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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: 10/15/1918
Embassy/consular serial number:
Translated by: Matthias Bjørnlund
Last updated: 04/01/2012

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


Telegram from Pera, 15 October 1918.

The Christian population in Constantinople fears disturbances if the question concerning Turkey's future is discussed in a manner that is disagreeable to the Turks before the Powers are able to exercise effective control here. The German Ambassador [Johann Bernstorff] says that he calculates with the possibility of such disturbances, and that it is especially because of this possibility that German troops have been put ashore here. He also says that if these troops are called back in the event of a demobilization, it could be some time before it is possible for the Powers to control the situation here.

As the situation is similar to the state of affairs here in 1912, I submit to Mr. Foreign Minister that he directs the immediate attention of the Great Powers to the necessity, seen from a humanitarian point of view, of showing the greatest care in order to prevent alarming regulations or announcements from exciting certain Turkish layers of the population. The best way to prevent disturbances would perhaps be to postpone all discussion concerning the Oriental Question until it once more becomes possible to control the situation here.

My Dutch, Spanish, and Swedish colleagues have sent similar telegrams to their governments.
I add confidentially that I fear that such a step could easily be misunderstood by certain circles in the Entente countries and be perceived as inspired by the German side for political reasons, but that I still believe I should take part for the stated reasons.

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