89-I will tell you something about the "Green Army,"

I will tell you something about the “Green Army,”

I will tell you something about the “Green Army,” because I think this will help to throw a little light on an obscure subject.

After the Grand National Assembly of Turkey was established a society was formed at Angora called the “Green Army.” The original founders of this Society were well-known comrades of ours with whom we were in close touch. To understand the aims that inspired this Society we must recall certain situations and phrases of the upheavals in the country and the activity of the national troops that were com missioned to suppress them. It had been seen that the rebels easily suceeded in misleading the regular troops by speaking to them of the Fetwa published by the Caliph, the illegality of the Government at Angora and the abolition of military service by the Sultan. It actu ally happened that the regular troops not only failed to fight against the rebels but even deserted and returned home to their villages. It had been stated that the national troops understood the aims of the revolution more easily and had not allowed themselves to be deceived by the rebels. For this reason it was very difficult to carry the re volution through successfully with troops which at that time were exhausted and unwilling and which it must be admitted consisted of the inferior elements of the residues of the Ottoman Army. The fictitious belief had gained ground that it would be very difficult under the conditions then prevailing to inspire the Army with a con viction that was in accord with the new spirit. For this reason some persons were led to create a regular force to support the revolution that should consist of men who were conscious of their high duty

Kemal Pasha 26 and possessed the necessary qualifications. This idea and these efforts were encouraged by the events taking place in the country and whidf were of a sanguinary and dangerous character. Eventually, some men put these thoughts into actions and formed an organisation such as I have described. With regard to myself, I was trying to find means, on the one hand to restore and reinforce our army and on the other to draw the greatest possible advantage from the troops that had already been organised, in spite of their evident shortcomings. But at the same time we dared not neglect the truth that real discipline and the serious execution of military duties, which include uncondi tional and unqualified obedience, could only and always be possible in a regular army. The idea of deriving any advantage from the na tional forces could only be based on the desire to gain time. It was un doubtedly desirable that the national troops whose employment was absolutely necessary should comprise selected men who realised their duty.

The comrades connected with me and who belonged to the first group of those who had undertaken the organisation of the “Green Army” had considered that they ought to take the initiative in this affair alone, with the object of helping me and not troubling me to attend to anything else. As I was actually very busy indeed, I took no part for a long time in what my comrades were doing. The form ation of the “Green Army” was carried on as a secret organisation and spread to a certain extent. Hakki Behidj Bey was their general secretary, and their Executive Committee with their headquarters at Angora did serious and important work. Their printed regulations and special agents were sent all over the country. I must remark here that as the men who were occupied with the organisation of the “Green Army” had stated that I knew all about it and that it was being done with my consent and according to my wish, the number of those who worked everywhere for the purpose of extending and reinforckig these organisations had increased. In its form, the or ganisation had exceeded the original limits of the scheme, which was only to form a national force, and had now developed a much wider purpose.

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