Mahmut Celâl Bayar

Statesman - Politician

President of Turkish Republic

16 May 1883 - 22 August 1986


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Call for Unity to the Nation by Mahmut Celâl during the Sessions of the Last Meeting of the Ottoman Parliament.

 These declarations were the major cause for the Sultan to abolish the Parliament

The Ottoman Parliament.

Fourth Election Period.

Proceedings of the meeting on 13 March 1920 (1336), Saturday at 2:30 PM.:


Chairman of Parliament Celâleddin Arif Bey (Erzurum),
 - According to procedure, pronounces that there are two telegrams of protest among the documents received. (These are read)

The first letter signed by Zahit, the Legal Defense Chairman of Salihli protesting the cruel treatment and the persecution of the residents and the fleeing refugees of Salihli by the Greek Forces during their occupation of Salihli; and the second letter signed by Demirci Mehmet Efe the Commander of the National Front of Aydin and Menteşe were read into the records.

 Mahmut Celâl Bey (MP from Saruhan) spoke:

 -     Mr. Chairman, I believe that there is a telegram sent in the name of the Central Committee indicating that the people of Aydin, Muğla, Denizli, Isparta, Burdur, Antalya, and Karahisar provinces are determined to fight for their Nation’s independence and to uphold the Laws of our land at any cost. The others are of little consequence. I demand that the entire telegram be read and that we open a discussion on this National movement.

 Chairman Celâleddin Arif Bey (MP from Erzurum):

 -     Sirs. There is a majority. I am opening the session. Previous proceedings will be noted. After that I will put your request to a vote. (Secretary Hüsrev Bey – MP from Trabzon – reads the summary of the previous proceedings.)

 Celâl Bey (Saruhan):

 -     Mr. Chairman: I have a request. In our by-laws there are items that need to be referred to the subcommittees and be discussed for the first time. On the other hand, the above mentioned three telegrams which are urgent documents summarize the dire situation our Nation is facing. This subject needs to be taken up by the Grand Assembly with courage, and our duty to our country demands that we announce the determined decisions of our nation to the world. Our decision . . .

 A voice from the right: “Based on what?”

 Celâl Bey (Saruhan) – Continues –

-     Based on our Nations will, Sir. We have a duty to announce this decision to the world and reiterate our Nation’s independence and our laws. For this reason I demand that we place a priority on the reading of the telegrams and open a discussion on their contents.

 Chairman Celâleddin Arif Bey (Erzurum):

 -     Our colleague is proposing that the telegrams be read and a debate started immediately. Those who agree, . . don’t agree?   Agreed. I will now have the telegrams read. Sir!

      (Secretary Hüsrev Bey – Trabzon – reads the telegrams.)

-     The Grand Assembly has been informed. Gentlemen, we will now have the others read.

A voice from the left: “What good will this do?”

 Celâl Bey (Saruhan):

 -     These are a very small part of the disaster that is happening at this time. Our Nation is moaning under an oppression and cruelty unprecedented in our history and is determined to defend its identity with courage that characterizes the Turks. If we claim that we are representing this Nation, it is our national duty to act and find a solution and not just passively listen to these disasters. The impression this assembly is giving is one of calmness that does not appreciate these disasters. It is essential that we announce first of all to ourselves and then to the world, the extent of the disasters and the naked truth which our indifferent and insensitive Government who has set a very bad example for future generations has not acted on as its duty to our nation and toward humanity dictates. Therefore, I beg my parliamentarian friends to show the courtesy of listening to the victims living in one part of our lands and who are enduring continuing fatalities.

 Voices: “Of course, naturally, yes, yes”

 İsmail Fâzıl Paşa (Yozgat): “Excellent, Celâl Bey”

 Chairman Celâleddin Arif Bey (Erzurum): - We shall continue reading the other telegrams.

      (Secretary Hüsrev Bey  (Trabzon) – reads the telegram sent by Demirci Efe.)

 Tunalı Hilmi Bey (Bolu):  “What is its date?”

 Hüsrev Bey (Trabzon):  5 March 336 (1920)

 Celâl Bey (Saruhan):

 -     Mr. Chairman; would you permit me? I ask to speak. Friends: This disaster and the contents of this telegram that was presented to you is nothing new. This condition has continued since the recording of the events of 15 May 335 (1919) in the Ottoman annals. When the Greeks first entered İzmir they filled the cellars and basements of buildings with defenseless citizens at the point of bayonets and violated their dignity and national honor. There is not a single person in İzmir who has not been affected by the cruelty and pressure inflicted by the Greeks. Here, the human rights of the citizens of this nation and the right to live in harmony and peace have been completely violated. As soon as the Greek soldiers entered into the city, they demanded that the entire population pray for their King. They martyred several courageous officers who asserted that an officer who wears the uniform of the Ottoman army can raise his hand and pray only for his own government. Gentlemen, consequently; there is not a single asset or Moslem and Turkish presence remaining in İzmir that has not been subjected to the cruelty of the Greeks. These atrocities are committed in plain view of the arbitration forces that came to the region to assure just treatment and promote peace and order. And; I want to draw the attention of the Parliament, that when he first entered into İzmir the Greek commander of the invasion forces indicated that their occupation is temporary and involves only İzmir and its immediate surroundings. What I understand of İzmir and its immediate surroundings is the city and a few villages around İzmir. Whereas the Greeks have extended the lands they occupied. In one direction they went to Nazilli and the other way they went to Akhisar.

      If a determined force had not confronted them, a force that sprung from the bosom of our nation, and had not this force stood in front of these tyrants the Greeks would have extended their territory of occupation from Eğridir to Bandırma. I am prepared to submit the proof and documents of my assertions to this distinguished assembly.

Tunalı Hilmi Bey (Bolu): “Long live the heroes, long live the Zeybeks”

Celâl Bey (Saruhan) – Continues -

 -     But, I would like this assembly to imagine and think for a moment as to how they would conduct themselves if there was no control or supervision and there was nothing to stop them from inflicting cruelty and destroying the human rights of the people in İzmir when the their actions are hidden.

       They burned down forty villages in the Aydın region and its surroundings. They massacred the village residents while holding them as hostage and forcing them to take forced walks. Gentlemen, I personally was a witness to these events. In Kermencik they tied up sixty people and as they were taking them to Aydın as prisoners they shot forty of them at the Karapınar station. Ten of our citizens were thrown into a hole in the ground while they were still half alive and bloodied all over. They took the last ten prisoners to Aydın and imprisoned them in order to show that they had not massacred all of them.

     They cruelly burned down this beautiful historic city. They made the residents load their flocks, and all their food unto their own vehicles and had them transport these to the islands by whipping them into submission and under the cruelest of conditions. After these unfortunate residents served their purpose the Greeks drowned them in the sea.

Abdullah Azmi Efendi (Eskişehir): “This is savagery”

 Celâl Bey (Saruhan): - Continues –

 -    Gentlemen; if it were the loss of only the material wealth of our Nation we might have found some consolation and an excuse to the misdeeds. But what they did was attack our sanctity. When I entered Aydın I saw that three-quarter of that beautiful city was burnt down. Forty thousand residents of the city were scattered around the ruins, had lost all their possessions, had been assaulted and massacred. Haggard and miserable groups were begging for food and help. Those who could not move from this area were the violated women and children whose male family member had been killed. At a street intersection I saw two elderly women sobbing as they were bent over a young woman’s corps that had been removed from a burnt house. With tears in her eyes one of them said: “This is my daughter. First they raped her then threw her into this burning house. We are waiting here with her so that they would not take her remains with them. They might as well kill us also. We will then be relieved.”

       Friends; this scene is one example of thousands and ten thousands of similar incidents. This is not the work of one cruel and vile individual. This is one piece of the preplanned cruelty and dastardly phase that is being applied to our Nation.

 Ali Şükrü Bey (Trabzon): “These people are uncivilized brutes”.

 Celâl Nuri Bey (Gelibolu): “This is worse than the Inquisitions”.

 Celâl Bey (Saruhan): - Continues –

 -     The number of refugees fleeing from the cruelty of the Greeks in the İzmir region and its surroundings has reached one hundred thousand. I am not quoting this number as a guess. Just those fleeing Aydın and its surrounding areas are sixty thousand people. And, forty thousand people fled from Bergama, Menemen, and Manisa due to the cruelties inflicted on them. These are people who have no families and are mostly defenseless, crippled, and sick Turkish citizens. How many thousands who abandoned their homes have been attacked and killed on the roads? This is not known. As far as we can determine the majority of those who abandoned their homes have perished. Those who took shelter on the slopes of the mountains and those who went inland were saved. That is all. And they also perished from climatic extremes and the winter colds. We have the obligation of shouting from this podium as the representatives of this Nation our declaration to the criminals who claim that they represent civilization.

 Ali Şükrü Bey (Trabzon): “Curse that kind of civilization”.

 Tunalı Hilmi Bey (Bolu): “We do not need their civilization. We are the civilized people”.

 Celâl Bey (Saruhan) – Continues –

 -     Gentlemen. Finally this cruelty and disaster which is condemned by Turks and non-Turks, Moslems and non-Moslems has been referred to the Allied Headquarters and a committee arrived at the location in order to investigate and study the conditions. In spite of the great efforts to interfere in the investigation and minimize the disaster . . . . . .

 Muhtar Bey (Edirne): “Let us not get hysterical. Let us talk about events we can prove”.

 Celâl Bey (Saruhan): - Continues –

 -     I have personally witnessed this disaster. As the representative of a stricken region of our country I speak of true events and I am certain that this Great Assembly will inform the Government of the disasters and ask it to take preventive measures. The honorable representatives, if they wish, can visit and see the conditions for themselves. (Voices shouting “Bravo” and “Of course”).

 Chairman Celâleddin Arif Bey (Erzurum):

 -     This Great Assembly is listening with great interest to this declaration which is interpreting and informing the events and the news to our Nation. Kindly continue.

 Celâl Bey (Saruhan): - Continues -

 -     A committee formed to investigate the allegations came from Europe and found that the Greeks had enlarged their area of occupation without an authorization and that they were conducting ethnic cleansing in the areas they are occupying. This report is well known to us all. If the news printed in foreign newspapers regarding this report which was discussed at the peace conference is true and correct, the Greeks gave assurances that this tragedy would not be repeated. We also, above all for the sake of humanity, wish that this would be true. The Nations at the peace conference also simply indicated that they wished the same. But, Gentlemen, we as the recipient Nation of cruelty and tragedies cannot remain silent with a simple wishful statement. In fact, in spite of these wishful statements criminal activities are still continuing in the occupied areas as these telegrams have indicated. There are attacks on the sovereignty and independence of the Turks in those areas.

 Hacı Tevfik Efendi (Çankırı): “Shame on the Peace Conference Participants.”

 Celâl Bey (Saruhan): - Continues –

 -     According to our latest intelligence reports, to-day there is not a single Turk who can travel to his place of work in a region of sixty kilometers from Urla to İzmir. And then, Gentlemen, within a forty kilometer area from İzmir to Torbalı, Turks have lost any guarantee that they will be allowed to live or retain their property. They are all oppressed, their vehicles that provided their livelihood has been stolen and forcibly transported to Greece. They killed one thousand two hundred citizens among who was the Mayor of the city. To cover up their slaughters they buried the dead into ditches they had dug for that purpose. One must confess that the savagery that was committed with such openness and in a purposely calm and arrogant manner has never been seen in history. This disaster was witnessed by the Italian representative who visited the area. He unearthed many of the bodies and took photographs of them. Documentations of these tortures and inquisitions were submitted to public scrutiny and reflected in the world press. Because of these revelations Europe condemned the criminal and exposed it to the world.

Tunalı Hilmi Bey (Bolu) – Curse the criminal. Shame on them.

Celâl Bey (Saruhan)  - Continues –

 -     What will happen after to-day? Facing such a threat to our existence I would like to hear a loud voice coming out of our Parliament. And, it is only to-day that I am consoled and honored to be able to make these disclosures.

 -     Gentlemen! We must ask what the Government is doing. What is it that is being done? We have in our possession documents which establish the date and place of the crimes that were committed. In fact, it is sad but I will say that archives and files have been created. All these positive documentation is sitting idle in the Government files. The first task that needed to be done, considering that our national aspiration is to be treated humanely, was to submit our views to the conscience of the world. Why has the Government not done its duty?

 Hacı Tevfik Efendi (Çankırı) – They might have considered the status quo.

 Celâl Bey (Saruhan) – Continues –

 -     The only task that can be assigned to honest people in the face of this status quo would be to stop it at all cost and prevent it from happening. First of all, these documents whether they were called red, black or whatever should have been published. Because, citizens in other parts of our country should have been told about all the disasters happening in our sector. And also, the attention of the Europeans and all the civilized people should have been drawn to these events. Not only have the disasters been greeted with silence, as if this is not enough, to assure that the crimes continued, they helped the Greek and abated him. That, Gentlemen, is the arm of General Milen. That arm is determined to break the Turkish national conscience. The so called Milen line, by abandoning parts of our lands to the enemy, has been arranged and laid out in such a manner as to render impotent the struggles of a few heroic people who are simply fighting with their tooth and nail for honor and national independence. This partition is creating the destruction and impoverishment of thousands of our innocent people.

 Ali Şükrü Bey (Trabzon): “Even we are not aware of these calamities”.

 Celâl Bey (Saruhan): - Continues –

 -     On the other hand the Government is well aware of the events. A few heroic people who founded the Aegean defense front, starting from the day of the occupation of İzmir are increasing the lines of defense and are preventing the Greeks from penetrating into our mainland. They also were informing İstanbul on the cruelties they were witnessing. But, the Government is not informing the Assembly the news it is receiving. They are afraid of creating an incident. I am convinced that the Government is aware of all the events. We have documents in our possession that prove this truth. The cruelties have been documented and verified by date, location and their horrible results. But, these have become dormant in files. Gentlemen, in front of this Assembly I request from the Government and our Nation to initiate protective measures and, Gentlemen, only then will we give some hope to the unhappy Turk, and the innocents who lost their independence, honor and property. Otherwise, Gentlemen, we will be called impotent as well.

 İsmail Kemal Bey (Çorum): “Let those who sold their souls listen and think about this”.


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