Picture: Turkish prisoners-of-war, 1917

The Burial of Lieutenant-General Stanley Maude

Ataturk realized the reforms with the leadership of the Republican People's Party (CHP), which had been established not as a party of any class or group in the society, but as a party of all the people, and these reforms were adopted by the people. A short time after the CHP was established, the first experiment for a transition to a multiparty system was made. The opponents of the secular and modernizing policies of the government, and who thought that the reforms were not compatible with the social and political structure of Turkey, including a group of commanders from the National War of Independence, such as Rauf Orbay, Kazim Karabekir and Ali Fuat Cebesoy, resigned from the CHP and established the Progressive Republican Party on 17 November 1924. Kazim Karabekir was elected as the chairman of this first opposition party. The Party was "conservative", not "reactionary" both regarding its program and the mentality of its founders. However, because it was the only opposition party, those whose interests were harmed by the reforms, supported this party, thus escalating the political passions. In fact, many who were against the Republic and secular developments joined this party. SOME NOTES ON KAZIM KARABEKIR PASHA (1882-1948) – Famous Turkish Commander and Writer …. In 1918, he took back Erzurum and Erzincan from the Armenians and the Russian army and he drew away British Forces by occupying Iranian Azerbaijan and the regions where Armenians lived..To rescue Sarikamis and Kars under Armenian occupation he defeated the Armenians in November 15, 1920… On Ankara Government’s behalf, he signed Gumru agreement with the Armenians In December 1920… Some of his selected books and I tried to translate their titles: 1- Ermeni Mezalimi – Killings of Armenians (1918) 2- Erzincan, Erzurumun Kurtuluþu – Decaptivation of Erzincan and Erzurum (1939) 3- Ýstiklal Harbimizin Esaslari- Fundamentals of our Independence War (1933) 4- Ittihat and Terakki Cemiyeti: 1896-1909 – the same 5- Enver Pasha and Ittihat Terakki Fraction in our Independence war (after his death: 1960) 6- Cihan Harbine Neden Girdik, Nasil Girdik, Nasil Idare Ettik (1936-1937 2 Volumes) – Why we entered the WW1, How We Entered, How we managed. (Source: Translation from ANA BRITANNICA V18, p. 125 in Turkish Edition- Audited and Approved by Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. ) ===== the British traveller Lynch wrote that the population of Kars was around 4000 (excluding the large military garrison), made up of 2500 Armenians, 850 Turks, 300 Greeks and 250 Russians. In 1913 the town had 10200 Armenian and 900 Turkish inhabitants. By the end of the 19th century the Kars plain had become the home to various sects, mostly Protestant Christian, that were unwelcome in Russia proper. A few surviving adherents of one group called the Molokans are still supposed to be living in and around Kars. Some of the descendants of German and Estonian settlers still live in the Kars region, and there were also many Greek settlers, now all gone. The policy of allowing non-Armenians to settle here was a deliberate Russian one to limit the growth and wealth of the Armenian population. Lynch mentions that around Yerevan uncultivated lands were for the most part in the hands of the Russian government who were not inclined to sell or lease them to Armenians because they were keeping them for Russians. The recapture of Kars was a key military objective for Turkey during the early months of the First World War, but their invading army was heavily defeated at the battle of Sarikamish. This defeat was due more to the winter weather and bad planning, than to the Russians (who were actually preparing to evacuate Kars). After many more battles, Russian forces succeeded in advancing as far west as Erzincan, but the collapse of the Russian army after the 1917 revolution left only thinly spread Armenian units to resist the inevitable Turkish counter-attack. By 1918 the Turkish army was cutting a swathe of destruction across the newly declared Republic of Armenia, capturing Kars in April 1918 and reaching Baku on the Caspian sea. Defeat on other fronts caused Turkey to surrender and withdraw to the pre-war borders. In 1920 Turkey renewed its offensive, Kars again fell to the Turks (in October 1920), so did Alexandropol. The invasion was led by General Kazim Karabekir. Significantly it is a statue of Karabekir, not Ataturk, that stands outside the Kars train station. In November 1920 the Bolsheviks annexed the little that was left of the Armenian republic. With Armenia now under Soviet "protection" the Turks ceased their advance and even withdrew from some captured territory, including Alexandropol. The Bolsheviks wanted good relations with Turkey, and in 1921 they signed the "Treaty of Kars" ceding the towns of Kars, Sarikamish, Igdir, Kagizman, Ardahan, Artvin and Oltu to Turkey. The railway carriage in which this treaty was signed is still preserved in the Kars museum. ----------------- After the proclamation of the republic, there was a serious split in the Turkish nationalists’ ranks over the future shape and direction of new Turkey. Rauf Orbay’s comments in press in Istanbul about the republic and his visit to the Caliph were seen as open challenges to the new regime.[3] Two other veterans of the War of Independence, Generals Kazim [Karabekir] and Ali Fuat [Cebesoy], also sided with Rauf Orbay. President Mustafa Kemal enjoyed the support of Chief of Staff Marshal Fevzi [Cakmak], Defense Minister General Kazim [Ozalp] and Prime Minister Ismet [Inonu]. In 1924 the President and his supporters successfully implemented a series of legislative measures to strengthen armed forces' loyalty to the republic. First, serving military officers were barred from engaging in politics. Until 1924, officers could be elected as deputies and involved in the Turkish Grand National Assembly’s (TGNA) activities in uniform. They were now asked to make a choice between their uniforms and seats in the TGNA. Second, in March 1924, the Ministry of War, headed by the Chief of Staff was abolished and replaced by a civilian-headed Ministry of National Defense. Chief of Staff was placed on a purely military-footing. These measures did not remove military from politics but were indeed aimed to secure its loyalty to Mustafa -------------- the Sovietisation of Armenia The turning to and hardening of Turkey towards Mustafa Kemal was self-explanatory, considering the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire and the colonialist greed of the Western Powers. It actually became easy by the Treaty of Mudros where nothing was mentioned about Turkish demobilization. Even as early as 1919 the eastern army under the command of Kazim Karabekir, was a brewing ground for an ideology of national renaissance and vengeance. A little later Mustafa Kemal became the leader of that movement and set up a heretic government in Ankara, which refused to recognize the Treaty of Sevres. Soviet Russia, worried about the designs of the Western Powers on the Straits and the Turkish shores, encouraged Turkish nationalism. In August 1920, the Conference of the peoples of the East took place in Baku under Soviet auspices and with the agreement of the Azerbaijani leadership, when Enver Pasha again reiterated the Pan-Turanian brotherhood. Once more Armenia was endangered. From May 1920 onward, the Bolshevik upheaval in Armenia gave a premonition of Russian attitudes towards conquering the Caucasus. In some regions, the disorder was further inflamed by Turko -Tartar activities which were aimed at disturbing the peace and weakening the central authority. Worried about the deteriorating situation, the government of Yerevan opened negotiations with Moscow, in a spirit of mutual friendship and understanding, and asked for Moscow's assistance. The Soviets postponed the negotiations and then sent a large delegation whose members dealt more with propaganda than negotiations. In September 22 and without a declaration of war, the army of Kazim Karabekir attacked Armenia. After a month's resistance, the Armenian army, already weakened by internal dissention and Bolshevik propaganda, gave in and the Kemalists were able to unite with the Tartars of Azerbaijan. Kars fell on the 22nd of October, Alexandrapole on November 7th. The fighting around Yerevan was quite vicious for a few weeks, after which, on December 2nd, Armenia signed the Treaty of Alexandrapole with Turkey, having been defeated in a war, which she never wanted to fight. The territories of Kars, Ardahan and lktir remained Turkey's and Azerbaijan occupied the Territory of Nakhichevan. On the same day a Russo - Armenian agreement was signed a Dashnag -Communist transitional government took over the country. A little later the revolutionary committee headed by Gasian, who had made a declaration about Armenia being a communist state on November 29 in the city of Ichevan (North-eastern Armenia), came to Yerevan to take over the authority. After living as an independent state for two and a half years only, and despite the geographical and political exclusion of its neighbours, it had become a state of a civilized nation on the way to revival and progress, Armenia again lost her independence which she had acquired so dearly after centuries of slavery and alien domination. The Treaty of Moscow signed on March 16, 1921 between Russia and Turkey, and later the Treaty of Kars signed on October 13 of the same year between Soviet Armenia and Turkey only ratified the Treaty of Alexandrapole. Turkey did not make a single territorial concession. No concessions to the allies also. In the London Conference of 21 February 1921 the Allies conceded to grant a hearing to the Armenian delegation, but as a result of Turkey's hardened position and political manouvering, it accorded a pointless wish - a nation for the Armenians on the Turkish soil. When, two years later, the Allies did not sign the Treaty of Lausanne with Turkey, neither the national home, nor of course, independent Armenia was mentioned in the negotiations. "History will vainly seek the name of Armenia in the Treaty of Lausanne," wrote Winston Churchill. It was said that England again sold Armenia for the sake of Mossul. "Oil weighed thicker than Armenian blood," said Lord Curzon. But the interests of some, the spineless stance, the indifference or the weakness of others will not make us forget. top