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Anasayfa / Makale / FROM BAYONET TO ROSTRUM: GALLIPOLI CAMPAING IN THE GRAND NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF TURKEY

FROM BAYONET TO ROSTRUM: GALLIPOLI CAMPAING IN THE GRAND NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF TURKEY

IDE-1003 | PRACTICAL WRITING, FINAL ASSIGNMENT

Prepared by
Serhat KAHYAOGLU ÇANAKKALE,2019

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This work was created for assessment. As a freshman, I believe that I managed to create a prominent article. I would like to express my great appreciation to Dr. Barış Borlat for his valuable and constructive suggestions during the development of this translation. I would like to thank Melek SAVAŞ and Engincan HAL for their advices.

Serhat KAHYAOGLU

FROM BAYONET TO ROSTRUM: GALLIPOLI CAMPAING IN THE GRAND NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF TURKEY
(1920-1938)1

“Canakkale… What an armageddon! Nonetheless, belligerents of this war did not come face to face under equal conditions. On one hand, fire, iron, and steel kept splattering. What did the other hand have? Nothing. Just, the steel2 chest of Turk…”

The representative of the province of Denizli
General SefikTursan3

ABSTRACT

In this study,it is strayed from the point of inspecting Battle of Gallipoli, setting the ground for the Republic of Turkey, solely as a front. Moreover, for the sake of the correct information, the results of that war in the period between 1920 to 1938 wereevaluated.

Prepared by analyzing the Grand National Assembly of Turkey Minute Reports, the subjects of The War of Independence of Turkey, the construction of monuments, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and“The Soul of Canakkale” intensely being prominent, were seen.

The mentioned subjects were examined in subheadings and with providing the speeches of parliament members, they were illustrated.

Keywords: Canakkale, The War of Independence of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Pasha (Ataturk), The Grand National Assembly of Turkey, Representative.

Introduction:

Because of the geographical position of Turkey, Istanbul and the straits have had prominent importance throughout history. During the Great War, The Front of Gallipoli, which was attempted to conquer Istanbul and the straits by the Allies, changed the course of the war.

The Ottomans, fighting in lots of fronts, understood the fact that the way of her independence interweaved with The Front of Gallipoli;thus, the preparations of mobilization were intensified in that front.

As a result of the achievement of Turks, the Battle of Gallipoli, in the aspect of defending the homeland, became an example not only for Turks’ history but also the whole world.
­______________________________________________________________________________

1 23 April 1920 is the date of when Grand National Assembly of Turkey founded. – 10 November 1938 is the date of when the First President of Turkey died.
2 mighty

3 The Grand National Assembly of Turkey Minute ReportsFifth Term,12thVolume,First year of the reunion, 50thMeeting,July 31st1936, Friday, p.323

Up until now, the Victory of Canakkale has protected its prominence and a great many works wereproduced about it. Nevertheless, works usually focused on strait and land combats and it was made limited investigations of the effects of the war on the Ataturk period in Turkey.

However, in the term between 1920 to 1938, it was seen that lots of wars, agreements, and reforms, taking Turkey to a new place, were experienced.

This study was conducted with the aim of understanding when the Battle of Gallipoli’s importance appeared on which turning points between the years of 1920 to 1938. Having fierce conflicts in that period, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey’s Minute Reportswere examined.

The signs ofthe Battle of Gallipoli in The War of Independence of Turkey:

Along with the Armistice of Mudros, signed one of the results of the Great War, the provinces of the Ottomans started to be invaded.

On account of the appalling seriousness of the unrighteous invasions of the Allies, the Turkish Nation did not keep silentashappened in the Battle of Gallipoli, the Nation got united in order to protecttheir country again.

Because of that reason, the War of Independence of Turkey, which started for the sake of the same aim, was commemorated as “The Second Battle of Gallipoli”  and in the earlier stages of the War of Independence of Turkey, it was seen that  “The Soul of Canakkale” was brought forefront.

To illustrate the “Soul of Canakkale”, The Treasury Secretary Ferit Bey stated:“A nation living the soul of Canakkale inside can neither be dead nor be a prisoner2.” And the representative of the province of Bolu, TunalıHilmi Bey stated:“History was just repeating itself. May the god ensky the martyrs of the War of Canakkale3.Those comments became prominent at that time.

Especially, the victories, which came via the First and Second Battle of Inonu in the Western Front, not only made a source of happiness but also affected the resurrection of the Soul of Canakkale more than it used to in the past.

With the first victories of the Regular Army of Turkey, it was stated that the Soul of Canakkale would cover up the entire Anatolia and it would trigger the veterans nationwide.

The representative of the province of Bolu, Yusuf İzzet Pasha’s address to the council became an example for that and he stated:“ The enemies saw that the Battle of Gallipoli resurged against them and if God lets, in the war, resuming henceforth, they would see the heroes of Canakkale not just in Battles of Inonu but also everywhere in Anatolia4.”

In the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, other than the concept of the Soul of Canakkale, a new idea showed up. That idea was, if the Battle of Gallipoli had not been won there would not have been the War of Independence of Turkey in that very moment.

2The Grand National Assembly of Turkey Minute Reports, First Term, Seventh Volume, First year of the reunion, 128th Meeting, January 1st, 1921, Monday, p.146

In the council, representatives made comments about that idea: “If the ones, who fought in Canakkale and made the foe go no further, had not there, would there any chance of starting the War of Independence? And, until the Bolshevik Revolution, the people who had not protected the country5…” said, the representative of the province of Trabzon, Muhtar Bey and “Canakkale is an extremely prominent position. If we had a triumph today, this was because of the victory in the Battle of Gallipoli and heroic defense happened there6.” said the representative of the province of Biga, Şükrü Bey.

The representatives, who wanted to follow up closely the situation of man-at-arms in the front, made visitations to the no man’s land and shared their opinions in the council. In that period, due to the fact that the great majority of the council were filled by the people, whoattended the Battle of Gallipoli themselves, in the council meetings, they did not resume without attributing to the Battle of Gallipoli.

Some of these representatives were: The founder of the Republic of Turkey and the First President of TurkeyMustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Defense of the National Rights of the Thrace Cafer Tayyar Egilmez, Adjutant to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Cevat Abbas Gurer, The Fifth Chairman of The Grand National Assembly of Turkey Kazım Karabekir, The First Chief of Defense and the first Prime Minister of Turkey Ismet Inonu, The Sixth Chairman of The Grand National Assembly of Turkey Ali Fuat Cebesoy, Serving as the Chief of General Staff in Turkey in the longest time period Mustafa Fevzi Cakmak, The Cavalry General of the Turkish Army Fahrettin Altay, Mehmet Nuri Conker, Kasim Inanc, Izzettin Calislar, Cevat Cobanli, The Forth Chairman of The Grand National Assembly of Turkey Refik Saydam.

The representatives who went to the front shared their opinion in the council and if the speeches were examined, there would be seen as an obvious fact that representatives compared the Western Front, which was a part of the War of Independence of Turkey, to Battle of Gallipoli.

To illustrate that, the representative of the province of Konya, Refik Bey said:

“There, in Canakkale, there was a new precedent of heroic deed in history.If god allows, in Canakkale, how the world’s greatest army in the aspect of militarism came, like the irascible waves falling apart via slamming to the rocks in the coast, thawed, ruined and returned as they had come, the foe which would be an enemy of them(the soldiers of Turkey) either becoming strong or accoutered, would stand against such a vigorous faithfulness that would fall in a situation that was more vicious and more horrible than it was in Canakkale.7

Especially, the results of the comparisons, which were made in the aspect of military and weapon, suggested that was both in Battle of Gallipoli and The War of Independence of Turkey, the Turkish army had insufficient material against the Allies.

3The Grand National Assembly of Turkey Minute Reports,  First Term, 23th Volume, Third year of the reunion, 109th Meeting, September 27th 1922, Wednesday, p.189
4The Grand National Assembly of Turkey Minute Reports First Term, Ninth Volume, Second year of the reunion, 15th Meeting, April 2nd 1921, Saturday, p.325
5The Grand National Assembly of Turkey Minute Reports First Term, Third Volume, First year of the reunion, 45th Meeting, August9th 1920, Saturday, p.151

In respect to this matter, the representative of the province of Bursa Operator Emin Bey’s addressed to the council:

“The War of Independence of Turkey was brutal as much as The Battle of Gallipoli, in terms of both soldier and weapon, the enemy’s army was almost two times more powerful than ours. Our soldiers were making magnificent ripostes and because of doctrines of militarism, they were attacking and retreating. To illustrate, they leave a place and they take that place with a bayonet charge in this way they recapture, after that, in reply to their attack, the enemy conducts an attack. They retreat and advance.”

As being understood in that citation, the situation of inequality between the Turkish army and the Greek army did not create a hopelessness in the public, instead how the Allies were defeated in the Battle of Gallipoli with strong faithfulness and high endeavor emphasized the fact that they could be defeated via the same way in the War of Independence of Turkey.

Mustafa Kemal ATATURK and Canakkale:

Forming the preface of the War of Independence of Turkey, Canakkale also constituted the principles of Mustafa Kemal. Participating in The Turco-Italian War and The Balkan Wars, Mustafa Kemal built a reputation with triumphing over the Allies in the Battle of Gallipoli.

Being acknowledged as “Hero of the Anafarta Heights” played a high role in accepting his role of leadership to the society, and that he came across with this honor in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey and in the number of topics added into the agenda squared with the Battle of Gallipoli.

One of the proofs to that matter was experienced in the period of discussing the Code of The Supreme Commandership in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. With losing the Battles of Kutahya-Eskisehir and retreating to the east of Sakarya, the dissensions in the Western Front were intensified.

For that reason, the resignation of Ismet Pasha’s from Chief of General Staff and a result of paying attention to the Western Front, the discussions of who would be the next commander-in-chief were experienced in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. Certain persons wanted Mustafa Kemal as the commander-in-chief while the others rejected that idea.

The representative of the province of Bursa, Muhittin Baha Bey gave the most pleasant answer to those discussions, he stated so:

“ Your Highness, you created a “last stand” in Canakkale and that “last stand” saved the Islam world, emancipated the hearth of the Ottomans(referring to Istanbul) and protected the nation from being exposed to a catastrophically dreadful event during the Great War. Your Highness, you will create a “last stand” in Anatolia like you did in Gallipoli and that will become a torture chamber for whom trying to pass. Your Highness, you established the last stand.8

6The Grand National Assembly of Turkey Minute Reports,Second Term, 16th Volume, Second year of the reunion, 85th Meeting, March23st 1925, Monday, p.140
7The Grand National Assembly of Turkey Minute Reports, Second Term, 13th Volume, Second year of the reunion, 50th Meeting, February 8th 1925, Sunday, p.230

The representative of the province of Bolu,TunalıHilmi Bey replied to the discussions with supporting the thought. “The Last Stand of Gallipoli is hearth and spirit of the nation. Long live Your Highness, long live our society.9

Regarding the evidence of the commemoration with Canakkale of Ataturk, the second topic is about The Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits. In the Treaty of Straits in the Treaty of Lausanne included clauses restricting the legitimate rights of Turks like founding the International Straits Commission.

In the meantime, the improvement of relationships between Turkey and the European countries, especially the UK, became a prominent factor to change the Treaty of Straits in the Treaty of Lausanne. Signed on 20th July 1936, the Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits gave the absolute authority to the Turks.

The significance of the straits was understood in the Battle of Gallipoli and, the Montreux Convention was seen as a victory along with the fact that was said, the Battle of Gallipoli finally resulted in this agreement.

At the same time, this achievement became a good example of Ataturk to be harmonized with Canakkale, because of his triumph over the Allies in Canakkale, today we celebrate that victory. As an example, to this matter, the representative of the province of Antalya, Rasih Kaplan said:

“Earlier, demonstrating the power of the Turks against the whole earth in Canakkale, proving how the power of Turk managed to defeat the Allies, I saw in the eyes of the greatest commander Ataturk and Ismet Inonu believing that they managed to defeat the ill fate of the Turkish nation coming since old ages, I was looking their eyes. They would endow another victory to us. Nonetheless, they were waiting for one more thing that was the efforts of the triumph,gained by the martyrs of Canakkale,would not remain unrequited. I understood that in their eyes and they understood and saw.10

Afterward, the representative of the province of Afyonkarahisar, BerçTürker said: “Canakkale creates a symbolic memory in my soul. In there, the Turk’s God said: <<Encouraging the Turkish soldiers to be victorious in Anafarta Heights, the heroic commander would save the land of Turks from the Allies in the future and that man would restore the eternal tranquility>>11and the representative of the province of Urfa, Mehmet Emin Yurdakul stated so: “ Ataturk made the mountains of Gallipoli and the water of Mediterranean a grave to the most powerful army and squadron of the century. Moreover, representing Canakkale as a result of his grueling and compelling efforts, Turk’s Ataturk praised the story of the triumph against the history and the world.12

The accomplishment of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in the Battle of Gallipoli not only came across as a war and a victory but also being victorious over the Allies was always one of his parts, whenever being told what he did to the Turkish nation, the Battle of Gallipoli was the first one.

8The Grand National Assembly of Turkey Minute Reports,First Term, Ninth Volume, Second year of the reunion, 15th Meeting, April2nd 1921, Saturday, p.325
9The Grand National Assembly of Turkey Minute Reports, First Term, 12th Volume, Second year of the reunion, 62th Meeting, August 5th 1921, Monday, p.20

The Assembly, which convened after four days his passing away, added his agenda Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and commemorated him. When we looked at the speeches given in the Assembly, it was obvious for us to see the marks of Canakkale.

For example, the representative of the province of Antalya, Rasih Kaplan said: “My fellows, the history witnessed lots of magnificent persons. Nevertheless, our Ataturk was so magnificent that wherever the Turks fell into trouble, he caught up and saved our nation. That could be Canakkale or Tarablus13.”

The representative of the province of Manisa, Hikmet Bayar said the things supporting the idea: “We can see in Canakkale. To change the destiny of the world, the Allies were attacking the Dardanelles. However, the Allies revealed the unique traits of the Turkish soldiers, the Turkish nation and the splendid intelligence of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk14.”

After that, the representative of the province of Konya, Fuad Göğbudak said: “We saw the perfection18of the sun from Canakkale to Hatay. Shining with the happiness of victory the perfection was inadequate for us.15 and the representative of the province of Kütahya, Naşid Uluğ said: “Dear friends, Ataturk arose at the turning point in Canakkale, took over the command and bestowed newly direction upon the world.16 It is obvious to see that the representatives did not forget to mention the accomplishment of Ataturk in the Battle of Gallipoli whenever they talked about Ataturk.

The Canakkale Martyrs’ Memorial:

Subsequently ended up with the victory of Turks in the War of Independence of Turkey, an idea of building a monument was added to the agenda of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. The martyrdom desired to be built both in Inonu and in Sakarya, moreover, the Battle of Gallipoli was not forgotten, and in the assembly, it was mentioned the importance of having a monument in Canakkale.

This desire of the monument, not only about emphasizing the spiritual side but also a response to the British. Due to the fact that in Canakkale even the place of the graves of Turks were not definite, the British made many queenlike graves for their dead soldiers.

Being a sign of the spirit of contestation in Turks, not to be forgotten the Battle of Gallipoli and emphasizing the victorious side, which was the Turks, it was decided to build a glorious monument.

Various ideas were emerged about where the Monument would be built, and the representatives mostly dwelled on Achi Baba and Chunuk Bair. Because of the fact that Achi Baba and Chunuk Bair are both the highest points in the field of battle, if they both were taken, the war would finish.

10The Grand National Assembly of Turkey Minute Reports, First Term, 12th Volume, Second year of the reunion, 62th Meeting, August 5th 1921, Monday, p.20
11-12-13The Grand National Assembly of Turkey Minute Reports, Fifth Term, 12th Volume, First year of the reunion, 81th Meeting, July 31st1936, Friday, p.314, 318-319, 326-327
14-15-16The Grand National Assembly of Turkey Minute Reports, Fifth Term, 12th Volume, Fourth year of the reunion, 4th Meeting, November 14th1938, Monday, p.22-23, 24, 26
17The Grand National Assembly of Turkey Minute Reports,  Fifth Term, 27th Volume, Fourth year of the reunion, 4th Meeting, December 11th 1938, Sunday, p.30

Therefore, in this area, a series of fierce battles were experienced and that resulted in decisive Turkish victory. In another aspect, if we look at the importance of the positions of Achi Baba and Chunuk Bair, it will be obvious to see that every ship passing through the Dardanelles coming across that heights.

To illustrate the prominence of this topic, the representative of the province of Istanbul, Kazım Pasha stated so:“The Ministry of Defense had better build a monument to be worthy of being placed at Achi Baba in Canakkale with gratitude. Although even her ally* fought against her, the Battle of Gallipoli changed a great many things on the earth and constituted today’s foundation.19

Moreover, the representative of the province of Denizli, ŞefikTursan added: “A higher hill, Achi Baba. Those people who passed the strait with a ferry could see it. If the Allies managed to capture Achi Baba, that would pave the way for the downfall of Canakkale and the invasion of Istanbul. The downfall of Chunuk Bair would create the same effects. Therefore, the Battle of Gallipoli means fighting step-by-step20.”

The monument wanted to be built in Canakkale did not happen solely in the middle of the discussions of martyrdom, it was taken to the agenda of the assembly when the time of signing of Montreux Convention. As it was stated earlier, with the signing of the Montreux Convention, the Battle of Gallipoli literally resulted in victory. Thus, the representative of the province of Afyonkarahisar, Berç Türker saw the Dardanelles like the Fields of Verdun and emphasized that Canakkale was a fortress which could not be taken or demolished and he resumed so: “A glorious monument was essential for promoting martyrs, pride and renown of Turks.21

Conclusion:

Prepared according to the Minute Reports, the subjects emphasized the Battle of Gallipoli, were discussed. If we looked at the discussions, it could be seen that there was an attribution to the Battle of Gallipoli when the period of turmoil or winning prominent victories or in the matter of faith.

Nevertheless, saying that the attributions remained limited to the topics which were stated earlier was not a good way of approach. Through the examination of the Minute Reports, it could be seen that there were many attributions to the Battle of Gallipoli with respect to budget discussions, people who returned from exile and deserters.

It can be understood that the Battle of Gallipoli commemorated as proudly even today, has never lost its prominence and has resumed its presence as a great treasure of the nation.

*By saying “her ally” Pasha tried to emphasize the fact that Germany’s generals, sent to help the Ottomans, tried to backstab the Ottomans in the Dardanelles to prolong the war for the sake of Germany.
18— The middle name of Mustafa KEMAL Ataturk means “perfection” in English.
19The Grand National Assembly of Turkey Minute Reports, Second Term, 16th Volume, Second year of the reunion, 82nd Meeting, March 19th1925, Saturday, p.60

20-21The Grand National Assembly of Turkey Minute Reports, Fifth Term, 12th Volume, First year of the reunion, 81st Meeting, July 31st1936, Friday, p.323, 318

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  1. Hi there, I log on to your blogs on a regular basis.
    Your humoristic style is awesome, keep doing what you’re doing!

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