I wrote a letter personally to Mr. Frew, the reverend gentleman in question
Ali Riza Pasha s Cabinet would not have lent us any support at all if they had not been aiming at the destruction of the national forces, which they could not endure, and in trying to do this they continually quarrelled with us. Their worthy colleagues who succeeded them in the Government simply followed their example, which led them from one scandal to another and from one disaster to another. Concluding that all these secret and revolutionary organisations emanated from the skull of Mr. Frew, and that poison was flowing from this fertile source poison that was being instilled into the minds of the traitors, our so-called fellow-believers, by whom these instigations were transformed into deeds I wrote a letter personally to Mr. Frew, the reverend gentleman in question, in the hope that he would suspend his activities and restrain his energy for some time.
So that you may know what I said to him and understand the circumstances throughly, I must tell you first of all that I had already had an opportunity of talking to, and discussing some points with Mr. Frew.
I wrote in French:
I have pleasant recollections of the conversation I had with you with the help of Mr. Marten.
It gave me the impression that your long residence in Turkey and among Turks had given you a perfectly true conception of the country. But now I observe with regret that your contact with certain quarrelsome and self-seeking persons has led you off into a wrong direction.
Permit me to inform you that the plan you had concocted with Said Molla, about which we have received trustworthy information and which you had even begun to carry out, will surely be dis approved of by the English nation.
If, instead of relying on people like Said Molla, you would judge Turkey and the Turks according to the sentiments of true patriots, you would see how impracticable such plans as yours are. In proof of this, it is sufficient for me to point out the miserable failure that followed the ill-advised incidents at Ada Basar and Karadsha Bey, which occurred so recently. They could easily have been avoided. Has not the undertaking planned against Sivas by Captain Nowill, in conjunction with the late Vali of El Aziz and the Mutessarif of Malatia, after all ended in no other result than the utter confusion of its ori ginators an undertaking that relied on the support of the Kurds, to mislead whom, however, ended in a fiasco, notwithstanding all that was done to insure its success?
I feel that it is my duty to inform you, in all good faith and in the most serious manner, that England is making a great mistake in not trusting in the good will of the Turks. On the contrary, the measures which you consider it necessary to take to reach success are entirely wrong and lead you exactly in the opposite direction to the one in which you want to go.
I would like you to know that it is very dangerous indeed to pretend that His Imperial Majesty the Sultan is your collaborator and is entangled in your enterprises, in precisely the same manner as the impostors with whom you are associated do. You are well aware that our Sovereign, who in his position is not held responsible and is compelled to be impartial, will surely have no intention of altering the national will and the national sovereignty.
It appears to me that if the people of England were to be informed of the brutal and uncivilised intrigues carried on by English officials in Turkey documents proving these intrigues are in our possession which are undoubtedly contrary to the intentions and interests of the English nation, they and the rest of the world would see in them strong reasons for disapproval.
I would like to emphasise one more point, which is specially remark able. You call yourself a servant of God. May I ask whether the zeal 26l
which you display in mingling yourself in political intrigues and in taking an active part in questions that can very easily lead to sangui nary conflicts and vain bloodshed is compatible with your spiritual duties? When I conversed with you I had no idea that you were a politican of this description. I took you to be a man who is seriously devoted to the cause of humanity and justice. How completely mis taken I was, is evident from the latest information I have received from a reliable source.
The Rev. – Frew. Believe me Sir etc ”
Constantinople. Is there still any doubt in your mind about the Government being better informed than the Representative Committee as to the ori ginators and the source whence the criminal enterprises emanated, which, under the nose of and with the knowledge of the Government, had taken place and are still doing so in Stambul, as well as the mani festation which revealed the fatal effects of these enterprises in such a glaring manner throughout the country? And how is it conceivable that the leaders of a Government so well informed about the actual facts could accept as true the calumnies and insinuations of our enemies, whose sole aim was to disguise the situation and confound the minds of the people?
Instead of inflicting this august Assembly with the trouble of answering these questions, I prefer to let Djemal Pasha, the Minister of War, who expresses the thoughts of Ali Riza Pasha s Cabinet, speak for himself.
I will admit that I was very much astonished when I received Djemal Pasha s telegram in cipher. I found it very difficult, indeed, to grasp its meaning, so much so, that I asked him to repeat it. Then the Minister sent me two telegrams on the 9 th December in quick succession. Here they are:
To the Command of the III rd Army Corps.
Sivas, 9 th December, 1919. To His Excellency Mustapha Kemal Pasha. Repetition of the telegram asked for by you. It is well known that the Government is making arrangements to be represented at the Peace Conference. The Conference can only lead to favourable results if the delegates who attend it represent a Government that enjoys the confidence of the nation and is furnished with authority that is recognised to be efficient in the internal administration of the country. The foreign representatives emphatically advise that order and security in the interior of the country should be restored, and they refer in energetic terms to the emigration of the Christian population, who are fleeing from Anatolia in fear of being massacred and are seeking refuge in swarms in the territories occupied by foreign troops.
It is true that those who go to the occupied towns, particularly to Adana, do so with the intention of increasing the already dense population of Armenia. But the lack of order and moral security in Anatolia of which they speak destroys the efforts of the Government to rectify matters. In spite of the assurances of the Representative Committee, certain persons in the provinces continue to interfere with the Government, recall officials just as they think fit and dismiss others if they are not satisfactory to them, prevent the taxation of the population and compel them by violence to pay contributions to themselves. As this procedure has not yet been put an end to, there is much concern about it in foreign quarters.
In any case, it is not very advisable for our Government, in face of all the difficulties lying before them on land and at sea, to assume a threatening attitude towards the Powers that are called upon to decide our fate.
Besides, the representative of France has publicly declared that the dispatch of telegrams to foreign missions by the Representative Committee is evidence that two governments are existing in the country. The employment of offensive expressions towards any one of these Powers in particular is incompatible with the inborn tact and common sense which are characteristic of us.
We must not forget that dignity and calmness in misfortune and danger are qualities that are inherent in our race, and the higher interests of the country must not be sacrificed to conceptions or exaggerated and dangerous actions which are sometimes inspired by discouragement and despair.
We can only defend our rights by pursuing a wise policy and by adapting ourselves judiciously to the exigencies of the occasion.
These observations do not convey to your Excellency anything that you do not know already, but it is absolutely necessary that I should give your colleagues and committees patriotic advice as to their procedure. We trust that the Chamber of Deputies, which will soon meet, will form a correct estimate of the prudent course they must follow for the salvation and liberation of our beloved country, and will devote themselves entirely to the fulfilment of this noble ideal. These are the views of the Cabinet. Diemal
Minister of War.
I think it is unnecessary to weary the honourable Assembly by analysing the telegram you have just been listening to. I shall there fore confine myself to telling you what I said in reply.
In cipher, Sivas, n th December, 1919.
To His Excellency Djemal Pasha, Minister of War.
Our Committee has received your telegram of 9 th December, in which you explain the standpoint of the Cabinet.
In spite of the many declarations and communications we have sent you, we find that this telegram is no more than a repetition of the opinions you have given us already.
We have repeatedly declared and insisted that the aim of the Representative Committee has always been to protect the Govern ment from being interfered with and to strengthen the confidence of the nation in it.
We are forced to the conviction that unfortunately our communi cations have not been treated by you as they deserve.
1. It is not true that the spirit of order and moral confidence has been threatened in Antolia. On the contrary, the confusion and uncertainty caused by Ferid Pasha s Cabinet have recently disappeared under the influence of the national union.
2. It is not a fact that private people have dismissed and replaced officials just as they thought fit.
But it seems to us that the Ministry of the Interior is pursuing a very significant course by insisting on the appointment of certain officials who are notorious and who have been turned out under the late Cabinet on account of their hostility to the national movement.
The actions of the Ministry of the Interior, which are directly opposed to the national aims and which give the impression in the opinion of the public that the spirit of AadilBey, the former Minister, is still living in the Ministry, are apparently not accepted by the people. Is there anything more justifiable and legitimate than this?
The fact that the same Under Secretary of State and the same chiefs of the Departments are retained in their posts, places both your honourable Cabinet and our Representative Committee, who have accepted obligations towards the nation, in a very difficult postion.
The affair of the Mutessarif of Dersim, which we refered to in our telegram of the *) December deserves attention.
The Representative Committee can do nothing more in this matter. Considering the fact that the representations made hitherto for the purpose of mitigating the consequences of such acts on the part of the Ministry of the Interior have not met with the favourable reception they merited, we must decline to renew our requests.
However, we must tell you, for the last time, that if the Imperial Government is honestly desirous of gaining the confidence of the nation which the Representative Committee does not for a moment doubt and wishes to serve the country, it must adopt an attitude that conforms more to the spirit of the nation and adapts itself better to the peculiar situation, and must try to eradicate the evil that lies within itself. This object cannot be obtained by using the Represen tative Committee as a target and by continually writing to it on the same subject, as it has been doing since it came into power.
3. It is quite possible that irregularities have been committed at the Aidin front, where the situation is an unfortunate inheritance of the treacherous policy followed by the late Government, which was regarded by the nation as an enemy and which treated our enemies as friends.
But it may be said with perfect truth that, thanks to the national unity realised by the General Congress at Sivas, as well as to the efforts and patriotic co-operation of the Ministry of War, this state of affairs has come to an end.
4. The nation has refrained from taking up a threatening atti tude against any of the Powers with whom it has concluded an armistice. But, should the necessity arise, it has decided that it will oppose every attack upon the legitimate and sacred rights of the country by force of arms.
5. Regarding the question of the dispatch of telegrams to foreign representatives by the Representative Committee, these were con fined to protests to which your honourable Cabinet gave their consent.
Moreover, it is the legitimate right of the Representative Com mittee, being representative of the unity of the nation, to do this on behalf of the nation.
It is certain that if the Government would evince the same feeling
*) The date is omitted in the original. and would hasten to show an agreement of opinion in such matters between themselves and the nation, there would be no obstacle standing in their way, but, on the other hand, very distinct advantages would result therefrom.
But the French say that you have not even protested against such an apparent injustice as the occupation of Adana. This it what gave rise to the formal declarations made by the French represen tative. In short, we consider it necessary to declare to you that the Representative Committee have never given way to despair or dis couragement, nor have they failed to appreciate their sacred duties to the extent that they have been unable to understand what the welfare of the country and the nation expected from them.
But their principle is to prefer dignity to degradation in all that they do and undertake to do for the welfare of the nation. They hold the infallible belief that on these lines alone can a skilful policy, based on the exigencies of the situation, be followed. For this reason, they cannot recommend any principles to the nation which are antagonistic to those they derive from the very soul of the nation, which is so vigilant in the face of painful realities.
They have the fixed hope that the Chamber of Deputies, whose convention is looked upon as a necessity, will be permeated by the same spirit and imbued with the same sentiments.
6. We have already explained to you the standpoint of the Represen tative Committee.
We respectfully declare that for the welfare of the country it is necessary that your Excellency, as our representative, shall inform the Cabinet of the matter referred to and assure them that this is all pure imagination. Mustapha Kemal
In the name of the Representative Committee.