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Culture et Kultur. i vol. gr. in-8, 242 p. 

Berger-Levrault, Paris, 1916. 

Judaisme et Kultur. 38 p. Giard et Bri&re, 

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et Briere, Paris, 1918. 

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in-i2, 301 p. Berger-Levrault, Paris, 1918. 

L'Allemague et le Baltikum. i vol. in-8 raisin, 
279 p. et 7 cartes. Chapelot, Paris, 1919. 

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Chapelot, 1920. 

La Beautd d'une Femme. . Roman, i vol. in 12. 

P..V. Stock, Paris, 1907. 
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Michel, Paris, 1914. 

Recherches sur le temps que la precipitation 
met a apparattre dans les solutions d'hyposulfite 
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Nobilisme. Essai sur les fondements dt la culture. 
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I. THE TURKS - 1-8 


Its History The Capitulations The East, a 
Fashion in Europe The Turkish Empire 
and the War .... 9-28 



The Agreements before the Armistice Occu- 
pation of Smyrna by Greece The First 
Ottoman Delegation Dismissal of the First 
Delegation Situation of the Ottoman 
Government and the Nationalist Movement 
Foreign Interests in Turkey Resources 
of Turkey The Damad Ferid Cabinet re- 
signs The AH Riza Ministry The Marash 
Incidents The Urfa and Amtab Incidents 
The Silence of the United States The 
Turkish Question Resumed The Anglo- 
American Protestant Campaign Repercus- 
sions in India Repercussions in Northern 
Africa The Indian Caliphate Delegation 
Value of Islam Union of the Churches 
Islam versus Orthodoxy The Persian 
National Movement - - 43-150 


The Treaty before the London and Paris Par- 
liaments Resignation of the Salih Pasha 
Cabinet The New Damad Ferid Cabinet 151-168 




Mustafa Kemal's Protest Protests of Ahmed 
Riza and Galib Kemaly Protest of the 
Indian Caliphate Delegation Survey of the 
Treaty The Turkish Press and the Treaty 
Jafer Tayar at Adrianople Operations of 
the Government Forces against the Nation- 
alists French Armistice in Cilicia 
Mustafa Kemal's Operations Greek Opera- 
tions in Asia Minor The Ottoman Delega- 
tion's Observations at the Peace Conference 
The Allies' Answer Greek Operations in 
Thrace The Ottoman Government decides 
to sign the Treaty Italo-Greek Incident, 
and Protests of Armenia, Yugo-Slavia, and 
King Hussein Signature of the Treaty - 169-271 


1. The Turco-Armenian Question - - 274-304 

2. The Pan-Turanian and Pan-Arabian Move- 

ments : 

Origin of Pan-Turanism The Turks and 
the Arabs The Hejaz The Emir Feisal 
The Question of Syria French Operations 
in SyriaRestoration of Greater Lebanon 
The Arabian World and the Caliphate 
The Part played by Islam - 304-356 


The Republic of Northern Caucasus Georgia 
and Azerbaijan The Bolshevists in the 
Republics of Caucasus and of the Transcas- 
pian Isthmus Armenians and Moslems - 357-369 


Slavs versus Turks Constantinople and 
Russia - 370-408 



THE peoples who speak the various Turkish dialects 
and who bear the generic name of Turcomans, or 
Turco-Tatars, are distributed over huge territories 
occupying nearly half of Asia and an important 
part of Eastern Europe. But as we are only con- 
sidering the Turkish question from the European 
point of view, no lengthy reference is needed to 
such Eastern groups as those of Turkish or Mongol 
descent who are connected with the Yenisseians of 
Northern Asia and the Altaians. The Russians call 
these peoples Tatars, and they, no doubt, constituted 
the " Tubbat " nation, referred to by the Chinese 
historians under the name of " Tou-Kiou " up to 
the seventh century after Christ. These very brief 
facts show the importance of the race and are also 
sufficient to emphasise the point that these people 
are akin to those Turks of Western Asia who are 
more closely connected with the Europeans. 

The Western Turkish group includes the Turco- 
mans of Persia and Russian or Afghan Turkistan; the 
Azarbaijanians, who are probably Turkisised Iranians, 
living between the Caucasus Mountains and Persia; 
and, lastly, the Osmanli Turks, who are subjects of 
the Sultan, speak the, Turkish language, and profess 



Close to this group, but farther to the East, the 
central group also concerns us, for some of its repre- 
sentatives who now inhabit the boundaries of Europe 
made repeated incursions into Europe in various 
directions. In the plains lying between the River 
Irtish and the Caspian Sea live the Kirghiz-Kazaks, 
and in the Tien-Shien Mountains the Kara-Kirghiz, 
who have preserved many ancient Old Turkish 
customs, and seem to have been only slightly Moham- 
medanised. The Usbegs and the Sartis of Russian 
Turkistan, on the other hand, have been more or less 
Iranised. Finally, on the banks of the Volga are to 
be found the Tatars of European Russia. Among 
them the Tatars of Kazan, who are descended from 
the Kiptchaks, came to the banks of the Volga 
in the thirteenth century and mingled with the 
Bulgars. These Tatars differ from the Tatars of 
Astrakhan, who are descendants of the Turco-Mongols 
of the Golden Horde, and are connected with the 
Khazars, and from the Nogais of the Crimea, who 
are Tatars of the steppes who more or less inter- 
married with other races the Tatars of the Tauris 
coast being the hybrid descendants of the Adriatic 
race and the Indo-Afghan race. They are to be 
found near Astrakhan and in the Caucasus Mountains, 
and even, perhaps, as far as Lithuania, " where, 
though still being Mohammedans, they have adopted 
the language and costume of the Poles." 1 
* * * 

The invasion of Europe by the Turks appears as 
the last great ethnic movement that followed the 

1 J. Deniker, Les Races et les peuples de la terre (Paris, 1900), 
p. 438. Zaborowski, Tartares de la Lithuanie (1913). 


so-called period of migration of peoples (second to 
sixth centuries A.D.) and the successive movements 
it entailed. 

Let us consider only the migrations of those who 
concern us most closely, and with whom the 'Turks 
were to come into contact later on. First the Slavs 
spread westward towards the Baltic and beyond the 
Elbe, and southward to the valley of the Danube 
and the Balkan Peninsula. This movement brought 
about the advance of the Germans towards the west, 
and consequently the advance of the Celts towards 
Iberia and as far as Spain. Owing to the invasion 
of the Huns in the fifth century and in the sixth of 
the Avars, who, after coming as far as Champagne, 
settled down in the plains of Hungary and the terri- 
tories lying farther to the south which had already 
been occupied by the Dacians for several centuries, 
the Slavs were cut into two groups. About the same 
time, the Bulgars came from the banks of the Volga 
and settled on the banks of the Danube. 

In the ninth century, owing to a new migration of 
masses of Slavonic descent, the Hungarians, driven 
by tribes of Petchenegs and Polovts into Southern 
Russia, crossed the Carpathian Mountains and took 
up their abode in the valley of the Tirzah. While 
the Magyar Turks settled in Hungary, the Kajar 
Turks occupied the hinterland of Thessalonica in 
Macedonia. In the twelfth century, the Germans, 
driving the Western Slavs as far as the banks of the 
Vistula, brought about a reaction towards the north- 
east of the Eastern Slavs, whose expansion took place 
at the expense of the. Finnish tribes that lived there. 

Only in the thirteenth century did the Turco- 


Mongols begin to migrate in their turn ; they occupied 
the whole of Russia, as far as Novgorod to the north, 
and reached Liegnitz in Silesia. But, although they 
soon drew back from Western Europe, they remained 
till the fifteenth century in Eastern Russia, and in 
the eighteenth century they were still in the steppes 
of Southern Russia, and in the Crimea. 

Finally, in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, 
the Osmanli Turks invaded the Balkan Peninsula, 
where they met such of their kindred as the Kajars, 
the Tchitaks, and the Pomaks, who were heathens 
or Christians, and later on embraced Islam. They 
invaded Hungary and made incursions into Lower 

Then began the migration of the Little Russians 
into the upper valley of the Dnieper, and in the 
sixteenth century they set off towards the steppes 
of Southern Russia, while the Great Russians began 
to advance beyond the Volga towards -the Ural, a 
movement which reached Siberia, and still continues. 

It follows, necessarily, that in the course of these 
huge migrations, the so-called Turkish race was 
greatly modified; the Turks of the Eastern group 
mixed with the Mongols, the Tunguses, and the 
Ugrians; and those of the Western group in Asia 
and Europe with various Indo-Afghan, Assyrian, 
Arab, and European elements, especially with those 
living near the Adriatic: the Greeks, the Genoese, 
the Goths, etc. Thus the Osmanli Turks became 
a mixture of many races. 

Though ethnologists do not agree about the various 
ethnic elements of the Turco-Tatar group, it is certain, 
all the same, that those who came to Asia Minor early 


associated for a long time with the people of Central 
Asia, and Vambery considers that a Turkish element 
penetrated into Europe at a very early date. 1 

Though the Arabs in the seventh century 
subdued the Turks of Khiva, they did not prevent 
them from penetrating into Asia Minor, and the 
Kajars, who were not Mohammedans, founded an 
empire there in the eighth century. At that 
period the Turks, among whom Islam was gaining 
ground, enlisted in the Khalifa's armies, but were 
not wholly swallowed up by the Arab and Moslem 
civilisation of the Seljukian dynasty, the first repre- 
sentatives of which had possibly embraced Nestorian 
Christianity or Islam. Henceforth Asia Minor, 
whence the previous Turkish elements had almost 
disappeared, began to turn into a Turkish country. 

All the Turks nowadays are Mohammedans, except 
the Chuvashes (Ugrians) who are Christians, and 
some Shamanist Yakuts. 

As will be shown later on, these ethnographic con- 
siderations should not be neglected in settling the 
future conditions of the Turks and Slavs in Europe, 
in the interest of European civilisation. 
* * * 

About half a century ago Elisee Reclus wrote as 
follows : 

" For many years has the cry ' Out of Europe ' been uttered 
not only against the Osmanli leaders, but also against the 
Turks as a whole, and it is well known that this cruel wish 
has partly been fulfilled; hundreds of thousands of Muslim 
emigrants from Greek Thessaly, Macedonia, Thrace, and 

1 Deguignes, Histoire generate des Huns (1750 and 1756); 
L. Cahun, Turcset Mongols, des origines d 1405 (Paris, 1896); 
Vambery, Das Turlcenvolk (1885). 


Bulgaria have sought refuge in Asia Minor, and these fugitives 
are only the remnants of the wretched people who had to 
leave their ancestral abodes; the exodus is still going on, and, 
most likely, will not leave off till the whole of Lower Rumelia 
has become European in language and customs. But now 
the Turks are being threatened even in Asia. A new cry 
arises, ' Into the Steppes,' and to our dismay we wonder 
whether this wish will not be carried out too. Is no concilia- 
tion possible between the hostile races, and must the unity of 
civilisation be obtained by the sacrifice of whole peoples, 
especially those that are the most conspicuous for the noblest 
qualities uprightness, self-respect, courage, and tolerance?" 1 

For a long time this state of affairs did not seem 
to change much, but after the recent upheaval of 
Europe it has suddenly become worse. 

Very different races, who have more or less 
intermingled, live on either side of the Bosphorus, 
for Elisee Keclus says : 

" The Peninsula, the western end of the fore part of the 
continent, was a place where the warlike, wandering, or 
trading tribes, coming from the south-east and north-east, 
converged naturally. Semitic peoples inhabited the southern 
parts of Anatolia, and in the centre of that country their race, 
dialects, and names seem to have prevailed among numerous 
populations; in the south-west they seem to have inter- 
mingled with coloured men, perhaps the Kushits. In the 
eastern provinces the chief ethnic elements seem to have been 
connected with the Persians, and spoke languages akin to 
Zend; others represented the northern immigrants that bore 
the generic name of Turanians. In the West migrations took 
place in a contrary direction to those that came down from 
the Armenian uplands; Thracians were connected by their 
trade and civilisation with the coastlands of Europe and 
Asia sloping towards the Propontis, and between both parts 
of the world Greeks continually plied across the ^Egean Sea." 2 

Thus the common name of " Turks " is wrongly 
given to some Moslem elements of widely different 
origin, who are to be found in Rumelia and Turkey- 

1 Elisee Reclus, Nouvelle geographic universelle (1884), 
ix., p. 547. 
3 Ibid., p. 536. 


in-Asia, such as the Albanians, who are akin to 
Greeks through their common ancestors, the 
Pelasgians, the Bosnians, and the Moslem Bulgars, 
the offspring of the Georgian and Circassian women 
who filled the harems, and the descendants of Arabs 
or even of African negroes. 

After the internal conflicts between some of these 
elements, the quarrels with other foreign elements, 
and the keen rivalry which existed generally, each 
section seems to have held the Turk responsible 
for whatever wrong was done, and the Turk was 
charged with being the cause of all misfortunes 
almost in the same way as the Jews: the Turks have 
become, as it were, the scapegoats. 

Yet, in 1665, in his account of his travels in the 
East, M. de Thevenot, who died at Mianeh in 1667, 
praised Turkish morality and tolerance. 

Elisee Reclus wrote: 

" Turkish domination is merely outward, and does not 
reach, so to say, the inner soul; so, in many respects, various 
ethnic groups in Turkey enjoy a fuller autonomy than in 
the most advanced countries of Western Europe." 

Ubicini speaks in the same manner, and Sir H. 
Bulwer states that : 

" As to freedom of faith and conscience, the prevailing 
religion in Turkey grants the other religions a tolerance that 
is seldom met with in Christian countries." 

Unfortunately the Turk's mentality, in spite of 
what his enemies say, does not help him. Owing to 
his nature, he is quite unable to defend himself and 
to silence his slanderers. 

For, as E. Reclus remarked: 

" They are not able to cope with the Greeks, who, under 
pretence of pacific dealings, take vengeance for the war of 


extermination, the traces of which are still to be seen in 
Cydonia and Ohio. They do not stand an equal chance of 
winning; most of them only know their own language, while a 
Greek speaks several languages; they are ignorant and artless 
by the side of clever, shrewd adversaries. Though he is not 
lazy, the Turk does not like to hurry; ' Haste is devilish, 
patience is godly,' he will often say. He cannot do without 
his ' kief,' an idle dream in which he lives like a mere plant, 
without any exertion of his mind and will, whereas his rival, 
always in earnest, can derive profit even from his hours of 
rest. The very qualities of the Turk do him harm: honest, 
trustworthy, he will work to the end of his life to pay off a 
debt, and the business man takes advantage of this to offer 
him long credits that shall make a slave of him foe ever. 
There is an axiom among business men in Asia Minor: ' If you 
wish to thrive, do not grant a Christian more credit than 
one-tenth of his fortune; risk ten times as much with a 
Mohammedan.' Encumbered with such a credit, the Turk 
no longer possesses anything of his own; all the produce of 
his work will go to the usurer. His carpets, his wares, his 
flocks, even his land, will pass gradually into the hands of 
the foreigner." 1 

But since the time when this was written the 
Turkish mind has changed. The Turks have set to 
work to learn languages, especially French. A large 
part of the younger generation concern themselves 
with what takes place in the West, and this trans- 
formation, which the Greeks and other Europeans 
looked upon as endangering their situation in Turkey, 
may be one of the factors of the present conflict. 

Besides, E. Reclus added: "The Greeks already 
hold, to the great prejudice of the Turks, numerous 
industries and all the so-called liberal professions, 
and as dragomans and journalists they are the only 
informers of the Europeans, and control public 
opinion in the West." 5 

1 Elisee Reclus, Nouvette geographic universette. (1884), 
ix., p. 546. 

2 Ibid., p. 550. 



THE Turks who lived in Turkistan and territories 
lying to the north of China arrived in the tenth 
century and settled down in Persia and Asia Minor, 
together with some allied or subject races, such as 
the Tatars. There they founded several dynasties. 
Out of the numerous branches of the Turkish race we 
will only deal with the Ottomans, who were to 
establish their rule in Asia Minor and Europe. 

People too often forget the wonderful rise of the 
Turkish Empire, which for nearly three centuries 
increased its power and enlarged its territories; and 
they lay too much stress on its decline, which began 
two centuries and a half ago. 

The Oghouz tribe of Kai, following the Seljuks 
more or less closely in their migrations, reached 
the uplands of Asia Minor about the end of the 
tenth century. While part of the latter retraced their 
steps towards the territories from which they had 
started, the others settled down and founded the 
Empire of Rum. The Seljukian chief, Ala Eddin 
Ka'i Kobad I, gave to Erthoghrul, a son of Suleiman 
Khan, the ancestor of the Seljukian dynasty of 
Konia, the summer pasturage of Mount Toumanitch, 
south of Brusa, on the boundaries of the Roman 
Empire of Byzantium. Erthoghrul and his successors 



strengthened and enlarged their dominions and laid 
the foundation of Ottoman power. 

Othman, or Osman, settled at Karahissar about the 
end of the thirteenth century, at the time when the 
Seljukian Empire of Rum was destroyed by Mongol 
inroads, and he conquered several of its principalities. 

Orkhan conquered the rest of Asia Minor and set 
foot in Europe in 1355. Amurath I took Adrianople, 
subjugated Macedonia and Albania, and defeated the 
Serbs at the battle of Kossowo in .1389. By the 
victory of Nicopolis in 1396 Bajazet I conquered 
Bulgaria and threatened Constantinople, but 
Tarnerlain's invasion and Bajazet's defeat in 1402 
at Ancyra postponed the downfall of the Byzantine 
Empire. The Turkish Empire recovered under 
Mohammed I and Amurath II, who made new con- 
quests and entirely subdued the Serbians in 1459. 
Mohammed II took Constantinople in 1453, quickly 
subdued the Greek peninsula, and annihilated the 
Byzantine Empire. He also took Carmania, the 
Empire of Trebizond in 1461, Bosnia, Wallachia in 
1462, and Lesser Tartary, and even made an incursion 
into Italy. The Turkish Empire continued to expand 
for nearly another century. In 1517 Selim I turned 
Syria, Palestine, and Egypt into Ottoman provinces ; 
he took Mecca and acquired Algiers in 1520. Soli- 
man II made new conquests. In Asia he added to 
the Empire Aldjeziresh and parts of Armenia, 
Kurdistan, and Arabia; in Europe, after capturing 
part of Hungary, Transylvania, Esclavonia, and 
Moldavia, and taking Rhodes from the Knights, he 
came to the gates of Vienna in 1529, and in 1534 
added Tunis to his empire, and Tripoli in 1551. At 


the beginning of his reign Selim II conquered the 
Yemen, and in 1571 took Cyprus from the Venetians ; 
but next year the Turkish fleet was utterly destroyed 
at the battle of Lepanto. 

Turkish domination then reached its climax, and 
from this time began its downfall. Internal difficulties 
soon showed that the Ottoman Empire was beginning 
to decline. From 1595 to 1608 Turkey lost terri- 
tory in Hungary, though, on the other hand, by the 
battle of Choczim, she conquered new districts in 
Poland. After a few perturbed years, in 1669 
Mohammed IV took Candia, which Ibrahim had 
vainly attempted to conquer. 

But henceforth the decline of the Empire was 
rapid, and its territories were dislocated and dismem- 
bered. The regencies of Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli 
became practically independent. By the fall of 
Carlo vitz, which put an end to the 1682-1699 war, 
the Turks lost nearly the whole of Hungary. By the 
treaty of Passarovitz> they lost Temesvar and a part 
of Serbia, which was restored to them by the peace 
of Belgrade in 1740. The Russians, with whom they 
had been fighting since 1672, and who began to get 
the upper hand during the 1770-74 war, took from 
them Bukovina and Lesser Tartary, the independence 
of which was recognised by the treaty of Kuchuk- 
Kainarji. After a new war from 1809 to 1812, the 
treaty of Bukharest gave to Russia the provinces 
lying between the Dnieper and the Danube. In 1809 
Turkey lost the Ionian Islands, which became inde- 
pendent under an English protectorate. The victory 
of Navarino made Greece free in 1827. The Turks 
were obliged to cede Turkish Armenia to Russia in 


1829, and, after a new war with Russia, Wallachia, 
Moldavia, and Serbia were put under Russian .pro- 
tection by the treaty of Adrianople. France con- 
quered Algeria in 1831. In 1833 the pasha of Egypt, 
Mehemet Ali, rebelled, captured Syria, defeated the 
Turks at Konia, and threatened Constantinople. 
Turkey, lying at the mercy of Russia, opened the 
Bosphorus to her ships and closed the Dardanelles 
to the other Powers by the treaty of Hunkiar- 
Iskelessi in 1833. 

Yet a reaction took place, and it seemed that 
Mehemet Ali, who helped the Sultan to subdue the 
insurgent Greeks, was likely to stop the downfall of 
Turkey. But his fleet was annihilated at Navarino, 
October 20, 1827, by the combined fleets of England, 
France, and Russia. He received Candia from the 
Sultan as a reward for his co-operation, but, not 
having been able to obtain Syria, he broke off with 
the Sublime Porte. An intervention of the European 
Powers put an end to his triumph. Turkey recovered 
the territories she had lost, and, in return for this 
restitution and for giving back the Turkish fleet, he 
obtained the hereditary government of Egypt under 
the suzerainty of the Porte. 

Turkey then attempted to revive and to strengthen 
her condition by organisation on European lines. 

As early as 1830 a liberal movement had made 
itself felt in Turkey as in many other States. 
The Ottoman Government realised, too, that it was 
necessary to get rid of the Russian influence imposed 
upon her by the treaty of Hunkiar-Iskelessi, and so 
was compelled to institute reforms. 

As early as 1861 Midhat Pasha, first as vali of the 


Danubian province, then as vali of Baghdad in 1869, 
and later on in Arabia, showed much enterprise and 
evinced great qualities of organisation and adminis- 
tration. When recalled to Constantinople, he became 
the leader of the Young Turk party. 

Mahmoud II and Abdul Mejid renewed the 
attempts already made by Selim III at the end of the 
eighteenth century, with a view to putting an end 
to the utter confusion of the Empire, and instituted 
various reforms borrowed from Europe. In 1853 
France and England helped Turkey to repel a new 
Russian aggression, and the treaty of March 30, 1856, 
after the Crimean war, guaranteed her independence. 

But the reign of Abdul Aziz, which had begun in 
such a brilliant way, proved unfortunate later on. 
A rising in Crete was suppressed with great diffi- 
culty in 1867; in 1875 Herzegovina and Bosnia, 
urged on by Russia, rebelled, and Serbia, who 
backed the rebels, was defeated in 1876. Abdul 
Aziz, on account of his wasteful financial administra- 
tion as well as his leaning towards Russia, which he 
considered the only State to be favoured because 
it was an autocratic government, unconsciously 
aided the Tsar's policy against his own country, 
and uselessly exhausted the resources of Turkey. 
Yet under his reign the judicial system, the army, 
and the administration were reorganised, the legis- 
lation was secularised, and Mussulmans and non- 
Mussulmans were set on a footing of equality. These 
reforms, prepared by his two predecessors, were 
carried out by him. He was forced to abdicate by 
an insurrection in 1876, and committed suicide. 

His successor, Mourad V, became mad and reigned 


only a few months. He was dethroned and replaced 
by his brother Abdul Hamid, who, on December 23, 
1876, suspended the liberal constitution that the 
Grand Vizier Midhat Pasha had promulgated. On 
February 5, 1877, he disgraced Midhat Pasha, who 
left the country and lived abroad. Midhat Pasha 
was allowed to come back to Turkey later, and 
ordered to reside in the Isle of Crete. He was 
then appointed governor of the vilayet of Smyrna, 
but was charged with the murder of Abdul Aziz, im- 
prisoned in the fortress of Taiif in Arabia, and assas- 
sinated on February 26, 1883. 1 A rising of Bulgaria, 
which the Turks put down ruthlessly, caused 
European intervention and a new war with Russia 
backed by Rumania and Montenegro. The Turks, 
beaten in 1877, had to sign the preliminaries of San 
Stefano, modified by the treaty of Berlin in 1878. 
Rumania, Serbia, and Montenegro became indepen- 
dent States; Eastern Rumelia an autonomous 
country ; and Bulgaria a tributary principality. 
Austria occupied Bosnia and Herzegovina, England 
Cyprus, and in Asia the Russians received Kars, 
Ardahan, and Batum. The Berlin Conference in 1880 
allowed Greece to occupy Larissa, Metzovo, and 
Janina. 2 

In 1898 Turkey slightly recovered, and in seventeen 
days her armies routed Greece, and the country 
would have ceased to exist but for the Tsar's 
intervention with the Sultan. 

However, as the condition of Turkey at the end of 

1 Midhat Pacha, Sa vie et son wuvre, by his son Ali-Hayar- 
Midhat Bey (Paris, 1908). 

2 Janina was occupied by Greece in 1912-13. 


Abdul Hamid's reign was growing more and more 
critical, the old ambitions entertained by several 
Great Powers revived. At the meeting of Ed- 
ward VII and Nicholas II at Reval, the question of 
the extension of the European control which already 
existed in Macedonia was discussed. 

The revolution of July 23, 1908, which put an end 
to Abdul Hamid's autocratic rule, instituted consti- 
tutional government in Turkey. The Great Powers 
were at first taken aback, but without troubling 
themselves about Turkey's chance of regeneration, 
they carried on their rivalries, all trying to derive some 
profit from Turkey in case she should become pros- 
perous and powerful, and at the same time doing their 
best to prevent her from reviving in order to be able 
to domineer over her and exhaust her the more easily. 

For a long time previously many Turks of the 
younger generation, who regretted the condition of 
the Empire, and were acquainted with European ideas, 
had realised that, if Turkey was not to die, she must 
reform herself. They had tried to further this aim by 
literary methods and had carried on propaganda work 
abroad, being unable to do so in Turkey. The reign 
of Abdul Hamid, during which the old regime had 
become more and more intolerable, was to bring 
about its overthrow, and in this respect the revolu- 
tionary movement was the outcome of Turkey's 
corruption. Among the numerous instigators of this 
movement, Enver Bey and Niazi Bey, who were 
then only captains garrisoned in Macedonia, soon 
became the most prominent. The revolutionary 
elements were chiefly recruited from the university 
students, especially those of the School of Medicine 


and of the Mulkieh School. Officers of the highest 
rank, such as Marshal Redjeb Pasha, who, when 
governor of Tripoli, had plotted against Abdul 
Hamid, were on the committee; but the masses, 
among whom the Young Turk propaganda had not 
penetrated, at first stood aloof, as they did not 
know the views of the members of the committee, 
who, before the revolution, had been obliged to carry 
on their propaganda very cautiously and among few 
people, for fear of the Sultan's reprisals. 

The movement started from Albania. Macedonia, 
the province which was most likely to be wrested 
from the Empire, and Syria immediately followed 
the lead, and the revolutionary movement soon met 
with unanimous approval. 

On April 13, 1909, a reactionary movement set 
in which failed only because of Abdul Hamid's 
irresolute, tottering mind. It was supported by the 
garrison of Constantinople, which comprised Albanian 
troops, the very men who had lent their aid to the 
revolution at first, but had been brought back to 
the Sultan's party by the lower clergy and politicians 
whose interest it was to restore Abdul Hamid's 
autocratic rule, or whose personal ambitions had 
been baulked. Troops, comprising Albanians, Bos- 
nians, and Turkish elements, and reinforced by 
Greek, Bulgarian, and Serbian volunteers, old 
komitadjis, were summoned to Salonika. 

The reaction of April 13 seems to have been partly 
due to foreign intrigue, especially on the part of 
England, who, anxious at seeing Turkey attempt to 
gain a new life, tried to raise internal difficulties by 
working up the fanaticism of the hod j as, most of whom 


were paid and lodged in seminaries, and so were 
interested in maintaining Abdul Hamid's autocratic 
government. These manceuvres may even have been 
the original cause of the reactionary movement. 

Mr. Fitzmaurice, dragoman of the English embassy, 
was one of the instigators of the movement, and the 
chief distributor of the money raised for that purpose. 
He seems to have succeeded in fomenting the first 
internal difficulties of the new Turkish Government. 
After the failure of the reactionary movement, the 
Committee of Union and Progress demanded the dis- 
missal of Mr. Fitzmaurice, who later on settled at 
Sofia, where he continued his intrigues. 

Then the government passed into the hands of the 
Committee of Union and Progress which had brought 
on the revolution, and which practically governed the 
country from 1908 till the signing of the armistice 
between the Allies and Turkey. 

The Committee of Union and Progress, which at 
the outset had shown a liberal and enlightened spirit, 
soon became very powerful; but, being the only 
ruling power in the country, they soon left the 
straight path and began to indulge in corrupt prac- 
tices. The leaders' heads were turned by their sudden 
success, and they were not sufficiently strong-minded 
to resist the temptations of office in a time of crisis. 
All the power was soon concentrated in the hands of 
a few: Talaat, Enver, and Jemal, all three men of 
very humble origin, who, when still young, had risen 
rapidly to the highest eminence in the State. 

Enver, born on December 8, 1883, .was the son of a 
road-surveyor. At twenty he left the cadet school 
of Pancaldi, and became a prominent figure at the 



time of the revolution. After Abdul Hamid's down- 
fall, he was sent to Berlin, whence he returned 
an enthusiastic admirer of Germany. After distin- 
guishing himself in Tripoli, he was made War Minister 
at the end of the Balkan war. He was naturally 
very bold; his brilliant political career made him 
vain, and soon a story arose round him. He became 
rich by marrying a princess of the Imperial Family, 
the Sultan's niece, but it was wrongly said that he 
married a daughter of the Sultan a mistake which 
is easily accounted for as in Turkey anybody who 
marries a princess of the Imperial Family bears 
the title of imperial son-in-law, Damad-i-Hazret-i- 
Shehriyari. At any rate, Enver's head was turned 
by his good fortune. 

Talaat is supposed to be the son of a pomak 
that is to say, his ancestors were of Bulgarian descent 
and had embraced Islam. He was born at Adria- 
nople in 1870, received an elementary education 
at the School of the Jewish Alliance, then became 
a clerk in a post-office and later on in a telegraph- 
office. Owing to the liberal ideas he propounded 
and the people he associated with, he was sentenced 
to imprisonment. Two years after, in 1896, when he 
came out of prison, he was exiled to Salonika, a centre 
of propaganda of the Young Turks who were then 
attempting to overthrow Abdul Hamid. He had 
learned very little at school, but had a quick wit and 
great abilities; so he soon obtained a prominent place 
among the leaders of the revolutionary movement, 
and in a short time became a moving spirit in 
the party, together with Enver, Marniassi Zade 
Refik Bey, and Javid Bey. Very strongly built, 


with huge, square fists on which he always leant in 
a resolute attitude of defiance, Talaat was a man of 
great will power. When the constitution was granted 
to the Turkish people, he went to Adrianople, where he 
was returned Member of Parliament. Soon after he 
became Vice-President of the Chamber, then Minister 
of the Interior. But he always remained an un- 
assuming man and led a quiet life in a plain house. 
He was among those who desired to turn his country 
into a modern State, in the Anglo-Saxon sense of the 
word, with the help of Germany and by using German 
methods, which was perhaps his greatest mistake. 
When war broke out, Talaat was Minister of the 
Interior in the Cabinet in which the Egyptian prince 
Said Halim was Grand Vizier. On February 4, 
1917, when this Ministry resigned, he became Grand 
Vizier, and on February 17, in the course of the 
sitting of the Constantinople Parliament, he declared 
that he intended to maintain the alliance with 
Germany to the end. 

Jemal Pasha is of Turkish descent. He left the 
War Academy as Captain of the Staff, and married 
the daughter of Bekir Pasha, who commanded a 
division of the second army garrisoned at Adrianople. 
This Bekir Pasha had risen from the ranks, and 
when he was still a non-commissioned officer had 
throttled Midhat Pasha with his own hands. It 
has been wrongly stated that his father was the 
public executioner at Constantinople during the 
reign of Mahmoud II. Whereas Talaat's and Enver's 
manners were distant, Jemal professed to be affable 
and strove to please, though he was very cruel 
at heart. He was looked upon as a friend of France 


when he came to Paris in 1914 to raise the Ottoman 
loan. He was appointed military governor of 
Constantinople after Nazim Pasha's murder, 
January 10, 1913, in which he and Talaat and Enver 
had a share ; then he became Minister of Marine. 

Talaat fully represented the Committee of Union 
and Progress, and was supported by it, but Enver and 
Jemal, though also members, did not make use of 
their connection with the party. Indeed Enver, who 
disagreed with Talaat, had nothing to do with the 
party after he had been appointed War Minister, and 
when he was called upon to resign during the war, he 
retained his office with the support of Germany. 
Only the difficulties which the Empire experienced 
could have brought together three men who were 
actuated by such widely different motives; at any 
rate the omnipotence of the Union and Progress 
Committee, which even caused some liberals to regret 
the passing of the old regime, was contrary to the 
constitutional system which the party had purposed 
to institute in Turkey. 

Though the leaders of the Unionist movement drove 
Turkey to the verge of ruin, yet the movement itself 
to a certain extent aroused in the Turkish people a 
consciousness of their rights, which they had nearly 
given up under the control of foreign countries; the 
movements of opinion brought about, and even the 
reaction that set in finally, roused that national 
feeling, which found expression soon after the events 
of the last war. 

* * * 

It must be acknowledged that the Capitulations, 
the extension of which led to the improper inter- 


ference of foreign nations in the home affairs of the 
Ottoman State and gave them a paramount power 
over it, formed one of the chief causes of the modern 
ruin of Turkey, by weakening and disintegrating it. 
The extension of the economic Capitulations was 
made possible by the carelessness of the Mussul- 
mans in commercial matters, and by their natural 
indolence, while the extension of the judicial 
Capitulations, which originated in a Moslem custom 
dating from the Middle Ages, seems to have been 
due to the condescension of the Sultans. 

It is a well-known fact that Mehmet II, by the 
treaty he signed in 1434, granted to the Republic 
of Venice extra-territorial privileges consisting of 
commercial immunities, the benefit of which was 
claimed afterwards by the Powers the Porte had 
then to deal with. Those immunities, renewed with 
slight alterations, constituted what was later on 
called the Capitulations. 

In 1528 Soliman II officially ratified the privileges 
which French and Catalonian merchants living in 
Constantinople had been enjoying for a long time, 
according to an old custom. The treaty signed by 
this monarch in 1535 confirmed the old state of affairs. 
By this treaty the French king, Francis I, both 
secured the help of Turkey against his enemies, and 
promised the Ottoman Empire the protection of 
France; at the same time he obtained for French 
merchants the privilege of trading in the Eastern 
seas, preferential customs duties on their goods, the 
obligation for all foreigners trading in the East to 
sail under the French flag, and the privilege of 
appointing -consuls in the Levant who had juris- 


diction over their fellow-countrymen. Lastly, the 
treaty not only secured to France the protectorate 
of the Holy Places, but also entrusted her with the 
defence of all the Latin religious orders, of whatever 
nationality, which were beginning at that time to 
found establishments in the East. 

These stipulations, renewed in 1569, 1581, 1604, and 
1673, secured to France both commercial supremacy 
and much prestige throughout the Ottoman Empire, 
and gave a permanent character to the concessions 
made by Turkey. The agreement that sealed them 
and seemed unchangeable soon induced other foreign 
nations to claim further privileges. 

By the end of the sixteenth century Turkey had 
to grant similar privileges to Great Britain, and the 
contest between the British representative, Sir 
Thomas Glover, and Jean de Gontaut-Biron, the 
French ambassador, has become historical. Never- 
theless France for nearly two centuries maintained 
her position and influence. 

So it was with Russia in 1711 and the United 
States in 1830. The Ottoman Empire had even to 
concede almost equal advantages to Greece and 
Rumania, countries which had enlarged their 
boundaries at her expense. 

Such privileges, which were justifiable at the outset, 
soon brought on unrestricted and unjustifiable inter- 
ference by foreign Powers in Turkish affairs. The 
Powers attempted to justify the establishment and 
maintenance of this regime by alleging they had to 
protect their subjects against the delays or evil 
practices of the Turkish courts of justice, though 
the Powers that had managed to gain great influ- 


ence in Turkey were already able, through their 
embassies, to defend fully the rights and interests of 
their own subjects. 

In virtue of the judicial privileges, all differences 
or misdemeanours concerning foreigners of the same 
nationality were amenable to the consuls of the 
country concerned, whose right of jurisdiction in- 
cluded that of arrest and imprisonment ; cases between 
foreigners of different nationalities were heard in the 
court of the defendant, this applying to both lawsuits 
and criminal cases ; while, in lawsuits between Turkish 
subjects and foreigners, the jurisdiction belonged to 
the Ottoman tribunals ; but, as the consul was repre- 
sented in court by an assessor or a dragoman, the 
sentence depended chiefly on the latter. As a 
matter of fact, these privileges only favoured the 
worst class of foreigners, and merely served to make 
fraud easier. 

Lastly, from an economic point of view, the 
Capitulations injured the Turkish treasury by binding 
the Ottoman State and preventing it from establish- 
ing differential duties, at a time when a war of tariffs 
was being carried on between all States. 

During the reign of Abdul Hamid, owing to the 
facilities given by this state of things, the inter- 
ference of the Powers in Turkish affairs reached such 
a climax that they succeeded not only in bringing 
Turkey into a condition of subjection, but in dispos- 
ing of her territories, after dividing them into regions 
where their respective . influence was paramount. 
The greediness of the Powers was only restrained by 
the conflicts their rivalry threatened to raise. If 
one of them obtained a concession, such as the build- 


ing of a railway line in the region assigned to it, the 
others at once demanded compensation, such as the 
opening of harbours on the sea-fronts assigned to 
them. Things went so far that Russia, though she 
could not compete with the Powers whose rivalry 
gave itself free scope at the expense of the Ottoman 
Empire, intervened to hinder Turkey from construct- 
ing a system of railways in Eastern Asia Minor, 
alleging that the building of these lines would en- 
danger her zone of influence. The railway con- 
cessions had to be given to her, though she never 
attempted to construct any of the lines. 

In addition, by laying stress on the Capitulations, 
in which nothing could be found that supported their 
demands, the Great Powers established foreign post- 
offices in the ports of the Empire. These post-offices, 
which enjoyed the privilege of extra- territoriality, were 
only used by foreign merchants and persons of note 
to smuggle in small parcels, and by native agitators 
to correspond safely with agitators living abroad. 

Of course Turkey, being thus brought into sub- 
jection, did not develop so rapidly as the nations 
which, not being under any foreign tutelage, enjoyed 
independence; and it is unfair to reproach her with 
keeping behind them. 

After the revolution, and owing to many requests of 
the Turkish Government, some economic alterations 
were made in the Capitulations, such as the paying 
of the tradesman's licence tax by foreigners, and the 
right of the State to establish monopolies. Austria- 
Hungary, when the question of Bosnia-Herzegovina 
was settled, consented to give up her privilege con- 
cerning the customs duties, on condition that other 


Powers did the same. A short time after Germany 
promised to do so, but, among the other Powers, 
some refused, and others laid down conditions that 
would have brought more servitude to Turkey and 
would have cost her new sacrifices. 

The Unionist Government, as will be shown later, 
cancelled the Capitulations during the last war. 

After recalling the wonderful political fortune of 
the Turkish Empire, we should remember that, 
after bringing Eastern influences to Western coun- 
tries, it had also an influence of its own which was 
plainly felt in Europe. Western art drew its inspira- 
tion from Eastern subjects, and at the end of the 
eighteenth' century everything that was Turkish 
became the fashion for a time. 

This influence was the natural outcome of the close 
intercourse with the Levant from the Renaissance 
till the eighteenth century, and of the receptions 
given in honour of Eastern men of mark during their 
visits to European courts. It is not intended 
to discuss the . question of the relation between 
Turkish art and Arabian art, and its repercussion 
on Western art, or of Eastern influence in literature; 
but it will be well to show how much attraction 
all Turkish and Eastern things had for the people 
of the time, and how happily the imitation of 
the East influenced decorative art and style, as if 
the widely different tastes of societies so far apart 
had reached the same stage of refinement and culture. 

Records are still extant of the famous embassy 
sent by the Grand Turk during the reign of Louis XIV, 


and the embassy sent by the Sultan of Morocco to ask 
for the hand of the Princess de Conti, for in Coypel's 
painting in the Versailles Museum can be seen the 
ambassadors of the Sultan of Morocco witnessing a 
performance of Italian comedy in Paris in 1682. 
Later on the Turkish embassy of Mehemet Effendi 
in 1721 was painted by Ch. Parrocel. 

Lievins' " Soliman " in the Royal Palace of Berlin, 
a few faces drawn by Rembrandt, his famous portrait 
known as " The Turk with the Stick " in MacK. 
Tomby's collection, which is more likely to be the 
portrait of an aristocratic Slav, the carpet in " Beth- 
sabe's Toilet after a Bath," bear witness to the 
Eastern influence. So do the Turkish buildings of 
Peter Koeck d'Aelst, who was the director of a 
Flemish manufactory of tapestry at Constantinople 
during Solunan's reign; the scenes of Turkish life 
and paintings of Melchior Lorch, who also lived at 
Constantinople about the same time and drew the 
Sultan's and the Sultana's portraits ; and the pictures 
of J.-B. van Mour, born at Valenciennes, who died 
in Constantinople, where he had been induced to 
come by M. de Ferriol, the French King's Ambassador ; 
of A. de Favray; and of Melling, the Sultana 
Hadidge's architect, who was called the painter of 
the Bosphorus. 1 

There may also be mentioned Charles Amed6e van 
Loo's pictures: "A Sultana's Toilet," "The Sultana 
ordering the Odalisks some Fancy Work," " The 
Favourite Sultana with her Women attended by White 

1 Cf. A. Boppe, Lea Peintres du Bosphore au dix-huili&me 
sikde (Paris, 1919). 


and Black Eunuchs," " Odalisks dancing before the 
Sultan and Sultana," most of which were drawn for 
the king from 1775 to 1777, and were intended as 
models for tapestries; and also the portrait of 
Madame de Pompadour as an odalisk, " The Odalisk 
before her Embroidery Frame," and " A Negress 
bringing the Sultana's Coffee," by the same painter. 
To these may be added Lancret's Turkish sketches, 
the drawings and pastels of Liotard, who left Geneva 
for Paris about 1762, then lived in the ports of the 
Levant and Constantinople, and came back to 
Vienna, London, and Holland, and whose chief 
pictures are: " A Frankish Lady of Pera receiving a 
Visit," " A Frankish Lady of Galata attended by her 
Slave "; and also Fragonard's " New Odalisks intro- 
duced to the Pasha," his sepia drawings, Marie 
Antoinette's so-called Turkish furniture, etc. 

In music any sharp, brisk rhythm was styled 
alia turca that is, in the Turkish style. We 
also know a Turkish roundelay by Mozart, and a 
Turkish march in Beethoven's " Ruins of Athens." 

At the end of the eighteenth century, not only 
did people imitate the gorgeousness and vivid colours 
of Turkish costumes, but every Turkish whim was 
the fashion of the day. Ingres, too, took from 
Turkey the subjects of some of his best and most 
famous paintings: " The Odalisk lying on her Bed," 
" The Turkish Bath," etc. 

Lastly, the Great War should teach us, in other 
respects too, not to, underrate those who became our 
adversaries owing to the mistake they made in 


joining the Central Powers. For the " Sick Man " 
raised an army of nearly 1,600,000 men, about 
a million of whom belonged to fighting units, and the 
alliance of Turkey with Germany was a heavy blow 
to the Allied Powers : Russia was blockaded, the Tsar 
Ferdinand was enabled to attack Serbia, the blockade 
of Rumania brought on the peace of Bukharest, 
Turkish troops threatened Persia, owing to which 
German emissaries found their way into Afghanistan, 
General Kress von Kressenstein and his Ottoman 
troops attacked the Suez Canal, etc. All this gave 
the Allies a right to enforce on Turkey heavy terms 
of peace, but did not justify either the harsh treat- 
ment inflicted upon her before the treaty was signed, 
or some of the provisions of that treaty. It would 
be a great mistake to look upon Turkey as of no 
account in the future, and to believe that the nation 
can no longer play an important part in Europe. 



IT is a well-known fact that Germany, while care- 
fully organising the conflict that was to lay waste the 
whole world and give her the hegemony of the globe, 
had not neglected Turkey. Her manoeuvres ended, 
before the war, in concluding a Turco-German treaty 
of alliance, signed in Constantinople at four o'clock in 
the afternoon of August 2, 1914, by Baron von Wangen- 
heim and the Grand Vizier Said Halim, an Egyptian 
prince, cousin to the former Khedive of Egypt and 
Mehemet All's grandson. It seems that the Turkish 
negotiators had plainly told the German representa- 
tives that they only meant to fight against Russia, 
and they did not even require any guarantee against 
the action of France and England. 

The spirit in which these negotiations were carried 
on has been lately corroborated by a statement of 
M. Bompard, former French Ambassador at Con- 
stantinople, who, in answer to a newspaper article 
concerning the circumstances under which Turkey 
entered into the war, and the episode of the Goeben 
and the Breslau, 1 wrote in the same newspaper: 2 

"Owing to the treaty of August 2, Turkey was ipso facto 
a belligerent; yet though the military authorities acted in 

"Comment le Goeben et le Breslau echap- 
perent aux flottes allies," by Henry Miles, June 16, 1921. 

2 M. Bompard's letter to the editor of the ficlair, June 23, 



conformity with the treaty, the civil authorities i.e., the 
Government, properly speaking had a somewhat different 
attitude. In the first place, the Government denied it was 
at war with France and England. The Grand Vizier had even 
made a formal declaration of neutrality in Paris and London; 
it only had to do with Russia; besides, the thing was not 
urgent, as the Russian decree of mobilisation had just been 

In the first article of the treaty it was stated that 
both Powers should maintain a strict neutrality in the 
conflict between Austria-Hungary and Serbia. This 
clause, however, was only intended to give the treaty 
a pacific appearance, for it was said in Clause 2 that 
if Russia intervened and thus compelled Germany 
to support her ally, Austria-Hungary, Turkey should 
be under the same obligation. 

Now, on the previous day, Germany had declared 
war on Russia, and thus the second article came into 
effect immediately. So by this treaty Germany 
really wanted to throw Turkey into the war by the 
side of the Central Powers. 

The other clauses laid down the conditions of a 
military co-operation. The most important one was 
that Turkey pledged herself to let the German 
military mission have the control in the conduct 
of operations, " according to what was agreed 
between His Excellency the War Minister and the 
President of the Military Mission." Theoretically 
the treaty was to come to an end on December 31, 
1918, but, if not denounced six months before that 
date, it was to be renewed for five years more. 

Clause 8 and last expressly said that the agreement 
was to be kept secret. 

On October 29, 1914, two Turkish torpedo-boats 
entered the port of Odessa, sank a Russian gun-boat, 


and fired at the French liner Portugal, and a Turco- 
German squadron made a surprise attack upon 
Theodosia and Novorossisk. Then the Allied Powers 
declared war on Turkey on November 5. 

Yet, after keeping neutral during the first three 
months of the war, Turkey seems to have had 
some hesitation in entering the conflict, notwith- 
standing German pressure. Most of her statesmen, 
who had weighed the financial and political con- 
sequences of her intervention, did not seem to con- 
sider they were to the advantage of their country; 
but the ambitious aims of Enver Pasha, who was 
devoted to Germany, for his success depended on her 
triumph, prevailed upon Turkey to yield. On the 
other hand, the Grand Vizier, Said Halim Pasha, 
pointed out on October 2, 1914, to the Austrian 
ambassador, who urged Turkey to utilise her fleet, 
that if the latter was ever defeated by the Russian 
fleet, Constantinople would be endangered. But a 
few days after, on October 15, he declared that the 
only obstacle to Turkish intervention was the penury 
of the treasury. Indeed, it is probable that Javid 
Bey, Minister of Finance, who had just signed an 
agreement with France concerning Turkish railways 
and finance, was not very eager to declare war on 
a country whose financial help was indispensable. 
He had even made overtures on several occasions 
to the ambassadors of the Entente, on behalf of the 
moderate members of the Ministry. In August, 1914, 
he offered to come to an agreement with the Entente 
providing that the Capitulations were suppressed, 
and in September h asked them to recognise the 
suppression of the Capitulations in order to be able to 


demobilise the Ottoman army. He resigned after 
the declaration of war, but consented to be member 
of a new Cabinet the next year. 

It seems probable, too, that Talaat for rather a 
long time favoured an attitude of neutrality in 
order to obtain for Turkey, among other political 
and economic advantages, the suppression of the 
Capitulations, and that only later on he finally, like 
Jemal, Minister of Marine, sided with Enver Pasha 
and the Germans. On September 6 Talaat Bey told 
Sir L. du Pan Mallet that there was no question of 
Turkey entering the war, 1 and on September 9 he 
declared to the same ambassador, with regard to the 
Capitulations, that the time had come to free Turkey 
from foreign trammels. 2 

Ghalib Kemaly Bey, Turkish Minister at Athens, 
in a telegram addressed to Said Halim Pasha on 
June 15, 1914, had informed him he had just learnt 
that " Greece, by raising a conflict, expected a 
general conflagration would ensue which might bring 
on the opening of the question of Turkey- in- Asia." 
On August 7, 1914, he stated in another dispatch 
sent from Athens to the Sublime Porte : 

" In the present war England, according to all probabilities, 
will have the last word. So if we are not absolutely certain 
to triumph finally, it would be a highly venturesome thing 
for us to rush into an adventure, the consequences of which 
might be which God forbid fatal to our country." 

In a long report dated September 9, 1914, he 
added : 

" The present circumstances are so critical and so fraught 
with danger that I take the liberty humbly to advise the 

1 Blue Book, No. 64. a Ibid., No. 70. 


Imperial Government to keep a strict neutrality in the 
present conflicts, and to endeavour to soothe Russia. . . . 

" The compact lately signed in London by the Allies shows 
that the war is expected to last long. ... A State like 
the Ottoman Empire, which has enormous unprotected sea- 
coasts and remote provinces open to foreign intrigues, should 
certainly beware of the enmity of a malignant and vindictive 
country like England. . . ." 

So it appears that the decision of Turkey was 
not taken unanimously and only after much 

Henceforth the operations engaged in by both sides 
followed their due course. 

In Europe the Franco-British squadrons under the 
command of Admiral Garden began on November 3 
to bombard the forts which guarded the entrance of 
the Dardanelles. On February 25, 1915, a combined 
attack of the Allied fleets took place, and on March 18 
a general attack was made by the Franco-British 
squadrons, in which three of their ironclads were 
sunk, four were severely damaged, and other ships 
were disabled. 

On April 25 to 27 the English and French troops 
landed in Gallipoli, and after driving back the Turks 
advanced on May 6 to 8. But when the expeditionary 
corps had failed to reach Krithia and the Kareves- 
Dere, then, after a violent offensive of the Turks, 
which was repulsed on June 21, and the failure of 
a diversion against the Sari-Bair Mountains, it was 
withdrawn on January 8, 1916. 

In Asia, after the Turkish naval action in the Black 
Sea, and the march of the Turkish troops against 
Kars and TifLis, the Russians invaded Armenia, in 
Asia Minor, on November 4, 1914, and took Ardost. 
On November 8 they captured Bayazid and Kupri- 



keui; Ardahan and Sary-Kamysh, where, as will be 
seen later on, the Armenians were partly responsible for 
the Turkish retreat, December 21 and 22; on May 19, 
1915, Van fell; then, in the following year, Erzerum 
(February 16, 1916), Mush (February 18), Bitlis 
(March 2), Trebizond (April 18), Baiburt (July 16), and 
Erzinjan (July 25). Thus the Russian troops had con- 
quered the four provinces of Erzerum, Van, Trebizond, 
and Bitlis, extending over an area of 75,000 square 

In Mesopotamia the British brigade of Indian 
troops came into action on November 8, 1914, and 
captured the little fort at Fao, which commands the 
entrance of the Shatt-el-Arab. On November 17 it 
was victorious at Sihan, took Basra on the 22nd, 
and Korna on December 9 of the same year. Next 
year, on July 3, 1915, the British troops captured 
Amara, Suk-esh-Shuyukh on July 21, Naseriya 
on the 25th of the same month, and on September 29 
they occupied Kut-el-Amara, which the Turks re- 
captured on April 18, 1916, taking General Townshend 
prisoner. On February 28, 1917, Kut-el-Amara fell 
again to British arms, then Baghdad on March 11, 
On April 2, 1917, the English and Russian forces 
joined together at Kizilrobat on the main road to 
Persia, and all the Indian frontier was wholly freed 
from the Turco-German pressure. 

But after the Russian revolution, the Turks 
successively recaptured all the towns the Russian 
troops had conquered in Transcaucasia and Asia 
Minor, and soon threatened Caucasus. 

Meanwhile in Arabia the Turks had suddenly 
invaded the Aden area, where they were beaten on 


the 21st by the British at Sheikh-Othman and on the 
25th at Bir-Ahmed. 

On June 10, 1916, the Arab rising broke out. On 
June 14 they were masters of Mecca. On July 1 
they took Jeddah, then Rabagh, then Yambo on the 
Red Sea. On November 6, 1916, the Sherif of 
Mecca, the Emir Hussein, was proclaimed King of 
the Hejaz, under the name of Hussein-Ibn-Ali. 

As early as November 3, 1914, Turkey, which 
occupied all the Sinai Peninsula, threatened Egypt. 
A first Turkish offensive against the Suez Canal was 
checked from February 2 to 4 simultaneously before 
El-Kantara, Al-Ferdan, Toussoun, and Serapeum. 
A second Turkish offensive, started on July 29, 1916, 
was also crushed before Romani near the Suez 
Canal, on the 5th at Katia and on the llth at Bir- 

The British army then launched a great offensive 
in December, 1916, which resulted, on December 21, 
in the capture of El-Arish, on the boundary of the 
Sinaitic desert, and in the occupation of Aleppo on 
October 26, 1918. On January 9, 1917, they took 
Rafa, then Beersheba on October 31, 1917, Gaza 
on November 7, and Jaffa on November 17; and 
on December 11, 1917, General Allenby entered 

In September, 1918, a new offensive took place, 
backed by the French troops that took Nablus, 
and the French navy that made the British advance 
possible by bombarding the coast. General Allenby 
entered Haifa and Acre on September 23 and Tiberias 
on the 24th, and on the 28th he effected his junction 
with the troops of the King of the Hejaz. He 


entered Damascus on October 1 with the Emir 
Feisal, who commanded the Arabian army. On 
October 6 the French squadron sailed into the port 
of Beyrut, which was occupied on the 7th. Tripoli 
was captured on the 13th, Horns on the 15th, Aleppo 
on the 26th of October, 1918. By this time Syria, 
Lebanon, Mesopotamia, and Arabia had fallen into 
the hands of the Allies. 

Meanwhile the disintegration of the Turkish troops 
was completed by General Franchet d'Esperey's 
offensive and the capitulation of Bulgaria. Turkey 
applied to General Townshend who had been taken 
prisoner at Kut-el-Amara to treat with her victors. 
The negotiations of the armistice were conducted by 
E-auf Bey, Minister of the Navy; Reshad Hikmet 
Bey, Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs; 
and Sadullah Bey, head of the general staff of the 
Third Army. 

As early as 1916 Turkey of her own authority had 
suppressed the Capitulations i.e., the conventions 
through which the Powers, as has been seen, had 
a right, amongst other privileges, to have their 
own tribunals and post-offices ; and by so doing she 
had freed herself from the invidious tutelage of 

The Ottoman Government, in a note sent on 
November 1, 1916, by the Turkish ambassadors in 
Berlin and Vienna to the German and Austrian 
Ministers of Foreign Affairs, notified to their respec- 
tive Governments and the neutrals that henceforth 
they looked upon the two international treaties of 
Paris and Berlin as null and void. 

Now the treaties of Paris in 1856 and of Berlin in 


1878 were the most important deeds that had hitherto 
regulated the relations between the Ottoman Empire 
and the other European Powers. The treaty of 
Paris confirmed the treaty of 1841, according to 
which the question of the closing of the Straits to 
foreign warships was considered as an international 
question which did not depend only on the Turkish 

The Berlin treaty of 1878, too, asserted a right of 
control and tutelage of the Powers over Turkey, and 
in it Turkey solemnly promised to maintain the 
principle of religious liberty, to allow Christians to 
bear evidence in law-courts, and to institute reforms 
in Armenia. 

As the King of Prussia and the Emperor had signed 
the treaty of Paris, and the Austrian Emperor and 
the German Emperor had signed the treaty of Berlin, 
Turkey could not denounce these treaties without 
the assent of these two allied countries, which thus 
gave up the patrimonial rights and privileges wrested 
from the Sultan by Western Europe in the course of 
the last three centuries. This consideration accounts 
for the support Turkey consented to give the Central 
Powers and the sacrifices she engaged to make. 

In order to understand the succession of events 
and the new policy of Turkey, the reader must be 
referred to the note of the Ottoman Government 
abrogating the treaties of Paris and Berlin which 
was handed on November 1, 1916, by the Turkish 
ambassadors in Berlin and Vienna to the German 
and Austrian Ministers of Foreign Affairs. This note, 
recalling the various events which had taken place, 
pointed out that they justified Turkey in casting 


off the tutelage of both the Allied Powers and the 
Central Powers: 

" Owing to the events that took place in the second half 
of the last century, the Imperial Ottoman Empire was com- 
pelled, at several times, to sign two important treaties, the 
Paris treaty on March 30, 1856, and the Berlin treaty on 
August 3, 1878. The latter had, in most respects, broken 
the balance established by the former, and they were both 
trodden underfoot by the signatories that openly or secretly 
broke their engagements. These Powers, after enforcing the 
clauses that were to the disadvantage of the Ottoman Empire, 
not only did not care for those that were to its advantage, 
but even continually opposed their carrying out. 

" The Paris treaty laid down the principle of the territorial 
integrity and independence of the Ottoman Empire; it also 
stipulated that this clause shoxild be fully guaranteed by all 
the Powers, and forbade any meddling, either with the 
relations between the Imperial Government and its sub- 
jects, or with the interior administration of the Ottoman 

" Nevertheless, the French Government kept on interfering 
by force of arms in Ottoman territory, and demanded the 
institution of a new administrative organisation in Lebanon. 
Then the Powers signatory to the treaty were compelled to 
participate in this action by diplomatic ways, in order not to 
let France have a free hand in carrying out her plans, which 
were contrary to the Paris treaty and paved the way to 
territorial encroachments. 

" On the other hand, the Russian Government, pursuing a 
similar policy, held in check by an ultimatum the action of 
the Porte against the principalities of Serbia and Montenegro, 
where it had raised an insurrection, and which it had fully 
provided with arms, supplies, officers, and soldiers; and after 
demanding the institution of a new foreign administration in 
some Ottoman provinces and of a foreign control over their 
home affairs, it finally declared war against Turkey. 

" In the same manner the clauses of the Paris treaty did not 
hinder either the French Government from occupying Tunis 
and turning this province of the Ottoman Empire into a 
French protectorate or the English from occupying Egypt 
to become the ruling power there, and from encroaching upon 
Ottoman sovereignty in the south of the Yemen, in Nejed, 
Koweit, Elfytyr, and the Persian Gulf. In spite of the same 
clauses the four Powers now at war against Turkey have 
also recently modified the condition of Crete and instituted 


a new state of things inconsistent with the territorial integrity 
that they had guaranteed. 

" Finally Italy, without any serious reason, merely in order 
to have territorial compensations after the new political 
situation created in Northern Africa, did not hesitate to 
declare war against the Ottoman Empire, and did not even 
comply with the engagement she had taken, in case of a con- 
tention with the Imperial Government, to refer the case to 
the mediation of the Powers signatory of the treaty before 
resorting to war. 

" It is not necessary to mention all the other cases of inter- 
ference in the home affairs of the Ottoman Empire. 

"The Berlin treaty, concluded after the events of 1877-78, 
completely remodelled the Paris treaty by creating in Euro- 
pean Turkey a new state of things, which was even modified 
by posterior treaties. But soon after the Berlin treaty the 
Russian Government showed how little it cared for its 
engagements. Even before capturing Batum it managed to 
annex that fortified place by declaring openly and officially 
its intention to turn it into a free trade port. The British 
Government consented to renew some of its engagements. 
Yet the Cabinet of Petrograd, after fulfilling its aspirations, 
simply declared that the clause relating to this case was no 
longer valid, and turned the town into a naval station. As 
for the British Government, it did not carry out any of the 
protective measures it had hinted at, which shows how little 
it cared for the regime instituted by the Berlin treaty. 

" Though the Imperial 7 Ottoman Government scrupulously 
submitted to the harsh, heavy clauses of the treaty, a few 
provisions that were favourable to it were never carried out, 
in spite of its own insistence and that of its protectors, 
because one of the Powers thought it its own interest to raise 
difficulties to the Ottoman Empire. 

" It ensues from all this that the fundamental and general 
clauses of the treaties of Paris and Berlin, concerning the 
Ottoman Empire, were annulled ipso facto by some of the 
signatories. Now, since the clauses of an international deed 
that are to the advantage of one of the contracting parties 
have never been carried out, it is impossible that the obliga- 
tions contracted by this party should be considered as valid 
still. Such a state of things makes it necessary, as far as the 
aforesaid party is concerned, to annul such a treaty. It 
should also be borne in mind that, since the conclusion of 
these two treaties, the situation has completely changed. 

" Since the Imperial Government is at war with four of the 
signatory Powers, to whose advantage and at whose eager 


request the aforesaid treaties were concluded, it follows that 
these treaties have become null and void, as far as the rela- 
tions between Turkey and these Powers are concerned. 

" Besides, the Imperial Government has concluded an 
alliance on a footing of complete equality with the other two 
signatory Powers. Henceforth the Ottoman Empire, being 
definitely freed from its condition of inferiority and from the 
international tutelage some of the Great Powers had an 
interest in maintaining, now sits in the European concert 
with all the rights and privileges of a completely independent 
State; and this new situation cancels even the causes of the 
aforesaid international agreements. 

" All these considerations deprive the aforesaid contracts 
of any binding value. 

" Nevertheless, that there may lurk no uncertainty on this 
head in the mind of the contracting Powers that have turned 
their friendly relations into an alliance with Turkey, the 
Imperial Government begs to inform the German and Austro- 
Hungarian Governments that it has annulled the treaties of 
1856 and 1878. 

" It also feels bound to declare that, in accordance with the 
principles of international law, it will certainly avail itself 
of such rights as are to its advantage, and have not yet been 

" On the other hand, the Imperial Government, under the 
pressure of France, had been compelled to grant the sanjaks 
of Lebanon a strictly administrative and restricted autonomy, 
that might be a pretext to a certain extent to the intervention 
of the Great Powers. Though this situation was never 
sanctioned by a regular treaty, but by interior laws in 1861 
and 1864, the Imperial Ottoman Government, in order to 
avoid any misunderstanding, feels bound to declare that it 
puts an end to that state of things, and, for the reasons men- 
tioned above, it institutes in this sandjak the same adminis- 
trative organisation as in the other parts of the Empire." 

After the military defeat of autumn, 1918, the 
leaders of the Committee of Union and Progress who 
had governed the Ottoman Empire since 1905 dis- 
appeared, and the statesmen of the former regime 
came into office again. In the very first days of 
October, 1918, the Talaat Pasha Cabinet had offered 
its resignation, which had not been accepted at first 
by the Sultan. 


The new Ottoman Cabinet made a declaration of 
policy to Parliament on Wednesday, October 23, 
1918. In the opening address, read by the Grand 
Vizier Izzet Pasha, an amnesty was promised to all 
political offenders. Turkey stated she 'was quite 
ready to accept a peace, based on Mr. Wilson's 
fourteen points, and to grant at once to all the 
elements of the population, without any distinction 
of nationality or religion, full political rights and 
the right to a share in the administration of the 
country. She also promised to solve the question 
of the Arabian vilayets, to take into consideration 
their national aspirations, and to grant them an 
autonomous administration, provided the bonds 
existing between them, the Caliphate, and the Sultan, 
should be maintained. The whole Chamber, with the 
exception of ten deputies who refused to vote, passed 
a vote of confidence in the new Cabinet. 

After the French victory in the East and the 
capitulation of Bulgaria, the political changes, which 
had already begun in Turkey, soon became quite 
pronounced. Talaat Pasha, whose ideas differed 
utterly from those of Enver Pasha, and who had 
more and more confined his activity to the war depart- 
ment, had gradually lost his influence over the policy 
of the Empire since the death of Mehmed V. After 
having taken his share, together with Enver and 
Jemal, in bringing Turkey into the war by the side of 
the Central Powers in 1914, he now realised that 
the game was up. Besides, the Ottoman Press now 
openly attacked the Cabinets of the. two Empires, 
and reproached them with neglecting the interests of 
the Porte when the additional treaty of Brest-Litovsk 


was drafted, during the negotiations of Bukharest, 
and later on in the course of the negotiations with 
the Cabinet of Sofia. 

Talaat, Javid, and Enver sought shelter in Berlin. 
Their flight greatly affected the new Constantinople 
Government on account of some financial mal- 
versations which had occurred while the leaders of 
the Committee of Union and Progress were in office. 
So the Sublime Porte in December, 1918, demanded 
their extradition, which Germany refused to grant. 
In April, 1919, Talaat, who lived in Berlin under the 
name of Sali Ali Bey, and who later on opened a 
public-house in that city, was sentenced to death 
by default in Constantinople, and a year later, in 
March, 1920, England, according to a clause of the 
Versailles treaty, put him down on the list of the 
war-criminals 1 whose extradition might be demanded. 

1 Since the publication of the French edition of this book 
Talaat was murdered on March 15, 1921, at Charlottenburg, by 
an Armenian student named Solomon Teilirian, aged twenty- 
four, a native of Salmas in Persia. 



As early as 1916 the Allies seem to have come to an 
agreement over the principle of the partition of the 
Ottoman Empire. In their answer to President 
Wilson they mentioned among their war aims " to 
enfranchise the populations enslaved to the san- 
guinary Turks," and " to drive out of Europe the 
Ottoman Empire, which is decidedly alien to Western 

According to the conventions about the impending 
partition of Turkey concluded between the Allies in 
April and May, 1916, and August, 1917, Russia was 
to take possession of ^ the whole of Armenia and 
Eastern Anatolia, Constantinople, and the Straits. 
In virtue of the treaty signed in London on May 16, 
1916, fixing the boundaries of two zones of British 
influence and two zones of French influence, France 
and England were to share Mesopotamia and Syria, 
France getting the northern part with Alexandretta 
and Mosul, and England the southern part with 
Haifa and Baghdad. According to the treaty of 
August 21, 1917, Italy was to have Western Asia 
Minor with Smyrna and Adalia. Palestine was to 
be internationalised and Arabia raised to the rank of 
an independent kingdom. 

But, following the breakdown of Russia and the 


entrance of America into the war, the conventions 
of 1916 and 1917 were no longer held valid. President 
Wilson declared in the fourteenth of his world- 
famous points that: " The Turkish parts of the 
present Ottoman Empire should be assured of secure 
sovereignty, but the other nations now under Turkish 
rule should be assured security of lif e and autonomous 

It follows that the partition of Turkish terri- 
tories such as Mesopotamia or Syria between Powers 
that had no right to them, as was foreshadowed in 
the conventions of 1916, was no longer admitted; 
and the Conference in February, 1919, decided, at 
Mr. Wilson's suggestion, that all territories that be- 
longed to the Ottoman Empire before should be put 
under the control of the League of Nations, which 
was to assign mandates to certain Great Powers. 

According to the decisions taken at that time, and 
at the special request of M. Venizelos, the Greeks 
obtained all the western coast of Asia Minor between 
Aivali and the Gulf of Kos, with Pergamus, Smyrna, 
Phocosa, Magnesia, Ephesus, and Halicarnassus, and 
a hinterland including all the vilayet of Aidin, 
except the sanjak of Denizli and part of that of 
Mentesha (Mughla). 

The Italian delegation thought fit to make reserva- 
tions about the assignment of Smyrna to Greece. 

It seems that in the course of the conversations at 
St-Jean-de-Maurienne Greece being still neutral at 
the time M. Ribot asked Baron Sonnino whether 
Italy, to facilitate the conclusion of a separate peace 
with Austria-Hungary, would eventually consent to 
give up Trieste in exchange for Smyrna. The Italian 


delegation had merely noted down the offer, without 
giving an answer. The Italian diplomats now 
recalled that offer as an argument, not so much to 
lay a claim to Smyrna as their subsequent attitude 
showed as to prevent a change to Italy's dis- 
advantage in the balance of power in the Eastern 
Mediterranean, and an infringement of the London 
treaty that guaranteed her definite possession of 
the Dodecanese. 

Moreover, according to Article 9 of the London 
treaty, in case of a partition of Asia Minor, or merely 
in case zones of influence should be marked out in it, 
Italy was to have the same share as the other Powers 
and receive, together with the province of Adalia, 
where she had acquired a paramount influence and 
obtained a recognition of her rights from Turkey in 
1912, the neighbouring regions. In accordance with 
this article, the Conference seemed inclined to give 
Italy an international mandate for all the part of 
Asia Minor that was to be left to the Turks namely, 
all the Anatolian plateau, including the vilayets of 
Kastamuni, Brusa, Angora, Konia, and Sivas. It is 
obvious that the difficulties raised by the assignment 
of Smyrna to Greece could not but be aggravated by 
the new political situation in case this mandate should 
be given to the Italians. 

Consequently, when the Italians saw Smyrna 
assigned to Greece, they were all the more anxious 
to give to their new zone of influence in Asia Minor 
an outlet to the sea that should not depend on the 
great port of Western Asia Minor. After considering 
Adalia, Makri, and Marmaris, which are good har- 
bours but do not communicate with the interior and 


are not connected with the chief commercial routes 
of the continent, their attention was drawn to Kush- 
Adassi, called by the Greeks New Ephesus and by 
themselves Scala Nuova, a port that numbered about 
6,000 souls before the war, lying opposite to Samos, 
in the Gulf of Ephesus, about ten miles from the ruins 
of the old town of the same name and the Smyrna- 
Aidin railway. 

This port, which is situated on the mouth of the 
Meander, might easily be connected by a few miles 
of railroad with the main railway line to the south 
of Ayasaluk which brings towards the ^Egean Sea 
all the produce of Asia Minor; then it would divert 
from Smyrna much of the trade of Aidin, Denizli, 
and the lake region. To the merchants of Asia 
Minor who deal with Syria, Egypt, Greece, Italy, 
and all Western Europe, excepting those who trade 
with the Black Sea the Kush-Adassi line would be 
both faster and cheaper, if this port was as well 
equipped as Smyrna. 

But, as Kush-Adassi happened to be in the zone 
which at first had been assigned to Greece and whose 
frontier goes down to the south as far as Hieronda 
Bay, Italy endeavoured in every way to carry farther 
to the north the boundaries of the Italian zone, in 
order to include this port in it. For this purpose, 
Italy took advantage of the troubled condition of the 
area round Aidin, Sokia, and Cape Mycale to send a 
police force up the Meander and the railway line 
along it, in order to carry her control up to the Gulf 
of Ephesus. Of course the territory lying between 
Hieronda and Kush-Adassi still remained part of the 
Greek zone of occupation, but, all the same, Italy set 


foot in it. Her diplomats soon turned this fact into 
a right of possession. 

M. Tittoni soon after agreed to play the part of 
arbiter in the question of the southern frontier of 
Bulgaria; and in July, 1919, it was announced that 
after some conversations between M. Venizelos and 
M. Tittoni an understanding had been reached about 
Thrace and Northern Epirus. whereby Greece agreed 
to enlarge the northern part of the Italian zone 
of occupation in Asia Minor, and gave up to Italy 
the valley of the Meander. So, though on the whole 
M. Tittoni's arbitration was in favour of Greece, Italy 
obtained the territorial triangle included between 
Hieronda, Nazili, and Kush-Adassi, the control over 
the Meander, and to a certain extent over the railway. 
In return for this, Italy promised to cede to Greece 
the Dodecanese except one, captured by Italy in 
1912 during her war with Turkey, together with 
the Isle of Rhodes, though she had a right to keep 
the latter for at least, five years. In case England 
should grant the inhabitants of Cyprus the right to 
pass under Greek sovereignty, Italy was to hold a 
plebiscite in Rhodes and let the native population 
become Greeks if they wished. By supporting 
the Greek claims in Thrace, Italy won the sym- 
pathies of Greece at a time when the latter both 
consolidated the rights of Italy on the continent 
and strengthened her own situation in the Dode- 

The control over the eastern part of Asia Minor 
which was to fall to the lot of the Armenians and in- 
cluded the vilayets of Erzerum, Van, Bitlis, Kharput, 
Diarbekir, and probably Trebizond the population 


of the latter vilayet consisting chiefly of Moslems with 
a Greek minority was to be assumed, so the Great 
Powers thought, by the United States. 

It should be remembered that the question of the 
eastern vilayets was raised for the first time by the 
Tsars of Russia, and gave them a pretext for inter- 
vening in the domestic affairs of Turkey and thus 
carrying out their plans of expansion in Asia Minor. 
As a matter of fact, those vilayets were not really 
Armenian. The Armenians were in a minority there, 
except in two or three districts where, as throughout 
the Ottoman Empire, they were mixed up with 
Turks. They had lived peaceably together till the 
Powers thought fit to support the claims of the 
Armenians and incite them to rebel, in order to 
further their own aims in Turkey, by a misuse of the 
privileges granted them by the Capitulations. 

Constantinople and the Straits seemed likely to be 

Lastly, the Arabian part of the Turkish Empire 
was to be cut off from it, though nobody could tell 
expressly in what manner, but in a way which it was 
easy to foresee. 

We shall deal later on with the negotiations that 
took place during the war between the British 
Government and Hussein, Grand Sherif of Mecca, the 
Emir Feisal's father, and we have already mentioned 
the help given to the British army by the Emir 
Feisal's troops, after the aforesaid negotiations. 
These facts throw a light on the policy pursued by 
England later on; and besides, immediately after 
the hostilities, in a speech made in London on 
Friday, November 1, 1918, Mr. Barnes, a Labour 


member of the British Cabinet, while speaking on the 
armistice with Turkey, acknowledged : 

" We could have signed it before, for we held the Turks 
at our discretion. For the last fortnight the Turks had 
been suing for peace, but we were on the way to Aleppo, which 
is to be the capital of the future independent Arab State, 
established in an Arab country and governed by Arabs. So 
we did not want to have done with the Turks till we had 
taken Aleppo." 

Such was the condition of the Turkish problem 
when the Peace Conference took it in hand for the 
first time. 

Rivalries naturally soon arose. 

The Emir Feisal, supported by England, laid 
claim not only to the whole of Arabia, but also to 
Palestine, Syria, and Mesopotamia to make up a 
huge Arab Empire, under his father's rule. France, 
who opposed that plan, convened a Syrian Congress 
in Marseilles, to raise a protest against the partition 
of Syria as had been laid down by the Franco- 
English agreement of 1916. 

Soon after the landing of Greek troops in Smyrna 
on the morning of May 15, 1919, brought about a 
serious conflict. 

It is noteworthy that after General Allenby's 
victories in Palestine and the resignation and flight 
of Talaat, Enver, and Jemal, General Izzet Pasha, 
who had been appointed Grand Vizier, had signed, 
on October 31, 1918, a convention of armistice, which 
put Turkish ports and railways under the Allies' 
provisional control and allowed them " in case things 
should become alarming for them " to occupy " all 
strategic points." This armistice had been con- 
cluded on the basis 'of Mr. Wilson's principle that 



" to the Turkish regions of the Ottoman Empire an 
unqualified sovereignty should be ensured." In no 
respect had the Turks broken the agreement when 
the Allies infringed it by allowing the Greeks to 
occupy Smyrna. This occupation, carried on in 
spite of France, who was not energetic enough, and 
one might almost say in spite of Italy, created a very 
serious situation. 

Indeed, no good reason could be given in sup- 
port of this decision. By the help of misleading 
or false information cleverly worded and widely 
distributed by a propaganda which overwhelmed the 
Press and was only equalled by the propaganda 
carried on by Poland political mancmivres induced 
the Allies to allow Greece, who wished to become 
" Greater Greece " and wanted Epirus, Thrace, 
Constantinople, Smyrna, Trebizond, and Adana, to 
occupy a region belonging to Anatolia, where the 
Turkish element predominates more than in all the 
rest of the Ottoman Empire, for there are only 
300,000 Greeks against about 1,300,000 Turks. This 
permission granted to Greece was the more surprising 
as it seems to have been obtained because the Greek 
Government had informed the Supreme Council that 
the disorder prevailing in the vilayet of Smyrna was 
a danger to the non-Turkish populations. 

Now the report of the Inter-allied Commission 
about the Greek occupation of Smyrna and the 
neighbouring territories which was sent later on and 
was dated from Constantinople, October 12, 1919, 
began as follows: 

" The inquiry has proved that since the armistice the 
general condition of the Christians of the vilayet of Aidin 


has been satisfactory, and their security has not been threat- 

" If the occupation of Smyrna was ordered by the Peace 
Conference owing to inaccurate information, the primary 
responsibility lies with the individuals or governments that 
gave or transmitted inconsiderately such information as is 
mentioned in No. 1 of the established facts. 

" It is obvious, therefore, that this occupation was not at 
all justifiable, and violated the terms of the armistice con- 
cluded between the Powers and Turkey." 

Moreover, to quote the very words of that report, 
the Greek occupation, " far from appearing as carry- 
ing out a civilising mission, has immediately put on 
the aspect of a conquest and a crusade." 

This inquiry, en the one hand, acknowledged that 
the responsibility for the events that took place 
at Smyrna on May 15 and 16 and in the immedi- 
ate neighbourhood during the first days following 
the landing, lay with the Greek headquarters and 
some officers who did not perform their duty. On 
the other hand it stated that part of the responsi- 
bility rested with the Turkish authorities at Smyrna, 
who took no step to prevent the escape and arming 
of common law prisoners before the coming of the 
Greeks. Then it went on as follows: 

" In the person of the high civil authority that represents 
it at Smyrna, the Greek Government is responsible for the 
serious disturbances that ended in bloodshed in the interior 
of the country during the advance of the Greek troops. . . . 
The Greeks alone are responsible for the bloodshed at Mene- 
men. . . . The Greek officers who were at Menemen quite 
neglected their duty." 

And the Commission wound up its report with 

"In the occupied region, putting aside the towns of 
Smyrna where the number of Christians is high, but th e 


number of Greek Christians much inferior to that of the 
Turks and Aivali, the predominance of the Turkish element 
over the Greek element is undeniable." 

So we easily understand the violent and justifiable 
indignation felt by the Turks when the Greek troops 
landed, for they could not forget that now there were 
no Turks in Thessaly, where they numbered 150,000 
in 1878, or in the Morea, where there had once been 
300,000, and that in Greece only about 20,000 were 
left of the 100,000 that had once lived there. 

M. Venizelos, in a letter addressed on May 29 to 
the President of the Conference, thought it his duty 
to give particulars about the way the occupation 
had been effected. After setting right what he 
styled " the wrong and misleading information given 
by newspapers," he stated that the Greeks had 
" arrived at Aidin, on the southern side, east of 
Nymphaton and north of the Kiver Ermos." The 
Great Powers having asked the Greek Government, 
as he said expressly in his letter, " to occupy Smyrna 
and its environs " without stating exactly how far 
the environs of Smyrna reached, he thought he had 
a right to look upon this operation which had been 
attended with a few incidents and had not been 
received everywhere with unmixed joy as the out- 
come of a settled policy. After this occupation public 
meetings of protest took place in Constantinople. 

An important Crown Council was held in the after- 
noon of May 26 at Yildiz-Kiosk, in order to enable 
the various political groups to express their opinion 
concerning the recent events. 

The Sultan, attended by the princes of the Imperial 
Family, opened the meeting, and stated it had been 


thought necessary to call together the most eminent 
men of Turkey that they might express their opinion 
about the critical condition of the country. 

The Grand Vizier, after recalling the events that 
had taken place in Turkey since the beginning of 
the war, asked the audience to let him have their 

The Unionist group said they were dissatisfied with 
the composition of the Ministry, and demanded a 
Coalition Government, in which all parties should be 

Another political group asked the Crown Council 
to form itself into a National Assembly. 

Somebody else showed the inanity of such sug- 
gestions and proposed to entrust the mandate of the 
administration of Turkey to a Great Power without 
mentioning which Power. He added: "Otherwise 
Turkey will be dismembered, which would be her 

As the assembly had merely consultative powers, 
no decision was reached. 

At the beginning of June, 1919, the Ottoman 
League sent from Geneva to Mr. Montagu, British 
Secretary for India, the following note: 

" The Ottoman League has examined the statements 
which your Excellency was so kind as to make at the Peace 
Conference, regarding the subsequent fate of the Ottoman 

" We have always been convinced that His Britannic 
Majesty's Government in its relations with our country 
would resume its traditional policy, which was started and 
advocated by the most famous English statesmen, and 
that, after obtaining the guarantees required for the safety 
of its huge dominions, it would refuse to countenance 
any measure aiming at the oppression and persecution of 


" The British Government can realise better than any other 
Power the disastrous consequences that would necessarily 
follow throughout Islam on the downfall of the Ottoman 
Empire and any blow struck at its vital parts, especially at 
its capital, the universally revered eeat of the Khilafat, where 
the best works of Moslem civilisation have been gathered 
for centuries. 

" We feel certain that your Excellency will also realise 
better than anybody else of what importance would be to 
Great Britain the loj^alty, not only of the Ottoman Moslems 
without any distinction of race, but of all the Moham- 
medans whose destiny is presided over by His Britannic 

At last, about the end of the month, the treaty 
with Turkey was drafted by the Conference, arid on 
June 11 the Turkish representatives were brought to 
France on board the French ironclad Democratic. 

The delegation included Tewfik Pasha, Riza 
Tewfik Bey, with Reshid Bey, former Minister of the 
Interior, as adviser. At its head was Damad Ferid 
Pasha, the Sultan's brother-in-law, who, after the 
resignation of the Tewfik Pasha Cabinet at the 
beginning of March, 1919, had formed a new Ministry. 

As was stated in the Allies' answer to the Porte 
in the letter addressed to the Turkish Premier, 
Damad Ferid Pasha, Turkey had not attempted in 
the memorandum handed to the Conference to 
excuse the Germano-Turkish intrigues which had 
paved the way for her to take part in the war on the 
side of the Germans; neither had she attempted to 
clear herself of all the crimes she was charged with. 
Damad Ferid Pasha had simply pleaded that only 
the " Young Turks " of the Committee of Union and 
Progress were responsible for the Ottoman policy 
during the last five years, and that, if they had 
governed the Empire, as it were, in the name of the 


Germans, the whole Turkish nation could not be held 
responsible for this. 

The Allies pointed out in their reply that they could 
not accept the distinction which cast all the blame 
on the Government and alleged the misdeeds were 
not imputable to the Turkish people merely because 
these misdeeds were abhorrent to Turkish ideas, 
as shown in the course of centuries. So the Allies 
informed the delegation they could not grant their 
request to restore Ottoman sovereignty over territories 
that had been taken away from them before. 

Yet the Council, though they declared they could 
not accept such views or enter upon such a con- 
troversy, launched into considerations on Turkish 
ideas and Turkish influence in the world which, to 
say the least, were most questionable, as will be seen' 
later on. 

They stated, for instance, that no section of the 
Turkish people had ever been able to build up a 
lasting political organisation, the huge Empires of 
the Hioung-nous, the Ouigours, and the Kiptchaks 
having been of short duration. The Supreme Council 
also asserted that the lack of stability of the Ottoman 
Empire which was represented as unable to develop 
was due to the various origins of its elements. 
But other influences were laid aside, which have been 
at work, especially during the modern period, since 
the beginning of the decline. It should be borne in 
mind that three centuries ago the civilisation and 
prosperity of the Ottoman Empire were not inferior 
to those of the Western nations, and its inferiority 
appeared only nowadays, when Germany and Italy 
founded their unity, while the European States did 


not do anything in Turkey to improve or even did 
much to aggravate a condition of things that left 
to Turkey no possibility of recovery. If Moslem 
civilisation is quite different from Western civilisa- 
tion, it does not follow necessarily that it is in- 
ferior to it. For several centuries its religious and 
social ideals safeguarded and ruled, to their satis- 
faction, the lives of numerous populations in 
the Levant, whereas more modern ideals in the 
West have not yet succeeded in bringing about 
conditions of life that can meet the requirements of 
man's mind and physical nature. As to the so-called 
combativeness of the Turks and their supposed 
fanaticism which may be only due, considering they 
were nomads at first, to their quick and headstrong 
nature they both were certainly lessened by their 
intercourse and especially intermarriages with the 
Mongols, a quiet and peaceful people largely in- 
fluenced by Buddhism and Lamaism, which they all 
profess, except a few Bouriate tribes that are still 
Shamanist. Moreover, even if such suppositions 
were true, their mixing with Western people could 
only have a good influence in soothing their original 
nature, whereas their eviction to Asia, by depriving 
them of any direct and close contact with Europe, 
would have the effect of reviving their former pro- 

Finally, the aforesaid document, though it was 
really superficial and rather vague on this point, 
purposed to give a crushing answer to the arguments 
of the Ottoman memorandum about the religious 
rivalries ; yet these arguments were well grounded 
and most important, as appeared when the Pro- 


testant campaign broke out and Anglo-American 
opinion demanded the ejection of the Turks. 

On June 27, 1919, the President of the Peace 
Conference in Paris addressed a second letter to 
Damad Ferid Pasha to inform him that the solution 
of the Turkish problem was postponed. 

After stating that the declarations made before the 
Peace Conference by the Ottoman delegation " have 
been, and will continue to be, examined most atten- 
tively, as they deserve to be," the letter went on 
to say that " they involve other interests than those 
of Turkey, and raise international questions, the 
immediate solution of which is unfortunately im- 
possible; and it ended thus: 

" Therefore, though the members of the Supreme Council 
are eager to restore peace definitely and fully realise it is a 
dangerous thing to protract the present period of uncertainty, 
yet a sound study of the situation has convinced them that 
some delay is unavoidable. 

" They are of opinion, therefore, that a longer stay in Paris 
of the Ottoman delegation, which the Ottoman Government 
had asked to be allowed to send to France, would not be 
conducive to any good. 

" Yet a time will come when an exchange of views will be 
profitable again; then the Allied and Associated Powers will 
not fail to communicate with the Ottoman Government as to 
the best means to settle the question easily and rapidly." 

One of the reasons given for this adjournment was 
the protest handed to Mr. Montagu, Secretary of 
State for India, by the Maharaja of Bikanir in the 
name of the Moslems of India, a protest which is 
supposed to have shaken the decisions already taken 
by the British Government. 

At any rate, instead of maintaining the negotia 
tions on a sound basis, and dealing squarely with the 
difficulties of the Turkish question, which would have 


made it possible to reach a better and more permanent 
solution, the Allies seemed to wish to break off the 
debates, or at least to postpone the discussion, in 
order to manoeuvre and gain time. Perhaps they 
did it on purpose, or the negotiations came to an 
untimely end because, among the men who had 
assumed the charge of European affairs, some meant 
to intervene in them all the more eagerly because 
they did not know anything about them. They were 
not aware or had forgotten that in dealing with 
Eastern affairs or in pursuing negotiations with 
people of ancient civilisation, a great deal of deli- 
cacy, discretion, and shrewdness is required at the 
same time, and that generally diplomatists must 
expect plenty of haggling and procrastination, must 
avoid clashing with the adversary, and be able re- 
peatedly to drop and resume a discussion smoothly, 
sometimes after long delays. 

Somebody then quoted the words of the well- 
known French traveller Chardin in regard to Chevalier 
Quirini who, about 1671, carried on negotiations in 
Constantinople with the Vizier Ahmed Kiipriili on 
behalf of the Republic of Venice : 

" I heard M. Quirini say, when I had the honour of calling 
upon him, that the policy of the Turks far excelled that of 
the Europeans; that it was not restrained by maxims and 
regulations, but was wholly founded on, and regulated by, 
discernment. This policy, depending on no art or principles, 
was almost beyond anybody's reach. So he candidly con- 
fessed that the vizier's conduct was an utter mystery to him, 
and he was unable to fathom its discrimination, depth, 
secrecy, shrewdness, and artfulness." 

It is noteworthy that the same vizier was also 
able to cope successively with three ambassadors of 
Louis XIV. 


The direction taken from the outset by the 
deliberations of the Conference, and the standpoint 
it took to settle the Turkish question, showed it was 
about to give up the traditional policy of the French 
kings in the East, which had been started by 
Francis I, and the last representatives of which had 
been the Marquis de Villeneuve, Louis XV s ambas- 
sador, and the Comte de Bonneval. 

As early as the end of the eighteenth century 
Voltaire, though he extolled Turkish tolerance 
throughout his " Essai sur la tolerance," and wrote 
that " two hundred thousand Greeks lived in security 
in Constantinople," advocated quite a different policy 
in his " Correspondance," and took sides with the 
Russians against the Turks. After confessing that 
" he had no turn for politics," and stating in " Can- 
dide " that he only cared for the happiness of peoples, 
he wrote to Frederick II : 

" I devoutly hope the barbarous Turks will be driven out 
of the land of Xenophon, ^Socrates, Plato, Sophocles, and 
Euripides. If Europe really cared, that would soon be done. 
But seven crusades of superstition were once undertaken, 
and no crusade of honour will ever be undertaken; all the 
burden will be left to Catherine." 

He did not conceal how highly pleased he was 
with the events of 1769-71, and he wrote to the 
" Northern Semiramis," as he styled her: 

" It is not sufficient to carry on a fortunate war against 
such barbarians; it is not enough to humble their pride; they 
ought to be driven away to Asia for ever. Your Imperial 
Majesty restores me to life by killing the Turks. It has 
always been my opinion that if their empire is ever destroyed, 
it will be by yours." 

Indeed, some people .maliciously hinted at the time 
that Voltaire's opinion of the Turks was due to his 


disappointment at the failure of his play "Mahomet, 
ou le fanatisme," and that it was for the same reason 
he wrote in his " Essai sur les mceurs et 1' esprit des 
nations " while he was Madame du Chatelet's guest: 

" Force and rapine built up the Ottoman Empire, and the 
quarrels between Christians have kept it up. Hardly any 
town has ever been built by the Turks. They have allowed 
the finest works of antiquity to fall to decay; they rule over 

It seems that the members of the Supreme Council, 
in their answer to the Turkish delegation, only 
harped upon this old theme, and amplified it, and that 
in their settlement of the question they were inspired 
by similar considerations, evincing the same mis- 
understanding of Turkey and the same political 
error. The Supreme Council might have remem- 
bered J. J. Rousseau's prophecy in his " Contrat 
Social," which might very well be fulfilled now: 
" The Russian Empire will endeavour to subjugate 
Europe, but will be subjugated. The Tatars, its 
subjects and neighbours, will become its masters and 

ours too." 1 

* * * 

The negotiations which had just been broken off 
could only have been usefully carried on if the Allies 
had quite altered their policy and had realised the 
true condition of the Ottoman Empire and the 
interests of the Western nations, especially those of 

The condition of the Ottoman Empire, as will be 
seen later on, when we shall dwell upon the slow and 
deep disintegration which had taken place among the 

1 Chapter " Le Peuple." 


Turkish and Arabian populations, was on the whole 
as follows: The Young Turk revolution, on which 
great hopes were built, had ended lamentably: the 
Austrians had wrested Bosnia-Herzegovina from 
Turkey; the Turco-Italian war had taken from her 
another slice of her territory; then the coalition of 
the Balkan States had arisen, which seems to have 
been prepared and supported by England and by 
the other nations which followed her policy. Finally, 
the treaty of Bukharest confirmed the failure of the 
principle once solemnly proclaimed by France and 
England of the territorial integrity of Turkey. So 
the Turks no longer had any confidence in Europe, 
and, being sacrificed once more in the Balkan 
war, and as they could no longer trust England, 
they were necessarily thrown into the arms of 

After Abdul Hamid, Mehmed V, with his weak, 
religious mind, allowed himself to be led by Enver, 
and his reign, disturbed by three wars, cost 
Turkey huge territorial losses. Mehmed VI, being 
more energetic and straightforward, tried to restore 
order in the State, and to put an end to the doings of 
the Committee of Union and Progress. 

Then, too, the Crown Prince, Abdul Mejid, a man 
about fifty, who speaks French very well, evinces the 
same turn of mind. After seeing what Germany could 
do with the Turkish Empire, such men, who had not 
kept aloof from modern ideas, and to whom European 
methods were not unfamiliar, had made up their 
mind that the Turks should not be driven out of 
Europe. But Mejid Effendi was soon deprived of in- 
fluence through intrigues, and henceforth engaged in 


his favourite hobby, painting, in his palace on 
Skutari Hill, and kept away from politics. 

Mustafa Kemal, who had been sent to Amasia as 
Inspector-General of the Eastern army, had secretly 
raised an army on his own account, with the help 
of Reouf Bey, once Minister of Marine in the Izzet 
Cabinet. When recalled to Constantinople by the 
Turkish Government in July, 1919, he had refused 
to obey, and had proclaimed himself his own master. 
Though he had once gone to Berlin with the Sultan, 
who was only Crown Prince at the time, the latter 
degraded him and deprived him of the right of 
wearing his decorations which could only have been 
a political measure intended to show that the throne 
and the Government could not openly countenance 
the movement that was taking place in Anatolia. 

Mustafa Kemal, brought up at Salonika, had only 
become well known in Constantinople during the 
Revolution of 1908. During the war in the Balkan 
Peninsula he had distinguished himself at Chatalja, 
and after being promoted colonel he was sent as 
military attache to Sofia, and then charged with a 
mission in Paris. He came back to Constantinople 
in 1914, a short time before war broke out. 

Of course, when he had started his career a long 
time previously, Mustafa Kemal had been connected 
indirectly with the Union and Progress party, as he 
was at the head of the revolutionary group in which 
this association originated, but he was never a 
member of the Merkez-i-Oumimi, the central seat of 
the Committee of Union and Progress. He was a good 
officer, very fond of his profession, and, as he loathed 
politics, he had soon kept away from them, and con- 


sequently never played any part in them, and was 
hardly ever influenced by them. Yet the supporters 
of the Committee of Union and Progress, who have 
made great mistakes, but have always been patriots, 
have necessarily been compelled lately to co-operate 
with him, though they did not like to do so at the 

Mustafa Kemal was undoubtedly the real leader 
of the movement which had already spread over the 
whole of Anatolian Turkey. As his influence was 
enormous and he had an undeniable ascendancy over 
the Turkish troops he had recruited, his power was 
soon acknowledged from Cartal, close to Constanti- 
nople, to the Persian frontier. He had compelled 
Liman von Sanders to give him command of a sector 
at a moment when the Turks seemed to be in a 
critical situation during the attack of the Anglo- 
French fleet in the Dardanelles, and by not comply- 
ing with his orders he had saved the Turkish army 
by the victory of Anafarta, and perhaps prevented 
the capture of Constantinople, for two hours after 
the Allies, whose casualties had been heavy, retired. 

But he had soon come into conflict with Enver 
Pasha. Their disagreement had begun during the 
war of Tripoli; it had increased during the Balkan 
war, and had now reached an acute state. The chief 
reason seems to be that they held quite different 
opinions about the organisation of the army and the 
conduct of the war operations. Mustafa Kemal 
having always refused to take part in politics after 
the Young Turk revolution of 1908, it seems difficult 
to believe this hostility could be accounted for by 
political reasons, though the situation had now 


completely changed. As to Mustafa Kemal's bicker- 
ings and petty quarrels with several German generals 
during the war, they seem to have had no other cause 
than a divergence of views on technical points. 

In consequence of this disagreement Mustafa 
Kemal was sent to Mesopotamia in disgrace. He 
came back to Constantinople a few weeks before 
the armistice. After the occupation of Smyrna he 
was appointed Inspector- General of Anatolia, where 
he organised the national movement. 

By Mustafa Kemal's side there stood Reouf Bey, 
once Minister of Marine, who, during the Balkan war, 
as commander of the cruiser Hamidie, had made 
several raids in Greek waters, had then been one of 
the signatories of the Moudros armistice, and now was 
able to bring over to the Anatolian movement many 
naval officers and sailors, and General Ali Fuad 
Pasha, the defender of Fort Pisani at Janina during 
the Balkan war, who had a great prestige among the 

Bekir Sami Bey, once Governor-General, and 
Ahmed Rustem Bey, formerly ambassador at Wash- 
ington, were the first political men of note who joined 
the nationalist movement. On Mustafa Kemal's 
arrival at Erzerum, Kiazim Karabekir, together with 
the other commanders, acknowledged him as their 
chief, and pledged themselves to support him against 

Mustafa Kemal openly charged the Government 
with betraying Turkey to the Allies, and asked all 
those who wanted to defend their country and their 
religion to join him. At that time he only had at 
his disposal two divisions of regular troops; he sent 


an appeal to the populations of Sivas and Ushak, 
and many volunteers joined his colours. Colonel 
Bekir Sami, who commanded the Panderma-Smyrna 
line and all the district, also rebelled against the 
Constantinople Government, and soon his 10,000 
soldiers joined the troops of Mustafa Kemal, who 
assumed the general command of all the insurgent 
troops. On the other hand, Kiazim Bey threatened 
to resume hostilities, in case too heavy conditions 
should be forced on Turkey. Mustafa Kemal, as he 
refused to make any concessions to the victors of 
Turkey, and opposed any separatist idea or the 
cession of any Ottoman territories, of course had 
with him a large section of public opinion, which 
was roused by the Allies' threat to take from Turkey 
half her possessions, Thrace, Smyrna, and Kurdistan, 
and to drive the Sultan into Asia. 

On July 23, a Congress of the committees which 
had been established in various parts of the Empire 
for the defence of the national rights was held at 

The proceedings were secret, but at the end of the 
congress an official report was sent to the High Com- 
missioners of the Allies in Constantinople. 

An " Anatolian and Rumelian League for the 
Defence of the National Rights " was formed, which 
later on was called the "National Organisation." 
According to what has become known about the 
sittings of the Congress, the principles that were to 
control the action of the National Organisation and 
to constitute its programme were the following : 
(1) Grouping of the various Moslem nationalities of 
the Empire into a whole politically and geographi- 



cally indivisible and administered so as to ensure 
the respect of their ethnic and social differences. 
(2) Equality of rights for non-Moslem communities 
so far as consistent with the principle of the political 
unity of the State. (3) Integrity of the Empire 
within the boundaries of Turkish sovereignty as they 
were in September, 1918, when the armistice was 
concluded which are almost the same as the ethnic 
boundaries of Turkey. (4) No infringement what- 
ever on the sovereignty of the Turkish Empire. A 
special article expressed the sincere wish on the part 
of the Turkish nation, with a view to the general 
restoration of Turkey, to accept the support of any 
Western country, providing the latter did not aim 
at an economic or political subjection of any kind. 

This programme was sanctioned in the course of a 
second Congress which was held at Sivas at the 
beginning of September, 1919, to allow the local 
committees which had not been able to send delegates 
to Erzerum to give their approbation to it and to 
adhere to the national movement. 

The executive functions of the Congress were 
entrusted to a representative committee presided 
over by Mustafa Kemal, and consisting of members 
chosen by the Congress, who were : Reouf Bey, Bekir 
Sami Bey, Hoja Raif Effendi, Mazhar Bey, once 
vali of Bitlis, and later on Ahmed Rustem Bey, once 
Turkish ambassador at Washington, Haidar Bey, 
once vali of Kharput, and Hakki Behij Bey. 

The local militias which had been raised took the 
name of national forces; and when they had been 
linked with the regular army, they were put by 
Mustafa Kemal under the command of Kara Bekir 


Kiazim Pasha, who became commander-in-chief in 
Eastern Anatolia, and Ali Fuad Pasha, who had the 
command of the forces of Western Anatolia. 

Two delegates of the " Liberal Entente," some 
leaders of which group seemed open to foreign 
influence, were sent to Constantinople to ask the 
Central Committee what attitude was to be taken, 
and were prudently ordered to enjoin the supporters 
of the Liberal Entente to be most careful. 

But though part of the Constantinople Press 
seemed to deny any importance to the Anatolian 
movement, the Stambul Government deemed it 
proper to send missions to Trebizond, Angora, and 
Eskishehr, headed by influential men, in order to 
restore order in those regions. It also directed two 
of its members to go to the rebellious provinces to 
see how things stood, and come to terms with 
Mustafa Kemal. Some of these missions never 
reached the end of their journey; most of them had 
to retrace their steps, some did not even set out. In 
September, 1919, Marshal Abdullah Pasha, who had 
instructions to reach Mustafa Kemal at Trebizond, 
and enjoin him to give up his self -assumed command, 
did not stir from Constantinople. The Government 
also sent General Kemal Pasha, commander of the 
gendarmerie, to scatter the nationalist irregular 
troops, but nothing was heard of him after a while, 
and he was supposed to have been taken prisoner 
by, or gone over to, the rebels. The Anatolian 
valis and commanders who had been summoned to 
Constantinople did not come, protesting they could 
not do so or were ill. ' 

On the other hand, Mustafa Kemal sent back to 


Constantinople Jemal Bey, vali of Konia, and a few 
functionaries, who had remained loyal to the Stambul 
Government. Ismail Bey, vali of Brusa, one of the 
most important leaders of the Liberal Entente, was 
driven out of office by both Governments. 

In addition, the cleavages already existing in the 
Ottoman Empire, which since 1913 only included the 
prominently Moslem provinces, had widened, and 
endangered the unity of the Empire. In the pro- 
vinces where the Arabic-speaking Moslems were in 
a majority the authority of the Turkish Government 
dwindled every day; they meant to shake off the 
Ottoman yoke, and at the same time to keep off any 
Western influence; they also wished more and more 
eagerly to part from the provinces where the Turks 
and Ottoman Kurds who aim at uniting together 
are in a majority. 

For the last four centuries France had enjoyed an 
exceptional situation in Turkey. Her intellectual 
influence was paramount ; French was not only known 
among the upper classes, but it was also in current 
use in politics and business, and even a good many 
clerks in post-offices and booking-offices at Con- 
stantinople understood it. 

French schools, owing to their very tolerant spirit, 
were very popular among nearly all classes of the 
Turkish population, and the sympathies we had thus 
acquired and the intellectual prestige we enjoyed 
were still more important than our material interests. 
Nearly 25,000 children attended the French ele- 
mentary schools, most of them religious schools, which 


bears witness both to the confidence the Mahom- 
medans had in us, and the tolerance they showed. 
The Grammar School of Galata-Serai, established in 
1868 by Sultan Abdul Aziz with the co-operation of 
Duruy, French Minister of Public Education, and 
several other secondary schools which are now closed, 
diffused French culture and maintained sympathy 
between the two peoples. The Jesuits' school of 
medicine at Beyrut also spread our influence. 

The material interests of France in Turkey were 
also of great importance; and it was, therefore, a 
great mistake for France to follow a policy that was 
bound to ruin the paramount influence she had 
acquired. The other Western States had as impor- 
tant interests as France; and it was necessary to 
take all these facts into account if an equitable 
settlement of the Turkish question was to be reached. 

France, England, and Germany were, before the 
war, the three Powers that owned the most impor- 
tant financial concerns in Turkey, France easily 
holding the premier position, owing to the amount of 
French capital invested in Turkish securities, Govern- 
ment stocks, and private companies. 

From 1854 to 1875 thirteen loans almost one 
every year were issued by the Ottoman Govern- 
ment, ten being entrusted to the care of French banks 
or financial establishments controlled by French 

These thirteen loans have only an historical interest 
now, except the three loans issued in 1854, 1855, and 
1871, secured on the Egyptian tribute, which still 
exist with some modifications, but may be looked 
upon as Egyptian or rather English securities, and 


were not included in the settlement effected in 1881 
which converted them into new bonds, and the 
1870-71 loan, styled "Lots Turcs," the whole of 
which at the time was subscribed by Baron Hirsch 
in return for the concession of railways in Europe. 
To them let us add another financial operation 
effected about 1865, consisting in the unification of 
the various bonds of the interior debt and their 
conversion into bonds representing a foreign debt. 

Most of these operations were controlled by the 
Imperial Ottoman Bank, founded by the most in- 
fluential English and French financial groups, to 
which the Ottoman Government by its firmans of 
1863 and 1875 granted the privilege of being the 
State bank. It thus has the exclusive right of 
issuing banknotes, and has the privilege of being the 
general paymaster of the Empire and the financial 
agent of the Government, both at home and abroad. 

The financial activity of the French companies was 
only interrupted by the 1870 war. The only com- 
petition met with was that of a few English banks, 
which no doubt intended to second the views of the 
British Government in Egypt, and of an Austrian 
syndicate for the building of the Balkan railways 
which, later on, furthered the penetration of Austria- 
Hungary in Eastern Europe. 

In 1875 the nominal capital of the Ottoman debt 
rose to 5,297,676,500 francs. The Ottoman Govern- 
ment, finding it impossible to pay the interest on the 
Government stocks, announced its decision on 
October 6, 1875, to give only one-half in cash in the 
future. The Imperial Ottoman Bank, which was 
practically under French control owing to the im- 


portance of the French capital invested in it, raised 
a protest on behalf of the bondholders. 

The Porte then agreed to make arrangements with 
the French, the Italians, the Austrians, the Germans, 
and the Belgians. The claims of the bondholders were 
laid before the plenipotentiaries who had met at 
Berlin to revise the preliminaries of San Stefano, 
and were sanctioned by the Berlin treaty signed on 
July 13, 1878. They had three chief objects: First, 
to secure the right of first mortgage which the creditors 
of the Empire held from the loans secured on the 
Russian war indemnity; secondly, to appoint the 
contributive share of the Ottoman debt incumbent 
on the provinces detached from the Empire; thirdly, 
to decide what was to be done to restore Turkish 

After the conversations with the plenipotentiaries 
assembled at Berlin, and chiefly owing to the inter- 
vention of the French representative, M. Waddington, 
the Congress embodied the following clauses in the 
treaty in order to protect the interests of the bond- 
holders: Bulgaria was to pay the Sultan a tribute; 
part of the revenue of Eastern Rumelia was to be 
assigned to the payment of the Ottoman Public Debt ; 
Bulgaria, Serbia, and Montenegro were to assume 
a part of the Ottoman debt proportionately to the 
Turkish territories annexed by each of them ; all the 
rights and duties of the Porte relating to the railways 
of Eastern Rumelia were to be wholly maintained; 
finally, the Powers advised the Sublime Porte to 
establish an international financial commission in 

In this way the Berlin treaty laid down the prin- 


ciples on which every financial reorganisation was 
to be based whenever a province should be detached 
from the Ottoman Empire. 

Then the mandatories of the bondholders began 
to negotiate directly with the Ottoman Empire, but 
as the various schemes that were preferred failed, the 
Imperial Ottoman Bank, supported by the Galata 
bankers, proposed an arrangement that was sanc- 
tioned by the Convention of November 10 to 22, 
1879. In this way the administration of the Six 
Contributions was created, to which were farmed out 
for a period of ten years the revenues derived from 
stamp duties, spirits in some provinces, the fisheries 
of Constantinople and the suburbs, and the silk tax 
within the same area and in the suburbs of Adrianople, 
Brusa, and Samsun; it was also entrusted with 
the collection and administration of the revenues 
proceeding from the monopolies in salt and 

At the request of the Imperial Ottoman Bank the 
revenues of this administration, first allocated to the 
Priority Bonds, of which she owned the greater part, 
were divided later on between all the bondholders. 

In this way the important agreement known as 
the decree of Muharrem, in which the French 
played a paramount part, was made possible (Decem- 
ber 8 to 20, 1881), according to which the original 
capital of the foreign Turkish loans was brought 
down to the average price of issue, plus 10 per cent, 
of this new capital as a compensation for the interest 
that had not been paid since 1876. The old bonds 
were stamped, converted, and exchanged for new 
bonds called Bonds of the Unified Converted Debt, 


except the " Lots Turcs," which, being premium 
bonds, were treated separately. 

The interest of the Converted Debt was fixed at 
from 1 to 4 per cent, of the new capital. 

As to the amortisation, the decree divided the 
various foreign loans into several series according to 
the value of the mortgage; this classification stated 
in what order they would be subject to amortisation. 

The outcome of these negotiations, the decree of 
Muharrem, also established a set of concessions 
which could not be revoked before the extinction of 
the debt, and organised the administration of the 
Ottoman Public Debt, which was to collect and 
administer, on behalf of the Ottoman bondholders, 
the revenues conceded as guarantee of the debt. 

The Ottoman Government pledged itself to allocate 
to the payment of the interest and to the amortisa- 
tion of the reduced debt till its extinction the fol- 
lowing revenues : the monopolies in salt and tobacco; 
the Six Contributions (tobacco, salt, spirits, stamps, 
fisheries, silk) ; any increase in the customs duties 
resulting from the modification of the commercial 
treaties; any increase of the revenues resulting from 
new regulations affecting patents and licences (temettu) ; 
the tribute of the principality of Bulgaria; any sur- 
plus of the Cyprus revenues; the tribute of Eastern 
Rumelia; the produce of the tax on pipe tobacco 
(tumbeki}\ any sums which might be fixed as con- 
tributions due from Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria, and 
Montenegro for the service of the debt. 

The administration of the Ottoman Public Debt 
was entrusted to " the Council for the. Administration 
of the Ottoman Public Debt," commonly known as 


" the Public Debt," consisting of delegates of Otto- 
man bondholders of all nations. The French owned 
by far the greater part of the debt. The English 
represented the Belgians in the Council, the shares 
of these two countries in the debt being about 

This international council, who attended to the 
strict execution of the provisions of the decree, 
deducted all the sums required for the interest and 
the sinking fund, and made over the. balance to the 
Imperial treasury. 

The decree of Muharrem also entrusted to the 
Public Debt the control of the cultivation and the 
monopoly of the sale of tobacco throughout the 
Turkish Empire. Later on, in 1883, the Public Debt 
farmed out its rights to an Ottoman limited com- 
pany, the " Regie Co-interessee des Tabacs de 
['Empire," formed by a financial consortium in- 
cluding three groups: the Imperial Ottoman Bank, 
which was a Franco-English concern; the German 
group of the B. Bleichroder Bank ; and the Austrian 
group of the Kredit Anstalt with a capital of 
100 million francs. Only one-half of this capital 
was paid up i.e., 50 million francs which was 
cut down to 40 million francs on November 28, 
1899, to make up for the losses of the first three 
years. It is thought in French financial circles that 
half this capital viz., 20 million francs is French, 
and the rest chiefly Austrian. 

The " Regie," whose activities extend throughout 
the Empire, may be looked upon as one of the most 
important financial concerns of the Ottoman Empire. 
It has branches in all the chief centres, controls the 


cultivation of tobacco, records the production, buys 
native and foreign tobaccos, issues licences for the 
sale of tobacco, and advances money to the growers ; 
its chief factories are at Samsun, Aleppo, Adana, 
Smyrna, etc. In return for the monopoly it enjoys, it 
owes the Public Debt a fixed yearly payment, and has 
to divide a fixed proportion of its net profits between 
the Public Debt and the Ottoman Government. 

The share of France in the Council of the Public 
Debt, in which French was the official language, gave 
her a paramount influence and prestige in the Otto- 
man Empire. Owing to the importance and extent 
of the part played by the Council of the Debt, in 
which the influence of France was paramount, the 
latter country indirectly acquired an influence in the 
administration of the Malie i.e., in the administra- 
tion of the Turkish treasury and in this way Turkey 
was obliged on several occasions to call for the advice 
of French specialists for her financial reorganisation. 

But the Ottoman Government, in order to con- 
solidate its floating debt, which had not been included 
in the previous liquidation, was soon compelled to 
borrow money abroad. Besides, it wanted to con- 
struct a system of railways at that time. 

The loan guaranteed by the customs duties in 1886, 
the Osmanie loan in 1890, the 4 per cent. Tombac 
preferential loan in 1893, the Eastern Railway loan 
in 1894, the 5 per cent. 1896 loan, and the 4 per cent. 
1901 loan, were all floated in France, and the English 
had no share in the financial operations between 
1881 and 1904. 

During the same period Germany, through the 
Deutsche Bank, took up the Fishery loan in 1888 


and the 4 per cent. Baghdad Railway loan in 1903. 
Later on the German financial companies, together 
with the Deutsche Bank, gave Turkey as much support 
as the French banks, in order to promote Pan- 
Germanism in the East and oust French influence. 
The chief financial operations carried on by these 
companies were the Baghdad Railway loan, the 
Tejhizat loan for the payment of military supplies, 
and the 1911 loan, which were both a guarantee and 
an encouragement for the German policy of penetra- 
tion in Turkey, and paved the way to a Germano- 
Ottoman understanding. 

France continued to subscribe all the same, from 
1903 to 1914, to six of the twelve Turkish loans raised 
by the Ottoman Government; four others were taken 
up by Germany, another by England, and the sixth 
the 4 per cent. 1908 loan was issued one-half in 
France, one-fourth in Germany, and one-fourth in 
England. In 1914, as a reward for issuing a loan of 
800 million francs in Paris the first slice being 
500 million France obtained the settlement of 
several litigious cases and new concessions of railways 
and ports. 

At the outbreak of the war, the external debt of 
Turkey, including the Unified Debt and other loans, 
amounted to 3 milliards of francs, whereas the 
Turkish revenue hardly exceeded 500 million francs. 
One-third of this sum went to the sinking fund 
of the external debt, of which, roughly speaking, 
France alone owned nearly 60 per cent., Germany 
nearly 26 per cent., and England a little more than 
14 per cent. 

In addition to this, in the sums lent to Turkey by 



private companies, the share of France was about 
50 per cent. i.e., over 830 million francs; that of 
Germany rose to 35 per cent. ; and that of England a 
little more than 14 per cent. 

Foreign participation in the great works and the 
various economic or financial concerns in Turkey may 
be summed up as follows : 




Ports and wharves 
Various concerns 







Total per cent. . . 
Capital (million francs) 




Not only had France an important share in the 
organisation of Turkish finances, but had opened 
three banks while the English established but one, 
the National Bank of Turkey, which holds no privilege 
from the State, and is merely a local bank for business 
men. Two German banks the Deutsche Orient Bank 
and the Deutsche Palastina Bank, founded almost as 
soon as Germany began to show her policy regarding 
Turkish Asia had turned their activity towards 
Turkey, as we have just seen. 

France incurred an outlay of 550 million francs 
not including the sums invested in companies which 
were not predominantly French, such as the Baghdad 
Railway for the building of 1,500 miles of railway 
lines, while the Germans built almost as many, and 


the English only 450 miles; and France spent 
58 million francs for the ports, whereas the English 
only spent 10 million francs. 

The railway concessions worked by French capital 
included the Damascus-Hama line, which after- 
wards reached Jaffa and Jerusalem; the tramways 
of Lebanon; the Mudania-Brusa line; the Smyrna- 
Kassaba railway; the Black Sea railways which, 
according to the 1914 agreement, were to extend 
from Kastamuni to Erzerum, and from Trebizond to 
Kharput, and be connected with the Rayak-Ramleh 
line viz., 1,600 miles of railway altogether in Syria; 
the Salonika-Constantinople line. 

Before the London treaty, the Eastern railways 
in European Turkey, representing 600 miles, were 
worked by Austro-German capital, and the Salonika- 
Monastir line, 136 miles in length, had a German 
capital of 70 million francs. 

The concessions with German capital in Asia Minor 
formed a complete system of railways, including the 
Anatolian railways, with a length of 360 miles and a 
capital of 344,500,000 francs; the Mersina-Tarsus- 
Adana line, 42 miles, capital 9,200,000 francs; the 
Baghdad Railway, whose concession was first given 
to the Anatolian railways but was ceded in 1903 to 
the Baghdad Railway Company, and which before 
the war was about 190 miles in length. 

As the building of this system of railways closely 
concerned the French companies of the Smyrna- 
Kassaba and Beyrut-Damascus railways and the 
English company of the Smyrna-Aidin railway, the 
French companies and the Ottoman Imperial Bank 
concluded arrangements with the holders of the 




concessions to safeguard French interests as much as 
possible. Thus a French financial group took up a 
good many of the Baghdad bonds (22,500 and 21,155 
bonds) and numerous shares of the " Societe de 
construction du chemin de fer " established in 1909. 
On the whole, the share of the French consortium 
before the war amounted to 4,000,000 francs on the 
one hand, and 1,950,000 francs on the other; the 
share of the German consortium was 11,000,000 and 
8,050,000 francs. 

The concessions controlled by English capital were 
the Smyrna-Aidin line, 380 miles long, with a capital 
of 114,693,675 francs, and the Smyrna-Kassaba line, 
which was ceded later on to the company controlled 
by French capital which has already been mentioned. 
They were the first two railway concessions given in 
Turkey (1856 and 1863). 

In Constantinople the port, the lighthouses, the 
gasworks, the waterworks, and the tramways were 
planned and built by French capital and labour. 

The port of Smyrna, whose concession was given 
in 1867 to an English company and two years after 
passed into the hands of some Marseilles contractors, 
was completed by the " Societe des quais de Smyrne," 
a French limited company. The diversion of the 
Ghedis into the Gulf of Phocea in order to prevent 
the port being blocked up with sand was the work of 
a French engineer, Rivet. 

The Bay of Beyrut has also been equipped by a 
French company founded in 1888 under the patronage 
of the Ottoman Bank by a group of the chief French 
shareholders of the Beyrut-Damascus road and other 
French financial companies. 


Moreover, accoroling to the 1914 agreements, the 
ports of Ineboli and Heraclea on the Black Sea, and 
the ports of Tripoli, Jaffa, and Haifa in Syria, were 
to be built exclusively by French capital. So it was 
with the intended concessions of the ports of Samsun 
and Trebizond. 

At Beyrut a French group in 1909 bought up the 
English concession for the building of the water- 
works and pipelines, and formed a new company. 
French capital, together with Belgian capital, also 
control the Gas Company, Tramway Company, and 
Electric Company of Beyrut. Only at Smyrna, where 
the gasworks are in the hands of an English company 
and the waterworks are owned by a Belgian com- 
pany, has France not taken part in the organisation 
of the municipal services. 

Only the port of Haidar-Pasha, the terminus of the 
Anatolian Railway, has been ceded by this company 
to a financial company whose shares are in German 

To these public establishments should be added 
such purely private industrial or commercial concerns 
as the Orosdi-Back establishments; the Oriental 
Tobacco Company; the Tombac Company; the 
" Societe nationale pour le commerce, rindustrie et 
Pagriculture dans 1'Empire ottoman " ; the concession 
of Shukur-ova, the only French concession of landed 
property situated in the Gulf of Atexandretta on the 
intended track of the Baghdad Railway, including 
about 150,000 acres of Imperial land, which represent 
an entirely French capital of 64 million francs ; the 
Oriental Carpet Company, which is a Franco-British 
concern; the Joint Stock Imperial Company of the 



Docks, Dockyards, and Shipbuilding Yards, which is 
entirely under British control, etc. 

During the war, the share of France and that of 
England were increased, as far as the Public Debt is 
concerned, by the amount of the coupons which were 
not cashed by the stockholders of the Allied countries, 
while the holders of Ottoman securities belonging to 
the Central Powers cashed theirs. 

Beyond this, Turkey borrowed of Germany 
about 3 milliards of francs. An internal loan of 
400 million francs had also been raised. To these 
sums should be added 2 milliards of francs for buying 
war supplies and war material, and the treasury 
bonds issued by Turkey for her requisitions, which 
cannot be cashed but may amount to about 
700 million francs. As the requisitions already made 
during the Balkan wars, which amounted to 300 or 
400 million francs, have not yet been liquidated, the 
whole Turkish debt may be valued at over 10 
billion francs. 

Finally, in the settlement of the Turkish question, 
the war damages borne by the French in Turkey 
should also be taken into account, which means an 
additional sum of about 2 milliards of francs. 

The French owned in Turkey great industrial or 
agricultural establishments, which were wholly or 
partly destroyed. At Constantinople and on the shores 
of the Marmora alone they had about fifty religious or 
undenominational schools, which were half destroyed, 
together with everything they contained, perhaps in 
compliance with the wishes of Germany, who wanted 
to ruin French influence for ever in that country. 

In order to keep up French influence in the East, 


the High Commissioner of the Republic had, in the 
early days of the armistice, warned his Government 
it was necessary to provide a fund at once to defray 
the expenses of the schools and other institutions 
established by the French in Turkey in pre-war time 
which sums of money were to be advanced on the 
outstanding indemnity. For want of any existing 
law, this request could not be complied with; but, 
as will be seen later on, the Peace Treaty, though it 
says nothing about this urgent question, states that 
the indemnities due to the subjects of the Allied 
Powers for damages suffered by them in their persons 
or in their property shall be allotted by an inter- 
Allied financial commission, which alone shall have 
a right to dispose of Turkish revenue and to sanction 
the payment of war damages. But all this post- 
pones the solution of the question indefinitely. 

In the settlement of the Turkish question, the chief 
point is how Turkey will be able to carry out her 
engagements, and so, in her present condition, the 
policy which England and America, followed by Italy 
and France, seem to advocate, is a most question- 
able one. 

Javid Bey has even published an account of the 
condition of Turkey, in which he finds arguments 
to justify the adhesion of his country to the policy 
of Germany. 

Nevertheless it seems that Turkey, where the 
average taxation is now from 23 to 25 francs per 
head, can raise fresh taxes. The revenue of the State 
will also necessarily increase owing to the increase of 
production, as a tithe- of 10 to 12 per cent, is levied 
on all agricultural produce. Finally, the building of 


new railway lines and the establishment of new 
manufactures to which, it must be said, some com- 
peting States have always objected for their own 
benefit but to the prejudice of Turkey would enable 
her to make herself the manufactured goods she 
bought at a very high price before, instead of sending 
abroad her raw materials: silk, wool, cotton, hemp, 
opium, etc. 

The soil of Turkey, on the other hand, contains 
a good deal of mineral and other wealth, most of 
which has not been exploited yet. There is a good 
deal of iron in Asia Minor, though there exists but 
one iron-mine, at Ayasmat, opposite to Mitylene, the 
yearly output of which is only 30,000 tons. The 
most important beds now known are those of the 
Berut Hills, north of the town of Zeitun, about 
fifty miles from the Gulf of Alexandretta, which may 
produce 300,000 tons a year. Chrome, manganese, 
and antimony are also found there. 

There is copper everywhere in the north, in thin 
but rich layers, containing 20 per cent, of metal. The 
chief mine, which is at Argana, in the centre of 
Anatolia, is a State property. A French company, 
the Syndicate of Argana, founded for the prospecting 
and exploitation of the copper concessions at Argana 
and Malatia, and the concessions of argentiferous 
lead at Bulgar-Maden, had begun prospecting before 
the war. 

Lead, zinc, and silver are found, too, in the Kara- 
hissar area, where is the argentiferous lead mine of 
Bukar-Dagh, once a State property. Before the war 
a French company of the same type as the one 
above mentioned, the Syndicate of Ak-Dagh, had 


obtained the right to explore the layers of zinc and 
argentiferous lead in the vilayet of Angora. The 
mines of Balia-Karaidin (argentiferous lead and 
lignite) lying north-east of the Gulf of Adramyti in 
the sanjak of Karassi, are controlled by French 
capital. The English syndicate Borax Consolidated 
has the concession of the boracite mines in the same 

The range of Gumich-Dagh, or " Silver Mountain," 
contains much emery. At Eskishehr there are mines 
of meerschaum, and in the Brusa vilayet quarries of 
white, pink, and old-blue marble, lapis-lazuli, etc. 

A few years ago gold layers were being exploited 
at Mender- Aidin, near Smyrna, and others have been 
found at Chanak-Kale, near the Dardanelles. Some 
gold-mines had been worked in Arabia in remote 

There are oil-fields throughout the peninsula, lying 
in four parallel lines from the north-west to the south- 
east. The best-known fields are in the provinces of 
Mosul and Baghdad, where nearly two hundred have 
been identified; others have also been found near the 
Lake of Van, and at Pulk, west of Erzerum, which 
are not inferior to those of Mesopotamia ; and others 
fifty miles to the south of Sinope. 

There are almost inexhaustible layers of excellent 
asphalt at Latakieh, on the slopes of the Libanus, 
and others, quite as good, at Kerkuk, Hit, and in 
several parts of Mesopotamia. 

Finally, some coal-mines are being worked at 
Heraclea which are controlled by French capital, and 
coal outcrops have been found lately in the Mosul 
area near the Persian frontier, between Bashkala and 


Rowanduz and Zahku, close to the Baghdad Rail- 
way. But the treaty, as will be shown later on, is to 
deprive Turkey of most of these sources of wealth. 

Among the other products of Turkey may be men- 
tioned carpets, furs (fox, weasel, marten, and otter), 
and, particularly, silks. The silks of Brusa are more 
valuable than those of Syria the latter being difficult 
to wind; their output has decreased because many 
mulberry-trees were cut down during the war, but 
the industry will soon resume its importance. 

Turkey also produces a great quantity of leather 
and hides, and various materials used for tanning: 
valonia, nut-gall, acacia. It is well known that for 
centuries the leather trade has been most important 
in the East, numerous little tanyards are scat- 
tered about the country, and there are large leather 
factories in many important towns. The Young 
Turks, realising the bright prospects of that trade, 
had attempted to prohibit the exportation of leathers 
and hides, and to develop the leather manufacture. 
During the summer of 1917 the National Ottoman 
Bank of Credit opened a leather factory at Smyrna, 
and appointed an Austrian tanner as its director. 
Owing to recent events, it has been impossible to 
establish other leather factories, but this scheme is 
likely to be resumed with the protection of the 
Government, for the leather industry may become 
one of the chief national industries. 

* # * 

The Peace Conference, by postponing the solution 
of the Turkish problem indefinitely, endangered not 
only French interests in Turkey, but the condition of 
Eastern Europe. 


The consequences of such a policy soon became 
obvious, and at the beginning of August it was 
reported that a strong Unionist agitation had started. 
The Cabinet of Damad Ferid Pasha, after the answer 
given by the Entente to the delegation he presided 
over, was discredited, as it could not even give the 
main features of the forthcoming peace, or state an 
approximate date for its conclusion. He could have 
remained in offi.ce only if the Allies had supported 
him by quickly solving the Turkish problem. Besides, 
he soon lost all control over the events that hurried on. 

In the first days of summer, the former groups of 
Young Turks were reorganised in Asia Minor; some 
congresses of supporters of the Union and Progress 
Committee, who made no secret of their determina- 
tion not to submit to the decisions that the Versailles 
Congress was likely to take later on, were held at 
Erzerum, Sivas, and Amasia, and openly supported 
motions of rebellion against the Government. At 
the same time the Turkish Army was being quickly 
reorganised, outside the Government's control, under 
the leadership of Mustafa Kemal and Reouf Bey. 
An openly nationalist, or rather national, movement 
asserted itself, which publicly protested both against 
the restoration of the old regime and the dismember- 
ment of Turkey. 

Even in Constantinople the Unionist Committee 
carried on an unrestrained propaganda and plotted 
to overthrow Damad Ferid Pasha and put in his place 
Izzet Pasha, a shrewd man, who had signed the 
armistice with the Allies, and favoured a policy of 

This movement had started after the resignation of 


the Izzet Pasha Cabinet, when the prominent men 
of the Unionist party had to leave Constantinople. 
First, it had been chiefly a Unionist party, but had 
soon become decidedly national in character. Every- 
where, but chiefly in Constantinople, it had found 
many supporters, and the majority of the cultured 
classes sympathised with the leaders of the 
Anatolian Government. 

Moreover, the Allies, by allowing the Greeks to 
land in Smyrna without any valid reason, had 
started a current of opinion which strengthened the 
nationalist movement, and raised the whole of Turkey 
against them. 

At the beginning of October, 1919, the Sultan 
replaced Damad Ferid Pasha by Ali Riza Pasha as 
Prime Minister. Reshid Pasha, formerly Minister 
of Public Works and ambassador at Vienna, who 
had been ambassador at Rome till the revolution of 
1908, and had been first Turkish delegate in the 
Balkan Conference in London in 1912-13, became 
Minister of Foreign Affairs. 

The Grand Vizier General Ali Riza had been Minister 
of War, and Reshid Pasha Foreign Minister in the 
Tewfik Cabinet, which had come into office in Decem- 
ber, 1918, at a time when the Porte was anxious to 
conciliate the Allies. Ali Riza had led the operations 
on the Balkan front in 1912 and 1913, but had refused 
to assume any command during the Great War, as he 
had always opposed the participation of Turkey in 
this war. As he was rather a soldier than a diplomat, 
his policy seemed likely to be led by his Minister of 
Foreign Affairs, Reshid Pasha, who was said to be a 
friend of France. 


General Jemal Pasha, who became War 
Minister, was quite a Nationalist. He was called 
Jemal Junior, to distinguish him from the other 
Jemal who had been Commander-in-Chief of the 
Fourth Turkish Army during the war. He, too, had 
commanded in Palestine. He was popular in the 
army and among the Unionists. Rightly or wrongly, 
he was supposed to be in correspondence with Kemal, 
the leader of the Nationalist movement in Asia Minor, 
and his appointment intimated that Ali Eiza did not 
want to break off with Kemal, whose rebellion had 
brought about Damad Ferid's resignation. 

Said Mollah, Under-Secretary of Justice, a friend 
of England, edited the newspaper Turkje Stan/ibid, in 
which he carried on a strong pro-English propaganda. 
It was said he was paid by Abdul Hamid to spy 
upon a former Sheik-ul-Islam, Jemal ed Din Effendi, 
his uncle and benefactor. It seems that by appoint- 
ing him the Sultan wished to create a link within 
the new Government between the supporters of 
England and those of France, in order to show that 
in his opinion Turkey's interest was, not to put 
these two nations in opposition to each other, but, on 
the contrary, to collaborate closely with them both for 
the solution of Eastern affairs. 

Sultan Mehemet VI, by doing so, endeavoured to 
restore calm and order in Turkey, and also to enhance 
his prestige and authority over the Nationalist rebels 
in Anatolia who, at the Congress of Sivas, had plainly 
stated they refused to make any compromise either 
with the Porte or the Allies. The choice of the 
new Ministers marked a concession to the Nationalist 
and revolutionary spirit. 


About the end of 1919 there were serious indications 
that the Nationalist movement was gaining ground 
in Cilicia, and in January, 1920, disturbances broke 
out in the Marash area. 

In September, 1919, some armed bands, wearing 
the khaki uniform of the regular Turkish Army, had 
been recruited at Mustafa Kemal's instigation. A 
French officer had been sent to Marash for the first 
time to watch over the Jebel Bereket district, which 
commands all the tunnels of the Baghdad Railway 
between Mamurah and Islahie. In December one of 
those armed bands, numbering about 200 men, 
occupied the road leading from Islahie to Marash, 
and intercepted the mail. 

As the conditions that were likely to be enforced 
upon Turkey were becoming known, discontent in- 
creased. General Dutieux, commanding the French 
troops of Cilicia, determined to send a battalion as 
reinforcement. The battalion set off at the beginning 
of January and arrived at Marash on the 10th, after 
some pretty sharp fighting on the way at El Oglo. 
As the attacks were getting more numerous and the 
Nationalist forces increased in number, a new French 
detachment, more important than the first, and 
provided with artillery, was dispatched to Islahie, 
which it reached on the 14th. This column met 
with no serious incident on the way from Islahie to 
Marash; it reached Marash on the 17th, at which 
date it was stated that all the district of Urfa, 
Aintab, Antioch, Marash, and Islahie was pacified. 

That was a mistake, for it soon became known that 
the chiefs of Bazarjik, a place lying halfway between 
Marash and Aintab, had gone over to the Kemalists, 


and had just sent an ultimatum to the French com- 
mander demanding the evacuation of the country. 

On February 3 the French troops at Marash were 
attacked by Turkish and Arabian troops coming from 
the East, who intended to drive them away, and join 
the main body of the Arabian army. 

A French column under the command of Colonel 
Normand reached Marash, and after a good deal of 
hard fighting with the Nationalists, who were well 
armed, relieved the French. But Armenian legion- 
aries had most imprudently been sent; and after 
some squabbles, which might have been foreseen, 
between Moslems and Armenians, the French com- 
mander had bombarded the town, and then had been 
compelled to evacuate it. These events, later on, 
led to the recall of Colonel Bremond, whose policy, 
after the organisation of the Armenian legions, had 
displeased the Moslem population. 

Two months after the Marash affair on February 10 
the tribes in the neighbourhood of Urfa, which the 
French, according to the Anglo-French agreement of 
1916, had occupied at the end of 1919 after about a 
year of British occupation, attacked the stations of 
the Baghdad Railway lying to the south, and cut off 
the town from the neighbouring posts. The French 
detachment was first blocked up in the Armenian 
quarter, was then attacked, and after two months' 
fighting, being on the verge of starvation, had to enter 
into a parley with the Turkish authorities and 
evacuate the town on April 10. But while the French 
column retreated southwards, it was assailed by 
forces far superior in number, and had to surrender; 
some men were slaughtered, others marched back to 


Urfa or reached the French posts lying farther south 
of Arab Punar or Tel-Abiad. 

On April 1 that is to say, nearly at the same 
time the Turks attacked the American mission at 
Aintab. French troops were sent to their help as soon 
as the American consul-general at Beyrut asked for 
help. They arrived on April 17, and, after resisting 
for eighteen days, the few members of the American 
mission were able to withdraw to Aleppo, where 
they met with American refugees from Urfa, with 
the French column sent to relieve them. 

In a speech made in the Ottoman Chamber of 
Deputies about the validation of the mandates of 
the members for Adana, Mersina, and other districts 
of Asia Minor, Reouf Bey, a deputy and former 
Minister of Marine, maintained that the occupation 
of Cilicia had not been allowed in the armistice, and 
so the occupation of this province by the French 
was a violation of the treaty. 

In the middle of February the Grand Vizier and 
the Minister of Foreign Affairs handed the Allied 
representatives a memorandum drawn up by the 
Government to expound the situation brought about 
by the postponement of the conclusion of the Peace 
Treaty, and chiefly requested: 

(1) That the Turkish inhabitants, in the districts 
where they were in a majority, should be left under 
Turkish sovereignty, and that their rights should be 

(2) That the position of the regions occupied by 
the Allies should be altered. 

(3) That the Turkish delegation should be heard 
before irrevocable decisions were taken. 


The Allies, too, felt it was necessary to come to 
a settlement; and as they had waited too long since 
they had dismissed the Turkish delegation in July 
of the previous year, the situation was getting 
critical now. As the United States, which took less 
and less interest in European affairs, did not seem 
anxious to intervene in the solution of the Eastern 
problem, Mr. Lloyd George, on Thursday, Decem- 
ber 18, 1919, in an important speech in which he 
gave some information about the diplomatic con- 
versations that were taking place in London, came 
to the Turkish question and stated that the terms 
of the treaty would soon be submitted to Turkey. 

"My noble friend said: ' Why could you not make peace 
with Turkey, cutting out all the non-Turkish territories, and 
then leaving Constantinople and Anatolia to be dealt with ?' 
I think on consideration he will see that is not possible. 
What is to be done with Constantinople ? What is to be 
done with the Straits ? . . . If those doors had been open, 
and if our fleet and our merchant ships had been free to go 
through . . . the war would have been shortened by two or 
three years. They were shut treacherously in our faces. 
We cannot trust the same porter. As to what will remain 
much depended on whether America came in. ... Would 
America take a share, and, if so, what share? France has 
great burdens, Britain has great burdens, Italy has great 
burdens. Much depended on whether America, which has 
no great extraneous burdens, and which has gigantic resources, 
was prepared to take her share. . . . But until America 
declared what she would do, any attempt to precipitate the 
position might have led to misunderstandings with America 
and would have caused a good deal of suspicion, and we 
regard a good understanding with America as something 
vital. That is the reason why we could not make peace 
with Turkey. . . . 

"We are entitled to say now: 'We have waited up to the 
very limits we promised, and we have waited beyond that.' 
The decision of America does not look promising. . . . 
Therefore we consider now, without any disrespect to our 
colleagues at the Peace Conference, and without in the least 


wishing to deprive the United States of America of sharing 
the honour of guardianship over these Christian communities, 
that we are entitled to proceed to make peace with Turkey, 
and we propose to do so at the earliest possible moment. 
We have had some preliminary discussions on the subject. 
As far as they went they were very promising. They will 
be renewed, partly in this country, partly probably in France, 
in the course of the next few days, and I hope that it will be 
possible to submit to Turkey the terms of peace at an early 

But as the Allies, instead of dictating terms of 
peace to Turkey at the end of 1918, had postponed 
the settlement of the Turkish question for fourteen 
months, as they had dismissed the Ottoman delega- 
tion after summoning it themselves, and as the 
question was now about to be resumed under widely 
different circumstances and in quite another frame of 
mind, the Paris Conference found itself in an awkward 


* * * 

About the end of the first half of February, 1920, 
the Peace Conference at last resumed the discussion 
of the Turkish question. 

The task of working out a first draft of the treaty 
of peace with Turkey had been entrusted by the 
Supreme Council to three commissions. The first 
was to draw up a report on the frontiers of the new 
Republic of Armenia; the second was to hold an 
inquiry into the Ottoman debt and the financial 
situation of Turkey; and the third was to examine 
the claims of Greece to Smyrna. 

It had been definitely settled that the Dardanelles 
should be placed under international control, and the 
Conference was to decide what kind of control it 
would be, what forces would be necessary to enforce 


it, and what nationalities would provide these forces. 
There remained for settlement what the boundaries 
of the Constantinople area would be, and what 
rights the Turks would have over Adrianople. 

The discussion of the Turkish question was resumed 
in an untoward way, which at first brought about a 
misunderstanding. The English wanted the debate 
to be held in London, and the French insisted upon 
Paris. Finally it was decided that the principles 
should be discussed in London, and the treaty itself 
should be drawn up in Paris. 

At the first meetings of the Allies concerning 
Constantinople, the English strongly urged that the 
Turks should be turned out of Europe, and the 
French held the contrary opinion. Later on a change 
seems to have taken place in the respective opinions 
of the two Allies. The English, who were far from 
being unanimous in demanding the eviction of the 
Turks, gradually drew nearer to the opinion of the 
French, who now, however, did not plead for the 
Turks quite so earnestly as before. 

This change in the English point of view requires 
an explanation. 

The English, who are prone to believe only what 
affects them, did not seem to dread the Bolshevist 
peril for Europe, perhaps because they fancied 
England was quite secure from it; on the contrary, 
they thought this peril was more to be dreaded for 
the populations of Asia, no doubt because it could 
have an easier access to the English possessions. The 
success of Bolshevism with the Emir of Bokhara, close 
to the frontiers of India, seemed to justify their fears. 
Bolshevism, however, is something quite special to 


the Russian mind; other nations may be led astray 
or perverted by it for a time, but on the whole they 
cannot fully adhere to it permanently. Besides, it 
appears that Bolshevism has been wrongly looked 
upon as something Asiatic. Of course, it has been 
welcomed by the Slavs on the confines of Europe, 
and seems to agree with their mentality; but in fact 
it does not come from Asia, but from Europe. Lenin 
and Trotsky, who were sent by Germany from Berlin 
to St. Petersburg in a sealed railway-carriage and 
had lived before in Western Europe, imported no 
Asiatic ideas into Russia. They brought with them 
a mixture of Marxist socialism and Tolstoist 
Catholicism, dressed up in Russian style to make it 
palatable to the moujik, and presented to the intel- 
lectual class, to flatter Slav conceit, as about to 
renovate the face of Europe. 

The English did not realise that their own policy, 
as well as that of their Allies, had run counter to 
their own aims, that they had actually succeeded in 
strengthening the position of the Soviets, and that 
if they kept on encroaching upon the independence 
and territorial integrity of the heterogeneous Eastern 
populations of Russia and the peoples of Asia Minor, 
they would definitely bring them over to Bolshevism. 
Of course, these peoples were playing a dangerous 
game, and ran the risk of losing their liberty in 
another way, but they clung to any force that might 
uphold them. Mustafa Kemal was thus induced not 
to reject the offers the Moscow Government soon 
made him, but it did not seem likely he would be so 
foolish as to keep in the wake of the Soviets, for the 
latter are doomed to disappear sooner or later, unless 


they consent to evolution, supposing they have time 
to change. The Allies, on the other hand, especially 
the English, forgot that their policy risked giving 
Constantinople indirectly to Russia, where Tsarist 
imperialism had been replaced by Bolshevist im- 
perialism, both of which are actuated by the same 
covetous spirit. 

The fear of Bolshevism, however, had a fortunate 
consequence later on, as it brought about in 1920 
a complete change in British ideas concerning Turkey 
and Constantinople. The London Cabinet realised 
that the.Turks were the first nation that the Bolshevist 
propaganda could reach, and to which the Moscow 
Government could most easily and effectually give 
its support against British policy in Asia Minor, 
which would make the situation in the East still 
more complicated. So, in order not to drive the 
Ottoman Government into open resistance, England 
first showed an inclination to share the view, held 
by France from the outset, that the Turks should 
be allowed to remain in Constantinople. 

So the British Government instructed Admiral 
de Robeck, British High Commissioner in Con- 
stantinople, to bring to the knowledge of the Turks 
that the Allies had decided not to take Constantinople 
from them, but also po warn them that, should the 
Armenian persecutions continue, the treaty of peace 
with Turkey might be remodelled. 

The Turkish Press did not conceal its satisfaction 
at seeing that Constantinople was likely to remain the 
capital of the Empire, and was thankful to France 
for proposing and supporting this solution. Meanwhile 
a new party, " the Party of Defence and Deliverance 



of the Country," to which a certain number of 
deputies adhered, and which was supposed to be 
accepted and supported by the whole nation, had 
solemnly declared that no sacrifice could be made 
concerning the independence of the Ottoman Empire, 
and the integrity of Constantinople and the coast of 
the Marmora, merely recognising the freedom of 
passage of the Straits for all nations. This party now 
held great demonstrations. 

At the end of February the Minister of the Interior 
at Constantinople addressed to all the public autho- 
rities in the provinces the following circular : 

"I have great pleasure in informing you that Constan- 
tinople, the capital of the Khilafat and Sultanate, will remain 
ours, by decision of the Peace Conference. 

" God be praised for this ! This decision implies that, as 
we earnestly hope, our rights will be safeguarded and 

"You should do the utmost in your power and take all 
proper measures to prevent at all times and especially at the 
present delicate juncture untoward incidents against the 
non-Moslem population. Such incidents might lead to 
complaints, and affect the good dispositions of the Allies 
towards us." 

In the comments of the Ottoman Press on the 
deliberations of the Peace Conference regarding the 
peace with Turkey, the more moderate newspapers 
held the Nationalists responsible for the stern decisions 
contemplated by the Powers, and asked the Govern- 
ment to resist them earnestly. 

Great was the surprise, therefore, and deep the 
emotion among the Turks, when, after the aforesaid 
declarations, on February 29, the English fleet 
arrived and a large number of sailors and soldiers 
marched along the main streets of Pera, with fixed 
bayonets, bands playing, and colours flying. 


A similar demonstration took place at Stambul on 
the same day, and another on the following Wednes- 
day at Skutari. 

A sudden wave of discussion spread over Great 
Britain at the news that the Turks were going to 
keep Constantinople, and made an impression on 
the Conference, in which there were still some advo- 
cates of the eviction of the Turks. 

A memorandum signed by Lord Eobert Cecil and 
Mr. J. H. Thomas, requiring that the Turks should 
be driven out of Europe, raised some discussion in the 
House of Commons. In answer to this memorandum 
some members sent a circular to their colleagues, to 
ask them to avoid, during the sittings of the Peace 
Conference, all manifestations that might influence 
its decisions concerning foreign affairs. Another 
group, in an appeal to Mr. Lloyd George, reminded 
him that in his declaration of January 5, 1918, he 
had stated that the English did not fight to wrest 
her capital from Turkey, and that any departure from 
this policy would be deeply resented in India. 

Lord Robert Cecil and Lord Bryce proved the 
most determined adversaries of the retention of the 
Turks in Europe. 

According to the Daily Mail, even within the 
British Cabinet widely different views were held 
about Constantinople. One section of the Cabinet, 
led by Lord Curzon. asked that the Turks should 
be evicted from Europe; and another, led by 
Mr. Montagu, Indian Secretary, favoured the retention 
of the Turks in Constantinople, provided they should 


give up their internal struggles and submit to the 
decisions of the Allies. 

The Times severely blamed the Government for 
leaving the Turks in Constantinople; it maintained 
it was not too late to reconsider their decision; and 
it asked that Constantinople should in some way be 
placed under international control. 

The Daily Chronicle also stated that it would have 
been better if the Turks had been evicted from 
Constantinople, and expressed the hope that at any 
rate public opinion would not forget the Armenian 
question. At the same time i.e., at the end of 
February, 1920 American leaders also asked that 
the Turks should be compelled to leave Constanti- 
nople, and a strong Protestant campaign started a 
powerful current of opinion. 

On Sunday evening, February 29, a meeting of 
so-called " non-sectarians " was held in New York, 
with the support of the dignitaries of St. John's 

The Bishop of Western Pennsylvania, after holding 
France responsible for the present situation because 
it owned millions of dollars of Turkish securities, 
declared: " Though I love England and France, we 
must let these two countries know that we will not 
shake hands with them so long as they hold out their 
hands to the sanguinary Turk." 

Messages from Senator Lodge, the presidents of 
Harvard and Princeton Universities, M. Myron, 
T. Herrick, and other Americans of mark were read; 
asking President Wilson and the Supreme Council 
that the Ottoman rule in Constantinople should come 
to an end. Motions were also carried requesting that 


the Turks should be expelled from Europe, that the 
Christians should no longer be kept under Moslem 
sway, and that the Allies should carry out their 
engagements with regard to Armenia. 

Another movement, similar in character to the 
American one, was started in England at the same 

The Archbishop of Canterbury, with the other 
Anglican bishops and some influential men, addressed 
a similar appeal to the British Government. 

Twelve bishops belonging to the Holy Synod of 
Constantinople sent a telegram to the Archbishop 
of Canterbury, entreating his support that no Turk 
might be left in Constantinople. In his answer, 
the Archbishop assured the Holy Synod that the 
Anglican Church would continue to do everything 
conducive to that end. 

The Bishop of New York also telegraphed to the 
Archbishop of Canterbury on behalf of about a 
hundred American bishops, to thank him for taking 
the lead in the crusade against the retention of the 
Turks in Constantinople. The Archbishop replied that 
he hoped America would assume a share in the 
protection of the oppressed nationalities in the East. 

The personality of the promoters plainly showed 
that religious interests were the leading factors in 
this opposition, and played a paramount part in it, 
for the instigators of the movement availed them- 
selves of the wrongs Turkey had committed in order 
to fight against Islam and further their own interests 
under pretence of upholding the cause of Christendom. 

So, in February, -after the formidable campaign 
started in Great Britain and the United States, at the 


very time when the treaty of peace with Turkey 
was going to be discussed again, and definitely 
settled, the retention of the Turkish Government in 
Constantinople was still an open question. 

On February 12 the Anglo-Ottoman Society 
addressed to Mr. Lloyd George an appeal signed by 
Lord Mowbray, Lord Lamington, General Sir Bryan 
Mahon, Professor Browne, Mr. Marmaduke Pickthall, 
and several other well-known men, referring to the 
pledge he had made on January 5/1918, to leave 
Constantinople to the Turks. The appeal ran as 
follows : 

"We, the undersigned, being in touch with Oriental 
opinion, view with shame the occupation of the vilayet of 
Aidin, a province ' of which the population is predominantly 
Turkish,' by Hellenic troops; and have noticed with alarm 
the further rumours in the Press to the effect that parts of 
Thrace and even Constantinople itself may be severed 
from the Turkish Empire at the peace settlement, in spite of 
the solemn pledge or declaration aforesaid, on the one hand, 
and, on the other, the undeniable growth of anti-British 
feeling throughout the length and breadth of Asia, and in 
Egypt, owing to such facts and rumours. 

"We beg you, in the interests not only of England or 
of India but of the peace of the world, to make good that 
solemn declaration not to deprive Turkey of Thrace and Asia 
Minor, with Constantinople as her capital." 

The next week a memorandum was handed to 
Mr. Lloyd George and printed in the issue of The 
Times of February 23. It was signed by, among 
others, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, the 
Bishop of London, Lord Kobert Cecil, Mr. A. G. 
Gardiner (late editor of the Daily News), the socialist 
leader Hyndman, Lord Bryce (formerly ambassador 
to the United States), the well-known writer Seton- 
Watson, Dr. Burrows, Principal of King's College, 
Professor Oman, and many professors of universities. 


In it the same desires lurked behind the same 
religious arguments, under cover of the same social 
and humanitarian considerations viz., that the 
Turks should no longer be allowed to slaughter the 
Armenians, and that they should be expelled from 

"As to Constantinople itself, it will be a misfortune and 
indeed a scandal if this city is left in Turkish hands. It has 
been for centuries a focus of intrigue and corruption; and it 
will so continue as long as the Turkish Government has power 
there. If Constantinople were transferred to the control of 
the League of Nations, there would be no offence to genuine 
Moslem sentiment. For the Khilafat is not, and never has 
been, attached to Constantinople. The Sultan, if he retains 
the Khilafat, will be just as much a Khalifa, in the eyes of 
Moslems all over the world, at Brusa or Konia, as at Stambul." 

Now the absurdity of such arguments is patent to 
all those who know that " the focus of intrigue and 
corruption " denounced in this document is the out- 
come of the political intrigues carried on by foreigners 
in Constantinople, and kept up by international 
rivalries. As to the exile of the Sultan to Brusa or 
Konia, it could only-have raised a feeling of discon- 
tent and resentment among Moslems and roused their 
religious zeal. 

Such a movement was resented by the Turks all 
the more deeply as, it must be remembered, they have 
great reverence for any religious feeling. For instance, 
they still look upon the Crusades with respect, 
because they had a noble aim, a legitimate one for 
Catholics viz., the conquest of the Holy Places; 
though later on behind the Crusaders, as behind all 
armies, there came all sorts of people eager to derive 
personal profit from those migrations of men. But 
they cannot entertain the least consideration or 
regard for a spurious religious movement, essentially 


Protestant, behind which Anglo-Saxon covetousness 
is lurking, and the real aim of which is to start huge 
commercial undertakings. 

Moreover, the Greek claims which asserted them- 
selves during the settlement of the Turkish question 
partly originated in the connection between the 
Orthodox Church, not with Hellenism in the old and 
classical sense of the word, as has been wrongly 
asserted, but with Greek aspirations. For the 
(Ecumenical Patriarch, whose see is Constantinople, 
is the head of the Eastern Church, and he still enjoys 
temporal privileges owing to which he is, in the 
Sultan's territory, the real leader of the Greek sub- 
jects of the Sultan. Though the countries of Ortho- 
dox faith in Turkey have long enjoyed religious 
autonomy, their leaders keep their eyes bent on 
Constantinople, for in their mind the religious cause 
is linked with that of the Empire, and the eventual 
restoration of the Greek Empire in Constantinople 
would both consolidate their religious faith and 
'sanction their claims. 

In spite of what has often been said, it seems that 
the Christian Church did not so much protect Hel- 
lenism against the Turks as the Orthodox Church 
enhanced the prosperity of the Greeks within the 
Turkish Empire. The Greek Church, thanks to the 
independence it enjoyed in the Ottoman Empire, was 
a sort of State within the State, and had a right to 
open and maintain schools which kept up moral 
unity among the Greek elements. So it paved the 
way to the revolutionary movement of 1821, which 
was to bring about the restoration of the Greek 
kingdom with Athens as its capital ; and now it serves 


the plans of the advocates of Greater Greece. Let us 
add that nowadays the Greek Church, like the 
Churches of all the States that have arisen on the 
ruins of Turkey, has its own head, and has freed 
itself from the tutelage of the Patriarch for the 
administration of its property. 

Lord Kobert Cecil, who had taken the lead in that 
politico-religious movement, wrote on February 23 
in the Evening Standard a strong article in which 
he said something to this purpose: "Constantinople 
is a trophy of victories, not the capital of a nation. 
From Constantinople the Turks issue cruel orders 
against the Christian population. From the point of 
view both of morality and of prudence, the Stambul 
Government must not be strengthened by such an 
exorbitant concession on the part of the Allies." 

In the debate which took place on Wednesday, 
February 25, 1920, in the House of Commons regard- 
ing the retention of the ^Turks in Constantinople, after 
a question of Lord Edmund Talbot, Sir Donald 
Maclean, who spoke first, urged that if the Turks 
were not expelled from Constantinople all the worst 
difficulties of the past would occur again, and would 
endanger the peace of the world. 

"The decision of the Peace Conference was a great surprise 
to most people. We owed nothing to the Turks. They came 
into the war gladly and without any provocation on our part. 
They became the willing and most useful ally of Germany. 
If the Turks were left in the gateway of the world, they would 
be at their old game again." 1 

Sir Edward Carson said just the reverse: 

"It was suggested that we should drive the Turks out of 
Constantinople. ... If the Allies wanted to drive the Turks 

1 The Time*, February 27, 1920, -p. 8, col. 4. 


out of Constantinople, . . . they would have to commence 
another war, and it would not be a small war. You must 
not talk of cutting down the Army and the Navy, and at the 
same moment censure the Government because they had not 
settled the question of driving the Turks out." 1 

Mr. Lloyd George, speaking after them both, began 

" This is not a decision, whichever way you go, which is free 
from difficulty and objection. I do not know whether my 
right hon. friend is under the impression that if we decided 
to expel the Turk from Constantinople the course would be 
absolutely clear. As a matter of fact, it is a balancing of the 
advantages and the disadvantages, and it is upon that balance 
and after weighing very carefully and for some time all the 
arguments in favour and all the arguments against, all the 
difficulties along the one path and all the difficulties you may 
encounter on the other, and all the obstacles and all the perils 
on both sides, that the Allied Conference came to the con- 
clusion that on the whole the better course was to retain the 
Turk in Constantinople for achieving a common end." 

Then he explained that the agreement concerning 
the substitution of the Kussians for the Turks in 
Constantinople had become null and void after the 
Russian revolution and the Brest-Litovsk peace, and 
that at the present date the Bolshevists were not 
ready to assume such a responsibility, should it be 
offered to them. 

"I will deal with two other pledges which are important. 
My right hon. friend referred to a pledge I gave to the House 
in December last, that there would not be the same gate- 
keeper, but there would be a different porter at the gates. . . . 
It would have been the height of folly to trust the guardian- 
ship of these gates to the people who betrayed their trust. 
That will never be done. They will never be closed by the 
Turk in the face of a British ship again. . . . 

" The second pledge, given in January, 1918, was given after 
full consultation with all parties, and the right hon. member 
for Paisley and Lord Grey acquiesced. There was a real 

1 The Times, February 27, 1920, p. 8 ; col. 4. 


desire to make a national statement of war aims, a statement 
that would carry all parties along with it, and they all agreed. 
It was a carefully prepared declaration, which I read out, as 
follows: 'Nor are we fighting to destroy Austria-Hungary, 
or to deprive Turkey of its capital, or of the rich and renowned 
lands of Asia Minor and Thrace, which are predominantly 
Turkish in race. Outside Europe we believe that the same 
principle should be applied. . . . While we do not challenge 
the maintenance of the Turkish Empire in the homeland 
of the Turkish race, with its capital in Constantinople, the 
passage between the Mediterranean and the Black Sea being 
internationalised and neutralised ' (as they will be), ' Arabia, 
Armenia, Mesopotamia, Syria, and Palestine are in our 
judgment entitled to recognition of their separate national 
conditions.' That declaration was specific, unqualified, and 
deliberate. It was made with the consent of all parties in 
the community. . . . 

"The effect of the statement in India was that recruiting 
went up appreciably from that very moment. . . . 

" Now we are told: ' That was an offer you made to Turkey, 
and they rejected it, and therefore you were absolutely free.' 
It was more than that. It was a statement of our war aims 
for the workers of this country, a statement of our war aims 
for India. It is too often forgotten that we are the greatest 
Mohammedan Power in the world. One-fourth of the popula- 
tion of the British Empire is Mohammedan. . . . We gave a 
solemn pledge and they accepted it, and they are disturbed 
at the prospect of our not abiding by it. . . . There is nothing 
which would damage British power in Asia more than the 
feeling that you could not trust the British word. That 
is the danger. Of course it would be a fatal reputation 
for us. ... 

" When the peace terms are published there is no friend of 
the Turk, should there be any left, who will not realise that 
he has been terribly punished for his follies, his blunders, his 
crimes, and his iniquities. Stripped of more than half his 
Empire, his country under the Allied guns, deprived of his 
army, his navy, his prestige the punishment will be terrible 
enough to satisfy the bitterest foe of the Turkish Empire, 
drastic enough for the sternest judge. My right hon. friend 
suggested that there was a religious issue involved. That 
would be the most dangerous of all, and the most fatal. I 
am afraid that underneath the agitation there is not only 
the movement for the expulsion of the Turk, but there is 
something of the old feeling of Christendom against the 
Crescent. If it is believed in the Mohammedan world that our 


terms are dictated by the purpose of lowering the flag of the 
Prophet before that of Christendom, it will be fatal to our 
government in India. It is an unworthy purpose to achieve 
by force. It is unworthy of Britain, and it is unworthy of 
our faith. 

" Let us examine our legitimate peace aims in Turkey. The 
first is the freedom of the Straits. I put that first for two 
reasons, which I shall refer to later on. It was put first by 
my right hon. friend, and I accept it. The second is the 
freeing of the non-Turkish communities from the Ottoman 
sway; the preservation for the Turk of self-government in 
communities which are mainly Turkish, subject to two most 
important reservations. The first is that there must be 
adequate safeguards within our power for protecting the 
minorities that have been oppressed by the Turk in the past. 
The second is that the Turk must be deprived of his power 
of vetoing the development of the rich lands under his rule 
which were once the granary of the Mediterranean. . . . 

" You can get the great power of Constantinople from its 
geographical situation. That is the main point. It is the 
main point for two reasons. The first is, when you consider 
the future possibilities of the Black Sea. You have there six 
or seven independent communities or nations to whom we 
want access. It is essential that we should have a free road, 
a right-of-way to these countries, whatever the opinion of the 
Turk may be. His keeping of the gates prolonged the war, 
and we cannot have that again. Therefore, for that reason, 
it is coming to an end. The second reason why the guardian- 
ship of the gates is important is because of its effect upon the 
protection of minorities. How do we propose that that should 
be achieved ? Turkey is to be deprived entirely of the 
guardianship of the gates. Her forts are to be dismantled. 
She is to have no troops anywhere within reach of these 
waters. More than that, the Allies mean to garrison those 
gates themselves. ... I was going to say that we have 
been advised that, with the assistance of the Navy, we shall 
be able to garrison the Dardanelles and, if necessary, the 
Bosphorus, with a much smaller force because of the assis- 
tance to be given by the Navy for that purpose. Turkey 
will not be allowed a navy. What does she want with a 
navy ? It was never of the slightest use to her when she 
had it. She never could handle it. That is the position in 
regard to the Straits. 

' ' What is the alternative to that proposal ? The alternative 
to that proposal is international government of Constantinople 
and the whole of the lands surrounding the Straits. It would 


mean a population of 1,500,000 governed by the Allies a 
committee representing France, Italy, Great Britain, and. 
I suppose, some day Russia might come in, and, it might be, 
other countries. America, if she cared to come in. Can 
anyone imagine anything more calculated to lead to that kind 
of mischievous intriguing, rivalry, and trouble in Constan- 
tinople that my right hon. friend deprecated and, rightly, 
feared ? How would you govern it ? Self-government 
could not be conferred under those conditions. It would 
have to be a military government. ... It would require, 
according to every advice we have had, a very considerable 
force, and it would add very considerably to the burdensome 
expenditure of these countries, and it would be the most un- 
satisfactory government that anyone could possibly imagine. 
" We had hoped that two of the great countries of the world 
would have been able to help us in sharing the responsibility 
for the government of this troubled country ; but for one reason 
or another they have fallen out. There was first of all Russia. 
She is out of the competition for a very unpleasant task. 
Then there was America. We had hopes, and we had good 
reason for hoping, that America would have shared these 
responsibilities. She might probably have taken the guardian- 
ship of the Armenians, or she might have taken the guardian- 
ship of Constantinople. But America is no claimant now, 
and I am not going to express an opinion as to whether she 
ever will be, because it would be dangerous to do so; but for 
the moment we must reckon America as being entirely out 
of any arrangement which we contemplate for the govern- 
ment of Turkey and for the protection of the Christian 
minorities in that land. . . . I ask my noble friend, if he were 
an Armenian would he feel more secure if he knew that 
the Sultan and his Ministers were overlooked by a British 
garrison on the Bosphorus, and that British ships were there 
within reach, than if the Sultan were at Konia, with hundreds 
of miles across the Taurus Mountains to the nearest Allied 
garrison, and the sea with its great British ships and their 
guns out of sight and out of mind ? I know which I would 
prefer if I were an Armenian with a home to protect." 1 

The Prime Minister concluded his speech by 
saying that the Allies chiefly desired to take from 
the Turks the government of communities of alien 
race and religion, which would feel adequately pro- 

1 The Times, February 27, 1920, p. 9. 


tected when they knew that their former persecutors 
must sign the decree for their liberation under the 
threat of English, French, and Italian guns. Yet he 
could not dissemble his own misgivings. 

In the discussion that followed Lord Robert Cecil 
said that, in any settlement with regard to Armenia, 
he trusted there would not only be a considerable 
increase in the present area of the Armenian Republic, 
but that Armenia would be given some access to the 
Black Sea in the north. Without that he was satis- 
fied that the Armenian Republic would have the 
greatest difficulty in living. He earnestly hoped that 
every influence of the British Government would be 
used to secure that Cilicia should be definitely 
removed from Turkish sovereignty. He repeated 
once more that he was sorry the Turks were going 
to be retained in Constantinople, but that 

"No one wished to turn the Sultan out; the central thing 
was to get rid of the Sublime Porte as the governor of Con- 
stantinople. That did not mean turning anybody out; it 
merely meant that we were not to hand back Constantinople 
to the Turkish Government." 

He had the greatest regard for the feelings of the 
Indians in that matter, but was surprised they in- 
sisted upon the retention of the Sultan in Constan- 
tinople. He thought that there was not the slightest 
ground for maintaining the Sultan as Caliph of 
Mohammedanism, and, even if there were, there was 
nothing at all vital about his remaining in Con- 
stantinople. So far as the Turks were concerned, 
what was Constantinople ? It was not a national 
capital; it had been occupied by the Turks as their 
great trophy of victory. He entirely approved of the 


statement of 1918, and, in the same circumstances, 
he would make it again. It seemed to him perfectly 
fantastic to say that ever since 1918 we had held out 
to our Indian fellow-subjects an absolute under- 
taking that Constantinople should remain in the 
hands of the Turks. 

Then Mr. Bonar Law rose, and declared that it 
would be easier to have control over the Turkish 
Government if it was left in Constantinople, instead 
of transferring it to Konia. 

"Our fleet at Constantinople would be a visible emblem of 
power. The Allies believed that the pressure they would be 
able to exercise would have an effect throughout the Turkish 
Empire, but it would not be so if we sent the Turks to Konia. 
An hon. member had said that some Armenians had told 
him that they desired the Turks to be sent out of Constan- 
tinople. Let the Armenians consider the facts as they now 

"If there was one thing which more than another was 
likely to make the League of Nations a failure it was to hand 
over this question to them. In 1917 it was arranged that if 
we were victorious in the war, Russia would become the 
possessor of Constantinople. But all that fell to the ground, 
and in 1918 a new situation arose, and a solemn document 
was put before the British people in which it was stated that 
one of our war aims was not to turn the Turks out of Con- 
stantinople. Overwhelming reasons were required to justify 
departure from that declaration, and those overwhelming 
reasons had not been forthcoming. When it was hoped and 
expected that America would accept a mandate in regard to 
Turkey there was no question of turning the Turks out of 
Constantinople. ' ' 1 

The debate, which came to an end after this state- 
ment by Mr. Bonar Law, was not followed by a 

Mr. Montagu, Secretary for India, stated in an inter- 
view printed in the Evening Standard, February 25: 

1 The Times, February 27, 1920. 


"If one of the results of the war must needs be to take 
away Constantinople from the Turks, I should take the 
liberty of respectfully telling Lord Robert Cecil, as president 
of the Indian delegation in the Peace Conference, that we 
ought not to have asked Indians to take part in the war 
against Turkey. Throughout India, all those who had to 
express their opinion on this subject, whatever race or 
religion they may belong to, are of opinion that Constan- 
tinople must remain the seat of the Khilafat if the internal 
and external peace of India is to be preserved. 

" The Turks, who are the chief part of the population in 
Constantinople, have certainly as much right as any other 
community to the possession of that city. So we have to 
choose between the Turks and an international regime. 
Now in the history of Constantinople examples have occurred 
of the latter r6gime, and the results were not so good that 
it cannot be said a Turkish government would not have done 

This opinion was upheld by a good many British 
newspapers, notwithstanding Lord Robert Cecil's 

Yet under the pressure of a section of public 
opinion and the agitation let loose against Turkey, 
England seemed more and more resolved to occupy 
Constantinople, and The Times, though it had never 
been averse to the eviction of the Turks from Con- 
stantinople, now showed some anxiety: 

"We cannot imagine how the greatest lovers of political 
difficulties in Europe should have ever dreamt that Constan- 
tinople should be occupied exclusively by British troops, 
or that such a decision may have been taken without pre- 
viously taking the Allies' advice. 

"As things now stand, we are not at all surprised that such 
stories may have given birth to a feeling of distrust towards 
us. These are the fruits of a policy tainted with contradic- 
tion and weakness. The Allied countries refuse to sacrifice 
any more gold or human lives, unless their honour is con- 
cerned. They will not consent to go to war in order to safe- 
guard the interests of a few international financiers, who want 
to dismember Turkey-in-Asia." 


This movement was broughtjibout by the explosion 
of very old feelings which had been smouldering for 
nearly forty years, had been kept alive by the Balkan 
war, and had been roused by the last conflict. Even 
at the time of Catherine II the merchants of the City 
of London merely looked upon Russia as a first-rate 
customer to whom they sold European and Indian 
goods, and of whom in return they bought raw 
materials which their ships brought to England. So 
they felt inclined to support the policy of Russia, 
and, to quote the words of a French writer in the 
eighteenth century, the English ambassador at 
Constantinople was " le charge d'affaires de la 
Russie." So a party which took into account only 
the material advantages to be drawn from a closer 
commercial connection with Russia arose and soon 
became influential. William Pitt inveighed against 
this party when, in one of his speeches, he refused to 
argue with those who wanted to put an end to the 
Ottoman Empire. But the opinion that England 
can only derive economic advantages from the dis- 
memberment of Turkey in favour of Russia soon 
found a new advocate in Richard Cobden, the leader 
of the Manchester school, who expounded it in a 
little book, Russia, by a Manchester Manufacturer, 
printed at Edinburgh in 1835. This dangerous policy 
was maintained, in spite of David Urquhart's cam- 
paign against the Tsarist policy in the East in a 
periodical, The Portfolio, which he had founded in 
1833, and, notwithstanding the strenuous efforts 
made by Blacque, a Frenchman, editor of The 
Ottoman Monitor, to show that Europe was being 
cheated by Russia, and was going the wrong way in 



her attitude towards Turkey. And the same foolish 
policy consistently pursued by Fox, Gladstone, and 
Grey towards Tsardom is still carried on by Britain 
towards Bolshevism. The same narrowly utilitarian 
views, the typical economic principles of the Man- 
chester School, linked with Protestant ideas, and 
thus strengthened and aggravated by religious feeling, 
seem still to inspire the Russian policy of Britain as 
they once inspired the old " bag and baggage " 
policy of Mr. Gladstone, the " Grand -Old Man," that 
the Turks should be expelled from Constantinople 
with bag and baggage. Indeed, this policy may be 
looked upon as an article of faith of the English 
Liberal party. Mr. Gladstone's religious mind, which 
was alien to the Islamic spirit, together with the 
endeavours of the economists who wanted to mono- 
polise the Russian market, brought about an alliance 
with Holy Orthodox Russia, and within the Anglican 
Church a movement for union with the Holy Synod 
had even been started. 

That campaign was all the more out of place as 
the Turks have repeatedly proclaimed their sympathy 
for England and turned towards her. Just as after 
the first Balkan war the Kiamil Cabinet had made 
overtures to Sir Edward Grey, after the armistice 
of November 11 Tewfik Pasha, now Grand Vizier, 
had also made open proposals. England had already 
laid hands on Arabia and Mesopotamia, but could 
not openly lay claim to Constantinople without 
upsetting some nations with whom she meant to 
keep on good terms, though some of her agents and 
part of public opinion worked to that end. Generally 
she showed more diplomacy in conforming her conduct 


with her interests, which she did not defend so 
harshly and openly. 

But religious antagonism and religious intoler- 
ance were at the bottom of that policy, and had 
always instigated and supported it. The Angli- 
cans, and more markedly the Nonconformists, had 
taken up the cry, " The Turk out of Europe," and 
it seems certain that the religious influence was 
paramount and brought on the political action. 
Mr. Lloyd George, who is a strong and earnest Non- 
conformist, must have felt it slightly awkward to 
find himself in direct opposition to his co-religionists 
on political grounds. Besides, the British Govern- 
ment, which in varied circumstances had supported 
contradictory policies, was in a difficult situation 
when brought face to face with such contradictions. 

It also seems strange at first that the majority of 
American public opinion should have suffered itself 
to be led by the campaign of Protestant propaganda, 
however important the^ religious question may be in 
the United States. Though since 1831 American 
Protestant missionaries have defrayed the expenses 
of several centres of propaganda among the 
Nestorians (who have preserved the Nazarene creed), 
paid the native priests and supported the schools, 
America has no interests in those countries, unless she 
thus means to support her Russian policy. But her 
economic imperialism, which also aims at a spiritual 
preponderance, would easily go hand in hand with a 
cold religious imperialism which would spread its 
utilitarian formalism over the life and manners of 
all nations. 

At any rate, the plain result of the two countries' 


policy was necessarily to reinforce the Pan-Turkish 
and Pan-Arabian movements. 

Of course, Mr. Wilson's puritanism and his 
ignorance of the complex elements and real condi- 
tions of European civilisation could not but favour 
such a movement, and on March 5 the New York 
World, a semi-official organ, plainly said that Mr. 
Wilson would threaten again, as he had already done 
about Italy, to withdraw from European affairs, if 
the treaty of peace with Turkey left Constantinople 
to the Turks, and gave up all protection of the 
Christian populations in Turkey. 

The traditional hostility of America towards 
Turkey one of the essential reasons of which has 
just been given demanded that Turkey should be 
expelled from Europe, and the Empire should be 
dismembered. President Wilson, in Article 12 of 
his programme, had mentioned the recognition of 
the sovereignty of the Ottoman Empire; yet the 
American leaders, though they pointed out that a 
state of war had never existed between the United 
States and Turkey, were the first to demand the 
eviction of the Turks; and the Chicago Tribune 
of March 8 hinted that an American cruiser might 
be sent to the Bosphorus. On March 6 Senator 
Kling criticised in the Senate the Allies' proposals 
aiming at tolerating Turkish sway in Asia Minor. 
The United States even backed the Greek claims, 
and on the same day Mr. Lodge moved that the 
Peace Conference should give to Greece Northern 
Epirus, the Dodecanese, and the western coast of 
Asia Minor. 

Mr. Morgenthau, too, criticised the terms of the 


settlement which allowed Constantinople to remain 
a Turkish city; he maintained that such a solution 
could only be another inducement for America to 
keep away from European affairs, and declared that 
Europe would fail to do her duty if she did not punish 
Turkey. Yet at the same time America, and 
shortly after England, were endeavouring to mitigate 
the responsibility of Germany, objecting, not to her 
punishment, which had never been demanded by 
France, but to the complete execution of the most 
legitimate measures of reparation, and made con- 
cessions on all points that did not affect their own 
interests. In fact, they merely wanted to resume 
business with Germany at any cost and as soon as 

English newspapers printed an appeal to French 
and British public opinion drawn up by some eminent 
American citizens, asking for the eviction of the 
Turks from Constantinople and the autonomy of 

The British Press, however, remarked that it was 
not sufficient to express wishes, and it would have 
been better if the Americans had assumed a share of 
responsibility in the reorganisation of Asia Minor. 

Now, why did a section of British and American 
public opinion want to punish Turkey, whereas it 
refused to support the French and Belgian claims to 
reparation ? In order to form an impartial judg- 
ment on Turkey, one should look for the motives 
and weigh the reasons that induced her to take part in 
the war, and then ascertain why some members of 
her political parties most preposterously stood by the 
side of Germany. If the latter pursued such a policy, 


perhaps it was because Germany, who aimed at ex- 
tending her influence over the whole of Eastern Asia, 
displayed more ability and skill than the Allies did 
in Turkey, and because the policy of the Powers and 
their attitude towards the Christians raised much 
enmity against them. 

On such a delicate point, one cannot do better 
than quote the words of Suleyman Nazif Bey in a 
lecture delivered in honour of Pierre Loti at the 
University of Stambul on January 23, 1920: 

"When we linked our fate with that of Germany and 
Austria, the Kaiser's army had already lost the first battle 
of the Marne. It is under such untoward and dangerous 
circumstances that we joined the fray. No judicious motive 
can be brought forward to excuse and absolve the few men 
who drove us lightheartedly into the conflagration of the 
world war. 

"If Kaiser Wilhelm found it possible to fool some men 
among us, and if these men were able to draw the nation 
behind them, the reason is to be found in the events of the 
time and in the teachings of history. Russia, who, for the 
last two and a half centuries has not given us a moment of 
respite, did not enter into the world war in order to take 
Alsace-Lorraine from Prussia and give it back to France. 
The Muscovites thought the time had come at last to carry 
out the dream that had perpetually haunted the Tsars ever 
since Peter the Great that is to say, the conquest of Anatolia 
and the Straits. 

" It is not to Europe but to our own country that we must 
be held responsible for having entered into the war so foolishly, 
and still more for having conducted it so badly, with so much 
ignorance and deceit. The Ottoman nation alone has a 
right to call us to account the Great Powers had paid us so 
little regard, nay, they had brought on us such calamities, 
that the shrewd Kaiser finally managed to stir up our discon- 
tent and make us lay aside all discretion and thoughtfulness 
by rousing the ancient legitimate hatred of the Turks. 

"Read the book that the former Bulgarian Premier, 
Guechoff , wrote just after the Balkan war. You will see in it 
that the Tsar Nicholas compelled, as it were by force, the Serbs 
and Bulgars, who had been enemies for centuries, to conclude 
an alliance in order to evict us from Europe. Of course, 


Montenegro followed suit. France approved, then even urged 
them to do so; and then one of the leading figures of the times 
intervened to make Greece join that coalition intended to 
drive the Turks out of Europe. The rest is but too well 
known. The Bulgarian statesman who owns all this is noted 
for his hatred of Turkey. 

"Let us not forget this: so long as our victory was con- 
sidered as possible, the Powers declared that the principle 
of the status quo ante bettum should be religiously observed. 
As soon as we suffered a defeat, a Power declared this principle 
no longer held good; it was the ally of the nation that has 
been our enemy for two and a half centuries, and yet it was 
also most adverse to the crafty policy that meant to cheat 
us. ... 

"Every time Europe has conferred some benefit upon us 
we have been thankful for it. I know the history of my 
country- full well ; in her annals, many mistakes and evil 
doings have occurred, but not one line relates one act of 
ingratitude. After allowing the Moslems of Smyrna to be 
slaughtered by Hellenic soldiers and after having hushed up 
this crime, Europe now wants so it seems at least to drive 
us out of Constantinople and transfer the Moslem Khilafat 
to an Anatolian town, as if it were a common parcel, or shelve 
it inside the palace of Top-Kapu (the old Seraglio) like the 
antique curios of the Museum. When the Turks shall have 
been expelled from Constantinople, the country will be so 
convulsed that the whole world will be shaken. Let nobody 
entertain any doubt aboutthis : if we go out of Constantinople 
a general conflagration will break out, that will last for years 
or centuries, nobody knows, and will set on fire the whole 
of the globe. 

" At the time when Sultan Mohammed entered the town of 
Constantinople, which had been praised and promised by 
Mohammed to his people, the Moslem Empire of Andalusia 
was falling to decay that is to say, in the south-east of 
Europe a Moslem State arose on the ruins of a Christian 
State, while in the south-west of Europe a Christian State was 
putting an end to the life of a Moslem State. The victor of 
Constantinople granted the Christian population he found 
there larger religious privileges than those granted to it by 
the Greek Empire. The ulcer of Phanar is still the outcome 
of Sultan Mohammed's generosity. What did Spain do when 
she suppressed the Moslem State in the south-west of 
Europe ? She expelled the other religions, burning in ovens 
or sending to the stake the Moslems and even the Jews who 
refused to embrace Christianity. I mention this historical 


fact here, not to criticise or blame the Spaniards, but to give 
an instance of the way in which the Spaniards availed them- 
selves of the conqueror's right Heaven had awarded them. 
And I contrast the Christians' cruelty with the Turks' gentle- 
ness and magnanimity when they entered Constantinople !" 

To adopt the policy advocated by Anglo-American 
Protestants was tantamount to throwing Islam again 
towards Germany, who had already managed to 
derive profit from its defence. Yet Islamism has no 
natural propensity towards Germanism; on the con- 
trary, Islam in the sixteenth century, at the time of 
its modern development, intervened in our culture 
as the vehicle of Eastern influences. That policy 
also hurt the religious feelings of the Mussulmans 
and roused their fanaticism not only in Turkey, but 
even in a country of highly developed intellectual 
life like Egypt, and in this respect it promoted the 
cause of the most spirited and most legitimate 

Besides, in the note which the Ottoman Minister 
of Foreign Affairs handed in January, 1920, to the 
High Commissioners of the Allies, together with a 
scheme of judicial reforms, it was said notably: 

"The Ottoman Government fully realises the cruel situa- 
tion of Turkey after the war, but an unfortunate war cannot 
deprive a nation of her right to political existence, this 
right being based on the principles of justice and humanity 
confirmed by President Wilson's solemn declaration and 
recognised by all the belligerents as the basis of the peace 
of the world. It is in accordance with these principles that 
an armistice was concluded between the Allied Powers and 
Turkey. It ensues from this that the treaty to intervene 
shall restore order and peace to the East. 

"Any solution infringing upon Ottoman unity, far from 
ensuring quietude and prosperity, would turn the East into 
a hotbed of endless perturbation. Therefore the only way 
to institute stability in the new state of things is to maintain 
Ottoman sovereignty 


"Let us add that, if the reforms Turkey tried to institute 
at various times were not attended with the results she 
expected, this is due to an unfavourable state of things both 
abroad and at home. 

"Feeling it is absolutely necessary to put an end to an 
unbearable situation and wishing sincerely and eagerly to 
modernise its administration so as to open up an era of 
prosperity and progress in the East, the Sublime Porte has 
firmly resolved, in a broadminded spirit, to institute a new 
organisation, including reforms in the judicial system, the 
finance, and the police, and the protection of the minorities. 

" As a token that these reforms will be fully and completely 
carried out, the Ottoman Government pledges itself to accept 
the co-operation of one of the Great Powers on condition its 
independence shall not be infringed upon and its national pride 
shall not be wounded." 

As soon as it was known in what spirit the treaty 
of peace with Turkey was going to be discussed 
between the Powers, and what clauses were likely to 
be inserted in it, a clamour of protest arose through- 
out the Moslem world. 

That treaty could not but affect the most im- 
portant group of Mohammedans, the Indian group, 
which numbers over 70 million men and forms 
nearly one-fourth of the population of India. As 
soon as the conditions that were to be forced on 
Turkey were known in India, they roused deep 
resentment, which reached its climax after the 
Amritsar massacre. Some of the clauses which the 
Allies meant to insert in the treaty plainly ran counter 
to the principles of Mohammedanism ; and as they 
hurt the religious feelings of the Moslems and dis- 
regarded the religious guarantees given to the Hindus 
and all the Moslem world by the present British 
Cabinet and its predecessors, they could not but bring 
on new conflicts in the future. Besides, the blunders 


of the last five years had united Hindus and Moham 
medans in India, as they united Copts and Moham- 
medans in Egypt later on, and it was also feared 
that the Arabs, whose hopes had been frustrated, 
would side with the Turkish Nationalists. 

At the end of 1918, Dr. Ansari, M.D., M.S., 
chairman of the Committee of the All-India Muslim 
League, in the course of the session held at Delhi 
at that time, set forth the Muslim grievances. But 
the address he read could not receive any publicity 
owing to the special repressive measures taken by the 
Government of India. 

In September, 1919, a Congress of Mohammedans, 
who had come from all parts of India and thus repre- 
sented Muslim opinion as a whole, was held at 
Lucknow, one of the chief Muslim centres. In 
November another congress for the defence of the 
Caliphate met at Delhi; it included some Hindu 
leaders, and thus assumed a national character. Next 
month a third congress, held at Amritsar, in the 
Punjab, was presided over by Shaukat Ali, founder 
and secretary of the Society of the Servants of the 
Ka'ba, who had been imprisoned like his brother 
Mohammed Ali and released three days before the 
congress; it was attended by over 20,000 Hindus 
and Mussulmans. 

This meeting confirmed the resolution taken by the 
previous congress to send to Europe and America a 
delegation from India for the defence of the Caliphate. 
On January 19, 1920, a deputation of Indian Mussul- 
mans waited upon the Viceroy of India at Delhi, to 
request that a delegation might repair to Europe 
and America, according to the decision of the con- 


gress, in order to expound before the allied and 
associated nations and their governments the Moslems' 
religious obligations and Muslim and Indian senti- 
ment on the subject of the Caliphate and cognate 
questions, and to be their representatives at the 
Peace Conference. 

The non-Mussulman Indians supported the claims 
which the 70 millions of Indian Mussulmans, their 
fellow-countrymen, considered as a religious obliga- 
tion. In an address drawn up by the great Hindu 
leader, the Mahatma Gandhi, and handed on Janu- 
ary 19, 1920, by the deputation of the General Con- 
gress of India for the Defence of the Caliphate to His 
Excellency Baron Chelmsford, Viceroy and Governor 
of India, in order to lay their amis before him, 
they declared they raised a formal protest lest the 
Caliphate should be deprived of the privilege of the 
custody and wardenship of the Holy Places, and lest 
a non-Muslim control, in any shape or form whatever, 
should be established , over the Island of Arabia, 
whose boundaries, as denned by Muslim religious 
authorities, are : the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, 
the Indian Ocean, the Persian Gulf, the Euphrates, 
and the Tigris, thus including Syria, Palestine, and 
Mesopotamia, beside the Peninsula of Arabia. 

This General Congress of India, according to the 
manifesto it adopted during its sittings at Bombay 
on February 15, 16, and 17, 1920, gave to the delega- 
tion sent to Europe the following mandate, with 
respect to the Muslim claims regarding the Caliphate 
and the " Jazirat-ul-Arab ": 

" With respect to the Khilafat it is claimed that the Turkish 
Empire should be left as it was when the war broke out ; 


however, though the alleged maladministration of Turkey 
has not been proved, the non-Turkish nationalities might, 
if they wished, have within the Ottoman Empire all guarantees 
of autonomy compatible with the dignity of a sovereign 


And the manifesto continued thus: 

" The slightest reduction of the Muslim claims would not 
only hurt the deepest religious feelings of the Moslems, but 
would plainly violate the solemn declarations and pledges 
made or taken by responsible statesmen representing the Allied 
and Associated Powers at a time when they were most anxious 
to secure the support of the Moslem peoples and soldiers." 

The anti-Turkish agitation which had been let 
loose at the end of December, 1919, and had reached 
its climax about March, 1920, had an immediate 
repercussion not only in India, where the Caliphate 
Conference, held at Calcutta, decided to begin a 
strike on March 19 and boycott British goods, if the 
agitation for the expulsion of the Turks from Con- 
stantinople did not come to an end in England. 

At Tunis, on March 11, after a summons had been 
posted in one of the mosques calling upon the Muslim 
population to protest against the occupation of 
Constantinople, a demonstration took place before 
the Residency. M. Etienne Flandin received a 
delegation of native students asking him that France 
should oppose the measures England was about to 
take. The minister, after stating what reasons 
might justify the intervention, evaded the question 
that was put him by declaring that such measures 
were mere guarantees, and stated that even if France 
were to take" a share in them, the Mussulmans should 
feel all the more certain that their religious creed 
would be respected. 

The measures that were being contemplated could 


not but raise much anxiety and indignation among 
the Moslem populations and might have had dis- 
astrous consequences for France in Northern Africa. 
This was clearly pointed out by M. Bourgeois, Pre- 
sident of the Committee of Foreign Affairs, in his 
report read to the Senate when the conditions of the 
peace that was going to be enforced on Turkey came 
under discussion. 

" We cannot ignore the deep repercussions which the in- 
tended measures in regard to Turkey may have among the 25 
million Moslems who live under our rule in Northern Africa. 
Their reverence and devotion have displayed themselves most 
strikingly in the course of the war. Nothing must be done 
to alter these feelings." 

Indeed, as M. Mouktar-el-Farzuk wrote in an article 
entitled " France, Turkey, and Islam," printed in 
the Ikdam, a newspaper of Algiers, on May 7, 

" If the French Moslems fought heroically for France 
and turned a deaf ear to the seditious proposals of Germany, 
they still preserve the deepest sympathy for Turkey, and 
they would be greatly distressed if the outcome of the victory 
in which they have had a share was the annihilation of the 
Ottoman Empire. 

" That sympathy is generally looked upon in Europe 
as a manifestation of the so-called Moslem fanaticism or 
Pan-Islamism. Yet it is nothing of the kind. The so-called 
Moslem fanaticism is a mere legend whose insanity has been 
proved by history. Pan-Islamism, too, only exists in the mind 
of those who imagined its existence. The independent 
Moslem populations, such as the Persians and the Afghans, 
are most jealous of their independence, and do not think 
in the least of becoming the Sultan's subjects. As to those 
who live under the dominion of a European Power, they have 
no wish to rebel against it, and only aim at improving their 
material and moral condition, and of preserving their per- 
sonality as a race. 

" The true reasons of the Moslems' sympathy for the 
Ottoman Empire are historical, religious, and sentimental 


The delegation of the Moslems of India for the 
defence of the Caliphate sent to the Peace Conference 
was headed by Mohammed Ali, who, in 1914, on 
behalf of the Government of India, had written to 
Talaat, Minister of the Interior, to ask him not to 
side with the Central Empires, and to show him how 
difficult the situation of the Indian Mussulmans would 
be if Turkey entered into the war against England. 
On landing in Venice, he told the correspondent of 
the Giornale d" Italia that the object of his journey 
was to convince the Allies that the dismemberment 
of the Ottoman Empire would be a danger to the 
peace of the world. 

"The country we represent numbers 70 million Moham- 
medans and 230 million men belonging to other religions 
but agreeing with us on this point. So we hope that if the 
Allies really want to establish the peace of the world, they 
will take our reasons into account. Italy has hitherto 
supported us, and we hope the other nations will follow her 

This delegation was first received by Mr. Fisher, 
representing Mr. Montagu, Indian Secretary, to whom 
they explained the serious consequences which the 
carrying out of the conditions of peace contemplated 
for Turkey might have in their country. 

Mr. Lloyd George, in his turn, received the delega- 
tion on March 19, before it was heard by the Supreme 
Council. Mohammed Ali, after pointing to the bonds 
that link together the Mohammedans of India and the 
Caliphate, because Islam is not only a set of doctrines 
and dogmas but forms both a moral code and a social 
polity, recalled that, according to the Muslim doctrine, 
the Commander of the Faithful must always own a 
territory, an army, and resources to prevent the 


aggression of adversaries who have not ceased to arm 
themselves; he maintained, therefore, that the seat 
of the Sultan's temporal power must be maintained 
in Constantinople; that Turkey must not be dis- 
membered; and that Arabia must be left under 
Turkish sovereignty. 

" Islam has always had two centres, the first a personal one 
and the other a local one. The personal centre is the Caliph, 
or the Khalifa, as we call him the successor of the Prophet. 
Because the Prophet was the personal centre of Islam, his 
successors, or Khalifas, continue his tradition to this day. 
The local centre is the region known as the Jazirat-ul-Arab, 
or the ' Island of Arabia,' the ' Land of the Prophets.' To 
Islam, Arabia has been not a peninsula but an island, the 
fourth boundary being the waters of the Euphrates and the 
Tigris. . . . 

"Islam required temporal power for the defence of the 
Faith, and for that purpose, if the ideal combination of piety 
and power could not be achieved, the Muslims said, 'Let us get 
hold of the most powerful person, even if he is not the most 
pious, so long as he places his power at the disposal of our 
piety.' That is why we agreed to accept Muslim kings, 
the Omayyids and the Abbasids, as Khalifas, now the Sultans 
of Turkey. They have a peculiar succession of their own. 
We have accepted it for the-time being because we must have 
the strongest Mussulman Power at our disposal to assist us 
in the defence of the Faith. That is why we have accepted it. 
If the Turks agreed with other Muslims, and all agreed that 
the Khalifa may be chosen out of any Muslim community, 
no matter who he was, the humblest of us might be chosen, 
as they used to be chosen in the days of the first four Khalifas, 
the Khulafa-i-Rashideen, or truly guided Khalifas. 

" But of course we have to make allowances for human 
nature. The Turkish Sultan in 1517 did not like to part 
with his power any more than the Mamluke rulers of 
Egypt liked to part with their power when they gave 
asylum to a scion of the Abbasids after the sack of Baghdad 
in 1258." 

It follows that " the standard of temporal power 
necessary for the preservation of the Caliphate must 
obviously, therefore, be a relative one," and 


" Not going into the matter more fully, we would say that 
after the various wars in which Turkey has been engaged 
recently, and after the Balkan war particularly, the Empire 
of the Khalifa was reduced to such narrow limits that Muslims 
considered the -irreducible minimum of temporal power 
adequate for the defence of the Faith to be the restoration 
of the territorial status quo ante bellum. . . . 

" When asking for the restoration of the territorial status 
quo ante bellum, Muslims do not rule out changes which would 
guarantee to the Christians, Jews, and Mussulmans, within 
the scheme of the Ottoman sovereignty, security of life and 
property and opportunities of autonomous development, so 
long as it is consistent with the dignity and independence of 
the sovereign State. It will not be a difficult matter. We 
have here an Empire in which the various communities live to- 
gether. Some already are sufficiently independent and others 
hope and here I refer to India to get a larger degree of 
autonomy than they possess at the present moment; and 
consistently with our desire to have autonomous development 
ourselves, we could not think of denying it to Arabs or Jews 
or Christians within the Turkish Empire." 

He went on as follows : 

" The third claim that the Mussulmans have charged us 
with putting before you is based on a series of injunctions 
which require the Khalifa to be the warden of the three sacred 
Harams of Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem ; and overwhelming 
Muslim sentiment requires that he should be the warden of 
the holy shrines of Nejef , Kerbela, Kazimain, Samarra, and 
Baghdad, all of which are situated within the confines of the 
' Island of Arabia.' 

"Although Muslims rely on their religious obligations for the 
satisfaction of the claims which I have specified above, they 
naturally find additional support in your own pledge, Sir, 
with regard to Constantinople, Thrace, and Asia Minor, the 
populations of which are overwhelmingly Muslim. They 
trust that a pledge so solemnly given and recently renewed 
will be redeemed in its entirety. Although the same degree 
of sanctity cannot be claimed for Constantinople as for the 
three sacred Harams Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem Con- 
stantinople is nevertheless held very sacred by all the Muslims 
of the world, and the uninterrupted historic tradition of nearly 
five centuries has created such an overwhelming sentiment 
with regard to Islambol, or the 'City of Islam' a title 
which no city has up to this time enjoyed that an effort 
to drive the Turks out ' bag and baggage ' from the seat 


of the Khilafat is bound to be regarded by the Muslims of the 
world as a challenge of the modern Crusaders to Islam and 
of European rule to the entire East, which cannot be 
taken up by the Muslim world or the East without great 
peril to our own Empire, and, in fact, to the Allied dominions 
in Asia and Africa. In this connection, Sir, I might mention 
one point, that the Muslims cannot tolerate any affront to 
Islam in keeping the Khalifa as a sort of hostage in Con- 
stantinople. He is not the Pope at the Vatican, much less 
can he be the Pope at Avignon, and I am bound to say that 
the recent action of the Allied Powers is likely to give rise in 
the Muslim world to feelings which it will be very difficult 
to restrain, and which would be very dangerous to the peace 
of the world." 

With regard to the question of the Caliphate and 
temporal power, on which the Indian delegation had 
been instructed to insist particularly, M. Moham- 
med Ah', in order to make the Moslem point of view 
quite clear, wrote as follows: 1 

" The moment this claim is put forward we are told that the 
West has outgrown this stage of human development, and 
that people who relieved the Head of a Christian Church of 
all temporal power are not prepared to maintain the temporal 
power of the Head of the Muslim Church. This idea is urged 
by the supporters of the Laic Law of France with all the 
fanaticism of the days of the Spanish Inquisition, and in 
England, too. Some of the most unprejudiced people wonder 
at the folly and temerity of those who come to press such an 
anachronistic claim. Others suggest that the Khalifa should 
be ' vaticanised ' even if he is to retain Constantinople, while 
the Government of India, who should certainly have known 
better, say that they cannot acquiesce in Muslim statements 
which imply temporal allegiance to the Khilafat on the part 
of Indian Muslims, or suggest that temporal power is of the 
essence of the Khilafat. Where such criticisms and suggestions 
go astray is in misunderstanding the very nature and ideal 
of Islam and the Khilafat, and in relying on analogies from 
faiths which, whatever their original ideals, have, for all 
practical purposes, ceased to interpret life as Isl^m seeks 
to do." 

1 India and the Empire, reprinted from Foreign Affairs, 
July 1, 1920 (Orchard House, Great Smith Street, West- 
minster, London, S.W. 1), pp. 3 f. 



As he had said in the course of his official interview 
with the British Premier, as Islam is not "a set of 
doctrines and dogmas, but a way of life, a moral code, 
and a social polity," 

"Muslims regard themselves as created to serve the one 
Divine purpose that runs through the ages, owing allegiance 
to God in the first place and acknowledging His authority 
alone in the last resort. Their religion is not for Sabbaths 
and Sundays only, or a matter for churches and temples. 
It is a workaday faith, and meant even more for the market- 
place than the mosque. Theirs is a federation of faith, a 
cosmopolitan brotherhood, of which the personal centre is 
the Khalifa. He is not a Pope and is not even a priest, and 
he certainly has no pretensions to infallibility. He is the 
head of Islam's Republic, and it is a mere accident, and an un- 
fortunate accident at that, that he happens to be a king. He is 
the Commander of the Faithful, the President of their Theo- 
cratic Commonwealth, and the Leader of all Mussulmans in 
all matters for which the Koran and the Traditions of the 
Prophet, whose successor he is, provide guidance." 

Therefore, according to the Moslem doctrine 

"There is no such theory of ' divided allegiance' here, as 
the Government of India consider to be ' subversive of the 
constitutional basis on which all Governments are established.' 
' There is no government but God's,' says the Koran, ' and 
Him alone is a Mussulman to serve,' and since He is the Sole 
Sovereign of all mankind, there can be no divided allegiance. 
All Governments can command the obedience of the Muslims 
in the same way as they can command the obedience of other 
people, but they can do so only so far as they command it, 
as Mr. H. G. Wells would say, in the name of God and for 
God, and certainly no Christian Sovereign could expect to 
exercise unquestioned authority over a Muslim against the 
clear commandments of his Faith when no Muslim Sovereign 
could dream of doing it. Mussulmans are required to obey 
God and His Prophet and ' the men in authority from 
amongst themselves,' which include the Khalifa; but they 
are also required, in case of every dispute, to refer back to the 
Holy Koran and to the Traditions of the Prophet, which are 
to act as arbitrator. Thus the Khalifa himself will be dis- 
obeyed if he orders that which the Faith forbids, and if he 
persists in such unauthorised conduct, he may not only be 
disobeyed, but also be deposed. 


"But whatever he could or could not do, the Khalifa was 
certainly not a pious old gentleman whose only function in 
life was to mumble his prayers and repeat his beads. 

" The best way to understand what he is and what he is not 
is to go back to the Prophet whose Khalifa or Successor he is. 
The Koran regards man as the vicegerent of God on earth, 
and Adam was the first Khalifa of God, and free-willed 
instrument of divine will. This succession continued from 
prophet to prophet, and they were the guides of the people 
in all the affairs of life. The fuller and final revelation came 
with Mohammed, and since then the Commanders of the 
Faithful have been his Khalifas or Successors. But as religion 
is not a part of life but the whole of it, and since it is not an 
affair of the next world but of this, which it teaches us to 
make better, cleaner, and happier, so every Muslim religious 
authority has laid it down unequivocally and emphatically 
that the allegiance which Muslims owe to the Khalifa is both 
temporal and spiritual. The only limits recognised to his 
authority are the Commandments of God, which he is not 
allowed to disobey or defy. . . . 

" The Mussulmans, therefore, do not believe that Christ, 
for instance, could have said that His was the kingdom not 
of this earth but of Heaven alone ; or that men were to render 
to Caesar what was due to Caesar, and to God what was due to 
God. Caesar could not share the world with God or demand 
from mankind any allegiance, even if only temporal, if he 
did not demand it for God and on behalf of God. But the 
ordinary Christian conception has been that the kingdom of 
Christ was not of this world, and no Pope or priest could, 
consistently with this conception, demand temporal power. 
It is doubtful if the Papacy is based on any saying of Christ 
Himself. At any rate, the Pope has always claimed to be the 
successor of St. Peter and the inheritor of his prerogatives. 
As such he has been looked upon as the doorkeeper of the 
kingdom of heaven, his office being strictly and avowedly 
limited to the spiritual domain. A study of history makes 
it only too apparent that the doctrine of the Papacy grew in 
Christianity by the application to the Popes of the epithets 
which are applied to St. Peter in the Gospels. Just as 
St. Peter never had any temporal authority, so the Papacy 
also remained, in the first stages of its growth, devoid of 
temporal power for long centuries. It was only by a very 
slow development that the Popes aspired to temporal power. 
Thus, without meaning any offence, it may be said that the 
acquisition of temporal power by the Popes was a mere 
accident, and they have certainly been divested of it without 


doing the least violence to the religious feelings of one half 
of the Christian world. 

" On the contrary, the temporal power of the Khilafat in 
Islam is of the very essence of it, and is traceable not only 
to the earliest Khalifas, but to the Prophet himself. This 
is obviously not the religious belief of Christian Europe or 
America; but equally obviously this is the religious Muslim 
belief, and after all it is with the Muslim belief that we are 
concerned. ..." 

So, considering the ever-increasing armaments of 
European and American nations, " even after the 
creation of a nebulous League of Nations," he asked 
himself : 

" How then can Islam dispense with temporal power ? 
Others maintain armies and navies and air forces for the 
defence of their territories or their commerce, because they 
love these more than they hate armaments. To Islam, its 
culture and ethics are dearer than territory, and it regards 
faith as greater than finance. It needs no army or navy 
to advance its boundaries or extend its influence; but it 
certainly needs them to prevent the aggression of others." 

Then M. Mohammed Ali dealt separately with the 
chief clauses of the Turkish treaty in the course of 
his interview with Mr. Lloyd George, and made the 
following remarks : 

" As regards Thrace, it is not necessary to support the Turk- 
ish claim for the retention of Thrace by any further argu- 
ment than that of the principle of self-determination. Its 
fair and honest application will ensure the satisfaction of 
that claim. 

" As regards Smyrna, the occupation of Smyrna by the 
Greeks, who were not even at war with Turkey, under the 
auspices of the Allies, has shaken to a great extent the con- 
fidence which Muslims reposed in the pledges given to them, 
and the atrocities perpetrated in that region have driven them 
almost to desperation. Muslims can discover no justification 
for this action except the desire of Greek capitalists to exploit 
the rich and renowned lands of Asia Minor, which are admit- 
tedly the homelands of the Turks. If this state of affairs 
is allowed to continue, not only will the Turk be driven out, 
' bag and baggage,' from Europe, but he will have no ' bag 


and baggage ' left to him, even in Asia. He would be para- 
lysed, commercially and industrially, in a land-locked small 
Emirate in Asia Minor, the speedy bankruptcy of which is 
certain. The application of the principle of self-determination 
would entirely rule out the Greek claim in this fertile region, 
which obviously tempts the greed of the capitalist and the 

" As regards Cilicia, reasons similar to those that have pro- 
moted the action of Greeks in Smyrna seem clearly to prompt 
the outcry of the Christian population in Cilicia, and obviously 
it is the Gulf of Alexandretta which is attracting some people 
as the Gulf of Smyrna is attracting others." 

Afterwards, coming to the question of the mas- 
sacres, M. Mohammed All declared : 

" The Indian Khilafat delegation must put on record their 
utter detestation of such conduct and their full sympathy 
for the sufferers, whether they be Christian or Muslim. 
But, if the Turk is to be punished as a criminal, and popula- 
tions of other races and creeds are to be released from their 
allegiance to the Ottoman Sovereign on the assumption that 
the Turks have been tyrants in the past and their rule is 
intolerable, then the delegation claim that the whole question 
of these massacres must be impartially investigated by an 
International Commission on which the All-India Khilafat 
Conference should be adequately represented." 

Moreover, the delegation had already said some- 
thing similar in a telegram sent to Mr. Lloyd George : 

" Where casualties have in fact taken place, not only should 
their true extent be ascertained, but the Commission should 
go fully into the so-called massacres and the intrigues of 
Tsarist Russia in Asia Minor after the success of similar 
intrigues in the Balkans; it should go into the question of the 
organisation of revolutionary societies by the Christian 
subjects of the Sultan, the rebellious character of which was 
subversive of his rule; it should go into the provocation 
offered to the Muslim majority in this region, and the nature 
of the struggle between the contending parties and the 
character of the forces engaged on either side. ..." 

He went on: 

" I have no brief for^fchem; I have no brief for the Turks; I 
have only a brief for Islam and the India Muslims. What we 


say is this, as I said to Mr. Fisher: Let there be a thorough 
inquiry, and if this thorough inquiry is carried out, and if 
it establishes to the satisfaction of the world that the Turks 
really have been guilty of unprovoked murders, and have 
been guilty of these atrocities and horrible crimes, then we 
will wash our hands of the Turks. 

"To us it is much more important that not a single stain 
should remain on the fair name of Islam. We want to convert 
the whole world to our way of thinking, but with what face 
could we go before the whole world and say we are the 
brethren of murderers and massacrers ? 

" But we know the whole history of these massacres to some 
extent. It is only in Armenia that the Turk is said to be so 
intolerant; there are other parts of the world where he deals 
with Christian people, and where he deals with the Jewish 
community. No complaints of massacres come from those 
communities. Then the Armenians themselves lived under 
Turkish rule for centuries and never complained. The 
farthest back that we can go to discover any trace of this 
is the beginning of the last century. But in reality the 
' massacres ' begin only in the last quarter of the last 

"It is pretty clear that they begin after the success of efforts 
like those made in the Balkans by Russia, which has never 
disguised its desire to take Constantinople since the time of 
Peter the Great. It has always wanted to go to Tsargrad, 
as it called it that is, the city of the Tsars. They wanted 
to go there. They tried these things in the Balkans, and they 
succeeded beyond their expectation, only probably Bulgaria 
became too independent when it became Greater Bulgaria. 
But in the case of the Armenians, they had people who were 
not very warlike, who had no sovereign ambitions themselves, 
and who were also to a great extent afraid of conversion to 
another branch of the Orthodox Church, the Russian branch, 
so that they were not very willing tools. Still, they were 
egged on, and plots and intrigues went on all the time. These 
people were incited, and they understood that if they made 
a compromise with Tsarist Russia they would get something 
better. It was then that these massacres came on the scene. 
No doubt there have been several outcries about them; 
some evidence has been produced; but there has been no 
thorough international inquiry which would satisfy the entire 
world, Muslim as well as Christian. It is in that connection 
that we earnestly appeal to you, to the whole of Christendom, 
to the whole of Europe and America, that if the Turk is to be 
punished on the assumption that he is a tyrant, that his rule 


is a blasting tyranny, and that he ought to be punished, in 
that case the evidence should be of such a character that it 
should be absolutely above suspicion." 

Mr. Lloyd George in his reply upbraided Turkey 
with fighting by the side of the Central Powers 
though Great Britain had never fought against her, 
and protracting the hostilities by closing the Black Sea 
to the British fleet ; but he did not seem to realise that 
the Russian policy of the Allies partly accounted for 
Turkey's decision. Only at the end of the interview, 
in answer to a remark of the leader of the Indian 
delegation, he pleaded in defence of England " that 
she had made no arrangement of any sort with 
Russia at the expense of Turkey at the beginning of 
the war." Then, before coming to the various points 
M. Mohammed Ali had dealt with, Mr. Lloyd George, 
who had kept aloof for a long tune from the policy 
of understanding with France, said: 

" I do not understand M. Mohammed Ali to claim indul- 
gence for Turkey. He claims justice, and justice she will get. 
Austria has had justice. Germany has had justice pretty 
terrible justice. Why should Turkey escape ? Turkey 
thought she had a feud with us. What feud had Turkey 
with us ? Why did she come in to try and stab us and destroy 
liberty throughout the world when we were engaged in this 
life-and-death struggle ? Is there any reason why we should 
apply a different measure to Turkey from that which we have 
meted out to the Christian communities of Germany and 
Austria ? I want the Mohammedans in India to get it well 
into their minds that we are not treating Turkey severely 
because she is Mohammedan: we are applying exactly the same 
principle to her as we have applied to Austria, which is a 
great Christian community." 

As to Arabia which will be dealt with later on 
together with the Pan-Arabian movement though 
M. Mohammed Ali had declared that " the delegation 
felt no anxiety about the possibility of an under- 


standing between the Arabs and the Khalifa," and 
that the Moslems " did not want British bayonets to 
subject the Arabs to Turkey," Mr. Lloyd George 
answered : 

" The Arabs have claimed independence. They have pro- 
claimed Feisal King of Syria. They have claimed that they 
should be severed from Turkish dominion. Is it suggested 
that the Arabs should remain under Turkish dominion merely 
because they are Mohammedans ? Is not the same measure of 
independence and freedom to be given to Mohammedans as 
is given to Christians ? Croatia has demanded freedom, and 
we have given it to her. It is a Christian community. Syria 
has demanded it, and it is given to her. We are applying 
exactly the same principles in Christian places, and to impose 
the dominion of the Sultan upon Arabia, which has no desire 
for it, is to impose upon Arabs something which we certainly 
would not dream of imposing upon these Christian com- 

With regard to Thrace, after owning it was difficult 
to give reliable figures and saying that according to 
the Greek census and the Turkish census, which differ 
but little, the Moslem population was in "a con- 
siderable minority," Mr. Lloyd George stated that 
" it would certainly be taken away from Turkish 
sovereignty." As to Smyrna, he asserted that 
according to his information " a great majority of 
the population undoubtedly prefers the Greek rule 
to the Turkish rule." 

Concerning the temporal power of the Khalifa, he 
seemed to have forgotten the difference which had 
just been pointed out to him between the Christian 
religion and Islam on this point, for he declared : 

"I am not going to interfere in a religious discussion where 
men of the same faith take a different view. I know of 
Mohammedans sincere, earnest, zealous Mussulmans who 
take a very different view of the temporal power from the one 
which is taken by M. Mohammed AH to-day, just as I know of 


Catholics who take one view and other Catholics who take a 
very different view of the temporal power of the Pope. That 
is a controversy into which I do not propose to enter." 

And as if M. Mohammed All's remarks had quite 
escaped him, he added : 

" All I know is this. The Turk will exercise temporal power 
in Turkish lands. We do not propose to deprive him of Turkish 
lands. Neither do we propose that he should retain power 
over lands which are not Turkish. Why ? Because that is 
the principle we are applying to the Christian communities 
of Europe. The same principles must be applied to the Turk." 

Finally, without thoroughly investigating the 
question of the massacres, he concluded that the 
responsibility lay with the Ottoman Government, 
which " cannot, as it is now constituted, protect its 
own subjects"; that Turkey is a "misgoverned 
country " a reproach that might be applied to 
many other countries, though nobody would think 
of declaring they must be suppressed on that account; 
and that as the Turks " have been intolerant and 
have proved bad and unworthy rulers," the solutions 
proposed by the Allies are the only remedy and 
therefore are justified. 

And so the old argument that Turkey must be 
chastised was recapitulated once more, and, through 
the mouth of her Prime Minister, England resorted to 
threats again, whereas she did not mean to compel 
Germany to carry out her engagements fully. This 
attitude seems to be accounted for by the fact that 
Turkey was weak, and was not such a good customer 
as Germany. England, while pretending to do 
justice and to settle accounts, merely meant to take 
hold of the Straits. 

Islam has instituted a social polity and culture 


which, though widely different from British and 
American civilisations, and leading to different 
methods of life, is not necessarily inferior to them; 
and all religious sects, whether Protestant or 
Catholic, are wrong when they look upon their 
own moral conception as superior, and endeavour 
to substitute it for that of Islam. 

If we refer to the letter which was written to 
Damad Ferid Pasha, president of the Ottoman 
delegation, in answer to the memorandum handed 
on June 17, 1919, to the Peace Conference, and which 
lacks M. Clemenceau's wit and style though his 
signature is appended to it, we plainly feel a Puritan 
inspiration in it, together with the above-mentioned 
state of mind. 

One cannot help being sorry to find in so important 
a document such a complete ignorance or total lack 
of comprehension of the Muslim mind, and of the 
difference existing between our modern civilisation 
and what constitutes a culture. For instance, we 
read in it the following: 

" History records many Turkish victories and also many 
Turkish defeats, many nations conquered and many set 
free. The memorandum itself hints at a loss of terri- 
tories which not long ago were still under Ottoman 

"Yet, in all these changes not one instance occurs in Europe, 
Asia, or Africa when the establishment of Turkish sovereignty 
was not attended with a decrease of material prosperity or a 
lower standard of culture; neither does an instance occur 
when the withdrawal of Turkish domination was not attended 
with an increase of material prosperity and a higher standard 
of culture. Whether among European Christians or among 
Syrian, Arabian, or African Mussulmans, the Turk has always 
brought destruction with him wherever he has conquered; 
he has never proved able to develop in peace what he had won 
by war. He is not gifted in this respect." 


This stagnation, which to a certain extent has been 
noticed in modern times, may proceed from the fact 
that the old Turkish spirit was smothered and Islam 
was checked by the growth of foreign influence in 
Turkey. This is probably due, not chiefly to foreign 
intrusion in the affairs of the Ottoman State for 
the latter needed the help of foreign nations but 
rather to the selfish rivalries between these nations 
and to the mongrel solutions inherent in international 
regimes by which Turkish interests were sacrificed. 

It is well known that the decadence of the Arabic- 
speaking countries had begun long before they were 
subjected by the Turks. It has even been noticed 
that Turkish domination in Arabia in 1513 checked 
the decline of Arabian civilisation, and roused the 
Syrians, who were in a similar predicament. 

Besides, the prevailing and paramount concern for 
material prosperity which asserts itself in the above- 
mentioned document, together with the way in 
which business men, especially Anglo-Saxons, under- 
stand material prosperity, would account for the 
variance between the two civilisations, for it 
enhances the difference between their standpoints, and 
proves that the superiority conferred by spiritual 
eminence does not belong to the nations who con- 
sider themselves superior to the Turks. 

The Turkish mind, enriched both by Islamic ethics 
and by Arabian, Persian, and Byzantine influences, 
has risen to a far more definite and lofty outlook on 
life than the shallow Anglo-Saxon morality. There is 
as much difference between the two as between the 
architecture of the Yeshil-Jami, the green mosque 
of Brusa, the dome' of the Suleymanie, or the kiosk 


of Baghdad, and the art to which we owe the "sky- 
scrapers," the "flat-iron" buildings, the "Rhine 
bridges," and the "Leipzig buildings," or between the 
taste of the man who can appreciate "loukoums" or 
rose- jam, and the taste of the man who prefers 
"chewing-gum" or the acidulated drops flavoured 
with amyl acetate, or even the sweets flavoured with 
methyl salicylate provided by the American Govern- 
ment for its army. In the same manner, a similar 
confusion is often made between comfort or what 
vulgar people call comfort and true ease and real 
welfare; or again between a set of practical com- 
modities inherent in the utilitarian conception of 
modern life, and what makes up culture. The quality 
of culture evidently does not depend on the percent- 
age of water-closets or bath-rooms, or the quantity 
of calico used per thousand of inhabitants, in a 
country where the walls of the houses were once 
decorated with beautiful enamels, where the interior 
courts were adorned with marble fountains, and 
where women wore costly garments and silk veils. 

Before throwing contempt on Islam, despising the 
Arabian and Turkish civilisations, and hoping that the 
Moslem outlook on life will make way for the modern 
Anglo-Saxon ideal, Mr. Lloyd George and all those 
who repeat after him that the Turks have no peculiar 
gift for governing peoples, ought to have pondered 
over Lady Esther Stanhope's words, which apply so 
fittingly to recent events. Being tired of Europe, 
she had travelled in the East, and, enticed by the 
beauty and grandeur of the Orient, she led a retired 
life in a convent near Said, dressed as a Moslem 
man. One day she was asked by the " Vicomte de 


Marcellus " whether she would ever go back to 
Europe, and she answered in some such words as 
these we quote from memory: 

" Why should I go to Europe ? To see nations that 
deserve to be in bondage, and kings that do not deserve to 
reign ? Before long the very foundation of your old continent 
will be shaken. You have just seen Athens, and will soon 
see Tyre. That's all that remains of those noble common- 
wealths so famed for art, of those empires that had the 
mastery of the world's trade and the seas. So will it be with 
Europe. Everything in it is worn out. The races of kings 
are getting extinct; they are swept away by death or their 
own faults, and are getting more and more degenerate. 
Aristocracy will soon be wiped out, making room for a 
petty, effete, ephemeral middle class. Only the lower people, 
those who plough and delve, still have some self-respect and 
some virtues. You will have to dread everything if they 
ever become conscious of their strength. I am sick of your 
Europe. I won't listen to its distant rumours that die away 
on this lonely beach. Let us not speak of Europe any more. 
I have done with it." 

Besides, all religions accord with the character of 
the people that practise them and the climate in 
which they live. Most likely Islam perfectly fitted 
the physical and moral nature of the Turkish race, 
since the latter immediately embraced Mohammed's 
religion, whereas it had kept aloof from the great 
Christian movement which, 500 years before, had 
perturbed a large part of the pagan world, and 
it has remained faithful to it ever since. 

If the Allies tried to minimise the part played by 
that religion, which perfectly suits the character and 
conditions of life of the people who practise it, and 
attempted to injure it, they would really benefit the 
domineering aims of Rome and the imperialistic 
spirit of Protestantism. In fact, the Vatican tries 
to avail itself of the recent Protestant effort, as 


has already been pointed out, and as various mani- 
festations will show, to bring about a Christian 
hegemony which would not be beneficial either to 
the peoples of the East or to the civilisation of the 

By doing so, the Allies would drive those peoples 
towards Germanism, though they have no natural 
propensity for it, for they are averse both to the 
Lutheran spirit and to the Catholic spirit; yet Ger- 
manism has succeeded in rinding its way and even 
gaining sympathy among them, because it pretended 
to come in a friendly spirit. 

It cannot be denied that before the war the Turks 
endeavoured to find support among other nations to 
counterbalance German influence. But as, above all 
things, they dreaded the Russian sway not without 
reason, as the latter had already grasped several 
Turkish provinces in Asia Minor and represented its 
advance as the revenge of Orthodoxy over Islamism 
they had turned towards Germany, who, though 
it secretly favoured Tsardom, yet pursued an anti- 
Russian policy. 

Of course, they could not have any illusion about 
what a German Protectorate might be to Turkey, 
for at a sitting of the Reichstag a German deputy 
had openly declared: " In spite of our sympathy for 
Turkey, we must not forget that the time of her 
partition has come." As early as 1898 the Pan- 
German League issued a manifesto under the title 
Deutschlands Anspruche an das Turkische Erbe (The 
Rights of Germany to the Heritage of Turkey). " As 
soon as the present events shall bring about the 
dissolution of Turkey, no other Power will seriously 


attempt to raise a protest if the German Empire lays 
a claim to a share of it, for it has a right to a share 
as a great Power, and it wants it infinitely more than 
any other great Power, in order to maintain the 
national and economic life of hundreds of thousands 
of its emigrants." In the same manner, at the time 
of the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, von 
Aerenberg did not scruple to say: "The opening 
to economic life of Asia Minor and Mesopotamia will 
always be looked upon as a high deed of German 
enterprise." And, alluding to the new field of activity 
which was thus opened to Austria-Hungary, he 
added: " The possession of Bosnia has made us a 
Balkan Power; it is our task and duty to discern 
when the time shall come, and to turn it to account." 

But if the Turks chose to side with Germany, it 
was because the Emperor " Guilloun " represented 
himself as the protector of Islam, and promised to 
leave the Ottoman Empire its religious sovereignty 
and the full enjoyment of Muslim civilisation. Now, 
as the Turks acknowledge only Allah's will, it is 
foolish to ask a Christian sovereign or a Christian 
community to exercise authority over them in order 
to ensure peace; and yet the Western Powers, urged 
on by religious interests, have continued to interfere 
in Ottoman affairs from the Christian point of view 
and in order to further Christian interests. 

Now we see why Germany, in order not to lose the 
benefit of her previous endeavours, readily welcomed 
the Central Committee for the Defence of Islam, whose 
seat was in Berlin, whence it carried on a vigorous 
propaganda throughout the Muslim world. 

At the beginning of December, 1919, that com- 


mittee held a meeting in Berlin; among the people 
present were: Talaat Pasha, representing the 
Turanian movement; Hussein Bey Reshidof, repre- 
senting the " Eastern Central Committee " instituted 
by the Moscovite Foreign Commissariat for the 
Liberation of Islam which is at the head of all the 
organisations at work in Persia, the Transcaspian 
areas, Anatolia, Afghanistan, and India; Kutchuk 
Talaat, a representative of the Union and Progress 
Committee; Nuri Bedri Bey, representing the 
Anatolian Kurds; and delegates from Persia and 
Afghanistan. There they discussed what measures 
should be taken and what means of action should 
be resorted to in Muslim countries, especially in 
Algeria, Tunis, and Morocco. 

It must be owned, on the other hand, that the 
Catholics in Turkey had refused as they have always 
tried to do in all countries to acknowledge the 
sovereignty of the Turkish Government, and had 
looked upon themselves as above the laws of the 
land, though they laid a claim at the same time to 
a share in the government of the country; in short, 
they wanted to be both Roman legates and Turkish 

All this does not suffice to justify the measures of 
oppression the Turks resorted to, but explains how 
they were driven to take such measures, and accounts 
for the state of mind now prevailing in Turkey, which 
has brought about the present troubles. For the 
foreign Powers, urged by the Eastern Christians, 
kept on meddling with Turkish home affairs, which 
caused much resentment and anger among the Turks, 
and roused religious fanaticism on both sides. 


If the liberal Western Powers carried on that 
policy that is to say, if they continued to support 
the Christians against the Moslems they would make 
a dangerous mistake. 

At the present time the Holy See, which has 
never given up its ever-cherished dream of universal 
dominion, plainly shows by its growing activity that 
it means to develop its religious influence and avail 
itself of the war to strengthen and enlarge it. 

For some time the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, 
though always a staunch supporter of the Papacy, 
restrained that tendency and became a moderating 
influence in Rome; but now the Holy See aims at 
playing a more important part than ever in all the 
affairs of Southern Germany and the countries that 
have broken loose from the former dual monarchy. 

In order to strengthen the Church and to realise 
Catholic unity, the Vatican at the present juncture 
is exerting all its power in Central Europe and the 
Slavonic countries ; and is doing its best at the same 
time to get in touch with the Protestant world in 
order to reinforce its own action by coupling it with 
the Protestant propaganda. 

Benedict XV has revived the scheme of the longed- 
for Union of the Churches in order to win over to 
Catholicism part or the whole of the former Orthodox 

In New Germany the Holy See is endeavouring 
to bring about an understanding between Catholics 
and Protestants, with a view to a common Christian 
rather than strictly Catholic action. In Austria, 
after upholding all the elements of the old regime 
so long as a monarchist movement seemed likely to 



triumph, it now gives its support to Christian 
Democracy. In Hungary, where the Jesuits and the 
Cistercians first worked hand in hand together with 
an Allied mission in Budapest to maintain Friedrich, 
or at least a clerical government, in power, the 
Primate, Mgr. Csernoch, and the Lutheran bishop, 
Mgr. Sandar Raffai, have now agreed to work for 
the same purpose. The Polish Schlachta, of course, 
supports these schemes and intrigues, which are 
being carried on at Fribourg, in Switzerland, where 
certain princes connected with the Imperial House 
and Prince Louis of Windisch-Graetz used to meet 
Waitz, Bishop of Innsbruck. 

Uniatism, or the rite of the United Greek Church, 
which, though retaining the Slavonic liturgy, acknow- 
ledges the Pope as the supreme head of the Church, 
and is paramount in the Carpathian Mountains, 
Eastern Galicia, and the Ukraine, favours the exten- 
sion of the Pope's sovereignty over these territories, 
and naturally the Holy See takes advantage of this 
movement to support and reinforce the Church and 
bring Orthodox countries under the dominion of 

Till these great schemes have been carried out, 
and in order to further them, the Holy See means to 
establish between the Orthodox and the Catholic 
world an intermediary zone which would be a favour- 
able ground for its penetration and conquest. To 
this intent Father Genocchi has been sent as 
apostolic visitor to the Ukraine by Cardinal Marini, 
prefect of the congregation newly established for the 
propaganda in the East, with full powers over both 
Latin and Greek Catholics, or Uniates. Father 


Genocchi is to act in close union with Mgr. Katti, 
and both stand out as powerful agents of the great 
scheme of the Roman Church. 

While pursuing this direct conquest. Rome en- 
deavours in all countries to gain the support of all 
believers in Christ, even the Protestants, in order to 
be able to exert an influence on the policy of the 
Governments, and thus serve Christian interests. 

At a recent conference of the Czecho-Slovak 
Catholics, Mgr. Kordatch, Archbishop of Prague, 
declared the Catholics would go so far as to resort 
to public political action and hold out the hand to 
the Protestants, who believe, like them, in the 
Divinity of Christ and the Decalogue. 

So any undertaking against Islam or any other 
Eastern religion cannot but reinforce the power of 
Rome, for it aims at destroying the power of the 
other creeds which, as well as Catholicism, gratify the 
aspirations of the various peoples, and thus legiti- 
mately counterbalance its dream of hegemony. 

Finally, though any communist conception is 
abhorrent to the Moslem spirit, which is essentially 
individualist and so has an aristocratic trend, and 
though Bolshevism, as we have already pointed out, 
is a specific doctrine which suits only the Russian 
mind, the attitude of the Western nations threatened 
to drive Islam towards Bolshevism, or at least to 
create a suitable ground for its expansion. In spite 
of the enlightened leaders of Islam, the attitude of 
the Powers risked inducing the Moslem masses to 
lend a willing ear to Bolshevist promises and to adopt 


Bolshevism in order to defend the Moslem creed and 
customs. Besides, Bolshevism, which was under- 
going an evolution, and was growing more wily, less 
brutal, but all the more dangerous, no longer required 
other nations to adopt its social ideal. In order 
to serve a political purpose, it now turned its efforts 
towards the Caspian Sea to communicate with Asia 
Minor and create disturbances in Central Asia, 
while, on the other side, it advanced as far as 

After the conclusion of the Anglo-Persian agree- 
ment forced by Great Britain upon Persia, which, in 
spite of what was officially said to the contrary, 
deprived Persia of her independence, Bolshevism 
saw what an easy prey was offered to it by the 
English policy, and concentrated its efforts on Asia 
Minor, where it could most easily worry England. 
It carried on a very active propaganda in all Asiatic 
languages in Turkistan and even in Afghanistan 
the result being that the latter country sent a mission 
of inquiry to Moscow. 

According to the statement of a Persian repro- 
duced in the Journal des Debate of April 4, 1920, the 
representatives of the Soviet Government made 
advances to the Persian patriotic organisations and 
told them: 

" England despises your rights. Your Government is in 
her hand. To organise your resistance, you need a help. We 
offer it to you, and ask for nothing in return, not even for 
your adhesion to our social doctrine. The reason that urges 
us to offer you our support is a political one. Russia, whether 
she is Bolshevist or not, cannot live by the side of an England 
ruling qver nearly the whole of the East. The real indepen- 
dence of your country is necessary to us." 


Such suggestions could not but attract the attention 
of the Persians at a time when, without even waiting 
for the opening of the Chamber that had been elected 
under the influence of British troops in order to 
sanction the Anglo-Persian agreement, some English 
administrators had already settled in Teheran. 

The same Persian, in agreement with the main 
body of Persian opinion, went on: 

" Shall we have to submit to that shameful regime ? No- 
body thinks so in our country. Even those who were not 
bold enough to protest openly against the deed of spoliation 
which the Anglo-Persian agreement is, are secretly opposed 
to that agreement. But in order to avail ourselves of that 
discontent, to concentrate our forces, and chiefly to act fast 
and well, we need help from abroad, at least at the outset. 
The Bolshevists offer it to us. I do not know why we should 
discard the proposition at once. What makes us hesitate is 
their communist doctrine; yet they declare they do not 
want at all to ' bolshevikise ' Persia. As soon as their 
promise seems to be quite genuine, it will be our national 
duty to accept their help. 

" Whether the Red Dictator's action in Russia was good or 
bad is a question that concerns the Russians alone. The only 
question for us is how to- find an ally. Now we have not to 
choose between many. 

" We should have been only too pleased to come to an 
understanding with Great Britain, even at the cost of some 
concessions, provided our independence were respected. But 
the British leaders have preferred trampling upon our rights. 
Who is to be blamed for this ? " 

In the same manner as the Kemalist movement, a 
Nationalist movement was gaining ground in Persia, 
like the one which had already brought on the 
Teheran events from 1906 to 1909. 

Now, while the Bolshevists, in order to expand and 
strengthen their position, did their utmost to con- 
vince the Eastern nations that Bolshevism alone 
could free them, the Germans, on the other hand, 


seized the new opportunity that was given them to 
offer the Mohammedans their help, and sent them 
German officers from Russia. In this way, and 
through our fault, Bolshevism and Germanism united 
to foment disturbances in the East, and join with it 
against us. That is why Mr. Winston Churchill said, 
at the beginning of January: " New forces are now 
rising in Asia Minor, and if Bolshevism and Turkish 
Nationalism should unite, the outlook would be a 
serious one for Great Britain." 


THE Allied intervention in Turkey continued to be 
the subject of frequent diplomatic conversations be- 
tween the Powers. 

Though Italy and France seemed to favour a 
strictly limited action, England held quite a different 
opinion, and energetic measures seemed likely to be 
resorted to. Lord Derby at the meeting of the 
Ambassadors' Council on March 10 read a telegram 
from his Government stating it intended to demand 
of Germany the extradition of Enver Pasha and 
Talaat Pasiia, who were on the list of war criminals 
drawn up a few weeks before by the British Govern- 
ment, and who at that time were in Berlin. 

As the Allies had not requested that these men 
should be handed over to them at the time of the 
armistice, and as the war criminals whose extradition 
had been previously demanded of the Central Powers 
did not seem likely to be delivered up to them, this 
seemed rather an idle request at a time when it was 
openly said the Allies wanted to expel the Turks 
from Constantinople, when a deep agitation convulsed 
the Moslem world and discontent was rife in it. 
What was the use of this new threat to Germany if, 
like the previous one, it was not to be carried into 
effect ? What would Great Britain do if the two 
" undesirables " thought of going to Holland, and 



why did she prepare to punish Turkey when some 
of her statesmen seemed inclined to make all sorts 
of concessions, instead of compelling Germany, the 
promoter of the conflict, who had not yet delivered 
up any German subject, to execute the treaty without 
any restriction whatever ? 

At the beginning of the armistice England had 
deported the members and chief supporters of the 
Committee of Union and Progress, and later on the 
high functionaries who had been arrested by Damad 
Ferid Pasha, and were about to be court-martialled. 
One night fifty-four of the latter out of about 130 were 
suddenly deported to Malta for fear they should be 
set free by the population of Constantinople. Among 
them were: Hairi Effendi, ex-Sheik-ul-Islam; the 
Egyptian prince, Said Halim Pasha, ex -Grand 
Vizier; Ahmed Nessiny, ex-Minister of Foreign 
Affairs; Halil Bey, ex-Minister of Justice; Prince 
Abbas Halim Pasha, ex-Minister of Public Works; 
Fethy Bey, ex-Minister at Sofia; Rahmi Bey, 
Governor-General of vilayet of Smyrna; Jambalat 
Bey, ex-Minister of Interior; Ibrahim Bey, a 
former Minister; and four members of the Com- 
mittee: Midhat Shukri; Zia Geuk Alp; Kemal 
(Kutchuk Effendi); and Bedreddin Bey, temporary 
vali of Diarbekir, who was deported as responsible 
for the massacres that had taken place in that town, 
though at that time he was out of office and had 
been discharged by a court-martial. The British 
even evinced a desperate, undignified animosity and 
an utter lack of generosity in regard to the Turkish 
generals who had defeated them. They had, as it 
were, carried away the spirit of Turkey. 


Italy, who had followed a most clever, shrewd, 
and far-sighted policy, and who had kept some inde- 
pendence within the Supreme Council, had been 
very reserved in regard to the Turkish question. 

In regard to Article 9 of the pact of London, which 
ascribed to Italy, in case Turkey should be dis- 
membered, a " fair part " of the province of Adana 
in Asia Minor, the newspaper II Secolo, in the middle 
of January, 1920, expressed the opinion that Italy 
should give up that acquisition. 

" Notwithstanding all that has been written for the last 
seven or eight years about the Adalia area, we do not think 
that its possession would improve our present economic con- 
dition. It would only estrange from us a nation from which 
we might perhaps derive great advantages through an open 
policy of friendship and liberty. 

" The most profitable scheme would have been to maintain 
the national integrity of Turkey and to give Italy, not a 
mandate over a reduced State, but a mere administrative 
control, and to assign her a few zones of exploitation with 
mere economic privileges, for instance, near Heraclea and 

" But at the present stage of the Asiatic problem, such a 
scheme could hardly be carried out. We must then lay 
aside all selfish purposes, and openly and tenaciously defend 
the integrity and independence of the Turkish State. 

" Let the Turks be driven away from the districts which 
are predominantly Arabian, Greek, or Armenian. But let 
the Sultan remain in Constantinople, till the League of Nations 
has become stronger and able to assume control of the Straits. 
Let us not forget that the Turks chiefly put their confidence 
in us now, and that Germany, whose policy had never threat- 
ened Turkish territorial integrity, had succeeded in gaining 
Turkish friendship and blind devotion. 

" Italy has not many friends to-day, and so she should not 
despise a hand which is willingly held out to her." 

Italy therefore did not warmly approve an expedi- 
tion against Turkey. Her semi-official newspapers 
stated it was owing to Italy that the Allies' policy 


still showed some moderation, and they hinted that 
the presence of Italian troops in the contingent 
landed at Constantinople was to be looked upon as 
the best means to prevent extreme measures. 

On Tuesday, March 16, the Allied troops, consisting 
mostly of British soldiers, under the command of 
General Milne, occupied the Ottoman Government 

It might seem strange that the Allied troops in 
Constantinople were commanded by a -British general," 
when the town was the residence of General Franchet 
d'Esperey, commander-in-chief of the inter-Allied 
troops on the Macedonian front, who, in the decisive 
battle in which he broke through the Bulgarian front, 
had had General Milne under him. But, after all, it 
was better for France that an English general should 
stand responsible for carrying out the occupation. 

To the student of Eastern events this was but 
the logical outcome of a patient manoeuvre of 
England. The documents that have now been made 
public plainly show how far-sighted her policy had 

General Franchet d'Esperey's dispositions were 
suddenly reversed, for he had not advocated an 
important military action against Russia or Turkey 
when he had taken command of the Eastern army 
i.e., before his expedition from Salonika towards the 
Danube and at the beginning of October, 1918, he 
had arranged the French and English divisions so as 
to march against Budapest and Vienna, foreseeing 
the ultimate advance of the Italian left wing against 

On October 8, 1918, he was formally enjoined from 


Paris to send the British divisions which made up 
his right wing against Constantinople under the 
command of an English general. 

Thus, after the defeat of Bulgaria in October, 1918, 
the British Government required that the troops sent 
to the Constantinople area should be led by a British 
general. In this way General Milne assumed com- 
mand of the British troops stationed round and in 
Constantinople when Admiral Calthorpe had con- 
cluded the armistice with Turkey, and as a conse- 
quence General Franchet d'Esperey, though still 
commander-in-chief of the Allied forces in European 
Turkey, was now under the orders of General Mime, 
commander of the Constantinople garrison and the 
forces in Asia Minor. 

Some time after receiving the aforesaid order, 
General Franchet d'Esperey, on October 27, 1918, 
received a letter from the War Minister, M. Clemen- 
ceau, No. 13644, B.S. 3, 1 forwarding him " copy of 
a letter giving the outline of a scheme of action that 
was recommended not only to carry on the war 
against the Central Powers in Eussia, but also to 
effect the economic blockade of Bolshevism, and thus 
bring about its downfall." This scheme, after being 
assented to by the Allied Powers concerned in it, was 
to be " the natural outcome of the operations en- 
trusted to the Allied armies in the East." 

Finally, in a telegram, No. 14041, B.S. 3, dated 
November 6, containing some very curious recom- 
mendations, it was said: 

1 Cf. the Matin, June 17, 1920, an interview of M. Paul 
Benazet, ex-chairman of the Committee of War Estimates; 
and the (Euvre, July 8, 1920. 


" The operations in Southern Russia should be 
carried on by means of Greek elements, for instance, 
which it might be inexpedient to employ in an offensive 
against Germany, or by means of the French army 
in Palestine." 1 

Thus all the plans of the French headquarters 
were altered by England, and to her advantage; at 
the same time part of our endeavours was broken 
up and annihilated under the pressure of the Pan- 
Russian circles that urged France .to intervene in 
Russia, and the French policy in the East was wholly 
at the mercy of England. By saying this, we do not 
mean at all to belittle M. Clemenceau's work during 
the war, but we only mention one of the mistakes 
to which he was driven, in spite of his energy and 
determination, by the English and American policy, 
which had dazzled some of his collaborators. 

On March 16, at 9 a.m., some British estafettes 
handed to the Sultan, in his palace at Yildiz-Kiosk, 
and to the Sublime Porte a note of General Milne, 
commanding the Allied troops in Asia Minor and the 
town of Constantinople. It stated that at 10 a.m., 
with the agreement of the Italian, French, and 
British High Commissioners, and according to the 
orders of the British Imperial Headquarters, the 
Allied contingents would occupy the offices of the 
Minister of War and the Minister of Marine, the 
prefecture, the post and telegraph offices, the town 
gates, and the new bridge of Galata. In fact, the 
town had been occupied at daybreak by the Allied 

1 Of. the Matin, June 24, 1920, and M. Fribourg's speech 
in the second sitting of June 25, 1920. 


The note added that for a short time the political 
administration would be left to the Turks, but under 
the control of Allied officers. Martial law was 
proclaimed, and, in case of resistance, force would 
be resorted to. 

The Ottoman Government gave no answer, and 
an hour later all the measures mentioned by General 
Milne were carried out. As these operations took a 
whole day, all the means of transport and com- 
munication were temporarily stopped. 

At the War Office the soldiers on duty attempted 
to resist the British forces. A skirmish ensued, in 
which two British soldiers were killed, and an officer 
and three soldiers wounded; nine Turks, including 
an officer, were killed, and a few more wounded. 

At the same hour a Greek destroyer steamed into 
the Golden Horn, and cast anchor opposite the 
Patriarch's palace. 

Before this, General Milne had had a few deputies 
and senators arrested, together with a few men 
considered as having a share in the Nationalist 
movement, such as Kutchuk Jemal Pasha, ex- War 
Minister in the Ali Riza Cabinet; Jevad Pasha, 
formerly head of the staff; Tchourouk Soulou 
Mahmoud Pasha, a senator ; Dr. Essad Pasha ; 
Galatali Shefket Pasha, commanding the Straits 
forces; Keouf Bey, Kara Vassif Bey, Shevket Bey, 
Hassan Tahsin Bey, Nouman Ousta EfEendi, Sheref 
Bey, deputies. 

Reouf Bey and Kara Vassif Bey were considered 
as representing in the Turkish Parliament Mustafa 
Kemal Pasha and the people who ensured the trans- 
mission of his orders. 


All these men were arrested illegally and brutally, 
with the consent of the French Governor, though 
they had always evinced much sympathy for France, 
under the pretext that they corresponded with the 
national army ; and yet their intervention might have 
had favourable consequences. 

Among the men arrested that night, Jemal, 
Jevad, and Mahmoud Pasha, all three former 
Ministers, were insulted and sent to prison in 
their nightclothes, with their arms bound. Their 
doors and windows were broken open, and their 
Moslem wives were threatened in the harem. Some 
children of thirteen or fourteen were also arrested 
and thrashed. Eight Turkish soldiers on duty at 
Shahzade-Bashi were killed in the morning while they 
lay asleep on their camp-beds, and the censorship 
probably suppressed other deeds of the same kind. 

The Ottoman Government could not understand 
how members of Parliament could be imprisoned, 
especially by the English, the founders of the parlia- 
mentary system. The deputy Jelal Noury Bey, 
who is neither a Nationalist nor a Unionist, was 
apprehended, merely because he opposed Ferid 
Pasha's policy. 

England, to enhance her influence over public 
opinion, got control over the chief newspapers which 
were not friendly to her. Jelal Noury Bey, the 
director of the Ileri, a radical newspaper, and 
Ahmed Emm Bey, the director of the Vakit, were 
deported. The Alemdar, the Peyam Sabah, the 
Stambul, edited by Refi Jevad, Ali Kemal, and Said 
Mollah, which, since the first days of the armistice, 
had praised the English policy, fell into English hands; 


which accounts for the varying attitudes successively 
assumed by those journals in their comments on 
current events. Their editors were mostly members of 
the " Club of the Friends of England," and sought 
in every possible way to increase the number of the 
adherents of that committee, which was subsidised 
by the British High Commissioner, and whose chief 
aim was that the Turkish mandate should be given 
to England. 

On March 21, 1920, the British at Skutari requisi- 
tioned the police courts, the law courts, the police 
station, the town hall, and the prison, thus almost com- 
pletely, disorganising the administration of the town. 

In the note signed by the High Commissioners, this 
occupation was described as a measure of guarantee, 
with a view to the execution of the treaty that was 
going to be forced on Turkey. Yet it seemed rather 
strange that such measures should be taken before 
the treaty was concluded or was it because the 
English, being aware the treaty was unacceptable, 
thought it necessary to gag the Turks beforehand, 
or even sought to exasperate them ? for if the Turks 
offered resistance, then the English would have a 
right to intervene very sternly, and thus could 
justify the most unjustifiable measures of repression. 
What would England and the United States have 
answered if France had proposed such coercive 
measures against Germany in addition to those of 
the armistice ? It was stated in this note that the 
occupation would not last long, and was no infringe- 
ment upon the Sultan's sovereignty, that it aimed at 
rallying the Turks in a common endeavour to restore 
prosperity to Turkey in accordance with the Sultan's 


orders; but it also threatened that, should disorder 
last longer in Asia Minor, the occupation might be 
extended and the provisions of the treaty might be 
made harder, in which case Constantinople would be 
severed from Turkey. 

The Daily Telegraph said about that time : 

" The political situation, which has evolved so rapidly, 
plainly shows it is not enough for the Americans to keep aloof 
from the present events. Their national honour is at stake. 

" Public opinion in Great Britain would unanimously side 
with France in her operations in Asia Minor, provided France 
declares herself willing to accept our co-operation. 

" We easily understand that the occupation of Constanti- 
nople came rather as a surprise to France and Italy, especially 
if we take into account that this action closely followed 
another measure of a similar kind taken by England within 
the last fortnight. 

" It seems that this time our Allies have assumed a slightly 
different attitude: official France is still hesitating; public 
opinion has changed completely, and the pro-Turkish feeling 
is on the wane. If France wants to maintain her prestige in 
the East unimpaired, she must associate with any political, 
naval, or military measure taken by England. 

" The Italian standpoint and interests do not differ much 
from ours, or from those of France, but Italian circles plainly 
advocate a policy of non-intervention, or an intervention 
restricted to a diplomatic action." 

If such proceedings emanating from some American 
or English circles were hardly a matter of surprise, 
the attitude of some Frenchmen of note was not so 
easily accounted for. 

M. Hanotaux 1 was led by a strange political 
aberration and a curious oblivion of all the tradi- 
tional policy of France unless he deliberately meant 
to break off with it, or was blinded by prejudice 
when he assigned Constantinople to Greece, because, 
according to him, to give Constantinople to Greece 

1 Figaro, March 18, 1920. 


was " to give it to Europe, and to her worthiest, 
noblest offspring." 

Now Hellenism owes nothing to Byzantium, and 
Byzantinism, imbued with Christianity, is but re- 
motely and indirectly connected with the magnificent 
pagan bloom of Hellenism. Byzantium, as has been 
shown, was not only the continuation of Rome in its 
decay: it had also a character of its own. Neither was 
Byzantinism a mere continuation of Hellenism. It 
was rather the propagator of Orthodoxy, so that 
when the Greeks claimed Byzantium, they could not 
do so on behalf of Hellenism, but merely on behalf 
of Christianity. There is a confusion here that 
many people have sought to perpetuate because it 
serves numerous interests, those of the Greeks, and 
also those of the Slavs, who owe their culture to 
Byzantium. But whereas Byzantium chiefly taught 
barbarous Russia a religion together with the rudi- 
ments of knowledge, and opened for her a door to 
the Old World, she imparted to Arabian civilisation 
knowledge of the works and traditions of antiquity. 
Russia, who only borrowed the rites of the Byzantine 
Church and exaggerated them, did not derive much 
profit from that initiation; the Turks and Arabs, on 
the contrary, thanks to their own culture, were able 
to imbibe the old knowledge bequeathed and handed 
down to them by Byzantium leaving aside the 
religious bequest. Thus they were enabled to exer- 
cise a wholesome influence, driving out of Con- 
stantinople both Orthodoxy and the Slavs who 
aimed at the possession of that town. 

As to the so-called Hellenism of Asia Minor, it is 
true that the civilisation of ancient Greece spread 



over several districts on the coast; but it should be 
borne in mind that, long before the Greeks, the 
Egyptians and various Semitic peoples had settled 
on the coast of Lydia which up to the seventh 
century B.C. bore the name of Meonia and fought 
there for a long time; and that the Lydians, a 
hybrid race akin to the Thracians and Pelasgi com- 
mingled with ethnic elements coming from Syria and 
Cappadocia, kept up an intercourse between the 
Greeks of the coast and Asia 1 till the Cimmerian 
invasion convulsed Asia Minor in the eighth century. 
Lastly, the Medes, against whom the Greeks waged 
three wars, are considered by Oppert, 2 owing to the 
etymology of the name, to be of Turanian descent. 

In fact, the relations between the Turks and the 
Greeks and the Byzantians are really most involved. 
We know to-day that some Turkish elements, who 
were converted to the Greek Church long before the 
Ottoman Turks embraced Islam, and whose origin 
is anterior by far to the establishment of the Sel- 
jukian Empire and the Ottoman Empire, faithfully 
served the Byzantine Empire from the fifth century 
onwards, and were utilised by Justinian for the defence 
of the Asiatic boundaries of the Empire which were 
also the boundaries of Christianity against the 
attacks of Eastern nations. 

It is difficult to account for the sudden fervid 
enthusiasm of the Allies for Greece. For two years 
she adhered to Constantino's policy, perpetrating 
many an act of treachery against both the Hellenic 

1 Radet, La Lydie et le monde grec au temps des Merm- 
nades (Paris, 1893). 

* Oppert, Le Peuple des Mbdes. 


people and the Allies, repeatedly violating the Con- 
stitution guaranteed by the Powers that had pro- 
tected her, and slaughtering many French sailors; 
and then, after her unfriendly conduct towards the 
Allies under cover of a pro-German neutrality, she 
had very tardily sided with them. It was sur- 
prising, therefore, that Greece, who had displayed 
her pro-German feelings during a great part of 
the war, would probably receive some of the most 
thoroughly Turkish territories of the Ottoman 
Empire, though she never fought against that Empire 
even after she had deposed King Alexander's 
father; in spite of the deplorable complaisance of 
some of the Allies. 

Finally, the very day after the occupation of 
Constantinople, General Milne, who commanded the 
British troops of occupation, enjoined the Salih 
Pasha Cabinet to resign under pretence that it no 
longer enjoyed the Sovereign's confidence. The 
Grand Vizier refused to comply with the English 
general's request, as the Government had the con- 
fidence of the Chamber and the Sovereign need not 
apply to the commander of the forces of occupation for 
permission to communicate with his Ministers. After 
incarcerating a good many deputies, senators, and 
political men, as has just been seen, the general gave 
the Grand Vizier to understand that orders had 
been given for the arrest of the Ministers in 
case they should attempt to go to their departments. 
In order to spare his country another humiliation, 
Salih Pasha handed in his resignation to the Sultan, 
who, following the advice of England, charged Damad 
Ferid to form another Cabinet. 


It requires all the reasons that have been previ- 
ously given to enable us to understand why England 
threatened and humbled Turkey to such an extent 
the only Power left in the East that could be a factor 
for moderation and peace. 

Mustafa Kemal never recognised the Damad 
Ferid Cabinet, and only after the latter had resigned 
and Ali Riza Pasha had been appointed Grand Viaier 
did he consent, in order to avoid another conflict 
with the Sultan, to enter into negotiations with 
the Constantinople Government. Salih Pasha was 
charged by the Minister to carry on the negotia- 
tions with the Nationalists, and repaired to Amasia. 
There it was agreed first, that the National Organi- 
sation should be officially recognised as a lawful power 
which was necessary to the defence of the rights of 
the country, and should have full liberty of action 
side by side with the Government; secondly, that 
the Cabinet should avoid taking any decision sealing 
the fate of the country before Parliament met; 
thirdly, that some appointments should be made in 
agreement with the National Organisation, after 
which the latter should not interfere in the adminis- 
tration of the country. 

Besides, as Mustafa Kemal said later on in a 
speech made before the Angora Assembly, though 
the Sultan had been represented by some as lacking 
energy, not maintaining the dignity of the Imperial 
throne, and not being a patriot, yet the reason why 
he had fallen under English tutelage was that he 
had seen no other means to save both the existence 
of Turkey and his throne. 
The question whether Parliament should meet at 


Constantinople or in a province brought on a first 
disagreement between the Government and Mustafa 
Kemal, who finally yielded. But, owing to the 
occupation of Constantinople, Parliament soon found 
itself in a precarious condition, and the National 
Organisation decided to hold its sittings at Angora. 

After all these events a deputy, Riza Nour, at the 
sitting of March 18, 1920, raised a protest against 
the occupation of Constantinople and the incarcera- 
tion of some members of Parliament by the Allies, 
which measures were an insult to the dignity of the 
Turkish Parliament, and a contravention of the 
constitutional laws and the law of nations. This 
motion, carried unanimously by the Ottoman 
Chamber and signed by the Vice-President, M. 
Hussein Kiazim the President, for fear of being 
prosecuted by the British authorities, having left his 
official residence was forwarded to the Allied and 
neutral Parliaments, and the Ottoman Chamber 
adjourned sine die till-it was possible for the deputies 
to carry out their mandate safely. 

Ahmed Kiza, former President of the Chamber and 
Senate of the Ottoman Empire who, after the 
failure of Damad Ferid's mission to Paris, had ad- 
dressed an open letter to M. Clemenceau on July 17, 
1919, almost the anniversary day of the Constitution 
joined in that protest and commented upon the 
treatment some members of Parliament had under- 
gone, as follows: 

" It is contrary to all parliamentary rights and principles 
throughout the world and to the legal dispositions that 
guarantee the inviolability and immunity of all members of 
the Turkish Parliament to arrest representatives of the 
nation while they are carrying out their mandate. So the 


armed interference of the foreigner with our Chamber cannot 
be in any way excused or accounted for. 

" Such an arbitrary intrusion, especially on the part of 
England, that is looked upon as the founder of the parlia- 
mentary system, will bring everlasting shame to British 

" After the illegal arrest of several of its members, the 
Turkish Parliament adjourned sine die, as a token of pro- 
test, till the deputies are able to carry out their mandate 
freely and safely. 

" A note communicated to the Press makes out that some 
deputies had been returned under the pressure of the National- 
ists and that, as the Christian elements had had no share in 
the elections, the session was illegal. 

" Now, it should be noticed that these elements abstained 
from voting at the last elections of their own free will, and 
that since the armistice no representative of the Christian 
communities has taken an official part in the public functions 
in the Imperial Palace. The Nationalist forces cannot be 
held responsible for this. 

" Neither is it the Nationalists' fault if the French authori- 
ties in Cilicia arbitrarily prevented the inhabitants of that 
district from holding the parliamentary election, thus de- 
priving the people of their most sacred rights, and violating 
the terms of the armistice. 

'! The acknowledgment of the validity of the mandates of 
the new members by the unanimity of their colleagues, the 
official opening of Parliament by the speech from the throne, 
the good wishes and greetings of the Sultan to the deputies, 
bear witness that the assembly legally represented the wishes 
of the nation and had the Sovereign's approbation. 

" Besides, these are strictly internal questions in which the 
Allies' interests are not at all concerned, and with which 
foreigners have no right to interfere. 

" At such a solemn hour it would be an utter denial of 
justice if the Ottoman deputies were not able to discuss the 
fundamental stipulations of the intended Peace Treaty which 
is to seal the future fate of their country. 

" Who is to examine the Peace Treaty to-day, and who is 
to give its assent to it now the nation has been deprived of 
its representatives ? 

" Of what value will be a treaty thus worked out secretly, 
behind closed doors, and concluded in such conditions ? How 
can the signature of the members of the Government be con- 
sidered as binding the nation ? For the new Ministry does not 
yet represent the Ottoman nation, since no motion of con- 


fidence has hitherto been carried by a chamber which does 
not sit; and so it cannot be looked upon as being legally 

" Whatever may happen, the nation alone can decide its 
own fate. If, at such a serious juncture, when its very exis- 
tence is at stake, it were not able to defend its own cause and 
its own rights freely through the peaceful vote of its own 
mandatories, it would be looked upon by the whole of man- 
kind as the victim of most unfair treatment, the responsi- 
bility of which will one day be determined by history." 

During Abdul Hamid's reign Ahmed Riza had of 
his own will gone into exile, and from Paris he had 
wielded great influence over the movement that led 
to the revolution of 1908. But when the Young Turk 
Government had practically become dictatorial and 
had yielded to the pressure that drove it towards 
Germany, he realised that policy was a failure and 
was leading the Empire to ruin; then, though he had 
been one of the promoters of the movement, he 
protested repeatedly in the Senate, of which he was 
a member, against the illegal doings of the Govern- 
ment and its foolhardy policy. As President of the 
" National Block " which, though not a political 
party properly speaking, aimed at grouping all the 
conservative constitutional elements friendly to the 
Entente he seemed likely to play an important part 
in public life again when, about the middle of August, 
1919, it was rumoured that the Damad Ferid Govern- 
ment was about to take action against him and his 
political friends; and soon after it was made known 
that he intended to go to Italy or France till the re- 
opening of the Ottoman Parliament. After staying in 
Rome, where he had conversations with some political 
men of note in order to establish an intellectual 
entente between Italians and Turks, he settled in Paris. 


The English censorship, which gagged the Turkish 
newspapers, went so far as to prevent them from 
reprinting extracts from French newspapers that 
were favourable to the Ottoman cause. It brought 
ridicule upon itself by censuring the Bible; in an 
article in the Univers Israelite, reprinted by the 
Aurore, which quoted and commented on three verses 
of chapter xix. of Isaiah, the censor cut off the first 
of these verses, which may be interpreted as fore- 
shadowing a League of Nations, but in which he was 
afraid the reader might find a hint at a connection 
between Egypt and Asia and at the claims of the 
Turkish and Egyptian Nationalists. This is the 
verse, which any reader could easily restore: "In 
that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to 
Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt and 
the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall 
serve with the Assyrians." 



IN the course of the debate on the foreign policy of 
England which opened on Thursday, March 25, on 
the third reading of the Finance Bill, Mr. Asquith, 
speaking of the Turkish problem as leader of the 
Opposition, urged that the Ottoman Government 
should no longer hold in Europe the political power 
that belonged to it before the war. He urged, 
however, that the Sultan should not be relegated to 
Asia Minor, where he would quite escape European 
control. He proposed, therefore, that the Sultan 
should be, as it were, " vaticanised " that is to say, 
he should remain in Constantinople, but should only 
retain his spiritual power as Caliph, as the Pope 
does in Home. 

The Great Powers or the League of Nations would 
then be entrusted with the political power in Con- 
stantinople, and if the Bosporus or the Dardanelles 
were neutralised or internationalised, the presence of 
the Sultan in Constantinople would not be attended 
with any serious danger. 

As to Mesopotamia, Mr. Asquith objected to the 
statiis quo ante helium. As the frontiers of that 
region were not quite definite, sooner or later, he 
thought, if England remained there, she would be 
driven to advance to' the shores of the Black Sea, or 


even the Caspian Sea, and she had not adequate 
means for the present to do so. So it was better 
for her to confine her action within the Basra zone. 

The Prime Minister, rising in response, first re- 
marked that the cause of the delays in the negotia- 
tions with Turkey and the settlement of peace was 
that the Allies had thought it proper to wait for the 
decision of America, as to the share she intended to 
take in the negotiations. He recalled that the Allies 
had hoped the United States would not only assume 
the protection of Armenia properly speaking, but of 
Cilicia too, and also accept a mandate for the Straits 
of Constantinople, and went on as follows: 

" If we had not given time for America to make up her 
mind it might have suspected the Allies wanted to take 
advantage of some political difficulty to partition Turkey; 
and it is only when the United States definitely stated she 
did not intend to take part in the Conference that the Allies 
proceeded to take definite decisions with regard to the 
Turkish peace. I think that it is due to the Allies to make 
that explanation." 

Mr. Lloyd George went on to state that the Allies 
had contemplated maintaining only the spiritual 
power of the Sultan, but unfortunately this scheme 
did not seem likely to solve the difficulties of the 
situation. For Constantinople had to be administered 
at the same time, and it is easier to control the Sultan 
and his Ministers in Constantinople than if they were 
relegated to Asia Minor. 

Then, resorting to the policy of compromise which 
bore such bad fruits in the course of the Peace Con- 
ference, Mr. Lloyd George, in order not to shut out 
the possibility of reverting to the opposite opinion, 
added that if it was proved that the Allies' control 


weakened the power of the Sultan in Asia Minor, it 
would always be possible to consider the question 
afresh but he hoped that would not be necessary. 

As to the question of Asia Minor and the distribu- 
tion of the mandates, he declared: 

" If America had accepted the responsibility for con- 
trolling Armenia, the French, who, under what is called the 
Sykes scheme, had Cilicia assigned to their control, were 
quite willing to hand it over to American control. The 
British, French, and Italians are quite agreed on the subject, 
but we have not yet seen a sign. We have only received 
telegrams from America, asking us to protect the Armenians; 
we have had no offers up to the present to undertake the 
responsibility. . . . We are hoping that France will undertake 
that responsibility, but it is a good deal to ask of her. We 
have also got our responsibility, but we cannot take too 
much upon our own shoulders. . . . 

" With regard to the Republic of Erivan, which is Armenia, 
it depends entirely on the Armenians themselves whether 
they protect their independence. ... I am told that they 
could easily organise an army of above 40,000 men. If they 
ask for equipment, we shall be very happy to assist in equip- 
ping their army. If they want the assistance of officers to 
train that army, I am perfectly certain there is no Allied 
country in Europe that would not be willing to assist in that 
respect." 1 

Finally, with respect to Mesopotamia, Mr. Lloyd 
George urged " it would be a mistake to give up 
Baghdad and Mosul." 

" I say that, after incurring the enormous expenditure 
which we have incurred in freeing this country from the 
withering despotism of the Turk, to hand it back to anarchy 
and confusion, and to take no responsibility for its develop- 
ment, would be an act of folly quite indefensible. . . . They 
have been consulted about their wishes in this respect, and 
I think, almost without exception, they are anxious that we 
should stay here, though they are divided about the kind 
of independent Government they would like. . . . 

1 The Times, March 26, 1920. 


" We have no right, however, to talk as if we were the 
mandatory of Mesopotamia when the treaty with Turkey has 
not yet been signed. It is only oh the signing of that treaty 
that the question of mandatories will be decided, but when 
that time comes we shall certainly claim the right to be the 
mandatory power of Mesopotamia, including Mosul." 

In its leading article, The Times, criticising the 
attitude Mr. Lloyd George had taken in the debate 
on the Mesopotamian question, wrote on March 27 : 

" The Prime Minister made statements, about the future 
of Mesopotamia which require further elucidation. He said 
that when the Treaty of Peace with Turkey has been finally 
decided, the British Government would ' claim the right ' 
to be the ' mandatory Power ' for Mesopotamia, including the 
vilayet of Mosul. . . . 

"Judging from some passages in his speech, even Mr. 
Lloyd George himself has never grasped the full and dangerous 
significance of the adventure he now advocates. . . . 

" The Prime Minister's reply conveyed the impression 
that he has only the very haziest idea about what he proposes 
to do in this region, which has been the grave of empires 
ever since written history began." 

After pointing out the dangers of a British mandate 
over Mesopotamia, including the vilayet of Mosul, 
The Times thought, as had been suggested by Mr. 
Asquith, that England should confine her direct 
obligations to the zone of Basra, and pointed out that 
it was only incidentally and almost in spite of himself 
that Mr. Asquith had been driven in 1915 to occupy 
the larger part of Mesopotamia. 

" Mr. Asquith says and he is entirely right that if we 
hold a line in the mountains of Northern Kurdistan we shall 
sooner or later be driven to advance to the shores of the 
Black Sea, or even to the Caspian. His view is in complete 
accord with every lesson to be derived from our history as an 
Empire. We have never drawn one of these vague, unsatis- 
factory frontiers without being eventually compelled to move 


beyond it. We cannot incur such a risk in the Middle East, 
and the cost in money and the strain upon our troops are alike 
prohibitive factors." 1 

The next day, in a similar debate in the French 
Chamber, M. Millerand, being asked to give informa- 
tion about the leading principles of the French 
Government in the negotiations that were being 
carried on in regard to the Turkish treaty, made the 
following statement, which did not throw much 
light on the question: 

" First of all the Supreme Council deems it necessary to 
organise a Turkey that can live, and for this purpose this is 
the only resolution that was made public and the only one 
that the British Government disclosed in the House of 
Commons for this purpose it has seemed fit to maintain a 
Sultan in Constantinople. 

" The same principle implies that Turkey will include, 
together with the countries inhabited mainly by Moslems, 
the economic outlets without which she could not thrive. 

" In such a Turkey France, whose traditional prestige has 
been enhanced by victory, will be able to exercise the in- 
fluence she is entitled to by the important moral and economic 
interests she owns in Turkey. 

" This idea is quite consistent with an indispensable clause 
the war has proved it viz., the freedom of the Straits, 
which must necessarily be safeguarded by an international 
organisation. It is also consistent with the respect of 
nationalities, in conformity with which some compact ethnic 
groups who could not possibly develop under Turkish 
sovereignty will become independent, and other guarantees 
will be given for the protection of minorities. 

" We have in Turkey commercial and financial interests 
of the first order. We do not intend that any of them 
should be belittled; we want them to develop safely and 
fully in the future. We shall see to it especially that the 
war expenditures of Turkey shall not curtail the previous 
rights of French creditors. 

" In the districts where France owns special interests, 
these interests must be acknowledged and guaranteed. It 

1 The Times, March, 27, 1920: "Mesopotamia and the 


goes without saying that the Government intends to base 
its claims on the agreements already concluded with the 

At the sitting of March 27, after a speech in which 
M. Bellet asked that the Eastern question should be 
definitely settled by putting an end to Turkish 
sovereignty in Europe and Asia Minor, M. P. Lenail 
revealed that the Emir Feisal received two million 
francs a month from the English Government and as 
much from the French Government; he wondered 
why he was considered such an important man, 
and demanded the execution of the 1916 agreements, 
which gave us a free hand in Cilicia, Syria, and the 
Lebanon. Then M. Briand, who had concluded these 

agreements, rose to say: 


" It is time we should have a policy in Syria and CSlicia. 
If we are not there, who will be there ? The 1916 agreements 
were inspired, not only by the wish of safeguarding the great 
interests of France and maintaining her influence in the 
Mediterranean, but also because the best qualified represen- 
tatives of the peoples of those countries, who groaned under 
the Turkish yoke, entreated us not to forsake them. And it 
is under these circumstances that in the middle of the war, 
urging that a long-sighted policy always proves the best, we 
insisted on the settlement of these questions. 

" Thus were Syria and Cilicia, with Mosul and Damascus, 
of course, included in the French zone. 

" Shall we always pursue a merely sentimental policy in 
those countries ? 

" If we wanted Mosul, it is on account of its oil-bearing 
lands; and who shall deny that we need our share of the 
petroleum of the world ? 

" As for Cilicia, a wonderfully rich land, if we are not there 
to-morrow, who will take our place ? Cilicia has cotton, and 
many other kinds of wealth; when we shall see other States 
in our place, then shall we realise what we have lost, but it 
will be too late ! 

" It has been said that it will be difficult for us to settle 
there. As a matter of fact, the difficulties which are fore- 
seen look greater than they are really; and some of these 


difficulties may have been put forward to dissuade us from 
going there. 

" It remains that the 1916 agreements are signed; they are 
based on our time-honoured rights, our efforts, our friend- 
ships, and the summons of the peoples that hold out their 
arms to us. The question is whether they shall be counter- 
signed by facts. 

" The name of the Emir Feisal has been put forward. It 
is in our zone he has set up his dominion; why were we not 
among the populations of that country at the time ? If we 
had been there, the Emir Feisal would have received his 
investiture from us by our authority; instead of that, he was 
chosen by others. Who is to be blamed for it ? 

" Britain knows the power of parliaments of free peoples; 
if our Parliament makes it clear that it really wants written 
treaties to be respected, they will be respected." 

Mr. Wilson had been asked by a note addressed 
to him on March 12, 1920, to state his opinion about 
the draft of the Turkish settlement worked out in 
London, and at the same time to appoint a pleni- 
potentiary to play a part in the final settlement. 
His answer was handed to M. Jusserand, French 
ambassador, on March 24 ; he came to the conclusion 
finally that Turkey should come to an end as a 
European Power. 

In this note President Wilson declared that 
though he fully valued the arguments set forward 
for retaining the Turks in Constantinople, yet he 
thought that the arguments against the Turks, 
based on unimpeachable considerations, were far 
superior to the others. Moreover, he recalled that 
the Allies had many a time declared that Turkish 
sovereignty in Europe was an anomalous thing that 
should come to an end. 

Concerning the southern frontiers to be assigned 
to Turkey, he thought they should follow the ethno- 
graphic boundaries o'f the Arabian populations, unless 


it were necessary to alter them slightly; in which case 
the American Government would be pleased though 
that did not imply any criticism to be told for what 
reasons new frontiers had been proposed. 

Mr. Wilson was pleased to see that Russia would 
one day be allowed to be represented in the Inter- 
national Council that was going to be instituted for 
the government of Constantinople and the Straits, 
as he felt sure that any arrangement would be still- 
born that did not recognise what he thought was a 
rital interest to Russia. For the same reason he 
was pleased that the condition of the Straits in war- 
time had not yet been settled, and was still under 
discussion; he thought no decision should be taken 
without Russia giving her consent. 

Turning to the territorial question, he said: 

" In regard to Thrace, it seems fair that the part of Eastern 
Thrace that is beyond the Constantinople area should belong 
to Greece, with the exception of the northern part of this pro- 
vince; for the latter region has undoubtedly a Bulgarian 
population, and so, for the sake of justice and equity, the 
towns of Adrianople and Kirk Kilisse, together with their 
surrounding areas, must be given to Bulgaria. Not only are 
the arguments set forth by Bulgaria quite sound from an 
ethnic and historical point of view, but her claims on this 
territory seem to deserve all the more consideration as sho 
had to cede some wholly Bulgarian territories inhabited by 
thousands of Bulgarians on her western frontier merely that 
Serbia might have a good strategic frontier." 

He was chiefly anxious about the future of Armenia. 
He demanded for her an outlet to the sea, and the 
possession of Trebizond. He went on thus : 

" With regard to the question whether Turkey should give 
up her rights over Mesopotamia, Arabia, Palestine, Syria, and 
the Islands, the American Government recommends the 
method resorted to in the case of Austria namely, that 


Turkey should place these provinces in the hands of the 
Great Powers, who would decide on their fate. 

" As to Smyrna, this Government does not feel qualified 
to express an opinion, for the question is too important to 
be solved with the limited information possessed by the 

Finally, the President declared he did not think 
it necessary for his ambassador to be present at 
the sittings of the Supreme Council; yet he insisted 
on being informed of the resolutions that would be 

The Philadelphia Ledger, when this note was sent, 
commented on Mr. Wilson's opinion as to the Turkish 
problem, and especially the fate of Constantinople, 
and did not disguise the fact that he favoured the 
handing over of Constantinople to Russia, in accord- 
ance with the inter- Allied agreements of 1915, 1916, 
and 1917. 

" Mr. Wilson wants Turkey to be expelled from Europe, 
and the right for democratic Russia to have an outlet to the 
Mediterranean to be recognised. Thus, to a certain extent, 
Mr. Wilson will decide in favour of the fulfilment of the secret 
promises made by the Allies to Russia in the course of the 

"Mr. Wilson's opinion is that Bolshevism is about to fall, 
and next autumn the new Russia that he has constantly 
longed for and encouraged will come into being. It is 
calculated that if America gives her support to Russia at this 
fateful juncture, Russia will throw herself into the arms of 
America, and this understanding between the two countries 
will be of immense importance." 

After the Allies had occupied Constantinople and 
addressed to the Porte a new collective note request- 
ing the Ministry officially to disown the Nationalist 
movement, affairs were very difficult for some time. 
As the Allies thought the Ottoman Cabinet's answer 
to their note was unsatisfactory, the first dragomans 



of the English, French, and Italian commissioners 
on the afternoon of April 1 again called upon the 
Ottoman Premier. 

Owing to the unconciliatory attitude of the English, 
who made it impossible for it to govern the country, 
the Ministry resigned. The English required that 
the new Cabinet should be constituted by Damad 
Ferid Pasha, on whom they knew they could rely. 

Indeed, a secret agreement had already been con- 
cluded, on September 12, 1919, between Mr. Fraster, 
Mr. Nolan, and Mr. Churchill, on behalf of Great 
Britain, and Damad Ferid Pasha on behalf of the 
Imperial Ottoman Government. The existence of 
this agreement was questioned at the time, and 
was even officially denied in the Stambul Journal, 
April 8, 1920, but most likely there was an exchange 
of signatures between them. According to this 
agreement, 1 the Sultan practically acquiesced in the 
control of Great Britain over Turkey within the limits 
fixed by Great Britain herself. Constantinople 
remained the seat of the Caliphate, but the Straits 
were to be under British control. The Sultan was 
to use his spiritual and moral power as Caliph on 
behalf of Great Britain, to support British rule in 
Syria, Mesopotamia, and the other zones of British 
influence, not to object to the creation of an indepen- 
dent Kurdistan, and to renounce his rights over 
Egypt and Cyprus. 

Damad Ferid agreed to do so, with the co-opera- 
tion of the party of the Liberal Entente. If the 

1 The very words of this agreement were given by M. Pierre 
Loti in his book, La Mart de noire chtre France en Orient, 
p. 153. 


information given by the Press is reliable, it seems 
that the composition of the new Cabinet was en- 
dangered at the last moment through the opposition 
of one of the Allied Powers; yet it was constituted 
at last. 

The members of the new Cabinet, headed by 
Damad Ferid Pasha, who was both Grand Vizier 
and Foreign Minister, were : Abdullah Effendi, Sheik- 
ul-Islam; Reshid Bey, an energetic man, an op- 
ponent of the Union and Progress Committee, who 
was Minister of the Interior; and Mehmed Said 
Pasha, who became Minister of Marine and provision- 
ally Minister of War. The last-named Ministry had 
been offered to Mahmoud Mukhtar Pasha, son of 
the famous Ghazi Mukhtar, who broke off with the 
Committee of Union and Progress in 1912, was dis- 
missed from the army in 1914 by Enver, and was 
ambassador at Berlin during the first three years of 
the war ; but he refused this post, and also handed in 
his resignation as a member of the Paris delegation; 
so the Grand Vizier became War Minister too. The 
Minister for Public Education was Fakhr ed Din Bey, 
one of the plenipotentiaries sent to Ouchy to nego- 
tiate the peace with Italy. Dr. Jemil Pasha, who 
had once been prefect of Constantinople, became 
Minister of Public Works, and Remze Pasha Minister 
of Commerce. 

The investiture of the new Cabinet took place on 
Monday, April 5, in the afternoon, with the usual 
ceremonies. The Imperial rescript ran as follows: 

" After the resignation of your predecessor, Salih Pasha, 
considering your great abilities and worth, we hereby entrust 
to you the Grand Vizierate, and appoint Duri Zade Abdullah 
Bey Shcik-ul-Islam. 


" The disturbances that have been lately fomented, under 
the name of nationalism, are endangering our political 
situation, which ever since the armistice had been gradually 

" The peaceful measures hitherto taken against this move- 
ment have proved useless. Considering the recent events 
and the persistence of this state of rebellion, which may give 
rise to the worst evils, it is now our deliberate wish that all 
those who have organised and still support these disturbances 
shall be dealt with according to the rigour of the law; but, on 
the other hand, we want a free pardon to be granted to all 
those who, having been led astray, have joined and shared in 
the rebellion. Let quick and energetic measures be taken 
in order to restore order and security throughout our 
Empire, and strengthen the feelings of loyalty undoubtedly 
prevailing among all our faithful subjects to the Khilafat and 
the throne. 

" It is also our earnest desire that you should endeavour 
to establish trustful and sincere relations with the Great 
Allied Powers, and to defend the interests of the State and 
the nation, founding them on the principles of righteousness 
and justice. Do your utmost to obtain more lenient con- 
ditions of peace, to bring about a speedy conclusion of peace, 
and to alleviate the public distress by resorting to all adequate 
financial and economic measures." 

The Sheik-ul-Islam in a proclamation to the Turkish 
people denounced the promoters and instigators of 
the Nationalist movement, and called upon all 
Moslems to gather round the Sultan against the 
" rebels." 

The Grand Vizier issued an Imperial decree con- 
demning the Nationalist movement, pointing out to 
Mustafa Kemal the great dangers the country ran 
on account of his conduct, wishing for the restoration 
of friendly relations between Turkey and the Allies, 
and warning the leaders of the movement that harsh 
measures would be taken against them. The Otto- 
man Government, in a proclamation to the popula- 
tion which had no effect, for most of the Turks 
thought it was dictated by foreign Powers de- 


nounced all the leaders and supporters of the 
Nationalist movement as guilty of high treason 
against the nation. The proclamation stated: 

" The Government, though eager to avoid bloodshed, is still 
more eager to save the nation, which is running into great 
danger. So it will not hesitate to resort to strict measures 
against those who might refuse to go back to their duty 
according to the high prescriptions of the Sherif , as is ordered 
by the Imperial rescript. 

" With this view, the Government proclaims: 

" First, anyone who, without realising the gravity of his 
act, has allowed himself to be driven by the threats or mis- 
leading instigations of the ringleaders, and has joined the 
insurrectionist movement, gives tokens of repentance within 
a week and declares his loyalty to the Sovereign, shall enjoy 
the benefit of the Imperial pardon. 

" Secondly, all the leaders and instigators of the move- 
ments, together with whosoever shall continue to support 
them, shall be punished according to the law and the Sherif s 

" Lastly, the Government cannot in any way allow any 
act of cruelty or misdemeanour to be committed in any part 
of the Empire either by the Moslem population against other 
elements, or by non-Moslem subjects against the Moslem 
population. So it proclaims that whosoever shall commit 
such acts, or countenance them, or be party to them, shall 
be severely punished individually." 

A Parliamentary commission set off to Anatolia 
in order to call upon Mustafa Kemal to give up his 
hostility to the Entente and lay down arms with the 
least delay. 

Moreover, the Government decided to send some 
delegates in order to make inquiries and point out 
to the leaders of the Nationalist movement the 
dangerous consequences of their stubbornness and 
open rebellion. 

The first delegation was to include an aide-de-camp 
of the War Minister, and an Allied superior officer. 


Another delegation was to consist of members of 
Parliament, among whom were Youssouf Kemal Bey, 
member for Sivas; Vehbi Bey, member for Karassi; 
Abdulla Azmi Bey, member for Kutahia; and Riza 
Nun, member for Sinope, the very man who had 
brought in a motion against the occupation of 
Constantinople and the arrest -of some members of 
the Ottoman Parliament, and who was credited with 
having said: "Anatolia has a false conception of the 
occupation of Constantinople. We are going to give 
clear explanations of the seriousness of the situation 
in order to avoid disastrous consequences. We are 
going to tell Anatolia the ideas of the Government 
about the interests of the nation." 

An Imperial decree prescribed the dissolution of 
the Chamber, and the members before whom it was 
read left the Chamber quietly. 

But it was obvious that the Damad Ferid Pasha 
Cabinet no longer represented the country, and that 
in the mind of most Turks it could no longer express 
or uphold the free will of the Turkish people, whose 
hidden or open sympathies, in view of the foreigner's 
threat, were given to the Nationalist movement 

It must be owned that the Turkish Nationalist 
movement had at the outset co-operated with some 
questionable elements and had been mixed up with 
the intrigues of the former members of the Com- 
mittee of Union and Progress. But it now became 
impossible, in order to belittle it, to look down 
upon it as a mere plot or insurrectionary movement. 
In consequence of the successive events that had 


taken place since the armistice and of the attitude 
of the Allies, especially England, after the occupa- 
tion of Constantinople, carried out under British 
pressure with the approbation of the French Govern- 
ment notwithstanding the protest of the French Press, 
and in view of the provisions that were likely to 
be included in the Peace Treaty, Turkish patriotism, 
which could not allow Turkey to be destroyed and 
meant to maintain her traditional rights, had tacitly 
joined that movement. Besides, Mustafa Kemal, 
who, at the very outset, had been a member of the 
Committee of Union and Progress, had soon disagreed 
with Enver, and it should be borne in mind that he . 
was his enemy during the greater part of the war, 
as he was an opponent of the German Marshal 
Falkenhayn. Some people have tried to make out 
there was only personal enmity between them, and 
have denied the possibility of political opposition; 
but the very fact that their enmity would have ruined 
any common political designs they might have had 
proves there were no such designs. 

So Mustafa Kemal did not seem greatly moved 
by the measures mentioned in the manifesto issued 
by the Government under pressure of the foreign 
occupation and amidst the perturbation caused by 
recent events. 

At the end of March Mustafa Kemal warned the 
Sultan that, in consequence of the occupation of 
Constantinople, he broke off all connection with the 
central Government, which henceforth was quite 
under foreign control. In a proclamation issued to 
the Mussulmans, he declared it was necessary to form 
a new independent Ottoman State in Anatolia and 


to appoint an assistant Sheik-ul-Islam. The reason 
he gave was that the Sultan could no longer be looked 
upon as Caliph, for it is a fundamental principle of 
Islam that the Caliph must be an independent 
Sovereign, and, since the Allied occupation of Con- 
stantinople, he no longer enjoyed his freedom of 
action. In that appeal, which was not intended 
for the Mussulmans of Algeria, Tunis, Morocco, and 
Tripoli, for it seemed to be aimed at Great Britain 
alone, he regarded the occupation of Constantinople 
as a new crusade against Islam. 

According to news from Nationalist sources, 
Mustafa Kemal formed a Cabinet, in which he was 
War Minister of the new Anatolian Government. 

It was said at the time he had proclaimed Viceroy 
of Anatolia and nahib i.e., the Sultan's repre- 
sentative in Anatolia Prince Jemal ed Din, a 
member of the Imperial Family, son of the late Prince 
Shevket Effendi, and general inspector of the re- 
cruiting service ; but the official circles of Con- 
stantinople never believed that the prince had 
allowed him to use his name. 

At the same time he had a Constituent Assembly 
elected, which he intended to convene at Angora. 
This assembly consisted of the members of Parlia- 
ment who had been able to escape from Constantinople 
and of deputies chosen by delegated electors and met 
on April 23 at Angora, where all sorts of people had 
come from quite different regions: Constantinople, 
Marash, Beyrut, Baghdad, etc. The National 
Assembly of Angora meant to be looked upon as 
a Constituent Assembly, and strove to introduce 
wide reforms into the administrative and financial 


organisation of the Empire. It elected a rather 
large committee, which styled itself the Government 
Council, and it included General Mustafa Kemal, 
Jemal ed Din Chelebi, from Konia, as first Vice- 
President, and Jelal ed Din Arif Bey as second 
Vice-President, etc. 

The members of the Government which was 
instituted at Angora when the Great National 
Assembly met in this town were: General Mustafa 
Kemal Pasha, President; Bekir Samy Bey, Foreign 
Affairs; Jamy Bey, Interior; General Feizi Pasha, 
National Defence; General Imail Fazil Pasha, Public 
Works; Youssouf Kemal Bey, National Economy; 
Hakki Behij Bey, Finance; Dr. Adnan Bey, Public 
Education; Colonel Ismet Bey, Chief of Staff. 

The Sheik of the Senussi, who had joined the 
National movement, and owing to his prestige had 
influenced public opinion in favour of this movement, 
was not appointed, as has been wrongly said, Sheik- 
ul-Islam; religious affairs were entrusted to a member 
of a Muslim brotherhood belonging to the National 

According to the information it was possible to 
obtain, the political line of conduct adopted by 
the Nationalists was not only to organise armed 
resistance, but also to carry on a strong political 
and religious propaganda, both in Turkey and in 
foreign countries. 

No official letter from Constantinople was to be 
opened by the functionaries, who, if they obeyed the 
Constantinople Government, were liable to capital 
punishment. v The religious authorities in the 
provinces and the heads of the great Muslim brother- 


hoods were called upon to protest against the fetva 
by which the Sheik-ul-Islam of Constantinople had 
anathematised the Nationalists. 

But the chief difficulty for the Nationalists was 
how to raise money. 

On behalf of that National Assembly, Mustafa 
Kemal addressed to M. Millerand the following 
letter, in which he vehemently protested against the 
occupation of Constantinople and laid down the 
claims of the Ottoman people : 

" I beg to bring to the knowledge of Your Excellency that, 
owing to the unjustifiable occupation of Constantinople by 
the Allied troops, the Ottoman people looks upon its Khalifa, 
together with his Government, as prisoners. So general 
elections have been held, and on April 23, 1920, the Grand 
National Assembly held its first sitting, and solemnly 
declared it would preside over the present and future destiny 
of Turkey, so long as her Khalifa Sultan and her Eternal 
City should remain under the dominion and occupation of 

" The Grand National Assembly has done me the honour 
to charge me to bring to the knowledge of Your Excellency the 
earnest protest of its members against that arbitrary deed, 
which violates the terms of the armistice, and has once more 
confirmed the Ottoman people in its pessimism as to the 
results of the Peace Conference. Not long ago our Parlia- 
ment though a Parliament has always been looked upon as 
a holy sanctuary by all civilised nations was violated in the 
course of a sitting; the representatives of the nation were 
wrested from the bosom of the assembly by the English 
police like evildoers, notwithstanding the energetic pro test of 
the Parliament; many a senator, deputy, general, or man of 
letters, was arrested at his home, taken away handcuffed, 
and deported; lastly, our public and private buildings were 
occupied by force of arms, for might had become right. 

" Now the Ottoman people, considering all its rights have 
been violated and its sovereignty encroached upon, has, by 
order of its representatives, assembled at Angora, and 
appointed an Executive Council chosen among the members 
of the National Assembly, which Council has taken in hand 
the government of the country. 


" I have also the honour to let Your Excellency know the 
desiderata of the nation, as expressed and adopted at the 
sitting of April 29, 1920. 

"First, Constantinople, the seat of the Khilafat and 
Sultanry, together with the Constantinople Government, are 
henceforth looked upon by the Ottoman people as prisoners 
of the Allies; thus all orders and fetvas issued from Con- 
stantinople, so long as it is occupied, cannot have any legal 
or religious value, and all engagements entered upon by the 
would-be Constantinople Government are looked upon by 
the nation as null and void. 

" Secondly, the Ottoman people, though maintaining its 
calm and composure, is bent upon defending its sacred, 
centuries-old rights as a free, independent State. It expresses 
its wish to conclude a fair, honourable peace, but declares 
only its own mandatories have the right to take engagements 
in its name and on its account. 

" Thirdly, the Christian Ottoman element, together with 
the foreign elements settled in Turkey, remain under the 
safeguard of the nation; yet they are forbidden to undertake 
anything against the general security of the country. 

" Hoping the righteous claims of the Ottoman nation will 
meet with a favourable reception, I beg Your Excellency to 
accept the assurance of the deep respect with which I have 
the honour to be Your Excellency's most humble, most 
obedient servant." 

On the eve of the San Remo Conference, which met 
on April 18, 1920, Ahmed Eiza Bey, ex-President of 
the Chamber and Senator of the Ottoman Empire, 
who kept a keen lookout on the events that were 
about to seal the fate of his country, though he had 
been exiled by the Damad Ferid Ministry, addressed 
another letter to the President of the Conference, 
in which he said: 

" The Turks cannot in any way, in this age of liberty and 
democracy, acknowledge a peace that would lower them to 
the level of an inferior race and would treat them worse than 
the Hungarians or Bulgarians, who have lost comparatively 
small territories, whereas Turkey is to be utterly crippled. 
We want to be treated as a vanquished people, not as an 
inferior people or a people in tutelage. The victors may have 
a right to take from us the territories they conquered by force 


of arms; they have no right to intrude into our home affairs. 
The Turkish people will willingly grant concessions of mines 
and public works to the foreigners who offer it the most 
profitable conditions; but it will never allow the arbitrary 
partition of the wealth of the nation. To get riches at the 
expense of an unfortunate nation is immoral ; it is all the more 
unfair as the responsibility of Turkey in the world war 
is comparatively slight as compared with that of Austria- 
Germany and Bulgaria. In respect of the crimes and 
atrocities against Armenia and Greece which the Turks are 
charged with, we deny them earnestly and indignantly. 
Let a mixed international commission be formed, and sent to 
hold an impartial inquiry on the spot, and we pledge our- 
selves to submit to its decisions. Till such an inquiry has 
proved anything to the contrary, we have a right to look upon 
all charges brought against us as slanders or mere lies. 

" The Sublime Porte had already, on February 12, 1919, 
addressed to the High Commissioners an official note requesting 
that neutral States should appoint delegates charged to 
inquire into facts and establish responsibilities; but the 
request of the Ottoman Cabinet has hitherto been in vain, as 
well as that of the League for National Ottoman Unity made 
on March 17 of the same year. 

*' Yet the report of the international Commission of Inquiry 
assembled at Smyrna, which proved the charges of cruelty 
brought against the Turks were unfounded, should induce 
the Allies, in the name of justice, to hold an inquiry into the 
massacres supposed to have taken place in Cilicia and else- 

" I hope Your Excellency will excuse me if this letter is 
not couched in the usual diplomatic style, and will consider 
that when the life and rights of his nation are so grievously 
endangered it is most difficult for a patriot to keep his 
thoughts and feelings under control." 

As early as April 19, the San Remo Conference, 
which seemed to have come to an agreement about 
the main lines of the treaty to be submitted to 
Turkey, but had not yet settled the terms of this 
treaty, decided to summon the Ottoman pleni- 
potentiaries to Paris on May 10. 

In a note sent on April 20, 1920, to M. Nitti, as 
president of the San Remo Conference, Ghalib Kemaly 


Bey, formerly Ottoman minister plenipotentiary to 
Russia, now living in Rome, wrote : 

" In order to justify the dismemberment of the Ottoman 
Empire it has been asserted that the Turks are not able to 
administer a large country inhabited by various races, and 
they have been especially charged with hating and oppressing 
the Christian element. But a history extending over ten 
centuries at least plainly shows, by innumerable facts and 
truths, the absurdity of such assertions. 

" If the Ottoman Empire, in spite of its wonderful efforts 
for the last 130 years, has not been able to reform and reno- 
vate itself as the other States have done, that is because, in 
addition to a thousand other difficulties, it has never had, for 
the last two centuries, either the power or the peacefulness 
that would have been necessary to bring such a protracted 
task to a successful end; for every ten, fifteen, or twenty 
years, it has been attacked by its neighbours, and the events 
of the last twelve years testify still more forcibly than any 
others to the fact that any step taken by the Turks on the 
way to progress in the European sense of the word was 
not only resented, but even violently opposed by their 
merciless enemies. 

" As to the would-be oppression which the Christians are 
supposed to have endured in the Empire, let us merely 
consider that, whereas in Europe the Christians mutually 
slaughtered each other ^mercilessly and unceasingly in the 
name of their sacred Faith, and the unfortunate Jews were 
cruelly driven away and tortured in the name of the same 
Faith, the Turks, on the contrary, after ruling for a thousand 
years over Turkish Asia with many vicissitudes, not only 
tolerated the presence of millions of Christians in their large, 
powerful Empire, but even granted them without any restric- 
tion, under the benefit of Turkish laws and customs, all 
possibilities to subsist, develop, and become rich, often at the 
expense of the ruling race; and they offered a wide paternal 
hospitality to many wretched people banished from Christian 

" To-day Greece, trampling upon justice and right, lays 
an iniquitous claim to the noble, sacred land of Turkish Thrace 
and Asia. Yet can she show the same example of tolerance, 
and give a strict account of her home policy towards the non- 
Greek elements, especially concerning the condition and fate 
of the 300,000 Turks who, before 1883, peopled the wide, 
fertile plains of Thessaly, of the hundreds of thousands of 
Moslem Albanians, subjects of the Empire, of the 150,000 


Moslems in Crete, and of the 800,000 Moslems in Macedonia, 
whose unfortunate fate it was to pass under her dominion ? 

" I need not dwell at length on this painful subject, which 
will be an eternal shame to modern civilisation, for the vic- 
torious Powers know a great deal more after the inter- Allied 
inquiry held four months ago in Smyrna about the ' gentle 
and fatherly ' manner in which thousands of Mussulmans 
were slaughtered and exterminated by the descendants of 
the civilisation of ancient Greece, who invaded that essen- 
tially Turkish province during the armistice under pretence 
of restoring order." 

And after recalling the figures of the various 
elements of the population of the Turkish Empire 
after the 1914 statistics, he concluded: 

" Such figures speak but too eloquently, and the painful 
events that drenched with blood the unfortunate Ottoman 
land since the armistice raise only too much horror. So the 
Turkish people most proudly and serenely awaits the 
righteous, humane, and equitable sanction of the victorious 
Powers that have assumed before history the heavy respon- 
sibility of placing the whole world on a lasting basis of 
justice, concord, and peace. 

" God grant they may choose the best way, the only way, 
that will lead them to respect, as they solemnly pledged them- 
selves to do, the ethnic, historical, and religious rights of 
the Ottoman nation and its Sultan, who is, at the same time, 
the supreme head of the 350 million Mussulmans throughout 
the world." 

On the same date (April 20, 1920) the Indian 
Caliphate delegation addressed a note to the president 
of the Allied Supreme Council at San Remo, to the 
English, French, Italian Prime Ministers, and to the 
Japanese ambassador. In this note they summed 
up their mandate with the Allied and Associated 
Powers, and insisted again on the claims they had 
previously laid before Mr. Lloyd George in the course 
of the interview mentioned previously. 

" Firstly, the Mussulmans of India, in common with the 
vast majority of their co-religionists throughout the world, 


ask that, inasmuch as independent temporal sovereignty, 
with its concomitants of adequate military and economic 
resources, is of the essence of the institution of the Khilafat, 
the Empire of the Khalifa shall not be dismembered under 
any pretext. As the Sultan of Turkey is recognised by the 
vast majority of Mussulmans as Khalifa, what is desired is 
that the fabric of the Ottoman Empire shall be maintained 
intact territorially on the basis of the status quo ante bellum, 
but without prejudice to such political changes as give all 
necessary guarantees consistent with the dignity and inde- 
pendence of the sovereign State for the security of life and 
property, and opportunities of full autonomous development 
for all the non-Turkish communities, whether Muslim or non- 
Muslim, comprised within the Turkish Empire. But on no 
account is a Muslim majority to be placed under the rule of 
a non-Muslim minority contrary to the principle of self- 
determination. In behalf of this claim, the delegation draw 
the attention of the Supreme Council to the declaration of the 
British Prime Minister, equally binding on all the Allied and 
Associated Powers, when on January 5, 1918, he said: ' Nor 
are we fighting to deprive Turkey of its capital, or of the rich 
and renowned lands of Asia Minor and Thrace, which are 
predominantly Turkish in race,' and to President Wilson's 
twelfth point in his message to Congress, dated January 8, 
1918, on the basis of which the armistice with Turkey was 
concluded, and which required 'that the Turkish portions 
of the present Ottoman Empire should be assured of secure 
sovereignty; that the other nationalities now under Turkish 
rule should be assured security of life andautonomous develop- 
ment.' The delegation submit that any departure from the 
pledges and principles set forth above would be regarded by 
the people of India, and the Muslim world generally, as a 
breach of faith. It was on the strength of these and similar 
assurances that tens of thousands of India Mussulmans were 
induced to lay down their lives in the late war in defence of 
the Allied cause. 

"Secondly, we have to submit that the most solemn religious 
obligations of the Muslim Faith require that the area known 
as the Jazirat-ul-Arab, or the ' Island of Arabia,' which 
includes, besides the Peninsula of Arabia, Syria, Palestine, 
and Mesopotamia, shall continue to be, as heretofore for the 
last 1,300 years, under exclusively Muslim control, and that 
the Khalifa shall similarly continue to be the Warden and 
Custodian of the Holy Places and Holy Shrines of Islam 
namely, Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem, Nejef , Kerbela, Samarra, 
Kazimain, and Baghdad, all situated within the Jazirat-ul- 


Arab. Any encroachment upon these sanctuaries of Islam by 
the inauguration of non-Muslim control in whatever guise or 
form, whether a protectorate or mandate, would be a direct 
violation of the most binding religious injunctions of Islam 
and the deepest sentiment of Muslims all the world over, and 
would, therefore, be utterly unacceptable to the Mussulmans 
of India and the rest of the Indian community. In this con- 
nection, apart from the religious obligations to which we 
refer, the delegation would draw the attention of the Supreme 
Council to the proclamation issued by the Government of 
India, on behalf of His Britannic Majesty's Government, as 
also the Governments of France and Russia, on November 2, 
1914, in which it was specifically declared that ' no question 
of a religious character was involved ' in this war, and it was 
further categorically promised that ' the Holy Places of 
Arabia, including the Holy Shrines of Mesopotamia and the 
port of Jedda, will be immune from attack or molestation.' " 

After pointing out that these were the lowest 
possible claims the Mussulmans could set forth, the 
note went on as follows : 

" But the Mussulmans of India have already submitted 
to the British Government that a Turkish settlement made in 
disregard of their religious obligations, on respect for which 
their loyalty has always been strictly conditional, would be 
regarded by Indian Mussulmans as incompatible with their 
allegiance to the British Crown. This is a contingency which 
the Mussulmans of India, in common with all their compat- 
riots, constituting a population of over three hundred millions, 
naturally view with the keenest apprehension and anxiety, 
and are most earnestly desirous of preventing by every means 
in their power. We believe that the British Government, 
at any rate, is fully apprised of the range and intensity of 
public feeling that has been aroused in India on this question, 
and we content ourselves, therefore, by simply stating here 
that the Khilafat movement represents an unprecedented 
demonstration of national feeling and concern. Only on 
March 19 last, the day when the delegation was received by 
the British Prime Minister, all business was suspended 
throughout the continent of India by Mussulmans and 
Hindus alike, as a reminder and reaffirmation of the Muslim 
case in respect of the future of the Khilafat. This unpre- 
cedented yet peaceful demonstration involved a loss of 
millions to the public at large, and was undertaken solely with 
the object of impressing the authorities and others concerned 
with the universality of Indian and Muslim sentiment on the 


question. If, notwithstanding all constitutional and loyal 
representations which the Mussulmans of India have put 
forward on behalf of the obligation imposed upon them by 
their Faith, a settlement is imposed upon Turkey which would 
be destructive of the very essentials of the Khilafat, a situa- 
tion would arise in which it would be futile to expect peace 
and harmony to prevail in India and the Muslim world. 

" The delegation, therefore, feel it their duty most solemnly 
to urge upon the Supreme Council the desirability of en- 
deavouring to achieve a peace settlement with the Ottoman 
Empire which would be in consonance with the most binding 
religious obligations and overwhelming sentiments of so 
large and important a section of the world community." 

As a consequence of what has just been said: 

" The- delegation would beg, even at this late hour, that 
the Supreme Council will defer taking any final decisions on 
this question in order to afford to them an opportunity, such 
as they have repeatedly applied for, of laying their case 
before the Council. In answer to our request to be 
allowed to appear before the Supreme Council, the British 
Secretary to the Council intimated to us that only the 
accredited Governments of the territories with whose future 
the Peace Conference is dealing are allowed to appear before 
it, and that at the request of the British Government the 
official delegation of India had already been heard. But 
we have already represented that the Turkish settlement, in- 
volving as it does the question on the Khilafat, in the pre- 
servation of which the Mussulmans of the world are so 
vitally interested, does not obviously seem to be a question 
on which the Peace Conference should hear only the Govern- 
ments of territories with whose future they are dealing. In 
fact, the concern of the Muslim world for the future of the 
Khilafat. which is the most essential institution of Islam, 
transcends in importance the interests of the various Govern- 
ments that are being set up in different parts of the Khilafat 
territories; and the delegation trusts that no technical 
objection will be allbwed to stand in the way of doing 
justice and securing peace." 

And, finally, the note concluded : 

" With reference to the official delegation of India, which 
the Supreme Council has, already heard, the Indian Khilafat 
delegation would invite the attention of the Council to the 
fact that, so far at least, the State and the nation are not one 



in India, and the delegation submit that a nation numbering 
more than 315 millions of people is entitled to a hearing before 
a final decision is taken on a question that has incontestably 
acquired a national status. The delegation hope that they 
may, without any disrespect to the members comprising the 
official delegation of India, also refer to the fact that no 
Indian Mussulman was represented on the delegation in spite 
of Muslim protest." 

In a second telegram, dated April 24, 1920, the 
Indian Caliphate delegation, after the reply made to 
them by the British secretary of the Supreme Council 
at San Kemo on April 20, expressed their deep regret 

" the Council, while giving a hearing to a number of dele- 
gations representing at best microscopic populations inhabit- 
ing meagre areas and permitting the Premier of Greece, which 
was not at war with Turkey, to take part in the discussions 
relating to the Turkish settlement, should have ignored the 
claims of a nation numbering more than 315 millions of people 
inhabiting the vast sub-continent of India even to a hearing, 
and should have denied the right of several hundred millions 
more in the rest of the world professing the Muslim Faith to 
express their views on the question involving the disintegra- 
tion of the Khilafat. In the name of our compatriots and 
co-religionists, we deem it to be our duty once more to point 
out to the Government of Great Britain and to her Allies, 
that it would be perfectly futile to expect peace and tran- 
quillity if, to the humiliating disregard of the overwhelming 
national sentiment of India, which would in any case lessen 
the value of citizenship of the British Empire to the Indian 
people, is added, as a result of the secret diplomacy of a few 
persons, however exalted and eminent, who are now settling 
the fate of Islam behind closed doors, a contemptuous dis- 
regard of the most binding and solemn religious obligations 
imposed on the Muslims by their Faith." 

The delegation did not conceal their disappoint- 
ment at the way they had been received by the 
Allied representatives and the little attention paid 
to the objections they had set forth. Yet they had 
viewed the Ottoman question from a lofty stand- 


point, and had brought forward powerful arguments 
in favour of Turkey. While the Indian delegation 
were setting forth the Turkish claims before the 
Peace Conference, the Press, public opinion, and politi- 
cal circles which had been influenced in some degree by 
the coming of the delegates evinced more sympathy 
for Turkey, and the deliberations of the Conference 
seemed likely to assume a more favourable attitude 
towards Turkey. Yet the Conference, in this case 
as in many others, and in spite of the warnings it 
had received, kept to its first resolutions, though 
everything seemed to invite it to modify them. 

On May 6 the Ottoman delegation arrived in 
Paris. It comprised the former Grand Vizier Tewfik 
Pasha; Reshid Bey, Minister of the Interior; Fakhr 
ed Din Bey, Mioister of Public Education; and 
Dr. Jemil Pasha, Minister of Public Works, accom- 
panied by seventeen advisers and five secretaries. 

On the previous Thursday, before they left Con- 
stantinople, the Sultan had received the delegates, 
and had a long conversation with each of them. 

The draft of the treaty was handed to the delegates 
on the expected date, May 11. 

We refer the reader to this document, which 
contains thirteen chapters; some of the most im- 
portant provisions are so laboriously worded that 
they may give rise to various interpretations, and 
it is impossible to sum them up accurately. 

Several clauses of that draft called forth many 
objections, and we shall only deal with the most 
important ones. 

The treaty assigned to Greece all the Turkish 
vilayet of Adrianople or Eastern Thrace that is to 


say, the territory which includes Adrianople, the 
second town and former capital of the Ottoman Em- 
pire, and the burial-place of Selim the Conqueror. 
It only left to European Turkey a mere strip of 
land near Constantinople up to the Chatalja lines. 
Besides, this region is entirely included in the " Zone 
of the Straits " to be controlled by a Commission 
of the Powers which includes Greece, Rumania, and 
Bulgaria, but excludes Turkey herself. 

Now, according to the official census of March, 1914, 
the Adrianople vilayet which includes Kirk Kilisse, 
Rodosto, and Gallipoli, had a population of 360,400 
Turks i.e., 57 per cent, of the inhabitants as 
against 224,680 Greeks, or 35-5 per cent., and 19,888 
Armenians. In addition, though in Eastern Thrace 
the Moslem populations are mingled with numerous 
Greek elements, the majority of the people are 
Mussulmans. Out of the 673,000 inhabitants of 
Thrace, 455,000 are Mussulmans. 

It is noteworthy that after 1914 a good number 
of the Greeks in that vilayet emigrated into Mace- 
donia, where they were replaced by the Mussulmans 
expelled by the Greek administration, and that out of 
the 162,000 Orthodox Greeks amenable to the Greek 
Patriarch, 88,000 are Gagavous that is to say, are 
of Turkish descent and speak Turkish. 

Out of about 4,700,000 acres of land which make 
up the total area of the Adrianople vilayet, 4,000,000 
acres, or 84 per cent., are in Moslem hands, and the 
Orthodox Greeks hardly possess 600,000 acres. 

The Moslem population of Western Thrace, which 
is no longer under Turkish sovereignty, rises to 
362,000 souls, or 69 per cent., against 86,000 Greeks, 


or 16-5 per cent., and if the figures representing the 
Moslem population in both parts of Thrace are 
counted, we get a total number of 700,000 Mussul- 
mans i.e., 62-6 per cent. against 310,000 Greeks, 
or 26 per cent. 

Mr. Lloyd George had already guaranteed to 
Turkey the possession of that region on January 5, 
1918, when he had solemnly declared : "Nor are we 
fighting to deprive Turkey of its capital, or of the 
rich and renowned lands of Asia Minor and Thrace, 
which are predominantly Turkish in race," and he 
had repeated this pledge in his speech of February 25, 
1920. . 

Yet a month after he declared to the Indian 
Caliphate delegation, as has been seen above, that 
the Turkish population in Thrace was in a consider- 
able minority, and so Thrace should be taken away 
from Turkish rule. If such was the case, it would 
have been logical to take from Turkey the whole of 

As the Indian delegation inquired at once on 
what figures the Prime Minister based his statements 
he answered: 

" It is, of course, impossible to obtain absolutelj 7 accurate 
figures at the present moment, partly because all censuses 
taken since about the beginning of the century are open to 
suspicion from racial prejudice, and partly because of the 
policy of expulsion and deportation pursued by the Turkish 
Government both during and before the war. For instance, 
apart from the Greeks who were evicted during the Balkan 
wars, over 100,000 Greeks were deported into Anatolia from 
Turkish Thrace in the course of these wars, while about 
100.000 were driven across the frontiers of Turkish Thrace. 
These refugees are now returning in large numbers. But 
after the study of all the evidence judged impartially, the best 
estimate which the Foreign Office could make is that the 


population of Turkish Thrace, in 1919, was 313.000 Greeks and 
225,000 Turks. . . . This is confirmed by the study of the 
Turkish official statistics in 1894, the last census taken before 
the Greco-Turkish war, after which ... all censuses as to 
races in these parts became open to suspicion. According to 
these statistics, the population of Turkish Thrace and of the 
part of Bulgarian Thrace ceded to the Allies by the treaty of 
Neuilly was: Greeks, 304,500; Mussulmans, 265,300; Bul- 
garians, 72,500." 

On receipt of this communication, the delegation 
naturally asked to what region the Greeks " who 
were evicted during the Balkan wars " had migrated, 
and to what extent, according to the Foreign Office 
estimates, " counter-migration of Turks had taken 
place into what is the present Turkish Thrace," when 
Macedonia was made, on the authority of English- 
men themselves, " an empty egg-shell " and when the 
Greeks and Bulgarians had decided to leave no Turks 
in the occupied territories, to make a " Turkish 
question " within the newly extended boundaries of 
Greece and Bulgaria. It was natural that part of 
the Turkish population driven away from Macedonia 
should settle down in the Turkish territory con- 
terminous to Eastern Thrace, as it actually did. 

With regard to the " 100,000 " Greeks " deported 
into Anatolia from Turkish Thrace during the course 
of these wars," and the " 100,000 driven across the 
frontiers of Turkish Thrace," the delegation asked 
to what part of Anatolia the deportees had been 
taken, and to what extent this deportation had 
affected the proportion of Turkish and Greek popula- 
tions in that part of Anatolia. It would certainly 
be unfair to make Turkish Thrace preponderatingly 
Greek by including in its .Greek population figures of 
Greek deportees who had already served to swell the 


figures of the Greek population in Anatolia. Under 
such circumstances, as the figures which the Prime 
Minister considered as reliable on January 5, 1918, 
had been discarded since and as the figures of a 
quarter of a century ago were evidently open to 
discussion, the delegation proposed that the Supreme 
Council should be given a complete set of figures 
for every vilayet, and if possible for every sanjak 
or kaza, of the Turkish Empire as it was in 1914. 
But the Prime Minister's secretary merely answered 
that it was impossible to enter into a discussion 
" on the vexed question of the population statistics 
in these areas." 

As to Smyrna, the statistics plainly show that, 
though there is an important Greek colony at Smyrna, 
all the region nevertheless is essentially Turkish. 
The figures provided by the Turkish Government, 
those of the French Yellow Book, and those given 
by Vital Cuinet agree on this point. 

According to the French Yellow Book, the total 
population of the vilayet included 78-05 per cent. 
Turks against 14-9 per cent. Greeks. 

M. Vital Cuinet gives a total population of 1,254,417 
inhabitants (971,850 Turks and 197,257 Greeks), and 
for the town of Smyrna 96,250 Turks against 57,000 

According to the last Ottoman statistics in 1914 
the town of Smyrna, where the Greek population 
had increased, had 111,486 Turks against 87,497 
Greeks; but in the whole vilayet there were 299,097 
Greeks i.e., 18 per cent. against 1,249,067 Turks, 
or 77 per cent., and 20,766 Armenians. 

From the 299,097 Greeks mentioned in the statistics 


we should deduct the 60,000 or 80,000 Greeks who 
were expelled from the vilayet, by way of reprisal 
after the events of Macedonia in January to June, 
1914. The latter, according to the agreement 
between Ghalib Kemaly Bey, Turkish minister at 
Athens, and M. Venizelos (July, 1914), come under 
the same head as the Greeks of Thrace and Smyrna 
who were to be exchanged for the Mussulmans of 

Mr. Lloyd George's secretary, whom the Indian 
delegation also asked, in reference to Smyrna, on what 
figures he based his statements, answered on behalf 
of the Prime Minister: 

" The pre-war figures for the sanjak of Smyrna, according 
to the American estimates, which are the most up-to-date and 
impartial, give the following result: Greeks, 375,000; Mussul- 
mans, 325,000; Jews, 40,000; and Armenians, 18,000. These 
figures only relate to the sanjak of Smyrna, and there are 
other kazas in the neighbourhood which also show a majority 
of Greeks." 

Now, according to the official Turkish figures, the 
sanjak of Smyrna had, before the war, 377,000 
Mussulmans as against 218,000 Greeks, while during 
the war the Muslim figure rose to 407,000 and the 
Greek figure was considerably reduced. Only in the 
kazas of Urla, Shesmeh, Phocoaa, and Kara-Burun 
in the sanjak of Smyrna, are there Greek majorities; 
but in no other kaza, whether of Magnesia, Aidin, 
or Denizli, is the Greek element in a majority. More- 
over, the Greek minority is important only in the 
kaza of Seuki in the sanjak of Aidin; everywhere 
else it is, as a rule, less than 10 per cent., and only in 
two kazas is it 15 or 16 per cent. 

The treaty recognises Armenia as a free and 


independent State, and the President of the United 
States is to arbitrate on the question of the frontier 
to be fixed between Turkey and Armenia in the 
vilayets of Erzerum, Trebizond, Van, and Bitlis. 
Now, though everybody including the Turks 
acknowledges that as a principle it is legitimate to 
form an Armenian State, yet when we consider the 
nature of the population of these vilayets, we cannot 
help feeling anxious at the condition of things brought 
about by this decision. 

As a matter of fact, 'in Erzerum there are 673,000 
Mussulmans, constituting 82-5 per cent, of the 
population, as against 136,000 Armenians, or 16-5 per 
cent. In Trebizond the Mussulmans number 921,000, 
or 82 per cent, of the population, as against 40,000 
Armenians, or 23-5 per cent. In the vilayet of Van 
the Muslim population is 179,000, or 69 per cent., 
and the Armenian population 67,000, or 26 per cent. 
In Bitlis the Mussulmans number 310,000, or 70-5 
per cent., as against 119,000 Armenians, constituting 
27 per cent. Thus, in these four vilayets the Mussul- 
mans number 2,083,000, and the Armenians 362,000, 
the average being 80 per cent, against 13 per cent. 

On the other hand, it is difficult to prove that 
Turkey has persistently colonised these territories. 
The only fact that might countenance such an 
assertion is that at various times, especially after 
the Crimean war, many Tatars sought shelter in 
that part of the Empire, and that in 1864, and again 
in 1878, Circassians, escaping from the Russian yoke, 
took refuge there after defending their country 
The number of the families that immigrated is 
estimated about 70,000. Turkey encouraged them 


to settle down there all the more willingly as they 
were a safeguard to her against the constant threat 
of Russia. But as early as 1514, at the time of the 
Turkish conquest, the Armenians were inferior in 
number, owing to the Arabian and Persian pressure 
that repeatedly brought about an exodus of the native 
population northwards and westwards, and because 
some Persian, Arabian, Seljukian, Turkish, and 
Byzantine elements slowly crept into the country. 
In 1643 Abas Schah, after his victorious campaign 
against Turkey, drove away nearly 100,000 
Armenians, and later on a huge number of Armenians 
emigrated into Russia of their own free will after 
the treaty of Turkmen-Tchai in 1828. 

It is noteworthy that an Armenian Power first came 
into existence in the second century before Christ. 
It consisted of two independent States, Armenia 
Major and Armenia Minor. After the downfall of 
Tigrane, King of Armenia Major, defeated by the 
Romans, Rome and Persia fought for the possession 
of those regions, and, finally, divided them. Later 
on there were various Armenian States, which were 
more or less independent, but none of them lasted 
long except the State of Armenia Minor, which lasted 
from the twelfth century to the fourteenth, till 
Selim II conquered that territory, where the Arabs, 
the Persians, the Seljukian Turks, and the Byzantines 
had already brought the Armenian dominion to 
an end. 

Therefore the numerical majority of Mussulmans 
in Armenia has not been obtained or maintained, as 
has been alleged, by the " Turkish massacres " ; it is 
the outcome of more complex causes which, of 


course, is no excuse for the tragic events that took 
place there. As the Conference did not seem to pay 
any attention either to the figures of M. Vital Cuinet 
(Turquie tfAsie, Paris, 1892), or to the figures 
published by the French Government in the Yellow 
Book of 1897, based upon the data furnished by the 
Christian Patriarchates, or to the figures given by 
General Zeleny to the Caucasian Geographical Society 
(Zapiski, vol. xviii., Tiflis, 1896), the Indian delega- 
tion asked that a report should be drawn up by 
a mixed Moslem and non - Moslem Commission, 
consisting of men whose integrity and ability were 
recognised by their co-religionists; but this sugges- 
tion met with no better success than the international 
inquiry already suggested by the delegation in regard 
to the population of every vilayet in Thrace. 

The chapter dealing with the protection of minori- 
ties plainly shows how much influence the aforesaid 
Protestant Anglo-American movement had on the 
wording of the treaty. In none of the four previous 
treaties are included such stipulations as those con- 
tained in the Turkish treaty, and there is a great 
difference in this respect between the Bulgarian 
treaty and the Turkish treaty. The latter, under 
the term " minority," only considers the condition 
of the Christians, and ensures to them privileges and 
power in every respect over the Mussulmans. 

As the Permanent Committee of the Turkish 
Congress at Lausanne remarked in its critical ex- 
amination of the treaty: 

" Whereas in the Bulgarian treaty freedom of conscience 
and religion is guaranteed so far as is consistent with morality 
and order, this clause does not occur in the Turkish treaty. 


The Turkish treaty states that all interference with any 
religious creed shall be punished in the same way; in the 
Bulgarian treaty this clause is omitted, for here it would 
imply the protection of a non-Christian religion." 

In regard to Article 139, that " Turkey renounces 
formally all right of suzerainty or jurisdiction of any 
kind over Moslems who are subject to the sovereignty 
or protectorate of any other State," the Indian 
Caliphate delegation raised an objection in a letter 
addressed to Mr. Lloyd George, dated July 10, 1920: 

" It is obvious that Turkey has, and could have, no ' rights 
of suzerainty or jurisdiction ' over Mussulmans who are not 
her subjects; but it is equally obvious that the Sultan of 
Turkey, as Khalifa, has, and must continue to have so long as 
he holds that office, his very considerable ' jurisdiction ' over 
Muslims who are ' subject to the sovereignty or protectorate 
of any other State.' The law of Islam clearly prescribes the 
character and extent of the ' jurisdiction ' pertaining to the 
office of Khalifa, and we cannot but protest most emphatically 
against this indirect, but none the less palpable, attempt on 
the part of Great Britain and her allies to force on the 
Khalifa a surrender of such ' jurisdiction,' which must involve 
the abdication of the Khalifa." 

The delegation also considered that Article 131, 
which lays down that " Turkey definitely renounces 
all rights and privileges, which, under the treaty of 
Lausanne of October 12, 1912, were left to the Sultan 
in Libya," infringes " rights pertaining to the Sultan 
as Caliph, which had been specially safeguarded 
and reserved under the said treaty of Lausanne." 
It also expressed its surprise that " this categorical 
and inalienable requirement of the Muslim Faith, 
supported as it is by the unbroken practice of over 
thirteen hundred years, was totally disregarded by 
Articles 94 to 97 of the Peace Treaty, read in con- 
junction with Articles 22 and 132," which cannot 


admit of any non-Muslim sovereignty over the 
Jazirat-ul-Arab, including Syria, Palestine, and 

Referring again to the objection the British Prime 
Minister pretended to base on the proclamation of 
the Emir Feisal, King of Syria, and on the Arabs' 
request to be freed from Turkish dominion, the Indian 
Caliphate delegation in the same letter answered 
Mr. Lloyd George, who had asked them in the course 
of his reception " whether they were to remain 
under Turkish domination merely because they were 
Mohammedans " : 

" We would take the liberty to remind you that if the 
Arabs, who are an overwhelmingly large majority in these 
regions, have claimed independence, they have clearly claimed 
it free from the incubus of so-called mandates, and their 
claim tojbe freed from Turkish dominion is not in any way 
a claim to be subjected to the ' advice and assistance ' of a 
mandatory of the principal Allied Powers. If the principle 
of self-determination is to be applied at all, it must be applied 
regardless of the wishes and interests of foreign Powers covet- 
ously seeking to exploit regions and peoples exposed to the 
danger of foreign domination on account of their unpro- 
tected character. The Arab Congresses have unequivocally 
declared that they want neither protectorates nor mandates 
nor any other form of political or economic control ; and the 
delegation, while reiterating their view that an amicable 
adjustment of Arab and Turkish claims by the Muslims them- 
selves in accordance with Islamic law is perfectly feasible, 
must support the Arab demand for complete freedom from 
the control of mandatories appointed by the Allies. 

" With regard to the Hejaz, Article 98, which requires 
Turkey not only to recognise it as a free and independent 
State, but to renounce all rights and titles there, and 
Article 99, which makes no mention of the rights and preroga- 
tives of the Khalifa as Servant of the Holy Places, are, and 
must ever be, equally unacceptable to the Muslim world." 

On the other hand, as the Jewish question and the 
Eastern question are closely connected and have 
assumed still more importance owing to the Zionist 


movement, the treaty forced on Turkey concerns 
the Jews in the highest degree. 

It must be borne in mind that if Sephardic Judaism 
has been gradually smothered by Turkish sovereignty, 
the Ottoman Empire has proved most hospitable to 
the Jews driven away by Christian fanaticism, and 
that for five centuries the Jews have enjoyed both 
tolerance and security, and have even prospered 
in it. So the Jews naturally feel anxious, like 
the Moslems in the provinces wrested from the old 
Ottoman Empire, when, following the precedent of 
Salonika, they see Greece annex the region of 
Adrianople and Smyrna; and they have a right to 
ask whether Greece, carried away by a wild im- 
perialism, will not yield to her nationalist feeling and 
revive the fanaticism of religious struggles. So the 
Allies, foreseeing this eventuality, have asked Greece 
to take no action to make the Jews regret the past; 
but as the Greek anti-Semitic f eeling is rather economic 
than religious in character, it is to be feared that 
the competition of the two races in the commercial 
struggle will keep up that feeling. The annexation 
of Thrace would probably concern 20,000 Jews 
13,000 at Adrianople, 2,000 at Rodosto, 2,800 at 
Gallipoli, 1,000 at Kirk Kilisse, 1,000 at Demotica, 
etc. Great Britain having received a mandate for 
Palestine that is to say, virtually a protectorate 
on the condition of establishing " a national home 
for the Jews " whatever the various opinions of the 
Jews with regard to Zionism may be a question is 
now opened and an experiment is to be tried which 
concerns them deeply, as it is closely connected with 


In the course of the reception by Mr. Lloyd George 
of the Indian Caliphate delegation, M. Mohammed 
Ali told the British Prime Minister in regard to 
the Jewish claims in Palestine: 

" The delegation have no desire to cause an injustice to 
the Jewish community, and I think Islam can look back with 
justifiable pride on its treatment of this community in the 
past. No aspiration of the Jewish community which is 
reasonable can be incompatible with Muslim control of the 
Holy Land, and it is hoped that the Ottoman Government 
will easily accommodate the Jewish community in such 
aspirations of theirs as are reasonable. 

" Some responsible propagandists of the Zionist movement, 
with whom I have had conversations, frankly admit: ' We do 
not want political sovereignty there; we want a home; the 
details can be arranged and discussed.' I askerf them: ' Do 
you mean that Great Britain herself should be the sovereign 
Power there, or should be the mandatory ?' and they said: 
' No, what we want is an ordinary, humanly speaking reason- 
able guarantee that opportunities of autonomous develop- 
ment would be allowed to us.' We, ourselves, who have been 
living in India, are great believers in a sort of Federation of 
Faiths. I think the Indian nationality, which is being built up 
to-day, will probably be one of the first examples in the world 
of a Federation of Faiths, and we cannot rule out the possi- 
bility of development in Palestine on the lines of ' cultural 
autonomy.' The Jews are, after all, a very small minority 
there, and I do not believe for one moment that Jews could 
be attracted there in such large numbers as the Zionist en- 
thusiasts sometimes think. I would say the same thing of an 
Armenian State, without desiring to say one word which 
would be considered offensive to any class of people. Because 
we, ourselves, have suffered so many humiliations, we do not 
like ourselves to say anything about other people that they 
would resent. If the Allied Powers brought all the Armenians 
together and placed them all in a contiguous position, ex- 
cluding the present Kurdish community from them, no 
matter what large slice of land you gave them, I think they 
would very much like to go back to the old status. . . . 

" In the same way I would say of the Jewish community, 
that they are people who prosper very much in other lands, 
and although they have a great hankering after their home, 
and no community is sp much bound up with a particular 
territory as the Jewish community is, still, I must say that 


we do not fear there will be any great migration of such a 
character that it will form a majority over the Muslim popu- 
lation. The Jewish community has said: ' We have no 
objection to Turkish sovereignty remaining in that part of 
the world so long as we are allowed to remain and prosper 
there and develop on our own lines, and have cultural 
autonomy.' " 

M. Mohammed Ali, in his letter to Mr. Lloyd 
George, dated July 10, 1920, also observed that 

"With regard to Palestine in particular, the delegation 
desire to state that Article 99, embodying the declaration of 
the British Government of November 2, 1917, is extremely 
vague, and it is not clear in what relation the so-called 
national home for the Jewish people, which is proposed to 
be established in Palestine, would stand to the State pro- 
posed to be established there. The Mussulmans of the world 
are not ashamed of their dealings with their Jewish neighbours, 
and can challenge a comparison with others in this respect; 
and the delegation, in the course of the interview with you, 
endeavoured to make it clear that there was every likelihood 
of all reasonable claims of Jews in search of a home being 
accepted by the Muslim Government of Palestine. But if the 
very small Jewish minority in Palestine is intended to exercise 
over the Muslim, who constitute four-fifths of the population, 
a dominance now, or in the future, when its numbers have 
swelled after immigration, then the delegation must cate- 
gorically and emphatically oppose any such designs." 

The telegram in which Tewfik Pasha informed 
Damad Fend of the conditions of the treaty, and 
which the latter communicated to the Press, was 
printed by the Peyam Sabah, surrounded with 
black mourning lines. Ali Kemal, though he was a 
supporter of the Government and could not be 
accused of anglophobia, concluded his article as 
follows : 

" Better die than live blind, deaf, and lame. We have not 
given up all hope that the statesmen, who hold the fate of 


the world in their hands and who have officially proclaimed 
their determination to act equitably, will not allow this 
country, which has undergone the direst misfortunes for years 
and has lost its most sacred rights, to suffer a still more 
heinous injustice." 

All the Constantinople newspapers, dealing at full 
length with the conditions, unanimously declared that 
the treaty was unacceptable. The Alemdar, another 
pro-English newspaper, eaid: 

" If the treaty is not altered it will be difficult to find a 
man willing to sign it.** 

Another newspaper, the Ileri, wrote: 

" The anguish which depressed our hearts while we were 
anxiously waiting seems a very light one compared to the 
pang we felt when we read the treaty." 

The aforesaid Peyam Sabah, after a survey of the 
conditions, came to this conclusion : 

" Three lines of conduct are open to the Turkish people: 

" To beg for mercy and make the Powers realise that the loss 
of Smyrna will be a great blow to Turkey and will bring no 
advantage to Greece, and that the Chatalja frontier will be 
a cause of endless hostility between the various races. 

" To sign the treaty and expect that the future will improve 
the condition of Turkey; but who in Turkey could sign such 
a treaty ? 

" To oppose passive resistance to the execution of the 
conditions of peace, since all hope of armed resistance must 
be given up." 

Public opinion unanimously protested against the 
provisions of the treaty, but fluctuated and hesitated 
as to what concessions could be made. 

Dajnad Ferid, receiving a number of deputies who 
had stayed at Constantinople and wanted to go back 
to the provinces, told them that he saw no objection 
to their going away, and that orders to that effect 



had been given to the police. Then he is said to 
have declared that they might tell their manda- 
tories that he would never sign a treaty assigning 
Smyrna and Thrace to Greece and restricting 
Turkish sovereignty to Constantinople, and that on 
this point there was no difference of opinion between 
him and the Nationalists. He also informed them 
that in due time he would hold fresh elections, and 
the treaty would be submitted for approval to the 
new Chamber. 

The Grand Vizier, who had asked Tewfik Pasha 
to let him see the note which was being prepared by 
the Turkish delegation at Versailles, was, on his side, 
elaborating the draft of another answer which was 
to be compared with that of the delegation, before 
the wording of the Turkish answer to the Peace 
Conference was definitely settled. 

But the occupation of Lampsaki, opposite to Galli- 
poli, by the Turkish Nationalists, together with the 
Bolshevist advance in Northern Persia and Asia 
Minor, made things worse, and soon became a 
matter of anxiety to England. 

After the text of the Peace Treaty had been 
presented to the Turks, and when the latter had 
the certainty that their frars were but too well 
grounded, it appeared clear that the decisions taken 
by the Allies would be certain to bring about a 
coalition of the various parties, and that all Turks, 
without any distinction of opinion, would combine to 
organise a resistance against any operation aiming 
at taking from them Eastern Thrace where the 
Bulgarian population was also averse to the expulsion 
of the Turkish authorities at assigning Smyrna and 


the Islands to Greece, and at dismembering the 
Turkish Empire. 

Colonel Jafer Tayar, who commanded the Adria- 
nople army corps and had openly declared against 
the Sultan's Government since the latter was at war 
with the Nationalists, had come to Constantinople at 
the beginning of May. and it was easy to guess for 
what purpose. Of course, it had been rumoured, 
after he left Constantinople, that the Government 
was going to appoint a successor to him, but nothing of 
the kind had been done, and he still kept his com- 
mand. When he came back to Adrianople, not only 
had no conflict broken out between him and the 
troops under his command, but he had been given 
an enthusiastic greeting. As soon as it was known 
that the San Remo Conference had decided to give 
Thrace to Greece, up to the Chatalja lines, resist- 
ance against Greek occupation was quickly organised. 
Jafer Tayar, an Albanian by birth he was born at 
Prishtina became the leader of the movement. He 
hurriedly gathered some contingents made up of 
regular soldiers and volunteers, and put in a state 
of defence, as best he could, the ports of the western 
coast of the Marmora. Jafer Tayar wondered why 
Thrace was not granted the right of self-determination 
like Upper Silesia or Schleswig, or autonomy under 
the protection of France, whose administration in 
Western Thrace had proved equitable and had given 
satisfaction to that province. In face of this denial of 
justice, he had resolved to fight for the independence 
of Thrace. 

It was soon known that the Moslem population 
of Adrianople had held a meeting at the beginning 


of May, in which, after a speech by Jafer Tayar, all 
the people present had pledged themselves to fight 
for the liberty of Thrace. A similar demonstration 
took place at Guinuljina. A congress including 
above two hundred representatives of the whole of 
Western Thrace had been held about the same time 
at Adrianople. 

In Bulgaria a movement of protest was also 
started, and on Sunday, May 9, numerous patriotic 
demonstrations were held in all the provincial towns. 

On May 16 the inhabitants of Philippopolis and 
refugees from Thrace, Macedonia, and the Dobruja 
living at that time in the town, held a meeting of 
several thousand people, and without any distinction 
of religion, nationality, or political party carried the 
following motion against the decision taken by the 
San Remo Conference to cede Thrace to Greece: 

" They enter an energetic protest against the resolution 
to cede Thrace to Greece, for that would be a flagrant injustice 
and an act of cruelty both to a people of the same blood as 
we, and to the Bulgarian State itself; they declare that the 
Bulgarian people cannot, of their own free will, accept such a 
decision of the San Remo Conference, which would be a cause 
of everlasting discord in the Balkans whereas the victorious 
Powers of the Entente have always professed to fight in 
order to restore peace to those regions; and they entreat the 
Governments, which have come to this decision, to cancel it 
and to raise Thrace to the rank of an autonomous, inde- 
pendent State under the protection of all the Powers of the 
Entente, or of one of them." 

On May 25 that is to say, two days before the 
Greek occupation a few " Young Turk " and Bul- 
garian elements proclaimed the autonomy of Western 
Thrace, and formed a provisional Government to 
oppose the occupation. At the head of this Govern- 
ment were Tewfik Bey, a Young Turk, Vachel 


Georgieff, and Dochkoff, Bulgarian komitadjis. But 
the latter were expelled by General Charpy before 
the Greek troops and authorities arrived, and the 
Greek Press did its best to misrepresent that protest 
against Greek domination. They set off to Adria- 
nople, taking with them the treasury and seals of 
the Moslem community, and were greeted by Jafer 

On the other hand, the resistance of the Turkish 
Nationalists was becoming organised, and as soon as 
the conditions of peace were known new recruits 
joined Mustafa Kemal's forces. 

The- Nationalist elements, owing to the attitude of 
the Allies towards Turkey, were now almost thrown 
into the arms of the Russian Bolshevists, who carried 
on an energetic propaganda in Asia Minor and offered 
to help them to save their independence, though 
they did so to serve their own interests. 

Damad Ferid, Mustafa Kemal's personal enemy, 
who stood halfway between the Allied Powers and 
the Nationalists, believed that if he did not displease 
the Allies, he could pull his country out of its 

Before the draft of the treaty was handed to the 
Turks, the Ottoman Government had already begun 
to raise troops to fight the Nationalists. They 
were to be placed under command of Marshal Zeki, 
who had formerly served under Abdul Hamid. It 
was soon known that this military organisation had 
been entrusted by the Turkish War Minister to the 
care of British officers at whose instigation the first 
contingents had been sent to Ismid, which was to be 
the Turkish base. - 


It was soon announced that Damad Ferid Pasha's 
troops, who had remained loyal and were commanded 
by Ahmed Anzavour Pasha and Suleyman Shefik 
Pasha, had had some hard fighting with the rebels in 
the Doghandkeui and Geredi area, east of Adabazar, 
which they had occupied, and that the Nationalists, 
whose casualties had been heavy, had evacuated 
Bolu. The information was soon contradicted, and 
at the beginning of the last week of April it became 
known that Anzavour and his troops had just 
been utterly defeated near Panderma, and that this 
port on the Marmora had fallen into the Nation- 
alists' hands. Ahmed Anzavour had had to leave 
Panderma for Constantinople on board a Turkish 
gunboat, and Mustafa Kemal now ruled over all 
the region round Brusa, Panderma, and Balikesri. 
Moreover, in the Constantinople area, a great many 
officers and soldiers were going over to the Nationalists 
in Anatolia. 

It should be kept in mind that Ahmed Anzavour, 
though he was of Circassian descent, was unknown 
in his own country. He had been made pasha to 
command the Government forces against the 
Nationalists with the help of the Circassians, who 
are numerous in the Adabazar region, and to co- 
operate with the British against his fellow-countrymen, 
who merely wished to be independent. 

Suleyman Shefik Pasha resigned, and some de- 
fections took place among the troops under his 

About the same time, the emergency military court 
had sentenced to death by default Mustafa Kemal, 
Colonel Kara Vassif Bey, Ali Fuad Pasha, who 


commanded the 20th army corps, Ahmed Rustem 
Bey, ex-ambassador at Washington, Bekir Sami 
Bey, Dr. Adnan Bey, ex-head of the sanitary service, 
and his wife, Halide Edib Hanoum, all impeached for 
high treason as leaders of the Nationalist movement. 

Yet, despite all the measures taken by Damad 
Ferid and the moral and even material support given 
to him by the Allies, what could be the outcome of 
a military action against the Nationalists ? How 
could the Ottoman Government compel the Turks 
to go and fight against their Anatolian brethren in 
order to force on them a treaty of peace that it 
seemed unwilling to accept itself, and that sanctioned 
the ruin of Turkey ? 

In some Turkish circles it was wondered whether a 
slightly Nationalist Cabinet co-operating with the 
Chamber would not have stood a better chance to 
come to an understanding with Anatolia and induce 
her to admit the acceptable parts of the treaty; 
for should Damad Ferid, who was not in a good 
position to negotiate with the Nationalists, fail, what 
would be the situation of the Government which 
remained in office merely because the Allies occupied 
Constantinople ? 

Of course, the Foreign Office proclaimed that 
foreign troops would be maintained in every zone, 
and that the treaty would be carried out at any cost. 
Yet the real Ottoman Government was no longer at 
Constantinople, where Damad Ferid, whose authority 
did not extend beyond the Ismid-Black Sea line, was 
cut off from the rest of the Empire; it was at Sivas. 
As no Government force or Allied army was strong 
enough to bring the Nationalist party to terms, it 


was only in Anatolia that the latter Government 
could be crushed by those who, with Great Britain, 
had conspired to suppress 12 million Turks and 
were ready to sacrifice enough soldiers to reach 
this end. 

On the other hand, it soon became known that at 
Angora the question of the Caliph-Sultan had been 
set aside, and even the Sultan's name was now being 
mentioned again in the namaz, or public prayer 
offered every Friday that is to say, all the parties 
had practically arrived at an understanding. 

Besides, as most likely Greece would have to face 
difficulties, if not at once, at least in a comparatively 
short time, inspired information, probably of Greek 
origin, already intimated that the Supreme Council 
would decide whether France, England, and Italy 
would have to support Greece though one did not 
see why France and Italy should defray the expenses 
of that new adventure by which England first, and 
Greece afterwards, would benefit exclusively. 

On Saturday, May 22, the very day on which a 
Crown Council met under the Sultan's presidency to 
examine the terms of the treaty, over 3,000 people 
held a meeting of protest at Stambul, in Sultan 
Ahmed Square. Some journalists, who were well 
known for their pro-English feelings such as Ali 
Kemal, an ex-Minister, editor of the Sabah; Refi 
Jevad, editor of the Alemdar; Mustafa Sabri, a 
former Sheik-ul-Islam and some politicians de- 
livered speeches. The platform was draped with 
black hangings; the Turkish flags and school banners 
were adorned with crepe. After the various speakers 
had explained the clauses of the treaty and showed 


they were not acceptable, the following motions were 
passed : 

" First, in contradiction to the principle of nationali- 
ties, the treaty cuts off from the Empire Thrace, Adrianople, 
Smyrna, and its area. In case the Allied Powers should 
maintain their decisions which seems most unlikely we 
want these regions to be given local autonomy. 

" Secondly, now the Arabian territories have been cut off 
from the Ottoman Empire, the Turks, in accordance with the 
principle of nationalities, should be freed from all .fetters 
and bonds hindering their economic development on the path 
to progress and peace. To maintain the Capitulations and 
extend them to other nations is tantamount to declaring the 
Turks are doomed to misery and slavery for ever. 

" Thirdly, the Turks, relying on the fair and equitable 
feelings. of the Allied Powers, require to be treated on the 
same footing as the other vanquished nations. 

" Fourthly, the Turkish people, feeling sure that the peace 
conditions are tantamount to suppressing Turkey as a nation, 
ask that the treaty should be modified so as to be made 
more consistent with right and justice. 

" Fifthly, the aforesaid resolutions shall be submitted to 
the Allied High Commissioners and forwarded to the Peace 

These resolutions were handed after the meeting 
to M. Defrance, the senior Allied High Commis- 
sioner, who was to forward them to the Peace 

As the difficulties increased, and more important and 
quicker communications with the Ottoman delegation 
in Paris were becoming necessary, the Cabinet thought 
of sending the Grand Vizier to Paris. Upon the latter's 
advice, and probably at the instigation of the English, 
several members of the dissolved Chamber set off 
to Anatolia in order to try and bring about an under- 
standing between Damad Ferid and the Nationalists, 
for the conditions of the treaty, as was to be expected, 
had now nearly healed the rupture between the 


Central Government and the Turkish Nationalists, 
especially as the Anglo-Turkish Army was unable 
to carry out the treaty and Damad Ferid and his 
supporters were neither willing nor able to enforce it. 
Even the English had sent delegates to Mustafa 
Kemal, who had refused to receive them. 

The Grand Vizier, after reviewing the troops at 
Ismid, found they were not strong enough, and 
requested the headquarters merely to stand on the 
defensive. Indeed, after a slight success in the Gulf 
of Ismid, the Government forces found themselves 
in a critical condition, for the Anatolian troops had 
occupied Kum Kale, close to the Dardanelles, and 
Mustafa Kemal had concentrated forces in that 

The Chamber, which had been dissolved at Con- 
stantinople, resumed its sittings at Angora. It 
criticised the Allies' policy with regard to Turkey, 
especially the policy of England, at whose instigation 
Constantinople had been occupied and military 
measures had been taken on the coasts of the Black 

In the speech he delivered at the first sitting of the 
Chamber, Mustafa Kemal showed that the English 
occupation of Constantinople had been a severe 
blow at the prestige of the Caliph and Sultan. 
" We must do our best," he said, " to free the Sultan 
and his capital. If we do not obey his orders just 
now, it is because we look upon them as null and 
void, as he is not really free." 

The same state of mind showed itself in a telegram 
of congratulation addressed to the Sultan on his 
birthday by the provisional vali of Angora, who, 


though he did not acknowledge the power of the 
Central Government, stated that the population of 
Angora were deeply concerned at the condition to 
which the seat of the Caliphate and Sultanry was 
reduced owing to the occupation of Constantinople. 
This telegram ran thus: 

" The people have made up their minds not to shrink from 
any sacrifice to make the Empire free and independent. They 
feel certain that their beloved Sovereign is with them at heart 
and that their chief strength lies in a close union round the 

Similar dispatches were sent from the most active 
Nationalist centres, such as Erzerum and Amasia, 
and by Kiazim Karabekir Pasha, commanding the 
15th army corps at Erzerum. 

It was plain that, through these demonstrations, 
Mustafa Kemal and the Anatolian Nationalists aimed 
at nullifying the religious pretexts Damad Ferid 
availed himself of to carry on the struggle against 
them. Mustafa Kemal had even ordered all the 
ulemas in Anatolia to preach a series of sermons with 
a view to strengthening the religious feeling among 
the masses. He had also the same political purpose 
in view when he sent a circular to the departments 
concerned to enjoin them to remind all Mussulmans 
of the duty of keeping the Ramadhan strictly and 
of the penalties they incurred if they publicly trans- 
gressed the Moslem fast. 

Besides, the Nationalists strove to turn to account 
the movement that had taken place among all classes 
after the terms of the treaty had been made known, 
and their activity continued to increase. Sali Pasha, 
who was Grand Vizier before Damad Ferid, had 


escaped to Anatolia in order to put himself at the 
disposal of the Nationalists. So their opposition 
to the Central Government was asserting itself 
more and more strenuously, and the struggle that 
ensued assumed many forms. 

An armistice, which came into force on May 30, 
and was to last twenty days, was concluded at 
Angora by M. Kobert de Caix, secretary of the High 
Commissionership in Syria, between the French 
authorities and the Turkish Nationalists. Though 
the terms of this agreement were not made public, 
it was known that they dealt chiefly with Cilicia and 
allowed France to use the railway as far as Aleppo. 
Meanwhile, conversations were being held on the 
Cilician front, and finally at Angora, to extend the 

Indeed, it was difficult to understand why, after 
the Italians had evacuated Konia, the French troops 
had not been withdrawn before the treaty had been 
handed to Turkey, for it gave France no right to 
remain in Cilicia ; and now the situation of the French 
there was rather difficult, and their retreat had, of 
course, become dangerous. It seemed quite plain 
that the evacuation of Cilicia had become necessary, 
and that henceforth only the coastlands of Syria 
properly so called would be occupied. 

So the French policy at this juncture had lacked 
coherency, for it seemed difficult to go on with the 
war and carry on peace negotiations at the same time. 

This armistice was denounced on June 17 by 
Mustafa Kemal, who demanded the evacuation of 
Adana, the withdrawal of the French detachments 
from Heraclea and Zounguldak, and the surrender 


of the mines to the Nationalists who lacked coal and 
wanted Constantinople not to have any. Besides, 
some incidents had occurred in the course of the 
armistice: some French soldiers who were being 
drilled near Adana had been fired at, the railway 
track had been cut east of Toprak Kale, and telegra- 
phic communications interrupted repeatedly between 
Adana and Mersina. 

An encounter occurred on June 11 between the 
Nationalists and a company which had been detached 
at the beginning of the month from a battalion of a 
rifle corps that guarded the port and mining works 
of Zounguldak. On June 18, after an inquiry, the 
French commander withdrew from the spot which 
had been occupied near Heraclea and the company 
of riflemen was brought back to Zounguldak. 

It was obvious that the staff of Cilicia did not seem 
to have approved of the armistice which had been con- 
cluded by the French authorities in order not to have 
anything to fear in this region, and to send all their 
forces against the Arabs; and so the head of the 
Turkish staff, Ismet Bey, naturally did not wish to 
renew it. 

As we had entered into a parley with Mustafa 
Kemal openly and officially and signed an armistice 
with him, it seemed likely we meant to pursue a 
policy that might bring about a local and provisional 
agreement with the Nationalists, and perhaps a 
definite agreement later on. If such an armistice 
was not concluded, a rupture was to be feared on 
either side later on, in which case the condition of 
things would remain as intricate as before, or military 
operations would be resumed in worse conditions 


than before for both parties. In short, after treating 
with Mustafa Kemal it was difficult to ignore him 
in the general settlement that was to ensue. 

But no broad view had ever dominated the Allies' 
policy since they had signed the armistice with 
Turkey in October, 1918. Eastern affairs had never 
been carefully sifted or clearly understood; so the 
Allies' action had been badly started. Conflicting 
ambitions had led them in a confused way. The 
policy of England especially, which had proved harsh 
and grasping, and also highly dangerous, was at the 
bottom of the difficulties the Allies had experienced 
in the East. So France, where public opinion and 
popular feeling were opposed to any Eastern adven- 
ture or any action against Turkey, could not be called 
upon to maintain troops in the East or to fight there 
alone for the benefit of others. The operations that 
were being contemplated in the East would have 
necessarily required an important army, and ii 
adequate credits had been asked for them, a loud 
protest would have been raised though later on the 
French Chamber granted large sums of money for 
Syria, after a superficial debate, not fully realising 
what would be the consequence of the vote. 

M. d'Estournelles de Constant, a member of the 
Senate, wrote to the French Prime Minister on 
May 25 that, " after asking the Government most 
guardedly for months in the Foreign Affairs Com- 
mittee and the day before in the Senate to give 
information about the mysterious military opera- 
tions that had been carried on for a year and a half 
in Asia Minor and towards Mesopotamia," he found 
it necessary to start a debate in the Senate upon the 


following question : " What are our armies doing in 
Cilicia?" 1 

Meanwhile the Supreme Council urged the Turkish 
delegation to sign the treaty that had been submitted 
for its approval, and the Allies were going to negotiate 
with the representatives of a Government which, on 
the whole, was no longer acknowledged by the 
country. Of what value might be the signature 
wrested by the Allies from these representatives, and 
how could the stipulations of that treaty be carried 
out by the Turks ? Most of its clauses raised internal 
difficulties in Turkey, and such a confusion ensued 
that the members of the delegation did not seem to 
agree any longer with the members of the Ottoman 
Cabinet, and at a certain time even the latter seemed 
unable to accept the treaty, in spite of the pressure 
brought to bear on the Ottoman Government by the 
English troops of occupation. 

Mustafa Kemal's Nationalist forces conquered not 
only the whole of Asia Minor, but also all the 
Asiatic coast and the islands of the Marmora, except 
Ismid, which was still held by British posts. The 
Turkish Nationalists soon after captured Marmora 
Island, which commanded the sea route between 
Gallipoli and Constantinople. 

On June 16 the British forces engaged the Kemalist 
troops in the Ismid area. About thirty Indian 
soldiers were wounded and an officer of the Intel- 
ligence Department was taken prisoner by the Turks. 
The civilians evacuated Ismid, and it was hinted that 
the garrison would do the same. Mustafa Kemal's 

Journal des 'Debats, May 26, 1920. 


aeroplanes dropped bombs on the town, and the 
railway line between Ismid and Hereke was cut 
by the Nationalists. The British forces on the 
southern coast of the Dardanelles withdrew towards 
Shanak, whose fortifications were being hurriedly 

Mustafa Kemal's plan seemed to be to dispose his 
forces so as not to be outflanked, and be able to 
threaten Smyrna later on. To this end, the Nation- 
alist forces advanced along the English sector towards 
the heights of Shamlija, on the Asiatic coast of the 
Bosporus, from which point they could bombard 

After a long interview with the Sultan, which 
lasted two hours, on June 11, the Grand Vizier 
Damad Ferid Pasha, owing to the difficulty of com- 
municating between Paris and Constantinople, and the 
necessity of co-ordinating the draft of the answer 
worked out by the Ottoman Government and the 
reports drawn up by the various commissions with 
the answer recommended by the delegation, set off 
to Paris the next day. So it seemed likely that 
Turkey would ask for further time before giving 
her answer. 

It could already be foreseen that in her answer 
Turkey would protest against the clauses of the 
treaty concerning Thrace and Smyrna, against the 
blow struck at the sovereignty of the Sultan by the 
internationalisation of the Bosporus and the Dar- 
danelles, as thus the Sultan could no longer leave his 
capital and go freely to Asia Minor, and, lastly, against 
the clauses restoring the privileges of the Capitula- 
tions to the States that enjoyed them before the war. 


Turkey also intended to ask that the Sultan should 
keep his religious rights as Caliph over the Mussul- 
mans detached from the Empire, and that a clause 
should be embodied in the treaty maintaining the 
guarantee in regard to the interior loan raised during 
the war, for otherwise a great many subscribers 
would be ruined and the organisation of the property 
of the orphans would be jeopardised. 

At the beginning of the second week of June it 
was rumoured that the treaty might be substantially 
amended in favour of Turkey. 1 Perhaps Great 
Britain, seeing how things stood in the East, and 
that her policy in Asia Minor raised serious diffi- 
culties, felt it necessary to alter her attitude with 
regard to Turkish Nationalism which, supported by 
the Bolshevists, was getting more and more 
dangerous in Persia. For Mr. Lloyd George, who 
has always allowed himself to be led by the trend of 
events, and whose policy had lately been strongly 
influenced by the Bolshevists, had now altered his 
mind, as he often does, and seemed now inclined, 
owing to the failure of his advances to the Soviet 
Government, to modify his attitude towards Con- 
stantinople after having exasperated Turkish 
Nationalism. The debate that was to take place 
on June 15 in the House of Lords as to what charges 
and responsibilities England had assumed in Mesopo- 
tamia, was postponed which meant much; and the 
difficulties just met with by the British in the Upper 
Valley of the Tigris and the Euphrates in their 
struggle with the Arabs convinced them of the 

1 Daily Telegraph, June 12, 1920. 



advisability of a revision of the British policy towards 
both the Arabs and the Turks. 

On the other hand, it did not seem unlikely that 
M. Venizelos, who was being expected in London, 
might have seen the mistake the Supreme Council 
had made when it had granted the Greek claims so 
fully, and that the apprehension he was entitled to 
feel about the reality of the huge advantages obtained 
by Greece might have a salutary influence on him. 
Yet nothing of the kind happened, and in a long 
letter to the Daily Telegraph (June 18) he asserted 
not only the rights of Greece to Smyrna, but his 
determination to have them respected and to prevent 
the revision of the treaty. 

M. Venizelos, " the great victor of the war in the 
East," as he was called in London, even supported 
his claims by drawing public attention to the intrigues 
carried on by Constantino's supporters to restore 
him to the throne. He maintained that the revision 
of the treaty would second the efforts which were 
then being made in Athens by the old party of the 
Crown, which, he said, was bound to triumph if 
Greece was deprived of the fruits of her victory and 
if the Allies did not redeem their pledges towards her. 
But then it became obvious that the Greeks did not 
despise Constantino so much after all, and their 
present attitude could not in any way be looked upon 
as disinterested. 

It might have been expected, on the other hand, 
that Count Sforza, who had been High Commissioner 
in Constantinople, where he had won warm sym- 
pathies, would maintain the friendly policy pursued 
by Italy since the armistice towards Turkey that is 


to say, he would urge that the time had come to 
revise the treaty of peace with Turkey which, since 
it had been drawn up at San Remo, had constantly 
been opposed by the Italian Press. All the parties 
shared this view, even the clerical party, and one 
of its members in the Chamber, M. Vassalo, who had 
just come back from Turkey, energetically maintained 
it was impossible to suppress the Ottoman Empire 
without setting on fire the whole of Asia. The 
Congress of the Popular Party in Naples held the 
same opinion. Recent events also induced Italy to 
preserve the cautious attitude she had assumed in 
Eastern affairs since the armistice, and she naturally 
aimed at counterbalancing the supremacy that 
England, if she once ruled over Constantinople and 
controlled Greater Greece, would enjoy over not only 
the western part, but the whole, of the Mediter- 
ranean Sea. 

Henceforth it was obvious that the chief stipula- 
tions of the treaty that was to be enforced on 
Turkey were doomed to failure, and it was asked 
with no little anxiety whether the Powers would be 
wise enough to take facts into account and reconsider 
their decisions accordingly, or maintain them and 
thus pave the way to numerous conflicts and fresh 
difficulties. Indeed, the outcome of the arrangements 
they had laboriously elaborated was that things in 
the East had become more intricate and critical than 
before. No State wished to assume the task of 
organising the Armenian State: the American Senate 
flatly refused; Mr. Bonar Law formally declared in 
the House of Commons that England had already 
too many responsibilities ; France did not see why she 


should take charge of it; Italy accepted no mandate 
in Asia Minor. Syria, on the other hand, protested 
against its dismemberment. Mesopotamia was rising 
against the English at the very time when the 
Ottoman Nationalists entered an indignant protest 
against the cession of Smyrna and Thrace to Greece. 

It was to be wished, therefore, from every point of 
view that not only some articles of the treaty presented 
to the Turks, but the whole document, should be 
remodelled, and more regard should be paid to the 
lawful rights of the Ottoman Empire, a change which 
could only serve French interests. 

But though reason and her interest urged France 
to maintain the Ottoman Empire which she at- 
tempted to do to some extent she allowed herself 
to be driven in a contrary direction by England, who 
thought she could take advantage of the perturbation 
caused by the war within the Turkish Empire to 
dismember it not realising that this undertaking 
went against her own Asiatic interests, which were 
already seriously endangered. Such a submission to 
the English policy was all the more to be regretted 
as Mr. Lloyd George had but grudgingly supported 
the French policy with regard to Germany, and after 
the San Remo conversations it seemed that France 
would have to consent to heavy sacrifices in the East 
in return for the semi-approbation he had finally 
granted her. This policy of England well might 
surprise the French who have always reverenced 
the British parliamentary system; for the so-styled 
imperialist policy of Queen Victoria or King Edward, 
though it has been violently criticised, had really 
kept up the old traditions of British Liberalism, and 


had nothing in common with the greed and cool 
selfishness of such demagogues and would-be ad- 
vanced minds as Mr. Lloyd George, who stands forth 
before the masses as the enemy of every imperialism 
and the champion of the freedom of peoples. But 
the former leaders of English foreign policy were not 
constantly influenced by their own political interests ; 
they knew something of men and countries; and 
they had long been thoroughly acquainted with the 
ways of diplomacy. Botb in England and France, 
everyone should now acknowledge their fair-minded- 
ness, and pay homage alike to their wisdom and 

Many people in France now wondered with some 
reason what the 80,000 French soldiers round Beyrut 
were doing whether it was to carry out the expedi- 
tion that had long been contemplated against 
Damascus, or to launch into an adventure in Cilicia. 

M. d'Estournelles de Constant, who had first 
wished to start a debate in the French Chamber on 
the military operations in Syria and Cilicia, addressed 
the following letter, after the information given by 
M. Millerand before the Commission of Foreign 
Affairs, to M. de Selves, chairman of this Commission: 

" I feel bound to let the Commission know for what reasons 
I have determined not to give up, but merely postpone the 
debate I wanted to start in the Chamber concerning our mili- 
tary operations in Syria and Cilicia. 

" The Premier has given as much consideration as he 
could to the anxieties we had expressed before him. He 
has inherited a situation he is not responsible for, and 
seems to do his best to prevent France from falling into the 
dreadful chasm we had pointed out to him. We must help 
him in his most intricate endeavours, for France is not the 
only nation that has to grapple with the perilous Eastern 
problem. She must work hand in hand with her allies to avert 


this peril. The whole world is threatened by it. Our Allies 
should understand that the interest of France is closely con- 
nected with their interests. France guards the Rhine; she 
is practically responsible for the execution of the treaty with 

" How can she perform such a task, together with the 
administration of Alsace and Lorraine and the restoration 
of her provinces laid waste by the Germans, if she is to scatter 
her effort and her reduced resources both in Europe and all 
her large colonial empire and in Asia Minor among peoples 
who have long welcomed her friendship, but abhor any 
domination ? 

" France would do the world an immense service by openly 
reverting to the war aims proclaimed by herself and her allies. 
Far from endangering, she would thus strengthen her tra- 
ditional influence in the East; she would thus do more than 
by risky military operations to smother the ambitions and 
rebellions that might set on fire again the Balkan States, 
Anatolia, and even Mesopotamia. 

" After five years of sacrifices that have brought us victory, 
to start on a would-be crusade against the Arabs and Turks 
in a remote country, in the middle of summer, would 
imply for France as well as for England, Italy, Greece, and 
Serbia, the beginning of a new war that might last for ever, 
to the benefit of anarchy. 

" At any rate I ask that the intended treaty of peace with 
Turkey, which has not been signed yet, should not be pre- 
sented to the French Parliament as an irremediable fact." 

After a long debate on Eastern affairs and on the 
questions raised by M. Millerand's communications, 
the Commission for Foreign Affairs, seeing things were 
taking a bad turn, and the situation of France in 
Syria, Cilicia, and Constantinople was getting alarm- 
ing, decided on June 15 to send a delegation to the 
East to make an inquiry on the spot. 

At the first sitting of the French Chamber on 
June 25, 1920, M. Briand, who three months before 
had made a speech in favour of the 1916 agreements 
which were being threatened by English ambition, 
though he considered the Turkish bands " went too 


far," and our policy " played too much into their 
hands," felt it incumbent on him to say : 

" When we leave a nation like Turkey, after a long war, 
for over a year, under what might be called a Scotch douche, 
telling her now ' Thou shalt live,' now ' Thou shalt not live,' 
we strain its nerves to the extreme, we create within it a 
patriotic excitement, a patriotic exasperation, which now 
becomes manifest in the shape of armed bands. We call 
them bands of robbers; in our own country we should call 
them ' bands of patriots.' " 

In the course of the general discussion of the Budget, 
during a debate which took place on July 28 in the 
Senate, an amendment was brought in by M. Victor 
Berard and some of his colleagues calling for a 
reduction of 30 million francs on the sums asked for 
by the Government, which already amounted, as a 
beginning, to 185 million francs. 

M. d'Estournelles de Constant then expressed his 
fear that this Eastern expedition might cause France 
to make sacrifices out of proportion to her resources 
in men and money, and asked how the Government 
expected to recuperate the expenditure incurred in 

M. Victor Berard, in his turn, sharply criticised 
our Eastern policy. 

M. Bompard, too, expressed his fears concerning 
our Syrian policy, and M. Doumergue asked the 
Government to consent to a reduction of the credits 
" to show it intended to act cautiously in Syria." 

But after M. Millerand's energetic answer, and 
after M. Doumer, chairman of the Commission, had 
called upon the Senate to accept the figures proposed 
by the Government and the Commission, these 
figures were adopted by 205 votes against 84. 


M. Komanos, interviewed by the Matin, 1 and soon 
after M. Venizelos, at the Lympne Conference, main- 
tained that the treaty could be fully carried out, and 
the Greeks felt quite able to enforce it themselves. 

As the Allied troops were not sufficient to take 
decisive action, and as a large part of the Ottoman 
Empire had been assigned to Greece, England herself 
soon asked why the latter should not be called upon 
to pay for the operation if she insisted upon carrying 
it out. 

About June 20 the situation of the British troops 
became rather serious, as General Milne did not 
seem to have foreseen the events and was certainly 
unable to control them. 

The Nationalist troops, which met with but little 
resistance, continued to gain ground, and after march- 
ing past Ismid occupied Guebze. The Government 
forces were retreating towards Alemdagh. 

By this time the Nationalists occupied the whole of 
Anatolia, and the English held but a few square 
miles near the Dardanelles. The Nationalists, who 
had easy access to both coasts of the Gulf of Ismid, 
attempted to blow up the bridges on the Haidar- 
Pasha-Ismid railway line. Though the English were 
on the lookout, four Turkish aeroplanes started from 
the park of Maltepe, bound for Anatolia. One of 
them was piloted by the famous Fazil Bey, who had 
attacked English aeroplanes during their last flight 
over Constantinople a few days before the armistice 
in October, 1918. 

Indeed, the Government forces only consisted of 

Matin, June 12, 1920. 


15,000 specialised soldiers, artillerymen or engineers, 
with 6 light batteries of 77 guns and 2 Skoda bat- 
teries; in addition to which 20,000 rifles had been 
given to local recruits. The Nationalists, on the con- 
trary, opposed them with 35,000 well-equipped men 
commanded by trained officers. Besides, there was 
but little unity of command among the Government 
forces. Anzavour Pasha, who had been sent with 
some cavalry, had refused to submit to headquarters, 
and at the last moment, when ordered to outflank 
the enemy and thus protect the retreat of the Govern- 
ment forces, he had flatly refused to do so, declaring 
he was not going to be ordered about by anybody. 

So, considering how critical the situation of the 
British troops was in the zone of the Straits, England 
immediately made preparations to remedy it and 
dispatched reinforcements. The 2nd battalion of the 
Essex Regiment was held in readiness at Malta, and 
the light cruiser Carlisle kept ready to set off at a 
few minutes' notice. All available destroyers had 
already left Malta for the Eastern Mediterranean, 
where the first and fourth squadrons had already 
repaired. Besides, the cruiser Ceres, which had left 
Marseilles for Malta, received orders on the way to 
steam straight on to the ^Egean Sea. All the Mediter- 
ranean fleet was concentrated in the East, while in 
the Gulf of Isrnid the English warships, which were 
already there, carefully watched the movements of 
the Turkish Nationalist forces. 

Such a state of things naturally brought about 
some 'anxiety in London, which somewhat influenced 
Mr. Lloyd George's decisions. 

During the Hythe Conference, after some conver- 


sations on the previous days with Mr. Lloyd George, 
Lord Curzon, and Mr. Philip Kerr, in which he had 
offered to put the Greek Army at the disposal of 
the Allies, M. Venizelos, accompanied by Sir John 
Stavridi, a rich Greek merchant of London, who had 
been his intimate adviser for several years, went on 
Saturday evening, June 18, to the Imperial Hotel at 
Hythe, where were met all the representatives and 
experts whom Sir Philip Sassoon had not been able 
to accommodate at his mansion at Belcair, to plead 
the cause of Greek intervention with them. 

M. Venizelos, on the other hand, in order to win 
over the British Government to his views, had 
secured the most valuable help of Sir Basil Zaharoff, 
who owns most of the shares in the shipbuilding 
yards of Vickers and Co. and who, thanks to the 
huge fortune he made in business, subsidises several 
organs of the British Press. He, too, has been a 
confidential adviser of M. Venizelos, and has a great 
influence over Mr. Lloyd George, owing to services 
rendered to him in election time. So it has been 
said with reason that M. Venizelos' eloquence and 
Sir Basil Zaharoff's wealth have done Turkey the 
greatest harm, for they have influenced Mr. Lloyd 
George and English public opinion against her. 

According to M. Venizelos' scheme, which he meant 
to expound before the Conference, the Turkish 
Nationalist army, concentrated in the Smyrna area, 
could be routed by a quick advance of the Greek 
forces, numbering 90,000 fully equipped and well- 
trained men, who would capture the railway station 
of Afium-Karahissar. This station, being at the junc- 
tion of the railway line from Smyrna and the Adana- 


Ismid line, via Konia, the only line of lateral commu- 
nication Mustafa Kemal disposed of, would thus be 
cut off, and the Nationalist leader would have to 
withdraw towards the interior. His resistance would 
thus break down, and the British forces on the 
southern coast of the Sea of Marmora that M. Veni- 
zelos offered to reinforce by sending a Greek division 
would be at once freed from the pressure brought 
to bear on them, which, at the present moment, 
they could hardly resist. 

The next day the Allies decided to accept M. Veni- 
zelos' offer, as the Greek troops were on the spot and 
no other force could arrive soon enough to relieve the 
British forces, which were seriously threatened. 

Mr. Lloyd George declared that the British Govern- 
ment was sending to the spot all the ships it had at 
its disposal, but that this naval intervention could 
not affect the situation much without the help of the 
Greek Army. 

"Without the Greek help," he said, "we may be driven 
to an ignominious evacuation of that region of Asia Minor 
before Kemal's forces, which would certainly have a terrible 
repercussion throughout the East and would pave the way to 
endless possibilities." 

This was also the view held by Sir Henry Wilson, 
Chief of the Imperial General Staff. 

Marshal Foch, too, was asked his advice about the 
Greek co-operation. He had already declared at San 
Remo. in agreement with Marshal Wilson, that an 
army of 300,000 or 400,000 well-equipped men would 
be needed to conquer Asia Minor. Now, after making 
full reserves in regard to the political side of the ques- 
tion, he merely remarked that from a strictly military 


point of view, Greek co-operation might be a decisive 
element of success; moreover, in a report he had 
drawn up a few months before, he had pointed out 
the advantage that an active co-operation of the Greek 
Army was sure to bring, from a military point of view. 

M. Millerand, while admitting these advantages, is 
said to have raised some serious objections to the 

Finally, as the question could not be solved defi- 
nitely without Italy's consent, it was adjourned till 
the Boulogne Conference met. 

Mr. Lloyd George accepted this solution the more 
readily as he only seemed to look upon M. Venizelos' 
scheme as an experiment; and he wanted to gain 
time, in order to know whether he was to pursue it, 
till facts had proved that M. Venizelos was right and 
the Turkish Nationalists' resistance could be over- 
come in a short time. If after some time things did 
not turn out as he expected, he would merely resort 
to another policy, as is usual with him. But England, 
meanwhile, was in an awkward situation, since, while 
accepting the help of an ally, she hinted at the same 
time that she would not stand by the latter if things 
turned out wrong. On the other hand, it was sur- 
prising that the Supreme Council should take such 
decisions before receiving Turkey's answer and know- 
ing whether she would sign the treaty. 

When the decisions taken at Hythe in regard to the 
part to be entrusted to Greece were made known on 
June 21 at the Boulogne Conference, they brought 
forth some remarks on the part of Count Sforza, who 
refused to engage Italy's responsibility in the policy 
that was being recommended. He thought it his duty 


to make reservations in regard to the timeliness of 
these decisions and the consequences that might 
ensue, referring to the technical advice given at San 
Remo by Marshal Foch and Marshal Wilson as to 
the huge forces they thought would be needed to 
enforce the treaty against the Nationalists' wish. 

Soon after on July 13 M. Scialoja, in the long 
speech he delivered before the Senate to defend the 
attitude of Italy in the Peace Congress, declared that 
Italy could not be held responsible for the serious 
condition of things now prevailing in Asia Minor and 
the East, for she had attempted, but in vain, to secure 
a more lenient treatment for Turkey. Finally, in 
spite of all the objections raised against the treaty, 
and the difficulties that would probably ensue, it was 
decided at the few sittings of the Boulogne Conference 
that the Ottoman delegation should be refused any 
further delay in giving their answer, which averted 
any possibility of revision of the treaty. The Powers 
represented in the Conference gave a free hand to 
Greece in Asia Minor, because they had not enough 
soldiers there themselves let us add that none of 
them, not even England probably, cared to rush 
into a new Eastern adventure. The Greeks had 
none but themselves to blame; their landing at 
Smyrna had started the Nationalist movement, and 
now they bore the brunt of the fight. 

This new decision implied the giving up of the 
policy of conciliation which might have been expected 
after the three weeks' armistice concluded on May 30 
between the French Staff and the Nationalists, which 
seemed to imply that the French military authorities 
intended to evacuate the whole of Cilicia, left by the 


treaty to Turkey. Owing to the serious conse- 
quences and infinite repercussions it might have 
through the Moslem world, the new decision heralded 
a period of endless difficulties. 

Even the Catholic Press did not much appreciate 
the treaty, and had been badly impressed by recent 
events. The Vatican, which has always sought to 
prevent Constantinople from falling into the hands 
of an Orthodox Power, might well dread the treaty 
would give the Phanar a paramount influence in the 
East, if Greece became the ruling Power both at 
Stambul and Jerusalem. In the first days of the 
war, when at the time of the Gallipoli expedition 
Constantinople seemed doomed to fall, the Holy See 
saw with some anxiety that the Allies intended to 
assign Constantinople to Russia, and it then asked 
that at least Saint Sophia, turned into a mosque by 
the Turks, should be given back to the Catholic creed. 
This fear may even have been one of the reasons 
which then induced the Holy See to favour the Central 
States. M. Rene Johannet, who was carrying on a 
campaign in the newspaper La Cr&ix 1 for the 
revision of the treaty, wrote as follows: 

" But then, if Asia Minor is deprived of Smyrna and thus 
loses at least half her resources, we ask with anxiety where 
France, the chief creditor of Turkey, will find adequate 
financial guarantees ? To give Smyrna to Greece is to rob 
France. If the Turks are stripped of everything, they will 
give us nothing. 

" Lastly, the fate of our innumerable religious missions, of 
which Smyrna is the nucleus, is to us a cause of great anxiety. 
After the precedents of Salonika and Uskub, we have every- 
thing to fear. The Orthodox Governments hate Catholicism. 
Our religious schools that is to say, the best, the soundest 

1 La Croix, July 14, 1920. 


part of our national influence will soon come to nothing if 
they are constantly worried by the new lords of the land. 
How can we allow this ?" 

According to the account given by the Anatolian 
newspapers of the sittings of the Parliament sum- 
moned by Mustafa Kemal to discuss the conditions 
of peace, very bitter speeches had been delivered. 
The Assembly had passed motions denouncing the 
whole of the treaty, and declaring the Nationalists 
were determined to oppose its being carried out, 
supposing it were signed by Damad Ferid Pasha, or 
any venal slave of the foreigner, and to fight to the 
bitter end. 

Mustafa Kemal was said to have declared, in a 
conversation, that he had not enough soldiers to 
make war, but he would manage to prevent any 
European Power establishing dominion in Asia 
Minor. And he is reported to have added: " I don't 
care much if the Supreme Council ejects the Turks 
from Europe, but in this case the Asiatic territories 
must remain Turkish." 

The Greek Army, which, according to the decisions 
of the Conference, had started an offensive on the 
Smyrna front, after driving back the Nationalists 
concentrated at Akhissar, occupied the offices of the 
captainship of the port of Smyrna and the Ottoman 

On June 20, at Chekmeje, west of Constantinople 
on the European coast of the Marmora, a steamer 
had landed a detachment of Kemalist troops, which 
the British warships had immediately bombarded at 
a range of eight miles. 

On June 21 and 22 two battalions, one English and 


the other Indian, landed on the Asiatic coast and 
blew up the eighty guns scattered all along the 
Straits, on the Asiatic shore of the Dardanelles. 

On June 23 the 13th Greek division attacked 
Salikili and occupied it. A column of cavalry ad- 
vanced towards Kula. 

On June 24 the Greek troops carried on their 
advance in four directions and the Nationalists with- 
drew, fighting stoutly all the time. 

On June 25 the Greeks overcame their resistance 
and captured Alashehr, formerly called Philadelphia, 
an important town on the Smyrna-Konia line, about 
100 miles from Smyrna, took some prisoners and 
captured material. 

On July 1 the Greeks occupied Balikesri, an im- 
portant station on the Smyrna-Panderma line, nearly 
fifty miles to the north of Soma, in spite of the 
Nationalists' energetic resistance. 

On July 3 a landing of Greek troops hastened the 
fall -of Panderma. Some detachments which had 
landed under the protection of the fleet marched 
southwards, and met the enemy outposts at Omerkeui, 
fifteen miles to the north-west of Balikesri. 

Then on July 7 M. Venizelos stated at the Spa 
Conference that the Greek offensive against Mustafa 
Kemal's forces which had begun on June 22 and 
whose chief objective was the capture of the Mag- 
nesia - Akhissar - Soma - Balikesri - Panderma line, had 
ended victoriously on July 2, when the forces coming 
from the south and those landed at Panderma had 
effected a junction, and that the scheme of military 
operations drawn up at Boulogne, which was to be 
carried out in two weeks, according to General 



Paraskevopoulos' forecast, had been brought to a 
successful end in eleven days. 

On July 8 Brusa was occupied by the Greek army, 
and Mudania and Geumlek by British naval forces. 
Before the Greek advance began every wealthy Turk 
had fled to the interior with what remained of the 
56th Turkish division, which had evacuated Brusa 
on July 2. Brusa had been occupied by the Greeks 
without any bloodshed. A good number of railway 
carriages and a few steam-engines belonging to a 
French company had been left undamaged by the 
Turks on the Mudania line. The British naval authori- 
ties, under the pretext that some shots had been fired 
from the railway station, had had it shelled, together 
with the French manager's house, and all that was 
in these two buildings had been looted by British 
sailors and the Greek population of Mudania. 

Some misleading articles in the Greek and English 
Press, which were clearly unreliable, extolled the correct 
attitude of the Greek troops towards the inhabitants 
during their advance in Asia Minor. According to the 
Greek communique of July 17, " the Nationalists, now 
deprived of any prestige, were being disarmed by the 
Moslem population which earnestly asked to be pro- 
tected by the Greek posts," and " the Turks, tired of 
the vexatious measures and the crushing taxes en- 
forced by the Kemalists, everywhere expressed their 
confidence and gratitude towards the Greek soldiers, 
whom they welcomed as friends and protectors." 

At the same time political circles in Athens openly 
declared that the Greek operations in Asia Minor had 
now come to an end, and that Adrianople and 
Eastern Thrace would soon be occupied this occu- 



pation being quite urgent as the Turks already 
evinced signs of resistance, and the Bulgarians were 
assuming a threatening attitude. Moreover, as might 
have been foreseen, the Greeks already began to speak 
of territorial compensations after their operations in 
Asia Minor and of setting up a new State. 

General Milne, whose forces had been reinforced 
by Greek elements, also undertook to clear all the 
area lying between Constantinople and Ismid from 
the irregular Turkish troops that had made their 
way into it. 

On July 7 it was officially notified by the British 
Headquarters that " military movements were going 
to take place in the direction of Ismid, and so the 
Asiatic shore of the Bosphorus was considered as a 
war zone." Accordingly troops quartered in that 
district, and soldiers employed in the various services, 
were to be recalled to the European shore at once, 
and the next day any Turkish soldier found within 
that zone would be treated as an enemy. 

The great Selimie barracks, at Skutari, were there- 
fore evacuated by the Turks, who thus had no troops 
left on the Asiatic shore of the Straits. 

At Pasha Bagtche Chiboukli, on the Asiatic shore 
of the Bosphorus, Greek soldiers helped to disarm the 
population, and searched everybody who landed at 
that village. 

At Stambul, on the great bridge of Karakeui, 
British agents halted all officers and soldiers wearing 
the Turkish uniform, and directed them to the build- 
ings of the English gendarmerie to be examined. 

The Alemdagh district was occupied, and General 
Milne had all the Government troops disarmed, on 


the pretext of their questionable attitude and the 
weakness of the Turkish Government. Yet the latter 
had, of its own accord, broken up the Constantinople 
army corps, and replaced it by one division that was 
to be dissolved, in its turn, after the signature of the 
Peace Treaty, as according to the terms of peace 
only 700 Turkish soldiers had a right to reside in 
Constantinople as the Sultan's guard. 

In an article of Le Matin, July 7, 1920, under the 
title, " A New Phase of the Eclipse of French In- 
fluence in the East," M. Andre Fribourg pointed out 
the encroachment of the British Commander in 

The decision taken by the Allies at Boulogne not to 
grant any further delay had placed the Turks in a 
difficult situation. The Grand Vizier, who had come 
to Paris in the hope of negotiating, handed his 
answer on the 25th, in order to keep within the 
appointed time. 

The Supreme Council examined this answer on 
Wednesday, July 7, at Spa. After hearing the 
English experts, who advised that any modification 
should be rejected, the Council refused to make any 
concessions on all the chief points mentioned in the 
Turkish answer, and only admitted a few subsidiary 
requests as open to discussion. It deputed a Com- 
mission of political experts to draw up an answer in 
collaboration with the military experts. 

Meanwhile the Minister of the Interior, Reshid 
Bey, chairman of the Ottoman delegation, who had 
left Constantinople on the 25th, and had arrived in 


Paris with Jemil Pasha only at the beginning of 
July, sent a note to the Secretary of the Peace Con- 
ference to be forwarded to M. Millerand at Spa. This 
note, which came to hand on July 11, completed 
the first answer. It included the decisions taken 
in Constantinople during Damad Ferid's stay at 

The remarks offered by the Ottoman delegation 
about the peace conditions presented by the Allies 
made up a little book of forty pages with some appen- 
dices, which was handed to the Conference on the 
25th. The answer, which had been revised in Con- 
stantinople, and consisted of forty-seven pages, was 
delivered a few days after; it differed but little from 
the first. 

This document began with the following protest 
against the conditions enforced on Turkey: 

" It was only fair and it was also a right recognised by all 
nations nowadays that Turkey should be set on an equal 
footing with her former allies. The flagrant inequality 
proffered by the draft of the treaty will be bitterly resented 
not only by 12 million Turks, but throughout the Moslem 

" Nothing, indeed, can equal the rigour of the draft of the 
Turkish treaty. As a matter of fact, it is a dismemberment. 

" Not only do the Allies, in the name of the principle of 
nationalities, detach important provinces from the Ottoman 
Empire which they erect to the rank of free, independent 
States (Armenia and the Hejaz), or independent States under 
the protection of a mandatory Power (Mesopotamia, Palestine, 
and Syria); not only do they wrench from it Egypt, Suez, and 
Cyprus, which are to be ceded to Great Britain; not only do 
they require Turkey to give up all her rights and titles to 
Libya and the States of the ^Egean Sea : they even mean to 
strip her, notwithstanding the said principle of nationalities, 
of Eastern Thrace and the zone of Smyrna, which countries, 
in a most iniquitous way, would be handed over to Greece, 
who wants to be set on an equal footing with the victors, 
though she has not even been at war with Turkey. 


" Further, they are preparing to take Kurdistan and in 
an indirect way to slice the rest of the country into zones of 

" In this way more than two-thirds of the extent of the 
Ottoman Empire would already be taken from it. With 
regard to the number of inhabitants, it would be at least two- 
thirds. If we consider the economic wealth and natural re- 
sources of the country, the proportion would be greater still. 

"But that is not all. To this spoliation, the draft of the 
treaty adds a notorious infringement on the sovereignty of the 
Ottoman State. Even at Constantinople Turkey would not 
be her own mistress. Side by side with His Imperial Majesty 
the Sultan and the Turkish Government or even above them 
in some cases a ' Commission of the Straits ' would rule over 
the Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmora, and the Dardanelles. 
Turkey would not even be represented in this Commission, 
whereas Bulgaria would send a representative to it. 

" In addition to these two powers, there would be a third 
one the military power exercised by the troops of occupation 
of three States, whose headquarters would have the upper hand 
even of the Ottoman gendarmerie. 

" Any possibility of mere defence against an attack would 
thus be taken away from Turkey, whose capital would hence- 
forth be within the range of her enemies' guns. 

" The sovereignty of the State would also be deeply infringed 
upon in all matters relating to legislation, international 
treaties, finance, administration, jurisdiction, trade, etc., so 
that finally the crippled-Ottoman Empire would be stripped 
of every attribute of sovereignty both at home and abroad, 
but would be held responsible all the same for the execution 
of the Peace Treaty and the international obligations pertain- 
ing to every State. 

" Such a situation, which would be an utter denial of justice, 
would constitute both a logical impossibility and a judicial 
anomaly. For, on the one hand, it is impossible~to maintain a 
State and at the same time divest it of all that is an essential 
judicial condition of its existence; and, on the other hand, 
there cannot be any responsibility where there is no liberty. 

" Either the Allied Powers are of opinion that Turkey 
should continue to exist, in which case they should make it 
possible for her to live and fulfil her engagements by paying 
due regard to her rights as a free, responsible State. 

" Or the Allied Powers want Turkey to die. They should 
then execute their own sentence themselves, without asking 
the culprit to whom they did not even give a hearing 
to append his signature to it and bring them his co-operation." 


After these general considerations and some remarks 
as to the responsibility of Turkey, the fundamental 
rights of the State, and the right of free disposal of 
peoples, the Ottoman Government made counter- 
proposals which were quite legitimate, and at the 
same time bore witness to its goodwill. 

This document, to which we refer the reader for 
further particulars, may be summed up as follows: 
The Turkish Government recognises the new States 
of Poland, Serbia-Croatia-Slovenia,, and Czecho- 
slovakia. It confirms the recognition made by 
Turkey in 1918 of Armenia as a free, independent 
State. It also recognises the Hejaz as a free, inde- 
pendent State. It recognises the French protectorate 
over Tunis. It accepts all economic, commercial, and 
other consequences of the French protectorate over 
Morocco, which was not a Turkish province. It re- 
nounces all rights and privileges over Libya and the 
isles and islets of the ^Egean Sea. It recognises Syria, 
Mesopotamia, Palestine, as independent States. It 
recognises the British protectorate over Egypt, the 
free passage of the Suez Canal, the Anglo-Egyptian 
administration of the Soudan, the annexation of 
Cyprus by Great Britain. 

In regard to Constantinople and the regime of the 
zone of the Straits, the Ottoman delegation remarked 
that according to the terms of the treaty there would 
be together in that town 

" First, His Imperial Majesty the Sultan and the Turkish 
Government, whose rights and titles shall be maintained. 

" Secondly, the Commission of the Straits. 

" Thirdly, the military powers of occupation. 

" Fourthly, the diplomatic representatives of France, 
Britain, and Italy, deliberating in a kind of council with the 


military and naval commanders o the Franco -Anglo -Italian 

With them would be 

" Fifthly, the Inter- Allied Commissioners of Control and 
Military Organisation. 

" Sixthly, the Commission of Finance. 

" Seventhly, the Council of the Ottoman Public Debt. 

" Eighthly, the consuls' jurisdictions." 

After going over all the objections raised by the 
coexistence of these various bodies, whose powers 
would encroach upon each other or would be exactly 
similar, and the impossibility that foreign agents 
accredited to the Sultan should hold such functions, 
the memorandum opposed the following reasons to 
the decisions of the Conference : 

" First, the draft of the treaty does not in any way institute 
an international judicial and political organisation of the 

" Secondly, it institutes a political and military power on 
behalf of some States, attended with all the international risks 
pertaining to it. 

" Thirdly, with regard to Turkey it would constitute a 
direct and deep infringement on her rights of sovereignty, pre- 
servation, and security, which infringements are not necessary 
to safeguard the freedom of passage of the Straits. 

"Fourthly, from an international point of view the 
intended regime wouW create a kind of international moral 
person by the side of the States, which would not represent the 
League of Nations. 

" Fiftnly, the new international condition of Turkey 
would in some respects be inferior to that of the new States 
consisting of territories detached from Turkey, for these 
new States would be placed under the mandate of a Power 
appointed by the League of Nations mainly in accordance with 
the wishes of the populations concerned, and bound to give 
a periodical account to the League of Nations of the exercise 
of its mandate. 

" Sixthly, far from ensuring the internationalisation of the 
Straits, which was aimed at by the Powers, the regime in- 


stituted by the draft of the treaty would/avow their nationali- 
sation by another State. 

" The internationalisation of the Straits could only be 
realised by means of an international organisation viz., 
a judicial organisation representing all the Powers." 

Therefore, the Government allows the free passage 
of the Straits, but asks that they should Be controlled 
only by the League of Nations, and that the Straits 
zones mentioned in the scheme of internationalisation 
" should be reduced territorially to what is necessary 
to' guarantee the free passage of the Straits." 
Turkey declares herself ready to accept " this scheme, 
if restricted to the Straits zone, whose frontiers were 
fixed as follows"; 

" (a) In Europe the Sharkeui-Karachali line, thus in- 
cluding all the Gallipoli Peninsula. 

" (b) In Asia a line passing through Kara-Bigha (on the 
Sea of Marmora), Bigha, Ezine, and Behramkeui." 

She thus agrees to " all restrictions to her sovereignty 
over the Straits that are necessary to control the 
navigation and ensure their opening to all flags on a 
footing of complete equality between the States." 


" As regards all matters concerning the region of the 
Straits and the Sea of Marmora, the Ottoman Government is 
willing to discuss a convention instituting for these waters a 
regime of the same kind as the one established for the Suez 
Canal by the Constantinople treaty of October 29, 1888, the 
very regime advocated by Great Britain (Art. 109)." 

The Ottoman Government this article, together 
with the one concerning the Hejaz that will be men- 
tioned later on, was the most important addition in 
the revised answer drawn up at Constantinople 
wishes the islands of Lemnos, Imbros, Tenedos, lying 
before the entrance to the Dardanelles, to be included 


in the zone of the Straits that is to say, to remain 
Ottoman territories under inter-Allied occupation. 
The Allies intended to give these islands to Greece, 
and it was feared in Constantinople the' latter might 
hand them over to another Power England, for 
instance that would cede her Cyprus in exchange. 

Among a great many measures intended for en- 
suring the security of Constantinople, the Ottoman 
Government chiefly asks for the limitation of the 
number of foreign warships allowed to stay in Turkish 

It wants to maintain, under Ottoman sovereignty, 
Eastern Thrace within its pre-war boundaries, and 
Smyrna with the surrounding area, which shall be 
evacuated by Hellenic troops, and may be occupied 
for three years at the utmost by troops of the chief 
Allied Powers. 

The Ottoman Government asks for an international 
inquiry to fix the frontiers of Kurdistan according to 
the principle of nationalities, in case the Kurds 
who, it firmly believes, are " indissolubly attached 
to His Majesty the Sultan," and who " have never 
wished, and will never have the least desire, to be com- 
pletely independent or even to relax the bonds that 
link them with the Turkish people " should express 
the wish to enjoy local autonomy. The intended 
frontier between Syria and Mesopotamia should also 
be altered, for otherwise it would cut off from the 
Ottoman Empire a predominantly Turkish popula- 
tion; " an international commission should make a 
thorough inquiry with a view to ascertain facts from 
an ethnic point of view." 

It also wants the King of the Hejaz to pledge him- 


self to, respect the titles and prerogatives of the 
Sultan as Caliph over the holy cities and places of 
Mecca and Medina. 

Lastly, it declares itself ready to accept, without 
asking for reciprocity, the clauses concerning the 
protection of minorities. 

Meanwhile the Greeks seemed eager to carry on 
their campaign in Asia Minor, without even waiting 
for the definite settlement of the treaty. Accord- 
ing to information sent from Greece, 1 the Hellenic 
army, having reached all its objectives, was waiting 
for the decisions of the Spa Conference, and if the 
latter wished her to carry on her operations in Asia 
Minor, her fourth objective would probably be 
Eskishehr, the nucleus of the Anatolian railways, 
which commands all the traffic and revictualling of 
Asia Minor, and whose fall would perhaps bring the 
war to an end. 

The Allied answer to the Turkish request for further 
delays and to the Turkish remarks was handed to 
the Ottoman delegation on July 17. 

In this answer, the main lines or perhaps even 
the very words of which had been settled at Spa, the 
Allies only repeated their previous arguments some 
of which were ineffective and others unfounded; and 
both the letter and the spirit of the answer were 
most unconciliatory. 

The assertion that " Turkey entered into the war 
without the shadow of an excuse or provocation," 
recurred again in it and was fully enlarged upon. 
The events that had taken place lately and the 

1 Le Temps, July 17, 1920. 


character they had assumed since the end of 
hostilities did not seem to have taught the writers or 
instigators of the answer anything at all. We do not 
wish here to mitigate in any way the responsibilities 
of Turkey or her wrongs to the Allies ; yet we should 
not overlook the most legitimate reasons that drove 
her to act thus, and we must own she had a right to 
mistrust the promises made to her. For the policy 
that the Allies pursued at that time and that they 
have not wholly repudiated obviously proved that 
they would give a free hand to Russia to carry out 
her ambitious schemes on Constantinople and Turkey- 
in-Asia, as a reward for her energetic share in 
the war. 

Besides, a fact helps us to understand how Turkey 
was driven to enter* into the war and accounts for 
her apprehension of England and the Anglo-Hellenic 
policy pursued by England in relation with her later 
on, both in the working out of the Sevres treaty and 
after the signature of this treaty; it is the proposi- 
tion made by England to Greece to attack Turkey. 
According to the letter that M. Venizelos addressed 
to King Constantino on September 7, 1914, sending 
in his resignation, which was not accepted by the 
King, Admiral Kerr, the very man whom later on, 
in 1920, the British Government was to entrust with a 
mission to the Hellenic King while he was at Lucerne, 
formally waited upon the latter to urge him to attack 
Turkey. The King is said to have laid down as a 
necessary condition to his consent that Britain should 
guarantee the neutrality of Bulgaria and should con- 
trive to bring Turkey to afford him a pretext for open- 
ing hostilities. Admiral Kerr, speaking on behalf of 


the British Government, is reported to have given him 
full guarantee on the first point ; but with reference to 
the second point he hinted that he thought it unneces- 
salry to seek for a pretext or wait for a provocation as 
the Hellenic policy constantly evinced a feeling of 
hostility towards Turkey. 1 

In this answer the Allies again reproached the 
Turks with their atrocities without mentioning the 
atrocities committed by the Armenians against the 
Turks ; and yet at that time Mr. Lloyd George seemed 
to have wholly forgotten the German atrocities, for 
he did not say a word about the punishment of the 
war criminals, and seemed ready to make concessions 
as to the reparations stipulated in the treaty with 
Germany. Why should the Turks be chastised 
as was said at the time if the other criminals were 
not punished ? Was it merely because they were 
weaker and less guilty than the Germans ? 

Though it was a palpable falsehood, it was asserted 
again in this document that in Thrace the Moslems 
were not in a majority. 

The Powers also gravely affirmed they contemplated 
for Smyrna " about the same regime as for Dantzig," 
which could not greatly please either the Greeks or 
the Turks, judging from the condition of the Poles in 
the Baltic port; but they did not add that perhaps 
in this case too England would finally control the 

" With regard to the control of the Straits," said 
the document, " the Powers must unhesitatingly take 

1 Of. Ex-King Constantine and the War, by Major J. M. Melas, 
p. 239. 


adequate measures to prevent the Turkish Govern- 
ment from treacherously trampling upon the cause of 
civilisation." It seemed to be forgotten that Turkey 
insisted upon keeping them in order to prevent 
Russia from seizing them; and at the very time 
when the note was drawn up some newspapers 
declared which might have sufficed to justify the 
Turkish claim that the passage of the Straits must 
be free in order to allow the Allies to send munitions 
to Wrangel's army. 

The Allies, however, decided to grant to " Turkey, 
as a riparian Power and in the same manner and on 
the same conditions as to Bulgaria, the right to 
appoint a delegate to the Commission and the sup- 
pression of the clause through which Turkey was to 
surrender to the Allied Governments all steamers of 
1,600 tons upwards." These were the only two 
concessions made to Turkey. 

The Allies' answer laid great stress upon the advan- 
tages offered by the organisation of a financial control 
of Turkey, which, to quote the document itself, " was 
introduced for no other purpose than to protect 
Turkey against the corruption and speculation which 
had ruined her in the past." As a matter of fact, that 
corruption and speculation had been let loose in 
Turkey by the Great Powers themselves, under cover 
of the privileges given by the Capitulations. 

Judging from the very words of the clause which 
left Constantinople in the hands of the Turks, the 
Allies seemed to allow this merely out of condescen- 
sion, and even alleged that the territory left to 
Turkey as a sovereign State was " a large and pro- 
ductive territory." 


Finally, the note concluded with the following 

" If the Turkish Government refuses to sign the peace, still 
more if it finds itself unable to re-establish its sovereignty in 
Anatolia or to give effect to the treaty, the Allies, in accord- 
ance with the terms of the treaty, may be driven to reconsider 
the arrangement by ejecting the Turks from Europe once 
and for all." 

These lines plainly show that some Powers had 
not given up the idea of ejecting the Turks from 
Europe, and were only awaiting an opportunity that 
might warrant another European intervention to 
carry out their plans and satisfy their ambition; and 
yet this policy, as will be seen later on, went against 
their own interests and those of Old Europe. 

The idea that the British Premier entertained of the 
important stategic and commercial consequences 
that would ensue if the Near East were taken away 
from Turkish sovereignty was obviously contradictory 
to the historical part played by Turkey ; and by dis- 
regarding the influence of Turkey in European affairs 
in the past and the present, he made a grievous 
political mistake. If one day Germany, having 
become a strong nation again, should offer her support 
to Turkey, cut to pieces by England, all the Turks 
in Asia might remember Mr. Lloyd George's policy, 
especially as M. Venizelos might then have been 
replaced by Constantino or the like. 

Turkey was granted a period of ten days, expiring 
on July 27 at 12 midnight, to let the Allies definitely 
know whether she accepted the clauses of the treaty 
and intended to sign it. 

This comminatory answer did not come as a 
surprise. Mr. Lloyd George openly said he was 


convinced the Greeks would be as successful in Thrace 
as they had been in Asia Minor, which was easy to 
foresee but did not mean much for the future; and he 
thought he was justified in declaring with some self- 
satisfaction before the Commons on July 21, 1920 

" The Great Powers had kept the Turk together not because 
of any particular confidence they had in him, but because 
they were afraid of what might happen if he disappeared. 

" The late war has completely put an end to that state of 
things. Turkey is broken beyond repair, and from our point 
of view we have no reason to regret it." 

The Greek troops, supported by an Anglo-Hellenic 
naval group, including two British dreadnoughts, 
effected a landing in the ports of Erekli, Sultan Keui 
(where they met with no resistance), and Kodosto, 
which was occupied in the afternoon. 

The Hellenic forces landed on the coasts of the 
Marmora reached the Chorlu-Muradli line on the 
railway, and their immediate objective was the 
occupation of the Adrianople-Constantinople railway 
in order to cut off all communications between 
Jafer Tayar's troops and the Nationalist elements of 
the capital, and capture Lule Burgas. From this 
position they would be able to threaten Jafer 
Tayar and Huhi ed Din on their flanks and rear in 
order to compel them to withdraw their troops from 
the Maritza, or run the risk of being encircled if they 
did not cross the Bulgarian frontier. 

The Greek operations against Adrianople began 
on July 20. The Turkish Nationalists had dug a 
network of trenches on the right bank of the Tunja, 
which flows by Adrianople; they offered some 
resistance, and bombarded the bridgeheads of 
Kuleli Burgas and of the suburbs of Karagatch, three 


miles from Adrianople, where the Greeks had taken 
their stand for over a month. But on Saturday, 
July 24, the confident spirit of the Turkish civilians 
and officers suddenly broke down when it was known 
that the Greeks had landed on the shores of the 
Marmora, had reached Lule Burgas, and threatened 
to encircle the troops that defended Adrianople. In 
the absence of Jafer Tayar, who had repaired to the 
front, the officers suddenly left the town without letting 
it be known whether they were going to Northern 
Thrace or withdrawing to Bulgaria, and the soldiers, 
leaving the trenches in their turn, scattered all over 
Adrianople. The white flag was hoisted during 
the night, and the next day at daybreak a delegation, 
including Shevket Bey, mayor of the town, the mufti, 
the heads of the Orthodox and Jewish religious 
communities, repaired to the Hellenic outposts, at 
Karagatch, to ask the Greeks to occupy the town 
at once. At 10 o'clock the troops marched into 
'the town, and by 12 they occupied the Konak, 
the prefect's mansion, where the Turks had 
left everything archives, furniture, carpets, and 
so on. 

Meanwhile, it was reported that 12,000 Turks who 
had refused to surrender and accept Greek domina- 
tion crossed the Bulgarian frontier. 

As soon as the Grand Vizier came back to Con- 
stantinople a conflict arose between the latter, who 
maintained Turkey was compelled to sign the treaty, 
and some members of the Cabinet. As the Grand 
Vizier, who was in favour of the ratification, hesitated 
to summon the Crown Council, the Minister of Public 
Works, Fakhr ed Din, Minister of Public Education, 


Reshid, Minister of Finance and provisional Minister 
of the Interior, and the Sheik-ul-Islam, who all wanted 
the Council to be summoned, are said to have offered 
their resignation, which was not accepted by the 
Sultan or at any rate was no more heard of. 

On July 20 the Sultan summoned a Council of 
the Imperial Family, including the Sultanas, and 
on July 22 the Crown Council, consisting of fifty-five 
of the most prominent men in Turkey, among whom 
were five generals, a few senators, the members of 
the Cabinet, and some members of the former Govern- 
ment. The Grand Vizier spoke first, and declared 
Turkey could not do otherwise than sign the treaty. 
All the members of the Council supported the Govern- 
ment's decision, with the exception of Marshal 
Fuad, who had already used his influence with the 
Sultan in favour of the Nationalists and who said 
the Turks should die rather than sign such a peace, 
and of Riza Pasha, who had commanded the artillery 
before the war, who said Turkey did not deserve such 
a grievous punishment and refused to vote. Turkey 
had been at war for ten years, which partly accounts 
for the decision taken. Therefore the order to sign 
the treaty of peace was officially given, and, as had 
already been announced, General Hadi Pasha, of 
Arabian descent, Dr. Riza Tewfik Bey, and Reshad 
Halis Bey, ambassador at Berne, were appointed 
Turkish plenipotentiaries. 

The Grand Vizier in an appeal to Jafer Tayar, 
the Nationalist leader in Thrace, begged of him " to 
surrender at once and leave Thrace to the Greek 
army." He concluded with these words: " We fully 
recognise your patriotism, but protracting the war 



would be detrimental to the interests of the nation. 
You must submit." 

Then the question arose how the treaty which 
now admitted of no discussion after being enforced 
and carried out by arms, before the delay for accept- 
ance granted to the Ottoman Government had come 
to an end, against all rules of international law and 
diplomatic precedents, could solve the Eastern 

Of course it was alleged that the Greek offensive 
in Anatolia had nothing to do with the treaty of 
peace presented to Turkey, that it only constituted a 
preventive measure in support of the treaty and it was 
not directed against the Stambul Government, but 
against Mustafa KemaPs troops, which had broken 
the armistice by attacking the British troops on the 
Ismid line. Yet this was but a poor reason, and how 
was it possible to justify the Greek attack in Thrace, 
which took place immediately after ? The fact was 
that England and Greece, being afraid of losing their 
prey, were in a hurry to take hold of it, and neither 
Mr. Lloyd George nor M. Venizelos shrank from 
shedding more blood to enforce a treaty which could 
not bring about peace. 

Now that the Allies had driven a Government which 
no longer represented Turkey to accept the treaty, 
and the latter had been signed, under English com- 
pulsion, by some aged politicians, while the Greeks 
and the British partitioned the Ottoman Empire 
between themselves, was it possible to say that all the 
difficulties were settled ? The signature of the treaty 
could but weaken the tottering power of the Sultan. 
Moreover, England, eager to derive the utmost benefit 


from the weakness of Turkey, raised the question of 
the Caliphate; it was learned from an English source 
that the title of Caliph had been offered to the Emir 
of Afghanistan, but the latter had declined the offer. 
On the other hand, how could Mustafa Kemal be 
expected to adhere to the decisions taken in Con- 
stantinople ? It was to be feared, therefore, the 
agitation would be protracted, for an Anatolian cam- 
paign would offer far greater difficulties than those 
the Greek army had had to overcome on the low 
plains along the sea; and at Balikesri, standing at 
an altitude of 400 feet, begin the first slopes of the 
Anatolian uplands. As a matter of fact, Turkey was 
not dead, as Mr. Lloyd George believed, but the policy 
of the British Premier was doomed to failure the 
same policy which the Soviets were trifling with, 
which was paving the way to the secession of Ireland, 
and may one day cost Great Britain the loss of India 
and Egypt. 

It has even been said the Bolshevists themselves 
advised Turkey to sign the treaty in order to gain 
time, and thus organise a campaign in which the 
Bolshevist forces and the Nationalist forces in Turkey 
and Asia Minor would fight side by side. 

The Ottoman delegation, consisting of General Hadi 
Pasha, Kiza Tewfik Bey, a senator, and the Turkish 
ambassador at Berne, Reshad Halis Bey, arrived in 
Paris on Friday, July 30. The signature of the 
treaty, which was first to take place on July 27 and 
had been put off till the next Thursday or Saturday 
because the delegates could not arrive in time, was 
at the last moment postponed indefinitely. 

Some difficulties had arisen between Italy and 


Greece concerning the " Twelve Islands," or Dode- 
canese, and this Italo-Greek incident prevented the 
signature of the treaty. For it was stipulated in 
Article 122 of the treaty: 

" Turkey cedes to Italy all her rights and titles to the 
islands of the Mge&n Sea viz., Stampalia, Rhodes, Calki, 
Scarpanto, Casos, Piscopis, Nisyros, Calimnos, Leros, Patmos, 
Lipsos, Symi, and Cos, now occupied by Italy, and the isletfi 
pertaining thereunto, together with the Island of Castel- 

The thirteen islands mentioned here constitute 
what is called the Dodecanese, and Italy had taken 
possession of them in 1912, during the war with 
the Ottoman Empire. But in July, 1919, an agree- 
ment, which has already been mentioned, had been 
concluded between the Italian Government, repre- 
sented by M. Tittoni, and the Greek Government, 
represented by M. Venizelos, according to which 
Italy ceded to Greece the Dodecanese, except 
Rhodes, which was to share the fate of Cyprus, and 
pledged herself not to object to Greece setting foot 
in Southern Albania. Of course, Italy in return was 
to have advantages in Asia Minor and the Adriatic Sea. 

At the meeting of the Supreme Council held in 
London before the San Remo Conference to draw up 
the Turkish treaty, M. Venizelos had stated that 
Greece could not accept Article 122, if the Italo- 
Greek agreement did not compel Italy to cede the 
Dodecanese to Greece. M. Scialoja, the Italian 
delegate, had answered that on the day of the signa- 
ture of the Turkish treaty an agreement would be 
signed between Italy and Greece, through which 
Italy transferred to Greece the sovereignty of the 
aforesaid islands. 


Now Italy, in 1920, considered that the agreement 
which was binding on both parties had become 
null and void, as she had not obtained any of the 
compensations stipulated in it, and so she thought 
she had a right now not to cede the islands Castel- 
lorizzo, though inhabited by 12,000 Greeks, not being 
included in the agreement. As to Rhodes, that was 
to share the fate of Cyprus: England did not seem 
willing now to cede it to Greece; so that was out of 
the question for the moment. Moreover, the Italian 
Government insisted upon keeping the Island of 
Halki, or Karki, lying near Rhodes. Lastly, as Italy, 
after the solemn proclamation of the autonomy and 
independence of Albania, had been obliged to evacuate 
nearly the whole of Albania, the cession to Greece of 
part of Southern Albania could not be tolerated by 
Italian public opinion and had now become an utter 

Under such circumstances the Greek Government 
had stated it was no longer willing to sign the Turkish 
treaty, which, if the previous agreement alone is 
taken into account, assigns the Dodecanese to Italy. 
This incident at the last moment prevented the 
signature of the treaty which had been so laboriously 
drawn up, and put the Powers in an awkward situa- 
tion since the regions occupied by the Greek armies in 
Asia Minor were five times as large as the Smyrna 
area assigned to Greece, and obviously could not be 
evacuated by the Greeks before a state of peace was 
restored between them and Turkey. 

The signature of the treaty, which had been put off 
at first, as has just been mentioned, till the end of 
July, was, after various delays, arranged for Thursday, 


August 5, then postponed till the next Saturday, and 
finally took place only three days later. 

Meanwhile, the Armenian delegation raised an- 
other objection, and informed the Allies that as their 
president, Nubar Pasha, had been admitted by the 
Allied Governments to the signature of the Peace 
Treaty, as representing the Armenians of Turkey and 
the Armenian colonies, they thought it unfair not to 
let him sign the Turkish treaty too, merely because 
he represented the Turkish Armenians. The Allies 
advised the Armenians for their own sake not to 
insist, in order to avoid an official protest of Turkey 
against the treaty after its signature, under the 
pretext that it had not been signed regularly. 

In the House of Lords the treaty was sharply 
criticised by Lord Wemyss, especially in regard to 
the condition of Smyrna and the cession of Eastern 
Thrace to Greece. 

In the speech he delivered on Friday, August 6, 
at Montecitorio, Count Sforza, coming to the question 
of the Dodecanese, summed up the Tittoni-Venizelos 
agreement of July 29, 1919, as follows: 

" Italy pledged herself to support at the Conference the 
Greek claims on Eastern and Western Thrace; she even 
pledged herself to support the Greek demand of annexing 
Southern Albania. Greece, in return for this, pledged herself 
to give Italy a free zone in the port of Santi Quaranta, and to 
give Italian industry a right of preference for the eventual 
building of a railway line beginning at this port. 

" Greece pledged herself to support at the Conference the 
Italian mandate over Albania, to recognise Italian sovereignty 
over Valona, and confirm the neutralisation of the Corfu 
Canal already prescribed by the London Conference in 1913-14, 
when Greece had promised not to build any military works 
on the coast between Cape Stilo and Aspriruga, 

" Greece pledged herself, in case she should have satisfac- 
tion in Thrace and Southern Albania, to give up, in favour 


of Italy, all her territorial claims in Asia Minor which hindered 
Italian interests. 

" The Italian and Greek Governments promised to support 
each other at the Conference concerning their claims in Asia 

" Italy had already pledged herself to cede to Greece the 
sovereignty of the isles of the JSgean Sea, except Rhodes, to 
which the Italian Government promised to grant a liberal 
administrative autonomy. 

" Italy also pledged herself to respect the religious liberty 
of the Greeks who were going to be more under her rule in Asia 
Minor, and Greece took a similar engagement with respect to 
the Italians. 

" Article 7 dealt with what would happen if the two coun- 
tries wished to resume their full liberty of action. 

" Italy pledged herself to insert a clause in the treaty, in 
which she promised to let the people of Rhodes freely decide 
their own fate, on condition that the plebiscite should not 
be taken before five years after the signature of the Peace 

Count Sforza proceeded to say that on July 22, 
after coming back from Spa, he had addressed M. Veni- 
zelos a note to let him know that the Allies' decisions 
concerning Asia Minor and the aspirations of the 
Albanian people compelled the Italian Government 
to alter their policy in order to safeguard the Italian 
interests in those regions: 

" Under the circumstances, the situation based on the 
agreement of July 29, 1919, as to the line of conduct to be 
followed at the Conference was substantially modified. 

" Therefore Italy, in conformity with Article 7 of the agree- 
ment, now resumes her full liberty of action. Yet the Italian 
Government, urged by a conciliatory spirit, intends to 
consider the situation afresh, as it earnestly wishes to arrive 
at a satisfactory and complete understanding. 

" The desire to maintain friendly relations with Greece is 
most deeply felt in Italy. Greece is a vital force to the East. 
When I tried to get better conditions of peace for Turkey, I 
felt convinced I was safeguarding the independence and the 
territorial integrity which the Turkish people is entitled to, 
and at the same time I was serving the true interests of 


In an interview published by the Stampa, M. 
Tittoni on his side declared, concerning the Dode- 
canese and the arrangement he had negotiated with 
M. Venizelos, that, as circumstances had changed, 
the clauses of the agreement had become null and 

Alluding to the note handed by him on coming 
to Paris to M. Clemenceau and Mr. Lloyd George and 
recently read to the Senate by M. Scialoja, he com- 
plained that the Allies supported the Greek claims in 
Asia Minor, and overlooked the Italian interests in 
the same region. As Greece had got all she wanted 
and Italy's hopes in Asia Minor had been frustrated, 
the agreement with M. Venizelos was no longer valid, 
according to him, and he concluded thus : " The agree- 
ment became null and void on the day when at San 
Remo the draft of the Turkish treaty was definitely 
drawn up." Finally, on August 9 Greece and Italy 
came to an agreement, and a protocol was signed. 
The Dodecanese, according to the Tittoni-Venizelos 
agreement, were given up to Greece, with the ex- 
ception of Rhodes, which, for the present, remained 
in the hands of Italy. In case England should 
cede Cyprus to Greece, a plebiscite was to be 
taken at Rhodes within fifteen years, instead of five 
years as had been settled before. There was no 
reason why Italy should give up Rhodes if England, 
whjph had ruled over Cyprus since 1878, did not hand 
it over to Greece. The League of Nations was to 
decide in what manner this plebiscite was to be taken ; 
meanwhile Italy would grant Rhodes a wide auto- 
nomy. According to the account given of the Italo- 
Greek agreement, it includes some stipulations 


concerning Smyrna, and at the request of the Italian 
Government the Italian schools, museums, and sub- 
jects enjoy a special treatment. Italy keeps her 
privilege for the archaeological excavations at Kos. 

Not a word was said of Albania, though there had 
been some clauses about it in the 1919 agreement. 
Italy and Greece were to make separate arrangements 
with the Albanians. 

Yugo-Slavia in its turn protested in regard to the 
share of the Turkish debt that was assigned to her and 
complained that the charges inherent in the Turkish 
territories she had received in 1913 were too heavy. 

King Hussein too was dissatisfied with the Syrian 
events and the attitude of France. So he refused 
to adhere to the treaty, though it indirectly acknow- 
ledged the independence of his States and his own 
sovereignty. He thus showed he really aimed at 
setting up a huge Arabian Kingdom where his sons 
would have only been his lieutenants in Syria and 
Mesopotamia. Besides, King Hussein earnestly 
begged that the Kingdom of Mesopotamia, which had 
hitherto been promised to his son Abdullah, should 
be given to the Emir Feisal as a compensation for 
Syria, and a hint was given that England would not 
object to this. 

Then the Turkish delegates, seeing the Allies 
at variance, raised objections to the treaty, and on 
the morning of August 10 Hadi Pasha informed the 
Conference he could not sign the treaty if the Allies 
could not agree together. However, at the earnest 
request of a high official of the Foreign Office and after 
he had been repeatedly urged to do so, he consented 
to sign the treaty in the afternoon at Sevres. 


Together with the Turkish treaty seven treaties or 
agreements were also signed namely: 

" A treaty in regard to Thrace? sanctioning the cession to 
Greece of some territories given up by Bulgaria in accordance 
with the Versailles treaty, and giving Bulgaria a free outlet 
to the sea at the port of Dedeagatch. 

" A tripartite convention between England, France, and 
Italy, settling the zones of economic influence of France and 
Italy in the Ottoman territory of Asia Minor. 

" A Greco-Italian convention assigning the ' Twelve 
Islands ' to Greece a plebiscite was to be taken in regard 
to the sovereignty over Rhodes. 

" A treaty between Armenia and the Great Powers, settling 
the question of the minorities in the future Armenian State. 

" A treaty in regard to the Greek minorities, ensuring them 
protection in the territories that had newly been occupied 
by Greece. 

" A treaty concerning the New States, settling administra- 
tive questions between Italy and the States which occupied 
territories formerly belonging to Austria-Hungary. 

"A treaty fixing various frontiers in Central Europe at 
some places where they had not yet been definitely laid down." 

According to the terms of the agreement concerning 
the protection of minorities, Greece pledged herself 
to grant to Greek subjects belonging to minorities in 
language, race, or religion the same civil and political 
rights, the same consideration and protection as to 
the other Greek subjects, on the strength of which 
France and Great Britain gave up their rights of 
control over Greece, established by the London treaty 
of 1832, their right of control over the Ionian Islands 
established by the London treaty of 1864, and their 
right of protection of religious freedom conferred by 
the London Conference of 1830. 

Greece pledged herself also to present for the 
approval of the League of Nations within a year a 
scheme of organisation of Adrianople, including a 
municipal council in which the various races should 


be represented. All the clauses of the treaty for the 
protection of minorities were under the guarantee of 
the League of Nations. Greece also pledged herself 
to give the Allies the benefit of the " most favoured 
nation" clause till a general commercial agreement 
had been concluded, within five years, under the 
patronage of the League of Nations. 

All these delays and incidents bore witness to 
the difficulty of arriving at a solution of the Eastern 
question in the way the Allies had set to work, and to 
the frailty of the stipulations inserted in the treaty. 

They also testified to the lack of skill and political 
acutehess of Mr. Lloyd George. Of course, the British 
Premier, owing to the large concessions he had made 
to Greece, had managed to ensure the preponderance 
of British influence in Constantinople and the zone of 
the Straits, and by seeking to set up a large Arabian 
Empire he had secured to his country the chief trunk 
of the Baghdad Railway. 

But the laborious negotiations which had painfully 
arrived at the settlement proposed by the Conference 
did not seem likely to solve the Eastern question 
definitely. It still remained a burning question, and 
the treaty signed by the Ottoman delegates was still 
most precarious. Accordingly Count Sforza, in the 
Chamber of Deputies in Rome, made the following 
statement with regard to Anatolia : 

" Everybody asserts the war has created a new world; but 
practically everybody thinks and feels as if nothing had 
occurred. The Moslem East wants to live and develop. It, 
too, wants to have an influence of its own in to-morrow's 
world. To the Anatolian Turks it hag been our wish to 
offer a hearty and earnest collaboration on economic and 
moral grounds by respecting the independence and sovereignty 
of Turkey." 


The signatures of plenipotentiaries sent by a 
Government which remained in office merely because 
its, head, Damad Ferid, was a tool in the hands of 
England, were no guarantee for the future, and the 
failure of the revolutionary movement indefinitely 
postponed the settlement of the Eastern question 
which for half a century has been disturbing European 

Islam remains, notwithstanding, a spiritual force 
that will survive all measures taken against the 
Sublime Porte, and the dismemberment of the Otto- 
man Empire does not solve any of the numerous 
questions raised by the intercourse of the various 
races that were formerly under the Sultan's rule. 
Russia has not given up her ambitious designs on the 
Straits, and one day or another she will try to carry 
them out; and it is to be feared that German influence 
may benefit by the resentment of the Turkish people. 
These are some of the numerous sources of future 

On the day that followed the signature of the treaty 
all the Turkish newspapers in Constantinople were 
in mourning and announced it as a day of mourning 
for the Turkish nation. 

At Stambul all public entertainments were pro- 
hibited, all shops and public buildings were closed. 
Many Turks went to the mosques to pray for the wel- 
fare of the country, the people who seek nothing but 
peace and quietude looked weary and downcast. 

A few organs of the Turkish Press violently attacked 
the delegates who had signed "the death-warrant of 
Turkey and laid the foundations of a necessary policy 
of revenge." 







Others hoped the Great Powers would take into 
account the goodwill of Turkey, and would gradually 
give up some of their intolerable demands. 

Others, finally, bewailing the direful downfall of 
the Turkish Empire and insisting upon the lesson 
taught by this historical event for the future, hoped 
that the future would forcibly bring on a revision of 
that " iniquitous and impracticable " treaty of peace. 

In France, M. Pierre Loti devoted one of his last 
articles to the treaty, which he called " the silliest 
of all the silly blunders of our Eastern policy." 1 

The map on p. 269 shows the area left to the Turks 
in Europe and in Asia Minor by the Treaty of Sevres. 
There will be seen the territories of Mesopotamia 
under English mandate, those of Syria under French 
mandate, and those which have been added to 
Palestine and are practically under English control. 
There will also be seen the regions on which France 
and Italy, hi virtue of the tripartite agreement 
signed on August 10, 1920, enjoy preferential claims 
to supply the staff required for the assistance of the 
Porte in organising the local administration and the 
police. The contracting Powers in that agreement 
have undertaken not to apply, nor to make or 
support applications, on behalf of their nationals, for 
industrial concessions in areas allotted to another 

The map on p. 270 is a scheme of the territories lost 
by Turkey from 1699 down to the Sevres Treaty; it 
shows that, by completing the dismemberment of 
Turkey, the treaty aimed at her annihilation. 

The (Euvrt, August 20, 1920. 



THE condition of affairs in the East now seemed all 
the more alarming and critical as the Allies, after 
dismembering Turkey, did not seem to have given up 
their plan of evicting the Turks. This policy, which 
had taken Armenia from Turkey, but had not suc- 
ceeded in ensuring her a definite status, could only 
hurry on the Pan-Turkish and Pan-Arabian move- 
ments, drive them to assert their opposition more 
plainly, and thus bring them closer together by 
reinforcing Pan-Islamism. 

Of course it had been said at the beginning of 
January, 1920, that the Turks were downhearted, 
that Mustafa Kemal was short of money, that he had 
to encounter the opposition of the other parties, 
and that his movement seemed doomed to failure. 
It was also asserted that his army was only made up 
of bands which began to plunder the country, and that 
anarchy now prevailed throughout Turkey-in-Asia. 
Yet the Nationalist generals soon managed to inter- 
cept the food-supply of Constantinople, and when the 
conditions of the Peace Treaty were made known 
the situation, as has just been seen, underwent a 
complete change. They held in check the English 
till the latter had called the Greeks to their help, 
and though at a certain stage it would have been 



possible to negotiate and come to terms with Mustafa 
Kemal, now, on the contrary, it was impossible to do 
so, owing to the amplitude and strength gained by the 
Nationalist movement. 

It was soon known that many a parley had been 
entered into between Turkish and Arabian elements, 
that some Turkish officers had gone over to the 
Arabian Nationalists of Syria and had taken command 
of their troops, and though a political agreement or 
a closer connection between the two elements did not 
ensue, yet the Turks and the Arabs, dreading foreign 
occupation, organised themselves and were ready to 
help each other to defend their independence. 

We should bear in mind what Enver Pasha, who 
was playing a questionable part in the East, and 
Fethy Bey had once done in Tripoli. Turkish officers 
might very well, if an opportunity occurred, impart to 
these bands the discipline and cohesion they lacked 
and instil into them a warlike spirit; or these 
bands might side with the Bolshevists who had 
invaded the Transcaspian isthmus; they would have 
been able to hinder the operations that the Allies had 
once seemed inclined to launch into, but had wisely 
given up, and they could always raise new difficulties 
for the Allies. 

Lastly, the idea, once contemplated and perhaps not 
definitely given up, to send back to Asia the Sultans 
and viziers who, after their centuries-old intercourse 
with the West, had become " Europeanised " and 
to whom the ways and manners of our diplomacy 
had grown familiar, could only modify their foreign 
policy to our disadvantage, and give it an Asiatic 
turn; whereas now, having long associated Ottoman 



affairs with European affairs, they have thus been 
brought to consider their own interests from a 
European point of view. The influence of this inter- 
course with Europe on the Constantinople Government 
naturally induced it to exercise a soothing influence 
over the Mussulmans, which was to the advantage 
of both Europe and Turkey. It is obvious that, 
on the contrary, the eviction of the Sultan, at a time 
when the Arabian world and the Turkish world were 
being roused, would have left the Allied Powers face 
to face with anarchist elements which, being spurred 
on by similar religious and nationalist passions, 
would have grouped together; and one day the 
Powers would have found themselves confronted 
with the organised resistance of established govern- 
ments. Even as things are now, who can foresee 
what will be all the consequences in the East of the 
clauses enforced on Turkey by the Sevres Treaty ? 


The Armenian question, which has convulsed 
Turkey so deeply and made the Eastern question so 
intricate, originated in the grasping spirit of Russia 
in Asia Minor and the meddling of Russia in 
Turkish affairs under pretence of protecting the 
Armenians. This question, as proved by the difficul- 
ties to which it has given rise since the beginning, 
is one of the aspects of the antagonism between 
Slavs and Turks, and a phase of the everlasting 
struggle of the Turks to hinder the Slavs from reach- 
ing the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, to which the 
Russians have always striven to get access either 


through Asia Minor or through Thrace, or through 
both countries at once. 

Yet Mohammed II, after taking Constantinople, 
had in 1461 instituted a patriarchate in favour of 
the Armenians. Later on various rights were granted 
to them at different times by Imperial firmans. 

Some Armenian monks of Calcutta, availing 
themselves of the liberty they enjoyed in India, 
founded at the beginning of the eighteenth century 
the Aztarar (the Newsmonger), the first newspaper 
published in the Armenian language ; and at the end 
of the same century the Mekhitharists published in 
Venice Yeghanak Puzantian (the Byzantine Season). 
About the middle of the nineteenth century, the same 
monks edited a review of literature and information, 
Pazmareb, which still exists. The Protestant Armen- 
ians too edited a review of propaganda, Chtemaran 
bidani Kidehatz, at Constantinople. Finally, in 1840, 
the first daily paper printed in the Armenian language, 
Archalouis Araradiari (the Dawn of Ararat), was 
published at Smyrna. 

In 1857, in the monastery of Varag, near Van, 
Miguirditch Krimian, who later on became Patriarch 
and Catholicos, established printing-works. Under 
the title of Ardziv Vaspourakani (the Eagle of Vas- 
pourakan) he edited a monthly review to defend the 
cause of Armenian independence, and at the same 
time a similar review, Ardziv Tarono (the Eaglet of 
Taron), was published at Mush. About the same 
time the Armenians in Russia too began to publish 
various periodicals, such as Hussissapail (the Aurora 
Borealis), a review printed at Moscow in 1850, and 
several newspapers at Tiflis and Baku. In 1860 


the Armenians were allowed to hold an Armenian 
National Assembly to discuss and settle their 
religious and national affairs. 

From the fourteenth century till about I860, the 
Armenian element lived on good terms with the 
Moslem element, and some Armenians persecuted in 
Russia even sought refuge in Turkey. The Turks, on 
their coming, had found Armenians, but no Armenia, 
for the latter country, in the course of a most confused 
history, had enjoyed but short periods of independence 
with ever-changing frontiers; and the Armenians 
who had successively been under Roman, Seljuk, 
Persian, and Arabian dominion lived quietly with 
the Turks for six centuries. 

But in 1870 a group of young men revived and 
modified a movement which had been started and 
kept up by Armenian monks, and wrote books in 
Constantinople in favour of the Armenians. 

In 1875, Portokalian established the first revolu- 
tionary Armenian Committee, and edited a newspaper, 
Asia. Soon afterwards the Araratian committee was 
formed, aiming at establishing a close connection 
between Turkish and Russian Armenians, followed by 
other committees such as Tebrotesassiranz, Arevdian, 
and Kilikia. 

Other committees with charitable or economic 
purposes, such as " The Association of Kind- 
ness " and " The Association of Benevolence," which 
were started in 1860 with a large capital to develop 
the natural resources of Cilicia, also played a part in 
the Armenian movement. 

The Armenian question began really to arise and 
soon grew more and more acute in 1878, after the 


Turco-Russian war, at a time when Turkey had to face 
serious domestic and foreign difficulties. This question 
was dealt with in Article 16 of the San Stefano treaty 
of July 10, 1878, and Article 61 of the Berlin treaty. 
Article 16 of the San Stefano treaty, drawn up 
at the Armenians' request, and supported by the 
Russian plenipotentiaries, stated that " the Sublime 
Porte pledges itself to realise without any more delay 
the administrative autonomy rendered necessary by 
local needs in the provinces inhabited by Armen- 
ians." The Turks raised an objection to the words 
" administrative autonomy " and wanted them to be 
replaced by " reforms and improvements," but the 
Russians then demanded the occupation of Armenia 
by the Tsar's troops as a guarantee. The Berlin 
Congress did away with this clause of guarantee, and 
instead of the words proposed by Russia adopted 
those asked for by Turkey. 

In order to acquire a moral influence over the 
Armenians living in Turkey and play a prominent 
part among them, the Orthodox Christians who were 
devoted to the Tsar endeavoured to get themselves 
recognised as a superior power by the patriarchate of 
Constantinople, and with the help of Russian political 
agents they succeeded in their endeavours. It was 
soon observed that the new connection between the 
Catholicos and the Constantinople Patriarchate 
aimed at, and succeeded in, starting an anti-Turkish 
movement within the Armenian populations of Russia 
and Asia Minor. 

When the Russians arrived close to Constantinople, 
at the end of the Turco-Russian war, Nerses Varza- 
bedian, who had succeeded Krimian, was received 


by the Grand Duke Nicholas, and handed Him a 
memorandum, in which, after stating all the Armenian 
grievances against the Ottoman Government, he 
asked " that the Eastern provinces of Asia Minor 
inhabited by Armenians should be proclaimed inde- 
pendent or at least should pass under the control of 
Russia." Four prelates were sent separately to 
Rome, Venice, Paris, and London to make sure of the 
Powers' support, and met together at the Berlin Con- 
gress. Though they strongly advocated the main- 
tenance of Article 16 of the San Stefano treaty, they 
only succeeded in getting Article 61 of the Berlin 

It was not until about 1885 that what was after- 
wards called the Armenian movement began to be 
spoken of, and then some Armenian revolutionaries 
who had sought shelter in England, France, Austria, 
and America began to edit periodicals, form com- 
mittees, inveigh against the would-be Turkish exac- 
tions, and denounce the violation of the Berlin treaty. 

These ideas of independence soon made more and 
more headway and the prelates who, after Nerses' 
death, were known for their pro-Turkish feelings, as 
Haroutian Vehabedian, Bishop of Erzerum, made 
Patriarch in 1885, were forsaken by the Armenian 
clergy and soon found themselves in opposition to 
the committees. 

In 1888 Khorene Achikian, who succeeded Vehabe- 
dian, was also accused of being on friendly terms with 
the Turks, and the committees strove to have him 
replaced by Narbey, who had been a member of the 
delegation sent to Europe for the Berlin Congress. 

This Armenian movement naturally caused some 


incidents between the various elements of the popula- 
tion, which were magnified, brought by the bishops 
and consuls to the knowledge of the European Powers, 
and cited as the outcome of Turkish cruelty. 

After the Turco-Russian war, the revolutionary 
agitation which stirred up Russia and the Caucasus 
had its repercussion among the Armenians, and the 
harsh measures of the Tsar's Government only streng- 
thened the agitation by increasing Armenian dis- 

Miguirditch Portokalian, a teacher living at Van, 
came to Marseilles, where in 1885 he edited a news- 
paper, Armenia. At the same time Minas Tscheraz 
started another newspaper in Paris under the same 
title. These publicists, both in their journals and in 
meetings, demanded that Article 61 of the Berlin 
treaty should be carried out. 

In 1880 some revolutionary committees were 
formed in Turkey. In 1882 " The Association of the 
Armed Men" was founded at Erzerum; some of its 
members were arrested, and the association itself 
was dissolved in 1883. 

A rising took place at Van in 1885 on the occasion 
of the election of a bishop, and some insurrectionist 
movements occurred at Constantinople, Mush, and 
Alashehr under various pretexts. 

Next year, in 1886, one Nazarbey, a Caucasian by 
birth, and his wife Maro, formed in Switzerland the 
Huitfchag (the Bell), a social-democrat committee 
that aimed at getting an autonomous administration 
for the Armenians, and published in London a monthly 
periodical bearing the same name. This committee 
meant to achieve its object not through the interven- 


tion or mediation of the European Powers to which 
it thought it useless to make another appeal, as their 
individual interests were so much at variance but 
solely by the action of its organisations through- 
out the country, which were to raise funds, equip- 
ment, foment troubles, weaken the Government, and 
take advantage of any opportunity that might occur. 

The Huntchag committee found representatives in 
every great town Smyrna, Aleppo, Constantinople, 
etc. and its organisation was completed in 1889. 

In 1890, at the instigation of the Huntchagists, 
a rebellion broke out at Erzerum, and incidents 
occurred in various places. At Constantinople a 
demonstration of armed men, headed by the Patriarch 
Achikian, repaired to the Sublime Porte to set forth 
their grievances, but were scattered ; and the Patriarch, 
who was reproached with being too moderate, and 
whose life was even attempted, had to resign. 

In fact the Huntchag committee, which enlisted 
the effective and moral support of the representa- 
tives of the Powers, especially those of Russia and 
England, carried on its intrigues without intermission, 
and increased its activity. 

On Sunday, March 25, 1894, at Samsun, in the 
ground adjoining the church, one Agap, living at 
Diarbekir, who had been chosen by the Huntchag 
committee to kill the Patriarch Achikian because he 
was accused of being on friendly terms with the 
Ottoman Government, fired at the prelate with a 
revolver, but missed his mark. After this criminal 
attempt, Achikian resigned his office, and Mathew 
Ismirlian, supported by the committees, was elected 
Patriarch, owing to the pressure brought to bear on 


the National Assembly. The new Patriarch imme- 
diately became chairman of the Huntchag committee, 
which he developed, and soon after appointed 
President of the Ecclesiastical Council of the Patriar- 
chate and later on Catholicos of Cilicia a certain 
priest, Kirkor Ala j an, who had been dismissed and 
sent to Constantinople for insulting the Governor of 

A few Armenians, dissatisfied with the programme 
of the Huntchagists, founded a new association in 
1890 under the name of Troshak, which later on 
was called Tashnaktsutioun, and edited the Troshak 
newspaper. The members of this committee often 
resorted to threats and terror to get the funds they 
needed, and did not shrink from assassinating whoever 
refused to comply with the injunctions of the com- 

In 1896 the committees attempted to seize the 
Ottoman Bank. Some armed komitadjis, who had 
come from Europe with Kussian passports, rushed 
into the Ottoman Bank, but were driven back by 
Government troops. But the promoters of the raid 
were not arrested, owing to their being protected by 
the Russian and French authorities. Attended by 
Maximof , an Armenian by birth, first dragoman of the 
Kussian embassy, and Rouet, first dragoman of the 
French embassy, they were brought by the dispatch- 
boat of the latter embassy on board the Gironde, 
a packet-ship of the Messageries Maritimes. The 
adherents of the Troshak, entrenched in the churches 
of Galata, Samatra, and the Patriarchate, begged 
for mercy, while Armene Aktoni, one of the leaders 
of the committee, committed suicide after waiting 


for the coming of the English fleet on the heights of 
Soulou-Monastir, at Samatra. 

The bishops continued to solicit, and to some extent 
obtained, the support of the Russian, English, and 
French consuls; yet Mgr. Ismirlian, who had sent an 
ultimatum to the Imperial Palace and never ceased 
to intrigue, was finally dismissed in 1896 and sent 
to Jerusalem. 

At that time many Armenians set off to Europe and 
America, and the Catholicos of Etchmiadzin sent some 
delegates to the Hague Conference to lay before it 
the Armenian plight in Turkey. These committees, 
which displayed so much activity in Turkey, did not 
attempt anything on behalf of their fellow-country- 
men in Russia. 

The committees which had been founded during 
or before Nerses' patriarchate under the names of 
Ararat, The Orient, The Friends of Education, Cilitia, 
were all grouped, in 1890, into one called Miatzal 
Anikeroutioun Hayotz, which association continued 
to organise committees even in the smallest villages, 
taking advantage of the tolerance of the Ottoman 
Government and its benevolence to the Armenians 
to carry on an active anti-Turkish propaganda. 

This propaganda was supported by the Armenian 
bishops in the eastern provinces, where they endea- 
voured to bring about European intervention. On the 
other hand the Russians, as eager as ever, to domineer 
over both the Orthodox Church and Armenia, incited 
the Armenians against the Turks by all possible 
means and urged them to fulfil their national aspira- 
tions, as they knew full well they would thus bring 
them more easily under Russian sovereignty. 


The influence of these committees, as will be seen 
later on, had a very important bearing on the events 
that took place in Asia Minor at that time. 

Risings, which may be traced back to 1545 and 
lasted till the proclamation of the 1908 constitution, 
were continually taking place in the mountainous area 
of Zeitun. They were partly brought about by the 
feudal system of administration still prevailing in 
that region. Each of the four districts of Zeitun was 
governed by a chief who had assumed the title of 
" ishehan " or prince, a kind of nobleman to whom 
Turkish villages had to pay some taxes collected by 
special agents. The action of the committees, of 
course, benefited by that state of things, to which 
the Ottoman Government put an end only in 1895. 

The Armenians had already refused to pay the 
taxes and had rebelled repeatedly between 1782 
and 1851, at which time the Turks, incensed at the 
looting and exactions of the Armenian mountaineers, 
left their farms and emigrated. Till "that time the 
rebellions of Zeitun could be partly accounted for 
by the administration of the " ishehan." But the 
leaders of the Armenian movement soon took advan- 
tage of these continual disturbances and quickly gave 
them another character. The movement was spurred 
on and eagerly supported by Armenians living 
abroad, and in 1865, after the so-called Turkish 
exactions, the Nationalist committees openly rebelled 
against the Government and demanded the inde- 
pendence of Zeitun. Henceforth rebellion followed 
rebellion, and one of them, fomented by the Hun- 
tchagists, lasted three months. 

In 1890 the Huntchag and Tashnaktsutioun com- 


mittees stirred up riots at Erzerum, and in 1894 at 
Samsun, where the Patriarch Ashikian was fired at, 
as has just been seen. In 1905 the Tashnakists 
started a new insurrection. The rebellion extended 
to Amasia, Sivas, Tokat, Mush, and Van, and the 
committees endeavoured to spread and intensify it. 
In 1905-06 the manoeuvres of the Armenian com- 
mittees succeeded in rousing hostile feelings between 
Kurds and Armenians, which no reform whatever 
seemed able to soothe. And in 1909-10, when new 
troubles broke out, the revolutionary leaders openly 
attacked the Government troops. 

Two years after the confiscation and handing over 
to the Ottoman Government of the Armenian churches 
on June 21, 1903, massacres took place at Batum on 
February 6, 1905, and later on at Erivan, Nakhi- 
tchevan, Shusha, and Koshak. In 1908 the Tsar's sway 
in the whole of Caucasus became most oppressive, and 
a ukase prescribed the election of a new catholicos to 
succeed Mgr. Krimian, who had died in October, 1907. 
Mgr. Ismirlian was appointed in his stead in 1908. 
By that time the Russian sway had become so oppres- 
sive that the Tashnakists took refuge in Constan- 
tinople, where the Young Turks openly declared in 
favour of the Russian Armenians. 

It might have been expected that after the pro- 
clamation of the Constitution the committees, who 
had striven to hurry on the downfall of the Empire 
through an agitation that might have brought about 
foreign intervention, would put an end to their 
revolutionary schemes and turn their activity towards 


social and economic questions. Sabah-Gulian, a 
Caucasian by birth, president of the Huntchag, at a 
meeting of this committee held in 1908 in Sourp- 
Yerourtoutioun church at Pera, speaking of the 
Huntchagists' programme and the constitutional 
regime, declared: " We, Huntchagists, putting an 
end to our revolutionary activity, must devote all 
our energy to the welfare of the country." On the 
other hand Agnoni, a Russian by birth, one of the 
presidents of the Tashnaktsutioun, stated that 
" the first duty of the Tashnakists would be to 
co-operate with the Union and Progress Committee 
in order to maintain the Ottoman Constitution and 
ensure harmony and concord between the various 

The union of the committees did not last long, as 
they held widely different views about the new 
condition of the Turkish Empire; but soon after 
the Tashnaktsutioun, the Huntchag, and the Vera- 
gaznial-Huntchag committees were reorganised and 
new committees formed throughout Turkey. The 
Ramgavar (the Rights of the People) committee 
was instituted in Egypt by M. Boghos Nubar after 
the proclamation of the Constitution, and displayed 
the greatest activity. This committee, in March, 
1914, agreed to work on the same lines with the 
Huntchag, the Tashnaktsutioun, and the Veragaznial- 
Huntchag. Another committee, the Sahmanatragan, 
was also constituted. They made sure of the support 
of the Patriarchate and the bishops to reassert 
their influence and spread a network of ramifications 
all over the country in order to triumph^' at the 
elections. They carried on an active propaganda 


to conciliate public opinion, by means of all kinds 
of publications, school books, almanacs, postcards, 
songs, and so on, all edited at Geneva or in Russia. 

As early as 1905 the Armenian committees had 
decided at a congress held in Paris to resort to all 
means in order to make Cilicia an independent 
country. Russia, on the other hand, strove hard to 
spread orthodoxy in the districts round Adana, 
Marash, and Alexandretta, in order to enlarge her 
zone of influence on this side and thus get an outlet 
to the Mediterranean. At the same time, the Bishop 
of Adana, Mosheg, did his best to foment the rebellion 
which was to break out soon after. 

In this way the Armenian Christians contributed to 
the extension of the Russian Empire. In 1904-05, 
the Nestorians asked for Russian priests and ex- 
pressed their intention to embrace the Orthodox 
Faith. The Armenians of Bitlis, Diarbekir, and 
Kharput in 1907 handed the Russian consul a 
petition bearing over 200,000 signatures, in which 
they asked to become Russian subjects. 

The Huntchagist leader, Sabah-Gulian, even owned 
in the Augah Hayassdan (Independent Armenia) 
newspaper that the members of the committee had 
taken advantage of the Turks' carelessness to open 
shops, where rifles were being sold at half-price or 
even given away. 

The Armenian committees took advantage of the 
new parliamentary elections to stir up a new agitation. 
They increased their activity, and, contrary to their 
engagements, corresponded with the members of the 
opposition who had flediabroad. 

During the Balkan war in 1913 the Tashnakist 


committees issued manifestoes against the Ottoman 
Government and the Union party. The Eussian 
consuls at Erzerum and Bitlis did not conceal their 
sympathy, and at Van the Russian consul threatened 
to the vali to ask Russian troops to come through 
Azerbaijan under the pretext of averting the fictitious 
dangers the Armenians were supposed to run, and of 
restoring order. 

Now, whereas Russia at home unmercifully stifled 
all the attempts of the Armenian committees, she 
encouraged and energetically supported the agitators 
in Turkey. Moreover, in the report addressed by the 
Russian consul at Bitlis to the Russian ambassador 
in Constantinople, dated December 24, 1912, and 
bearing number 63, the Russian Government was 
informed that the aim of the Tashnakists was, as 
they expressly said, " to bring the Russians here," 
and that, in order " to reach this end, the Tashnakists 
are resorting to various means, and doing their best 
to bring about collisions between Armenians and 
Moslems, especially with Ottoman troops." In sup- 
port of this statement he mentioned a few facts that 
leave no doubt about its veracity. 

This report contained the following lines, which 
throw considerable light on the Allies' policy : 

" Your Excellency will understand that the future collisions 
between Armenians and Moslems will partly depend on the 
line of conduct and activity of the Tashnaktsutioun com- 
mittee, on the turn taken by the peace negotiations between 
Turkey and the Slavonic States of the Balkans, and on the 
eventuality of an occupation of Constantinople by the Allies. 
If the deliberations of the London Conference did not bring 
about peace, the coming downfall of the Ottoman capital 
would certainly influence the relations between Moslems and 
Armenians at Bitlis. 


" Both in towns and in the country the Armenians, to- 
gether with their religious leaders, have always displayed 
much inclination and affection for Russia, and have repeat- 
edly declared the Turkish Government is unable to main- 
tain order, justice, and prosperity in their country. Many 
Armenians have already promised to offer the Russian soldiers 
their churches to be converted into orthodox places of 

" The present condition of the Balkans, the victory of 
the Slav and Hellenic Governments over Turkey, have 
delighted the Armenians and filled their hearts with the 
cheerful hope of being freed from Turkey." 

Of course, the coming to Bitlis of a mixed Com- 
mission of Armenians and Turks under the presidency 
of an Englishman, in order to carry out reforms in 
the Turkish provinces near the Caucasus, did not 
please the Armenians and Russians who had sacrificed 
many soldiers to get possession of these regions. 

Taking advantage of the difficulties experienced 
by the Ottoman Government after the Balkan war, 
the committees agreed together to raise anew the 
question of " reforms in the Eastern provinces." 
A special commission, presided over by M. Boghos 
Nubar, was sent by the Catholicos of Etchmiadzin to 
the European Governments to uphold the Armenian 
claims. At the same time a campaign was started 
by the Armenian newspapers of Europe, Constan- 
tinople, and America, especially by the Agadamard, 
the organ of the Tashnaktsutioun committee, which 
had no scruple in slandering the Turks and announc- 
ing sham outrages. 

In 1913 Russia proposed a scheme of reforms 
to be instituted in Armenia. It was communicated 
by M. de Giers to the Six Ambassadors' Conference, 
which appointed a commission to report on it. As 
the German and Austrian representatives raised 


objections to the Russian scheme before that Com- 
mission of Armenian Reforms, which met from 
June 20 to July 3, 1913, at the Austrian embassy at 
Yeni Keui, Russia, after this defeat, strove to bring 
over Germany to her views. 

In September, 1913, M. de Giers and M. de Wangen- 
heim came to terms on a programme to which the 
Porte opposed a counter-proposal. Yet the Russian 
representatives succeeded in concluding a Russo- 
Turkish agreement, January 26 to February 8, 

When the scheme of reforms was outlined, and the 
powers and jurisdiction of the inspectors and their 
staff were settled, the Catholicos sent a telegram of 
congratulation to M. Borghos Nubar and the latter 
sent another to M. Sazonov, for the Armenian com- 
mittees considered the arrangement as a first step 
towards autonomy. Encouraged by this first success, 
the committees exerted^ themselves more and more. 
The Tashnaktsutioun transferred its seat to Erzerum, 
where it held a congress. The Huntchag committee 
sent to Russia and Caucasus several of its most 
influential members to raise funds in order to foment 
a rising to attack the Union and Progress party 
especially, and to overthrow the Government. Such 
was the state of things when war broke out. 

The Patriarch, who passed himself off as repre- 
senting the Armenian people, gathered together 
under his presidency the leaders of the Tashnaktsu- 
tioun, the Huntchag, the Ramgavar, and the Veragaz- 
nial-Huntchag, and the members of the National 
Assembly who were affiliated to these committees to 
decide what attitude they were to take in case the 



Ottoman Government should enter into the war. 
No decision was taken, the Huntchagists declining to 
commit themselves and the Tashnakists stating they 
preferred waiting to see how things would turn out. 
Yet these committees carried on their activities 
separately, and sent instructions to the provinces 
that, if the Russians advanced, all means should be 
resorted to in order to impede the retreat of the 
Ottoman troops and hold up their supplies, and 
if, on the contrary, the Ottoman army advanced, the 
Armenian soldiers should leave their regiments, form 
themselves into groups, and go over to the Russians. 

The committees availed themselves of the difficulties 
of the Ottoman Government, which had recently 
come out of a disastrous war and had just entered 
into a new conflict, to bring about risings at Zeitun, 
in the sandjaks of Marash and Cesarea, and chiefly 
in the vilayet of Van, at Bitlis, Talori, and Mush in 
the vilayet of Bitlis, and in the vilayet of Erzerum. 

In the sandjaks of Erzerum and Bayazid, as 
soon as the decree of mobilisation was issued, most 
of the Armenian soldiers went over to the Russians, 
were equipped and armed anew by them, and then 
sent against the Turks. The same thing occurred at 
Erzindjan, where three-fourths of the Armenians 
crossed the Russian frontier. 

The Armenians of the vilayet of Mamouret' ul Azig 
(Kharput), where the Mussulmans were also attacked 
and where depots of arms had been concealed, pro- 
vided with numerous recruits the regiments dispatched 
by Russia to Van and the Persian frontier. Many 
emissaries had been sent from Russia and Constan- 
tinople to Dersim and its area to raise the Kurds 


against the Ottoman Government. So it was in the 
vilayet of Diarbekir, though the Armenians were in 
a minority. Depots of arms of all descriptions were 
discovered there, together with many refractory 

In the Karahissar area, where several revolutionary 
movements had broken out during and after the 
Balkan war, the Armenians refused to obey the decree 
of mobilisation and were only waiting for the coming 
of the Russians to rebel. 

Similar incidents such as mutinous soldiers, 
attacks against the Turks, threats to families of 
mobilised Ottomans occurred in the vilayet of 

In the vilayet of Van, when the Russians, reinforced 
by Armenian volunteers, started an offensive, some 
Armenian peasants gathered together and prepared 
to attack the Ottoman officials and the gendarmerie. 
At the beginning of 1915 rebellions took place at 
Kevash, Shatak, Havassour, and Timar, and spread 
in the kazas of Arjitch and Adeljivaz. At Van 
over five thousand rebels, seven hundred of whom 
attacked the fortress, blew up the military and 
Government buildings, the Ottoman Bank, the offices 
of the Public Debt, the excise office, the post and 
telegraph offices, and set fire to the Moslem quarter. 
When this insurrection subsided about the end of 
April, numerous Armenian bands, led by Russian 
officers, attempted to cross the Russian and Persian 

After the capture of Van, the Armenians gave a great 
dinner in honour of General Nicolaiev, commander- 
in-chief of the Russian army in Caucasus, who 


made a speech in which he said: " Since 1826, the 
Russians have always striven to free Armenia, but 
political circumstances have always prevented their 
success. Now, as the grouping of nations has been 
quite altered, we may hope Armenians will soon be 
free." Aram Manoukian, known as Aram Pasha, 
soon after appointed provisional Governor of Van 
by General Nicolaiev, replied: "When we rose a 
month ago, we expected the Russians would come. 
At a certain moment, our situation was dreadful. 
We had to choose between surrender and death. 
We chose death, but when we no longer expected 
your help, it has suddenly arrived." 1 

The Armenian bands^even compelled the Ottoman 
Government to call back troops from the front to 
suppress their revolutionary manoeuvres in the 
vilayet of Brusa and the neighbourhood. At Adana, 
as in the other provinces, all sorts of insurrectionary 
movements were smouldering. 

Under such circumstances, the Turkish Government 
tried to crush these revolutionary efforts by military 
expeditions, and the repression was merciless. A 
decree of the Government about changes of residence 
of the Armenian populations included measures for 
the deportation of Armenians. As the Turks are 
generally so listless, and as similar methods had been 
resorted to by the Germans on the Western front, 
these measures may have been suggested to the Turks 
by the Germans. 

Tahsin Pasha, Governor of Van, was replaced 
by Jevdet Bey, Enver's brother-in-law, and Khalil 

1 Hayassdan, July 6, 1915; No. 25. 


Pasha, another relation of Enver, had command 
of the Turkish troops in the Urmia area. Talaat 
sent Mustafa Khalil, his brother-in-law, to Bitlis. 

The revolutionary manoeuvres of the Armenians 
and the repressive measures of the Turks, with their 
mutual repercussions, could not but quicken the old 
feuds; so the outcome was a wretched one for both 

One cannot wonder that under such conditions 
continuous conflicts arose between the two elements 
of the population, that reprisals followed reprisals 
on either side, first after the Turco-Russian war, 
again after the events of 189596, then in the 
course of the Adana conflict, during the Balkan 
war, and finally during the late war. But it is 
impossible to trust the information according to 
which the number of the Armenians slaughtered by 
the Turks rose to over 800,000 and in which no mention 
is made of any Turks massacred by the Armenians. 
These figures are obviously exaggerated, 1 since the 
Armenian population, which only numbered about 
2,300,000 souls before the war throughout the Turkish 
Empire, did not exceed 1,300,000 in the eastern pro- 
vinces, and the Armenians now declare they are still 
numerous enough to make up a State. According to 
Armenian estimates there were about 4,160,000 
Armenians in all in 1914 viz., 2,380,000 in the 
Ottoman Empire, 1,500,000 in Russia, 64,000 in the 

1 We are the more anxious to correct these figures as 
in 1916, at a time when it was difficult to control them, we 
gave about the same figures in a note to the Societe d'Anthro- 
pologie as to the demographic consequences of the war. We 
then relied upon the documents that had just been published 
and on the statements of the Rev. Harold Buxton. 


provinces of the Persian Shah and in foreign colonies, 
and about 8,000 in Cyprus, the isles of the Archipelago, 
Greece, Italy, and Western Europe. 

The best answer to the eager and ever-recurring 
complaints made by the Armenians or at their 
instigation is to refer the reader to a report entitled 
" Statistics of the Bitlis and Van Provinces " drawn 
up by General Mayewsky, who was Kussian consul 
first at Erzerum for six years and later on at Van, 
and in this capacity represented a Power that had 
always showed much hostility to Turkey. It was 
said in it : 

" All the statements of the publicists, which represent 
the Kurds as doing their best to exterminate the Armenians, 
must be altogether rejected. If they were reliable, no 
individual belonging to an alien race could have ever lived 
in the midst of the Kurds, and the various peoples living 
among them would have been obliged to emigrate bodily for 
want of bread, or to become their slaves. Now nothing of the 
kind has occurred. On the contrary, all those who know 
the eastern provinces state that in those countries the 
Christian villages are at any rate more prosperous than those 
of the Kurds. If the Kurds were only murderers and thieves, 
as is often said in Europe, the prosperous state of the Arme- 
nians till 1895 would have been utterly impossible. So the 
distress of the Armenians in Turkey till 1895 is a mere legend. 
The condition of the Turkish Armenians was no worse than 
that of the Armenians living in other countries. 

" The complaints according to which the condition of the 
Armenians in Turkey is represented as unbearable do not 
refer to the inhabitants of the towns, for the latter have 
always been free and enjoyed privileges in every respect. 
As to the peasants, owing to their perfect knowledge of 
farm work and irrigation, their condition was far superior 
to that of the peasants in Central Russia. 

" As to the Armenian clergy, they make no attempt to 
teach religion ; but they have striven hard to spread national 
ideas. Within the precincts of mysterious convents, the 
teaching of hatred of the Turk has replaced devotional 
observances. The schools and seminaries eagerly second the 
religious leaders." 


After the collapse of Russia, the Armenians, 
Georgians, and Tatars formed a Transcaucasian 
Republic which was to be short-lived, and we have 
dealt in another book with the attempt jnade by 
these three States together to safeguard their inde- 
pendence. 1 

The Soviet Government issued a decree on January 
13, 1918, stipulating in Article 1 " the evacuation of 
Armenia by the Russian troops, and the immediate 
organisation of an Armenian militia in order to safe- 
guard the personal and material security of the inhabi- 
tants of Turkish Armenia," and in Article 4, " the 
establishment of a provisional Armenian Government 
in Turkish Armenia consisting of delegates of the 
Armenian people elected according to democratic 
principles," which obviously could not satisfy the 

Two months after the promulgation of this decree, 
the Brest-Litovsk treaty in March, 1918, stipulated 
in Article 4 that " Russia shall do her utmost to 
ensure the quick evacuation of the eastern provinces 
of Anatolia. Ardahan, Kars, and Batum shall be 
evacuated at once by the Russian troops." 

The Armenians were the more dissatisfied and 
anxious after these events as they had not concealed 
their hostile feelings against the Turks and their satis- 
faction no longer to be under their dominion; they 
now dreaded the return of the Turks, who would 
at least make an effort to recover the provinces they 
had lost in 1878. 

In April of the same year fighting was resumed, 

Le Mouvement pan-russe et les attogdnes (Paris, 1919) 


and Trebizond, Erzinjan, Erzerum, Mush, and Van 
were recaptured by the Turks. After the negotia- 
tions between the Georgians and the Turks, and the 
arrangements that supervened, the Armenians con- 
stituted a Republic in the neighbourhood of Erivan 
and Lake Sevanga (Gokcha). 

After the discussion of the Armenian question at 
the Peace Conference and a long exchange of views, 
Mr. Wilson, in August, 1919, sending a note direct 
to the Ottoman Government, called upon it to prevent 
any further massacre of Armenians and warned it 
that, should the Constantinople Government be unable 
to do so, he would cancel the twelfth of his Fourteen 
Points demanding " that the present Ottoman Empire 
should be assured of entire sovereignty " which, 
by the by, is in contradiction with other points of the 
same message to Congress, especially the famous right 
of self-determination of nations, which he wished 
carried out unreservedly. 

The Armenians did not give up the tactics that 
had roused Turkish animosity and had even exas- 
perated it, for at the end of August they prepared to 
address a new note to the Allied High Commissioners 
in Constantinople to draw their attention to the 
condition of the Christian element in Anatolia and 
the dangers the Armenians of the Republic of Erivan 
were beginning to run. Mgr. Zaven, Armenian 
Patriarch, summed up this note in a statement 
published by Le Temps, August 31, 1919. 

Mr. Gerard, former ambassador of the United States 


at Berlin, in a telegram 1 addressed to Mr. Balfour 
on February 15, 1920, asserted that treaties for the 
partition of Armenia had been concluded during 
Mr. Balfour's tenure of the post of Secretary for 
Foreign Affairs and at a time when the Allied leaders 
and statesmen had adopted the principle of self- 
determination of peoples as their principal war-cry. 
He expressed distress over news that the Allies 
might cut up Armenia, and said that 20,000 ministers, 
85 bishops, 250 college and university presidents, 
and 40 governors, who had " expressed themselves in 
favour of unified Armenia, will be asked to join in 
condemnation of decimation of Armenia." He added 
that Americans had given 6,000,000 for Armenian 
relief, and that another 6,000,000 had been asked 
for. Americans were desirous of aiding Armenia 
during her formative period. " Ten members of our 
committee, including Mr. Hughes and Mr. Root, and 
with the approval of Senator Lodge, had telegraphed 
to the President that America should aid Armenia. 
We are earnestly anxious that Britain should seriously 
consider American opinion on the Armenian case. 
Can you not postpone consideration of the Turkish 
question until after ratification of the treaty by the 
Senate, which is likely to take place before March ?" 
Mr. Balfour, in his reply dispatched on February 24, 

" In reply to your telegram of February 16, I should 
observe that the first paragraph seems written under a mis- 
apprehension. I concluded no treaties about Armenia at all. 

" I do not understand why Great Britain will be held 
responsible by 20,000 ministers of religion, 85 bishops, 

1 The Times, March 15. 1920. 


250 university professors, and 40 governors if a Greater 
Armenia is not forthwith created, including Russian Armenia 
on the north and stretching to the Mediterranean on the 

" Permit me to remind you of the facts. 

"1. Great Britain has no interests in Armenia except those 
based on humanitarian grounds. In this respect her position 
is precisely that of the United States. 

" 2. I have always urged whenever I had an opportunity 
that the United States should take its share in the burden of 
improving conditions in the pre-war territories of the Turkish 
Empire and in particular that it should become the manda- 
tory in Armenia. Events over which Great Britain had no 
control have prevented this consummation and have delayed, 
with most unhappy results, the settlement of the Turkish 

" 3. There appears to be great misconception as to the 
condition of affairs in Armenia. You make appeal in your 
first sentence to the principle of self-determination. If this 
is taken in its ordinary meaning as referring to the wishes 
of the majority actually inhabiting a district, it must be 
remembered that in vast regions of Greater Armenia the 
inhabitants are overwhelmingly Mussulman, and if allowed 
to vote would certainly vote against the Armenians. 

" I do not think this conclusive; but it must not be for- 
gotten. Whoever undertakes, in your own words, to aid 
Armenia during her formative period must. I fear, be prepared 
to use military force. Great Britain finds the utmost diffi- 
culty in carrying out the responsibilities she has already 
undertaken. She cannot add Armenia to their number. 
America with her vast population and undiminished resources, 
and no fresh responsibilities thrown upon her by the war, is 
much more fortunately situated. She has shown herself 
most generous towards these much oppressed people; but 
I greatly fear that even the most lavish charity, unsupported 
by political and military assistance, will prove quite insuffi- 
cient to deal with the unhappy consequences of Turkish 
cruelty and misrule. 

" If I am right in inferring from your telegram that my 
attitude on the question has been somewhat misunderstood 
in America, I should be grateful if you would give publicity 
to this reply." 

On February 28 Mr. Gerard telegraphed to Mr. 
Balfour that in referring to treaties made during Mr. 
Balfour's period of office he had in mind the Sykes- 


Picot compact. After saying that " Great Britain 
and France could not be justified in requiring Ameri- 
can aid to Armenia as a condition precedent to their 
doing justice to Armenia," he declared that " Ar- 
menia's plight since 1878 is not unrelated to a series 
of arrangements, well meant, no doubt, in which 
Great Britain played a directive role," and he con- 
cluded in the following terms : 

" Our faith in chivalry of Great Britain and France and our 
deliberate conviction in ultimate inexpediency of allowing 
Turkish threat to override concerted will of Western civilisa- 
tion through further sacrifice of Armenia inspire us to plead 
with you to construe every disadvantage in favour of Armenia 
and ask you to plan to aid her toward fulfilment of her legi- 
timate aspirations, meanwhile depending on us to assume our 
share in due time, bearing in mind imperative necessity of 
continued concord that must exist between our democracies 
for our respective benefit and for that of the world." 

Soon after, Lord Curzon said in the House of Lords : 
" It must be owned the Armenians during the last 
weeks did not behave ^like innocent little lambs, as 
some people imagine. The fact is they have in- 
dulged in a series of wild attacks, and proved blood- 
thirsty people." The Times gave an account of these 
atrocities on March 19. 

At the beginning of February, 1920, the British 
Armenia Committee of London had handed to Mr. 
Lloyd George a memorandum in which the essential 
claims of Armenia were set forth before the Turkish 
problem was definitely settled by the Allies. 

In this document the Committee said they were 
sorry that Lord Curzon on December 17, 1919, ex- 
pressed a doubt about the possibility of the total 
realisation of the Armenian scheme, according to 
which Armenia was to stretch from one sea to the 


other, especially as the attitude of America did not 
facilitate the solution of the Armenian question. 
After recalling Lord Curzon's and Mr. Lloyd George's 
declarations in both the House of Lords and the 
House of Commons, the British Armenia Committee 
owned it was difficult, if the United States refused 
a mandate and if no other mandatory could be found, 
to group into one nation all the Ottoman provinces 
which they believed Armenia was to include ; yet they 
drafted a programme which, though it was a minimum 
one, aimed at completely and definitely freeing the$e 
provinces from Turkish sovereignty. It ran as 
follows : 

" An Ottoman suzerainty, even a nominal one, would be an 
outrage, as the Ottoman Government deliberately sought to 
exterminate the Armenian people. 

" It would be a disgrace for all nations if the bad precedents 
of Eastern Rumelia, Macedonia, and Crete were followed, 
and if similar expedients were resorted to, in reference to 
Armenia. The relations between Armenia and the Ottoman 
Empire must wholly cease, and the area thus detached must 
include all the former Ottoman provinces. The Ottoman 
Government of Constantinople has for many years kept up 
a state of enmity and civil war among the various local races, 
and many facts demonstrate that when once that strange, 
malevolent sovereignty is thrust aside, these provinces will 
succeed in living together on friendly, equable terms." 

The British Armenia Committee asked that the 
Armenian territories which were to be detached from 
Turkey should be immediately united into an inde- 
pendent Armenian State, which would not be merely 
restricted to " the quite inadequate area of the 
Republic of Erivan," but would include the former 
Russian districts of Erivan and Kars, the zone of the 
former Ottoman territories with the towns of Van, 
Mush, Erzerum, Erzinjan, etc., and a port on the 


Black Sea. This document proclaimed that the 
Armenians now living were numerous enough " to 
fortify, consolidate, and ensure the prosperity of 
an Armenian State within these boundaries, without 
giving up the hope of extending farther." It went 
on thus : 

" The economic distress now prevailing in the Erivan area 
is due to the enormous number of refugees coming from the 
neighbouring Ottoman provinces who are encamped there 
temporarily. If these territories were included in the 
Armenian State, the situation would be much better, for 
all these refugees would be able to return to their homes and 
till their lands. With a reasonable foreign support, the 
surviving manhood of the nation would suffice to establish a 
National State in this territory, which includes but one-fourth 
of the total Armenian State to be detached from Turkey. In 
the new State, the Armenians will still be more numerous 
than the other non-Armenian elements, the latter not being 
connected together and having been decimated during the 
war like the Armenians." 

Finally, in support of its claim, the Committee 
urged that the Nationalist movement of Mustafa 
Kemal was a danger to England, and showed that 
only Armenia could check this danger. 

" For if Mustafa Kemal's Government is not overthrown, 
our new Kurdish frontier will never be at peace; the diffi- 
culties of its defence will keep on increasing; and the effect 
of the disturbances will be felt as far as India. If, on the 
contrary, that focus of disturbance is replaced by a stable 
Armenian State, our burden will surely be alleviated." 

Then the British Armenia Committee, summing up 
its chief claims, asked for the complete separation 
of the Ottoman Empire from the Armenian area, and, 
in default of an American mandate, the union of 
the Armenian provinces of the Turkish Empire 
contiguous to the Republic of Erivan with the latter 
Republic, together with a port on the Black Sea. 


In the report which had been drawn up by the 
American Commission of Inquiry sent to Armenia, 
with General Harboor as chairman, and which 
President Wilson had transmitted to the Senate at 
the beginning of April, 1920, after the latter assembly 
had asked twice for it, no definite conclusion was 
reached as to the point whether America was to 
accept or refuse a mandate for that country. The 
report simply declared that in no case should the 
United States accept a mandate without the agree- 
ment of France and Great Britain and the formal 
approbation of Germany and Russia. It merely set 
forth the reasons for and against the mandate. 

It first stated that whatever Power accepts the 
mandate must have under its control the whole of 
Anatolia, Constantinople, and Turkey-in-Europe, and 
have complete control over the foreign relations and 
the revenue of the Ottoman Empire. 

Before coming to the reasons that tend in favour 
of the acceptance of the mandate by the United 
States, General Harboor made an appeal to the 
humanitarian feelings of the Americans and urged 
that it was their interest to ensure the peace of the 
world. Then he declared their acceptance would 
answer the wishes of the Near East, whose preference 
undeniably was for America, or, should the United 
States refuse, for Great Britain. He added that each 
Great Power, in case it could not obtain a mandate, 
would want it to be given to America. 

The report valued the expenditure entailed by 
acceptance of the mandate at 275 million dollars 
for the first year, and $756,140,000 for the first 
five years. After some time, the profits made by 


the mandatory Power would balance the expenses, 
and Americans might find there a profitable invest- 
ment. But the Board of Administration of the 
Ottoman Debt should be dissolved and all the com- 
mercial treaties concluded by Turkey should be 
cancelled. The Turkish Imperial Debt should be 
unified and a sinking fund provided. The economic 
conditions granted to the mandatory Power should 
be liable to revision and might be cancelled. 

Further, it was observed that if America refused 
the mandate the international rivalries which had 
had full scope under Turkish dominion would assert 
themselves again. 

The reasons given by the American Commission 
against acceptance of the mandate were that the 
United States had serious domestic problems to deal 
with, and such an intervention in the affairs of the 
Old World would weaken the standpoint they had 
taken on the Monroe - doctrine. The report also 
pointed out that the United States were in no way 
responsible for the awkward situation in the East, and 
they could not undertake engagements for the future 
for the new Congress could not be bound by the 
policy pursued by the present one. The report also 
remarked that Great Britain and Russia and the 
other Great Powers too had taken very little interest 
in those countries, though England had enough 
experience and resources to control them. Finally, 
the report emphasised this point that the United 
States had still more imperious obligations towards 
nearer foreign countries, and still more urgent ques- 
tions to settle. Besides, an army of 100,000 to 
200,000 men would be needed to maintain order in 


Armenia. Lastly, a considerable outlay of money 
would be necessary, and the receipts would be at 
first very small. 

On the other hand, the British League of 
Nations Union asked the English Government to give 
instructions to its representatives to support the 
motion of the Supreme Council according to which 
the protection of the independent Armenian State 
should be entrusted to the League of Nations. 

According to the terms of the Treaty of Peace with 
Turkey, President Wilson had been asked to act as 
an arbiter to lay down the Armenian frontiers on 
the side of the provinces of Van, Bitlis, Erzerum, 
and Trebizond. 

Under these circumstances the complete solution 
of the Armenian problem was postponed indefinitely, 
and it is difficult to foresee how the problem will 
ever be solved. 



The attempts at Russification made immediately 
after the 1877 war by means of the scholastic method 
of Elminski resulted in the first manifestations of 
the Pan-Turanian movement. They arose, not in 
Russia, but in Russian Tatary. The Tatars of the 
huge territories of Central Asia, by reason of their 
annexation to the Russian Empire and the indirect 
contact with the West that it entailed, and also 
owing to their reaction against the West, awoke to 
a consciousness of their individuality and strength. 

A series of ethnographic studies which were begun 


at that time by M. de Ujfalvi upon the Hungarians 
all the peoples speaking a Finno-Ugrian idiom 
descending from the same stock as those who speak 
the Turkish, Mongol, and Manchu languages and 
were continued by scholars of various nationalities, 
gave the Pan-Turanian doctrine a scientific basis; 
the principles of this doctrine were laid down by 
H. Vambery, 1 and it was summed up by Leon Cahun 
in his Introduction a Vhistoire de VAsie. 2 This 
Turco-Tartar movement expanded, and its most 
authoritative leaders were Youssouf Ahtchoura Oglou ; 
Ahmed Agayeff, who was arrested at the begin- 
ning of the armistice by the English as a Unionist 
and sent to Malta ; and later Zia Geuk Alp, a Turkish 
poet and publicist, the author of Kizil-Elma (The 
Red Apple), who turned the Union and Progress 
Committee towards the Pan-Turanian movement 
though he had many opponents on that committee, 
and who was arrested too and sent to Malta. 

Islam for thirteen centuries, by creating a 
religious solidarity between peoples of alien races, 
had brought about a kind of religious nationality 
under its hegemony. But the ambitious scheme of 
Pan-Islamism was jeopardised in modern times by 
new influences and widely different political aspira- 
tions. It was hoped for some time that by grouping 
the national elements of Turkey and pursuing a con- 
ciliatory policy it would be possible to give a sound 

1 H. Vambery. Cagataische Sprachstudien (Leipzig, 1867); 
Etymolooisches Worterbuch der Turko-Tatarischen Sprachen 
(Leipzig, 1875); Das Turkenvolk (1885). 

* Leon Cahun, Introduction a Vhistoire de VAsie, Turcs ef 
Mongols, des origines a 1405 (Paris, 1896). 



basis to that religious nationality. But that nation- 
ality soon proved unable to curb the separatist 
aspirations of the various peoples subjected to the 
Turkish yoke, and then, again, it wounded the pride 
of some Turkish elements by compelling them to obey 
the commandments of Islam, to which all the Turanian 
populations had not fully adhered. The Pan-Islamic 
movement later on grew more and more nationalist 
in character, and assumed a Pan-Turkish tendency, 
though it remained Pan-Turanian that is to say, it 
still included the populations speaking the Turkish, 
Mongol, and Manchu languages. 

Without in any way giving up the Pan-Islamic idea, 
Turkish Nationalism could not but support the Pan- 
Turanian movement, which it hoped would add the 
18 million Turks living in the former Russian Empire, 
Persia, and Afghanistan, to the 8 million Turks of 
the territories of the Ottoman Empire. 

Owing to its origin and the character it has assumed, 
together with the geographical situation and im- 
portance of the populations concerned, this move- 
ment appears as a powerful obstacle to the policy 
which England seems intent upon pursuing, and to 
which she seeks to bring over Italy and France. 
It also exemplifies the latent antagonism which had 
ever existed between the Arabian world and the 
Turkish world, and which, under the pressure of 
events, soon asserted itself. 

Indeed, the mutual relations of the Arabs and the 
Turks had been slowly but deeply modified in the 
course of centuries. 

After the great Islamic movement started by 
Mohammed in the seventh century, the Arabs who 


had hitherto been mostly confined within the boun- 
daries of the Arabian peninsula spread to the west 
over the whole of Northern Africa as far as Spain, 
and to the east over Mesopotamia and a part of 
Persia. In the twelfth century Arabian culture 
reached its climax, for the Arabian Caliphs of 
Baghdad ruled over huge territories. At that time 
Arabic translations revealed to Europe the works of 
Aristotle and of the Chaldean astronomers, and the 
Arabs, through Spain, had an important influence on 
the first period of modern civilisation. 

In 1453, when the Turks, who had extended their 
dominion over all the shores of the Mediterranean, 
settled at Constantinople, which became the capital 
of the Islamic Empire, the influence of Arabia de- 
creased; yet the Arabs still enjoyed in various parts 
political independence and a kind of religious pre- 

For instance, the Arabs settled in the north of 
Western Africa, after losing Spain, became quite 
independent, and formed the Empire of Morocco, 
which was not under the suzerainty of Constantinople. 

The Arabian tribes and Berber communities of 
Algeria and Tunis, which had more or less remained 
under the suzerainty of the Sultan, were no longer 
amenable to him after the French conquest. The 
Pasha of Egypt, by setting up as an independent 
Sovereign, and founding the hereditary dynasty of 
the Khedives, deprived the Ottoman dominion of 
Egypt, where the Arabs were not very numerous, but 
had played an important part in the development 
of Islam. The Italian conquest took away from 
Turkey the last province she still owned in Africa. 


Finally, when the late war broke out, England 
deposed the Khedive Abbas Hilmi, who was travel- 
ling in Europe and refused to go back to Egypt. 
She proclaimed her protectorate over the Nile valley, 
and, breaking off the religious bond that linked 
Egypt with the Ottoman Empire, she made Sultan of 
Egypt, independent of the Sultan of Constantinople, 
Hussein Kamel, uncle of the deposed Khedive, who 
made his entry into Cairo on December 20, 1914. 

The Turks, however, kept possession of the Holy 
Places, Mecca and Medina, which they garrisoned 
and governed. This sovereignty was consolidated by 
the railway of the pilgrimage. The investiture of the 
Sherif of Mecca was still vested in them, and they 
chose the member of his family who was to succeed 
him, and who was detained as a hostage at Con- 
stantinople. But after the failure of the expedition 
against the Suez Canal during the late war, and at 
the instigation of England, the Sherif, as we shall 
see, proclaimed himself independent, and assumed 
the title of Melek, or King of Arabia. 

On the other hand, the province of the Yemen, 
lying farther south of the Hejaz, has always refused 
to acknowledge the authority of Constantinople, and 
is practically independent. Lastly, at the southern 
end of the Arabian peninsula, the English have held 
possession of Aden since 1839, and have extended 
their authority, since the opening of the Suez Canal 
in 1869, over all the Hadramaut. All the sheiks of 
this part of Arabia along the southern coast, over 
whom the authority of Turkey was but remotely 
exercised and was practically non-existent, naturally 
accepted the protectorate of England without any 


difficulty, in return for the commercial facilities she 
brought them and the allowances she granted them, 
and in 1873 Turkey formally recognised the English 
possession of this coast. 

On the eastern coast of the Arabian peninsula the 
territory of the Sultan of Oman, or Maskat, lying 
along the Persian Gulf , has been since the beginning 
of the nineteenth century under the authority of the 
Viceroy of India. This authority extends nowadays 
over all the territories lying between Aden and 
Mesopotamia, which are in consequence entirely 
under English sway. 

Moreover, the English have proclaimed their pro- 
tectorate over the Sheik of Koweit. 

Koweit had been occupied by the British Navy 
after the Kaiser's visit to Tangier, and thus Ger- 
many had been deprived of an outlet for her railway 
line from Anatolia to Baghdad. The Eev. S. M. 
Zwemer, in a book written some time ago. Arabia, the 
Birthplace of Islam, after showing the exceptional 
situation occupied by England in these regions, owned 
that British policy had ambitious designs on the 
Arabian peninsula and the lands round the Persian 

Since the outbreak of the war, Ottoman sovereignty 
has also lost the small Turkish province of Hasa, 
between Koweit and Maskat, inhabited entirely by 
Arabian tribes. 

The rebellion of the Sherif of Mecca against the 
temporal power of the Sultans of Mecca shows how 
important was the change that had taken place 
within the Arabian world, but also intimates that 
the repercussions of the war, after accelerating the 


changes that were already taking place in the relations 
between the Arabs and the Turks, must needs later 
on bring about an understanding or alliance between 
these two elements against any foreign dominion. 
In the same way, the encroachments of England upon 
Arabian territories have brought about a change in 
the relations between the Arabs and the English; 
in days of yore the Arabs, through ignorance or 
because they were paid to do so, more than once 
used English rifles against the Turks; but the recent 
Arabian risings against the British in Mesopotamia 
seem to prove that the Arabs have now seen their 
mistake, and have concluded that the English were 
deceiving them when they said the Caliphate was in 

Finally, in order to pave the way to a British 
advance from Mesopotamia to the Black Sea, England 
for a moment contemplated the formation of a 
Kurdistan, though a long existence in common and 
the identity of feelings and creed have brought about 
a deep union between the Kurds and the Turks, and 
a separation is contrary to the express wishes of both 

It is a well-known fact that the descendants of 
Ali, the Prophet's cousin, who founded the dynasty 
of the Sherifs, or Nobles, took the title of Emirs 
i.e., Princes of Mecca, and that the Emir of the 
Holy Places of Arabia had always to be recognised 
by the Sherif to have a right to bear the title of 
Caliph. This recognition of the Caliphs by the 
Sherifs was made public by the mention of the 


name of the Caliph in the Khoutba, or Friday 

In consequence of political vicissitudes, the Emirs 
of Mecca successively recognised the Caliphs of 
Baghdad, the Sultans of Egypt until the conquest 
of Egypt by Selim I in 1517, and the Sultans of 
Turkey, whose sovereignty over the Holy Places has 
always been more or less nominal, and has hardly 
ever been effective over the Hejaz. 

When the Wahhabi schism took place, the Wahha- 
bis, who aimed at restoring the purer doctrines of 
primitive Islam, and condemned the worship of the 
holy relics and the Prophet's tomb, captured Mecca 
and Medina. 

Mehmet AH, Pasha of Egypt, was deputed by the 
Porte to reconquer the Holy Places, which he governed 
from 1813 to 1840. Since that time the Ottoman 
Government has always appointed a Governor of the 
Hejaz and maintained^ a garrison there, and the 
Porte took care a member of the Sherif's family 
should reside in Constantinople in order to be able 
to replace the one who bore the title of Sherif , should 
the latter ever refuse to recognise the Caliph. 

Long negotiations were carried on during the war 
between the British Government and Hussein, 
Sherif of Mecca, the Emir Feisal's father, concerning 
the territorial conditions on which peace might be 
restored in the East. These views were set forth 
in eight letters exchanged between July, 1915, and 
January, 1916. 

In July, 1915, the Sherif offered his military co- 
operation to the British Government, in return for 
which he asked it to recognise the independence of 


the Arabs within a territory including Mersina and 
Adana on the northern side and then bounded by the 
thirty-seventh degree of latitude; on the east its 
boundary was to be the Persian frontier down to the 
Gulf of Basra; on the south the Indian Ocean, with 
the exception of Aden; on the west the Red Sea 
and the Mediterranean as far as Mersina. 

On August 30, 1915, Sir Henry MacMahon, 
British resident in Cairo, observed in his answer 
that discussion about the future frontiers was rather 

In a letter dated September 9, forwarded to the 
Foreign Office on October 18 by Sir Henry Mac- 
Mahon, the Sherif insisted upon an immediate dis- 
cussion. As he forwarded this letter, Sir Henry 
MacMahon mentioned the following statement made 
to him by the Sherif s representative in Egypt: 

" The occupation by France of the thoroughly Arabian 
districts of Aleppo, Hama, Horns, and Damascus would 
be opposed by force of arms by the Arabs: but with the 
exception of these districts, the Arabs are willing to accept 
a few modifications of the north-western frontiers proposed 
by the Sherif of Mecca." 

On October 24, 1915, by his Government's order, 
Sir Henry MacMahon addressed the Sherif the 
following letter : 

" The districts of Mersina and Alexandretta and the parts 
of Syria lying to the west of the districts of Damascus, Horns, 
Hama, and Aleppo cannot be looked upon as merely Arabian, 
and should be excluded from the limits and frontiers that 
are being discussed. With these modifications, and without 
in any way impairing our present treaties with the Arabian 
chiefs, we accept your limits and frontiers. As to the terri- 
tories within these limits, in which Great Britain has a free 
hand as far as she does not injure the interests of her ally. 


France, I am desired by the British Government to make the 
following promise in answer to your letter. 

" ' With the reservation of the above-mentioned modifica- 
tions, Great Britain is willing to recognise and support 
Arabian independence within the territories included in the 
limits and frontiers proposed by the Sherif of Mecca.' " 

On November 5, 1915, the Sherif, in his answer, 
agreed to the exclusion of Mersina and Adana, but 
maintained his claims on the other territories, especi- 
ally Beyrut. 

On December 13 Sir Henry MacMahon took note of 
the Sherif s renunciation of Mersina and Adana. 

On January 1, 1916, the Sherif wrote that, not to 
disturb the Franco-British alliance, he would lay 
aside his claims to Lebanon during the war ; but 
he would urge them again on the conclusion of 

On January 30, 1916, Sir Henry MacMahon took 
note of the Sherif s wish to avoid all that might be 
prejudicial to the alliance between France and 
England, and stated lhat the friendship between 
France and England would be maintained after 
the war. 

On June 10, 1916, a rebellion broke out at Mecca. 
At daybreak the barracks were encircled by Arabs. 
Hussein ibn Ali, who was at the head of the move- 
ment, informed the Turkish commander that the 
Hejaz had proclaimed its independence. On June 11 
the Arabs captured the Turkish fort of Bash-Karacal. 
and on the 12th Fort Hamadie. Soon after Jeddah 
surrendered, and on September 21 El Taif. 

In a proclamation dated June 27, 1916, the Sherif 
Hussein ibn Ali stated the political and religious 
reasons that had induced him to rebel against the 


Ottoman Government. He declared the latter was in 
the hands of the Young Turk party, that the Com- 
mittee of Union and Progress had driven the country 
to war, was destroying the power of the Sultan, and 
had violated the rights of the Caliphate. 

On October 5 the Sherif Hussein formed an 
Arabian Cabinet, convened an Assembly, and on 
November 6 caused himself to be proclaimed King 
of the Arabs. 

In November, 1916, he issued a second proclama- 
tion, not so lofty in tone, but more wily in its wording, 
which seemed to lack personality in its inspiration. 
It began thus: "It is a well-known fact that the 
better informed people in the Moslem world, Otto- 
mans and others, saw with much misgiving Turkey 
rush into the war." He then stated that 

" The Ottoman Empire is a Moslem empire, whose wide 
territories have a considerable sea-frontage. So the policy of 
the great Ottoman Sultans, inspired by this twofold considera- 
tion, has always aimed at keeping on friendly terms with the 
Powers that rule over the majority of Moslems and at the 
same time hold the mastery of the seas." 

He went on as follows: 

" The one cause of the downfall of the Ottoman Empire 
and the extermination of its populations was the short- 
sighted tyranny of the leaders of the Unionist faction Enver, 
Jemal, Talaat, and their accomplices; it is the giving up of the 
political traditions established by the great Ottoman states- 
men and based on the friendship of the two Powers that 
deserve most to be glorified England and France." 

He shared the opinion of those who reproached the 
Turks with the " atrocities committed by Greeks 
and Armenians "; he called upon them " the reproba- 


tion of the world " ; and he wound up his proclamation 
with these words: 

" Our hatred and enmity go to the leaders who are re- 
sponsible for such doings Enver, Jemal, Talaat, and their 
accomplices. We will not have anything to do with such 
tyrants, and in communion with all believers and all unpreju- 
diced minds in the Ottoman Empire and Islam throughout 
the world we declare our hatred and enmity towards them, 
and before God we separate our cause from their cause." 

Great Britain later on insisted upon this point 
that the question of the territorial conditions with 
a view to restoring peace had not been dealt with 
since the beginning of 1916, except in the above- 
mentioned exchange of notes. In September, 1919, 
in a semi-official communication to the Press, she 
emphatically declared that it followed from these 
documents : 

(1) That in the letter dated October 24, 1915, 
which formulates the only engagement between Great 
Britain and the Sherif , the British Government had 
not pledged itself to do anything contrary to the 
Anglo-French treaty of 1916. 

(2) That no fresh engagement had been entered 
into by Great Britain with the Sherif since the 
beginning of the negotiations that M. Georges Picot 
had been directed to carry on in London to pave the 
way to the treaty of 1916. For the negotiators had 
met for the first time on November 23, 1915, and 
the last two letters exchanged in January, 1916, 
added nothing to the engagements made with King 
Hussein in the letter of October 24 of the previous 

Finally, on March '5, 1917, Hussein, now King of 
the Hejaz, sent an appeal to all the Moslems of 


Turkey against the Ottoman Government, which he 
charged with profaning the tomb of the Prophet in 
the course of the operations of June, 1916. 

On October 1, 1918, Feisal entered Damascus at 
the head of his own victorious troops, but not with 
the Allied armies, after fighting all the way from 
Maan to Aleppo, a distance of above 400 miles. 
By his military and political activity, he had 
succeeded in quelling the private quarrels between 
tribes, and grouping round him the Arabian chiefs, 
between whom there had been much rivalry not long 
before, at the same time protecting the right flank of 
the British army, which was in a hazardous position. 

Without giving up his favourite scheme, he was 
thus brought face to face with the Syrian question. 

Though the Arabian movement cannot be looked 
upon merely as the outcome of the arrangements 
concluded in regard to Syria between the Allies during 
the war, the latter seem at least to have brought 
about a state of things which reinforced the Syrian 
aspirations and encouraged them to assert themselves. 

The Syrians had once more taken advantage of the 
events which had convulsed Europe, and had had 
their after-effects in Asia Minor, to assert their deter- 
mination to be freed frpm Ottoman sovereignty; 
and now they hoped to bring the Peace Conference 
to recognise a mode of government consistent with 
their political and economic aspirations. 

The suppression of the autonomy of Lebanon, the 
requisitions, the administrative measures and prose- 
cutions ordered in 1916 by Jemal Pasha against the 
Syrians, who wanted Syria to be erected into an 
independent State, had not succeeded in modifying 


the tendency which for a long time had aimed at 
detaching Syria from the Ottoman Empire, and at 
taking advantage of the influence France exercised 
in the country to further this aim. 

In 1912 M. R. Poincare, then Minister of Foreign 
Affairs, clearly stated before the French Chamber 
that the French and British Governments shared 
exactly the same views concerning the Syrian ques- 
tion. Yet later facts soon proved that the English 
policy would necessarily conflict with French in- 
fluence and try to destroy it after turning it to her 
own advantage. Simultaneously the Turks saw that 
the time had come to modify the existing regime. 

M. Def ranee, who is now French High Commis- 
sioner in Turkey, but was then French Consul- General 
at Cairo, informed the French Government that the 
Ottoman Committee of decentralisation was of 
opinion that Syria should become an autonomous 
country, governed by a Moslem prince chosen by 
the people, and placed under the protection of 

On March 11, 1914, M. Georges Leygues again raised 
the Syrian question before the French Parliament. 
He maintained that the axis of French policy lay in 
the Mediterranean with Algeria, Tunis, and Morocco 
on one side and on the other side Syria and Lebanon, 
the latter being the best spheres open to French 
action on account of the economic interests and 
moral influence France already exercised there. And 
the French Parliament granted the sums of money 
which were needed for developing French estab- 
lishments in the East. 

About the same time the Central Syrian Committee 


expressed the wish that the various regions of Syria 
should be grouped into one State, under French 
control. Fifteen Lebano-Syrian committees estab- 
lished in various foreign countries expressed the 
same wish; the Manchester committee merely asked 
that Syria should not be partitioned. A Syrian 
congress, held at Marseilles at the end of 1918 under 
the presidency of M. Franklin Bouillon, declared that 
for various economic and judicial reasons France 
could be of great use to Syria, in case the direction of 
the country should be entrusted to her. 

But the establishment of a Syrian State, whether 
enjoying the same autonomy as Lebanon has had 
since 1864 under the guarantee of France, England, 
Russia, Austria, Prussia, and later on Italy, or being 
governed in another way, was in contradiction to 
the arrangements made by France and England in 
1916. Though the agreement between these two 
Powers has never been made public, yet it is well 
known that it had been decided contrary to the 
teaching of both history and geography that Syria 
should be divided into several regions. Now, the 
centre of Syria, which stretches from the Euphrates 
to the sea, happens to be Damascus, and this very 
town, according to the British scheme, was to be 
included in an Arabian Confederation headed by the 

At the beginning of 1916, the Emir Feisal came to 
Paris, and, after the conversations held in France, a 
satisfactory agreement seemed to have been reached. 

The Emir Feisal was solemnly received in January, 
1919, at the Hotel de Ville in Paris, and in the course 
of a reception at the Hotel Continental, the Croix de 


Guerre of the first class was presented to the Arab 
chief on February 4, with the following " citation " : 

" As early as 1916, he resolutely seconded the efforts of 
his father, the King of the Hejaz, to shake off the Turkish 
yoke and support the Allied cause. 

" He proved a remarkable, energetic commander, a friend 
to his soldiers. 

" He planned and carried out personally several important 
operations against the Damascus-Medina railway, and cap- 
tured El-Ouedjy and Akaba. 

" From August. 1917, till September, 1918, he led numerous 
attacks north and south of Maan, capturing several railway 
stations and taking a great number of prisoners. 

" He helped to destroy the 4th, 7th, 8th, and 9th Turkish 
armies by cutting off their communications to the north, 
south, and west of Deraa, and after a very bold raid he 
entered Damascus on October 1, and Aleppo on the 26th 
with the Allied troops." 

On February 6, 1919, he asked the Committee of 
the Ten on behalf of his father, Hussein ibn Ali, 
to recognise the independence of the Arabian penin- 
sula, and declared he aimed at grouping the various 
regions of Arabian Asia under one sovereignty. He 
did not hesitate to remind the members of the Con- 
ference that he was speaking in the name of a people 
who had already reached a high degree of civilisation 
at a time when the Powers they represented did not 
even exist ; and at the end of the sitting in the course 
of which the scheme of a League of Nations was 
adopted, he asked that all the secret treaties about 
the partition of the Asiatic dominion of the Ottoman 
Empire between the Great Powers should be definitely 

In March, 1919, the Emir went back to Syria, 
under the pretext of using his influence in favour 
of a French collaboration. He was given an enthusi- 
astic greeting; but the supporters of the Arabian 


movement, which was partly his own work, declared 
their hostility to any policy that would bring about 
a mandate for Syria. 

On March 7 it was announced that a National 
Syrian Congress, sitting at Damascus, had just 
proclaimed Syria an independent country, and the 
Emir Feisal, son of the Grand Sherif of Mecca, King 
of Syria. 

It was reported that a declaration, issued by a 
second congress that was held in the same town 
and styled itself Congress of Mesopotamia, had 
been read at the same sitting, through which the 
latter congress solemnly proclaimed the independence 
of Irak Mesopotamia with the Emir Abdullah, the 
Emir Feisal's brother, as King under the regency of 
another brother of his, the Emir Zeid. 

All this, of course, caused a good deal of surprise 
in London, though something of the kind ought to 
have been expected. 

In the above-mentioned document, after recalling 
the part played by the Arabs in the war and the 
declarations made by the Allies about the right of self- 
determination of peoples, the Congress declared the 
time had come to proclaim the complete independence 
and unity of Syria, and concluded as follows : 

" We, therefore, the true representatives of the Arabian 
nation in every part of Syria, speaking in her name and 
declaring her will, have to-day unanimously proclaimed the 
independence of our country, Syria, within her natural 
boundaries, including Palestine, which independence shall 
be complete, without any restriction whatsoever, on the basis 
of a civil representative government. 

" We will take into account every patriotic wish of all 
the inhabitants of Lebanon concerning the administration of 
their country and maintain her pre-war limits, on condition 
Lebanon shall stand aloof from any foreign influence. 


" We reject tho Zionists' claim to turn Palestine into a 
national home for the Jews or a place of immigration for 

" We have chosen His Royal Highness the Emir Feisal, 
who has always fought for the liberation of the country, and 
whom the nation looks upon as the greatest man in Syria, 
as constitutional King of Syria under the name of H.M. 
Feisal I. 

" We hereby proclaim the military governments of occu- 
pation hitherto established in the three districts have now 
come to an end; they shall be replaced by a civil representa- 
tive government, responsible to this Council for anything 
relating to the principle of the complete independence of the 
country, till it is possible for the government to convene a 
Parliament that shall administer the provinces according to 
the principles of decentralisation." 

The Congress then asked the Allies to withdraw 
their troops from Syria, and stated that the national 
police and administration would be fully able to 
maintain order. 

To some extent the Emir Feisal resisted the sugges- 
tions, or at least refused to comply with the extreme 
demands, of the Nationalists of Damascus and 
Palestine whose club, the Nadi El Arabi, played 
in these regions the same part as the Committee of 
Union and Progress for after forming a Government 
of concentration, he had merely summoned one class 
of soldiers, whereas the Nationalists in his absence 
had decreed the mobilisation of several classes, and 
in agreement with General Gouraud he had appointed 
administrator of the disputed region of Bukaa his 
cousin, the Emir Jemil, who was a moderate man. 
Yet, whether he wished to do so or not, whether he 
was an accomplice of the leaders or not, the fact is 
that, after being the agent of England, he became the 
agent of the Nationalists, who had succeeded in 
having the independence of the Arabian countries 



of Asia Minor proclaimed under the leadership of 
the Hejaz. 

Thus it turned out that the foundation of an 
Arabian State assumed a capital importance at the 
very time when the future condition of the Ottoman 
Empire was under discussion. 

In the course of the interview between M. 
Mohammed Ali and Mr. Lloyd George, as the Prime 
Minister asked him whether he was averse to the 
action of the Syrian Moslems, who. had acknowledged 
the Emir Feisal as King of Arabia and proclaimed 
an independent Moslem State unconnected with the 
Caliphate, the leader of the Indian delegation, after 
hinting that " this matter can well be left for settlement 
amongst Muslims," made the following statement: 

" Just as we have certain religious obligations with regard 
to the Khilafat that have brought us here, we have other 
religious obligations, equally solemn and binding, that require 
us to approach the Turks and Arabs. 'All Muslims are 
brothers, wherefore make peace between your brethren,' 
is a Quranic injunction. We have come here in the interests 
of peace and reconciliation, and propose going to the Arabs 
and Turks for the same purpose. 

" Quite apart from the main claim for preservation of the 
Khilafat with adequate temporal power, the Muslims claim 
that the local centre of their Faith namely, the ' Island of 
Arabia ' should remain inviolate and entirely under Muslim 
control. This is based on the dying injunction of the Prophet 
himself. The Jazirat-ul-Arab, as its name indicates, is the 
' Island of Arabia,' the fourth boundary being the waters 
of the Tigris and Euphrates. It therefore includes Syria, 
Palestine, and Mesopotamia, as well as the region commonly 
known to European geographers as the Arabian peninsula. 
Muslims can acquiesce in no form of non-Muslim control, 
whether in the shape of mandates or otherwise, over any 
portion of this region. Religious obligations, which are 
absolutely binding on us, require that there at least there 
shall be exclusively Muslim control. It does not specify 
that it should be the Khalifa's own control. In order to 
make it perfectly clear, I may say the religious requirements, 


sir, will be satisfied even if the Emir Feisal exercises indepen- 
dent control there. 

" But, since we have to provide sufficient territories and 
resources and naval and military forces for the Khalifa, 
the necessity for the utmost economy which has to rule 
and govern all our claims in these matters suggests that both 
these requirements may easily be satisfied if the Jazirat-ul- 
Arab remains, as before the war, under the direct sovereignty 
of the Khalifa. We have great hopes that if we have oppor- 
tunities of meeting our co-religionists we shall bring about 
a reconciliation between them and the Turks. After all, it 
cannot be said that Turkish rule in Arabia has been of such 
a character that other Powers are bound to interfere." 

Moreover, he added: 

" With- regard to the Arabs, about whom you asked me a 
little while ago, the delegation are not apprehensive with 
regard to the feasibility of an adjustment between the Kha- 
lifa and the Arabs. As I have already pointed out, there is 
the Quranic injunction: ' All Muslims are brothers, wherefore 
make peace between your brethren.' That is a duty laid 
upon us, and recently, at the Bombay Session, the All-India 
Khilafat Conference passed a resolution authorising a dele- 
gation to proceed to the Hejaz and other parts of Arabia 
to reconcile the Arabs and the Turks. Our interest is in the 
Khilafat as Mussulmans. No population and no territory 
could be so dear to the Muslim as the Arabs and Arabia. 
The Turks could not win such affection from us as the Arabs 
do. This is the land that we want to keep purely under 
Muslim control. Even if the Arabs themselves want a 
mandate in that country we will not consent. We are bound 
by our religious obligations to that extent. Therefore, it 
cannot be through antipathy against the Arabs or because of 
any particular sympathy for the Turks that we desire the 
Khalifa's sovereignty over the Island of Arabia. The Turks 
are much farther removed from us. Very few of us know 
anything of the Turkish language; very few of us have 
travelled in the Turkish Empire. But we do go in large 
numbers to Mecca and Medina. So many of us want to 
die there. So many Mussulmans settle down and marry in 
Arabia; one of my own aunts is an Arab lady. Wherever 
we have met Arabs on our journey we have had no oppor- 
tunity, of course, of discussing the subject with well-educated 
people, but we have asked the class of people we have met 
what they thought of the action of the King of the Hejaz 


' King ' in a land where God alone is recognised as a king: 
nobody can ever claim kingship there. They said his was an 
act that they condemned, it was an act they did not in the 
least like. They considered it to be wrong; the Arabs spoke 
disparagingly of it. I do not know to what extent it may be 
true, but there are a number of people who now come forward 
as apologists for the Arabs. They say that what Emir 
Feisal and the Sherif did was to save something for Islam; 
it was not that they were against the Turks, but they were 
for Islam. Whether this was or was not the fact, it is very 
significant that such apologies should be made now. 
Honestly, we have no apprehensions that we could not recon- 
cile the Arabs and the Turks. This is a question which I 
think the Allied Council, the Peace Conference, could very 
well leave the Mussulmans to settle amongst themselves. 
We do not want British bayonets to force the Arabs into a 
position of subservience to the Turks." 

Resuming the idea he had already expressed, he 
concluded his speech thus : 

" That can be very easily arranged, and if such a Federa- 
tion as we dream of becomes a reality and I do not see why 
it should not the Arabs would have all the independence 
they require. They may claim national independence, but 
they cannot forget that Islam is something other than 
national, that it is supernational, and the Khilafat must be 
as dear to them as it is to us, Even now the King of the 
Hejaz does not claim to be the Khalifa. When people began 
to address him as such, he rebuked them, and he published 
in his official organ, Al-Qibla, that he wanted to be called 
King of the Hejaz, and not Amir-ul-Mumineen, a title reserved 
only for the Khalifa." 

M. Syud Hossain declared in his turn: 

" We are not opposed to the independence of Arabia. We 
are opposed to Emir Feisal's declaration of independence 
only for this reason that Arabia, throughout the history of 
Islam, has up till now remained under the direct control 
of the Khalifa. This is the first time in the history of Islam 
that anyone who is not the Khalifa has set up any claim over 
Arabia. That is why there is, from the Muslim point of view, 
a conflict of religious obligations with actual facts. We are 
not opposed to Arabian independence. On the contrary, 
we wish very much for complete autonomy in that region, 


but we want it to be in harmony and not in conflict with the 
Khilafat and its claims. The idea is not unrealisable, as both 
Arabs and Turks are Muslims. " 

Naturally the concentration of the French troops, 
during the Cilician troubles, had made the action of 
the Syrian Nationalists popular among the Moslem 
masses. On the other hand, an anti-Zionist agitation 
had gained ground in Palestine and quickly developed 
into a propaganda in favour of the union of Palestine 
and Syria under one sovereign. All these facts, 
which point to the existence in Syria of a movement 
in favour of an independent State, explain how it 
turned out that the Emir Feisal, who favoured the 
scheme of a confederate Arabian Empire, was pro- 
claimed King. 

General Noury Pasha, sent by the Emir Feisal 
to London at the beginning of April, handed to the 
Foreign Office and to the representative of the French 
Foreign Office who happened to be in that city, three 
letters written in the Emir's own hand in which he 
is said to have asked both Governments to recognise 
and support the independence of his country, and 
informed them that the measures taken by the 
Damascus Congress concerning Mesopotamia merely 
aimed at putting an end to Turkish anarchy and the 
riots of Mosul. 

The proclamation of the Emir Feisal as King 
of Syria brought about much discontent in 

A meeting was held on March 22 at Baabda, 
where the General Government of Lebanon re- 
sided, to protest against the decision of the 
Damascus Congress. About a thousand people were 


present, and the following motions were passed 
unanimously : 

" 1. The meeting enters a protest against the right the 
Syrian Congress has assumed of disposing of Lebanon, of 
laying down its frontiers, of restricting its independence, and 
of forbidding it to collaborate with France. 

" 2. The Congress asserts the independence of Lebanon. 
In the demarcation of its frontiers, allowance should be made 
for its vital necessities and the claims repeatedly expressed 
by the populations. 

" 3. The Congress considers as null and void the decisions 
taken by the Damascus Congress concerning Syria, as the 
latter Congress was never regularly constituted. 

" 4. The Congress confirms the mandate given to the 
delegates sent by Lebanon who are now in Paris. 

"5. The Congress confirms the independence of Greater 
Lebanon with the collaboration of France. 

" 6. The Congress expresses the wish that a Commission 
consisting of inhabitants of Lebanon will lay the foundation 
of the future constitution of Lebanon, which is to replace the 
protocol of 1860. 

" 7. The Congress asserts the Union of Lebanon and France ; 
the national emblem shall be the tricolour with a cedar on the 
white part." 

This opposition was supported by the Maronite 
archbishops of the sanjak of Tripolis, Latakia, 
Hama, and Horns, who sent a telegram of protest 
from Tripolis to Syria on March 13. Thus the 
Arabian movement also met with Christian opposition. 

Khyatin Saffita Tabez Abbas, chief of the Alawite 
tribe, sent the following protest from Tartus to the 
Peace Conference: 

" Without the consent of the Alawite tribes, the Emir 
Feisal has had himself proclaimed King of Syria. We 
protest energetically against such illegal proceedings. We 
want an Alawite Confederation established under the direct 
and exclusive protectorate of France." 

Of course, it was urged that the Assembly of the 
Syrian Congress at Damascus included only ex- 


tremists who worked hand in hand with the Turkish 
Nationalists; it seems, nevertheless, that it repre- 
sented the opinions of most Syrians, who wanted to 
restore the unity of Syria; and their wish was no 
doubt connected with the wish that was gaining 
ground to restore the unity of Arabia. 

On the other hand, the Anglo-French treaty, 
which aimed at a partition of Ottoman Arabia so 
as to balance French and English interests, but 
disregarded the wishes of the peoples, could not but 
rouse a feeling of discontent. Moreover, some Anglo- 
Egyptian agents and some British officers had foolishly 
supported this movement in order to cripple French 
influence, feeling quite confident they could check 
this movement later on and put Syria under their 
own suzerainty. But they were soon thrust aside 
by the movement, which had been fostered by them 
in India and now logically was turning against 

The Arabs of the interior of Arabia also addressed 
a proclamation to General Gouraud stating they 
welcomed the French as friends, but did not want 
them as masters and conquerors. 

The Arabian opposition to France which made itself 
felt far beyond the boundaries of independent Syria, 
the difficulties raised by the Emir Feisal in the coast 
area, and the agitation stirred up by the Damascus 
Government in Syria since the French troops had 
relieved the English in those parts in October, 1919, 
induced General Gouraud to occupy the railway 
stations of Maalhakah and Eayak, the latter being 
at the junction of the railway line from Aleppo with 
the Beyrat-Damascus line leading to the Hejaz. At 


the same time, by way of reprisal for the capture of 
Mejel-Anjar in the plain of Bukaa lying between 
Libanus and Anti-Libanus by the Sherifian troops, 
he gathered his forces in the rear of that town at 
Zahleh and decided to occupy all this area, which 
was within the zone put under French control by the 
1916 treaty. 

On July 20 the Emir Feisal held a war council at 
Damascus and issued a decree of general mobilisation. 

According to the Memoirs of Linian von Sanders, 
who commanded the Turkish troops in Syria-Palestine, 
doubts may be raised as to the Emir Feisal' s straight- 
forwardness in his dealings first with the Turks 
during the war, and later with both the English and 
the French after the cessation of hostilities. 

" The commander of the fourth army, Jemal Pasha, in- 
formed me in the second half of August that the Sherif Feisal 
was willing to hold the front occupied by the fourth army 
along the Jordan on his own account and with his own troops, 
if guarantees were given him by the Turkish Government as 
to the creation of an Arabian State. According to the Sherif 
Feisal an important British attack was being prepared in 
the coast zone, and in this way it would be possible to rein- 
force the front between the sea and the Jordan with the 
troops of the fourth army. Through my Turkish brigadier- 
general I instructed General Jemal Pasha to enter into 
negotiations with the Sherif Feisal on this point, and I urged 
Enver to give the guarantees that were demanded. 

" I never had any answer from either Enver or Jemal on 
this point. So I cannot say to what extent Feisal's offer 
could be relied upon. According to what I heard from my 
brigadier-general, I fancy the Turks mistrusted his offer, 
which they considered as a mere decoy to put our positions 
along the Jordan in the hands of the Arabs, while the main 
English attack was to take place in the coast zone or between 
the sea and the Jordan." 1 

1 Liman von Sanders, FunfJahre Turkic, pp. 330-331. 


As was pointed out by the Journal des Debate, 
which quoted the preceding lines on July 21, 1920, 
the opinion of Liman von Sanders was quite plausible; 
yet the recent events on the French front may also 
have had an influence on the Emir Feisal. Most 
likely, if we bear in mind the intrigues he carried on 
afterwards, his first proposal was a consequence of 
the German advance on the Western front in spring, 
1918, but the Allies' victorious offensive on the 
Somme on August 8, 1918, caused him to alter his 
plans. It is noteworthy that in his proposals he 
disclosed where the first English attack was to take 
place. At any rate, both suppositions, which cor- 
roborate each other, increase the suspicions that might 
already be entertained about his sincerity; and, since 
then he has obviously taken advantage of every 
opportunity to play a double game, or at least to 
turn all the differences between the Powers to the 
advantage of Arabian independence. 

We criticise him the^ more severely, as we fully 
understand the Arabs' aspirations. We disapprove 
of his policy and blame his attitude, because we 
believe Arabian aspirations cannot be lawfully 
fulfilled at the Turks' expense, and the Arabs 
cannot expect they will safeguard their liberty by 
supporting the English policy in the East in every 
particular, especially with regard to the Turks, at a 
time when India and Egypt are seeking to shake off 
that policy. 

Let us add that the Pan- Arabian movement owes 
the development it has now taken to Colonel Law- 
rence's manoeuvres, who diverted it from its original 
ami to make use of it, and became the Emir Feisal' s 


counsellor in order to influence him in favour of 
England. Miss Bell, too, played an influential part 
in that movement. 

Though the Emir was the leader of a movement 
which, on the whole, was hostile to Turkey, and 
though he asked for English support, he had no objec- 
tion to co-operating with the Nationalists, who, being 
threatened by the Allies, offered their support in 
order to conciliate him. Thus things had come to a 
more and more confused state. According to the 
information given by Le Temps on July 20, 1920, it 
appeared that as early as January, 1919 

" The Sherifian agents, Noury Shalaan, Mohammed Bey, 
and the Emir Mahmoud Faour, are working hand in hand with 
the Turkish Nationalists. The Turkish Colonel Selfi Bey 
has several times travelled from Anatolia to Damascus and 
vice versa to carry instructions. 

" At the beginning of February, Mustafa Kemal sent an 
appeal to the population of Anatolia in which he said: ' The 
Arabian Government relies or will rely on us.' 

" The Sherifian authorities are constantly raising diffi- 
culties to prevent the French from sending reinforcements or 
supplies to Cilicia by rail." 

In view of the exactions of all sorts the Emir 
Feisal indulged in, such as the capture of revenue 
lawfully belonging to the administration of the 
Ottoman debt and the proscription of French 
currency, to say nothing of such acts of aggression 
as attacks on French outposts and the closing of the 
railways, General Gouraud on Wednesday, July 14, 
addressed to the Arabian chief the following ulti- 
matum, which expired on the 18th: 

" Recognition of the French mandate for Syria. 
" Liberty to make use of the Rayak- Aleppo railway. 
" The occupation of Aleppo and the stations lying between 
Aleppo and Rayak. 


" The immediate abolition of forced recruiting. 

" Reduction of the Sherifian army to its effectives of 
December, 1919. 

" Free circulation for the French-Syrian currency. 

" Punishment of the authors of crimes against French 

" Acceptance of the above-mentioned conditions within 
four days. If these conditions are not complied with, they 
shall be enforced by arms." 

Syria, too, was in quite a perturbed state, owing 
to the discontent prevailing among the population 
and the differences between the various factions which 
were striving to get the upper hand in the country. 
Two towns, Hasbeiya and Rashaya, situated on the 
slopes of Mount Hermon, had rebelled against the 
Sherifian Government and wanted to become parts 
of Lebanon. 

An important debate began on July 19 in the 
House of Commons about the condition of affairs in 
Asia Minor and the possible consequences the French 
ultimatum addressed to the Emir Feisal might have 
for British interests in that region. 

Mr. Ormsby-Gore (Stafford, C.U.) asked the Prune 
Minister whether he could give any information 
regarding the new military action of France in Syria ; 
whether the twenty-four hours' ultimatum issued 
by the French to the Arab Government in Damascus 
was submitted to and approved by the Supreme 
Council; whether the terms of the mandate for 
Syria had yet been submitted to the Allied and 
Associated Powers; and whether His Majesty's 
Government would use their influence with the 
French and Arab Governments to secure the sus- 
pension of further hostilities pending the decision 
of the Council of the League of Nations on the terms 


of the Syrian mandate. To this Mr. Bonar Law 

" The ultimatum had not been submitted to the Supreme 
Council. The terms of the mandate for Syria have not yet 
been submitted to the Allied Powers. As regards the last 
part of the question, His Majesty's Government, who had 
for some time, but unsuccessfully, been urging the Emir 
Feisal to come to Europe to discuss the outstanding questions 
with the Supreme Council, do not consider that they can 
usefully act upon the information at present at their dis- 
posal, but they are in communication with the French 
Government on the matter." 

Then Mr. Ormsby-Gore asked again: 

" Is it a fact that severe casualties have already resulted 
from this, and that the French have advanced over the line 
agreed upon between the British and French Governments 
last year, and that they have advanced from Jerablus to 
Jisir-Shugr and from the junction at Rayak; and has he 
any information with regard to the progress of hostilities in 
another part of the Arab area on the Euphrates ?" 

Mr. Bonar Law having replied that he had not 
received the information, Lord Robert Cecil intervened 
in the discussion, and asked in his turn : 

" Have the Government considered the very serious effect 
of these proceedings on the whole situation in Asia Minor, 
particularly with reference to Moslem feeling, and whether, 
in view of the fact that these proceedings were apparently 
in absolute contravention of Article 22 of the Treaty of 
Versailles, he would cause representations to be made to our 
French Allies on the subject ?" 

Of course, Mr. Bonar Law could only reply : 

" We are in communication with the French Government, 
but I do not accept the statement of my noble friend that 
what has happened is against the Treaty of Versailles. It is 
very difficult for us here to judge action which is taken on the 
responsibility of the French Government." 

Finally, to Lord Hugh Cecil's inquiry whether the 


British Government was bound by promises made 
to the Emir Feisal, Mr. Bonar Law answered : 

" The Government are certainly bound by their pledge. 
In my opinion the fact that the mandate was given to France 
to cover that area was not inconsistent with that pledge." 

Later on, Mr. Ormsby-Gore obtained leave to move 
the adjournment of the House in order to call atten- 
tion to the immediate danger to British interests 
in the Middle East arising from the threatened new 
hostilities in Syria. He said that first 

" He wished to criticise vigorously the sins of omission 
and commission committed by the British Government, and 
more particularly by the British Foreign Office. Only by a 
frank and full statement by the British Government would 
bloodshed be prevented. The responsibility of this country 
was deeply involved in view of the pledges which had been 
given to the Arabs before they came into the war, while they 
were our allies, and above all since the armistice. ... It 
was essential that both the French Government and the Arab 
Government in Damascus should know exactly what the 
demands of the British Government were, and how far we 
were committed and how far we intended to stand by those 
commitments. The British taxpayer, too, wanted to know 
how far we were committed. Our pledges to the French were 
less specific than those to the Arabs. We pledged ourselves 
to recognise the independence of the Arabs. The British 
Government were bound by their undertaking to Hussein to 
recognise the establishment of an independent Arab State 
comprising within its borders Damascus, Hama, Horns, and 
Aleppo. Did the British Government communicate these 
pledges frankly to the French Government ? We were 
responsible for encouraging the Arabs to believe that we were 
going to stand by them. Were we going to stand by that 
pledge or not ? If not, we ought to tell the Arabs so frankly. 
It was quite impossible for us to secure the pacification of 
Arabia, including Mesopotamia, unless Damascus was at 
peace. French, Arab, and British areas had been agreed upon 
to last until the permanent settlement was come to. and if 
there had been a breach pi that agreement those who were 
responsible for the breach ought to be held responsible. 
Until the mandate for Syria had been approved by the Council 


of the League of Nations and the new Arab Government in 
Syria was established there should be no disturbance of the 
status quo without the willing agreement of all parties. For 
years the Arabs had been our greatest friends in the East 
and France our dearest ally in Europe. The outbreak of 
hostilities between them revealed the bankruptcy of British 

Earl Winterton, like Mr. Ormsby-Gore, took up the 
defence of the Emir and suggested that Great Britain 
should act as mediator between France and the 

" As one who had fought with the Arabs during the war, 
he resented the idea contained in the suggestion that while 
it was all very well to use the Arabs during the war, it was not 
worth while now that the war was over having a row with 
France for their sake. . . . Prince Feisal had put his case 
before the Peace Conference, but the Government, following 
its usual practice of secrecy, had never allowed the House 
to hear a word of it or of the considered answer of the Supreme 
Council. He submitted that the claims that France had to 
the mandate in Syria were based, and could only be based, 
on the law of the League of Nations. He was amazed to see 
in a Northcliffe newspaper that day a reference to ' the great 
historical traditions of France in Syria.' If that suggested 
that France had any rights in Syria over and above those 
given by the League of Nations they were coming to a very 
dangerous argument. It was absurd to treat a people like 
the Arabs as an upstart people, to be treated in a condescend- 
ing way by the Allies. The duty of the Government was to 
make representations at once to both the French and Arab 
Governments, asking that this matter should be submitted 
to arbitration, and that the whole case should be made public." 

Finally, General Seely, a former Minister, rose, 
and owned that under the terms of the treaty with 
Turkey, France had got a force in Syria, but the whole 
difficulty lay in the French issuing an ultimatum 
without consulting Great Britain. According to the 
three speakers, England was interested in the ques- 
tion, owing to her engagements with the Emir Feisal, 


and the after-effects which French action might have 
in Syria and the neighbouring regions. 

Mr. Bonar Law, feeling obliged to take into account 
both the section of public opinion on behalf of which 
the three speakers had spoken, and the feelings 
of an Allied country, reminded his opponents, who 
hardly concealed their unwillingness to approve the 
arrangements which had just been concluded, that 
France had the same mandate for Syria as Great 
Britain had for Mesopotamia, and endeavoured to 
prove that the situation of England in Mesopotamia 
was very much the same as the situation of France in 
Syria. He expressly said: 

" The real question before the House was whether the 
British Government had a right to interfere in a country 
over which France had duly received a mandate. It was 
true that, in October, 1915, the British Government had 
declared they were prepared to recognise and support the 
independence of the Arabs within those portions of the terri- 
tories claimed by the Emir Feisal in which Great Britain 
was free to act, but it was added, ' without detriment to the 
interests of her ally France.' . . . 

" It was said that the independence of the Arab people was 
incompatible with the mandate. If so, this part of theTreaty 
of the Covenant of the League of Nations ought not to have 
been in, and France ought not to have been allowed to obtain 
a mandate in Syria. It was also said that what the French 
were doing was uncalled for; that all that was necessary was 
to have the status quo. But British troops were in occupation 
of all the territories, and the British Government came to the 
conclusion that it was not fair that we should be called upon 
to bear the burdens of occupation of territories in which later 
we should have no interest. We gave notice that we intended 
to withdraw the British troops. The country had therefore 
to be occupied, and at the San Remo Conference the mandate 
for Syria was given definitely to the French Government. 
That was not done behind the back of the Emir Feisal. It 
was done with his knowledge, and when he was in Paris he 
himself agreed that there should be a French mandate for 
that territory. 


" We had accepted a mandate in Mesopotamia. Supposing 
the French Government said to us, ' You are using force in 
Mesopotamia, and you are doing it without consulting the 
French Government. You are breaking the conditions of 
the proper homogeneity of the Allies, and you should not take 
steps to repulse the troops attacking you in Mesopotamia 
until you have come to an arrangement with the French 
Government.' The analogy was complete. We were in 
Mesopotamia for the purpose of setting up not a colony, but 
an independent Arab State, and, in spite of that, we were 
attacked by Arabs all through Mesopotamia. Our answer to 
the French would be that the mandate for Mesopotamia had 
been entrusted to us, and we claimed to deal with the country 
in the way we thought right. It was said that this action 
of the French Government was contrary to the whole spirit 
of the mandate and an independent Arab State. That was 
not so. In the ultimatum to which reference had been made 
a passage occurred which he would quote. Acceptance of 
the French mandate was one of the conditions. ' The man- 
date,' it is stated, ' will respect the independence of Syria 
and will remain wholly compatible with the principle of 
government by Syrian authorities properly invested with 
powers by the popular will. It will only entail on the part 
of the mandatory Power co-operation in the form of col- 
laboration and assistance, but it will in no case assume the 
colonial form of annexation or direct administration.' The 
French Government told us they were acting on that prin- 
ciple, and was the House of Commons really going to ask the 
British Government to say, ' We do not accept your assurance, 
but we ask you to allow us to interfere with you in the exercise 
of your authority '? 

" The mandate having been given, it was clearly no business 
of ours to interfere unless some action had been taken so 
outrageous that we had a right to say that it was not in 
accordance with the Peace Treaty and would not be accepted 
by the League of Nations or any other independent body. . . . 

*' Had we that justification ? He thought we had a right 
at least to assume that the French Government had some- 
thing of a case for the action they were taking. He had the 
actual words in which the French described the necessity of 
their taking this action. They pointed out that a large 
number of French soldiers had been massacred by Arabs. 
They did not say that the Emir Feisal was responsible for 
that he did not think the Emir was but that whether it 
was due to his responsibility or want of power to prevent it 
the situation was one which the French Government could 


not allow to continue. With regard to the railway, on which 
they said they depended absolutely under present conditions 
for the support of their forces in dealing with the rebellion 
of Mustafa Kemal in Cilicia, they complained that they had 
tried over and over again to get from the Emir the use of that 
railway for the purpose of the supply of their troops, but had 
failed. They said that that was a condition of things which 
they could not allow to continue if they were to be responsible 
for the mandate. He thought that was a very good case." 

On Lord Winterton exclaiming: " Then the French 
have a mandate for Damascus ! But neither the 
Arabs nor the Supreme Council have ever admitted 
such a mandate," Mr. Bonar Law, on behalf of the 
Government, answered: 

" They had been in communication with the French 
Government on that point, and their reply was to this effect: 
' There is no intention of permanent military occupation. 
As soon as the mandate has been accepted and order has been 
restored the troops will be withdrawn.' 

" A great deal had been said about the claims of Emir 
Feisal. No one would recognise them more readily than His 
Majesty's Government. They knew that he and his tribes- 
men did gallant service in the war, but he asked the House 
to remember that but for the sacrifices both of the French 
and ourselves, there would have been no possibility of King 
Hussein having any authority in his country. . . . 

" They met him over and over again in London and Paris, 
and when the question came of giving the mandate, on two 
occasions the British and French Governments sent a joint 
invitation to the Emir Feisal to come to Europe and discuss 
the question with them. The Emir Feisal was not able to 
come for one reason or another on either occasion ; but he did 
say that no case of any ally or anyone in connection with the 
Peace Treaty was considered more thoroughly than his, or 
with more inclination to meet his wishes. The House must 
be under no misapprehension. There was great trouble 
in the Middle East. Arab fighting would add to that trouble, 
and what happened in Syria must have reflex action in Meso- 
potamia. If it was assumed, as some hon. members were 
ready to assume, that we in Mesopotamia were pursuing solely 
selfish aims with no other object, and if they assumed that 
the French were pursuing' imperialistic aims in Syria with 
no other object, then, of course, the case was hopeless. There 



was no Frenchman who had shown a broader mind and a 
greater readiness to grasp the position of other people than 
General Gouraud. In any degree to reflect upon the French 
Government in this matter was a very serious thing." 

The time seemed very badly chosen indeed for 
such a debate in the English Parliament, as Mr. 
Winston Churchill, War Secretary, had just informed 
the Commons that important reinforcements coming 
from India had recently been dispatched to Meso- 
potamia, and the Commander-in-Chief had been given 
full powers to take any measures the situation might 

It was the policy of England in the East which 
stood responsible for such a state of things. Though 
the bulk of public opinion in France was averse to 
any military action in the East, either in Syria or in 
Turkey, yet France was driven to fight, as it were, 
by England though both Governments were sup- 
posed to act jointly in the East in order to prevent 
her ally from undermining her influence. Such was 
the outcome of England's ill-omened policy, who 
first had supported the Arabian movement and now 
seemed to forsake it, and thus had roused all the 
East against Europe through the resentment caused 
by her attitude towards Turkey and Persia. Perhaps 
England was not very sorry, after all, that France 
should divert against herself part of the Arabian 
forces from the Mesopotamian front, where the 
British effectives were insufficient in number. 

M. Millerand corroborated Mr. Bonar Law's state- 
ments before the French Chamber, disclosed some 
of the agreements made with England, and apologised 
for being unable to say more; he also declared 
England had officially recognised she had no right 


to meddle with Syrian affairs; and finally declared 
that whoever should feel tempted he meant the 
Emir who had just submitted to General Gouraud's 
ultimatum to oppose France to Great Britain in 
Asia Minor would now know it would have France 
alone in front of him. And yet if one day Great 
Britain rules over Mesopotamia, she is not likely to 
give France a free hand in Syria. 

Just at the same time on July 20 the Cairo 
correspondent of The Times wrote that he under- 
stood the King of the Hejaz had telegraphed to 
Mr. Lloyd George how surprised and disappointed 
he was at the French policy in Syria, and asked him 
to interfere. King Hussein also declared he could 
not exert his influence on the Emir Feisal's brothers 
or prevent them from coming to his help. 

The English Government circles, on the other 
hand, seemed at last inclined to favour a scheme 
that would put Syria and Mesopotamia, respectively 
under the sovereignty of the Emir Feisal and the 
Emir Abdullah, under a French mandate in Syria 
and a British one in Mesopotamia. But the Daily 
Express of July 17 seemed apprehensive lest the 
French expedition aimed at overthrowing the Emir 
Feisal and replacing him by the ]?mir Said, who had 
been expelled from Syria during the British occupa- 
tion. Let it be said, incidentally, that the Arabs of 
the Emir Feisal possessed 100,000 rifles, the very 
arms taken from the Turks by the English and left 
by the latter in the hands of the Arabian leader. 

General Gouraud's ultimatum had naturally been 
accepted by the Emir Feisal, but a few days after 
its expiration, and- so military action had been 


started. General Gouraud, according to his com- 
munique, had, on July 22, at the Emir's request, 
stopped the column that was on its way from Zaleh 
to Damascus. Feisal had alleged that his answer 
had been sent in due time, but untoward circum- 
stances had prevented it from coming to hand on 
the appointed day. 

The French General had consented to give him 
the benefit of the doubt and halt his troops on 
certain conditions, one of which was that his soldiers 
should not be attacked. Now the French column 
that guarded the country between Horns and Tripolis, 
some distance to the east of the post of Tel-Kelah, 
was attacked by Sherifian regulars. Under these 
circumstances, and to prevent another attack which 
seemed to be preparing between Damascus and 
Beyrut, the southern French column that guarded 
the railway in case of an attack coming from 
Damascus, dislodged the Sherifian troops whose head- 
quarters were at Khan-Meiseloun, in the mountain 
range which divides the plain of the Bukaa from the 
plain of Damascus, and thus the way was open to 
the latter town. 

France, who otherwise would not have been 
obliged to fight in order to maintain her influ- 
ence in Syria, was compelled to do so by the 
policy in which she was involved. But this policy, 
which drove her to inaugurate a Syrian campaign at 
the very time when by the side of England she en- 
forced on Turkey a treaty that no Turk could accept, 
might have brought about, as Pierre Loti said in an 
article of the (Euvre, July 22, " the death of France 
in the East." 


Even the Christians 1 the Armenians excepted 
wished the French to leave Antioch in order to be 
able to come to an understanding with the Moslems 
who maintained order in the four great towns of 
Aleppo, Hama, Horns, and Damascus, occupied by 
the Sherifian troops. A delegation of eight mem- 
bers representing the Christian element wanted to go 
to France, but the Patriarch of Lebanon handed 
General Gouraud a protest to be forwarded to the 
French Government; he inveighed against what he 
called " the shameful conduct of some members of 
the administrative Council of Lebanon," and charged 
them, just as they were about to leave for Europe, 
with receiving important sums of money from the 
Emir Feisal to carry on an anti-French propaganda. 
After this protest, they were imprisoned by the 
French authorities: all of which shows the state of 
deep unrest then prevailing in Lebanon and our utter 
lack of reliable information from the East. 

On July 23 a French column entered Aleppo, after 
a skirmish north of Muslemieh, and a reconnoitring 
body of cavalry which had pushed on as far as Horns 
bridge was greeted by some Sherifian officers, who 
informed them that the Sherifian troops had left the 
town. On the 25th, in the afternoon, the French 
troops entered Damascus without encountering any 
resistance. A new Government was formed after 
the downfall of the Sherifian Government, and 
General Gobet formally notified them on behalf 
of General Gouraud that the Emir Feisal was no 
longer King of the country. He demanded a war 
contribution of 10 niillion francs on account of the 

1 Le Temps, July 21, 1920. 


damage done by the war bands in the western zone; 
general disarmament should be proceeded with at 
once; the army should be reduced and converted into 
a body of police; all war material should be handed 
over to the French authorities, and the chief war 
criminals tried by military courts. All these condi- 
tions were, of course, assented to by the new Govern- 
ment, who expressed their sincere wish to collaborate 
with the French. 

The Emir Feisal, who had come back to Damascus, 
was requested to leave the country with his family. 
He set off to England soon after and sought to 
meet Mr. Lloyd George at Lucerne. 

Without considering the future relations between 
Lebanon and Syria or turning its attention to the 
future mode of government of Syria and its four 
great towns Damascus, Hama, Horns, and Aleppo, 
the French Government decided to restore Greater 
Lebanon. M. Millerand informed Mgr. Abdallah 
Kouri, Maronite Archbishop of Area, president of 
the delegation of Lebanon, of this by a letter dated 
August 24, 1920. The new State was to extend from 
the Nahr-el-Litani, which flows along the frontier 
of Palestine, to another State, called " Territoire des 
Alaonites," or, in Arabic, Alawiya, coming between 
the Lebanon and Antioch, and to the crests of Anti- 
Libanus, including the Bukaa area, with the towns of 
Rayak and Baalbek. The ports of Beyrut and Tripolis 
in Syria were to enjoy local autonomy, but to keep in 
close connection with the new State. Beyrut was 
to be the seat of the new Government; Tripolis and 
its suburbs were to be grouped into a municipality. 
In this way Greater Lebanon would have recovered 


all its former territories, as it was before 1860, in 
conformity with the promises made by M. Clemen- 
ceau and confirmed by M. Millerand, and with the 
claims set forth in 1919 at the Peace Conference by 
the delegates of Lebanon. 

Was it not a mistake in Syria, a country over which 
France had a mandate and where the proportion of 
Moslems is three to one, to start with a policy that 
favoured Lebanon and consequently the Christians ? 
The question was all the more important as the dis- 
content brought about by the Powers' decisions was 
far from subsiding in these and the neighbouring 

Indeed, the Ansarieh tribes, living in the moun- 
tainous regions to the east of Antioch and Alex- 
andretta, and in the Jebel Ansarieh between Latakia 
and Tartus, which had persistently kept aloof from 
us in the past, made their submission after the down- 
fall of the Emir Feisal, and several Ansarieh chiefs 
Ismail Pasha, Inad, and Ismail Bey Yaouah accepted 
the conditions imposed on them. Yet dissatisfaction 
was still rampant in the Hauran area, and the train 
in which ed Rubi Pasha, the Syrian Premier, and 
other Ministers were going to Deraa was attacked 
on Friday, August 20, at Kerbet-Ghazeleh by Arabian 
bands. Ed Rubi Pasha and Abderhaman Youssef 
Pasha were murdered. The railway line was recap- 
tured later on, but the contingents sent to Deraa 
had to fight with Arabian bands at Mosmieh. 

Farther north, in the part of Cilicia entirely 
occupied by Kemalist troops, Colonel Bremond, 
commanding a group of 3,000 to 4,000 men con- 
sisting of French troops and native recruits, after 


being blockaded at Adana for six weeks, had to sign 
a truce in August because he was short of water, 
and the provisioning of Adana could only be ensured 
by establishing a base in the former Roman port 
of Karatash. Mersina, where the French had en- 
listed all the Armenian and Greek manhood, was also 
besieged and blockaded, except along the coast 
where a French warship overawed the rebels. Lastly, 
Tarsus, the third place occupied by French troops, 
was in the same predicament, and was cut off from 
the other two towns. Under these circumstances 
whoever could flee sailed to Cyprus, and the few 
boats which called at Mersina took away crowds of 

In Mesopotamia the situation was quite as bad, 
and everywhere the Arabs evinced much discontent. 
In the zone of the lower Euphrates and Lake Hamar, 
as well as in the Muntefik area, many disturbances 

The Sunday Times of August 21, 1920, in an article 
in which the attitude of the British Government was 
severely criticised, wondered whether it was not too 
late to atone for the mistakes of England, even by 
expending large sums of money, and concluded thus ; 

" Would it not be wiser to confess our failure and give up 
meddling with the affairs of three million Arabs who want 
but one thing, to be allowed to decide their own fate ? After 
all, Rome was not ruined when Hadrian gave up the con- 
quests made by Trajan." 

The Observer too asked whether a heavy expendi- 
ture of men and money could restore the situation, 
and added: 

" The situation is serious; yet it is somewhat ludicrous too, 
when we realise that so much blood and money has been 


wasted for a lot of deserts and marshes which we wanted ' to 
pacify,' and when we remember that our ultimate aim is to 
impose our sovereignty on people who plainly show they do 
not want it." 

The diversity of creeds among the various Moslem 
sects had also, from the beginning, imperilled the 
unity of the Arabian world within the Ottoman 
Empire by endangering its religious unity. By the 
side of the Sunnis, or Orthodox Moslems, the 
Shia viz., the rebels or heretics, belonging to a 
schism which is almost as old as Islam itself 
recognise nobody but Ali as the lawful successor 
of Mohammed. According to them, the title of 
Caliph should not go outside the Prophet's family, 
and his spiritual powers can only be conferred upon 
his descendants; so, from a religious point of view, 
they do not recognise the power of the other dynasties 
of Caliphs for instance, that of the Ottoman Sultans. 
As Ali, the Prophet's son-in-law, was killed at Kufa 
in Mesopotamia, and as Ali's sons, Hassan and 
Hossein, were also massacred at Kerbela, near the 
ruins of Babylon, together with some of their descen- 
dants who had a lawful right to the title of Imam, 
Mesopotamia is looked upon by the Shia as their 
Holy Places. 

Many wealthy Persians, to whom the worship of 
the members of Ali's family has become a symbol 
and who consider their death as a religious sacrifice, 
have their own coffins carried to Mesopotamia that 
their bodies may lie in the holy necropolis of Kerbela 
or of Nejef, to the north-east of Mecca and Medina; 
and as a great many Arabs of Mesopotamia are still 


Shia, this schism practically divides the Persian 
world from the Turkish world. 

But though the Persians, who have never recog- 
nised any Caliph, and for the last thirteen hundred 
years have been waiting till the Khilafat should 
revert to the lineal descent of Ali, the Prophet's son- 
in-law, to acknowledge a Caliph's authority, do not 
recognise the Ottoman Caliphate, yet their monarchs 
do not seek to deprive the Sultan of his title of 
Caliph to assume it themselves. 

So their case is entirely different from that of the 
people of Morocco, who do not recognise the Ottoman 
Caliphate because their own sovereigns, as descen- 
dants of the Prophet, profess they have an hereditary 
right to hold the office of Caliph within the frontiers 
of their State. 

The Shia faith has even spread as far as India and 
the Sunda Isles ; and so the opposition between Shia and 
Sunnis may play an important part in freeing Mesopo- 
tamia from the Turkish influence of Constantinople. 

Yet the English occupation has been so bitterly 
resented in Mesopotamia that the Shia Mujtahids, 
or imams of Nejef and Kerbela, have lately asked 
for the restoration of Turkish sovereignty over these 
towns, where are the two famous holy shrines of 
Islam. Moreover, the controversy on the question 
whether the Sultans of Turkey have a right to the 
Caliphate, because they do not belong to the tribe 
of Koreish, in which the Prophet was born, seems to 
have come to an end among the Moslems, or at least 
to have been laid aside in view of the present events. 

Moreover, the Prophet, when he advised the Faithful 
to choose his successor in the tribe of Koreish, does 


not seem at all, according to the best Moslem authori- 
ties, to have wished to confer the supreme spiritual 
power for ever upon a particular section of the 
community related to him by ties of blood, and to 
have reserved the Caliphate to this tribe. It seems 
more likely that, as Islam at that time had not yet 
given birth to powerful States, he chose this tribe 
because it was the best organised and the strongest, 
and thus considered it as the fittest to maintain the 
independence of the Caliphate and defend the interests 
of Islam. Besides, within half a century after the 
Prophet's death the Caliphate passed from Moham- 
med's four immediate successors to the Omayyids 
for the reason indicated above, and in contradic- 
tion to the theory of lineal descent. It is obvious 
that, had Mohammed been guided by family con- 
siderations, he would not have merely given the 
Faithful some directions about the election of his 
successor, but he would have chosen one of his 
relations himself to inherit his office, and would have 
made it hereditary in the latter's family. 

The Wahhabis, who are connected with the Shia, 
are likewise a political and religious sect which was 
founded in the eighteenth century in Nejed, a region 
of Central Arabia conterminous with the north of 
Syria. The Wahhabi doctrine aims at turning Islam 
into a kind of deism, a rational creed, looking upon 
all the traditions of Islam as superstitions, and 
discarding all religious observances. Since the assas- 
sination of Ibn el Rashid in May, 1920, the present 
leaders of the Wahabis are Abdullah ibn Mitah and 
Ibn Saud, over whom the Ottomans have a merely 
nominal power. 


When King Hussein planned to join the Hejaz 
and Nejd to Syria, Ibn Saud refused to let Nejd 
fall under the suzerainty of the King of the Hejaz, 
who was powerful merely because he was supported 
by Europe and because Syria is a rich country. Most 
likely the religious question had something to do 
with this conflict. In August, 1919, the Wahhabis, 
who had asked the Emir Ibn Saud for his support, 
suddenly attacked the troops of the sons of the King 
of the Hejaz which were in the Taif area, and defeated 
them at Tarabad. The Wahhabi Emu: gained a 
few more victories, and was about to threaten the 
Holy Cities when the rising of the Orthodox Moslem 
tribes compelled him to retreat. 

So the hostility of the Wahhabis, whose indepen- 
dence was threatened by the Sunnis of the Hejaz, 
whom they look upon as heretics, still embittered the 
dissensions in the Arab world. 

It has been asserted that this Wahhabi movement 
was at first started by the Turks, which would not 
have been unlikely at a time when it was Turkey's 
interest to divide Arabia in order to raise difficulties 
to the Allies after the Sherif's treason; but now it 
was no longer her interest and it was beyond her 
power to stir up an agitation. 

The Ishmaelites, who laid waste Persia and Syria 
in the eighth century, and played an important part 
in the East till the twelfth century, have also broken 
off with the Shia. 

Lastly, the Druses, who inhabit the slopes of 
Lebanon and the greater part of Anti-Lebanon between 
Jebeil and Saida along the Mediterranean, profess 
the creed of the Caliph Al-Hakem, who lived at the 


beginning of the eleventh century. They had with- 
drawn to Lebanon and long repelled the attacks of 
the Turks, whose suzerainty they acknowledged only 
in 1588. In 1842 the Porte gave them a chief, but 
practically they have remained almost independent. 
They have often fought with the Maronite Christians 
living to the north, especially in 1860, and there is 
still much hostility between them. 

Moreover, all Moslem communities, without ex- 
ception whether the communities governed by in- 
dependent national sovereigns such as Afghanistan; 
or by sovereigns owing allegiance to non-Moslem 
Powers such as Egypt, India, Tunis, Khiva, Bokhara ; 
or the communities living under a non-Moslem rule, 
as is the case with those of Algeria, Russia, and also 
India and China give their allegiance to the Sultan 
as Caliph, though they are always at liberty to 
refuse it. Even the Moslem communities of Algeria 
and Tunis, which are connected with those of Morocco 
by their common origin and language, and live close 
by them, do not deem it a sufficient reason to recog- 
nise the Emir of Morocco as Caliph that he is a 
descendant of the Prophet. 

An even more striking argument is that the com- 
munity of the Hejaz, which rebelled against Turkish 
sovereignty during the war and has made itself 
politically independent, still maintains its religious 
allegiance to the Sultan; and the present King, 
Hussein, who is the most authentic descendant of 
the Prophet, and who rules over the two holiest 
towns of Islam, Mecca and Medina, soon after the 
armistice addressed the Sultan a telegram of religious 
allegiance drawn up in the most deferential terms. 


The possession of Mecca and Medina being one of the 
attributes of the Caliph, and these towns having a 
great religious and political importance owing to the 
great annual pilgrimage, King Hussein might have 
taken advantage of this to dispute with the Sultan the 
title of Caliph. England had strongly urged him to 
do so, but King Hussein obstinately refused. Then 
the British Government, giving up all hope of bring- 
ing about the transference of the Caliphate from the 
Ottoman dynasty to another sovereign, concluded 
a secret alliance with Vahid ed Din. 

Considering the intricate situation in the East 
due to the variety of races and religions, and the 
movements of all sorts by which the populations of 
those countries are swayed, it seems most unwise to 
increase the general restlessness by a vain inter- 
vention of the Powers, and to dismember what 
remains of Turkey in Europe and Asia Minor, a dis- 
memberment which would necessarily have violent 
repercussions throughout the deeply perturbed Moslem 
world. Though the recent movements of emancipa- 
tion in the East to a certain extent meet the 
legitimate wishes of the peoples and have somewhat 
cleared the situation in Asia Minor, yet it is obviously 
most perilous to infringe upon the Sultan's sove- 
reignty, to endeavour to drive away the Turks into 
Asia, and to set up a kind of fictitious official Islam 
by compelling the Moslem peoples of the East to 
give up their cherished independence and submit to 
an Arab imperialism which would soon become 
British imperialism. At the present moment all the 
Moslem elements are determined to unite together 
against any enemy of their liberty; and all Moslems, 


without any distinction of creed or race, might very 
well one day flock to the standard of a bold leader 
who should take up arms in the name of Islam, in 
order to safeguard their independence. 

These movements, and many other similar ones, 
were encouraged and strengthened by the develop- 
ment of the principle of nationalities and the support 
given to it by Mr. Wilson, who was bent upon carry- 
ing it out to its strictly logical consequences, without 
paying heed to the limitations imposed by the present 
material and political conditions. But we do not 
think it is true to say, as has been urged, that 'the 
assertion of the right of self-determination of peoples 
was the initial cause of these movements. The move- 
ment in favour of the rights of nationalities originated 
long before Mr. Wilson's declarations, which merely 
hurried on this powerful movement, and also caused 
it to swerve somewhat from its original direction. 

This movement, on the whole, seems chiefly to 
proceed though other factors have intervened in it 
from a kind of reaction against the standardising 
tendency, from a material and moral point of view, 
of modern Western civilisation, especially the Anglo- 
Saxon civilisation, and also from a reaction against 
the extreme unification aimed at by russifying the 
numerous peoples living within the Russian Empire. 
Modern civilisation, having reached its present 
climax, has aimed and its political and social reper- 
cussions have had the same influence at doing away 
with all differences , between human minds and 
making the world homogeneous; thus all men would 


have been brought to live in the same way, to have 
the same manners, and their requirements would 
have been met in the same way to the very great 
advantage of its enormous industrial development. 
Of course, all this proved an idle dream; human 
nature soon asserted itself, amidst the commotions 
and perturbations experienced by the States, and a 
reaction set in among those who hitherto only aimed 
at enslaving various human groups, or linked them 
together politically in a most artificial way. Then 
the same feeling spread among all those peoples. 

All this enables us to see to what extent this move- 
ment is legitimate, and to know exactly what pro- 
portions of good and evil it contains. 

It rightly asserts that various peoples have different 
natures, and by protecting their freedom, it aims at 
ensuring the development of their peculiar abilities. 
For let us not forget that the characters of peoples 
depend on physical conditions, that even the features 
we may not like in some peoples are due to the race, 
and that if, by blending and mixing populations 
nowadays these features are modified, they are 
generally altered only from bad to worse. 

But this principle is true only so far as it frees 
and enables to shape their own destinies peoples who 
have distinctive qualities of their own and are able 
to provide for themselves. It cannot be extended 
as has been attempted in some cases to States 
within which men descending from various races 
or having belonged in the course of centuries to 
different nationalities have long been united, and 
through a long common history and a centuries-old 
co-operation have formed one nation. This is one 


of the erroneous aspects of Mr. Wilson's conception, 
and one of the bad consequences it has entailed. 

The eviction of the Turks from Constantinople, 
which the English wished for but which they dared 
not carry into effect, does not thwart the scheme of 
the Turkish Nationalists; it can only bring about a 
reaction of the Moslem populations against foreign 
intervention, and thus strengthen the Pan-Turanian 
movement. Though this movement cannot carry 
out all its aims, the eviction of the Turks obviously 
must urge those populations to constitute a State 
based both on the community of religion and the 
community of race of its various elements, and from 
which all alien ethnic elements would be expelled 
viz., Slavs, Armenians, Greeks, and Arabs, who were 
all an inherent source of weakness to the Turkish 
Empire. This new State would include Anatolia, 
Russian Azerbaijan, and Persian Azerbaijan, the 
Russian territories in Central Asia viz., Russian 
Turkistan, Khiva, Bokhara the whole of the region 
of the Steppes; and towards it the Tatar populations 
of the Volga, Afghanistan, and Chinese Turkistan 
would necessarily be attracted. 

As to the Arabs, the Turks have never been able 
to gain their friendship, though they have done their 
best to do so, and have drawn but little profit 
from the money squandered plentifully in their vast 
deserts. And the Russians have always stood in 
the way of an understanding between Turkey and 
the Arabian territories, because it would have 
benefited the cause of Islam and therefore would 
have hindered both their own designs on the territories 
of Asia Minor and the ambitions of the Orthodox 



Church. Yet to the Turks as well as the Arabs and 
even to the Europeans it would be a great advan- 
tage not to injure the understanding and goodwill 
that Islam engenders among these peoples, since its 
creed has both a religious and a political aspect. 

The maintenance of this Islamic union has been 
wrongly called in the disparaging sense of the word 
Pan-Islamism. Yet its ideal has nothing in 
common with such doctrines as those of Pan-Ger- 
manism, Pan-Slavism, Pan-Americanism, Pan-Polism, 
Pan-Hellenism, etc., which are all imperialistic 
doctrines aiming at territorial conquests by military 
or economic means, and also by the diffusion of their 
own religious creeds and the extension of the influence 
of their Churches. While Pan-Germanism aims at 
the hegemony of the world; while Pan- Americanism 
wants to control the whole of America; while Pan- 
Slavism wishes to gather together all the Slavonic 
elements which is defensible but also means to 
supplant the old civilisation of Western Europe, 
which it considers as " rotten," and to renovate 
the world; while Pan-Polism, which has not such 
ambitious aims, merely seeks, like Pan-Hellenism, to 
conquer wider territories in order to restore Greater 
Poland or Greater Greece Islam, which does not 
try to make any proselytes, has no other ambition 
than to group all Moslem elements according to the 
commandments of the Koran. Yet, Islam having 
both a political and a religious purpose, a Pan-Islamic 
concept might be defensible, and would be legitimate 
from the Moslem point of view, whereas it cannot 
be so from the Christian point of view. Pan- 
Catholicism, on the contrary, is an impossible thing, 


because Christianity does not imply a political 
doctrine, and is distinct from temporal power 
though such a doctrine has sometimes been advocated. 
For in the doctrine of monarchy, especially in France, 
religion has always been held merely as a help, a 
support, and the monarch, though he has often 
been a defender of the Faith, has never looked upon 
his power as dependent on the Papacy or bound up 
with it. Islam, however, does not want to assert itself 
in, and give birth to, a huge political movement a 
Pan-Islamic movement in the imperialistic sense of 
the word aiming at constituting a huge theocratic 
State, including all the 300 million Moslems who are 
now living. But there is between all Moslems a 
deep moral solidarity, a mighty religious bond which 
accounts for their sympathetic feeling towards 
Turkey, and owing to which even the Moslem in- 
habitants of countries which have lost their inde- 
pendence still earnestly defend and jealously maintain 
the privileges and dignity of the Caliph. 

So it is a mistake to speak of the ambitious designs 
of Islam, and the mistake has been made wilfully 
Those who profess such an opinion are Pan-Slavic 
Russians who want to deceive public opinion in the 
world as to their true intent, and thus prepare for 
territorial annexations, because Pan-Slavism is the 
enemy of Islamism. As this Pan-Slavism has always 
been, and is still more than ever, a danger to Europe, 
it is the interest of the latter, in order to defend its 
civilisation, not to fight against Islamism, but even 
to support it. This necessity has been understood 
by many Catholics who have always been favourable 
to Turkey and by the Mussulmans, which accounts 


for the long friendly intercourse between Moslems 
and Catholics, and the Moslems' tolerance towards 
the devotees of a religion which, on the whole, is 
in complete contradiction to their own faith. On 
the other hand, Islam appears as counterbalancing 
Protestantism in the East, and it seems the future 
of thought and morality and of any culture would 
be endangered if the 60 million Indian Moslems 
and the 220 million Indian Brahminists, Buddhists, 
and the members of other sects ever listened to Mr. 
Lloyd George and were connected with Protestantism. 
Moreover, King Hussein, in the course of the 
audience that he granted in July, 1920, to Prince 
Ruffo, the leader of the Italian mission to Arabia, 
before his departure, after saying that the Moslem 
world resented the hostile attitude of the Powers 
towards the Sultan of Constantinople, declared that 
the Moslems are not actuated by any feeling of 
conquest or proselytism, but simply claim the right 
to preserve their independence. 



THE Supreme Council, in the course of one of its 
last sittings, decided in January, 1920, practically 
to recognise the independence of Georgia, 1 Azer- 
baijan, and Armenia. 

It is deeply to be regretted that this decision came 
so late, for, considering the circumstances under 
which it was taken, it seemed to have been resorted 
to in extremis and under the Bolshevist threat. 

It was even announced, then denied, that the 
Allies were going to send contingents to the Caucasus 
in order to check the Bolshevist advance towards 
Armenia, Turkey, Persia, and possibly towards 
Mesopotamia and India. But under the present 
circumstances, the Allies were not likely now to get 
all the benefit they might have derived from this 
measure if it had been taken long ago; and, on the 
other hand, this measure was not likely to produce 
any effect if the new States were not recognised 
definitely and could not rely on the Allies' moral and 
material support. 

Since Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia seemed 
to have been recognised as independent States, in 

1 Since the French edition of this book was published, 
Georgia was recognised, de jure, by the Supreme Council in 
January, 1921. 



order to incite them to check the Reds' advance, 
how was it that the Republic of Northern Caucasus 
had not been treated similarly ? The reason given 
by the Supreme Council was that, as the greater 
part of this State was occupied by Denikin's forces, 
it did not think it proper to take a decision about it. 
The true reason was that the Supreme Council 
wanted to favour the Pan-Russian general, and it 
was even rumoured that Koltchak and Denikin had 
demanded this rich country to be set aside for the 
Tsar, whom they wanted to restore to the throne. 

Out of the 25 or 30 million Moslems living in 
the whole of Russia, 6 or 8 millions were scattered 
in the region of the Volga (Orenburg, Kazan) and 
in the Crimea; they were about 6 millions in Tur- 
kistan and 7 millions in the Caucasus region; about 
2 millions in Northern Caucasus, 300,000 to 500,000 
in Kuban, 600,000 in Georgia, 3,500,000 in Azar- 
baiijan. Half the population is Moslem in the new 
Armenian State, for only in two districts are the 
Armenians in a majority, the Tatars being in a 
majority in the others. It should be borne in mind 
that all these Moslems, after the downfall of Tsardom, 
had turned their hopes towards the Allies, especially 
England, to safeguard their political independence. 
Unfortunately neither Great Britain nor France paid 
any heed to the repeated entreaties of M. Haidar 
Bammate, then Minister of Foreign Affairs of the 
Republic of Northern Caucasus, or later on to the 
appeals of the Georgian statesmen. 

This omission appears all the more unaccountable 
if we remember that the Allies, by settling the fate 
of Armenia on this occasion, encroached upon the 


Turkish question and confused it with the Russian 
question, which was already intricate enough; and 
as it is clear that another obvious reason for the 
Allies' 5 decision was to befriend the Moslem popula- 
tions of those regions, that they might not join the 
Bolshevist cause, why then had Christian Armenia 
been included in the aforesaid settlement, while 
Northern Caucasus had been excluded from it ? Of 
course, it is not to be regretted that Armenia bene- 
fited by the Allies' decision, but it is impossible logi- 
cally to explain how it came to be included in their 
measure on account of its close relations with Georgia 
and Azerbaijan, when, as a matter of fact, the 
latter republics want to form a close union with 
Caucasus. It was quite as urgent, therefore, to 
recognise the Republic of Northern Caucasus as the 
other three countries. 

Moreover, as the Allies wanted to keep Bolshevism 
out of Transcaucasia, it seemed obvious that their 
first measure, from a military point of view, should 
have been to hold a strong position in the Caucasus 
Range, whose "slopes were being lapped by the Red 
tide, and to organise its defence. 

Indeed, the key to the defence of Transcaucasia 
lies to the north of the Caucasus Range. Four 
passes, crossing the mountains from the north to 
the south, give access to it: the defile of Sukhum; 
the road leading from Alatyr to Kutaris ; the Georgian 
military road from Vladikavkaz to Tiflis; lastly, 
the gates of Derbent, along the Caspian Sea. Only 
the first of these defiles was held by the Georgians; 
the other three were in the hands of the moun- 
taineers, " the Gortsy " viz., the Chechens, the 


Ossetes, the Ingushes, the Kabardians, and the 
Daghestanians, who make up the Republic of 
Northern Caucasus. It was easy for the moun- 
taineers to set up a first line of defence on the Rivers 
Terek and Malka, which constitute a good strategic 
position, a second line before the denies, and, should 
some detachments venture across the latter, they 


would be quickly stopped by the mountaineers. If, 
on the contrary, nothing was done, the Bolshevists 
could easily cross the defiles and destroy the Batum- 
Baku railway. These tribes, who had displayed so 
much energy sixty years ago for the conquest of their 
liberty, had fought against the Bolshevists from 
November, 1917, till February, 1919; so they had 
a right to expect the Allies would support their 

Unfortunately, French policy resorted again to the 
same manoeuvre to which it was indebted for its failure 
on the Baltic coast, and which repeatedly deferred 
a solution of the Russian question. For the Allies 
refused to settle the condition of the Baltic States 
definitely, and even tried to restore Russia to its 
former state; they even urged the Baltic States, till 
Yudenitch, Denikin, and Koltchak had been de- 
feated, to carry on the onerous struggle they had 
undertaken and to make all sacrifices of men and 
money to capture Petrograd, which they were not 
eager to do, as they would have merely paved the 
way to the coming of the Pan-Russian generals. 

The Allies made a similar mistake when they 
indirectly asked the mountaineers of Caucasus, 
who wanted to be independent, to attack the 
Bolshevists, but gave them no guarantee they would 


recognise their independence. Of course, the moun- 
taineers refused to play such a part, for they risked 
finding themselves confronted one day or another 
with a Russia that would despise their national 
aspirations and would oppress them. 

The situation could have been saved and the 
balance between the States on the confines of the 
Russian Empire could have been restored only by 
a close understanding of all the Caucasian peoples, 
after their independence should have been recog- 
nised; the representatives of Georgia and Azerbaijan 
agreed .on this point with the representatives of 
Northern Caucasus, and these peoples were ready to 
help each other mutually. 

In the course of the last sitting of the Supreme 
Council to which the delegates of Georgia and Azer- 
baijan had been invited, the latter declared " that 
the mountaineers were brave, that they had consti- 
tuted some of the best units of the former Russian 
army, and were bent upon stopping the Bolshevists, 
but they lacked arms and ammunition." 

Under such circumstances it seemed the Allies 
could not possibly ignore these peoples' determina- 
tion and turn a deaf ear to their earnest request, yet 
they took no decision. 

With regard to the Moslem question this attitude 
of the Conference, which seemed bent upon ignoring 
Northern Caucasus, was equally strange, for it was 
bound to bring about discontent among these Moslem 
populations. It was the more unaccountable as 
the Bolshevists, who set up as protectors of these 
populations, had sent .many emissaries among them, 
who could not but derive profit from the Allies' 


attitude. The Bolshevists had, of course, immedi- 
ately recognised Daghestan a Moslem State. 

Nor had the Republic of Northern Caucasus any 
reason to be satisfied with the attitude assumed 
by the British mission sent to Baku, for this mission 
had constantly supported General Denikin, and 
seemed to endeavour to destroy the economic and 
political Caucasian union it had formed with Georgia 
and Azerbaijan. The only theory which accounts 
for the British attitude is that the English meant to 
remain masters of Baku, and to leave the Russians 
the oil-fields of Groznyi in Northern Caucasus, the 
output of which was already important before the 
war, and would certainly increase. But they were 
mistaken in thinking that the petroleum of Groznyi, 
which was partly used as fuel by the Vladikavkaz 
railway and partly sent to the Black Sea ports to 
be sold to Western Europe, was utilised in Central 
Russia; it is chiefly the petroleum of the Baku area, 
lying farther south, which is easily conveyed to 
Russia across the Caspian Sea and up the Volga. 

Again, the Allies ought to have taken into account 
that the troublous state into which the Moslem 
world had been thrown by the settlement of the 
Turkish question as it was contemplated by the 
Peace Conference might have most important re- 
actions in all directions on the populations of the 
former Russian Empire which now wanted to be 

Yet the claims which the delegations of the 
Republics of Georgia and Azerbaijan together with 
Northern Caucasus had set forth in January in 
the course of their reception by the Supreme Council 


concerning the support they might expect from the 
Great Powers in case they should be attacked by 
the Soviets, brought forth no answer; and the Allies 
adjourned both the question of the defence of the 
Transcaucasian Republics and the question of their 

In consequence of all this, Northern Caucasus soon 
fell a prey to Bolshevism, and some insurrections 
broke out in Georgia. The Soviet Government sent 
a great many agitators to these regions. Then the 
Red army advanced in two columns, one of which 
defeated Denikin and crossed the Kuban to invade 
Caucasus, and the other spread over Kurdistan, 
whence, after winning over to its cause the Tatar 
and pro-Russian elements of the neighbouring 
regions, it extended its field of action as far as Persia 
and Mesopotamia. 

As early as February the Russian Bolshevists 
concentrated important forces near the northern 
frontier of Azerbaijan under pretence of driving 
away the remnants of Denikin's army, and after 
hurriedly getting up a " Soviet Government " at 
Daghestan, drew near the frontier of Azerbaijan. 

Meanwhile their agents carried on an energetic 
propaganda at Baku, where the inexperienced 
Moslem leaders of Azerbaijan had foolishly left 
almost all the administration of the country in the 
hands of functionaries of the old regime or Russian 
officers who thought that Bolshevism, especially with 
the national character it had newly assumed, might 
restore Russia to its former state. 

Within the country an economic crisis on the 
one hand, and on the other hand the Armenians' 


aggressions, in the course of which they had mas- 
sacred many Mussulmans, especially at Karabagh, 
had raised a widespread discontent against the 

Emboldened by the success of the Bolshevists, who 
benefited by these disturbances, their local accom- 
plices, some Russian workmen supported by about 
a hundred Moslem workmen, helped to organise a 
series of raids. During the night of April 2t>-27 the 
northern frontier of Azerbaijan was crossed at the 
railway station of Jalama by a Bolshevist armoured 
train, for the main body of the army of Azerbaijan 
had been dispatched to Karabagh and Kasakg to 
repel an Armenian attack, so that only one armoured 
train and a few hundred soldiers had been left on 
the northern frontier. This small detachment could 
not prevent the advance of the Red forces which 
followed the train, though it did its duty bravely 
and destroyed the railway track. On April 27 the 
Bolshevist forces reached the station of Khatchmaz, 
where they were greeted by a group of local com- 

At Baku, where the population lived in a state of 
indifference and passivity, the local communists, 
encouraged by the advance of the Russian Bol- 
shevists, addressed an ultimatum to the Government, 
which had declared itself in favour of armed resis- 
tance, demanding the resignation of the Cabinet and 
the handing over of the Government to the revolu- 
tionary committee which had just been formed. 
This ultimatum was enforced by the threat of the 
bombardment of the town by the fleet of the 
Caspian Sea. 


The Government, which had vainly asked Georgia 
for assistance, and had proposed to Armenia, before 
the common danger, to put an end to the hostilities 
at Karabagh in order to withdraw its troops and 
dispatch them to the northern frontier, was com- 
pelled on April 28 to hand over the power to the 
people's commissioners. The members of the 
Cabinet, against whom the Bolshevists had issued 
a writ of arrest, hurried away and the communists 
immediately resorted to their usual methods of 
terrorism and plunder. 

Instead of the " Moslem Brethren " the Bolshevist 
emissaries had spoken of, the inhabitants of Baku 
saw some Russian Bolshevists, accompanied by 
Armenians who had been expelled by the former 
Government, take possession of the town. As soon 
as they arrived, the latter arrested all the foreign 
missions, except the Persian mission. As the national 
army was detained on the southern frontier by constant 
Armenian attacks, the invaders dispatched Russian 
detachments in all directions, to take possession of 
the entire country. They addressed an ultimatum to 
Armenia, demanding the evacuation of Karabagh. At 
the same time Russian forces were sent via Zakatali 
towards the Georgian frontier. At Baku the Moslem 
militia was replaced by Russian workmen, and at 
the same time orders were given immediately to 
disarm the population of Ganjha (Elisavetpol), where 
the governor and some notables were arrested and 

It is reported that at Ganjha 15,000 Moslems 
were slaughtered by the Reds. 

A correspondent of 11 Secolo, on coming back from 


Caucasus, wrote an article entitled " The East on 
Fire" on May 25, 1920: 

" The information that we have just received from Coiy- 
stantinople, Anatolia, Caucasus, and Persia could not possibly 
be worse. Bolshevism has won over Caucasus to its policy, 
and from Baku it is carrying on a more and more energetic 
propaganda in Persia and Turkistan. The British are 
already fighting in the latter country with Bolshevism. All 
this might have been foreseen. 

"As it is cut off from Europe and encircled by hostile 
bayonets, Bolshevism, which originated in Asia, is now 
spreading over Asia. This does not mean that Caucasus 
and Asia are ripe for a revolution of the poor against the rich. 
It would be a foolish thing to say this. In Asia everybody 
is poor, but nobody starves. In Asia there is no industry, 
there are no organisations; therefore, there is no socialist 
movement on the whole. But anybody who has been to 
Caucasus lately must necessarily have noticed, to his great 
surprise, evidences of a Moslem Bolshevism headed by Enver 
Pasha and his brother Noury. The Republic of the moun- 
taineers of Daghestan, the first that joined the Bolshevist 
movement and made easier the advance of the Reds towards 
the south, is headed by Enver Pasha. In Azerbaijan many 
fanatic admirers of Russia are to be met with. 

" And what are the reasons for this ? They are many. 
First, the desperate condition of the new States which came 
into being immediately after the Brest-Litovsk peace. In 
Paris the Conference laid down frontiers, but never thought 
the first thing to do was to put an end to the economic crisis 
prevailing in those countries. And so an absurd thing 
happened wealthy countries living in frightful misery, and 
issuing paper currency which was of no value on the world's 
markets. Typical is the case of Azerbaijan, which had 
millions of tons of petroleum at Baku, but did not know 
where or how to export them." 

In July it was announced that the situation of the 
Moslems in Armenia had become critical, as for the 
last two months the Erivan Government and the 
"Tashnak" party had been carrying on a policy 
of violence and massacres against them. What 
remained of the Moslem populations had been com- 
pelled to leave their homes and property and flee 


to Persia. The Armenian Government had even 
appointed a Commission especially to draw up a list 
of the crops left by the Moslems and the Greeks in 
the district. At the end of June, in the district of 
Zanguibazar, about twenty Moslem villages had been 
destroyed by bombardments and their inhabitants 
put to death. By that time the Moslem population 
of Transcaucasia was being attacked both by the 
Armenians and the Bolshevists. 

M. Khan-Khoiski, ex-Prime Minister, and Dr. H. 
Aghaef, former Vice-President of the Parliament of 
Azerbaijan, were assassinated at Tiflis, where they 
had sought refuge, the former on June 19 and the 
latter on July 19, by Armenians belonging to the 
" Tashnak " party, of which the leader of the 
Armenian Government and most Ministers are 

This murder of the leaders of Azerbaijan, who 
carried on the war against the invaders of their 
country, served the Bolshevist cause, but aroused 
much resentment among the Moslems of Azerbaijan 
and Georgia, who were exasperated by the Bolshe- 
vists' frightful tyranny and now hated Bolshevism 
as much as they had formerly hated Tsardom. 

The delegation of Azerbaijan handed to the Spa 
Conference a note in which they drew its attention 
to the condition of their country. On the other 
hand, the members of the former Cabinet made 
energetic efforts to rid their country of the Bolshevist 
invasion. For this purpose they sent delegates to 
Daghestan and Northern Caucasus to plan a common 
resistance, as Daghestan, the tribes of the mountains 
of Northern Caucasus, and Azerbaijan were on 


friendly terms and shared the same views. By this 
time a small part of the Red armies still occupied 
the Baku area, whence the Bolshevists sent reinforce- 
ments to the detachments fighting in Persia. 

About the same time it was announced that Enver 
Pasha had been appointed commander-in-chief of 
the Bolshevist forces advancing towards India, and 
the Bolshevist troops in Caucasus, Persia, Afghanistan, 
and Turkistan had been put under his command. 
In this way the Soviets probably sought to compel 
England to make peace with Russia at once. 

At Tabriz a separatist movement was beginning 
to make itself felt with a view to bringing about the 
union of Persian Azerbaijan, of which this town is 
the centre, with the Republic of Azerbaijan, the 
capital of which is Baku. 

All this Bolshevist activity naturally caused much 
anxiety among those who closely watched the 
development of Eastern events, for Soviet Russia 
in another way and with different aims merely 
carried on the work of Russian imperialism both in 
order to hold Great Britain in check in the East and 
to give the whole world the benefit of the Soviet 
paradise. As the Allied policy with regard to 
Turkey had roused the whole of Islam, the union of 
the Bolshevist elements and the Turkish Nationalists 
seemed inevitable when the question of the future 
fate of Caucasus should be settled. It was only too 
much to be feared, after what had just taken place 
in Azerbaijan, that Soviet Russia, feeling it neces- 
sary to get the start of the Turkish Nationalists, 
would try to take possession of Georgia DOW she held 
Azerbaijan, as a guarantee both against the hostility 


of England and against the opposition that might 
sooner or later arise on the Turkish side. It then 
appeared that the Turkish Nationalists had come 
to a merely provisional agreement with the Russian 
Bolshevists to disengage themselves on the Russian 
side, and secure their help against Europe, which 
threatened Turkey; and that, on the contrary, the 
Angora Government, some members of which are 
Chechens and Ossetes, when brought face to face 
with the old historical necessities, would be one day 
compelled to resort to the old policy of defending 
the Moslem world against the Slavonic world. For 
notwithstanding the inherent incompatibility between 
the minds of these two peoples, the Allied policy, 
through its blunders, had achieved the paradoxical 
result of making a Russo-Turkish alliance temporarily 
possible, and to bring together the Moslems so 
unresponsive as a rule to the idle verbiage and sub- 
versive tendencies of revolutionists and the Bol- 
shevist Slavs, who were still their political enemies. 
And so it turned out that the attitude assumed by 
the various European Powers in regard to the Turkish 
problem and the solution that was to eventuate were 
prominent factors in the future relations between 
each of those Powers and Asia. Now the Turks, who 
alone are able to bring about an understanding 
between the Moslems of Caucasus and those of Asia, 
are also the only people who can bring about a 
lasting peace in that part of the confines of Europe 
and Asia, and settle the relations between those 
Moslem populations and the West. 




THROUGH a singular aberration, the dismemberment 
of Turkey and the Turks' eviction from Europe 
were being advocated at a time when the idea of the 
restoration of Russia had not yet been given up, for 
the various States now detached from the former 
Russian Empire had not yet been definitely recog- 
nised; and among the promoters or supporters of 
this policy were many defenders of old Russia under 
a more or less transparent disguise. 

Though, from the point of view of European 
policy, the situation of the two countries widely 
differed, by dismembering Turkey before the Russian 
question was settled, at least in its solvable part 
viz., with regard to the heterogeneous peoples the 
Allies made a mistake of the same kind, or at least 
of the same magnitude, as the one they had made 
when they dismembered the Dual Monarchy and yet 
did not destroy German unity, or rather Prussian 

Russia had already taken possession of several 
Turkish territories, and not so long ago she plainly 
declared she had not given up her ambitious designs 
on Constantinople. 

This open hostility of the Russians towards the 
Turks is of very long standing. 



The first Russian attacks against Turkey, as ex- 
plained in the early part of this book, date back 
to 1672. After the victory of Poltava, in 1709, 
which the next year gave him Livonia, Esthonia, 
and Carelia, Peter the Great turned against the 
Turks, the allies of Charles XII, King of Sweden. 
But Charles XII, who had sought shelter at Bender, 
in Turkey, after the battle of Poltava, brought over 
the Grand Vizier Baltaji Mohammed to his views, 
and induced him to declare war on Turkey. Peter 
the Great, encircled by the Turks at Hush, between 
the Pruth and the marshes, was going to capitulate 
when Catherine I, in order to save him, made peace 
by bribing the Grand Vizier, who soon after was 
exiled to Mytilene. The Turks only demanded the 
restitution of Azov in 1711. In 1732 Peter the Great 
took from Persia the provinces of Daghestan, Der- 
bend, Shirwan, Mazandaran, and Astra bad. At that 
time, while Villeneuve was ambassador at Con- 
stantinople (1728-41) and Austria and Russia began 
to turn greedy eyes on Turkey, France declared 
" the existence of Turkey was necessary to the peace 
of Christendom," and later on Choiseul-Gouffier, 
who was the French king's last ambassador from 
1784 to 1792, strove to save the Turks from the 
ambitious designs of Catherine II. 

Catherine, taking advantage of the intrigues 
carried on in the Morea with two Greeks, Papas- 
Oghlou and Benaki, dispatched a fleet to the 
Mediterranean to bring about a Greek rising against 
Turkey; the Ottoman fleet which sought shelter at 
Tchesme, on the coast of Asia Minor, was burnt 
by Russian fireships on July 7, 1770. 


After the 1770-74 war, the Porte, which was 
Poland's ally, lost Bukovina and Lesser Tatary, 
whose independence was recognised by the treaty of 
Kuchuk-Kainarji on July 21, 1774, but which 
became a Russian province in 1783. The treaty of 
Kuchuk-Kainarji ceded Kinburn and Yenikale to 
Russia, left to the Christians the principalities lying 
to the north of the Danube, and guaranteed the 
Orthodox Greeks' liberty under the patronage 
of the Russian ambassador at Constantinople. 
Catherine II also compelled the Turks by the same 
treaty not to defend the independence of Poland, 
threatened by Russia with the complicity of the 
Great Powers, and to give her a right of intervention 
in their home affairs. The Tatars of the Crimea 
and Kuban, detached from Turkey, soon after fell 
under the Russian sway, in 1783. The Sultan even 
had to sign a treaty granting a right of free naviga- 
tion in the Black Sea and in the rivers of his empire. 
About the same time the European Powers began 
to interfere in Turkey : that was the beginning of the 
" Eastern question." In opposition to the Austro- 
Russian alliance of Catherine and Joseph II, England, 
dissatisfied with Russia's attitude in the American 
War of Independence, and wishing to find allies 
in Germany to counterbalance Russian influence in 
Europe, concluded an alliance with Prussia, Sweden, 
Poland, and Turkey. The death of Frederic II 
soon put an end to this coalition, and Russia's un- 
friendly attitude, her encroachments in Caucasus, 
and her territorial claims in Bessarabia, compelled 
Turkey on August 16, 1787, to declare war on 
Catherine, and Joseph II entered into the war in 


1788. The Austrians took Khotin; the Turkish fleet 
was destroyed at Otchakov; Belgrade fell on 
October 8, 1789. Then Leopold, Joseph II's brother, 
left the Turks and made peace with Turkey at 
Sistova on August 4, 1791. The Russians, who had 
defeated the Turks at Machin, were about to invade 
the Empire when, as a result of the intervention of 
England and Prussia, a treaty of peace was signed 
at Jassy, by which the Dniester became the new 
frontier between the two States. Thus Russia, who 
owing to the perturbed state of Europe was preparing 
to dismember Poland, was compelled to give up her 
dream of restoring the Byzantine Empire. 

After the 1809-12 war, Turkey lost the provinces 
lying between the Dnieper and the Danube which 
were ceded to Russia by the treaty of Bukharest. 

Russia, who, by the convention of Akkennan in 
October, 1826, had compelled Turkey to recognise 
the autonomy of Serbia and Moldo-Wallachia and 
cede her the ports of the coast of Circassia and 
Abkasia, declared war on her again on April 26, 1828, 
after the manifesto she had issued to her Moslem 
subjects on December 28, 1827. The Russians took 
Braila, advanced as far as Shumla, captured Varna, 
and laid siege to Silistria, but the plague and food 
shortage compelled them to make a disastrous retreat. 
In Asia they took Kars, Akhalzikel, and Bayazid. 
The next year they entered Erzerum; Diebitch 
captured Silistria, outflanked the Grand Vizier's 
army shut up in Shumla, crossed the Balkan moun- 
tains, and laid siege to Adrianople. On Septem- 
ber 14, 1820, Turkey signed a treaty in the latter 
town, which put Moldavia, Wallachia, and Serbia 


under Russian protectorate, and by which she ceded 
to Russia all the coast of Transcaucasia, granted her 
the free passage of the Bosporus and the Dardanelles, 
and promised to pay a war contribution of 137 million 

In 1833 Mehemet Ali, Pasha of Egypt, who, not 
having been able to obtain the Morea through the 
Powers' support, wanted to capture Syria, defeated 
the Turks at Konia and threatened Constantinople. 
The Tsar, Nicholas I, who hoped he could turn 
Turkey into a kind of Russian protectorate, then 
sent Mouraviev to Mahmoud to offer to put at his 
disposal a fleet and an army to fight with Mehemet 
Ali. A Russian fleet came and cast anchor before 
Constantinople, and a Russian detachment landed 
in the town. But then France, Austria, and Prussia, 
perhaps foreseeing the danger of a Russian occupa- 
tion which might pave the way to a definite posses- 
sion, asked the Sultan to make the necessary con- 
cessions to his vassal, and the latter to accept them. 
The treaty of Kutahia, signed on May 4, 1833, gave 
the Pasha of Egypt the whole of Syria and the 
province of Adana. Russia withdrew her troops, 
but did not lay down arms, and thus Count Orlov 
compelled the Porte to sign the treaty of Unkiar- 
i-Skelessi, which stipulated an offensive and defensive 
alliance between Russia and Turkey, and the closing 
of the Dardanelles to the other Powers. Turkey was 
now under Russian tutelage. 

After the defection of Ahmed Pasha, who led the 
Turkish fleet at Alexandria, Great Britain, lest 
Russia should establish her protectorate over Turkey, 
offered to France, through Lord Palmerston, to 


participate in a naval demonstration, but France 
declined the offer. Metternich then suggested a 
conference between the representatives of the five 
Great Powers, in order to substitute their guarantee 
for a Turkish protectorate. On July 27, 1839, the 
ambassadors handed the Sublime Porte a note 
communicating their agreement, and advising that 
no definite decision should be taken without their 
co-operation. Then England, having no further fear 
of Russian intervention, turned against Mehemet 
Ali, and Baron de Brunov even proposed an Anglo- 
Russian agreement. 

Owing to the intervention of Austria, which was 
averse to a war with France, the question of Egypt 
was only settled on July 13, 1841, by a hatti-sherif, 
which gave Mehemet Ali the hereditary possession 
of Egypt, and by the treaty of London, which 
guaranteed the neutrality of the Straits, as Russia 
wanted to control the Straits and conquer Con- 
stantinople to free the Christians in the Balkan 
Peninsula from the so-called Ottoman tyranny, and 
" relight the tapers which had been put out by the 
Turks" in St. Sophia, restored to Orthodoxy. 
France, following the old traditions of her foreign 
policy and in agreement with England, confined the 
Russians within the Black Sea by the convention 
of the Straits in 1841, and thus secured, not the 
integrity, but the existence of the Turkish Empire. 

But the Tsar, Nicholas I, who was bent on defend- 
ing the Greek faith within the Ottoman Empire, 
was anxious to see Turkey pursue the work of the 
Tanzimat i.e., the new regime confirmed by the 
promulgation by Abdul Mejid of the hatti-sherif 


of Gulhane on November 3, 1839. In 1844 he made 
overtures concerning the partition of Turkey, to 
England, to which the latter country turned a deaf 
ear. Thanks to the support of Great Britain and 
France, the Turkish troops, which had been sent to 
Moldavia and Wallachia after the riots which had 
broken out after the revolution, compelled the Tsar 
in 1849-51 to withdraw his army beyond the 

In 1850 France protested against the encroach- 
ments of Russia in the East, who, in order to protect 
the Greek monks living in Palestine and secure her 
own religious domination, wanted to deprive the 
Roman monks of their time-honoured rights over the 
Christian sanctuaries. 

In 1853 the Tsar sent Prince Menshikov to Con- 
stantinople in order to demand a formal treaty 
granting the Greek Church religious independence 
and temporal privileges. The Sublime Porte, backed 
by France and England, rejected the ultimatum. 
The latter Powers then sent a fleet to the 
Dardanelles, and the next month on July 4, 1853 
Russia occupied Moldavia and Wallachia. At the 
instigation of Austria, the Powers assembled at 
Vienna on the 24th of the same month drew up a 
conciliatory note, which was rejected by Russia. 
Then the English fleet sailed up the Dardanelles, 
and on October 4 Turkey declared war on Russia. 
Austria tried again, at the Vienna Conference which 
she reopened in December, 1853, to bring about an 
understanding between Russia and Turkey. But 
Nicholas I declared that he meant to treat only 
with England and Prussia to restore peace in 


the East, which Turkey looked upon as an affront. 
He also rejected Napoleon Ill's mediation on 
January 29, 1854, and the Franco-English sum- 
mons on February 27, upon which France declared 
war on him. Notwithstanding the political views 
which unfortunately are still held by most of the 
present diplomatists, and in pursuance of which the 
Powers had already checked Mehemet Ali's success 
and prevented Turkey resuming her former state, 
France and England realised the dangerous conse- 
quences of the Russian threat and backed Turkey. 
In consequence of the manoauvres of Austria and the 
unwillingness of Prussia, who had declared " she 
would never fight against Russia," the Allies, who 
were at Varna, instead of attacking the principalities, 
decided to launch into the Crimean expedition. 
Finally, after the ultimatum drawn up by Austria, 
to which the Emperor Alexander submitted at the 
instigation of Prussia, a treaty of peace signed in 
Paris on March 30, 1856, recognised the integrity of 
Turkey, abolished the Russian protectorate over the 
principalities, and guaranteed the independence of 
Serbia, Moldavia, and Wallachia, under the suzerainty 
of the Ottoman Empire. Our diplomats seem then to 
have partly realised the extent of the danger con- 
stituted by the Slavs, and to have understood that 
the Turks, by driving back the Slavs and keeping 
them away from Western and Mediterranean Europe 
since the fourteenth century, had enabled Western 
civilisation to develop. 

As the influence of France in Turkey was im- 
perilled after her defeat in 1870, Russia took advan- 
tage of this to declare she would no longer submit to 


the most important clauses of the London treaty 
of March 13, 1871. Russia, whose ambassador in 
Turkey at that time was General Ignatiev, took in 
hand the cause of the independence of the Bulgarian 
Church, for which, in 1870, she had obtained the 
creation of a national exarchate with its own hier- 
archy, which had exasperated the Phanar at Con- 
stantinople and brought about deadly encounters 
between Turks and Bulgarians. 

In 1875 Russia, alarmed at the reforms instituted 
by Turkey, and fearing the European organisation 
she was attempting to introduce into the Empire 
might strengthen it and thus prove an obstacle to 
the realisation of her designs, fomented a Christian 
rising in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was a 
pretext for her to declare war on Turkey. Russia, 
backed by the Bulgarians, obliged Turkey to agree 
to an armistice and to an International Conference at 
Constantinople. In consequence of the rejection by 
Turkey of the protocol of London and the Russian 
comminatory note which followed it, Russia carried 
on the hostilities which, after the defeat of Plevna 
in Europe and the capture of Kars in Asia, led to 
the negotiations of San Stefano, on March 3, 1878. 

Lastly, in the same year, on the occasion of the 
treaty of Berlin, which gave Kars to Russia and 
modified the San Stefano preliminaries by cancelling 
several of the advantages Russia hoped to obtain, 
France, pursuing her time-honoured policy, showed 
clearly her sympathy for Turkey, by bringing to 
bear on her behalf the influence she had regained 
since 1871. 

By so doing, France incurred Germany's anger, 


for we have already shown the latter country's 
sympathy for Slavism. As recent events have 
proved once more, an alliance with Russia could only 
be brought about by a corresponding understanding 
with Germany, since Russia, where German influence 
has been replaced by Slavonic influence, is now 
being invincibly drawn towards Germany, where 
Slavonic influence is now prevalent. This twofold 
understanding could only be brought about by 
sacrificing the whole of Western Europe and all her 
old civilisation. The Europe " which ends on the 
Elbe," as has been said, would become more and more 
insignificant in such a political concept, and there 
would only remain in the world, standing face to 
face for a decisive struggle, the Germano-Russians 
and the Anglo-Saxons. 

Spurred on by the annexation of Eastern Rumelia 
to Bulgaria, consequent on the rising of September 18, 
1885, at Philippopolis, the Macedonian Slavs carried 
on an agitation the next year, in 1886, in favour of 
their union with Bulgaria, and resorted to an insur- 
rection in 1895-96. 

Lastly, the two Balkan wars of 1912-13, not- 
withstanding the complexity and intricacy of the 
interests at stake, may be looked upon to a certain 
extent as a fresh outcome of the Slavonic pressure 
and the ambitions of Orthodoxy. 

The Russians, who had driven back the Turanian 
peoples to Turkistan, began the conquest of this 
country in 1815. -From 1825 to 1840 they subdued 
the Khirgiz. They took Khiva in 1854, and in 1864 


conquered the lower valley of the Syr Daria. In 
1865 they occupied Tashkent, and in 1867 grouped 
the territories they had conquered under the 
authority of the Governor-General of Turkistan. 
In 1873 they occupied all the country lying between 
the Caspian Sea and the Aral Sea, and in 1876 took 

Even before the war, as has already been seen, 
Russia had turned her attention in the East towards 
Armenia, who, owing to her situation, could best 
serve her policy of expansion in Asia Minor. Accord- 
ing to the plans of the Imperial Russian Government 
set forth on June 8, 1813, Armenia was to be converted 
into an autonomous province under the power of 
a governor-general, including the vilayets of Erzerum, 
Van, Bitlis, Diarbekir, Kharput, and Sivas, with the 
exception of a few territories whose boundaries had 
not yet been fixed. But in a memorandum presented 
at the same time, the Imperial Russian Government 
insisted upon " the close connection between the 
Armenian question and the problems the Russian 
administration had to solve in Transcaucasia." These 
plans lay in abeyance, for they were opposed by the 
German policy, which was hostile to any Russian 
encroachment on Turkish territories; and Russia, on 
the other hand, prevented Germany obtaining the 
concession of a railway line which was to connect 
the Turkish ports on the Black Sea, Samsun and 
Trebizond, with the Baghdad Railway and the 
Mediterranean Sea at Alexandretta, and settling down 
on the coast of the Black Sea. 

As the Entente had given Russia a free hand, the 
latter country, as has been seen, resumed the realisa- 


tion of her plans as soon as war broke out. Russia, who 
had begun the conquest of Caucasus in 1797 and of 
the Transcaspian isthmus from 1828 to 1878, occupied 
Upper Armenia in 1914-15. The Young Turks, who 
believed in the triumph of Germany, expected that, 
thanks to the latter, they could hold in check the 
Russian designs, and for this reason stood by her side. 

Meanwhile the Russian policy with regard to 
Turkey asserted itself more and more energetically, 
especially in reference to Constantinople, so that 
the antagonism of the two nations, created by 
Muscovite ambition, had grown into a deep and 
lasting hostility. 

It was recommended in the testament which is 
supposed to have been written by Peter the Great 

" Article 9. To draw as close as possible to Constantinople 
and India, for he who rules over that city will rule over the 
world. It is advisable, therefore, to bring about continual 
wars, now in Turkey, now in Persia, to establish shipbuilding 
yards on the Black Sea, gradually to get the mastery of that 
sea and of the Baltic Sea the possession of these two seas 
being absolutely necessary for the triumph of our plans to 
hurry on the decay of Persia, to advance as far as the Persian 
Gulf, to restore the once thriving Eastern trade, if possible 
through Syria, and to advance as far as India, the emporium 
of the world. 

" When once we are there, we shall no longer be dependent 
on English gold. 

" Article 11. To show the House of Austria it has an 
interest in ejecting the Turks from Europe, and to neutralise 
her jealousy when we shall conquer Constantinople, either by 
bringing about a war between her and the old European States, 
or by giving her a share of the conquest and take it back 
from her later on." 

Russia never gave up this policy; indeed, she did 
not carry out her plans by force of arms, for the 
other Powers would have opposed them; but she 


resorted to all possible means to ensure its triumph. 
She constantly aimed at the disintegration of the 
Ottoman Empire by supporting and grouping the 
Christian elements included in this empire, especially 
those of Slavonic race and Orthodox faith; and thus 
she really partitioned the Empire and bound to 
herself the old Ottoman provinces now raised to 
the rank of autonomous States. She acted most 
cautiously, and in order to carry out her plans peace- 
fully she sought to dismember Turkey gradually and 
weaken her in order to finally rule over her. It has 
been rightly said that as early as 1770 the Russians 
opened the Eastern question exactly as it stands 
to-day, and already advocated the solution they 
have always insisted upon. 1 

A century ago Alexander I declared it was time 
to drive the Turks out of Europe. Talleyrand, in the 
account he gave of the conversations between that 
Emperor and the French ambassador, relates that 
he said one day : 

" Now is the time to give the plans laid down by us at 
Tilsit the liberal aspect that befits the deeds of enlightened 
sovereigns. Our age, still more than our policy, requires 
that the Turks be driven into Asia; it will be a noble deed to 
free these beautiful lands. Humanity wants the eviction 
of those barbarians; civilisation demands it." 

But Napoleon had fully understood the Russian 
policy, for at the end of his life he said at St. 
Helena: " I could have shared Turkey with Russia; 
many a time did I speak about it with the Emperor, 
Alexander I, but every time Constantinople proved 
the stumbling-block. The Tsar demanded it, and 

1 Albert Sorel, La Question d'Orient au XVI 1 1* siede, 
pp. 81, 86, 277. 


I could not cede it; for it is too precious a key; it is 
worth an empire." 

At the memorable sitting of the House of Commons 
of March 29, 1791, some speakers expressed the 
anxiety felt in Great Britain, just after Catherine II 
had annexed the Crimea, lest the Eussians should 
capture the whole of the East. But Fox, the leader 
of the Liberal party, declared he sa^ no ground for fear 
in the constant increase of Muscovite power; he did 
his best to please the Tsarina, who, on her side, con- 
tinued to flatter him to obtain what she wanted from 
England; he recalled that the British themselves 
had opened the Mediterranean to Russian ships 
twenty years before, and he had told the French 
Minister Vergennes, who desired him to protest 
against the annexation of the Crimea, that Great 
Britain did not wish to raise any difficulty with 
Catherine II. 

Unfortunately, the Marquis de Villeneuve, Louis 
XV's ambassador, and the Comte de Bonneval, 
who had been converted to Islam, had been the last 
Frenchmen who had supported the Sublime Porte 
against the Russian Tsar's hostility and endeavoured 
to use Islam as the protector of the liberty of peoples 
imperilled by the Tsars; and yet this old policy of 
France had the advantage both of benefiting French 
trade and counterbalancing the power of the enemies 
of France. 1 On the other hand, at the Congress of 
Sistovo in 1791, Sir Robert Murray Keith, who 
acted as mediator in the conclusion of the Austro- 
Turkish treaty of peace, recommended his fellow- 

1 Albert Vandal, Une ambassade franfaise en Orient sou* 
Lmiis XV, pp. 4, 8, 331, 447. 


countrymen " to let the Turks dwindle down in their 
own dull way." So now French policy and English 
policy were going the same way. 

During the reign of Charles X, the Polignac 
Cabinet was willing to sacrifice Constantinople to 
the Russians in return for the left bank of the Rhine, 
and in 1828 Chateaubriand, French ambassador at 
Rome, favoured an alliance with the Tsar in order 
to obtain the revision of the 1815 treaties, at the 
cost of Constantinople. Moreover, Admiral Sir 
Edward Codrington, by destroying the Turco- 
Egyptian fleet at Navarino on October 20, 1827, 
with the combined fleets of Great Britain, France, 
and Russia, furthered the Russian Tsar's plans. 

As the direct capture of the Straits was bound 
to raise diplomatic difficulties, Nicholas I, on Sep- 
tember 4, 1892, summoned a secret council to discuss 
what policy Russia was to pursue on this point. The 
opinion which prevailed was expressed in a memo- 
randum drawn up by a former diplomatist, Dimitri 
Dashkov, then Minister of Justice, and in a draft 
partition of the Turkish Empire penned by a 
Greek, Capodistria. This secret committee, dread- 
ing the opposition of the Western States, decided to 
postpone the partition lest, as Great Britain and 
France refused their consent, it should not finally 
benefit the designs of Russia and Greece on Con- 
stantinople. These secret debates have been summed 
up in a book published in 1877 -, 1 and M. Goriainov, 
in the book he wrote on this question in 1910, 2 

1 Martens, Etude historique sur la politique russe dans la 
question d'Orient, 1877. 

* Goriainov, Le Bosphore et lev Dardanelles, 1910, pp. 25-27. 


thought it proper to praise the consistent mag- 
nanimity of the Tsars towards the Turks whereas 
the policy which maintained that no reforms would 
ever be instituted by Turkey of her own free-will if 
they were not urged on by diplomatic intrigues or 
international interference, and that " the sick man " 
could only be restored to health by the intervention 
of Christendom and under the Orthodox tutelage, 
was the real cause of the decay of Turkey 
and the origin of all the intricacies of the Eastern 

In 1830 Lord Holland, Fox's nephew it will be 
remembered that on March 29, 1791, Fox had said 
in the House of Commons he was proud of support- 
ing Russia's advance to the East, in opposition to 
William Pitt, who wanted to admit Turkey into the 
European concert declared he was sorry, as " a 
citizen of the world/' that the Russians had not 
yet settled down in the Golden Horn. 

Besides, whereas the Tories felt some anxiety at 
the territorial development of Russia without 
thinking of making use of Turkey to consolidate the 
position in the East the Whigs, on the contrary, 
to use the words of Sir Robert Adair in 1842, 
thought they could bring the Muscovite Empire into 
the wake of the United Kingdom. 

In June, 1844, the Tsar himself came to London 
in order to induce Great Britain to approve his 
Eastern policy, and Russian diplomacy felt so con- 
fident she could rely on the support of the English 
Liberal Cabinet that in 1853 Nicholas I, in the 
overtures made to Sir Hamilton Seymour, expressed 
his conviction that he could settle the Turkish 



problem in ten minutes' conversation with Lord 

On June 4, 1878, Lord Beaconsfield, who looked 
upon the part of England in the East as that of a 
moral protectorate over Islam and a mediator between 
Europe and Asia, by ensuring the institution of a 
system of reforms, signed a treaty of alliance with 
Turkey, by which England pledged herself to protect 
the Porte against Russian greediness in Asia. Unfor- 
tunately, Mr. Gladstone, under the influence of the 
ideas we have already expounded, 1 soon reversed the 
Eastern policy of England and unconsciously made 
his country the Tsar's ally against Turkey. 

Russia, to whom it was now impossible, since the 
Bulgarians and Rumanians were no longer under 
Ottoman dominion, to reach the shores of the 
Bosporus through Thrace and to conquer Con- 
stantinople and the Straits, which had been the aim 
of her policy for centuries, then turned her designs 
towards Turkish Armenia and Anatolia, as we have 
just seen, in order to reach Constantinople through 

Tlutshev, in one of his poems entitled Russian 
Qeography, said: 

" Moscow, Peter's town, and Constantino's town, are the 
three sacred capitals of the Russian Empire. But how far 
do its frontiers extend to the north and the east, to the 
south and the west ? Fate will reveal it in the future. 
Seven inland seas and seven great rivers, from the Nile to 
the Neva, from the Elbe to China, from the Volga to the 
Euphrates, from the Ganges to the Danube this is the 
Russian Empire, and it will last through untold centuries ! 
So did the Spirit predict. So did Daniel prophesy !" 

1 See supra, p. 114. 


And in another place : 

" Soon will the prophecy be fulfilled and the fateful time 
come ! And in regenerated Byzantium the ancient vaults 
of St. Sophia will shelter Christ's altar again. Kneel down 
before that altar, thou Russian Tsar, and rise, thou Tsar of 
all the Slavs." 

The manoeuvres in which Great Britain and Russia 
indulged during the first Balkan crisis in regard to 
the annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina are another 
striking proof of the rivalry between these two 
nations concerning the Straits, for they plainly show 
that their possession was still the chief ambition of 
Russia, and that Great Britain, on the other hand, 
was still determined to control the Straits directly 
or indirectly, as she could not possibly seize them 

At the time of that annexation, the Western 
Powers and Russia had proposed that a conference 
should be summoned to decide the fate of that 
country. But this proposal did not please Germany, 
who, though she had a right to be angry with Austria, 
who had neither consulted nor warned her, yet 
wanted to reconcile the patronising attitude she had 
assumed towards Turkey with her obligations as an 
ally of the Dual Monarchy. So Russia was obliged 
to submit to the annexation, and the idea of a 
conference was given up after Prince von Biilow had 
stated that Germany would back Austria, but that 
in regard to the indemnity claimed by Turkey as a 
compensation for the loss of her suzerainty over 
Bosnia - Herzegovina she would support Turkey. 
Meanwhile, M. de Tschirschkly, German ambassador 
at Vienna, did his best both to isolate Austria and to 


bring her to rely more and more on German friend- 
ship by striving to disturb the traditional friendly 
intercourse between London and Vienna ; and he took 
advantage of the disappointment caused in Austria 
by the breaking off of the negotiations with Turkey 
to make England responsible for their failure and 
embitter the enmity already prevailing between 
Austria and Russia. 

Now at this juncture Russia is reported to have 
declared her willingness to support Turkey, in return 
for which she wanted her to open up the Straits to 
her ships. This secret understanding was revealed 
to the British Government by Kiamil Pasha, a friend 
of England, who, at the suggestion of the British 
embassy, asked Russia whether, in case war should 
break out, she would take up arms in favour of 
Turkey. At the same time England hinted to the 
St. Petersburg Cabinet that she was aware it had 
opened negotiations, and that, should these negotia- 
tions bring about an understanding between Turkey 
and Russia, the relations between their two countries 
would be severely strained, and the situation would 
become critical. And so it turned out that Turkey 
too submitted to the annexation, and did not insist 
upon the meeting of the Conference. 

Meanwhile Russia had no thought of giving up her 
designs on Constantinople, as is proved by the revela- 
tions made in the Memoirs of Count Witte, the well- 
known Russian diplomatist and ex-Prime Minister, 
which were published in the Daily Telegraph in 
January, 1921. In one of his articles, concerning 
Nicholas II's character, we read that a Russo- 
Turkish war had been planned at the suggestion of 


M. de Nelidov, at that time Russian ambassador to 

" In the latter period of the year 1896, writes Count 
Witte, there was a massacre of Armenians in Constantinople, 
preceded by a similar massacre in Asia Minor. In October, 
His Majesty returned from abroad, and Nelidov, our ambas- 
sador to Turkey, came to St. Petersburg. His arrival 
gave rise to rumours about various measures which were 
going to be taken against Turkey. These rumours forced me 
to submit to His Majesty a memorandum, in which I stated 
my views on Turkey, and advised against the use of force. 
On November 21 (December 3) I received a secret memoir 
drafted by Nelidov. The ambassador spoke in vague terms 
about the alarming situation in Turkey, and suggested that 
we should foment incidents which would create the legal 
right and the physical possibility of seizing the Upper Bos- 
porus. Nelidov's suggestion was discussed by a special 
conference presided over by His Majesty. The ambassador 
insisted that a far-reaching upheaval was bound to occur in 
the near future in the Ottoman Empire, and that to safeguard 
our interests we must occupy the Upper Bosporus. He was 
naturally supported by the War Minister and the Chief of 
Staff, General Oberouchev, for whom the occupation of the 
Bosporus and, if possible, of Constantinople, was a veritable 
idte fixe. The other Ministers refrained from expressing 
their opinion on the subject, so that it fell to my lot to oppose 
this disastrous project, "which I did with vigour and deter- 
mination. I pointed out that the plan under consideration 
would eventually precipitate a general European war, and 
shatter the brilliant political and financial position in which 
Emperor Alexander III left Russia. 

" The Emperor at first confined himself to questioning the 
members of the Conference. When the discussion was closed 
he declared that he shared the ambassador's view. Thus 
the matter was settled, at least in principle namely, it was 
decided to bring about such events in Constantinople as 
would furnish us with a serious pretext for landing troops and 
occupying the Upper Bosporus. The military authorities 
at Odessa and Sebastopol were instructed immediately to 
start the necessary preparations for the landing of troops in 
Turkey. It was also agreed that at the moment which Nelidov 
considered opportune for the landing he would give the 
signal by sending a telegram to our financial agent in London, 
requesting him to purchase a stated amount of grain. The 
dispatch was to be immediately transmitted to the Director 
of the Imperial Bank and also to the Minister of the Navy." 


M. de Nelidov went back to Constantinople to carry 
out this plan, and war seemed so imminent that one 
of the secretaries of the director of the Imperial 
Bank " kept vigil all night long, ready to receive the 
fateful telegram," and was instructed to transmit 
it to the director. 

" Fearing the consequences of the act, I could not refrain 
from sharing my apprehensions with several persons very 
intimate with the Emperor, notably Grand Duke Vladimir 
Alexandrovich and Pobiedonostzev. ... I do not know 
whether it was the influence of these men or the influence of 
that Power which rules the whole world and which we call 
God, but His Majesty changed his mind and instructed Neli- 
dov, soon after the latter's departure for Constantinople, to 
give up his designs." 

After the attack by the Turkish ships on October 29 
and 30, the Emperor Nicholas, on November, 1914, 
issued a manifesto to his people, which, though 
sibylline in tone, plainly asserted Russia's designs on 
Constantinople and showed that she meant to avail 
herself of circumstances to carry them out. 

" The Turkish fleet, led by Germans, has dared treacher- 
ously to attack our Black Sea coast. We, with all the 
peoples of Russia, feel quite confident that Turkey's rash 
intervention will only hurry on her doom, and open to Russia 
the way to the solution of the historical problem bequeathed 
to us by our forefathers on the shores of the Black Sea." 1 

In the course of an audience which Nicholas II 
granted to M. Maurice Paleologue, French ambassador, 
at Tsarkoie-Selo on November 21, 1914, and in the 
course of which he laid down the main lines of the 
peace which he thought should be dictated to the 
Central Powers, he considered how the settlement 

1 Daily Telegraph, January 5, 1921. 


of the war would affect the other nations, and 
declared : 

" In Asia Minor I shall have naturally to take care of 
the Armenians; I could not possibly replace them under the 
Turkish yoke. Shall I have to annex Armenia ? I will 
annex it only if the Armenians expressly ask me to do so. 
Otherwise, I will grant them an autonomous regime. Lastly, 
I shall have to ensure for my Empire the free passage of 
the Straits. . . . 

" I have not quite made up my mind on many points; 
these are such fateful times ! Yet I have arrived at two 
definite conclusions: first, that the Turks must be driven out 
of Europe; secondly, that Constantinople should henceforth 
be a neutral town, under an international regime. Of course, 
the Mussulmans would have every guarantee for the protec- 
tion of their sanctuaries and shrines. Northern Thrace, up 
to the Enos-Midia line, would fall to Bulgaria. The rest 
of the country, between this line and the coast, with the 
exception of the Constantinople area, would be assigned to 
Russia." 1 

About the end of 1914, according to M. Maurice 
Paleologue, public opinion in Russia was unanimous 
on this point, that 

" The possession of. the Straits is of vital interest to 
the Empire and far exceeds in importance all the territorial 
advantages Russia might obtain at the expense of Germany 
and Austria. . . . The neutralisation of the Bosporus and 
the Dardanelles would be an unsatisfactory, mongrel com- 
promise, pregnant with dangers for the future. . . . Con- 
stantinople must be a Russian town. . . . The Black Sea 
must become a Russian lake." 2 

In the formal statement of the Government policy 
read on February 9, 1915, at the opening of the 
Duma, after mention had been made of the victories 
gained by the Russian armies over Turkey, the 
following sentence occurred: " Brighter and brighter 

1 Revue des Deux Mondes, March 15, 1921. pp. 261, 262: 
Maurice Paleologue. -"La Russie des Tsars pendant la guerre." 

2 Ibid., pp. 274, 275. 


does the radiant future of Russia shine before us 
in yonder place, on the shores of the sea which 
washes the battlements of Constantinople." 

Sazonov only hinted at the question of the Straits 
in the speech which followed, but he declared: 
" The day is drawing near when the economic and 
political problems arising from the necessity for 
Russia to have free access to the open sea will be 

Evgraf Kovalevsky, deputy of Moscow, stated in 
his turn: " The Straits are the key of our house, so 
they must be handed over to us, together with the 
Straits area." 

Then, M. Miliukov, after thanking M. Sazonov for 
his declaration, concluded his speech in these terms : 

" We are happy to hear that our national task will soon be 
completed. We now feel confident that the possession of 
Constantinople and the Straits will be ensured in due time, 
through diplomatic and military channels." 

The question of Constantinople captivated public 
opinion at that time, and in February, 1915, it en- 
grossed the minds of all prominent men in Russia. 
Public feeling agreed with the declarations we have 
just read, that a victorious peace must give Con- 
stantinople to Russia. 

At the beginning of March, M. Sazonov could not 
refrain from raising this question with the ambassa- 
dors of France and Great Britain, and asked them to 
give him an assurance that the Governments of 
London and Paris would consent after the war to 
the annexation of Constantinople by Russia. 1 

1 Revue des Deux Mondes, April 1, 1921, p. 673. 


On March 3, at the dinner given in honour of 
General Pau, Nicholas II talked on the same subject 
to M. Paleologue. The Emperor, after recalling the 
conversation he had had with him in November of 
the previous year, in the course of which he had said 
France could rely upon Russia, and telling him he 
had not altered his mind, said: 

" There is a point, however, about which recent events 
compel me to say a few words; I mean Constantinople. The 
question of the Straits engrosses the Russian mind more and 
more every day. I consider I have no right to impose on 
my people the dreadful sacrifices of the present war without 
granting as a reward the fulfilment of their age-long 
aspirations. So I have made up my mind. sir. I do not 
want half-measures to solve the problem of Constantinople 
and the Straits. The solution I pointed out to you in No- 
vember last is the only possible one, the only practical one. 
The city of Constantinople and Southern Thrace must be 
incorporated into my Empire ; yet I have no objection, as far 
as the administration of the city is concerned, to a special 
regime making allowance for foreign interests. You know 
that England has already sent me her approval. If any 
minor difficulties should arise, I rely on your Government 
to help me to smooth them." 1 

On March 8, M. Paleologue told M. Sazonov that 
he had just received a telegram from M. Delcasse, 
and was in a position to give him the assurance that 
he could rely on the French Government's friendly 
offices in settling the questions of Constanti- 
nople and the Straits according to the wishes 
of Russia. M. Sazonov thanked him very warmly, 
and added these significant words: "Your Govern- 
ment has done the Alliance a priceless service ... a 
service the extent of which perhaps you do not 
realise." 2 On the 15th the French Government, 

1 Revue des Deux Mondes, April 1, 1921, pp. 574, 575. 
1 Ibid. 


having examined the conditions of peace which the 
Allies meant to impose on Turkey, informed the 
Russian Government of the compensations France 
required in Syria. 

On March 16, after being received by the Emperor 
at the General Headquarters at Baranovitchi, the 
Grand Duke Nicholas, speaking as commander-in- 
chief of the Russian armies, had a formal conversation 
with M. Paleologue, speaking as French ambassador, 
and requested him to inform his Government that 
he considered the immediate military co-operation of 
Rumania and Italy as an imperative necessity. 
The French ambassador suggested that the Russian 
claims on Constantinople and the Straits would, 
perhaps, prevent Rumania and Italy joining the 
Allies. Upon which the Grand Duke answered: 
" That's the business of diplomacy. I won't have 
anything to do with it." 1 

Finally, the following letter of M. Koudashev to 
M. Sazonov, Minister of Foreign Affairs, printed in 
the collection of secret documents of the Russian 
Foreign Office published in December, 1917, 2 shows 
how deeply the leaders of Russia and the Russian 
people had this question at heart, that it commanded 
all their foreign policy, and that they were determined 
to use any means, to resort to any artifice, in order 
to solve it in conformity with their wishes. No 
wonder, then, as we pointed out at the beginning 
of this book, that Turkey, being fully aware of the 
Russian enmity, should have consented to stand 
by the side of Germany in a war in which her very 
existence was at stake. 

1 Ibid., pp. 578, 579. 2 The editor was M. Markine. 



February 5, 1916 (O.S.). 

" Most honoured Serguey Dmitrievich, At the request of 
General Alexiev, I waited on him to discuss how the capture 
of Erzerum could be best exploited. 

" Such an event obviously points to a certain state of 
mind in Turkey which we should turn to account. If a 
separate peace with Turkey was to be contemplated, it should 
be borne in mind that such favourable circumstances are 
not likely to occur again within a long time. It would un- 
doubtedly be our advantage to start the negotiations after 
a victory which the enemy rightly or wrongly fears will be 
attended with a new catastrophe. 

" Considering that our forces on the secondary front of 
Caucasus are insignificant and it is impossible to take 
away one soldier from the chief centre of operations, it would 
be most' difficult, in General Alexiev's opinion, to derive full 
profit from the glorious success of our Caucasian army in a 
strictly military sense. 

" Though he does not wish to advocate an immediate peace 
with Turkey, the general desires me to bring to your know- 
ledge some of his views concerning this eventuality that the 
situation created by our recent success may be carefully 
considered and fully utilised. 

" According to him, it would be most important to specify 
the war aims of Russia. Though the brigadier-general is 
fully aware this is a question to be settled by the Government, 
yet he thinks his opinion might be of some weight. 

" In the course of our conversation, we have come to the 
following conclusions: 

" Whatever may have been our prospects at the time 
when Turkey entered into the war, of securing compensa- 
tions at the cost of the latter country when peace is con- 
cluded, we must own that our expectations will not be ful- 
filled during the present war. The longer the war lasts, the 
more difficult it will be for us to secure the possession of 
the Straits. General Alexiev and General Danilov agree on 
this point. I refer you to my letters of December, 1914, and 
January, 1915, as to Danilov's opinion. 

" The defeat of the chief enemy and the restoration of 
the parts of the Empire we have lost should be our chief 
war aim. Our most important enemy is Germany, for there 
cannot be any question that at the present time it is more 
important for us to recover the Baltic Provinces than take 
possession of the Straits. We must by all means defeat 
Germany. It is a difficult task, which will require great 


efforts and sacrifices. The temporary abandonment of some 
of our hopes should be one of these sacrifices. 

" Considering the advantages a separate peace with Turkey 
would bring us, we might offer it to her without injuring our 
real ' interests ' the occupation of the Straits being merely 
postponed on the basis of the status quo ante bdlum, 
including the restoration of the Capitulations and the other 
rights acquired by the treaties. We should also demand 
the dismissal of the Germans, with a promise on our side 
to defend Turkey in case of German reprisals. If a separate 
peace could be concluded with Turkey on such a basis, all 
our Caucasian army would be available. We could send it 
to Bessarabia and thus who knows ? bring Rumania to 
our side, or, if Turkey asks for it, send it to defend Constan- 
tinople. England would heave a sigh of relief when the 
dangers of the Egyptian campaign and of the Muslim move- 
ment thus vanished. She would then be able to send her 
Egyptian army nine divisions to Salonika and Kavala, 
bar the way definitely to the Bulgarians and liberate Serbia 
with the help of the French, the Italians, and the reconsti- 
tuted Serbian Army. If Turkey were no longer our enemy, 
the situation in the Balkans would be quite altered, and we 
should be able to keep in touch with our Allies by clearing 
the southern route of Europe. In short, the advantages of 
a separate peace with Turkey are innumerable. The chief 
result would be the defeat of Germany, the only common 
war aim of all the Allies. No doubt, we all they as well as 
we will have to waive some of our cherished schemes. 
But we are not bound to give them up for ever. If we carry 
on the war with Turkey, we delude ourselves with the hope 
our ideal can be fulfilled. If we interrupt the war with that 
country, we postpone for a time the fulfilment of our 
wishes. But in return for this, we shall defeat Germany, the 
only thing which can secure a lasting peace for all the Allies 
and a political, military, and moral superiority for Russia. 
If a victory over Germany gives us back the paramount 
situation we enjoyed after the Napoleonic wars, why could 
not the glorious period of the treaties of Adrianople and 
Hunkiar-i-Skelessi occur again ? In concluding that treaty 
we should have only to take care not to offend the Western 
Powers, and yet meet the requirements of Russia. 

" Perhaps I have stated General Alexiev's opinions too 
unreservedly, as I wished to give this report a definite form. 
Though the brigadier-general does not wish to be the advo- 
cate or promoter of the idea of a separate peace with Turkey, 
I am sure he looks upon this as a highly profitable scheme. 


" Of course, many difficulties will have to be overcome in 
the conclusion of such a peace; but is not every matter of 
importance attended with difficulties ? Public opinion should 
be warned that we cannot possibly secure the fulfilment 
of all our wishes at once, that it is impossible for us to shake 
off German hegemony, reconquer the shores of the Baltic, 
and the other provinces now in the hands of the enemy, and 
at the same time take Constantinople, The conquest of 
Tsarigrad in the present circumstances must necessarily 
raise many a political and moral question. The Turks, too, 
will have to be convinced. But they may be influenced both 
by logical and pecuniary arguments. If once the question 
of the loss of their capital is waived, it will be pretty easy 
for us to convince them that the Germans merely want 
their help for selfish purposes without any risk to themselves. 
If some of them turned a deaf ear to logical arguments, we 
might resort to more substantial arguments, as has always 
been the way with Turkey. 

" But the discussion of such details is still premature. 
For the present, the important points are: 

" 1. Plainly to define our real war aim. 

"2. To decide, in connection with this aim, whether a 
separate peace with Turkey should not be contemplated at 

"3. To prepare public opinion the Duma is to meet to- 
morrow and our Allies for such a turn of events. 

" I want to conclude this long letter by stating that 
General Alexiev and I share the feelings of all Russians in 
regard to Constantinople, that we do not disregard the 
' historical call of Russia,' in the solution of the Eastern 
question, but that we are actuated by the sincere wish to 
clarify the situation by distinguishing what is possible at the 
present time from those aspirations whose fulfilment is 
momentarilyonly momentarily impossible." 

It is obvious that if, at the beginning of the war, 
General Kuropatkine maintained that it was a 
military necessity to occupy part of Turkey, it was 
because the only aim of Russia in entering into the 
conflict was the conquest of Constantinople. 

In an article entitled " La Neutralisation des Dar- 
danelles et du Bosphore," which was written at the 
beginning of the war, M. Miliukov confirmed the 


Russian designs on the Black Sea and consequently 
on all the part of Europe and Asia Minor con- 
tiguous to it. He recalled that, by the former treaties 
concluded with Russia before the European nations 
had interfered in the Eastern question those of 
1798, 1805, and 183& the Porte had granted Russian 
warships the free passage of the Straits, though the 
Black Sea was still closed to the warships of any other 
Power, and that when the treaties of 1841, 1856, 
and 1871 had laid down the principle of the closure 
of the Straits, Russia had always preferred this state 
of things to the opening of the Black Sea to the 
warships of all nations. This article throws a light on 
the policy pursued by Russia and the propaganda 
she is still carrying on in the hope of bringing about 
the annihilation of the Ottoman Empire. So the 
writer recognised that it was the duty of Russia to 
oppose the dispossession of Turkey and that, if the 
Straits passed under Russian sovereignty, they ought 
not to be neutralised. 

Taking up this question again in an interview 
with a correspondent of Le Temps in April, 1917, 
M. Miliukov stated that the map of Eastern Europe, 
as it ought to be drawn up by the Allies, involved 
" the liquidation of the Turkish possessions in Europe, 
the liberation of the peoples living in Asia Minor, 
the independence of Arabia, Armenia, and Syria, 
and finally, the necessity of recognising Turkey's 
right to the possession of the Straits." Nobody 
knows what was to become of the Turks in such a 
solution, or rather it is only too plain that " the 
liquidation of the Turkish possessions in Europe " 
meant that Russia would take possession of the 


Straits and rule over the Turkish territories in Asia 

Though both the Conservatives and the Bolshe- 
vists in Russia were plainly drawing nearer to 
Germany, M. Miliukov, who seemed to forget the 
pro-German leaning of Tsardom and the tendency 
he himself openly displayed, came to this conclusion: 

" The Straits to Russia that, in my opinion, is the only 
way out of the difficulty. The neutralisation of the Straits 
would always involve many serious dangers to peace, and 
Russia would be compelled to keep up a powerful war fleet 
in the Black Sea to defend our coasts. It would give the 
warships of all countries a free access to our inland sea, the 
Black Se'a, which might entail untold disasters. Germany 
wants the Straits in order to realise her dreams of hegemony, 
for her motto is ' Berlin -Baghdad,' and we, Russians, want 
the Straits that our importation and exportation may be 
secure from any trammels or threats whatever. Nobody 
can entertain any doubt, therefore, as to which Power is to 
own the Straits; it must be either Germany or Russia." 

Prince Lvov, M. Sazonov, M. Chaikovsky, and 
M. Maklakov, in a memorandum addressed to the 
President of the Peace Conference on July 5, 1919, 
on behalf of the Provisional Government of Russia, 
stated the Russian claims with regard to Turkey, and 
the solution they proposed to the question of the 
Straits and Constantinople was inspired by the agree- 
ments of 1915 and showed they had not given up 
anything of their ambition. For, though they had no 
real mandate to speak of the rights of New Russia 
they declared: 

" New Russia has, undoubtedly, a right to be associated 
in the task of regeneration which the Allied and Associated 
Powers intend to assume in the former Turkish territories. 

" Thus, the question of the Straits would be most equitably 
settled by Russia receiving a mandate for the administration 
of the Straits in the name of the League of Nations. Such 


a solution would benefit both the interests of Russia and those 
of the whole world, for the most suitable regime for an inter- 
national road of transit is to hand over its control to tho Power 
which is most vitally interested in the freedom of this 

" This solution is also the only one which would not raise 
any of the apprehensions which the Russian people would 
certainly feel if the aforesaid mandate were given to any other 
Power or if a foreign military Power controlled the Straits. 

" For the moment, Russia, in her present condition, would 
be satisfied if the control of the Straits were assigned to a 
provisional international administration which might hand 
over its powers to her in due time, and in which Russia in 
the meantime should hold a place proportionate to the part 
she is called upon to play in the Black Sea. 

"As to Constantinople, Russia cannot think for one 
moment of. ceding this city to the exclusive administration 
of any other Power. And if an international administration 
were established, Russia should hold in it the place that befits 
her, and have a share in all that may be undertaken for 
the equipment, exploitation, and control of the port of Con- 

Some documents, which were found by the Bol- 
shevists in the Imperial Record Office, concerning the 
conferences of the Russian Staff in November, 1913, 
and which have just been made public, testify to the 
continuity of the aforesaid policy and the new schemes 
Russia was contemplating. It clearly appears from 
these documents that M. Sazonov, Minister of Foreign 
Affairs, had represented to the Tsar the necessity 
of preparing not only plans of campaign, but a 
whole organisation for the conveyance by rail and 
sea of the huge forces which were necessary to capture 
Constantinople, and that the Crown Council was of 
opinion this plan should be carried out in order to 
bring the Russians to Constantinople and secure the 
mastery of the Straits. 

At the present time, forty or fifty thousand 1 

1 Now there are about 200,000. 


Russian emigrants, fleeing before the Bolshevists, 
have reached Pera and have settled down in it; 
others are arriving there every day, who belong to 
the revolutionary socialist party an exiled party 
temporarily or who are more or less disguised 
Bolshevist agents. It is obvious that all these 
Russians will not soon leave Constantinople, which 
they have always coveted, especially as the Bolshe- 
vists have by no means renounced the designs of the 
Tsars on this city or their ambitions in the East. 

Not long ago, according to the Lokal Anzeiger, 1 
a prominent member of the Soviet Government 
declared that, to safeguard the Russian interests in 
the East and on the Black Sea, Constantinople must 
fall to Russia. 

Being thus invaded by Russian elements of all 
kinds, Constantinople seems doomed to be swallowed 
up by Russia as soon as her troubles are over, 
whether she remains Bolshevist or falls under a 
Tsar's rule again; then she will turn her ambition 
towards the East, which we have not been able to 
defend against the Slavs, and England will find her 
again in her way in Asia and even on the shores of 
the Mediterranean Sea. 

On the other hand, as Germany is endeavouring 
to come to an understanding with Russia and as 
the military Pan-Germanist party has not given 
up hope of restoring the Kaiser to the throne, 
if the Allies dismembered Turkey whose policy is 
not historically linked with that of Germany, and 
who has no more reason for being her ally now, 

1 August 10, 1920. 



provided the Allies alter their own policy they would 
pave the way to a union of the whole of Eastern 
Europe under a Germane-Russian hegemony. 

Again, the Turks, who originally came from 
Asia, are now a Mediterranean people owing to 
their great conquests and their wide extension in the 
fifteenth century, and though in some respects 
these conquests may be regretted, they have on the 
whole proved beneficial to European civilisation, 
by maintaining the influence of the culture of anti- 
quity. Though they have driven back the Greeks 
to European territories, they have not, on the whole, 
attempted to destroy the traditions bequeathed to 
us by antiquity, and the Turk has let the quick, 
clever Greek settle down everywhere. His indolence 
and fatalism have made him leave things as they were. 
What would have happened if the Slavs had come 
down to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea ? The 
Bulgars and Southern Slavs, though they were sub- 
ected to Greco-Latin influences, displayed much 
more activity and were proof against most of these 
influences. But the Turks checked the Slavs' advance 
to the south; and, were it only in this respect, they 
have played and still play a salutary part of which 
they should not be deprived. 

The new policy pursued by France towards 
Turkey becomes the more surprising coming after her 
time-honoured Turkish policy and after the recent 
mistakes of her Russian policy as we see history 
repeat itself, or at least, similar circumstances 
recur. Even in the time of the Romans the events 
of Syria and Mesopotamia were connected with those 
of Central Europe; as Virgil said: " Here war is let 


loose by Euphrates, there by Germany." Long after, 
Francis I, in order to check the ambitious designs 
of Charles V, Emperor of Germany, who, about 1525, 
dreamt of subduing the whole of Europe, sought the 
alliance of Soliman. The French king, who under- 
stood the Latin spirit so well and the great part it 
was about to play in the Renaissance, had foreseen 
the danger with which this spirit was threatened by 

Moreover, a recent fact throws into light the con- 
nection between the German and Russian interests 
in the. Eastern question, and their similar tenden- 
cies. For Marshal von der Goltz was one of the first 
to urge that the Turkish capital should be transferred 
to a town in the centre of Asia Minor. 1 Of course, 
he professed to be actuated only by strategic or 
administrative motives, for he chiefly laid stress on 
the peculiar geographical situation of the capital 
of the Empire, which, lying close to the frontier, 
is directly exposed to^ a foreign attack. But did he 
not put forward this argument merely to conceal 
other arguments which concerned Germany more 
closely ? Though the Germans professed to be the 
protectors of Islam, did not the vast Austro-German 
schemes include the ejection of the Turks from Europe 
to the benefit of the Slavs, notwithstanding the de- 
clarations made during the war by some German 
publicists M. Axel Schmidt, M. Hermann, M. Paul 
Rohrbach which now seem to have been chiefly 
dictated by temporary necessities ? 

1 Von der Goltz, ",Starke und Schwache des turkischen 
Reiches," in the Deutsche Rundschau, 1897. 


Thus the Turkish policy of the Allies is the out- 
come of their Russian policy which accounts for 
the whole series of mistakes they are still making, 
after their disillusionment with regard to Russia. 

For centuries, Moscow and Islam have counter- 
poised each other: the Golden Horde having checked 
the expansion of Russia, the latter did her best to 
bring about the downfall of the Ottoman Empire. 
It had formerly been admitted by the Great 
Powers that the territorial integrity of the Ottoman 
Empire should not be infringed upon, for it was the 
best barrier to Russia's claims on the Straits and 
her advance towards India. But after the events 
of the last war, England, reversing her traditional 
policy, and the Allies, urged on by Pan-Russian 
circles, have been gradually driven to recognise the 
Russian claims to Constantinople in return for her 
co-operation at the beginning of the war. 

The outcome of this policy of the Allies has been 
to drive both the new States, whose independence 
they persistently refused to recognise, and the old 
ones, whose national aspirations they did not counte- 
nance, towards Bolshevism, the enemy of the Allies; 
it has induced them, in spite of themselves, to come to 
understandings with the Soviet Government, in order 
to defend their independence. England in this way 
runs the risk of finding herself again face to face with 
Russia a new Russia; and thus the old Anglo- 
Russian antagonism would reappear in another 
shape, and a more critical one. Sir H. Rawlinson 1 
denounced this danger nearly half a century ago, 

1 H. Rawlinson, England and Russia in the East (1875). 


and now once more, though in a different way, 
" India is imperilled by the progress of Russia." 

However, there is no similarity between Pan- 
Turanianism and Bolshevism, though an attempt 
has been made in press polemics or political con- 
troversies to confound the one with the other. 
They have no common origin, and the utter incom- 
patibility between Bolshevism and the spirit of 
Western Europe exists likewise to another extent 
and for different reasons between Bolshevism and 
the spirit of the Turks, who, indeed, are not Euro- 
peans but Moslems, yet have played a part in the 
history of Europe and thus have felt its influence. 
The Turks like the Hungarians, who are monar- 
chists and have even sought to come to an under- 
standing with Poland have refused to make an 
alliance with the Czecho-Slovaks, who have Pan- 
Slavic tendencies; and so they cannot become Bol- 
shevists or friendly to the Bolshevists. But, if the 
Allies neither modify their attitude nor give up 
the policy they have pursued of late years, the Turks, 
as well as all the heterogeneous peoples that have 
broken loose from old Russia, will be driven for 
their own protection to adopt the same policy as 
new Russia the latter being considered as outside 
Europe; and thus the power of the Soviet Govern- 
ment will be reinforced. 

We have been among the first to show both the 
danger and the inanity of Bolshevism; and now we 
feel bound to deplore that policy which merely tends 
to strengthen the Bolshevists we want to crush. 
Our only hope is that the influence of the States 
sprung from old Russia or situated round it on Soviet 


Russia with which they have been obliged to come 
to terms for the sake of self-defence will complete 
the downfall of Bolshevism, which can only live 
within Russia and the Russian mind, but has already 
undergone an evolution, owing to the mistakes of 
the Allies, in order to spread and maintain itself. 

As to the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire, 
it seems that far from solving the Eastern question, 
it is likely to bring about many fresh difficulties, for it 
is a political mistake as well as an injustice. 

This dismemberment, impudently effected by 
England, is not likely to turn to her advantage. 
Of course, owing to the treaty, British hegemony 
for the present extends over Mesopotamia, Palestine, 
and Kurdistan, and is likely to prevail over the 
international regime foreshadowed by the same 
treaty; but the organisation which Great Britain 
wants thus to enforce on the East, if ever it is effec- 
tive, seems most precarious. For, even without 
mentioning Turkey, which does not seem likely to 
submit to this scheme, and where the Nationalist 
movement is in open rebellion, or Armenia, whose 
frontiers have not been fixed yet, the condition of 
Kurdistan, which England coveted and had even at 
one moment openly laid claim to, is still uncertain; 
the Emir Feisal, who is indebted to her for his power, 
is attempting to get out of her hand; finally, by 
putting Persia under her tutelage, she has roused 
the national feeling there too, and broken of her own 
accord the chain she intended to forge all round India, 
after driving Germany out of Asia Minor and cap- 
turing all the routes to her Asiatic possessions. 

Now it is questionable whether Great Britain 


in spite of the skill with which her administration 
has bent itself to the ways of the very various peoples 
and the liberal spirit she has certainly evinced in 
the organisation of the Dominions belonging to the 
British Empire, the largest empire that has ever 
existed will be powerful enough to maintain her 
sovereignty over so many peoples, each of which 
is proud of its own race and history, and to organise 
all these countries according to her wish. 

As to France, she is gradually losing the moral 
prestige she once enjoyed in the East, for the advan- 
tages she has just gained can only injure her, and also 
injure 'the prestige she still enjoys in other Moslem 
countries; whereas, by pursuing another policy, she 
might have expected that the German defeat would 
restore and heighten her prestige. 

It follows from all this that the Turkish problem, 
as we have endeavoured to describe it considering 
that for centuries an intercourse has been main- 
tained between the Moslem world and Mediterranean 
Europe, and that a Moslem influence once made 
itself felt on Western civilisation through Arabic 
culture cannot be looked upon as a merely Asiatic 
problem. It is a matter of surprise that Islam, five 
centuries after Christ, should have developed in 
the birthplace of Christianity, and converted very 
numerous populations, whose ways and spirit it 
seems to suit. One cannot forget either that Islam 
acted as a counterpoise to Christianity, or that it 
played an important part in our civilisation by secur- 
ing the continuance and penetration of Eastern and 
pagan influences. So it is obvious that nowadays 
the Turkish problem is still of paramount importance 


for the security of Western civilisation, since it con- 
cerns all the nations round the Mediterranean Sea, 
and, moreover, all the Asiatic and African territories 
inhabited by Moslems, who have always been in- 
terested in European matters and are even doubly 
concerned in them now. 1 

1 The French edition of this book bears the date August, 


Gaillard, Gaston 
651 The Turks and Europe