04-Travel to Sivas

Travel to Sivas

I started from Amasia on the 26 th

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 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.

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