Turkish Proponents of Wellington House

Turkish Proponents of Wellington House

Oddly enough, the hateful anti-Turkish rhetoric developed during WWI found support among some Ottoman journalists known for their anglophile nature. These people accepted serving the British deep state and betraying their country in exchange for petty gains, which sometimes were nothing other than being linked to the British deep state. Such people have always existed throughout the history of this structure and they still do today. For instance, a Turkish journalist Refi Cevat Ulunay from Alemdar wrote the following shocking lines in his piece dated April 21, 1919:

We are waiting for the British. Turks cannot straighten themselves up on their own.”

And on July 14, 1919 he made the following outrageous remark:

It is imperative that Turkey leans its back to a foreign country. And that cannot be any other than Britain. There is no danger for the Islamic world in delivering the keys of Islam to the reliable hands of the British. (Onur Öymen, Bir Propaganda Silahı Olarak Basın, p. 80)

A couple of years after the publication of The Blue Book and other anti-Turkish books of Wellington House, certain media organizations that supported the Armistice of Mudros began shouting in unison that handing over the country to the British is the best thing to do. During the years of Istanbul’s occupation, they continued to praise the British. Today, some media groups and journalists with a similar mindset and acting under the wings of the British deep state continue this mission.

Provocation of the so-called missionaries and some violent, rebellious Armenians was based on the unfounded allegations that Armenians and Christians were persecuted by the Ottoman Empire and that they were treated as second-class citizens. However, it is a well-known historical fact that the non-Muslim population of the Ottoman Empire enjoyed completely the same rights as Muslims, particularly after the Edict of Reforms. By the end of the 19th century, non-Muslims were given voting rights, represented in the Parliament and came to hold important administrative positions. For instance, during the term of Ali Pasha as the Grand Vizier, the Minister of Public Works was an Armenian named Krikor Agaton, and Ohannes Gümüşyan was another Armenian who was assigned the same office. Many Armenians served as Ministers in charge of Trade, Forestry and Mining. After the constitution was declared in 1876, the Ottoman Parliament had 46 non-Muslim MPs and 9 of them were Armenians. In the parliament set up after the declaration of the second constitution, 11 Armenian MPs served while 12 served in the Parliament of 1914. Four of those Armenian MPs were members of the Hunchak and two members of the Dashnak parties. Similarly, Parliament of 1908 had 13 Greek and 5 Jewish members.(Onur Öymen, Bir Propaganda Silahı Olarak Basın, p. 132)

Furthermore, more than 25% of the staff in the Foreign Ministry and more than 10% of the staff in the Ministry of Justice of the Ottoman Empire were non-Muslims. In addition, between 1880 and 1912, 7% of the students of the School of Political Sciences, known to be the school of future administrators, were again non-Muslims.

Historian Justin McCarthy exposes Wellington House

Famous American history professor Justin McCarthy, who is an expert on the Ottoman Empire, Turks and the Middle East, offers the following important details about Wellington House and its anti-Turkish propaganda activities:

  • Wellington House drew on some of the best minds in the British government. The historian Arnold Toynbee was an adviser to Wellington House from 1914 and sat until 1917 on the committee that met daily and set propaganda policies. … Other private and public figures and members of ostensibly non-governmental patriotic organizations cooperated with or acted under the direction of the official propagandists. British Universities provided propaganda pamphlets and expertise.
  • By the standards of the time, the British propaganda effort was a major undertaking. By 1917, Wellington House had a staff of 54 and could call on help from other departments and ministries. …
  • The first report (June, 1915) of Wellington House listed distribution of approximately 2.5 million copies of books, pamphlets, and other written propaganda in 17 languages. The second report (February, 1916) listed 7 million copies circulated. In 1914, British Propaganda distributed 45 different publications; in 1915, 132; in 1916, 202; in 1917, 469. Unfortunately no record of distribution beyond 1917 exists. It can be assumed that the numbers continued to grow. All was done in secret and was done creatively.
  • The Wellington House brief was simple, the same brief as that of all propagandists. They were to make the enemies look as bad as possible and make their friends, and especially British themselves, look as good as could be. Their main focus was, naturally, Germany, but much effort was expended against the Turks…
  • … they destroyed all the records of the Propaganda Office immediately after the war. This has made it difficult to reconstruct the activities of the wartime propaganda office. [However], some Wellington House records were sent to other offices in the British Government. Although the originals were destroyed, copies were sometimes kept in relevant Foreign Office departments, especially in the Foreign Office records for the United States. The number of documents is modest, but they indicate some small part of Wellington House operations against the Turks.
  • Despite the effort to blot out the historical record, a good source on the actual publications of Wellington House exists: The record of the propaganda books distributed by Wellington House was kept in a hand-written ledger book, carefully bound. … These books were sent off to the Foreign Office Library, which was eventually opened to researchers. … the ledger affords a picture of British propaganda office activities. …
  A Propaganda War: World War II

The publications listed in the ledger are only books or large pamphlets. They do not include press releases, articles, and other materials. The general themes of the propaganda are consistent from work to work: [Noble Turkish nation is above such remarks]

  • Turks are illegitimate rulers who have destroyed all lands in which they have ruled. European rule over the Middle East would be far preferable.
  • Turks are Muslims who hate all other religions, particularly Christianity. They have always treated Christians badly.
  • Turks are guilty of inhuman atrocities against Christians, including mass murder and awful sexual crimes.
  • The Germans stand behind Turkish evil deeds, either because they ordered the deeds or because they had the power to stop them and refused to do so.
  • The mass of the people of the Ottoman Empire look to the British for salvation. This includes Muslims, who appreciate the good government the British have given Muslims in Egypt and India.
  • British propaganda made special efforts to tie the Germans to the Turks. This was an intelligent ploy, especially in the United States, where there was much pro-German sentiment but Muslims were held in disdain. British propaganda “proved” that the Germans could not be true Europeans, because they consorted with evil Muslim [Muslims are above such remarks] and Asiatic Turks. …
  • The list of publications in the ledger is long, but for the Middle East there are a more limited number of books. The table gives only those volumes, but it provides an idea of the breadth and the scope of the Wellington House interests. They include Palestine, Jews and Zionism, and especially the Turks. (Justin McCarthy, “Wellington House and the Turks”, Louisville University, Department of History/USA)
  Black Propaganda Rages on as the Ottoman Empire Begins to Lose Ground

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