22-The Americans who are now in Constantinople say

The Americans who are now in Constantinople say:

“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 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 11 th September.

Comments are closed.