I want to mention that the Grand National Assembly is not only a legislative assembly but it also pos sesses the executive power
“Now, in the first place, I want to mention that the Grand National Assembly is not only a legislative assembly but it also pos sesses the executive power. But even if that were not so, in what part of the world can it be found that the resolutions concerning the affairs of the country, of the State, have ever been discussed or prematurely disclosed in public? If, above all, the question brought up for discussion concerns the commander-in-chief of an army facing the enemy, what national advantage would be gained by discussing it in public and letting the enemy know all that has been said for or against it?
“The authority and the influence of the commander-in-chief over the army must be very great, and it is most necessary that he should * be held in great respect by the enemy.
“It would even do harm if my illness, which Hussein Avni Bey has referred to here, were to come to the knowledge of the enemy.
“Why was it necessary for him to do so? You can well see that our intention to hold a secret sitting was not in any way to conceal the truth from the nation, as Mehmed Shukri Bey has said. You can see, also, that it was impossible to discuss in public all that Mehmed Shukri Bey shouted out and all he wished to say from the tribune without it having an injurious effect, and that I on my part would have been able to explain and interpret to the nation the true meaning, the hidden meaning, of his words. Mehmed Shukri Bey must know that the nation does not think as he does. He ought to know that we are not play-acting, as he pretends. No, Gentlemen, we have not assembled here to act a comedy. The man who is acting and causes others to act is Shukri Effendi himself, but he may be sure that we shall not be caught in his trap. Sufficient time has not yet elapsed to enable Shukri Effendi to forget the humiliating circumstances under which he succeeded in escaping from prosecution by law, to which he had exposed himself through the comedy he intended to play and make others play as well.
“Hussein Avni Bey is said to have made use of strange expressions when he spoke about the Act relating to the chief command. It is reported that he said: By the way you are acting, you will lead the Assembly to be an agent for the degradation of the nation in the eyes of the world.
“He is said to have used the word weakling and to have advo cated principles such as: Persons do not represent their offices. There are no individuals; there is only the nation. 3
“Certainly the nation, the community, forms the base of all and their will is embodied in the Assembly. This is the case everywhere. But, nevertheless, there are also individuals.
“The Assembly administers the affairs of the State and of the country with the aid of individuals, of persons. It is evidently a man or men who carry on the affairs of every Government. It is futile to deny these truths by putting forward senseless theories.”
Hussein Avni Bey continually interrupted me with stupid remarks. I warned him several times and told him that the Assembly is not a caf 6 on the boulevards, and I asked him to respect the tribune, which is, so to say, the sanctuary of the nation.
Another person who spoke was Selaheddin Bey. He stated that he had asked whether we were going to attack, and that when I an swered in the affirmative he had said, “No, you cannot do it”; to which he added that we had definitely decided not to attack and that he had been right.
“It appears to me, I have sufficiently explained on different oc casions the reasons which have led us to postpone our attack. I re peat that we shall attack and that we shall drive the enemy out of our territory. We shall persist in this determination. There is no reason for hesitation. Selaheddin Bey has also said that our army has reached the highest degree of perfection. It is ture that our army is in an excellent condition, but it had not yet reached perfection. “A comrade who considers himself justified in making such statements to the Assembly must be thoroughly acquainted with all military affairs, but Selaheddin Bey is far from being that. The opinion of all those who are in direct touch with the army, the opinion of all the commanders, and not mine alone, contradict that of Selahed din Bey. But there is no doubt that we shall succeed in bringing the army to a higher level which is worthy of their prestige. Among the important observations made by Selaheddin Bey is one in which he expressed the view that our chief work consists in politics.
“No, our real task and our main object does not concern politics. Our only duty and that of the whole country and the whole nation is, to drive the enemy out of our country by the force of our bayonets.
“Until we have done that politics is an empty word. But let us take Selaheddin Bey s words seriously for a moment. Is it I who stands in the way of the realisation of our cherished aim?
“Is the Commander-in-Chief an obstacle in the way of this aim? What relation do these words bear to the Act concerning the chief command? They are apparently intended to raise opposition and difference of opinion. I say that the only means to secure our national aim is war success in war.
“All our strength, all our resources, all our possessions will be dedicated to the army. I say that we shall make our power recognised by the world at large, and only then will it be possible for us to secure an existence to the nation worthy of a human being.
“Selaheddin Bey wrongly believes that this way of thinking interferes with politics and that a solution of the question could be found by means of politics. He says, among other things, that the existence of a Commander-in-Chief is an obstacle to the estimation of the expenditure necessitated by the present military position.
“This assertion is not true. When has the Commander-in-Chief prevented the Assembly from going into the question of our financial resources?
“Perhaps, I have occupied myself more than anybody else with the question of ascertaining what degree of freedom of action is allowed to us by our revenues.
“However, I am not one of those who support the theory that the army and its strength must be in proportion to our financial means. In my opinion, the question cannot be put in this way: We have money, let us create an army. We have no money left, let us disband our army .” “Whether there is money or whether there is none, what does it matter? Whether there is any or not, the army exists and will con tinue to exist.
“I would like to take this opportunity to tell you something that comes to my mind. In the beginning, when I had undertaken to solve the question that I am dealing with now, some persons who are regarded as wise men and thinkers, asked me: Have we money, have we arms? No, I replied. What are you going to do? they said. We shall have money/ I remarked, and we shall have an army, and this nation will secure its independence. 5
“You all know that this has happened and will happen again in future.
“Some other gentlemen are reported to have said: The Comman- der-in-Chief imposes compulsory service on the nation; but this is prohibited by law.
“That is quite true, but necessity and danger justify everything in my eyes. If the needs of the army demand compulsory service, we shall impose it. This is the most equitable law of all. I would not hesitate if the law were standing in my way, to adopt this or that measure which I consider necessary to avoid the army being defeated.
“Kara Vassif Bey is supposed to have said that there were chiefs- in-command everywhere, but there was not a special Act concerning the chief command anywhere; the military laws in existence defined and limited the authority and power of the Commander-in-Chief like those of any other commander and science requires such stipulations.
“It is well known that States are administered by Governments in different ways. According to their Constitutions, they have kings, emperors, sultans at their head. Some have leaders such as presidents of a republic. In such cases the commander-m-chief is the head of the State. This person performs the duties of the commander-in-chief either personally or by deputy. According to our present form of Government the commander-in-chief is absorbed by the moral per sonality of the Assembly. If, therefore, the Assembly declare that they elected this or that person commander-in-chief, such declaration constitutes a law. In the same way as the declaration of the king, the sultan, the emperor is called a decree, so are the national decrees emanating from the Assembly called laws. Consequently, the law exists. The chief in command who is entrusted by an Assembly in extraordinary circumstances with an extraordinary mission is not a commander who is subject to the limitations of the penal code of the military regulations which stipulate and restrict the authority and power of the commander, as Kara Vassif Bey seems to think. That which, according to Kara Vassif Bey s opinion, is defined by science is something quite different. Science and military discipline explain and teach the soldier s profession and the qualities which must be combined in the person called upon to exercise the chief command. It is quite another thing when the commander-in-chief is chosen by the actual Lord of the Army or by his Ministers in office. That anybody who pretends to have the qualifications necessary for the chief command can reach that position by himself is a circumstance of quite other importance.
“Moreover, Kara Vassif Bey is reported to have said that the chief in command need not concern himself with what is happening behind the front. This is an error. The commander-in-chief, who has to direct his attention to the actual strength of his men, their provision ing, clothing, arms, ammunition and other questions, must surely concern himself with the source of all these supplies behind the front. In what book, on what battlefield or where has Kara Vassif Bey discovered these ideas? It is certain that it is difficult for anybody to be occupied simultaneously with the front and with a great number of other matters behind the front. How is it possible for one man commanding at the front to conduct the military operations and secure the carrying out of a multitude of other things behind the front? Undoubtedly he can do this. But when I say that he can do it that does not mean that he has first to give orders at the front and then go somewhere else to regulate the questions of provisioning and then again to go elsewhere to reinforce the gaps that have been made in his troops. The hesitation and confusion of such persons who have no important duties to perform is excusable. I will give you an example: I have had commanders with very little experience under me. One regimental commander, for instance, had just been promoted to the command of a division. If a divisional commander has been made commander of an Army Corps only for a very short time, he is lacking in experience. Assume that he finds himself in a critical position before he has had time to glean experience. Having been accustomed all through his service to command a single division, he will naturally feel uncertain and experience difficulties when he is called upon to command two or three divisions simultaneously in the presence of the enemy. An inexperienced commander who would be capable of supervising and leading all the units of a division if he has only a single one to command would, were he compelled to conduct the military operations of two or three divisions that are out of his sight, ask himself these questions: To which division shall I attach myself? To this one or that? Here or elsewhere?
“No, you will do neither. You will go to a point whence you will be able to command all of the divisions.
” But, he will continue to argue, in that case, I shall not be able to concentrate my attention on either of them.
” Certainly you will not be able to see them, but it is not with your eyes but with your intelligence and your perspicacity that you should follow the operations.
“Among other remarks, Kara Vassif Bey is said also to have made the following:
” After the battle on the Sakaria we were no more able to move; we cannot move now. 5 It is reported that these words were greeted by some with shouts of Bravo ! and applause.
“It has been very painful and sad for me to hear this report. I have felt ashamed of it. It is, indeed, very remarkable that the speeches of a misguided man should meet with applause, a man who maintains that the army is incapable of movement and that it will not move. I ask you, let us bury these sayings here and let them not be referred to again.
“These are the most important speeches among all that have been delivered to prove the futility of the chief command. You have heard the arguments which I could put forward to contradict them.
The army has no commander-in-chief at the present moment
“It is now the question for the Assembly to judge and decide upon. However, I feel obliged to call your attention to another fact : Al though there is no doubt that the High Assembly is convinced of the necessity of the chief command, the unfounded manifestations of the opposition have led to a resolution which did not correspond to the one that was hoped for. What was the consequence of this? Do you know? The question of the chief command had been hanging in the balance for two days and is still undecided. The army has no comman- der-in-chief at the present moment. If I continue to carry on my command I shall be doing so illegally. According to the opinion ex pressed by the Assembly I ought to have already laid down my command. I had previously told the Government that my authority as chief-in-command had expired. I felt however obliged not to admit shat an irreparable di aster could happen. Cur army at the front could not be left without a commander. Consequently, I did not leave, and refused to; I shall never leave it in this way.”
During this secret sitting violent discussions and even quarrels took place on other questions which the deputies of the opposition were putting forward with the object of bringing about the overthrow of the Government and the dissolution of the army. Finally, the Assembly having been duly informed, gave their decision to the effect that they agreed to the renewal of the Act relating to the chief command by 177 votes to n, with 15 abstentions.
Three months later, on the 20 th July, 1922, the Act relating to the chief command was again brought up for discussion according to the provisions of the Act. Let me quote some of the general remarks I made on this occasion:
“The moral and material forces of the army have reached a degree of perfection that allows me to feel that the national efforts will certainly be realised without it being necessary to take any extraordinary steps. Therefore, I feel convinced that it is no longer necessary to maintain the extraordinary full powers. I hope that in the future no other occasion will arise when this would be considered necessary, which we can happily state to-day has disappeared. The duties of the commander-in-chief can at the utmost continue till the day when we shall have attained a decisive result corresponding to the spirit of the National Pact. There is no doubt that we shall achieve this happy result. On that day our precious town of Smyrna, our beautiful Brusa, our Stambul and our Thrace will all be re-embodied in our mother-country. On that day, together with the nation, we shall live to experience the greatest happiness, and I, for my part, will also realise another joy, namely, that I shall take up the place again which I occupied on the day we began to defend our sacred cause. Is there a nobler joy than to be a free man among a free people? For those who are taking part in the great truths, for those who know no other joys than the moral and sacred delights of the heart and conscience, material dignities, high as they may be have no value.”
These conferences ended with my being entrusted for an unlimited period with the supreme command.
The activity shown by the opposition party in the Assembly will have to engage our attention for a little while longer.
The party known under the name of the “Second Party” still tested their strength for a long time by passive resistance. Through the Act of the 8 tl1 July relating to the election of Ministers they se cured that the Ministers and the President of the Council were elected directly by the Assembly by secret ballot. I was thus actually removed from the presidency of the Council of Ministers and the provision that the Ministers were to be elected from among the candidates which I had selected was abolished. After the opposition party began their attack, they undertook to make Rauf Bey President of the Council and succeeded in doing this. I understood the secret designs of the opposition; nevertheless,
I asked Rauf Bey to come to see me. I told him that the majority of the Assembly was inclined to elect him President of the Council and that I was myself of the same opinion. Rauf Bey gave the im pression as though he hesitated. The Presidency of the Council of Ministers,” he said, “is not connected with privileges.” He intended to point out thereby that the President of the Grand National Assem bly was actually President of the Council of Ministers and that the decisions of the latter could not be carried out before the consent of the former had been obtained, and that, consequently, the President of the Council had neither any special authority nor freedom of action.
As a matter of fact, this was so according to the Constitution Act. Notwithstanding this, Rauf Bey accepted the presidency of the Council, and held it from the 12 th July, 1922, to the 4 th August, 1923.
Another point must also be brought to your attention. From the very first day Kara Vassif Bey and Rauf Bey are working hand in hand in the organisation of the opposition party, leading it and strengthening it. But Rauf Bey does not join the “Second Party” publicly, but prefers to remain with us. This state of affairs lasted for three years. In the end, Rauf Bey sees himself obliged to reveal his dissenting opinion, when according to his own words he says: “There is no possibility left of keeping up the appearance of being on our side.”
The movement provoked in the Assembly against the army was carried on by the opposition. The members of it constantly spoke emphatically and violently of the incapability of the army to begin the attack and the necessity of settling the question by political means. In reality, our army was on the point of perfecting its equipment and filling out its gaps. Already in the middle of June I had decided to open the attack. The commander at the front as well as the chief of the General Staff and the Minister of National Defence were the only persons who were aware of my decision. At this time I had to make a journey in the direction of Ismidt Ada Bazar, and before I left Angora I had a conversation with His Excellency Fewsi Pasha, Chief of the General Staff. Then I talked to His Excel lency Kiasim Pasha, who was Minister of National Defence at that time and whom I had taken with me as far as the station of Sari Keui, where his Excellency Ismet Pasha, who commanded the front, had arrived at my request. We decided what was to be done to rapidly perfect our preparations for the attack.
The moment has now come to speak about the great attack. You know that the enemy s army after the great battle on the Sakaria had a very strong force between Afium Kara Hissar and Dumlu Punar. There was another strong force also in the district of Eski- Shehr. The reserves were concentrated between these two forces. The right wing was protected by some divisions which were lying in the district of the Mendere, and the left wing by others that were south of the lake of Isnik (Nicea). It may be said that the enemy s front extended from the Sea of Marmora to the Mendere.
The enemy s army comprised three Army Corps and some in dependent contingents. The three Army Corps consisted of twelve divisions, and the independent contingents were three divisions strong. We had formed and organised two armies out of our troops on the western front. We disposed, hi addition, of several formations which were directly under the chief command. Our troops consisted in all of eighteen divisions. In addition to this, we had one cavalry corps of three divisions and two other cavalry divisions of minor strength. Although the two armies of the enemy consisted of different troops they were equally strong comparatively in regard to the number of men and rifles. With regard to machine-guns, artillery, aeroplanes, means of transport and technical material, the Greek army was noticeably superior to ours on account of the support they received by the free industry of the whole world. On the other hand, our army was superior in number in respect to cavalry.
I would like to take this opportunity to stress one point. The commander of our second Army was his Excellency Shevki Pasha, now a member of the supreme Military Council. The command of the first Army had been transferred to Ihsan Pasha, who had arrived from Malta. On account of certain of his acts, which had brought him before a court-martial, he had to be dismissed from his command. Ihsan Pasha had actually behaved in a manner that was detrimental to discipline and the general administration of the army. For instance, he had created situations which would have led inferior commanders to disobey their superiors. For several days he sent in no reports about his provisions and declined to do so just at a moment when .there was a general crisis taking place about provisions, when he *nformed us that his stores were exhausted and that those under him were in danger of starvation. We came finally to the conviction that he was capable of intriguing to such a degree that he played with the discipline and sense of duty of the army, going so far as systema tically to encourage the inferior commanders to refuse obedience and to neglect their duty.
This is a characteristic instance of the behaviour of Ali Ihsan Pasha : he tried to implant the idea in his army, from the lowest to the highest in rank, that he alone could settle and decide the least as well as the most important questions and to inculcate the belief that he alone had power and authority. He had only one idea, and that was to show everybody that he was superior to his chiefs and tried to discredit his superiors as to their capacity in all their official duties as well as their private conduct.
Although we have had no opportunity to find out whether he had energy of resolution and of putting his strategical capabilities and strength of nerve to the test, we were satisfied that in case of any failure he continually endeavoured to exonerate himself by putting the responsibility on his subordinates or on his superiors.
Ihsan Pasha s character necessitated that we should treat him severely and officially, rather than with politeness and amiability.
I will now read you literally some paragraphs of an official report which Halid Bey, Chief of Staff (later deputy, for Kastamuni) sent in before he was forced to resign, to the commander of the western front on the 20 th January, 1922, relating to Ihsan Pasha s character. Halid Bey had been associated with Ali Ihsan Pasha in the Irak during the World War. The paragraphs I am referring to in this report read as follows: “… I state with real regret and sorrow that my comrade Ali Ihsan Pasha since his arrival has shown behaviour that is calculated to hurt the pride and injure the zeal of the commanders under him. As your Excellency must have observed in the cor respondence, he has made such absurd remarks in his letters in regard to the front that the effects are noticeable even in the lower ranks.
“A very pronounced spirit of conceit and self-satisf action is to be observed in his opinions. He behaves in a manner that gives the impression that he is trying to lower the authority of the headquarters at the front, which has gained the esteem and respect of the whole world. All these unfortunate facts have given me cause for reflection. I have tried to bring him to his senses as far as I could, but I have not been able to notice any important change in him . . . His vanity, his ambition, his jealousy, his unbounded selfishness, as well as his undisciplined speeches in the presence of his inferiors distinctly betray his desire to be the chief. The commander of the II th Division told me that when he heard of my resignation, All Ihsan Pasha had sent several letters from Malta to Ferid Pasha appealing for his release, and that in his presence he has openly advocated for hours the idea of accepting the English mandate.”
Regarding Ihsan Pasha s attitude, I found that these remarks were worthy of consideration.
Besides this, we observed that Ali Ihsan Pasha behaved in a man ner which was calculated to shake the mutual confidence that must prevail in the army, by literally transmitting certain reports which he received from his subordinates to the front, and others which he received from the front to them. Thus, for instance, the corre spondence relating to the loss of Mount Sheikh Elvan was forwarded to the V th Army Corps and, on the other hand, some reports from this corps were sent to the front. Nevertheless, he put the responsi bility for this on the commander of the V th Army Corps and sent in complaints about him to the command at the front, which is irre concilable with the dignity of a superior.
In the story of his heroic deeds which was published in the news paper “Tevhidi Efkiar” he accused Lieut.-Colonel Ismail Hakki Bey (he was now commanding a division at the eastern front) alone of having been guilty of the defeat of the so-called Tigris force which had been captured at Sharkat, south of Mosul, the day before the armistice. This is also an instance of Ihsan Pasha s character.
The Tigris force consisted of the 7**, 9 th , 43 rd , i8 th and 22 nd Re giments and a battlion of riflemen. Besides these, the 13 th and 14 th Regiments of the 5 th Division had been captured with their full strength. The fact that 13,000 men had been taken as well as about 50 guns just on the eve of the armistice was the result of an order that had been given which was contrary to the requirements of the situation. This event caused the loss of the Vilayet of Mosul. Every body knew, however, that we were on the eve of an armistice. If this force had been ordered to retire to the position of Kejare, the English could never have defeated them and still less have made them pri soners. The 5 th Division could also have joined this force, so that we should have had the eight regiments of infantry that were cap tured at our disposal and would hot have lost Mosul when the armistice was signed. But an unworthy consideration was stronger than com mon sense. In his stories he attributes all the successes that were gained along the Tigris, as well as the capture of Townshend, solely to himself. His object in all his publications, in which he attri-
Kemal Pasha attributes to himself all the successes that were attained, is to mislead public opinion so as to obtain for himself a reputation and a position.
It is beyond doubt that the publication of the memorable deeds of celebrated men fortifies the national pride, consequently such publication is necessary. But it is an insult to history and means the instilling of false ideas into the minds of coming generations when the deeds of persons who will be called into account by history are glorified. After having received the command of General Marshall to leave Mosul before noon on the following day or he would be made a prisoner of war, this proud Pasha in an official communication to the General requested that armed motor-cars should be placed at his disposal for his protection so that he could go across the plain of Sindjar to Nissibin. And under the protection of these armed cars he actually went to Nissibin, accompanied by Ashir Bey (now Ashir Pasha, assistant to the Under-Secretary of State in the Ministry of National Defence), and left me at Mosul.
He destroyed the moral authority of the Government in the eyes of the tribes. Those who witnessed these acts were considerably disturbed. He could have gone via Saho without any escort or he could have crossed the plain with an escort of a few horsemen. At Aleppo he demanded from the English General that a special train should be put at his disposal and he did not hesitate to request that an escort should accompany this train so that he would not be exposed to attacks from the population during the journey. I have merely mentioned these facts as examples showing you the character of his Excellency, who sacrificed the national dignity for the sake of his life and comfort . . .
I was not in good favour with my former commander, for I neither flattered his ambition nor himself . . . The nation requires leaders who are possessed of greatness of soul and honest intentions, such as is shown by the great commanders who have understood how to create an army and to gain victories. Those who disturb union and harmony in the army and reduce its zeal are fatal persons even if they happen to be men of genius. Because I know the sufferings that have been endured and am desirous of the victory we have begun to achieve, I have taken the liberty of using this language which I swear it on my honour and upon everything that is sacred to me is not dictated by any ulterior or dark motives. Major Djemil Bey (now chief of the active section of the 1st Army) who had been for a long time his A.D.C. in Persia and the Caucasus, said recently that: “It was lucky that Ali Ihsan Pasha was detained in Malta and was not present when the national movement began in Anatolia. If he had been, he would surely have chosen the wrong way,”
Djemil Bey, who knew his character, was perfectly right . . , “I implore the Almighty that the torpid serpent will not see the sun again.”
Ali Ihsan Bey was also in correspondence and in close touch with the leaders of the opposition in the Assembly.
On the day following the i8 th June, when I had put an end to his duties as commander and put him at the disposition of the Ministry of National Defence, reserving the constitution of legal proceedings against him, that is to say, on the 19 th June, I received a telegram from Rauf Bey, who was at that time Vice-President of the Grand National Assembly, which was sent off while he was personally at the instrument and which revealed his particular interest in Ah Ihsan Pasha, As I have already had the opportunity of remarking, I was then travelling in the district of Ada Bazar and Ismidt. Rauf Bey telegraphed to me: The rumour has been spread that Ali Ihsan Pasha will be dismissed from his post as commander of the I st Army and that he will be brought to Konia to be put before a court-martial. This rumour is strongly criticised in the circles of the Assembly …”
Is it not remarkable that the recall and the appointment of a commander and his being summoned to appear before a court-martial should become the subject of remarks in the Assembly in less than twenty-four hours, and that the Vice -President should take such an interest in it that he appeals to me for information? I sent Rauf Bey a fitting reply. The command of the I st Army was to be given to an acting commander for some time, but it was necessary to appoint a new commander. I asked Fuad Pasha, who had just returned from Moscow, whether he would accept the command of the I st Army, and I was aware that he, who had been the commander at the front, would not feel inclined to serve in a subsidiary position.
Through the mediation of Kiasim Pasha, formerly Minister of National Defence, I offered the command of the I st Army to Refet Pasha. He declined. In the end, we appointed Nureddin Pasha who was without an appointment at that time and who had declared him self ready to serve, without any reservation or condition, under a superior officer at the front.
I spoke to you just now about the front and the organisation of the enemy s army, as well as of the reform and reorganisation of our western troops on the basis of two main armies. Allow me now to describe to you the principal outlines of the plan for the general attack which we had prepared long before.
Our idea was to fight a decisive battle by concentrating our main forces on one flank, if possible the outer wing of the enemy s force. The arrangement which we had considered to be the right one was to concentrate the main body of our force to the south of the enemy s right wing which was in the neighbourhood of Afium Kara Hissar and the district reaching from Akar Tshai to the line of Dumlu Punar. This was the most important and vulnerable position of the enemy. Attacking him from this side offered the prospect of bringing about a rapid and decisive result.
Ismet Pasha, who commanded the western front, and Fewsi Pasha, Chief of the General Staff, had personally made the necessary inquiries and had examined the position from this point of view. Our plan of maneuvering and attacking had been decided upon for a long time.
On the pretext of meeting General Townshend, who after his arrival at Konia had expressed a desire to see me, I left on the evening of the 23 rd July for Ak Shehr, which was the headquarters of the western front. We believed it appropriate to discuss the opera tions in the presence of the General Staff. I went on the 24 th July to Konia and returned to Ak Shahr on the 27^. His Excellency Fewsi Pasha had also arrived there on the 25 th . When the discussions, which took place on the night of the 27 th July, were over we decided to do everything to complete our preparations before the 15 th August and, according to our plan, to begin the general attack.
Pretending to let them look on at a football match on the after noon of the 28 th July, we invited the commanders of the Armies and some of the Army Corps commanders to come to Ak Shehr. On the night of the 28 th July I discussed the attack generally with them; and in another discussion with the Chief of the General Staff and the Commander of the Western Front we settled all the details of it. Kiasim Pasha, Minister of National Defence, whom we had called from Angora, also arrived at Ak Shehr on the afternoon of the I st August. The steps were then agreed upon which his Ministry was to undertake in order to complete the preparations of the army.
After I had given the order to carry out these preparations and to hasten on the attack, I returned to Angora. On the 6 th August the commander of the western front gave his armies the secret com mand to be ready for the attack.
The Chief of the General Staff and the Minister of National De fence also returned to Angora. Before returning to the front there were some affairs I had still to settle at Angora. I had not completely informed the Council of Ministers of my order for the attack. The moment had not yet arrived for me to inform them officially about the position. At a sitting which we had with the Ministers we agreed upon the question of the attack after having examined and discussed the internal and the external military situation.
Another question of equal importance still remained open. The deputies of the opposition had been successful in spreading their propaganda in which they maintained that the army was demoralised and incapable of any action, and that the hope under such dark and doubtful conditions would end in a catastrophe. It must be admitted that the reaction produced by this opinion was rather favourable in so far that the enemy was deceived about the actual course of our preparations, which I was anxious carefully to conceal from him. But this hostile propaganda had begun to exercise a fatal influence on persons who were most convinced of the correctness of our opinions and who were nearest to us, and it gave rise to a certain amount of uncertainty also in them.
I considered it necessary to calm them and enlighten them about the attack and my conviction that we would be able to defeat the enemy s main forces in from six to seven days. Then I left Angora. The Chief of the General Staff had left for the front before me, on the 13 th August. My departure took place several days later. I kept it a secret from the whole of the town of Angora.
Those who knew about it they were only a very few had to behave as though I was still there. They had even to publish in the papers that I had given a tea at Tshan Kaya. You must have heard of it at that time. I did not make use of the railway. I left during the night by motor-car, so as to cross the salt desert to Konia. I had announced my arrival at Konia by telegraph. On my arrival I put the telegraph office under control and made sure thereby that my presence at Konia was not announced anywhere.
At 4 o clock on the afternoon of the 20 th August I was at the head quarters of the western front
At 4 o clock on the afternoon of the 20 th August I was at the head quarters of the western front, namely at Ak Shehr. After a short consultation, I ordered the commander of the front to open the attack in the forenoon of the 26 th August, 1922.
During the night of the 20 th August I also invited the commanders of the I st and the II nd Armies to come to the headquarters of this front.
In the presence of the Chief of the General Staff and the commander of the front I explained my point of view concerning the details of the attack, illustrating them on a map in the manner of a war-game. Then I renewed the order I had given on the same day to the com mander of the front.
The commanders set to work at once. Our attack was intended to develop, both strategically and actually, in the nature of a surprise. For the purpose of bringing it to a successful issue, the greatest at tention had to be paid to the secrecy of the concentration of our troops and our dispositions. For this reason all the movements were to be made at night and our troops had to rest by day in the villages and under the shade of trees. So that we should not attract the enemy s attention by road-making and similar work, we had to de ceive them by pretending to carry out similar work in other districts.
On the 24 th August we transferred our headquarters from AkShehr to Shuhud
On the 24 th August we transferred our headquarters from Ak Shehr to Shuhud on this side of the line of attack, and on the morning of the 25 th August we moved to our camp south-west of Kodya Tepe. It was from here that we intended to overlook our military operations. On the morning of the 25 th we were at Kodya Tepe.
Our attack was opened by the artillery at 5.30 in the morning.
On the 26 th and 27 th August, that is to say, in two days, we had taken the front defences of the enemy for a width of fifty kilometres south and from twenty to thirty kilometres east of Kara Hissar. On the 30 th August we had completed the turning of the main force of the enemy in the neighbourhood of Islahantar. On the 30 th August the main body of the enemy was partly decimated and partly made prisoners by the time the battle was over, which was called the Battle of the Generalissimus.” Among the prisoners of war was General Trikupis, commander-in-chief of the enemy s army.
On the 31 st August our main army operated in the direction of Smyrna whilst the other corps were maneuvered with the intention of defeating the enemy north of Eski-Shehr.
Up to the end of the Battle of the Generalissimus our official despatches reported our forward movements, which were daily crowned with brilliant successes, as thought they were unimportant operations. Our object was to conceal the situation as much as pos sible from the eyes of the world. We were certain that we would succeed in completely destroying the enemy. We deemed it ad visable to guard against fresh attempts on the part of those who would desire to come to the assistance of the enemy when they guessed the true state of affairs. Indeed, several attempts were actually made when they guessed the nature of our operations after the attack had begun. During the operations I received, among others, a telegram from Rauf Bey, President of the Council, on the 4 th September, announcing that a communication had arrived from Constantinople concerning the armistice. I sent him the following reply:
Telegram. Personal. 5* September, 1922.
To the President of the Council of Ministers.
The Greek army has been decisively defeated in Anatolia. Any serious resistance in future will be impossible. There is no reason to enter into any negotiations with regard to the question of Anatolia. The armistice can only be discussed with reference to Thrace. If the Greek Government should appeal to us before the io ttl September, directly or through the official mediation of Great Britain, they must be answered by a communication containing the conditions as follow. After this time has elapsed, that is to say after the io th September, our reply could possibly be formulated differently. In that case I must personally be informed to that effect:
1. Within a fortnight from the date of the armistice, Thrace must be unconditionally restored up to its frontiers of 1914 to the civil and military authorities of the Government of the Grand National As sembly of Turkey.
2. Our prisoners of war in Greece will be transported within a fort night to the harbours of Smyrna, Panderma and Ismidt.
3. Greece will bind herself forthwith to repair the devastations made by her army during the last three-and-a-half years in Anatolia, as well as those she is still making.
President of the Grand National Assembly.
In a wireless telegram which was sent to me personally, I was informed that the Allied Powers had given the requisite authority to their consuls at Smyrna to enter into negotiations with me and I was requested to decide what day and at what place I would grant them an interview. I replied that we would be at Nif *) on the 9 th Sep tember. It happened that I was at Nif on that very day, but those who had begged for the interview were not there; for our armies, which were already on the quais at Smyrna, had reached the first aim which I had indicated to them in pointing them to the Mediterranean.
*) Nif: a small place east of Smyrna. I do not think it is necessary to describe the battle of Afium Kara Hissar and Dumlu Punar and the operations which resulted in the Greek army being destroyed and their remnants being driven into the Mediterranean and the Marmora Sea. These operations, that had been developing for a long period of time, that were prepared in all their details and carried out in such a way that they were crowned with success, constituted a sublime action which once again in history proves and confirms the strength and the heroism of the Turkish army, Turkish officers and their commanders. This action is an immortal monument to the spirit of freedom and independence of the Turkish Nation. I am proud and am ever happy to be the son of a nation and the commander of an army that^can perform such^deeds. Now, Gentlemen, we can revert to the realm of diplomacy. It is a fact that I had imposed a long period of waiting upon those, who, despairing of a military victory, had been fostering for a long time the hope and conviction of reaching a settlement by way of diplomacy. They ought, in any case, at last to have been satisfied when they saw me working seriously in support of the efforts they displayed in the sphere of diplomacy. We shall see whether this was so or not.
When after the reconquest of Smyrna and Brusa our armies con tinued their march to Constantinople and the Dardanelles with the object, also, of delivering Thrace from the hands of the Greek army, Lloyd George, who was Prime Minister at that time, had adopted a determined attitude in favour of war and had appealed to the Dominions for reinforcements. To judge from events that followed, we can assume that this appeal was unsuccessful.
Meanwhile General Pelli, the High Commissioner of France, came to Smyrna for the purpose of interviewing me
Meanwhile General Pelli, the High Commissioner of France, came to Smyrna for the purpose of interviewing me. He advised me not to allow our armies to enter the zones which he described as neutral. I declared that the National Government did not recognise the exist ence of any such zone and that it was impossible to hold our armies back before they had delivered Thrace. General Pell6 showed me a private telegram which he had received from M. Franklin Bouillon in which he expressed the desire of having an interview with me. I told him that I would receive him at Smyrna. M. Franklin Bouillon ar rived at that time on board a French man-of-war. He stated that he had been sent by the French Government, with the acquiescence of the English and Italian Governments, During the course of our inter view with M. Franklin Bouillon, a Note came from the Foreign Ministers of the Entente, dated the 23 rd September. It related spe cially to two essential points. One referred to the cessation of hostilities and the other to the Peace Conference.
We could not abandon our operations before we had reconquered the whole of Eastern Thrace as far as our national frontiers. If, how ever, the enemy s troops could be induced to evacuate these parts of our territory, further operations would automatically come to an end.
Asking in the above Note whether we would agree to send delegates to a conference which was to take place at Venice, or elsewhere, and to which Great Britain, France, Japan, Rumania, Yugo-Slavia and Greece would be invited, they declared that our desire for the resti tution of Thrace as far as theMaritza, including Adrianople, would be taken into consideration, on condition, however, that we would not send troops against the neutral zones of the Straits whilst the nego tiations were still pending.
In addition, the Note touched upon the questions of the Straits, the minorities and our inclusion in the League of Nations. We were promised in it that steps would be taken to compel the Greek troops to retire behind a line to be fixed by the commanders of the Entente armies before the conference met and the proposal was made to hold a meeting at Mudania or Ismidt for this purpose.
In a clear reply which I gave to this Note on the 29 th September, I informed them that I agreed to the proposal of a conference at Mudania. But I demanded that Thrace as far as the Maritza should be immediately restored to us. I added that I had chosen Ismet Pasha, Commander-in-Chief of the Western Annies, who was furnished with extraordinary powers to enable him to negotiate in the name of the Commander-in-Chief, to take part in the Conference at Mudania, which, as I have said, was to meet on the 3 rd October, 1922 ; the Go vernment also sent a detailed reply, dated the 4 th October, to the Note in question and proposed Smyrna as the meeting place; in addition, they demanded that the Russo-Ukranian and the Georgian Republics should also be invited to attend the conference in connection with the question of the Straits. Our views regarding other questions were also put forward in detail.
The Conference, consisting of General Harrington as the pleni potentiary for Great Britain, General Charpy, plenipotentiary for France, and General Monbelli, plenipotentiary for Italy, met at Mudania under the chairmanship of Ismet Pasha. The Armistice of Mudania, after violent discussions which lasted for a week, was signed on the i I th October. In this way, Thrace was re-incorporated with the mother-country.
In the course of our political meetings after the victory I noticed that the Cabinet of Angora, or rather, some of the Ministers, showed a certain amount of uneasiness. They asked me to return to Angora and did so in a tone that was intended to give me to understand that my military functions had terminated and that political questions belonged exclusively to the Council of Ministers. But my military duties had not come to an end nor could I cease from taking an interest in political and diplomatic questions. For this reason it was im possible for me to leave the army, which was at Smyrna, or to inter rupt the political negotiations in which I was engaged. I proposed, therefore, that the Cabinet or the Ministers concerned should come to me at Smyrna, as they so strongly insisted on coming to an under standing with me. Rauf Bey, President of the Ministers, and Yussuf Kemal Bey, Foreign Minister, came there.
Rauf Bey put forward certain desires of a personal character at Smyrna. Thus, for instance, he asked me as a sequence of the victory to promote Ali Fuad Pasha and Refet Pasha by appointing them to suitable positions.
You will remember that before the, battle I had tried to make these two Pashas participate in the military operations and that in this I had been unsuccessful. The commanders and officers who had taken part in the campaign and had rendered services that had made them worthy of recompense had naturally been promoted after the victory. But to bestow rewards on those who had kept aloof while others had risked their lives would be certain to produce a very bad impression. In short, I told Rauf Bey that I could not fulfil his desires. Ali Fuad Pasha, being Vice- President of the Assembly, al ready held rank and position that must be satisfactory to him. I only promised to try to find a suitable position for Refet Pasha and re commended that he should be told to come to Smyrna. Refet Pasha actually did come there; but as he arrived exactly on the night of my departure for Angora, we could not meet.
A post was subsequently found for Refet Pasha when I went to Brusa.
On my return to Smyrna from Angora we were principally engaged on the negotiations at the Mudania Conference
On my return to Smyrna from Angora we were principally engaged on the negotiations at the Mudania Conference. In the Council of Ministers, in the Assembly as well as in committee, the question of the composition of the delegation that was to be sent to the Peace Conference was discussed. Rauf Bey, President of the Ministerial Council, Yussuf Kemal Bey, Foreign Minister, and Riza Nur Bey, Minister of Public Health, were regarded as men who would naturally be members of the delegation.
For my part, I had not yet come to any decision about it. I could not persuade myself that a delegation under the leadership of Rauf Bey could have any success on a question that was vital to us. I had the impression that Rauf Bey himself did not feel equal to this task. He proposed to me that I should give him Ismet Pasha as an adviser. I replied that I did not see what advantage it would be to send Ismet Pasha as an adviser, but that I was convinced that he would render the best services if we would make him the leader of the delegation. The matter remained thus. Rauf Bey continued to be busy with the combination he had suggested for the composition of our delegation. I did not pretend to place any importance on this.
The Mudania Conference had come to an end. Ismet Pasha and Fewsi Pasha, Chief of the General Staff, were at Brusa. I went there to meet them. Kiasim Pasha, Minister of National Defence, was with me. I took Kiasim Kara Bekir Pasha with me; on account of the hostile manifestations to which he had been sub jected and which had made it impossible for him to continue in his office in the East, he had found himself compelled to come to Angora. Refet Pasha, too, whom I had chosen for a mission to Constantinople, was with me. During my stay at Brusa I sent him, as is well known, to that town. In spite of the numerous given facts I had before me, I re-examined the question as to whether Ismet Pasha would be able to fill the position of chairman of the delegation, and I took all the details into account concerning the way he had presided over the Conference at Mudania.
I did not say a word to Ismet Pasha himself about my plaft. Finally, I came to a definite decision. I thought it would be best that he should first become Foreign Minister and then act as leader of the delegation. To carry out this idea I sent a per sonal and confidential telegram in cipher directly to Yussuf Kemal Bey, asking him to resign from his office as Foreign Minister and personally take steps to ensure the election of Ismet Pasha as his successor.
Before I left Angora Yussuf Kemal Bey had told me that Ismet Pasha was best qualified to occupy the position of chairman of the delegation. In his reply, Yussuf Kemal Bey told me that in obedience to my request he had done everything that was necessary. It was only then that I informed Ismet Pasha of an accomplished fact and that he would become Foreign Minister first and then go to the Peace Conference as chairman of the delegation. Ismet Pasha seemed to be surprised. He excused himself by pointing to his capacity as a military man. Finally, he gave in and accepted my proposal as an order. I returned to Angora. Meanwhile, that is to say, on the 28 fo October, the Entente Powers had invited us to the Peace Con ference which was to meet at Lausanne. These Powers insisted on recognising the existence of a Government in Constantinople and in vited them also to come to the Conference with us. This twofold invitation led to the final abolition of the personal monarchy* The Caliphate and the monarchy were actually separated from one another by the Act of I st November, 1922. The national sovereignty which had been exercised for the past two-and-a-half years was confirmed. Without any explicit right, the Caliphate was still maintained for some time.
You have already been sufficiently informed about this fact. I shall, therefore, confine myself to giving you some information relating to certain details of the question, which will surely interest you.