16 December 2006

1299) Post War Pleas from Ottoman Leaders


As the Ottoman Empire lay shattered at the hands of the victorious allies anxious to split it apart, there was only one thing left to do: Beg.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
1) Sultan Embraces Wilson's Doctrine
2) An Armenian's Rebuttal
3) Grand Vizier at 80 Fights for Turkey

The following appeared in the March 31, 1919 issue of the Dallas News.

SULTAN EMBRACES WILSON’S DOCTRINE
ADVOCATES LEAGUE OF NATIONS AND PLEADS FOR JUSTICE FOR TURKISH PEOPLE
PUTTING DOWN TYRANNY

Massacres not Religious, but Results of Political Tactics of Young Turks, Mohammed Says.

BY WILLIAM T. ELLIS

Special Cable to the News. Copyright 1919, by the New York Herald Company. All rights reserved.

Constantinople, March 29 (delayed?) - Mohammed Vallid Eddin, who under the title of Mohammed VI. Was crowned Sultan of Turkey last July, today broke his steadfast rule of silence and granted an interview to the Dallas News and the New York Herald representative. While in the Sultan’s palace I learned that the drastic action begun by him against the Young Turks last December was rapidly bearing fruit. A Cabinet Minister, who acted as interpreter for me, said that within the next ten days certain members of the one-time Young Turk Cabinet will be hanged.

In his talk with me the Sultan made it plain that he proposed to continue the war against the Young Turks and to keep the fight in their camp. He lamented the fact that as a result of the autocratic, dictatorial methods of the Young Turks many lovers of safety and tolerance had been imprisoned, and even he himself, as a champion of safety, tolerance and justice, had been cruelly misrepresented by them.

The Sultan indicated that he was determined to crush the evil influences of the men responsible for the actions of the union and pogroms of party government and that all such men will be arrested and severely punished.

The Sultan expressed high regard for President Wilson, whose help in behalf of Turkey he invoked. The Sultan received me in the Yildes Kiosk, overlooking the Bosphorus, with palaces and noble gardens on either side. For an hour and a half he talked, speaking earnestly, now looking me squarely in the eye, now gazing fixedly beyond, to the blue waters of the narrow strait that connects Europe with Asia - the Golden West with the mystic East.

“We await the help of God and your exalted President, who was the first to communicate great, new ideals of worldwide humanity.” He said.

The Sultan asked me to convey to the world his plea for a League of Nations that will see to it that Turkey gets justice. He declared that his faith with regard to the future was firmly fixed on President Wilson’s fourteen points.

Massacres Political

“By tyranny we have been brought to our present plight,” he continued. “It is justice that we ask for suffering peoples. If they are sentenced without trial, without investigation of true conditions, it would not be justice.

“What will our people think, what will the whole Orient think if Europe again calls on us to suffer more? The desperate should not be driven to the last extremity.

“Indeed, it were better not to leave any earth than to leave the world with the fire of oppression smoldering in it, and the spirit of hatred and of war stalking.

“That Turkey is predominantly is a factor not to be overlooked. And in this connection I must say that we all wish to avoid creating religious antagonism.

“I especially urge that a commission composed of neutrals, of unbiased, right-thinking men, be sent to find out the truth about the massacres - to investigate the situation thoroughly.

“Those massacres were not religious in character, but resulted from politics. They were abetted by those personally profiting”.

“However the question has become as kinked wool before it is carded.

“All Ottoman subjects are my children in the sight of God. As Caliph, I am the spiritual father of Moslem and Christian alike.

“There is nothing in Islam antagonistic to Christianity. For 300 years Christians and Moslems have lived happily together. Search our history and you will find no precedent for these crimes against the Armenians.

“I can not say too strongly, too earnestly, that they are political in their original, that they were not at all prompt by religion. Czarism, with its designs upon Turkey and its incitement of our Christian population, was really to blame for most of our woes.”

The Sultan lamented the existing situation.

“Turkey is in a bad way, in a desperate situation.” he declared.

“Indeed, she is in the position of an innocent man charged with murder.

Disapproves of Tyranny


“I am able to say conscientiously that I disapprove of the old Government and its methods of tyranny. We have come to the very end of the road. Turkey now can be saved only by justice being done being done her.

“I declare to you as a father whose heart is broken that I have lost 4,000,000 of my subjects as a result of the war and its atrocities.

“Now we want peace and an opportunity to heal our wounds, to restore our wrecked homes, to cultivate good will among all our people. We never wished this war. W were thrust

into it against our will. When a commission comes to Turkey to investigate conditions it will find that we have another rule than that the world knows. We have another Sultan. We are a different nation than what we were. We are a nation with definite plans for the future.

“And today we ask protection, we ask pity. We have had many maligners. each one of our faults have been magnified ten times and ten faults have been held up to the world’s gaze where we had one.

“Anyone who now will tell the truth about Turkey will earn a father’s thanks.”

The sultan said that America is not holding any Ottoman soil. “She is, however, in the heart of every citizens,” he declared.


Thanks to Gokalp for the article, and to Serdar for having transcribed it.
A Lengthy Rebuttal to the Above


The newspaper was quick in publishing a long response to the above, not as a letter, but in the form of an article.

"ARMENIAN QUESTION NOT PURELY POLITICAL: Soldier Says William T. Ellis is Wrong in His Estimate of the Situation" appeared on April 4, 1919, written by Yervant Maxudian.


An "Armenian by birth," Maxudian wrote that he has come to "admire" Texas, and "appreciate the importance of The Dallas Morning News as a molder of public opinion," as the Armenian-American had spent much of his army career in the state. He experienced "much pain," however, wondering whether The Dallas News was "becoming a party to Turkish propaganda" in the USA. (Was "Turkish propaganda" even an entity in those days? Come to think of it, what about these days?)

A popular way in which pro-Armenians attempted to discredit such "Turkish propaganda" was by charging the author of having been wined and dined by the wily Turks, to the point of not being able to think straight. Here too, Maxudian did not lose his opportunity by suggesting that Ellis had been "banqueted at the Sultan's Palace." (Later in the article, he veers off into the oddest angles: "Mr. Ellis, wither fired by misguided religious zeal for the Turks or because of his Turkophile interest...") The Armenian then attempts to turn around the fact that "the Armenian massacres were purely political": "No one disputes that, for it has been the politics of both the young and the old Turks to get rid of the Armenians by getting rid of the Armenians." He puts the Armenian mortality at 800,000, little realizing that in future propagandists would outdo his already inflated figure by around double.

"When the world war started, Talaat Bey and Enver Pasha promised the Armenian leaders autonomy if they would join with the Turks and influence their Armenian brethren in Caucasus-Russian Armenia to side with the Turks against Russia, the arch-enemy of the Turks. The Armenian leaders not only refused to do as asked but advised the Turks to keep out of the war and further told them that their sympathies are with the allies. For this the Turks hanged many of them." Since these Armenians happened to be Ottoman citizens, if they indeed made such a declaration, that would have been known as "treason," the punishment for which in most of the world, especially in those days, would have been execution. In reality, the Armenians had promised their loyalty. Maxudian then adds, "This is from our former ambassador, Henry Morgenthau, so its validity can not be questioned for a moment."

Maxudian details the extent of the Armenians' treachery: "According to Sir Richard Cecil, British Foreign Secretary, the Armenians accomplished a lot more in the war fighting than the world has been aware. They joined the armies of General Allenby and fought so valiantly that the General expressed his pride in them publicly, while visiting Cairo." He then relates the Armenians' well-known alliance with the Russians, and how the Armenians held on after the Russians had quit. "....The Turks had to send their armies against them instead of helping their hard-pressed German General, Liman Sanders, and thus they helped the British materially to beat the Turks."

Maxudian then addresses the specifics of the article, questioning the sultan's claim that there is nothing antagonistic in Islam toward Christians: "His own religion sanctions the butchering of Christians." As expected, no proof is offered.

But that's it, as far as presenting specific counter-arguments. What we get is the usual racist slander that the Armenian knew would be music to the ears of readers inundated with hateful Armenian propaganda over the years, along with the old stand-bys such as Gladstone's "To serve Armenia is to serve civilization." Maxudian keeps going for thesympathy vote, as with preceding the word "Armenians" with "poor" (for example, "Public sentiment here is that the poor Armenians be freed from the outrageous yoke of the Turk"). He also adds, "The Ottoman policy of extermination has been so thorough that there are not enough Armenians left to form the nucleus of a population," a statement the Armenian Patriach himself contradicted.


More Pleas Falling Upon Deaf Ears

Ogden Standard-Examiner, March 6, 1921

GRAND VIZIER AT 80 FIGHTS FOR TURKEY

Tries to Save Remnants of Once Great Mohammedan Empire

By MILTON BRONNER

LONDON, Mar. 5.-Tewfik Pasha is nearly 80: but has made a long journey to come here to save the remnants of the Turkish empire.

He has been grand vizier of Turkey four times and in that capacity heads the present Turkish delegation to the London conference. I asked for an interview, saying that Americans had no desire to grab Turkish territories, but for religious and humanitarian reasons were tremen- 1 dously exercised over Armenia massacres.

"I admit for the last thirty years there have been excesses," Pasha told me. ."I deplore and condemn them just as you do.

"For many centuries the Armenians lived under Turkish rule at peace with their Turkish neighbors.

"Remember the Koran speaks of Moses, Jesus and Mohammed alike as prophets and forbids hostility to followers of prophets.


SITUATION IN SPAIN

Remember that in the era of Mohammedan rule in Spain that country was one of the centers of world civilization, science and literature. Armenia enjoyed practical liberty of religion, language and education under Turkish rule. Better business men than Greeks or Jews, the Armenians came to control commerce, fill legal posts and enter our diplomacy.

"A change came in 1895 when the Armenian revolutionaries in Russia, Switzerland and elsewhere plotted against the existing order in Turkey.

" That year they threw bombs Constantinople, killing men, women and children. I was foreign minister and escaped injury only because a bomb was thrown by mistake into the wrong chamber.

"The late Sultan. Abdul-Hamid .had a great fear of attempts on his life and began restrictions in Armenian territory. Likewise the Kurdish neighbors of Armenia, savage, and more or less, uncontrolled, seized upon the Armenian outrages as an excuse for outrages of their own.

In the recent war, when the Turkish armies were facing Russia, the Armenians sought to attack us from the air. The result would have been the same in any country under like conditions.

"We want to hold Thrace and Smyrna for the Turkish empire.

"We want to conserve our empire, reform it, modernize it and work out a salvation in peace with all the world.

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© Holdwater

The source site of this article gets revised often, as better information comes along. For the most up-to-date version, and the related photos, the reader may consider reviewing the direct link as follows:

www.tallarmeniantale.com/pleas-postwar.htm
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