Turkey Condemns Its War Leaders -nyt19190713

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Court-Martial Gives Death Sentence to Enver Pasha, Tallat Bey, and Djemal Pasha.


Djavid Bey and Alusa Metssa Get 15 Years at Hard Labor for Part in the War.

JULY 13, 1919

CONSTANTINOPLE, July 11. -- Enver Pasha, Talaat Bey, and Djemal Pasha the leaders of the Turkish Government during the war, were condemned to death today by a Turkish court-martial investigating the conduct of the Turkish Government during the war period.

Enver and his two leading associates in the Young Turk Government fled from Turkey several months ago, and their whereabouts is uncertain.

Djavid Bey, former Minister of Finance, and Alusa Mussa Kiazim, former Sheik-ul-Islam, were sentenced to fifteen years at hard labor.

The court-martial acquitted Rifaat Bey, former President of the Senate, and Hachim Bey, former Minister of Post and Telegraph.

Henry Morgenthau, American Ambassador at Constantinople, and Sir Lois Mallet, the British Ambassador at the same place, have left no doubt in their dispatches, books, articles, and interviews of the guilt of the Young Turk leaders which has just been proclaimed with sentences pronounced by a Turkish court-martial ordered by the new Grand Vizier Damad Ferid Pasha and convened by Ahmed Abouk Pasha, the Minister of War.

It is the climax of a long series of prosecutions undertaken by the officials of the new regime to velar the skirts of the Turkish people from blame for joining in the war and for the Armenian, Greek, and Syrian atrocities and deportations. It reached its practical climax on April 12, when Kemal Bey, former Minister of Food and Governor of Diarbekir, was actually executed in Bayazid Square, Stamboul.

For, in the present instance, the sentences will not be carried out so summarily. Enver, Talaat, and Djemal fled to Germany a few days before the Sultan, Mohammed VI, managed to send his personal envoys in the last days of October, to the British Vice Admiral Calthrop, announcing the surrender of Turkey. Then in March Djavid Bey also fled when it became obvious that his "doctoring" of the Treasury books and his scheme for financial reforms had not impressed the Inter-Allied Commission.

For most of the time during the war Talaat Bey was Grand Vizier and Minister of interior, and Enver was Minister of War, while Djemal was the Military Governor of Syria, which position he took after, as Minister of Marine, placing the fleet under a German Admiral.

Enver was an enthusiastic pro-German, a pupil of General von der Goitz, Whose drilling of the Turkish Army from 1910 till 1912 did not prevent it from being defeated in the latter year by the Serbs, Greeks, and Bulgars. In a report made to the British Foreign Office, on Nov. 20, 1914, Sir Louis Mallet declared that the rise of Enver and the dominance of Germany had dated from the last week in July. In the heat of the Callipoll campaign a year later, Enver, in an interview, unblushingly declared that Turkey would be rescued in the following Autumn by Germany operating from the north -- an eventuality which actually took place when Bulgaria joined the Central Empires. In interviews with the Ambassador mentioned not only Enver, but Talaat and Djemal have admitted the necessity for the Armenian massacres on the frowned that these people were troublesome.

As Military Governor of Syria, Djemal was instrumental in carrying out the massacres against the Beirut Reform League, by first pretending to be in sympathy with their program an then by betraying them when he had secured the list of members. In Armenia, as the special agent of Talaat, he instigated the atrocities of the Kurds against the population.

Enver after Tewfik became Minister of Finance, on March 17, Djavid Bey still hung round the Treasury. He showed by his books that he had really tricked Germany and that if the allied and associated powers would only lend Turkey $500,000,000 gold he would give them German paper worth $850,000,000, which, as the victors, they would have no trouble in collecting with a profit of $350,000,000. When they rejected his offer and experts began to audit his books he disappeared. According to the Ambassadors, Djavid was not a pronounced Germanophile, although a very bad financier.

Mussa Kiazim, who like Djavid, receives a sentence of fifteen years, is a Kurd from the Kharput District, and a protégé of Enver. He became Sheik-ul-Islam after the mysterious disappearance of Hairi Bey, who held that office of ecclesiastical head of State when the war began. As early as 1913 Mussa Kiazim, as an assistant to the Sheik, was known for his German sympathies, which conflicted with the Anglophilia of Hairi.

Long before the court acquitted Rifaat Bey and Hachim Bey these men were merely considered as tools in the hands of the more powerful leaders of the Young Turks -- the so-called Committee of Union and Progress.

A hard copy of this article or hundreds of others from the time of the Armenian Genocide can be found in The Armenian Genocide: News Accounts From The American Press: 1915-1922