1914-15: An Ottoman report related to incidents in Turco-Persian borders in 1914-15
Posted: Wednesday, February 02, 2011 at 10:08 AM CT
The following report from the Turkish Military Archives (GENELKURMAY ATASE ARŞİVİ – ARCHIVES OF THE CHIEF OF STAFF) consists of twenty six pages. 1 The anonymous rapporteur pursues a number of themes, including the Frontier Delimitation Commission for the Turco-Persian boundaries, Kurdish, Armenian, Assyrian co-operation against the Ottoman Empire, allegation of atrocities against Muslims, alleged Russian intrigue and French and English machinations, occupation of Iran by the Allies, the siege of the Dardanelles Strait, the Shatt-al-Arab battles and Turco-Persian relations. The report includes a number of intercepted Russian telegrams translated to Ottoman Turkish, documents in French and Persian, both in the original languages and in Ottoman Turkish.
The rapporteur presents a report which justifies every action of the Ottoman Empire in all facets. In every respect the Ottoman Empire is supposed to be acting within the international conventions of war, lawfully and morally. All other third parties are depicted as either treacherous (Kurds, Armenians, Iranian government, Assyrians) or acting outside the parameters of conventions, or are greedy (the Russians, the France, the British). The report as well as providing an analysis of the situation concerning the Ottoman Empire and a number of other countries, it gives insight into the Ottoman spy network which had the ability to intercept Russian communication between the Russian government and its consulates.
Despite the evidently cynical and self-serving approach by the rapporteur, this document is an invaluable source of information for researchers, on a number of topics as outlined above.
In the translations of the documents, “…” indicates that a passage is illegible in the original.