Adrianople 1913

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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Adrianople 1913

Post by Peter H » 22 Apr 2007 02:06

The ordeal of the Turkish prisoners who went into captivity when Adrianople fell,March 1913.

Erickson Defeat in Detail,page 280:
The captured soldiers and officers were collected over the next several days and sent to a large prisoner of war camp at Sarayici,an island in the Tunca River.The prisoners were allowed to bring their overcoats and blankets,but they were not permitted to bring rations.It took the Bulgarians almost a week to establish a logistical system capable of handling such large numbers of prisoners,and ,in the meantime,cholerea,dysentery,and other contagious diseases broke out in the camp..as a result many of those who had survived five months of siege died in captivity.

..The modern Turkish General Staff History notes that 13,000 men were killed[during the seige] and 28,500 survived captivity.However these numbers leave almost 20,000 men unaccounted for.

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 22 Apr 2007 02:12

Carnegie Report on the Balkan Wars,1914:

http://knigite.abv.bg/en/carnegie/index.html

Take, to begin with, the truly awful fate of the prisoners incarcerated in the island of Toundja, Sarai Eski. A member of the Commission visited the island. He saw how the bark had been torn off the trees, as high as a man could reach, by the starving prisoners. He even met on the spot an aged Turk who had spent a week there, and said he had himself eaten the bark. A little Turkish boy who looked after the cattle on the island, said that from across the river he had seen the prisoners eating the grass and made a gesture to show the inquirer how they did it.General Vasov stated in his deposition that he gave the prisoners permission to strip the bark off the trees for fuel, a fact confirmed by other trustworthy witnesses. The same general, from the second day on, ordered a quarter loaf to be distributed to the prisoners, which he took from the rations of the Bulgarian soldiery. This was confirmed by Major Mitov, who was entrusted with carrying out the order, which is moreover inscribed in the War Minister's archives. On the first day the victorious soldiery shared their bread with the prisoners and the starving populace. But touching incidents like this could not, any more than the general's order, supply the mass of the people with the food for lack of which they perished, and there are good grounds for believing that these poor wretches went on consuming the "unwholesome or poisonous" stuffs of which P. C. speaks.The mortality among the prisoners must have been severe, especially in the island, where cholera broke out again on the third or fourth day of the siege. There is evidence of a want of tents, which was indeed true of the whole army. The further fact that these unfortunate creatures passed the night exposed to all the rigors of rain and freezing mud, would in itself explain the increasing mortality. It is hardly possible to believe, after reading the descriptions published in the European press, for example Barzini's article in the Corriere delle Sera, that the isolation of the sick really had the good effects alleged by General Vasov.


The number of deaths has been variously estimated. Major Mitov speaks of thirty after the first morning. Major Choukri-bey, a captive officer, puts the number in a single day at a hundred; General Vasov estimated the total number of deaths at 100 or 200. The real figures must be higher. The Turk interrogated by the member of the Commission told him that the group in which he was consisted of some 1,800 persons confined in a narrow space indicated by a gesture. On the night of March 15, 187 of them, he said, died of cold and hunger. The witnesses, it may be noted, put disease second or third among the causes of death. The main cause was still, as during the siege, weakness and exhaustion resulting from starvation, the agonizing effects of which lasted not only during the five days of the final struggle of which Mr. Vasov speaks, but for months. It must certainly not be forgotten that the explosion of the bridge over the Arda, and the destruction of the Turkish depots, made it difficult to provide food for 55,000 prisoners and inhabitants. But when all these admissions have been made, there remains as a fact not to be denied, the cruel indifference in general to the lot of the prisoners. This fact is fully confirmed by the depositions of the captive Turkish officers at Sofia. One is therefore bound to admit that the conduct of the victors towards their captive foes left much to be desired. Some of the rigorous measures reported by Turkish officers might be given as a reason against the attempts to escape made by certain prisoners. But that can not explain everything: what about the vanquished who were bayoneted at night and their corpses left exposed in the streets till noon? The case reported by Mr. Machkov, of the Turkish captive officer who, being too weak to march, was slain by the Bulgarian soldiers in charge, as well as a Jew who had tried to defend him, is fully confirmed by a reserve officer, Hadji Ali, himself a prisoner at Sofia. Mr. Machkov gives the name of the compassionate Jew, Salomon Behmi; and at Constantinople the very words uttered, in Turkish, by this Jew, "Yazyk, wourma" ("It is a sin: do not kill,") were reported to the member of the Commission. Hadji Ali knew the name of the slain Turk, Captain Ismail-Youzbachi, and saw him fall with his own eyes. The explanation given by General Vasov and the Baroness Yxcoull proves that the death of the thirteen Turks slain in the mosque at Miri-Miran can not be laid at the Bulgarians' door; but the depositions of the Turkish soldiers concerning the murder of the sick and diseased prisoners on the Mustapha Pasha route are more than probably true.

Image

"Isle of Toundja-Trees stripped of bark which the prisoners ate"

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 22 Apr 2007 02:17

The Turks retook Adrianople in July 1913.

From the Carnegie Report.The legend of Rechid-bey.

http://knigite.abv.bg/en/carnegie/chapter3_1.html

Take one more detail in the same article. Mr. Loti speaks of a young Turkish officer, Rechid-bey, son of Fouad, "captured" by the Bulgarians in a final skirmish on the retreat. "They (the Bulgarians) tore out his two eyeballs," says our author, "cut off his two arms and then disappeared. This was their last crime." Assuredly Rechid's death did produce a profound impression in the Turkish army, where he had many friends. The Commission's investigator was shown the monument set up to his memory and recently consecrated on the Mustapha Pasha road. But as a matter of fact the Turk showed more equity than their admirer. When the investigator went to the office of the Tanine at Constantinople to verify the facts, he was told by the paper's special correspondent in Adrianople that in the affray Rechid had received a mortal wound from which death followed instantaneously. The mutilation was but too real; the torture, however, an absolute invention. Even at Adrianople people talked of Rechid's dismembered ears and hands—his hands being beautiful—but no one ever spoke of his eyes being put out.

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Post by Tosun Saral » 22 Apr 2007 10:51

There are defeats in life of every nation. We paid our mistake during 1870-1922 with high losses. It was our fould to underestimate the Christian civilization which prospered in XVIIth centuary.
The Turk is still alive.

Aubrey Herbert, who wrote a poem while watching a snowstorm dring Balkan War:
"There falls perpetual snow upon a broken plain.
And through the twilight filled with flakes,
the white earth joins the sky.
Grim as a famished wounded wolf,
his lean neck in a chain, the Turk stands up to die."

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 22 Apr 2007 13:54

Enver Pasha achieved some fame as the first Ottoman officer who entered Adrianople in July 1913.The then Lt Colonel,with the aid of "a volunteer named Halet Bey who spoke French", negotiated the safe passage out of the city of the remaining Bulgarian garrison,entering at the head of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment.
"Now,I have entered Edirne.The Bulgarians are retreating towards Mustafa Pasa.I have taken artillery and equipment"

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Post by Tosun Saral » 22 Apr 2007 14:57

2nd Lt. Halet
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... ight=halet

2nd Lt. Halet graduated from High School of Galatasaray where he learned French. later he went to France and graduated from Somur Cavalry and Riding School. He was killed in action on April 23 1916 with his class mate from Galatasaray Lt. Memduh Efendi at the battle of katya.
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=100306

Gen. Ali Fuat Erden tells about him in his book "Syrian Memori,es During WW1" p.247-248

Tosun Saral
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Post by Tosun Saral » 06 May 2007 09:40


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