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Source: DK/RA-UM/Gruppeordnede sager 1909-1945. 139. D. 1, ”Tyrkiet - Indre Forhold”. Pakke 2, fra Jan. 1917 – 1. Jan. 1919
Edition: Danish diplomatic sources
Departure of telegram: 08/13/1918
Arrival of telegram: 08/24/1918
Embassy/consular serial number: No. 72
Translated by: Matthias Bjørnlund
Last updated: 03/23/2012

The minister in Constantinople (Carl Ellis Wandel) to the Foreign Minister (Erik Scavenius)


No. 72

Constantinople, 13 August 1918.


Mr. Foreign Minister,

The message that I mentioned previously, according to which the new Sultan [Mehmet 6] has the intention of paying an official visit to Berlin soon, does not seem to be believed in the circles here that are close to the Court, and the relationship with Bulgaria, etc., would perhaps also for the moment make such a journey difficult.

In Stambul the opponents of the government say that the Sultan is not a friend of Germany to the degree that there is reason to believe that he will travel to Germany when it is not necessary, but they do add, though, that a trip abroad would perhaps assist in strengthening his position and to some extent free him from the guardianship that his predecessor was placed under by the Young Turks.

The friends of the government have not said anything new that I have heard of, and they are generally careful about speaking.

The apparent will of the Sultan to take the position given to him by the Constitution, without shying away from the difficulties and other inconveniences connected to it, is, as far as I can see, being met by the various political circles of Stambul by either careful silence or by a certain passive goodwill and understanding that does reveal the wish that he may to some extent succeed in neutralizing the Committee, because what is left of the prestige that the Young Turk men in power still have in the eyes of the population outside the circle of their closest friends they obviously only have due to their organization and discipline, as well as due to the fear they inspire. They are not met with sympathy.

Only Talaat Pasha seems still to be somewhat popular thanks to the political "souplesse" [agility; ingenuity] with which he usually seeks to avoid making enemies among the Turks.

However, any other political organization than the Young Turks does not yet, as far as I can see, exist among the Turks, and it has so far proven to be so strong that the Crown would have had little chance of success if it during the reign of Mehmed V [5] had come to a test of strength between the Crown and the Committee.

Of course, Talaat Pasha has, as reported, during the last year several times, whenever it suited him, stated that he could wish to retire in order "to have time and possibility to reorganize his party," as if he feared that the Young Turk organization was no longer as strong as it had been, but since he knows what this organization is worth and since he has always sought to uphold it with all means available to him, one does not yet dare to assume that it is really in serious decline.

Anyway, the Armenian danger, which Talaat Pasha always talked about in the American embassy before the break with Washington when he said that he had special reasons to fear the Armenians "as they, from the time of the revolution, knew the Young Turk organization," this he has succeeded in averting, at least temporarily.

With the highest esteem I remain, Mr. Minister, yours faithfully


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