Courting the Turks
Recently, the Americans have suddenly started showing an alarming tactfulness towards the Turks. American Ambassador, İlkös [Elkeus (?)] in Istanbul in his elaborate speech has asserted that they had no intentions other than helping the Turks with their own delegations, schools and with other institutions, and that they were full with the desire for serving the Turks more than their own citizens for the welfare of their Turkish friends. Hearing such words of compassion and love in an elaborate manner from the
Americans and from the English one cannot help feeling anything but suspicion. Those two states, sharing the same ideologies, do really know how to cover up their gigantic economic interests with a spiritual veil so that no observer can even perceive.
Although America has been of great help to Turkey with its schools and hospitals, which cannot be denied, we must ask whether the American delegation’s activities had caused some damage or not. Let’s make one point clear. American missionaries, in line with their own beliefs that coincide with that of the English, always serve the interests of the English. But, behind those spiritual officers, teachers, and doctors there are financial experts who work for their own interests and do not invest even a dime for no profit, and who are eager to hear the resounding sound of gold in promoting their religion. On the other hand, the activities of the American missionaries in Turkey have certain political aims that have only been envisaged by very few people.
The place the American delegation has chosen is Armenia. Although there are decent and well-established American teaching institutions in Istanbul, they form the rough structure of a building whose foundation is laid in Armenia. No matter how strange it may seem, the Armenian civic turmoil that has been continuing for years is the consequence of the teachings of American priests and teachers. However, this should not lead to a misunderstanding, I do not mean to say that the Americans have solely instigated the turmoil. In fact, this also had happened. As the most of the rebellious Armenians are American subjects, they have always been protected by the American missionaries, and by the American Embassy in Istanbul as well. For short, the Armenian youth that is brought up with an American idea of freedom of education beyond consideration are joining the secret organizations against the Ottoman State. Those young people who have been kept under surveillance by the State, have taken refuge in America, under the protection of the United States of America and with the help of the American officials they have received their right to become American citizens much earlier than what the law urged. In consequence, whenever the government has become satiated with the activities and extended her unforgiving hand over them, they would start raising their voices in all the civilized countries under American and English mandates and claim that the Turks were committing atrocities upon the Christians and Armenians.
Most of the time the American warships would frequently appear on the Anatolian coasts and would demand an excuse for the American citizens and thus force the Turkish people to promise to pay some amount of indemnification. Nevertheless, the Turks have already been accustomed to pay the required amounts.
As the Armenian issue started playing a continuous role in the American media and politics, the attempts to end the missionaries’ tasks on the Armenians were rejected by the American congress. Furthermore, this unceasing Armenian issue has caused the changing of American citizenship regulations. A law, declaring that the American citizens would lose their rights pertaining to citizenship two years after their turning back to their native countries, was passed. Hence, it was hoped that the citizenship
problems would come to an end. However, England has always, in secret, sided with the Armenians, although seeming in opposition, when such decisions were taken. For short, the inciting factor has always remained behind the doors. Her [England’s] genuine aim was to weaken Turkey by simply putting the blame of the atrocities committed by the Armenians on the Turks. She has received considerable amount of fervent help on this issue from France and Russia. American missionaries have also helped them achieving their goal. Neither of those [nations] wanted a unified, well established, and a strong Turkey. By the implementation of the American missionaries, they were trying to show the entire world that, they were in fact defending Christianity against the heathens and the Turks.
Meanwhile, pursuing natural prerogatives and claims for indemnities were forming the bases of their argument. America’s present tactfulness is being displayed for the gaining of important prerogatives. It is now evident that Turkey needs money, and that she will not be able to free herself from the pangs of poverty after the war. America has earned great amount of money from the allies and enemies of the Turks. Is it not wise to engage in constructing railways, and buying mines in Turkey with prerogatives and the
money America has gained? Ambassador Morgenthau, being a cunning tradesman, has obtained great privileges, and even managed to obtain prerogatives, for little sum of money, to establish a bank. Elkeus (?) who replaced him is trying to obtain the same prerogatives. This is enough an impulse for all of us to keep our eyes on the independence of our nation, and on the future of the Baghdad railroad.
To Ministry of Defense 2nd Division
To Ministry of Internal Affairs a copy is sent 31569
To Ministry of Foreign Affairs to each
October 8, 1916
A copy is presented to the Minister of Defense
October 15, 1916