A national Government, supported by a National Assembly would seriously accept the responsibility of the destiny of the nation.
He concluded his telegram thus:
“It is absolutely necessary that the Government, possessing the confidence of our noble nation and having proved their political ripeness in deeds, will be able to secure a hearing in the outside world with all the greater authority the less they are hampered in their actions. Therefore, I ask the Representative Committee to accept now and henceforward the acts of the Government in a favourable manner.”
Here Djemal Pasha touches very important considerations. Firstly, admitting that the nation has reached maturity, he gives us to understand that it is superfluous for us to take an active and lead ing part in its name, and that, in consequence, he looks upon us as persons who are interfering on their own account in the affairs of the nation, without having any authority whatever to do so.
He further asserted that in not allowing the Government to act freely we were preventing it from being listened to by people abroad.
What revealed the maturity of our noble nation were the meetings of the Erzerum and Sivas Congresses and the resolutions passed at their sittings; the national determination and unity which resulted from these resolutions having been put into force; the overthrow of Ferid Pasha s Cabinet, which had attempted to put those who had held the Congress at Sivas out of the way, all of these facts being of the highest importance and bearing witness to the unceasing watch fulness of the nation. To stop here and object to do our conscientious duty by continuing to lead the nation as we had been doing and allow the Government unrestrained freedom in their actions, was only possible under one condition : namely, that we were guaranteed that a national Government, supported by a National Assembly that had proved itself capable of acting independently, would seriously accept the responsibility of the destiny of the nation.
Could it be expected that prudent and reasonable people and patriots would be content with remaining spectators of the stupid, inexperienced and disgraceful proceedings of a gang of obstinate men, among whom were traitors and others devoid of feeling and con science, who had tried to stifle an outburst of indignation on the part of the nation, like “Down with the Occupation?”
Furthermore, Djemal Pasha was guilty of making glaring misstate- ments; for instance, when he spoke of “the present Government possessing the confidence of the nation.” It was very far from being the fact that the people had confidence in the new Cabinet. Such a thing could only be said after the Cabinet had been accorded a vote of confidence by the National Assembly. But the members of that Assembly had not even yet been elected !
At the moment when the Minister of War said this, he only pos sessed the confidence of one single person. This was Wahideddin, the traitor who polluted the highest office in the State by his presence.
If these people accepted it as a sign of the confidence of the nation that the Representative Committee had felt that they ought to come to an understanding with them if this was really their idea what need had they then to attempt to suppress the very body through which they would be able to gain the confidence of the country?
The overthrow of Ferid Pasha s Government produced a good effect on the spirits and minds
The overthrow of Ferid Pasha s Government produced a good effect on the spirits and minds that were still hesitating in some places. Work for the national movement was everywhere re doubled under the leadership of high civil and military officials.
Ali Fuad Pasha personally undertook to look after nearly all the western provinces. He travelled through all the districts of Eski- Shehr, Biledshik and, later on, Brusa, and put himself in touch with all likely persons, Colonel Kiasim Bey (now Kiasim Pasha, President of the Chamber of Deputies), who was at Balikesri, energetically took charge of the national organisations and the military forces in that district. On October 8 th , Colonel Bekir Sami Bey sent the Vali of Brusa, who was a creature of Ferid s, back to Stambul, began to put in force the resolutions of the Congress and also formed a local committee. The same zeal was exercised about the national organi sations and the elections to the Chamber.
The principle of bringing all the national organisations simultane ously into connection with the Representative Committee was applied to the whole of the country. We took steps to reinforce the organisations in the districts of Eski-Shehr, Katachia, and Afium Kara Hissar, and to facilitate the connection between the districts of Aidin, Konia, Brusa, and Karassi.
With regard to the Western Front, we were doing our best to let the Ministry of War know what was being done and to interest the Government in it by asking them what they proposed to do here.
We considered the necessity of sending a commanding officer to the different parts of the front at Aidin, which was under the leader- ship of the Efes*). On the 14 th October we wrote to Fuad Pasha and Omer Lutfi Bey, commanding the 23 rd Division at Afium Kara Hissar, and asked them to form national organisations secretly in the occupied districts.
We were clear about the fact that our intentions had not been altogether understood in certain places.
For instance, the Anti-annexation League published commun ications on their own account, and on the io th October we were told in an anti-annexation document, bearing the signature of the president, that a great congress would meet on the 2O th of that month. The provinces were asked to send two delegates each to attend it, and they were urged to carry out certain matters.
On the other hand, we learned that the “Karakol Society” was very busy in the vicinity of Stambul, in the Brusa district.
We did everything that was necessary to avoid any confusion, and sent instructions to this effect to Ali Fuad Pasha, to Kiasim Pasha (at Balikesri), to Bekir Sami Bey (at Brusa) and to the local committee at Brusa. (Document 155.)
We also heard that the committee of the “Liberal Understanding” had sent seventy-five persons to Anatolia to form a counter-organ isation there in conjunction with the enemy. We called the attention of the Army Corps to this fact. We decided to work secretly in Constantinople. We gave instructions to Thrace to develop the organisation there with the assistance of Djafer Tayar Bey.
While we were preparing for the elections to take place, we con sidered which was the best place for the Chamber to meet at. You will remember that in answer to Refet Pasha s telegram from Erzerum on this question, I had said that the Chamber ought not to meet either in Anatolia or Constantinople.
I could imagine nothing more impracticable or futile than to convene the Chamber at Constantinople.
But it was impossible for us to come to any decision about it before we had consulted the people and learned the opinions in the chief quarters about the question. Above all, it was necessary for us to show how inconvenient it would be to meet in Constantinople. With this object and through the mediation of the Minister of War, we drew the attention of the Government to what Ali Kemal Bey and Mehmet Ali Bey were doing and how they were trying to represent *) Efe, an expression used in the neighbourhood of Smyrna, means a man (armedl; probably used here in the sense of a leader of volunteers. our movement in the eyes of the Greeks and other foreigners, as being directed against the Christians, and that they had held a secret meeting with the Armenian Patriarch, as well as having been as sociated with the Society of “Liberal Understanding.”
On the I3 th October we tried through Djemal Pasha to ascertain what the Government considered the “Union for the Defence of the Rights” ought to do after the Chamber was opened; we asked him what political guarantees they thought could be obtained after the meeting of the Chamber in Constantinople.
On the same day we asked Colonel Shefket Bey, commanding the fortress of Tshanak Kale, who belonged to our head organisation in Stambul, what was being done to maintain order and secure pro tection for the Chamber in Constantinople and what he personally considered ought to be done in this direction.
You will remember that a meeting with Salih Pasha, Minister of Marine, was arranged to take place at Amasia. As it was most probable that the main outlines of the foreign policy and the home administration, as well as the future of the Army, would be discussed during our conversation, I considered that it would be well to know beforehand what the commanders of the Army Corps had to say about this.
In a circular in cipher, dated October 14*, I requested the officers commanding Army Corps to give me their opinions on these three subjects. You will find their reports among the other documents. (Document 156.)
Salih Pasha left Stambul on the 15 th October, while we started from Sivas on the 16 th and arrived at Amasia on the i8 th .
We had given special instructions to all our organisations to give Salih Pasha a particularly cordial reception at every place and to welcome him on our behalf. (Document 157.)
We received him personally at Amasia, amid the great enthusiasm of the people.
We began our discussions with Salih Pasha on the 20 th October and they came to an end on the 22 nd . At the end of this conference, which lasted three days, five copies of the minutes were drawn up.
Three of the copies which Salih Pasha kept were signed by us, and he signed those that remained in our possession; two other copies, which were regarded as confidential, were not signed at all.
The resolutions arrived at during this meeting at Amasia were communicated to the Army Corps. (Document 158.) I would like to take this opportunity of emphasising one point. It was essential that we obtained confirmation that the National Organisation and the Representative Committee were one, officially recognised by the Government; that our negotiations had an official character, and that both parties had taken upon themselves the solemn obligation towards one another to regard the results of the discussions as binding. For this reason, it was important to have these results accepted in the form of minutes and to have the doc uments signed by the Minister of Marine in his capacity as the delegate of the Government.
It may be said that the contents of the minutes of the 21 st October consist almost entirely of suggestions made by Salih Pasha, which we had had no hesitation in accepting. (Document 159.)
The second minutes, dated 22 nd October, contained a summarised account of the long discussions that took place.
When the preliminary introduction, containing a clear statement of mutual assurances with regard to the Caliphate and Sultanate, was over, a discussion of the articles contained in the manifesto issued by the Sivas Congress on the II th September took place.
i. We agreed that it would be necessary to maintain the frontiers mentioned and set forth in the first article of this manifesto as our minimum demand.
We deemed it appropriate to cut short the intrigues which had been hatched under cover of the independence of the Kurds.
The conversation turned on certain proposals to separate Cilicia, which at that time was part of the territory occupied by foreigners, from Turkey and convert it into a buffer-state lying between Turkey and Arabia.
We were unanimous on the principle that we could not consent to this district, which was purely Turkish and which constituted one of the most productive and fertile districts of Anatolia, being torn away from us on any pretext whatsoever; a similar and equally decisive agreement was reached on the question of the Vilayet of Aidin. As for Thrace, we reckoned with the possibility that this province would also proclaim itself a free and independent State in reality, a foreign colony which would practically mean that the whole of the territory up to the line Enos-Midia in Eastern Thrace would be robbed from us. We agreed that under no condition would we consent to the cession of Adrianople and the territory on this side of the Maritza, even if it were proposed that these territories should be annexed to and incorporated with an independent Mo-
Kemal Pasha I 4 2IO hamedan State. We agreed, however, in respect to the terms of this article, that the ultimate decision would rest with the legislative body as the final Court of Appeal.
2 A long discussion arose over the fourth article of the manifesto, which lays down that the adjudication of such privileges as might encroach on our political sovereignty and our social stability to non-Mohamedan elements would not be accepted. It was declared that this point had to be regarded as an absolute demand for the purpose of safeguarding our independence effectually, and that the slightest sacrifice that we would make in this direction would be exceedingly dangerous.
As an aim that could be realised, we accepted the resolution that no unreasonable privileges should be conferred on the Christian elements, as laid down in Art. 4 referred to above.
Regarding this, however, as well as our other claims concerning the defence of our right to exist, it was mentioned that the opinion and decision of the National Assembly would be binding, as laid down at the end of Art. I.
3. The question of satisfying our technical, industrial and economic needs, on condition that we are granted our complete independence, as provided for in Art. 7 of the manifesto, was also discussed.
In the event of any country desiring to invest a considerable amount of capital in Turkey, it was agreed that, being unable to foresee from the beginning the advantage of our public finances being controlled (which would certainly be demanded), the decision of the National Assembly on this question should be accepted after experts had exhaustively studied the details and formulated some scheme that would not endanger our independence or our real national interests.
4. The remaining articles of the resolutions passed on the n th Sep tember by the Sivas Congress were approved of in principle, provided that the Chamber of Deputies gave their consent to them.
5. The discussion also turned on the regulations of the ” Union for the Defence of the Rights of Anatolia and Rumelia,” which formed the subject of Art. n of the resolutions passed by the Sivas Congress on the 4 to September, touching the question of organisations and the manner and extent of their future activity.
This article contains a special provision that the actual character of the activities of these organisations shall be fixed by the decision arrived at by a congress after the National Assembly, which will restore the sovereignty of the national will, has been assured that it can safely and freely exercise its right of legislation and control, and after they have satisfied themselves that this state of security actually exists. It was added that there would be no necessity for the congress just mentioned to be held as a special congress of a similar description to those of Erzerum and Sivas.
As those deputies who accept the programme of the union may be regarded as the deputies provided for in the regulations, a special meeting which they might hold could not be treated as a congress. It was further declared that the Chamber of Deputies in Constan tinople could only assemble on condition that they performed their duties there freely and in complete security. An examination of the prevailing conditions was made, to discover how far this would be possible. It was generaUy considered that Constantinople, being under foreign occupation, was not a very favourable spot for the deputies to carry on their legislative duties unmolested.
In the same manner as the French had done at Bordeaux in 1870 1871, and the Germans quite recently at Weimar, we agreed that it would be far better that we should sit in some safe place in Anatolia, selected by the Imperial Government, until Peace was concluded.
How far the National Assembly could be considered secure could only be ascertained after it had begun its work, and, therefore, it was agreed that when safety was assured, the question of dissolving the Representative Committee might be considered, and the new aim and purpose of the existing organisation would be definitely settled at a special meeting which, as we have already said, would supersede the congress.
As the Government had ordered that the election of the deputies should take place in perfect freedom, the assurance was given that the Representative Committee would not in any way influence the elections. The opinion was expressed, however, that, by way of a discreet canvass, advice could be given with the object of preventing members of the “Union and Progress” party or compromising military people, who might sneak in among the candidates, from being elected. This manner of procedure by the Representative Committee was settled in a section of the third minute. (Document 160.)
The fourth, which was not signed because it was considered con fidential, related to the following questions:
1. Alteration and withdrawal of the Imperial Irade and sundry orders concerning the dismissal of certain commanding officers and charges against a certain number of officers to be tried by court martial.
2. Taking the necessary steps for the repatriation of the exiles who were arrested by the English from Malta to Constantinople, so that they could be tried by their own competent courts of law.
3. Also, changing the venue of the trial of Armenians who were accused of cruelty, to the Chamber of Deputies.
4 Sending a new protest by the Government against the occu pation of Smyrna; this protest to be accompanied by a demand for evacuation; if necessary, secret instructions should be given to the people inciting them to hold meetings.
5 Dismissal of the Commander of the Gendarmerie, the Com mandant, the Director of Police and the Under Secretary of State in the Ministry of the Interior. (This referred to the Ministries of War and of the Interior.)
6. The Society of the “Friends of England” were to be prevented from canvassing from door to door to obtain new members and their signatures.
7. An end should be put to the activity of the Societies and the injurious publications in the pay of foreign countries (special pro hibition against officers and officials joining such Societies).
8. Strengthening of the national organisations at Aidin; facilities and safeguards for their supply of provisions (to be regulated by the Minister of War). The amount of money required for this might be taken from the T 400,000 allocated to the Navy.
9. Officials who had taken part in the national movement should not be transferred until general rest and security have been restored. Before the officials who had been dismissed and discharged by the nation on account of their hostile behaviour towards the national movement are appointed to new offices, the Representative Committee should be privately consulted.
10. The transport and removal of the refugees from Western Thrace to be safeguarded.
11. Adjemi Saadun Pasha and his associates to be assisted in an adequate manner.
The fifth memorandum, which was unsigned, contained the names of persons eligible as members of the Peace Delegation. But the Government would not be hampered in their choice if they acted according to the principles laid down.
His Highness Tewfik Pasha, President. His Highness Ahmed Izzet Pasha, Military Delegate. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Diplomatic Delegate. Reshad Hikmet Bey, Diplomatic Delegate. Experts
Haamid Bey, Finance, Colonel Izmet Bey, Army, Reshid Bey, Political Affairs. Mukhtar Bey, engineer, Public Works. Ali Riza Bey, Captain in the Navy. Refet Bey, Statistics. Emiri Effendi, History. Munir Bey, Legal Adviser.
An expert, Commercial Affairs.
An expert, privileges of the various Religious Communities.
Reshid Safwet Bey, formerly Financial Adviser to the Government. Shefki Bey, Sali Bey, Orkan Bey. Hussein Bey, Professor of Turkish at Robert College.
I presume that among all the details of this conference, the question of the eventual meeting place of the Chamber of Deputies will have specially engaged your attention.
We persuaded Salih Pasha to agree with our original contention that Constantinople would be an inconvenient and impossible place for the Chamber to meet at. Although Salih Pasha shared this opinion, he only agreed on condition that his personal opinion should not be taken as binding on the rest of the Cabinet.
He promised to do everything in his power to convince his col leagues and lead them to the same opinion, and he declared that nothing would be left for him to do but leave the Chamber if he should be unsuccessful in his mission. Salih Pasha did not succeed in this.
I will now conclude my account of the meeting at Amasia and then return to the question of the meeting place of the Chamber of Deputies. I will just say one word more.
Just as we were leaving Sivas for Amasia
Just as we were leaving Sivas for Amasia, a rather regrettable incident occurred in this town. I think I ought to tell you something about it.
On our arrival at Amasia, we heard that the members of the “Liberal Understanding together with some foreigners, were carrying on intrigues which practically amounted to treason. I immediately spread this news by sending out a circular note. I also heard at Sivas that they intended to send a telegram to the Sultan about myself, but I did not believe it. However, I felt sure that the watchfulness of our comrades on the Representative Committee, the officers at our headquarters, the Valis and others, would undoubtedly prevent it.
But it appears that three persons, Sheikh Redsheb and his two companions, Ahmed Kemal and Djelal by name, through the good services of a telegraph operator who was one of their adherents, had discovered a way to send the telegram they wanted to transmit.
The following telegram addressed to Salih Pasha was actually brought to ns from the Telegraph Office at Amasia:
K. 8216613 Sivas, i8 th October, 1919.
To His Excellency Salih Pasha, Minister of Marine. To His Excellency Nadji Bey, A.D.C. to His Imperial
In the interest of the country and the nation we beg you to do us the favour of coming to the chief town in the vilayet, so that you may understand the actual conditions that have been prevailing in our country for several months and obtain a clear view of the state of affairs.
For the same reason we beg you to come to the telegraph in
strument. Redsheb Kiamil, of the tribe of the
Shemseddin Sivassi. Sareli Sade Djelal.
The original bears 160 seals of mullahs, notables, merchants and working men. j^ Sade Ahmed Kemal. For my part, I received the following telegram on the xg ilQ – October,
To Mustapha Kemal Pasha, Amasia.
Our people cannot consider that the existing discord has been allayed until they have received from Salih Pasha himself or some other trustworthy person a statement as to what the Padishah and the Government think about the matter. Therefore, we have the honour to inform you that you are facing a difficult alternative.
Redsheb Kiamil, of the tribe
Shemseddin Sivassi. Sareli Sade Djelal. Ilias Sade Ahmed Kemal.
While we were energetically trying to enlighten the country and to show the people how it could be saved, our enemies succeeded in corrupting some of the people who were in a position to aid them in all directions in the criminal execution of their nefarious designs even in the town of Sivas, where we had our headquarters and in every way were complete masters. The relaxation of their watch- fulness by the leaders at Sivas, after my departure and in spite of all my warnings, can only be regarded as a typical instance of the negligence which was in some degree almost universally apparent.
On the 19 th October, our colleagues at Sivas dispatched the following telegram, which was signed by the Representative Com mittee.
To His Excellency Mustapha Pasha, Amasia.
The following is the complete text of the telegram which Sheikh Redsheb and his companions have just this moment handed in at the Telegraph Office for transmission. Kemal Bey, Major in the Artillery, is attending to the matter.
Then followed a copy of the telegram I have mentioned.
On the same day the Director of Telegraphs at Sivas sent me this message :
To His Excellency Mustapha Kemal Pasha.
I have the honour to forward you the telegram signed by Redsheb, of the tribe of the Shemseddin Sivassi, Ilias Sade Ahmed Kemal and Sareli Sade Djelal. These telegrams were brought here at night and were sent off by our officials under threats. Undoubtedly everybody has the right to send telegrams, under certain conditions. But, nevertheless, no person whatsoever has the power to force his way into the telegraph room and intimidate and threaten officials while they are performing their official duties. It is surely an unlawful proceeding to act in such a manner as to injure the authority and dignity of the Government. I have brought this matter to the know ledge of the Vilayet. I have the honour to inform Your Excellency about it also as you are engaged in securing order in the country.
I beg Your Excellency to receive the expression of my deep esteem. 19^ October, 1919. Lutfi, Chief Director.
To the Director of the Chief Telegraph Office in Con stantinople.
Any person who intercepts telegrams sent by people with the request that they may be forwarded to high quarters in the interests of the nation and the country, is a traitor to his religion and to the State. Such act might easily lead to bloodshed. We are determined that our message shall be delivered to His Majesty. We await your reply. 2l6
To the General Secretary of the Imperial Court.
“For the sake of the country and the nation we are waiting at the instrument for the reply to the petition which we had the honour of presenting to His Majesty the Caliph, through the general secretary of the Imperial Court.
“Mustapha Kemal Pasha, Chairman of the Congress which has been held in our district of Sivas under the title of the “Union for the Defence of the Rights of Anatolia and Rumelia,” by circulating the report that he is provided with letters from Your Majesty, and with the aid of a small number of followers who are endeavouring to conceal their criminal actions in the country, tries to proclaim himself the representative of the will of the nation.
“Actuated by our religious duty, however, we are in every way subject and entirely devoted to our glorious Caliph and our dearly loved Sovereign. We have been informed that Salih Pasha, Minister of Marine, and Nadji Bey Effendi, Your Majesty s A.D.C., had been sent to Sivas. We have been unable to obtain a reply to the telegram we had addressed to you, signed by 2,000 mullahs, notables and working men praying you to alleviate the indignation felt by the people. We pray Your Majesty, urgently and respectfully, to send this Commission to Sivas, in order that they may personally convince themselves of the actual state of affairs prevailing here.
We have the honour to be at all times, Your Majesty s devoted and obedient servants.”
Our enemies attributed a really important part to Sheikh Redsheb.
In a letter to Mr. Frew, the English clergyman, on the 24 th October of which I shall speak at the proper time when I am referring to the documents Said Molla asked: “What do you think about the incident at Sivas?” He added: “There is something wrong here with the organisation, but it will gradually improve.”
It was surely significant that the dispatch of the telegram could be accompanied by threats, trying to prove that all the inhabitants of Sivas were in a state of revolt against the chairman of a body that had been speaking everywhere about the unity and concord of the nation and the outspread of the national organisation. A body which, acting on the unanimous desire of the people with the support of national and military organisations, had overthrown the Cabinet and which at that very moment was about to enter into negotiations with the delegates of the present Government, having on that same day started from Sivas for this purpose. Even if the population of Sivas itself, in the midst of whom the Representative Committee was established, showed such an antag onistic attitude, it was indeed difficult to prove that the whole nation shared the same feeling and opinion.
Would it not clearly show the weakness of the support behind this body that so feebly represented the people and behind its chairman?
You can imagine how important our enemies regarded this voice from Sivas and how it helped them.
When Salih Pasha arrived at Amasia I had the telegram that had arrived for him handed to him. But I demanded that Sheikh Redsheb and his companions should be punished by the Government, and on the ig th October I asked the members of the Representative Committee at Sivas the following questions:
1. Have you seen the telegram addressed to the Imperial Palace, signed by Sheikh Redsheb, Ahmed Kemal and Djelal?
2. Is there no officer in charge of the Telegraph Office?
3. How can such impertinence be possible when you are all there at Sivas?
This seems all the more impossible as you are so well aware of all the plans and intentions of these idiots. We had heard here that they had prepared a telegram signed by these three people to be sent to Salih Pasha and Nadji Pasha. Did you not hear anything about it?
4. Has my circular note which I issued yesterday regarding the criminal and subversive intrigues of members of the “Liberal Under standing” with foreigners reached you?
5. Why did not the telegraph officials, after having been threatened and intimidated, immediately inform the competent authorities, including the Vali, about it? How could the officer in charge be guilty of such carelessness and negligence?
6. What has been done about the communications from the Director of the Telegraph Office? Mustapha Kemal.
Having learned that the Vilayet had handed this matter over to the military authorities, I wrote to Seki Bey, Chief of the Staff of the Army Corps :
“Has this affair been handed over to the Army Corps because the Vilayet had exhausted every possible means to arrest and punish those who are guilty, or are the available means considered inadequate? Or, has the Vilayet hesitated to do anything against such impudence?
“It would be better not to do anything decisive until the matter has been cleared up/ 7 Mustapha Kemal. To those who were at Sivas I sent the Mowing orders:
1. The Telegraph Office is to be put completely under control. A detachment of troops under the command of an officer will be sta tioned there. Everything shall be done to prevent the possibility of traitors being allowed, as has happened in this instance, to take possession of the Telegraph Office, intimidate the officials, and stir the people up against national unity and disturb public order.
In such circumstances, wherever it may occur, arms are to be used without hesitation against any person who breaks the law and attacks the troops.
2. In accordance with the report of the Chief of Staff concerning the maintenance of order, necessary proceedings shall be taken without delay against all who are guilty of such careless acts, before they have time to escape, and the result must be communicated to us within two hours. It is a matter of regret that in this extraordinary case there was no one at Sivas who was willing to take the initiative and act immediately, instead of waiting for orders.
This order has been forwarded by Djemal Djahid Bey to the officer commanding the 5 th Division and the officer commanding the battalion belonging to the division at Sivas. I urgently request you to attend to this immediately.
3. You will continue to keep a strict watch. All those concerned will act promptly and with severity in maintaining order at Sivas.
I gave the following instructions privately to Osman Turan Bey and Redsheb Sushdi Bey:
“We have informed the competent authority what is to be done in the case of those who offer resistance to the national movement. It will be your duty to watch the situation carefully and see whether our orders are obeyed to the letter or not. In case of any negligence, you will interfere personally and arrest those who are under suspicion and restrain their accomplices. As the occasion may require, you will not hesitate to do anything you consider necessary against any person/ Mustapha Kemal.
After having told us of this incident in detail, Vali Reshid Pasha wrote to us on the 20 th October that “this incident, which might have led to further developments, has been checked and we may be sure that, owing to the quick and energetic dispositions that had been adopted, similar events would not occur again in future.” (Doc ument 161.)
You have naturally concluded that the Government did not punish Sheikh Redsheb and his accomplices. We shall witness later on many offences that were committed by this low and dishonourable Sheikh who had allowed himself to be made a tool of by the enemy this individual who signed himself “of the tribe of the Shemseddin Sivassi.”
The situation which had developed while we were still at Amasia was not marked alone by the incident at Sivas. Another similar occurrence took place in the district of Ada Basar. With your permis sion I will also say a few words about this.
A certain Talustan Bey, who haunted the country of Ak Jasi in the district of Ada Basar, and Bekir Bey, who had arrived with funds and instructions supplied from Stambul and who had promised to pay those who were willing to serve at the rate of thirty Turkish pounds to mounted men and fifteen Turkish pounds to those on foot, and, thirdly, Beslan, a tax-collector from the village of Awdjar near Sabandja, met and prepared an attack on a small place in Ada Basar at the head of a certain number of armed men, mounted and on foot, which they had recruited in the neighbourhood.
Tahir Bey, Kaimakam of Ada Basar, heard of it, ajid with a major, who had been sent from Ismidt with about twenty-five mounted men whom he succeeded in mustering, marched out to meet those who had planned to attack the town. The two bands met near the village of Latife. The attacking gang were asked what they wanted. They replied: “We want to go to the Telegraph Office at Ada Basar to find out whether His Majesty is alive or dead, and whether he is still seated on the glorious throne of the Caliph or not. We cannot acknowledge Mustapha Kemal Pasha as the successor of the Padishah . . .”
According to detailed reports which Tahir Bey made concerning this verbally to the Mutessarif of Ismidt, these individuals declared that they were in communication with influential persons in Constan tinople and that the Sultan was fully informed about their enterprise.
This occurs in the official report:
“Bekir declared to the men belonging to this gang that they had been granted by Stambul a limit of one week to finish this business, five days of which had already elapsed, and that as, therefore, only two days remained, they had to act promptly.” (Document 162.)
The commander of the division at Ismidt had to send a detachment to Ada Basar and All Fuad Pasha had also to dispatch sufficient troops to Duzje. 22O On the 23 rd October, we wrote to the commander of the division at Ismidt, informing him that Bekir had been sent by our enemies outside our movement and by the “Liberal Understanding/ 7 and urging him to suppress his revolutionary intrigues. On the same day I ordered Tahir Bey, Kaimakam of Ada Basar, directly “not to hesitate to take prompt and rigorous steps against Bekir and his gang, to render them harmless, and to inform us of the result.” (Document 163.)
In a telegram in cipher, dated the 23 rd October, we told Djemal Pasha, Minister of War, of the information we had gathered regarding the operation, the persons involved, and the characters of Bekir and his accomplices, and we added that in case the Imperial Government would not take adequate steps at the right time against revolutionary intrigues and operations of this kind, we would consider ourselves justified in resorting to the extremest measures as soon as the national organisations became involved in them. (Document 164.)
The national military detachment that had started from Ismidt and had obtained reinforcements en route, had succeeded in dispers ing the gang of miscreants, which meanwhile had been considerably reinforced and showed signs of being still more so. Bestan, the tax- collector, and his brother had been taken. Bekir, who had arrived a week earlier furnished with instructions and the necessary funds from Stambul, had taken to flight. This Bekir was formerly an officer who had been expelled from the army; he was a native of Manias. (Documents 165, 166.)
Then, in obedience to the orders we had given, the persecution began of an individual named Inglis Ibrahim, who was one of the originators of the movement at Ismidt, and sundry other men of a like description. (Documents 167, 168.)
On the 26 th October, I wrote to Djemal Pasha, Minister of War, from Amasia, informing him that on account of the steps that were taken on the spot Bekir s enterprise had been wrecked, that Bekir had fled, but, as in all probability he would return to Constantinople and continue his offensive activity, it would be necessary to keep a sharp eye on him and follow him. (Document 169.)
On the 27 th October we heard by telegram from Haidar Bey, Mutessarif of Bolu, that Bekir, accompanied by two officers and forty armed men, was engaged in inciting the inhabitants of the villages of Abasa against the national movement, that he was spending large sums of money with this object and that the report they had made to the Ministry concerning this had met with no response. (Document 170.) I cannot think that these warnings we sent to the Government with the intention of exposing their behaviour and requesting them to perform their duty could be regarded as interference with their affairs.
Considering the various schemes planned in Stambul under the eyes of the Government by our enemies at home and abroad and the Padishah knowing and, as far as we could see, approving of them, it was perfectly unjustifiable for us to wait until these machinations had been crowned with success, in the puerile hope that the Government would put a stop to them.
The news we received on the 20 th October, at the moment when we were opening our negotiations at Amasia, may be summarised thus :