Ali Galib s case, which was a very important incident in our national struggle.
With your permission, I will now say something about All Oaiib s case, which was a very important incident in our national struggle.
At the beginning of July, while we were still at Erzeruin, we re ceived information that two individuals, Djeladet and Kiamran All, who had been supplied with considerable sums of money by foreigners in Constantinople, had been sent to Kurdistan to agitate and intrigue against us there. We were told that they had already started or would do so at once.
After I had learned this, I wrote, on the 3 rd July, to the officer commanding the XIII^ Army Corps at Diarbekr and Halid Bey ? Chief of the Staff, as well as the Mutessarif of Djanik (Samsoon), to the effect that these men were to be watched and arrested on their arrival, but care was to be taken to avoid causing any disturbance.
In an order I gave to the Commander of the XII th Army Corps on the 20 tlL August, I told him that I had heard that these persons were reported to have started, and advised him, among other things, to keep a sharp look out at the station at Mardin.
On the 6 t]tl September, the second day of the Sivas Congress, I made the following announcement: “We have been informed by the XIII th Army Corps that these three persons, Djeladet and Kiamran of the Bedrihani family, and Ekrem, Djemal Pasha s son, have arrived at Malatia via Elbistan and Arga, coining from Diarbekr, accompanied by a foreign officer who has previously been spreading anti-Turkish propaganda in the Vilayet of Diarbekr, escorted by armed Kurds. They have been received by the Mutessarif and civil officials of the town.
The officer commanding the XIII th Corps further informs us that Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha, commanding the XV th Army Corps, has reported to him in a telegram in cipher, No. 529, dated the 6 th September, that a foreign officer states that he has been authorised by the Government to study on the spot the proportion of Turks, Kurds and Armenians living in these districts, and that, on account of its unsatisfactory strength, the cavalry regiment quartered at Malatia had not ventured to arrest the individuals in question, but had applied to Constantinople for their arrest. I have requested the Vali of Karput to tell me all he knows about the subject, what the purpose of this commission is and how they intend to travel/ (Document 56.)
But it happened that Ali Galib Bey was at that time the Vail of Karput. We had already known since the 5 th July the purpose for which these people had come into these districts. The actual strength of a cavalry regiment one would have thought was surely sufficient to deal with five, or even ten, armed Kurds! It was said that they lacked sufficient courage to arrest them and, what appears to be specially astounding, that they had applied to Constantinople to arrest them.
I merely mention these details, which seem at first sight to be unimportant, because they reveal the remarkable differences of opinion that existed and throw some light on the situation that will make it easier for you to form a clear judgment on the subject.
As I had reason to suspect the attitude of the Commander of the XIII th Army Corps at Diarbekr, I turned to the C. O. S. of this Corps in a message in cipher, dated the 7 th September, signed by the Com mander of the III rd Corps and marked “personal,” informing him that, to save time, the III rd Corps had thought it necessary to order Bias Bey, commanding the 15 th Regiment stationed at El Aziz, to go personally with sixty men, mounted either on horses or mules, on the 9 th September, at latest, to Malatia and arrest the Vali Galib, the Mutessarif of Malatia, Halil, Kiamran Bey, Djeladet Bey, Ekrem Bey and the English major, and escort them to Sivas. The C. O. S. was ordered to march this detachment off without delay. He was informed that officers in motor-cars would be sent to Sivas. (Doc ument 57.)
I received the following reply from the Chief of the Staff in a telegram in cipher, dated the 7 th September, from Diarbekr:
“I have received your order for the arrest of these persons. I do not believe it possible that the officer in question, whose military spirit I am well aware of, will obey this order.
“But I think he will not hesitate to obey an order given by me. We are in correspondence with Constantinople about this matter. In these circumstances, it rests with yourself to do what you think advisable.” Telegram in cipher, No. 357, signed Halid, C. O. S. XIII th Army Corps.
Ilias Bey, commanding the regiment at El Aziz, on his part, sent the following reply on the 8 th September by telegram in cipher after the communication from the III rd Corps had been sent off:
“The commandant of the Army Corps has ordered me to postpone my departure.
“As it appears to me to be impracticable to march off without orders from here, I beg you to intervene and see that I receive the necessary orders to leave.” (Document 58.)
I replied to Halil at once:
7 th September, 1919.
“I have proof of the treachery of the persons concerned. The Government is involved in it by …. (illegible).
“If I wait for your orders, it will favour the enemy.
“I hope that I may receive formal orders immediately, without loss of time. If you expect that the commander will hesitate, you must yourself instruct the officer commanding the regiments at El Aziz and Malatia to obey your orders.
“If it should become necessary, you had better appoint the best man you can find to take over the command of the Army Corps. This is not the time for dallying or trickery. Act promptly on your own initiative, dear brother, and tell me what you have done.”
On the same day I sent the following order personally to Ilias
Bey, commanding the regiment :
“The treachery of the persons concerned is proved,
“The Government in Constantinople is implicated in it. It is
possible that the officer commanding your Corps will apply for in- structions as to what he should do, and will receive no reply. There fore, I look to you to settle this affair on your own account. I am awaiting your answer.
“When you have performed your duty at Malatia, and if you think it necessary to do so, you may come to us at Sivas.”
The non-ciphered signature to this telegram was that of Seki Bey, the C. O. S. of the III rd Corps.
During the night of the 7- September, I ordered the Commander of the 12 th Cavalry Regiment at Malatia to come to the instrument to have a telegraphic conversation with me. From Djemal Bey, com manding the regiment, I was told about the state of affairs in general and about the troops under his command. He reported to me that the escort of the persons who had arrived consisted of fifteen or twenty” armed Kurds and that the actual strength of his regiment that he could muster was “barely more numerous/
I told him that I considered this number quite sufficient. Strictly speaking, the officers of the artillery and cavalry regiments combined would alone have been quite sufficient by themselves. I only wanted to know exactly what the real position was and what the moral outlook was like.
Our telegraphic conversation was to the following effect:
I said: It is absolutely necessary to lay clever plans to arrest Vali Galib Bey, the English major, Kiamran Bey, Djeladet Bey and Ekrem Bey this very night and to send them immediately on their way to Sivas. Can you do this? Reinforcements will be sent to you from here and Karput.
Djemal Bey: Is the Vali included among them?
I: Yes, he is the first one to be arrested.
Djemal Bey: As I have already told you, my troops are not strong enough for the purpose. I have been in correspondence with the Commander of the Xlll^ Corps about the arrest of Kiamran Bey, Djeladet Bey and Ekrem Bey. I have definitely received an order that their arrest is not advisable, because the position is very critical.
I could not urge this man further. Therefore, I confined myself to advising him to keep a strict and secret watch over all the persons concerned, assuring him at the same time that an order to his Army Corps would certainly arrive, without fail. If they should leave, I instructed him to inform me by what route and how they would march. (Document 59.) On the 8 tfi , I asked Djemal Bey in a telegram in cipher “whether these persons were still there and how he thought our plans were going on/ I also urged him to send me news twice daily.
On the following day (g th September), in reply to my telegram, Halid Bey told me that the necessary order had been given to the officer commanding the regiment at El Aziz and quoted the text of it. (Document 60.)
Djevdet Bey, commanding the Corps, reported to me that Ilias Bey had marched off on the morning of the 9 th September with fifty-two men mounted on mules and with two machine guns, and that he was expected to arrive at Malatia on the evening of the io th September. In the same telegram in cipher, Djevdet Bey added: “I am sorry I cannot do more, because I am surrounded by reaction aries.” (Document 61.)
On the 9 th September, besides Ilias Bey s detachment, two squa drons of cavalry from El Aziz and a squadron belonging to the regiment at Malatia which was then at Siverek, had left for Malatia. (Doc uments 62, 63, 64.)
I wrote on the same day personally to Halet Bey (now a deputy), who was at that time at Kimah and who, I was aware, was in touch with the districts of El Aziz and Dersim, asking him to proceed to El Aziz and put himself in communication with Haidar Bey, so that they could counteract the effect of the propaganda that was being spread in this district by Ali Galib the Vali, a Bedrihani, and Djemal Pasha s son. (Document 65.)
Towards the end of the month Halet Bey arrived at his destination. But Haider Bey, Vali of Van, received instructions to leave Erzerum and proceed to El Aziz to take up his duties there as Vali. He was ordered to get into communication with the commander of the cavalry regiment at Mama Katun, which was under the command of the XV th Corps, and lead this regiment to El Aziz if he thought it necessary to do so. He also reported that some officers would be sent by motor car to Malatia.
As a matter of fact, our comrade Redsheb Suchdi Bey, holding the assumed rank of A. D. C. to the officer commanding the III rd Coips, had left by motor-car on the 9 th September with some of his companions in the direction of Malatia, furnished with special orders from me.
Unfortunately, the roads were dirty and impassable; at Kangal the car broke down, so that the deputation was unable to reach Malatia at the proper time. From Kangal they travelled day and night by road, sometimes on horseback, at other times by any vehicle they could procure ; but still they could not reach Malatia before the evening of the fourth day after their departure from Sivas. The reports sent to us by Redsheb Suchdi Bey are very helpful for us to get a general idea of the situation.
On the evening of the io th September we received this telegram:
Urgent and personal. Malatia, io tb – September, 1919.
To the Headquarters of the III rd Corps at Sivas. For His Excellency Mustapha Kemal Pasha.
1. “Arrived at Malatia on the io t& September, at 2 p.m.
2. “I am sorry to say that the persons in question had already fled in the direction of Kiachta. Detailed report follows.”
(Signed) Ilias Commanding the 15 th Regiment.
On the same day, somewhat later than Ilias Bey s, the following telegram arrived: Very urgent. Malatia, io tjl September, 1919.
To the Headquarters of the III rd Army Corps at Sivas.
For His Excellency Mustapha Kemal Pasha.
1. “The Vali of Karput, the Mutessarif of Malatia, the English major and their accomplices fled at daybreak, immediately they heard that the 15 ^Regiment had left El Aziz and that they would be arrest ed. It is reported that they have gone to Kiachta, near Bedr Agha, and that they intend to raise a band of Kurds there for the purpose of attacking us by surprise.
2. “An order has arrived from the commandant of the Corps that they and the people belonging to the tribe of Bedr Agha are to be resisted if they attempt a surprise attack. We are on the track of the fugitives. A further report will follow.
3. “The officer commanding the 15** Regiment arrived here at 2 p.m. at the head of his detachment/ j)4 ema i
Commanding the 12** Cavalry Regiment.
When I compared these two telegrams that were sent off on the same day I began to wonder.
DjemalBey, commanding the cavalry regiment, had been ordered to keep these persons pnder strict supervision and report twice daily to us. io8
Notwithstanding this, they had fled on the morning of the io th September, and yet Djemal did not report this to me until after Ilias Bey had arrived with his troops and had sent in his report.
Besides Djemal Bey said that the fugitives had heard that troops commanded by Ilias Bey had left El Aziz. But the Telegraph Office was controlled by Djemal Bey. He also reported that the fugitives were going to raise a band of Kurds and attack Malatia.
All this made me uneasy about the action of the commander of the cavalry regiment.
We heard later that All Galib and his accomplices had been kept well informed of all that was going on since the evening of the 9^ Sep tember. This caused Ali Galib to spend the whole night in the Govern ment Konak without going to sleep. On the following day, the io th September, they all met at the Konak, accompanied by some gendarmes and armed Kurds, and broke into the cashier s office, opened the safe, counted out 6,000 pounds, which they wrapped up in a parcel, and left a receipt behind them, worded thus:
“In obedience to orders received, we have drawn 6 3 ooo pounds to cover the necessary expenses connected with the suppression of Mustapha Kemal Pasha and his followers.”
io thL September, 1919. (Signed) Halil Raami, Ali Galib.
When confirmation was received that the troops commanded by Ilias Bey were approaching Malatia, the commander of the cavalry regiment decided to act. He pointed out the Mutessarif s house to his officers, surrounded it and, after cutting the telegraph wires, entered it.
Halil Bey s family, who since the beginning of the operations had known exactly what was happening, sent a warning to the Konak. As soon as the Vali, the Mutessarif and their companions, who were busy taking the money from the Government safe, heard the news, they were seized with terror and, forgetting everything else, fled, leaving the money and the receipt behind them. In all haste they mounted their horses which were waiting for them and without losing a moment they were off with their escort. (Documents 66, 67.)
It is useless to pretend that the officers commanding the cavalry and the artillery were not aware that the Vali had spent the night in the Konak. They knew that it was much more important to capture the Vali than the Mutessarif.
It was evident, therefore, that gross negligence had been shown in allowing them to escape.
Even if we look at it from the most favourable point of view, we iog can only conclude that what induced the people of Malatia to act as they did was the fear of the consequences they might suffer. They were dealing with a dozen armed gendarmes and Kurds, who formed the escort, and they thought it would be safer to put terror into them and let them escape.
The chief orders I sent to Ilias Bey on the I st September were:
1. To arrest the fugitives without loss of time.
2. To proceed in such a manner as to destroy the possibility of a separatist movement by the Kurds.
3. To appoint Tewfik Bey, commanding the gendarmerie, Mutes- sarif of Malatia, and some honourable man who was an ardent patriot, Vali of Karput as quickly as possible.
4. To obtain complete command over the Government troops at Malatia and Karput, in order to prevent any movement against the country and the nation.
5. To make it known everywhere that any one who ventured to join the fugitives would be proceeded against with the strictest severity; and to inform the loyal elements of the population as to the real situation.
6. To consider what steps should be taken if we were compelled to defend ourselves against foreign troops who threatened our national existence, and to report to me what had already been done in this direction. (Document 68.)
We had to reckon with the fact that the fugitives would undoubt edly succeed in raising a certain number of Kurds belonging to the neighbouring tribes, and that these might even find support from the foreign troops stationed at Marash.
The most urgent thing for us to do, therefore, was to strengthen the dispositions we had already made and increase the number of troops.
To make sure of this, another detachment mounted on mules was despatched to Malatia on the evening of the 9 th September, while in the meantime we began to transfer all the troops of the III rd Army Corps as far as possible to the south. The XIII th Corps was reserved for the pursuit. As it was also important to frustrate the traitors by raising as many troops as we could, the cavalry regiment at Mama Karput itself had to be pushed forward. Orders and instructions were accordingly sent to the officers commanding the III rd , the XIII tlx , and the XV th Army Corps. (Document 69.)
Now, while the pursuit is being taken up in the manner we had planned, let me read you some documents that fell into our hands.
As I am sure that they will throw considerable light on what was going on> as well as on the activities of Ali Galib and the perfidiousness of the Government, far better than any criticisms I might make, I cannot refrain from quoting them in extenso.
I will first read you the orders that were sent to Galib Bey, Vali of El Aziz, on the 3 rd September and which bear the joint signatures of Aadil Bey, Minister of the Interior, and Suleiman Shefik Pasha, Minister of War.
We shall then revert to the telegram from the Sublime Porte, relating to the troops to be sent and the sums to be expended on this expedition, that was sent out by the Minister of the Interior.
To be deciphered personally. Constantinople. No. 906.
To Ali Galib Bey Effendi, Vali of El Aziz.
Reply to your telegram of the 2 d September, 1919. No. 2.
The matter has been laid before His Majesty. The Irade relating to it will be published later in the day. It may be taken as definitely settled.
The instructions are the following:
As you are already aware, some of the persons assembled at Erzer- tun dignify their meeting by calling it a congress and have passed certain resolutions there. These persons are of no more importance than their resolutions. But, notwithstanding this, their so-called congress has caused certain rumours to be spread abroad in the country, which find an exaggerated echo in Europe and produce a very bad effect.
Although nothing really important has taken place and there are no troops worth mentioning, the English, alarmed by these threats and the effect of them, appear to be very much inclined to land a considerable number of troops in the immediate future at Samsoon. It is not improbable that they will be pushed forward afterwards in the direction of Sivas and beyond it, and will occupy very large districts if any incidents occur again in opposition to the orders of the Government of which you have also been informed.
This would undoubtedly be unfavourable to the interests of the country. From correspondence with persons whom you know and who met at Erzerum, it is clearly evident that they intend to hold another congress at Sivas. The Government is we]l aware that nothing of real importance can result from a meeting that comprises only five, or even ten, persons in this town; but it is impossible to make Europe understand this. Ill
For this reason, it is advisable to prevent this meeting from being held.
The first thing to do is to appoint a Vali at Sivas who enjoys the full confidence of the Government and who can be relied upon to obey to the letter, for the sake the country, all orders sent to him. We have appointed you to this post. We are confident that you will have no difficulty in preventing this mere handful of men from holding a congress at Sivas. But we have been informed that officers of all ranks and some of the men share the ideas of these people and will do all they possibly can to frustrate the Government, so we think it would be well, in order to carry out our plans, if you are escorted by about 100 or 200 trustworthy men. Consequently, as we have already advised you, if you could manage to arrive at Sivas quite unexpectedly, without anybody knowing what your intentions are, with about 100 or 150 mounted men recruited from the Kurds in your district, and if you would take over the dual functions of Vali and Commandant, you would be able by skilfully using the gendarmerie and Government troops there although there are so few of them firmly to establish your authority. This would be comparatively easy, as you would not have to anticipate any resistance. You will be able to stop this meeting from taking place and arrest those who have already arrived there, and then send them at once under escort to Constantinople.
The authority of the Government having been re-established, the adventurers in the interior of the country would be discouraged. The effect of this in foreign countries would be excellent and the Govern ment would be provided with a good argument to dissuade foreigners from their intention to land their troops and occupy the country.
After making exhaustive inquiries among the leading people at Sivas, we have ascertained that the inhabitants are tired of the intrigues of these people and of the pressure they exercise to extort money from them. They have declared themselves ready and willing to support the Government in any way they can. From another quarter we have learned that it would be possible immediately to recruit as many gendarmes as we may require in this district and that we could rely upon the assistance of influential people.
When you can get together gendarmerie strong enough and abso lutely loyal to the Government, you will dismiss your mounted escort, pay them off, and send them to their homes.
You are ordered to carry out these instructions.
It is absolutely imperative, in order to ensure success, that strict
secrecy is observed. You are forbidden to speak about this to anybody in Sivas or about your commission or your intention to go there even to those with whom you are closely associated.
You will also be very careful, until the moment of your arrival at Sivas, that those who accompany you know nothing about your object. Your success depends upon this. For the present, you will have to leave your family at El Aziz and let them understand that you are going on a ten days journey of inspection among the tribes in the neighbourhood. You will start immediately and take the necessary precautions to arrive unexpectedly at Sivas. When you arrive there, you will inform those concerned of the wording of the accompanying telegram, assume your duties as Vali and Commandant, and proceed without delay to carry out your orders. Go personally to the Telegraph Office and report to the Ministry, from whom you will receive further orders as soon as they are duly informed of the actual situation. Then, if you want to do so, you may transfer your family and possessions to Sivas. Reshid Bey, the present Vali, who has by some means been informed that he will be replaced and recalled, has appealed to this Ministry.
We have learned, on the other hand, that the persons whom you know all about will meet very soon. Therefore, it is very urgently necessary that you act promptly and arrive at Sivas without losing a moment.
Let us know immediately you start and how long you expect it will take you to arrive there.
This is the telegram that you will produce at Sivas:
“By an Imperial Irade, approved by the Cabinet, you have been appointed Vali and Commandant of Sivas. You will, therefore, start for Sivas immediately, bring this telegram to the notice of the civil and military authorities concerned, take up your duties as Vali and Commandant, and report to us that you have done so/ 3 rd September, 1919.
Aaadil Suleiman Shefik
Minister of the Interior. Minister of War.
Very urgent. Sublime Porte, 6 th September, 1919.
To Galib Bey, Vali of El Aziz, Malatia,
Reply to your telegram of 6 th September, 1919.
The expenditure incurred in sending troops to suppress the rebels must be covered by the Treasury and be transferred to the credit of the gendarmerie. Inform us immediately by telegram what sum of money will be required, what will be the strength of the expedition and the day of its departure. Aadil
Three days later the Minister of the Interior sent this telegram, which appears to be a reply to one from Ali Galib.
Urgent. Constantinople, g th September, 1919.
To the Vali of El Aziz, Malatia.
Reply to your message of 8 th September, 1919. No. 2. Although we cannot get sufficient and …. (illegible) news, because there are no reliable agents at Sivas, we are given to understand from what we have learned from an inhabitant of that town who is here, as well as from general information we have received from other places, that:
1. The people are antagonistic to these movements, and
2. The troops are very weak in number. The movement is led by persons who are known to you as well as to some commanding and other officers. These men are trying to attract others to adopt their cause by giving it an apparently national character. But the people are not in favour of these intrigues. As you are on the spot, it will be easier for you to get the required information. Your immediate departure, however, for Sivas is becoming still more pressing, because the papers have not yet referred to your appointment. The stronger the escort that accompanies you, the easier your success will be. Decide as soon as possible about the strength of your expedition and the date of your departure, and report accordingly. Aaadil
The last telegram sent by Ali Galib Bey from Malatia in answer to the telegrams he had received was as follows :
Very urgent and strictly confidential. To be deciphered personally.
To the Minister of the Interior.
Everything is ready for my departure from Malatia on the 14.^ inst. I shall leave with sufficient troops to follow and arrest the rebels. You may rely that, with God s help, we shall be successful on the day that the meeting takes place. I beg you to reply immedi ately and do all that is necessary. Ali Galib
Vali of El Aziz.
From this telegram there is no doubt that All Galib, who had passed a sleepless night between the g t31 and 10^ September in a state of extreme agitation, was still in a bellicose frame of mind on the previous day, the 9^, and full of hope for a happy issue, with the help of God, from the meeting that was to take place.
At that time we thought of sending telegrams to Aadil Bey, the Minister of the Interior, and to Shefket Pasha, the Minister of War, informing them of our distrust of the heads of the Civil Administration ; and to the commanders who had heard all about the above-mentioned facts and documents. We called the attention of everybody concerned to this matter,
How strangely did Aadil Bey s answer to a telegram from Reshid Pasha, the Vali of Sivas, end! This is the wording of it:
You will undoubtedly see the necessity of conforming with the terms of the Imperial Irade in every particular/ (Document 70.)
While these telegrams were being exchanged I chanced to be at the Telegraph Office. I could no longer restrain myself, and imme diately wrote out this telegram and told the official it must go at once : September, 1919.
To Aadil Bey, Minister of the Interior.
You are cowards and criminals to prevent the people from laying their demands before their Padishah. You are conspiring with foreign countries against the nation. I did not think it possible that you are so incapable of estimating, the strength and the will of the nation or their value ; but I cannot believe that you can play the part of traitors to and executioners of the nation and country. You had better think well what you are doing. Beware lest the day should come when you will be called upon to render account to the nation for the infamous acts you are committing when you put your trust in the deceptive promises of nonentities like All Galib and his colleagues, and by selling your conscience to such foreigners as Major Nowill, who are doing all they can to injure the country and our people. When you will hear some day of the fate of the people and the annihilation of the troops on whom you are leaning for support, you may be sure that you will recognise the fate that is lying in wait for yourselves.
Appropriate telegrams were sent individually to all the command ing officers.
From the reports that reached us up to the 12 th September, we H5
learned that the fugitives had spent the night of the io th at Raka, and hoped to spend the following night with the chief of a tribe in a village half an hour s distance from that place. (Document 71.)
The commanding officers of the XX th , XV th and XIII th Army Corps were informed of this. (Document 72.)
The exchange of telegrams with Malatia during the II th September and that night led us to think that, notwithstanding the instruct ions and orders they had received, the minds of the people of Malatia were not quite free from doubt and uncertainty.
Ilias Bey, commanding the regiment from El Aziz, wrote on the II th September: (Document 73) “A messenger from the Mutessarif tells us that Ali Galib, the Vali, and Halil Bey, the Mutessarif, are inclined on certain conditions to return to their posts/ and he added: “I want to know whether in the interests of the country you will accept this offer/*
Afterwards, during the night of the II th , nias Bey sent a telegram in his own name, as well as in those of Djemal Bey, commanding the cavalry regiment, Tewfik Bey, the acting Mutessarif, Munir Bey, commanding the artillery, Faruk Bey, captain in the gendarmerie, and Mehmed Bey, a major in the Veterinary Corps, who were all together at the telegraph instrument. This is what he said:
From Ilias Bey, Malatia.
We have just been informed by Faruk Bey, captain in the gen darmerie, a trustworthy man who has been patrolling the district of Kiachta and its surroundings, that a body of Kurds had assembled at Raka, a place five hours distant from Malatia; the Mutessarif and his colleagues are here now. He states that the Kurds belonging to the tribes in these districts as far Siverek are ready to join the others, and the tribes of Dersim itself had been summoned to come there in the name of the Kurdish cause. It is reported that the Mutessarif intends to attack Malatia first and then sack it before marching with all his forces against Sivas, after having killed and dispersed all the Turks in Malatia. Simultaneously, the people of Dersim will march on Karput. It is rumoured that the Kurds regard the expulsion of the Mutessarif from Malatia as a serious offence against the whole nation. The Vali is said to have declared that he agrees neither with the pillage nor the massacre, but he was unable to oppose the Mutessarif. It has been decided that after Malatia has been occupied by this force they will hoist the Kurdish flag. The English major is said to have declared that the English Division at Uriah is ready to march, but that Hadji Bedr Agha does not consent to this. The Kurdish tribes maintain that Malatia belongs to Kurdistan and that the Kurdish flag must be flown there. The Vali is said to have expressed the wish yesterday evening to return to Malatia, but he has been prevented from doing so. Their conditions are:
1. The Vali to be reinstated.
2. The Mutessarif to retain his position.
3. The troops from El Aziz to return to their quarters.
4. Order to be maintained at Malatia when the Vali, who is now on his way to Sivas with a hundred armed Kurds, arrives there.
5. Seven rifles and one revolver, the property of members of the Kurdish tribes, to be returned to them.
I am awaiting further orders from you.
To Hias Bey, Malatia.
1. The Congress has discussed the matter referred to in your report. Who are these people who want to impose conditions on you? You are not to enter into negotiations with them. The order is to arrest the Vali, the Mutessarif, and their accomplices who have been con victed of treason, and to lead those simple people who are inclined to wander on the wrong road into the right one. Consequently, they must be dealt with rigorously. The officers commanding the XIII th , XV th and III rd Corps are trying by telegraph to come into agreement as to the necessary steps to be taken by them. The available troops are marching from all directions. We are satisfied that you have done all that is necessary after carefully considering the question. All the Telegraph Offices must be occupied. We expect to hear from Tewfik Bey, our friend the acting Mutessarif, that he is exercising all the power and authority of the Government that has been vested in him for their protection.
2. At the present moment petitions are being forwarded to the Padishah from all the important places in Anatolia, complaining about the treason that is being committed. You must send one also.
3. What the English major says is mere bluff. As for the Kurds, they can judge for themselves what prospect of success they can have against our military force, even if they were to combine.
4. It would be advisable to try to win over Bedr Agha, the leader of the Keven tribe, and the leaders of the others who are hostile to the procedure of the traitors. 5. Are you in communication with the squadron that left Hus- namansur and the two battalions from Siverek and Diarbekr? How
far have they marched by this time? nr + v. v i
^ ~ ^ Mustapha Kemal.
n t]1 September, 1919. *
In the name of the Members of the Congress assembled at the Telegraph Office.
As a matter of fact, the members of the Congress had not assembled yet, and therefore they could not have been present at the Telegraph Office. But I thought it just as weJl to mention the Congress and the interest taken by it in this affair, so as to give moral support to those I was addressing. With the same idea, I sent another telegram, identical in terms with the first one, and merely signed it “The Con gress.” (Document 74.)
In a second telegram, which was the continuation of the first, I said that a small number only of foreign troops were at Uriah, Aintab and Maxash, and added:
“The scoundrels who talk to you about a whole Division of foreign troops are trying to weaken your moral by spreading lies that are invented by traitors to the country and to the nation.” (Doc ument 75.)
In his reply, Ilias Bey assured me that “energetic defence was decided upon in case of an attack/ and he said: “The troops we are able to dispose of are not strong enough to hold Malatia for a long time if they are attacked by the Kurds. We would earnestly beg you, therefore, to order that reinforcements are sent immediately/ (Doc ument 76.)
I ordered Ilias Bey to carry on his important work and keep an officer at the Telegraph Office to receive any messages I might wish to send him. (Document 77.)
On the 12 th September another telegram came from Ilias Bey, which I will read to you verbatim, because it contains information that is useful in many ways to our officers and officials.
Malatia, I2 tjl September, 1919.
To the Commander of the III rd Army Corps, Sivas.
At noon to-day a certain Colonel P. Peel, an English officer, has arrived at Aleppo. It is reported that he has come to see the notables
and the civil and military officials in the districts of Malatia, Karput and Diarbekr. He pretends that he knows nothing about the fugitive
Major Nowill. He says that the English Government knows nothing about him either, that for his part he would not allow any officer to travel about in these districts and make propaganda, and that he would immediately order him to leave the tribes and come to him.
If he were convinced that Major Nowill had bad intentions, he would arrest him at once and sent him under escort to Aleppo. He also intends to ask the Vali A. Galib to come here and speak to him. I have told him that without orders from my superiors I could not permit Ali Galib to come here, but promised to write for the necessary authority. He begged me urgently to exert my influence to obtain this permission. He says that his title is that of “High Commissioner/ and added that he is known to the Government in Constantinople. He states that he intends to remain here for two or three days and then go on to Karput. He can produce no official documents. He has been told that we shall regard him as our guest and that we shall treat him with special honour.
Are we to authorise this man to summon the Vali to come here? And are we to allow him to continue his journey to Karput? Two officers have just arrived from Sivas. j^
Commanding the I5 tjl Infantry Regiment.
Our opinion as to what he should do about it is comprised in this telegram: Telegram. Very urgent. Sivas, 12** September, 1919.
To the Officer Commanding the 15 t& Regiment, Malatia.
Reply to your telegram of 12 th September.
1. No foreign officer, whoever he may be, unable to produce official documents has any business whatever on Ottoman territory. Tell him so courteously but at the same time energetically, as becomes a military man, and inform him that he must return immediately to the place whence he came. Take care that he is accompanied by an intelligent and capable officer until he is out of the country, to prevent him from holding any political conversations with prominent men or officials.
2. You will further inform him that the fugitive Vali is accused of treason against his country, that he will be handed over to justice as soon as he is caught and that nothing can be done to save him.
Thus, eventually, Ali Galib s activities were put an end to, thanks to the steps I took to counteract them and mainly to the promptness and firmness we displayed. The tribes Ali Galib and Halil Bey tried to raise in rebellion against us dispersed, and Ali Galib fled in despair, first to Urfah and then to Aleppo. Major Nowill was treated properly but was escorted to Elbistan. The others dispersed, each in his own direction. I do not think it will be of any interest to you if we follow this incident any farther. When you read the documents which will be published as supplementary to what I have said on this question, I hope you will find them very instructive, both now and in the time to come. (Documents 78, 79, 80, Si.)
Ali Galib s enterprise was arranged with the consent of the Padishah
I am sure that these documents will leave no doubt at all in your minds that Ali Galib s enterprise was arranged with the consent of the Padishah, Ferid Pasha s Cabinet and foreigners. There is no doubt, also, about our action against the originators of this treachery without distinction of persons. But, it was necessary that we should avoid as far as possible such a direct frontal attack at this phase. It was wiser to concentrate our endeavours on a single point and not scatter our forces.
Therefore, we chose Ferid Pasha s Cabinet alone as our target and pretended that we knew nothing about the complicity of the Padishah. Our theory was that the Sovereign had been deceived by the Cabinet and that he himself was in total ignorance of what was really going on.
We wanted to give the impression that we were convinced that he would summarily punish those who had deceived him as soon as he was made clearly aware of the facts.