Gruppeordnede sager 1909-1945. 139. D. 1,
”Tyrkiet - Indre Forhold”. Pakke 1, til 31 dec. 1916
Danish diplomatic sources
Embassy/consular serial number:
The minister in Constantinople (Carl Ellis Wandel) to the Foreign Minister (Erik Scavenius)
Constantinople, 14 August 1915.
Mr. Foreign Minister,
In my previous reports I have already shown how the Young Turk government has, in order to strengthen its position at home, lately gotten to the point where is has made xenophobia and hatred toward the Christians a leading principle in its policies; thereby it seeks to rob the opposition, which accuses it of selling the country to the infidels, of one of its best weapons, but as it does not know how to exercise moderation it goes further than the despotism did in its day and age.
The aim of this policy is to make the foreigners and the Christians leave the country by making their lives in Turkey unbearable, and thereby at the same time satisfy the fanaticism that has become an asset to the government, but there can of course be no talk of its rational completion – at least not concerning the Greeks – , and this whole movement is therefore primarily characterized by expediency.
The persecution of Armenians and Greeks; the injustices against the Catholic Church; the forced conversions to the Mohammadan faith, the
as its aim to
of the Turkish langu
age obligatory before the necessary steps have been
to make it applicable, etc., etc.; all this shows
if one takes a long view.
and today I hear that Germany has also protested against the persecutions of Armenians that have resumed
during the last days
For Turkey's own sake it is probably also about time that these persecutions are halted.
The fanatical Committee complains that there is no patriotism to
ound in Constantinople, which it wants to change into
purely Turkish-Mohammadan capital, but it does not seem to take into consideration that,
by banishing the aliens and the Christians, as
thereby banishes the
country, the part of the population that possesses genius, insight, and means,
the scientists, and the financiers, and that if the principle of "Turkey for Turks" is to
carried through only officials
and peasants will be left in the country.
Concerning the new, above-mentioned language compulsion that
here, and about which I have not yet had the opportunity to
mention in my earlier reports, I use this occasion to report the
future all privileged
and concessionary companies, like e.g. the Ottoman
railroad-, tram-, and electricity
, which will be both difficult and costly to accomplish as the majority of the foreign specialists, administrators, and technicians who are leaders of these companies do not master the Turkish language. Furthermore, it is now being demanded that the
language shall rank
as the Turkish language shall rank as number one on signs and posters, including in those places where hardly any Turks come.
Turkish written language
has major practical deficiencies, especially concerning the letters; there are more than
100 letters, but there is a
which means that many words with quite different pronounciations and meanings are written
way. Over the last years
attempts have been made (the Ministry of
has experimented with the
vowels in various publications), but it has not been possible for the conservative and the radical reformers to agree on a proposal to improve the Turkish language.
The Turkish Ministry
has a short while ago established a commission to examine the difficult language reform question, but it is telling of the immediate circumstances here that extensive language compulsion has been introduced before the
has had the opportunity to make any suggestion.
With the highest esteem I remain, Mr. Minister, yours faithfully
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A Documentation of the Armenian Genocide in World War I. All rights reserved