I would like to dedicate this article to the Memory of Dear and Wise Friend, Professor in Naval Engineering, Reşat Özkan (1946 – 2002). T.Y.
An accoıunt on the saying “Peace In The Nation, Peace In The World” of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the Founder of the Turkish Republic, is provided, troughout the history of about thousand years, up to the Dardanelles War, that took place in the middle of the First World War, in 1915-16.
Ozan Yarman (M.A. in Composition)
Istanbul Technical University
About 900 years ago, The Turks,bringing along with them their Transaxonian culture, have penetrated into the heart of Asia Minor. A cardinal date, as is known, is marked by the Manzikert War (1071)
Briefly put, securing Thracia and the Balkans, conquering almost all of Anatolia and finally besieging and subjugating Constantinopolis (1453), whilst cutting off the Byzantine Empire from the West by such territorial expansions as Konya (Iconia) – Söğüt (Willow) – Bursa (Prousa) and Edirne (Adrionople), took the Turks about 380 years thereafter.
In the beginning of the 16th century (following 1514-Chaldiran, 1516-Merdjidabiq and 1517-Raydaniyya expeditions), the Turks, having secured Eastern Anatolia along with almost the entire Middle East all the way down to Egypt, could now incline further toward the West, and moreover, force the gates of Vienna twice (1529, 1683).
In this course of time, the Turks’ “superiority of faith” as compared to the dispositions of the localities reached is worth mentioning, and certainly should merit investigation from this perspective.
Within this scope – placing aside the fact that Turks also had their share of religious bigotry in overabundance, as well as excluding certain achievements and sensibilities regarding secularity – it is appropriate for us, in a socio-political context, to make the following assessment:
Islam, concerning the Turk’s entrance into Anatolia, is the “banner” – weaved and hoisted according to a genuine Turkish hermeneutic – of the “eventual conflict”, on one hand, with the Orthodox Russian to the north plus the Orthodox Byzantine at the front – slicing in between these two like a blade – and of the “allegiance policy” with the Muslim Arab to the south on the other, whilst preventing this from approaching a single grit towards Anatolia. There may actually be no “preponderance or strategical preferance” at the root of this. However, it is proper to concede the fact that, without that “banner”, and if, for instance, the Turks had chosen Orthodoxy, they probably could not have progressed through Anatolia with ease in spite of “friend & ally” Byzantine along with “friend & ally” Russia, and thus, they might not have established it as their native land…
Let us continue to analyze Turkish history:
During the 17th century, the decline (of the Ottoman Empire) commences. Depending upon wherefrom we view it, the decline lasts approximately 200-250 years. Following this course of events, the Balkans were lost in the first quarter of the 20th century (1912).
A little later on, as is known, comes the outbreak of World War I (1914). Western Powers, with all their might, rally what can justly be referred to as “A Final Crusade” (1915) – which, at first stage, would be successfully repulsed at the Battle of the Dardanelles (1916)– aimed to wrench the Turk out of Asia Minor, that has been his cradle, at that date, for about the past 800 years, or at least out of Western Anatolia and Istanbul, and cast him off to the East from whence he came. Yet, on the whole, they would never succeed. The Dardanelles would remain unsurpassable.
Upon the end of the first world war (1918), wherewith the Ottoman Empire was considered defeated (due to its ally Germany’s defeat in the Great Campaign), the Turks, led by Veteran Mustafa Kemal Pasha and his comrades-in-arms, in what should duly be recognized as ahistorically miraculous appearance, gave their War of Independence (1919-1922) against the “Western victors” who rushed headlong this time to partition Turkish territories. Again, they would fail at their attempt to eradicate the Turk from Anatolia. On the contrary, it would be the Turk that would expulse the Westerner – terminally manifested in the form of that which he has sent forth –across the Aegean from Izmir (Smyrna).
Here, it is necessary to mention this fact:
It is quite relevant at this point to perceive the “Manifestation of The Armenian Problem” (1915) as a “strategical constituent” in the Battle of the Dardanelles, or more precisely, in the Militancy of the Final Crusade, pompously swollen with rounded up Anzakhs and Gurkhas from thousands of miles afar, orchestrated to drive the Turk away – by crushing the Ottoman Empire for good – from Asia Minor altogether,Imprimis ex Byzantium, to the East at whatever the cost, utilizing for this purpose nearly every sort of artillery, weaponry, armor, and means at hand.
Indeed, it would be naive to suppose that Western Powers might not have inclined to incite the Armenians in Anatolia, while they already had invested fortunes in order to transport thousands of soldiers, not only from Europe, but also from their colonies from the other side of the world, to fight against the Turks.
Within this framework, and in all likelihood – in order to divide up the Turkish Forces and to breach the Dardanelles Frontier – harrying the Ottomans from the East also is sought, and to this end, Armenian factions are armed and incited to rebellion.
By way of emphasis on Orthodoxy, the Armenians – just as aforetime, during the course of Ottoman-Russian hostilities – were directed to fight against the Ottomans in league with the Russian Army; and later on, just after the 1917 Soviet Revolution, they were unleashed by the Imperialists – armed and aligned alongside the White Army – this time against the Bolsheviks.
Herewith, in now way the goading of the Armenians against the Ottomans in 1915 neatly coinciding with the Battle of the Dardanelles can be counted as an haphazard occurence.
The issue, which we believe was almost never noticed, thus, is the issue that, the seeking of the disembodiment of Turkish Forces by assailing them from the East at the same time as the Ottoman Empire is stormed from the West per schemes regarding the perdition of the Dardanelles Frontier, appears to be an extremely typical War Strategem.
Thus, it should be an academical obligation for those who investigate the “Armenian Problem”, to enquire primarily the top secret strategical master-plans andconceptions of those times, especially from the English, French and Russian Foreign Ministeries andGeneral Staffs; even though their concealment – due to the approbation exhibited by many Western societies concerning portions of this subject which are one-sidedly illustrated and flaunted (especially by the availability of, and aptitude in all kinds of propaganda) – would be endeavoured surreptitiously.
Hence, if the Ottomans were put in motion against the Armenians, that was because (as could be pointed out right away in the direction of the investigations that are to be undertaken) of the conflagrations that were started in the East during the course of the Battle of the Dardanelles, perpetrated, as likely as not, with the intention of dispersing and weakening the Turkish Forces.
Whatever occurred, whether this or that, and to whichsoever end… every inhuman action that took place thereafter is most certainly “lamentable”.
Nevertheless, if a responsible party, or better stated, a “malefactor” regarding such a development – just as some Western societies do – is sought for sure, then this, above all, could be none other than “Western Imperialism”; which, by having vowed to annihilate the Ottoman Empire, not only massacred hundreds of thousands of Turkish youth, while decimating hundreds of thousands of British, French, Anzakh and Gurkha soldiers in the Battle of the Dardanelles (all of whom, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, in an observation of “excelling humanism”, recognized as children of his nation resting side by side with Mehmetchik ), but also contended the Armenians in the East with the Ottomans through neatly calculated, excrutiatingly knitted strategies for its gains.
A genocide, yes, definitely took place.
However, this is but a “Turkish Genocide” (denoting here the intent of completely exterminating a nation) that Western Imperialism absolutely swore to achieve, at the cost, while everything aside, of sacrificing his own children by the hundred thousands, next to tens of thousands of Armenians that he attempted to exacerbate besides, including hundreds of thousands of Armenian civilians that the Ottomans were consequently compelled to banish en masse.
If the Dardanelles Frontier could be ruptured, Western Imperialism would then have disembarked at every corner of Asia Minor, and with the assistance of Armenians in the East, he would trap the Turk in the midst of Anatolia and finish him off. Moreover, does not what resulted after the ingression of the Dardanelles, when the Ottoman Empire was considered defeated at the end of World War I, exactly correspond to such a motive?
The fact that the Anatolian folk of those days who – whether Armenian or Turk – had given struggle against mountainous agonies, expressed this upheaval – forged by every means of unspeakable malevolence, which, since then, is probably left mostly unexposed – with a thoroughly concise strophe indigenous of Turkey, cannot, in principle, be any less an historical witness compared to a myriad of secret documents that could shed light on this issue:
Two planks did they preen,
And peeped they in between,
The English and the French,
Devastated the Armenian…
Verily, this is but the conception of Turkish people, whether originally Turcs or Armenians, as well as other non-muslim minorities who, for centuries, lived side by side in peace, yet who, alas, were forced to confront the threat posed by the ethnicities – as they so readily got tricked by the evil designs of the imperialists – when they went as far as taking up arms against their own Turkish neighbours in delirius fanaticism.
This concise historical perspective that we have brought to attention was, undoubtedly, best realised by the chief architect of the Republic of Turkiye, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. We know that he had formulated as a “staff officer” in the War Academies (1905) – incredibly, when he was only 24 – the “argumentation” concerning the abandonment, in case of an imminent outbreak of a possible world war at that time, of the possessions in North Africa, Balkans and the Middle East, regression toward Anatolia and fundamentally, the defence of the nation restricted to Asia Minor and Thracia.
From this point of view, the statement “Peace in the Nation, Peace in the World” is very significant, and in any case, what is meant by it is concisely as follows:
– We, the Turks, throughout 800 years, traversing entire Anatolia, went from here to there; and today, we have retreated to territories that is to become from now on our “homeland”. You wanted to push us back even further. Ultimately, you have forced our hand at the Dardanelles. You have waged one of the bloodiest wars in the history of mankind. You have taken from us hundreds of thousands of our children. Nevertheless, you have lost just as much from your side. You could not cross the Dardanelles. However, when our allies were defeated, we were considered to have lost the world war. Thereforward, you – the Great Powers – have penetrated into us. We have given our War of Independence; we have won back our homeland acre by acre. Now, we have no interest in anyone else’s single grit of land; but know that, he who has designs over one solitary span of our land, will be made to pay dearly, as we have proven for all the world to see, in the Battle of the Dardanelles, and later, in our War of Independence.
The summary of Turkish history in Anatolia – which at the time of Ataturk was 800, and today, 900 years old – that reached epic proportions alongside that “superiority of faith” especially in the beginning and at the end, endowing the Turkish people to inhabit these lands full of cultural wealth and witness the prosperity of their children; next to the main pillar of the Republic of Turkiye founded after the War of Independence, is this:
– Peace in the Nation, Peace in the World!
This statement, naturally, expresses a longing full of virtue; yet it is much deeper than that… It is actually the compendium of the history regarding the millenial episode of the Turk in Anatolia.
Today, it is incumbent upon Turkish people to be no doubt conscious of their history. But that is not enough. At the same time, every Turk has to be a citizen of the world. Even that is not sufficient; the Turk has to be able to visualise the cosmos and the galaxies – from the eye of the Hubble Telescope that is nowadays orbiting the Earth – while pinpointing and evaluating his stance in a universal perspective.
The Contemporary Turk should neither forget his “nationality” – which is to say, his “national history”; that is, the cost of his being able to inhabit these lands – for the sake of “universality”; nor should he get obsessed in a “zealous nationalism” and relinquish, for the sake of such, his quest for “universality”.
Starting from the homeland and the region, Turkish people should take every step in regards to the world with this awareness.
To express such a yearning, more than for the Turk with his multitude of cultural wealth in Anatolia, but rather for every nation in the world, is an indispensable duty that Turkish People owe to the legacy of Ataturk. Along this line, it is hoped that no nation in the world will forfeit its “national history” for the sake of “universality”. Yet, while at it, it is also hoped that they will, by no means, get stuck in a “zealous nationalism” and ever forsake their quest for “universality”.
“Peace in the Nation, Peace in the World” can only be concretized by eliminating every tyrannical, exploitist, unphilanthropic, philistine, disgraceful quarter – whichsoever camp these may impropriate – and by dedicating that formula inscribed across the front wallof theTurkish Grand National Assembly to mother earth as follows:
– Sovereignty belongs unexceptionally and unconditionally to the Unified Nations of the World.
 Famous statement of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, after the foundation of the Republic of Turkey
 “Dear little Mehmet”… A diminutive paternal reference for Turkish Soldiers in general.