Ali Riza Pasha had been asked to form a new Cabinet
Gentlemen, I told the entire nation in a circular letter, dated the 3 rd October, that Ferid Pasha s Cabinet had been overthrown and that Ali Riza Pasha had been asked to form a new Cabinet. I sent a copy of this document to the new Grand Vizier, marked: “For your information/ (Document 127.)
On the same day we tried to get into communication with the new head of the Cabinet. He promised to speak to the Representative Committee when the Cabinet Council met on the following day. i68
The points I referred to in my circular letter were:
1. If the new Cabinet will recognise the organisation formed by the Erzerum and Sivas Congresses and the aims decided upon by them, the national forces will support it.
2. The new Cabinet will not undertake anything of a binding character regarding the fate of the nation until the National Assembly has met and actual control has been permanently established.
3. The delegates who will be sent to the Peace Conference must be selected from among those who are cognisant of the aims of the nation and who enjoy its confidence.
After I had laid stress in this circular letter on the fact that the new Cabinet was invited to accept the above fundamental points, I ex pressed the wish that I might be informed, as quickly as possible, before noon on the following day, of all other matters of importance.
I sent a telegram to All Riza Pasha, the Grand Vizier, on the 3 r <* October, in which I said:
“The nation has been painfully affected by the proceeding^ of the Cabinets that have hitherto succeeded one another, including acts that were in contradiction to the Constitution and the demands of the nation.
“For this reason, the nation has emphatically resolved that its legitimate rights shall be recognised and that its destiny shall rest in capable and reliable hands.
“In endeavouring to ensure this, it has taken the most energetic action that it considered necessary. The regularly organised troops have taken the power into their own hands and insist that the will of the nation shall be made known everywhere.
“The nation has no desire to place Your Highness and your col leagues, who enjoy Imperial confidence, in a difficult position.
“On the contrary, it is ready in all sincerity to assist you.
“However, the presence in the Cabinet of Ministers who have been working with Ferid Pasha obliges us to ascertain to what degree the policy of your Ministry agrees with the national aspirations.
“Until the nation has regained confidence, it is impossible to delay its demands for reform and be satisfied with half measures.
“Therefore, we must insist on being informed clearly and definitely whether you share these views or not/
Having expressed ourselves in this manner, we repeated the three main points set out in the circular. Then I announced that, with the object of alleviating the present abnormal situation, we should bring forward certain considerations of secondary importance as soon as we had come to an agreement on the essential points already mentioned. (Document 128.)
Ali Riza Pasha had gone to the Palace
We were told that All Riza Pasha had gone to the Palace that day to take his oath of office, and we would receive an answer on the following day.
But, judging from certain events, we had come to the conclusion that a considerable amount of uncertainty was reigning in Ali Riza Pasha s Cabinet, and that a good deal of confusion prevailed in the minds of some of those who were members of the Cabinet. For this reason we thought we ought to take certain steps.
So, on the same day we published another circular, in which we stated that we deemed it necessary to maintain the rupture of official correspondence as we had done hitherto until an agreement had been reached between the views of the Government and the demands of the nation. (Document 129.)
In addition, we sent certain confidential despatches on the 3 rd Oc tober to all the officers commanding Army Corps, as well as to those Valis who supported the movement, summarising all the proposals and questions we had received from all parts of the country.
I think you would prefer me to lay before you verbatim all the documents relating to our first negotiations with the new Cabinet, to help you to understand our position towards one another. I shall also read the correspondence that was carried on, if you allow me to do so:
Telegram in cipher. Sivas, 3 rd October, 1919.
To all officers commanding Army Corps and the Valis and
acting Valis who belong to the national movement.
Will you be good enough to address the following telegram to the Minister of War and the Minister of the Interior and report to us that you have done so.
ec We demand the immediate arrest of Djemal Bey, Vali of Konia, Ali Galib Bey, Vali of El Aziz, and Halil Bey, Mutessarif of Malatia, and that they shall be tried by court martial on the charge that they have armed the population and have attempted to produce massacres, being themselves tools of the villainous machinations of the Minister of the Interior. Further we demand that Galib Bey, Vali of Trebizond, Ibrahim Bey and Ali Bey, formerly Valis of Kastamuni, and Muheddin Pasha, Vali of Angora, shall not be permitted to hold any post whatsoever. Also that Reshid Pasha, Vali of Sivas, who was recalled without notice because he did not oppose the legitimate rights of the nation but, on the contrary, rendered assistance to the movement and the rightful claims of the nation, shall be reinstated in his office; and, finally, that Mashar Mufid Bey, formerly Vali of Bitlis, and Haidar Bey 3 formerly Vali of Van, shall immediately be appointed to the office of Vali where there are vacancies.”
In the name of the Representative Committee of the “Union for the Defence of the Rights
of Anatolia and Rumelia.”
Telegram in cipher. Sivas, 3 rd October, 1919.
To all Valis, officers commanding Army Corps and auto nomous Mutessarifs.
Will you be good enough to send the following communication to the Grand Vizier, and report to us the result:
“In the name of the sacred character and the inviolability of the law, we demand that steps shall be taken to prevent the flight of Ali Kemal Bey and Suleiman Shefik Pasha, the former Ministers, as well as of Aadil Bey, Minister of the Interior, who have taken it upon themselves to arm the Mohamedan population and incite them to massacre one another; who have given orders with the object of breaking up the Army and leaving the country defenceless ; who have betrayed military secrets by endeavouring to steal the cipher-key and who have interfered with the private correspondence of the people, who are protected by the Constitution against such procedure. When the National Assembly has been opened the above-mentioned persons shall be brought to justice.
“For the same reason, we demand that Refik Halid Bey, Director- General of the Telegraph Administration, shall be arrested and brought
to trial.” ,, , , .. .
In the name of the Representative Committee
of the “Union for the Defence of the Rights
of Anatolia and Rumelia.”
Djemal Pasha, the new Minister of War, on the occasion of his appointment had, naturally, to address an official circular note to the Army. We gave the officers commanding Army Corps to under stand that they should first, in answer to this circular note, send him the telegram which I shall quote. Telegram in cipher.
To the Officers Commanding the III rd , XX th , XII**, XV t*
and XIII^ Army Corps.
To Fuad Pasha, Commander of the XX th Corps (special). To Refet Bey, Konia (special).
Will you be good enough to send the following telegram to Djemal Pasha in reply to the first circular issued by the Minister of War;
We are fully aware that Your Excellency, in the firm belief and deep conviction that inspire you, has been at the head of the legitimate national movement since the beginning of the operations.
We have received with satisfaction the news of your appointment as Minister of War.
Will do everything we can to ensure Your Excellency s success.
The whole of the Army and all the national organisations will do everything we can to ensure Your Excellency s success. It is solely to this end that we beg you to see that the following will be carried out as quickly as possible:
a) That you will do all you can to have Djevad Pasha or Fewsi Pasha, formerly an Army Inspector, appointed Chief of the General Staff;
b) That Galatali Shefket Bey or Jussuf Izzet Pasha will be appoint ed Commandant and Corps Commander of Constantinople respectively. Jussuf Izzet Pasha might be appointed Commandant and Colonel Gala- tali Shefket, Commander of the XV th Army Corps;
c) That Colonel Ismet Bey will be appointed Under-Secretary of State in the Ministry of War;
d) That Lt.-Colonel Kemal Bey, commanding a Division, will be appointed Director-General of the Police;
e) That those officers who were previously dismissed, and who for certain political reasons and without the approval of the National Assembly were re-appointed, shall, on account of the bad impression produced thereby in the Army and the discredit that has consequently fallen on the Ministry of War, be again dismissed and the important and responsible posts given to reliable men;
f) That, as Colonel Refet Bey, formerly commanding the III rd Army Corps, has been forcibly compelled to resign without any reason being assigned, his resignation shall be cancelled and he him self be appointed to the command of the XII th Army Corps at Konia, where he is at the present moment. It would also be of great import ance to let Fuad Pasha remain in command of the XX th Army Corps and to quash the proceedings that have been instituted against him; g) That Hamid Pasha, who was appointed to succeed Fuad Pasha, and Said Pasha, appointed to the command of the XII th Army Corps, shall promptly be reinstated in their former commands ;
h) We consider that it would be appropriate, on the first opportu nity that presents itself, to re-establish the Army Inspection and to entrust the group of Army Corps in East Anatolia, including the XIII tb , to the command of Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha; and that of West Anatolia, including those of Constantinople and Adrianople, to Ali Fuad Pasha. We think, however, that it would be advisable to restrict ourselves for the moment to re-establishing these two In spections. Mustapha Kemal,
In the name of the Representative Committee.