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Link: http://www.armenocide.net/armenocide/armgende.nsf/$$AllDocs/1918-08-06-DE-001
Source: DE/PA-AA/R14103
Publication: DuA Dok. 427 (gk.)
Central register: 1918-A-33263
Edition: Caucasus Campaign
Departure of telegram: 08/06/1918 06:30 PM
Arrival of telegram: 08/07/1918 06:25 AM
Date of entry in central register: 08/07/1918 a.m.
Embassy/consular serial number: Nr. 1265
Translated by: Vera Draack (Translation sponsored by Zoryan Institute)
Last updated: 04/15/2012

From the Ambassador in Constantinople (Bernstorff) to the Foreign Office

Telegraphic Report

Constantinople, 6 August 1918
Reply to telegram no. 1246 [A 31654.].

The Turkish government is in agreement and has raised no difficulties, just as it is now of the opinion that every consideration must be shown to Russia. Like Your Excellency, the Grand Vizier and Nessimi stressed that the first step must be to achieve unity among the four allied governments. However, this makes the entire conference questionable. We have been able to reach an agreement on all the issues except the evacuation of Batum. In my opinion, it is impossible to solve this issue, because the Turks are not prepared to give in and we have no means of forcing them to retreat behind the Brest-Litowsk borderline. As in the issue of railway transport on the Caucasian railways, it is the same for all of our means of pressure. Our Supreme Command has ordered that the Turkish troops are to move out to Mesopotamia as quickly as possible. General von Kress refuses the use of the railway in order to force the Turks into compliance. Result: the Turks have not given in, but the military operations ordered were not carried out, i.e. the joint conduct of the war is being hindered. Thus, only our enemies have an advantage.

Under these circumstances I would like to come back to the idea of postponing the conference ”sine die”. In the meantime, a purely military agreement should take place with a view to limiting the action radius of the German, Turkish, Georgian and Armenian troops. Azerbaijan can justifiably be regarded as being Turkish. Enver Pasha, with whom I had a longer conversation, seemed to favour this solution. Incidentally, he complained bitterly about our partisanship with Georgia and Armenia. General von Kress – unknown to me – had now gone to Erivan with 25 Armenian and a number of German officers to put an Armenian government in place. There was a risk that the Armenians would see this as encouragement to begin new battles in which German officers would possibly once again stand against the Turks. We had to take into consideration that Enver Pasha did not have absolute power; he could not oust one army leader after the next merely for our sake. Opinion in the Turkish army was growing steadily against us due to the issue of transport on the Caucasian railways. All three ministers named were not interested in the only possible means of removing all the difficulties: recognition of the Peace Treaty of Brest. They always consider this demand to be a submission of Turkey to the will of the Georgians and the Armenians, who would have calmed down completely after the Peace Treaty of Batum if we had not encouraged them.

There is some small progress to report, by the way.

The government has finally decided on amnesty for the Turkish Armenians; Djambolat is to carry it out.


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