Mustafa Kemal sent İsmet Pasha (İnönü) as the chief negotiator for Turkey to the Lausanne Peace Negotiations. However, for that to be possible, İsmet Pasha had to be in the Council of Ministers. In a quick succession of events, he was made the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and was appointed as the head representative for the Turkish side. Turkish Parliament appointed a Board led by İsmet Pasha and consisting of Hasan Bey (Saka), MP for Trabzon, and Dr. Rıza Nur Bey, MP for Sinop. This Board, in turn, set up a delegation of experts to help them at Lausanne.
The chief negotiator for the Lausanne negotiations, İsmet Pasha, in his speech on November 3, 1922, assured the Parliament that they would not deviate from the National Pact. The resulting discussions and proposals were later handed to him by the Speaker of the Parliament as the decision of the Parliament.
The general headlines to be discussed at Lausanne were as follows:
◉ Border issues (Iraq border-Mosul, Southern border-Syria, Wester border- Greece and Western Thrace)
◉ Minorities and foreign schools,
◉ War indemnity,
◉ Public debts,
◉ The Straits,
◉ The Dodecanese Islands,
◉ Ecumenical Patriarchate.
|İsmet İnönü and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk|
During the Peace Conference of Lausanne, Great Britain was represented by the then Foreign Secretary Lord Curzon. It is important to note that Lord Curzon was no different than Lloyd George in terms of his anti-Turkish sentiment. And just like George, he was one of the architects of the Treaty of Sévres. Never hesitating to voice his aversion to the Turks even during those years, he frequently said that Turks must definitely be driven out of Istanbul. What Curzon really had in mind was confining the Turks to a small Asian country with Konya as the center, taking control of Istanbul, Thrace, and the Aegean and Mediterranean coastlines and creating Britain-dependent countries like ‘Kurdistan and Armenia’ in East and Southeast Anatolia. What is particularly interesting is the fact that this horrible scenario advocated by Curzon is still one of the most basic goals of the British deep state.
This goal explicitly spelled out by Curzon was found risky by some circles. As a result, the British Cabinet instead suggested that the Turks and the Caliph remain in Istanbul, but that Istanbul should be further weakened. However, Curzon wasn’t ready to give up on his impossible dreams:
We are losing an opportunity for which Europe has waited for nearly five centuries, and which may not recur. The idea of respectable and docile Turkish Government at Constantinople, preserved from its hereditary vices by a military cordon of the Powers —including, be it remembered, a permanent British garrison of 10,000-15,000 men— is in my judgment a chimera… But beyond all I regret that the main object for which the war in the East was fought and the sacrifice of Gallipoli endured —namely, the liberation of Europe from the Ottoman Turk— has after an almost incredible expenditure of life and treasure been thrown away in the very hour when it had been obtained, and that we shall have left to our descendants —who knows after how much further sacrifice and suffering?— a task from which we have flinched.341
Heavily influenced by the Darwinism scourge created and propagated by the British deep state, Curzon mentioned the so-called ‘hereditary vices’ of the Turks, referred to races and almost admitted that the real goal behind WWI was ‘the liberation of Europe from the Ottoman Turk’.
As mentioned above, the Mosul question proved to be a highly disputed topic between the Turks and the British during the Lausanne negotiations. It should be remembered that the British deep state had the plan of building a ‘Kurdish state’ in southeast Turkey as part of the Lausanne talks. The establishment of the Turkish-Iraqi border ruined the British deep state plans, but at the same time made Mosul the center of debate. Two countries, which previously had many encounters on battlefields, had to prove their skills on a diplomatic level. The British side, under the auspices of the British deep state, didn’t hesitate to resort to many insidious methods.
In order to fully understand the details of this diplomacy war over who would win Mosul, let’s have a brief look at the history of the region.
|Turkish soldiers at the Mesopotamian front (present-day Iraq), in front of the Mosul Central Command|
|Hamou Qado Mosque, the second oldest Ottoman mosque left in Mosul, was destroyed in a terror attack in 2015.|
Mosul throughout History
Mosul has been a Turkish land since the Seljuks captured it in 1055. After Sultan Selim I’s Chaldiran victory in 1514, it became a part of the Ottoman Empire and then a state in 1534, following Sultan Suleiman I’s campaign in Baghdad. This made Mosul the center of a province (vilayet) that consisted of Sulaymaniyah, Kirkuk and Mosul sanjaks.342 This province was surrounded by Iran in the east, Diyarbakır in the north, Baghdad in the south, Damascus in the west, Aleppo and Zor Sanjak in northwest.
However, an imperialist power with sly goals was emerging in the 1800s with dirty plans for this region, which had remained under Turkish rule for around 1000 years and 400 years under Ottoman rule: it was the British deep state…
Mosul was important to Britain due to the latter’s imperialist exploitation policies. In the early 19th century, Britain had the highest number of Muslim colonies, and saw Iraq and Arabia, en route to India, strategically crucial to its Middle East policy. The British colonial empire believed that the safety of its borders and transportation routes, as well as the future expansion of its hegemony across the world, depended on being able to get to the open seas, maintain the power balance in Europe and control the world’s oil policy.343 Mosul, naturally, was a crucial part of this plan due to its strategic position.
In addition to its geo-strategic location, Mosul was extremely valuable because underneath its virgin soil laid millions of barrels’ worth of oil.
|Ottoman Cavalry Regiment in Iraq|
|Baghdad under the Ottoman rule|
These were indispensable factors for the British deep state. More important was coming up with a strategy to end the Turkish presence in Europe and Anatolia for good. Mosul was at the heart of this strategy, which following pages will be focusing on in more detail.
In 1890, the investigation ordered by Sultan Abdul Hamid II revealed that Mosul and Baghdad were home to rich oil resources. As a result, the Sultan, by decrees issued in 1890 and 1898, declared these regions ‘Magnificent Lands’ (Memalik-i Şahane) and made them his personal property.344
However, when the Young Turks dethroned Abdul Hamid II on April 27, 1909, the ownership of Mosul and Baghdad were transferred to the Ministry of Finance. This development suited the interests of the British deep state and influenced their later strategies.
In 1909, Britain signed a deal with the Ottoman Empire and founded a bank named ‘National Bank of Turkey’, with 100% British capital, to create capital for its oil surveys and most importantly, to keep a look-out for British interests. In 1912, a group led by Sir Ernest Cassel started the ‘Turkish Petroleum Company’, once again with complete British capital, and to search for oil in Ottoman lands and run the oil business.345 At this point, it will be useful to remember how the British deep state first uses financial systems to build its hegemony. Once again, this strategy was in place as a means to strengthen the British deep state domination of the already weak Ottoman Empire. The scenario was oddly similar to what happened in India.
|Mining facility controlled by private funds of Abdul Hamid II|
|(1) Baghdad people under the Ottoman rule
(2) Turkish military posts in Baghdad
Plans to partition the Ottoman Empire
|When the Ottoman Empire entered the First World War, Britain revised its strategic and political plans. In 1915, under the chairmanship of Sir Maurice de Bunsen, the ‘Committee on Asiatic Turkey’ was set up, began its work on April 8, 1915 and submitted its report on June 30, 1915. The commission suggested in its report that Ottoman lands be divided into five big regions/autonomous provinces: Syria, Palestine, Armenia, Anatolia/Turkey and Iraq.1 It also stipulated that the strategic points along the line from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf be taken under control, directly or indirectly. This could be achieved only by complete invasion of Palestine and Iraq.2 According to Lord Curzon, the western borders of India lie along the Euphrates and could be taken under control only by means of Mosul vilayet. Thus, the British would be able to obtain all manner of economic privileges, most notably oil, in Asiatic Turkey, including Mosul.3|
|1. Selçuk Ural, “Mütareke Döneminde İngiltere’nin Güneydoğu Anadolu Politikası”, Ankara Üniversitesi Türk İnkilap Tarihi Enstitüsü Atatürk Yolu Dergisi, p. 39, May 2007
2. David Fromkin, Barışa Son Veren Barış (Peace That Ended War), translated by Mehmet Harmancı, Istanbul, 1994, pp.137-140; M. Kemal Öke, Musul Meselesi Kronolojisi (1918-1926) (Chronology of Mosul Issue), Istanbul: Türk Dünyası Araştırmaları Vakfı, 1987, p. 15
3. İhsan Şerif Kaymaz, Musul Sorunu Petrol ve Kürt Sorunları ile Bağlantılı Tarihsel ve Siyasal Bir İnceleme (Mosul Issue, Historical and Political Analysis In Terms of Petroleum and Kurdish Issues), Istanbul: Otopsi Yayınları, 2003, p. 49; Ersal Yavi, Kürdistan Ütopyası (Kurdistan Utopia), vol. 1, Istanbul: Yazıcı Basım Yayın, 2006, p. 63
Mosul during WWI
When WWI broke out, the Ottomans didn’t have a significant military presence in Iraq. On August 2, 1914, general mobilization was declared throughout the entire empire346 and in the days following, the Turkish army was reconstructed on the Iraq front. However, it didn’t look very likely for this army to be able to fight off the regular armies of Europe. It was very difficult to replenish uniforms and equipment or transfer weapons to the area.347
Moreover, the number of troops in Iraq was very low. Ostensibly due to the Italo-Turkish war, the Balkan riots and the Balkan wars, the Ottoman army had to shift its focus away from Iraq. However, according to Ahmed İzzet Pasha, one of the Ottoman grand viziers, the real reason was different. The Ottoman Empire never contemplated the prospect that British could launch an attack in the region. In his memoirs, he explains the dilemma:
Even the kids know that the British have had plans for Iraq since a long time ago. Owing to the impressive cultural legacy and history of civilization of Iraq and Mesopotamia, and its reputation that, with good management and utilization, it could rival the fertility of Nile, Punjabi, Sindh and Ganges basins, these places proved their worth for their owners but also stoked the hunger of big occupying states. The tombs and families of Imam al-A’zam, extremely sacred to Muslims and particularly dear to Shia and very sacred to Sunnis, and the tomb of Abdul-Qadir Gilani, very beloved to Indian Muslims are located in Iraq. Therefore, it could be easily seen that Britain, with already a sizable Muslim subject population and with hopes of being defender of Hejaz, would benefit greatly, in terms of its Islam policy, from capturing this region. It was only natural that the British would set its eyes on Iraq, also for the purpose of preventing this strategically important place from being captured by a strong enemy that could pose a future threat against India. Separating Iraq region from local forces is the same as provoking and inviting the British government to invade this property of ours. Therefore, it is a great mistake that more troops are not dispatched to these regions, before the ultimate need arises.348
|(1) Turkish soldiers in the Balkan War
(2) Muslims who were forced to immigrate during the Balkan War
Although Ahmed İzzet Pasha clearly pointed to the severity of the situation in the region and the sinister plans of the British deep state, sufficient troops weren’t stationed at Mosul. Needless to say, the fact that the Ottoman Empire was fresh out of the Balkan Wars at the time played a great role in this.
Iraq after the Siege of Kut
Despite all its shortcomings and previous defeats, the Ottoman army was still successful on many occasions on the Iraq front, which was very important for the Ottoman Empire. On November 22, 1915, the British were heavily defeated at Kut Al Amara. This unexpected defeat shook them greatly. The Kut Al Amara victory by the Turkish army is a very significant achievement that should be remembered as well and as often as the Gallipoli victory.
The British forces couldn’t accept this unexpected defeat and made a particular effort after that point not to leave Iraq to the Ottoman Empire. To achieve their goals, they employed tactics to divide from within. After the Kut Al Amara rout, the British deep state increased the number of spies in the region, who were very knowledgeable about the fabric of Iraq, speaking better Arabic than Arabs and better Kurdish than Kurds. British also took advantage of people of Middle Eastern origins, who lived in Britain and who thought that they were indebted to Britain.349 The use of Britons of Middle Eastern origin against the Middle East is known to be a deep state policy that is still in use. Many nations, put under obligation to Britain throughout history, were seen to be potential agents willing to serve the deep British policies and were used thus.
Even in October 1918, when WWI came to a conclusion, the British soldiers continued to advance towards Mosul. The Iraq front became a place where the Ottoman 6th Army suffered great losses.
|(1) Newspaper Vorwärts printed in Berlin on April 30, 1916 covers the news of the surrender of British troops at Kut Al Amara.
(2) A caricature by Germans, depicting the British defeat at Kut Al Amara
At the time of the signing of the Armistice of Mudros on October 30, 1918, marking the end of WWI for the Ottoman Empire, the positions of Ottoman and British forces in Iraq were as follows:
The British had advanced up to Al-Hazar, Al-Qayyarah oil wells, Altun Kupri, As-Salahiyah and Kirkuk line. Ottoman forces were dominant over Raqqa, Deir Ez-Zor, Al-Mayadin, Sinjar, Tal Afar, Hamam al-Alil, Sulaymaniyah and Halabja line.350
The Turks optimistically hoped that the places under Turkish control at the date of the signing of the armistice would be considered the ‘Armistice Line’. Even though according to the armistice conditions the forces in the region should stay put in their current positions, the British forces didn’t oblige. Continuing to advance, the British entered Hamam al-Alil on November 1 and after declaring that they would invade Mosul, asked Turkish forces to retreat to 5 km north of the city of Mosul.
Ali İhsan Pasha reported this demand of the British to the grand vizier and, as a result of a series of telegram exchanges, the grand vizier ordered Ali İhsan Pasha to evacuate the city on November 15. Complying, the Pasha left Mosul to the British on November 10 and retreated to Nusaybin, where he established his headquarters.351 As a result, British occupied Mosul after WWI, in violation of armistice and international war rules.
|Turkish soldiers at the front at Kut Al Amara|
|British and Indian soldiers in Kut|
|British soldiers taken as prisoners of war at Kut Al Amara|
This occupation, though, didn’t help the British initially, because they couldn’t achieve domination in the region. The tribes and people in the region didn’t want the British. People of Kirkuk and Sulaymaniyah refused to pay tax to them, and frequent street fights became a familiar sight. The majority of the indigenous people sided with the Turks. People of Mosul supported the Turkish independence movement that got even stronger with the opening of the new Parliament in Ankara. Even the Arabs in the region considered cooperating with Mustafa Kemal Pasha against the British. Based on British documents, Mim Kemal Öke explains that the Arabs and Kurds in Mosul preferred to trust Anatolia, rather than Faisal supported by the British.352 There were multiple reasons behind this choice and İsmet Pasha explained these as follows:
|Ali İhsan Pasha|
1- The residents of Mosul vilayet insistently demanded to be annexed by Turkey; because they knew that only that way they could be part of an independent country, and not a colonized people. Furthermore, those people have considered themselves Turks since 1055 and Ottomans since 1514.
2- Geographically and politically, this vilayet was a part of Anatolia. The British deep state felt it had to get to Anatolia to benefit from the Mediterranean trade and saw Mosul as a key that would unlock the doors.
3- In legal terms, since Mosul is still a part of the Ottoman Empire, any agreements or treaty Britain signs for Mosul are invalid.
4- In terms of Turkey’s trade relations and the safety of the region, it is imperative that Turkey controls Mosul, which sits at the crossroads of the paths that join the south of Anatolia.
5- Most importantly, Mosul is a Turkish vilayet. For centuries, it had existed as a part of a Turkish state, and the Kurds, Arabs and Turks living on those lands are still a part of the Turkish state. Accepting the rule of another country is impossible for the indigenous people, who call themselves Turks.
6- After the end of the war, the Mosul vilayet, like other occupied regions of the Ottoman Empire, was taken from Turks in violation of the rules of the armistice. For this reason, it is necessary that Mosul, like other occupied regions, are returned to Turkey.353
The Lion’s Den
After WWI ended, the British deep state was trying to conclude its occupation of Istanbul and Anatolia through spying operations, and was forging alliances with other European countries in a bid to solidify its steps towards its greater goals.
Allied Powers, the victors of the world war, shared mandate regions and oil at the San Remo Conference in Italy on April 25, 1920. Britain obtained 75% of Mosul’s oil revenues, and received the control of the oil companies. France, on the other hand, settled for 25%. Further, British showed the ‘election’ of King Faisal in Iraq as the acceptance of the British mandate by the local people and persuaded the League of Nations in San Remo to accept it. Strangely, although the mandates could be placed only by the League of Nations at the time, at the instigation of Britain, the rule was applied in reverse order.354
|The delegates at the San Remo Conference, where the parties discussed how the oil in the former Ottoman lands should be shared as well as the respective mandates.|
One of the important purposes of the San Remo Conference was the founding of an autonomous Kurdish state in the southeastern part of Turkey. Britain suggested that an independent Kurdish state or a federation of tribes should be built and should be free from any official control of other powers. However, due to the reservations of France, the proposal was rejected, which prompted to make the British to make another move. This strategic move would allow the Kurds to not only gain local autonomy but also apply to the League of Nations for full independence within a year.355 This development clearly revealed the true intentions of the British deep state. The aspiration of building an independent Kurdish state had always been their true goal, and a major reason for the Mosul issue. The British deep state viewed such a British-controlled state including southeastern Turkey as a crucial goal and hoped that it would weaken the Turks and even help expel them from Anatolia.
British Prime Minister Lloyd George said on May 19, 1920 during the San Remo Conference that the Kurds would not be able to survive unless they were supported by a major state power and revealed the approach of the British deep state to the matter:
It will be difficult to convince all the Kurds to accept a new protector, as they are used to the Turkish rule… Mosul, of which mountainous areas is home to Kurds and South Kurdistan, which contains it, are of concern to British interests. It is believed that Mosul region can be separated from other regions and join a new independent Kurdish state to be established. … However, it will be very difficult to solve this problem through an agreement.356
|Brave Turkish soldiers of the War of Independence|
When the victors forced the defeated countries to sign treaties, the Turks proved an exception. Although the now ineffective Istanbul government had signed the Treaty of Sévres, the new Turkish state flat out refused to recognize it. Thus began a long war of independence for the Turks, even if they had just emerged battered from the devastating WWI. Nevertheless, the Turks managed to drive the enemy out of their country, and were now getting ready to sit down at the negotiation table at Lausanne in a stronger position compared to other defeated countries of the war. The Allied Powers, having to end their occupation of Anatolia after facing the epic heroism and bravery of Atatürk’s forces, tried to defeat the Turks at the table in Lausanne. The British deep state’s main goal at Lausanne was making the Turks accept the Sévres. What they failed to take into account was that this time there was a different Turkish administration. This Turkish state represented an altruistic, passionate, unconquerable nation, who fought tooth and nail under the leadership of the great Turk Mustafa Kemal, and secured a phenomenal victory. All the sides at Lausanne, most notably Britain, would soon realize this.
Efforts to provoke the Kurds of Anatolia
|The Society for the Rise of Kurdistan was established on the day Armistice of Mudros was signed, which was October 30, 1918. The particular attribute of this society was its close ties to the authorities of the British deep state and that it served almost as the center of British spying efforts. Mustafa Kemal himself made it clear that the society aimed to build an independent Kurdish state under foreign protection.1 The British deep state used such organizations as fronts to devise its plans for building a Kurdish state in Anatolia. British High Commissioner Admiral John de Robeck, made this plan very clear on March 26, 1920.
“Kurdistan must completely secede from Turkey and gain independence. We can reconcile the interests of Armenians and the Kurds. Seyid Abdülkadir, the head of Kurdish Club in Istanbul (Society for the Rise of Kurdistan) and Şerif Pasha, the Kurdish delegate in Paris, are at our service.”2
The aforementioned Şerif Pasha is the person who started the separatist movements in Anatolia under the direction of the British deep state. Together with Sheikh Abdülkadir, he made sure that the Treaty of Sévres had an ‘independent Kurdish state’ clause.
However, this plan of the British deep state came to nothing.
In April 1919, the tribes that Major Noel worked to draw to British side, vowed to fight on the side of the Ottoman Empire against the occupiers until their last breath. A telegram sent by the British High Commission to London reveals that 30,000 Kurds would fight along the side of Mustafa Kemal Pasha as soon as the Turkish War of Independence started. Around the same time, Kurdish tribal leaders were attending the Erzurum Congress and were elected to the Representative Committee.
Şerif Pasha and Sheikh Abdülkadir, spies and minions of the British deep state, carried out propaganda claiming that Kurds wanted to leave the Ottoman Empire. This propaganda led Kurdish leaders all over the country to send countless telegrams swearing allegiance first to the Ottoman Parliament and then to the Turkish Parliament in Ankara.3
One telegram sent to the Turkish Parliament on February 26, 1920 read as follows: “We learned about the separatist efforts of traitor and heretic Şerif Pasha, targeting Kurds. Turks and Kurds are one. Kurds and Turks are true brothers in blood and religion. They share the same land. Kurds never consider leaving the Ottoman community or the Islamic Union. They wish to live within the Islamic Union until the end of the world. We hereby declare to the whole world that we strongly disavow the activities of Şerif Pasha and other similar efforts and that we are loyal to our government.”
The telegram was signed by the following:
Mayor Ali Riza, Yusuf the head of Keçel Tribe, Seyit Ali the head of Abbasi Tribe, Hüseyin the head of Kelani Tribe, Paşa Bey the head of Balanlı Tribe, Çiçek the head of Baratlı Tribe, Yusuf the head of Aşranlı Tribe. From religious scholars: Sheikh Saffet, Sheikh Hacı Fevzi, Mufti Osman Fevzi. From business circles: Arapzade Ahmet, Ruhzade Halis, Tavşanzade Recep, Hacı Eşbehzade Şükrü, Müftüzade Hakkı. From the gentry; Hacı Mehmet, Çapıkzade Münir, Ahmet Paşazade Şemsi, Beyzade Sami.4
After the Turkish Grand National Assembly was opened in Ankara, similar telegrams were sent there, too. The parliament records make it clear that telegrams were received from the residents of Solhan, Çemişkezek, Hasankeyf, Kangal, Palu, Bitlis, Adıyaman, Kahta, Ahlat, Hizan, Şirvan, Şırnak protesting the separatist movements and that swore allegiance to the Parliament. These telegrams were read in the Parliament. The following joint telegram of the tribal leaders clearly demonstrate the unity decision of the Kurds:
“Please be informed that we will assist and aid our government with all our might to ensure peace within the National Pact and that we never wish to hear that Kurdish identity is treated as separate within the Grand National Assembly of the Republic of Turkey.
Wishing success, we present our deepest regards.”
Hacı Sebati head of the İzoli Tribe, Mehmet the head of the Aluçlu Tribe, Halil the head of the Bariçkan Tribe, Hüseyin the head of the Bükrer Tribe, Halil the head of the Zeyve tribe, Hüseyin the head of the Deyukan Tribe and Mehmet the head of the Cürdi Tribe. From religious scholars: Bekir, Sıtkı, Rüştü, Avni, Halil, Hafız Mehmet. From the gentry: İzdelili Fehim, Hüseyin, Bulutlu İbrahim, Nail, Zabunlu Halil, Sadık.5
Apparently as soon as WWI was over, the British deep state was seeking to stoke problems not only in Mosul and within the borders of Iraq, but also in Anatolia between Kurds and Turks. However, the greatest answer to this insidious plan came from our Kurdish people again. Members of the Turkish Parliament in Ankara and the Kurdish people declared to the entire world – and especially to the British deep state – that Kurds and Turks are one and a whole. The British deep state, having failed with its plans with Şerif Pasha, would make another attempt after Lausanne and seek to use Sheikh Said this time.
|1. “Kürdistan Teali Cemiyeti” (Society for the Rise of Kurdistan), Wikipedia, https://tr.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%BCrdistan_Teali_Cemiyeti
3. Van Bruinessen, Ağa, Şeyh ve Devlet (Tribal Leader, Sheikh and State), translated by Banu Yalkut, Istanbul: İletişim Yayınları, 2004, p. 27
4. Meclis-i Mebusan Zabıt Ceridesi (Parliament Minutes of Proceedings), Session LV, vol. 1, p. 208
5. Sibel Özel, “Anayasa M. 66/I Hükmünde Yer Alan Türk Tanımı Üzerine Bir Değerlendirme”, Baro Dergisi, vol. 86, no. 2012/6, 2012, p. 48
Seeking a Solution for Mosul
The Turkish government demanded that the conference be held in Izmir, because communication between Lausanne and Turkey would be difficult. The real reason behind this request was their desire to closely follow the progress of the conference and prevent the loss of battlefield gains at the negotiation table. However, according to international traditions, the conference had to be held on neutral ground. Therefore, the invitation to Lausanne was accepted following a meeting at the TBMM (the Turkish Parliament) on October 29, 1922.
Some of the proposals and suggestions discussed at the Turkish Parliament concerning Mosul before the delegates left are as follows:
Delegates will request that Sulaymaniyah, Mosul and Kirkuk are returned to Turkey. If any unexpected situation arises during the conference, the instructions of the Council of Ministers should be awaited. Certain economic privileges, for instance, privilege in oil operations, can be offered to Britain.
The border with Syria should be pushed further south and southeast. Best efforts will be made to correct this border. The border should start at Re’si ibn Hayr, continue along Harm, Al-Muslimiyah, Maskanah and Euphrates road, Deir Ez-Zor and finally end at Mosul for the south border.
The desired Syrian border would be connected to Mosul, Sulaymaniyah and Kirkuk and would complete the southern border of the National Pact. This short but definitive instruction was essentially based on the National Pact, and demanded that certain land issues that remained unsolved with the Armistice of Mudros be solved (the Straits, Istanbul and Eastern Thrace).357
Mustafa Kemal made it clear on many occasions that he considered Mosul as a Turkish land and that he wouldn’t accept the British mandate. For instance, on December 25, 1922, he explained his clear stance on Mosul during an interview he gave to Paul Herriot of Le Journal at Çankaya:
We declared many times that vilayet of Mosul is a part of the land within our national borders. The parties opposing us at Lausanne are perfectly aware of this. We made great sacrifices to build the borders of our country. We adopted a peaceful attitude although it was against our interests. From now on, trying to take apart even the smallest part of our national land from Turkey would be highly unfair. We will never accept it.358
|During the Mosul negotiations with Britain, the Turks in Berlin were protesting
with the slogan ‘Mosul is going to remain a Turkish land’. (October 22, 1925)
During the independence war, Mustafa Kemal’s plan had always been making Mosul a part of Turkey again and he made his intentions clear on numerous occasions. When the special correspondent of the newspaper Tanin sent a telegram to Mustafa Kemal and asked him about the Mosul vilayet,359 Mustafa Kemal answered in Amasya on October 22, 1919 and said, “Mosul vilayet is within the borders that were effective on the day the ceasefire was signed, which is October 30, 1918. It is a Muslim majority province and will never leave the Ottomans.”360
Mustafa Kemal, on December 28, 1919, the day after his arrival in Ankara, gave a speech to his visitors and counted Mosul, Kirkuk and Sulaymaniyah among the places under Turkish control on the day of the signing of the ceasefire and reiterated that those places constituted national borders.361
When the United Telegraph correspondent asked Mustafa Kemal about how the Turkish nationalists saw the US and Britain, in an interview on January 17, 1921 he said that the US was friendlier and continued: … As to Britain, our nation is offended by their imperialist and exploitative attitude.362
Mustafa Kemal also explained why Mosul was important for the British:
Mosul is very important for the British as it is the region closest to Kurdistan. British desired to keep Mosul for various reasons because Mosul is the closest route to Soviet Union, to Iran and the most convenient region to exert pressure on Turkey.363
|Arriving at Ankara on December 27, 1919, Mustafa Kemal
counted Mosul, Kirkuk and Sulaymaniyah within the National
Borders in the speech he gave the next day.
In other words, Mustafa Kemal was perfectly aware that the British deep state focused on Mosul for the purpose of being able to corner Turkey, and he knew that Mosul was going to be one of the most challenging topics in Lausanne.
Winston Churchill, the then Secretary of State for the Colonies, said on September 12, 1922, ‘If Britain and Ankara are forced to fight, it seems inevitable that Kemalist forces will march to Mosul. In such an event, even if the British loses these lands at war, it has to take it back not by military means, but in the Peace Conference.’364
Given that Churchill operated under the auspices of the British deep state for his entire political career, his words clearly demonstrate the British deep state’s approach to the issue. Unsurprisingly, his instructions were followed precisely.
The Talks Begin
The new Turkish state had won the battle for its independence and was thus recognized by the Western states – except for one: Britain.
This attitude of the British continued throughout the Lausanne negotiations. London’s administration was determined not to treat Turkey as an equal or a sovereign state, and because of this attitude the negotiations risked suspension on more than one occasion, and even came to a halt in February 1923.365
Unsurprisingly, the sessions on Mosul witnessed some of the most heated and tense exchanges.
British Prime Minister Bonar Law and the Secretary of State for the Colonies instructed Lord Curzon -who was the representative of Britain at Lausanne- that the negotiations should continue without suspension and the Turkish side should be persuaded. At the time, the Secretary of State for the Colonies wrongly believed that the Turkish government would waive its claims on Mosul in exchange for 20% of the oil revenues.366
İsmet İnönü and his aide Rıza Nur, who represented the Turkish side, maintained that Mosul was a Turkish vilayet and that all the Kurds living there were Turkish citizens. The delegation of the Turkish Parliament explained in detail the Turkish case with political, historical, ethnographical, geographical, economic and military evidence.
|İsmet İnönü and the Turkish delegation at the Lausanne talks|
İsmet Pasha clarified his point with the following words:
The Grand Assembly of the Turkish Republic is the government of Kurds as much as it is Turks’. Kurds also have representatives in the Grand National Assembly. Kurdish people and their representatives in the Assembly do not accept the separation of their brothers in Mosul vilayet from the mainland.367
However, Lord Curzon, in an attempt to rebut the argument of İsmet Pasha, claimed that the Kurdish representatives at the Turkish Parliament did not represent the Kurdish people, that they had been appointed by Mustafa Kemal, did not have rights to representation and even implied that their election was dubious: ‘As to the Kurdish representatives of Ankara, I ask myself how they were elected’.368
Yusuf Ziya Bey, who was a Kurdish MP representing Bitlis, gave the perfect answer to this allegation during his speech at the Parliament on January 25, 1923:
Apparently, our delegates in Lausanne didn’t give the necessary answer to these accusations. We are the true representatives of the Kurdish lands, and we are here not by appointment, but by election. We took part in the elections under no pressure. If Kurdish people wanted separation, they wouldn’t have participated in this election. Kurdish people participated in these elections despite all the efforts of British with their offers of gold. Kurds share the same goal as their Turkish brothers.369
|Lord Curzon during the Lausanne talks|
Statements of the other Kurdish MPs that gave speeches at the Parliament should also be remembered. One notable example is Diyab Ağa, the 70-year-old Dersim representative, who was also one of the symbolic names of the Turkish Independence War. He said:
We all know and say that our religion, our religious affairs, origins and ancestors are all one. We have no differences or quarrels. Our name, religion, our God is One.
When the MPs asked Diyab Ağa what he said to the delegation that went to Lausanne, he responded as follows:
May God help them. May God give the best result. Thank God, the ones that went there are good people, pious and devout… We are all one. There is no question of Turkish or Kurdish identity. We are all one; we are brothers (interrupted by applause and ‘bravo’s). A man might have five, ten sons. One might be called Hasan, another Ahmed, Mehmed, Hüseyin. But they are all one. This is how we are. There is no difference between us (chants of ‘bravo’). But enemies are plotting to turn us against each other. They are trying to sow animosity by saying ‘you are like that, I’m like this etc.’… We are brothers. Our religion, culture is one. Some people don’t know this. They say a lot of things, but they do not know. It is not how it is. La ilaha illa Allah Muhammad ar-Rasul Allah [God is One and Muhammad is His Messenger]. That is it. (Deafening applause and bravos).370
Süleyman Necati (Güneri) Bey, an Erzurum MP who later took the stage, said the ‘majority of the people that voted for him were Kurdish’, emphasized the concept of ‘brotherhood of land’ and reiterated that Turks and Kurds had the same history, that they weren’t different people, that there weren’t racial minorities in Turkey.
|The hotel where the Turkish delegation stayed during the Lausanne negotiations|
Yusuf Ziya Bey, a Bitlis MP, during another speech, said the following about minorities based on language and racial differences:
Europeans say, ‘The biggest minority in Turkey is the Kurds’. I am a true Kurd. And as a Kurdish member of the Parliament, I can assure you that Kurds do not want anything. They only want the welfare and safety of Turks, their big brothers (Loud applause). We, Kurds, gladly trampled all the rights Europe wanted to give to us with that excuse of a treaty, called Sévres, and returned it back to them. Remember how we fought in Al Jazeera (Arabian Peninsula) (Another round of applause). Remember how we sacrificed ourselves and joined the Turks, we didn’t leave them, and didn’t want to leave them. We don’t and won’t want to leave them (Another round of applause). As I finish my words, I’m kindly asking our delegates [in Lausanne], to make sure that when the minority issue comes up, they make it clear that Kurds have no claims or demands and that they repeat my words here as a spokesperson for the Kurdish people… 371
Durak (Sakarya) Bey, who was an Erzurum MP, said that throughout the history of Islam, Turks and Kurds mingled and families became one in Anatolia.372
In a motion submitted on behalf of Mardin MPs, the Turkish delegation at the Conference of Lausanne was asked to declare that Turks and Kurds were one and a whole. Van MP Hakkı Ungan Bey said that it should be made clear in Lausanne that Kurds cannot be differentiated from Turks.373
Without doubt, neither the Kurdish population in Mosul, nor those in Anatolia, saw themselves any different than the Turks nor it was possible to separate them from each other.374 The indigenous people wanted to live under the same roof as the Turks and Kurds just like before, in other words they wanted to continue to live under Turkish rule. Even Arabs didn’t want the British mandate and declared ‘it is either Turkish rule or independence’. So much so, it became a common occurrence for the Kurds conscripted by the Iraqi government to switch to Turks’ side.375
Kurd Reşo Awarded with War of Independence Medal
|Kurds and Turks are two fraternal nations that lived peacefully together for almost a thousand years. The story of Kurd Reşo, who displayed incredible bravery during the Turkish War of Independence, is just one example of this unity.|
Before the war, in the region covering Mosul, Kirkuk, Sulaymaniyah and Erbil, the languages used for writing had been Turkish, Arabic and Persian. However, the British in the region took it on themselves to develop the Kurdish language and its written form. After a while, the British authorities turned Kurdish into a communication tool. Although the local people insisted using Arabic and Turkish in their daily lives and correspondences, the British deep state was adamant on Kurdish. They stipulated that even the newspapers be printed in Kurdish. Again, the British deep state worked to remove Turkish as the written language and introduced a ban on its use in private correspondences. The British deep state also sought to cancel Turkish as the official language in the region and pursued a deliberate policy of annihilation targeting Turks and Turkish in the vilayet of Mosul.
Academician and author İhsan Şerif Kaymaz explains the state of affairs as follows:
It is clear that Britain, having understood that Kurdistan will not be established any time soon, is making long-term plans in a bid to create a national Kurdish identity so that Kurdistan can be built. The fruits of these efforts will be reaped in a couple of decades and a process that will create serious problems for the future of both Turkey and the region will thus be started.376
Two people that lived together for almost a thousand years, that mixed and built families together, were forcefully torn apart according to a deep plan amidst the background of war. The architect of the plan was the British deep state, the perpetrator of all separations and divisions. For the sake of its interests, it accepted dividing a nation, and indeed as following pages will study further on, threatened and slaughtered them in a bid to make them indebted to itself. The British deep state has been the architect of divisive policies throughout history. No one could stand up to them and this mafia structure was never held to account for its activities. That’s why this horrible policy continues today. Today, the plots around Southeastern Anatolia are the same as those concocted for Mosul in the early 20th century. The British deep state has been behind each and every one of them.
The strategy that the British deep state pursued in Lausanne to drive a wedge between the Turks and Kurds must be well studied, because the games of those days are once again being played in Southeastern Anatolia through the PKK.
|(1) A Kurdish woman with her child in the Ottoman Empire
(2) Kurdish, Armenian and Turkish women in the Ottoman Empire
İsmet Pasha, the head of the Turkish delegation in Lausanne, sent a telegram to Turkey on December 28, 1922. He was convinced that the British had absolutely no intention of leaving Mosul. Only a small border correction in North Mosul would be made and the issue would be discussed amicably.
Shortly thereafter, British General Townshend made a surprising statement to İsmet Pasha. He said that Britain would give up on Mosul, that they would not be the cause of another war. He added that within a year British forces would withdraw from Mosul and following that, the Arabs would riot against King Faisal and the Turks would be able to enter Mosul without a problem.377
Clearly, the British deep state had a secret agenda. The members of the deep state would employ every tactic to gain the upper hand in the tense negotiations and resorted to all methods to bewilder and put the Turkish delegates on the wrong track. Indeed, in another telegram, İsmet Pasha said the British sought to remove the Mosul issue from the scope of Lausanne; it was to be discussed later and turned into an issue between the two states.378
Nevertheless, İsmet Pasha saw through their plans, didn’t find their suggestions convincing and resorted to the assistance of the French government as a first step. However, France said that the Mosul issue should be resolved between the Turks and the British.
At the same time, dissidents were getting louder in British parliament. Although Curzon claimed that it was because of İsmet Pasha’s obstinacy that the Mosul issue was still a problem, it was viewed as a failure of Curzon at the British Parliament and a campaign against him started. On December 8, 1922, former Prime Minister Bonar Law wrote a letter to Curzon and made his stance on the issue very clear:
… There is a great campaign started here against you. Most recently, the letter Gounaris wrote to you on February 15 was publicized. The claim that you were the reason behind the Greek failure and not Lloyd George is being used as a weapon against you. A parliamentary question was submitted to investigate whether the Cabinet was aware of those letters. And I said, yes. The issue was investigated but no conclusion could be reached. It is very important evidence for us that your name is not mentioned not only in the Foreign Office list, but also in the lists that Horne and Austen left to their successors. So, rest assured. They can never blame you at all for this issue.379
It appears that Curzon was under immense pressure by the British deep state and was forced not to compromise on the Mosul issue. Because of this pressure, Curzon did his best to not give away Mosul at Lausanne, as it was an important leverage for the British deep state.
|Scenes from Mosul at the time when it was a topic of intense debates at Lausanne negotiations|
Seeing that there was no agreeing with Lord Curzon over Mosul, İsmet Pasha sent Turkish economist Rüstem Bey and Şeref Bey, the former Minister for Trade and Railways, to Bonar Law, the British PM who didn’t wish for the negotiations to be suspended. This move angered Lord Curzon to no end. He wrote a stern letter to the British diplomat Sir Eyre Crowe on January 11, 1923 and said that unless the talks with the Turkish representatives were ended, he would withdraw from the negotiations about Mosul.380
Later Curzon sent another letter with the same harsh tone on January 17, 1923 to Walter Hulme Long, the Secretary of State for the Colonies.381 He said:
As a former colleague and friend of yours, can I ask you, how can you stick your nose in matters that I’m dealing with here? The other day, Rickett, with whom you are also acquainted, was here. Going behind my back and deceiving İsmet Pasha, he convinced him to send three representatives to London, with whom I’m sure you are familiar with.382 These representatives went to London to offer oil concessions in exchange for the return of Mosul to Turks. I, on the other hand, had made it clear that I was adamantly against the idea and that I would do anything to defend Mosul and with the policy I pursued, I aimed to make sure that Turks would have no dreams about those lands not today, not in the future. Rickett must have convinced Turks that he had a big influence on you and Bonar Law, and Turks thought that if they went to London, they could somehow take back Mosul. Of course, I cannot know how much you know about what’s going on. The only thing I know is that you wouldn’t deliberately try to make my job more difficult and harm the interests of your country. Please stay away from this oil adventure. Many disgraceful acts are involved in this matter that you are unaware of and which can stain an innocent person sooner or later. Rickett is most certainly an unreliable person. I know what he has been saying to Turks and what he has been saying to Sir G. Armstrong.383
The many disgraceful acts that Lord Curzon referred to were the dirty tricks that the British deep state staged behind closed doors.
Another important detail was that British intelligence had illegally intercepted the Turkish telegrams. With a special radio-telegram decoding system that the British installed in Istanbul, they could intercept and decode the telegrams sent by the Turkish government to Lausanne and sent them to London before the Turkish delegation could get them in Lausanne. After they got their instructions, they would sit down at the table, fully aware of the leverages the Turks had. Rumbold, head of the British delegation at Lausanne, was happily announcing this to his friend Lancelot Oliphant in the Foreign Office on July 18:
The information we obtained at the psychological moments from secret sources was invaluable to us, and put us in the position of a man who is playing Bridge and knows the cards in his adversary’s hand.384
This allowed Lord Curzon and his assistant Rumbold to know when Turks could afford to be more flexible. Closely monitoring their future strategies, based on this knowledge they would either insist on a condition, or give up knowing that there would be no point pressing İsmet Pasha. This information also enabled the British deep state to identify points which the Turkish side would be more willing to discuss. Evidently, the British deep state didn’t hesitate to apply its sinister intelligence policies even at the peace negotiations and tried to win Mosul through plots and tricks. This was more than a desire to obtain control over oil revenues and trade routes. Mosul was the first step in a 100-year-old plan against Turkey.
League of Nations = Great Britain
As previously mentioned, discussions on Mosul had been the longest and most heated ones during the Conference of Lausanne. Neither side wanted to compromise, but the mad grip of the British deep state on the Mosul issue, at certain points, brought the two countries back to the brink of war. Lord Curzon made maneuvers intended to bring the negotiations to a dead-end and demanded that the issue be resolved by the League of Nations. However, Turkey was not a member of the League of Nations at the time and was perfectly aware that Britain had the necessary lobby to ensure the passing of decisions to Britain’s heart’s content.
To overcome the impasse, İsmet İnönü proposed a new way. A ‘referendum’ could be held in the region so that Kurdish people could make their decision. However, knowing for certain that the outcome would be against Britain, Lord Curzon refused the proposal. Historian Sevtap Demirel explains why Lord Curzon rejected the idea:
Lord Curzon says a referendum can never be accepted. Why? Because it is a painstaking process. You have to find donkeys, you have to find papers, load the papers onto the donkeys, send them up to the mountains, go to the Kurds there and ask them ‘do you want to stay in Turkey? Do you want to stay under British mandate in Iraq?’ ‘These Kurds’, I’m repeating the exact words in the document ‘These Kurds will eat those papers’. That’s why they say, just forget about the referendum. Do you know why they are doing that? Do you know the reasons behind that? That region sends regular intelligence to the Foreign Office and therefore to Lord Curzon. I have read hundreds of intelligence reports. They all underline one truth: If under the circumstances of the day, a referendum was held and Kurds in Mosul were asked ‘who would you wish to join?’ 99% would choose Turkey. These are in British intelligence reports. British said ‘we’ll lose Mosul, so we can never let Turks carry out a referendum here and ask the Kurds what they want’…385
Academician, historian and author İhsan Şerif Kaymaz explains how Curzon, in his own mind, tried to insult the Kurdish people:
Curzon argued that it wasn’t the issue of choosing to whom Mosul was going to join, and that the border was just a simple technical issue and therefore no referendum could be held there. Therefore, he said referendum was out of the question there and that population and culture wasn’t suitable for it anyway, as people were illiterate and had never seen a ballot box in their lives. He even used certain insulting, offensive words to prove his point and claimed that it could lead to conflicts and even bloodshed. Therefore he said that instead of that, the League of Nations should be resorted to.386
These offensive claims about the Kurds show that the view of the British deep state of the Kurds wasn’t different from its horrible views today. The Kurdish people are above these statements that certainly cross a line. These remarks of Curzon reveal that Curzon knew the British deep state could have no influence over the people of the region. These illogical and tasteless remarks uttered in a bid to prevent a potential referendum almost proved that the British deep state could never win over the Kurds and Arabs of Mosul. The British deep state might have taken control of the region through deceitful politics and violence, but never was able to win over the people of the region.
|The British deep state insisted that the issue of Mosul be taken to the League of Nations because it was well aware that this institution, which it kept under pressure, would make decisions that conformed to its requests.|
Mosul Rejects British Mandate
The people of Mosul are Turkish people that include Arabs, Turks and Kurds, who lived together under Turkish rule for 700 years. Breaking them apart from Turkish rule is tantamount to tearing them apart from their homeland. Fully aware of this, in order to ‘convince’ the public the British deep state resorted to its usual method: violence.
Ankara government, in an effort to balance the power shift against Britain with respect to Mosul, signed a deal with the US company Chester and gave it vast privileges in building railways and exploring mines, and when the Turkish Parliament endorsed the deal, the British got furious. No matter what it did, the British deep state just couldn’t achieve the control it desired over Mosul. When the people rose against the British mandate and the British-appointed King Faisal of Iraq, the British violently clamped down on the protestors.387 British forces pressured Turkish-siding tribes and arrested tribal leaders. Especially the people of Kirkuk and Sulaymaniyah continued to reject a British mandate despite the violent suppression tactics of the British.388
|Pictures showing everyday life in Mosul in 1902, which was then a part of the Ottoman Empire. The system of oppression introduced by the British deep state still persists in Mosul. Even today, the people of Mosul lovingly remember their peaceful days under Ottoman rule.|
In Mosul, Kurds started a riot against the British mandate and British jetfighters violently suppressed the protest. İhsan Şerif Kaymaz tells about this massacre with following words in his valuable book, based on the British archives:
To sum it up, Churchill scaled down the land forces to make savings in defense budget and reinforced the air forces stationed in Mosul. British decided to use the Iraqi army and Assyrian militia as the ground troops. The purpose was giving the message that even the slightest move by the Kurds in Mosul would be punished in the harshest manner possible. The method was cruel but successful. After a while, even hearing the approaching jetfighters was enough to ‘tone down’ the tribes…
Cities, towns and villages were relentlessly hit with airstrikes and then were burnt down to ground by Assyrian militia. The animals and crops of the tribes believed to support Turks were exterminated. Cities and towns like Köysancak, Raniye, Revanduz, Biraz, Kapra, Kale, Diza, Barzan, Derbet and Merga were largely destroyed… Barzan tribe was forced to choose between starvation and surrender. But the real horror started when they surrendered. Barzan town and villages were destroyed by Assyrian militia…389
|Pictures showing everyday life in Mosul in 1902, which was then a part of the Ottoman Empire. The system of oppression introduced by the British deep state still persists in Mosul. Even today, the people of Mosul lovingly remember their peaceful days under Ottoman rule.|
On February 4, 1923, the Lausanne talks were suspended. Only two days later, Mustafa Kemal said in Izmir, “They are trying to take away by force Mosul and the region south of Mosul from us, from our mainland.”390
This horrible massacre carried out in Mosul is a clear indication how savage the British deep state can get to obtain control of a region it targets. In fact, this strategy is not different than the genocide policies practiced in South Africa and India. The British deep state massacred the noble Kurdish people that it wrongly considered inferior. To the British deep state, these people could be used in a valuable geography through various pretenses. However, since it was the British deep state in question, no one could object to this ‘illegality’ and no one could call these massacres ‘genocide’ after WWI, just as had happened so many times before.
|People from different faiths together during an Orthodox ritual in Mosul in 1920.|
Historian Sevtap Demirci notes that the Chester project and the proposal of referendum were also among the reasons why the British so violently quelled the Kurdish riot:
There was an ‘O.K.’ in the archive that no one knew or wrote about. I stumbled upon it unexpectedly during my research. So I started looking to find out what that ‘O.K.’ meant. I thought to myself that it couldn’t mean ‘okay’, because the reports were intricate. If that was an okay, they wouldn’t have put dots in between. It was ‘O’ dot, ‘K’ dot. It was in a small place. So days, months passed, and I caught it not in the documents of the Foreign Office, but in the documents of the Secretary of State for the Colonies. Turns out, it was short for ‘Operation Kurdistan’… Britain had put into motion the ‘Operation Kurdistan’ project. If you ask, what is this operation, there is no detail. No information, no documents, just O.K.…
Within the scope of Operation Kurdistan, the British heavily bombarded the area. It was a very covert operation, no one knew about it. One person from the British army headquarters and one person from the Prime Ministry… No one was privy to this. Not the parliament, not the allies, no one. For two straight days, British ceaselessly pounded Mosul, Kirkuk and Sulaymaniyah. The second round of negotiations in Lausanne was supposed to start on April 23, 1923. The operation ended at 12.00 pm on April 22. The next day, when the second round of talks started in Lausanne, Turkey no longer had people in the region that could participate in a referendum. That operation completely ended the possibility of a referendum. If you ask, how many people died, I don’t know, too many civilians died. What did Britain want to say? You give these privileges to the USA, but you cannot make these decisions on these lands without my involvement. And the second outcome was, in a sort of, taking captive the Turkish-supporting Kurdish tribes and the indigenous people that wished to join Turkey. So when the second round started, Turkey was no longer able to suggest that there should be a referendum.391
|1. Iraq after the British occupation
2. British soldiers in Iraq in 1914
The British deep state was aware that, only if it martyred everyone in the region, would it have control over Mosul. For this reason, it stuck to its centuries old tradition and didn’t refrain from brutally slaughtering thousands of innocent people, the indigenous population of a region. Clearly the massacre had a purpose other than the oil or trade routes. ‘Operation Kurdistan’ was the reason behind the Mosul persistence of the British deep state. Indeed, that’s why it was so secret, why there were no official documents proving that it ever existed. As the Lausanne talks were underway, the British deep state was carrying out its Kurdistan plan, devised a long time ago. At the center of it was Mosul, which had to be taken from Turkey. Kurds coming under British rule marked the first step towards building the artificial Kurdish issue, which would continue for another hundred years. The British deep state was convinced that Gladstone’s dream of ‘driving Turks back to steppes of Central Asia’ could be realized that way. Even destroying a whole people seemed trivial if it meant goals were achieved.
|The British deep state never wanted a strong Turkish presence that had any influence on Europe and the Middle East, and did everything in its power to prevent it.|
Turkey Backs Down on Mosul
Up to that point, the Turkish delegation was determined to take Mosul back, but with the new development, it was forced to adopt a new strategy because the British deep state wasn’t hesitant about carrying out horrible massacres, and they were slaughtering in plain sight our people in Mosul, Kirkuk and Sulaymaniyah. The only way out seemed reconciliation.
Another important reason why Turkey didn’t risk war at Mosul and settled on reconciliation with the terms proposed by the British was the fact that Ankara had no air forces to fight the British air forces stationed in Iraq. After the war, Britain deployed its entire air force to Iraq. This also clearly demonstrated that Mosul was not a negotiable topic for Britain. However, it must be kept in mind that the Turkish side had just emerged from a ten-year of period of constant wars that included the Balkan Wars, WWI and the Independence War. Turkey, during those years, was a tired, battered and impoverished country struggling to remain strong amidst the ruins of the Ottoman Empire. Not only did it have no air force to defend itself, it had very limited military capabilities.
Furthermore, it should be kept in mind that, during the Lausanne talks, Istanbul was still under occupation. Under the circumstances, the Turkish side was clearly at a disadvantage with limited flexibility. All these factors forced the Turkish side to agree to a compromise on the Mosul issue.
Mustafa Kemal, until the time the Lausanne talks were suspended, said on many occasions that Mosul was a Turkish land and that he would ensure it stayed that way, by using military force if necessary. However, later he shifted his tone significantly. He began to say that it would be wrong to be persistent in Lausanne for the resolution of the Mosul issue and that it could be resolved later. One British intelligence report dated March 15, 1923 explains the reason behind this change of rhetoric. The report stated that in the next couple of years, not only Mosul, but Iraq, Basra, Arabia, Syria and possibly other Islamic countries, could unite under Turkish hegemony and that it would be done as the Islamic Union project and that the project had a high likelihood of success.392
Islamic Union indeed will definitely happen, all Islamic countries will unite, the borders will be removed and even countries such as Russia, USA, Israel, China and all the other world countries will join this union. It will happen with the appearance of the Mahdi (pbuh) when all the sinister plots of the British deep state, the wars and conflicts end, when not even a single drop of blood is shed. Mustafa Kemal, no doubt, knew that time would come. He was aware that, sooner or later, Turks would get back the lands that once belonged to them. He was sure that, even though it didn’t happen at the time, it would happen with the coming of the Mahdi (pbuh). For this reason, he didn’t push the envelope and kept his hope alive with the dream of Islamic Union in his heart.
Finalizing the Treaty of Lausanne
With the 3rd clause of the Treaty of Lausanne signed on July 24, the frontier between Turkey and Iraq was regulated. This clause, where Mosul was not mentioned, stipulated that Turkey and Britain would continue negotiations for another 9 months to determine the frontier and that the Mosul issue would be taken to the Council of the League of Nations unless an agreement was reached. However, the clause had been unclear about the methods of the League of Nations or just what the decision would be about. As mentioned before, taking the issue to the League of Nations would in any case be in favor of the British interests. Turkey would clearly have no say in an organization that it wasn’t even a member of. The British deep state, which had maintained a strong grip over the League of Nations back then, pushed with all its might to make illegitimate claims over Mosul.
When the issue was eventually referred to the League of Nations, Turkey asked that the League establish ‘the will of the people of Mosul’, but Britain asked for the establishment of the ‘frontier between Turkey and Iraq’. The fact that the respective clause in the Treaty of Lausanne didn’t make reference to Mosul, but only mentioned the ‘frontier’, gave the British argument the upper hand.393
|İsmet Pasha signing the Treaty of Lausanne (1923)|
|The meeting room where the Lausanne negotiations took place|
Controversial issues that the Treaty couldn’t solve dominated Turkish foreign policy in the wake of the Conference of Lausanne, while the disagreement over Mosul with Britain was the most heated foreign policy issue between 1923-1926.
Upon the application of Britain, the Mosul dispute was referred to the League of Nations on August 6, 1924, which started discussing it on September 20, 1924, one year after the Treaty of Lausanne was signed. During the talks, the Turkish side repeated their offer of a referendum in Mosul, but Britain, just like before, rejected the idea with insolent excuses like ‘locals being ignorant and not understanding about border issues’.394 (The Kurdish people in the region are above such remarks). On September 30, 1924, a decision was made to set up an investigative commission, which defined the borders on October 28, 1924 and established a status quo Turkish-Iraqi border named ‘Brussels Line’. The highlights from the report of the commission that was submitted to the League of Nations on July 16, 1925 were as follows:
1- Brussels Line should be determined as a geographical border,
2- Kurds with their population of 500,000, consisted the majority in Mosul vilayet,
3- Kurds were more populous than Turks and Arabs,
4- Mandate in Iraq that was supposed to end in 1928, be extended for another 25 years,
5- Mosul be left to Iraqi administration provided Kurds in the region are given administrational and cultural rights,
6- If the League of Nations decides that the region is shared between the two countries, the Little Zab river line be accepted as border,
7- If the League of Nations doesn’t consider it suitable that the mandate in Iraq is extended and that the region is left to Iraq with certain privileges to Kurds, then Mosul be left to Turkey,
8- Britain’s claims and demands with regards to Hakkari be rejected.
When Turkey raised objections to this report, the Council asked the Permanent Court of International Justice in Hague on September 19, 1925 to submit its opinion. This opinion was in line with the wishes of the League of Nations, and despite Turkish protests the Assembly of the League of Nations announced on December 8, 1925 that it adopted the resolution of the Court of Justice. Only a couple of days later, on December 16, 1925, it approved the report of the Investigative Commission and decided that the lands lying to the south of Brussels Line be left to Iraq.
|The Castle of Ouchy, where the Lausanne talks were held|
British Deep State’s Sedition Fuels Riots Across the Region Nestorian Riot
Nestorianism and Missionary Activities Targeting Nestorians
Nestorianism is a Christian sect with members in various parts of Asia. Between 1915-1924, a significant Nestorian population lived in Nusaybin, Siirt and Hakkari in Turkey,395 with most settling around Hakkari and considering it as their center (there are currently no Nestorians in Turkey).396
When the word spread in the West of the Nestorian presence in Ottoman lands, many missionaries came to the region as various countries sought ways to turn this Christian minority on Ottoman lands into an advantage for them. Britain was the most ardent and determined one.
The British “Royal Geographical Society” and “Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge” were particularly active in missionary activities. Before we delve further into these historical facts, let us remember one more time a very important truth: being a missionary is a holy activity that people carry out to spread their faith and communicate the religion they believe in. However, the missionaries that will be mentioned here were not seeking to carry out such a duty; on the contrary, they were spies of the British deep state charged with carrying out its dirty tasks, but disguised as missionaries. So much so, those so-called missionaries sent by the said organizations functioned just like intelligence officers on Turkish lands and studied the social order and the power of state authority in the region. They determined the methods that could be used to provoke this community that had a different ethnical background against the state administration.
|1. Nestorians at Mount Judi in 1899
2. A picture from the Nestorian riot. Nestorians were exploited by the British deep state in its bid to gain control over the region’s oil reserves.
Nestorian Riots and the British Deep State Efforts
Nestorians had rioted twice against the Ottoman Empire, in 1843 and 1846, but they were suppressed. During WWI, they clashed with the Kurdish tribes in Southeast Anatolia and East Anatolia. The Ottoman archives mention the rivalry between Protestant British and American missionaries and Orthodox Russians to win over the Nestorians during these years397 and that the problems between Nestorians and Kurds escalated due to these supposedly missionary activities.398 Indeed, after having lived together peacefully, tensions began to arise between these two communities which later turned into bloody clashes when the British deep state came onto the scene and started its activities in the region under the guise of missionary activities in the 19th century.399
During the Kurdish-Nestorian clashes in 1843, British missionaries led by George Percy Badger used clothes, food, and money to curry favor with the Nestorians while the Nestorian Patriarch sought refuge in the British Consulate.400 This is an indication of how the members of the British deep state considered Nestorians as an ideal means to help them gain a foothold in the region. As soon as British missionaries like Dr. William Henry Browne gained the trust of the people in the region, they immediately said that the problem concerned internal policy401 and took a stance against the Ottoman Empire.
John George Taylor, the Consul of Britain in Erzurum at the time, began his letter to Earl of Clarendon in 1868, with the following statements: ‘Please find attached two reports which include my observations and the experiences about the country and the people. This data is based on my six years of duty in the country’. The attachment of the letter included, in addition to the demographic details of Nestorians, the following comment:
Nestorians are the second largest Christian community after Armenians. They are not important because they are rich or smart. It is because they live on a mountainous terrain close to Iranian border and can be fighters when necessary. It is also because in practice they are almost independent… They always complain about Kurds and Turks and they are so pitiful, they are willing to accept rule of foreigners at the cost of their faiths and lands.402
In other words, the members of the British deep state once again applied its usual tactics, tried to show Nestorians as an ‘oppressed people’, when they have been living in peace for centuries, and saw them as pawns that could be used with the pretense of ‘protection’. (Nestorianism and Nestorians are above his remarks). They didn’t hesitate to clearly voice their thoughts.
Riots during WWI and the Subsequent Clashes
Nestorians that rioted during WWI were defeated by the Ottoman army, and as a result started moving towards Hamadan with guidance and help from British aircraft. Subsequently, Britain set up a 3000-tent settlement in Baquba, 50 km from Baghdad, for 40,000-50,000 Nestorians.403
This made Nestorians more vulnerable to exploitation by the British. Living in tent camps dependent on the British, they couldn’t help but turn into potential mercenaries for future British claims in the region, rather than being ‘oppressed’ people protected by the British.
Promising a muhtar (self-governing) state to Nestorians in Hakkari and Urmiye region, British wanted to build a buffer zone between the Ottoman Empire and its lands in Iraq and set up four battalions of Nestorians called ‘Levy forces’ as the armed force of this buffer zone.404
Identical to British forces in their uniforms and equipment, these forces staged attacks against people living in Hakkari, Şırnak and Van provinces, and particularly worked to drive the Kurdish population living along the Zab valley out of the region. In retaliation, Kurdish tribes began attacking British units in various areas starting in March 1919.405
Even though the British responded to these attacks with counter-attacks, they had to give up on their ‘buffer zone’ plans based on the use of these ‘Levy forces’. Nevertheless, the British deep state continued its efforts to build a Nestorian state in Anatolia. During the conference held in San Remo, Italy from June 18 to 26, 1920, convened for the purpose of sharing Ottoman territory, Lord Curzon demanded a special settlement area for Nestorians. After this development, Nestorians decided to launch a military attack on Hakkari and then settle there.406 The attack that started on October 27, 1920 failed due to harsh winter conditions.
Three years later, Nestorians rioted one more time and again, their supporters were the British deep state. The British deep state continued to use Nestorians as mercenaries against Turkey until the Mosul issue was resolved in its favor.407
Hakkari governor Halil Rıfat Bey, who was taken a prisoner in the beginning of the 1924 Nestorian riot and later released, said that he saw uniformed and armed British soldiers among Nestorians, and British planes flying over Hakkari (Çukurca) hills. Based on his observations, he said: ‘There is no doubt that the British have been recently provoking these people against our government’.408
Halil Rıfat Bey was spot on with his analysis that the riot was backed by the British deep state. This fact is further verified in an article published by The Times during the same time. This article depicted the Turkish lands, planned to be taken for Nestorians, as the Assyrian State, and referring to the incident in Hakkari, used a threatening tone and said if the region were left to Turkey, more incidents would follow. In the same article, the Turkish land of Çölemerik (Hakkari) was called ‘lands that belonged to no one yet’. Governor Halil Rıfat Bey, who went to investigate the area, was portrayed as a person that violated the region.409
|Mosul is home to rich oil reserves. For this reason, it has always been a
target of the British deep state throughout history.
Indeed, Turkey has declared on several occasions that the British had armed Nestorian tribes that staged attacks against Turkey.410
In truth, the British deep state was planning to build autonomous Kurdish and Nestorian regions within Mosul vilayet, which according to its plan would later join the Arabic state that would be founded under the British mandate. This would give Britain the buffer zone that would protect its oil reserves in the Middle East and enable it to push the Kurdish and Nestorian regions northwards to expand its sphere of influence.411
Cafer Tayyar (Eğilmez) Pasha, the 7th Corps Commander, was given the task of leading the military operation to suppress the Nestorian riot412 and the campaign started on September 11, 1924.413 Kurdish tribes also supported the military campaign against Nestorians.414
On the morning of September 14, a Turkish cavalry unit that passed the border between Hakkari and Mosul was bombed for three straight hours by three British planes that took off from Zakho. Forced to retreat, the Turkish units moved northwards.415 However, when the British began to violate the Turkish land using Nestorians, Turkey sent a diplomatic note to the League of Nations on September 17, 1924, informing it of the violation of the Treaty of Lausanne.416
The campaign reached a conclusion when the Turkish units reached the Hezil Suyu river line on October 11, 1924 and drove the rebels to the north of Iraq.
Sheikh Said Rebellion
Turkey was certainly not pleased with the resolution of the League of Nations dated December 16, 1925 that left Mosul to Iraq. Indeed, according to British intelligence, Mustafa Kemal was getting ready for another round of fighting. As preparations were underway for a military campaign for control of Mosul, the Sheikh Said Rebellion in Southeastern Anatolia broke out. This riot, that saw the participation of some Kurdish and Zaza tribes, was quite suspicious in terms of its causes and timing. The truth is, the riot started for no real reason other than it had been planned years ahead by the British deep state. It was a backup plan to be used should Turkey decided to act – militarily or otherwise – about Mosul. This phony riot would also accentuate the imaginary ‘Turkish-Kurdish divide’, another British deep state production, and bound Turkey hand and foot.
French historian Jacques Benoist-Méchin made the following remarks regarding the support of the British deep state to the riot:
The Sheikh Said riot was a challenge to the unitary structure of the new state and the applicability of the laws across the entire country… Hoping that it could prevent the Kemalist regime from getting stronger, Britain was provoking a Kurdish riot that would create unrest. It was keeping the wound open for Turkey, by providing food and ammunition to the rioters.417
Britain was closely monitoring the Sheikh Said Rebellion. This incident took place at the most critical point of the Mosul dispute, under the supervision of the British deep state, and just as planned by the British deep state, gave British important leverage. This forged riot gave the international public the message that ‘Turks and Kurds were unable to live peacefully together on Turkish lands’.418 This incident allowed Britain to say: “Let alone the Kurds in Mosul, you are fighting even your own Kurds.”419
|1. After Sheikh Said and other rebels were arrested.
2. 3. Sheikh Said one hour before the execution. Sheikh Said riot took place under
In the first days of the riot, the French Commissariat in Baghdad sent Paris a 40-page report. The report mentioned conflicting French-British interests in the Middle East as well as the Kurdish-British relations. It also included the following statements about Sheikh Said:
Since 1918, Sheikh Said has been working for the Istanbul Kurdish Committee, which seeks to build a Kurdish state under British mandate. In 1918, Abdullah Bey, the leader of Turkey’s Committee for Kurdish Independence introduced Sheikh Said to Major Noel, who was one of the fundamental elements of Britain’s Kurdish policy …420
Let us reiterate one important fact: Neither Kurds nor Assyrians wished to rebel on Turkish lands. On the contrary, most of these communities objected to these riots. The truth is, the riots were organized and orchestrated by the British deep state spies. The goal was to facilitate British intervention on Turkish lands, portraying Turkey as a weak country intolerant of its minorities, and of course, ensuring definitive dominion over Mosul. The ruses of the British deep state succeeded and the Investigative Commission set up by the League of Nations issued its report in favor of the British case and the League made its decision accordingly. Erzurum MP Hüseyin Avni Bey’s following words were proven right once more: ‘League of Nations is nothing but a British council’.421
Mosul Is Lost
The League of Nations made Mosul a part of Iraq under British mandate, and its duration was extended to 25 years while originally it was to last only 5 years. It was also decided that the economic matters should be resolved between the two countries through various agreements.
The main reasons why the Mosul dispute was resolved against Turkey’s argument can be listed as follows:
1- Turkey was not a member of the League of Nations,
2- Great Britain was the most influential member of the League (indeed, many called the League a British council),
3- The Estonian general who went to the region to carry out examinations wasn’t allowed to go to the north of the Brussels Line that defined the Turkish-Iraqi border, which made it impossible to carry out an unbiased investigation,
4- Turkey couldn’t send a representative to Permanent Court of Justice,
5- Sheikh Said Rebellion, which was provoked by the British deep state, put Turkey in a difficult position.
|Baghdad in 1914 (1) and in 1918 (2)|
Although Turkey objected to the decision, to maintain the newly emerged ‘peace atmosphere’ and to not violate the former resolutions accepted, she was forced to recognize the decision. The Turkish administration had serious difficulty during that time because the British deep state, which was very influential, fought tooth and nail for Mosul and was adamant on making no compromises on that issue during the negotiations. This was important for the British deep state because in the following years, the British deep state widely used Kurds to carry out its sinister plans for the Middle East and Turkey. The fabricated Turkish-Kurdish divide that was started with the Mosul issue marked the beginning of this exploitation of Kurds.
Although Turkey maintained that the decision about Mosul was unjust, due to its foreign policy of pursuing peaceful means to resolve problems, it refrained from further escalating the issue and voiced its protest through diplomacy in line with the circumstances of the day. As a part of this strategy, it signed a Treaty of Friendship and Neutrality with the Soviet Union on December 17, 1925. This treaty was a ‘natural agreement’ based on the rapprochement of two countries, which started during the Turkish War of Independence. However, it is noteworthy that it was signed the day after the League of Nations’ decision on Mosul. In that sense, it was a continuation of the Soviet-Turkish Treaty of Friendship signed on March 16, 1921, the Treaty of Kars signed with Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan on October 13, 1921, which were Soviet Republics then, and finally the Treaty of Friendship and Brotherhood signed with Ukraine on January 2, 1922. It was also a reaction against the Mosul decision.
What Does the Mosul Question Tell Us?
While studying the Mosul negotiations at Lausanne, it is important to understand why the British deep state was so adamant. The so-called ‘Kurdish problem’, which had never existed before, suddenly started after Mosul was forcefully brought under British control with the Lausanne negotiations. The century-old plan of the British deep state included fabricating the non-existent ‘Kurdish problem’ for Turkey, which lingers even today. ‘Separation of Turks and Kurds’ was first brought up during those days, almost building the infrastructure for a plan that would be used in the future by terror groups. Even though the Kurds of Turkey and Mosul repeatedly stated that they were ‘Turks’ and ‘loyal to Turkey’, and although the Kurdish members of the Turkish Parliament shouted out clearly that there was no discord or problem between Turks and Kurds, the British deep state continued its relentless propaganda that said otherwise.
|A. Mosul||1. Turkey
6. Saudi Arabia
|An artificial Kurdish problem was slyly created in Mosul, a Turkish territory.|
|A painting of Mosul|
Just like its artificial beginning, the ‘Kurdish problem’ is still artificial today, when we look at its causes. It should be noted that those people who claim today that such a divide exists and who assume a racist language accordingly, are in truth either agents or sycophants that serve the British deep state. Such people with that state of mind have been a part of deep state structures throughout Turkey’s history; they have followed an oppressive policy towards Kurds and even resorted to violence, and they have created a divide in Turkey. Today it is well known that such people created polarization and an artificial hatred for minorities. A careful analysis of the current situation will reveal how the provocation of these people is supported by the familiar publications under the control of the British deep state.
Surprisingly, even though the Stalinist terror group PKK rejects all national identities, it uses Kurdish nationalism as a propaganda tool for its ultimate goal of building an anarchist-communist state in Southeast Anatolia and imposing a communal system on our Kurdish brothers. This propaganda is a frequently used method of the British deep state to influence the masses. Indeed, it was the British deep state that gave the idea to the PKK in the first place. Therefore, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the PKK is kept under extreme protection by the British deep state. It was mentioned previously how Mosul was used to fabricate the previously non-existent Kurdish issue and how that plan was stretched into the next century. A careful examination of the current PKK problem reveals that Mosul had indeed been the starting point of the Kurdish card that is still being played by the British deep state.
At the time of the Lausanne negotiations, Kurds were our family, our people, a part of us; and still are. Providentially, our Kurdish brothers and sisters, especially in Southeastern Anatolia, have now realized the sly plans of the British deep state through our relentless efforts. For years, these great people weren’t influenced by any provocation, and neither are they now, despite the nefarious traps of the British deep state and of the PKK. The British deep state will never break us from our Kurdish brothers and sisters, no matter how much it has tried since its Mosul games; never will it achieve this.
|The first banner of the PKK was a red communist banner that had hammer and sickle on it. Posters of Marx, Engels and Lenin cover the walls at PKK meetings.|
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