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emrezmen

Centenary of the Beginning of the Turkish War of Liberation

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emrezmen
Posted (edited)

Even though the war had virtually ended on 11 November 1918 in Europe, a new conflict was about the began in some other place which is not far from Europe.

 

s1.jpg

 

100 years ago today, seven months after the surrender of Ottoman Empire, Aide-de-camp to Sultan & 9th Army Inspector Brig-Gen. Mustafa Kemal (Atatürk) landed on Samsun in northern Turkey with a committee. His task was to intervene the alleged clashes in the region (actually initiated by local Greek insurgents who had taken action after hearing about the Greek occupation of Izmir on 15 May) and maintain the public order in order to prevent a further British occupation. He also was to oversee the disarmament of Ottoman forces in the region in accordance with the Armistice of Mudros. Although he was sent there with the authorization of both British Occupation Command and Sultan Mehmed VI, he soon ignored Sultan's instructions and decided to implement his long-considered plan: Organizing a resistance movement in Anatolia against the Allied occupation by using his high reputation that coming from Gallipoli. Thus, his arrival in Samsun officially marks the beginning of the Turkish War of Liberation which ended in destruction of the Greek army in Anatolia in three years.

 

In a year, Mustafa Kemal, accused of rebellion against the Istanbul government, would be sentenced to death by the Sultan. He eventually discharged from Ottoman army at the rank of Brigadier General (then equivalent to corps or army commander in Ottoman army), but his military career ended at the rank of Field Marshal to which he was promoted by Ankara government after the Battle of Sakarya in 1921.

 

(This is not directly related to the Great War and I might have posted this in wrong forum section. If so, our moderators can delete the post or move it into another section)

 

 

 

 

Edited by emrezmen
A little addition

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michaeldr
Posted (edited)

I was in Istanbul a little over a week ago and admired the Republic Monument in Taksim Square

One side of the monument shows MK leading the movement which started at Samsun 100 years ago

 

P1080112.JPG.cbbb5948730c3a5f3d1504a6d08d9328.JPG

 

P1080111.JPG.6565212fe84451b68f54f529fb56543b.JPG

 

P1080113.JPG.441f786f2dd3acf700e5950a003204eb.JPG

Edited by michaeldr

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emrezmen
Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, michaeldr said:

I was in Istanbul a little over a week ago and admired the Republic Monument in Taksim Square

One side of the monument show MK leading the movement which started at Samsun 100 years ago

 

P1080112.JPG.cbbb5948730c3a5f3d1504a6d08d9328.JPG

 

P1080111.JPG.6565212fe84451b68f54f529fb56543b.JPG

 

P1080113.JPG.441f786f2dd3acf700e5950a003204eb.JPG

 

Beautiful details Michael, thank you. There are also figures of Frunze and Voroshilov on the other side which I always thought to be an unnecessity.

 

Emre.

Edited by emrezmen

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michaeldr

 

50 minutes ago, emrezmen said:

 There are also figures of Frunze and Voroshilov on the other side which I always thought to be an unnecessity.

 

Emre,

 

The explanation given on the information board in Taksim Square says that the monument was created in the late 1920's and that the figures of

“Soviet General Mikhail Frunze and Kliment Voroshilov....represent the gratitude to Soviet help during the War of Independence”

 

It is difficult for an outsider to comment on this, but perhaps after so many previous centuries of Imperial Russian enmity, the young republic was surprised by the assistance received from the Soviets.

It is certainly an unusually generous gesture on such an important national icon

 

regards

Michael

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keithmroberts

One post has been removed which was taking us into more recent events. As this anniversary comes at the very end of our period I am sure pals will avoid moving further in history, to avoid a move into Skindles, and will refrain from any posts with content than can be costrued as political.

 

Thanks

 

Keith Roberts

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stevebecker
Posted (edited)

Mates,

 

I sorry if my comment may upset some here.

 

Many Turkish People I talk to are concern about the lack of events to the War and to Kemal.

 

But I am only getting that second hand 

 

So with Emre help hopefully we can be more enlightened.

 

Hard fought Victories against the Greeks and French and contact with others *like the British and Russians, help form the present country of Turkey.

 

To the Turkish people the war didn't end in 1918, but went on for a number of years, as those who would carve up their country were resisted.

 

That's not political, that's fact.

 

Why should not we look at this period that was brought about by the Victors of the 1914-18 war?

 

S.B

Edited by stevebecker

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Hedley Malloch
12 hours ago, stevebecker said:

Why should not we look at this period that was brought about by the Victors of the 1914-18 war?

S.B

 

What a good question.

 

I worked in Istanbul in 1998. One of my abiding memories is of travelling in a crowded tram around the 75th Anniversary of the Turkish War of Independence against Greece and its sponsors. A small, very old man mounted the tram. He was dressed in an old, but clean and well-pressed suit. But in his lapel he wore the red and white ribbon which showed he was a veteran of the 1923 War. The whole carriage stood up and saluted him.

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charlie962

Wherever this thread ends up being housed, I hope it continues.

Charlie

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voltaire60
On 20/05/2019 at 15:45, keithmroberts said:

One post has been removed which was taking us into more recent events. As this anniversary comes at the very end of our period I am sure pals will avoid moving further in history, to avoid a move into Skindles, and will refrain from any posts with content than can be costrued as political.

 

Thanks

 

Keith Roberts

 

    KR- The original post  is "political".   There was,in effect, a sustained civil war  during the period described above-  with the extensive Greek community  being largely ejected.  The use of terms such as "Turkish War of Liberation" or even of a place name "Izmir" (=Smyrna)  betokens a  very partisan view of what happened. For instance, when does one person's "insurgent" (third line of original post)become another man's "freedom fighter" when viewed a century on?   When set against  actions in Asia Minor under Ottoman rule during the  Great War (eg what happened to the Armenians), this thread really has nailed it's  (Turkish) colours to the mast by it's terminology.

    

     It cannot be right that a blatantly partisan use of language and of one historiographical tradition(the Turkish)  cannot be responded to by any other with the same levels of partisan terminology.

 

      Might I suggest, with all due respect that Skindles is EXACTLY  where this thread should be.  

 

And, on the bright side, as Your Humble is banned from Skindles, then I could not take part in any debate anyway.:wub:

 

( I have no known family connections, Greek,Turkish, Little Green Men,etc)  save that my grandfather was arrested as a Turkish spy at Gallipoli while a Petty Officer RN, but that's another story.....)

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emrezmen
Posted (edited)

I just write all the story from Turkish perspective originated from Turkish sources (like all my other posts here), which of course may not be entirely reliable, and particularly the correspondences between M. Kemal and Istanbul. I think I'm not writing an academic paper. 

 

On 22/05/2019 at 16:36, voltaire60 said:

There was,in effect, a sustained civil war  during the period described above-  with the extensive Greek community  being largely ejected. 

It was a mutual agreement between Greece and Turkey signed after the war, not a one-sided "ejection". https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Convention_Concerning_the_Exchange_of_Greek_and_Turkish_Populations 

 

As for civil war, please continue reading below.

 

On 22/05/2019 at 16:36, voltaire60 said:

The use of terms such as "Turkish War of Liberation"

The usage of the word "liberation" was completely a terminology-related choice. I intentionally didn't use the term "war of independence" because it wasn't a colonized country fighting for regaining its independence after some hundreds of years. Instead, it was an already independent country attacked and occupied by another independent country whose army was sent off on an adventure by irrational politicians. I wouldn't like to think that there would be no problem for you if I would have said something like "oh, we occupied their lands some 1000 years ago and they had a right to revenge it in 1919" or "it was a mistake to resist invading Greeks, we should have gone back to Asia". 

 

On 22/05/2019 at 16:36, voltaire60 said:

or even of a place name "Izmir" (=Smyrna)  betokens a  very partisan view of what happened.

Sorry, but why should I use "Smyrna" instead of "İzmir", the name that we're currently using in Turkey? I mean, how using a current official name can make a person a partisan? Should it be that easy to judge people? 

 

On 22/05/2019 at 16:36, voltaire60 said:

For instance, when does one person's "insurgent" (third line of original post)become another man's "freedom fighter" when viewed a century on?

I don't know if it can be described as a "civil war", but there was an invading foreign army (Greek army) that armed their local kins whom I called insurgents, and encouraged them to conduct raids on another population that has different ethnicity (Turkish). As the things escalated, the Turkish guerillas (called Kuvva-i Milliye, literally National Forces) began to resist them by killing those local Greeks as well as the soldiers at every possible opportunity. Those Turkish irregulars (mainly composed of gangs called zeybekler) were already illegal guys living mainly on mountains, and one might also call them insurgents or so.

 

In short;

1. My original post treats only one particular date, 19 May 1919, not the entire period between 1919-23. I only said that the war ended in defeat of Greek army which is a military wording, and there's nothing regarding to foundation of Republic of Turkey, etc. (BTW I edited the post 10 hours ago to add "he also was to oversee the disarmament of Ottoman forces in the region in accordance with the Armistice of Mudros" part. Nothing removed from original text)

 

I wonder what would I have been accused of if I would have included some of these in my original post:

1.jpg.82d920abfa2dc1d3e339d114d56b1527.jpg

 

2.jpg.3c01dd2eb5412c484772dedfb5facb83.jpg

 

3.jpg.891428734042ce68cf501852a7c51a58.jpg

 

4.jpg.03de68b9068bb6e48e24595a2d463174.jpg

5.jpg.29f4040971736db4b32d9d62b2821b71.jpg

Source: Documents of the Inter-Allied Commission of Inquiry into the Greek Occupation of Smyrna and Adjoining Territories

 

I only called these guys "insurgents" and that became a problem. There's nothing offensive with the word "insurgent" and I couldn't find any proper term to describe the people who were responsible for these acts from Turkish point of view, regardless of how Greeks or others would call them.

 

2. I have nothing against Greeks, Armenians or any other nation. Some Greek pal may come up with the documents reflecting a different point of view which will be gladly welcomed by me.

 

3. Feel sorry about being accused of having partisan views, etc. for the first time on this forum. Hopefully this is not going to be something like "machine guns on the beaches" debate or even worse.

 

Regards,

Emre.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by emrezmen

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michaeldr

I recommend reading the Official History of the Great War - The Occupation of Constantinople 1918-1923 by Brigadier-General Sir James E. Edmonds

 

The Italians occupied south-western Anatolia, the Greek army had landed at Smyrna, and British Empire forces, together with those of the French, controlled the Straits and the capital.

This was indeed a War of Liberation and not a civil war.

The declaration of 7th August 1919 states the objective

“...to put into action the forces of the nation; to impose the will of the nation in order to maintain the integrity of the Ottoman motherland and the independence of our nation;....”

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voltaire60

3. Feel sorry about being accused of having partisan views, etc. for the first time on this forum. Hopefully this is not going to be something like "on the beaches" debate or even worse.

 

    Nothing wrong with partisan views. It's partisan evidence that worries me!!    I have no doubts as to your integrity and honesty on GWF but my point is this:  I cannot see how this topic can be properly engaged -as there is at least one alternate view- without it becoming a slanging match.

 

     2)   You quote from the Inter-Allied Commission. This appears to be a publication sponsored by the Turkish Foreign Ministry in 2002 and published through a Turkish seminar organisation.  While I have no reason to question these extracts per se, I would be more enthusiastic about taking them at face value if I knew where the full run of original documents was actually held.

 

     Wars-and civil wars- are a grim business and ,without any disrespect to you as a person, nobody involved tends to come out with clean hands. For every story of a Greek atrocity, there is likely to be one of a Turkish atrocity.  

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voltaire60

And if I might add an old teaching example about strength of nomenclature.........

 

    In Marxist-Leninist terms, have you ever read the story about the young lady of the aristocratic bourgeoisie  who was the subject of an  attempted attentat in those internecine ruling circles? After which she sought refuge in a miner's commune, in which she fully participated.

 

     Better known as "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"  :wub:

 

 

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michaeldr
Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, voltaire60 said:

2)   You quote from the Inter-Allied Commission. This appears to be a publication sponsored by the Turkish Foreign Ministry in 2002 and published through a Turkish seminar organisation.  While I have no reason to question these extracts per se, I would be more enthusiastic about taking them at face value if I knew where the full run of original documents was actually held.

 

This may provide some help  and guidance https://www.jstor.org/stable/24441527?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

also see http://www.ataa.org/reference/iacom.pdf

Edited by michaeldr

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voltaire60

 

This may provide some help  and guidance https://www.jstor.org/stable/24441527?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

also see http://www.ataa.org/reference/iacom.pdf

Edited 8 minutes ago by michaeldr

 

       Thanks for the link- I will zap it off from JSTOR when I go into my old college tomorrow..

 

 

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stevebecker

Mates,

 

Of cause the term Civil War could also be used as some Ottomans didn't join the Forces under MK.

 

Some stayed with the so called Sultan, a bit like the King against Parliment in 1642, but not as bad as the Sultan was not well supported.But a number of his Generals did not assist MK.

 

A number were killed or sent away after the war for there views.

 

Ali Nadir Pasha    CO 17th Corps 5-19    Maj Gen        (born Egypt 1867 died in Egypt ?) Graduated The Harbiye in Istanbul in 1885 Studied at war academy and graduated as staff captain, Major General Ali Nadir Pasa commanded the Ustruma Army Corps at Bulgarian front during Balkan War pensioned in 1913 by Enver Pasa together with all old fashioned officers after the armistrace was signed on Nov. 30th 1918 he was commander of XVII th AC at Izmir As the greeks invaded Izmir on May 15th 1919 he ordered his men to surender and not shoot at the Greeks & took part at the pro-sultan kuvvayi inzibatiye army and was againts Mustafa Kemal For that reason he was announced traitor againts vaterland was deported from Turkey

 

There were other well known Generals

 

S.B

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michaeldr
13 hours ago, stevebecker said:

the pro-sultan kuvvayi inzibatiye army

This force (probably no more than 4,000 strong) was formed in April 1920 and disbanded after only two months in June that same year

13 hours ago, stevebecker said:

a bit like the King against Parliment in 1642

That's stretching it, I think

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stevebecker

Micheal,

 

Yes I would agree, that's why I qualified that statement "that the Sultan was not well supported" .

 

A number of well known Generals, some MK's friends followed the Status quo which didn't end well for them.

 

S.B

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voltaire60
On 23/05/2019 at 17:59, voltaire60 said:

 

This may provide some help  and guidance https://www.jstor.org/stable/24441527?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

also see http://www.ataa.org/reference/iacom.pdf

Edited 8 minutes ago by michaeldr

 

       Thanks for the link- I will zap it off from JSTOR when I go into my old college tomorrow..

 

 

 

    Further guidance  was provided by the original publishing history of this  document.  My old college library holds the original edition published in London, c.1920-

 

Atrocities committed by the Greeks in Smyrna : report, etc.

Inter-Allied Committee of Inquiry Concerning the Greek Occupation of Smyrna and Adjacent Territories.
London : Indian Khilafat Delegation 1920
 
    There is quite a lot on the Khilafat movement and it's delegation to London in 1920. As it's purpose was to maintain the Caliphate , then it's "enquiry" was hardly likely to meet even the the most basic of requirements-impartiality.   The history of the Ottoman Empire from the Young Turks to the end of the Caliphate  is littered with these " reports "  (from all parties=publsihed then and since) all purporting to have "authenticity"-and all of them  suitable for use as bin liners.

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Terry_Reeves
Posted (edited)

Emrezmen

 

Thanks for you post. The original post was not "political" as has been suggested, but an informative piece. As it turns out, Voltaire's concerns have not come to fruition. Why should it be "hidden" Skindles which is little more than a gossip column in  any case. The aftermath of WW1 is just as important as the war itself  and has had far reaching consequences that still effect us today.

 

TR

Edited by Terry_Reeves

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michaeldr
3 minutes ago, Terry_Reeves said:

The aftermath of WW1 is just as important as the war itself  and has had far reaching consequences that still affect us today.

The CWGC commemorates those died up to 31st August 1921 

I agree that the immediate aftermath is certainly just as important as the hostilities which ended, in this case, on 31st October 1918

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voltaire60
38 minutes ago, Terry_Reeves said:

Emrezmen

 

Thanks for you post. The original post was not "political" as has been suggested, but an informative piece. As it turns out, Voltaire's concerns have not come to fruition. Why should it be "hidden" Skindles which is little more than a gossip column in  any case. The aftermath of WW1 is just as important as the war itself  and has had far reaching consequences that still effect us today.

 

TR

 

     Temptation,dear boy, temptation.

 

      "Voltaire's concerns have not come to fruition."

 

I must say that I do not enjoy being bounced by a partisan "enquiry".   The subject is an important one-  A perspective on a non- West European historiographical take on what happened to the Ottoman Empire. needs a lot more airing here in the UK.

 

     We appear to be in the situation  of that old Steptoe and Son episode where Albert is involved in brawling on a plane over when the First World War began and ended.-with an American. Ok, it is a truism to taunt our American chums that theirs was a "1917-1918 War" but this question of date demarcation is important.  In some ways, the non-Arabic parts of the Ottoman Empire-Turkey in Europe and mainland Turkey in Asia Minor underwent a series of wars and revolutions that lasted from 1908- c.1923/24- effectively a continuum. It was subject to extreme nationalist ambitions  by Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece and it is refreshing to be reminded that the Turks and the Ottoman Empire are not the same thing- Yes, the Turks had a war of national liberation and I venture to suggest that this war had much in common with other activities east of a north-south line from Copenhagen to Venice.  Strong nationalist movements, strong political leaders (strong often used in a perjorative term as a synonym for "bigot" "zealot" or "racist".) The Turkish movement shows a great deal of similarity with others-  a new/renewed "nationalism that was fascist in tendency, centered on a military backbone to  non-existent democracy or weak systems of governmental accountability. A cult of the "great leader" also.  Thus, Kemalist Turkey has much of a common ground with, say, the Poland of Pilsudski, the Hungary of Horthy, etc. 

   It is interesting to see the demise of the Greeks, both as the lingua franca of older times  and as a diasporic community that had been a presence from the end of the Byzantines. -in this Turkish "nationalism" fits in well with what happened to the Greek diaspora under the Soviets-eg the destruction of the Pontic Greeks. Thus, I would see what happened to the "Greeks" as being part of a larger picture, made all the worse by Greece simply not being strong enough to support either a long-term strongman nor a nationalist strongarm dictator against others elsewhere.

   But nationalism comes at a price. Ottoman rule was despotic, savage on many,many occasions but it did allow alternative communities to continue (diasporic Armenians as traders all over the Med.for example)-OK,it was"tolerant" only in that it could be unpleasant to all-comers but Turkish "national liberation" came at a price for others who were non-Turkish.

     We seem to have got the dates wrong for the "Great War"- we in Britain and Western Europe have been reined in by Foreign Office clerks  deciding when wars begin and when they end.  Perhaps the "Great War 1914-1924" would be more truthful as to  the extensive state violence of that time. There were no Turks, Arabs, Greeks,Armenians, etc.etc in the railway carriage at Compiegne-why on earth should their "wars" be arbitrarily ended by pen-pushers at the other end of Europe??

 

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Terry_Reeves
Posted (edited)

Voltaire

 

 My comment refers to the fact that you  believe that an important subject should be relegated to a gossip column.  The comment was not “partisan”, but rather more 

that the OP posted a point of view which deserves publication whatever your view.

 

I do agree with on you on one thing, I am a boy and old (ish)

 

TR

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Terry_Reeves

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stevebecker

Mate,

 

Of cause this area needs more reading by me, but still why the British allowed to Greeks to invade Southern Turkey has me beat?

 

Sure they were old Greek areas in Southern Turkey, but they had been intergated for hundreds of years?

 

Clearly Greece was not finished with the Ottoman Empire after there victory in 1913, and wanted more ground around Thessollonika which they captured and drove the Ottoman people out of the area.

 

I remember the discussions about the Greeks in the Russell Crowe movie " the Well Digger" or some thing like that?


S.B

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