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  • Writer's pictureMurat BARIŞ

Why Did the British Abandon Istanbul?

The liberation of Istanbul from enemy occupation is celebrated on October 6. This being the case, the last British soldier left Istanbul on October 2. So why do we celebrate the British soldier who left on October 2 on October 6? The British, who went with the last battleship Arabic, left on October 2 and went to Dolmabahçe port. Why October 6, not October 2? Very important things happened between these two dates, in these 4 days.

The liberation of Istanbul is actually different from the liberation of our other provinces. It is not like the liberation of Bursa, Bilecik or Izmit. British officers and Turkish officers came together in Tarabya, Istanbul, during the ceremony. A garden party was held in the meadow. Tea and coffee were drank in a pleasant and decent environment, looking at the Bosphorus, and then the British left Istanbul with a ceremony. There was a small Turkish military unit at that time. They saluted the British by firing into the air at Dolmabahçe harbour. British soldiers boarded the ships and left. So how does this become salvation? In other words, salvation, the enemy runs away and chases after him, this is salvation. What's happening here now? Look, the British lost 500 thousand soldiers to cross Çanakkale. Why would they come to Çanakkale? To get Istanbul. Well, they captured Istanbul, they stayed in Istanbul for 5 years, why did they ceremoniously leave Istanbul with the supply parties and never return? They did not do their best not to leave Istanbul. I think we are approaching the crux of the matter.


"Lausanne" , because the Republic of Turkey is a work of Lausanne. If permission had not been given in Lausanne, if our independence had not been recognized in Lausanne, the Republic of Turkey would not have been established. This is why it is often said that Türkiye is the title deed of the Republic. But this is actually not something to be proud of. Because the title deed eventually leads us to a land registry office. Who is the land registry office, who is in the land registry office? Who gave us the title deed of the Republic? Did the British give it to you? Do you mean this? If you say that history should be rewritten in Turkey, that Lausanne is Turkey's title deed, you will also know who the director of the land registry office is. Lord Curzon, Director of the Land Registry Office, is a very important British Foreign Minister. In Lausanne, he managed Lausanne, he is the President. Look, no representative from Turkey has been able to chair any commission. The president of any commission is not Turkish, there is no Turkish, and all commissions were led by French, British and Italian presidents. We were just participants there, we could not speak in our own language and could not negotiate in our own language. One of the results of Lausanne was the establishment of a solid administration, a new administration in Turkey. This decision has been made. One month after the Lausanne Treaty was signed in August 1923, the second Turkish Grand National Assembly approved it. The First Turkish Grand National Assembly extended the ratification. Ali Şükrü Bey was the fiercest advocate and opponent of the parliament that would approve the Lausanne Treaty. It was liquidated, the first Parliament was dissolved, the second parliament only ratified and approved the Lausanne Treaty. The Greek Parliament approved it, but the British, French and Italian parliaments never agreed to ratify it. If we were the ones who imposed it in Lausanne, if the official discourse says so, if we were the ones who slammed our fists on the table and said sign this, why did we approve it first and then pass it through our parliament?


The British, French and Italian Parliaments and other countries did not bring this to their Parliaments. Look, there is no answer to this question. Actually, Lausanne is not such a victory, the dark area inside Lausanne, where discussions are still ongoing. Therefore, as a result, Istanbul was still in British hands when Lausanne was signed. After Lausanne was signed, a protocol was made with the British in September. About how they're going to evacuate this place. Long procedures were discussed regarding this, and at the end of these procedures, it was decided that Istanbul would be evacuated by the 2nd of October. Let me tell you a few items from that protocol.

The protocol states: We will slowly unload our ships on this and that date, and finally our last ships will leave on October 2. Our ship that will leave on October 2 is the battleship Arabic. That's interesting too. Your cavalry units in Ankara will not move towards Istanbul without passing the Dardanelles and giving you instructions by radio after passing the Dardanelles. We won't be able to travel by train from anywhere else, from Bursa, Edirne, we don't have soldiers in Edirne anyway, from Kocaeli, from here or there. We are not asked to go by train. Who does not want? The British don't want it. Cavalry units will depart from Ankara. Cavalry units can only arrive in Istanbul in four days. In our own country, we say that we saved our own city under the imposition of the British. How to save? They leave Çanakkale and give instructions over the radio that it is okay to move. Our troops are moving from Ankara, they will move on October 2, they will enter Istanbul on October 6, there is no enemy when they enter, there has not been a single British soldier in Istanbul for 4 days and the British have already gone to the Mediterranean. So why do we celebrate on October 6? Because Turkish soldiers were only allowed to enter on October 6, Turkish soldiers from other regions were not allowed to enter. Who decides this? British.

Why did the British leave Istanbul? They got what they were owed in Lausanne, the Middle East was left to themselves, France and the British shared the Middle East, and a border was drawn with Turkey. Hatay was not within our borders either. Such a strange border was drawn at that time that we see it now when we slowly move towards the oil regions. Why does the oil produced in the mined area occur exactly where our border is located? They planned all of this and an agreement was reached on what kind of government Turkey would have. The Caliphate will be abolished, the Republic will be established and relations with the West will be good, we will enter the Western world and civilization, the alphabet will change, our language will change and our dress, our law, the law is very important. Of course, this is also very important for non-Muslims and foreigners in Turkey. We will accept Western law, we will take law from Switzerland, we will take criminal law from Italy, we will take maritime law from Germany and we will move to western civilization. These conditions were accepted, and after these conditions were accepted and it was decided that the caliphate would be abolished, why should the British stay here? After all, what they want to do is already guaranteed. Therefore, the presence of the British here will harm them, and the British will be happy because these reforms will take place in Turkey step by step.

And as a matter of fact, in 1936, after the Hagia Sophia was converted into a museum, the King of England would come to Turkey, tour the Hagia Sophia, return to the Hagia Sophia, which had been converted into a museum, after staying one night in Istanbul, and the relations between Turkey and England would be in a spring mood again. This means that when the British left Istanbul, they reached an agreement that would not leave any problems behind. They were happy, and their happiness was crowned with the arrival of the King of England to Turkey.

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