THE COMMITTEE OF UNION AND PROGRESS AND THE END OF HELLENS IN THEIR HISTORICAL LANDS

Sait Çetinoğlu

It is possible to shortly summarize the policy which came into being after the coup d’etat of the Committee of Union and Progress in 1908 which coincides with the constitutional reforms and promises: In the Ottoman geography, in place of Hamid thousands of tyrants who were more dangerous and were the members of the Committee of Union and Progress came into existence and they seized the state.

In respect to this 1908 is a trick. The constitutional reform promises serves to corrupt the problem by spreading it into the future. One of the most important articles of the agenda of the Young Turks is ethnical cleansing. The Committee of Union and Progress remains open on this issue; Dr. Nazım who is the ideologist, organizer and activist of the Young Turks provides a chronology of events of the future by declaring his agenda to a Greek journalist in Izmir in relation to extermination of the ancient peoples of the geography . Thusly the incidents will come true within the framework which was drawn by Dr. Nazım and the Ottoman geography will be transformed into a blood bath for the elements other than Muslims and Turks and the ancient peoples of the Ottoman geography will be exterminated in their historical lands. Dr. Nazım says the following: “… We will work for imposing one single nation and one single Islam religion to our country’s elements by making all kinds of sacrifices, by this way majorities and minorities, Greeks, Turks, Armenians and Jews will not come into question and the expressions of “you and we” will not be mentioned. We will not allow Christianity, Islam and Jewishness divide the human beings into groups in the first plan however we must prioritize the ideal of union within a single Muslim country to which all of us will be related, this is what we mean…”

Some of these persons are going to barely manage to reach the other side of the watercourse in order to save their life, some of them are not going to take this chance – these persons compose the vast majority – they are going to come to an end at that moment or during the death march which will result in genocide that is called as deportation or they are going to decay in the labor battalions that is called as the military service in which they will be used as draught animals.

The massacres which were realized in Cilicia on April, 1909 are in one sense the messenger of the future incidents. After the massacres first of which were realized under the management of the local unionists the Dedeağaç Battalion were sent by the Unionist in order to tranquilize the incidents, then the massacres in cooperation with the local unionist were realized in the second place, these massacres resulted in death of 25 – 30 thousand Cilician Armenians and plunder of their properties. In this regard the Cilicia 1909 is in one sense, a rehearsal of the genocide which will be realized in the future.

Emmanuel Emmanueilidis who is the member of the parliament from Aydın explains the Cilicia incidents and emphasizes the Unionist factor. “The important issue which must be mentioned is as follows: The Young Turks did not order for a massacre in the center however, the local Young Turks took part on a vast scale within the incidents and they constituted a collective party with the earlier Turks [earlier governance residue] against Armenians. They pretended to be sad, promised corrections but they did not feel sad spiritually and while the Armenians continued to live as strangers in the Armenian Country, they found their place of birth, wealth, lands and fruits within the hands of the first coming pillager” The words of Emmanueilidis imply a reality. The coming incidents are distinguished very early and attention is drawn to these incidents.

In this respect the introduction of the memorandum which was introduced by the Greek members of the parliament in the Ottoman parliament in 1910 expresses a disappointment: “Unfortunately, after the issuance of the constitution, countless incidents which incurred because of the lack of sincerity and fraternal emotions for other nations within the Ottoman Empire helped exhaustion of hopes of Greeks and they still continue to exhaust the hopes.”

The invoice of the “shameful” defeat in the Balkan War is made out to the Greeks in the Aegean region. In fact the Committee retreats from the government before the war. The most important elements of the committee go to the war with the maps against Italians in Tripoli. The border which was composed after the war overlaps with the Ottoman border that was drawn by Goltz Pasha the German General who was the consultant of the Ottoman Armies.

The literature examples of that period were full of hate speech. “Christian Nations, the time for you to listen us has come. The hate of Islam against Europe is merciless. Look at the conclusion of our efforts in order to create conciliation for centuries: If we compare any time of our history with today, our hatred towards you is more than ever.”

The young Turks decided to exterminate the opposing parties and the non-assimilable elements and the execution was started immediately. “The first violence desire directed to Greeks. In order to perform this violence, the excuse that was found according to their perceptions was the Muslim migration from the lost cities in the Balkan war.
The Young Turks took the lead, soon after that the commercial boycott started and the boycott spread to the entire lands of the Greeks. It reached its highest levels within the first months of the year of 1914.
This commercial boycott was being declared in the mosques, institutions and in the articles of the newspapers in the name of the country and the prophet. Trade of a Muslim with a Greek was not being allowed, the trade that was done was being canceled, if disobedience against decision came into existence, that man was being beaten deadly and the object of this trade was being destroyed. The name of this law was being mentioned as national desire and its basic reason was national awakening. The Armenians and the Jewish people were being treated in the same way and boycott was being applied to the lawbreakers. The mufti of Kırkağaç issued a fatwa on account of the fact that the boycott was anti- sharia law thereupon he was discharged from his position.”

These incidents before the war period in the Aegean region were organized by the Committee in private. The resignation of Mahmut Celal (bayar) who will be the president in the future from the bank in Bursa is ensured and he was assigned as the secretary of the member of the parliament. Mahmut Celal (bayar) organizes the war against the Hellenistic elements. Within this team Kuşçubaşı Eşref, Mr. Pertev the governor [General Pertev Demirhan], the tenant Mahzar Müfit [Kansu], the tenant Dr. Reşit, İbrahim Bedreddin will take place in order to realize the future genocides.
After Cilicia, a rehearsal of the prewar genocide was realized also in the Aegean region .

Emmanuel Emmanueilidis, the member of the parliament from Aydın, labels this applied policy as a holy war against the citizens :
“The first major blow was delivered to the Greeks before the war. Within the first half of the year of 1914, 250.000 Greeks were dismissed and their properties were arrested and in this way the first step of Turkification of the Thracian and İzmir region was taken. However this was not enough. This movement should have covered at least a period of 10 years. Within this period, the ethnical cleansing program would be applied persistently and oppression would escort to it from time to time in accordance with the circumstance. In the end Hellenism would be gathered and restricted within the large cities and they would constitute an unimportant minority. As for the rest, the administrative and economic measures would be sufficient. In accordance with the words which were considered as the Enver’s words, the rich would be poor, the poor would be beggars and the rich and the poor would be the slaves and servants of the Turks.”

Hilmi Uran the Çeşme (Krinos) district governor of that period draws a short portrait of the district in his memoires and reports the deportation of the Greek population from the district within 2 weeks as a result of the created terror in the Çeşme district. This is, in one sense, a confession of the reason of the extermination of the Greek population:
It seemed like there was nothing left in the hands of the Turks with the exception of magnificent indications of the pride of a ruling nation. Wealth was within the hands of Greeks, goods and properties were within the hands of the Greeks, trade and art were within the hands of the Greeks. Turks were supporting themselves with a consolation of an old gentlemanly behaviour which was not valid and dishonored. 40 thousand persons were Greeks in the district which had a population of 45 thousand and Turks composed the minority in the town and also within the entire district..
Uran says that huge district was displaced with an untrue (!) fear of death: … A fictitious fear of death was dislocating the people of a huge district like this and was making them impregnable, unstoppable. The Greek immigration that changed the face of the Çeşme district completely within one – two weeks, started and ended like this.

After the collapsing of the Greeks, it was the turn of plunder: Houses were not occupied immediately therefore furniture which were simply left and were not taken by the Greeks became ownerless just like houses. Unowned furnitures just like these became ownerless just like the houses for a while. These unowned furnitures were being left without considering the burglary incidents. These furnitures were being taken away from the houses and no one was considering these incidents as nonethical because these furnitures were being considered as a lawful property. Efforts of convincing the immigrants to appreciate a house within the house plentitude became another problem.

Hilmi Uran links Greek citizens’ escape from Çeşme to fear which is untrue and is created in the mind and bases upon a delusion. However while explaining this fear, he does not tell its reason! In Çeşme the reason of the Greek immigration is completely psychological. “This must be researched within the Greeks’ unknown sudden fear nature of which was undetermined and especially within the suspicion and worry about their life.” The reason of this hidden fear within the previous sentences is the terror events which were created against the Greek citizens in the region. As a result of this forced migration 40 thousand Greek inhabitants in Çeşme were discharged and real population exchange was realized.

Within the war period persecutions which were put into practice on Greeks appear again on a larger scale. Pomiankowski who is the military attaché of the Austro – Hungarian Empire which is in league with the Ottoman Empire summarizes these persecutions shortly as follows: The Greeks who were living in the coastal regions of Anatolia were located in the inner regions of Anatolia because of military reasons. The Turkish official authorities used the Greeks against the Russian troops who were trying to disembark from a region close to city. Thus approximately 1000 Greeks drowned within the waters of the Black Sea .

Wolgang Gust who is a researcher and examines the German archives, provides powerful evidences with the documents from the archive in relation to the possible realization of the Greek Genocide after the Armenian Genocide in the period of 1915: However we can not comprehend the treatment that was performed to the war free, harmless families of Anatolia. Every massacre which resulted from anger could be understood, however this gradually applied, refined, well thought out deportation policy can not be understood.” They are totally right! The opinion which discloses that all of the Armenians were targeted exists, also within the authorized German circles who are friends of Turks. Some of them tell that Jews and Greeks will take their turn after Armenians… The Greeks can not be used within the entire developments after Çanakkale because they were politically mistrustful.

Within the German archives there are evidences in relation to the German partnership in the Genocide, in one of these evidences, under the deportation order of the Greek citizens which were sent to the death march, the signature of Bronsart Pasha, the Chief of the General Staff of the Ottoman Armies takes place: “The only historian who researched in detail the roles of the German soldiers in relation the Armenian Genocide is Christoph Dinkel from Switzerland and in fact he wrote one single article regarding the issue only in the Armenian Review magazine.
In accordance with the researches of Dinkel, Bronsart as the Chief of the General Staff of the Ottoman Armies was within the closest consulting circle of Enver who was the War Minister. In respect to Dinkel, Enver was always ready for signing the orders of Bronsart. Also Bronsart signed the deportation orders personally, many times but this was realized against the Greeks who were living in the coastal regions, subject orders were not for the Armenians.

Gust presents testimonies in relation to the slaughtered Greek soldiers in the Labor Battalions: When I was in Zincirdere approximately two months ago, there was a particular hate feeling against Germany. Two Greek soldiers which were working of the roads were shot. One of the shot Greeks obtained permission of 2 days since his state of health was not good, however he started to work 4 days later. He paid a bribe for this delay, a few days later he was shot again. When he was shot, his painful mother told the following: “I wish he would give them fifteen liras”. He shares the testimonies of massacres realized in the Labor Battalions: Norwegian priestess Thoravon Wedel – Jarlsberg and her German colleague Eva Elvers describes such execution area as follows: “There are still coagulated bloods exist here however corpses were removed” and they reported the things they saw as follows: “We came to a valley in the afternoon, road workers of three groups were sitting separately here, Muslims, Greeks and Armenians. A couple of officers were standing in front of the last group. We got back on the road and climbed onto a hill. The driver pointed out a place down the valley. We saw there approximately 100 man who were walking on the village road near the cliff. We knew what would happen to them; however we could not see it.

We are talking about the German Documents, on this wise we must mention the following; Gunt reached information regarding the Colonisation: No result could be obtained from the closure of English – American and French schools, also the German schools must be opened equally or at least a German school policy must not be blocked. If Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians etc. can not learn German they will speak French and English and they will think with these languages in the future. P 264
The German consol of Aleppo witnesses the massacres of Greeks which were sent to death March in the deserts with other Christians: Not only Nestorians other than Armenians were deported from the east provinces but also old Assyrians (Jacobites), Catholic Assyrians and also other Christians were deported. It was being told for a long time that also such Christians were being killed here. I requested from a good observer European friend who works here in the village and who has a contact with several public layers as required by his occupation, a written format which includes things that he knew, I also attach notes given by him. And also there are a lot of Christian women here who aren’t Armenian and who came here without their men. It is possible that those men were killed. Within the proven cases, the missing persons are Catholic Greeks.

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