44-The journalists of Stambul had founded a society

The journalists of Stambul had founded a society, and in the name of certain newspapers

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 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/

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