By an armistice based on Wilson s principles, the nation has been deprived of all means of defence
We are not content to leave it to official Europe and America, but to the Europe and America of science, culture and civilisation, to judge rightly the character of this step, which constitutes a conspiracy such as history has never recorded down to the present day and which is incompatible with the honour and self-respect of the peoples who have joined it. It is actually based on downright dishon esty. By an armistice based on Wilson s principles, the nation has been deprived of all means of defence. Once more, and for the last time, we draw your attention to the great responsibility in the eyes of history which this event will involve.
Next to God, the lawfulness of our cause and its sacred character are our surest strongholds in these painful hours of difficulty,
In the name of the Representative Committee
of the Union for the Defence of the Rights of
Anatolia and Rumelia,
During the night I circulated the following instructions :
Telegram in cipher. 16^ March, 1920.
To all Valis and Commanders.
It is necessary that meetings should be held for the purpose of informing the Heads of the Legislative Chambers of the Entente Powers and all the neutral countries, as well as the representatives of the Entente Powers, by telegram that Stambul, the public buildings there, and especially the Chamber of Deputies, have been formally and forcibly occupied, and of protesting energetically against this occupation having been carried out after the nation had been disarmed according to the stipulations of the armistice.
It must be set out clearly in these telegrams that this ignominious affront constitutes a fatal blow, not less against Ottoman sovereignty than against the principles of freedom, nationality and country which civilisation and humanity have erected in the course of twenty cen turies. Further, that this can in no way shake the faith of the Ottoman nation and their will to defend their independence and existence, but that the civilised nations by suffering this ignominy will take upon themselves a grave responsibility in the eyes of history. The tele grams addressed to the Parliaments and Foreign Ministers of neutral countries shall be handed to the respective authorities in Stambul, but shall also simultaneously be dispatched through the Italian representative at Adalia.
I request you to send us a copy of the telegrams of protest.
Mustapha Kemal, In the name of the Representative Committee. Telegram in cipher. 16* March, 1920.
To Colonel Refet Bey.
We think it would be advisable to send to the President^ of the Parliaments of the Entente Powers now sitting and to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs in neutral countries, copies of the telegrams of protest which will be dispatched during the course of the meetings that are held in consequence of recent events.
We beg you to obtain the good services of the Italian representative at Adalia for this puipose. Musta pha Kemal,
In the name of the Representative Committee.
On the same day I caused the following proclamation to the people to be published:
To all Commanding Officers;
To all Valis and Mutessarifs;
To the Unions for the Defence of the Rights;
To the United Press.
The various steps which have been taken by the Entente Powers with the object of dividing up our country are already known to you. Firstly, after having come to an understanding with Ferid Pasha, they decided to subject our defenceless nation to foreign administration and to annex different important parts of our country to the Colonies belonging to the victorious Powers. The will and determination of the national forces, supported by the whole of the nation, shown in the defence of our independence have shattered these designs.
Secondly, they have addressed themselves to the Representative Committee with the object of ensnaring the national forces and of pursuing a policy of predominance in the Orient with their consent. The Committee has refused to enter into negotiations of any kind until the independence of the nation and the integrity of its territory has been secured and, before all else, until the occupied districts have been evacuated.
Thirdly, they have interfered in the acts of those Governments that had associated themselves with the national forces; they have attempted to shake national unity and encourage the treachery of the opposition.
One after another, these attacks have been wrecked by the deter mination and solidarity which sprang from the national unity. Fourthly, they have begun to influence public opinion by speaking about disconcerting decisions which had been arrived at regarding the fate of the country.
These threats, also, have had no effect, on account of the will and determination of the Ottoman people, who have resolved to submit to every necessary sacrifice for the defence of their honour and their country.
Lastly, the forcible occupation of Stambul to-day has destroyed the seven-centuries-old existence and sovereignty of the Ottoman Empire. Consequently, the Turkish nation is compelled to-day to defend its civilising capabilities, its right of existence and independence and its entire future.
We shall have won the applause of mankind and shall pave the road to liberation which the Islamic world is yearning for, if we deliver the seat of the Caliphate from foreign influence and defend it with religious fidelity in a manner worthy of our glory and realise the independence of the nation. God is with us in the Holy War which we have entered upon for the independence of our country.
In the name of the Representative Committee
of the “Union for the Defence of the Rights of
Anatolia and Rumelia.”
Simultaneous^, I issued a proclamation to the entire Islamic world, in which the above-described infamous proceedings were referred to in detail. This proclamation was spread abroad by various means.
On the very day of the occupation, without waiting for further news, after having been informed about the situation by the messages sent to me by Monastirli Hamdi Effendi, the telegraphist, and the wording of the proclamation issued by the Army of Occupation which confirmed the news sent by Hamdi Effendi, I still took measures which I regarded to be urgently necessary, and carried them through as I have just explained.
Contradictory and exaggerated news about the way in which Stambul had been occupied and the arrests that had been made, began to reach us from different quarters. We made many inquiries ourselves.
We learned that the deputies, who had scattered after they had been assured of the impossibility of performing their legislative functions, and several other persons in Stambul had fled and were on their way to Angora.
I gave the necessary orders to the authorities along the line of their route to facilitate their journey. Among the steps I took on the i6 th – March after the occupation of Stambul had become known there are some which I need not refer to here, because I already mentioned them when the National Assembly was opened.
For instance, you will have read in the first account of the Grand National Assembly some details of what was done about the dis arming and removing of the foreign troops at Eski-Shehr, at Afium Kara Hissar, the destruction of the railways in the districts of Geiveh and Ulu Kishla, the arrest of foreign officers in Anatolia, and other matters.
The most important thing was our determination to fulfil our patriotic and national duty by securing the meeting of an assembly at Angora furnished with extraordinary powers, and the way that this was to be carried out.
On the 19 th March, that is to say, three days after Stambul had been occupied, I issued a communique regarding the question I have just described and the manner of its execution.
For two days I was personally at the telegraph instrument and came into communication with the commanding officers. I discussed the position with them and asked them to give me their views about it.