Memoirs of Ahmet Hallaç, Mayor of Mersin During French Occupation
Keywords: Ahmet, Mersin, France, Occupation, Armenians
Ahmet Hallaç was the Mayor of Mersin in the post World War I period between 1919-1922, when Mersin and its vicinity were occupied by England and France. In his memoirs, which he began to write as of 1911, when he was elected a Member of Town Council, Ahmet Hallaç tells about the services he rendered. His Memoirs also include a letter by the Armenian Patriarch of Süleymanlı (Zeytun), which was written in order to organise the 1909 Adana Armenian Events. Later on, in his memoirs, Ahmet Hallaç tells us that he was elected the Mayor during the French occupation (1918-1919) and that he paved new roads, laid fundations of a hospital and paid the unpaid salaries of Municipial officers. Ahmet Hallaç mentions in his memoirs that he didn't give in to the constant demands of Commander of French Occupation Army and Armenian rebels and turned down their demands, in spite of the continous pressure and threats. He also points out that in the voting conducted by USA and Western countries, he preferred the Turkish administration to France in terms of mandate, Ahmet Hallaç wrote that he objected to the Armenians demand for hoisting the flag and rendered services to National Forces and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, both directly and indirectly. Ahmet Hallaç also tells us about his efforts for the integration of Hatay to Turkey. Moreover, he says that he actively took part in the activities of Free Republican Party and the Democratic Party during the transition to multi-party system.