Barış Terkoğlu

'Vile, lowly, base, dishonorable Vahdettin'

07 Aralık 2023 Perşembe

It's strange how they believe they can rewrite a history tested by actions with their directive-driven prosecutors!

Newspapers reported that Erdoğan saluted the navy from the Vahdettin Mansion. They missed out on the fact that Vahdettin, who fled on a British warship entrusting his five wives to Commander Harrington, had also left the infamous mansion to his concubine, Zehra Hanım. Naturally, the 100th year of the Republic, which rejected this lordship, was marked from "Vahdettin’s Concubine’s Mansion"!

Every betrayal contains a significant amount of ignorance. The investigation into the Izmir Mayor over Vahdettin, completed by a commentator known from a so-called nationalist channel shouting at our journalist friend Ümit Zileli: "Anyone who calls Vahdettin a traitor will be prosecuted!"

So, let's ask: How did Atatürk view Vahdettin?

Fortunately, Atatürk left enough words behind to answer this question. Right at the beginning of his "Nutuk," while describing the conditions that led him to Samsun, he did not overlook Vahdettin: "Vahdettin, occupying the position of sultanate and caliphate, had degenerated, seeking despicable measures to ensure his and only his throne."

Atatürk, describing Vahdettin as part of the English Philhellenic Society, made a unique observation about the members:

"Do not assume this society is made up of those who are fond of the English! In my view, those forming this society are those who love their own selves and personal interests, seeking the inviolability of their persons and interests through the protection of the English under the Lloyd George government."


In "Nutuk," Atatürk, while mentioning the opportunistic words of Cemal Mersinli, the Minister of War in the Rıza Pasha Cabinet, summarized how he viewed Vahdettin: "When the Minister of War uttered these words, they were only confident in the trust of one person. That person was the traitor Vahdettin, tarnishing the state leadership."

Atatürk also fiercely criticized İzzet and Salih Pashas, who were indecisive between Ankara and Istanbul. Of course, the choice was not between the two cities. It was between the National Struggle and Vahdettin. The other side in "Nutuk" was described as "Vahdettin, a puppet in the hands of enemies."

Atatürk was also furious about the invitation of Vahdettin's delegation to the Peace Conference. He reminded of Vahdettin's historical role: "The Vahdettin delegation, consisting of Tevfik Pasha and similar pashas, only saw all their interests in clinging to a dirty, decaying throne..."


On November 1, 1922, the day the Sultanate was abolished, the Assembly described the dynasty as "The Osmanoğulları, who had forcibly seized the sovereignty and sultanate of the Turkish nation, maintaining this tyranny for over six centuries."

Vahdettin's escape with the British on November 17 was documented in "Nutuk" under the headline "Traitor Vahdettin fleeing Istanbul on a British warship." Atatürk used harsh words for this fitting end of Vahdettin: "A creature as vile as Vahdettin, seeing his freedom and life in danger within his nation", "It is commendable that this lowly person, after being dethroned by the nation, has completed his disgrace", "A weak, base creature, devoid of sense and perception, can seek refuge under the protection of any foreigner", "We showed that we could remove from the stage the caliphs game played by those who see all kinds of degradation permissible to drag their worthless lives a little longer", "Worthless people who can only think of their personal situation and lives, even at the expense of their state and nation"...

In Atatürk's memoirs, Vahdettin also occupies a significant place. Atatürk, who accompanied Heir Vahdettin on his trip to Germany, formed an early opinion about him. After their first meeting, he said to Naci Pasha, "Poor, wretched, pitiable", "This poor man will be sultan tomorrow, what can be expected of him." In another conversation, when Vahdettin responded to the idea of saving the country with "I must first feed the people of Istanbul", Atatürk made a literary comparison: "I was greatly distressed to find myself in front of yet another example of the hundreds I witness every day of the fox-like nature of every schemer."


In summary, according to Atatürk, Vahdettin is defined by traits such as "traitor, state leadership polluter, degenerate, lowly, self-interested, a puppet in enemy hands, sitting on a dirty throne, vile creature, weak, worthless, miserable, pitiable, scheming fox-like..." How could it not be? What else could be said about a personality who issued a death warrant against those fighting for independence, collaborated with occupiers while the country was under siege, entrusted his wives to the occupiers, and celebrated a wedding in the Palace with Nimet Nevzat Hanım during the Battle of Sakarya, so detached from his nation? It could be said that Atatürk "spoke too little"!

In conclusion, those trying to construct a new history over Vahdettin are not prosecuting Tunç Soyer or Ümit Zileli, but Atatürk. This audacity, of course, comes from the power of those confronting the Republic. However, let's not forget, the so-called nationalists hosting drug dealers at their headquarters, the so-called nationalists running from Silivri to the Malaya ship, the so-called Atatürkists emptying Atatürk of his revolutionary ideas and confining him to hollow ceremonies, the peddler politicians 'renewing themselves to the point of losing all principles' are the real culprits here!

We think we speak of the past when talking about history. What we actually discuss is our present and our future!

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