06 January 2007

1349) Young Turk-Armenian Relations during the Second Constitutional Period, 1908-1914

Prof Dr. Feroz AHMAD
Yeditepe University / Istanbul

Paper prepared for the First International Social Studies Symposium on ‘The Art of Living Together in Ottoman Society: The Case of Turkish-Armenian Relations’, Erciyes university, April 20-22, 2006

Prior to the French Revolution, the non-Muslim communities under Ottoman rule had enjoyed religious identities and a certain amount of autonomy under their own religious hierarchies. One of the consequences of the French Revolution was the growth of a secular culture and the rise of nationalism in virtually all regions that were affected directly or indirectly by the revolution. The Ottoman Empire in Europe was no exception. The result was the struggle for autonomy and independence by the various religious/national communities, Muslim/Turks being the last to launch their struggle in 1919. .

The Serbs were the first community to win their independence when they rebelled in1804 and became an autonomous principality in 1814, and later a kingdom ruled by the Obrenovic dynasty from 1882 to 1903. The Greeks rebelled in 1821 and, with Anglo-Russian support and active intervention, achieved their independence in 1829. The Armenian millet/community began to seek reform and autonomy at the Congress of Berlin in 1878, having learned that they could obtain concession, and even independence from the Porte, only if the Great Powers of Europe intervened on their behalf. Thus under Great power pressure, the Ottomans were forced to concede Article 61 of the Berlin Treaty promising reform in the provinces of eastern Anatolia inhabited by Armenians. But after German unification in 1870 the Great Powers found it more and more difficult to achieve consensus about intervening in Ottoman affairs. The Ottomans were now able to crush nationalist rebellions, crushing insurrection in Crete and defeating Greece in 1897 in the war that followed. As a result, Greek irredentism was eclipsed for the moment.

The first Ottoman constitution, promulgated in December 1876, was designed to open a new liberal age in the Empire. It made ‘… all Ottomans equal in the eyes of the law’, and gave them the same rights and obligation regardless of race or religion. We can only speculate as to how the multi-religious empire would have fared had constitutional rule been implemented. But Sultan Abdulhamid II [1876-1909] dissolved parliament in February 1878 and shelved the constitution for the next 30 years. As a result of Abdulhamid’s autocratic rule discontent among both Muslims and Christians began to mount. The empire continued to retreat due to the pressures of the Great Powers and the Young Ottoman opposition argued that only by restoring the constitution and ending corruption could the empire be saved. In 1889 Ottoman dissidents formed the Ottoman Committee of Union and Progress [CUP] with branches both inside and outside the empire. Their aim was to reform and save the empire from further retreat.

More important from the point of view of the Armenian millet was the formation of the Armenian nationalist-revolutionary bodies. In 1887, socialist Armenians founded the Hintchak Society in Geneva.

They were influenced by ideological currents in Russia and their goal was to satisfy Armenian aspirations by inducing Great Power pressure on the sultan’s government for reform and even autonomy. They hoped to achieve that by launching a struggle against Istanbul, a struggle they knew was destined to fail but one that would provoke a violent reaction from the Porte and thereby bring about foreign intervention. Armenian revolutionaries attempted to provoke such foreign intervention. On 30 September 1895 they gathered in the Kumkapi and Kadirga districts and marched towards the Porte. But they were stopped at Sultanahmet and violence followed lasting for three days. The following year, on 24 August 1896, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation [ARF aka Dashnaksutiun] carried out a more daring operation and occupied the Ottoman Bank, An Anglo-French institution. But there was no Great Power intervention though the European embassies intervened and did not permit the Porte to apprehend and punish the revolutionaries. [1]

The Ottoman Committee of Union and Progress, founded in 1889, was also dedicated to destroying the sultan’s despotism, establishing a constitutional monarchy and reforming and modernizing the empire. The ARF were willing to collaborate with the CUP though all they found it difficult to agree on an agenda. The Young Turks were themselves divided. Those in the CUP led by Ahmed Riza wanted the union of all elements in the empire and then progress through reform. Prince Sabahaddin’s faction, the Society for Personal Initiative and Decentralization [Tesebbüs-ü Sahsi ve Adem-i Merkeziyet Cemiyeti], on the other hand, advocated decentralization and reform and this was the policy the majority of the nationalities – Armenian, Greek, and Arab - supported.

Writing from Van, one of the centers of Armenian nationalism, the British Vice Consul described the workings of ARF’s organization. He wrote:

‘The policy of the Society is determined by the central Committees, the Eastern and Western, having equal powers. The head-quarters of the Western Committee is in Switzerland, at Geneva, and its duties are principally concerned with advertising the movement in Europe, and collecting money; they have a printing press.

‘The Eastern Committee is at Tiflis… This Committee spreads the revolutionist propaganda in Russia, enrolls young Armenians for service if required, collects money, buys and steals arms and ammunition and passes them through to Turkey [i.e. the Ottoman Empire]. As it also has charge of the Russian revolutionary movement in the Caucasus, to which many of the terrorist atrocities and assassinations are due, it leaves the local Committee at Van a fairly free hand in Turkish affairs… ‘In connection with the Eastern Committee, there are four local committees in Turkey, with their head-quarters at Van, Moush [Mus], Erzeroum [Erzurum], Trebizond [Trabzon] …Van is the most important revolutionary centre in Turkey…

‘Formerly the Committee used to send bands of Russian ‘fedai’ over into Turkey; they have now stopped this, and are devoting themselves almost entirely to propaganda, collecting depots of arms and ammunition, and trying to win over the Kurds and Young Turks…Their present policy is to lie quiet and do everything in their power to gain co-operation of the Moslems. This is shown by the numerous pamphlets which they are publishing at present, nearly all of which are addressed to Moslems… They realize that without Moslem co-operation and support their cause is hopeless…

‘A few remarks about these ‘fedai’ may interest your excellency… The ideas, on which they act, are as follows. They see that European intervention for the amelioration of the conditions of Armenia is out of the question. They see, moreover, that European powers, when they have anything which they wish to get out of the Sultan, effect their ends by what is practically terrorism, e.g., by the sending of a squadron of battle-ships to the Bosphorus. Thus they [the Dashnak] hope to attain their ends by a policy of terrorism, and the punishment of the instigators of organized oppression. In methods they are absolutely unscrupulous. Their objects are, they say, to obtain a better government. They do not object to Turkish rule as such, but are against the present system of bad government, and they are at present using every effort to induce the Young Turks and Kurds to join their movement.

During the time of the late Ali Bey they had some success in their endeavour, but with this new Vali I believe that the Turks have rather cooled…’ [2]. That is where matters stood when the Young Turks forced the sultan to restore the constitution in July 1908.

With the restoration of the constitution, the nationalities hoped that with parliamentary representation that would lead to an amelioration of their situation throughout the empire. Photographs of the era show that there was great rejoicing as Muslims, Christians, and Jews celebrated the restoration of the constitution. But the optimism did not last very long. Sarkis Atamian, who provides a description of the Armenian com311 munity in the constitutional period, wrote that it ‘was divided into three groups/factions: The Dashnak, the counterpart of the CUP, representing the rising lower middle classes, was strong in Anatolia. They were the most powerful group in 1908. The Patriarchate represented the ‘clericowealthy’ Armenian community, the ‘amira class’, and which in the past had cooperated with the Sultan and after the revolution was frightened of losing its privileges. The Hunchakians were the Marxist faction with roots in Russian socialism. They were the most revolutionary but the least influential. 3 Citing contemporary Armenian papers, Ataminian noted that the Patriarchate wanted the Dashnak to collaborate with them.

But the Dashnak, who were the more powerful and had class differences with the Armenian haute bourgeoisie, the amira, denounced the later as money-worshippers and pseudo-patriots.[3] The Armenian bourgeoisie was an economic and social class that lacked political organization. Under the millet system the Patriarchate and the Armenian National Assembly served its interests. But with the constitutional revolution, such institutions lost their power and influence in the new state.

The Unionists, though not yet in power, were nevertheless influential as they had the best-organized political organization. Cemal Bey, later Pasha, an influential member of the CUP, wrote in his memoirs how the Committee opened negotiations in August 1908 with the Bulgarians, the Greeks, the Armenians as well as Prince Sabaheddin’s Decentralists. They wanted to reach an agreement with all the other elements on how to maintain the empire. The Bulgarians were represented by Sandinski and Cernopoyef; the Armenians by Malumyan and Sahirkiyan; the Decentralists by Nihat Resad.

Mutual respect, and possibly trust had been created between the members of the two elites during their long struggle against the despotism of Sultan Abdulhamid ll [1876-1909]. They were forced to collaborate both in European exile and in Anatolia, realizing that such collaboration was vital if the autocracy were to be brought to heel.

The Armenians agreed to support the constitution so long as they were allowed to maintain their ARF organization intact, only making it public and working as a political party. By these outward signs of cooperation, the Unionists wanted t give the CUP “the prestige of all revolutionary committees of the Ottoman nationalities, just as the Empire itself had come into being by the joint association of all these nationalities”. [4].

As a result of these talks, The Times [London,14 September 1908] wrote that the Van branch of the ARF had announced that the Armenians had laid down their arms and were ready to make common cause with the Committee of Union and Progress. The CUP immediately sent Vehbi Bey, an officer of the General Staff, as a delegate to discuss the situation and draw up plans of common action with the Armenian leaders.

Commenting on the progress of the general election, The Times [9 November 1908] noted that some 50 deputies had been elected; the majority of the Muslims from the European provinces and Anatolia were known to be nominees of the CUP, that the Greeks appeared to be obtaining a fair share of the representation, while the Armenians, ‘owing to their wide dispersal in relative small communities, are likely to be somewhat under-represented in the Chamber’. Erzurum, where there was a substantial Armenian population but where the Muslim population constituted the majority, the electors chose three Muslims and two Armenians. Both were member of the ARF: Serenghian [Serengulian] - a revolutionary who had been sentenced to death but saved by British intervention, while Pastirmaciyan – took part in the ‘memorable attack on the Ottoman Bank in 1896. The Unionists recognized the existence of all the millet organizations and even negotiated with them about representation in parliament. In conversation with Mr. Fitzmaurice, the British Embassy’s chief dragoman, Monsignor Izmirlian, the newly elected Armenian Patriarch remarked ‘that the changed conditions in Turkey implied that Armenians has ceased to exist as a separate national entity and were merged in the Ottoman whole, that consequently it was his duty to avoid discussing politics with foreigners... But he felt impelled to ask me to convey to Your Excellency in absolute confidence his views on the present situation in as far as concerned his people.

“He felt, he said, that the re-establishment of the Constitution was a most delicate experiment in view of the backward conditions of masses of the population especially in Asia Minor and the total lack of men and money as a result of thirty years of misgovernment and tyranny; that internal tranquility and the resultant confidence of foreigners in the new regime were essential to its success, and that any serious mishap would certainly be fraught with the most disastrous consequences, perhaps, the extermination of his people. He was therefore firmly convinced that the only safe course for Armenians, their only chance of pulling themselves together and making good the terrible losses during the old Palace regime, lay in working in loyal union with the Turks on the line of prudence and moderation and eschewing all extremist ideas in the way of autonomy etc… He was counseling his flock in this sense and had let it be discreetly understood that he would resign the Patriarchate rather than countenance any advanced tendencies on the part of the Henchaq, Droshaq, or other Armenian societies....

“He said the Turkish Government and people were frankly and honestly disposed to treat the Armenians fairly and that he was using every endeavour to see that his people met them more than half way but that the abrogation of Article 61 of the Treaty of Berlin would certainly impair harmony now so happily existing among the two creeds....” [5].

Elections in Istanbul showed the tensions that existed between the Porte and the communities. For example, the Armenian community was happy with the way the elections were conducted and showed their pleasure by sending a deputation to the Porte. The Greeks, on the other hand, complained of irregularities and demonstrated outside the Porte and demanded that the elections be annulled. The Muslims demanded that the voters produce a candidate with an Ottoman identity and prior to the election prevented foreign Greeks from voting. [6]

E.J. Dillon, also spoke to the Greek and Armenian patriarchs, Joachim the Third and Mateos Izmirlian respectively. Both agreed that they were willing to cooperate with the constitutional experiment. “But what we cannot and will not do is to sacrifice one iota of the ecclesiastical autonomy which we have enjoyed since Constantine XI died fighting on the walls over there…” The Armenian patriarch said: “We demand a perpetuation of the privileges now enjoyed by the Armenian community, and a complete decentralization of the administration…” [7]. The British ambassador, who maintained close contacts with the Armenian leadership, noted that “The grant of the Constitution has greatly ameliorated their [the Armenians] position, and thus altered the attitude of the well known revolutionary Tashnak Society.

“At the time the leaders of the Young Turk movement were still in exile... the chief of the Armenian revolutionaries imbibed the hope that, in return for any assistance they might render in attaining this end, they would obtain such a measure of decentralisation as would go far to re-establish one or two purely Armenian provinces....” [8]. Such was the good relations between the Unionists and the Dashnak in 1909, as well as their integration into Ottoman-Turkish society, that a number of Armenians even joined Turk Dernegi, a Turkish nationalist cultural association. The Armenian community, like the other communities, was not monolithic. It was divided between the educated minority that had participated in the ‘Armenian renaissance’ of the mid-19th century and the Turcophone Armenian peasantry, between Istanbul Armenians belonging to the bourgeoisie and those from the petty bourgeoisie of the provinces. As late as January 1919 when the possibilities of establishing an Armenian state were strong, the American diplomat Heck wrote that according to Sir Adam Block, the British representative on the Public Debt Administration and Financial Adviser to the British High commissioner at Istanbul, “Armenians were chiefly devoted to commerce and that, for example, the Armenians of Constantinople would not go to Armenia, nor would most of those had emigrated to other countries desire to go back to primitive conditions and real hardship”. [9].

The outbreak of counter-revolution in Istanbul on 13 April 1909 and the Armenian massacres in Adana that followed in its wake undermined relations Muslims and non-Muslims. The mutiny of the Istanbul garrison broke soon after the fall of Kamil Pasha, the Liberal and Anglophile grand vezier. Though the movement had a religious, reactionary colouring, it was in fact a liberal conspiracy designed to destroy the CUP. Despite its Islamic rhetoric, it was supported by some of the Greek-language press in the capital. The Neologos wrote: ‘The Army [i.e. the mutineers!] has gained the great prize for patriotism, and April 13, 1909 ought to be henceforth marked with no less splendor than July 24, 1908. The Army was inspired yesterday by its love for the country and by no other sentiment’. Even the British Embassy and its dragoman Fitzmaurice, though not London, supported the pro-British Liberals hoping to bring about the fall of the Unionists.

The Armenian massacres in Adana had local reasons for the conflagration. But one of the aims of the Liberals was to bring about foreign intervention via a naval landing. Adana was located close to the port of Mersin where European marines could be landed for intervention and French ships were steaming towards the port during the conflict. [10]. After the Third Army from Salonica had crushed the mutiny and counter-revolution, the Porte too measures to repair the damaged relations with the Armenian community. In May, the Senate approved the Chamber’s vote of TL 30,000 for the victims of the Adana massacres.

Commenting on the Assembly debates on the Adana massacres, Ambassador Lowther noted that while the deputies, without exception, deplored the massacres, their speeches expressed the views of the ‘intellectuals’ of Turkey, and everything tend to show that their feelings of ‘brotherhood’ for the non-Turkish people are not shared by the Moslem population”. [11]. On the 12th a motion, signed by a number of deputies, expressed regret for the recent events at Adana and proposed that the Chamber should address a Proclamation to all the Anatolian provinces enjoining accord and fraternity on all elements of the population, was adopted by a large majority. The following day, Grand Vezier Hüseyin Hilmi Pasha’s memorandum [tezkere] was read announcing names of a special commission that the government was sending to enquire into the recent events at Adana. The Chamber voted by a large majority to attach its own commission to that of the government commission, and Sefik Bey and Agop Babikian, deputies for Karesi and Edirne respectively were elected by ballot. In his program read on 15 May, Hilmi Pasha noted that the troubles in Adana had been provoked by the same reactionary movement as in Istanbul. They had aroused great emotion and pain throughout the country and the region of Maras and Antakya [Antioch] in Aleppo province had also suffered because of the troubles in Adana.

The government was very serious about dealing with the counterrevolutionaries. Cemal Pasha, a strict disciplinarian respected in the army, was posted to Adana in order to restore confidence in the province among the Armenians and fear among the reactionaries. As a result, security in the province improved and ARF representatives reported that attacks on the Armenians had declined. A number of prominent figures from the old regime, including Riza Pasha, ex-Minister of War, Tahsin Pasha, 1st Secretary to Abdulhamid, Memdul Pasha, ex-Interior Minister; Resid Pasha, prefect of Istanbul, Zülfülü Ismail Pasha, Inspector of Military School, Ragip Pasha, Second Chamberlain to Abdülhamid, Hasan Rami Pasha, ex-Minister of Marine, Ahmed Ratib, ex-Vali of the Hijaz, Pasha ex-Commandant de Place at Istanbul, and Saadettin Pasha, ex-Commandant de place of Istanbul, were exiled to Izmir and the islands in the Aegean. [12]

In July, a number of counter-revolutionaries were publicly executed in Istanbul, the first time that Muslims were hanged for such activity.

They included Dervis Vahdeti, the Nakshibandi sheikh and founder of the Muhammaden Union who had edited Volkan and wrote inflammatory articles against the Unionists; General Mehmet Pasha, colonels Nuri Bey and Ismail Bey, Lieutenatnt Yusuf Efendi; Yusuf Pasha, ex-commandant of a division at Erzurum, and a number of soldiers. [13]

Local notables were arrested in Adana, along with Ihsan Fakr Bey, the owner of the Itidal [moderation], a paper that is said to have instigated violence in the town. The investigating commission that had gone to Adana was critical about the government’s failure to prevent the massacres but admitted that the violence in which according to the deputy, Zohrab Efendi, 20,000 Armenians were killed, was an attempt to destroy the constitutional regime. In August, Ferid Pasha was forced to resign as Minister of the Interior and was replaced by Talat Bey. His resignation was brought about by attacks in the Unionist press because he had tried to stifle the inquiry into the Adana massacres.

Despite the bitterness and disappointment cause by the Adana massacres, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation realized that the CUP was the best hope for making the constitutional regime work as well as for the future of the Armenian community. They agreed on political cooperation and that politicians like Gabriel Noradunghian, a conservative Armenian loyal to the old regime, ought to be replaced by those who were able to adapt themselves to the new order. Therefore Noradunghian resigned and Bedros Halaciyan, an Armenian intellectual considered sympathetic to the new order, was appointed in his place. 13. The Times [23 September 1909] wrote that: “The agreement concluded between the CUP and the Dashnaksutian [ARF], to the effect, among other things, that there should always be an Armenian in the cabinet, may legitimately be regarded as a sign that the leaders of the new regime want to work in friendly cooperation with the Armenians’. Through the columns of Azardamard, the ARF’s Western Bureau decided to support the minority, progressive wing of the CUP led by people like Talat and Cavid. They saw the threat posed by the Young Turk Liberals and conservatives to bring down the constitutional regime and introduce other regressive measures. [14] In 1911 the Dashnak were still ready to defend the constitutional regime.

For the moment, the Young Turks and the Dashnak had a working relationship. However, another question began to poison relations between the Porte and the Dashnak: the land question. In the late 19th century, Kurdish tribes had seized the land of Armenian peasants and the Hamidian regime had done nothing to rectify the situation and many Armenian peasants had fled to the Caucasus. After the revolution, the Dashnak gave the land issue priority in their relations with both the CUP and the government. They proposed ‘resolving the lands issue by having the government pay financial compensation for disputed lands which were returned to rightful owners….’ [15] While the Porte was willing to consider Armenian proposals, other forces were at work in the eastern provinces undermining Istanbul. For example, Vice-Consul Matthews reported from Erzurum that Feizi Effendi [i.e. Pirincizade Feyzi Bey] “…the local deputy [and notable], who made a tour during the summer months in the north of the district…told the Kurds that they should not give way to despair, promised that so long as they did nothing flagrant the Government would close its eyes to the oppression of the Christians, and assured them that Sultan Reshad was as much their father as Abdul Hamid had been” [16]. Thus not even deputies who were considered Unionist, as were the Pirincizades, could be relied on to give their support to the constitutional order when their local interests were concerned. The Istanbul press devoted a great deal of attention to the land question and the grievances of the Armenian peasantry in the region. ‘The question of the restoration of lands seized during the Armenian troubles by Kurdish Beys and Aghas has been discussed... The Minister of the Interior may be trusted to do his utmost on behalf of the Armenians, who have deserved well of the new regime”. [17]

Sabah [15 June 1911] warned of the dangers of the situation in eastern Anatolia, particularly Bitlis, due to the passivity of the government in response to the land usurpation by Kurdish beys. The paper called for the government to settle the land question as the only way to restore peace on the region. According to a British report, the Ottoman government had settled Cerkes refugees [muhajirs] on land that had belonged to Armenians since Hamidian times and that policy was continued after the revolution. The aim of the state was to secure the borders with Persia and Russia. [18]

In June 1911 the Unionists decided to send a delegation led by Mehmed Cavid to Anatolia to celebrate the third anniversary of the constitution. The delegation was to go to Samsun, Trabzon, Erzincan, Erzurum, Van, Bitlis, Diyarbakir, Urfa, Birecik, Halep, Damascus, and if there was time to Egypt.

Cavid was accompanied by Omer Naci, Ahmet Serif, the Tanin correspondent who had toured Anatolia after the revolution and written a description of his tours in both the Tanin and in the book Anadolu’da Tanin, and Mustafa Necip, a prominent Unionist who was later killed during the attack on the Sublime Porte in January 1913, the coup that brought the CUP to power.

When the Porte began to take measure to restore land seized by the Kurdish aghas and beys, they organized fresh attacks on Armenian villages in the Mus and Bitlis region. The Ottoman government was too weak to protect the villages from such attacks. The local correspondent of the Near East reported that some of the attackers ‘are said to have been agents of the infamous Musa Bey, one of Abdul-Hamid’s vilest provincial tyrants....’ [19]

The outbreak of war with Italy in September 1911, aggravated the political situation throughout the empire. Muslim and non-Muslim watched with great interest the founding of the opposition Hurriyet ve Itilaf Firkasi, the ‘Freedom and Accord Party or Entente Liberale. There were to be fresh election after a Unionist measure had been defeated in the chamber and the chamber dissolved in January 1912.

The Patriarch-led community, already estranged from the CUP, gave its support to Hurriyet ve Itilaf. Other communities that sought greater autonomy or independence – the Greeks, Bulgarians, and Albanians – also turned against the CUP. The Unionists realized that if the Armenian community turned against them they would have a difficult time in parliament. The CUP therefore sent a delegation, including pro-Unionist Armenian deputies, to the Patriarch, promising concessions and said that Grand Vezier Mehemd Said Pasha had agreed to a programme of reform. They asked the Patriarch to issue a circular asking his flock to support the CUP. Mgr. Arscharduni replied, as had the Greek patriarch, Joachim III: ‘We are neither Unionists nor Liberals. We shall always be on the side of the Government that will do justice to all, respect out legitimate rights, and make an end to misdeeds in Armenia’. The two Patriarchs were on good terms and seemed to be collaborating at the political level. Russia’s ambassador at the Porte, Count Tcharikoff, visited the Armenian Patriarch; his ‘attitude towards the Armenians recently has been extremely cordial’. The Patriarch made an appeal on behalf of Armenians, representing intellectuals and commercial classes, who had been arrested by the Tsarist regime. [20]

The following week, the ‘Armenian Letter’ of 26 January reported that the Armenian council had met a day earlier to discuss the coming elections and the choice of Armenian deputies. While the Patriarchate would not officially take part in the campaign, they decided to form a campaign committee that would make a list of candidates. The committee would be made up of the notables, the President of the National Assembly, as well as representatives of the three parties – the Dashnak, the Constitutional Democrats, and the Hunchaks. ‘I learn on good authority that the Armenians will vote with the CUP, provided the Committee guarantee the land and the school question’.

In the same Letter, a correspondent from Bitlis reported that in some 25 villages he had visited, night patrols were being kept for fear of the Kurds. “… I have learned that the Government have instructed the 320

Armenians in Moush [Mus] to buy arms for protection against the Kurds. In my opinion, this does not augur well for the peace of the country. Neither the Kurds not the Armenians should be allowed to carry arms.

A well-organized gendarmenrie and a force of sincere, honest, and liberal officials will suffice to create normal conditions in the Armenian provinces. The arrest of Mousa Bey, the Sheikh of Khizam, and a few other ringleaders is earnestly desires by all friends of constitutional Turkey’. The correspondent reported that in Van the Kurds had formed a kind of confederation, ‘the purpose of which is said to be a general conspiracy against the Government’. This cause great distress in the province and there was a fear of a Kurdish uprising, at a time when a Russian army was also on the border. [21]

The Patriarch continued to receive letters in which Armenians in the east complained of fresh Kurdish raids. The government did nothing to protect the communities and the special commission appointed to visit the region had not left after two months of temporizing. The Near East’s correspondent reported how Musa Bey, who had terrorized the Mus region for 20 years, had returned to the town in triumph, accompanied by his horsemen, pardoned and honored by the government. His arrest had been ordered by the former interior minister, Celal Bey. Another Kurdish chieftain, Kor Huseyin Pasha of Arcis in Van provinces was again prominent in the regions. Under the Hamidian regime Hüseyin Pasha and been a general in the Hamidiye. He had terrorized the population, seized lands and no one dared to oppose him.

After the constitution, Armenian refugees returned from the Caucasus and lands were returned to their rightful owners. Hüseyin Pasha had escaped to Iran and was said to planning a Kurdish rebellion against the Porte. Suddenly Hüseyin Pasha returned to Van and was received by the vali, and the Patriarch was told that organizer of massacres was active again, that he had confiscated villages again. [22] Under the Hamidian regime, the sultan had supported the feudal order of the tribes in Anatolia; in the constitutioinal order, tribal forces were able to win elections and have representation in the assembly. The deputies were elected by the likes of Hüseyin Pasha and local notables whom they naturally supported. The state at this point was too weak to establish law and order.

In February 1912, the Porte announced that Urguplu Hayri Efendi [Vakf ], accompanied by Gabriel Noradungian, would tour the eastern provinces. The principal duties of the commission would be to examine all the questions of he dispute between Kurds and Armenians regarding the proprietorship of lands. In his ‘Armenian Letter’, of February 9, 1912 the correspondent wrote: ‘It appears to me, however, that the Young Turk Government have come to the conclusion that the integrity of the Empire depends upon the solidarity of all races, and that they are in earnest in their decision to carry out reforms in Armenia, as well as in Albania and Macedonia’.

Hayri Efendi visited the Patriarch and assured him that he would do his utmost to secure justice for all Armenians who have so many years at the hands of certain notorious malefactors. He added that he was well acquainted with the question, and that it needs only time to settle it. He had had to postpone his visit until spring because of the weather.

The Near East also reported Cavid bey’s speech at the Nuri Osmaniye club where the ex-minister spoke with great enthusiasm about the Armenians. He assured his audience made up mostly of Turks/Muslims that the rights of the Armenians would be acknowledged, and that Turkish voters must assure the election of Armenian deputies in the coming election. The writer thought this was an election ploy, ‘… yet I believe that this is a way a body of public opinion will be formed which will help in the future to eliminate the Armenian question, by guaranteeing safety of life and property in the eastern provinces’. [23] In the coming election, it seemed as though the Greek vote was going to the Liberals, the Armenian vote was divided with the bourgeoisie voting Liberal while ARF, after considerable discussion, decided to support the CUP. The Jewish community adhered to ‘Union and Progress’.

Apart from the grave situation in Anatolia, the Porte was faced with serious problems in the Balkans. Since the Italian declaration of war in 1911, the state of Albania had deteriorated and that of Macedonia gone from bad to worse. The cause of the situation in Macedonia was ascribed to a] the failure of the Young Turks to grapple with the agrarian problem; b] the breakdown of the Gendarmerie organization; and c] the formation of Muslim political bands and the local reaction to that.



The growing anarchy in European parts of the empire caused some alarm in the ranks of the CUP. European criticism was again rife and there was the constant threat of foreign interventions and occupation. Thus the mission led by Haci Adil, the Interior Minister and a respected moderate voice in the CUP, was the last attempt at finding a solution for Macedonia before the matter was resolved by war later in the year. [24]

The Tsar’s decision to recall Ambassador Charykov in March 1912 and replace him with Giers marked a dramatic change in Russia’s policy towards both Istanbul and the Armenian community. Charykov and his first secretary, Andre Mandelstam, were said to have good relations with the Unionists, especially with the Talat faction that included the journalist, Huseyin Cahid and Mehmed Cavid. Charykov’s recall marked a change in Russian policy from conciliation to tension. Later in the month there was alarm in Istanbul at reports that Russian forces had increased on the Caucasus border. [25] The new Russian ambassador arrived in Istanbul on Saturday, 13 April. Andrew D. Kalmykov, who served under Giers, later wrote that “Giers was imbued with the idea of Russia’s might and full of contempt for Turkey, which, according to the then prevailing notion, was soon to be divided into zones of influence or parceled among the Great Powers…” [26] The manipulation of the Armenian [and paradoxically some Kurdish tribes] became an instrument of Russian policy for furthering Russian power and diminishing that of her rivals in the Ottoman Empire. Relations between the Armenian Patriarchate and the Russian Embassy became more intimate. In May 1912 Foreign Minister Sazanov made a speech in which he had referred to the social and cultural needs of the Eastern Christians in Turkey and the necessity of the new regime to take these aspirations of these communities into account. Judging by Tanin’s reaction to the speech, the Unionists were furious at the implication of Sazanov’s words. [27]

Encouraged by the Russian embassy’s support, the leaders of the Christian communities – Armenian, Greek, and Bulgarian – decided to form a Mixed Committee to prepare a scheme of joint action for the maintenance of their mutual rights. There was feeling that the Unionists ‘have decided to hamper the social [and economic] progress of the Christian in order to give the Turks [Muslims] a chance to get on an equal footing’. This Unionist policy was to be described as ‘Turkification’ when the Porte attempted to establish its authority over the millet system, bringing millet schools under the jurisdiction of the education ministry.

The Near East also carried a report concerning a meeting between the Greek and Armenian Patriarchs to discuss the attack on their privileges by the constitutional regime. They expressed the view that the government intended “to deprive the Patriarchs of their ancient privileges and introduce legislation making them mere State officials, appointed or dismissed by Imperial decree [irade]. The Armenian Patriarch commented: ‘They must know that we are not Sheikhs-ul-Islam’, foreshadows resistance on his part. And if the Armenians resist, what will the Greeks and Exarchist Bulgars not do?” [28]

As Istanbul prepared to face the growing threat from the Balkans in 1912, reports kept coming in from Beyazit, Van, and Bitlis concerning the murder of Armenian peasants, the abduction of women, and the burning of villages by the followers of Kurdish chiefs like Mir Mahe, Sheikh Hussein, and ‘other brigands’. The notorious Musa Bey of Bitlis had even threatened the Bishop. The Porte dismissed the governors of Bitlis and Van and ordered the military commander to arrest the guilty Kurds within 48 hours. Ali Pasha, a Circassian general was dispatched to Bitlis. [29] The government then allocated £20,000 sterling to each of the five Armenian vilayets [i.e. £100,000 in all] to enable them to bring about a settlement of the land question between the Armenians and the Kurds. [30] In its editorial of 27 September, page 620, the Near East noted: “In view of its difficulties elsewhere the Porte must be anxious to avoid complications with the Armenians; but, as may be gathered from conditions in the Eastern provinces, the Central Government is virtualy powerless to impose its authority upon some of it more unruly subjects. [italics added]

In the climate of Ottoman weakness, the Balkan states ordered general mobilization. They could see what difficulties the Porte was facing in the war with Italy and the ‘… Servian Minister in Sofia, for instance, warned the Turkish chargé that the surrender of Tripoli would teach others how easy it was to make a meal of Turkey’. [31]


The Balkan war resulted in restricting the Ottomans to their ‘Asiatic provinces’ and had a dramatic demographic impact. A quarter of a million Muslims/Turks from the Balkans poured into Istanbul before the retreating armies which halted the Bulgarians at the Catalca lines. The arrival of the refugees created tension with the Greek population leading to the forced migration of Christians to Greece. Michael Llewellyn Smith estimates that: “More than 100,00 Muslims fled through Eastern Thrace before the advance of the Bulgarian army in 1912; some 10,000 left Macedonia in the same year; nearly 50,000 left Western [Bulgarian] Thrace in 1913 under the terms of the Turco-Bulgarian Treaty; and after this more that 100,000 Muslims evacuated Macedonia. The upheaval of Muslim communities in Europe led to reprisals on the Anatolian Christians.

One motive was desire for revenge. There was also the practical motive that for every Christian family expelled it was possible to settle a Muslim refugee family in the empty accommodation. [32] The Ottoman Empire shrank in Europe from 169.845 to 28.282 kms, losing 83% of its territory. Much of the empire’s Muslim population was abandoned to the conquerors though many migrated to Anatolia, creating conflict with the non-Muslims and Anatolia which now became contested territory. The crushing defeats of the Balkan War ushered in a period of self-doubt and introspection among the Unionists. While they were unwilling to simply surrender to the demands of the nationalities, they were more amenable to the dictates of the Great Powers. In June 1913, Russia proposed to ambassadors in Istanbul that the grievances of the Armenians be met, that most of eastern Anatolia, the so-called Armenian provinces, be placed under a Christian governor and local Muslim and Christians be given an equal share in the administration. Moreover, the land question remained the most important issue between the Kurdish tribes and Armenian peasants. A Kurdish notable observed: “The land question is the most vital problem of the Kurdish people. But Armenians wish to condemn to inaction the active members of the Kurdish nation and to work only for their own betterment. Why does not the Patriarch approve of the principle of indemnity? Is his sole aim to see the Kurds oppressed? If an incident is reported between... a Kurd and an Armenian, it is always the Kurd who is blamed... If a Kurd or an Armenian is a brigand, that does not imply all the Kurds and all Armenians are brigands...” [33]

The Unionists, in power after their coup of 23 January 1913, sent another commission led by the English officer Captain Deedes to examine the demands of the Armenian population in the eastern provinces. [34]

The Near East [21 November 1913, 69] reported that another English officer, a Col. Hawker, had been placed at the head of all the Gendarmeries of Erzurum, Trabzon, and Van. He had organized the gendarmerie of Aydin province and had a good reputation for honest and fairness. Judging by Cemal Pasha’s conversation with Sir Henry Wilson, Director of Military Operations who was visiting Istanbul, the Unionists wanted Britain to provide more officers for Anatolia as well as the loan of men like Alfred Milner. But Cemal said that he understood that “England was afraid of offending Russia. What business was it of Russia? He would prefer to go to hell on his own rather than to paradise under the tutelage of Russia... A strong Turkey in Asia would be good for England”. He wanted assistance of England, of ‘men who could administer, execute, and command. The Turks could not change their military teachers [the Germans], but in all else, in finance, administration, navy, they wished to be under British guidance’. Wilson, the soldier, was at a loss as to how to answer”. [35] Count Leon Ostrorog, undersecretary at the Ottoman Ministry of Justice during the constitutional period and intimately acquainted with the political and social life in the late Ottoman Empire, confirmed Cemal’s desire to acquire the services of Lord Milner to resolve the grievances of the Armenians. He wrote: “The Turks, aware that the Armenian Question had absolutely to be settled by means straight and effective, were desirous of executing the work of Armenian reform under British control. Diplomatic considerations alone prevented the scheme from being carried out... [It] was contemplated in Turkey to obtain the consent of Lord Milner to take in hand with full powers the reform and administration of Anatolia”. [36]

Despite European pressure, at the meeting of 23 November, the Central Committee of the CUP decided not to accept European control of the eastern provinces of Anatolia. Instead they offered the Dashnak 18 to 20 seats in the next parliament provided the seats were filled by persons who had the support of Armenian parties and the CUP’s approval. [37] Tanin, the CUP’s unofficial mouthpiece, complained that the Armenians were making a grave error by wanting to give to deputies who represent the [Ottoman] nation the quality of religious/ethnic representatives. In this way the Armenians would always remain a minority without the strength to achieve their demands. However Armenian demands were still not necessarily political. In Vice-Consul Smith’s opinion, “the aspirations of the majority of Armenians [of Van] were economic rather than political, since the Armenians were ‘above all’ a commercial race.

If the Porte constructed roads, placed a few motor boats on Lake Van and hurried the building of a railway, the country would then become ‘prosperous’ and ‘the so-called Armenian question at least with regard to this vilayet, would be to a great extent cease to exist with the advent of increased trade and prosperity”. [38] He continued: “In Van, it is said that the Armenians are now better armed than the Kurds, and there is no doubt that they have obtained a number of modern rifles in addition to the few old Martinis which the Government distributed to each village. The desire on the part of the villagers to obtain arms was the result of the general lack of security which existed up to within a few months ago and to the losses which they suffered at the hands of certain Kurdish brigands; the Dashnakist party made the most of this opportunity, their policy being to put the Armenians in the province in a position to hold their own against the Mahommedans should the necessity arise… Also, the selling of arms in Van is a very profitable trade – a rifle or pistol being sold for nearly three times its real value – and this makes arming the villagers a not unattractive business for Dasnakist leaders who have taken it up”. [39]

By 1914, Armenian nationalists – if not the average citizen - seemed to have arrived at a consensus on wanting to achieve reform in the eastern provinces or what they and the West described as the ‘Armenian provinces’. The Istanbul journal, The Orient [v/13, 1 April 1914] reported on an interview given by Baghos Nubar Pasha, a spokesman for the Armenian cause around the world, gave to Le Réveil [Beirut, n.d.] regarding reform in the Ottoman Empire.

He noted how the six Great Powers had reached consensus on the need for reform but it was from Russia that ‘I found the most active assistance and the most direct. This is because Russia is the most directly interested in seeing the Armenian problems at last solved. For you know that this Power has in its Caucasian provinces two millions of Armenian subjects, who are at one heart with their Ottoman brothers. So it was Russia that took the initiative in the pourparlers negotiations with the Porte.

Nubar Pasha noted that Armenian demands were ‘based on international right and the 61st Article of the Berlin Treaty’. The Powers were unanimous in recognizing the need of reform in Armenia. This was because the Powers had to recognize that reforms were necessary to the peace of Europe. The Powers are in fact agreed as to the future of Turkey and their policy was based on the recognition of the ‘absolute integrity of Asiatic Turkey…’

‘The reforms in Armenia will be purely and exclusively administrative’ so as to maintain the fiction of territorial integrity. The reforms would consist of the Porte choosing two European Inspectors-General from second-class powers from a list of candidates nominated by the Powers. These Inspectors-General would have extensive powers that would allow them to undertake the necessary reforms. Armenia had also been divided in a new way. Formerly it consisted of six provinces; now it was seven as Trabzon had been added…’

1. Each Inspector-General would head one division, consisting of 3 and 4 provinces.
2. A special gendamerie would be organize whose personnel would be half Christians and half Muslim
3. In the council of three vilayets, members would be half Christian and half Muslim; in the other four representation would be proportional based on the census. The use of Armenian would be allowed in public documents.
4. Taxes for public education would be divided proportionally between the communities.

The Inspectors-General would preside over a commission that would regulate the agrarian question and ‘restore for a compensation he lands seized from the Armenians’.

The Unionists, who in November 1913, had decided not to accept European control, in February 1914 accepted Great Power proposals of reform in the eastern provinces. The scheme was virtually the one Nubar pasha was to spell out though the province of Trabzon was not included. The provinces of eastern Anatolia would form two zones with an Inspector-General for each chosen from among the minor states of Europe. He would supervise civil, judicial, and gendarmerie administrations in the zones and call in the army when the gendarmerie was insufficient to enforce measures. He would have the power to dismiss incompetent officials and to appoint their replacement. [40]

Nubar Pasha was right: under these reforms Ottoman sovereignty would be a ‘fiction’. Later, Ahmed Emin [Yalman], the journalist who was a witness to this era, observed that such reform under foreign supervision always meant “in the phraseology of the Eastern Question, a preliminary to amputation. The fiction of the maintenance of Turkish sovereign rights was, in every case, offered merely as an anaesthetic”.[41]

Before reform could be implemented, in April 1914 a Kurdish rebellion led by Seyh Molla Selim a.k.a. Caliph Molla Selim of Hizan broke out in the Bitlis region. He was opposed to the projected scheme and also called for the restoration of the Sharia according to which he wanted to reform the world. The town of Bitlis was threatened but the tribal forces were driven out of Bitlis by Armenian armed resistance and Ottoman troops. Seyh Selim took refuge in the Russian consulate. But 150 people had been killed and the Armenian Church was damaged before troops from Van and Mus arrived to restore order. Tanin feared that this rebellion could lead to foreign intervention and the loss of these provinces. It called for decisive action from the government. An Armenian paper congratulated the government on its policy and wrote: ‘For us Armenians there is still another fact still more significant and satisfactory, and that is that the Government has complete confidence in the Armenians. In fact, arms were distributed to the Armenians of Bitlis that they might defend the city against the reactionaries’. [42]

Nothing showed the weakness of the Unionist state more than the state’s inability to deal with the Kurdish attack and to protect the Armenians of Bitlis. They had to arm the Armenians so that they could defend themselves against the onslaughts of the Kurdish tribes supported by Russia. For the Unionists it was a candid confession that their state was unable to fulfill the principal functions of a state and defend its citizens even against the tribes.

The Armenian question was on the way to being settled before war broke out in Europe. In April 1914 the Porte agreed to the appointment of Louis Constant Westenenk and Hoff as Inspectors-general of the eastern provinces. In July the Ottoman Chamber voted 40.000 pounds for the salaries and expenses for the two Inspectors-General of the eastern provinces and their staffs. [43] That is where matters stood when war broke out in Europe and both the Unionists and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation were forced to adopt other agendas so as to meet the strategies of their Great Power allies, Germany and Russia respectively. Apart from the political relationship, the Young Turks saw the Armenian community as playing a critical role in the socio-economic modernization of the empire. The Armenian deputies, most of whom were professionals and technocrats, were much respected and held in high esteem as people who would provide the technical skills to carry out reform in the socio-economic structure. Not surprisingly these men initiated many of the proposals for reform. Pastermajian had studied engineering at the L’Ecole des Mines in Nancy; Dr Nazaret Dagvaryan had studied agriculture in Paris and then worked as an adviser in the Ministry of Agriculture; Halacyan, a graduate of the Paris Law Faculty, had been head of the legal department at the Ottoman Public Debt before his election. Presumably, he advised the new regime on how to deal with that institution that had become as powerful as the Ministry of Finance and infringed on the sovereignty of the Ottoman state. Others like Krikor Zohrab, who had recently returned from his Parisian exile, was a publicist, a novelist, and an outstanding figure at the Istanbul Bar.

Naturally, he well known to other Young Turks, men like Ahmed Riza and Prince Sabaheddin, who had also spent their years of exile in Paris. In the Assembly, Zohrab acquired a reputation as a brilliant orator and the Unionist Finance Minister, Mehmed Cavid, described him as “the most brilliant of the [government’s] critics”. [44]

Not surprisingly deputies like Zohrab and Pastermajian were offered posts in the cabinet which, for reasons we do not know, they turned down the offer. But they served on parliamentary commissions, especially those concerned with the economy, involving industry and agriculture. Only Bedros Halacyan accepted the important post Minister of Public Works and served in the cabinets of Ibrahim Hakki and Said Pashas between l910 and l912. Later, Oskan Efendi was appointed Minister of Post and Telegraph in the Said Halim Pasha cabinet in 1914, resigning on 3 November to protest the ‘Black Sea incident’ that led to Istanbul’s entry into war. Throughout these years, Armenian professional had played a significant role in the governments of the period.


Notes: Young Turk-Armenia Relations 1908-1914
1] LOUISE Nalbandian, The Armenian Revolutionary Movement, Berkeley, 1963, 176-7; William L. Langer. The Dipliomacy of Imperialism, 1890-1902, New York, 1951
2] DICKSON to O’Conor, Van, March 2, 1908, FO 371/533
3] SARKIS Atamian, The Armenian Community. New York, 1955, p. 159ff; 164-5, and 171]
4] DJEMAL Pasha, Ahmed, Memories of a Turkish Statesman, 1913-1919, London, 1922, 252-3; Cemal Pasa, Hatiralar, ed. Behcet Cemal, Istanbul, 1959, 345-6.
5] FITZMAURICE to Lowther, 54D, Nov.30, l908, FO 195/2281; the conversation took place on 30 November.
6] LOWTHER to Grey, Pera, Nov. 23, 1908, FO371/546/41691
7] E.J. Dillon, ‘the Reforming Turk’, Quarterly Review, ccx [1909], 247]
8] LOWTHER to Grey, no. 36 confidential, Pera, Jan. l8, l909, FO 371/762/3123.
9] HECK to Secretary of State, Constantinople, 17 Jan 1919, 867.00/846. Adam Block had been chief dragoman at the British embassy before the revolution and knew the Ottoman Empire well
10] LOWTHER to Grey, no 324Confidential, Constantinople, 4 May 1909, FO371/772/17775. On the counter-revolution and the Adana Massacres, see Feroz Ahmad, The Young Turks, 1969, 14ff; the quotation from Neologos is from 43
11] CONSUL-GENERAL Barnham to Lowther, no 52, Smyrna June 5, 1909, FO371/776/22033
12] LOWTHER to Grey, no 566C, Therapia [Tarabya], July 20, 1909, FO371/773/28029; HC Yalcin, ’31 Marttan sonar Idamlar karsisinda, Yakin Tarihimiz, i, 1962, 170-1
13] On the agreement see TANIN 3/16 Sept. l909, quoted in Esat Uras, Tarihte Ermeniler, l950, 584-5; and 576-7 the in 1976 ed.
14] C/108-47 Western Bureau-Turkish Section circular number 14 to ARF, Apr 16, 1911, quoted in Dikran Kaligian, ‘The Armenian Revolutionary Federation under Ottoman Constitutional Rule,1908-1914’, Unpublished PhD thesis, Boston College, December 2003.
15] KILIGIAN’S thesis, 32
16] VICE-CONSUL Matthews’s report in Lowther to Grey, Constantinople, 22 Jan. 1911, FO424/226/65 quoted in Killigian, p. 24
17] THE NEAR EAST June 24, l911, 47
18] KILLIGIAN, 33 citing Marling to Grey, Constantinople 4 July 1911, FO424/228/16.
19] THE NEAR EAST, June 28, l911, 167; see also June 21, 1911, 143
20] ‘OUR ARMENIAN LETTER, dated 11 January 1912 in The Near East, January 19, 1912, 328.
21] THE NEAR EAST, February 2, 1912, 394
22] THE NEAR EAST, Armenian Letter of 22 February 1912.
23] THE NEAR EAST, Feb. 16.1912, 462; Kiligian, chapters 3 and 4 which discuss the years 1911 and 1912
24] TANIN, 25 February 1912,, ‘Haci Adil Bey’ile Mulakat’
25] THE NEAR EAST, 22/3/1912, 639 & 29/3, p.675
26] ANDREW D. Kalmykov, Memoirs of a Russian Diplomat: Outposts of the Empire, 1893-1917, Yale University press: New Haven and London, 1971, 250
27] THE NEAR EAST, 10 May 1912, 3; Philip Mosely, ‘Russian Policy in 1911-12’, The Journal of Modern History, xii, 1940, 69-86, wrote that: “In dealing with a Turkey in the process of renewal, it hesitated between a policy of outright hostility
and partition, and one of veiled protectorate, modeled on Unkiar-Skelessi” [71]. For Russian attempts in 1911 to secure the opening of the Straits see 71-4
28] THE NEAR EAST, 10 May 1912, 3, Armenian Letter dated 3 May.
29] THE NEAR EAST, Sept.13, l912, 547.
30] THE NEAR EAST, 20 September 1912, 589.
31] G.P. Gooch, Recent Revelations of European Diplomacy, 4th ed. 1940, 216
32] LLEWELLYN Smith, Ionian Visions – Greece in Asia Minor 1919-1922, new ed., Hurst: London, 1998, 30-3
33] THE NEAR EAST, July 11, l913. 274
34] THE NEAR EAST, July 18, l913, 299
35] MAJ. Gen. Sir Charles E. Calwell, Field-Marshal Sir Henry Wilson, i, London,
l927, 128ff., quoted in Alfred Vagts, Defense and Diplomacy – The Soldier and the Conduct of Foreign Relations. New York, 1956, l97
36] COUNT Leon Ostrorog, The Turkish Problem, London, 1919, xi
37] TANIN, 24 November 1913 and The Times, 27 November 1913. By February 1914 the differences between the CUP and the Armenian parties on the question of parliamentary representation had been settled. The Armenians agreed to 16 seats. See The Times 26 February 1914.
38] SMITH TO MALLET, 10 Jan. l914, quoted in Joseph Heller, British Policy towards the Ottoman Empire, 1908-1914. London, 1983, 110
39] VICE-CONSUL SMITH TO SIR LOUIS MALLET, Van, 10 January 1914 in Mallet to Grey, Constantinople, Jan. 30, 1914, FO 424/251/117 quoted in Kaligian [n.14], chapter 4 on 1914.
40] HIKMET Bayur, Türk Inkilabi Tarihi, ii/3, 116ff. gives the text of the agreement between the Porte and Constantin Gulkevitch to resolve the Armenian question. Because this agreement was signed with Russia, Russia was seen as the supervisor; the other powers had left Russia a free hand in the eastern provinces. Djemal, Memoires, 272-4 also gives the text,; Tanin, 11 February1914; The Orient, v/7, Feb. l914, pp. 61-2.
41] AHMED Emin [Yalman], Turkey in the World War, New Haven, l930, 58
42] THE ORIENT, v/14, 8 April 1914, p. 131. Bayur, ii/3, 188-9. Cemal Pasha wrote in his memoirs, 275-6, that it was part of the Russian scheme “to stir up the Kurdish Beys and, more important still, the influential sheikhs to resistance against the Government and the Armenians”.
43] THE ORIENT, v/29, 22 July14, p.281
44] A. Cerahoglu, Turkiye’de Sosyalizm [l848-1925], Istanbul, l968, p.88.

Source: © Erciyes University 2006

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