The actual situation was by no means what the public believed it to be
We were fully persuaded of the fact that the actual situation was by no means what the public believed it to be. But we did not con sider it advisable to reject the proposal of an understanding and a meeting that was made by Constantinople for the purpose of dis covering a way to secure the liberation of the country before we had established the conditions which were most suitable to satisfy public opinion. For this reason we approved of the idea of a meeting at Biledshik between ourselves and a deputation of which Izzet Pasha and Salih Pasha specially would be members. I had no doubt that after our meeting with these men we would see clearly that public opinion was not standing on a firm basis. On the other hand, it was evident that it was vital to the national aims that at all costs a Cabinet should be formed in Constantinople that consisted of persons who were distinguished in the eyes of the public for the qualities I have just mentioned. Consequently, I regarded it as a national necessity that they should not be allowed to return when the meeting was over. We had decided upon our meeting with Izzet Pasha s deputation at Biledshik with this idea in our minds. It did not take place on the 2 nd , but on the 5 th December, 1920.
I will give you a short account of the events that occurred at Angora and at the front up to the day of our meeting, and in anti cipation of it.
You will remember that on the day on which Izzet Pasha s mes senger had started via Ineboli for Constantinople, that is to say, on the 8 t]1 November, we decided to appoint Fuad Pasha our Ambassador in Moscow and Ismet Pasha and Refet Pasha to commands on the Western front. Ismet Pasha left for the front on the following day and took over his command on the io t]1 November.
28* Shortly afterwards I received a telegram in cipher, dated 13 th No vember, from a close friend of Edhem Bey s, which was sent from Eski-Shehr, It ran: “The rumour that Edhem Bey, accompanied by Fuad Pasha, will go to Moscow, is regarded by the men at the front and the population to be with a sinister object. The fact that such men are removed from your environment has given colour to the opinion that your Excellency intends to establish a dictatorship.”
In fact, the removal of these persons from Turkey was desirable both in the interests of Edhem and his brothers and of the salvation of Turkey. For this reason, I had told Fuad Pasha that if they wished it he might take them with him and appoint them to carry out any duties he might think desirable. It was not to be expected that the contents of this telegram sent by one of Edhem Bey s friends ex pressed merely the ideas of the sender, or that it represented the truth, because neither the men at the front nor the people were inter- ested in the question of Edhem Bey being sent to Russia or not. What particularly attracted my attention was the fact that there were people who could imagine that I was aiming at a dictatorship and that this had led me to get rid of Edhem and men of his type, who were in my way.
Soon after Ismet Pasha had begun to take up his duties at the front, Edhem Bey, on the pretext that he was ill, came to Angora and stayed there for a long time. While he was away, his brother Tewfik Bey took over the acting command of the “Flying Columns.”
To make the situation perfectly clear, certain facts among the whole series of events must be emphasised. The officer commanding the “Flying Columns 5 had secretly raised a force at Karadja Shehr, calling it “Kara Ketshili.” The commandant on the Western front had not been informed about this. We heard by chance of the existence of this force on the I7 tlx November. The order issued by the comman dant to report the existence of this force and place it under inspection was not obeyed by Edhem Bey. In opposition to the circular order issued by the officer in command, which called upon commanding officers neither to interfere with the civil affairs nor the men serving behind the front, the officers in command of the “Flying Columns” became more arbitrary in their actions and interferences whenever they had the opportunity.
Although the order had been given that Edhem Bey s flying column was to be called the “First Flying Column” for the purpose of distinguishing it from the others, Edhem Bey and his brothers not only refused to carry out this order but they assumed the title of “Commander of All the Flying Columns and of the district of Ku- tachia”, and exercised the privileges due to the position they had created for themselves.
As you will see from what I have said, Edhem Bey and his broth ers would not allow the troops under their command to be inspected, and assumed titles and privileges to which they had no right.
In a report received by the officer commanding at the front on the II th November, which was signed “Tewfik, Acting Commander of all the Flying Columns,” these statements occurred: The 13 th Divi sion of the enemy is advancing via Emir Fikihli, Alias Bey, Tshardak, Umur Bey,” and The inhabitants of Godos have invited the enemy forces to come into their district,” while, as a matter of fact, it was no more true that the enemy had advanced than that the Turkish citizens had invited them to come there. You will guess that these communications were made with a certain object in view. The fact that the Mohamedan population was inviting the enemy to come m, could only be explained by the supposition that they feared oppression and tyranny from our side. Looking at the situation from this point of view, the officer commanding at the front issued a circular order to this effect: Everything must be done to prevent any harsh treat ment being exercised under the influence of some irritation that might be experienced during the fever of the battle. However great the treason shown by a village might be, the village is not to be set on fire under any circumstances. Whatever crime may be proved against any of the inhabitants, the troops are forbidden to carry out death sentences. Men who have been convicted of spying or any other treacherous action must be brought under escort to be tried before the Independence Courts.”
Tewfik Bey, the acting commander oi all the flying columns, refused to obey this order also.
The enemy had taken certain steps in order to concentrate his forces and had evacuated certain positions situated in the zone of the flying columns command. It was necessary without loss of time to create an organisation to ensure the authority of the Government over the population in that district until the civil administration was re-established in these localities. For this purpose, a company of gendarmes consisting of men of good character was formed under the name of “Simaw and the District of Simaw Detachment,” and special officers were appointed to it. They had the duty of maintain ing order and discipline within a certain area. The recruiting offices of the district were placed under this special command regarding administration and order, and Lt.-Colonel Ibrahim Bey was put in command of it. The officers commanding the regular troops and the flying columns were only to be held responsible for military operations. In the statement addressed to the people referring to the establishment of this regional command by the officer coinmanding-in-chief at the front it was said: “I appoint a regional command which shall be responsible for just administration, and am prepared to listen to all of your complaints.” I mention this particularly, because you will see that it was falsely interpreted by the commander of the flying columns.
The inhabitants of this district retaken from the enemy had been sent for military duty for two months from the day of their deliv erance. Tewfik Bey, commanding the flying columns, also protested against the appointment of this regional command and put forward various reasons for doing so.
In a report on the 23 rd November Tewfik Bey stated that follow ing an attack by the enemy he had withdrawn his troops on the slopes north of the village of Gunan,” and he added this appeal: “Protect my left flank in the direction of Dshumburdi. 55
The enemy had made no serious attack at all. It was therefore clear that the intention of the commander of the flying columns was to compel the regular troops to be moved to the front and to concen trate his own command in the rear. Ismet Pasha, commanding the troops, accepting Tewfik Bey s message as serious, had given the ne cessary orders and inquired: “What is the strength of the attacking force in artillery? Has the enemy advanced from Kuru Keui on the road to Tsham Keui?” He also told him that the Southern front was responsible for the defence of Islam Keui.
On the 24 th November Tewfik Bey sent a telegram to the officer commanding at the front in which, after using some provocative ex pressions, he said: “It would seem that the Northern and Southern fronts are under the same Government ; but as this is not so in reality, I shall not allow the sons of our country to be thrown away for no object, simply because the administration is lacking in competence. If our left flank is not protected within twenty-four hours I shall retire my mobile columns to the district of the Effendi Bridge. I leave it to the Government to decide who will be responsible for this.”
Izzet Pasha replied to the commander of the mobile troops in these terms: “The XII th Army Corps is forty kilometres away from your left wing. Our troops have not been ordered to drive the enemy back. He has already compulsorily retired or has been driven out of his position; consequently the flying columns practically constitute an independent cavalry force pursuing the enemy. You must yourself take the necessary dispositions to deal with the superior forces of the enemy and whenever he undertakes a local movement of any import ance you must avoid coming into action. This is always the duty of cavalry troops in such circumstances. As there is not a strong cavalry force on the Western front, it is impossible that they can reinforce your line of defence; but it is possible and even essential that the flying columns shall keep touch and maintain communication with the Southern front by the means at present at their disposal.
“On the whole our front is under good leadership, etc.
It was natural that the commanding officer of the Western front intendet to put forward a regular budget for his armies. For this purpose he demanded on the 22 nd November that there should be an inspection of the actual strength of all the troops under his com mand. This was carried out in all its details, with the exception of the flying columns. In his reply, Tewfik Bey said: “The flying columns can neither be altered nor converted into regular troops … It is impossible to put officers or paymasters in charge of these vagabonds or induce them to agree to such a thing. At the sight of officers they will go mad as though they had seen the Angel of Death. Our troops are led by men like Pechliwan Aga, Ahmed Onbaji, Sari Mehmed, Halil Efe, Topal Ismail; their non-commissioned quartermasters are men who can scarcely read or write. They cannot be moved about by telling them that they are not at the proper place. The flying columns must be commanded in an irregular way as they have been hitherto . . .
“It is impossible to instil discipline and order into the men of the flying columns; they would disband immediately they thought such an idea possible. I beg that you will not misunderstand me when I tell you this.”
It was on this very day that a certain movement on the part of the enemy was observable in front of Brusa, in the district of Isnik. The officer in command was obliged to go personally to the front to do what was necessary. With this object, he asked Tewfik Bey, commanding the flying columns, on the 28 tlL November: “Where can I meet you when I come back from Biledshik where I am going to day?”
No reply was sent to this question.
While he was occupying himself with the dispositions and measures to be taken with regard to the situation which had arisen at Isnik, the command of the flying columns ceased to send reports on the military operations.
When asked what was the reason for this, the following telegram was sent in reply: The reports have been duly sent to the President of the Grand National Assembly at Angora.” (Signed) Tachsin,
It adds to the difficulties of a general at the front if he cannot be informed of what is going on at any particular part of that front. In the absence of such information serious mistakes can occur all along the line and might entail dangers that could possibly lead to irreparable consequences.
Ismet Pasha pointed this out to Edhem Bey, who was at Angora, on the 29 th November and begged him to call the attention of his representative to this question of the reports.
On the 29 th November Ismet Pasha sent us the following telegram :
To the Chief of the General Staff,
To the President of the Grand National Assembly.
1. The commander of the flying columns has not sent any report since the evening of the 27 th November.
2. I have requested Edhem Bey to call the attention of his repre sentative to this fact. I have received a telegram from Edhem Bey to-day in which he tells me that Tewfik Bey is hurt about the esta blishment of the “Simaw and District of Simaw Detachment” to take over the civil administration of the districts recovered from the enemy, and I have replied to this telegram. There is something quite unusual in this situation, but I have no supplementary intelligence about it. I beg you to let me know what information you have about this.”
I would like to tell you how the correspondence between the com mand of the Western front and the command of the flying columns, as well as the news about the situation, came to my knowledge.
The telegram sent by Tewfik Bey, acting commander of the flying columns, to Ismet Pasha, in which he hesitated to hand over spies and deserters to the Independence Court and declared his intention of retiring his troops in the direction of the Effendi Bridge if the XII ft- Army Corps would not protect the left flank of the flying columns within twenty-four hours, had been handed over to me by Edhem Bey, who was at Angora. I naturally found these telegrams very significant. In the attitude taken up by the flying columns I saw a peculiar state of affairs which required that certain steps should be taken. For this reason I had said in my telegram of the 25 m November in which I told Ismet Pasha that Edhem Bey had informed me of the contents of the telegrams in question: “I beg you to inform me to-night what has been done in reply to this step taken by Tewfik Bey, which I regard as a very important one, and what is going to be done about it.”
Ismet Pasha sent me a detailed report on the correspondence.
Meanwhile, from the 28 th November, I began to receive direct the morning and evening reports signed by “Mehmed Tewfik, acting commander of all the flying columns.”
I sent this telegram to Tewfik Bey:
Angora, 29 th November, 1920. To Tewfik Bey Effendi, Acting Commander of the I st
Our attention has been directed to the fact that the reports which you have been sending direct to me for the last few days do not bear any notification at the end of them that they have been com municated to the Officer Commanding-in-Chief at the Western front. Has there been any error about this, or has this been omitted for some particular reason? I am waiting for your reply.
Mustapha Kemal, President of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. Tewfik Bey did not reply to this telegram. Edhem Bey, who was at Angora, wrote the following letter to the late Hajati Bey:
30 th November, 1920. To my brother Hajati Bey.
On account of the misunderstanding between Tewfik Bey Effendi and Ismet Bey Effendi, I am sending you the original text of the correspondence that has been exchanged on this subject. I beg you to lay it before His Excellency Mustapha Kemal Pasha and ask him to read it, so that any false interpretation might be avoided.
Commanding the Flying 1 ” Columns and the District of Kutachia. The most noticeable points in the correpondence accompanying this letter were the following: Tewfik Bey told his brother that there was absolutely no need for the “Simaw and District of Simaw De tachment”, and that he had just ordered the officer commanding that district to return to Eski-Shehr. Tewfik Bey explained Ismet Pasha s statement to the people in the following words:
“This statement declares that we are acting dishonourably and without any sense of justice in these localities and that we are alienat ing the population. The flying columns are not willing to suffer this statement to be made.
“Until this has been made clear the command of the flying columns will not recognise the command of the Western front.”
Then in a telegram to Ismet Pasha Edhem Bey refers to the fact that his brother is offended and asks him to defer these measures until he returns. He wrote to his brother telling him that he had communicated with the Commander-in-Chief at the Western front and spoke of the necessity of behaving moderately and politely. In a reply telegram which Tewfik Bey sent to Edhem Bey on the 28 th No vember he said: “I had written to the effect that in future I would not recognise the command of the Western front, which is making game of our honour, and that I had given the order to the command ing officer who had been sent to Simaw to return to Eski-Shehr to day with those under his command;” and he continued: “I cannot think otherwise about this affair and it is impossible for me to do so.”
In another telegram from Tewfik Bey to his brother, dated the same day, he said: “. . . if they become at all conspicuous, I shall send the entire force under escort back to the Western Army. I insist that Ismet Bey, commanding the Western Army, shall command this front no longer.”
After this, the reports on military events from the flying columns were addressed to Edhem Bey at Angora and transmitted by him to the Western front.
The command of the flying columns had instituted a censorship over the correspondence of the Western front. Under the pretence that the telegraph and telephone lines were engaged by the com mander of the flying columns, all communication and intercourse with the front had been openly and officially prohibited. Simultaneously, the news was spread that the flying columns would attack in the direction of Eski-Shehr.
I hope that the information I have given you will help you to form an exact opinion of the situation. It was easily to be understood that the brothers Edhem and Tewfik, together with some of their friends who shared their opinions, had decided to revolt against the National Government. Whilst Tewfik Bey was looking out at the front for an opportunity to carry out his resolution to assemble his forces and leave the front, Edhem Bey and Reshid Bey his brother, who was a deputy, and some of the others, occupied themselves with the political side of their enterprise. To secure the success of this plan of revolt they had first to make sure of getting the command over the army by discrediting and over throwing the leaders at the head of the Army at the Western front, whom they considered were standing in their way.
Another question was to win the opinion of the whole of the Assembly to their side, in order to facilitate to overthrow the Army commanders, the Ministers and the Government.
There could no longer be any doubt about this being their intention. It was scarcely possible to avoid assuming that some reconciliatory and amiable words which Edhem Bey employed in his telegram to Ismet Pasha and his brothers Tewfik Bey were based on the intention of gaining time, and that they were meant to show modesty and complete subjection for a certain time by interpreting the question as being due to a certain feeling of bitterness resulting from a misunder standing between Ismet Pasha and Tewfik Bey. This implied that Tewfik Bey, after having permitted himself to be overcome by nervous excitement, had gone too far.
Personally, we had recognised the seriousness of the situation and had consequently taken the necessary military and political precautions.
I wish to assure you, Gentlemen, that I had done everything that was necessary from every point of view, both at the front and at Angora. I had no fear at all of the revolt by Edhem Bey and his brothers. I was convinced that if they did break out into open revolt, they would be suppressed and punished, and I proceeded, therefore, with great forbearance and equanimity. I preferred as far as possible to try to reduce them to obedience and a better disposition by giving them some good advice. If I could not succeed in this I decided to act in such a manner that their acts and provocative behaviour necessitated, and which would then be exposed to the public in their true light. With this in view, I resolved to go on the 2 nd December per sonally with Edhem Bey and Reshid Bey, who were at Angora, and some others to Eski-Shehr to meet Ismet Pasha there and come to an understanding with them. I expected that Edhem Bey would avoid accompanying me on this journey, but it was urgently necessary to take him with me. I arranged, whether he wished it or not, that he should come, and in case he would not do so I decided to act accordingly.
The next day Edhem Bey made the excuse that he could not go, because he was ill, and Dr. Adnan Bey stated that the condition of Edhem Bey s health would not allow him to make this journey. But I insisted on his corning with me.
At last, we left in a special train for Eski-Shehr on the evening of the 3 rd December. In addition to Edhem Bey and Reshid Bey, these very important persons accompanied me: Kiasim Pasha, Djelal Bey, Kilidsh Ali Bey, Ejub Sabri Bey, Hakki Behidj Bey and Hadji Shukri Bey.
While I was still asleep, early on the morning of the 4 th December the train arrived at Eski-Shehr.
As I had heard that Ismet Pasha was still at Biledshik, we decided to go on to the railway station there without stopping at Eski-Shehr. When I awoke at Eski-Shehr I inquired why the train was not going on. My orderly officer replied that our comrades had gone to the restaurant opposite the station to get some breakfast and that they would be back immediately. A few minutes later I was told that everything was ready. I asked whether our comrades were all there. A rapid count was made, and it was found that the number was com plete, with the exception of Edhem Bey and one of his companions. I felt certain at once that Edhem Bey s flight had been pre-arranged ; but I did not mention my suspicion to anybody. I was content to assure myself that in that case it was of no use to go on to Biledshik without Edhem Bey, and I decided to order Isniet Pasha to come to me.
After I had had a private conversation with him by telegraph, Ismet Pasha came to Eski-Shehr. As I wished to have a private con versation with him first, I went to meet him at a station some way off, and in the evening of the 4 tn December we arrived at Eski-Shehr together. We dined at a restaurant with our comrades who were waiting there for us. Edhem Bey was not present. I asked his brother where he was, and he replied: “He is ill in bed.” A meeting had been arranged for that night at Ismet Pasha s headquarters between Reshid Bey, Edhem Bey and ourselves, in the presence of Kiasim Pasha, Djelal Bey and Hakki Behidj Bey. When Reshid Bey told me that Edhem Bey was ill he had added that he would be able to come to the meeting at the headquarters. After dinner we went there; but Edhem Bey had not arrived. I asked Reshid Bey when his brother was coming. He replied: “At the present moment Edhem Bey is at the head of his troops.”
Notwithstanding this news we preferred to keep quiet and to go on with our meeting. I must point out here that I had not gone to Eski-Shehr in my official capacity. I said that I had come as an im partial friend to speak to Ismet Pasha in the presence of some of our comrades. Ismet Pasha gave his explanations about the situation, the correspondence and the insubordination of Tewfik Bey in his capacity as acting commander of the flying columns.
Reshid Bey spoke in the name of his brothers and himself. He was bold enough to say that his brothers were heroes and that they would not take orders from anybody, whoever he might be, and that everyone had to take matters as they were. He would not even listen to any remarks about principles of discipline made in the name of the Government or of the issuing of commands or about claims based on such principles. Then I declared:
“Hitherto I have been speaking in my capacity as an old friend of yours and animated by the sincere desire to arrive at a result that could be favourable to you. From this moment, however, our com radeship and private relations with one another must be set aside. You have before you now the President of the Grand National As sembly of Turkey and of her Government. In my position as the head of the State, I order the command at the Western front to make use of their powers and to act as the situation shall demand.”
Ismet Pasha replied to this: “Some of those in command under me may have refused to obey me. I can punish them and teach them a lesson. Hitherto I have shown myself weak in this direction towards anybody, nor have I asked any one to help me in the duty which I have to perform. In future I shall do what is required.”
Following the decisive attitude shown by myself and Ismet Pasha, Reshid Bey, who spoke in a very high voice, immediately assumed a humble attitude and declared that we must not be in a hurry to push things as far as that, and that he would find a way out if he were to go to his brothers. It was quite clear that this would have no result and that he only wanted to inform his brothers and gain time.
Nevertheless, we agreed to Reshid Bey s proposal. We con sented that he should leave for Kutachia to see his brothers by a special train which Ismet Pasha would arrange for him on the follow ing day. We thought it advisable that Kiasim Pasha should accom pany Reshid Bey, and so they left together. Let me interrupt my story to speak of Izzet Pasha s deputation that was waiting on the same day, the 5 th December, at the railway station at Biledshik.
You remember that following Izzet Pasha s action and proposal, a meeting had been decided upon to take place at Biledshik. The deputation had been waiting for me at the railway station at Biledshik since the previous day. It consisted of Izzet Pasha, Salih Pasha, Djevad Bey the Minister Plenipotentiary, Hussein Kiasim Bey, Minister of Agriculture, Munir Bey, the legal adviser, and Hotja Fatin Effendi.
We met in a room at the railway station. Ismet Pasha was also present. I was the first to speak. After I had introduced myself as “Pre sident of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey and her Govern ment,” I asked: “With whom have I the honour of speaking?”
Not having understood my intention, Salih Pasha began to explain that he was Minister of Marine and Izzet Pasha Minister of the Interior. I said immediately that I recognised neither the Govern ment of Stambul nor themselves as members of such a government. I said that I did not feel inclined to carry on a conversation with them if they wished to appear at this interview in their capacities as Ministers of a Government in Stambul.
Thereupon we agreed to proceed to an exchange of opinion without touching the question of our respective positions and authority.
I allowed some of the deputies who had accompanied me from Angora to take part during certain stages of the conversation. During the course of the interview, which lasted for several hours, it became evident that the deputation had no fixed information or convictions.
In the end, I told them that I would not allow them to return to Stambul and that they would have to come with me to Angora.
We left by the train that was just ready to start. We arrived at Angora on the 6 th December. The deputation from Stambul had been detained by me against their will; but I did not consider it ad visable that this fact should be publicly made known. I wanted to preserve their dignity, because it was my intention to make use of Izzet Pasha, Salih Pasha and the others in the affairs of the National Government. In the communication that I issued to the Press with this view, on our arrival at Angora, I spread the information that the persons in question had left Stambul with the object of coming into touch with the Government of the Grand National Assembly and that they had joined us so that they could work more effectively and fruitfully for the welfare and the salvation of the country. On the 5 th – December the day we were with Izzet Pasha s deputation on the way from Biledshik to Angora I received a tele gram from Reshid Bey, in which he told me of his arrival at Kutachia, of the meeting he expected to have on the following day with Tewfik Bey, and the arrival of Edhem Bey; but this telegram did not contain anything of a positive character. Four days later Reshid Bey said in a telegram, dated the 9 th December and sent on his departure from Eski-Shehr: The incident with Tewfik Bey has come to a satis factory conclusion. 55 Another sentence in this telegram ran as follows:
“But we have noticed, over and over again, that the persons whose acquaintance we wanted to make and to whom we wanted to show who we are, cannot or do not wish to think in a reasonable manner adapted to the situation. 55
Reshid Bey had also informed Ismet Pasha, commanding the Western front, at Eski-Shehr that the question was settled, that telegraphic communication was restored, and that the Simaw command could be re-established. Edhem Bey endeavoured to show us in a telegram in cipher, which I received on the 9 th December, that the question had been put forward intentionally and inappropriately by Ismet Pasha. Edhem Bey further remarked that they had been in formed of all the steps taken presumably by Salih Pasha, who was at that time my principal A.D.C. He added that he was in possession of certain proof, based on irrefutable evidence, of the fact that an erroneous suspicion had taken hold of me. Then he tried by an in sidious effort to secure that a detachment of the flying columns that had been sent to the Southern front by order of the General Staff and which returned from Maden on its way back from the front, would be placed under his command. Referring to the fact that the flying columns had been provided for in the budget under the head of gendarmerie at the time of Fuad Pasha, he wanted to get some more money.
In the favourable reply I sent to him three days later, I said: “I must admit that appearances during these last days, although they did not cause me any fear, gave rise to some doubts in my mind,” and I urgently asked him to act very strictly towards anybody who would try to disturb the order and concord prevailing in our general situation.
In reality, the difficulty had not been solved. From what I will now tell you you will see that Edhem Bey and his brothers were trying to mislead us with the object of gaining time. Their intention was to recruit and collect as many men as possible, to act in such a way that Seri Efe s fighting troops from Duzje and the Gok Bairak bat talion at Lefke would rejoin them. They wanted to incite Demirdshe Mehmed Efe to revolt with them and then compel the officers com manding at the front to desert. This would offer them an opportunity of spreading propaganda among the troops and to get the officers and men to refuse to fight against them.
In fact, Edhem Bey and Tewfik Bey asked the commander of the district of Simaw to come to them, and ordered him to remain at Kutachia, so that he could serve under their orders and at the places that would be pointed out to him. On the 10 th December they asked the command at the front to confirm this order.
It was evident, therefore, that in spite of everything having been reported to be regulated, their former insubordination still continued.
Edhem Bey sent agents whom he called liaison officers in every direction, including Konia, Angora and Haimana. They were provided with special cipher-keys, and he began to collect ammunition and animals.
So that you may be able to form your own judgment about the duties which these men had to perform and the communications that were sent to the officials of the State, I will read you the entire text of the letter that was addressed to the Kaimakam of Kaledshik, north of Angora, on the 7 th December:
Kutachia, 7 th December, 1920. To the Kaimakam of Kaledshik.
Ismail Aga, divisional commander of the flying columns, whose personality and rank you will appreciate herein, has been sent to Kaleshik to procure ammunition and animals within your district, to collect the combatants who are on leave, or not, belonging to the flying columns, and to arrange their transport and that of all the men who will join them.
I beg you, Sir, to give all possible facility and patriotic assistance to Ismail Aga as far as you are able to do so.
Commanding all the flying columns in the District of Kutachia.
When the officer commanding the Western front had asked the commander of the flying colums how much rifle and artillery am munition had been expended in the battle of Godos, he received from “Tewfik, acting commander of the flying columns,” the following reply: Tour question convinces me that you have no confidence in us. Ammunition is neither eaten nor drunk, it is only used against the enemy. If you have no confidence in us you need not take the trouble to send us any ammunition at all.”
I want to call your attention specially to this point. You can see that Tewfik Bey was still acting commander and that in that capacity, although Edhem Bey was at the head of his forces at the front, he carried on correspondence which meant that there were two chiefs at the head, of the same forces exercising the same full authority.
The officer commanding at the front had sent me a copy of the document containing the question that was put on the 13 tb – and the reply to it, for my information.
The employment of a cipher, the key of which was not in the pos session of the Government, as well as private ciphers, had been uni versally prohibited; but in spite of this prohibition Edhem Bey s agents, and some deputies who were his companions, continued to communicate in cipher. This practice was obviously forbidden. Thereupon Edhem Bey addressed himself to Ismet Pasha on the 13 th December and told him that it had been reported that telegrams sent to the liaison officers belonging to the flying columns at Angora and Eski-Shehr, referring to certain requisitions and sundry other matters, had been intercepted, and he begged him to cause these orders to be cancelled because they interfered with their communi cation and led to difficulties.
Liaison officers had not been forbidden to send open telegrams; it was only private ciphers that had been forbidden. The correspon dence of officers who were at Angora and Eski-Shehr to whom Edhem Bey refers, had never been intercepted and these officers had no reason whatever to complain to Edhem Bey.
About this time a telegram in private cipher, the use of which had been forbidden, had been handed in at Eski-Shehr, but it came from a friend of Edhem Bey s and was signed “Commander and Deputy.”
For that reason Ismet Pasha had asked Edhem Bey in his reply to tell him who had given him the information.
I shall now refer to an incident which in itself is worthy of notice. At this time there was an acting Mutessarif at Kutachia in the person of Kadi Ahmed Effendi. A certain Abdullah who had been appointed commandant of the town by Edhem Bey happened also to be at Kutayah. The latter handed over to Ahmed Assim Effendi, acting Mutessarif of Kutachia, a number of families of deserters for de portation. The acting Mutessarif sent the documents concerning this
Kemal Pasha 2 9 to the commandant, declaring that according to the Act that had just been passed the deportation question was one for the Indepen dence Court to deal with.
Thereupon the commandant of the town asked the acting Mutes- sarif to come to him during the night. The answer he received was that the Mutessarif was too busy that night and he would arrange to see him the next day. Then some soldiers sent by the commandant broke forcibly into the acting Mutessarif s house by smashing in the doors of the harem. They took him away with much violence and treated him in an insulting manner. After he had been tried he was taken during the same night to the commander of the flying columns, who was fourteen hours distance from there, and then he was ex pelled from Kutayah.
This act and the attack on a person who, as Kadi and acting Mu tessarif, was a senior official in several Ministries constituted a direct blow against the Government.
The Government was interrogated in the Assembly about this incident. The responsible Ministers asked the commander-in-chief at the front to put the person guilty of this act before a court-martial. In the reply that was sent on the 19 th December, which was signed “Mehmed Tewfik, acting commandant of all the flying columns and of the district of Kutayah”, to the telegram from the commandant at the front requesting that an investigation should be made and that the result should be communicated to him, it was said: “Everything that Abdullah Bey has done has been by orders that I have given myself and which it was his duty to carry out. The reasons for this have been explained to the proper Ministries. Will you be good enough to inform me that categoric orders for his return have been given? In case he does return I shall have him executed.”
The fact that the intention to execute an official whose return to his post had been ordered by the representatives of the nation, had been declared to be irreconcilable with the principles of the Con stitution and the provisions of the Act. A lengthy exchange of tele grams between Edhem Bey and his brother Reshid Bey, who was at Angora, took place on the 13 th December.
This telegraphic correspondence consisted chiefly of these points. Edhem Bey said: “See that the question shall be discussed in the Assembly. Inform Sari Efe Edib that he must join the Gok Bairak battalion with his detachment. See that the commanders are called back by the Assembly; if this cannot be done by the Assembly make sure that this matter will be attended to by the authorities.” He declared amongst other things that the explosion that he should make would be heard by the English and the day was not distant when this explosion would take place.
Reshid Bey s replies included such strange remarks as these: He demanded that the flying columns would not be used against the enemy and that this duty would be left to the regular troops. He wanted to come into touch with Edib and stated that if he would meet with resistance he would break off all relations with the com mander at the front.
Reshid Bey sent me all this correspondence just as it was. He did not come personally to see me. By the way, he ad not been with me since he had gone from Eski-Shehr to Kutayah and came back from there. I sent for him and asked him what he wanted. “Change the commanders at the front,” he said. I replied: “We have no one to replace them.” “Why not appoint me? I shall fulfil this task better than anyone else, 55 was the reply. “It is a very serious matter to change the commanders at the front,” I pointed out. “It might weaken the whole position. It is not easy or right to agree to such a suggestion.”
In a telegram that I sent to Edhem Bey on the same day, the 1 3 t!l December, I told him that I had read the telegrams that had passed between him and Reshid Bey and added that it was not well to discuss the matter officially in the Assembly, and that Edib could not be removed.
In the reply he sent on the same day he declared that the situation was serious and used some offensive expressions about the com manders.
Edhem Bey and his brothers did not consider the commanding officers at the front useful for their purposes and they refused to obey them. In the same manner they did not recognise the Ministries and the Government. Apparently they only obeyed me and they hoped to make the Assembly agree to their ideas. Pretending to agree with us, they were daily trying to hasten on their preparations, Edhem Bey asked me in another telegram on the 18 th December to order Edib s troops to join him, and to justify this request he said:
“In view of the fact that we are approaching the borders of Smyrna, it is natural that the best use would be made of Edhem Bey s troops belonging to the I st Flying Column, which I had been obliged to leave at Bigha during the operations and the suppression of the revolt in Anatolia and which had been sent later on temporarily to Duzje.
29* “This detachment consists of 250 cavalry, 200 infantry, a section of mountain artillery, two machine-guns and thirty mounted men as an escort. This actual strength is composed for the greater part of volunteers from the district of Smyrna. As, on the one hand, continual claim is put on our troops and, on the other, Edib Bey informs us that perfect security is prevailing in his district, I beg you to replace the troops in this district by others, and to give the necessary orders to the competent authorities for Edib Bey s detachment with their war material to rejoin the flying columns.”
Could anybody believe that the reasons contained in this telegram would convince even the most simple-minded and inexperienced man? A man who is at Kutayah tells me that he is approaching the district of Smyrna; he is better informed than I am about the security pre vailing in the district of Duzje, and, after having given me minute details about the actual strength of Edib Bey s detachment, he imagines that I would favourably consider his request and order that this detachment with all their munitions should rejoin him.
When I received this telegram I wrote personally and privately on the ig tl1 December to Edib Bey at Duzje, informing him of Edhem Bey s request and that he had also told me that he, Edib Bey, was desirous that this request should be granted. I explained to him at the same time that the presence of his detachment was absolutely necessary in the district where he was.
On the same day Edib Bey in his reply agreed that his detachment was urgently needed there. On this occasion he did not fail to beg me to allow the same rate of pay to his men as to those of the flying columns.
Edhem Bey and his friends began to collect special troops at Haimana in the neighbourhood of Angora. A man named Mussa Bey Sade Abbas, a fugitive from Van, who had been in prison at Angora for theft but who had subsequently been released, provided with an official document and accompanied by five or ten individuals, began to irecruit men in the district of Haimana.
They had succeeded in arresting this man on the 19^ December and handing him over to the Independence Court at Angora. Special steps had to be taken in all haste for the purpose of arresting him and dispersing his accomplices. Special troops demanded by Redsheb Suchdi Bey, who is a deputy to-day, had been sent to Haimana for this purpose.
Redsheb Suchdi Bey, as he anticipated a violent attack after he had arrested Abbas and three of his companions, had seen himself obliged to alter the route of the transport of the prisoners and had sent them by rail, via Polatli, to Angora.
Demirdshi Efe assumed a strange attitude after he had come into connection with Edhem Bey. As soon as we noticed this, Refet Bey s cavalry at the front were immediately sent out against him. In an attack during the night of the 15 th December on the village of Igded- shik, Efe s troops were dispersed in the neighbourhood of Dinar. Accompanied by about ten men, he fled. A long time afterwards Efe surrendered and was pardoned.
From his own house on the night of the 20 th December Reshid Bey sent four men to bribe the officers and particularly the men in the army in ease they had to meet the flying columns. These four men were, Hairi Bey, of the journal et ]em Dunia,” Nisameddin Bey, the nephew of Arif Orudsh, Hidayet Bey, son of Marshal Fuad Pasha, and his companion Shukri Bey.
Accompanied by a man who was discovered to be Edhem Bey s secretary, they went by train to Eski-Shehr on the 21 st December. Before the train left, one of these men came secretly to the place where I lived, near the railway station, and told me all about it. This man was engaged to organise and conduct the propaganda. The leader of this party was Hidayet Bey.
It was he also who had the necessary authority to act as treasurer. The intention was that the man who informed me should go to Ku- tayah alone to receive instructions from Edhem Bey and then return to Eski-Shehr, where the others were to await him.
I said to this man: “We have friendly feelings towards Edhem Bey and his brothers. You are unnecessarily alarmed. They are doing this to injure me, but I would like to know what instructions Edhem Bey will give with the object of bribing the^Anny. V I[ allowed him and his companions to move about freely.
I informed Ismet Pasha at Eski-Shehr and Fahreddin Pasha at Afium Kara Hissar all about this affair and pointed out to them the necessity of having these men watched.
My informant proved later on by his actions that what he had told me was quite true.
After Kiasim Pasha, accompanied by Reshed Bey, had had their interview with Edhem Bey and Tewfik Bey at Kutayah, he gave me the important points contained in the statements made by Edhem Bey in this condensed form:
I. The Government of Angora is neither fit nor able to realise the national aims. We cannot tamely submit to this Government. 2. The character of our enterprise will be unfavourably construed. If, however, I do succeed in the end, everybody will say that I am right.
3. The question between Refet Bey and ourselves is one of per sonal dignity. Mustapha Kemal Pasha prefers to respect Refet Bey s pride and hurt ours. In any case, I feel inclined to oppose Refet Bey and to pursue him as far as Angora; if I have to die I would prefer to do so in pursuit of him.
4. We would have finished this affair long ago if it had not been for Reshid s position in the Assembly at Angora, which has misled us.
What is the Assembly and what importance is to be attached to it?
After having listened to these expressions, Kiasim Pasha had been trying to preach calmness and moderation to these people by telling them that, in addition to the western front, Turkey had armies also in the east, south and centre of the country, that these armies had capable leaders and officers of high merit at their head and in their midst, and that, finally, the nation were on the side of all of them.
Reshid Bey was working feverishly in the Assembly with his plans and the weight of his influence.
Forty or fifty of the deputies in the Assembly had shown doubt on a certain day about the situation at the front and had expressed their wish to call the Council of Ministers together with the object of getting information about this. The late Yussuf Izzet Pasha, who was deputy for Bolu, wrote to me about the situation and the wish of the deputies who had met. I was then in the Council of Ministers who were sitting. The Council did not think it right that the Govern ment should be called upon by the deputies assembled in such circum stances to make any statement on the question, and declared that they could not accede to their request.
In giving this statement through Yussuf Izzet Pasha, I added as a personal observation : “You are a deputy and I am your President. If you desire to speak to me on any question, I shall be glad to hear you.”
After Yussuf Izzet Pasha had given my reply to the assembled deputies, Reshid Bey got up and said:
“This reply means, button up your tunics .” You know that military discipline demands that soldiers shall wear their tunics buttoned up close. As you can see, Reshid Bey wanted to give the impression that the President s intention was to impose military discipline on them. Of course, it was Reshid Bey and his friends who had organised this meeting.
As the result of interviews and meetings which he had with Izzet Pasha s deputation at Angora, he had spread the opinion that the Pashas had been detained notwithstanding the fact that they had come to assure us that a peace could be concluded by which both Constantinople and Smyrna could be saved.
On the 22 nd December I invited Reshid Bey and about fifteen of his companions, Ministers and Deputies, to come to my office.
Among them were Djelal Bey, Kiasim Pasha, Ejub Sabri Bey, Adnan Bey, Wehbi Bey, Hassan Fehmi Bey, Ihsan Bey, Kilidj AH Bey, Yussuf Izzet Pasha and Emir Pasha. His Excellency Fewsi Pasha was also present. I clearly explained to this committee the whole sequence of events on the question on which we were engaged by showing them all the necessary documents. Reshid Bey did not contest anything I said. He declared that the only troops that could resist the attack of the enemy were Edhem Bey s columns, that the formations organised by us would run like hares at the first noise, and he added that Edhem Bey s force must be increased and re inforced by all possible means. I replied to him that the forces which Edhem Bey could personally depend upon and on which he could have direct influence did not exceed more than 1,200 to 2,000 men and that it would be dangerous to increase this number because of the lack of discipline that would follow. I told him that the fate of the country could not possibly be confided to forces that were de pendent upon one particular man, but only to regular troops which were subject to the laws of the Grand National Assembly; that the flying columns could only be effective if they were part of an organised command and were subject to the orders they received.
The position that Reshid Bey took up seemed to indicate that he recognised these truths. Thereupon we resolved that as a last resource Reshid Bey accompanied by some of his companions should go to his brothers and give them advice.
Then I declared to the persons who were present that I would put an end in future to all the personal efforts I had hitherto made to settle this question.
The committee was instructed to inform the flying columns of the following points which contained the last emphatic demands of the Government : 1. The flying columns were to submit completely, as all the other troops had to do, to the orders of the Commander-in-Chief at the front, and should abstain from every undesirable and illegal act,
2. The flying columns are never and under no conditions to recruit reinforcements for their forces, and they are immediately to stop the activity of people who had been appointed to undertake this. In the same manner as the other troops, the need of reinforcements should be supplied by order of the commander-in-chief at the front.
3. The flying columns are not to undertake steps for the arrest of deserters, who shall be followed and arrested by the chief in com mand at the front, as is the practice in the other parts of the Army.
4. The Government is to be informed of all particulars about the liaison officers serving with the flying columns in certain places, in order that the families of the officers and men belonging to the flying columns shall be cared for. A copy of the cipher-key used by these liaison officers is to be given to us.
If these conditions are fulfilled, the flying columns will be per mitted to continue their services as before within certain limits.
Djelal Bey, Kilidj All Bey, Ejub Sabri Bey and Wehbi Bey, to gether with Reshid Bey, left Angora at noon on the 23 rd December and arrived at Kutayah at 4.45 p. m. on the 24 th December.
I learned that Edhem Bey and Tewfik Bey, without the knowledge of the commander at the front, and without asking for his consent, had distributed regular troops that were in their zone at the front and had later on concentrated the flying columns at Gordos and the detachment of Pechlivan Aga at Kutayah. In an open telegram that I sent to Djelal Bey and his comrades at Kutayah on the 25 th De cember I said:
“I want to know urgently what this means. I am waiting at the telegraph instrument for your reply.”
I sent a copy of this telegram to Ismet Pasha, Refet Pasha and Fahreddin Pasha and directed their attention to it. They sent the following short reply which was signed by them jointly:
“Do not be uneasy. There is nothing to be anxious about. Tewfik Bey will arrive here to-morrow. We shall then have a general dis cussion about it; we shall let you know the result in detail.”
From this reply I came to the conclusion that our comrades there had either been deceived or ill-informed about the situation, or, on the other hand, that they had been arrested and were compelled to write what they were told to. Pretending that I had not understood the position, I wanted to give the impression that I was satisfied with the assurances they had given me in their short message.
Consequently, I replied that I had no doubt as to their having come to an agreement with Tewfik Bey after their meeting concerning the principles which would secure the greatest benefit to the country and the nation, and that I would succeed in clearly proving that the communications which had reached me were nothing but gossip, of which fact I was convinced myself; that it was unnecessary for the Government to do anything in the matter; that I was only waiting for the news that the question that affected the good understanding had been settled, and that I finally demanded from them not to disturb me any more.
The main points of the open telegram which arrived now and which was sent by the deputation with their joint signatures on the 26 th December were these:
1. There is no doubt that measures for security have been taken. They are solely defensive. The troops that have been concentrated will not think of advancing if the outposts are retired to their original position.
2. They have taken a solemn oath that unless they should be at tacked they will refrain, out of respect for the person of Your Ex cellency and in their anxiety for the future salvation of the country, from making any active move.
3. You are requested not to prevent the eighty men whom Fahr- eddin Pasha had arrested when the flying column under Lieutenant Sadreddin Effendi came from Konia and Aladsha and Ismail Aga, the Kurd, one of the commanders of the flying columns, from joining the men in connection with them from Kaledshik who, although not of proper age, had assembled with the intention of taking part in the fight.
4. You are requested to ask the Mutessarif of Kutayah to provide funds for the flying columns.
5. To recall Fahreddin Bey and Refet Bey from the front in order that confidence shall be restored.
What sense could be gathered from these points? Was it possible that all the comrades who had gone to Kutayah could not have grasped the meaning of them?
As I have already remarked, the deputation that had gone to Kutayah had actually been arrested
As I have already remarked, the deputation that had gone to Kutayah had actually been arrested. The wording in the sense you are aware of had been dictated to them. I knew before the deputation left what would happen; that is why I had Kiasim Pasha, who by chance sat on my left hand during the interview, given to understand that he must not go, although Reshid Bey insisted that he should accompany him. For, if they kept Kiasim Pasha under arrest, not temporally but permanently, they could gain great advantage by the use of his signature.
During the same night I sent this reply: “I shall submit your telegram to the Council of Ministers to-morrow. )? On the night of the 27 th December I sent the following telegram in cipher at the same time to Ismet Bey Effendi, in command of the western front at Eski-Shehr:
“I send you herewith the exact wording of the telegram sent by the deputation that went to Kutayah. I beg you to forward a sum marised account of the most essential points telegraphically to Refet Bey and Fahreddin Bey.
“The telegraphic reply which I had sent personally to the depu tation was simply this: ( I shall submit your telegram to the Council of Ministers to-morrow. Following the resolution of the Council of Ministers I shall inform the deputation to-morrow that their mission is fulfilled and that they shall return to Angora as soon as possible. Then I intend to explain the matter in detail to the Assembly. I re quest Ismet Bey and Refet Bey to keep their troops where they are concentrated and ready for action against the flying columns and to pay more attention to the general dispositions that have been decided upon.
“In any case, I consider that we must not come into action before they have begun the attack themselves.”
Mustapha Kemal, President of the Grand National Assembly.
On the following day this telegram was sent to the western and southern fronts:
In cipher. 27 ttL December, 1920.
To the Commanding Officer of the I st Division on the
Western Front. To the Commanding Officer of the I st Division on the
For Refet Bey Effendi and Ismet Bey Effendi. The telegram from the deputation that was sent to Kutayah has been read at the Council of Ministers who have decided that the following resolutions shall be sent directly to Kutayah to-night by the President of the Grand National Assembly in an open telegram, declaring that the work of the deputation is regarded as completed. Be good enough to take the necessary steps and give me your opinion. (Fewsi, Acting Chief of the General Staff.)
Salih, Chief of the Intelligence Department.
27 tii December, 1920.
Considering the fact that the necessity and continuance of the unity of the ideal aim, and the unconditional obedience of the troops must be placed above everything else for the salvation and actual liberation of our country, the Council of Ministers after having taken notice of the telegram sent by Djelal Bey, Reshid Bey, Ejub Sabri Bey, Wehbi Bey and Kilidj Ali Bey, members of the National Assembly, on the 26 th December, and having considered the facts produced by it have come to the following decisions:
1. The I st Flying Column must obey the laws of the Grand National Assembly and the regulations and orders of the Government unreservedly and unconditionally, and must submit to military dis cipline in the same manner as the other troops.
2. The suggestions and observations concerning the fulfilment of military obligations and the affairs of the command of the I st Flying Column are exclusively under the authority of the command under whom they serve and through this command of the other competent authorities.
3. It is the duty of the Chief of the Staff to take the necessary
steps in this matter. /0 . , x , r , -, Tr t
^ (Signed) Mustapha Kemal.
Fehmi, Minister of Public Worship and Education. Fewsi, Minister of National Defence. Ahmed Muhtar, Minister for Foreign Affairs. Dr. Adnan, Minister of the Interior. Fewsi, Acting Chief of the General Staff. Fend, Minister of Finance,
On the 27 th December I answered the telegram from Djelal Bey, Reshid Bey, Ejub Sabri Bey, Wehbi Bey and Kilidj Ali Bey, members of the National Assembly. I communicated to them word for word the resolution of the Council of Ministers, and added: “In terms of this resolution I request you to return to Angora, because the special mission which we asked you to fulfil has been accomplished.”
I received the following telegram from the deputation on the *28 th December:
Kutayah, 28 th December, 1920. To the President of the Grand National Assembly, Angora.
We considered your telegram containing the resolution of the Council of Ministers yesterday. We have all come here in full sincerity in obedience to your commands for the salvation of the country and nation. We have convinced ourselves about the state of affairs here and at Eski-Shehr from what we have seen.
We have examined the question in dispute impartially and in a spirit of perfect justice. We have explained to you the stages and development of the negotiations as they took place and have written to you as to how in our honest conviction a solution would be possible. From what we have written it is impossible for us to under stand what the resolution of which we have been informed can mean. On the contrary, we observe that our report, which was intended to secure the salvation and welfare of our country, has not been inter preted in a favourable light. We beg you to understand that the question will not admit of being further prolonged.
Djelal, Reshid, Ejub Sabri, Wehbi, Kilidj AH. This was my reply to this telegram:
In cipher. At the instrument.
To Djelal Bey, Reshid, Ejub Sabri Bey, Wehbi Bey, Kilidj Ali Bey, Members of the National Assembly, Kutayah.
Reply to your telegram in cipher of the 28 th December, 1920.
The cordial interest which you take in the salvation of our country and nation fills me with gratitude.
I had officially brought the question before the Government be fore you left, and after having given you instructions and shown you the documents I asked you to take the trouble to undertake this journey for the purpose of explaining to our comrades in that part of the country what the guiding lines are that they should follow.
The point that you mention in your telegram has, by the way, also been considered here. I had declared that the general measures and regulations of the Government could not have the object of securing to any special party a particular position of predominance. 46 1
Moreover, the resolution of the Council of Ministers contains once more in a definite official form the points which are well known and which it is everybody s duty to obey. Your communications have not in any way been unfavourably interpreted. It only shows me as I have also maintained here that my perfectly sincere efforts and the personal and private steps I have undertaken for the last month and a half have, unfortunately, not been appreciated. This has compelled me to delegate the duty of considering and trying to solve this question to competent and responsible authorities.
Mustapha Kemal, President of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey.
It was discovered that the members of the deputation to Kutayah had succeeded in escaping from the hands of Edhem Bey and his brothers by convincing them that it would be better for them if they gave an account of the situation before the Assembly. Reshid Bey had naturally remained at Kutayah,
After I had communicated the resolution of the Council of Ministers to Kutayah and informed the deputation that they were to return, I ordered the commanders at the fronts to proceed simultaneously against the mutineers Edhem and his brothers.
We conceived it to be an imperative duty to record an example in the history of our revolution of a wholesome punishment to these brothers and their followers, as well as the enemy on whom they leaned for support, by reducing them to impotence and chastising them. These were the brothers who regarded military operations as a pillaging expedition, the organisation and administration of the State as an enterprise of brigands, in which innocent children were kidnapped and concealed in the mountains for the purpose of ex torting ransom. These were the insolent, shameless and impudent men who infested the whole of our Turkish country and filled the Grand National Assembly of the Turkish Nation with their clamour and their deception these were the creatures who were so low and despicable that they became the spies and creatures of any enemy for a crust of bread! With this aim of inflicting chastisement we took these measures:
We had left a division of infantry at Brusa facing the Greek troops
We had left a division of infantry at Brusa facing the Greek troops; two divisions of infantry and a brigade of cavalry had been concentrated in the direction of Kutayah and south-west of Eski- Shehr. Only a single battalion had been left to oppose the Greek troops at Ushak. Two divisions of infantry and seven regiments of cavalry had been concentrated in the Durnlu Puna towards Ku tayah.
As soon as our troops had received the order to advance they immediately marched against the forces of Edhem, the mutineer, which were at Kutayah. They occupied Kutayah on the 29 th De cember. All our troops coming from the western and southern fronts restored their communication three days later on a line that ran in the direction of Godos, thirty to forty kilometres in front of Kutayah. The rebellious Edhem had retired as far as Godos without having had the courage to bring his troops to a halt anywhere, or offering any resistance.
The armies of the Grand National Assembly, conscious of their duty, pushed forward with irresistible energy and force, with the object of inflicting well-deserved chastisement on the rebels, who, in their stupidity and foolish pride, had gone so far as to despise the Grand National Assembly and their Government.
Edhem, the mutineer, who fled in breathless haste, sent the fol lowing telegram to the Grand Vizier at Stambul:
“I forward you herewith the wording of the telegram of protest which I have sent to the President of the Assembly at Angora re garding the release and return to Stambul of your honourable col leagues who are detained at Angora.
“On the strength of a resolution of the National Assembly, I am an object of attack at the present moment.
“Although my troops are sufficient not only to defend me but also to attack, and as I am in touch with the Greeks on my front and on my flanks, and, notwithstanding that I have come to an understand ing with the Greek commander as to the best way of acting, I con sider it necessary to apply to Your Highness for your consent.
“In order to keep in touch with you and that Your Highness s orders can be transmitted, I beg that the telegraph line at Godos may be re-established.” Edhem
Late Commander of all the Flying Columns and of the
District of Kutayah, now in Chief Command of all the
This creation of Edhem s mind which was called in the telegram a protest had, indeed, been received by the President of the Assembly and had been read at a secret sitting. The expressions employed in it were so vulgar and impudent that after it had been read once nobody could stand hearing it read a second time. I do not think it is necessary to give you any further particulars about this stupid subject. Accompanied by many insults against the deputies and com plaints against the lawfulness of the National Assembly it was claimed that Izzet Pasha s deputation should be set free and allowed to return to Stambul.
Whilst our troops were marching into Kutayah I felt that I ought to reply to the interpellations of certain deputies in the Assembly. Protests were made about the action taken against Edhem and his pursuit. Because Fuad Pasha was able to influence and guide Edhem and his pursued brothers, it was stated that he ought not to have been removed. It was also held that all the conflict had resulted from the inexperience of the commanders whom I had lately appointed, that they had not behaved according to the necessity of the situation, and so forth. It was said that the moment had at last arrived when seriousness and order ought to be maintained in the Army. What would I do if God forbid it ! Edhem would split up the Army? Who has decided what would be done in such a serious case and how? How could such a resolution be arrived at without informing the Assembly about it?