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The Turkish War of Independence (Turkish : Kurtuluş Savaşı "War of Liberation", also known figuratively as İstiklâl Harbi "Independence War" or Millî Mücadele "National Campaign"; 19 May 1919 – 24 July 1923) was fought between the Turkish National Movement and the proxies of the Allies – namely Greece on the Western Front, Armenia on the Eastern, France on the Southern and with them, the United Kingdom and Italy in Constantinople (now Istanbul) – after parts of the Ottoman Empire were occupied and partitioned following the Ottomans' defeat in World War I. Few of the occupying British, French, and Italian troops had been deployed or engaged in combat.
Turkish, also referred to as Istanbul Turkish, is the most widely spoken of the Turkic languages, with around 10–15 million native speakers in Southeast Europe and 60–65 million native speakers in Western Asia. Outside Turkey, significant smaller groups of speakers exist in Germany, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Northern Cyprus, Greece, the Caucasus, and other parts of Europe and Central Asia. Cyprus has requested that the European Union add Turkish as an official EU language, even though Turkey is not a member state.
The Turkish National Movement encompasses the political and military activities of the Turkish revolutionaries that resulted in the creation and shaping of the modern Republic of Turkey, as a consequence of the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I and the subsequent occupation of Constantinople and partitioning of the Ottoman Empire by the Allies under the terms of the Armistice of Mudros. The Ottomans saw the movement as part of an international conspiracy against them. The Turkish revolutionaries rebelled against this partitioning and against the Treaty of Sèvres, signed in 1920 by the Ottoman government, which partitioned portions of Anatolia itself.
The Allies of World War I or Entente Powers is the term commonly used for the coalition that opposed the Central Powers of Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria during the First World War (1914–1918).
The Turkish National Movement ( Kuva-yi Milliye ) in Anatolia culminated in the formation of a new Grand National Assembly (GNA; Turkish: BMM) by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his colleagues. After the end of the Turkish–Armenian, Franco-Turkish, Greco-Turkish fronts (often referred to as the Eastern Front, the Southern Front, and the Western Front of the war, respectively), the Treaty of Sèvres was abandoned and the Treaties of Kars (October 1921) and Lausanne (July 1923) were signed. The Allies left Anatolia and Eastern Thrace, and the Grand National Assembly of Turkey decided on the establishment of a Republic in Turkey, which was declared on 29 October 1923.
Kuva-yi Milliye refers to the irregular Turkish militia forces in the early period of the Turkish War of Independence. These irregular forces emerged after the occupation of the parts of Turkey by the Allied forces in accordance with the Armistice of Mudros. Later, Kuva-yi Milliye was integrated to the regular army of the Grand National Assembly. Some historians call this period (1918–20) of the Turkish War of Independence the "Kuva-yi Milliye phase".
Anatolia, also known as Asia Minor, Asian Turkey, the Anatolian peninsula, or the Anatolian plateau, is the westernmost protrusion of Asia, which makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region is bounded by the Black Sea to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, the Armenian Highlands to the east, and the Aegean Sea to the west. The Sea of Marmara forms a connection between the Black and Aegean Seas through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits and separates Anatolia from Thrace on the European mainland.
The Grand National Assembly of Turkey, usually referred to simply as the TBMM or Parliament, is the unicameral Turkish legislature. It is the sole body given the legislative prerogatives by the Turkish Constitution. It was founded in Ankara on 23 April 1920 in the midst of the National Campaign. The parliament was fundamental in the efforts of Mareşal Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, 1st President of the Republic of Turkey, and his colleagues to found a new state out of the remnants of the Ottoman Empire.
With the establishment of the Turkish National Movement, the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire, and the abolition of the sultanate, the Ottoman era and the Empire came to an end, and with Atatürk's reforms, the Turks created the modern, secular nation-state of Turkey on the political front. On 3 March 1924, the Ottoman caliphate was officially abolished and the last Caliph was exiled.
The abolition of the Ottoman Sultanate by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (GNAT) on 1 November 1922 ended the Ottoman Empire, which had lasted since 1299. On 11 November 1922, at the Conference of Lausanne, the sovereignty of the GNAT exercised by the Government in Ankara over Turkey was recognized. The last sultan, Mehmed VI, departed the Ottoman capital, Constantinople, on 17 November 1922. The legal position was solidified with the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne on 24 July 1923.
Atatürk's Reforms were a series of political, legal, religious, cultural, social, and economic policy changes that were designed to convert the new Republic of Turkey into a secular, modern nation-state and implemented under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in accordance with the Kemalist ideology. Central to these reforms were the belief that Turkish society would have to Westernize itself both politically and culturally in order to modernize. Political reforms involved a number of fundamental institutional changes that brought end of many traditions, and followed a carefully planned program to unravel the complex system that had developed over the centuries.
Turkey, officially the Republic of Turkey, is a transcontinental country located mainly in Western Asia, with a smaller portion on the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe. East Thrace, located in Europe, is separated from Anatolia by the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorous strait and the Dardanelles. Turkey is bordered by Greece and Bulgaria to its northwest; Georgia to its northeast; Armenia, the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan and Iran to the east; and Iraq and Syria to the south. Ankara is its capital but Istanbul is the country's largest city. Approximately 70 to 80 per cent of the country's citizens identify as Turkish. Kurds are the largest minority; the size of the Kurdish population is a subject of dispute with estimates placing the figure at anywhere from 12 to 25 per cent of the population.
On 30 October 1918, the Armistice of Mudros was signed between the Ottoman Empire and the Allies of World War I, bringing hostilities in the Middle Eastern theatre of World War I to a close. The treaty granted the Allies the right to occupy forts controlling the Straits of the Dardanelles and the Bosporus; and the right to occupy "in case of disorder" any territory in case of a threat to security.Somerset Arthur Gough-Calthorpe—the British signatory of the Mudros Armistice—stated the Triple Entente′s public position that they had no intention to dismantle the government of the Ottoman Empire or place it under military occupation by "occupying Constantinople". However, dismantling the Ottoman government and partitioning the Ottoman Empire among the Allied nations had been an objective of the Entente since the start of the war.
The Armistice of Mudros, concluded on 30 October 1918, ended the hostilities, at noon the next day, in the Middle Eastern theatre between the Ottoman Empire and the Allies of World War I. It was signed by the Ottoman Minister of Marine Affairs Rauf Bey and the British Admiral Somerset Arthur Gough-Calthorpe, on board HMS Agamemnon in Moudros harbor on the Greek island of Lemnos.
The Ottoman Empire, also historically known in Western Europe as the Turkish Empire or simply Turkey, was a state that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman I. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe, and with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire. The Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror.
The Middle Eastern theatre of World War I saw action between 29 October 1914 and 30 October 1918. The combatants were, on one side, the Ottoman Empire, with some assistance from the other Central Powers; and on the other side, the British, the Russians and the French from among the Allied Powers. There were five main campaigns: the Sinai and Palestine Campaign, the Mesopotamian Campaign, the Caucasus Campaign, the Persian Campaign, and the Gallipoli Campaign. There were also several minor campaigns: the Senussi Campaign, Arab Campaign, and South Arabia Campaign.
On 13 November 1918, a French brigade entered the city to begin the Occupation of Constantinople and its immediate dependencies, followed by a fleet consisting of British, French, Italian and Greek ships deploying soldiers on the ground the next day. A wave of seizures took place in the following months by the Allies. On 14 November, joint Franco-Greek troops occupied the town of Uzunköprü in Eastern Thrace as well as the railway axis till the train station of Hadımköy near Çatalca on the outskirts of Constantinople. On 1 December, British troops based in Syria occupied Kilis. Beginning in December, French troops began successive seizures of Ottoman territory, including the towns of Antakya, Mersin, Tarsus, Ceyhan, Adana, Osmaniye and Islahiye.The first bullet was fired by Mehmet Çavuş in Dörtyol against the French on 19 December 1918.
The occupation of Constantinople, the capital of the Ottoman Empire, by British, French and Italian forces, took place in accordance with the Armistice of Mudros, which ended Ottoman participation in the First World War. The first French troops entered the city on November 12, 1918, followed by British troops the next day. The Italian troops landed in Galata on February 7, 1919.
Uzunköprü is a town in Edirne Province in Turkey. It is named after a historical stone bridge, claimed to be the world's longest, on the Ergene River. It is a strategically important border town, located on the routes connecting Turkey to the Balkans and Europe. Uzunköprü is the largest and the second most populous town of Edirne Province.
Çatalca is a city and a rural district in Istanbul, Turkey.
On 19 January 1919, the Paris Peace Conference opened, a meeting of Allied nations that set the peace terms for the defeated Central Powers, including the Ottoman Empire.As a special body of the Paris Conference, "The Inter-Allied Commission on Mandates in Turkey" was established to pursue the secret treaties they had signed between 1915 and 1917. Among the objectives was a new Hellenic Empire based on the Megali Idea. This was promised by British Prime Minister David Lloyd George to Greece. Italy sought control over the southern part of Anatolia under the Agreement of St.-Jean-de-Maurienne. France expected to exercise control over Hatay, Lebanon and Syria, and also wanted control over a portion of southeastern Anatolia based on the Sykes-Picot Agreement. France signed the Franco-Armenian Agreement and promised the realization of an Armenian state in the Mediterranean region in exchange to the French Armenian Legion.
The Paris Peace Conference, also known as Versailles Peace Conference, was the meeting of the victorious Allied Powers following the end of World War I to set the peace terms for the defeated Central Powers.
The Central Powers, consisting of Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria—hence also known as the Quadruple Alliance —was one of the two main coalitions that fought World War I (1914–18).
The Megali Idea was an irredentist concept of Greek nationalism that expressed the goal of establishing a Greek state that would encompass all historically ethnic Greek-inhabited areas, including the large Greek populations that were still under Ottoman rule after the end of the Greek War of Independence (1821–1828) and all the regions that traditionally belonged to Greeks in ancient times.
Meanwhile, Allied countries continued to lay claim to portions of the quickly crumbling Ottoman Empire. British forces based in Syria occupied Maraş, Urfa and Birecik, while French forces embarked by gunboats and sent troops to the Black Sea ports of Zonguldak and Karadeniz Ereğli commanding Turkey's coal mining region. At the Paris Peace Conference, competing claims of Western Anatolia by Greek and Italian delegations led Greece to land the flagship of the Greek Navy at Smyrna, resulting in the Italian delegation walking out of the peace talks. On 30 April, Italy responded to the possible idea of Greek incorporation of Western Anatolia by also sending a warship to Smyrna (Izmir) as a show of force against the Greek campaign. A large Italian force also landed in Antalya. With the Italian delegation absent from the Paris Peace talks, Britain was able to sway France in favour of Greece and ultimately the Conference authorized the landing of Greek troops on Anatolian territory.
The Greek campaign of Western Anatolia began on 15 May 1919, as Greek troops began landing in Smyrna. For the city′s Muslim population, the day is marked by the "first bullet" fired by Hasan Tahsinat the Greek standard bearer at the head of the troops, the murder by bayonet coups of Miralay Fethi Bey for refusing to shout "Zito Venizelos" and the killing and wounding of unarmed Turkish soldiers in the city's principal casern, as well as of 300-400 civilians. Greek troops moved from Smyrna outwards, to towns on the Karaburun peninsula, Selçuk, situated a hundred kilometers south of Smyrna at a key location that commands the fertile Menderes River valley and Menemen and Selçuk, towards the north and the southeast of Smyrna.
Fahrî Yâver-i Hazret-i Şehriyâri ("Honorary Aide-de-camp to His Majesty Sultan") Mirliva Mustafa Kemal Paşa was assigned as the inspector of the 9th Army Troops Inspectorate to reorganize what remained of the Ottoman military units and to improve internal security on 30 April 1919. Bandırma for Samsun on the evening of 16 May 1919.According to Lord Kinross, through manipulation and the help of friends and sympathizers, Mustafa Kemal Paşa became the Inspector of virtually all of the Ottoman forces in Anatolia, tasked with overseeing the disbanding process of the remaining Ottoman forces. He and his carefully selected staff left Constantinople aboard the old steamer SS
Resistance to Allied demands began at the very onset of the Ottoman Empire's defeat in World War I. Many Ottoman officials organized the secret Sentinel Association (Turkish : Karakol Cemiyeti) in reaction to the policies of the Allies. The objective of the Sentinel Association was to thwart Allied demands through passive and active resistance. Many Ottoman officials participated in efforts to conceal from the occupying authorities details of the burgeoning independence movement spreading throughout Anatolia. Munitions initially seized by the Allies were secretly smuggled out of Constantinople into Central Anatolia, along with Ottoman officers keen to resist any division of Ottoman territories. Mirliva Ali Fuad Paşa in the meantime had moved his XX Corps from Ereğli to Ankara and started organizing resistance groups, including Circassian immigrants under Çerkes Ethem.
Since the southern rim of Anatolia[ where? ] was effectively controlled by British warships and competing Greek and Italian troops, the Turkish National Movement′s headquarters moved to the rugged terrain of central Anatolia. The reasons for these new assignments is still a matter of debate; one view is that it was an intentional move to support the national movement, another was that the Sultan wanted to keep Constantinople under his control, a goal which was in total agreement with the aims of the occupation armies which could keep the Sultan under control. The most prominent idea given for the Sultan’s decision was by assigning these officers out of the capital, the Sultan was trying to minimize the effectiveness of these soldiers in the capital. The Sultan was cited as saying that without an organized army, the Allies could not be defeated, and the national movement had two army corps in May 1919,[ citation needed ] one was the XX Corps based in Ankara under the command of Ali Fuat Paşa and the other was XV Corps based in Erzurum under the command of Kâzım Karabekir Paşa.
Mustafa Kemal Paşa and his colleagues stepped ashore on 19 May and set up their first quarters in the Mintika Palace Hotel. Mustafa Kemal Paşa made the people of Samsun aware of the Greek and Italian landings, staged mass meetings (while remaining discreet) and made, thanks to the excellent telegraph network, fast connections with the army units in Anatolia and began to form links with various nationalist groups. He sent telegrams of protest to foreign embassies and the War Ministry about British reinforcements in the area and about British aid to Greek brigand gangs. After a week in Samsun, Mustafa Kemal Paşa and his staff moved to Havza, about 85 km (53 mi) inland.
Mustafa Kemal Paşa writes in his memoir[ citation needed ] that he needed nationwide support. The importance of his position, and his status as the "Hero of Anafartalar" after the Gallipoli Campaign, and his title of Fahri Yaver-i Hazret-i Şehriyari ("Honorary Aide-de-camp to His Majesty Sultan") gave him some credentials. On the other hand, this was not enough to inspire everyone. While officially occupied with the disarming of the army, he had increased his various contacts in order to build his movement's momentum. He met with Rauf Bey (Orbay), Ali Fuat Paşa (Cebesoy), and Refet Bey (Bele) on 21 June 1919 and declared the Amasya Circular (22 June 1919).
On 23 June, High Commissioner Admiral Calthorpe, realizing the significance of Mustafa Kemal′s discreet activities in Anatolia, sent a report about Mustafa Kemal to the Foreign Office. His remarks were downplayed by George Kidson of the Eastern Department. Captain Hurst (British army) in Samsun warned Admiral Calthorpe one more time, but Hurst′s units were replaced with the Brigade of Gurkhas. The movement of British units alarmed the population of the region and convinced the population that Mustafa Kemal was right[ citation needed ]. Right after this "The Association for Defense of National Rights" (Müdafaa-i Hukuk Cemiyeti) was founded in Trabzon, and a parallel association in Samsun was also founded, which declared that the Black Sea region was not safe. The same activities that happened in Smyrna were happening in the region. When the British landed in Alexandretta, Admiral Calthorpe resigned on the basis that this was against the Armistice that he had signed and was assigned to another position on 5 August 1919.
On 2 July, Mustafa Kemal Pasha received a telegram from the Sultan. The Sultan asked him to cease his activities in Anatolia and return to the capital. Mustafa Kemal was in Erzincan and did not want to return to Constantinople, concerned that the foreign authorities might have designs for him beyond the Sultan's plans. He felt the best course for him was to take a two-month leave of absence.
The Representative committee was established at the Sivas Congress (4–11 September 1919).
On 16 October 1919, Ali Riza Pasha sent a navy minister, Hulusi Salih Pasha, to negotiate with the Turkish National Movement. Hulusi Salih Pasha was not part of World War I. Salih Pasha and Mustafa Kemal met in Amasya. Mustafa Kemal put the representational problems of Ottoman Parliament on the agenda. He wanted to have a signed protocol between Ali Rıza Pasha and the "representative committee." On the advice of the British, Ali Riza Pasha rejected any form of recognition or legitimacy claims by this unconstitutional political formation in Anatolia.
In December 1919, fresh elections were held for the Ottoman parliament. This was an attempt to build a better representative structure. The Ottoman parliament was seen as a way to reassert the central government′s claims of legitimacy in response to the emerging nationalist movement in Anatolia. In the meantime, groups of Ottoman Greeks had formed Greek nationalist militias within Ottoman borders and were acting on their own. Greek members of the Ottoman parliament repeatedly blocked any progress in the parliament, and most Greek subjects of the Sultan boycotted the new elections.
The elections were held and a new parliament of the Ottoman State was formed under the occupation. However, Ali Rıza Pasha was too hasty in thinking that his parliament could bring him legitimacy. The house of the parliament was under the shadow of the British battalion stationed at Constantinople. Any decisions by the parliament had to have the signatures of both Ali Rıza Pasha and the commanding British Officer. The freedom of the new government was limited. It did not take too long for the members of parliament to recognize that any kind of integrity was not possible in this situation. Ali Rıza Pasha and his government had become the voice of the Triple Entente. The only laws that passed were those acceptable to, or specifically ordered by the British.
On 12 January 1920, the last Ottoman Chamber of Deputies met in the capital. First the Sultan's speech was presented and then a telegram from Mustafa Kemal, manifesting the claim that the rightful government of Turkey[ citation needed ] being in Ankara in the name of the Representative Committee.
A group called Felâh-i Vatan among the Ottoman parliament worked to acknowledge the decisions taken at the Erzurum Congress and the Sivas Congress. The British began to sense that a Turkish Nationalist movement had been flourishing, a movement with goals against English interests. The Ottoman government was not doing all that it could to suppress the nationalists. On 28 January the deputies met secretly. Proposals were made to elect Mustafa Kemal president of the Chamber, but this was deferred in the certain knowledge that the British would prorogue the Chamber[ clarification needed ] before it could do what had been planned all along, namely accept the declaration of the Sivas Congress.
On 28 January, the Ottoman parliament developed the National Pact (Misak-i Milli) and published it on 12 February. This pact adopted six principles, which called for self-determination, the security of Constantinople, and the opening of the Straits, also the abolition of the capitulations. In effect the Misak-i Milli solidified a lot of nationalist notions, which were in conflict with the Allied plans.[ citation needed ]
The National Movement—which persuaded the Ottoman Chamber of Deputies to declare a "National Pact" ( Misak-i Milli ) against the occupying Allies–prompted the British government to take action. To put an end to Turkish Nationalist hopes, the British decided to systematically bring Turkey under their control. The plan was to dismantle Turkish Government organizations, beginning in Istanbul and moving deep into Anatolia. Mustafa Kemal's National Movement was seen as the main problem. The British Foreign Office was asked to devise a plan. The Foreign Office suggested the same plan previously used during the Arab Revolt. This time however, resources were channeled to warlords like Ahmet Anzavur. The politics of this decision were legitimised via the Treaty of Sèvres. Anatolia was to be westernized under Christian governments. That was the only way that Christians could be safe, said the British government. The Treaty of Sèvres placed most of Anatolia under Christian control. This policy aimed to break down authority in Anatolia by separating the Sultan, its government, and pitting Christians (Greece and Republic of Armenia, Armenians of Cilicia) against Muslims.
On the night of 15 March, British troops began to occupy key buildings and arrest Turkish nationalists. It was a very messy operation. At the military music school there was resistance. At least ten students died but the official death toll is unknown even today. The British tried to capture the leadership of the movement. They secured the departments of the Minister of War and of the Chief of the General Staff, Fevzi Çakmak. Çakmak was an able and relatively conservative officer who was known as one of the army's oldest field commanders. He soon became one of the principal military leaders of the National Movement.[ citation needed ]
Mustafa Kemal was ready for this move. He warned all the nationalist organizations that there would be misleading declarations from the capital. He warned that the only way to stop the British was to organize protests. He said "Today the Turkish nation is called to defend its capacity for civilization, its right to life and independence –its entire future". Mustafa Kemal was extensively familiar with the Arab Revolt and British involvement. He managed to stay one step ahead of the British Foreign Office. This—as well as his other abilities—gave Mustafa Kemal considerable authority among the revolutionaries.[ citation needed ]
On 18 March the Ottoman parliament sent a protest to the Allies. The document stated that it was unacceptable to arrest five of its members. But the damage had been done. It was end of the Ottoman political system. This show of force by the British had left the Sultan as sole controller of the Empire. But the Sultan depended on their power to keep what was left of the empire. He was now a puppet of the Allies.[ citation needed ]
The new government—hoping to undermine the National Movement—passed a fatwa (legal opinion) from Şeyhülislam to qualify the Turkish revolutionaries as infidels, calling for the death of its leaders.The fatwa stated that true believers should not go along with the nationalist (rebels) movement. Along with this religious decree, the government sentenced Mustafa Kemal and prominent nationalists to death in absentia. At the same time, the müfti of Ankara Rifat Börekçi in defense of the nationalist movement, issued a counteracting fatwa declaring that the capital was under the control of the Entente and the Ferit Pasha government. In this text, the nationalist movement's goal was stated as freeing the sultanate and the caliphate from its enemies.
Mustafa Kemal expected the Allies neither to accept the Harbord report nor to respect his parliamentary immunity if he went to the Ottoman capital, hence he remained in Anatolia. Mustafa Kemal moved the Representative Committee′s capital from Erzurum to Ankara so that he could keep in touch with as many deputies as possible as they traveled to Constantinople to attend the parliament. He also started a newspaper, the Hakimiyet-i Milliye (National Sovereignty), to speak for the movement both in Turkey and the outside world (10 January 1920).
Mustafa Kemal declared that the only legal government of Turkey was the Representative Committee in Ankara and that all civilian and military officials were to obey it rather than the government in Constantinople. This argument gained very strong support, as by that time the Ottoman Parliament was fully under Allied control.
The strong measures taken against the nationalists by the Ottoman government created a distinct new phase. Mustafa Kemal sent a note to the governors and force commanders, asking them to implement the election of delegates to join the GNA, which would convene in Ankara. Mustafa Kemal appealed to the Islamic world, asking for help to make sure that everyone knew he was still fighting in the name of the sultan who was also the caliph. He stated he wanted to free the caliph from the Allies. Plans were made to organize a new government and parliament in Ankara, and then ask the sultan to accept its authority.
A flood of supporters moved to Ankara just ahead of the Allied dragnets. Included among them were Halide Edip, Adnan (Adıvar), İsmet (İnönü), Mustafa Kemal’s important allies in the Ministry of War, and Celaleddin Arif, the president of the Chamber of Deputies. Yunus Nadi (Abalıoğlu), the owner of Yeni Gün newspaper, journalist-author and deputy of Izmir, Halide Edip (Adıvar) met in Geyve on 31 March. Two intellectuals discussed the necessity that a news agency should be established to counter the allied occupation administration′s censure over the news. They chose Anadolu as the name. Mustafa Kemal, whom they meet in Ankara, immediately launched initiatives to herald the establishment of the Anadolu Agency.Mustafa Kemal wanted to transmit news stories to the world. Kemal also stressed the importance of making the national struggle heard inside and outside of the country. Celaleddin Arif's desertion of the capital was of great significance. Celaleddin Arif stated that the Ottoman Parliament had been dissolved illegally. The Armistice did not give Allies the power to dissolve the Ottoman Parliament and the Constitution of 1909 had also removed the Sultan's power to do so, to prevent what Abdülhamid did in 1879.
Some 100 members of the Ottoman Parliament were able to escape the Allied roundup and joined 190 deputies elected around the country by the national resistance group. Ismet Inonü joined as a deputy from Edirne. In March 1920, Turkish revolutionaries announced that the Turkish nation was establishing its own Parliament in Ankara under the name Grand National Assembly (GNA). The GNA assumed full governmental powers. On 23 April , the new Assembly gathered for the first time, making Mustafa Kemal its first president and Ismet Inönü chief of the General Staff. The new regime’s determination to revolt against the government in the capital and not the Sultan was quickly made evident. By 3 May 1920, a Turkish Provisional Government was also formed in Ankara.
Anatolia had many competing forces on its soil: British battalions, Ahmet Aznavur forces, and the Sultan's army. The Sultan gave 4,000 soldiers from his Kuva-i Inzibatiye (Caliphate Army) to resist against the nationalists. Then using money from the Allies, he raised another army, a force about 2,000 strong from non-Muslim inhabitants which were initially deployed in Iznik. The Sultan's government sent forces under the name of the caliphate army to the revolutionaries and aroused counterrevolutionary outbreaks.
The British being skeptical of how formidable these insurgents were, decided to use irregular power to counteract this rebellion. The nationalist forces were distributed all around Turkey, so many small units were dispatched to face them. In Izmit there were two battalions of the British army. Their commanders were living on the Ottoman warship Yavuz. These units were to be used to rout the partisans under the command of Ali Fuat Cebesoy and Refet Bele.
On 13 April 1920, the first conflict occurred at Düzce as a direct consequence of the sheik ul-Islam′s fatwa. On 18 April 1920, the Düzce conflict was extended to Bolu; on 20 April 1920, it extended to Gerede. The movement engulfed an important part of northwestern Anatolia for about a month. The Ottoman government had accorded semi-official status to the "Kuva-i Inzibatiye" and Ahmet Anzavur held an important role in the uprising. Both sides faced each other in a pitched battle near Izmit on 14 June. Ahmet Aznavur′s forces and British units outnumbered the militias. Yet under heavy attack some of the Kuva-i Inzibatiye deserted and joined the opposing ranks. This revealed the Sultan did not have the unwavering support of his men. Meanwhile, the rest of these forces withdrew behind the British lines which held their position.
The clash outside Izmit brought serious consequences. The British forces opened fire on the nationalists and bombed them from the air. This bombing forced a retreat but there was a panic in Constantinople. The British commander—General George Milne—asked for reinforcements. This led to a study to determine what would be required to defeat the Turkish nationalists. The report—signed by Field Marshal Ferdinand Foch—concluded that 27 divisions would be sufficient, but the British army did not have 27 divisions to spare. Also, a deployment of this size could have disastrous political consequences back home. World War I had just ended, and the British public would not support another lengthy and costly expedition.
The British accepted the fact that a nationalist movement could not be faced without deployment of consistent and well-trained forces. On 25 June, the forces originating from Kuva-i Inzibatiye were dismantled under British supervision. The official stance was that there was no use for them. The British realized that the best option to overcome these Turkish nationalists was to use a force that was battle-tested and fierce enough to fight the Turks on their own soil. The British had to look no further than Turkey′s neighbor: Greece.
Before the Amasya Circular (22 June 1919), Mustafa Kemal met with a Bolshevik delegation headed by Colonel Semyon Budyonny [ citation needed ]. The Bolsheviks wanted to annex the parts of the Caucasus, including the Democratic Republic of Armenia, which were formerly part of Tsarist Russia. They also saw a Turkish Republic as a buffer state or possibly a communist ally. Mustafa Kemal′s official response was "Such questions had to be postponed until Turkish independence was achieved." Having this support was important for the national movement.
The first objective was the securing of arms from abroad. They obtained these primarily from Soviet Russia and from Italy and France. These arms—especially the Soviet weapons—allowed the Turks to organize an effective army. The Treaties of Moscow and Kars (1921) arranged the border between Turkey and the Soviet-controlled Transcaucasian republics, while Russia itself was in a state of civil war and preparing to establish the Soviet Union. In particular Nakhchivan and Batumi were ceded to the future USSR. In return the nationalists received support and gold. For the promised resources, the nationalists had to wait until the Battle of Sakarya (August–September 1921).
By providing financial and war materiel aid, the Bolsheviks aimed to heat up the war between the Allies and the Turkish nationalists in order to delay the participation of more Allied troops in the Russian Civil War.At the same time the Bolsheviks attempted to export communist ideologies to Anatolia and moreover supported individuals (for example: Mustafa Suphi) who were pro-communism.
According to Soviet documents, Soviet financial and war materiel support between 1920 and 1922 amounted to: 39,000 rifles, 327 machine guns, 54 cannon, 63 million rifle bullets, 147,000 shells, 2 patrol boats, 200.6 kg of gold ingots and 10.7million Turkish lira (which accounted for a twentieth of the Turkish budget during the war). Additionally the Soviets gave the Turkish nationalists 100,000 gold rubles to help build an orphanage and 20,000 lira to obtain printing house equipment and cinema equipment.
The border of the Republic of Armenia (ADR) and Ottoman Empire was defined in the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (3 March 1918) after the Bolshevik revolution, and later by the Treaty of Batum (4 June 1918) with the ADR. It was obvious that after the Armistice of Mudros (30 October 1918) the eastern border was not going to stay as it was drawn. There were talks going on with the Armenian Diaspora and Triple Entente on reshaping the border. The Fourteen Points was seen as an incentive to the ADR, if the Armenians could prove that they were the majority of the population and that they had military control over the eastern regions. The Armenian movements on the borders were being used as an argument to redraw the border between the Ottoman Empire and the ADR. Woodrow Wilson agreed to transfer the territories back to the ADR on the principle that they were dominated by Armenians. The results of these talks were to be reflected on the Treaty of Sèvres (August 10, 1920). There was also a movement of Armenians from the southeast with French support. The Franco-Armenian Agreement granted the Armenian claims to Cilicia with the establishment of the French Armenian Legion. The general idea at that time was to integrate the ADR into the French supported southeast Armenian movement. This way the ADR could gain much-sought-after resources to balance the Bolshevik expansionist movements.
One of the most important fights had taken place on this border. The very early onset of a national army was proof of this, even though there was a pressing Greek danger to the west. The stage of the eastern campaign developed through Kâzim Karabekir's two reports (30 May and 4 June 1920) outlining the situation in the region. He was detailing the activities of the Armenian Republic and advising on how to shape the sources on the eastern borders, especially in Erzurum. The Russian government sent a message to settle not only the Armenian but also the Iranian border through diplomacy under Russian control. Soviet support was absolutely vital for the Turkish nationalist movement, as Turkey was underdeveloped and had no domestic armaments industry. Bakir Sami Bey was assigned to the talks. The Bolsheviks demanded that Van and Bitlis be transferred to Armenia. This was unacceptable to the Turkish revolutionaries.
The Treaty of Sèvres was signed by the Ottoman Empire and was followed by the occupation of Artvin by Georgian forces on 25 July.
The Treaty of Alexandropol (2 December 1920) was the first treaty signed by the Turkish revolutionaries. It nullified the Armenian activities on the eastern border, which was reflected in the Treaty of Sèvres as a succession of regions named Wilsonian Armenia. The 10th item in the Treaty of Alexandropol stated that Armenia renounced the Treaty of Sèvres, which stipulated Wilsonian Armenia.
After the peace agreement with the Turkish nationalists, in late November, a Soviet-backed Communist uprising took place in Armenia. On 28 November 1920, the 11th Red Army under the command of Anatoliy Gekker crossed over into Armenia from Soviet Azerbaijan. The second Soviet-Armenian war lasted only a week. After their defeat by the Turkish revolutionaries the Armenians were no longer a threat to the Nationalist cause. It is also possible to claim that had the ADR been content with the boundaries as of 1919, it could have shown more resistance to the Bolshevik conquest, both internally and externally, but that was not how things happened.
On 16 March 1921, the Bolsheviks and Turkey signed a more comprehensive agreement, the Treaty of Kars, which involved representatives of Soviet Armenia, Soviet Azerbaijan, and Soviet Georgia.
The arms left by the defeated ADR forces were sent to the west for use against the Greeks.
The war arose because the western Allies—particularly British Prime Minister David Lloyd George—had promised Greece territorial gains at the expense of the Ottoman Empire if Greece entered the war on the Allied side. These included parts of its ancestral homeland, Eastern Thrace, the islands of Imbros (Gökçeada), Tenedos (Bozcaada), and parts of Western Anatolia around the city of Smyrna (Izmir). Greece wanted to incorporate Constantinople to achieve the Megali Idea, but Entente powers did not give permission.
It was decided by the Triple Entente that Greece would control a zone around Smyrna (Izmir) and Ayvalik in western Asia Minor. The reason for these landings were prior Italian landings on the southern coast of Turkey, including in the city of Antalya. The Allies worried about further Italian expansion and saw Greek landings as a way to avoid this.
On 28 May, Greeks landed on Ayvalık. It was no surprise that this small town was chosen as this town was the Greek-speaking stronghold before the Balkan Wars. The Balkan Wars changed the nature of this region. The Muslim inhabitants who were forced out with the extending borders of Greece, mainly from Crete, settled in this area. Under an old Ottoman Lieutenant Colonel Ali Çetinkaya, these people formed a unit. Along Ali Çetinkaya′s units, population in the region gathered around Resit, Tevfik and Çerkes Ethem. These units were very determined to fight against Greece as there was no other place that they could be pushed back. Resit, Tevfik and Ethem were of Circassian origin who were expelled from their ancestral lands in the Caucasus by the Russians[ citation needed ]. They were settled around the Aegean coast. Greek troops first met with these irregulars. Mustafa Kemal asked Admiral Rauf Orbay if he could help in coordinating the units under Ali Çetinkaya, Resit, Tevfik and Çerkez Ethem. Rauf Orbay—also of Circassian origin—managed to link these groups. He asked them to cut the Greek logistic support lines.
The Allied decision to allow a Greek landing in Smyrna resulted from earlier Italian landings at Antalya. Faced with Italian annexation of parts of Asia Minor with a significant ethnic Greek population, Venizelos secured Allied permission for Greek troops to land in Smyrna, ostensibly in order to protect the civilian population from turmoil. Turks claim that Venizelos wanted to create a homogeneous Greek settlement to be able to annex it to Greece, and his public statements left little doubt about Greek intentions: "Greece is not making war against Islam, but against the anachronistic Ottoman Government, and its corrupt, ignominious, and bloody administration, with a view to the expelling it from those territories where the majority of the population consists of Greeks."
As soon as Greek forces landed in Smyrna, a Turkish nationalist opened fire prompting brutal reprisals. Greek forces used Smyrna as a base for launching attacks deeper into Anatolia. Mustafa Kemal refused to accept even a temporary Greek presence in Smyrna. Eventually, the Turkish nationalists with the aid of the Kemalist armed forces defeated the Greek troops and population and pushed them out of Smyrna and the rest of Anatolia.
With the borders secured with treaties and agreements at east and south, Mustafa Kemal was now in a commanding position. The Nationalists were then able to demand on 5 September 1922 that the Greeks[ clarification needed ] evacuate East Thrace, Imbros and Tenedos as well as Asia Minor, and the Maritsa (Turkish Meriç) River should again become the western border of Turkey, as before 1914. The British were prepared to defend the neutral zone of Constantinople and the Straits and the French asked Kemal to respect it, to which he agreed on 28 September. However, France, Italy, Yugoslavia, and the British Dominions objected to a new war.
France, Italy and Britain called on Mustafa Kemal to enter into cease-fire negotiations. In return, on 29 September Kemal asked for the negotiations to be started at Mudanya. Negotiations at Mudanya began on 3 October and it was concluded with the Armistice of Mudanya. This was agreed on 11 October, two hours before the British intended to engage at Chanak, and signed the next day. The Greeks initially refused to agree but did so on 13 October.Factors persuading Turkey to sign may have included the arrival of British reinforcements.
The armistice then made it possible for the allies to recognise the Turkish claim to East Thrace, which was agreed to at the Lausanne Conference on 20 November 1922.
The French wanted to take control of Syria. With pressure against the French, Cilicia would be easily left to the nationalists. The Taurus Mountains were critical to the Ankara government. The French soldiers were foreign to the region and they were using Armenian militia to acquire their intelligence. Turkish nationals had been in cooperation with Arab tribes in this area. Compared to the Greek threat, they were the second most dangerous for the Ankara government. He proposed that if the Greek threat could be dispersed, the French would not resist.
In salvaging the Treaty of Sèvres, The Triple Entente forced the Turkish Revolutionaries to agree with the terms through a series of conferences in London. The Conference of London, with sharp differences, failed in both the first stage and the second stages. The modified Sèvres of the conference as a peace settlement was incompatible with the National Pact.
The conference of London gave the Triple Entente an opportunity to reverse some of its policies. In October, parties to the conference received a report from Admiral Mark Lambert Bristol. He organized a commission to analyze the situation, and inquire into the bloodshed during the Occupation of Izmir and the following activities in the region. The commission reported that if annexation would not follow, Greece should not be the only occupation force in this area. Admiral Bristol was not so sure how to explain this annexation to U.S. President Woodrow Wilson as he insisted on "respect for nationalities" in the Fourteen Points. He believed that the sentiments of the Turks "will never accept this annexation".
Neither the Conference of London nor Admiral Mark Lambert Bristol′s report changed British Prime Minister David Lloyd George′s position. On 12 February 1921, he went with the annexation of the Aegean coast which was followed by the Greek offensive. David Lloyd George acted with his sentiments, which were developed during Battle of Gallipoli, as opposed to General Milne, who was his officer on the ground.
The first communication between the sides was during the failed Conference of London. The stage for peace effectively began after the Triple Entente′s decision to make an arrangement with the Turkish revolutionaries. Before the talks with the Entente, the nationalists partially settled their eastern borders with the Democratic Republic of Armenia, signing Treaty of Alexandropol, but changes in the Caucasus—especially the establishment of the Armenian SSR—required one more round of talks. The outcome was the Treaty of Kars, a successor treaty to the earlier Treaty of Moscow of March 1921. It was signed in Kars with the Russian SFSR on 13 October 1921and ratified in Yerevan on 11 September 1922.
The Marmara sea resort town of Mudanya hosted the conference to arrange the armistice on 3 October 1922. İsmet (İnönü)—commander of the western armies—was in front of the Allies. The scene was unlike Mondros as the British and the Greeks were on the defense. Greece was represented by the Allies.
The British still expected the GNA to make concessions. From the first speech, the British were startled as Ankara demanded fulfillment of the National Pact. During the conference, the British troops in Constantinople were preparing for a Kemalist attack. There was never any fighting in Thrace, as Greek units withdrew before the Turks crossed the straits from Asia Minor. The only concession that Ismet made to the British was an agreement that his troops would not advance any farther toward the Dardanelles, which gave a safe haven for the British troops as long as the conference continued. The conference dragged on far beyond the original expectations. In the end, it was the British who yielded to Ankara's advances.
The Armistice of Mudanya was signed on 11 October. By its terms, the Greek army would move west of the Maritsa, clearing Eastern Thrace to the Allies. The famous American author Ernest Hemingway was in Thrace at the time, and he covered the evacuation of Eastern Thrace of its Greek population. He has several short stories written about Thrace and Smyrna, which appear in his book In Our Time . The agreement came into force starting 15 October. Allied forces would stay in Eastern Thrace for a month to assure law and order. In return, Ankara would recognize continued British occupation of Constantinople and the Straits zones until the final treaty was signed.
Refet Bele was assigned to seize control of Eastern Thrace from the Allies. He was the first representative to reach the old capital. The British did not allow the hundred gendarmes who came with him. That resistance lasted until the next day.
Kemal had long ago made up his mind to abolish the sultanate when the moment was ripe. After facing opposition from some members of the assembly, using his influence as a war hero, he managed to prepare a draft law for the abolition of the sultanate, which was then submitted to the National Assembly for voting. In that article, it was stated that the form of the government in Constantinople, resting on the sovereignty of an individual, had already ceased to exist when the British forces occupied the city after World War I.Furthermore, it was argued that although the caliphate had belonged to the Ottoman Empire, it rested on the Turkish state by its dissolution and Turkish National Assembly would have right to choose a member of the Ottoman family in the office of caliph. On 1 November, The Turkish Grand Assembly voted for the abolition of the Ottoman sultanate. The last Sultan left Turkey on 17 November 1922, in a British battleship on his way to Malta. Such was the last act in the decline and fall of the Ottoman Empire.
The Conference of Lausanne began on 21 November 1922 in Lausanne, Switzerland and lasted into 1923. Its purpose was the negotiation of a treaty to replace the Treaty of Sèvres, which, under the new government of the Grand National Assembly, was no longer recognised by Turkey. İsmet İnönü was the leading Turkish negotiator. İnönü maintained the basic position of the Ankara government that it had to be treated as an independent and sovereign state, equal with all other states attending the conference. In accordance with the directives of Mustafa Kemal, while discussing matters regarding the control of Turkish finances and justice, the Capitulations, the Turkish Straits and the like, he refused any proposal that would compromise Turkish sovereignty.Finally, after long debates, on 24 July 1923, the Treaty of Lausanne was signed. Ten weeks after the signature the Allied forces left Istanbul.
The conference opened with representatives from the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Turkey. It heard speeches from Benito Mussolini of Italy and Raymond Poincaré of France. At its conclusion, Turkey assented to the political clauses and the "freedom of the straits", which was Britain's main concern. The matter of the status of Mosul was deferred, since Curzon refused to be budged on the British position that the area was part of Iraq. The British Iraq Mandate's possession of Mosul was confirmed by a League of Nations brokered agreement between Turkey and Great Britain in 1926. The French delegation, however, did not achieve any of their goals and on 30 January 1923 issued a statement that they did not consider the draft treaty to be any more than a "basis of discussion". The Turks therefore refused to sign the treaty. On 4 February 1923, Curzon made a final appeal to Ismet Pasha to sign, and when he refused the Foreign Secretary broke off negotiations and left that night on the Orient Express.
The Treaty of Lausanne, finally signed in July 1923, led to international recognition of the sovereignty of the Republic of Turkey as the successor state to the defunct Ottoman Empire.
A republic was proclaimed on 29 October 1923, in the new capital of Ankara. Mustafa Kemal was elected as the first President. In forming his government, he placed Mustafa Fevzi (Çakmak), Köprülü Kâzım (Özalp), and İsmet (İnönü) in important positions. They helped him to establish his subsequent political and social reforms in Turkey.
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The Treaty of Sèvres was one of a series of treaties that the Central Powers signed after their defeat in World War I. Hostilities had already ended with the Armistice of Mudros. The treaty was signed on 10 August 1920, in an exhibition room at the Manufacture nationale de Sèvres porcelain factory in Sèvres, France.
The Greco-Turkish War of 1919–1922 was fought between Greece and the Turkish National Movement during the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire after World War I between May 1919 and October 1922. It is known as the Western Front of the Turkish War of Independence in Turkey and the Asia Minor Campaign or the Asia Minor Catastrophe in Greece.
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was a Turkish field marshal (Mareşal), revolutionary statesman, author, and founder of the Republic of Turkey, serving as its first President from 1923 until his death in 1938. Ideologically a secularist and nationalist, his policies and theories became known as Kemalism.
The Armistice of Mudanya was an agreement between Turkey on the one hand, and Italy, France and Britain on the other hand, signed in the Ottoman town of Mudanya, in the province of Bursa, on 11 October 1922. The Kingdom of Greece acceded to the armistice on 14 October 1922.
Musa Kâzım Karabekir was a Turkish general and politician. He was the commander of the Eastern Army of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I and served as Speaker of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey before his death.
The Conference of London was a conference convened in order to deal with the problems resulting from the peace treaties that ended World War I, most notably the Treaty of Sèvres with the Ottoman Empire, which was militarily opposed by the Turkish National Movement.
The occupation of Smyrna was the military control by Greek forces of the city of Smyrna and surrounding areas from 15 May 1919 until 9 September 1922. The Allied Powers authorized the occupation and creation of the Zone of Smyrna during negotiations regarding the partition of the Ottoman Empire to protect the ethnic Greek population living in and around the city. The Greek landing on 15 May 1919 was celebrated by the substantial local Greek population but quickly resulted in ethnic violence in the area. This violence decreased international support for the occupation and led to a rise of Turkish nationalism. The High Commissioner of Smyrna, Aristeidis Stergiadis, took a firm stance against discrimination against the Turkish population by the administration; however, ethnic tensions and discrimination remained. Stergiadis also began work on projects involving resettlement of Greek refugees, the foundations for a University, and some public health projects. Smyrna was a major base of operations for Greek troops in Anatolia during the Greco-Turkish War (1919–1922).
The Franco-Turkish War, known as the Cilicia Campaign in France and as the Southern Front of the Turkish War of Independence in Turkey, was a series of conflicts fought between France and the Turkish National Forces from December 1918 to October 1921 in the aftermath of World War I. French interest in the region resulted from the Sykes-Picot Agreement and returning Armenian refugees of the Armenian Genocide back to their homes.
Damat Mehmed Adil Ferid Pasha, known simply as Damat Ferid Pasha, was an Ottoman statesman, who held the office of Grand Vizier, the de facto prime minister of the Ottoman Empire, during two periods under the reign of the last Ottoman Sultan Mehmed VI, the first time between 4 March 1919 and 2 October 1919 and the second time between 5 April 1920 and 21 October 1920. Officially, he was brought to the office a total of five times, since his cabinets were recurrently dismissed under various pressures and he had to present new ones. Because of his readiness to acknowledge Ottoman atrocities against the Armenians, his involvement in the Treaty of Sèvres and his collusion with the Allied powers, he became an unpopular figure in Turkey and emigrated to Europe at the end of the Greco-Turkish War.
The partition of the Ottoman Empire was a political event that occurred after World War I and the occupation of Constantinople by British, French and Italian troops in November 1918. The partitioning was planned in several agreements made by the Allied Powers early in the course of World War I, notably the Sykes-Picot Agreement. As world war loomed, the Ottoman Empire sought protection but was rejected by Britain, France, and Russia, and finally formed the Ottoman–German Alliance. The huge conglomeration of territories and peoples that formerly comprised the Ottoman Empire was divided into several new states. The Ottoman Empire had been the leading Islamic state in geopolitical, cultural and ideological terms. The partitioning of the Ottoman Empire after the war led to the rise in the Middle East of Western powers such as Britain and France and brought the creation of the modern Arab world and the Republic of Turkey. Resistance to the influence of these powers came from the Turkish national movement but did not become widespread in the post-Ottoman states until after World War II.
Erzurum Congress was an assembly of Turkish Revolutionaries held from 23 July to 4 August 1919 in the city of Erzurum, in eastern Turkey, in accordance with the previously issued Amasya Circular. The congress united delegates from six eastern provinces (vilayets) of the Ottoman Empire, many parts of which were under Allied occupation at the time. The congress played a fundamental role in shaping the national identity of modern Turkey.
After World War I, the effort to prosecute Ottoman war criminals was taken up by the Paris Peace Conference (1919) and ultimately included in the Treaty of Sèvres (1920) with the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman government organized a series of courts martial in 1919–1920 to prosecute war criminals, but these failed on account of political pressure. The main effort by the Allied administration that occupied Constantinople fell short of establishing an international tribunal in Malta to try the so-called Malta exiles, Ottoman war criminals held as POWs by the British forces in Malta. In the end, no tribunals were held in Malta.
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was a field marshal, revolutionary statesman, and founder of the Republic of Turkey as well as its first President. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's military career explains his life between graduation from Ottoman War College in Istanbul as a lieutenant in 1905 to his resignation from the Ottoman Army on 8 July 1919, as well as his military leadership throughout the subsequent Turkish War of Independence.
Refet Bele also known as Refet Bey or Refet Pasha was an officer of the Ottoman Army and the Turkish Army, where he retired as a general.
The Alaşehir Congress was a local assembly of the Turkish National Movement held in the town of Alaşehir from 16 to 25 September 1919.
First parliament of Turkey existed from 23 April 1920 to 11 August 1923. This parliament existed before the Republic of Turkey was proclaimed.