Ahmet Asker

Keywords: La Petit Journal Illustré, Press, Mehmed Zeki Bey, the Journal of Millî Müdafaa, the Teuton Club, Tuco

Abstract

Mehmed Zeki Bey was a journalist who was enrolled in the Turkish press life in the turbulent period in which the Ottoman Empire fell and the Turkish Republic was founded. His most remarkable characteristic was his multi-language ability, his diversity in identity, and his life story which may be seldom found. This article deals with the problems which started with his visit of the German Industrial firms in 1924 with his identity as a journalist and businessman.

After the demands of the industrial firms, a report had to be prepared about Mehmed Zeki Bey by the German ministry of International affairs. The report which was written by some of the members of the German Colony of Teutons was sent to the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This report brought Turquie Consortium (TUCO) which was owned by Mehmed Zeki Bey in a very difficult position. In this situation, Mehmed Zeki Bey opened a court procedure in Turkey against those who insulted him in their raport. The German Embassy actively participated into the legal process and attempted to manipulate the Turkish authorities. Finally Mehmed Zeki Bey lost the court procedure in the first session.

The diplomatic documents written by the Turkish and the German authorities throughout the legal procedure and the intelligence reports give valuable information about political and economic situation of the First World War and the early Republican era. In this respect, the role played by the media in receiving political and commercial benefit becomes more apparent.

The files prepared for Mehmed Zeki Bey in the Prime Ministry of the Ottoman Archives, the Republic Archives and the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs political archives are the basic sources for shedding some light on the commercial and political relationships of this unusual journalist.