British propaganda leaflets

Discussions on the final era of the Ottoman Empire, from the Young Turk Revolution of 1908 until the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923.
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Peter H
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British propaganda leaflets

Post by Peter H » 22 Mar 2007 13:25


Mavi Boncuk |Front and back of British leaflet to Turks – Well fed prisoners of war.

The British dropped photographs showing cheerful well-fed prisoners on a "chow line"over Turkish troops in April 1917. The leaflets were dropped from seaplanes stationed at British bases on the islands of Thasos and Mitylene. The text in Turkish is, "You will gather from this photograph that stories concerning the maltreatment of prisoners of war by the British is without any basis. Those who surrender to the British are not only fed with white bread and delicious dishes of food, but they are also treated in a friendly manner. When you show this photograph at any British military station you will receive a courteous welcome and you will be sent to headquarters as a friend." Additional English-language text is, "The bearer should be taken to the nearest headquarters. He is friendly, should be treated well and allowed to keep this photograph."

The British had four squadrons of aircraft in the northern Aegean Islands covering the Dardenelles approaches. They were the 220, 221, 222, and 223 squadrons. British aircraft were able to reach the old Turkish capitol of Constantinople (now Istanbul) and drop both bombs and leaflets.

The leaflet raids originated from the island base on Imbros, nearest to Constantinople. One leaflet is alleged to have text, "Cursed by Talaat, Enver, and Hairi. If a government does not act in accordance with the will of the nation, it deserves to die with all its sons...The whole Turkish Empire is in the hands of the government, who will surely bring about Turkey's end, and if Talaat and Enver, who sold the country, are allowed to remain in power we shall have no course open to us but to shed our tears awaiting our last days."

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