Turkish Headquarters

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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Bill Woerlee
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Turkish Headquarters

Post by Bill Woerlee » 27 May 2007 13:46

Mates

I have come across this popular Turkish pic. It was stripped from a captured Turkish POW and ended up in someone else's photo album.

The picture is quite grisley and puts a new meaning to the concept of "headquarters" and "head hunters".

I am wondering if anyone can identify the context of this pic.

Cheers

Bill


http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y195/v ... arters.jpg

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 27 May 2007 13:56

Bill,

I've amended the photo so it isn't viewable unless you click on the link.

Best to be on the safe side in regards to what some might consider graphical in nature.

Regards
Peter

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Mr Holmes
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Post by Mr Holmes » 27 May 2007 14:50

Hello Bill,

I have only ever seen that picture in relation to Armenian genocide websites.

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infantry
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Post by infantry » 27 May 2007 19:59

Dear Bill,
This picture is very famous within Armenian circles -there are some others also. The guys in uniforms were not soldiers but "zabtiye" (gendarmerie) a paramilitary organization modeled after the French example. Probably the picture taken during early days of 1890s (pay attention to the height of fezes this model narrow and long fezes were used between 1880s and late 1890s).

The heads, well most probably belong to some bandits. No clue about their Armenian identity. I remember seing a similar photo showing a notorious gang members from İzmir region. This was a common practice at that time.

Therefore POW story is just a legend.

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Bill Woerlee
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Post by Bill Woerlee » 28 May 2007 00:28

Mates

Thanks for that.

Peter - good move mate - of course you are totally correct to do that - slaps hand on head - why didn't I think of that.

Holmes - Glad for the heads up.

Infantry - I appreciate that mate. The whole thing seemed a bit far fetched. I am not big on the Armenian genocide thing so it is unfamiliar territory. The pic was extracted out of a NZ soldier's album - he was with the Anzac Mounted Division in the Sinai and Palestine. The story attached to it details the journey of the pic into Allied hands. This sort of stuff was grist for the mill for the Allied soldiers fighting against the Turks. Plenty of grisley pix ended up in their albums. I have also heard many wild tales to explain the origin of the pix. Some defy the imagination. This one is in that catagory - a good fireside yarn but precious little else.

Once again thanks - I can discard this as a credible pic from the Great War. That is a great help.

Cheers

Bill

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Mr Holmes
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Post by Mr Holmes » 28 May 2007 03:26

That's why I love this place, you get top researchers... who can get your memory jogging. Infantry mentioned bandits around the Izmir region. A fair few months back when looking up information on the 1922 Catastrophe of Smyrna/Izmir, I saw that picture on a Greek website (I'm sorry I don't remember where... given a bit of time I may find it again) in which it was claimed that the heads belonged to (I can't recall which precisely) either Izmir Greeks or Pontians. The claim and weight of Armenian ownership is overwhelming, however.

Cheers

Nick

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 28 May 2007 08:58

Whether they are Turkish,Armenian,Kurdish,Macedonian or Albanians can't be established but its certainly pre 1914.I assume they are brigands(outlaws) by their beheading--bounties would have been paid on the presentation of such proof of death.

Only radical Islamists use beheading as a sign of contempt:

http://www.meforum.org/article/713

A half century later, in the years after Mustafa Kemal Atatürk founded the Turkish Republic and imposed secular government, a revolutionary religious leader named Mehmet led a short-lived but violent Mahdist revolt.[28] Mehmet was a Sufi—an Islamic mystic—of the Naqshabandi order. Mehmet and his six disciples adopted the identities of the "Seven Sleepers" of the Qur'an: seven Christian youth who fell asleep in a cave during the time of Roman persecution of Christians in the third century C.E. and emerged, unscathed, over a century later when Rome had joined the faith.[29] By such identification, Mehmet and his Mahdist disciples sought to invoke the Qur'anic imagery of the small band of true believers standing against state idolatry. From Manisa, in west-central Turkey, Mehmet and his followers trekked to Menemen on the Aegean coast where, in the main mosque, Mehmet declared himself the Mahdi and called for the reestablishment of Islamic law canceled by Atatürk. Mehmet's enthusiastic supporters overwhelmed the local Turkish army garrison. They killed the commander and put his severed head on a pole and paraded it around town. The uprising was short-lived, though. The Turkish army rallied its forces and crushed the revolt, executing all involved.

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Mr Holmes
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Post by Mr Holmes » 28 May 2007 13:58

Peter H wrote:Whether they are Turkish,Armenian,Kurdish,Macedonian or Albanians can't be established...
Sounds reasonable enough. The other week I happened to be browsing through another forum (of which I am not a member of... can't remember which one though) which seemed to have some very nationalistic members on both sides of the Aegean. In any case, the Turkish members scoffed at the idea that the beheaded victims were Greek. As did an Armenian member. However, it also seems that the perpertrators themselves are difficult to pin down.
... a revolutionary religious leader named Mehmet led a short-lived but violent Mahdist revolt.
I never knew Turkey witnessed a Mahdist movement. 8O

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