32-The late Abdul Kerim Pasha

The late Abdul Kerim Pasha

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”).

He honoured me with the designation of “Kutb-ul-Aktab”

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.

I found myself suddenly in direct communication with Kerim Pasha

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 For 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 wealth, 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 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.

Tell His Excellency that Kutb-ul-Aktab is here

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.

Your Excellencies have failed to estimate rightly the consequences

“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.

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