Keskin that he is at Bolu. Djelaleddin Aril If we analyse the wording of this telegram carefully, we can easily see that there is a considerable difference between my point of view and that of Djelaleddin Arif . When I resolved upon the meeting of an assembly provided with extraordinary powers, I was well aware that our Constitution did not contain any provision for such an assem bly. But in order to arrive at my decision it did not occur to me to think whether such a provision existed or not. Moreover, I did not think for a moment of calling a meeting of the Chamber of Deputies in its present form and comprising those de puties of the Chamber who had already been attacked and had been able to escape, with the addition of two members elected from each
of the Vilayet Councils and the Livas.
3^9 On the contrary, I had intended to organise an assembly of a totally different character and endowed with other powers, and with it to overcome the successive stages of the revolution that I had in my mind. For these reasons, I abandoned all hope of finding a possi bility to bring our conceptions between which I had no doubt there existed a very strong difference into agreement by discussing them. Nevertheless, I had my proclamation of the 19 *& March communi cated to Djelaleddin by telegram. The next day he replied as follows : Duzje, 28 th March, 1920. To His Excellency Mustapha Kemal Pasha, Angora. The Representative Committee s proclamation of the 19 th - March has been brought to my notice. In their general form, the contents of it agree with the principles which I personally hold. It is natural, therefore, that on my arrival at Angora, after we have discussed the details, another proclamation will be drawn up. I am obliged to stay at Bolu to-morrow, but shall leave in the evening for Angora. I send you my best respects. _ . , . , ,. A .. J J * D]elaleddui Anf, President of the Chamber of Deputies. Although Djelaleddin Arif Bey states that after having taken notice of our proclamation he finds its contents agree generally with the principles that he holds, he does not immediately draft a pro clamation confirming the first one. He postpones doing this till he has arrived at Angora and discussed the question. When Djelaleddin Arif arrived at Angora rather lengthy conver sations and discussions on this question took place with him and some lawyers. But, unless I am very much mistaken, Djelaleddin Arif Bey never agreed with me about the character and the extraordinary powers of the National Assembly. He always maintained that the chief task of the Assembly which had just met consisted in guaranteeing that the meeting of the Chamber of Deputies would take place in Constantinople, and he always looked upon himself as the President of this Chamber. Let me refer to a little incident that comes to my mind and which confirms what I have just said. One day, when I was President of the Grand National Assembly and he was Vice-president, Redsheb Bey, at that time Secretary of the Assembly, told us that Djelaleddin had brought up the question
Kemal Pasha 2 4
37<> of remuneration and in his capacity as President of the Chamber of Deputies had demanded the emoluments attached to his office. You axe aware that at that time there was no difference between the remuneration of the President, the Vice-president, the other chairmen and the members of the Assembly. Djelaleddin Arif Bey alone, in his position as President of the Chamber of Deputies, claimed that an exception should be made in his case, and spoke of his lawful right to demand a higher salary. I declared that this question could only be raised at a full sitting of the Assembly and that it must be referred to it. Djelaleddin Arif Bey doubted whether he could weather the storm that would un doubtedly be raised in the Assembly, and so he abandoned his claims. The elections began to take their normal course seriously and rapidly all over the country, according to the instructions issued on the 19 th March. A certain amount of hesitation and reluctance was felt only in certain places, for a longer or shorter time according, to the individual localities. At last the deputies from all the electoral districts, representing the whole country and nation, were present without exception at the Grand National Assembly. The places which originally intended to stand out were Dersim, Malatia, Konia, Diarbekr and Trebizond. I must call your attention to the fact that it was tants of these districts who showed hesitation and higher civil officials who were there at the time. understood the real position, the people no longer moment to identify themselves with the will of the not the inhabi reluctance, but the As soon as they once hesitated for a nation.
Let us consider once more some of the main events which, so to say, are the natural consequences of a revolution. In a telegram in cipher, dated the 29 th March, that I received from Selaheddin Bey, commanding the III rd Army Corps, we had been informed that the attitude of the 15 th Division at Samsoon was doubtful and that "some officers entertained strong feelings towards the Sultan. " It was reported that certain officers had appealed to their superiors and had told them that they would not obey any orders that were antagonistic to the Sultan. It was also said that they would resign their commissions if pressure were put on them. Newspapers and travellers who came form Constantinople were reported to have said that the buildings that had been commandeered
371 were completely evacuated on the second day after the occupation had begun, that Saiih Pasha s Cabinet was continuing its work and that
the Senate was sitting ; that during the last Selamlik the usual cere monies were performed as usual in the presence of the Minister of War and the Minister of Marine, and so forth. "Therefore/ the rumour continued, "it was asked, what is all the fuss about? What are they doing behind the back of the Cabinet, while there is still a Ministry in office in Stambul?" The officer commanding the 15 1& Division, who had reported the feeling and attitude of his officers, made the following observations : "There is nothing out-of-the-way in putting an officer under arrest here, but if this should occur now it might lead to a march against Anatolia. "I do not know what the conditions of service in the national forces are at the Smyrna front. I believe the men are paid. "As it is quite natural that in case war breaks out the whole of the population cannot be paid, I feel sure that on the day following the outbreak of hostilities there will not be a trace left of the national forces. "With regard to the regular troops, desertions have already taken place. As there is no money forthcoming and as there is still a Govern ment in Stambul, I am very doubtful also about the officers." On the other hand, Selaheddin, commanding the III rd Army Corps, in obedience to instructions I had given him, had arrested a certain English officer, Captain Forbes, attached to the Control Com mission, who had come to Amasia. Another English officer had arrived at Samsoon. He had written to Selaheddin Bey and had demanded that Captain Forbes should be set free immediately, with out a moment s delay, and sent to Samsoon, and had stated that if this were not done he would be held responsible for the consequences. When Selaheddin Bey applied to me for instructions I advised him to send the following reply: "I have not arrested Forbes. It has been done by the nation whose capital has been occupied in complete disregard of the terms of the armistice and the laws of humanity. Consequently, it is the nation alone that can decide about his release." But Forbes did not remain under arrest; they were content to expel him. We were informed in a short telegram in cipher from Haider Bey, Mutessarif of Bolu, that the bridges near Tshatal Kopruler, a place situated between Ada Basar and Hendek, as well as the bridge at Medreni Su, had been destroyed by the enemies of the national forces. 24*
372 Another telegram in cipher of the 9^ April, sent from Duzje by Mahmud Nedim Bey, commanding the Bolu district, brought us the news that manifestations had taken place against the national forces on the previous day at Ada Basar, that the telegraph and telephone
lines between Hendek and Ada Basar had been cut, and that the Abasas of Duzje, who had hitherto remained neutral, had decided to join our opponents. We also learned that the destruction of the large bridge at Medreni Su, between Hendek and Ada Basar, was the cause of the communications being interrupted. When we received these messages we drew the attention of Mahmud Bey, commanding the 24 th Division at Geiveh, to the state of affairs. We were also informed that a branch of the Society for the Revival of Islam had been formed at Nev Shehr under the presidency of Nedim Bey, Kaimakam of Nev Shehr. According to the report we received, eight of the most intriguing members of this Society had been called to Nigdeh. The members of this Society declared that they would never recognise anybody but the Sultan, and swore to sacrifice all they possessed in money and men to exterminate the national forces. Apparently they met every night. Their leaders had been arrested by a detachment from the division stationed at Nigdeh, which had been sent for that purpose by the commanding officer. We shall see from the sequel that a great number of similar in cidents occurred. While we were working to secure the opening of the Grand National Assembly which engaged our attention more than anything else, the waves of reaction and revolt in the districts of Duzje, Hendek and Gerede, lying in the zone of Bolu, began to spread and seemed even to approach Angora, via Nalli Han and Bey Basar.
Endeavouring in one direction to restrain these waves, I thought out other means to save the deputies who assembled at Angora, and who were not yet sufficiently informed about the situation, from a spec tacle that could easily put them in terror, and to avoid a possibility that this could produce and become serious enough to prevent the meeting of the Assembly. With all this in view, I exerted the utmost energy to make certain that the Assembly would open. We finally decided to be satisfied with the delegates that had been able to come and to open the Assembly on Friday, 23 rd April, 1920. I think I ought to quote the contents of the circular sent out by me on the 2i st April and which was prompted by this resolution, because
373 it constitutes a document that will show how far we were obliged to adapt ourselves to the sentiments and views prevailing at this time : Telegram, Very urgent. Angora 21 st April, 1920. To the Army Corps (temporary Command of the XIV th Army Corps); To the Command of the 6i st Division ; To Refet Bey Effendi; To all the Vilayets, independent Districts, Central Com
mittees of the Union for the Defence of the Rights; To all the Magistrates. 1 . On Friday, 23 rd April, after prayer, the Grand National Assembly, if God be willing, will be opened. 2. As the duties of the National Assembly will be of a vital des cription and of the utmost importance such as, for instance, securing the independence of our country and the deliverance of the seat of the Caliphate and Sultanate from the hands of our enemies and as it will be opened on a Friday, the solemn character of this day will be profited by for offering solemn prayer, before the opening, in the Hadji Beiram Mosque. All the honourable deputies will take part in this prayer, in the course of which the light of the Koran and the call to prayer will be poured forth over all the believers. When the prayer is over, we shall move to the place of meeting specially decorated with the sacred flag and the holy relic. Before entering the building, a prayer of thanksgiving will be said and sheep will be sacrificed as a thankoffering. During this ceremony, the troops belonging to the Army Corps will line the road leading from the Mosque to the building and will take up special positions en route. 3. In order to emphasise the sacred character of this day, the reading of the whole of the Koran and the Buchari containing the tradition of the Prophet will begin at the chief town in the province under the supervision of the Vali of the Vilayet, and the last portions will be read for the devotion of the people in front of the building where the Assembly will meet when the Friday prayer is over. ^ 4. In every part of our sacred, suffering country the reading of the Koran and the Buchari will begin from to-day onward, and before Friday prayer the solemn call to prayer is to be intoned from the minarets. When during the Khutbah*) the Imperial title of His *) Khutbah: A Mohamedan Prayer and sermon delivered in the mosques on Fridays.
374 Majesty our Sultan and Caliph will be pronounced, special prayers and petitions will be offered, begging that within a short space of time His Sublime Person, His Imperial States and all his oppressed subjects may regain freedom and happiness. The reading of the Koran being finished at the end of the Friday prayer, sermons will be delivered on the importance and sacred character of the national endeavours which aim at the liberation of the seat of the Caliph and Sultan and every part of our country. Sermons will also be delivered on the obligation of everyone to do his patriotic duty, which will be pointed out to him by the Grand National Assembly that comprises representatives of the whole nation. Prayers will then be said for the deliverance, salvation and independence of our Caliphate and Sultanate, of our Faith and our Empire, of our Country and our Nation. After these religious and patriotic observances have terminated
and having left the mosque, a solemn ceremony of congratulation will take place in all the Ottoman towns and seats of the highest authori ties to commemorate the opening of the National Assembly. After Friday prayer the Mevlud*) will be read everywhere. 5. You are requested to use every possible means to spread the foregoing communication without delay to the remotest villages, among the smallest units of troops, among all the organisations and institutions in the country. It is to be printed in heavy type and placarded publicly. In places where this is not possible, it is to be printed and distributed gratis. 6. We pray God to grant that we may be successful. Mustapha Kemal, In the name of the Representative Committee. On the 22 nd April I had the following short communique distributed : Telegram. 22 nd April, 1920. To be forwarded without delay. To all Vilayets and independent Districts ; The Army Corps; Colonel Refet Bey at Nasilli; His Excellency Ali Fuad Pasha, commanding the XX th Army Corps at Brusa; Colonel Bekir Sami Bey, commanding the 56 th Division at Brusa; Colonel Kiasim Bey, commanding the 6i st Division at BalikesrL *) Hymn in verse in honour of Mohamed.
375 As the Grand National Assembly will be opened and commence its duties, if God be willing, on Friday the 23 t]tl April, you are informed hereby that from this day forward the National Assembly will be the lawful authority to which all civil and military authorities and the entire nation must turn. Mustapha Kemal, In the name of the Representative Committee.
Gentlemen, What I have already told you was intended to give you a descrip tion of the circumstances and events in which I took part both person ally and in the name of the Representative Committee. In what
follows I will deal with the Revolution and the events which have taken place from the time that the Grand National Assembly of Tur key was opened and a regular Government was established until the present day. These statements will deal with the various stages of the events which are known to all of you or about which there is no secret. Indeed, the documents relating to them are to be found in the proceedings of the Assembly and are to a great extent included in Ministerial Reports and in the newspapers. As far as I am concerned, I shall confine myself to an outline of the general events and indicate the tendency underlying them. I desire to make the task of the histor ian easier by pointing out the successive stages of the Revolution. I consider it to be my duty to undertake this more in my capacity as a leader of our republican organisation than because during the course of these events I have been, and still am, President of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey and its Government, Commander-inChief and President of the Republic. I. Gentlemen, Soon after the Assembly was opened I described the position and circumstances in which we found ourselves. I also pointed out the course that I considered it would be necessary for us the follow. The most important thing being the political principles which Turkey and the Turkish Nation would have to adopt. It is well known that under the former systems of Government various political doctrines were held. For my part, I had arrived at the conviction that none of these doctrines could be accepted by the political organisation of the New Turkey. I took care to express my views on this question clearly before the Assembly. Later on I still laboured with the same idea before me. I think I ought now to sum marise the generality of the principles which I have exposed at dif ferent times concerning this.
377 You know that life consists of struggles and conflicts. Success in life is only possible by overcoming difficulties. All depends upon strength, upon moral and material energy. Further than that, all the questions that engage the attention of mankind, all the dangers to which they are exposed and all the successes which they achieve arise from the turmoil of the general combat which is raging throughout human society. The conflicts between the Eastern and Western races mark some of the most important pages in history. It is a generally accepted fact that among the peoples of the Orient the Turks were the element who bore the brunt and who gave evidence of the greatest strength. In fact, both before and after the rise of Islam, the Turks penetrated into the heart of Europe and attacked and invaded in all directions. We must not omit to mention the Arabs also, for they attacked the Occident and carried their invasion as far as Spain and across the frontiers of France. But in every offensive we must always be pre pared for a counter-attack. The end that awaits those who act without considering this possibility and without taking the necessary precau tionary measures against it is defeat, annihilation, extinction. The counter-attack delivered by the West which was aimed at the
Arabs began in Andalusia with a heavy historical defeat which point ed a moral. But it did not stop there. The persecution extended to North Africa. Passing over the Empire of Attila, which extended as far as France and the territory of the West-Roman Empire, we will turn our minds to the times when the Ottoman State in Stambul, founded on the ruins of the Seldchuk State, was master of the crown and the throne of the East-Roman Empire. Among the Ottoman rulers there were some who endeavoured to form a gigantic empire by seizing Germany and West-Rome. One of these rulers hoped to unite the whole Is lamic world in one body, to lead it and govern it. For this purpose he obtained control of Syria and Egypt and assumed the title of Caliph. Another Sultan pursued the twofold aim, on the one hand of gaining the mastery over Europe, and on the other of subjecting the Islamic world to his authority and government. The continuous counter attacks from the West, the discontent and insurrections in the Mohamedan world, as well as the dissensions between the various ele ments which this policy had artifically brought together within cer tain limits, had the ultimate result of burying the Ottoman Empire, in the same way as many others, under the pall of history. What particularly interests foreign policy and upon which it is founded is the internal organisation of the State. Thus it is necessary
378 that the foreign policy should agreewith the internal organisation. In a State which extends from the East to the West and which unities in its embrace contrary elements with opposite characters, goals and culture, it is natural that the internal organisation should be de fective and weak in its foundations. In these circumstances its foreign policy, having no solid foundation, cannot be strenuously carried on. In the same proportion as the internal organisation of such a State suffers specially from the defect of not being national, so also its foreign policy must lack this character. For this reason, the policy of the Ottoman State was not national but individual. It was deficient in clarity and continuity. To unite different nations under one common name, to give these different elements equal rights, subject them to the same conditions and thus to found a mighty State is a brilliant and attractive political ideal; but it is a misleading one. It is an unrealisable aim to attempt to unite in one tribe the various races existing on the earth, thereby abolishing all boundaries. Herein lies a truth which the centuries that have gone by and the men who have lived during these centuries have clearly shown in dark and sanguinary events. There is nothing in history to show how the policy of Panislamism could have succeeded or how it could have found a basis for its realisation on this earth. As regards the result of the ambition to organise a State which should be governed by the idea of worldsupremacy and include the whole of humanity without distinction of race, history does not afford examples of this. For us, there can be no question of the lust of conquest. On the other hand, the theory which aims at founding a "humanitarian" State which shall embrace all mankind in perfect equality and brotherhood and at bringing it to the point of forgetting separatist sentiments and inclinations of
every kind, is subject to conditions which are peculiar to itself. The political system which we regard as clear and fully realisable is national policy. In view of the general conditions obtaining in the world at present and the truths which in the course of centuries have rooted themselves in the minds of and have formed the characters of mankind, no greater mistake could be made than that of being a Utopian. This is borne out in history and is the expression of science, reason and common sense. In order that our nation should be able live a happy, strenuous and permanent life, it is necessary that the State should pursue an exclusively national policy and that this policy should be in perfect agreement with our internal organisation and be based on it. When
379 I speak of national policy, I mean it in this sense: To work within our national boundaries for the real happiness and v/elfare of the nation and the country by, above all, relying on our own strength in order to retain our existence. But not to lead the people to follow fictitious aims, of whatever nature, which could only bring them misfortune, and expect from the civilised world civilised human treatment, friendship based on mutuality. Another important question which I also brought before the Assembly related to the formation of the Government. You will admit that this question was at that time a very delicate one. In reality, it was a question of acknowleging the collapse of the Ottoman State and the abolition of the Caliphate. It meant the creation of a new State standing of new foundations. But to speak openly of the position as it revealed itself might eventually jeopardise the goal we were aiming at. For, the general opinion inclined to the idea that the attitude of the Sultan-Caliph was excusable. Even in the Assembly during the first months there was a tendency to seek communion with the seat of the Caliphate, a union with the Central Government. I took pains to explain that the conditions under which Stambul found itself equally prevented an open or private and secret com munion with the Caliph and Sultan, I asked what we considered we could attain by such communion and declared that it was quite un necessary if it was a question of making known that the nation was struggling to preserve its independence and the integrity of its terri tory. For, was it possible that the person who held the office of Sultan and Caliph could have any other idea or desire? I stated that even were I to hear the contrary from his own lips I could not believe it but would incline to the assumption that every statement of that kind was only produced under pressure. While further insisting that the Fetwa issued against us was an invention, that the orders and instruc tions of the Government must be made clear, I declared that there was no necessity for us to be cautious, as had been advocated by cer tain persons of weak character and superficial judgment. So far as the formation of the Government was concerned, what I mean to say is that it was necessary to take account of opinions and sentiments before hazarding a proposition. In bowing to this necessity, I brought forward my suggestion in the form of a motion, but a motion
of which the intention remained concealed. After a short discussion it was carried, in spite of a few objections. If we read this resolution to-day we shall see that fundamental principles were defined and formulated in it.
Let me enumerate them and point out the details : 1. It is absolutely necessary to form a Government. 2. We cannot allow the chief of the Government to be defined as provisional, or a regency to be established. 3. It is a vital principle to recognise that the national will ex pressed by the Assembly is actually governing the destiny of the coun try. There is no power standing above the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. 4. The Grand National Assembly of Turkey combines in itself the Legislative and the Executive Power. A Council elected and authorised by the Assembly conducts the affairs of the Government. The President of the Assembly is at the same time President of this Council. (Note: As soon as the Sultan-Caliph is delivered from all pressure and coercion he will take his place within the frame of the legislative principles which will be determined by the Assembly.) It is not difficult to appreciate the character of a Government standing upon such foundations. Such a Government is a People s Government, based on the principle of the sovereignty of the people. Such is the Republic. The fundamental principle in the organisation of such a Govern ment is the theory of the unity of those in authority. As time ad vanced, we understood the force of these principles. Then followed discussions and incidents. After the statements and analyses I made in the open and private sittings which lasted for several days and after the introduction of the motion on the principles which I have just enumerated, the Grand Assembly showed its unanimous confidence in me by electing me Pre sident. I will now tell you something. You know that, instead of being ascribed to the excitement and awakening of the people, the national unity which now began to manifest itself was regarded rather as the result of personal initiative. Under this impression, it was considered important to prevent any prominent step on my part. It was thought advisable to do something with the object of leading the nation and the Government to disown and condemn me. In the propaganda which was carried on it was explained that there would be no longer need for the slightest action against the Government and the nation if I were disowned and condemned. That I, individually, was the cause of all the trouble; that it would be illogical for a nation to expose itself to
dangers of every description at the behest of one man. The Government and my enemies made use of me personally as a weapon against the nation. In consequence of this, the Assembly examined this point during a secret sitting on 24^ April, 1920. I begged them to take this point also into consideration in the election of the President, to regard it as a further subject for hesitation, and in every question to arrive at a decision only and solely with the single thought of the salvation of the country and the people. In accordance with the Act of the 2 nd May, 1920, regarding the election of the Commissioners of the Grand National Assembly, the Ministerial Council, consisting of eleven Ministers and the Chief of the General Staff, was determined upon in the Grand National Assembly. About a week had elapsed since the 23 rd April when the Assembly was opened. Naturally, during this time the affairs of the country and the people could not stand still, especially as regards the measures which had to be taken against the activities and movements of our enemies. Several members elected by the Assembly as Commissioners had, however, when this Act was passed begun their work in co-oper ation with me. Among them was His Excellency Ismet Pasha, who had undertaken the duties of the General Staff. I think at this opportunity I ought to emphasise this point. While at that time the question of the duties that could appropriately have been assigned to the different members was being considered, I had made up my mind that Ismet Pasha should be Chief of the General Staff. Refet Pasha, who was at Angora, had a private interview with me at which he asked me to make certain statements on this question. He wanted to know whether the Chief of the General Staff was the highest military authority. When I replied that this was actually the case and that only the Grand National Assembly was superior to it, he raised objections to my selection. He declared that he could not agree to it and that it would create a situation which would be tanta mount to handing over the chief command to Ismet Pasha. I told him that these duties were very important and very delicate, and that I must be trusted to know all my comrades and to be impartial to wards them. I added that it was not right on his part to hold such opinions. Fuad Pasha, with whom I poke later on the western front, cat egorically opposed the appointment of Ismet Pasha as chief of the General Staff. I tried to persuade him also to my point of view, telling him it was the most feasible one at the moment. The argument Refet Pasha and Fuad Pasha advanced after they had made some personal
remarks was, that they had worked with me in Anatolia long before Ismet Pasha had done so, because he only joined us later. But in my previous statements I had already had an opportunity to emphasise the fact that Ismet Pasha had worked with me before I left Stambul. In consequence of this he had come to Anatolia to work with me there; but when His Excellency Fewsi Pasha had been appointed War Minister he was again, for pressing reasons, sent on a special mission to Constantinople. There could be no question, therefore, of seniority as regards our unity of opinions and collaboration. If the appointment o Ismet Pasha to the highest position on the General Staff had been unsatisfactory, it would have been the patri
otic duty of Fewsi Pasha to direct my attention to it. However, on the contrary, His Excellency found the appointment perfectly satis factory and, with feelings of sincere cordiality, himself accepted the Ministry of National Defence which had been offered to him. The dignity and the great zeal which Ismet Pasha displayed as Chief of the General Staff, and later on as commander at the front, proved in practice how correct was the choice I had made, and in this I have a clear conscience before the nation, the Army and history. When the Assembly passed the Act relating to crimes against the country on the 2g t]1 April, 1920, and in the course of the following months the Acts regulating the Independence Courts, it was following the natural consequence of the revolution. We have mentioned certain hostile movements and events, especially the risings which began to take place after the occupation of Stambul. They occurred and succeeded one another with great rapidity aU over the country. Damad Ferid was immediately put at the head of the Govern ment in Stambul. Damad Ferid Pasha s Cabinet, the party that all the hostile and traitorous organisations in Stambul had formed, all the rebellious organisations of this party inside Anatolia and the Greek army, in short, all the enemies united against us in common action. The instructions of this unified policy of attack were con tained in the Fetwa, "Insurrection against the Sultan," which the Sultan-Caliph had circulated throughout the country, for which he utilised every possible means, even including enemy-aircraft. Against this general attack of all kinds and of an anti-patriotic character, we took counter-measures before the opening of the As sembly by driving the foreign troops that where in Afium Kara Hissar, in Eski-Shehr and along the railway out of Anatolia; by destroying the bridges at Geiveh, Lefke, at Djerabluss, and by causing the
383 honourable Ulema of Anatolia to draw up a Fetwa after the Assembly had met. The internal upheavals, which began during the year 1920 against our national organisation, spread rapidly throughout the country. The territories involved were Pandenna, Gonan, Susigirlik, Kirmasli, Karadsha Bey, Bigha, Ismidt, Ada Basar, Duzje, Hendek, Bolu, Gerede, Nalikhan, Bey Basar, Boskir, Konia, Ilgham, Kadinhan, Karaman, Tjivril, Seidi Shehr, Bey Shehr, Koj Hissar, Yosgad, Yeni Han, Bochaslian, Sile, Erbaa, Tshorum, Imranie, Refahie, Sara, Hafik and Viran Shehr. In all these the flaming fire of rebellion raged and reduced the whole country to ashes. The clouds of treachery, of ig norance, of hatred and fanaticism darkened the sky and threw the whole of the country into deep shadow. The waves of insurrection surged even up to the walls of our headquarters at Angora. We en countered audacious attacks, which culminated in the destruction of the telegraphic and telephonic communication between our head quarters and the town. Following Smyrna, other important districts in Western Anatolia were ravaged with fire and sword by the Greek Army.
It is remarkable that a general insurrection of this kind did not take place eight months before, when the nation had gathered round the Representative Committee and had cut off all communication with Damad Ferid s Government, and when only a few incidents, such as Ali Galib s enterprise, were to be recorded. The universal insurrec tions which now took place showed that they had been consistently prepared in the country during the previous eight months. With the Governments that followed that of Damad Ferid it was felt very bitterly once more how correct the reasons were on which our struggle for the preservation and strengthening of the national consciousness were based. On the other hand, the sad results of an omission of another description on the part of the Government in Stambul will be seen when it became a Question of occupying ourselves with the front and the Army in order to give more force to the national struggle. In order to get a clear idea of the internal insurrection, let me put before you a summary of the phases of these demonstrations. Ansawur s insurrection which began on the 2i st September, 1919, north of Balikesri, was repeated on the same ground on i6 t]1 February, 1920. Both of these insurrections were suppressed by our national troops. On the 19 th - April, 1920, the districts of Bolu and Duzje also rose. These insurrections spread on the 19 th April, 1920, as far as
Bey Basar. Then Ansawur rebelled again for the third time on the ii to May, 1920, in the districts of Ada Basar and Geiveh. He attacked a weak national detachment of 500 men supplied with artillery and machine-guns. Ansawar continually attacked the national detach ments and the regular troops which were sent against him. He was beaten on the 20 th May, 1920, in the vicinity of the Geiveh Pass and was forced to take to flight. The insurrection in the Duzje district was important. A band of 400 men, consisting of Circassians and Abasas, entered Duzje, broke open the prisons and, after a skirmish, disarmed our cavalry on the spot. This force took the Government officials and officers prisoners. We sent troops from every direction against the insurgents. Among them was the 4 th Division which was stationed at Geiveh, and with its commander Lt -Colonel Mahmud Bey marched forward on Duzje. Hendek also revolted when Mahmud Bey had left that town for Duzje, on the very day the Assembly was opened, that is to say, on the 23 rd April, 1920. The insurgents took possession of Ada Basar as well. On the 25 th April, 1920, Mahmud Bey, set on the wrong track by the insurgents, fell into an ambush and was killed on the road between Hendek and Duzje by the first shot. His chief staff officer, Sami Bey, his ordnance officer and several others fell with him. Following this, the 24 th Division was captured by the insurgents without having had an opportunity to come into action. All their guns and rifles were taken and their baggage was plundered. At this mo ment the Vice-governor of Ismidt, Tsherkess Ibrahim, arrived at Ada Basar from Stambul. He conveyed the Imperial greetings to the population and began to enrol voltmtrees for the sum of 150. When all the united insurgent forces had gained the mastery over this terri tory they began to attack our troops in the Geiveh Pass. The troops which we sent to this insurgent district were:
1. Tsherkess Edhem Bey s Division, which consisted of the national fighting troops at Salihli and Balikesri. 2. Captain Nasim Bey s command, consisting of two regular battalions, four mountain guns, five machine-guns and 300 mounted Efes*). 3. Lt. -Colonel Arif Bey s, consisting of two infantry battalions, eight machine-guns, two field and two mountain guns. 4. Major Ibrahim Bey s, consisting of 300 men of the national forces, two machine-guns and two mortars.
*) Efes. See page 207.
The commanding officers were AH Fuad Pasha, for the operations in the direction of the Geiveh Pass, and Refet Pasha, for those in the direction of Angora, Bolu and Bay Basar.
Gentlemen, at Ismidt a host of traitors were also gathering under the name of the "Army of the Caliphate," commanded by Suliman Shefik Pasha. Some of their troops under the command of Hairi Bey, Major on the General Staff, had reinforced the rebels in the Bolu district. Among these was a great number of officers who had been sent from Constantinople. Next to Suliman Shefik Pasha, the important commanders were Subhi Pasha, a cavalry Brigadier General, and Senaji Bey, Colonel in the artillery. In Stambul there was also a specially formed staff, of which the principal leaders were Refik Bey, Colonel on the General Staff, and Haireddin Bey, Lt.-Colonel on the General Staff. I would like to tell you here something that comes to my recol lection about Subhi Pasha. I had known him since we were at Salonika together. I held the rank of Major and Adjutant then, while he was already a Brigadier General commanding the cavalry. In spite of the difference in our rank and seniority, there was a sincere feeling of comradship between us. When the Constitution was proclaimed he carried out for the first time some cavalry manoeuvres at Djumali in the district of Istip. He had invited me and several other officers to be present at these manoeuvres and exercises. He had studied in Germany and was a very skilful rider but by no means an officer who understood his work as a leader. Although I was not entitled by my rank or authority to do so, at the end of the manoeuvres I sharply criticised the Pasha in the presence of all the officers, and sub sequently published a little work called The Camp of Djumali". On account of my public criticism as well as rny little book, Subhi Pasha felt that he was very much offended; as he confessed himself, his spirit was broken. But he was not really angry with me personally; our comradeship continued as before. It was this same Subhi Pasha whom they had sought out and put in command of the Army of the Caliphate. Later on, the Pasha come to Angora when I was just leaving. We met in the middle of a great crowd. The first thing I said
to him was: "Pasha, why have you accepted the command of the Army of the Caliphate?" Without a moment s hesitation, Subhi Pasha replied: "In order to be beaten by you." Kemal Pasha 2 5
386 By this lie meant to say that he had taken over that position for this purpose. But in reality his troops were already beaten before he accepted the command. The revolt in the districts of Bolu, Duzje, Ada Basar and Ismidt lasted until the 4 th June, 1920 that is to say, for more than three months. There was still another revolt on the 2g th July, and then for some time everything was quiet in these districts. But in the end the rebels were completely defeated and their leaders had to suffer the avenging penalties provided by the laws of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. The part of the Army of the Caliphate which was in the district of Bolu was beaten later on. Its leaders, Major Hairi and his officers, Captain All, Lieutenant Sheref eddin, Lieutenant Haireddin, Mehmed Hairi, an officer belonging to the machine-gun detachment, Hassan Lutfi, Secretary of the battalion, and Ibrahim Edhem, on the medical staff, suffered the same fate as the other leaders of the rebels. The Army of the Caliphate was compelled to flee from Ismidt to Stambul. Whilst, we were occupied with the rebels in the north-west of the districts of our country, another rebellion broke out in the districts of Yeni Han, Boghasladjan and Yosgad. These revolutionary move ments are also worth mentioning. On the 14 th March some individuals, like Nasim, a postman, and Kara Mustapha, a Circassian, rose in revolt with 30 or 40 men in the village of Kaman belonging to Yeni Han. This movement spread and became more important. During the night of the 27 th May the rebels surprised one of our detachments at Tshamli Bel and took them prisoners. In the district of Tokat another party of rebels attacked one of our battalions on the march on the 28 th May, dispersed it and took some of the men prisoners. Druing the night of the 6 th June, the rebels, whose boldness was increasing, occupied Sile. Our soldiers retired to the fortress of Sile, which they defended. Three days later, when their food supplies and ammunition were exhausted, our troops surrendered to the rebels. On the 23 rd June the latter attacked Boghasladjan quite unexpectedly. They dispersed our troops that were there. The 5 th Caucassian Division at Amasia, commanded by Djemal Djavid Bey, was sent against the rebels. Kilidsh Ah Bey, who was in the district of Aintab, was ordered to go there with some national troops. Another detachment from Erzerum, which came from there to Angora, was also appointed to this district. Until the middle of July we were occupied in fighting and suppressing the rebels. The Yeni Han revolt also encouraged agitators in other parts of Centra]
387 Anatolia to rise. Djelal Bey, Ebid Bey, Salih Bey and Halid Bey of
the Tshapan Oglu family coUected gangs of robbers. Those of the Ainadji Oglu and Deli Omer also rose in revolt on the I3 tjl June and occupied the chief place in the district of Kochne, not far from Yosgad. After occupying the town of Yosgad on the 14 th June, they became masters of a rather wide territory. The troops of the III rd Army Corps stationed at Sivas and the National Forces we had left in this district proved to be inadequate. Those commanded by Edhem Bey and Ibrahim Bey were sent from Eski-Shehr and the district of Bolu to Yosgad. After the rebels in Yosgad and the surrounding country had been defeated, the troops which had been sent there were transferred to other districts; but, generally speaking, quiet could not be restored there. On the 7 tb September, 1920, parties of adventurers of the type of Kutshuk Agha, Deli Hadji and Ainadji Oglu in the district of Sile, and some other individuals in the disrict of Erbaa, such as Kara Nasim and Tshopur Yussuf recommenced their criminal activity. The Ainadshi Oglu family had succeded in collecting a body of about 300 horsemen. Then Ibrahim Bey s command, which had received the name of the 2 nd "Flying Column," was recalled from Eski-Shehr where they were and, in conjunction with national troops and parties of gendarmerie, followed and punished the rebels. These latter in dif ferent parties had occupied themselves with robbing and creating unrest in the districts of Maaden, Aladji, Kara Maghra and Meshid Osu. It was only after more than three months that Ibrahim Bey s efforts were crowned with success. At the same time important revolts which demanded our serious attention also broke out in our Southern districts. The leaders of the Mylli tribe, like Mahmud Bey, Ismael Bey, Halil Bey, Bahur Bey and Abdurrahman, after having established secret communication and connection with our enemies, considered themselves the leaders of all the tribes from Surd to the districts of Bersim, and claimed rule over and command of this district. When, in the beginning of June, the French advanced with the intention of taking possession of Uriah for the second time, the Mylli tribe began their march in the direction of Siverek; our 5 th - Division, which was in this district, was ordered to operate against this move ment. This division was reinforced by our national troops that were in the same district. Under pressure of our troops, the tribe in question saw itself forced on the ig th June to retire in a south-easterly direction 25*
383 into the enemy s zone. After making preparations for some time in this zone, this tribe with the force of 3,000 men mounted on horses and camels, and with nearly 1,000 men on foot, invaded our territory again on the 24^ August, They had penetrated as far as the district of Viran Shehr when they declared that they had come with the in tention of asking for pardon, thus deceiving the officers commanding districts and leading them not to take the proper precautions. Mean while they attacked out troops who were scattered about in the
district, defeated them and occupied Viran Shehr on the 26 th August, 1920. In order to cut off all communication and contact with us, they destroyed all the telegraph lines in the neighbourhood. It was only a fortnight later that the detachments of the 5 th Division that had been held back and were at Siverek, Urfah, Reiss ul Ain and Diarbekr, in combination with the forces of the loyal tribes, were able to overcome the rebels. The Mylli tribe again fled southward towards the desert, closely pursued by our troops. While we were engaged in the south with this suppression of the revolt of the Mylli tribe, a man named Tshopur Mussa, accompanied by others he had gathered round him, induced the soldiers in the district of Afium Kara Hissar to desert and incited the population to refuse to do their military service. On the 21 st June Tshopur Mussa attacked TjivriL He fled before the troops we sent against him and joined the Greek Army, There was yet another revolutionary movement that took place at Konia before the one I have just mentioned. On the 5 th May we discovered in this town a revolutionary society and we set to work to arrest the members of it. The next day the leaders whom we were about to arrest incited the population to revolt and held an armed meeting in Konia itself. With others who had arrived from the neigh bourhood and who were also armed, they raised a general revolt. Our commander at Konia and who courageously intervened suc ceeded with the forces at his disposal to disperse and pursue the rebels and arrest the ringleaders of the movement. Now let us recall the situation on the different fronts immediately after the Assembly was opened. 1. The Greek Front at Smyrna. As you are aware, Nadir Pasha, commanding the XVII th Army Corps, was personally at Smyrna with his staff when the Greeks landed in that town. In addition to his Corps there were two regi-
ments of the 56 th Division there commanded by Lt. -Colonel Harrem Bey. By special order of the officer commanding the Army Corps, these troops were surrendered to the Greeks without being allowed to defend themselves and were exposed to painflu insults. One of these regiments, the 172 nd , was at Aivalik. It was commanded by Lt.-Colonel Ali Bey (Colonel All Bey, Deputy for Afium Kara Hissar). When the Greek Army extended their territory of occupation, they landed troops at Aivalik. On the 28 th May, 1919, Ali Bey was fighting against these Greek troops. Up till then no resistence had been offered to the Greek Army. On the contrary, under the influence of fear and in obedience to the orders of the Central Government, the inhabitants of some towns and smaller places had sent special deputations with high officials at their head to meet them. After Ali Bey had established a fighting front at Aivalik, national forces gradually began to organise fronts at Soma, Ak Hissar, and Salihli. On the 5 th June, 1919, Colonel Kiasim Bey (His Excellency Kiasim Pasha, President of the Assembly) had taken over the tem
porary command of the 6i st Division at Balikesri. Later on, he com manded the Northern front, comprising the districts of Aivalik, Soma and Ak Hissar. After the appointment of Fuad Pasha to the command of the West front, Kiasim Bey was promoted to the rank of a Corps Commander in the Northern Army. After Smyrna was occupied some patriots were active amongst the military force and the population in the district of Aidin organis ing the defences against the Greeks, rousing the enthusiasm of the population and forming a proper armed national force. The courage of sacrifice and the ardour of Djelal Bey (Deputy for Smyrna) deserve to be mentioned here. He had left Smyrna under an assumed name and in disguise, and had succeeded in reaching that district. During the night of the 15** June the troops sent by Ali Bey from Aivalik had attempted a sudden attack on the Greek troops of occupation at Pergamon and had annihilated them. Troops sent from Balikesri and Panderma had participated in this attack. Following this event the Greeks considered it necessary to reitre and rally their scattered and weak forces. They abandoned NasUli. The troops recruited from among the population in the vicinity began to press upon the Greeks, whilst preparations were being carried on at Aidin. A violent encounter took place between the Greeks and the people, which resulted in the Greeks abandoning Aidin and retiring their troops. Thus in the middle of June the Aidin front was established. In this district were Colonel Mehmed Sherif Bey, commanding the 57^1-
39 vision, Major Hakki Bey, commanding the artillery, Major Hadji Shukri Bey, commanding an infantry regiment, and Juruk Ali Efe and Demirshi Melimed Efe at the head of the National Forces. Being master of the situation, the latter assumed command of the Aidin front. I have already had an opportunity of telling you that Colonel Refet Bey (Refet Pasha), whom I had sent later on to the front, was also under Demirdshi Mehmed Efe. Provisioning the National Forces on the different Smyrna fronts, and the gradual reinforcement of which by officers and men had made the object of our efforts, was safely secured by the population of these districts. National organisations had been formed for this purpose in the districts behind the Army. It was only after the for mation of the Government by the Grand National Assembly that this task could be transferred to the Government. 2. The French Southern Front. a) In the district of Adana national forces had been drawn up immediately in front of the French troops in the country around Mersina, Tarsus, Islahie and in the district of Salefke, and with great courage had begun active operations against them. The heroic deeds of Major Osman Bey, who concealed his identity under the name of Tufan Bey, in the district east of Adana deserve to be specially mentioned. The national troops made themselves masters of the district right up to the gates of the towns of Mersina, Tarsus and Adana. They besieged the French at Bosanti and forced them to retreat. b) Skirmishes and serious fighting took place at Marash, Aintab
and Urfah. Eventually the occupying troops found themselves com pelled to abandon these places. It is my duty to mention here the names of Kilidsh-AH Bey and Ali Saib Bey, who were chiefly respons ible for these successes. The National Forces gained solidarity day by day in the French occupied districts and on the French front. The occupying troops were strongly pressed everywhere. As a result of this, the French tried to get into touch and enter into negotiations with us after the beginning of May, 1920. A major and a civilian coming from Stambul arrived first at Angora. These gentlemen intended to go to Beiruth straight from Stambul. Haidar Bey, former deputy for Van, acted as their dragoman. Our con versations did not lead to any important practical result. However, towards the end of May, a French deputation led by M. Duquest^ who acted in the name of the High Commissioner of Syria, came to
39 1 Angora. We agreed with this deputation to an armistice of twenty days. During the temporary armistice we prepared for the evacuation of the Adana district. Objections were raised by some members of the Grand National Assembly to the twenty days armistice I had concluded with the French deputation. Nevertheless, when I agreed to it I had this in my mind: First of all, I did not want to be interfered with while I reorganised the National Forces in the district and on the front of Adana that had been partly reinforced by regular troops. Calculating on the possibility of the National Forces dispersing during this suspension of hostilities, when I promulgated the armistice, I added some instruc tions about certain steps that were to be taken. On the other hand, I desired to gain a political advantage which I considered to be veryadvisable. The Grand National Assembly and their Government had not as yet been recognised by the Entente Powers, but, on the other hand, in regard to questions concerning the fate of the country and the nation, these Powers were in touch with Fend Pasha s Govern ment in Stambul. Considering the fact that the French, disregarding the Stambul Government, had entered into negotiations and had come to an agreement with us on any question meant at that time a political advantage of the highest importance. During the course of the armistice negotiations, I clearly and formally demanded the complete evacuation of the territory situated within our national frontiers which was occupied by the French. The French delegates spoke of the necessity of going to Paris to ask for full powers on this question. The twenty days armistice was considered to give the delegates the necessary time to provide themselves with the authority to come to a still more important agreement. In the course of these negotiations and interviews I gained the impression that the French would abandon Adana and the district of Adana. I had expressed my opinion and my conviction on this point in the Assembly. When, however, the French occupied Songuldak before the armistice had elapsed we considered that as far as we were concerned this step was equivalent to a violation of the armistice, although they intended to show thereby that the agreement referred solely to the district of Adana. Through this our understanding with the French was delayed for some time.
During the sitting of the Assembly behind closed doors on the 9 tto - May, when I had given certain explanations and had mentioned that French officials and the French deputation had put out a feeler and had tried to get into relations with us, one of the deputies (if
392 my memory does not deceive me, it was the late Fuad Bey, Deputy for Tshorum) told me that "apparently Stambul had been trying for several days to come to an understanding with us," and he asked me whether I was willing to give him some information about this. As a matter of fact, four or five days previously a certain "Leon" in Constantinople had tried to get into touch with us telegraphically by the Tjanak Kale line. After he had got into communication with Angora and was sure that we were at the instrument, he said: "We have something very important to tell you, so that we must postpone our exchange of telegrams until to-night, because then the military central station can be prevented from overhearing our conversation." We did not telegraph to them that night; but one or two nights afterwards they tried again to reach us. On this occasion a telegram was transmitted to us, signed by Nureddin Pasha, formerly Governor of Smyrna. This is the contents of this telegram: "Two of my comrades and I consider that it is more in accord ance with the interests of our country to consider how Stambul can come to an understanding with us. The local Government as well as the English are of this opinion also. We await a favourable reply." Nureddin Pasha addressed his telegram to the President of the Representative Committee. He did not appear to know that the Grand National Assembly of Turkey and their Government had already been formed and had begun to exercise their functions, and that an Act relating to crimes against the country had confirmed the existence and legality of the Grand National Assembly. I handed Nureddin Pasha s telegram to His Excellency Fewsi Pasha, Minister of National Defence. His Excellency replied to Nureddin Pasha. He said: "The fact that you addressed your telegram to the President of the Representative Committee leads us to believe that you are not yet fully acquainted with the real position." After having ex plained the real state of affairs, Fewsi Pasha asked: "What authority in Stambul is desirous of carrying on this conversation and with what authority do they wish to speak with Angora?" The unsigned reply that we received to this said: "The persons who have sent the telegram are not here at the present moment. They handed in the telegram and went away. To-morrow at ten o clock we shall be able to give you further information." Later on Nureddin Pasha tried a second time to get into touch with us by telegraph. This time he said: "As it is impossible to come to an understanding by telegraph, will you send a deputation furnished with full powers to Stambul so that we can talk and come to an agreement?"
393 Our reply was: "It is quite evident that it is impossible to come
to an agreement; but we would rather that you came to Mudania, and we shall be glad to know when you can come. Persons with full powers representing us will be in that town. The necessary instruc tions have been sent to Brusa." Nothing further was done in the matter. Hodja Mufid Effendi (Kir Shehr) inquired whether it was really Nureddin Pasha who had sent the telegram. I replied: "Yes; I have no doubt that it was Nureddin Pasha." I want to call attention to the fact that the steps undertaken through the mediation of Nureddin Pasha in Constantinople hap pened at the time when Ansawur was beaten in the district of Balikesri and when we had attained our first successes at Bolu. We received no further telegrams from Nureddin Pasha; but he came personally to Angora in the middle of June, accompanied by Diarbekirli Kiasim Pasha. He declared that before working with us he wanted to know our opinions with regard to certain questions. They were: 1. What our intentions and views were regarding the Caliphate and Sultanate? 2. What our standpoint was concerning the question of Bol shevism? 3. Whether we had resolved to carry on a war against the Entente Powers especially against England. The conversation took place at night in one of the rooms of our headquarters in the School of Agriculture. In addition to Kiasim Pasha who had arrived with Nureddin Pasha, Fewsi Pasha and Izzet Pasha, were present at that meeting. Nureddin Pasha did not consider the replies which he received to the first and second questions to be sufficient; but the reply to the third led to long and bitter discussions. For we had expressed ourselves to this effect: "Our aim is to secure the complete independence of our nation and the integrity of our territory within its national frontiers. We shall fight and conquer every Power, whichever it might be, who would try to block our way and hinder us from the realisation of this aim. We are absolutely firm in our conviction and our determination." It was this particular conception of ours that Nureddin Pasha had no faith in, and he refused to agree with us. Finally we told him: "When it comes to a discussion there is no question of changing our faith or of coming to new decisions. You will submit to the convictions of the nation as they have been hitherto drawn up and determined upon." Then the question of the duties that would be assigned to him arose. We
394 decided that he should take command of the district south of the Greek front and the civil administration of the Province of Konia as Vali, with the additional rank of Commandant of the district of Konia. On the i8 th June we appointed Fuad Pasha to command the entire Western front. As at this time certain preparations of the enemy on the Greek front became noticeable, a certain amount of uneasiness was felt. On this occasion I had to start for the Western front in great haste
without having been able to complete the arrangements for Nureddin Pasha s appointment and his departure for his new post. I left this to Ismet Pasha, Chief of the General Staff, to attend to and ordered him to carry out all the necessary formalities. The enemy had actually begun his attack along the whole line. Our troops retired. When Nureddin Pasha saw how unfavourable our position at the front was, he told Ismet Pasha that before he could accept his post the Government must consent to certain conditions. For instance, the Government ought to ask for the opinion and agreement of Nureddin Pasha before coming to a definite decision on important questions relating to the administration of the country. For among those who formed the Government of the Grand National Assembly were ap parently some young men and not experienced persons like Tewfik Pasha and certain others who had reached the age of wisdom. Ismet Pasha, finding these ideas somewhat strange, immediately sent me a telegram about the matter. As for myself, I found it significant that Nureddin Pasha had put forward these requests at the very moment when the general position had become critical, while he had abstained from doing so at the time I offered him the appointment. In the reply I sent to Ismet Pasha, I ordered that no office was to be entrusted to him. I also looked upon the contents of a letter that Nureddin Pasha had sent me two days after the Greek offensive had begun as being rather strange. If you like I will read the letter to you. Railway Station, Angora, 24 th June, 1920. To the Honourable President of the Grand National Assembly. Your Excellency, The manner in which I have been dismissed from the appoint ment of Commander and Governor as well as the way in which my dismissal has been conveyed to me, are regarded by me as offensive. I beg that Your Excellency will allow me to tell you that in my opinion it is dangerous for the nation and the country when an ob-
395 servation inspired by patriotism and put forward by an official of the State is not entitled to be discussed or even listened to; further, when there is no inclination to wait or allow or even deem it necessary that the Grand National Assembly and their Executive Council should express their opinion, but on the other hand to follow the conceptions and wishes of the very limited number of two or three persons and, if I am not very much mistaken, to administer the affairs of the country in such a spirit. As, under the present conditions I think I must be very doubtful about accepting an appointment and can see no advantage in our working together, I hereby inform you that I shall leave Angora by the next train and shall settle down at Brusa, my native town. I per mit myself on this occasion to bid Your Excellency farewell. Nureddin. * * * I replied:
25 th June, 1920. To Brigadier-General Nureddin Pasha. Reply to your letter of 24 th June. The appointment of Commander and Governor which you refer to had not yet been conferred upon you and you had not yet been notified of it in an official communication by the Ministers of National Defence and the Interior. Therefore, as far as you are concerned, there is neither a question of your appointment nor of your dismissal. It had only been suggested that an appointment should be given to you and that you should be consulted before it was offered to you. On account of the indecision you have shown in your thoughts and convictions at the moment when your appointment had not been decided upon, of which we had been informed by the Chief of the General Staff, the Council of Ministers had decided to abandon the idea of offering it to you. The law now in force does not provide, as you agree, that a decision of this kind has to be brought before the Grand National Assembly. As regards your departure for Brusa and your residence in that town, I must point out to you that, considering that you belong to the Army, it is necessary according to the regu lations that you apply to the Minister of National Defence on that question. Mustapha Kemal, President of the Grand National Assembly.
396 Nureddin Pasha did not go to Brusa but to Tash-Kopru, where he stayed for a long time. Later on, we shall meet him again under different circumstances, about which I shall speak at the proper time. The first decision arrived at by the recently formed Government of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey was to send an Embassy to Moscow. It was under the leadership of Bekir Sami Bey, Minister for Foreign Affairs. Yussuf Kemal Bey, Minister of Economy, was one of its members. The chief object of this Embassy, which left Angora on the ir th May, 1920, was to establish relations between Russia and ourselves. Although certain essential points in the Treaty that Russia wanted to make with our Government had been agreed to on the 24th August, the actual signature to the Treaty was post poned on account of certain details about which no agreement had been arrived at, concerning some matters that affected the situation. The signing of the document, known as the Moscow Treaty, was not possible before the 13 th March, 1921. The first general offensive by the Greeks, which began immediately after the insurrection which took place almost throughout the country, necessitates our looking westwards once more. The Greeks began their general attack on the 22 nd June, 1920, along the Milne line*). Their troops were six divisions strong. They attacked with three divisions in two columns in the direction Ak Hissar Soma; with two divisions in the direction of Salihli and with one in front of Aidin. The enemy s northern columns advanced on the 30 th June to Balikesri and the enemy s cavalry occupied Kirmasti and Karadja Bey on the 2 nd July, 1920. Destroying the bridge of Ulu Abad, our 6i st and 56 th - Divisions that were facing them retired
in the direction of Brusa. The enemy continued to advance, occupied Brusa and pushed his vanguard forward to the line Dimbos Aksu. Our troops had been seriously shaken, and they retired as far as Eski-Shehr. While these operations were going on, the English landed troops at Mudania on the 25 th June and some others at Panderma on the 2 nd July. Two Greek columns were pushed forward eastward in the direction of Salihli and reached Alah-Shehr on the 24 th June. Later on, in their *) This is the line of demarcation fixed by General Milne, commanding the Allied troops, as arranged at the Peace Conference in Paris and which had to be respected by both the Turks and the Greeks. This line ran from the coast north-east of Aivalik to the north of Soma, to the east of Manissa, to the west of Salihli, to the east of Odemish, to the east and south of Aidin, reaching the coast again north of Skalalowa.
397 further advance, they occupied Ushak and penetrated as far as the district of Dumlu Punar, the heights of which, however, were held by us. The national forces and the 23 rd Division facing the enemy suffered heavy casualties which apparently weakened them very much. A Greek column, marching from Aidin, advanced as far as Nasilli. You are probably aware that at the time of these operations our troops were mere skeletons without ammunition and incapable of being reinforced. I went personally to Eski-Shehr and from there into the front line. I ordered our forces which were in this district and elsewhere to be reorganised. I took every care that new fronts under a regular com mand were established against the enemy. The Greek offensive and the break up of our defences caused by it produced a great crisis in the Assembly, which found its expression in violent attacks and severe criticism. In the forty-first sitting of the Grand National Assembly on the 13 th July some questions were addressed to the General Staff and to the Ministry of the Interior demanding why Bekir Sami Bey, com manding at Brusa, Hadjim Muhiddin Bey, Governor of the same Vilayet, and Ashir Bey, commanding at Alah-Shehr, had not been court-marshalled for their failure and their errors in the field. Mehmed Shukri Bey, Deputy for Afium Kara Hissar, asked these questions. When Hakki Kami Bey Deputy for Sinope, urgently demanded that the accused should be punished, shouts of "Bravo!" were heard. Mehmed Shukri Bey shouted out: These men must be made responsible;" and this was agreed to. The Chief of the General Staff, replied to this matter on the I4 t]1 August; but the Assembly was not satisfied, and was still uneasy about it. Shukri Bey, Deputy for Kara Hissar, demanded an inquiry. Another speaker insisted that the punishment of some of the officers was quite usual and quoted numerous instances to support it, whilst a third asserted that one commanding officer had taken with him thirty-six camel-loads
of loot when the troops were retiring. Another deputy stated that the invasion by the Greek Army had involved all the towns and villages between Ak Hissar and the shores of the Marmora Sea with lightning rapidity, and mentioned that the terrible losses involved by the misfortune at Brusa had made the whole world feel that the defence of Anatolia was a mere phantom. He demanded the punish ment of those who were responsible for this defeat which had attracted so much attention.
39* It was necessary for me to intervene in these protracted and heated debates. Appreciating the feelings of the Assembly in the difficult position that had been created and the interest they took in it, I gave information and explanations with the object of calming the minds of the deputies and allaying these unhappy sentiments. After replying to some minor attacks produced by my statements, I declared that those I had akeady given were quite sufficient. Before these lively discussions had taken place, the particulars of which you will have read in the proceedings of the Assembly, similar debates had taken place on the 26 th July during the secret sitting. I had then also been compelled to give long explanations. In face of the criticisms and the motions that had been made and which were based on the general misfortune, everybody seemed to have forgotten the real causes and factors of the defeat. Attempts were made to put the responsibility for every reverse on the Council of Ministers that had been formed scarcely two months previously and that had taken over the responsibility of the Government, Nobody thought of the fact that the Greek Army had established itself and had continued to make preparations in the Smyrna district for more than a year past and that, in opposition to this fact, the Stambul Governments had done everything possible to render our army defenceless and had done nothing else but tried to break up and destroy the forces which the nation had been able to collect. They were not possessed of a sufficient sense of justice to recognise that it was only due to the energy and efforts of about five or ten determined and devoted men that in the course of a year we had, more or less, suc ceeded in creating a situation which the enemy had to reckon with. Nobody seemed to have judged or discussed the operations from the point of view of the military exigencies or with any knowledge of the actual state of affairs. The speeches that were delivered developed into shouts and complaints, either from overstrained patriotism or from moral weakness. Among those who spoke were men although they were few whose faith in the nation and whose patriotism were doubtful. During the course of the long statements which I made in the secret sitting I have just referred to, I specially emphasised these points: To avoid any possible misfortune we must first think of pre ventive means to meet it. When the misfortune has happened it is no good to complain. Before it began the Greek offensive was re garded as very probable. If the necessary precautions and measures
399 had not been taken to meet it, the responsibility must not be put on the Grand National Assembly of Turkey and their Government. The Governments of Stambul, together with the whole of the nation, ought to have begun seriously at least a year before to take the steps which the Grand National Assembly had on their part undertaken as soon as they had assumed the responsibility of the Government. Calling up troops at the front to suppress the internal unrest was con sidered to be of greater importance and urgency than arraying them against the Greeks, advisable as that might have been. Even to-day this is still the case. Possibly the enemy s attack could not have been pushed forward so far if the following troops had been at our disposition at the front: Those detachments that we had to take from Brusa; the two columns which had been sent into the disturbed district of Ada Basar ; the column that had been scattered at Hendek these four bodies of troops and the other that was fighting against the insurgents in the districts of Sile and Yeni Han and those national troops which were supporting all these regular forces. Not until rest is secured in the country and the unity and firmness of the nation and their desire for liberation is established will it be possible to work with the object of opposing a foreign enemy, and even from such an effort no essential advantage can be expected. But if the nation and the country observed an attitude such as I recommend, a success which the enemy might gain at any time and which might lead to the occupation of a large territory, could only be of a temporary character. A nation that asserts and maintains its unity and its will, sooner or later will be able to bring any proud enemy who attacks it to suffer for his presumption. For this reason, it is surely more im portant to suppress the upheavals in the country than to fight against the Greek offensive. Besides, it was scarcely to be expected that the Greek offensive could have been otherwise, even if those troops which were appointed to oppose it would not have been withdrawn from the front on account of the trouble in the country. For instance, on the Northern front the enemy attacked with three divisions; we had no troops there that were of proportionate strength. It is not reason able to make a great fuss and to say that the catastrophe would not have happened if our troops had taken up a position on this or that river or in this or that village, or if the officers commanding them would have stopped the enemy in his advance. There is no instance in history to show that a front has not been or could not be broken through. And this is specially the case if the front in question is not limited in proportion to the troops defending it but extending over
hundreds of kilometres, for it would be a false conclusion to expect that weak troops at one or other point in the line could defend it indefinitely. Fronts can be broken through, but it is necessary to fill up the gaps in the line as soon as possible. This is only possible if reserves drawn up in echelon can be held in rear of the forces in the front line. But were our national forces facing the Greek Army in such a position and had they such reserves behind them? Was even the smallest unit worthy of the name of a fighting force still left in our West-Anatolian provinces, including the town and district of Angora or, more precisely, in the whole of our country? It is illogical to expect results from the defence which the popu lation of the villages in the neighbourhood of the fighting zone could offer. Even if we possessed the power and the means to bring all the
auxiliary forces of the country into operation, time would have been required for the establishment of a serious military organisation and thereby have made certain of success. Was not the flower of our Army under the command of Bekir Sami Bey at Brusa composed of the skeletons of the two regiments that had been surrendered to the Greeks before they had fired a shot and which had been transported to Mudania on Greek ships ? Had the Government in Stambul done anything to change the moral standard of those troops? Was not the Government of Stambul who had our troops that were attempting to defend Balikesri against attacks by the Greeks responsible for being attacked in the rear by Ansawur? It must not be forgotten that the Governments of Stambul and the Caliph-Sultan employed the Army of the Caliphate and the troops of the rebels on the road between Hendek-Duzje for the purpose of poisoning the spirit of our troops, as they had done to the 24 tb - Division which later on they had dispersed and killed their officers at the time this comparatively strong division was destined for the Greek front. Was it possible that the Council of Ministers who had only just taken the destiny of the country ixtfo their hands could think of a mobilisation under the conditions that prevailed at that time? Was it possible or practicable to call the nation under arms at a moment when the country, from one end to the other, was driven and compelled to carry out the stipu lations of the Caliph s Fetwa? On the other hand, was it not indis pensable before calling the whole nation under arms to think of the necessary quantity of arms, money, ammunition and transport to maintain them? In examining the situation and calculating the measures to be undertaken, facts, bitter as they might be, must never be lost sight of. There is no necessity or compulsion to deceive our-
401 selves or one another. We were well aware of the requirements of the situation and the needs of the men at the front. I received a number of telegrams from all directions to this effect: "Send strong regular troops;" "Send such and such quantity of ammunition, because if we do not receive it we shall probably be defeated." All these telegrams sent under the excitement of the moment represented the situation in similar sensational language. Our duty and the situation we were in urged us not to destroy the moral of those who appealed to us. We had to guard against allowing ourselves to be influenced by their excitement, but rather to act in a way that would inspire them with hope and confidence. We trusted that the situation would soon improve and that means would be found which would be really adapted to give the country and the nation hope and confidence. There was nothing to hinder this. The Executive Council could also call men of several different categories under arms. I will tell you something about the "Green Army," because I think this will help to throw a little light on an obscure subject. After the Grand National Assembly of Turkey was established a society was formed at Angora called the "Green Army." The original founders of this Society were well-known comrades of ours with whom we were in close touch. To understand the aims that inspired this Society we must recall certain situations and phrases of the upheavals in the country and the activity of the national troops that were com
missioned to suppress them. It had been seen that the rebels easily suceeded in misleading the regular troops by speaking to them of the Fetwa published by the Caliph, the illegality of the Government at Angora and the abolition of military service by the Sultan. It actu ally happened that the regular troops not only failed to fight against the rebels but even deserted and returned home to their villages. It had been stated that the national troops understood the aims of the revolution more easily and had not allowed themselves to be deceived by the rebels. For this reason it was very difficult to carry the re volution through successfully with troops which at that time were exhausted and unwilling and which it must be admitted consisted of the inferior elements of the residues of the Ottoman Army. The fictitious belief had gained ground that it would be very difficult under the conditions then prevailing to inspire the Army with a con viction that was in accord with the new spirit. For this reason some persons were led to create a regular force to support the revolution that should consist of men who were conscious of their high duty Kemal Pasha 26
402 and possessed the necessary qualifications. This idea and these effort^ were encouraged by the events taking place in the country and whidf were of a sanguinary and dangerous character. Eventually, some men put these thoughts into actions and formed an organisation such as I have described. With regard to myself, I was trying to find means, on the one hand to restore and reinforce our army and on the other to draw the greatest possible advantage from the troops that had already been organised, in spite of their evident shortcomings. But at the same time we dared not neglect the truth that real discipline and the serious execution of military duties, which include uncondi tional and unqualified obedience, could only and always be possible in a regular army. The idea of deriving any advantage from the na tional forces could only be based on the desire to gain time. It was un doubtedly desirable that the national troops whose employment was absolutely necessary should comprise selected men who realised their duty. The comrades connected with me and who belonged to the first group of those who had undertaken the organisation of the "Green Army" had considered that they ought to take the initiative in this affair alone, with the object of helping me and not troubling me to attend to anything else. As I was actually very busy indeed, I took no part for a long time in what my comrades were doing. The form ation of the "Green Army" was carried on as a secret organisation and spread to a certain extent. Hakki Behidj Bey was their general secretary, and their Executive Committee with their headquarters at Angora did serious and important work. Their printed regulations and special agents were sent all over the country. I must remark here that as the men who were occupied with the organisation of the "Green Army" had stated that I knew all about it and that it was being done with my consent and according to my wish, the number of those who worked everywhere for the purpose of extending and reinforckig these organisations had increased. In its form, the or ganisation had exceeded the original limits of the scheme, which was only to form a national force, and had now developed a much wider purpose.
Tsherkess Reshid Bey, a Deputy, and his brothers Edhem Bey and Tewfik Bey joined the founders of the organisation. We must suppose that this happened when these gentlemen were travelling between Yosgad and Angora. The troops belonging to Edhem Bey and Tewfik Bey practically formed the nucleus of the "Green" Army,
403 With this introductory description, I would like to inform this High Assembly about some of the acts and undertakings of Tsherkess Edhem Bey and his brothers which first began to attract my attention. Tsherkess Edhem Bey had rendered certain services with the national force by successes they had gained when pursuing Ansawur and later on during the revolt at Duzje, and again when he was called to Angora for the purpose of being sent to Yosgad, where he was received by nearly everybody with feelings of respect and esteem. There were certainly some people who exaggerated their praise. To judge from the attitude which Edhem Bey and his brothers assumed later on, these manifestations had had the result of turning their heads and making them conceited, which led them to entertaining certain illusions. V/hen they were occupied in suppressing the revolt at Yosgad, Edhem Bey and one of his brothers, Tewfik Bey, did not hesitate to take up an aggressive and offensive attitude towards all the officers commanding the regular and national troops, whether they were in the neighbourhood or far away, and without paying any attention to their rank and position. These leaders, most of whom knew very little about the character and importance of Edhem Bey, avoided quarrelling with him in any way, being well aware that the country was in a state of war and bearing in mind the services he had rendered of which they had been informed in exaggerated terms. This led to Edhem Bey and his brother Tewfik Bey becoming bolder than ever, and they began to imagine that no other officer or leader in the Turkish Army could compare with them in importance; they regarded themselves as heroes standing above all the others, and they began to express this idea in conversation with everybody. They ordered the Governors to obey them and accompanied these orders by threats of death if they were not attended to. Edhem Bey tried to enforce his will in Angora and on the Government of Angora. In his opinion the revolt at Yosgad was the result of the bad ad ministration of the Governor of Angora to whom Yosgad was subject, and, consequently, he resolved to make use of the same method of punishment which he had inflicted upon the other originators of the revolt, namely, to hang this official on the spot. The Governor in question whom he commanded to come to Yosgad was Yahia Galib Bey, who had rendered, and still continued to do so, extraordinary services in a remarkable spirit of self-sacrifice throughout the course of our national activities. These services were fully acknowledged by us, and we knew how useful and necessary this man was to us. Edhem Bey thought that if he could compel us to hand such a personality 26*
over to him he would gain the greatest influence. Naturally, we could not sacrifice Yahia Galib, and refused to do so. Edhem Bey and his brothers could not insist on their claims. We heard that Edhem Bey had said at Yosgad and particularly before the deputies : "On my return to Angora I shall order the President of the Grand National Assembly to be hanged in front of the building." (Suleiman Sini Bey, Deputy for Yosgad, was one of those who heard these provocative words.) In spite of this information which we received, we preferred to act in such a manner that would ensure these brothers being usefully employed. Consequently, we treated them with for bearance. When they left Yosgad we sent them, via Angora, to the district of Kutachia. Reserving the right of reverting to this question, I shall now proceed to my main subject the "Green Army/ I have referred to the organisations of the "Green Army" having been formed in my name. A man whom I personally knew wrote to me from Malatia, where Nasim Nasmi Bey had been sent on a mission from Erzerum, and informed me that efforts were being made to extend the organisation of the "Green Army" in a manner that would surely be very satisfactory to me. This letter called my attention to the question, and I made inquiries about this secret Society and came to the conclusion that in its present form it was of an injurious character. I contemplated the question of dissolving it and spoke to comrades whom I knew on the subject. I explained my opinion to them and they did what was necessary. Hakki Behidj Bey, the general secretary, declared, however, that my intention of dissolving the Society would be unacceptable and could not be carried out. I replied that I had a perfect right to dissolve it. He took up a strange attitude and repeated that it would be im possible to dissolve it, because the position of the Society was stronger and more important than we could expect and that its founders had made a mutual promise to hold out to the end and not abandon their aims. Events showed that, in spite of our efforts, we did not succeed in completely stopping the activity of this secret Society, to which the brothers Reshid, Edhem and Tewfik as leaders of it belonged. They continued their activity, but henceforward in a spirit that was absolutely hostile and reactionary. They made propaganda in an aggressive tone for their opinions and aims in a newspaper called "Jeni-Dunia," which they published at Eski-Shehr.
405 In what now seems to me to be its proper sequence, I will tell you something about our Eastern front, but I must first give you an introduction to it by recording one incident that had taken place previously. Djelaleddin Arif Bey, Vice-president of the first Grand National Assembly, obtained two months 5 leave with the consent of the Assem bly that was granted on the 15^ August, 1920. In applying for leave,
he stated that he was suffering from headache brought on by overexertion of the brain. He intended while he was away to inspect his electoral district, which he had not visited for a long time. Djelaleddin Arif Bey begged me privately to allow Hussein Avni Bey, Deputy for Erzerum, to accompany him. Hussein Avni Bey had no apparent reason for applying to the Assembly to grant him leave. I had to entrust him with a special mission. On the i8 th August I asked the Assembly for permission to do so and they gave their consent. When Djelaleddin Arif Bey and Hussein Avni Bey arrived at Erzerum the former sent me three telegrams in cipher that were dated the io th , 15 th and the i6 th September, 1920. Judging from these telegrams the inhabitants of Erzerum were in a great state of excitement and unrest. Then he said that as soon as they had learned that Djelaleddin had left Angora for Erzerum they waited till he should arrive. As for the cause of all their excite ment, it seemed that it was in connection with the Army ordnance stores, the loss of some rifles and ammunition and the unsatisfactory way in which they had been distributed. Djelaleddin Arif Bey demanded that something should be done immediately for the punishment and transfer of certain officials. Colonel Kiasim Bey (now Kiasirn Pasha, Governor of Smyrna), who was Acting Governor of Erzerum, was the first of those officials who should be punished or transferred. As a result of the negotiations he carried on with the population and the decision arrived at, Djelaleddin Arif Bey proposed to entrust the post of Governor of Erzerum to Nasim Bey, formerly Governor of Adana, to inform him of this via Trebizond, and according to the wish