As the Ottoman Empire lay shattered
at the hands of the victorious allies anxious to split it apart, there was
only one thing left to do: Beg.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
1) Sultan Embraces Wilson's Doctrine
2) An Armenian's Rebuttal
3) Grand Vizier at 80 Fights for Turkey
The following appeared in the March 31, 1919
issue of the Dallas News.
SULTAN EMBRACES WILSON’S DOCTRINE
ADVOCATES LEAGUE OF NATIONS AND PLEADS FOR JUSTICE FOR TURKISH PEOPLE
PUTTING DOWN TYRANNY
Massacres not Religious, but Results of Political Tactics of Young Turks, Mohammed Says.
BY WILLIAM T. ELLIS
Special Cable to the News. Copyright 1919, by the New York Herald Company. All rights
Constantinople, March 29 (delayed?) - Mohammed Vallid Eddin, who under the title of
Mohammed VI. Was crowned Sultan of Turkey last July, today broke his steadfast rule of
silence and granted an interview to the Dallas News and the New York Herald
representative. While in the Sultan’s palace I learned that the drastic action begun by
him against the Young Turks last December was rapidly bearing fruit. A Cabinet Minister,
who acted as interpreter for me, said that within the next ten days certain members of the
one-time Young Turk Cabinet will be hanged.
In his talk with me the Sultan made it plain that he proposed to continue the war against
the Young Turks and to keep the fight in their camp. He lamented the fact that as a result
of the autocratic, dictatorial methods of the Young Turks many lovers of safety and
tolerance had been imprisoned, and even he himself, as a champion of safety, tolerance and
justice, had been cruelly misrepresented by them.
The Sultan indicated that he was determined to crush the evil influences of the men
responsible for the actions of the union and pogroms of party government and that all such
men will be arrested and severely punished.
The Sultan expressed high regard for President Wilson, whose help in behalf of Turkey he
invoked. The Sultan received me in the Yildes Kiosk, overlooking the Bosphorus, with
palaces and noble gardens on either side. For an hour and a half he talked, speaking
earnestly, now looking me squarely in the eye, now gazing fixedly beyond, to the blue
waters of the narrow strait that connects Europe with Asia - the Golden West with the
“We await the help of God and your exalted President, who was the first to communicate
great, new ideals of worldwide humanity.” He said.
The Sultan asked me to convey to the world his plea for a League of Nations that will see
to it that Turkey gets justice. He declared that his faith with regard to the future was
firmly fixed on President Wilson’s fourteen points.
“By tyranny we have been brought to our present plight,” he continued. “It is
justice that we ask for suffering peoples. If they are sentenced without trial,
without investigation of true conditions, it would not be justice.
“What will our people think, what will the whole Orient think if Europe again
calls on us to suffer more? The desperate should not be driven to the last
“Indeed, it were better not to leave any earth than to leave the world with the
fire of oppression smoldering in it, and the spirit of hatred and of war stalking.
“That Turkey is predominantly is a factor not to be overlooked. And in this
connection I must say that we all wish to avoid creating religious antagonism.
“I especially urge that a commission composed of neutrals, of unbiased,
right-thinking men, be sent to find out the truth about the massacres - to
investigate the situation thoroughly.
“Those massacres were not religious in character, but resulted from politics. They
were abetted by those personally profiting”.
“However the question has become as kinked wool before it is carded.
“All Ottoman subjects are my children in the sight of God. As Caliph, I am the
spiritual father of Moslem and Christian alike.
“There is nothing in Islam antagonistic to Christianity. For 300 years Christians
and Moslems have lived happily together. Search our history and you will find no
precedent for these crimes against the Armenians.
“I can not say too strongly, too earnestly, that they are political in their
original, that they were not at all prompt by religion. Czarism, with its designs
upon Turkey and its incitement of our Christian population, was really to blame for
most of our woes.”
The Sultan lamented the existing situation.
“Turkey is in a bad way, in a desperate situation.” he declared.
“Indeed, she is in the position of an innocent man charged with murder.
“I am able to say conscientiously that I disapprove of the old Government and its
methods of tyranny. We have come to the very end of the road. Turkey now can be saved only
by justice being done being done her.
“I declare to you as a father whose heart is broken that I have lost 4,000,000 of my
subjects as a result of the war and its atrocities.
“Now we want peace and an opportunity to heal our wounds, to restore our wrecked homes,
to cultivate good will among all our people. We never wished this war. W were thrust
into it against our will. When a commission comes to Turkey to investigate conditions it
will find that we have another rule than that the world knows. We have another Sultan. We
are a different nation than what we were. We are a nation with definite plans for the
“And today we ask protection, we ask pity. We have had many maligners. each one of our
faults have been magnified ten times and ten faults have been held up to the world’s
gaze where we had one.
“Anyone who now will tell the truth about Turkey will earn a father’s thanks.”
The sultan said that America is not holding any Ottoman soil. “She is, however, in the
heart of every citizens,” he declared.
Thanks to Gokalp for the article, and to
Serdar for having transcribed it.
Lengthy Rebuttal to the Above
The newspaper was quick in publishing a long response to the
above, not as a letter, but in the form of an article.
"ARMENIAN QUESTION NOT PURELY POLITICAL: Soldier Says
William T. Ellis is Wrong in His Estimate of the Situation" appeared on
April 4, 1919, written by Yervant Maxudian.
An "Armenian by birth," Maxudian wrote that he
has come to "admire" Texas, and "appreciate the importance of The
Dallas Morning News as a molder of public opinion," as the Armenian-American
had spent much of his army career in the state. He experienced "much
pain," however, wondering whether The Dallas News was "becoming a party
to Turkish propaganda" in the USA. (Was "Turkish propaganda" even
an entity in those days? Come to think of it, what about these days?)
A popular way in which
pro-Armenians attempted to discredit such "Turkish propaganda" was by
charging the author of having been wined and dined by the wily Turks, to the point
of not being able to think straight. Here too, Maxudian did not lose his
opportunity by suggesting that Ellis had been "banqueted at the Sultan's
Palace." (Later in the article, he veers off into the oddest angles:
"Mr. Ellis, wither fired by misguided religious zeal for the Turks or because
of his Turkophile interest...") The Armenian then attempts to turn around the
fact that "the Armenian massacres were purely political": "No one
disputes that, for it has been the politics of both the young and the old Turks to
get rid of the Armenians by getting rid of the Armenians." He puts the
Armenian mortality at 800,000, little realizing that in future propagandists would
outdo his already inflated figure by around double.
"When the world war started, Talaat Bey and Enver Pasha promised the Armenian
leaders autonomy if they would join with the Turks and influence their Armenian
brethren in Caucasus-Russian Armenia to side with the Turks against Russia, the
arch-enemy of the Turks. The Armenian leaders not only refused to do as asked but
advised the Turks to keep out of the war and further told them that their
sympathies are with the allies. For this the Turks hanged many of them."
Since these Armenians happened to be Ottoman citizens, if they indeed made such a
declaration, that would have been known as "treason," the punishment for
which in most of the world, especially in those days, would have been execution.
In reality, the Armenians had promised
their loyalty. Maxudian then adds, "This is from our former ambassador,
Henry Morgenthau, so its validity
can not be questioned for a moment."
Maxudian details the extent of the Armenians' treachery: "According to Sir
Richard Cecil, British Foreign Secretary, the Armenians accomplished a lot more in
the war fighting than the world has been aware. They joined the armies of General
Allenby and fought so valiantly that the General expressed his pride in them
publicly, while visiting Cairo." He then relates the Armenians' well-known
alliance with the Russians, and how the Armenians held on after the Russians had
quit. "....The Turks had to send their armies against them instead of helping
their hard-pressed German General, Liman Sanders, and thus they helped the British
materially to beat the Turks."
Maxudian then addresses the specifics of the article, questioning the sultan's
claim that there is nothing antagonistic in Islam toward Christians: "His own
religion sanctions the butchering of Christians." As expected, no proof is
But that's it, as far as presenting specific counter-arguments. What we get is the
usual racist slander that the Armenian knew would be music to the ears of readers
inundated with hateful Armenian propaganda over the years, along with the old
stand-bys such as Gladstone's "To serve Armenia is to serve
civilization." Maxudian keeps going for thesympathy vote, as with preceding
the word "Armenians" with "poor" (for example, "Public
sentiment here is that the poor Armenians be freed from the outrageous yoke of the
Turk"). He also adds, "The Ottoman policy of extermination has been so
thorough that there are not enough Armenians left to form the nucleus of a
population," a statement the Armenian Patriach himself contradicted.
|More Pleas Falling Upon Deaf Ears
Ogden Standard-Examiner, March 6, 1921
GRAND VIZIER AT 80 FIGHTS FOR TURKEY
Tries to Save Remnants of Once Great Mohammedan Empire
By MILTON BRONNER
LONDON, Mar. 5.-Tewfik Pasha is nearly 80: but has made a long journey to come here to
save the remnants of the Turkish empire.
He has been grand vizier of Turkey four times and in that capacity heads the present
Turkish delegation to the London conference. I asked for an interview, saying that
Americans had no desire to grab Turkish territories, but for religious and humanitarian
reasons were tremen- 1 dously exercised over Armenia massacres.
"I admit for the last thirty years there have been excesses," Pasha told me.
."I deplore and condemn them just as you do.
"For many centuries the Armenians lived under Turkish rule at peace with their
"Remember the Koran speaks of Moses, Jesus and Mohammed alike as prophets and forbids
hostility to followers of prophets.
Remember that in the era of Mohammedan rule in Spain that country was one of the
centers of world civilization, science and literature. Armenia enjoyed practical
liberty of religion, language and education under Turkish rule. Better business men
than Greeks or Jews, the Armenians came to control commerce, fill legal posts and
enter our diplomacy.
"A change came in 1895 when the Armenian revolutionaries in Russia, Switzerland
and elsewhere plotted against the existing order in Turkey.
" That year they threw bombs Constantinople, killing men, women and children. I
was foreign minister and escaped injury only because a bomb was thrown by mistake
into the wrong chamber.
"The late Sultan. Abdul-Hamid .had a great fear of attempts on his life and
began restrictions in Armenian territory. Likewise the Kurdish neighbors of Armenia,
savage, and more or less, uncontrolled, seized upon the Armenian outrages as an
excuse for outrages of their own.
In the recent war, when the Turkish armies were facing Russia, the Armenians sought
to attack us from the air. The result would have been the same in any country under
"We want to hold Thrace and Smyrna for the Turkish empire.
"We want to conserve our empire, reform it, modernize it and work out a
salvationin peace with all the world.