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Loyal Servants of British Imperialism in the Ottoman Political Scene

Loyal Servants of British Imperialism in the Ottoman Political Scene

During the years leading up to the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the Istanbul government consisted mainly of politicians that thought salvation lay in an alliance with Britain. These people believed that their future depended on the mercy of the British imperialism. For instance:

1- Mustafa Resid Pasha, who was the Minister of Foreign Affairs, claimed that he was speaking not only for himself, but also for his colleagues in the government, the Sultan and most of the people, and told the British High Commissioner Webb that the general desire was towards a British rule.(Baki Öz, Atatürk’ün Anadolu’ya Gönderiliş Olayının İç Yüzü)

2- Ali Kemal, the Minister of Internal Affairs, said to British Admiral Calthorpe that he believed that salvation lay in British rule, regardless of how it happened.

3- Ahmed Reşid (Rey), who briefly served as the Minister of Internal Affairs as well as a member of the Peace Committee, wished for the acceptance of the British leadership on behalf of Damad Ferid Pasha and said that the policy of the current government was based on the trust of Turkish government in the British support.

Ali Kemal, who served as the Minister of Education and Minister of Internal Affairs in Damad Ferid Pasha government, was the great-grandfather of Boris Johnson, the incumbent UK Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. Ali Kemal was being paid by Abdul Hamid II to spy on the Young Turks. Clearly, it wasn’t enough to stop him from conspiring the 31 March Incident, which led to the deposition of Abdul Hamid II.

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Ali Kemal argued that Turkey should have accepted a British mandate. A sworn enemy of Atatürk, he also actively worked to stop the Nationalist Forces. Some of the remarks he uttered about Atatürk and the Nationalist Forces were as follows:

Shaking hands with Mustafa Kemal is tantamount to reaching out to thugs. They keep fighting with a makeshift army [referring to Nationalist forces]. These crazies keep saying they want independence. Remember that old Arab proverb: ‘What the victor wants, what the victor gets’. That’s it. [Referring to the Turkish army fighting the war of independence] They are being blocked in every way, they have low spirits, most of them are barefooted, they lack weapons, they have a couple of trucks but all of them are useless. They have neither fuel nor spare parts. They only have oxen for transportation. [People like] Mustafa Kemal never do anything useful. Thankfully, they are rare. They should be cut off like sick limbs.(SOURCE) (Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his brave companions are above such remarks)

Ali Kemal was also a founder of the Society of the Friends of England.

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, in his famous Nutuk (The Great Speech), wrote the following about the Society of the Friends of England that had Shaykh al-Islam Mustafa Sabri Efendi, who was opposed to the nationalist movement, as their Honorary President:

One of the most important of these, the ‘Society of the Friends of England’ is worthy of special mention. It does not follow from its name that its members were necessarily friends of England. In my opinion, the founders of this society were people who thought, before anything else, of their own safety and their own particular interests, and who tried to secure both by inducing Lloyd George’s Government to afford them English protection. I wonder whether these misguided persons really imagined for a moment that the English Government had any idea at all of maintaining and preserving the Ottoman State in its integrity? At the head of this Society were Vahdettin, who bore the title of Ottoman Sultan and Caliph, Damat Ferit Pasha, Ali Kemal, Minister of the Interior, Adil Bey, Mehmet Ali Bey and Sait Molla. Certain English adventurers, for instance a clergyman named Frew, also belonged to this Society. To judge from the energy the latter displayed, he was practically its chairman.(Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Nutuk [The Great Speech], Istanbul: Yapı Kredi Yayınları, 2015)

Clearly, Atatürk was keenly aware of the British deep state spies and anglophiles within the Ottoman Empire and immediately recognized their true aim as dismembering the Empire. Realizing the magnitude of the danger, Atatürk began to build his plans to defend and save the country together with true patriots, and launched the war of independence.

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