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First Edition , . . October, 1917
Reprinted .... November, 1917

All rights reserved



THE writer of this journal had previously
resided at Constantinople from 1906 to 1909,
during the later years of Abdul Hamid's reign
and the period of the Turkish Revolution,
first as Secretary, and later as Councillor and
Charge! d' Affaires at the American Embassy.
He left Constantinople in the autumn of 1909,
Turcophile in his sympathies, sharing the
enthusiasm of those who had witnessed the
downfall of the Hamidian despotism and
the birth of what they hoped would be a
regenerated Turkey. He was sent there
again early in 1915 by the Secretary of State
as Special Agent to assist the Ambassador in
the protection of the interests of the Entente

-for the American Embassy was then in
charge of the Allied interests, other than those
of Italy, which had not yet entered the war, and
Russia, both of which it subsequently assumed.
He remained there until September of the same
year, when he was sent to Sofia as American
Diplomatic Representative in charge of British

For one in official life the keeping of a diary
is always a delicate matter. It was only at
the inception of the Dardanelles Expedition,





with all its historic promise, that the writer
decided to jot down each day's occurrences and
reports. The hope that the Golden Horn
would then change its masters has not materia-
lized, and few conditions can be conceived more
painful than those existing at Constantinople
for the many who, like the writer, were of strong
Allied sympathy. Yet the record of one who in
common with others there lived through anxious
days may not be without interest.

The entry of America into the war has
removed the impediment to a publication which
would otherwise have been impossible before
many years. Under existing circumstances,
however, it appears an obligation to cast what
light one can on German action in Turkey and
the revolting crime of the Armenian massacres.
If this journal can help in any small degree
to fix attention on the sufferings of the Arme-
nian community and the reparation due, it will
not have been written in vain.

In reading the pages of this diary practically
no corrections have been made. It seemed
better to leave this as it was written, with its
absence of perspective and even its errors where
these have occurred, rather than to recast it in
the light of later events. The diarist is rarely
able to weigh evidence, and has to include
fragmentary and even piecemeal scraps. Much


that may appear irrelevant has been retained on
this ground, for even in historic moments life
remains a mosaic. The only omissions have
been with respect to certain personalities and
references likely to be detrimental to those
mentioned, most of whom are still in Turkey.
These, however, are rarely of a nature to in-
terest the general reader. They concern for
the most part Ottoman subjects, and especially
Armenians, who were the main sufferers for the
Allies' failure at the Dardanelles.

Massacre to the Western mind presupposes
an antecedent condition of intense hatred.
Those better acquainted with the East know
that no such feelings are necessary. There
was never less fanaticism than existed between
Turk and Armenian in the early spring of
1915. The policy of murder then carried out
was planned in the coldest blood. "We fear
them," Talaat has said in private talk. " We
learned our revolutionary organization from
them. They know our secrets/' The superior
capacity of the Armenians appeared a menace
to an organization which can brook no opposi-
tion. Yet the massacres might never have
occurred without the fatal attack of the Allies
on March 18. Until then the nervousness of
the Turkish Government, as shown by the pre-
parations made for its transfer to the interior


of Asia Minor, acted as a restraint. Only after
the fleet's repulse had instilled belief in the
impregnability of the Straits did the Turkish
Government dare to begin its fiendish policy of

The Armenian massacres, which were offici-
ally styled deportations, were undertaken under
the plea of military necessity. But the military
direction was German, and the latter will find it
difficult to escape the gravest blame for acqui-
escence in a crime which far surpasses in its
horror even the crime of Belgium. Though in
later years German officialdom may seek to
disclaim responsibility, the broad fact remains
of German military direction at Constantinople,
and the intimate association between the two
countries during the brief period in which took
place the virtual extermination of the Armenian
race in Asia Minor.

The writer's stay at Constantinople coin-
cided with these massacres, the full horror of
which took time to realize. It coincided also
with the entry of Italy into the war, the crises
in the Balkans, the inertia at Athens, the ferment
at Bucarest, and the desertion of Sofia. And
though the Bulgarian barometer fell with the
Russian retreat from the Carpathians, Con-
stantinople was still the centre which influenced
the Eastern theatre of the war.






The E 15 Police seize Toy Soldiers Enver's Tale
News of the Landing A Turkish Victory French
Sisters The First Wounded The Sultan proclaimed
Ghazi I




Turkish Arguments The Greek Dispute The Fate of
the Convents The German Ambassador Turks and
Germans Abdul Hamid in Captivity Hostages are
dispatched Protection of Interests The Wounded
Italian Interests In the Hospitals Incitement to
Murder Disarming the Christians The Hostages
at Gallipoli Entente ErrorsGerman Views of the
War Austrians wish for Peace Germans and India
Armenian Persecution Eyoub Talaat and Enver
Turkish Moral Dum-dums German Gold ar-
rives Turkish Reinforcements Pan-Islamism
Daring British Submarine Loss of the Majestic
Submarine Bases Bulgaria Krupp's Workmen

arrive The Agamemnon German Submarines . 1 1





Orphans expelled The Balkans prepare An Old Turk-
German Predictions Turkish Fears An Armistice
Plans against Suez The Goeben Eastern Poetry
A Policy of Ruin Hindenburg Enver and the
Prisoners Bulgaria's Attitude America and the
War Turkish Nervousness Will America join?
Misery in the Interior Armenians hanged Pro-
Germans in Greece Espionage and Murder
Turkish Forces Anxious Unrest The Causes of
the War Enver's Career Expulsions Fighting at
Dardanelles Operation on the Sultan Rumours
from Sofia Conditions in Persia Reports from
Dardanelles News from Bagdad Desperate
Fighting German Methods U 51 The Turkish
Succession 83




American Red Cross Persecution of Armenians
Military Service Unpopular Arrival of Munitions
Turkish Finance Club Elections Suspicions
The Defences at Gallipoli Talaat Christians in the
Army The Grand Vizier Constructing a Barrage
Torture of Armenians German Forecasts The
Breslau injured Hospital Ships Balkan Royalties
Prisoners in Hospitals A Corrupt Judge Driving



Allies into the Sea Situation at Gallipoli A
Destructive Fire Turkish Resources Liman von
Sanders Position of Roumania 155



Liman remains Italian Ultimatum Prince Bur-
haneddin Secret Turkish Plots More Germans
arrive Armenian Persecutions Arab Soldiers
The Suvla Landing Treatment of Prisoners-
Massacre of Armenians Intrigues in Greece
Enver's Optimism British Prisoners The Battle of
the Marne Grand Vizier's Predictions Scarcity of
Foodstuffs Alarm about Bagdad Departure of the
Italians Russian Difficulties The Armenian Per-
secution Admiral Souchow The Turkish Character
The Late Khedive Russian " Graft "Travel
Difficulties Situation at Dardanelles The Case
of Ipramazian Bulgarian Policy .... 209




Attitude of Bulgaria Arab Plot Prisoners-
Requisitions Bedri Turco-Bulgarian Agreement-
Bulgaria's Compensation Armenian Persecution
Serbia A Prophecy Forced Celebration . . . 270


DURING the early part of 1915 it became
increasingly evident that the general military
situation offered little hope of early solution.
The Russians were still on the lower slopes of
the Carpathians, unable to make headway.
Italy was wavering in suspense. The Balkans
had not yet declared themselves.

The project of the Dardanelles promised to
accomplish what was elsewhere impossible.
Yet in spite of its brilliant prospects it was
less convincing to Athens and Sofia than might
have been supposed. At Athens the General
Staffs prophecy of failure confirmed its credit
with the King in moulding his subsequent
policy, while Bulgaria, with fresh experience
from the Balkan wars, felt that it lay within her
power almost at any time to make the expedi-
tion fail or succeed, and shaped her attitude in
accordance with the military situation of Russia.

The bombardment of the entrance forts at
the Dardanelles, however, threw consternation

xiii p


into Turkey. The prospective fall of Con-
stantinople was anticipated by both Germans
and Turks, and every preparation was made
for the immediate evacuation of the capital and
the transfer of the seat of government to
Eski Chehir, in the interior of Asia Minor.
During this period of uncertainty the Germans
were especially apprehensive lest the Turks
should make a separate peace. Not one of
their promises for the conquest of Tiflis,
Tabreez, and Cairo had been realized, and
Turkish participation in the war had led only
to disappointment. The expedition against the
Caucasus ended in disaster, and an army perished
in its snows. The Turks had reached Tabreez
only to be driven out again. The expedition
against Egypt narrowly escaped destruction, and
the ball which its commander promised to give
at Shepheard's hotel was unavoidably post-
poned. Basrah and Van were lost, and Bulgaria
was still a dangerous menace. The credit of
the Committee of Union and Progress, which
rules Turkey, was then at its lowest ebb. The
treasury was empty, the country on the verge of
ruin, while everywhere prevailed dissatisfaction
of a kind which another reverse might easily
have changed into armed revolt.

At this juncture, and just as the situation
looked blackest for the clique in power, the


disastrous attempt to force the Straits on March
1 8 gave it new hope and the much-needed
prestige of victory. The damage inflicted
by the fleet against the land defences was so
trifling l that the Turks became confident in the
impregnability of the Dardanelles, and a change
of attitude on their part, determined by this
conviction, was at once noticeable. It was
realized that the English forces then on the
Islands were insufficient for the military effort
demanded by the situation. The Turks, who
were bringing up reinforcements from all over
the empire as rapidly as their inadequate means
of communication permitted, and who were
everywhere training fresh levies, felt that each
hour that passed increased their strength.
Under German direction they set to work to
fortify the Straits to resist an attack, the success
of which was soon pronounced impossible.
Immediately after March 18, when Liman von
Sanders assumed command of the mobile de-
fences at the Dardanelles, he declared that in
ten days' time he could make these impregnable,
and instead five weeks' delay was allowed him
to complete his preparations.

During those five weeks, which the expe-
ditionary force spent mainly in Egypt, much

1 The report that the ammunition of the forts was nearly ex-
hausted after this attack is almost certainly without foundation.


uncertainty prevailed at Constantinople as to
their intentions, and many believed that the
project against the Straits had been definitely
abandoned. The landing took by surprise
those who were not in the confidence of the
military, and even these did not anticipate its
date. The writer's narrative begins just before
it occurred, and opens with an account of the
capture of the crew of an English submarine,
the 15, which had run aground in a plucky
attempt to force the Straits.




April 23. Since Eddies' wire came I have
tried my best to see F. and the other survivors
of the E 15, but it is impossible, and even the
fact that they are here has been difficult enough
to find out. At the War Office no one save
Enver dares take the slightest responsibility,
and the latter is hardly ever there. He is at
the Palace, or on manoeuvres or on some
inspection, and things are at a standstill while
he is away. He is no longer the modest young
officer fresh from Macedonia I knew in 1908,
who blushed professionally when praised as
a "hero of liberty." The Bulgarian Minister
calls him "the Prophet of the Prophet," and
on either side of his desk at the War Office
hang portraits of Napoleon and Frederick the
Great !


The Germans, however, have charge of all
the technical departments, which fortunately
for the Turks run smoothly. " Deutschland
liber Allah " they say here. There may be a
reason why no one is allowed to see the
prisoners. Report has it that they sank the
Torgout Reis and ran ashore on the way
out, but this I know to be untrue. P., the
former Vice-Consul at the Dardanelles, who
was captured with them, is to be tried as a spy,
convicted, sentenced to death, and then pardoned
at the last moment. 1 The Turks did not at
once realize that the 15 had run aground.
They opened fire, and one of the first shots
struck the conning tower and cut the command-
ing officer in two, the lower part of his body
falling at P/s feet. Another shell burst in
the ammonia tank and fumes asphyxiated six
sailors ; the others jumped overboard. When
the Turks saw these swimming they went to
their rescue at no little risk, for the current was
running strong. The English dead were buried
on the beach ; but as soon as Djevad Pasha,
the commandant, heard of this, he gave orders
that they be reinterred in the British cemetery,
and a service said over their remains. The
prisoners have, so far, been well treated. Djevad
said they were fighting for their country, and
1 This idea was later abandoned.


all he hoped was that if he or any of his men
fell into the Allies' hands they would be equally
well cared for. The German officers have been
appreciative of the attempt to blow up the
15. They recognized it as a very plucky
enterprise. " I take off my hat to the English
Navy," one of them declared.

I hear that a battery of howitzers which
was used by the Turks in the Suez campaign
is now at the Dardanelles. The Adrianople
forts have long ago been stripped of their
guns to send there.

April 24. The Director of the Bon March
called here this morning at the Embassy. The
police entered his premises yesterday and
seized some French toy soldiers. To-day he
was asked to sign a paper by which he
acknowledged that French uniforms, flags, and
military emblems had been found in his
possession. Word will be sent to Bedri 1 not
to allow his men to make themselves ridiculous.
When I mentioned it at dinner at the C.'s,
Munir Bey flared up and said it was impossible.
I have just heard that my old Turkish
master, G. Bey, is editing their news bulletins
of victory. He is a strong Committee man
now. Once he told me that the Committee
and their enemies were " Tous les deux des

1 The Chief of Police.


canailles," and wept at his country's . mis-

April 25. The Russians bombarded the
Bosphorus forts this morning. Shells fell as
far as Beicos and Buyukdere, and an Italian
steamer lying off the quay had a narrow escape.
The bombardment was distinctly heard here,
and the windows rattled in the houses near
the German Embassy. In the afternoon word
came of the bombardment at the Dardanelles
and that the Allies were landing. Yet Pera
wears its customary Sunday appearance of
crowded streets. There are no details and
only rumours. There have been wholesale
arrests of Armenians several hundreds are
being deported to Angora and Konia.

Returning to the chancery in the evening
I learned that some of the French sisters of
the Rue Tamtam and Kadikeui had been
driven out by the police.

Too many events for one day, one's head is
a jumble.

April 26. I went to see the Mother
Superior of the Convent. The Turkish police,
led by an Imam who is also deputy from
Castamouni, entered the Convent premises the
day before, and ordered every one out. The
girls were not even allowed to take their
nightdresses, and though their table was set


they could not remove their knives and forks.
The Mother Superior, a quiet Frenchwoman,
related the incident very calmly. She told me
they were gradually being stripped of their
means of livelihood. Their school had first
been taken and the Turks were now collecting
the rent of the shops below which belonged
to their endowment. I promised to see Shukri l
about it, but gave little encouragement. Pass-
ing by I stopped at the Austrian Embassy and
had a chat with T. on his favourite topic the
supposed imbecility of the English in making
war. He seems excited whenever he alludes
to it, though he calls himself a former Anglo-

No news as yet from the Dardanelles, but
there is an ill-suppressed restlessness.

April 27. The Sultan's accession day.
Enver told every one at the Palace that not
a single ally was left on the Asiatic side.
There are everywhere reports of their complete
defeat at the Dardanelles. Ten thousand
killed, thirty thousand prisoners it is said. No
one believes in Turkish victories, but still one
feels horribly blue. I went to the Dutch
Legation " at home " to see the military
attache's, who knew as little as the rest. Colonel
M. was told at the German Embassy that the

1 The Minister of Public Instruction.


Allies had raised the white flag and all was
over. One feels depressed. It is sickening
to think of all the loss of life for nothing some
one has blundered. The English have here
all along. After the Revolution they held
Turkey in their hands, but refused to make
friends with the Committee and allowed the
Germans to capture this ; they erred over
Adrianople, during the second Balkan War,
when Asquith declared the Turks, would not
be allowed to stay there, and last August when
they seized the two Turkish Dreadnoughts,
and the money with them, instead of sending
them here under British officers to control the
Straits. When they let in the Goeben, and
the fleet failed to follow and sink her in the
Dardanelles. When they did not deliver an
ultimatum to Turkey to dismiss the German
officers and crew. Then they blundered when
they did not attack the Dardanelles while the
forts were still unprepared, but waited till March
1 8, and allowed the Turks time to strengthen
the defences. The upshot of it all lies in this
tragedy. When Liman von Sanders left for
the Dardanelles he said that in ten days he
would make these impregnable, and instead
he was given more than a month. The Grande
Rue was thronged with the usual crowd in-
different to victory or defeat. There are flags


everywhere by police order. The Sultan has
just been made Ghasi. 1

I hear that the Germans, who were worried
enough on Sunday and even Monday, are now
certain of victory. They have given out that
it was complete and all was over.

April 28. H.'s birthday. We are too de-
pressed to celebrate. Captain W. has just
returned from the Dardanelles. He gave his
word not to let out anything until he returned
to America. He had witnessed the entire
bombardment, but only knew of the land fight
from hearsay. He had seen some French
colonial infantry brought in after an eighteen-
mile march. He spoke in the highest terms
of Djevad Pasha, who is in command of the
forts. Usedom and Mertens are his advisers,
while Liman commands the field army. The
relations between Germans and Turks he
found friendly, and came back much impressed
by the excellence of the dispositions. He had
witnessed one submarine fight where an English
boat passed the minefields, but fired its
torpedoes without success. He thought the
fighting had finished by a complete repulse.
There are rumours to the contrary. At the
Club I asked General P. whether it was all
over, but he pleaded ignorance. I saw N., who

1 The title of conqueror.


told me positively that the Russians landed
this morning at Midia ! The Greek waiter who
heard it was crazy with joy. It is hard to
control one's excitement. The Turks admitted
that their only danger lay in a double simulta-
neous attack. Helene rushed off to tell Mrs J.,
depressed by the other news. I brought the
report to the Embassy, but on inquiring from
Enver I learn that there is no truth in it.
At the Dardanelles they still are fighting at
the point. The complete victory of the day
before was manufactured for the Sultan's acces-
sion day. What the real situation is we do not
know and may not for days. In the evening B.
brings in word that a huge allied force holds
the two points Seddulbahr and Kumkaleh.

April 29. They are still fighting, and the
Turco- German accounts of complete victory
were at least premature. It is amusing to see
how they juggle their bulletins, which are vague
enough to admit of anything. The Turks have
arrested the managers of the Bon Marche and
" Baker's " for not illuminating to celebrate the
Sultan's accession day. Bedri intends to bring
both before the military court-martial, and is
very obstinate about it. Two French priests
are still in prison awaiting trial. They are
charged with having concealed writing under
the postage stamps a lie no doubt.


April 30. Went to the French convent to
inform them of my talk with the Minister of
Public Instruction. Shukri is responsible for
their persecution. The sisters told me that
the ruffians proceeded with their inventory
in the very room where a nun lay dying.
Since the police have entered, the sisters no
longer enjoy privacy, outside their own rooms.
Walking back through Galata I saw troops
returning from the Selamlik, the first after
the Sultan's proclamation as Ghazi. How
many more Selamliks will there be at Santa
Sophia !

At tea at the Swedish Legation I had a
long talk with the Persian Ambassador, who
told me he would not permit the use of Turkish
at his Embassy. He wanted to preserve the
Persian tongue. " Je suis fanatique sur cela."
He is closer to Europe than to Turkey. Dis-
cussed the inevitable Dardanelles with Colonel
M. We can only make surmises. He thinks
it a mistake to have made the chief landing
at Kaba Tepe 1 instead of Seddulbahr far
more costly in men and counter attacks more
likely to succeed as the flanks cannot be pro-
tected. Still, if the Allies have already main-
tained themselves five days the balance is likely
to incline in their favour. Colonel M. walked

1 Anzac.i


back with me to the Embassy, and while chat-
ting with him at the gate, tramcars full of
wounded passed before us. Two transports
have arrived with three thousand wounded
from the Dardanelles.



May i. Busy with the Armenian matter.
The Allies' repulse !on March 18, precipitated
the crisis. The Patriarch has interested the
Italians as well as Washington in his people.
Here as elsewhere the Government seems bent
on breaking the last remnants of political op-
position. They have crushed the Turkish
opposition, they expelled the Greeks, and now
is the Armenians* turn and all this while
the Empire is threatened on every side. This
mixture of unconsciousness, calm confidence,
brutality and cruelty is extraordinary. At the
Club the men who govern gamble daily :

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Online LibraryLewis EinsteinInside Constantinople [microform] : a diplomatist's diary during the Dardanelles expedition, April-September, 1915 → online text (page 1 of 16)