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The Last Ottoman Parliament and the National Pact

The Last Ottoman Parliament and the National Pact

The occupation of Izmir further sped up the Anatolian independence campaign and provided it with more supporters. The Erzurum Congress of July-August 1919 and Sivas Congress of September 1919 were the first platforms where the representative groups for the Turkish Nation first appeared. In almost every Anatolian city, resistance groups were forming, which later converged under a single organization called The Union for the Defense of the Rights of Anatolia and Rumelia. The independence campaign, in the meantime, gained a new name: the Kuva-yi Milliye (National Forces). In December 1919, elections were held for the Chamber of Deputies of the Ottoman Parliament, in line with the Amasya Protocol of October 22, 1919. People supporting the ideas of the National Forces were elected as Parliament Members while Mustafa Kemal became a MP for Erzurum.

On January 12, 1920, the newly elected Parliament convened in Istanbul, which would be the last gathering of the Ottoman Parliament. Following the occupation of Istanbul on March 16, the Parliament announced the Misak-i Milli (National Pact), which was previously accepted at the Erzurum and Sivas Congresses.

The elections of the Ottoman Parliament and the subsequent announcement of the National Pact clearly showed how deeply the British deep state underestimated the Turkish Nation. Self-satisfied European approaches and the sick mentality of seeing Turks as second-class citizens have always been the weakest point of the 100-year-old plan of the British deep state. The deep state wrongly thought that Turkish Nation would surrender to power in a display of a weak character. It would take a heavy defeat and subsequent removal from Anatolia for the representatives of the deep state to understand their mistake.

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The British weren’t uncomfortable with the elections to be held for the Ottoman Parliament; they were sure that the new Parliament would side with the Sultan. However, as a result of the election, pro-National Pact figures entered the Parliament. The deep state representatives then insisted that the Parliament convene in Istanbul, which they hoped would increase the influence of the Sultan on the Parliament and only decisions that suited the interests of the deep state would be taken. They were wrong again. The freedom lovers in the new Parliament established a group and called themselves Felâh-ı Vatan (Salvation of the Homeland). The National Pact was drawn up in Ankara and sent to Istanbul for announcement. All these developments were unacceptable for the occupying Allies.

The Parliament passed its final resolution, which was the announcement of the National Pact, and then the Parliament closed itself.

The occupation of Istanbul triggered massive rallies across the country and as a retribution for the arrested Parliament Members, officers of Allied Powers in Anatolia were arrested. After the occupation, communication with Istanbul went underground. The railway connections between Anatolia and Istanbul were cut off around Geyve and Ulukışla, and sending money or valuable assets to Istanbul was no longer allowed.

While the occupation of Istanbul led to a nationwide sense of unity and solidarity, the sycophants of the British deep state were welcoming British forces with vigor. For this they will always be remembered with shame. Sirkeci Shore, Galata Bridge and Galata Pier, Tophane, Salıpazarı and Dolmabahçe Shores were filled with these sycophants of the British deep state. Some of the buildings at the coastline had British, French and Greek flags hanged. The soldiers of the occupation forces were being welcomed with applause by those sycophants.

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Patrick Balfour, known as Lord Kinross, wrote about these anglophile Turks that were around during days of occupation:

Some even pretended they were not Turks at all, shed their fezes and tried to get jobs with the Allied forces which had moved into the city.(Patrick Kinross, Atatürk: The Rebirth of a Nation, Phoenix Press, London, 2003, p. 134)

The only independent movement left capable of representing the Turkish people was the Kuva-yi Milliye (National Forces). The first thing the Ankara administration did was to start the Anatolian News Agency on April 6, 1920 so that the whole world could be accurately informed about the rightful resistance in Anatolia. Then, on April 23, 1920, the first Parliament that would constitute the foundations of the new Republic was set up in Ankara in an old school building.

Now, the only legislative power to represent the Turks was in Ankara. The blueprint for the War of Independence, that would last more than two years, was prepared and then implemented there.

The National Pact and Its Significance

The National Pact is a set of six clauses, which briefly read:

  • The future of the territories inhabited by an Arab majority at the time of the signing of the Armistice of Mudros will be determined by a referendum. On the other hand, the territories which were not occupied at that time and inhabited by a Turkish majority are the homeland of the Turkish nation.
  • The status of Kars, Ardahan and Batum [which voluntarily and swiftly rejoined the homeland as soon as they were liberated] may be determined by a referendum.
  • The status of Western Thrace will be determined by the votes of its inhabitants.
  • The security of Istanbul and Marmara should be provided for. Transport and free-trade on the Straits of the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles will be determined by Turkey and other concerned countries.
  • The rights of minorities will be issued on condition that the rights of the Muslim minorities in neighboring countries are protected.
  • In order to develop in every field, the country should be independent and free; all restrictions on political, judicial and financial development will be removed.
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In line with the Erzurum and Sivas Congresses, the National Pact declared the targeted borders and the goal of the independence campaign. The National Pact was the second document, after the Amasya Protocol, to legitimize the independence campaign.

About ADNAN HARUN YAHYA

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