85-1. The Greek Front at Smyrna

1. The Greek Front at Smyrna

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- 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.

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