Complete unity had been arrived at between the new Cabinet and the national organisations
I leave it to public opinion to probe this problem and come to a right judgment about it.
In spite of the nonsense and misstatements appearing in the Government s manifesto, we resolved on the 7^ October, in the name of the Representative Committee, to support the new Cabinet. We announced to the people the glad news that complete unity had been arrived at between the new Cabinet and the national organisations.
We took the necessary steps everywhere to prevent any inter ference with the affairs of the Government and to support its authority and its actions.
We took up an attitude that should prove by events relating to matters of internal policy, as well as to foreign countries, that real and complete unity existed. In short, we tried to do everything which in our judgment men should feel themselves bound in soul and conscience to do if they were considering the welfare of their country in all sincerity and with pure intentions. We pressed the people to elect their deputies as quickly as possible. But there was one thing we did not do : We did not suppress the national organisations we did not dissolve the Representative Committee. This was the only error that we committed.
We gave them to understand that after Damad Fend Pasha, we would not allow any other Damad Pasha (Damad means a relative of the Sultan: Author s note] in his capacity as Grand Vizier and Minister to surround himself with a handful of weaklings and execute without hinderance the criminal fancies of a craven Sovereign.
Our delegate Djemal Pasha continued to try by every means to win our good opinion of and confidence in the new Cabinet.
He called Ahmed Izzet Pasha as his witness in favour of this Cabinet, and advised us through him to suppress our organisation.
On the 7 th October, we actually received the following telegram from Djemal Pasha, the Minister of War, which was also signed in cipher by Ahmed Izzet Pasha.
Ministry of War. 7 tt October, 1919.
To His Excellency Mustapha Kemal Pasha.
: I have been talking to my old faithful colleagues who constitute the majority in the new Cabinet. I asked them to give me their opinions, and I discussed the situation with them. Through some facts that have come to my knowledge, I hasten to let you know the following, because I am anxious about certain vital matters concerning the nation and for the sake ottr comradeship in arms and the ties of friendship that bind us.
Everybody knows the advantage of the work performed by the national troops and organisations, which was intended to counter act the danger of an invasion and the breakdown which threatened our country for several months. People with foresight, however, believed it to be an incontrovertible fact that in order to reap the fullest advantage from these measures, our first aim in future should be to establish a wise and proper administration. In my humble opinion, it is urgently necessary and imperative that an end should be put to this dissension between the people and the Government, and that perfect unity should exist between them. I am sure that everybody is convinced of the honesty and spirit of moderation shown by the members of the Cabinet.
It is superfluous to point out the fatal effects which internal dissensions that make it impossible for any Government to carry on their work may have on our foreign policy.
The Imperial Government undertakes immediately to hasten on the election of the deputies and the convening of the Chamber.
As you can easily judge from to-day s manifesto, the leaders know perfectly well how to appreciate your brave endeavours and noble intentions, and I am firmly persuaded that an agreement in views will mutually be arrived at in perfect sincerity.
A trustworthy and well-informed personage to whom I have spoken to-day has informed me that certain regrettable incidents have taken place in the districts in Kutachia and Biledshik. You will undoubtedly recognise that provocations can easily arise from the interior as well as from abroad, and that certain things might happen that would drive us into discord and anarchy.
On the other hand, in a telegram from the acting Vali of Kastamuni, which a member of the Cabinet showed me yesterday, it seems that there was an intention, amounting practically to dictation, of ordering the Government to appoint certain officials and to punish others.
Such events would be attributed to bad government, which has already brought the State into its present position. We notice with satisfaction in your statements and in the written wording of your undertaking to what extent you do not agree with them. Therefore, I Vely on your tact and your well-known discrimination that they shall not be afforded an opportunity of behaving in that manner again.
In short, I hasten to urge and sincerely beg that, at last, you will restore unity in the country and enter into relations with the Govern ment according to the laws of the land.
(Signed) Ahmed Izzet. (Signed) Djemal, Minister of War.
We considered it best to send a moderate and even reassuring reply by trying not to express any particular opinion or give any special impression about it. It ran as follows:
Ciphered. Sivas, 7** October, 1919.
To His Excellency Djemal Pasha, Minister of War
Reply to your telegram of 7 th October.
To His Highness Ahmed Izzet Pasha.
Your remarks have been appreciated as they deserve to be. We thank you for your good opinion about the success of the national movement. We beg to assure you that in future, as hitherto, the same wisdom in the guidance of our national activities will prevail and that we shall work with all our strength to bring about the restoration of a regular administ-ation as far as that will be possible; for this is exactly what we are striving for the establishment of a lawful regime.
The Government and the nation being, with the help of God, per fectly united in their opinions, the mutual sincerity and complete unity, which we are convinced will be of lasting duration, will in future secure the highest interests of the country and the people. The fact that the nation has not obeyed Ferid Pasha s Cabinet, the criminal actions and policy of which are publicly known and that it has not taken part in his activities and intrigues, has, nevertheless, instead of in juring our foreign policy, resulted in our present political position, which on the whole may be regarded as rather satisfactory in that it has destroyed the fatal impressions produced by Ferid Pasha s Cabinet.
There is no doubt that our understanding with the new Cabinet, which enjoys the confidence of the nation, will allow our home policy to influence our foreign policy very favourably and effectively.
Unfortunately, under the abnormal conditions now existing, some regrettable, but at the same time unavoidable, incidents do take place in certain localities. If we consider for a moment the humiliating oppression that weighs heavily upon some districts, such as Kutachia, Biledshik and EsM-Shehr and their innocent and suffering citizens, we can easily find justification for the acts of which we complain. If, on the other hand, we realise that the deplorable and heartrending state of affairs in these districts can be traced directly to the pitiful conduct of the late Government, I am convinced that it would be unjust to make the national movement a target for criticism and reproach. I ask you, also, to excuse the acting Vali of Kastamuni for the telegram that was shown to you. Messages of this description have arrived not from Kastamuni alone, but from other places as well, and if the former attitude of the Government, which appeared to be hesitating in the beginning, had lasted for another day or two, similar communications would have poured in from all parts of the country. However, we shall take all the requisite steps and exert the desired influence energetically to prevent the recurrence of such incidents. As Your Highness advises, we shall try in all good faith to secure complete unity and enter into sincere relations with the Government in accordance with the law of the land.
I respectfully kiss your hands. Mustapha Kemal.
While I was reading the warning letter from Ahmed Izzet Pasha and the answer we sent to him, I was reminded of something I ought to mention, so that it may be put on record and find a place in history.