M.A.Rasulzadeh – Ottoman Liberty

There is no person that doesn’t know how Turkish people struggle under tyrants standing on their destructive government. Nowadays when you hear the name “Turkey” you immediately think of a dark prison where insects called “agents” harass simple children of the country – this the situation Abdulhamid’s absolute rule turned Turkey into.

 

In order to escape this despotic rule, different ethnicities in Turkey had to think about achieving independence they lost at first. [Ethnicity of] Turks who are considered as masters of Turkey had to struggle with these “enemies” and “rebels”, commit massacres and oppression. Turkish citizens who were ignorant of real situation – Turks and non-Turks made themselves of enemies to the point of making their common enemies happier. This caused loss of many provinces. Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria and other monarchies achieved independence; country is ruled by massacres and rivalries; security, prosperity and trade fell to almost non-existence.

 

Turkish citizens who saw this situation started to seek solutions. Everyone has their own interpretation of a solution. Every ethnicity thought of themselves, which caused same tyranny, despotism, chaos to rise more and more.

 

Even though it’s horrible for ethnicities to act that way, it’s kind of natural to a degree. Because when a non-progressive ethnicity sees a tyrant of another ethnicity that oppresses them, they doesn’t see misery fell upon them as a cause of that exact tyrant, but of whole other ethnicity. This is what caused Armenians, one of the people of oppressed ethnicities sought to achieve liberty through establish an independent government under nationalist Dashnaksutyun party leadership. This, however, didn’t bring anything but harm to Armenians of Turkey. They struggled so much, but they didn’t get anything but anger from Turkish government. Sultan in his turn increased his tyranny towards Armenians under his yoke.

 

After many suffering and troubles there are certain people among Armenian ethnicity who came to a conclusion that this movement is useless as all Turkish nation. Both Turks and Armenians understood and liberty does not lie in separatism and antagonism but unity and alliance. Therefore independence ideas slowly gave way to internationalist ideas among Armenians. Formerly ignorant Young Turks allied with Armenian friends. Their goal is to establish an Ottoman Parliament and free citizens of despotic rule through constitutional rule.  In order to achieve this they call to all Turkish citizens from whatever ethnicity, religion or gender to join them and get out of this destruction vortex. Armenians belonging to this noble party right now are working on “Yerkir Dzayn” which aims to establish friendly terms between Turks and Armenians by emulating Council of State (Shurai Dawlat – Ottoman Turkish: شوراى دولت)

 

Young Turks don’t stand still either, although they don’t have special publication about this, they don’t forget about our region. For example, we quote some parts of article written by Ali Haydar – son of Mithat Pasha, who was author of Ottoman Constitution – that was published on 25th issue of “Füyuzat” magazine.

 

Honorable author writes exactly this:

“The tyranny Turks are facing today are also faced by Armenians and Greeks… A transgression and insult to an Armenian and a Greek’s rights is also observed towards a Turk and a Muslim’s rights. If Armenians can ally and unite with us on this subject, why we should judge a whole ethnicity because some 5-10 Armenian separatists?”

 

Existence of liberty and happiness depends on alliance of different ethnic communities and classes. It is a truth that can be confirmed every nations’ history. Ottoman Armenians and Turks already understood this truth, now they are printing and publishing these ideas around. We Russian, Caucasian Armenians and Turks also need to understand and accept the fact that our alliance is the only way towards our common goal!

This article by Rasulzadeh is from his socialist era when he was in “Hümmət” (Muslim Social Democratic Party) based in Baku. Article was first appeared on 29 August 1907 at “Yoldaş” (Comrade) an organ of MSDP. Translated from Azerbaijani by Cavid Ağa.