Enver Bey at Libya

Discussions on the final era of the Ottoman Empire, from the Young Turk Revolution of 1908 until the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923.
Tosun Saral
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Enver Bey at Libya

Post by Tosun Saral » 26 Jan 2022 22:04

More than a hundred years have passed since the Italians attacked Tripoli. Since then, so many tremendous events such as the Balkan War, the First World War, the occupation of Istanbul, the War of Independence have taken place that the Italian occupation of Tripoli, the 12 islands, and Rhodes has been forgotten. At that time, in 1911-1912, Enver Pasha was still İsmail Enver Bey.

He organized the Turkish resistance in Tripoli and had the opportunity to improve his military skills. Everyone who knows Enver will say that he is a very talented man who is very truthful, has no flaws, and never tells a lie. Anyone who encounters him sees that he easily conquers all hearts. A deep patriotism, reckless courage, tireless energy, prudence, intelligence and overconfidence are his other characters. In addition, Enver Bey, a soldier and statesman with a dreamy look and a soft childish spirit, kept a diary in which he wrote down his mood, thoughts and experiences while he was ruling the Arabs against the incumbent Italians in Tripoli in 1911. The diaries he kept in Tripoli were translated into German by Friedrich Perczynski and published in German by the Munich publishing house Verlage von Hugo Bruchmann in 1918 under the name "Enver Pascha Um Tripolis".

Although these diaries do not make a very valuable contribution about a war that has not been fully told and was served to the world by Italians with very fake news, they also open the door to learning the personalities and mentality of these Young Ottomans who came running to do a very important task in this far corner of the homeland. A researcher who wants to analyze Enver Pasha today and in the future cannot ignore his memories of Tripoli. The mission that Enver was based in Tripoli required a lot of tactical ability, subject knowledge and intelligence.

Before going to Tripoli, Enver Bey went to Thessaloniki. His first entry in his diary, showing his graceful, poetic mood, fell on September 4, 1911.
“As I sat alone in the compartment of the train running along the Vardar river, I thought about the tragic events of the past few weeks. The moon shone like silver into the water flowing along the line. Here and there, to the right and left of the narrow Vardar valley, the shadows of the steep slopes come and go like black dots. The train, which followed the path of nature along the silver bed of the river in the darkness of the last, was taking my sorrow with it. We will prove to civilized Europe that we are not lawless barbarians. We will show that we are worthy of respect. Let the great powers leave our fate to us. Poor Tripoli is now lost. Who knows, maybe forever! Why am I going to Tripoli? I am going to perform a moral duty. The whole Islamic world expects this from us.”

At the Thessaloniki station, his friends meet him and take him to the Central Committee of the Party of Union and Progress. The meeting lasts for five hours and finally Enver's suggestions are accepted. Enver Bey goes to Istanbul to present to the government in Istanbul that the war in Tripoli should be accepted inside the country, since the Italians are strong in the coastal region thanks to the navy's heavy artillery, and that the Arab mounted troops under the command of Turkish officers should harass the Italians by raiding day and night.
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Tosun Saral
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Re: Enver Bey at Libya

Post by Tosun Saral » 26 Jan 2022 22:10

“I wandered all the streets of Istanbul since 05 am to make the final preparations and shopping. I visited the supreme personality the Sultan. He understood the gravity of the situation and was very upset. If only this venerable old man could save my country from misery. God seems cruel sometimes. Tripoli! This poor unfortunate homeland now seems lost. Who knows, maybe it's lost forever. So why am I going there? I am going to fulfill a moral duty that the whole Islamic world expects from us. I am writing these lines shortly before my departure. My mission is top secret. Few people know about the heavy and ungrateful task I am facing.”
Enver Bey, who was in these thoughts, got on the ferry that departed from Istanbul on October 9, 1911. Enver Bey did not write the name and flag of the ferry in his memoirs. In order to reach Tripoli, he had to wear a mask on top of a mask, that is, he had to wear a disguise. On the ship that took him to Alexandria,from Istanbul, on October 9, he wore black glasses, shaved his mustache, and wore a black fez that went down to his eyebrows. Despite this, he wrote on the ferry on October 10, 1911, that "he was afraid, assuming that all the attention was directed towards him". He was very uneasy.
“My excitement and pessimism lasted all night. I could not sleep. I went to the deck in the morning. There was no one on deck, so I wandered up and down like a fool by myself. I am very tired because of this stressful wandering. The large hull of the steamer was pacing the Mediterranean silently and confidently. I heard from the conversations around us that an Italian battleship was on the horizon. I was in such a situation that it didn't matter anymore.

Tosun Saral
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Re: Enver Bey at Libya

Post by Tosun Saral » 26 Jan 2022 22:12

Enver Bey
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Tosun Saral
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Re: Enver Bey at Libya

Post by Tosun Saral » 26 Jan 2022 22:15

In the afternoon of 14 October, the ferry docked in Alexandria and is immediately quarantined.
“In Front of Alexandria, 15 October 1911. At noon on 14 October 1911, the ferry anchored at the quarantine dock of the Alexandria port and began to wait. According to the reports, the Italians had landed troops in Tripoli and were positioned along the coast. Only the coastal area was in their hands. Our troops, on the other hand, were withdrawn out of the artillery range of the Italian navy. Two of our battalions near Benghazi were holding their positions. Benghazi was 600 kilometers away from Egypt and Tripoli was 1000 kilometers away. You could only travel 100 kilometers a day with nothing. I learned from the news that the morale of our soldiers and the people is high. The equipment of the soldiers and the people was not bad. However, necessities were getting less and less and their absence was felt. A solution had to be found for this. A wealthy man in Egypt gave me 6,000 lira. I read Faust on the Ferry. There are some good ideas in it, but none of them suit me anyway. Sadness can't help me. The dangers that threaten my homeland hang over me like a nightmare. Where can I find solace and support?”
His outfit had completely changed when he set out from Alexandria. She wore a long blue Arabian robe called an izaar or vuzar, a white Arabian dress called a kantura, and a white kefiye with gold embroidery on her head. This dress was the new dress of the Arab sheikhs. In this way he hoped to pass easily between the fanatical Marabou and Senusi tribes.
“We walked along the beach at 10 am in the hot sun. A light breeze blowing from time to time allowed us to relax and breathe. We were sleepless for 24 hours. We rode for 14 hours yesterday.”
But it was worth the trouble. Arabs willingly, even enthusiastically, gathered around Anwar. As the son-in-law of the sultan and the ambassador of the caliph, he soon formed an armed mujahideen force of 10 000 people. He had full authority over this power.
“My close kinship with the sultan benefits me greatly here. The Arabs do not know the "Hero of Freedom" Enver Bey, or even Staff Major Enver Bey. They respect his son-in-law, who represents the Great Effendi Khalifa."
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Tosun Saral
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Re: Enver Bey at Libya

Post by Tosun Saral » 27 Jan 2022 09:51

It can be said with astonishment and admiration that Enver suddenly created a large organization in Tripoli, including an army with partially modern weapons, medical facilities, new roads and schools. In his memoirs, Mr. Enver writes that he opened 10 primary schools with a thousand students, two girls' schools with 150 female students, and sent 200 students, consisting of the children of sheikhs and gentry, to Istanbul for education.
Hundreds of false rumors about him began to spread around the world, after he weakened Italy's world-class superior powers by pushing back and crushing them. One of these rumors was very interesting: The letter "Dead" was written on the envelopes sent to him at the Egyptian Post Office or he was returned to his home country as "unrecognized": If the Italian Agenzia Stefani, residing in Cairo, spread the news of Enver Bey's death to the whole world on April 22, 1912. This news was denied on 24 April. As a matter of fact, Enver Bey heard this and wrote it in his diary dated 1 June 1912. On July 22, 1912, four registered mail notices with the stamp "Enver Bey was not found in Benghazi" were posted on the black notice board of the post office number W 9 in Berlin's Postdamer Square. In these registered letters, the address of the recipient was shown to "Benghazi Commander Enver Bey". Germany's direct mail connection with the region of Cyrenaica such as Tripoli (Cyrenaica, Barqa, Barca, Derne, Benghazi) was maintained only by the Italian post since the beginning of the Italo-Turkish War. Since all postal mails had to reach the recipient by the shortest route, the letters sent to Enver Bey were sent via Italy, unless the phrase "to be sent to the Turkish Army in Derne via Istanbul-Alexandria" was clearly stated in the address. The aforementioned letters were written by the Italian postal administration, “Commander of Benghazi, General Caneva. Enver Bey is not known.” returned with registration.
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Tosun Saral
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Re: Enver Bey at Libya

Post by Tosun Saral » 27 Jan 2022 09:53

Enver Bey was alive. His diary often testified to the breadth and vitality of his interests. Despite the war and the demands of the central government, he did not hesitate to watch the scenery, was interested in the ruins of the ancient world in Tripoli, studied and traveled.
"For a simple dinner, the inhabitants of the two tents, Grandfather, grandmother, mother and the daughter living in the adjacent tent, gathered around the fire burning inside the tent with five small children. Then the old man went out for Isha prayer. Since he had no water to wash, he dipped his hands in clean sand, rubbed his hands in the sand. and then he rubbed his face with his hands to appear clean in the presence of God. His movements could be clearly seen as he bowed, prostrated and stood up in the clear dusk. affecting.
The wiew is wonderful. I could describe the landscape as bare highlands covered with rocks and gray stone blocks, fragrant flowers, evergreen oases of greenery, deep jagged valleys and valley ravines where trees grow proudly in places! In the oases, the waters in the springs, where the sun's rays are reflected, sparkle with crystal clear water. In stream beds, water usually flows for a short time, but they continue to flow underground. Arabian tents are scattered among the gray rocks, often you don't notice them at all. The women greet us with shouts of joy as we pass. What a beautiful evening, what a beautiful sky, how many stars there are! The garden of the Hisperides is said to be near Benghazi! These beauties completely impressed me. I thought about the nights of my youth, the nights when I lay for hours under the starry sky and dreamed of a bright future. My heart is so full, but I am silent. When a grenade blows up, will we have the freedom to say what we think and feel and anything? I do not have the comfort that finds a solution to almost everything that happens in every European. I think Arabs see me as a very happy person. Because here I have the reputation and command of everything a man needs. Yes, I have admiration and independence. Arabs come and kiss my hands, they ask me for blessings, they sacrifice themselves for me. But I just feel like a purely mechanical device driven by a country-loving instinct. I'm in a sad mood tonight I don't know why."
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Re: Enver Bey at Libya

Post by Tosun Saral » 27 Jan 2022 09:57

While Enver Bey is in this mixed mood, he often thinks about his life in Europe, in Berlin, and pours out his thoughts about Europe in his memories. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, years later, will express Enver Bey's thoughts on European civilization as "Civilization is such a burning fire that the ignorant burns the rest".
“I often think about life in Europe. Maybe my life here would be easier if I didn't know about European civilization and life. European civilization is a brilliant gilt, but a poison for development. If you drink this poison, you will never be able to sleep again. If you want to close your eyes, you can't. You think I'm dying. The biggest difference between us and Europeans is that they underestimate life in all its aspects. We, on the other hand, make life more difficult than it already is, especially when our old-fashioned principles are changed. Of course, the Bedouins, who are content with so little, will of course lose all their good qualities and become completely corrupt once they are "civilized". On the other hand, I know that there is a particular kind of European thinking. This type of thinking gives Europeans inner powers that we do not have.”
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Re: Enver Bey at Libya

Post by Tosun Saral » 27 Jan 2022 09:59

He investigated all kinds of problems that arose among the Bedouins and did not neglect to solve them, he led the battle as a gentleman and respected the dead soldiers, even if they were enemies:
“An Arab dead Italian soldiers collected a pile of memoirs, shooting instructions, etc. brought. While examining this abandoned document, I saw many postcards and love letters sent from Italy containing loving expressions. How painful! There are always letters and postcards from dead Italian soldiers. I always see the word "amore" (my love) written on these. These poor lads who live for someone or love someone die for nothing. Italians say they are fighting for the honor and interests of their homeland. They are wrong in this. We say the same thing, but we are right. A large amount of money was found on two Italian officers who died in the battle on March 4, 1912. I returned these coins to the Italian commander to be given to the families of the poor dead. I wonder if the Italian Ministry of War gave this money to the families, I don't know."
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Re: Enver Bey at Libya

Post by Tosun Saral » 27 Jan 2022 10:01

What he wrote between May 30, 1912 and June 17, 1912 is such as to upset even the strictest person:
“Something very pleasant has been hanging around me for the past few days. This is none other than a young gazelle brought to me. Used to me. It follows me everywhere I go. He sleeps next to my bed at night. When I returned to my room on the evening of May 30, 1912, I found my gazelle lying on its neck on the carpet, its head hanging to one side, breathing very slowly. It was like he was about to die. I immediately knelt on the ground, took him in my arms, and called him "Mansure" by his name. Finally, he slowly turned his head, stared at me, and showed the tip of his black tongue. I had tears in my eyes, I was very sad. While struggling with dozens of big and small problems, I was also filled with the feeling of being alone. June 1, 1912 My little gazelle is recovering. How graceful and docile! He just wants to eat the paper-wrapped chocolate bar. He's acting stupid like a baby." "My little gazelle is sick. Poor animal! He suffered all day. She lies next to my bed and looks at me pale and sad. My subordinates say I'm a tough person. But I feel the pain of the little animal and feel even more sorry that I couldn't help him."
While Enver Bey was carrying out his duty with determination and success, he often had to struggle with his own moods.
"The solitude of life in a desert camp is often very depressing. I often feel like an abandoned orphan in this world. I'm looking for a corner, a refuge, a place where angels will protect me, under their wing." "How I wish I could be among poets and be able to express what I feel. But I am a soldier and I see and feel everything through the eyes of an ordinary soldier. There are moments when poetic beauties literally overwhelm me. Despite this, I make my biggest decisions within this emotional freedom and sophistication." "They brought me a small ancient Roman lamp they found in the ruins of Kasz-Samalus. Even though it was against my principles, I sent the small lamp to a good friend in Germany. In fact, I can't tolerate even a grain of sand from my homeland to leave Turkey."
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Re: Enver Bey at Libya

Post by Tosun Saral » 27 Jan 2022 10:07

With the outbreak of the Balkan War, the dark news from the homeland broke Enver Bey from such a mood. For him, “Tripoli, a matter of honor”, fell into the background. Because his homeland was in danger. Greater duties beckon him. He should have returned to his homeland as soon as possible and took part in this life and death war. He came to Egypt. As he was wanted by the police there, he took an Italian ferry in disguise and arrived in Brindisi. From there he reached Istanbul via Vienna. The seeds planted by Enver Bey in Tripoli grew and grew, and the Libyans, who adopted the concepts of freedom and independence, fought the Italians for many years under the presidency of Ömer Muhtar and made them vomit blood.
The end
translated by Uncle Google from Tosun Saral's article "Enver Paşa’nın Trablusgarb Savaşı Anıları " published on Ordu Hayat Gazetesi 23.10.2021, No: 4669 p.1
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Re: Enver Bey at Libya

Post by stevebecker » 28 Jan 2022 03:26

Tosun,

While Enver Bey was better in these wars, he will always be remembered for what he did in 1914/15

The 60,000 Turkish soldiers frozen to death in December 1914, are again remembered in an ice sculpture - see https://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/statu ... led-170661

All sides have their hero's and villains, good and the bad

S.B

Tosun Saral
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Re: Enver Bey at Libya

Post by Tosun Saral » 28 Jan 2022 08:58

My grandfather İsmail Efendi imam of 97th Inf Regimet, 33.Div, 11 AC, 3rd Army killed at Köprüköy on Feb. 21, 1915
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