Occupation of Constantinople

The occupation of Constantinople (Turkish: İstanbul'un İşgali) (November 13, 1918 – October 4, 1923), the capital of the Ottoman Empire, by British, French and Italian forces, took place in accordance with the Armistice of Mudros, which ended Ottoman participation in the First World War. The first French troops entered the city on November 12, 1918, followed by British troops the next day. The Italian troops landed in Galata on February 7, 1919.[2]

Allied troops occupied zones based on the sections of Constantinople and set up an Allied military administration early in December 1918. The occupation had two stages: the initial phase in accordance with the Armistice gave way in 1920 to a more formal arrangement under the Treaty of Sèvres. Ultimately, the Treaty of Lausanne, signed on 24 July 1923, led to the end of the occupation. The last troops of the Allies departed from the city on 4 October 1923, and the first troops of the Ankara government, commanded by Şükrü Naili Pasha (3rd Corps), entered the city with a ceremony on 6 October 1923, which has been marked as the Liberation Day of Istanbul (Turkish: İstanbul'un Kurtuluşu) and is commemorated every year on its anniversary.[11]

1918 saw the first time the city had changed hands since the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. Along with the Occupation of Smyrna it mobilized the establishment of the Turkish National Movement and the Turkish War of Independence.[12]

Occupation of Constantinople
Part of World War I and the Turkish War of Independence
Occupation of Constantinople 2

Louis Franchet d'Espèrey marching in Beyoğlu, February 8, 1919
DateNovember 13, 1918 – October 4, 1923
Result Temporary military occupation of Constantinople after World War I by the United Kingdom, France and Italy.
The Allies dissolved the Ottoman Parliament in Istanbul on 11 April 1920 and forced the Ottoman government to sign the Treaty of Sèvres (10 August 1920), but after the Turkish War of Independence (1919–1922) they agreed to recognize the authority of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in Ankara over the territory of Turkey with the Treaty of Lausanne (24 July 1923).

 United Kingdom


 Ottoman Empire Turkish Revolutionaries
Commanders and leaders
United Kingdom Somerset Arthur Gough-Calthorpe
United Kingdom George Milne
French Third Republic Louis Franchet d'Esperey
Kingdom of Italy Carlo Sforza [2]
Kingdom of Greece Efthymios Kanellopoulos
Ottoman Empire Ali Sait Pasha¹ Selâhattin Âdil Pasha2

Land forces on 13 November 1918:[3]
2,616 British, 540 French, 470 Italian (Total: 3,626 soldiers)

Land forces by 5 November 1919:[4]
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland: 27,419 soldiers (27 artillery batteries, 160 machine guns)
French Third Republic: 19,069 soldiers (30 cannons, 91 machine guns)
Kingdom of Italy: 3,992 soldiers
Kingdom of Greece: 795 soldiers (160 machine guns)
Total: ~51,300 soldiers (411 machine guns, 57 artillery pieces)

Naval forces:
13 November 1918: 50[5]-61[6] warships

15 November 1918: 167 warships+auxiliary ships[7][8]
1: Commander of the XXV Corp and the Istanbul Guard (October 6, 1919 – March 16, 1920[9])
2: Commander of the Istanbul Command (December 10, 1922 – September 29, 1923[10])


Greek aviators in Constaninople 1918
Greek aviators at the San Stefano airfield, after the Mudros armistice

The Ottomans estimated that the population of Constantinople in 1920 was between 800,000 and 1,200,000 inhabitants, having collected population statistics from the various religious bodies. The uncertainty in the figure reflects the uncounted population of war refugees and disagreements as to the boundaries of the city. Half or less were Muslim, the rest being largely Greek Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, and Jewish; there had been a substantial Western European population before the war.[13]

Legality of the occupation

The Armistice of Mudros, which defined the end of World War I for the Ottoman Empire, mentions the occupation of Bosphorous fort and Dardanelles fort. On October 30, 1918, Somerset Gough-Calthorpe, the British signatory stated the Triple Entente's position that they had no intention to dismantle the government or place it under military occupation by "occupying Constantinople".[14] This verbal promise and lack of mention of the occupation of Constantinople in the armistice did not change the realities for the Ottoman Empire. Admiral Somerset Gough-Calthorpe puts the British position as "No kind of favour whatsoever to any Turk and to hold out no hope for them".[15] The Ottoman side returned to the capital with a personal letter from Calthorpe, intended for Rauf Orbay, in which he promised on behalf of the British government that only British and French troops would be used in the occupation of the Straits fortifications. A small number of Ottoman troops could be allowed to stay on in the occupied areas as a symbol of sovereignty.[16]

Sultan's position

According to Sir Horace Rumbold, 9th Baronet, the British ambassador to Constantinople (1920–1924), the Sultan Mehmed VI had never grasped or accepted Kemalism, the national perspective of the Turkish national movement. He never perceived the significance of the military and political events following the Armistice of Mudros, failing to realise that the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire was a reflection of his captivity. For him, it was he and his close circle who formed and represented the Turks. There was a group of real Turks who were loyal and working to save the Empire at any cost. Most probably based on their individual activities, some of the Turkish revolutionaries fell in/out of the Sultan's definition of a Turk. Also according to Rumbold, the Sultan claimed that Mustafa Kemal was a Macedonian revolutionary of an unverified origin, Bekir Sami Kunduh was an Ossetian and that other individual revolutionaries were Turkish-speaking Albanians, Circassians, etc. Moreover, Rumbold maintained that the Sultan thought that resistance against the Allies with support found in the Bolsheviks would bring Turkey the same fate as the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, which had become the Azerbaijan SSR. The ideology behind the Sultan's perception of the events had taken a very different path.

In the following years, Enver Pasha went to Moscow and later to Central Asia, where his ultimate intention was to regain power (against the Allies) by using the Bolsheviks through the organization of the Union of Islamic Revolutionary Societies and an affiliated Party of People's Councils. The Turkish national movement did not give way to the Bolsheviks but instead made peace with the Allies. Enver Pasha was killed fighting the Red Army. Atatürk's Reforms abolished the Caliphate and the Khilafat Movement did not save the Ottoman Caliph.

Military administration

Averof painting 1919 Bosporus
The armored cruiser Averof of the Greek Navy in the Bosphorus, 1919
Occupation of Istanbul - British troops in Galata
British occupation forces at the port of Karaköy, in front of the coastal tram line. The art nouveau style building in the background is the Turkish Maritime Lines (Türkiye Denizcilik İşletmeleri) headquarters.[17]

The Allies did not wait for a peace treaty for claiming the Ottoman territory. Just 13 days after the Armistice of Mudros, a French brigade entered Constantinople on November 12, 1918. The first British troops entered the city on November 13, 1918. Early in December 1918, Allied troops occupied sections of Constantinople and set up an Allied military administration.

On February 7, 1919, an Italian battalion with 19 officers and 740 soldiers landed at the Galata pier; one day later they were joined by 283 Carabinieri, commanded by Colonel Balduino Caprini. The Carabinieri assumed police tasks.[2]

On February 8, 1919, the French general Franchet d' Espèrey entered the city on a horse led by two of his soldiers. Reportedly this was intended to emulate Mehmed II's entrance in 1453 after the Fall of Constantinople, and signify that Ottoman sovereignty over the imperial city was over.

On February 10, 1919, the commission divided the city into 3 zones for police matters: Stambul (the old city) was assigned to the French, Pera-Galata to the British and Kadiköy and Scutari to the Italians.[2]

Somerset Calthorpe, December 1918 – August 1919

After the armistice, High Commissioner Admiral Somerset Gough-Calthorpe was assigned as the military adviser to Constantinople. His first task was to arrest between 160 and 200 persons from the Government of Tevfik Pasha in January 1919.[18] Among this group, he sent thirty to Malta (Malta exiles).

Establishing authority

The British rounded up a number of members of the old establishment and interned them in Malta, awaiting their trial for alleged crimes during World War I. Calthorpe included only Turkish members of the Government of Tevfik Pasha and the military/political personalities. He wanted to send a message that a military occupation was in effect and failure to comply would end with harsh punishment. His position was not shared with other partners. The French Government's response to those accused was "distinction to disadvantage of Muslim-Turks while Bulgarian, Austrian and German offenders were as yet neither arrested nor molested".[19] However, the government and the Sultan understood the message. In February 1919, Allies were informed that the Ottoman Empire was in compliance with its full apparatus to the occupation forces. Any source of conflict (including Armenian questions) would be investigated by a commission, to which neutral governments could attach two legal superintendents.[19] Calthorpe's correspondence to Foreign Office was "The action undertaken for the arrests was very satisfactory, and has, I think, intimidated the Committee of Union and Progress of Constantinople".[20]

Conflict resolution

Constantinople, May 23, 1919: Protests against the occupation

Calthorpe's message was fully noted by the Sultan. There was an eastern tradition of presenting gifts to the authority during serious conflicts, sometimes "falling of heads". There was no higher goal than preserving the integrity of the Ottoman Institution. If Calthorpe's anger could be calmed down by foisting the blame on a few members of the Committee of Union and Progress, the Ottoman Empire could thereby receive more lenient treatment at the Paris peace conference.[21] The trials began in Istanbul on April 28, 1919. The prosecution presented "forty-two authenticated documents substantiating the charges therein, many bearing dates, identification of senders of the cipher telegrams and letters, and names of recipients."[22] On July 22, the court-martial found several defendants guilty of subverting constitutionalism by force and found them responsible for massacres.[23] During its whole existence from April 28, 1919 to March 29, 1920, Ottoman trials were performed very poorly and with increasing inefficiency, as presumed guilty people were already intended as a sacrifice to save the Empire. However, as an occupation authority, the historical rightfulness of the Allies was at stake. Calthorpe wrote to London: "proving to be a farce and injurious to our own prestige and to that of the Turkish government".[24] The Allies considered Ottoman trials as a travesty of justice, so Ottoman justice had to be replaced with Western justice by moving the trials to Malta as "International" trials. The "International" trials declined to use any evidence developed by the Ottoman tribunals. When the International trials were staged, Calthorpe was replaced by John de Robeck. John de Robeck said regarding the trials "that its findings cannot be held of any account at all."[25] All of the Malta exiles were released.

A new movement

Occupation of Constantinople 3
Allied occupation troops marching along the Grande Rue de Péra

Calthorpe was alarmed when he learned that the victor of Gallipoli had become the inspector general for Anatolia, and Mustafa Kemal's behavior during this period did nothing to improve matters. Calthorpe urged that Kemal be recalled. Thanks to friends and sympathizers of Mustafa Kemal's in government circles, a 'compromise' was developed whereby the power of the inspector general was curbed, at least on paper. "Inspector General" became a title that had no power to command. On June 23, 1919, Somerset Arthur Gough-Calthorpe began to understand Kemal and his role in the establishment of the Turkish national movement. He sent a report about Mustafa Kemal to the Foreign Office. His remarks were downplayed by George Kidson of the Eastern Department. Captain Hurst (British army) in Samsun warned Calthorpe one more time about the Turkish national movement, but his units were replaced with a brigade of Gurkhas.

HMS M 1 in Constantinople
HMS M1 in Constantinople

Arthur Gough-Calthorpe was assigned to another position on August 5, 1919 and left Constantinople.

Dead of a Turkish soldier Sehzadebasi raid
Death of a Turkish soldier during a British raid against Mızıka watchhouse at Şehzadebaşı on March 16, 1920

John de Robeck, August 1919–1922

In August 1919 John de Robeck replaced Somerset Arthur Gough-Calthorpe with the title of "Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean, and High Commissioner at Constantinople". He was responsible for activities regarding Russia and Turkey (Ottoman Empire-Turkish national movement).

John de Robeck was very worried by the defiant mood of the Ottoman parliament. When 1920 arrived, he was concerned by reports that substantial stocks of arms were reaching Turkish revolutionaries, some from French and Italian sources. In one of his letters to London, he asked: "Against whom would these sources be employed?"

In London, the Conference of London (February 1920) took place; it featured discussions about settling the treaty terms to be offered in San Remo. John de Robeck reminded participants that Anatolia was moving into a resistance stage. There were arguments of "National Pact" (Misak-ı Milli) circulating, and if these were solidified, it would take a longer time and more resources to handle the case (partitioning of the Ottoman Empire). He tried to persuade the leaders to take quick action and control the Sultan and pressure the rebels (from both directions). This request posed awkward problems at the highest level: promises for national sovereignty were on the table and the United States was fast withdrawing into isolation.

Treaty of Sevres

Ottoman parliament of 1920

The newly elected Ottoman parliament in Constantinople did not recognize the occupation; they developed a National Pact (Misak-ı Milli). They adopted six principles, which called for self-determination, the security of Constantinople, the opening of the Straits, and the abolition of the capitulations. While in Constantinople, self-determination and protection of the Ottoman Empire were voiced; the Khilafat Movement in India tried to influence the British government to protect the caliphate of the Ottoman empire, and although it was mainly a Muslim religious movement, the Khilafat struggle was becoming a part of the wider Indian independence movement. Both these two movements (Misak-ı Milli and the Khilafat Movement) shared a lot of notions on the ideological level, and during the Conference of London (February 1920) Allies concentrated on these issues.

The Ottoman Empire lost World War I, but Misak-ı Milli with the local Khilafat Movement was still fighting the Allies.

Solidification of the partitioning, February 1920

The plans for partitioning of the Ottoman Empire needed to be solidified. At the Conference of London on March 4, 1920, the Triple Entente decided to implement its previous (secret) agreements and form what would be the Treaty of Sèvres. In doing so, all forms of resistance originating from the Ottoman Empire (rebellions, Sultan, etc.) had to be dismantled. The Allies' military forces in Constantinople ordered that the necessary actions be taken; also the political side increased efforts to put the Treaty of Sèvres into writing.

On the political side, negotiations for the Treaty of Sèvres presumed a Greek (Christian administration), a French-Armenian (Christian administration), Italian occupation region (Christian administration) and Wilsonian Armenia (Christian administration) over what was the Ottoman Empire (Muslim administration). Muslim citizens of the Ottoman Empire perceived this plan as losing their sovereignty. British intelligence registered the Turkish national movement as a movement of the Muslim citizens of Anatolia. The Muslim unrest all around Anatolia brought two arguments to the British government regarding the new establishments: the Muslim administration (Ottoman Empire) was not safe for Christians; the Treaty of Sèvres was the only way that Christians could be safe. Enforcing the Treaty of Sèvres could not happen without repressing Mustafa Kemal's (Turkish Revolutionaries) national movement.

On the military side the British claimed that if the Allies could not control Anatolia at that time, they could at least control Constantinople. The plan was step by step beginning from İstanbul, dismantle every organization and slowly move deep into Anatolia. That meant facing what will be called the Turkish War of Independence. The British foreign department was asked to devise a plan to ease this path, and developed the same plan that they had used during the Arab revolt. This policy of breaking down authority by separating the Sultan from his government, and working different millets against each other, such as the Christian millet against the Muslim millet, was the best solution if minimal British force was to be used.

Military occupation of Constantinople

Dissolution of the parliament, March 1920

The Telegram House was occupied on March 14. On the night of March 15 British troops began to occupy the key buildings and arrest Turkish nationalists. It was a very messy operation. The 10th division and military music school resisted the arrest. At least 10 students were killed by gunfire from British Indian troops. The total death toll is unknown. On March 18 the Ottoman parliament met and sent a protest to the Allies: "it was unacceptable to arrest five of its members", declared the parliament. This marked the end of the Ottoman political system. The British move on the parliament left the Sultan as sole controller of the Empire; without parliament the Sultan stood alone with the British. Beginning with March 18, the Sultan became the puppet of the British foreign department, saying, "There would be no one left to blame for what will be coming soon"; the Sultan revealed his own version of the declaration of dissolution on April 11, after approximately 150 politicians were exiled to Malta.

The dissolution of the parliament was followed by the raid and closing of the journal Yeni Gün (New Day). Yeni Gün was owned by Yunus Nadi Abalıoğlu, an influential journalist, and was the main media organ publishing the news to the outside world.

Official declaration, March 16, 1920

On March 16, 1920, the third day of hostilities, the Allied forces declared the occupation:

In an effort to prevent the spread of Turkish nationalism, General Sir George Milne and an Allied force occupied İstanbul.

  • The Allies gave assurances that they had no intention of taking over the government.
  • The Allies sought to keep the Straits open and to protect the Armenians.
  • The Allies persuaded the Ottoman government to denounce the Turkish nationalists and sent many into exile.
  • The Sultan had established a Damad Ferid government.[26]

Enforcing the peace treaty

Early pressure on the insurgency, April–June 1920

The British argued that the insurgency of the Turkish revolutionaries should be suppressed by local forces in Anatolia, with the help of British training and arms. In response to a formal British request, the Constantinople government appointed an extraordinary Anatolian general inspector Süleyman Şefik Pasha and a new Security Army, Kuva-i Inzibatiye, to enforce central government control with British support. The British also supported local guerrilla groups in the Anatolian heartland (they were officially called 'independent armies') with money and arms.

Ultimately, these forces were unsuccessful in quelling the nationalist movement. A clash outside İzmit quickly escalated, with British forces opening fire on the nationalists, and bombing them from the air. Although the attack forced the nationalists to retreat, the weakness of the British position had been made apparent. The British commander, General George Milne, asked for reinforcements of at least twenty-seven divisions. However, the British government was unwilling to channel these forces, as a deployment of this size could have had political consequences that were beyond the British government's capacity to handle.

Some Circassian exiles, who had emigrated to the Empire after the Circassian genocide may have supported the British—notably Ahmet Anzavur, who led the Kuva-i Inzibatiye and ravaged the countryside. Others, such as Hussein Reuf Orbay, who was of Ubykh descent, remained loyal to Atatürk, and was exiled to Malta in 1920 when British forces took the city.[27] The British were quick to accept the fact that the nationalistic movement, which had hardened during World War I, could not be faced without the deployment of consistent and well-trained forces. On June 25 the Kuva-i Inzibatiye was dismantled on the advice of the British, as they were becoming a liability.

Presentation of the treaty to the Sultan, June 1920

The treaty terms were presented to the Sultan in the middle of June. The treaty was harsher than anyone expected. However, because of the military pressure placed on the insurgency from April to June 1920, the Allies did not expect that there would be any serious opposition.

In the meantime, however, Mustafa Kemal had set up a rival government in Ankara, with the Grand National Assembly. On October 18, the government of Damat Ferid Pasha was replaced by a provisional ministry under Ahmed Tevfik Pasha as Grand Vizier, who announced an intention to convoke the Senate with the purpose of ratification of the Treaty, provided that national unity be achieved. This required seeking cooperation with Mustafa Kemal. The latter expressed disdain to the Treaty and started a military assault. As a result, the Turkish Government issued a note to the Entente that the ratification of the Treaty was impossible at that time.[28]

End of the occupation

Liberation of Istanbul on October 6, 1923
Turkish troops enter Constantinople on October 6, 1923.

The success of the Turkish National Movement against the French and Greeks was followed by their forces threatening the Allied forces at Chanak. The British decided to resist any attempt to penetrate the neutral zone of the Straits. Kemal was persuaded by the French to order his forces to avoid any incident at Chanak. Nevertheless, the Chanak Crisis nearly resulted in hostilities, these being avoided on October 11, 1922, when the Armistice of Mudanya was signed, bringing the Turkish War of Independence to an end.[29][30] The handling of this crisis caused the collapse of David Lloyd George's Ministry on October 19, 1922.[31]

Following the Turkish War of Independence (1919–1922), the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in Ankara abolished the Sultanate on 1 November 1922, and the last Ottoman Sultan, Mehmed VI, was expelled from the city. Leaving aboard the British warship HMS Malaya on 17 November 1922, he went into exile and died in Sanremo, Italy, on 16 May 1926.

Negotiations for a new peace treaty with Turkey began at the Conference of Lausanne on 20 November 1922 and reopened after a break on 23 April 1923. This led to the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne on July 24, 1923. Under the terms of the treaty, Allied forces started evacuating Constantinople on 23 August 1923 and completed the task on 4 October 1923 – British, Italian, and French troops departing pari passu.[11]

Turkish forces of the Ankara government, commanded by Şükrü Naili Pasha (3rd Corps), entered the city with a ceremony on 6 October 1923, which has been marked as the Liberation Day of Istanbul (Turkish: İstanbul'un Kurtuluşu) and is commemorated every year on its anniversary.[11] On 29 October 1923 the Grand National Assembly of Turkey declared the establishment of the Turkish Republic, with Ankara as its capital. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk became the Republic's first President.

List of Allied High Commissioners



  • November 1918 – January 1919: Count Carlo Sforza
  • September 1920 – October 22, 1923: Marchese Eugenio Camillo Garroni

United Kingdom:

Kingdom of Greece:

  • 1918–1923: Efthymios Kanellopoulos


  1. ^ "Constantinople occupied by British and Indian troops". British Pathé. October 30–31, 1918. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d "Missioni all'estero:1918 – 1923. In Turchia: da Costantinopoli all'Anatolia" (in Italian). Arma dei Carabinieri. Archived from the original on 6 May 2014. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
  3. ^ Hülya Toker Mütareke döneminde İstanbul Rumları, Genelkurmay Basımevi, 2006, ISBN 9754093555, page 29. (in Turkish)
  4. ^ Zekeriya Türkmen, (2002), İstanbul’un işgali ve İşgal Dönemindeki Uygulamalar (13 Kasım 1918 – 16 Mart 1920), Atatürk Araştırma Merkezi Dergisi, XVIII (53): pages 338–339. (in Turkish)
  5. ^ Paul G. Halpern: The Mediterranean Fleet, 1919–1929, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2011, ISBN 1409427560, page 3.
  6. ^ Metin Ataç: İstiklal Harbi'nde Bahriyemiz, Genelkurmay Başkanlığı, 2003, ISBN 9754092397, page 20. (in Turkish)
  7. ^ Mustafa Budak: İdealden gerçeğe: Misâk-ı Millî'den Lozan'a dış politika, Küre Yayınları, 2002, page 21. (in Turkish)
  8. ^ Ertan Eğribel, Ufuk Özcan: Türk sosyologları ve eserleri, Kitabevi, 2010, ISBN 6054208624, page 352. (in Turkish)
  9. ^ T.C. Genelkurmay Harp Tarihi Başkanlığı Yayınları, Türk İstiklâl Harbine Katılan Tümen ve Daha Üst Kademelerdeki Komutanların Biyografileri, Genelkurmay Basımevi, 1972, p. 51.
  10. ^ T.C. Genelkurmay Harp Tarihi Başkanlığı Yayınları, Türk İstiklâl Harbine Katılan Tümen ve Daha Üst Kademelerdeki Komutanların Biyografileri, Genelkurmay Başkanlığı Basımevi, Ankara, 1972, p. 118. (in Turkish)
  11. ^ a b c "6 Ekim İstanbul'un Kurtuluşu". Sözcü. 6 October 2017.
  12. ^ "Turkey". Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  13. ^ Clarence Richard Johnson Constantinople To-day; Or, The Pathfinder Survey of Constantinople; a Study in Oriental Social Life, Clarence Johnson, ed. (New York: Macmillan, 1922) p. 164ff.
  14. ^ Criss, Bilge, Constantinople under Allied Occupation 1918–1923, (1999) p. 1.
  15. ^ Simsir BDOA, 1:6.
  16. ^ Yakn Tarihimiz, Vol. 2, p. 49.
  17. ^ "index | Arama sonuçları | Türkiye Denizcilik İşletmeleri A.Ş." tdi.gov.tr. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  18. ^ Public Record Office, Foreign Office 371/4172/13694
  19. ^ a b Public Record Office, Foreign Office, 371/4172/28138
  20. ^ Public Record Office, Foreign Office, 371/4172/23004
  21. ^ Vahakn N. Dadrian, "The Documentation of the World War I Armenian Massacres in the Proceedings of the Turkish Military Tribunal", International Journal of Middle East Studies 23 (1991): 554; idem, "The Turkish Military Tribunal's Prosecution of the Authors of the Armenian Genocide: Four Major Court-Martial Series", Holocaust and Genocide Studies, 11 (1997): 31.
  22. ^ Dadrian, "The Turkish Military Tribunal's Prosecution", p. 45.
  23. ^ The verdict is reproduced in Akçam, Armenien und der Völkermord, pp. 353–64.
  24. ^ Public Record Office, Foreign Office, 371/4174/118377
  25. ^ Public Record Office, Foreign Office, 371/4174/136069
  26. ^ League of Nations Archives, Palais des Nations, CH-1211, Geneva 10, Switzerland Center for the Study of Global Change,
  27. ^ Natho, Kadir I. (2009). Circassian History. Xlibris Corporation. ISBN 978-1-4653-1699-8.
  28. ^ Current History, Volume 13, New York Times Co., 1921, "Dividing the Former Turkish Empire" pp. 441–444 (retrieved October 26, 2010)
  29. ^ Psomiades, Harry J. (2000). The Eastern Question, the Last Phase: a study in Greek-Turkish diplomacy. New York: Pella. pp. 27–38. ISBN 0-918618-79-7.
  30. ^ Macfie, A. L. (1979). "The Chanak affair (September–October 1922)". Balkan Studies. 20 (2): 309–41.
  31. ^ Darwin, J. G. (Feb 1980). "The Chanak Crisis and the British Cabinet". History. 65 (213): 32–48.

External links


  • Nur Bilge Criss, "Constantinople under Allied Occupation 1918–1923", 1999 Brill Academic Publishers, ISBN 90-04-11259-6 (limited preview)
  • Ferudun Ata: The Relocation Trials in Occupied Istanbul, 2018 Manzara Verlag, Offenbach am Main, ISBN 9783939795926
Ahmet Tevfik Pasha

Ahmet Tevfik Pasha (Ottoman Turkish: احمد توفیق پاشا‎‎; 11 February 1845 – 8 October 1936), known as Ahmet Tevfik Okday after the Turkish Surname Law of 1934, was an Ottoman-born Turkish statesman of ethnic Crimean Tatar origin. He was the last Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire.He held the office three times, the first in 1909 under Abdul Hamid II, and from 1918 to 1919 and from 1920 to 1922 under Mehmed VI during the Allied occupation of Constantinople. In addition to his premiership, Ahmet Tevfik was also a diplomat, a member of the Ottoman Senate, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Armistice of Mudros

The Armistice of Mudros (Turkish: Mondros Mütarekesi), concluded on 30 October 1918, ended the hostilities, at noon the next day, in the Middle Eastern theatre between the Ottoman Empire and the Allies of World War I. It was signed by the Ottoman Minister of Marine Affairs Rauf Bey and the British Admiral Somerset Arthur Gough-Calthorpe, on board HMS Agamemnon in Moudros harbor on the Greek island of Lemnos.As part of several conditions to the armistice, the Ottomans surrendered their remaining garrisons outside Anatolia, as well as granted the Allies the right to occupy forts controlling the Straits of the Dardanelles and the Bosporus; and the right to occupy the same "in case of disorder" any Ottoman territory in the event of a threat to their security. The Ottoman army including the Ottoman air force was demobilized, and all ports, railways, and other strategic points were made available for use by the Allies. In the Caucasus, the Ottomans had to retreat to within the pre-war borders between the Ottoman and the Russian Empires.

The armistice was followed by the occupation of Constantinople (Istanbul) and the subsequent partitioning of the Ottoman Empire. The Treaty of Sèvres (10 August 1920), which was signed in the aftermath of World War I, was never ratified by the Ottoman Parliament in Istanbul (the Ottoman Parliament was disbanded by the Allies on 11 April 1920 due to the overwhelming opposition of the Turkish MPs to the provisions discussed in Sèvres). It was later superseded by the Treaty of Lausanne (24 July 1923) following the Turkish victory at the Turkish War of Independence (1919–1923) which was conducted by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in Ankara (established on 23 April 1920 by Mustafa Kemal Pasha and his followers, including his colleagues in the disbanded Ottoman military, and numerous former MPs of the closed Ottoman Parliament in Istanbul.)

Charalambos Simopoulos

Charalambos John Simopoulos (Greek: Χαράλαμπος Σιμόπουλος; 1874-1942) was a Greek diplomat who was ambassador to the Court of St. James in London at the beginning of the Second World War.After studying law at the University of Athens, he entered the diplomatic corps in 1901, serving as secretary and dean of the consulates of Alexandria, Mersin, Constantinople. From 1914 to 1919 he was employed at the legations in Paris and Rome. From 1920 to 1921 he was the first ambassador of Greece to Czechoslovakia. In 1922 he was Greek High Commissioner of the Occupation of Constantinople.

On December 12, 1924 he became Minister to Washington, D.C.. In 1934 he was appointed Minister to Great Britain, and in May 1942 the Greek legation was raised to the status of an embassy.

His son was the Oxford University academic John Simopoulos.Simopoulos's funeral was held at St Sophia's Cathedral, Moscow Road, London.

Conference of London (1920)

In the Conference of London, (12–24 February 1920), following World War I, leaders of Britain, France, and Italy met to discuss the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire and the negotiation of agreements that would become the Treaty of Sèvres. Under the leadership of British prime minister David Lloyd George, Prime Minister of France Alexandre Millerand, and Prime Minister of Italy Francesco Saverio Nitti, the allied powers reached agreements that would form the basis of their arguments at the San Remo conference.

Ernesto Mombelli

Ernesto Mombelli (1867–1932) was an Italian general. He was the governor of Cyrenaica from mid-1924 to December 1926.

Formerly fought in the Italo-Turkish War, then, during the First World War, he led the Italian expeditionary force in the Macedonian Front. During the occupation of Constantinople by the Allies following the war he was the commander of the Italian forces.For his service in Macedonia, and his representation of his home country in the inter-allied military mission to Hungary, he was awarded the US army's distinguished service medal by US president.

French battleship Diderot

Diderot was one of the six Danton class semi-dreadnought battleships built for the French Navy in the early 1900s. Shortly after World War I began, the ship participated in the Battle of Antivari in the Adriatic Sea and helped to sink an Austro-Hungarian protected cruiser. She spent most of the rest of the war blockading the Straits of Otranto and the Dardanelles to prevent German, Austro-Hungarian and Turkish warships from breaking out into the Mediterranean. Diderot briefly participated in the occupation of Constantinople after the end of the war. She was modernized in 1922–25 and subsequently became a training ship. The ship was condemned in 1936 and later sold for scrap.

French battleship Mirabeau

Mirabeau was one of the six Danton class semi-dreadnought battleships built for the French Navy (armée navale) in the first decade of the twentieth century. The ship spent most of World War I blockading the Straits of Otranto and the Dardanelles to prevent German, Austro-Hungarian and Turkish warships from breaking out into the Mediterranean. She did, however, participate in the attempt to ensure Greek acquiescence to Allied operations in Macedonia in late 1916. Mirabeau briefly participated in the occupation of Constantinople after the end of the war and was deployed in the Black Sea in early 1919 during the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War. She ran aground in February 1919 off the coast of the Crimea and could not be refloated until some of her guns and armor were removed. After returning to France, the ship was used as an accommodation hulk until she was condemned in 1921. Mirabeau was later sold for scrap and broken up in 1928.

French battleship Vergniaud

Vergniaud was one of the six Danton class semi-dreadnought battleships built for the French Navy in the late 1800s. When World War I began in August 1914, she unsuccessfully searched for the German battlecruiser SMS Goeben and the light cruiser SMS Breslau in the Western Mediterranean and escorted convoys. Later that month, the ship participated in the Battle of Antivari in the Adriatic Sea and helped to sink an Austro-Hungarian protected cruiser. Vergniaud spent most of the rest of the war blockading the Straits of Otranto and the Dardanelles to prevent German, Austro-Hungarian and Turkish warships from breaking out into the Mediterranean.

She briefly participated in the occupation of Constantinople after the end of the war and was deployed in the Black Sea in early 1919 during the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War. The ship's crew mutinied after one of its members was killed when a protest against intervention against the Bolsheviks was bloodily suppressed. Vergniaud returned to France and was later placed in reserve after a brief deployment in the Eastern Mediterranean. She was condemned in 1921 and used as a target ship until 1926. The ship was sold for scrap two years later.

General Assembly of the Ottoman Empire

The General Assembly (Turkish: Meclis-i Umumî or Genel Parlamento) was the first attempt at representative democracy by the imperial government of the Ottoman Empire. Also known as the Ottoman Parliament, it was located in Constantinople (Istanbul) and was composed of two houses: an upper house (Senate, Meclis-i Âyân), and a lower house (Chamber of Deputies, Meclis-i Mebusân).The General Assembly was first constituted on 23 December 1876 and initially lasted until 14 February 1878, when it was dissolved by Sultan Abdul Hamid II.It was revived 30 years later, on 23 July 1908, with the Second Constitutional Era (as a result of the Young Turk Revolution) which brought substantial reforms and larger participation by political parties. The Second Constitutional Era ended on 11 April 1920, when the General Assembly (Ottoman Parliament) was dissolved by the Allies during the occupation of Constantinople in the aftermath of World War I.Many members of the dissolved Ottoman Parliament in Istanbul later became members of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in Ankara, which was established on 23 April 1920, during the Turkish War of Independence.

HMS Superb

Eleven ships of the Royal Navy have borne the name HMS Superb, or HMS Superbe:

HMS Superb (1710) was a 64-gun third rate, previously the French ship Superbe. She was captured by HMS Kent in 1710 and was broken up in 1732

HMS Superb (1736) was 60-gun fourth rate launched in 1736 and broken up in 1757

HMS Superb (1760) was a 74-gun third rate launched in 1760 and wrecked in 1783

HMS Superbe (1795) was a 22-gun sixth rate. She was previously a French ship, captured in 1795 by HMS Vanguard and used as a prison ship from 1796. She was sold in 1798.

HMS Superb (1798) was a 74-gun third rate, launched in 1798 and broken up in 1826

HMS Superb (1842) was an 80-gun second rate, launched in 1842 and broken up in 1869

HMS Superb was to have been a broadside ironclad battleship, but she was renamed HMS Alexandra in 1874 before being launched in 1875. She was sold in 1908.

HMS Superb (1875) was a battleship launched in 1875. She was built for the Turkish Navy, and was to have been named Hamidiyeh. She was purchased by Britain in 1873 and was sold in 1906.

HMS Superb (1907) was Bellerophon-class battleship launched in 1907, involved in the Occupation of Constantinople and sold in 1923

HMS Superb (25) was a Minotaur-class light cruiser launched in 1943 and sold in 1960.

HMS Superb (S109) is a Swiftsure-class nuclear-powered hunter killer submarine launched in 1974, and decommissioned on 26 September 2008 after sustaining damage in an underwater grounding in the Red Sea

Italian cruiser Agordat

Agordat was a torpedo cruiser of the Italian Regia Marina built in the late 1890s. She was the lead ship of the Agordat class, which had one other member, Coatit. The ship, which was armed with twelve 76 mm (3.0 in) guns and two 450 mm (18 in) torpedo tubes, was too slow and short-ranged to be able to scout effectively for the fleet, so her career was limited. She saw action during the Italo-Turkish War in 1911–12, where she provided gunfire support to Italian troops in North Africa. She assisted in the occupation of Constantinople in the aftermath of World War I, and in 1919 she was reclassified as a gunboat. In January 1923, Agordat was sold for scrapping.

Meletius IV of Constantinople

Patriarch Meletius (Greek: Μελέτιος, secular name Emmanuel Metaxakis; (21 September 1871 – 28 July 1935) was Greek Patriarch of Alexandria under the episcopal name Meletius II from 1926 to 1935.He was Metropolitan bishop of the Church of Greece in Athens (1918–20), after which he was elected Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople under the name Meletius IV from 1921 to 1923. He served as Greek Patriarch of Alexandria under the episcopal name Meletius II from 1926 to 1935.

He was the only Eastern Orthodox hierarch in history to serve successively as the senior bishop of three autocephalous churches.

A known supporter of Greek prime minister Eleftherios Venizelos, he served as bishop in Cyprus, until he was elected Archbishop of Athens following the abdication of Constantine I of Greece, replacing Archbishop Theocletus I, a known royalist. Two years later, King Constantine I was restored to the throne, Archbishop Meletius was ousted, and former Archbishop Theocletus I was reinstated. In 1921 during the Occupation of Constantinople he was elected Ecumenical Patriarch. He resigned in 1923 following the defeat of the Hellenic army in the Greco-Turkish War.

Some years later he was elected Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria. He died in 1935.

Military history of Italy during World War I

This article is about Italian military operations in World War I.

Although a member of the Triple Alliance, the Kingdom of Italy did not join the Central Powers, the German Empire and the Empire of Austria-Hungary, when the war started on 28 July 1914. In fact, Germany and Austria–Hungary had taken the offensive while the Triple Alliance was supposed to be a defensive alliance. Moreover the Triple Alliance recognized that both Italy and Austria-Hungary were interested in the Balkans and required both to consult each other before changing the status quo and to provide compensation for whatever advantage in that area: Austria-Hungary did consult Germany but not Italy before issuing the ultimatum to Serbia, and refused any compensation before the end of the war.

Almost a year after the war's commencement, after secret parallel negotiations with both sides (with the Allies in which Italy negotiated for territory if victorious, and with the Central Powers to gain territory if neutral) Italy entered the war on the side of the Allied Powers. Italy began to fight against Austria-Hungary along the northern border, including high up in the now-Italian Alps with very cold winters and along the Isonzo river. The Italian army repeatedly attacked and, despite winning a majority of the battles, suffered heavy losses and made little progress as the mountainous terrain favoured the defender. Italy was then forced to retreat in 1917 by a German-Austrian counteroffensive at the Battle of Caporetto after Russia left the war allowing the Central Powers to move reinforcements to the Italian Front from the Eastern Front.

The offensive of the Central powers was stopped by Italy at the Battle of the Piave River in May 1918. Italy took part in the Second Battle of the Marne and the subsequent Hundred Days Offensive in the Western Front. On 24 October 1918 the Italians, despite being outnumbered, breached the Austrian line in Vittorio Veneto and caused the collapse of the centuries-old Habsburg Empire. Italy recovered the territory lost after the fighting at Caporetto in November the previous year and moved into Trento and South Tyrol. Fighting ended on 4 November 1918. Italian armed forces were also involved in the African theatre, the Balkan theatre, the Middle Eastern theatre and then took part in the Occupation of Constantinople. At the end of World War I, Italy was recognized with a permanent seat in the League of Nations' executive council along with Britain, France and Japan.

Misak-ı Millî

Misak-ı Millî (Turkish: [misaˈkɯ milˈliː], National Pact or National Oath) is the set of six decisions made by the last term of the Ottoman Parliament. Parliament met on 28 January 1920 and published their decisions on 12 February 1920.

The Ottoman Minister of Internal Affairs, Damat Ferid Pasha, made the opening speech of parliament due to Mehmed VI's illness. A group of parliamentarians called Felâh-ı Vatan was established by Mustafa Kemal's friends to acknowledge the decisions taken at the Erzurum Congress and the Sivas Congress. Mustafa Kemal said "It is the nation's iron fist that writes the Nation's Oath which is the main principle of our independence to the annals of history."

These decisions worried the occupying Allies, resulting in the Occupation of Constantinople by the British, French and Italian troops on 16 March 1920 and the establishment of a new Turkish nationalist parliament, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, in Ankara. This also intensified the Turkish War of Independence against the Allies.

The six decisions of the Misak-ı Millî taken by the late Ottoman Parliament were later used as the basis for the claims of the Grand National Assembly in the Treaty of Kars and of the new Republic of Turkey in the Treaty of Lausanne.

Partition of the Ottoman Empire

The partition of the Ottoman Empire (Armistice of Mudros, 30 October 1918 – Abolition of the Ottoman Sultanate, 1 November 1922) was a political event that occurred after World War I and the occupation of Constantinople by British, French and Italian troops in November 1918. The partitioning was planned in several agreements made by the Allied Powers early in the course of World War I, notably the Sykes-Picot Agreement. As world war loomed, the Ottoman Empire sought protection but was rejected by Britain, France, and Russia, and finally formed the Ottoman–German Alliance. The huge conglomeration of territories and peoples that formerly comprised the Ottoman Empire was divided into several new states. The Ottoman Empire had been the leading Islamic state in geopolitical, cultural and ideological terms. The partitioning of the Ottoman Empire after the war led to the rise in the Middle East of Western powers such as Britain and France and brought the creation of the modern Arab world and the Republic of Turkey. Resistance to the influence of these powers came from the Turkish national movement but did not become widespread in the post-Ottoman states until after World War II.

The League of Nations mandate granted French Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon and British Mandate for Mesopotamia (later Iraq) and British Mandate for Palestine, later divided into Mandatory Palestine and Emirate of Transjordan (1921–1946). The Ottoman Empire's possessions in the Arabian Peninsula became the Kingdom of Hejaz, which was annexed by the Sultanate of Nejd (today Saudi Arabia), and the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen. The Empire's possessions on the western shores of the Persian Gulf were variously annexed by Saudi Arabia (Alahsa and Qatif), or remained British protectorates (Kuwait, Bahrain, and Qatar) and became the Arab States of the Persian Gulf.

After the Ottoman government collapsed completely it signed the Treaty of Sèvres in 1920. However, the Turkish War of Independence forced the European powers to return to the negotiating table before the treaty could be ratified. The Europeans and the Grand National Assembly of Turkey signed and ratified the new Treaty of Lausanne in 1923, superseding the Treaty of Sèvres and solidifying most of the territorial issues. One unresolved issue, the dispute between the Kingdom of Iraq and the Republic of Turkey over the former province of Mosul was later negotiated under the League of Nations in 1926. The British and French partitioned the eastern part of the Middle East, also called Greater Syria, between them in the Sykes–Picot Agreement. Other secret agreements were concluded with Italy and Russia. The Balfour Declaration encouraged the international Zionist movement to push for a Jewish homeland in Palestine. While a part of the Triple Entente, Russia also had wartime agreements preventing it from participating in the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire after the Russian Revolution. The Treaty of Sèvres formally acknowledged the new League of Nations mandates in the region, the independence of Yemen, and British sovereignty over Cyprus.

Second Constitutional Era

The Second Constitutional Era (Ottoman Turkish: ايکنجى مشروطيت دورى‎; Turkish: İkinci Meşrûtiyyet Devri) of the Ottoman Empire established shortly after the 1908 Young Turk Revolution which forced Sultan Abdul Hamid II to restore the constitutional monarchy by the revival of the Ottoman Parliament, the General Assembly of the Ottoman Empire and the restoration of the constitution of 1876. The parliament and the constitution of the First Constitutional Era (1876–1878) had been suspended by Abdul Hamid in 1878 after only two years of functioning. Whereas the First Constitutional Era had not allowed for political parties, the Young Turks amended the constitution to strengthen the popularly elected Chamber of Deputies at the expense of the unelected Senate and the Sultan's personal powers, and formed and joined many political parties and groups for the first time in the Empire's history.

A series of elections during this period resulted in the gradual ascendance of the Committee of Union and Progress's (CUP) domination in politics. The second largest party, with which the CUP was involved in a 2-year power struggle, was the Freedom and Accord Party (also known as the Liberal Union or Liberal Entente) founded in 1911 by those that had split off from the CUP. The period survived an attempt by reactionaries to re-institute absolutism. After World War I and the occupation of Constantinople on 13 November 1918 by the Allies, the parliament's decision to work with the Turkish revolutionaries in Ankara by signing the Amasya Protocol and agreeing in 1920 to the Misak-ı Millî (National Pact) angered the Allies, who forced the sultan to abolish the parliament. The last meeting on 18 March 1920 produced a letter of protest to the Allies, and a black cloth covered the pulpit of the parliament as reminder of its absent members.

Turkish National Movement

The Turkish National Movement (Turkish: Türk Ulusal Hareketi) encompasses the political and military activities of the Turkish revolutionaries that resulted in the creation and shaping of the modern Republic of Turkey, as a consequence of the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I and the subsequent occupation of Constantinople and partitioning of the Ottoman Empire by the Allies under the terms of the Armistice of Mudros. The Ottomans saw the movement as part of an international conspiracy against them. The Turkish revolutionaries rebelled against this partitioning and against the Treaty of Sèvres, signed in 1920 by the Ottoman government, which partitioned portions of Anatolia itself.

This establishment of an alliance of Turkish revolutionaries during the partitioning resulted in the Turkish War of Independence, the abolition of the Ottoman sultanate on the 1st November 1922 and the declaration of the Republic of Turkey on October 29, 1923. The movement declared that the only source of governance for the Turkish people would be the democratic Grand National Assembly of Turkey.

The movement was created in 1919 through a series of agreements and conferences throughout Anatolia and Thrace. The process was aimed to unite independent movements around the country to build a common voice and is attributed to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, as he was the primary spokesperson, public figure, and military leader of the movement.

Venizelos–Tittoni agreement

The Venizelos–Tittoni agreement was a secret non-binding agreement between the Prime Minister of Greece, Eleftherios Venizelos, and the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tommaso Tittoni, in July 1919, during the Paris Peace Conference.

Vezneciler (Istanbul Metro)

Vezneciler is a station on the M2 line of the Istanbul Metro. The station is located under Şehzadebaşı Street and 16 Mart Şehitleri Street in the historical Fatih district of Istanbul. Opened on 16 March 2014, Vezneciler is the most recently opened station on the M2 line. At 30m below ground level, it is the deepest station of the Istanbul Metro. During the inauguration the station was dedicated to Ottoman police officers who were killed during a conflict with British forces during the Occupation of Constantinople in 1920. Istanbul University's main campus, Beyazıt Square and the Şehzade Mosque are a few landmarks in the vicinity of the station. On 7 June 2016, a bomb reportedly targeting a police bus struck around this station.

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