Underlined While Reading - 2

Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq (Flemish Writer, Herbalist, Diplomat, 1522 - 1592)
As for the site of the city [Constantinople] itself, it seems to have been created by nature for the capital of the world. It stands in Europe but looks out over Asia, and has Egypt and Africa on its right. Although these latter are not near, yet they are linked to the city owing to ease of communication by sea. On the left lie the Black Sea and the Sea of Azof, round which many nations dwell and into which many rivers flow on all sides, so that nothing useful to man is produced through the length and breadth of these countries which cannot be transported by sea to Constantinople with the utmost ease. On one side city is washed by the Sea of Marmora; on another side a harbour is formed by a river which Strabo calls, from its shape, the Golden Horn. On the third side it is joined to the mainland, and thus resembles a peninsula or promontory running out with the sea on one side, on the other the bay formed by the sea and the above-mentioned river. From the center of Constantinople there is a charming view over the sea and the Asiatic Olympus, white with eternal snow.

Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq, “The Turkish Letters of Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq, Translated By Edward Seymour Forster”, Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, USA, 2005, p. 34-35


So I stay at home and hold communion with those old friends, my books; they are my companions and the joy of my life.

Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq, “The Turkish Letters of Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq, Translated By Edward Seymour Forster”, Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, USA, 2005, p. 34-35


Henry Fanshawe Tozer (English Traveler, Teacher, Writer 1829-1916)

While our vessel was taking in merchandise, [July 14, 1879] we had time to survey the scene around us and on board. On one side was Galata with its massive Genoese tower, and the more aristocratic Pera on the hills above; on the other the Seraglio point, with its gardens and quaint buildings, behind which rose the gilded dome of St. Sophia, and the line of mosques and minarets which crown the successive heigths of Stamboul; while on the Asiatic side lay Scutari, surmounted by the dark cypress-grove of its vast cemetery. In the foreground of this unrivalled view, which from its steep yet graceful ascents, the combination of conspicuous edifices, irregular wooden buildings, and numerous trees, and the variety of colour which it presents, combines every element of picturesqueness, lay numerous vessels, principally French, Austrian, and Russian steamers, occupying the space between us and the sea of Marmora. A fresh north-east wind had set the blue water dancing, and crested it with white, and in the midst of this boats darted in all directions, some of them being gilded aiques, the gondolas of the Bosphorus, though far more elegant in shape and gayer in colour than their Venetian cousins. So numerous were they that it seemed as if they must come into collision with one another or with the buoys to which the vessels were moored; indeed, such casualties were not wholly avoided, and when they occured, or were on the eve of occuring, they occasioned wild and polyglot exclamations. Our vessel was crowded with deck-passengers -Armenians, Turks, and Persians with tall black caps, lying about on carpets and rugs, and closely packed together. The cabin was raised above the deck, and behind this, in the stern, the whole space was occupied by the ladies and children of a harem, who reclined on mattresses and bundles of various colours, few of them being veiled and fewer good-looking. The cabin passengers were not numerous, the principal being an old Russian lady, a vigorous smoker of cigarettes, who was on her way to visit a married daughter at Samsoun, together with her two sons.
At six o'clock we loosed our mooring and proceeded up the Bosphorus. We were both of us heartily glad to leave the city, for on no occasion had we been so much impressed by the contrast between the beauty of its appearance from without and the repulsiveness of the interior. We had been prepared to find considerable improvements introduced since our last visit, but in reality the change seemed to us to be rather for the worse. There is now, its true, a tramway across Stamboul, and a railway runs along the sea-wall in the direction of St. Stephano, if these are to be regarded as advantages, but one did not then see extravagant Parisian costumes side by side with loathsome squalor; and certainly at the present time the streets of Galata are not less filthy than formerly, nor the pavements of Pera less rugged, nor the scavenger dogs less numerous or less noisy. But the shores of the Bosphorus had lost none of their charm. First we passed along the magnificent palaces on the European shore, which represent the extravagance of successive Sultans and the money of ruined bondholders; and afterwards between villas and villages on both banks, sometimes lining the shore, sometimes creeping up the hillsides, and interspersed with abundant vegetation in the cypress-groves and gardens, though here and there ruin defaced the scene in the shape of handsome wooden houses deserted and falling into decay. As the evening advanced it rendered the scene doubly beautiful, throwing the Asiatic shore into light in contrast with the dark shade opposite, until we passed between the castles of Europe and Asia on corresponding promontories, and finally reached the lordly villages of Therapia and Buyukdere, the summer resorts of ambassadors and wealthy Greek and Armenian merchants. Night had fallen before we issued from the narrow strait, but we discovered that we had entered the Black Sea from the plunging of the vessel, owing to the long waves that were brought down by the wind.
Henry Fanshawe Tozer, "Turkish Armenia and Eastern Asia Minor", Longmans, Green & Co, 1881, pp. 2-4
From the pasha we first heard of the despatch of consuls from England to Asia Minor and Armenia; he said he understood that representatives were coming to all the great towns of the interior, though they had not yet arrived. We afterwards found that most of them had preceded us by a few weeks, and we had the opportunity of visiting several in their new spheres of office. The system under which they were appointed was in some respects a novel one, for their place of residence was not fixed in any one city, as was the case with the old consuls, but each of them had a sort of roving commission within a certain area, so that he might move from place to place, and reside for a limited period in different towns, in order to collect information, and exercise that undefined influence which attaches to the consular office. They were also universally military men, chosen from different branches of the service. What may have been the reason for appointing officers in the army i do not know, but I can honestly say that I do not think a better choice could have been made. We found them to be not only capable, prudent, and energetic men, but open-minded and free from prejudice, prepared to sift impartially the evidence that came before them, and neither to exaggerate complaints nor to palliate abuses. Such men must always be of service in a country like Turkey, for their presence is a protest against wrongdoing, and they are feared for their uprightness and their power of reporting misdeeds at headquarters. The only misfortune connected with their appointment was the circumstances under which it was made, for, following as it did in the wake of the assumption by England of a protectorate of the Asiatic provinces of Turkey, it gave rise to the most exaggerated expectations on the part of the natives. Everywhere we found the idea to prevail that the English had come to govern the country; and everywhere, at least in Asia Minor, the report was hailed with satisfaction. Thus at Sivas we were told that, a fortnight after the arrival of Colonel Wilson, the consul-general, at that place, a peasant was heard to say that 'the Inghiliz pasha must be an extremely good-natured man, for everybody knew that he was ruling the country, and that all the power was in his hands, and yet he allowed the Turkish pasha to retain his position and title.' Abuses, it was thought, were soon to come to an end, and a period of prosperity to begin. Of course these hopes were doomed to disappointment as soon as it was found that the English officials had no administrative functions whatsoever.
Henry Fanshawe Tozer, "Turkish Armenia and Eastern Asia Minor", Longmans, Green & Co, 1881, pp. 16-17

It is impossible not to feel that it is an event in any man's life when he reaches for the first time this mighty stream [Euphrates], which has played so prominent a part in the history of the world, and around which so many memories are gathered. Especially is this the case when we meet with t, as here, in the land of its birth, and when it has just become a united stream. As early as in the Bible as the second chapter of Genesis its name occurs as one of the rivers of the Garden of Eden. The patriarch Abraham passed it on his way to the Promised Land, and in the covenant which God made with him the dominions of his posterity are to extend from this river to the river of Egypt. The impression which it made upon the minds of the Jews is shown by the titles of 'the river', 'the great river,' which they apply to it. In the Psalms, the vine -by which the chosen people is symbolised-is described as stretching out 'her boughs unto the sea, and her branches unto the the river.' At a later time it was associated in their minds with the captivity in Babylon. It is introduced into the allegorical imagery of the book of Revelation, where 'the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.' Nor is the position that it holds in profane history less prominent. Its fertilising waters, and the consequent productiveness of the neighbouring lands, were the cause of the early civilisation which showed itself in the great kingdoms that arose on its banks. It became the recognised boundary of the Roman Empire, which overstepped it only for a brief period in the time of Trajan. It saw the defeat of Pharaoh Necho by Nebuchadnezzar at Carchemish; that of the younger Cyrus by his brother Artaxerxes at Cunaxa -from which event commenced the retreat of the Ten Thousand; and the death of Alexander the Great at Babylon; Crassus under the Roman Republic, and Julian under the Empire, passed it on the way to meet their fate. It witnessed the brilliant campaigns of Heraclius, and the success of Caliphs. In modern times it has often been thought of as a possible highway from England to India, and this idea has been revived in our own day.

Henry Fanshawe Tozer, "Turkish Armenia and Eastern Asia Minor", Longmans, Green & Co, 1881, p. 110

As this is the first occasion on which we find ourselves among the Kurds, it may be well here to notice the most important facts relating to them. The evidence of their language shows that their race is of Median origin, and therefore belongs to the Indo-European family, for not withstanding that a considerable number of Arabic and Turkish words have found their way into the speech of the people, yet both in grammar and vocabulary it is closely allied with the Persian. Consequently, notwithstanding their national antagonism, the Kurds are also akin to the Armenians. They are the same people who were called Carduchi in ancient times, and their name also appears in that of Cordyene or Gordyene, which was applied to the district they inhabited. This corresponds approximately to the modern Kurdistan, being, roughly speaking, the country intersected by the upper waters of the Tigris and its eastern tributaries on the frontiers of Turkey and Persia. Here we find them at the time of the retreat of the Ten Thousand, between the dominion of the Great King and the plateaux of Armenia; but at a later period they spread into the last-named country, for we now find them there in great numbers, and naturally, as the Armenians emigrate, they take their place. Throughout their history they have been known for their wildness and independent character, and they were the most formidable of all the foes of whom Xenophon had to encounter. From that time to the present day they have maintained themselves in their original seats notwithstanding all the changes that have passed over Western Asia, and have been included within the various empires that have successively held sway there -Greek, Roman, Parthian, Byzantine, Saracen, Persian and Turkish- though owing but a temporary and partial allegiance to any of them, and maintaining a semi-independence under their local chieftains. The most eminent historical character that has arisen from amongst them is the great Saladin, who is said by Abulfeda to have been a Kurd. Their number in Asiatic Turkey has been estimated by a careful authority at about 1'600'000 souls, but others think that they do not exceed a million. Of these a considerable number are nomads. Their chief men always speak Turkish or Persian in addition to their native tongue, and the common people in Turkey usually  understand something of Turkish, though, as we found in this village, this is not always the case. They cannot be said to possess any literature, but some of their stories have been collected, and published in Kurdish and German.

Henry Fanshawe Tozer, "Turkish Armenia and Eastern Asia Minor", Longmans, Green & Co, 1881, pp. 136-137


Edward Gibbon (English Historian, Member of Parliament, Writer 1737-1794)

The only accession which the Roman Empire received, during the first century of the Christian era, was the province of Britain. In this single instance the successors of Caesar and Augustus were persuaded to follow the example of the former, rather than the precept of the latter. The proximity of its situation to the coast of Gaul seemed to invite their arms; the pleasing though doubtful intelligence, of a pearl fishery, attracted their avarice; and as Britain was viewed in the light of a distinct and insulated world, the conquest scarcely formed any exception to the general system of continental measures. After a war of about forty years, undertaken by the most stupid, maintained by the most dissolute, and terminated by the most timid of all emperors, the far greater part of the island submitted to the Roman yoke. The various tribes of Britons posessed valour without the spirit of union. They took up arms with savage fierceness; they laid them down, or turned them against each other with wild inconstancy; and while they fought singly, they were successively subdued.

Edward Gibbon, “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire", Everyman's Library, Alfred A. Knopf,Fourth Printing, New York, 1993, p. 5-6


(...) Yet Phoenicia and Palestine will forever live in the memory of mankind; since America, as well as Europe, has received letters from the one, and religion from the other. (2)


(2) The progress of religion is well known. The use of letters was introduced among the savages of Europe about fifteen hundred years before Christ; and the Europeans carried them to America, about fifteen centuries after the Christian era. But in a period of three thousand years, the Phoenician alphabet received considerable alterations, as it passed through the hands of the Greeks and Romans.

Edward Gibbon, “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire", Everyman's Library, Alfred A. Knopf,Fourth Printing, New York, 1993, p. 30

There are two natural propensities which we may distinguish in the most virtuous and liberal dispositions, the love of pleasure and the love of action. If the former is refined by art and learning, improved by the charms of social intercourse, and corrected by a just regard to economy, to health, and to reputation, it is productive of the greatest part of the happiness of private life. The love of action is a principle of a much stronger and more doubtful nature. It often leads to anger, to ambition, and to revenge; but when it is guided by the sense of propriety and benevolence, it becomes the parent of every virtue; and if those virtues are accompanied with equal abilities, a family, a state, or an empire, may be indebted for their safety and prosperity to the undaunted courage of a single man. The love of pleasure we may therefore ascribe most of the agreeable, to the love of action we may attribute most of the useful and respectable, qualifications. The character in which both the one and the other should be united  and harmonized, would seem to constitute the most perfect idea of human nature. The insensible and inactive disposition, which should be supposed alike destitute of both, would be rejected, by the common consent of mankind, as utterly incapable of procuring any happiness to the individual, or any public benefit to the world. 

Edward Gibbon, “The Christians And The Fall Of the Rome", Penguin Books, Great Ideas, England, 2004, p. 44-45


The rich provinces that extend from the Euphrates to the Ionian sea, were the principal theatre on which the apostle of the Gentiles displayed his zeal and piety. The seeds of the gospel, which he had scattered in a fertile soil, were diligently cultivated by his disciples; and it should seem that, during the two first centuries, the most considerable body of Christians was contained within those limits. Among the societies which were instituted in Syria, none were more ancient or more illustrious than those of Damascus, of Berea or Aleppo, and of Antioch. The prophetic introduction of the Apocalypse has described and immortalized the seven churches of Asia; Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamus, Thyatira, Sardes, Laodicea, and Philadelphia; and their colonies were soon diffused over that populous country. In a very early period, the islands of Cyprus and Crete, the provinces of Thrace and Macedonia, gave a favorable reception to the new religion; and Christian republics were soon founded in the cities of Corinth, of Sparta, and of Athens. 

Edward Gibbon, “The Christians And The Fall Of the Rome", Penguin Books, Great Ideas, England, 2004, p. 75


 Gertrude L. Bell (British Writer, Traveler, Political Analyst, Administrator, 1868 - 1926)

I have known loneliness in solitude now, for the first time, and in the long days of camel riding and the long evenings of winter camping, my thoughts have gone wandering far from the camp fire into places which I wish were not so full of acute sensation. Sometimes I have gone to bed with a heart so heavy that I thought I could not carry it through the next day. Then comes the down, soft and beneficent, stealing over the wide plain and down the long slopes of the little hollows, and in the end it steals into my dark heart also… that’s the best I can make of it, taught at least some wisdom by solitude, taught submission, and how to bear pain without crying out.

Gertrude L. Bell, “Gertrude Bell”, H.V.F. Winstone, Barzan Publishing, London, 2004, p. 204-205


Lord Patrick Kinross (Scottish Historian, Writer 1904-1976)

To know a city, as to know a person, it is best to be alone with it, to explore it tete a tete, without the guidance of another, to get lost in its ramifications, as in those of the human personality, and thus eventually to achieve familiarity, to understand its character, to feel intimate and at ease with it. Thus I explored Trebizond.

Lord Kinross, “Within The Taurus-A Journey In Asiatic Turkey”, John Murray, London, 1954, p. 13


In the East an afternoon is eternity -and eternity, perhaps, no more than an afternoon.

Lord Kinross, “Within The Taurus-A Journey In Asiatic Turkey”, John Murray, London, 1954, p. 36

The Turks alone contributed relatively little to the airs and graces of the Ottoman Empire, which came from the Greeks with their brains, the Armenians with their taste, the Circassians with their beauty, the Arabs with their manners. But with their governing and fighting capacity they supplied its essential hard core. Today only that hard core remains, moulded by Ataturk into a nation.

Lord Kinross, “Within The Taurus-A Journey In Asiatic Turkey”, John Murray, London, 1954, p. 58 
From the west, across the Hellespont, had come Phrygians, to break up the Empire of the Hittites with its massive, pagan shrines and citadels. From the east had come Persians to drive them away in their turn, but to civilize merely on the surface. From the west again had come Greeks to colonize the sea-coasts of Aegean and the Euxine, Armenians to colonize the valleys and plains of the interior, Greeks again to march with Xenophon across the 'continent', opening up routes which are still in use today, and preparing the way for its gradual Hellenic westernization. Rome followed Alexander, Byzantium Rome, enriching it with classical, then Christian art and culture, resisting Persia, but finally engulfed by a new tide from the east: by Turkish arms, reinforced with Persian culture and religion of Islam. Asia Minor, I reflected, has been, throughout its history, now Eastern, now Western, now a blend of the two. But it differs from other Asiatic lands in that its mountains have enabled it to resist two of history's most compulsive invading forces: the Semitic (whether Assyrian or Arab) from the south; and the Slav -a threat  which has still to be finally vanquished - from the north. Its people thus have a character entirely distinct.
Today that character is embodied in a new civilization: no longer an empire, like that of the Hittites, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Ottomans, but a nation, with its capital in the heart of the Anatolian homeland; a nation, moreover, looking westwards, not eastwards, converting Asia once more into a 'Europa Minor', but in its own and independent right.
Lord Kinross, “Within The Taurus-A Journey In Asiatic Turkey”, John Murray, London, 1954, p. 181-182
Liman von Sanders (German Soldier, 1855 – 1929)


The preparations of the enemy [for Gallipoli campaign-S.A] were excellent, their only defect being that they were based on reconnaisances that were too old and that they underestimated the powers of resistance of the Turkish soldier.

Liman von Sanders, General of Cavalry, “Five Years In Turkey”, The Naval & Military Press Ltd, East Sussex, England, Reprint of U.S. Naval Institute edition of 1927, p. 64


The enemy controlled all the resources of the world and possesed the most modern war material, the poor Turks had few entrenching implements and frequently had to capture the tools for the construction of their field works from the enemy. The wood and iron to dug-outs were collected from destroyed villages. Not even sand bags could be procured in anywhere nearly sufficient quantity. When a few thousands of them arrived from Constantinople, there was danger of their being used by the troop leaders for patching the ragged uniforms of their men. It was due solely stoic calmness of the Anatolian soldier and his freedom from wants that all these difficulties were overcome.

Liman von Sanders, General of Cavalry, “Five Years In Turkey”, The Naval & Military Press Ltd, East Sussex, England, Reprint of U.S. Naval Institute edition of 1927, p. 74


Turkey entered upon the wrong road the moment she thought she had to help others when she could no longer help herself. The Turkish troops at home now began more and more become paper organizations rather than effective battle units. Germany should have avoided bringing about such consequences, even indirectly. They were against the interest of Turkey as well as against Germany's own interests.

The Turkish troops sent to Europe showed an entirely different appearance from those remaining behind. Before departure the less efficient officers, and in each division thousands of the physically less fit men were exchanged for the best officers and men of the troops remaining behind. The departing divisions received all the good clothing and equipment collected from the entire army. They were raised to full strength and in addition were given men from the reserve, while the strength, as well as the quality of the troops remained behind, was diminished. The Turkish War Ministry likewise ordered that only the best officers and best men be sent to Europe in replacement.

Liman von Sanders, General of Cavalry, “Five Years In Turkey”, The Naval & Military Press Ltd, East Sussex, England, Reprint of U.S. Naval Institute edition of 1927, p. 121-122


The Second Army had suffered terribly during this hard winter. The land in which it was stationed was depopulated and desolated by the expulsion of the Armenians. All economic conditions of course were greatly impaired. A large part of the fields remained untilled. There were no mechanics and all establishments requiring technical workmen were standing still. The land could thus furnish neither subsistence nor other assistance to the army. The system of supply was wholly inadequate and, as previously stated, supplied so little that thousands died at the front of starvation or debility. A German surgeon, Dr Liebert, reported from Assur;

It's remarkable how little power of resistance these debiliated men have ever for slight operations. If we do not operate them, they die; if we do operate they die also.

Liman von Sanders, General of Cavalry, “Five Years In Turkey”, The Naval & Military Press Ltd, East Sussex, England, Reprint of U.S. Naval Institute edition of 1927, p. 156


In Turkey one can make the most beautiful plans and prepare the execution by drawings and perfect orders, and something entirely different will be done or perhaps nothing at all.

Liman von Sanders, General of Cavalry, “Five Years In Turkey”, The Naval & Military Press Ltd, East Sussex, England, Reprint of U.S. Naval Institute edition of 1927, p. 176


(..) The first Caucasus campaign in December 1914 and January 1915. The Third Army (leader, Enver Pasha, chief of the general staff, Major General von Bronsart) numbered about 90'000 good troops at the beginning of December 1914.

It held a favorable defensive position in the mountains near Hassan Kala, near the frontier; the opposing Russians were not superior in numbers.

An offensive agains Sarikamisch-Kars was decided upon, against my urgent advice, although in case the army succeeded in forcing a passage through and out of the mountains, it would be unable to take Kars because the Turks had no siege artillery.

The advance by the left with two army corps on snow-covered mountain roads and trails, with inadequate provision for supplies, led to the separate defeat of each corps while the third corps fought without results on the front. According to official reports barely 12'000 men returned, and these in a miserable condition. All the rest were killed, died of hunger or cold, or were captured.

The history of war will never find grounds on which to justify this offensive.

Liman von Sanders, General of Cavalry, “Five Years In Turkey”, The Naval & Military Press Ltd, East Sussex, England, Reprint of U.S. Naval Institute edition of 1927, p. 189-190


The Turkish soldier, particularly the Anatolian, is excellent fighting material.

Well loked after, sufficiently nourished, properly trained and calmly led these men will accomplish the highest aims.

Liman von Sanders, General of Cavalry, “Five Years In Turkey”, The Naval & Military Press Ltd, East Sussex, England, Reprint of U.S. Naval Institute edition of 1927, p. 191


The Turkish soldier needs a certain amount of care, and a certain firmness in his treatment. When he has learned confidence in his superiors, they can accomplisy anything with him

Liman von Sanders, General of Cavalry, “Five Years In Turkey”, The Naval & Military Press Ltd, East Sussex, England, Reprint of U.S. Naval Institute edition of 1927, p. 192


It is not surprising that by far the greater part of the people longed for orderly conditions regulated by law, such as were possible only under the protection of some European power since no Turkish promise had ever been kept. The differences between Syrians and Turks are perhaps best characterized by the Syrian adage: "Wherever a Turk sets his foot, there the earth becomes unproductive for a century.

Liman von Sanders, General of Cavalry, “Five Years In Turkey”, The Naval & Military Press Ltd, East Sussex, England, Reprint of U.S. Naval Institute edition of 1927, p. 235 


Field Marshal Lord Carver (British Soldier, Writer, 1915-2001)

(...) The remainder landed at Anzac Cove, south of Ariburnu. With the change in their orders, they became disorganized, eventually sorting themselves out on the edge of the southern half of 400 Plateau. It is not surprising that when the divisional commander, Major General Bridges, landed at 07.30, he found it difficult to obtain a clear picture of who was where and what was happening. In fact the 11th and 12th Battalions of 3rd Brigade were making steady progress towards Chunuk Bair, reaching Battleship Hill at 09.00, against Turkish rearguards which made full use of the rugged, scrub-covered terrain. Thereafter, however, resistance stiffened, largely due to the personal intervention of Mustafa Kemal.
When Khalil Sami, commander of the Turkish 9th Division, received news at 05.30 of the landing, he thought at first that it was a feint to distract attention from a pricipal landing near Bulair. He therefore ordered only two battalions of his 27th Regiment to the area to reinforce the one manning the coast defences near Gaba Tepe. By chance Mustafa Kemal had ordered his division's 57th Regiment to parade at that time for a field day. When Khalil Sami learned that the Australians were heading for Chunuk Bair, he asked Kemal to send one of his battalions there. Realizing the urgency of preventing the enemy from reaching the Kilid Bahr plateau, Mustafa Kemal ordered the whole 57th to move immediately to Chunuk Bair with himself at their head, and the rest of his division, the 72nd and 77th Arab Regiments, to follow. The 57th began to come into action about 10.00 against the 11th and 12th Australian Battalions on Battleship Hill and Baby 700 to the south of it. At the same time the 27th Regiment began to attack the 3rd Bridgade's positions on Second Ridge, the western side of 400 Plateau. When the 1st Australian Brigade began to land at about 10.30 it was directed to that area, but Sinclair-Maclagan realized that a more serious situation was developing on his left. Major General Sir Alexander Godley's New Zealand and Australian Division was not due to land until after all of the 1st Australian Division's brigades had done so, but most of his New Zealand Brigade had in fact landed and and Bridges received Birdwood's permission to use them to reinforce his left, although one of its units, the Auckland Battalion, had become dispersed all along the line, as had been the battalions of 1st Australian Brigade as they came ashore. A fierce battle raged round Baby 700 for the rest of the day, by the end of which the Australians and New Zealanders had been forced back to the western edge of the high ground at the Nek and Russell's Top.
Field Marshal Lord Carver, “The National Army Museum Book Of The Turkish Front 1914-1918-The Campaigns At Gallipoli, In Mesopotamia And In Palestine”, Pan Grand Strategy Series, Pan Books, London, 2004, p. 23-24
The British Empire casualties of the campaign [Gallipoli] totalled 37'000 dead and 83'000 wounded and sick. Of the dead, 25'200 from New Zealand, 1'700 from India and 22 from Newfoundland. The French lost 47'00 killed and wounded. The Turks are believed to have lost 350'000 killed and wounded.

Field Marshal Lord Carver, “The National Army Museum Book Of The Turkish Front 1914-1918-The Campaigns At Gallipoli, In Mesopotamia And In Palestine”, Pan Grand Strategy Series, Pan Books, London, 2004, p. 101


The total casualties of the Mesopotamian campaign from beginning to end were 92'501, of whom 14'814 were killed or died of wounds. 51'386 were wounded. 12'807 died of disease and 13'494 were taken prisoner or reported missing.


Field Marshal Lord Carver, “The National Army Museum Book Of The Turkish Front 1914-1918-The Campaigns At Gallipoli, In Mesopotamia And In Palestine”, Pan Grand Strategy Series, Pan Books, London, 2004, p. 185

1916 saw the development of the Arab Revolt, which was to have a significant effect on Djemal Pasha's command. This was an attempt to support anti-Turkish feeling among the Ottoman Empire's Arab subjects. A leader in this field was Sherif Emir of Mecca, Hussein Bin Ali. He was the hereditary guardian of the holy places there and at Medina. In the previous century the Sultan in Constantinople, the Caliph, had been jealous of the Sherif's position, but, as Mecca was distant and difficult to get at, he saved his face by confirming the hereditary Sherif as Emir; but once the Suez Canal was open, access was easier and Sultan Abdul Hamid removed most of the Emir's family to Constantinople, where Hussein was held prisoner for eighteen years, until released, sent back to Mecca, and confirmed as Emir by the Young Turks. He set about restoring the authority of the Emirate, sending his four sons, including future kings of Transjordan and Iraq, Abdullah and Feisal, to Constantinople to be educated and keep in touch with those in power. By then the Hejaz railway from Damascus had been built to Medina, and at the outbreak of war in 1914 the Turks stationed a division in the Hejaz, one in Asir, to the south, and two in Yemen. The Turks put pressure on Hussein to support them actively, and, when he showed reluctance to do so, cut off supplies to him. As the war severely reduced his income from the annual pilgrimage, the Haj, he and his people were in dire straits and he appealed to the British for help, which they were only too keen to give, channeling it through the Governor and Sirdar of Sudan, Sir Reginald Wingate. Active operations against the Turks opened at Mecca on June 1915, and by September the garrison there and at Jedda had surrendered. Medina proved a harder nut to crack, and, as successive Arab attacks there failed, support for the Revolt began to fade. At that point the arrival of an unorthodox captain from Wingate's Arab Bureau, T.E.Lawrence, transformed its fortunes. He realized that attacking the Turks directly was counterproductive. Their garrison could be turned from assets to liabilities by indirect attacks on the railway by which they were supplied, the success of which would both raise morale of the Arabs locally and impress the anti-Turkish Arab movements in Syria and elsewhere, who had expressed their support for Hussein. Feisal, who with his brothers had returned to the Hejaz at the outbreak of war, advised by Lawrence, collected, led and moved a body of some 10'000 Bedouin 250 miles north between the coast and the railway, periodically raiding the latter and blowing up the rails, as far as Wejh, by this preventing the Turks from sending a force from Medina to reoccupy Mecca. Murray had proposed to send an Indian brigade to prevent that, landing it at Rabegh, but had been dissuaded by Wingate, who supported Lawrence's strategy. When Feisal's force reached Wejh, it was reinforced by Arabs who had been serving in the Turkish army and been taken prisoner, released from their camps. Jaafar Pasha was released to command them. From Wejh, lawrence set off with a small body of Arabs, and riding by camel as far as Baalbek, north of Damascus, recruited a further force of 500 with which, in July 1917, he attacked Aqaba, at the head of the Red Sea, and captured it. Jaafar's force was then shipped round there from Wejh.


Field Marshal Lord Carver, “The National Army Museum Book Of The Turkish Front 1914-1918-The Campaigns At Gallipoli, In Mesopotamia And In Palestine”, Pan Grand Strategy Series, Pan Books, London, 2004, p. 192-193

Since 18 September [1918] Allenby's army had captured 360 guns and 75'000 prisoners of war, of whom 3'700 were German or Austrian, 200 of them officers, at a cost of 5'666 battle casualties, of whom 853 were killed, 4'428 wounded and 385 missing. Total battle casualties in the campaign [Palestine] since January 1915 had been 51'451.


Field Marshal Lord Carver, “The National Army Museum Book Of The Turkish Front 1914-1918-The Campaigns At Gallipoli, In Mesopotamia And In Palestine”, Pan Grand Strategy Series, Pan Books, London, 2004, p. 244


The three campaigns [Gallipoli, Mesopotamia, Palestine] described in preceding chapters resulted in 264'000 battle casualties. That may not seem a large number in comparison with the total number of casualties in the First World War: 5'200'000 dead on the Allied side, 2'300'000 of whom were Russians and 513'000 from Great Britain and Ireland. It might be considered not too high a price to pay to achieve an important strategic advantage. But what did the war against Turkey achieve? It is not an easy question to answer. I certainly kept the Suez Canal and the supply of oil from the Anglo-Persianoilfield at Ahwaz secure; but that could have been achieved with much less effort and cot in lives. The first question to ask is: could Turkey have been dissuaded from joining the Central Powers and persuaded at least to remain neutral, as she sensibly did in the Second World War? Would it not have been possible to have agreed in 1911 to the request of the new Young Turk regime for an alliance, and, if it had been agreed, could it have remained effective, given the strong German influence in the Turkish army and in the country generally? Was it wise to have seized the two Turkish battleships in 1914? Even if they had been opposed to us and had forced the Royal Navy to keep more battleships in the Mediterranean, would that have been critical to the balance of naval strength in the North Sea; and how should that have weighted in the balance against the possibility of keeping Turkey neutral? When, with the advantage of hindsight, one counts the cost, at Gallipoli, of trying to achieve the same aim -for to frighten Turkey out of its alliance with Germany was the purpose of sending a fleet into the Sea of Marmara -one is forced to the conclusion that Churchill's decision to requisition the battleships may have been a serious misjudgement.


That brings one to the whole issue of Dardanelles affair.First, would the presence of a British fleet off Constantinople have frightened Turkey into trying to get out of her alliance with Germany? It is possible that it might; but what was the fleet to do if that did not happen, or did not happen quickly? Were they to bombard Constantinople, and would that have been effective? Is it not possible that the Turks, urged on by the Germans, might have managed to bottle the fleet up there by closing the Straits behind them? Once the landings have taken place, but had not cleared the peninsula to get the fleet through, was it sensible to persist? It would surely have been better to have cut our losses, for, even if the fleet did manage to get through later, its chances of achieving it aim were slender. The argument that to abandon the enterprise would cause a serious loss of face in the Muslim world, especially in India and Egypt, causing serious security problems which would tie down troops, weighed heavily, but was shown to be exaggerated by the lack of such a serious reaction when we did eventually leave the peninsula. The verdict on that campaign must be that it was ill-conceived and incompetently executed. Churchill, Kitchener and Fisher must bear a heavy load of blame, as must Ausqith at the top and Hankey lower down. There can be no doubt that the 120'000 casualties of all kinds incurred there did not achieve any worthwhile strategic advantage.



To return to the first question raised. If we had been successful either in persuading Turkey to keep out of the war, or, by a successful passage of the Dardanelles, frightening her out of it, what would the subsequent history of the Middle East have been? Would Mustafa Kemal have had the motive or authority to convert what had been the Ottoman Empire into the secular, Western-oriented Turkey that he, as Ataturk, almost succeeded in making it? Would there have been an Arab revolt against a post-war Turkey, and what form might it have taken? A Turkey which maintained authority over all the area which, in 1914, comprised the Ottoman Empire would have become the greatest oil-producing country in the world, potentially very powerful. What of Egypt: would it have maintained its nominal subjection to Constantinople, or Istanbul? There would have been no state of Israel. Of one thing one can be certain: the Middle East would have been as troublesome a place as, in the event, it has proved to be. The lives lost by British, Australian, New Zealand and Indian soldiers in the war against Turkey between 1914 and 1918 changed the area decisively, but whether for better or worse it is hard to say.


Field Marshal Lord Carver, “The National Army Museum Book Of The Turkish Front 1914-1918-The Campaigns At Gallipoli, In Mesopotamia And In Palestine”, Pan Grand Strategy Series, Pan Books, London, 2004, p. 245-247


H. C. Armstrong (British Soldier, Writer, 1891-1943)

Now he repeated publicly the terms on which Turkey would make peace. They were the same as those laid down in the National Pact. Turkey must be an independent sovereign state within its own frontiers, and free of all foreign interference.
A smaller man might have increased his demands, blown up with new ambitions, dreamt dreams of conquest, for from every Islamic country -from India, Africa, from the Malay States, Russia, Afghanistan, Persia and China, even from Christian Hungary, came addresses of congratulation, swords of honour, telegrams of praise: praise on fullsome praise, enough to turn away man's head. All across the world subject races stirred in hope. Wherever there was massed hostility to the imperial nations of the West men looked up expectant to Mustafa Kemal, believing that a champion had arisen. They saw in this Moslem general, who had defeated all the might of Europe, the spear-head of their advance towards freedom from the white man and the Christian. The Soviets were urging on him. Persia and Afghanistan were proposing offensive alliances. The Indians, the Syrians and the Egyptians wanted his help. From all sides came invitations to become the champion of the East against the West.
But, as ever, though revelling in the praise, drinking in all the flattery, strutting down the center of the stage, Mustafa Kemal remained level-headed, steady in his judgment, clear in his aims. He had no delusions. He knew exactly what the Turks could do. He was not going adventuring with dreams of empire or foreign conquest. The Ottoman Empire was dead and broken up: good riddance of it, for it had sucked the marrow out of the bones of the real Turks. For five centuries, in Iraq, in Arabia and Africa, Turks had fought and died; they had been exploited shamelessly by their Sultans, and without any profit. Enough of that! He would not revive any Ottoman Empire.
H.C.Armstrong, “Grey Wolf-Mustafa Kemal-An Intimate Study of a Dictator”, Penguin Books, London, 1937, p. 182-183
In his clearness of vision lay his success. In the limitations of his aim was founded his greatness.
H.C.Armstrong, “Grey Wolf-Mustafa Kemal-An Intimate Study of a Dictator”, Penguin Books, London, 1937, p. 213
On the 3rd of March 1924, he presented a Bill to the Assembly to secularise the whole State and expel the Caliph.
"At all cocts," he said to the excited deputies, "the Republic must be maintained. It is threatened. The Ottoman Empire was a crazy structure based on broken religious foundations. The new Republic must have good foundations and a well-made, scientific structure. The Caliph and the remains of the house of Osman must go. The antiquated religious courts and codes must be replaced by modern scientific civil codes. The schools of the priests must give way to secular Government schools. State and religion must be separated. The Republic must finally become a secular State."
H.C.Armstrong, “Grey Wolf-Mustafa Kemal-An Intimate Study of a Dictator”, Penguin Books, London, 1937, p. 213


Stephen Mansfield (American Writer, 1958 - ...)

(...) The Zagros Mountains swept the landscape on the horizon, mountains so ruggedly beautiful that they seemed part of a stage divinely prepared for events of great tragedy and import. It was like nother scenery in the world. Kurdistan lay below.

Stephen Mansfield, “The Miracle of the Kurds”, Worthy Publishing, USA, 2014, p. 9

(...) Iraq is a structure of artificial boundaries and unnaturally combined tribes and religions conceived by Europeans just after World War I.

Perhaps it was the best idea suggested at the time. Great minds and noble hearts gave birth to the nation of Iraq, Winston Churchill, Gertrude Bell, and T.E.Lawrence among them. Tehere was no intention of torturing history with an unworkable state of affairs.

Yet there was a certain high-handedness about the conferences and policies that refashioned the Middle East in that era-not surprising, I suppose, after the defeat of four-hundred-year-old Ottoman Empire at great cost in lives. Winston Churchill gave voice to this imperiousness when he later boasted, "I created Transjordan with a stroke of a pen on a Sunday afternoon in Cairo."

Stephen Mansfield, “The Miracle of the Kurds”, Worthy Publishing, USA, 2014, p. 74

As my restaurant owner friend wound down on that cool Nashville night, he said with the sadness of centuries, "We were a great and a respected people. We could have become a mighty nation, a prosperous nation. All the world knows now is the Kurd as a victim, the Kurd in exile, the Kurd as the people with no home, no land, and no place of their own. It is a shame to us."

Stephen Mansfield, “The Miracle of the Kurds”, Worthy Publishing, USA, 2014, p. 89

The conclusion is that Kurdish Islam is one of the most moderate versions of that faith in the world. It is so because the Kurds themselves, despite their history as a warring people, are among the gentlest and most poetic people in the world. This is what we are learning in the Great Thaw of the Kurdish people and it gives promise of what the Kurds, their faith, and their part of the world may well become. We should hope that Kurdistan might become a model for all these Kurdish virtues.
Stephen Mansfield, “The Miracle of the Kurds”, Worthy Publishing, USA, 2014, p. 125

(...) It is all promise that the Kurdish economic miracle will continue so long as Kurdistan retains its commitment to being a free, stable, safe, and just society.

Stephen Mansfield, “The Miracle of the Kurds”, Worthy Publishing, USA, 2014, p. 210

No society can be a great society and allow women to be murdered for the clothes they wear or the values they espouse.

Stephen Mansfield, “The Miracle of the Kurds”, Worthy Publishing, USA, 2014, p. 211


David Ben-Gurion (Main Founder and First Prime Minister of Israel, 1886-1973)

Moreover, even if one could guarantee that Jews would be safe in a new liberal Russia or Poland, we Labour Zionists still insisted on rebuilding Zion. For we could achieve Jewish freedom, we felt, only if we could achieve national independence in our own land. We had the right of any other nation to develop our own language, our own culture, our own way of life, not on the sufferance of another people in another land administered by a government not of our own choosing, but as of right, by our own exertions with our own people in our own land where we could be our own masters.

Moshe Pearlman, “Ben Gurion Looks Back, In Talks With Moshe Pearlman”, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1965, p. 20


Churchill knew well the history the history of the Jews both in their own land and in the Diaspora, and he had a tremendous admiration for their tenacity and extraordinary capacity for survival despite the long and cruel persecution they had suffered. Thousands of years had not changed their character-nor eased their sufferings nor destroyed their spirit. The jews had remained alive in spite of everything the world had done to them-and despite all they had done to themselves, with their internal dissensions. This, and their spiritual greatness, prompted the parallel in Churchill's mind between them and the Greeks. Both had left mankind a legacy of wisdom and genius. Athens and Jerusalem are the most precious cities in the history of western civilisation. Their religious and phlosophical contributions dominate modern culture and beelief. This recognition was part of Churchill's intellectual make-up, and it came out in his talk with me and, of course, in his writings.

Moshe Pearlman, “Ben Gurion Looks Back, In Talks With Moshe Pearlman”, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1965, pp. 100-101


Bismarck (Prussian & German Statesman, 1815 – 1898)

Birinci nesil kurar, ikincisi idare eder, ucuncu nesil de sanat tarihi okur.

Aktaran Ilber Ortayli, “Zaman Kaybolmaz”, T.Is Bankasi Kultur Yayinlari, 1. Baski, Istanbul, 2006, sh. 431 


Fernand Braudel (French Historian, 1902-1985)

Lucien Febvre in entertaining article, imagined how astonished Herodotus would be if he were to repeat his itinerary today, at the flora which we think of as typically Mediterranean: orange, lemon and mandarin trees imported from the Far East by the Arabs; cactus from America; eucalyptus trees from Australia (they have invaded the whole region from Portugal to Syria and airline pilots say they can recognize Crete by its eucalyptus forests); cypresses from Persia; the tomato, an immigrant perhaps from Peru; peppers from Guyana; maize from Mexico; rice 'the blessing brought by the Arabs'; the peach-tree, 'a Chinese mountain-dweller who came to Iran', the bean, the potato, the Barbary fig tree, tobacco-the list is neither complete nor closed. A veritable saga could be written about the migrations of the cotton-plant, native to Egypt from which it emerged to sail the seas. It would be interesting too to have a study of the arrival in the sixteenth century of maize, an American plant which Ignasio de Asso wrongly supposed, in the eighteenth century, to have come from two sources, the New World and the East Indies, brought from the latter by Arabs in the twelfth century. The coffee shrub was growing in Egypt by 1550: coffee had arrived in the East towards the middle of the fifteenth century; certain African tribes ate grilled coffee beans. As a beverage it was known in Egypt and Syria from that time on. In Arabia in 1556, it was forbidden at Mecca, as being a drink of dervishes. It reached Constantinople in about 1550. The Venetians imported it to Italy in 1580; it appeared in England between 1640 and 1660; in France it was first seen at Marseilles in 1646, then at court in 1670. As for tobacco, it arrived in Spain from Santa Domingo and through Portugal 'the excuisite herb nicotiana' reached France in 1559, or possibly even in 1556, with Thevet. In 1561, Nicot sent some powdered tobacco from Lisbon to Catherine de Medici as a remedy for migrane. The precious plant had soon crossed the Mediterranean; by 1605 it had reached India; it was quite often forbidden in Muslim countries but in 1664, Tavernier saw the Sophy himself smoking a pipe.

It is tempting to prolong the list: the plane tree of Asia minor appeared in Italy in the sixteenth century; rice cultivation spread, again in the sixteenth century, around Nice and along the Provencal coast; the kind of lettuce known as 'roman' or cos was brought to France by a traveler called Rabelais; and it was Busbecq whose Turkish letters I have frequently quoted, who brought back to Vienna from Adrianople the first lilacs which, with the aid of the wind, soon covered the Viennese country-side. But further identification can add nothing to what is already plain: the extent and immensity of the intermingling of Mediterranean cultures, all the more rich in consequences since in this zone of exchanges cultural groups were so numerous from the start. In one region they might remain distinctive, exchanging and borrowing from other groups from time to time. Elsewhere they merged to produce the extraordinary charivari suggestive of eastern ports as described by romantic poets: a rendezvous for every race, every religion, every kind of man, for everything in the way of hairstyles, fashions, foods and manners to be found in the Mediterranean.

Theophile Gautier, in his Voyage a Constantinople, gives a minute description, at every port of call, of the spectacle of this overwhelming carnival. At first one shares his enthusiasm, then one finds oneself skipping the inevitable description -because it is always the same; everywhere he finds the same Greeks, the same Armenians, Albanians, Levantines, Jews, Turks and Italians. And when one considers the still lively (though now less picturesque) sights of the harbour quarters in Genoa, Algiers, Marseilles, Barcelona and Alexandria, one has an impression of great cultural instability. But the historian can very easily go astray in seeking to unsnare the tangled threads. He might have thought the saraband for instance was an ancient traditional dance; then he discovers that it had only just appeared in Cervantes' time. He had thought of tunny fishing perhaps as specific activity of Genoese seamen, of the fishermen of Naples, Marseilles or Cape Corse; in fact it was already practised by the Arabs who passed on the skill in the tenth century. He might almost in the end be tempted to say with Gabriel Audisio that the essential Mediterranean race is that which inhabits its extravagant cosmopolitan ports: Venice, Algiers, Leghorn, Marseilles, Salonica, Alexandria, Barcelona, Constantinople, to name only the largest -a single race embracing all others. But this is patently absurd. The very multiplicity of colour indicates a diversity of elements: the variety proves there has been no amalgamation, that distinct elements remain and can be isolated and recognized as one moves away from the big centres where they are hopelessly tangled.

Fernand Braudel, "The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II, Volume 2, Translated by Siam Reynolds, Harper & Row, New York, 1976, pp.761-763 

Clarence D. Ussher, M.D (American Missionary to Turkey, 1870-1955)
We glided through a dreamland of beauty in steaming slowly up the Bosphorus; low hills wooded to the very edge of the sparkling waves, glittering bubbles of mosque domes, fairy minarets, pastel-tinted houses gleaming palely amid their embowering trees, with red-tiled roofs to lend a dash of warm color to the scene and black pointed cypresses to give it character and a somber dignity, anchoring it to reality; then, orchards, vineyards, scattered villas, and gray crenellated walls and towers centuries old; and the mountain-bordered shores of the Black Sea were a constant delight to the eye with their rich verdure and their picturesque towns and villages climbing steep slopes, clinging to jutting headlands, or encircling deep bays.

Clarence D. Ussher, M.D-Grace H. Knapp, “An American Physician In Turkey, A Narrative of Advantures In Peace and War", Houghton Mifflin Company, The Riverside Press Cambridge, USA, 1917, p. 6

The buildings of the Americam Mission were a thousand feet above the plain. Eighteen miles away the Taurus Range began to roll its purple waves toward the horizon. I could not tire of the view from our terrace during my stay in Harput, for it was never twice the same. Sometimes the distant ranges were hidden behind a wall of fog; sometimes we ourselves were shrouded in dense cold mist while the plains below lay in warm sunshine; and again, the mountain peaks rose like islands above a sea of clouds, and against their rocky cliffs dashed high in spray mind-driven billows of sunlit foam.

Clarence D. Ussher, M.D-Grace H. Knapp, “An American Physician In Turkey, A Narrative of Advantures In Peace and War", Houghton Mifflin Company, The Riverside Press Cambridge, USA, 1917, p. 9


Archie Roosevelt (American Intelligence Officer, Writer, 1918 – ...)

Thus in the hotel dining room and reception chambers our company was entirely male, with a variety of guests to liven up the noontime hours and those evenings ones where there was nothing else to do but eat in. One of the most amusing was "Doc" Hoff, the Viennese psychologist, liked by everyone, whose joly, rotund figure was a frequent presence at Arab homes. His services were often called upon by aging tribal sheikhs who were always worried about declining virility. I remember him telling me one day about his experience in this field. "Amazing," he said, in his pronounced Viennese accent, "the standards they set for themselves. They go to their wives morning, noon, and evening after prayers, and then worry because they cannot do it that last time at night!"

Archie Roosevelt, “For Lust of Knowing, Memoirs of an Intelligence Officer", Little, Brown And Company, USA, 1988, pp. 139-140
Awakened several times during the night by the cold, I stepped out of my tent into the desert, and stood a long time gazing around me in the semidarkness, for the night was brilliant with stars as one sees it only in the desert and on the sea. As I took deep breaths of purest air, surrounded by the bones of the earth stretching far into darkness, I sensed that aloneness in the universe, under the eye of God, which has inspired men of the desert through the ages. From these Arabian wastes came the procession of tribes of Semites through the millennia, and the prophets raising their eyes to the stars, alone before God. A sense of man's littleness, in the vast wilderness of space, fills one not only with awe, but with something like fear. The sad little ruins in the foreground only reinforced the loneliness, and I shuddered, sensing the ghosts of the past sliding through them, just as I had in Basra.
Archie Roosevelt, “For Lust of Knowing, Memoirs of an Intelligence Officer", Little, Brown And Company, USA, 1988, p. 185

There are few places in the world more fascinating to the visitor than Kurdistan. Its rugged mountains -sometimes bare, sometimes covered with scrub oak and pine - are broken here and there by broad valleys. Scattered everywhere are the stone and mud villages of the Kurds. I saw my first Kurdish village some forty-three years ago, draped on a mountainside overlooking a deep gorge, at the bottom of which, barely visible, was the silver line of a brook winding its way down to the plains.
Archie Roosevelt, “For Lust of Knowing, Memoirs of an Intelligence Officer", Little, Brown And Company, USA, 1988, p. 185

Exploring the city and souqs of Suleimania, I was struck by the fine appearance of the Kurds. Most wore beards -now almost vanished from Baghdad- and were comparatively well dressed. But what made deepest impression on me was a little school in the bazaar, where a white-bearded venerable was teaching nine-year-olds to recite, of all things, the Bustan of the Persian poet Sa'adi. I later ascertained that the cultural language of the Kurds in Iraq as well as Iran was Persian, the language closest to their own. This may also reflect the fact that Persian literature -and even the language- was once the Latin of the eastern Muslim world, from Istanbul to Bengal.
Archie Roosevelt, “For Lust of Knowing, Memoirs of an Intelligence Officer", Little, Brown And Company, USA, 1988, p. 257
"The Kurds are not asking for anything extraordinary, merely the same natural rights and freedoms that are the privilege of all mankind," said Qazi. 'The UN should consider the Kurdish situation, and if it is not possible to create immediately and independent united Kurdistan, at least it can force the states with Kurdish minorities to set up autonomous districts within their boundaries."
Archie Roosevelt, “For Lust of Knowing, Memoirs of an Intelligence Officer", Little, Brown And Company, USA, 1988, p. 279
Qazi Muhammad met an earlier doom. All three Qazis were tried in Mahabad in a military court in camera and, on January 23, were sentenced to death. However, the carrying out of the sentences was already delayed by Tehran, where Qavam did not wish to cause ripples in the midst of delicate negotiations with the Soviets.
Shortly before my departure from Tehran in February 1947, General Razmara had gone to Mahabad, and I had reason to believe that he was going to supervise the Qazi brothers' execution. I hurried in to see Ambassador George Allen to see what could be done about it.
"Why are you so concerned about Qazis?" he asked me. "After all, they did collaborate with the Soviets."
"True, but they were essentially nationalists doing what they could for the betterment of their people, and the Soviets were the only ones interested in helping them. If they are executed, we shall be considered a party to an act viewed with horror by Kurdish nationalists everywhere."
"What do you want me to do about it?"
"I think you should ask the Shah to instruct Razmara to bring the Qazis to Tehran for a fair and open trial."
At the ambassador's request, he was granted an immediate audience with the Shah, in which he expressed hope for the amelioration of tribal problems, including those of the Kurds. Allen then went on to say that while the Qazis had collaborated with the Soviets, they had done a lot for education -and the Shah interrupted him.
"Are you afraid that I'm going to have them shot?" he asked with a smile. "If so, you can set your mind at rest. I am not."
On March 31 the Qazis were hanged at dawn, upon orders of His Imperial Majesty, the Shahinshah.
One has to conclude that the Shah may have sent out the order as soon as our ambassador had closed the door behind him.
Archie Roosevelt, “For Lust of Knowing, Memoirs of an Intelligence Officer", Little, Brown And Company, USA, 1988, p. 185
I did eventually have a chance to improve my knowledge of the Turkish language, as Lucky and I for a time occupied a house in Bebek, a few miles up the Bosphorus from Istanbul. It was a one-storied house, with a large living room and porch looking over the Bosphorus. I have always found it satisfying to live near the water, and the Bosphorus was a continual source of pleasure then. Today, alas, this same view in Bebek is obstructed by ugly new buildings.
In our day it was a comparatively quiet place, in the shadow of the tower of Rumeli Hisar, built by Mohammed the Conqueror in 1452 in preparation for his final assault on Constantinople. Its twin on the Asian side of the Bosphorus was Anadolu Hisar, also the work of Mohammed. Rumeli Hisar sheltered some of the houses of Robert College, a comfortable presence in the background.
Along the Bosphorus passed a continual procession of boats and ships of various sizes, including great tankers, freighters, and war ships from the Soviet part of the Black Sea. A ferry constantly crisscrossed the water between the European and the Asian side, where one could still see a few old-fashioned wooden Turkish summer homes, yalis, overhanging the banks. In the morning and evening alike from our porch we contemplated the passing scene. At night we watched the lights of the small craft fishing out the delights of the next day's table -especially that most succulent fish, the lufer; swordfish soon to be spitted as kebab; and five-or ten-pound lobsters, as large as a small pet. In fact, someone once put a leash to one in our kitchen! A few miles up to Bosphorus, in the village of Therapia, we often went to a Greek restaurant where they pulled these huge lobsters up from a cage beneath a trap door in the center of the room for us to admire before they went to chef.
Archie Roosevelt, “For Lust of Knowing, Memoirs of an Intelligence Officer", Little, Brown And Company, USA, 1988, pp. 338-339
There has never been anything like democracy in Iran. From earliest times it was ruled by an autocratic shah. Genghis Khan and his Turkic successors carried on the tradition -as did the Turkic tribes who overran the country. Turkic tribal society is dominated by an all-powerful khan and has none of the Arab tradition of the majlis, the tribal deliberative body.
The Iranians were despised by the Arabs at the time of their conquest of Iran as a slavish people. It was the Iranians who handed down the tradition of oriental court life to the Arabs, particularly under the Abbasids. The Arab rulers exchanged the more democratic traditions of Bedouin tribal chiefs for the despotic splendor of the East. It was the Iranian custom to prostrate oneself before an all-powerful shah. The eunuch did not exist in Arabia -and neither did women's veils, another import from Iran. Contrary to general belief, the veil is not mentioned in the Koran.
Archie Roosevelt, “For Lust of Knowing, Memoirs of an Intelligence Officer", Little, Brown And Company, USA, 1988, p. 437 

 Mark Twain (American Writer, 1835 – 1910)

When I am king, they shall not have bread and shelter only, but also teachings out of books, for a full belly is little worth where the mind is starved.

Mark Twain, “The Prince and the Pauper

Ilber Ortayli (Turkish Historian, 1947 - )

Eski dostlarin ne kadar gerekli oldugunu ve hayatimizin vazgecilmez bir parcasini teskil ettigini elli yasindan sonra daha iyi anlarsiniz.

Ilber Ortayli, “Zaman Kaybolmaz”, T. Is Bankasi Kultur Yayinlari, 1. Baski, Istanbul, 2006, sh. 427

Seneca (Roman Philosopher)

The man who is not afraid to die will always be your master.

Cited by Geoffrey Wheatcroft, "The Age of Might is Over", Gulf Times, 16.4.2009, p.26 


Meral Celen (Widow of Aziz Nesin, Turkish Writer)

Butun buyuk adamlar bencil adamlardir. Bencil olmazlarsa buyuk adam olamazlar. Eger bencil degilse itin kuyrugu gibi ne uzar, ne kisalirlar. Aziz de buyuk adamdi.

Meral Celen, Aziz Nesin’ín dul esi (ikinci karisi), Dilek Kayalar’ín kendisi ile yaptigi mulakat, Aksam Gazetesi, 16 Aralik 2002


John Julius Norwich (British Historian)

In the hearts of dictators, gratitude is a rare emotion indeed.
John Julius Norwich, "The Middle Sea-Ahistory of the Mediterranean", Chatto & Windus, London, 2006, p.557 

(...) Some years after the war, an official report on the campaign (Gallipoli campaign in First World War-S.A) by the Turkish General staff confessed that the naval battle of 19 March had left it virtually without ammunition; had the Roebeck returned immediately to the attack he would very probably have been able to advance unhindered through the straits to Constantinople, in which case 'the eight divisions retained there would have been unable to defend it'. With Constantinople occuped, it is doubtful whether the Russians would ever have signed a separate peace -and the Russian Revolution might never have occured. Even after the landings victory might have been possible; the Turkish report also admitted that twice during the campaign -during the first Anzac landing in April and at Sulva Bay in August- the Allies would almost certainly have broken through had it not been for the astonishing personal magnetism of Mustafa Kemal (*)

(*) The official British historian went further still: 'seldom in history' he wrote 'can the exertions of a single divisional commander have exercised, on three separate occasions, so profound an influence not only on the course of a battle but, perhaps, on the fate of a campaign and even the destiny of a nation'.
John Julius Norwich, "The Middle Sea-A History of the Mediterranean", Chatto & Windus, London, 2006, p.589


 Brad Leithauser (American Poet, Novelist, Essayist. 1953 - )

It's the good who do not sleep.

From the poem "A Good List" in "Curves and Angles", Knopf, 2006  


 Jane Mayhall (American Poet, 1918-2009)

Silence was the marriage ring we chose.

From the poem "Notes for Sixtieth Wedding Aniversary" in "Sleeping Late on Judgment Day", Knopf, 2004


Kim Philby (British Masterspy, 1912-1988)

Since joining the service over six years earlier, I had taken perhaps ten day's leave. With the pressure of work momentarily lessened, I decided to fly down, en route to Istanbul, to visit my father in Saudi Arabia. He met me in Jidda and took me briefly to Riyadh and Al Kharj. it was my first acquaintance with the country to which he had devoted the greater part of his life. Neither then nor thereafter did I feel the slightest temptation to follow his example. The limitless space, the clear night skies and the rest of the gobledygook are all right in small doses. But I would find a lifetime in a landscape with majesty but no charm, among a people with neither majesty nor charm, quite unacceptable. Ignorance and arrogance make a bad combination, and the Saudi Arabians have both in generous measure. When an outward show of austerity is thrown in as well, the mixture is intolerable.

Kim Philby, "My Silent War", The Modern Library, New York, 2002, p.131

I am sure that tribal courage is legendary only in the sense that it is legend, and that the wild mountaineer is as brave as a lion only in the sense that lion (very sensibly) avoids combat unless assured of weak opposition and a fat meal at the end of it.

Kim Philby, "My Silent War", The Modern Library, New York, 2002, p.155


{Phillip Kinghtley} 'From the way you speak of Britain, I gather it holds nothing for you any more?'

{Kim Philby} 'Oh, I would love to go back there for a visit to see my grandchildren. But if given only one choice, I'd prefer to go to France. I had some very happy times there. And, of course, the England that exists today would be a foreign country to me."

{Phillip Knightley} 'There must be something of England that you miss?'

Philby thought for a while and then said: 'Colman's mustard and Lea and Perrins sauce. You can bring me some next time you come.' 

Quoted in Phillip Knightley, The Master Spy-The Story of Kim Philby, Vintage Books, New York, February 1990, p.256 

Philby put politics before personal relationships. There are people, sad though it may be, who follow the same priorities, and we call them generals, public servants, prime ministers - and load them with honours. But he made a total commitment when he was only twenty-one and he had the strength of purpose to stick to it for the rest of his life. How many of us can claim to have done that? He had the courage to risk all for his convictions and he got away with it. He was a man of his time and place who took part in momentous historical events and had no small part in shaping their outcome.

Quoted in Phillip Knightley, The Master Spy-The Story of Kim Philby, Vintage Books, New York, February 1990, p.265


St John Philby (British Explorer, Arabist, Writer, 1885-1960)

 My ambition is fame, whatever that may mean, and for what it is worth. I have fought for it hard.

Quoted in Philip Knightley, "The Master Spy, The Story of Kim Philby", Vintage Books, New York, 1990, p. 21


Desmond Tutu (South African Cleric and Activist, 1931-)

When a pile of cups is tottering on the edge of the table and you warn that they will crash to the ground, in South Africa you are blamed when that happens.

Gary Young, "Fatherly Laureate", Gulf Times-Time Out, 28 May 2009, p. 10-11

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.

Gary Young, "Fatherly Laureate", Gulf Times-Time Out, 28 May 2009, p. 10-11


 Sir Mark Sykes (British Soldier, Diplomat, Writer, 1879-1919)

The Maronites of the Lebanon are a curious race, exceedingly intelligent, fairly brave, but incapable of combination; inclining towards the Armenian in financial astuteness, born intriguers, cunning diplomatists, somewhat immoral, appalingly apt to pick up a superficial coating of European civilisation (confound the word, but there is no other), which transforms them into 'bounders' of the most vivid kind, but nevertheless a people prepared to work and hold position of importance when they get the chance. Many of the Egyptian officials, journalists, civil engineers, etc., are of this race, and as long as a strong hand is kept over them they are worthy of the positions they held, and far superior to the Bengali Baboo, as they have a backbone, which the Baboo has not.

Mark Sykes, "Dar-Ul-Islam-A Record of a Journey Through Ten of the Asiatic Provinces of Turkey", Darf Publishers Limited, London, 1988 (First published in 1904), p. 29


The whole of the route to Ma'aret en-Noman is dotted with wells and tombs, all interesting and worthy of archeaological observation; it is on such a road as this that the contrast between the South African veldt and Syrian open country is so remarkable -the former empty, unmeaning, where man is an uninteresting cipher, and the only thoughts of the traveller can be of the future; but in Syria every stone has an interest, every hill has been trodden into paths, man has left his marks on every rock; the very caverns are inhabited by troglodytes, and every stage of early society is to be seen- the cave dweller, the nomad, the semi-nomad, the villager, the townsman. No one who has the least imagination can long remain unaffected by such associations. The road from Damascus to Aleppo has seen nations rise and fall, vanish, revive and die out; many have trodden its dusty paths, and there are more to come.

Mark Sykes, "Dar-Ul-Islam-A Record of a Journey Through Ten of the Asiatic Provinces of Turkey", Darf Publishers Limited, London, 1988 (First published in 1904), p.52


The Kurds are more hospitable, doing their utmost to make one comfortable; and not withstanding that Mr. Lynch invariably alludes to them as 'the hook-nosed ruffian' or 'ruffians' it must be admitted that they are good hosts, and welcome one in a more friendly way than many Bedawin, who, though profuse in their hospitality, occasionally give it in a take-it-or-be-damned manner, which is not at all times pleasant.

Mark Sykes, "Dar-Ul-Islam-A Record of a Journey Through Ten of the Asiatic Provinces of Turkey", Darf Publishers Limited, London, 1988 (First published in 1904), p.63-64


I have heard a person, who could speak with authority, state there could never be an amalgamation between Turks and Arabs; and I think there is no doubt this is true. A Turk will understand and Englishman's character much sooner than he will an Arab's; the latter is so subtle in his reasoning, so quick-witted, so argumentative and so great a master of language that he leaves stolid Osmanli amazed and dazed, comprehending nothing. The Turk is not, truth to tell, very brilliant as a rule, though very apt in assuming Western cultivation. This may sound extraordinary but is nevertheless true so far as my experience carries me. Every Turk I have met who has dwelt for a considerable period in any European country, although never losing his patriotism and deep love for his land, has became in manners, thoughts and habits an Englishman, a German or Frenchman. This leads one almost to suppose that Turks might be Europeanised by an educational process without any prejudicial result, for at present they have every quality of a ruling race except initiative, which is an essentially European quality. Their ardent patriotism is their only incentive; and their intelligence is scarcely sufficient to show them that serving country as soldiers is not the only duty of citizens.

Mark Sykes, "Dar-Ul-Islam-A Record of a Journey Through Ten of the Asiatic Provinces of Turkey", Darf Publishers Limited, London, 1988 (First published in 1904), p.64-65 


After five days' delay we escaped from Derendeh and made across the Dumanleh Dagh for Hekim Khan. The snow having covered all previous tracks we were obliged to employ five pioneers to break up a road, and even with their assistance we found the going difficult. The cold was intense, and the wind blew angrily over the mountain ridges as we crossed them, carrying finely powdered snow particles along with it.

The conduct of the Zaphtiehs and Turkish muleteers was splendid. For once I had the opportunity of observing a perfect demonstration of the fact that the Turks are a ruling race, and in what their  superiority lies. While the Arabs with me-although as faithful, hardworking men as one could wish-raved, shrieked, cursed, and flew into chilish passions, were ready to give up in despair, and always required leading, the Turks were stolid, dogged, and business-like. If one fall head over ears with his horse on top of him, he would only grin and pass the word to the others that there was a drift to be avoided. They trudged steadely, never gave signs of fatigue, always used their judgment, gave orders to one another quietly, and never once lost their tempers.They reminded one of English soldiers who mean to accomplish a long march and have set their teeth.

Mark Sykes, "Dar-Ul-Islam-A Record of a Journey Through Ten of the Asiatic Provinces of Turkey", Darf Publishers Limited, London, 1988 (First published in 1904), p.105-106


From Selamli we road past two more villages named Chiftlik to Golunjak-at least that is the noise the inhabitants make when asked what it is called. The district is a very healty one, and the people are excellent farmers, using carts and irrigating the land with broad canals. A good number of the men speak Arabic, having served in Yemen: a fearful ordeal for mountaineers accustomed to an arctic winter. Some of them told me they had been on service there eight years, and during the whole of the time there was more or less war.

The Turk as a soldier shows a heroism that no other race can boast: willingness to face any danger is nothing compared with that stubborn sense of duty which makes a man ready to endure eight years of misery in a climate of hell, unpaid, unclothed, ill-fed, continually at war, with no hope of glory, no hope of reward, no bounties, no banquets, no encouragement. We who pride ourselves on our army having borne the South African campaign with endurance and fortitude must reverence and respect the Turks who bear ten thousand times more, and consider it as nothing but their ordinary duty.

Mark Sykes, "Dar-Ul-Islam-A Record of a Journey Through Ten of the Asiatic Provinces of Turkey", Darf Publishers Limited, London, 1988 (First published in 1904), p.107-108


Kamal Salibi (Lebanese Historian, 1929 -2011)

In the fifteenth century, three young Maronites from the northern Lebanon were sent tto study in Italy for the first time. After the establishment of the Maronite College in Rome in 1585, what started out as a trickle of Maronites going to Western Europe to study to became a regular though relatively small stream. Among the more gifted of the Maronite graduates of Rome, a number remained in Western Europe, some of them adopting Latinized names and gaining distinction as scholars who helped lay the foundations of European orientalism: Abraham Ecchellensis (Ibrahim al-Haqilani); Joseph Assemanus (Yusuf al-Simaani); Sergius Risius (Sarkis al-Ruzzi). Others, however, returned home to became clerics or teachers of their native village folk. Some Maronite graduates of Rome joined Western monastic orders and became Lazarists or Jesuits. One of those, in 1734, founded the college of Ayn Tura in Kisrawan, which is still a flourishing educational institution. Another, also in Kisrawan, founded the college of Ayn Waraqa in 1774. Both colleges were essentially religious seminaries at the start, but each of them also offered a secular curriculum which became in time the more important, and which blended the traditional Arabic learning with an educational discipline of European type. Among the graduates of Ayn Waraqa, in particular, were the leading figures of the Arabic literary revival of the nineteenth century which flourished in Beirut.

The Maronite College was already active in Rome when Emir Fakhr al-Din Maan went to Italy in 1613 to spend five years in exile. From the pen of one of his secretaries, whose name remains unknown, we have a record of the observations of the Druze emir during his Italian stay, apparently as he personally recounted them to his entourage after his return home. The emir was struck by the organized economy he found in Italy; by the regular maintenance of the highways; by the technological development in various fields; by the banking system; by the thrift exercised in the preservation and the employment of resources, to the extent that the dung of captives and prisoners was systematically collected from the dungeons and put to the agricultural use as fertilizier. He dwelt at length on the magnificence of the public buildings and the orderly layout of the cities, particularly Florence. He was surprised by the ease with which women mixed with men in society, to the extent of dancing with them in public; also by the fact that Europeans, unlike Orientals, preferred beef to mutton and lamb, so that beef fetched higher prices than mutton and lamb in their markets. Most of all, he was struck by the constitutional structure of government in the parts of Italy he visited. There, he remarked, government was not exercised according to the whims of the rulers, but according to the rules set down in 'books'. Whenever a problem or dispute over any governmental practice arose, recourse was head to these 'books'. Officials who committed offences, or lost of the confidence of rulers or of the public for any reason, were tried according to the rules set in these same 'books' before they were dismissed. Following dismissal, and after receiving the stipulated punishment, they retired into obscurity, and were never restored to office simply because the ruler altered his opinion of them. Everybody, including the ruler, was accountable before the law.

The Druze emir greatly admired what he saw in Italy, including the liberty enjoyed by women; but he was disturbed by two aspects upon which he could not help making negative comments. First, he discovered that European hospitality was as limited by hard and fast rules as European government. After the grandiose reception with which he was first met, which included a great ball in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, he was left to live on a fixed stipend which barely met his needs. Second, he was baffled by the religious intolerance he found in Europe. In the Ottoman Empire, as in earlier Islamic empires, Christians and Jews were expected to observe certain social restrictions specified by Islamic law. Otherwise, they were not normally molested in the public practice of their religions. In the Syrian territories under his own control, Fakhr al-Din himself treated Christians and Muslims on an equal footing, and even showed special favour to the Christians. The emir was not only highly tolerant in his general behaviour, but actually unreligious. The English traveler George Sandys, who visited him in Sidon in 1607, reports that the emir was never known to pray, nor ever seen in a mosque. Fakhr al-Din, of course, was a Druze, and Druzes do not pray in mosques. I Italy, however, the emir probably feared that there were secret agents of the Ottoman state observing and reporting everything he did or failed to do, so he made a point of dissimulating Sunnite Islam. When he and his Muslim companions in exile tried to hold public prayers in the courtyard of the mansion where they were staying, the local authorities intervened to stop them, and their prayers thereafter could only be held in strict privacy. Fakhr al-Din and his companions also had difficulty fasting during the mount of Ramadan, for no facilities were extended to them by their hosts to help them.

 Kamal Salibi, "A House Of Many Mansions-The History Of Lebanon Reconsidered", University of California Press, USA, 1988, pp.158-160

(...) The ancient Greeks had borrowed their alphabet from the Phoenicians, and the Greek alphabet was the direct ancestor of the Latin alphabet of Western Europe.


Kamal Salibi, "A House Of Many Mansions-The History Of Lebanon Reconsidered", University of California Press, USA, 1988, p.170

(...) In Lebanon, as in most Arab and Islamic countries, Muslims had long come to accept the rule of civil law in all matters except those relating to the structure and regulation of the family. In this respect, the Turkish Republic, which had been fully secularized since the 1920s, was the only exception. From the Muslim point of view, removing the family from the rule of sharia could not be permitted. Even the idea of giving Muslims the free choice between civil or religious courts to conduct their family affairs was considered totally unacceptable.


Kamal Salibi, "A House Of Many Mansions-The History Of Lebanon Reconsidered", University of California Press, USA, 1988, p.195

This being the case, would it be possible to gain full comprehension of the subtleties of the Christian sector of Lebanon, let alone its Muslim side, independently of the historical context of Islam? Before emerging as a state in the present century, Lebanon strictly, was neither Syrian nor Arab historical territory. Since the seventh century of the Christian era, it had been officially part and parcel of the world of Islam. Throughout this time, and except for the period of Crusades during the eleventh and twelfth centuries, all legal authority on the territory of present-day Lebanon ultimately derived from an Islamic sovereignty: that of the Umayyad, Abbasid or Fatimid caliphs; then that of Seljuk, Ayyubid, Mamluk or Ottoman sultans. The same applied to all other parts of the eastern Arab world except the Yemen and Oman, where the Zaydi Shiite Imams in one case, and the Ibadi Kharijite Imams in the other, claimed the paramount Islamic sovereignty for themselves; more often than not they were successful in actualizing this claimed sovereignty over their respective countries in part or in full. One other exception was the first Wahhabi state which emerged in central Arabia in the eighteenth century. It rejected the Islamic legitimacy of Ottoman rule as a matter of principle in favour of another local Islamic arrangement based on a special puritan interpretation of the Islamic faith. Iraq between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was only an exception to the general rule, in the sense that Islamic sovereignty over this particular Arab territory was a matter of dispute at the time between the Sunnite Islamic state of Istanbul and the Shiite Islamic state in Persia. The same applied to some parts of eastern Arabia, most notably to the islands of Bahrain which fell under Persian rule continuously from 1602 until 1783. 

Kamal Salibi, "A House Of Many Mansions-The History Of Lebanon Reconsidered", University of California Press, USA, 1988, pp.226-227


Robert Curzon (British Traveller, Diplomat, Author, 1810 -1873)

(...) Between the Bosphorus and Heraclea are boundless fields of coal, which crops out on the side of the hills, so that no mining would be required to get the coal; and beside this great great facility in its production, the hills are of such an easy slope that a tramroad would convey the coal-waggons down to the ships on the sea-cost without any difficulty. No nation, but the Turks would delay to make use of such a source of enormous wealth as this coal would naturally supply, when it can be had with such remarkable ease so near to the great maritime city of Constantinople. 

Robert Curzon, "Armenia: A Year At Erzeroom, and On The Frontiers of Russia, Turkey, and Persia", John Murray, London, 1854, p.2

From the tops of the mountains surrounding Erzeroom the snowy summit of Mount Ararat can be seen-another monument in the history of the cradle of the human race, and at its feet the town of Nackchevan was built by Noah, on his descent from the ark. This was the first city built by man after the Flood, according to Armenian, and I think also Mahomedan, tradition. 

Robert Curzon, "Armenia: A Year At Erzeroom, and On The Frontiers of Russia, Turkey, and Persia", John Murray, London, 1854, p.124

(...) The chamberlains and heralds with a loud voice announce the arrival of envoy from the high and mighty lord the Soldan Mehemet II.; upon which the twelve lictors round the throne lifted up their voices, and cried out, "Semper bibat imperator": the letter v not being found in Greek alphabet, vivat was spelt with a beta, ; and being pronounced as it was spelt, the sense of the exclamation was a good deal compromised.

The solemn envoy from the Soldan stalked into the hall, followed by a grisly retinue clothed from head to foot in armour, partly composed of steel plates inlaid with sentences from the Koran in gold letters, and partly completed with flexible chain mail. Their helmets had conical summits, almost like low church-steeple, while instead of plumes they displayed a rod of steel, from which fluttered a small crimson flag from the summits of their casques. The letter from the Soldan, enclosed in a bag of brocade, was handed to the important emperor, who on breaking the seal read the following words:-

"Wilt thou secure thy treasures and thy life by resigning thy kingdom, or wilt thou rather forfeit thy kingdom, thy treasures, and thy life?"

But a short time before, uch was the terror occasioned by the name of the redoubted Sultan Mehemet II., who had just planted the victorious crescent over the cross of St. Sophia, that Ismael Beg, the Mahometan Prince of Sinope, who derived an enormous revenue from the copper-mines in his principality, immediately surrendered his dominions on a summons of a like import with the above, although at that period sinope was defended with strong fortifications, 400 cannons, and 12'000 men.

David Comnenus descended from his golden throne in the year 1461, and with his family was sent, apparently as a prisoner, to a distant castle, where, being accused of corresponding with the King of Persia, he and his whole race were massacred by the orders of his furious conqueror. With him ended the illustrious dynasty of the Comneni, and the history of the independent state of Trebizond, which has since those times remained a remote, and till lately an almost unexplored province of the Turkish empire.  

Robert Curzon, "Armenia: A Year At Erzeroom, and On The Frontiers of Russia, Turkey, and Persia", John Murray, London, 1854, pp.189-190

(...) About the year 390 rose the most celebrated man in the history of this country; his name was Mesrob Maschdots. This personage was born in the town of Hatsegatz-Avan, in the province of Daron: he had been secretary to the Patriarch Narses, and to the Prince Varastad, who has dethroned by the Romans in the year 382. In the year 390, in conjunction with the Armenian Patriarch Sahag, he occupied himself in the extinction of the idolatry which still prevailed, and was the first person who arranged the forms of the Armenian liturgy. Before his time the Armenian language had no written character; the inhabitants of the eastern districts used the Persian alphabet, while those of the west wrote in the Syriac character. Mesrob either restored the ancient Armenian letters according to the historian Moses of Chorene, who gives a long miraculous account of the event, or he invented an entirely new alphabet-a solitary instance, I believe, of such an undertaking having been accomplished by one man.  

Robert Curzon, "Armenia: A Year At Erzeroom, and On The Frontiers of Russia, Turkey, and Persia", John Murray, London, 1854, pp.217-218

The Roman Catholic branch of the Armenian Church has done much more for literature and civilization than the original body. Few Catholics are found in Armenia itself, excepting at Erzeroom and other cities, where a remnant remain; while at Constantinople a great number of the higher and wealthier Armenians give their adherence to that creed. Their minds are more enlarged, they are less Oriental in their ideas, being usually considered as half Franks by their more Eastern brethren. Their churches bear a great resemblance to those of other Catholics, but they retain their own language in their ritual, with many of the forms and ceremonies of the Oriental Church. The Armenian Patriarch, with his long beard, and crown instead of a mitre, is one of the picturesque figures to whom attention is drawn in the ceremonis of the Holy Week at Rome, where there is a college for the education of priests of their nation. They have another college at Constantinople, several handsome churches; but the most important establishment of this branch of their religion is that of the convent or monastery on the island of St. Lazarus, near Venice.

The society, as they themselves call it, was founded by Machitar, an Armenian, who was born at Sebaste, in Lesser Armenia, in 1676. He received holy orders from the Bishop Ananias, superior of the convent of the Holy Cross, near Sebaste. He afterwards studied in the convent of Passen, near Erzeroom, and at another on the island on Lake Van. His wish was to remain in the great monastery of Etchmiazin, to which place he travelled, but, finding no opportunities of study at the seat of the Patriarch, he proceeded to Constantinople, where he afterwards founded a small society, of a monastic kind, at Pera, in the year 1700.

In the year 1708 he established a church and monastic society at Modon in the Morea, then under the government of Venice; but the Turks having taken that place, his companions were made prisoners and sold for slaves. he with some others escaped to Venice, where he received a grant in the year 1717, from the signory, of a small deserted island in the Lagunes, originally the property of the Benedictine order, who established an hospital for lepers there in 1180. In this island he set up a printing-press about the year 1730, for the production of Armenian religious books; and he had the satisfaction of seeing his convent increase in comfort, wealth, and respectability before his death, which took place on the 27th of April 1749.

So high was the character of this establishment for usefulness and good conduct, that in 1810, when other monastic establishments were suppressed at Venice, the abbot of St, Lazaro received a peculier decree, granting him and his community all the privileges of their former independence. So high also has been the character of this society since that time, that it has been usual for the Pope to confer upon each new abbot the title and dignity of Archbishop, although he has no province or bishops under him. The service they have rendered to their countrymen is very great: they have at prsent five printing-presses, from whence every year proceed numerous volumes of religious and historical character, as well as school books, and a newspaper in the Armenian language. These are mostly sold at Constantinople, and among the scattered societies of their nation.The funds produced from this source enable them to establish a considerable school or college at Venice, and to send literary missionaries, as they may be called, to collect manuscripts and historical notices among the barren mountains of Armenia. Of these they make good use, compiling, from imperfect and mutilated fragments, authentic histories of their country; printing the almost hitherto lost and unknown works of ancient Armenian authors, and distributing copies of the Holy Scriptures among their brethren in the wasted and benighted land of their fathers.

Robert Curzon, "Armenia: A Year At Erzeroom, and On The Frontiers of Russia, Turkey, and Persia", John Murray, London, 1854, pp.227-230

(...) In the year 1368 the nobles of Armenia elected Peter I., King of Cyprs, king; but he was at Rome at that period, and never took possession of his precarious honour.

The records of the Armenian sovereigns are now drawing to a close. About this period, Leo V., of the family of Lusignan, was seated on his trembling throne. He was famous only for his misfortunes. Menaced by every side, his provinces and castles one by one fell before the victorious inroads of the Turks: the Genoese alone, who in pursuit of trade had fortified many strong places in Armenia, held out gallantly against the common foe, and the Mahometan invaders were unable to gain possession of the town of Curco, or Corycus, in Cilicia, which was defended by the soldiers of the intrepid merchants. 

Robert Curzon, "Armenia: A Year At Erzeroom, and On The Frontiers of Russia, Turkey, and Persia", John Murray, London, 1854, p.251


Sir Hamilton A. R. Gibb (Scottish Historian, 1895 -1971)

The overwhelming character of the victory at Hattin (July 4, 1187) was proved immediately by the tale of cities and fortresses that fell either to Saladin personally (Acre, Toron, Sidon, Beirut) or to separate contingents under their generals (Nazareth, Caesarea, Nablus, etc.). Then passing Tyre by for the time being, he joined forces with al-Adil, who had already stormed Jaffa, and besieged Ascalon, which was surrendered on September 5 on his promise to release Guy and master of the Temple, a promise eventually fulfilled. The remaining castles in this region captured either on the march to Ascalon or just after. Finally, reuniting his armies, Saladin marched to the goal of his ambitions, the capture of Jerusalem. After a siege of less than a fortnight the city surrendered on October 2 on terms which confirmed, if confirmation were needed, his reputation for limitless courtesy and generosity.


H.A.R. Gibb, "Saladin-Studies In Islamic History", Edited by Yusuf Ibish, The Arab Institute For Research And Publishing, Beirut, 1974, p.133


Hassan Arfa (Persian Soldier, Ambassador, Writer, 1895 -1984)

As for Kurdish, it is certainly a language by itself and not a dialect of the Persian (Farsi) language and is itself subdivided into several dialects and sub-dialects. It would be a valuable gain for Middle Eastern culture if these dialects were to be unified, so that a greater number of poetic and prose works understood by all Kurds might enrich existing Kurdish literature.

Hassan Arfa, "The Kurds-An Historical and Political Study", Oxford University Press, London, 1966, p.159


Theresa Huntington Ziegler (American Missionary To Turkey, 1875 -1945)

Dear Mama,


Next Saturday is Paree Gentan, the Armenian feast or carnival which comes just before Lent. In this city [Harpoot] the people don't make much of it, except that they visit and feast, but the villagers dress up in their best, have new clothes, eat and drink and dance in circles on the roofs, the men and women at different times.



Feb. 26, 1901

My dear Harry,



This is Paree Gentan, the beginning of Lent, and last night a bonfire was built on the roof of every Armenian house where there was a bridegroom of less than one year's standing. The children and young men jump thro' these fires and the people everywhere are gossiping and shouting on the roofs. We could see the firestwinkling in many villages down on the plain.

Theresa Huntington Ziegler, “Great Need Over The Water, The Letters of Theresa Huntington Ziegler, Missionary To Turkey, 1898-1905", Edited with an Introduction and Commentary by Stina Katchaddurian, Gomidas Institute, Taderon Press, USA, 1999, pp. 241-244
Fred D. Shepard (American Medical Doctor, Missionary, 1855-1915)
You will then be twenty-seven years of age, the age I was when I went to Turkey, but you will have had a much better training than I had, and will, by the grace of God, be a larger and better man in every way than your father. In looking forward eagerly to the future, do not forget that to-day is just as important as any day in the future is likely to be. Make the most of each day as it comes. Do the very best that is in you each day, be it at work or play, and the future will take care of itself. He who wins to-day's battle need not fear for that of to-morrow. And that word "fear." Cast it out! Give it no place in your scheme of things. Fear nothing but God, and fear not him with any slavish fear. He is your loving Father. Hate sin and shun it, but fear it not, for the Lord Jesus has overcome it for you, and is able to keep you from sin. Believe that whatever man has done, you too can do. Expect great things, attempt great things, and, by the grace of God, you will do great things.
From a letter of Fred Shepard's to his son Lorrin, quoted in Alice Shepard Riggs, “Shepard of Aintab", with a new foreword by Constance Shepard Jolly, Gomidas Institute, Taderon Press, Reading, Great Britain, 2001, p. 116  

Gordon Taylor (American Traveller, Writer, 19-)

Those who travel in the Middle East know the lack of privacy that accompanies any trip outside the major cities. The very concept of privacy is, in fact, alien. In the Turkish language the word "privacy" does not exist in the Western sense. Village people lead boring lives in any poor country, and when confronted by outsiders they crowd around and stare, unaware of the European desire to be "left alone."

Gordon Taylor, "Fever & Thirst-A Missionary Doctor Amid The Christian Tribes of Kurdistan", Academy Chicago Publishers, Chicago-Illinois, U.S.A, 2005, p.179


And always there raged blood feuds between families, individuals, or relatives. Of the Hakkari people, one missionary, Rev. George Coan, wrote in 1852: "My very soul was made sick by their endless strifes." Another wrote in 1864: "In these unsubdued tribes, the people are wild and cruel. Murder is no more before their eyes than drinking water." Father Jacques Rhetore, a Dominican priest who lived in Asheeta from 1908 until 1911, found its people suffused with "greed, deception, duplicity, mutual jealousies, social indiscipline," and "national and religious fanaticism."


Gordon Taylor, "Fever & Thirst-A Missionary Doctor Amid The Christian Tribes of Kurdistan", Academy Chicago Publishers, Chicago-Illinois, U.S.A, 2005, p.183


For a story-teller, each death among the missionaries is as appealing as the last, each small and sad and saturated in piety. In a literary sense one longs for the majesty of War and Peace, where Prince Andrei lies dying, the Russian earth holds her breath, and the cadence of mighty words rolls across the page. But here we are left with middle-class Yankees meeting a mournful end in a desolate place, and for the writer who seeks balance, there seems no way to thread the narrow bridge between hero worship and pathos. To many, these selfless Christians will always be the noblest of beings, rising heavenward to their reward, while to others they are naive meddling fools, lost in a world they cannot begin to understand. The argument is as old as altruism, as new as the latest delusion, and there is plenty of evidence to support both point of view. Most of all, however, these are human beings, and one cannot deprecate the kindness they embodied or the legacy of knowledge they left behind. Their personal courage midst a hundred calamities is reason enough to grant them respect.


Gordon Taylor, "Fever & Thirst-A Missionary Doctor Amid The Christian Tribes of Kurdistan", Academy Chicago Publishers, Chicago-Illinois, U.S.A, 2005, p.251-252


Haji Ali (Nurmadhar of Korphe village, Karakoram, Pakistan)

When the porcelain bowls of scalding butter tea steamed in their hands, Haji Ali spoke. "If you want to thrive in Baltistan, you must respect our ways, Haji Ali said, blowing on his bowl. "The first time you share tea with a Balti, you are a stranger. The second time you take tea, you are an honored guest. The third time you share a cup of tea, you become family, and for our family, we are prepared to do anything, even die," he said, laying his hand warmly on Mortenson's own. "Doctor Greg, you must make time to share three cups of tea. We may be uneducated. But we are not stupid. We have lived and survived here for a long time."

"That day Haji Ali taught me the most important lesson I've ever learned in my life," Mortenson says. "We Americans think you have to accomplish everything quickly. We're the country of thirty-minute power lunches and two-minute football drills. Our leaders thought their 'shock and awe' campaign could end war in Iraq before it even started. Haji Ali taught me to share three cups of tea, to slow down and make building relationships as important as building projects. He taught me that I had more to learn from the people I work with than I could ever hope to teach them."

Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin, "Three Cups of Tea", Penguin Books, New York, U.S.A, 2007, p.


Ahmed Zewail (Egyptian/American Scientist, Writer, 1946 - )

When I was a child, I thought of my Delta town as the center of the universe, but now I realize how little I know about the universe. As a child, I thought I was immortal, but now I recognize how limited a time we all have. As a child, success meant scoring A on every exam, but now I take it to mean good health, close family and friends, achievements in my work, and helping others. My voyage through time, with its walks of life to the Nobel Prize, has taught me a great deal. Throughout, to paraphrase Harry S. Truman, I have tried not to forget who I am and where I came from. With our smallness in the universe at large, I also bear in mind the important role of faith and scholarship. Although I am concerned about injustice in the world today, I am an optimist. I believe that with the power of knowledge and rational thinking, we can-and should-build bridges between humans, between cultures, and between nations.

Ahmed Zewail, "Voyage Through Time-Walks of Life to the Nobel Prize", The American University In Cairo Press, Cairo, 2003, p.236


Charles Van Doren (American Intellectual, Editor, Writer, 1926 - )

Brilliant as he may have been, and mad as well, Christopher Colombus was one of the most remarkable men who ever lived. He never turned aside from the opportunity of wealth, but wealth was not what he sought, what he was willing to give his life for. What he sought was eternal fame, for he knew, as perhaps no one else realized in his time, that the discovery of a new world would bring him that.

The overweening desire for honor or fame was called by the poet John Milton "that last infirmity of noble mind." The phrase is often misunderstood. Milton meant that of all motives that drive men, there is only one that is greater than the desire for fame and honor. That is the wish for salvation, for Christian blessedness. The desire for fame possesses a high purity that is only exceeded by what the saints want to know. Colombus was not a saint, God knows; he was much too great a sinner for that. But if there are secular saints, men and women who possess a purity of heart and will that is just short of the saintly and divine, then Colombus was one of those.

Charles van Doren, "A History of Knowledge-The Pivotal Events, People, And Achievements of World History", Ballantine Books, New York, 1992, p.183


Arnold J. Toynbee (British Historian, 1889 -1975)

My curiosity leads me on to be curious about the nature and meaning of destiny (if there is such a thing), about existence as a whole. In other words, for me history is a way of entering into and trying to comprehend the universe. Every human being has a feeling that life is mysterious, and every human being is to some extent trying to comprehend the incomprehensible.

Arnold J. Toynbee, "Toynbee On Toynbee-A Conversation Between Arnold J. Toynbee and G.R.Urban", Oxford University Press, New York, 1974, p.40

Human life is partly lofty but partly extremely undignified and humiliatingly so. We are a painful mixture of gods and animals.

Arnold J. Toynbee, "Toynbee On Toynbee-A Conversation Between Arnold J. Toynbee and G.R.Urban", Oxford University Press, New York, 1974, p.41

Human life is lived in time-depth; present action takes place not merely in anticipation of the future but in the light of the past. If you deliberately ignore, think away, or deface the past, you're hampering yourself for taking intelligent action in the present.

Arnold J. Toynbee, "Toynbee On Toynbee-A Conversation Between Arnold J. Toynbee and G.R.Urban", Oxford University Press, New York, 1974, p.48

My sensitiveness to the historic environment is part of living in the time dimension: it is a feeling for our ancestors and through our descendants, a feeling that we are trustees for the whole of human history. We have to hand down what has been handed down to us and see that it is preserved. Talking of genius loci: traveling in the United States and other American countries I noticed that patches of the New World already have a history-in Virginia, the sites of Civil War, for instance-whereas California and Colorado are almost historyless so far. The Rock Mountains have no history in them, in the Alleghenny Mountains there is a bit of history, in the mountains in New England there is much more. I felt the same in Brasil or Mexico: where there are sixteenth and seventeenth century buildings and the fields are several centuries old, I'm in my own world again. But then I go out to Amazon forest, and it means nothing to me: This is a dramatic, striking landscape, but it is not embroidered with human actions. This is not a deliberate or self-conscious reaction on my part. It's a feeling for landscape as a scene of human events. Traveling by air and looking down on the pattern of fields, which is the same pattern in Indonesia, in Europe, and in America, I get the emotional sense of agricultural man's effect on the landscape of the planet. One glimpse at a landscape that one studied in maps and books makes all the difference-you can't get that at second hand. I'm very conscious of this, and I always wanted to travel in countries where history has been made. I shouldn't be interested in traveling in historyless countries if there are such.

Arnold J. Toynbee, "Toynbee On Toynbee-A Conversation Between Arnold J. Toynbee and G.R.Urban", Oxford University Press, New York, 1974, p.51-52

Urban: Would you have opted, in a less secular age, for a saintly and monastic life?

Toynbee: Yes, perhaps I might have joined some learned monastic order if I had been a Westerner in the Middle Ages. What my experience would have been, I don't know. Would I have been an orthodox, or would I have been a heretic and have got into trouble over that? I was brought up as a conventional Anglican. I dropped out of this at the university. There then developed in me a seemingly unorthodox and unconventional, but for me very genuine, form of religion which has stayed with me as a vital charge all my life. It is an inner feeling, without the outward structure of religion.

Urban: It doesn't speak for orthodoxy. You end your Study with a syncretic prayer to Jesus Christ and the prophets and saints of all higher religions: "Christ Tammuz, Christ Adonis, Christ Osiris, Christ Balder, hear us, by whatsoever name we bless Thee for suffering death for our salvation." This is the voice of mysticism aspiring to the condition of sainthood.

Toynbee: It is the voice of a historian who believes that, through the frame of history, God reveals himself, dimly and partially, to people who are sincerely seeking him. Quot homines, tot sententiae: each must speak for himself.


Arnold J. Toynbee, "Toynbee On Toynbee-A Conversation Between Arnold J. Toynbee and G.R.Urban", Oxford University Press, New York, 1974, p.112-113


Arnol J. Toynbee (British Historian, 1889 -1975)

The Middle Eastern would feels affection and esteem for the Turks, and is concerned about their welfare, because the Ottoman Empire combines several features which Middle Eastern opinion values. Turkey is an independent Middle Eastern state, much stronger than Persia and much more civilized (in the Western as well as in the Middle Eastern sense) than Afghanistan. In fact, she is the only Middle Eastern state which, in a world dominated by the West and more and more organized on Western lines, can still play the part of a Great Power. It is not realized that Turkey has not been a Great Power, or even a completely independent power since A.D 1774.


Arnold J. Toynbee, "The Western Question In Greece and Turkey", London, 1922, p.30

Conflicts between civilizations are terrible, because civilizations are the most real and fundamental forms of human society. But just because they are ultimate forces, their differentia does not consist in externals like colour, physique or birthplace or mother-tongue, but in states of mind; and while the Ethiopian cannot change his skin or the foreigner his accent, and it is difficult for the subject of an efficient government even to forge a birth-certificate, men's mind can be turned, even at the eleventh hour, from the paths of destruction. Civilizations are differentiations of consciousness, and happily there are possibilities of extensive mental adjustments between the members of one civilization and those of another. The absorption of the Near Eastern into the Western outlook, and the discovery of a modus vivendi between the outlooks of West and Middle East, are not desperate, though they are difficult problems. But at any moment they can be made desperate by errors of judgment on the part of a few men in power.


Arnold J. Toynbee, "The Western Question In Greece and Turkey", London, 1922, p.36

(..) The other is that history is written for and by the sedentary populations, which are much the most numerous and sophisticated portion of mankind, while the nomad usually suffers and pines away and disappears without telling his tale. Yet, if he did put it on record, he might paint us as monsters


Arnold J. Toynbee, "The Western Question In Greece and Turkey", London, 1922, p.341


Jost Organista, Barbara Biggemann (German Adventurers)

 Everyone has a dream. If you have one, just get out there and do it without making any excuses.

Around The World In Custom Vehicle, by Genevieve TanShu Thung, an article appeared on Gulf Times-Time Out (Doha, Qatar), 3rd December 2009, p.5


Miep Gies (Woman who hid Dutch youngster Anne Frank from the Nazis and guarded her diary that became one of the world's most-read books, 1909-2010)

Of course it's nice to be appreciated. But I only did my duty to my fellow man. I helped people in need. Anyone can do that, can't they?

Woman Who Hid Anne Frank, Saved Her Diary, Dead, a report by AFP appeared on Gulf Times (Doha, Qatar), 13th January 2010, p.9
Jane Goodall (British Primatologist and Scientist, 1934-)

We have to keep on doing our best for as long as we can, and if we're going to die, lets die fighting.

Stephen Moss, Call of the Wild, Scientist-turned Environmentalist Jane Goodall's Amazing Journey, an article appeared on Gulf Times, Weekend (Doha, Qatar), 15th January 2010, p.2-3


Grigoris Balakian (Armenian Clergyman, Writer, 1876-1934)

To die in spring is to die twice.

Grigoris Balakian, Armenian Golgotha, A Memoir of the Armenian Genocide, 1915-1918, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2009, p.237
The panic imminent death engendered had made us all more selfish and less sympathetic toward our wretched companions.

It's sad to admit this, but for truth's sake I must also note that some who had been selflessly heroic in earlier times of danger now fell into the egocentric ways of their weaker comrades.

Grigoris Balakian, Armenian Golgotha, A Memoir of the Armenian Genocide, 1915-1918, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2009, p.254
Woe to the one who became demoralized, for he would be lost and court danger. My transformation in the forest had made me a new man, bold and fearless; clothing can change one's disposition and spiritual power in ways I had not realized. A peace-loving and meek servant of the church had abruptly been transformed into a young adventurer ready to employ all of his physical, intellectual, and moral energies to save his life. But any misjudgment would result in death. 
Grigoris Balakian, Armenian Golgotha, A Memoir of the Armenian Genocide, 1915-1918, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2009, p.263 
The imperial palaces of the Turkish capital (Dolmabahche, Churaghan, Beylerbey), the various royal villas in Saray-Bournou, Kiaghudhane, and Beykoz, and the most famous mosques of Constantinople are the handiworks of an Armenian, the royal architect Balian Amiras. No one wishes to acknowledge it. For five centuries the pocelain tiles of Kutahya were used to decorate the mihrabs of the famous Turkish mosques or houses of prayer in the historic Islamic centers of Constantinople, Bursa, Kutahya, Kastemouni, Konya, Seoyud, and throughout Asia Minor. They are the works of the Armenian masters of Kutahya. In the large so-called "Turkish" rug industry, the designers, as well as the master wool-dyers, again are Armenian, though the rugs are called Turkish because they are exported from Turkey.
During their six-hundred-year rule, the Turks have left no trace or memory of civilization except massacre, plunder, forced Islamization, and abduction. The army of Janisarries was composed of rounded-up Christian boys. When they were murdered, the luster of the Ottoman Empire began to dim.
Grigoris Balakian, Armenian Golgotha, A Memoir of the Armenian Genocide, 1915-1918, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2009, p. 419
Martin Rees (British Scientist, President of Royal Society, London)

The world's intellectual firepower is going to be increasingly dominated by Asia, with it's level of population and education. I am sure they are going to be the leaders in the next 50 years. Science is no longer just a province of Europe and North America. It's not a zero sum game.


We should well come these developments very much.

Quoted in Richard Ingham, Science's Finest Club Turns 350, an article appeared on Gulf Times, Time Out (Doha, Qatar), 7th February 2010, p.13


Arnol J. Toynbee (British Historian, 1889-1975)

What is Turkey? It is a name which explains nothing, for no formula can embrace the variety of the countries marked "Ottoman" on the map: the High Yemen, with its monsoons ans tropical cultivation; the tilted rim of the Hedjaz, one desert in a desert zone that stretches from the Sahara to Mongolia; the Mesopotamian rivers, breaking the desert with a strip of green; the pine-covered mountain terraces of Kurdistan, which gird in Mesopotamia as the hills of the North-West Frontier of India gird the Plains; the Armenian highlands, bleak as the Pamirs, which feed Mesopotamia with their snows and send it the soil they cannot keep themselves; the Anatolian peninsula-an offshoot of Central Europe with its rocks and fine timber and mountain streams, but nursing a steppe in its heart more intractable than the Puszta of Hungary; the coast-lands-Trebizond and Ismid and Smyrna clinging to the Anatolian mainland and Syria interposing itself between the desert and the sea, but all, with their vines and olives and sharp contours, keeping true to the Mediterranian; and then the waterway of narrows and land-locked sea and narrows again which links the Mediterranian with the Black Sea and the Russian hinterland, and which has not its like in the world.

The cities of Turkey are as various as the climes, with the added impress of many generations of men; Adrianople, set at a junction of rivers within the circle of the Thracian downs, a fortress since its foundation, well chosen for the tombs of the Ottoman conquerors; Constantinople, capital of empires where races meet but never mix, mistress of trade routes vital to the existence of vast regions beyond her horizon-Central Europe trafficking south-eastward overland and Russia south-westward by sea; Smyrna, the port by which men go up and down between Anatolia and the Aegean, the foothold on the Asiatic mainland which the Greeks have never lost; Konia, between the mountain girdle and the central steppe, where native Anatolia has always stood at bay, guarding her race and religion against the influences of the coasts; Aleppo, where, if Turkey were a unity, the centre of Turkey would be found, the city where, if anywhere, the races of the Near East have mingled-building their courses into her fortress walls from the polygonal work of the the Hittite founders to the battlements that kept out the Crusaders-and now the half-way point of a railway surveyed along an immemorially ancient route, but unfinished like the history of Aleppo herself; Van by its upland lake, overhanging the Mesopotamian lowlands and with the writing of their culture graven on its cliffs, yet living a life apart like some Swiss canton and half belonging to the infinite north; Bagdad, the incarnation for the last millennium of an eternal city that shifts its site as its rivers shift their beds-from Seleucia to Bagdad, from Babylon to Seleucia, from Kish to Babylon-but which always springs up again, like Delhi, within a few parasangs of its last ruins, in an area that is an irresistible focus of population; Basra amid its palm-groves, so far down stream that it belongs to the Indian Ocean-the port from which Sinbad set sail for fairyland, and from which less mythical Arab seamen spread their religion and civilisation far over African coasts and Malayan Indies; these, and besides them almost all the holy cities of mankind; Kerbela, between the Euphrates and the desert, where, under Suni rule, the Shias of Persia and India have still visited the tombs of their saints and buried their dead; Jerusalem, where Jew and Christian, Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant, Armenian and Abyssinian, have their common shrines and separate quarters; Mekka and Medina in the heart of the desert, beyond which their fame would never have passed but for a well and a mart and precinct of idols and the Prophet who overthrew them; and there are the cities on the Pilgrim Road (linked now by railway with Medina, the nearer of the Haramein): Beirut the port, with its electric trams and newspapers, the Smyrna of the Arab lands; Damascus the oasis, looking out over the desert instead of the sea, and harbour not of ships but of camel caravans.

The names of these cities call up, like an incantation, the memory of the civilisations which grew in them to greatness and sank in them to decay; Mesopotamia, a great heart of civilisation which is cold to-day, but which beat so strongly for five thousand years that its pulses were felt from Siberia to the Pillars of Hercules and influenced the taste and technique of the Scandinavian bronze age; the Assyrians, who extended the political marches of Mesopotamia towards the north, and turned them into a military monarchy that devastated the motherland and all other lands and peoples from the Tigris to the sea; the Hebrews, discovering a world-religion in their hill-country overlooking the coast; the Sabaeans, whose queen made the first pilgrimage to Jerusalem, coming from Yemen across the Hedjaz when Mekka and Medina were still of no account; the Philistines and Phoenicians of the Syrian sea-board, who were discovering the Atlantic and were too busy to listen to the Hebrew prophets in their hinterland; the Ionians, who opened up the Black Sea and create a poetry, philosophy, science, and architecture which are still the life-blood of ours, before they were overwhelmed, like the Phoenicians before them, by a continental military power; the Hittites, who first transmitted the fruitful influences of Mesopotamia to the Ioninan coasts-a people as mysterious to their contemporaries as to ourselves, maturing unknown in the fastnesses of of Anatolia, raising up a sudden empire that raided to Mesopotamia and colonised the Syrian valleys, and then succumbing to waves of northern invasion. All these people rose and fell within the boundaries of Turkey, held the stage of the world for a time, and left their mark on its history. There is a romance about their names, a wonderful variety and intensity in their vanished life; yet they are not more diverse than their modern successors, in whose veins flows their blood and whose possibilities are only dwarfed by their achievements.

Arnold J. Toynbee, "Turkey: A Past and A Future", Serenity Publishers, Rockville, Maryland (USA), 2009, p.7-10 (Originally published by Hodder & Stoughton, in UK in 1917)


Patrick Kinross (Scottish Historian, Writer 1904-1976)

Kemal liked, in his vanity, to be loved, and throughout his life chose women who took the initiative in showing their feelings. But he could not endure to be loved too much, to become tied by a woman's emotions, whatever form they might take.

Lord Patrick Kinross, “Ataturk-The Rebirth Of A Nation”, Weidenfeld, London, 1993, p.391
Ataturk above all created a legend. In a land needing heroes his mystique was such that a child, blessed by his handshake, would for weeks leave his hand unwashed, less the virtue depart from it; that an old peasant woman, once asked what her age was, replied, 'Seventeen', for her life had begun only when she first saw him with her eyes during the War of Independence. For the youth of his country his words were to become a gospel and his deeds a mythology, destined to point and illuminate the national ideal for perhaps generations to come. Meanwhile both inspired youth with the sense of a new, challenging life in the present and new foundations on which to build for the future. All this, within little more than a decade, had this modern 'Cromwell of the Near East' (as an English writer1 was to describe him) achieved -through a fanatical personal ambition directed into patriotic channels, phenomenal energy and will-power, and a rare combination within him of an Eastern temperament with a Western mind.

1 The Times, 11th November 1938.

Lord Patrick Kinross, “Ataturk-The Rebirth Of A Nation”, Weidenfeld, London, 1993, p.474


William Dalrymple (Scottish Historian, Travel Writer, 1965-....)

There's a rather naive assumption in Britain that the Raj was a good thing and that we behaved beautifully and were generous in bringing the railways to India, and so on. There is little understanding in Britain, except among people who've spent time in India, that Indians are resentful of the colonial past.

Indians of my generation are not very interested in the Raj and take the view that it was a bad thing but it all happened a long time ago. The older generation have a more complicated attitude. They got rid of the British and yet in many cases they admired them and liked them.

It's a difficult balance to strike, between the number of positive things that the British undoubtedly did achieve in India -the rule of law, education, emancipation of women, democracy- and the recognition of horrors like the violence of the East India Company's soldiers, the viciousness of conquest and in the putting down of rebellions, the extremely dubious methods of land-grabbing which took place from the 1750s onwards, and the degree to which British culture and education diminished Indian culture.

India is left today on the one hand with the richness of a multiple culture, but on the other hand an identity crisis. The language of education is still English, and very few educated Indians really speak, read and write Hindi with the same fluency as they do English. Few read Hindi novels and know the great works of Hindi literature, and fewer still know the great works of Urdu literature which were composed in cities like Delhi and Lucknow in the 19th century. So they are cut off from Indian writers who were contemporaries of Tennyson and Dickens.  

We have to recognize that India along with China was the center of the world economy for 2,000 years until the 18th century when the British turned up, and left India as a Third World country. Now we are seeing a reversal to the normal patterns of East-West trade.

The destruction of trade networks which began with Vasco da Gama in the 1560s put India back hundreds of years. Now there is a reversion to a world in which India and China will dominate international trade. 

William Dalrymple, “A World of Words”, (an interview with Fran Gillespie), appeared on Gulf Times-Time Out, published in Doha, Qatar, on 5th April 2010


A. Rawlinson (British Soldier, Adventurer, Writer, 1894-1984)

During the five days which I spent this time at Constant [inople], it was cold and some snow fell, which is quite unusual. Almost everyday the mornings were lovely, with a bright sun and the keen air which is so invigorating. However, our ship came in on the 4th, and on the morning of the 5th [March 1919] we sailed, bound first of all for the Bulgarian port of Varna, then across the Black Sea to Samsun, on the Anatolian coast, and on to Batoum, the Russian port in the Caucasus.
On leaving Constant [inople] I went down to the Bosphorus for the first time, and felt that all I had read about it -and that was much- had not done it justice, for it certainly is a wonderfully beautiful place, even in winter, and I will quote the little I say about it from my letter at that time, and wait to give a better account when I was there in the late summer, when the Allied fleets were all anchored there. The letter is as follows:
"Going down the Bosphorus was a wonderful sight. I have seen no place in the world like that. The sun came out, and it all looked too beautiful, and must be still more so in summer. It is a narrow strait, varying from 4 miles to 1 mile in width, and it winds in and out the mountains on either side for 25 miles from the Sea of Marmora to the Black Sea. Leaving Constant [inople], the European shore is a line of palaces and fine houses built right on the water's edge, with others on the slopes behind them which rise steeply from the water, itself of the deepest blue. All the houses look from the water like fairy palaces, though, like most things Turkish, they are probably very much less pleasing when seen from near-by.
"The Sultan's old palace of Dolma Batchke, on the water's edge, is about the first on leaving the city, followed by the Yildiz Kiosk (where he now lives) a little farther on, lying farther back up the hill, surrounded by a fine-looking park and woods; these are very handsome buildings in Oriental style, and look as if they were of white marble, which they probably are not. And there are many others nearly as fine scattered about as one goes on, with queer old forts and fortified villages also, relics of times long past, but interesting to see. About 10 miles or more from Constant [inople] is Therapia, a lovely spot in a deep bay on the European side, with the hills rising steeply behind it. Here are the summer quarters of many of the prominent residents in Constaninople, who have the advantage of enjoying there as beautiful a summer retreat as can be found in any country.
"On leaving Therapia the hills become wilder and more rugged, with much more rock showing, and at last two old forts appear, one on the European and one on the Asiatic side of the water, and, the land falling away on either hand, we find ourselves quite suddenly on the open waters of the Black Sea."
A. Rawlinson, “Adventures In The Near East, 1918-1922”, Andrew Melrose (Ltd), London, Third Edition, December 1924, Pg 136-137.
It will not be out of place here to give a short description of the kind of people these true mountain Kurds are, as, though their name is well known, yet few people have any intimate acquaintance with them, and they are constantly being confused with the Turks, whom they do not in the least resemble, and whom in their hearts they hate, although they have long been nominally under Turkish rule.
As a race the true Kurds of the Anatolian Mountains are physically the finest men it has ever been my privilege to meet. They are to this ancient and inaccessible country what the Bedouin Arab is to the desert -that is to say, they have been in occupation of the land since prehistoric times. They are divided into various distinct tribes, which have for many centuries each occupied certain well-defined districts in the mountains. These tribes were already ancient in their occupation long before the first Turks appeared on their gradual migration westward from their original home in Central Asia. The Kurdish chiefs, who rule their tribesmen with the absolute authority  of the patriarchs of old, trace back their descent unbroken to the days when England was still a wild country of forest and marsh, the home of barbarians of whom the first facts that were known centuries later, were that they had fair hair, worshiped the sun, mined tin, painted their naked bodies with woad, and fought like the devil.
These Kurds both look and behave as one might expect such men to do, for, though they are brigands by descent as well as by inclination and training, once their confidence is gained their word can be relied on with absolute confidence. They are, however, both wary and suspicious, and it is to be feared that the policy, or rather the want of it, which distinguished the Allies' actions subsequent to the Armistice has tended to destroy what little confidence the Kurds might previously have acquired in the justice and reliability of the Western Powers.
A. Rawlinson, “Adventures In The Near East, 1918-1922”, Andrew Melrose (Ltd), London, Third Edition, December 1924, Pg. 199

Lt.-Col. Sir Arnold T. Wilson (British Soldier, Writer, 1884-1940)
(...) In point of fact, Russian activities on this front did us in the long run more harm than good. Their policy in Persia was to live on the country, seldom paying for anything; the men were often out of hand, particularly towards the end of 1916, and outrages were frequent. Wherever Russian troops had been we found the inhabitants impoverished and hostile. The people of Khanaqin, in particular, suffered terribly at their hands in 1916 and again in 1917, but their plight was less miserable than that of the Persian villagers between Qasvin and Qasr-i Shirin. Plundered of every scrap of food they posessed, deprived of their plough cattle, flocks, and transport animals, they died of famine by thousands, in spite of the efforts we made to succour them in the months succeeding the Armistice. A fuller description of this aspect of our post-Armistice proceedings will be found elsewhere. It is sufficient to say here that much, if not all, of the xenophobia prevalent in Persia in the years succeeding the Great War was due to the appalling inhumanity with which Persians were treated alike by Turks, Germans, and Russians. Of the behaviour of our troops we received few complaints and those usually trivial. Again and again scenes were enacted such as those described by Sir Mark Sykes in reference to our occupation of Kut in 1915.
'Our men... reached the town soon after the Turks had gone. The last week the Turkish commander has been maintaining his prestige by daily hangings. Enter the victors. Within an hour the women were chaffering milk and dates, the merchants offering contracts. Arab cultivators were dropping in to complain of a certain horseman who had ridden through a crop of beans. In lieu of the furor teutonicus a kind of juris obsessio.'
This attitude of mind was not peculiar to the Arabs and Persians over whose territories the tide of war was flowing: contemporary records show that it was shared by the natives of German East and South-West Africa, of Togoland, and of Syria and Palestine, to mention only a few of the countries which changed hands in the course of the campaign. It was a tribute to what is perhaps the best-known characteristic of the average Englishman-a love of justice, which was well exemplified by a conversation overheard and recorded by Captain Noel on the Khanaqin-Kirmanshah road in 1918, at a moment when fortune seemed to frown on us in every principal theater of war. 'If the Turks lose' said one pilgrim, 'courage will disappear from the world; if the German lose, science; if the English lose there will be no more justice on earth'. 'If that be true', said another, 'the English will win, for God will not permit justice to disappear from the world.''
Lt.-Col. Sir Arnold T. Wilson, “Loyalties, Mesopotamia 1914-1917”, Oxford University Press London: Humphrey Milford, 1930, Pg. 162-163
On 6th May 1916, a week after the surrender of Kut, an exchange of notes between Sir Edward Grey and the French Ambassador in London (M. Paul Cambon), created five zones in the southern part of Turkey in Asia.
(1) A 'brown' zone comprising Palestine, where an international administration was to be established.
(2) A British zone including Basra, Baghdad, and Khanaqin, where Great Britain was free to esteblish such administration or control as she might consider suitable.
(3) A French zone comprising Syrian coast (Beirut, Antiochia, Alexandretta), Cilicia (Mersina, Adana), and the country between Cilicia and the Upper Tigris (Marash, Aintab, Urfa, Diarbekir). Here France enjoyed the same rights as Great Britain in zone (2).
(4) and (5) In the intermediate stretch of land, between the British and the French zones, the two Governments were ready to recognize and protect an independent Arab State or a confederation of Arab States. The territory was divided into two 'spheres of influence' in which Great Britain and France respectively had a priority in the matter of loans and enterprises and in the provision of foreign advisers and employees. The French sphere of influence comprised Damascus, Aleppo and Mosul, and on the east joined the Persian frontier. The British sphere of influence occupied the Syrian desert, Tikrit, and the territory along the Persian frontier between the French zone and Khanaqin.
By this document (known as Sykes-Picot agreement) the territory of Mosul was on paper detached from the wilayats of Basra and Baghdad and entrusted to France. The archives of the Imperial Russian Government show that at first Russia did not favour the appearance of France in the immediate neighbourhood of her future frontiers (see M. Sazonov's memorandum of 29th February 1916). But in a note of 26th April 1916 Russia agreed to the project, on condition that the region of Kurdistan situated south of Van and Bitlis should be included in the Russian zone.
The primary object of this agreement was to create a buffer state under French protection between Russian territory in the north and a British protected Mesopotamia in the south. Few diplomatic documents have been more widely criticized or more angrily assailed. It ran counter to every sound principle, and would have proved unworkable. The difficulties which the agreement sought to compose were in truth insoluble. When Russia withdraw from the war in 1917 and abandoned her idea of conquering Anatolia, the sole justification of the arrangement ceased to exist, and a fresh plan was elaborated at San Remo, of which a description will be given elsewhere. No one in Mesopotamia knew of this agreement till 1917, but Sir Mark Sykes had left us in no doubt of the views likely to prevail at home regarding the future disposal of the Basra wilayat. It was, we understood, along with Baghdad, to be a British protectorate, and the instructions that we received after the capture of Baghdad, while they modified, in no way contradicted this plan, which is indeed implicit in the 'Sykes-Picot' agreement. At about this time references were frequently made in Parliament to the desirability of making Mesopotamia an Indian colony. 'I look on Masopotamia', said one M.P. on 22nd March 1916, 'as the prize for which the Indian Army ... is fighting. I hope to see a Mesopotamia in future with its irrigation works and canals all in working order under the British Government. I hope to see the banks along its rivers populated and cultivated by flourishing Indian colonies transported from the banks of the Indus.' No word was uttered by the Government of the day to discourage such utterances.
Lt.-Col. Sir Arnold T. Wilson, “Loyalties, Mesopotamia 1914-1917”, Oxford University Press London: Humphrey Milford, 1930, p. 152-54
(...) The following extract from a letter written by Mustafa Kamal Pasha, now president of the Turkish Republic, to Enver Pasha, on 30th September 1917, on the subject of the situation in Turkey, at the very moment when we were commencing to gather up the broken threads of civil government in Mesopotamia, are so pertinent as to merit reproduction here:
'The most vital question to-day is to enquire what is going on in the civil administration and among the people. Our interest is the protection of the country, and if even a corner of it is given over to the influence and administration of the foreigner the life of the Empire is being destroyed. (...)
We should at once decide, in my opinion, to strengthen internally the civil administration, and ensure security of life. Provide officers for the gendarmerie, reorganize, as far as possible, the administration of justice, assist commerce and food supplies and check corruption, or at least confine it to its narrowest limits, so that the country will have a firm and healty base from which to work. If a prolongation of the war brings more trouble and calamity to us, we shall at any rate have our country and people behind us. We must not allow them to be a broken reed.'
Mustafa Kamal Pasha has since shown himself to be one of the greatest statesmen that Turkey, or indeed the Middle East, has ever produced, and the emphasis that he laid on civil administration in his capacity as Commander of the Seventh Army at a critical moment in the War is the best endorsement of the soundness of the policy pursued from the outset in Mesopotamia of organizing an efficient civil administration upon efficient foundations.
Lt.-Col. Sir Arnold T. Wilson, “Loyalties, Mesopotamia 1914-1917”, Oxford University Press London: Humphrey Milford, 1930, p. 265
Margaret Mead (American Anthropologist, 1901-1978)
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed individuals can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.
Quoted in "Inside The Gate Foundation", an article by Andy Beckett, published in Gulf Times, Time Out, Doha, Qatar, 18th July 2010
Steven Solomon (American Journalist, Writer, 19....-......)
At the height of it's glory, three disparate, rival regional power centers arose -Spain-Magrib, Egypt-Levant, and Mesopotamia-Persia- reflecting and magnifying the religious and tribal divisions within Islam. In such decentralized circumstances, economic organization by command was impossible. Instead, it was the invisible hand of market forces that governed the signature transit and trade that held together Islam's economy and helped stimulate the breakthroughs underpinning its civilization's rise. "Not being well endowed by nature" observes historian Fernand Braudel, "Islam would have counted for little without the roads across its desert: they held it together and gave it life. Trade-routes were its wealth, its raison d'etre, its civilization. For centuries, they gave it a dominant position".
Water scarcity presented the primary obstacle standing between Islam and its historic rise to greatness through trade. First and foremost, it needed a way to cross the long expanse of its own hot, waterless interior deserts. Its first triumphant innovation, which at a stroke transformed the barren desert barrier into an insulated, exclusive Islamic trade highway, came by its disciplined organization of the hardy camel, with its prodigious water-storing capacity, into long trade caravans and military supply supply transports. A caravan of 5'000 to 6'000 camels could carry as much cargo as a very large European merchant sailing ship or a fleet of barges on China's Grand Canal. Islam's quasi-monopoly over this powerful pack animal provided it with the mobility to cross and exit its desert homelands -and to make its mark on world history.
Steven Solomon, "Water, The Epic Struggle For Wealth, Power, And Civilization", an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers, New York, 2010, p 134
In the early twenty-first century, non-Arab, Muslim Turkey looms as an increasingly pivotal regional power not only because it is the front line between the West and the Islamic world, control maritime access between the Mediterranean and Black Sea, and is a formidable military power, but also because of its growing leverage as the Middle East's water-wealthiest nation. Turkey's many mountain rivers provide its population with at least 10 times the per capita supply of Israel and triple that of Syria. Of particular strategic significance, its snow-capped, mostly Kurdish-inhabitad, southern highlands, control the headwaters of both the mighty twin rivers of ancient Mesopotamia, and with it the freshwater lifelines of thirsty modern Syria and Iraq. Some 98 percent of Euphrates water originates in Turkey, before passing through Syria and on to Iraq and the Persian Gulf. Nearly half of Tigris water also comes from Turkey, with most of the rest originating in tributaries from rugged, remote regions of Iran.
Steven Solomon, "Water, The Epic Struggle For Wealth, Power, And Civilization", an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers, New York, 2010, p. 408

Philip Mansel (British Historian, Writer, 1951- .....)

Paris became, after Constantinople, the second capital of the Levant, and the favourite residence for its political refugeees. 'We loved Paris just as one in love with a person, body and soul,' wrote Turkish novelist Abdulhak Sinasi Hisar. Yahya Kemal, an influential Young Turk revolutionary who lived there in 1903-12, also remembered, 'In my dreams Paris especially shone like a star brighter than any dreams.' Some compared Paris, enlightened and sublime, to Mecca itself. Britain ruled the waves; France ruled hearts and minds.
Philip Mansel, "Levant-Splendour and Catastrophe on the Mediterranean", John Murray, London, 2010, p. 146-147
Lebanon was dominated by a generation of 'new Levantines'. Among them, in addition to President Fouad Chebab and Emile Bustani, was Emir Farid Haris Shibab. Head of the Surete Generale from 1948 to 1958, he was described by his friend Professor John Munro of AUB as one who 'wore his Levantin identity lightly. He was completely at ease moving between East and West, shifting effortlessly from Arabic to French to English and adopting the rhetoric and gestures appropriate to each.' He had an 'instinctive empathy for all kinds of people'. His was a world 'in which a combination of refined manners, intellect and conduct were prized; where passion was regarded with suspicion and ideology was seen a crutch for the unthinking'.
Philip Mansel, "Levant-Splendour and Catastrophe on the Mediterranean", John Murray, London, 2010, p. 317
In April 1975 Beirut switched identities. It became its opposite: a city of death not profit. Zeal replaced deals-on the surface. As in a period of revolution-Paris in 1830 or 1848, eastern Europe in 1989-time accelerated. Beirut in 1975 is a lesson in how quickly a city unravels. Smyrna had been destroyed  by governments and armies. Alexandria had been diminished by Suez and socialism. In Beirut, the last great Levantine port, the city was the prey of Beiruties themselves.
Philip Mansel, "Levant-Splendour and Catastrophe on the Mediterranean", John Murray, London, 2010, p. 325
Beirut became synonymous with chaos. Like Smyrna in 1922, and Alexandria under Nasser, it shows the vulnerability of wealth. However rich a city is, it needs an army to protect it. No army, no profits.
Philip Mansel, "Levant-Splendour and Catastrophe on the Mediterranean", John Murray, London, 2010, p. 328
For the novelist Rabih Alamedine, even in war 'Beirut is probably the greatest city in the world.' There more than anywhere in the Arab world you could smell 'the fragrance of freedom'. Syrians idolized Beirut for that reason. Braving the civil war, some came simply to enjoy the legendary Beirut corniche, among women in chadors or miniskirts, workers and joggers - to breathe an atmosphere less stifling than their own country, or to shop for goods unavailable there.
Philip Mansel, "Levant-Splendour and Catastrophe on the Mediterranean", John Murray, London, 2010, p. 341
... the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries have seen, in other cities, a process of re-Levantinization or globalization. The long Levantine farewell is over. Geography is biting back at history. Cities like Shanghai, Odessa and St Petersburg are again becoming great cosmopolitan ports they once were.
Perhaps the hyper-nationalism of the twentieth century will prove to have been an anomaly. In a global age, international cities are no longer -can no longer be- the slaves of the nation state which they once were. Mayor of Delhi Sheila Dikshit thinks they are beginning to resemble the city states of the past.
With 350 languages, and a population of one-third of which was born outside the United Kingdom, London has become a world city, hailed by some New Yorkers and Parisians as the capital of the twenty-first century. (...)
Istanbul too is becoming a great international city again, an economic centre for the Balkans and the Black Sea. (..)
Izmir has shrunk in importance economically. (...) Faced with attractions of Istanbul, big business and the young are leaving. However, it retains some of its old character. It is the largest city in Turkey not to vote for the religious party (AKP) and not to have an AKP mayor; (...)
Alexandria is also reconnecting to the outside world.
Philip Mansel, "Levant-Splendour and Catastrophe on the Mediterranean", John Murray, London, 2010, p. 353-354
Hugh Kennedy (British Historian, Writer, 19....-......)
In the 680s a monk callad John Bar Penkaye was working on a summary of world history in his remote monastery by the swift-flowing River Tigris, in the mountains of what is now south-east Turkey. When he came to write about the history of his own times, he fell to musing about the Arab conquest of the Middle East, still within living memory. As he contemplated these dramatic events he was puzzled: 'How', he asked, 'could naked men, riding without armour or shield, have been able to win ...and bring low the proud spirit of the Persians?' He was further struck that 'only a short period passed before the entire world was handed over to the Arabs; they subdued all fortified cities, taking control from sea to sea, and from east to west - Egypt, and from Crete to Cappadocia, from Yemen to the Gates of Alan [in the Caucasus], Armenians, Syrians, Persians, Byzantines and Egyptians and all the areas in between: "their hand was upon everyone" as the prophet says'.1
For John Bar Penkaye, pious monk that he was, the answer was clear: this was God's will. Nothing else could account for this wholly extraordinary revolution in the affairs of men. Now, thirteen centuries later, in a world where divine intervention is, for many people, not an entirely satisfactory explanation of major historical changes, this book is an attempt to suggest different sorts of answers to John's question.
1 S.Brock, 'North Mesopotamia In The Late Seventh Century: Book XV of John Bar Penkaye's Ris Melle', Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam-9, 1987, p.51-75
Hugh Kennedy, "The Great Arab Conquests: How The Spread Of Islam Changed The World We Live In", Da Capo Press, USA, 2007, p. 1
The Zagros mountains rise steeply in a series of folds from the flat plains of Mesopotamia. The foothills are green and friendly in spring, and successive rulers of the rich flat lands of Iraq have used them to find some coolness and an escape from the heat of the plains. The Sasanian kings had loved their palaces here, and later the caliphs of the Abbasid dynasty in the eight and ninth centuries liked to come here for the hunting. The higher mountains are much more barren and there is snow in the winter, blocking most access between Iraq and Iran. There are small fertile plains within the folds of the mountains but much of the land is fit only for use ny tribes of transhumant shepherds, mostly Kurdish-speaking at the time of the conquests. They are the ancestors of those Kurds who still inhabit the mountains of north-west Iran and south-east Turkey.
Hugh Kennedy, "The Great Arab Conquests: How The Spread Of Islam Changed The World We Live In", Da Capo Press, USA, 2007, p. 169
The failure of Muslim arms in southern Afghanistan marked the end of the conquests in Iran. Only to the north-east, across the River Oxus, did wars of conquest continue. The partial and scattered nature of the Muslim conquest of Iran had an important cultural legacy. In Syria, Iraq and Egypt, the Muslim conquests also led to the triumph of the Arabic language, both as the medium of high culture and the vernacular of everyday life. This did not happened in Iran. For two centuries after the conquest, and longer in some areas, Arabic was the language of imperial administration. It was also language of religious and philosophical discourse. But it was not the language of everyday life. When independent Iranian dynasties asserted their independence from the rule of the caliphs in the ninth and tenth centuries, the language of their courts was Persian. This 'New Persian' was written in Arabic script and contained numerous Arabic loan-words, but the grammar and the basic vocabulary were clearly Persian, an Indo-European language in contrast to the Semitic Arabic. It is worth considering how different this is to the position in Egypt. In Egypt in the year 600 nobody spoke Arabic; by the twelfth century at the latest, everybody spoke Arabic and in modern times Egypt is thought of as prime centre of Arabic culture. In Iran in 600 nobody spoke Arabic; by the twelfth century they still did not. Arabic was established as the language of certain sorts of intellectual discourse, very much like Latin in medieval Europe. In modern times Iran is emphatically not an Arab country.
Hugh Kennedy, "The Great Arab Conquests: How The Spread Of Islam Changed The World We Live In", Da Capo Press, USA, 2007, p. 198-199
 Elie Kedourie (British Historian, 1926-1992)

The Allied armistice proposals included a clause which stipulated the surrender of all garrisons in the Hijaz, Asir and the Yemen 'to the nearest Allied Commander or Arab representative', but the Ottoman negotiators feared for the fate of their troops if they were to surrender to an 'Arab representative', and succeeded to in deleting this condition from the final text which, as has been said, was signed at Mudros on 30 October 1918. The armistice terms were, immediately afterwards, transmitted by the Ottoman government to its commanders in the field, including Fakhri at Medina. He did not recognize Ali or Abdullah as an 'Allied Commander', neither would he concede that Captain Garland, for instance, had such status. The Ottoman government repeated, in chipher, the instructions to surrender which had at first been sent en clair. Fakhri again refused to surrender, declaring, first, that he would surrender only 'on written order dully certified' from his government, and that he would endeavour to hold Medina 'until a decree from the Khalif was communicated to him'. These exchanges took up the whole November. Wingate reported on 22 November that the delay was 'exasperating Arabs who threaten attack and reprisal'. In reply, on 3 December the Foreign Office instructed him, at the suggestion of War Office, to fix a date by which Medina was to be surrendered, and that unless it was surrendered by then 'we shall take no further measures to restrain Arabs'. Wingate replied on 6 December that he was informing Fakhri that Medina had to be surrendered by noon on 15 December. The 15th of December came and went but Fakhri did not surrender. Some two months later Wingate told General Lyinden-Bell that Fakhri's response to his ultimatum had been: 'I am a Muhammedan. I am an Osmanli. I am the son of a Bayer Bay. I am a soldier'.

In spite of their 'exasperation' as reported by Wingate, the ultimatum  by no means pleased the Sharifians. When he read it, Abdullah's 'high spirits', Garland wrote, 'deserted him, and the prospect of war did not seem to give the satisfaction his previous declarations had led me to expect at times when he was grumbling at the delay. 'Moreover', Garland significantly added, 'a resumption of hostilities here would interfere with all his plans against Ibn Sa'ud.' Garland explained that the fall of Medina to Sharifian arms would poesses two unusual features in that the investing regular force was much weaker than the besieged force, and the greater part of the besiegers, namely the Bedouins, would be likely to require more control than the army to be evacuated. Garland expressed the opinion that it was necessary to keep constantly in mind the necessity for effectively preventing the Bedouins from entering the city before the regular army for fear of plunder. If -as later events to show- Garland went wrong in his estimate, this was in thinking that the Sharifian regulars would behave better than the Bedouins. When the hope that Fakhri would surrender faded, Wingate ordered hostilities to be resumed on 20 December, but Garland did not believe that the renewed hostilities would bring about the fall of Medina. He did not anticipate more than desultory Bedouin raids 'as they are evidently waiting for the Allies to send troops to their assistance'. In Garland's view, to attack the strong defensive position around Medina and to capture the city was an operation that required a skilled military commander together with sufficient regular troops and the Sharifians had neither.

The armistice which was to expire on 15 December was not finally denounced until 20 December. The delay was allowed in the hope that an Ottoman officer who had been sent from Constantinople with written instructions from the government would succeed in persuading Fakhri to surrender. In this the officer, Zia Bey, was completely unsuccessful. He spent some days in Medina and then returned to the Sharifian headquarters, which he reached on 24 December. He reported that as the officer responsible for the Prophet's Tomb, Fakhri considered that he could be relieved of his resposibility only by a personal order from the Sultan, and not by a letter from the government such as Zia was carrying. In this attitude Zia believed Fakhri to be 'implacable'. In a conversation with Captain Wiggin of the Arab Bureau after the surrender of Medina Zia explained Fakhri's attitude. Fakhri, he said

 felt in an outrage to his dignity to surrender to the Arabs, who were rebels and had shown themselves inferior to his own men in every respect. With their superiority in numbers they could have carried Medina by assault at any time had they been troops of any fighting value whatsoever.
Again and significantly,
he was securely installed where he was and had a fairly good supply of food, chiefly rice and dates. Further, as a rule, no Arab Forces were to be met with for many miles from Medina and trains ran freely out of the town while he was there; the state of affairs could, in fact, hardly be called a siege, so that, by comparison, surrender to an enemy who could not for a moment be trusted to observe the laws of war was much the worse alternative.
Wiggin asked Zia whether Fakhri was a religious fanatic. Zia replied that
Fakhri was intensely religious, but he had at the same time too strong a vein of practical shrewdness in him to allow him, for instance, to commit suicide in the Haram purely from religious sentiment. His insistence on his duty of protecting the Propeth's Tomb was due chiefly to the fact that religion was his chief instument of discipline. Captain Zia illustrated his meaning by saying that Fakhri would probably have resisted indefinitely and died in the Haram if his troops had stood by him, and if there had been any chance that such resistance would be of any practical value to his country.
This picture of Fakhri, a stout-hearted and resourceful military leader, full of stamina and jelaous of his honour, stands in marked contrast to that of the passive and supine Abdullah who, when Garland informed him of Wingate's ultimatum to Fakhri-mentioned above- countered by citing a telegram from his father advising him not to worry, and not to embark on hostility since an Ottoman envoy, i.e Zia, was coming 'by a special ship' with a letter from the Ottoman government which would secure Fakhri's surrender. Our impression of Fakhri's character is confirmed and enhanced by the language which he himself held while a prisoner-of-war. He told Captain Bassett-Wilson's deputy in Jedda- that 

In his eyes the Arabs were insurgents, and in subsequent negotiations with Captain Garland he, as a General of Division and the commander of a fortress which was further one of the Holly Cities of Islam, could not regard a Captain who signed 'for British Representative in the Hedjaz' as an 'Allied Commander' under the terms of the Armistice... He was [he continued] still up against what appeared to him to be a 'situation insupportable au point de [sic] militarisme'.

Was he, 'Un General de Division et vieux soldat' to give his sword to a Captain holding apparently a political post? In battle, he said, a subaltern may take prisoner a Field Marshal but when it was a question of the surrender of an unbeaten garrison under the terms of an armistice such a position seemed to him impossible, quite apart from the peculiar situation in which he was placed as regards the Holy City.

Though the emissary from Istanbul was not able to induce Fakhri to surrender, yet his presence and the news from the outside world which he brought with him seem to have had an unsettling and demoralizing effect on some of Fakhri's officers. One of them, Emin bey, organized a secret society among some officers and circulated on 28 December 1918 a manifesto attacking the general's policies. Fakhri sent for his officer, who took fright, decamped and surrendered to the Sharifians. But Fakhri was not able to destroy the secret society, the members of which decided to arrest Fakhri and appoint another officer, Ali Negip, to command in his place. Fakhri was enticed outside the haram where he had retired with a few officers and soldiers, arrested by his mutinous officers and handed over to the Sharifians. The conspirators signed a surrender agreement which was described as 'Drawn up between Captain Garland and the Arabs with Negip Bey independently of Fakhry'.

In conversation with Garland Fakhri expressed his belief that the two ringleaders of the conspiracy, Emin Bey and a Baghdadi officer called Sabry, had as Arabs, intrigued with 'persons in Arab Camp' to bring about his arrest and supersession. This, then, was the manner in which Medina fell to the Sharifians.

Elie Kedourie, "Islam In The Modern World And Other Studies", A New Republic Book, Holt, Rinehart And Winston, New York, 1980, pp. 285-288


When coffee and tea is served, we sit in a circle and the Emir suddenly breaks the silence with 'Ya Major Garland, in your country do the girls on their bridal nights cry and refuse their husbands?'

Abdullah has an awful bad habbit of breaking a splendid silence with an astounding question of that sort.

I do not propose to record my reply, but the Sherif said that Arab wifes usually do, and that they put a tremendous barrage of tears; which gave Sherif Nasir the chance of epigrammatically adding 'the greater the fortification, the more satisfaction in reducing it.'

Elie Kedourie, "Islam In The Modern World And Other Studies", A New Republic Book, Holt, Rinehart And Winston, New York, 1980, p. 294
John Bulloch (British Journalist/Middle East Expert, 1928-2010) and Harvey Morris
(British Journalist)
As early as 1925 the first serious revolt broke out, uniting Kurds in Syria with those in south-eastern Turkey. Militias were formed, villagers and townspeople ejected or murdered all representatives of the state, and foreign aid was sought -and denied. The Turkish army, confident after the success of its struggle against the Greeks, was able to suppress the ill-organized uprising, though more than 35'000 troops and a squadron of planes were needed to do so. The modest and confused aims of this early revolt were shown by its declaration that the goal was an independent Kurdistan under Turkish protection, and the restoration of the sultanate. In the end fifty-three leaders were sentenced to death; as Jawaharlal Nehru wrote: 'The Turks, who had only recently been fighting for their own freedom, crushed the Kurds, who sought theirs. It is strange how a defensive nationalism develops into an aggressive one, and a fight for freedom becomes one for dominion over other.'
A Turkish newspaper saw it another way, 'There is no Kurdish problem where a Turkish bayonet appears.'
John Bulloch and Harvey Morris, "No Friends But Mountains: The Tragic History of the Kurds", Oxford University Press, USA, 1992, p. 178-179
The KDP of Iran met in Mahabad on 3 March [1979] and, before a crowd of 200'000 in the square where the leaders of the Mahabad Republic had been executed in 1947, it declared its own legalization after more than three decades underground. The party resolved to obtain Tehran's recognition of the de facto Kurdish autonomy which already existed in the region since the fall of the shah. The first formal contact with the provisional government of Khomeini's prime minister Mehdi Bazargan, came in the first days of the new regime when a delegation travelled up from Tehran to Mahabad to listen to the Kurds' demands for 'Kurdish autonomy within a democratic Iran'.
It was soon apparent that the new regime was not going to be any more willing than its predecessor to recognize minority rights. At a meeting in Qom on 28 March, three days before a referendum which formally abolished the monarchy and established an Islamic republic, Khomeini told a Kurdish delegation, headed by the Kurdish spiritual leader Sheikh Ezzeddin, that the demand for autonomy was unacceptable. 'I want calm in Kurdistan. No problems,' he told Sheikh Ezzeddin, to which the Kurd replied, 'I want autonomy.' The two men stood up and Khomeini grasped the Kurd by the collar of his robe and angrily repeated that he wanted no problems in Kurdistan, to which Sheikh Ezzeddin replied, 'I want autonomy.'
John Bulloch and Harvey Morris, "No Friends But Mountains: The Tragic History of the Kurds", Oxford University Press, USA, 1992, p. 204-205
The Kurds are a disputatious people, and both their ancient and modern history demonstrates the truth that unity is strength -'one hand washes the other; two, the face' as the Kurdish proverb puts it- and that division is fatal to national aspirations.
John Bulloch and Harvey Morris, "No Friends But Mountains: The Tragic History of the Kurds", Oxford University Press, USA, 1992, p. 217
The Arab nationalism which began to emerge in the Ottoman empire after the Young Turks' coup has evolved into an exclusive doctrine, which tends to ignore the rights of non-Arab minorities in the Middle East. In the peculiar doctrine of Baathism, the most extreme form of Arab nationalism, the Kurdish territories of Iraq and Syria are deemed to be Arab land, despite the fact that they have no history of Arab settlement or culture. Ironically, the world powers have tended to share this Arabo-centric view of the region, looking upon it as an Arab preserve in which other nations, regardless of their size, have the status of alien minorities in their own land. It has meant that the Palestinians, for all their undoubted claims to be treated with justice, have dominated the international agenda on the Middle East to the detriment of non-Arab communities such as the Kurds.
The Arab nationalists also tend to gloss over the role played by non-Arabs in their history and culture, whether they be great leaders such as Saladin or medieval biographer and historian Ibn-Khillikan, also a Kurd. In more recent times Kurds have also been prominent in the mainstream of the Middle East. The first coup in modern Arab world was staged in Iraq in 1936 by a Kurd, Bakr Sidqi. Some of the great land owning families of Syria were Kurdish well into the twentieth century and one, the Barrazis, provided two prime ministers for the newly independent state. In Lebanon the great Druse dynasty of the Jumblatts is said to be Kurdish in origin.
John Bulloch and Harvey Morris, "No Friends But Mountains: The Tragic History of the Kurds", Oxford University Press, USA, 1992, p. 235
Perhaps one of the most significant developments for the Kurds is the upsurge of nationalism which has accompanied the liberation of eastern Europe and the subsequent break-up of the Soviet Union. Long-forgotten and unheard-of minorities are now claiming their right to independence on seemingly more slender grounds than those on which the Kurds base their demands for autonomy. As it is, the Kurds do not even enjoy observer status at the UN, a right accorded to the much smaller Palestinian nation. As the previous subjects of the Soviet empire take their seats at the United Nations, Kurds are perhaps entitled to ask: if an independent Kazakhstan or an independent Azerbaijan, why not an independent Kurdistan?
John Bulloch and Harvey Morris, "No Friends But Mountains: The Tragic History of the Kurds", Oxford University Press, USA, 1992, p. 236-237
Some days after the death of Stalin, the exiled Mullah Mustafa Barzani, who had been shunted off during his exile to work as a fruit-weigher on a state farm, travelled to Moscow. He went to the permit office at the gates of the Kremlin and hammered on the door. When a guard asked him what he wanted, he replied: 'This is not I but the Kurdish revolution knocking at the Kremlin door.' The Kurds are still knocking on the door, but their knock is louder now.
John Bulloch and Harvey Morris, "No Friends But Mountains: The Tragic History of the Kurds", Oxford University Press, USA, 1992, p. 237-238
Rabindranath Tagore (Bengali Poet, Playwright, Philosopher, Composer, Artist, 1861-1941)
(...) We must know: every nation is part of humanity and everybody has to answer this question: what do you have to offer to man, which new ways of happiness have you discovered? As soon as a nation loses the vital force necessary for this discovery-it becomes a dead weight-a paralysed member of the body of Universal Man. Simply to exist is not a glory.
It's a law of life to destroy that which is dead... it does not allow immobility... This make me say that the main truth of our time are these currents of a new life which drives us to act... But at the bottom of the soul there is a tendency to want to embellish humanity with one's own individuality as ornament.
When man ceases to act out of his own will and is driven only by habit, he becomes a sort of parasite, for he loses his means to accomplish the task assigned to him, which is to say 'make possible that which seems impossible' and follow the road of progress, man's true destiny.
Those who could not reach interior indepedence in themselves are bound to lose it also in exterior world. They are not aware of man's true function, namely to transform the impossible into possible through one's own capacity to work miracles and not to limit oneself to that which was, but to progress towards that which has to be.
Ilke Angela Marechal, "Tagore From The 21st Century Perspective", Gulf Times-Special Supplement, Doha, Qatar, 15 August 2011, p. 10-12
Harry S. Truman (33rd President of the United States, 1884-1972)
When President Harry Truman and his top advisers discussed plans for the partition of Palestine in 1945, the experts warned against it. Truman is said to have responded: "I'm sorry, gentlemen, but I have to answer to hundreds of thousands who are anxious for the success of Zionism. I don't have hundreds of thousands of Arabs among my constituents."
Quoted in "The US Elections and Pandering to Israelis" by Bernd Debusmann, published in, Gulf Times, Doha, Qatar, 24 September 2011, p. 14
Wilfred Thesiger (British Explorer, Travel Writer, 1910-2003)
Never had I seen such country: the great rock-girt bastion of Hendren above the gorge of Rowunduz; Helgord's twelve thousand feet; the snow-capped range of Qandil, with sheer-faced precipices of five thousand feet; and, higher still, beyond the Turkish frontier, Kara Dagh, the 'Black Mountain'. Everywhere one range was superimposed upon another. The knees of the mountains and the valley sides up to six thousand feet were wooded with holly-oaks interspersed with ash, hawthorn and wild pear, and rare stands of juniper. In the valley bottoms the Zab, Little Zab and other smaller rivers and torrents flowed down to join the far-off Tigris, foaming ice-cold through narrow gorges of polished rock and swirling among great boulders fallen from the cliffs above; or calm in deep green pools under grassy banks and overhanging willows.
Wilfred Thesiger, "Among The Mountains, Travels Through Asia", Flamingo, Great Britain, 2000, p. 2
The most interesting character I met in Kurdistan was Sheikh Mahmud. Intensely ambitious and aspiring to rule an independent Kurdistan, he had led his tribesmen in insurrection after insurrection from 1919 to 1930 against the British who then controlled Iraq. Defeated each time after fierce fighting, he would be exiled, pardoned and allowed to return, only to rebel once more. His last uprising was against the Iraqis in 1941. I had known him well by repute. A stout, jovial figure, Sheikh Mahmud often entertained me in his house: in the evening, after we had fed, he would recall ancient battles and British officers he had known. A few years later he died. I am glad I met him.
Wilfred Thesiger, "Among The Mountains, Travels Through Asia", Flamingo, Great Britain, 2000, p. 4
The sky gradually cleared during the morning as we marched down the valley to Sar-i Sang, where lapis lazuli so extensively used in ancient Egypt, including the tomb artifacts of Tutankhamun, had come from this one valley in the remote mountains of Central Asia.
Wilfred Thesiger, "Among The Mountains, Travels Through Asia", Flamingo, Great Britain, 2000, p. 148
Ten days later, David Noel, military attache at the British Embassy, drove me in his Land-Rover to Mazar-i sharif and Herat. Once again I saw the kandais, camped now in sheltered valleys, their black tents ranged along the river banks. We would stop the car for a moment, look, and then go on again. Fortunately the projected road on from Mazar-i Sharif to Herat had as yet not been built. Each evening we camped beside the track, and I stayed awake and listened to the camel bells as the caravans made their way down this immemorial route. We passed Balkh, Mother of Cities, a grave-mound of the past, its monument a crumbling dome and ruined minarets, still of a beauty beyond belief. we visited the great mosque in Herat, its spacious court tranquil and impressive. I saw no other car in Herat. Then the bus arrived and I left for Meshed in Persia.
I would gladly have gone back another year to Mazar-i Sharif and done that journey on foot, but the opportunity has passed. Now that the main road is built, the lorries thunder by; the camel caravans are gone, their bells stilled for ever.
Wilfred Thesiger, "Among The Mountains, Travels Through Asia", Flamingo, Great Britain, 2000, pp. 160-161


Bernard Lewis (British-American Scholar, Historian, Writer, 1916-)
There are three factors which could help transform the Middle East: Turkey, Israel and women -the first previously aloof, second previously excluded, the third previously suppressed.
Of these, most important is women. They will, if permitted, play a major role in bringing the Middle East into a new era of material development, scientific advancement and sociopolitical liberation. Of all the people of the Middle East, women have the strongest vested interest in social and political freedom. They are already among freedom's most valiant and effective defenders; they may yet be the region's salvation. As in other parts of the world, some women defend and even acclaim the subordination of their sex. Others, never having known anything else, meekly submit to it. But growing numbers, touched by the ideas of freedom and equality and increasingly open to outside influence and example, will rebel against it. Muslim countries cannot hope to catch up, let alone keep pace, with the advanced world, as long as they deprive themselves of the talents and energies of half the populations and entrust the early nurture of most of the other half to uneducated and downtrodden mothers. 
Bernard Lewis, "The End Of Modern History In The Middle East", Hoover Institution Press, USA, 2011, p. 54

If there is a peace, then the Peoples of the Middle East, working together, might achieve their own breakthrough as other regions have already done and resume the creative role which they once played in the history of civilization. One way that this might happen was described in a remarkable prophetic article, entitled "The Changing East," by T.E.Lawrence-Lawrence Of Arabia- published in 1920: "The success of [the Zionists'] scheme will involve inevitably the raising of the present Arab population to their own material level, only a little after themselves in point of time, and the consequences might be at the highest importance for the future of the Arab world. It might well prove a source of technical supply rendering them independent of industrial Europe, and in that case the new confederation might become a formidable element of world power. However, such a contingency will not be for the first or even the second generation."
Bernard Lewis, "The End Of Modern History In The Middle East", Hoover Institution Press, USA, 2011, p. 57

In antiquity, the Middle East was the birthplace of human civilization and of monotheistic religion. In the Middle Ages, it was the home of the first truly international and intercultural society, the source of towering innovations and achievements in almost every field of science and technology, of culture and the arts. It was the base of a succession of a great and vast empires. The last of them, in many ways the greatest, was the Ottoman Empire. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, it was a mighty world power -its armies twice reached as far as Vienna, its ships sailed as far as Iceland and Sumatra. Since then there has been no Middle Eastern great power, nor is there likely to be one until the Middle East has resolved the political, economic, cultural and societal problems that prevent it from accomplishing the next stage in the advance of civilization.

Bernard Lewis, "The End Of Modern History In The Middle East", Hoover Institution Press, USA, 2011, p. 65

Let me turn now to the Islamic aspect of Iranian history and identity. There, as in the other lands that were conquered by the Muslim Arabs in the seventh century, the previous identity was not just lost but obliterated. In all these countries of ancient civilization, as readers may know, the ancient languages were forgotten, the monuments destroyed and even the scripts forgotten. The same is true in Iran. Their history was deliberately defaced. If you go and visit some of the ancient monuments at Persepolis and other places, you can see how the inscriptions and the figures were hacked and destroyed. The writing used in Iran before the Arab conquest was no longer taught or known except among the small and dwindling Zoroastrian remnant, and the Iranian identity expressed in the older culture was forgotten, with this important difference: the Iranians did not adopt the Arabic language as did the ancient peoples of Iraq and Syria and Egypt and North Africa, who all adopted Arabic and became Arabized from the seventh century onwards. The Iranians retained their identity; they retained their language even within Islam; they retained an awareness of being something different. It is true that the Persian language, after the advent of Islam, is written in the Arabic script and contains an enormous vocabulary of Arabic words, often with subtle changes of meaning, but its not Arabic.
One wonders why it is that the Persians, unlike the others, retained their ıdentity; one can adduce several reasons. One is that people in Iraq and Syria spoke Aramaic, and the transition from Aramaic to Arabic was not all that difficult. But then in Egypt, they spoke Coptic, and there the transition to Arabic would have been more difficult but still took place. Probably the main reason is not language but awarenes. Iraq, Syria, Egypt, North Africa, all had been under foreign rule for centuries, in some parts for millenia. They had been conquered a long time before the coming of Islam; they lost their memories, they had become accustomed to being subjects of some external greater power. This was not the case with the Iranians. Their memories of greatness, their memories of independence, indeed of dominance, were far more recent, were in fact immediate, and I think that is probably the main reason why, despite the loss of their history, but they retained their identity. They felt the need for history, but since their history was not accessable to them, they invented one. We have the very rich Iranian tradition of, shall we say, "historical mythology," expressed in its best form in epic poetry.
Bernard Lewis, "The End Of Modern History In The Middle East", Hoover Institution Press, USA, 2011, p. 135-137
(...) Remember that in Turkey, the name Turkey was only adopted in the twentieth century by the Turks. Previously, the country had been known to its inhabitants by other names: Turkey was what Europeans called it. There is an interesting report from a Turkish Ambassador in France in the eighteenth century who wrote a letter full of anger -he had been addressed as "the Turkish Ambassador." He found this insulting because in his language as used at that time the "Turks" meant the nomads and peasants of Anatolia. He was the Ottoman Ambassador.
Bernard Lewis, "The End Of Modern History In The Middle East", Hoover Institution Press, USA, 2011, p. 139 
 Ruzi Nazar (American Spy of Uzbek Origin, 1917-)
Askere gidecegi gun annesinin soylediklerini bir kez daha hatirladi: 'Git oglum, yolun ve bahtin acik olsun. Tanrima seni korumasi icin hep dua edecegim. Onun iradesi disinda yaprak bile kimildamaz. Tanri anne ve babalarin evlatlari icin yaptiklari dualari kabul eder. O seni hep koruyacaktir. Hic kimse sana kotuluk yapamayacak. Vatanini ve halkini unutma. Insanlara zulmetme. Nerede olursan ol, yardima muhtac birisi varsa ondan yardimini esirgeme. Dogru olduguna inandigin yoldan sakin sapma. Her zaman cikarina uygun olani degil, dogru olani tercih et. Kolay olani degil, zor dahi olsa dogru ve guzel olani tercih et.'
Enver Altayli, "Ruzi Nazar: CIA'nin Turk Casusu", Dogan Kitap, Istanbul, Subat 2013, 1. Baski, p. 268
Komunistler Turkistan'a felaket getirdiler, ancak bazi konularda cok olumlu isler yaptiklarini inkar etmek yanlis olur. Mesela kadin-erkek esitligi konusuna cok onem verdiler. Gerci sanati siyasi propaganda araci olarak kullandilar, ancak butun sanat dallarinin gelismesine de cok yardimci oldular.

Enver Altayli, "Ruzi Nazar: CIA'nin Turk Casusu", Dogan Kitap, Istanbul, Subat 2013, 1. Baski, p. 277

Turkiye'de aydinlarin bir kisminin en ciddi hastaliklarindan biri, olaylari tek bir sebebe baglayarak izah etmeye calismalaridir. Onlara gore bir olayin arkasinda ya CIA ya KGB veya baska bir karanlik guc vardir. Sosyal ve siyasi olaylarin arkasinda cok karmasik sebeplerin bulundugunu anlamak istemezler. Eger 27 Mayis 1960 oncesinde Turk siyasetcileri daha sagduyulu, daha basiretli, daha akilli davranip ulkedeki son derece gergin havayi yumusatmayi basarabilse, Ismet Pasa'ya karsi Kayseri, Manisa, Istanbul olaylari olmasa, CHP yuzlerce gencin kiyma makinelerinde parcalandigi yalanini yaymasa, universite profesorleri ihtilal fetvalari vererek ortaligi germeseydi, 27 Mayis 1960 darbesi olmaz ve Turkiye'de bir darbeler donemi baslamazdi.

Enver Altayli, "Ruzi Nazar: CIA'nin Turk Casusu", Dogan Kitap, Istanbul, Subat 2013, 1. Baski, p. 350

27 Mayis 1960 oncesi darbe hazirligi yapan cuntanin orduyu harekete gecirebilmesi icin orgeneral rutbesinde bir lidere ihtiyaci vardi. Orgeneral Cemal Gursel, Izmir'e yerleserek darbe calismalarindan ayrilmisti. Genelkurmay Ikinci Baskani Orgeneral Cevdet Sunay, gizli orgutun teklifini reddetmisti. Bir gun teskilat uyelerinden Orhan Kabibay, Turkes'e, 'ben Kara Kuvvetleri Lojistik Baskani Tumgeneral Cemal Madanoglu'nu Kore'den taniyorum. Biraz yakinligim var, gidip konusayim. Ne yapalim, orgeneral olmazsa tumgeneral olsun' dedi. Birlikte Madanoglu'nun odasina gittiler. Turkes, emir subayinin odasinda bekliyordu. Kabibay, Madanoglu'nun yanina girip onunla konustu. Kabibay ona, 'Pasam sizinle onemli bir meseleyi konusmaya geldim. Kabul ederseniz iki kelime ile cevap verin. Etmezseniz hayir deyin. Yalniz soyleyecegim mesele cok gizlidir. Kabul etseniz de etmeseniz de  gizliligi korumaniz lazim. Ifsa ederseniz karsi tedbir alinmistir' dedi. Bunun uzerine Madanoglu yerinden firlayip 'Nedir ulan senin soyleyecegin' diye haykirdi. Kabibay 'Pasam, biz bu iktidari devirecegiz, gizli bir orgutumuz var. Sizin de bize katilmanizi istiyoruz. Kabul ederseniz evet, etmezseniz hayir deyin' dedi. Madanoglu, 'Ulan biliyorsun bende ta.ak var, akil yok' diye cevapladi. Kabibay da cevaben 'Bizde her ikisi de var' dedi.

Enver Altayli, "Ruzi Nazar: CIA'nin Turk Casusu", Dogan Kitap, Istanbul, Subat 2013, 1. Baski, p. 351

Ruzi, Kurt meselesini basbakanlik mustesari oldugu donemde ve Hindistan surgununden dondukten sonra Turkes'le konustu. Her ikisi de varolan bir seyin inkar edilerek yok edilemeyecegi konusunda mutabikti; Kurt meselesi cozulmedigi taktirde, Turkiye uzerinde hesabi olan ulkelerin bu konuyu Turkiye'ye karsi kullanacaklarindan emindi. Baski ve inkarin cozum olamayacagini biliyorlardi. Ruzi yalnizca arkadasi Turkes'le degil, gorustugu Turk istihbaratcilara da bu konuda dikkatli bir sekilde uyarilarda bulundu. Ancak aldigi cevap umut verici degildi. Ruzi'ye, 'Turkiye'de Kurt yok ki problem olsun. Onlar dag Turkleridir' diyorlardi. Ruzi, Sovyet realitesini, Sovyetler Birligi'ndeki milliyetler meselesini iyi bilen biriydi. Milliyetler meselesi nasl ki Sovyetler Birligi'nin en onemli meselelerinden biriyse, Kurt meselesi de Turkiye Cumhuriyeti devletinin en onemli meselelerinden biriydi.

Enver Altayli, "Ruzi Nazar: CIA'nin Turk Casusu", Dogan Kitap, Istanbul, Subat 2013, 1. Baski, p. 371

Russel Shorto (American Writer, Historian, Journalist, 1959-..... 
In founding New Amsterdam in the 1620s, Dutch planted the seeds for the city's [New York City] remarkable flowering. Specifically, the Dutch brought two concepts that became part of New York's foundation: tolerance of religious differences and an entrepreneurial, free-trading culture.
Russel Sorto, "The Source of New York's Greatness", An op-ed article appeared on The New York Times, September 7, 2014

Rev. W.A.Wigram (British Priest, Author, 1872-1953) 
And the country itself [Kurdistan] possesses most intense and varied interest. It contains some of the grandest scenery, and some of the most venerable monuments in the world. It is the very fons et origo of our Indo-European ancestors. Its tradition connect it with the Garden of Eden, with Noah, and with Abraham. Its folk-lore preserves the old Nature-worship which originated in the brains of the Ape-man. Its history records the very dawn of civilisation, and the rise and fall of the earliest of the great empires. The every-day life of its present inhabitants is to this hour the life of the Patriarchs, the life Europe in the Dark Ages, the life of the Highlands of Scotland in the days of Stewart Kings.
The Rev. W.A.Wigram, Edgar T.A.Wigram, "The Cradle of Mankind, Life In Eastern Kurdistan", Adam And Charles Black, London, 1914, Preface, pp. vii-viii

Aleppo was one of the few fortresses that made a respectable defence against the Moslems at the time of their first irruption. None of the great frontier towns to the eastward, -Edessa, Amida and Dara- so much as stood a real siege. Such was the bitterness of party strife, both civil and religious, within the Byzantine Empire at that period, that the Arab invaders were welcomed rather than resisted in these lands.

The citadel of Aleppo, however, was defended by a certain Youkinna, till even the redoubtable Caled, "the Sword of Allah," began to despair of success. Only the direct command of the Khalif Omar had induced him to persevere with leaguer when a valiant slave named Dames voluntered to attempt a coup de main. Caled approved his design; and to favour its execution withdrew his forces to a distance. Thus Youkinna, rather too readily, assumed that the siege was raised. The sentinels relaxed their vigilance, and the garrison had taken to carousing, when Dames with thirty companions crept up in the darkness to the walls. With the stalwart slave as their base they built up a human ladder, each man in succession clambering on to the shoulders of those below. The man on the seventh tier gripped the battlements, and scrambled over them, and then, letting down his turban, hauled up his associates one by one. Cutting down the few guards they encountered the Moslems then made for the gateway, and succeeded in gaining possession of it ere the garrison was fully aroused. Here they maintained themselves till daybreak when Caled arrived to relieve them, and Youkina thereupon surrendered, seeing that further resistance was vain. 
The Rev. W.A.Wigram, Edgar T.A.Wigram, "The Cradle of Mankind, Life In Eastern Kurdistan", Adam And Charles Black, London, 1914, pp. 3-4

It will be inferred from the foregoing incident that religion in Mosul is of a somewhat militant type. It is in fact one of the most fanatical towns in the empire; and was surely the only place where men wept openly in the streets on hearing of the deposition of Abdul Hamid, and exclaimed, "Now is the pillar of Islam fallen."
The Rev. W.A.Wigram, Edgar T.A.Wigram, "The Cradle of Mankind, Life In Eastern Kurdistan", Adam And Charles Black, London, 1914, Preface, p. 79

In the days of the Byzantine Empire the attempt to enforce Greek uniformity on all nations resulted in various national stocks (Syrian, Armenian, and Egyptian, for instance) adopting any "heresy" that chanced to be on the tapis, as a protest against what they regarded as "Greek dictation" While the dispute, both doctrinal and national, was still being fought out, the great Mussulman invasions began; and the nationalities in question cheerfully accepted the Mohammedan rule, which gave to them a religious freedom which the Greek Christian Empire had denied.
The Rev. W.A.Wigram, Edgar T.A.Wigram, "The Cradle of Mankind, Life In Eastern Kurdistan", Adam And Charles Black, London, 1914, p. 80

The annihilation of this huge metropolis {Nineveh} is one of the most astounding cataclysms in all the world's history. We posses its most intimate records almost up to the hour of its agony: and those records tell only of continual conquests, and of the building of palaces by its kings. Then falls a sudden great silence. For fifty years we hear nothing. And when fresh records take up the story, these are written in another language, and in another character, and tell of cities and peoples which have hardly been even named before. Nineveh had vanished utterly; and within two hundred years of its fall Xenophon's army marched across the very site of it without so much as dreaming of giving its ruins a name.

Other armies than Xenophon's have marched and fought over its ruins. Here, in BC 331, alexander the Great encountered the great army of Darius at the little village of Gaugamela in the angle between the Tigris and the Zab. This was that great "decisive battle of the world" which was to decide the Empire of Asia, and Alexander's signal victory laid the whole of Persia at his feet. Gaugamela is about equidistant between Nineveh and Arbela, which lies about twenty miles from the battlefield on the further side of the Zab river. But all Darius' baggage and treasure were parked around Arbela; and as the pursuers poured headlong towards the place where they would find the plunder, it is Arbela, and not Nineveh which has given its name to that day.

Here too in A.D. 627, upon the very site of the Nineveh, was fought the last battle in the long duel between the Sassanid Persians and the Byzantine Romans. Five year previously the Emperor Heraclius, driven within the very walls of Constantinople, had sallied from his last refuge, and had created in northern Syria the army with which made his last throw. For five years he had marched and fought among the mountains of Armenia, striking right and left with unerring judgment and with unvarying success, at the armies which hemmed him round. At last Chosroes, brought to bay in his turn, mustered his troops for the final struggle, and met him on the site of Nineveh with an army of (it is said) 500'000 men. The Persians fought with desperation, and 'it was easier to kill than to break them," but once more the skill and good fortune of the warrior-emperor triumphed; and he himself with his own hand slew Rhazates the Persian Commander, in single combat between the armies before the battle was joined. The power of Chosroes was crushed: but the Romans were as much exhausted as the Persians; and, within a few years, both empires alike succumbed to the onslaught of the Mohammedans.*

* On the same ground in 750 was fought the great battle which transferred the Khalifate from the dynasty of the Omayyades to the Abbassides. There can be few spots on the earth's surface which have seen three such decisive days.   
The Rev. W.A.Wigram, Edgar T.A.Wigram, "The Cradle of Mankind, Life In Eastern Kurdistan", Adam And Charles Black, London, 1914, pp. 114-116

The Sheikh, {Sheikh Abdul Salam Barzani} in the eyes of his followers, is not merely a great tribal chieftain. They believe in his hereditary sanctity; and his clansmen are also his devotees. This fact is strikingly exemplified by an incident which had occured a little earlier, and which was related to us by Mar Shimun, Patriarch of the Assyrian Christians, who himself inspires equal veneration among his own adherents. A column in pursuit of the Sheikh caught a small boy who had dropped behind the party, and demanded of him with menaces which way the fugitives had gone. But the child was as staunch as steel. "By the Holy Name of the Sheikh I will not tell!" he answered. And that was all they could get out of him either by coaxing or threats. The Turkish Captain was fortunately a kind-hearted fellow, and did not ill-used his small captive; but he did not omit, in releasing him, to draw a moral from his pluck. "We shall not make much of this war," he observed, with a smile to his officers. "You can judge from this example with what sort of folk we have to deal. This child is in my power utterly. None would call me to account if I killed him. And yet, knowing this, he defies me; and swears by his Sheikh as by a god!"
The Rev. W.A.Wigram, Edgar T.A.Wigram, "The Cradle of Mankind, Life In Eastern Kurdistan", Adam And Charles Black, London, 1914, p. 141

Urmi city and plain was the Mecca of one of the noblest of the religious faiths and philosophies that man has evolved for himself; for it was the birthplace of Zoroaster, and was for centuries a stronghold of the fire-worshippers' cult. Their most sacred shrine, Shirs (now Takht-i-Suleiman), is a little to the south; and ruins of the greatest of the fire temples still stand there, beside the weird crater-lake of Zindan. Not a Zoroastrian, however (as far as we know), is found in the district now; though a few still cluster round the Towers of Silence at Resht, and there is, of course, an important community of them in Bombay. Even there, however, their numbers are disproportionate to their influence, and even those small numbers are diminishing.
The Rev. W.A.Wigram, Edgar T.A.Wigram, "The Cradle of Mankind, Life In Eastern Kurdistan", Adam And Charles Black, London, 1914, p. 199

Persian women have high reputation for cleverness; a repute which is exemplified in the saying that every Moslem, to be happy, requires at least four wives. A Persian because of her wit, and a Circassian because of her beauty; an Armenian to do the cookery and housework, and a Kurdish woman to thrash, as a wholesome example to the other three.
The Rev. W.A.Wigram, Edgar T.A.Wigram, "The Cradle of Mankind, Life In Eastern Kurdistan", Adam And Charles Black, London, 1914, p. 211

As for trial, or any pretence of justice, even for a man in this position, there was none. Such things are mere empty words to a ruler who on another occasion invited a prominent Kurdish chief to a conference, swearing on the Koran that, if he came, he should leave Tabriz in safety and honour. The Kurd (Jaffar Agha by name) came on that assurance. He had his conference and started at home, loaded with honours and decorations. One hundred yards from the gate of Tabriz he was called back for a last word. He shot dead from behind a grating. So the Shah kept faith with a man who trusted to his honour.
The Rev. W.A.Wigram, Edgar T.A.Wigram, "The Cradle of Mankind, Life In Eastern Kurdistan", Adam And Charles Black, London, 1914, pp. 215-216

Barring such accidents {flood or avalanche} the terrace fields are fertile enough, if they have a sufficiency of water; but this again has to be supplied them artificially by leading the irrigation channels from the main stream (often along precipitous faces of rock) and maintaining them carefully when built. Millet and rice are the staple crops; the former furnishing food for both man and beast, for its long stalks are excellent fodder. Its grain is very sustaining as food, as we know from experience, but its not attractive. In fact bread made from it rather suggests that your host has run short of flour, and has eked matters out with an equivalent weight of sawdust! Even so, however, "it is better to eat millet bread and carry a gun, than to be an unarmed rayat under the Ottoman" under present conditions. 
The Rev. W.A.Wigram, Edgar T.A.Wigram, "The Cradle of Mankind, Life In Eastern Kurdistan", Adam And Charles Black, London, 1914, p. 287

M. K. Gandhi (Indian Lawyer, Leader of Indian Independence Movement, 1869-1948) 
I think it is the height of ignorance to believe that the sexual act is an independent function necessary like sleeping or eating. The world depends for its existence on the act of generation, and as the world is the play-ground of God and a reflection of His glory, the act of generation should be controlled for the ordered growth of the world. He who realizes this will control his lust at any cost, equip himself with the knowledge necessary for the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of his progeny, and give the benefit of that knowledge to posterity.
M. K. Gandhi, "An Autobiography or The Story of My Experiments with Truth", Penguin Books, Translated from the original Gujarati by Mahadev Desai, Great Britain, 1982, p.194

I believed then and I believe even now, that, no matter what amount of work one has, one should always find some time for exercise, just as one does for one's meals. It is my humble opinion that, far from taking away from one's capacity for work, it adds to it.
M. K. Gandhi, "An Autobiography or The Story of My Experiments with Truth", Penguin Books, Translated from the original Gujarati by Mahadev Desai, Great Britain, 1982, p. 220

It may not be out of place here to narrate an experience that I have described before now at many meetings. Bhitiharva was a small village in which was one of our schools. I happened to visit a smaller village in its vicinity and found some of the women dressed very dirtily. So I told my wife to ask them why they did not wash their clothes. She spoke to them. One of the women took her into her hut and said: 'Look now, there is no box or cupboard here containing other clothes. The sari I am wearing is the only one I have. How am I to wash it? Tell Mahatmaji to get me another sari, and I shall then promise to bathe and put on clean clothes every day.'
M. K. Gandhi, "An Autobiography or The Story of My Experiments with Truth", Penguin Books, Translated from the original Gujarati by Mahadev Desai, Great Britain, 1982, p.381

(..) To safeguard democracy the people must have a keen sense of independence, self-respect and their oneness, and should insist upon choosing as their representatives only such persons as are good and true.
M. K. Gandhi, "An Autobiography or The Story of My Experiments with Truth", Penguin Books, Translated from the original Gujarati by Mahadev Desai, Great Britain, 1982, p. 450

To see the universal and all-pervading Spirit of Truth face to face one must be able to love the meanest of creation as oneself. And a man who aspires after that cannot afford to keep out of any field of life. That is why my devotion to Truth has drawn me into the field of politics; and I can say without the slightest hesitation, and yet in all humility, that those who say that religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion means.

Identification with everything that lives is impossible without self-purification; without self-purification the observance of the law of Ahimsa must remain an empty dream; God can never be realized by one who is not pure of heart. Self-purification therefore must mean purification in all the walks of life. And purification being highly infectious, purification of oneself necessarily leads to the purification of one's surroundings.
M. K. Gandhi, "An Autobiography or The Story of My Experiments with Truth", Penguin Books, Translated from the original Gujarati by Mahadev Desai, Great Britain, 1982, p. 453

Yakup Kadri Karaosmanoglu (Turkish Novelist, Journalist, Diplomat, and Senator. 1889-1974

Yemekten sonra, koskun buyuk salonunda uc dort oyun masasi kurulmustu. Birinde Mustafa Kemal Pasa'yla birkac arkadas poker oynuyorduk. Biraz otemizde Ismet Pasa'yla Fethi Bey'in bulundugu bir masada bridge partisi yapiliyordu. Gecenin ilerlemis bir saati. Iceriye bir yaverin girdigi ve usulcacik masamiza yaklasarak Ataturk'e bir telgraf verdigi goruldu. Ataturk, elinden oyun kagitlarini birakarak telgrafi aldi; dikkatle okudu ve hala ayakta bekleyen yavere catik bir cehreyle, "Goturun bunu, basvekile verin!" dedi. Hepimiz oyunu kesip; gozlerimizi yanimizdan masaya dikmis ve Fethi Bey'in telgrafa soyle bir goz gezdirdikten sonra yaver beye geri veriphic bir sey soylemeksizin oyuna devam ettigini gormustuk. Bunun uzerine yaver ne yapacagini sasirmis, bir elinde telgraf, tekrar bizim masaya yaklasmisti. Ataturk; "Simdi de bunu Ismet Pasa'ya goturunuz!" dedi. Yaver dondu, telgrafi Ismet Pasa'ya verdi. Ismet Pasa, aldi; okudu, okudu ve birden ayaga kalkarak-hatta firlayarak diyebilirim-telasli telasli etrafina bakindi; derken eline bir cigara aldi, kibrit aradi; sonra vazgecti, kendini toparlayip yerine oturdu.

Bu sahneyi gozucuyla takibeden Ataturk, bize donerek yavasca:

"Iste, iki adam arasindaki fark" dedi ve ilave etti. "Seyh Sait ceteleri Semdinan'a gelip dayanmislar."
Y.K.Karaosmanoglu, "Politikada 45 Yil", Iletisim Yayinlari, 6. Baski, Istanbul, 2012, p.73

Sir Harry Hamilton Johnston (British Explorer, Botanist, Linguist, Colonial Administrator, 1858-1927) 
But wherever the Turk imposed his rule the results have been disastrous. They are apparent to the eye in Nearer Asia, in Greece, in Thrace, in Macedonia, and North Africa. There will be no cure for these stricken regions until the Turkish name as that of a ruling caste has been erased from mundane statistics. Then we shall find that be they Christians or be they Muslims there is much abiding virtue in, much happy promise before the diverse people of the former Turkish Empire. But we shall need to know them as Kurd and Armenian, Syrians and Arabs, Jews and Greeks, Arabs and Cilicians, Phrygians and Lazis. 

Sir Harry Hamilton Johnston, The "Clean-Fighting" Turk Yesterday, To-Day and To-Morrow, Spottiswoode, Ballantyne & Co Ltd, London, 1918, p.4
But to Armenia within its natural ethnic limits autonomy and independence must be secured. It is not so much a matter of religious sentiment as of historical gratitude. A bad Armenian Christian is no better than a good Muhammadan Kurd. The modern Armenia is the direct descendant of the Hittite empire which did much to raise the cultural status of the Nearer East. The Armenoid type we now realise was one of the most potent civilisers of Europe in the Neolithic and Bronze ages. From Armenia we have derived many precious things in cultivated plants and domestic animals. The Armenoid or Alpine peoples have enriched the Old World with their cultural ideas.  

Sir Harry Hamilton Johnston, The "Clean-Fighting" Turk Yesterday, To-Day and To-Morrow, Spottiswoode, Ballantyne & Co Ltd, London, 1918, pp.4-5
When the Emperor Joseph proposed a partition of Turkey to Catherine of Russia, that princess met all his plans with the question, "What shall we do with Constantinople?". 

Sir Harry Hamilton Johnston, The "Clean-Fighting" Turk Yesterday, To-Day and To-Morrow, Spottiswoode, Ballantyne & Co Ltd, London, 1918, p.44
The plain fact is, that the Turk as a ruler is a merciless oppressor; as a negotiator a cunning Byzantine; as a soldier a tough fighter; as a victor a remoseless bully-but when he feels he has met his match he is chivalrous, when he is defeated he is a pathetic and distressed gentleman. And so he contrives that the Turk has never been in the wrong, no one has ever convicted a Turk of a mean or cruel act.

When he is beaten, or near beaten, he would have us believe that the Armenians were killed by wicked Kurds, that the Lebanon famine was a disaster which was beyond the power of man to avert, that the British prisoners died because they were delicate, that the war itself was the work of the Germans (curses on them!), and so on. When his star is in the ascendant the tale is pitched in a different key. "The Armenians shall not talk of independence for fifty years," said Talaat; "The English civilians shall be exposed to English shells," said Enver; "I will teach the Arabs who is master," said Djemal' "One sound Turk for every sick or wounded Englishmen or Indian," said the victors of Kut, knowing that every sick Englishmen or Indian must die if he were unexchanged. Thus we get glimpse of the seamy side of Turkish mentality, which is made up the craft of Byzantium, the ruthlesness of the nomad of Steppe, the cold cruelty of the fanatic.

Sir Harry Hamilton Johnston, The "Clean-Fighting" Turk Yesterday, To-Day and To-Morrow, Spottiswoode, Ballantyne & Co Ltd, London, 1918, pp.49-50

We English have been inclined to consider the Turk as a clean fighter and not a bad fellow at heart. It is an opinion that must be altered. 

Give a Turk the least authority (said a major captured at Kut) and he uses it like a brute. The Turkish officers, who are so polite and charming now, bullied and ill-treated the British prisoners abominably. I bear no grudge for the blows with riflebutts I received. I am ready to forget incidents such as when a party of British officers I was with was driven into sheep pens, the floor of which was 6 in. deep in dung and the sheep, just taken out, had been suffering from footh-and-mouth disease. But I never forget, or forgive, the ghastly way our men were herded, worked, and brutalised all these years. 

Sir Harry Hamilton Johnston, The "Clean-Fighting" Turk Yesterday, To-Day and To-Morrow, Spottiswoode, Ballantyne & Co Ltd, London, 1918, p.60

Henry Kissinger (American Diplomat, Political Scientist, 1923-...) 
The Middle East has been the chrysalis of three of the world's great religions. From its stern landscape have issued conquerors and prophets holding aloft banners of universal aspirations. Across its seemingly limitless horizons, empires have been established and fallen; absolute rulers have proclaimed themselves the embodiment of all power, only to disappear as if they had been mirages. Here every form of domestic and international order has existed, and been rejected, at one time or another.

The world has become accustomed to calls from the Middle East urging the overthrow of regional and world order in the service of a universal vision. A profusion of prophetic absolutisms has been the hallmark of a region suspended between a dream of its former glory and its contemporary inability to unify around common principles of domestic or international order more complex=in terms of both organizing regional order and ensuring the compatibility of that order with peace and stability in the rest of the world.

Henry Kissinger, "World Order, Reflections on the Character of Nations and the Course of History", Allen Lane, an imprint of Penguin Books, Great Britain, 2014, p.96

By the end of the sixth century A.D., two great empires dominated much of the Middle East: the Byzantine (or Eastern Roman) Empire with its capital in Constantinople and professing the Christian religion (Greek Orthodox), and the Sasanid Persian Empire with its capital in Citesiphon, near modern day Baghdad, which practiced Zoroastrianism. Conflicts between them had occurred sporadically for centuries. In 602, not long after a plague had wracked both, a Persian invasion of Byzantine territories led to a twenty-five-year-long war in which the two empires tested what remained of their strength. After an eventual Byzantine victory, exhaustion produced the peace that statesmanship had failed to achieve. It also opened the way for the ultimate victory of Islam. For in western Arabia, in a forbidding desert outside the control of any empire, the Prophet Muhammad and his followers were gathering strength, impelled by a new vision of world order.

Few events in world history equal the drama of the early spread of Islam. The Muslim tradition relates that Muhammad, born in Mecca in the year 570, received at the age of forty a revelation that continued for approximately twenty-three years and, when written down, became known as the Quran. As the Byzantine and Persian empires disabled each other, Muhammad and his community of believers organized a polity, unified the Arabian Peninsula, and set out to replace the prevailing faiths of the region -primarily Judaism, Christianity, and Zoroastrianism- with the religion of his received vision.

An unprecedented wave of expansion turned the rise of Islam into one of the most consequential events in history. In the century following the death of Muhammad in 632, Arab armies brought the new religion as far as the Atlantic coast of Africa, to most of Spain, into central France, and as far east as northern India. Stretches of Central Asia and Russia, parts of China, and most of the East Indies followed over the subsequent centuries, where Islam, carried alternately by merchants and conquerors, established itself as the dominant religious presence. 

Henry Kissinger, "World Order, Reflections on the Character of Nations and the Course of History", Allen Lane, an imprint of Penguin Books, Great Britain, 2014, pp.97-98

The Arab Spring started as a new generation's uprising for liberal democracy. It was soon shouldered aside, disrupted, or crushed. Exhilaration turned into paralysis. The existing political forces, embedded in the military and in religion in the countryside, proved stronger and better organized than the middle-class element demonstrating for democratic principles in Tahrir Square. In practice, the Arab Spring has exhibited rather than overcome the internal contradictions of the Arab-Islamic world and of the policies designed to resolve them.

The off-repeated early slogan of the Arab Spring, "The people want the downfall of the regime," left open the question of how the people are defined and what will take the place of the supplanted authorities. The original Arab Spring demonstrators' calls for an open political and economic life have been overwhelmed by a violent contest between military-backed authoritarianism and Islamist ideology.

Henry Kissinger, "World Order, Reflections on the Character of Nations and the Course of History", Allen Lane, an imprint of Penguin Books, Great Britain, 2014, pp.123-124

By deciding after the mutiny to administer India as a single imperial unit, Britain did much to bring such an India into being. The diverse regions were connected by rail lines and a common language, English. The glories of India's ancient civilization were researched and catalogued and India's elite trained in British thought and institutions. In the process, Britain reawakened in India the consciousness that it was a single entity under foreign rule and inspired a sentiment that to defeat the foreign influence it had to constitute itself as a nation. Britain's impact on India was thus similar to Napoleon's on a Germany whose multiple states had been treated previously only as a geographic, not a national, entity. 

Henry Kissinger, "World Order, Reflections on the Character of Nations and the Course of History", Allen Lane, an imprint of Penguin Books, Great Britain, 2014, p.200

China's north-western frontier, though by conventional analysis China was the superior military power:

To give them... elaborate clothes and carriages in order to corrupt their eyes; to give them fine food in order to corrupt their mouth; to give them music and women in order to corrupt their ears; to provide them with lofty buildings, granaries and slaves in order to corrupt their stomach... and, as for those who come to surrender, the emperor {should} show them favor by honoring them with an imperial reception party in which the emperor should personally serve them wine and food so as to corrupt their mind. These are what may be called five baits.

Henry Kissinger, "World Order, Reflections on the Character of Nations and the Course of History", Allen Lane, an imprint of Penguin Books, Great Britain, 2014, p.215

Like the founder of China's first all-powerful dynasty (221-207 B.C.) the Emperor Qin Shi-Huang, Mao sought to unify China while also striving to destroy the ancient culture that blamed for China's weakness and humiliation. He governed in a style as remote as that of any Emperor (though the emperors would not have convened mass rallies), and he combined it with the practices of Lenin and Stalin. Mao's rule embodied the revolutionary's dilemma. The more sweeping the changes the revolutionary seeks to bring about, the more he encounters resistance, not necessarily from ideological and political opponents but from the inertia of the familiar. The revolutionary prophet is ever tempted to defy his mortality by speeding up his time-table and multiplying the means of enforcing his vision. Mao launched his disastrous Great Leap Forward in 1958 to compel breakneck industrialization and the Cultural Revolution in 1966 to purge the ruling group to prevent its institutionalization in a decade-long ideological campaign that exiled a generation of educated youth to the country-side. Tens of millions died in pursuit of Mao's goals-most eliminated without love or hatred, mobilized to foreshorten into one lifetime what had heretofore been considered a historical process.

Henry Kissinger, "World Order, Reflections on the Character of Nations and the Course of History", Allen Lane, an imprint of Penguin Books, Great Britain, 2014, p.223

No country has played such a decisive role in shaping contemporary world order as the United States, nor professed such ambivalence about participation in it. Imbued with the conviction that its course would shape the destiny of mankind, America has, over its history, played a paradoxical role in world order: it expanded across a continent in the name of Manifest Destiny while abjuring any imperial designs; exerted a decisive influence on momentous events while disclaiming any motivation of national interest; became a superpower while disavowing any intention to conduct power politics. America's foreign policy has reflected the conviction that its domestic principles were self-evidently universal and their application at all times salutary; that the real challenge of American engagement abroad was not foreign policy in the traditional sense but a project of spreading values that it believed all other peoples aspired to replicate.

Inherent in this doctrine was a vision of extraordinary originality and allure. While the Old World considered the New an arena for conquest to amass wealth and power, in America a new nation arose affirming freedom of belief, expression, and action as the essence of its national experience and character.

In Europe, a system of order had been founded on the careful sequestration of moral absolutes from political endeavors -if only because attempts to impose one faith or system of morality on the Continent's diverse peoples had ended so disastrously. In America, the proselytizing spirit was infused with an ingrained distrust of established institutions and hierarchies. Thus the British philosopher and Member of Parliament Edmund Burke would recall to his colleagues that the colonists had exported "liberty according to English ideas" along with diverse dissenting religious sects constrained in Europe ("the protestantism of the protestant religion") and "agreeing in nothing but the communion of the spirit of liberty." These forces, intermingling across an ocean, had produced a distinct national outlook: "In this character of the Americans, a love of freedom is the predominating feature which marks and distinguishes the whole."

Henry Kissinger, "World Order, Reflections on the Character of Nations and the Course of History", Allen Lane, an imprint of Penguin Books, Great Britain, 2014, pp.234-235

The spread of democracy, in Wilson's view, would be an automatic consequence of implementing the principle of self-determination. Since the Congress of Vienna, wars had ended with an agreement on the restoration of the balance of power by territorial adjustments. Wilson's concept of world order called instead for "self-determination"-for each nation, defined by ethnic and linguistic unity, to be given a state. Only through self-government, he assessed, could peoples express their underlying will toward international harmony. And once they had achieved independence and national unity, Wilson argued, they would no longer have an incentive to practice aggressive or self-interested policies. Statesmen following the principle of self-determination would not "dare...attempting any such covenants of selfishness and compromise as were entered into the Congress of Vienna," where elite representatives of great powers had redrawn international borders in secret, favoring equilibrium over popular aspirations. The world would thus enter

an age...which rejects the standards of national selfishness that once governed the counsels of nations and demands that they shall give way to a new order of things in which the only question will be: "Is it right?" "Is it just?" "Is it in the interest of mankind?"

Henry Kissinger, "World Order, Reflections on the Character of Nations and the Course of History", Allen Lane, an imprint of Penguin Books, Great Britain, 2014, pp.260-261

I introduced my eulogy at President Ford's funeral with the following sentences:

According to an ancient tradition, God preserves humanity despite its many transgressions because, at any one period, there exist ten just individuals who, without being aware of their role, redeem mankind. Gerald Ford was such a man.

Henry Kissinger, "World Order, Reflections on the Character of Nations and the Course of History", Allen Lane, an imprint of Penguin Books, Great Britain, 2014, p.309

(...) Reagan generated psychological momentum with pronouncements at the outer edge of Wilsonian moralism. Perhaps the most poignant example is his farewell address as he left office in 1989, in which he described his vision of America as the shining city on a hill:

I've spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don't know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind, it was a tall proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind swept, God blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace-a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity, and if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors, and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it, and see it still.

America as a shining city on a hill was not a metaphor for Reagan, it actually existed for him because he willed it to exist.

Henry Kissinger, "World Order, Reflections on the Character of Nations and the Course of History", Allen Lane, an imprint of Penguin Books, Great Britain, 2014, p.311

(...) The West, which saw fulfillment in mastering empirical reality, explored the far reaches of the world and fostered science and technology. The other traditional civilizations, each of which had considered itself the center of a world order in its own right, did not have the same impetus and fell behind technologically.

That period has now ended. The rest of the world is pursuing science and technology and, because unencumbered by established patterns, with perhaps more energy and flexibility than the West, at least in countries like China and the "Asian Tigers."

Henry Kissinger, "World Order, Reflections on the Character of Nations and the Course of History", Allen Lane, an imprint of Penguin Books, Great Britain, 2014, p.364

The international economic system has become global, while the political structure of the world has remained based on the nation-state. The global economic impetus is on removing obstacles to the flow of goods and capital. The international political system is still largely based on contrasting ideas of world order and the reconciliation of concepts of national interest. Economic globalization, in its essence, ignores national frontiers. International policy emphasizes the importance of frontiers even as it seeks to reconcile conflicting national aims.

Henry Kissinger, "World Order, Reflections on the Character of Nations and the Course of History", Allen Lane, an imprint of Penguin Books, Great Britain, 2014, p.368

Omer Faiz Efendi (Ottoman Official, Mayor of Constantinople, 1865-?) 
(...) Sultan Abdulaziz'in onur konugu olarak katildigi 1867 Uluslararasi Paris Fuari'nda her devletin genis pavyonlari oldugunu, pavyonlarda kitaplarin, mecmualarin, afislerin bulundugunu gorup gizli gizli aglayan Omer Faiz Efendi sadrazama "Hristiyanlar ilim, irfan, medeniyet, caliskanlik, musavat gibi aslinda Muslumanlara ait olan emirleri Hristiyan olmalarina ragmen tatbik etmektedirler. Yani bilmeden hidayete ermislerdir," diyecekti. Omer Faiz Efendi'ye gore, "Cehaleti birakip ilmi, iptidailigi birakip medeniyeti, tembelligi birakip caliskanligi, el emegini birakip makineyi, sehirde ve koyde pisligi birakip temizligi, ufurugu birakip ilaci, deveyi birakip treni, yelkeni birakip uskurlu gemiyi alir, kadinli-erkekli birlikte ve beraber tam millet olursak, hem dinimizin hem de devletimizin bekasini ve izz-u san ile devamini temin" edebilirdik.

Cited in Ayse Hur, "Oteki Tarih-1, Abdulmecid'den Ittihat Terakki'ye", Profil Yayincilik, Istanbul, 9. Baski, Mart 2014, pp.27-28

Namik Kemal (Turkish Ottoman Intellectual, Writer, 1840-1888) 
Musluman halklar arasindaki dilsel farkliliklari ayrilik sebebi saymayarak tek bir siyasal birlik icinde tutma gayreti buyuk olcude Namik Kemal tarafindan sekillendirilen Islamci-Osmanlici butunlesme politikasinin yumusak karnidir. Namik Kemal, Mememenlizade Rifat Bey'e alfabe tartismalari dolayisiyla yazdigi mektupta "Vakia Rumlara Bulgarlara bizim lisani ta'amim etmek kabil degildir, fakat Arnavutlara, Lazlara yani Muslimlere mektepler yapilir ve hatta bizim o nakis Maarif Nizamnamesi'nin hukmu icra olunur ise yirmi sene sonra Lazca, Arnavutca busbutun unutulur" diyordu.

Cited in Ayse Hur, "Oteki Tarih-1, Abdulmecid'den Ittihat Terakki'ye", Profil Yayincilik, Istanbul, 9. Baski, Mart 2014, pp.141-142

Ziya Gokalp (Turkish Sociologist, Writer, Poet of Kurdish descent, 1876-1924) 
Ittihat ve Terakki'nin Merkez Komitesi uyesi olan Ziya Gokalp, dil birligini saglamanin da kisa vadede guclugunu farkederek, siyasal mucadelenin gucunu kesmek istemedi. Ve yuzyillardir Turklerle bir arada yasayan ve etnik koken itibariyle Turk olmayan Musluman unsurlarin egitim sayesinde zamanla Turklesebileceklerini dusunmeye egilimli oldu. Gokalp bu anlamda siyasal ulusculugun etnik azinliklari asimile edebilecegini dusunuyordu. Ancak 1915 yilinda Ittihat ve Terakki hukumeti bir kanun cikarip Turkce egitimi zorunlu kilarak "milleti-i hakimeye mensup olmayan efradi, millet-i hakimeye takrib (yakinlastirma) ve tebdile (donusturmeye) calisma" konusunda onemli bir adim atti. Ama "tek dilli, tek etnisiteli" bir devlet yaratma projesinin ilk adimi kanli 1915-1917 Ermeni Kirimi olacakti.

Cited in Ayse Hur, "Oteki Tarih-1, Abdulmecid'den Ittihat Terakki'ye", Profil Yayincilik, Istanbul, 9. Baski, Mart 2014, p.148

Kuscubasi Esref (Turkish Spy, 1873-1964) 
1911'de Trablusgarp Savasi patlayinca, Berlin'de Askeri Atase olan Enver, Trablusgarp'a gitmek uzere harekete gectiginde, Mustafa Kemal'in de Trablusgarp'a gitmeye kalkmasi bu rekabetle iliskiliydi. Mustafa Kemal'in yolda ve Trablusgarp'ta sik sik hastalanmasinin yarattigi manevi ezikligi bir yana birakirsak, ikili Trablusgarp'ta askeri acidan benzer basarilara imza attilar. Bu, iliskileri duzeltmek bir yana daha da bozdu. O doneme ait bir aniyi Kuscubasi Esref'ten dinleyelim:

"Benim o zaman icin ender olan guzel bir fotograf makinem vardi. Enver bir gun Derne cephesine gelmisti. Bu cepheye Mustafa Kemal kumanda ediyordu. Kitalari teftis etmek istedi. Buyuk kismini urban (sehirli) mucahitlerin teskil ettigi kuvvetlerimiz teftis vaziyeti aldi. Mustafa Kemal, Enver'in yaninda, fakat bir at boyu gerisinde idi. Ikisi de suvari idiler. Aldigim fotograflar icinde bu poz cok net cikmisti. O sirada Enver'in refikasi Naciye Sultan zevcinden cepheye ait fotograflar istiyordu. Enver bunun bir kopyasini gonderdi. Naciye Sultan o sirada Istanbul'da bulunan taninmis bir Fransiz ressamina bu resmin yagliboya tablosunu yaptirmis. Aradan bir muddet gecmisti. Pasa bir gun beni Yali'ya davet etmisti. Yemege alikoydu. Duvarda bahsettigim tablo vardi: "Begendiniz mi Esref bey? Sizin cektiginiz fotograf..' {dedi}. Tabloya yaklastim. Cidden sanatkarane idi. Renkler fevkalade idi. Resimle ugrasmis bir amator olarak bunlari takdir edebiliyordum. Fakat hayret!... Tabloda Mustafa Kemal yoktu. Halbuki cok iyi hatirliyorum ki, fotografin aslinda vardi. 'Pasam dedim bu fotografin aslinda Mustafa Kemal de vardi. Tabloda neden yok?' Enver Pasa bu sualimi bir sualle cevaplandirdi. 'Fotografta Mustafa Kemal neredeydi?' 'Hatirliyorum: Kitalari teftis vaziyetinde idi ve Mustafa Kemal sizin bir boy arkanizda bulunuyordu.' {dedim}. Pasa guldu: 'Iste onun icin tabloda onun yerini bos biraktirdim. Cunku Mustafa Kemal hayatinda kimseden bir adim geri durmaz. Ya hic bulunmaz ya en onde durur. Ara sira buraya da geliyor. Sultan hanima da anlatarak tablodan onu cikarttim. Misafirim olarak kirilmasini istemem." 
Cited in Ayse Hur, "Oteki Tarih-2, Abdulmecid'den Ittihat Terakki'ye", Profil Yayincilik, Istanbul, 5. Baski, Eylul 2013, pp.179-180

Enver Pasa (Turkish Soldier and Politician, 1881-1922) 
Ardindan Mustafa Kemal'in albayliktan tuggenerallige terfisi sorun oldu. Milli Mucadele'nin asker uyelerinden Fahreddin (Altay) Pasa'nin anlattigina gore, Talat, Enver'e "Bak, arkadaslar Mustafa Kemal beyin terfiini istiyorlar. Bir an evvel olsa bitse diyorlar. Yap bari..." demis. Enver Pasa cevabi yetistirmisti: "Simdi terfiini imzaladim. (...) Ama musade edin de simdi ben size anlatayim: Siz, Mustafa Kemal'i benim gibi tanimazsiniz. Vakia cok degerli, fakat o nispette de haristir. Emin olun simdi liva yapariz. Kolordu kumandanligi ister. Onu yapariz, ordu kumandanligi ister. Ordu kumandani yapariz, baskumandanlik ister. Ona da peki desek, yine kafi gormez. Daha buyugunu ister. Cunku hirsina hudut yoktur. Bu sebeple, onu azar azar vererek gayet maharetle idare etmek, hos tutmak lazimdir." Bu konusma Mustafa Kemal'e aktarildiginda "Ben Enver'in bu kadar zeki ve ileri goruslu oldugunu bilmezdim," diyerek, hakkindaki yargilari adeta onaylayacakti. 

Cited in Ayse Hur, "Oteki Tarih-2, Abdulmecid'den Ittihat Terakki'ye", Profil Yayincilik, Istanbul, 5. Baski, Eylul 2013, pp.182-183

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (Turkish Soldier, Politician, Founder of Republic of Turkey,1881-1938) 
Hurst'un istihbarati dogruydu, cunku Mustafa Kemal Samsun'a gelir gelmez Havza'da, yorenin namli kabadayilarindan "Topal" lakapli Osman Aga ile gorusmustu. Halbuki bu sirada Osman Aga Istanbul Divan-i Harbi tarafindan Ermeni katliamlarindaki suclarindan dolayi araniyordu.  Ancak muhtemelen Mustafa Kemal'in  ricasi ile Temmuz 1919'da Osman Aga hakkindaki tutuklama karari Padisah Vahdettin tarafindan kaldirildi ve "Topal" Osman, Muhafaza-i Hukuk-i Milliye Cemiyeti Giresun Sube Baskani olarak Trabzon havalisinde Pontuslu Rumlarin basinin belasi oldu. Dr. Riza Nur hatiralarinda, Dogu Karadeniz'deki etnik temizlikten ve bu "temizligi" gerceklestiren "Topal" Osman'dan soyle bahseder:
[Maliye Bakani] Ferid [Tek], Osman Aga'yi halki soyuyorsun diye azarladi. Osman Aga su cevabi Verdi: 'Beyefendi evet para topluyorum,  fakat bir Muslumanin bir habbesini almamisimdir. Aldigim hep gavur malidir. Benim basimda binlerce hasarat var... Bu Rumlar bize neler yapiyorlar. Paralarini, canlarini almak helaldir... Turkum, Muslumanim. Evett Turkum, dini, gavurlardan kurtarmak icin calisiyorum," Mukemmel sey. Sonra bilfiil buyuk cesaretle harpler ediyor. Yanima cagirip oturttum. Ve kendisine: "Aga! Sen Ferid Bey'e bilmem kime bakma! Yaptigin yanlis degil. Tamamiyle dogrudur. haklisin vatana buyuk hizmetler etmissin. Bildigin yolda devam et dedim"... "Aga Pontusu iyi temizle" dedim "temizliyorum" dedi. "Rum koylerinde tas ustunde tas birakma" dedim. "Oyle yapiyorum ama, kiliseleri ve iyi binalari lazim olur diye sakliyorum" dedi. "Onlari da yik, hatta taslarini uzaklara yolla, dagit. Ne olur ne olmaz, bir daha burada kilise vardi diyemesinler" dedim. "Sahi oyle yapalim. Bu kadar akil edemedim" dedi.

Cited in Ayse Hur, "Gayri Muslimlerin Oteki Tarihi", Literatur Yayincilik, Istanbul, 1. Baski, Kasim 2016, pp.52-53

(...) Bir Alman belgesinde soyle yaziyordu: "Talat bey (...) hic cekinmeden hukumetin Dunya Savasi'ni bahane ederek, dis ulkelerin diplomatik mudahalelerine aldirmaksizin, ulkeyi ic dusmanlardan -her turlu mezhebe bagli tum Hristiyanlardan- tamamen temizlemek istedigini anlatti."

Cited in Ayse Hur, "Gayri Muslimlerin Oteki Tarihi", Literatur Yayincilik, Istanbul, 1. Baski, Kasim 2016, p.126

Almanya Buyukelcisi Wangenheim merkeze gonderdigi 17 Haziran 1915 tarihli rapora "Ermeni tehcirinin sadece askeri nedenlerle yapilmadigi cok acik" diye yazmisti. Talat Pasa Wangenheim'a Dunya Savasi'ni bahane ederek, dis ulkelerin diplomatik mudahalelerine aldirmaksizin, ulkeyi ic dusmanlardan tamamen temizlemek" istedigini ve bunun "Turkiye'nin muttefiki Almanya'nin da cikarina" oldugunu soylemisti. Talat'a gore "devlet boyle guclenecekti."

Cited in Ayse Hur, "Gayri Muslimlerin Oteki Tarihi", Literatur Yayincilik, Istanbul, 1. Baski, Kasim 2016, pp.192-193

1915 Ermeni Tehciri/Kirimi/Soykirimi, esas olarak ITC'de orgutlenmis olan Turk milliyetciliginin, dagilmakta olan Osmanli Imparatorlugu'nun yerine Turk ulus devletini kurmanin ilk adimi olarak ulkeyi gayri Muslim unsurlardan temizleme ve sermayenin Muslumanlastirilmasi/Turklestirilmesi harekatiydi.

Cited in Ayse Hur, "Gayri Muslimlerin Oteki Tarihi", Literatur Yayincilik, Istanbul, 1. Baski, Kasim 2016, p.225

(...) Mustafa Kemal'in 16 Mart 1923'te Adana esnafiyla konusurken soyledigi su sozler Ittihatci zihniyetin hala yasadigi konusunda supheye yer birakmiyordu:

Arkadasimiz beyanatinda demislerdi ki, Adanamizi idaresi altina alan diger unsurlar, sunlar, bunlar, Ermeniler sanat ocaklarimizi isgal etmisler ve bu memleketin sahibi gibi bir vaziyet almislardir. Suphesiz haksizlik ve kustahligin bundan fazlasi olamaz. Ermenilerin bu feyizli ulkede hic bir hakki yoktur. Memleketiniz sizindir, Turklerindir. Bu memleket tarihte Turktu, o halde Turktur ve ebediyen Turk olarak yasayacaktir. (...) Memleket en nihayet yine sahibi aslilerinin elinde kaldi. Ermeniler vesairenin burada hic bir hakki yoktur. Bu bereketli yerler koyu ve oz Turk memleketidir.

Cited in Ayse Hur, "Gayri Muslimlerin Oteki Tarihi", Literatur Yayincilik, Istanbul, 1. Baski, Kasim 2016, p.317
Muzaffer Orucoglu (Turkish Revolutionary, Writer, 1947-...) 
Dini ortaya cikaran da kaldiracak olan da tarihtir. Hic bir iradi guc onu ortadan kaldiramaz. Mumkun degil.

Cited in "Muzaffer Orucoglu Anlatiyor: Zavot'tan Vartinik'e. Soylesi: Ibrahim Ekinci", Ayrinti Yayinlari, Istanbul, 2016, p.44

(...) Ben Siverek'e gittim. Yeni fikirlere acik bir sehir Siverek. Gec Hititi cagindan kalma bir uygarlik merkezi. Siverek'te eskiden Kurtler, Zazalar, Ermeniler, Suryaniler, Kiptiler, Yahudiler, Rumlar, Ezidiler icice yasamis. Cogunluk olarak Kurtleri Ermeniler izliyor. Ben gittigimde, Agop ve Xelile Fille gibi Ermeni ustalarinin kesme tastan yaptigi evler vardi ve sehrin etrafi Ermenilerden kalma baglarla cevriliydi.

Cited in "Muzaffer Orucoglu Anlatiyor: Zavot'tan Vartinik'e. Soylesi: Ibrahim Ekinci", Ayrinti Yayinlari, Istanbul, 2016, p.53

(...) Ibo, {Ibrahim Kaypakkaya} diger 68 onderlerinden farkli olarak, milli sorunu baslibasina ele aldi. Milli sorunun alani sadece Kurt bireyler degil, ezenleri ve ezilenleriyle birlikte bir butun olarak Kurt ulusudur dedi, "uluslarin kendi kaderlerini tayin hakki" ilkesinden hareket etti. Kurtlerin kendi kaderlerini tayin hakki, yani isterlerse ayrilip bagimsiz bir devlet kurma hakki vardir dedi. Bu noktadan hareketle de gerek Osmanli, gerekse Cumhuriyet doneminde tum Kurt isyanlarinin demokratik muhtevada olduklarini savundu.

Cited in "Muzaffer Orucoglu Anlatiyor: Zavot'tan Vartinik'e. Soylesi: Ibrahim Ekinci", Ayrinti Yayinlari, Istanbul, 2016, p.110

Genclerimiz, icinde bulundugumuz bu cetin donemde, Nazim'in siirlerini ve 1961'de Kamuran Bedirhan'a yazdigi mektubu ozellikle okumalidir. Nazim o mektubunun bir yerinde soyle der: "Turkiye Cumhuriyeti'nin kurulusundan sonra Turk idarecileri ve egemen cevreleri Kurt hareketinin tanimayi vaat ettikleri millet ve insan haklarini tanimadi, hatta isi Kurt milletinin millet olarak varligini bile inkara kadar goturdu. Bu devir, Turk idarecilerinin ve egemen siniflarinin emperyalizmle uzlasmaya baslamasi devridir." Nazim'in gunesi zaptetme cagrisi, dunyanin her noktasinda ayni guce, ayni parlakliga sahiptir. Insanin kurtulusu, Nazim gibi sairlerin insan ruhunda vatanlasmasindan gececektir.

Cited in "Muzaffer Orucoglu Anlatiyor: Zavot'tan Vartinik'e. Soylesi: Ibrahim Ekinci", Ayrinti Yayinlari, Istanbul, 2016, p.199
Thomas Michael Bower British Journalist, Author, 1946-...) 
At Patton's Munich headquarters, there was much talk about the threat of communism-a strange paradox considering that for nearly four years the Soviets had been America's allies. Some of the Vaivada's fellow officers seemed more concerned about the Reds than about the Nazis, whose entrenched power and influence was still so pervasive around Bavaria. Many would say that their prejudice stemmed from the episode in May 1945 when the Third Army came face to face with the Red Army in Czechoslovakia. Unlike the joyous scenes recorded by an American army cameraman when the two victorious armies met on the banks of the River Elbe, the encounter near Pilsen was tense and unfriendly, inducing American officers to turn a blind eye as ther subordinates helped trapped Wehrmacht units and fugitive SS officers escape westwards. Others would say that the Third Army took their lead from their commander, George Patton, who quipped that the Russians were 'a scurvy race, Mongolian and permanently drunk'. 

Tom Bower, "The Red Web-MI6 and the KGB Master Coup", Mandarin Paperbacks, Great Britain, 1993, p.71

Oliver Sacks (Widow of Aziz Nesin, Turkish Writer)

For my father, having a good name, shem tov, being respected by others, was all-important-more important than any particular worldly success or power. He was modest, even self deprecatory, about himself. He downplayed the fact that he was, among other things, a remarkable diagnostician; specialists often send him their most puzzling cases, knowing that he had an uncanny ability to come up with unexpected diagnoses. But he felt secure and quietly happy in his own work, his own place in the world, the good reputation and name he bore. He hoped that all his sons, whatever we did, would also earn good names for ourselves and not dishonor the name of Sacks. 

Oliver Sacks, "On The Move-A Life", Picador, an imprint of Pan Macmillan, London, 2015, pp.155-156

We arrived early, then, and whiled away the hours in a meandering  conversation; it was only later, when he left, that I realized that all the amblings and meanderings returned to one point: that the focus of the conversation was farewell-to us, to those thirty-three years, half of his life, which he had spent in the United States (he used to call himself a transatlantic Goethe, only half jokingly). Just before the call for the plane, a complete stranger came up and stuttered, "You must be Mr Auden...We have been honored to have you in our country, sir. You'll always be welcome back here as an honored guest-and a friend." He stuck out his hand, saying, "Good-bye, Mr. Auden, God bless you for everything!" and Wystan shook it with great cordiality. He was much moved; there were tears in his eyes. I turned to Wystan and asked whether such encounters were common. 

"Common," he said, "but never common. There is a genuine love in these casual encounters." As the decorous stranger discreetly retired, I asked Wystan how he experienced the world, whether he thought of it as being a very small or very large place.

"Neither," he replied. "Neither large nor small. Cozy, cozy." He added in an undertone, "Like home." 

Oliver Sacks, "On The Move-A Life", Picador, an imprint of Pan Macmillan, London, 2015, p.199

The act of writing, when it goes well, gives me a pleasure, a joy, unlike any other. It takes me to another place-irrespective of my subject-where I am totally absorbed and oblivious to distracting thoughts, worries, preoccupations, or indeed the passage of time. In those rare, heavenly states of mind, I may write nonstop until I can no longer see the paper. Only then do I realize that everything has come and that I have been writing all day.

Over a lifetime, I have written millions of words, but the act of writing seems as fresh, and as much fun, as when I started it nearly seventy years ago. 

Oliver Sacks, "On The Move-A Life", Picador, an imprint of Pan Macmillan, London, 2015, p.384
Edward P. Djerejian (American Diplomat of Armenian descent, 1939-...) 
Afghanistan is in a major transitional stage that will require sustained and comprehensive support and commitment from the international community. Security, stabilization, and developmental operations are the key to success or failure. A United States General said, "We aren't losing, but we aren't winning either." He underscored the need for building national Afghan army and police force to establish the conditions of security that can enable economic and infrastructure development such as basic services and roads-a top priority for Afghans. He is quoted as saying, "Where roads end, the Taliban begins." 

Edward P. Djerejian with William Martin, "Danger and Opportunity-A American Ambassador's Journey Through the Middle East", Threshold Editions, A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. New York, 2008, p.8

In his book No God But God, Reza Aslan emphasizes the importance of distinguishing between secularism and secularization. Citing Harvard theologian Harvey Cox, he observes that

secularization is the process by which "certain responsibilities pass from ecclesiastical to political authorities," whereas secularism is an ideology based on the eradication of religion from public life. Secularization implies a historical evolution in which society gradually frees itself from "religious control and closed metaphysical world-views." Secularism is itself a closed metaphysical world-view which, according to Cox, "functions very much like a new religion..." What is important for Muslims to understand is that it is pluralism, not secularism, that defines democracy in a major way. A democracy can be established upon a normative moral framework as long as pluralism remains the source of its legitimacy... Islam had a long commitment to religious pluralism... The foundation of Islamic pluralism can be summed up in one indisputable [Qur'anic] verse: "There can be no compulsion in religion" (Sura 2:256)...Grounding an Islamic democracy in the ideals of pluralism is vital because religious pluralism is the first step toward building an effective human rights policy in the Middle East.

What also needs to be conveyed more clearly to Muslims in the region is that United States is a secularized country with full freedom of religion for all. Muslims need also to understand that, despite being both officially secular and astonishingly pluralistic, the United States offers full freedom of religion for all and is one of the most religiously vibrant countries in the world.

Edward P. Djerejian with William Martin, "Danger and Opportunity-A American Ambassador's Journey Through the Middle East", Threshold Editions, A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. New York, 2008, p.32

(...) In the classic film Lawrence of Arabia, Prince Faisal, a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad whom T.E.Lawrence had seen as the best hope to lead the Arab revolt against the fading Ottoman Empire, says to Lawrence, "I long for the gardens of Cordoba."

Faisal did not mean he wished to be in Spain; he was recalling a lost Golden Age. Within a hundred years after Muhammad's death in 632 C.E., Islam spread from Arabia westward to Spain and eastward ti India, consequently becoming the enlivening spirit of rich and flourishing centers of civilization. It was one of the more remarkable movements in human history, and its success was seen as proof that it was of God." 

Over the next five hundred years, Muslim dynasties centered in Damascus, Baghdad, Cordoba, and Cairo created and presided over the world's leading intellectual and cultural centers. In an effort to gather and preserve existing knowledge, Muslim scholars translated the classic works of Greek antiquity into Arabic, thus preserving them for later transmission to the Christian West. But they were not simply archivists. Dedicated to education, creative Muslims made stunning advances in virtually every field of knowledge-philosophy, the sciences, literature and the arts, architecture, and, particularly, mathematics.

Edward P. Djerejian with William Martin, "Danger and Opportunity-A American Ambassador's Journey Through the Middle East", Threshold Editions, A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. New York, 2008, p.33

I first saw Beirut in 1965, through the window of an airplane landing in the thick of the night. For a young American diplomat on his first foreign assignment, the glittering array of lights, sharply edged by the darkness of the Eastern Mediterranean, was captivating. 

Edward P. Djerejian with William Martin, "Danger and Opportunity-A American Ambassador's Journey Through the Middle East", Threshold Editions, A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. New York, 2008, p.63

All the governments of Israel have decided that if we want democracies to emerge in the Arab world to negotiate peace, we will have to wait a hundred years.

Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, January 17, 1994  

Cited in Edward P. Djerejian with William Martin, "Danger and Opportunity-A American Ambassador's Journey Through the Middle East", Threshold Editions, A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. New York, 2008, p.109

(...) Commenting on the strategic relationship between Israel and the United States, Peres recounted an amusing story about Golda Meir, who once complained to the American ambassador, Wally Barbour, that the United States could not treat Israel the way it had been doing.

"After all," she said, "we are an independent country." Barbour, after inhaling from his allergy sniffer, replied, "Madame, the United States was the first country to recognize Israel's independence. The question I have for you, Madame Prime Minister, is, 'Does Israel recognize the independence of the United States?'"" 

Edward P. Djerejian with William Martin, "Danger and Opportunity-A American Ambassador's Journey Through the Middle East", Threshold Editions, A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. New York, 2008, p.131
In a subsequent discussion, Prime Minister Rabin told me that "we support a democratic Palestinian state as a lnog-term goal, but in the Arab world democracy is in the hands of leaders with a gun and military, security, and intelligence services. Palestinians first need the basic necessities of life-food, jobs, health services, education; then they can think of democracy. Democracy in the Arab world is like waiting for the Mesiah." 

Edward P. Djerejian with William Martin, "Danger and Opportunity-A American Ambassador's Journey Through the Middle East", Threshold Editions, A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. New York, 2008, p.135

An old frog was on the bank of the Nile River, getting ready to swim to the other side, when a scorpion approached him and asked if he could hitch a ride across the river on the frog's back. The frog looked at the scorpion and said, "Do you think I am suicidal? If I carry you, you could sting me." The scorpion replied, "Don't be ridiculous, if I sting you, we would both drown." The frog thought a bit and said, "You are right; hope on." Halfway across the river, the scorpion stings the frog and in great pain the frog turns his head and says, "Why did you do that? Now we will both drown." The scorpion smiles and replies, "Welcome to the Middle East!"  

Edward P. Djerejian with William Martin, "Danger and Opportunity-A American Ambassador's Journey Through the Middle East", Threshold Editions, A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. New York, 2008, p.151

(...) According to one account, an American missionary advised Gertrude Bell, the well-known British Arabist who was working for the Crown on a unity scheme for the Mesopotamian provinces, "You are flying in the face of four millennia of history, if you try to draw a line around Iraq and call it a political entity." 

Edward P. Djerejian with William Martin, "Danger and Opportunity-A American Ambassador's Journey Through the Middle East", Threshold Editions, A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. New York, 2008, p.8

I have often commented to my colleagues in the Sate Department that, in dealing with the Iranians, you always have to keep one hand on your wallet. They are the craftiest negotiators in the Middle East and they should never be underestimated. But neither should we make Iran into more of a power than it is.  

Edward P. Djerejian with William Martin, "Danger and Opportunity-A American Ambassador's Journey Through the Middle East", Threshold Editions, A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. New York, 2008, p.204

Jean-David Levitte, the former ambassador of France to the United States and now French President Nicolas Sarkozy's national security advisor, told the New Yorker's Adam Gopnik, "When Sarkozy met with [Secretary of State] Condolezza Rice, she said, "What can I do for you?" And he said, bluntly, "Improve your image in the world. Its difficult when the country that is the most powerful, the most successful-that is, of necessity, the leader of our side-is one of the most unpopular countries in the world. It presents overwhelming problems for you and overwhelming problems for your allies. So do everything you can do to improve the way you are perceived-that's what you can do for me." With guarded optimism, he added, "I think it's entirely possible; the reservoir of good will has been drained somewhat, but it is far from dry."

Edward P. Djerejian with William Martin, "Danger and Opportunity-A American Ambassador's Journey Through the Middle East", Threshold Editions, A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. New York, 2008, p.232

European governments have demonstrated, despite historical knowledge of and experience in the Middle East, a kind of myopia when dealing with Islam in their own societies. The pressing economic and security requirements of large immigrant Muslim populations in their countries, while obviously important in their domestic political calculations, have dominated their decision-making, hindering a focus on the need for a more comprehensive approach. I believe that one important difference between the American and the European experiences concerning immigrant populations that American model is based on assimilation and the European one more on equality before the law, but with social differentiation that leads to ghetto mentalities and even violence, as seen in recent years in the urban riots by Muslim youth in France.  

Edward P. Djerejian with William Martin, "Danger and Opportunity-A American Ambassador's Journey Through the Middle East", Threshold Editions, A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. New York, 2008, p.253

First published here in March 2009 with ensuing additions.