Zekeriya Türkmen

Keywords: Mustafa Kemal Pasha, Lightning Army Group, Pa¬lestine, First World War, Türkİsh Army

Abstract

Turkish and German friendship which began tovvards the end of ni- neteenth century and has developed gradually in the course of time resulted in the foundation of a block of alüance before the First World War, The Ottoman State made öpen and secret agreements with Germans on August 2, 1914 and entered the First World War as tired, exhausted, dep- ressive from the economic point of view and worn out, powerless and uneasy from the moral point of view. Th.e fail of Baghdad Front in the second year of the War created a result which may interrupt the German economy, because it was Iraq region where oil was in greatest amount. The Lightning Army Group (Yıldırım Ordular Grubu) which was thought to be formed in Iraq Front in order to recover Baghdad was, later, removed to Palestine Front and Falkenhayn, one of the German Generals, was appointed to the commandership of this army group. Palestine Battles are very important, because they shows the end of an army which delivered its fate to foreign hands. This matter was understood very clearly at these battles: Germans had not really come to Palestine as the ally of Ottoman State. In fact, Germans showed that they had come with the idea of ruling över the Middle East and of obtaining rich re- sources of that region. It seemed from their attitudes and applications in the headquarters that they were already not paying attention to Turks1 ideas. Thus, the withdrawal from Palestine which started in 1917 continued until the end of October, 1918. Mustafa Kemal Pasha, after the recall of Liman Von Sanders to İstanbul, that is, on the day when Mudros Armistice was signed, was ap¬pointed to the Commandership of Lightning Army Group. Mustafa Kemal Pasha wanted German influence in the Turkish Army to be reduced as far as possible. Ottoman General Staff, by sending a telegraph to Mustafa Kemal Pasha, after the signing of Mudros Armistice, asked him whether the army would be able to take a defensîve position if it wİthdrew to the north of Syria or not and whether it was possible to provide the change and the lightenİng of conditions of the Armistice in this way or not. Ottoman General Staff wanted him to loiter appropriately until conditions of the Armistice was transmitted. Mustafa Kemal Pasha, sending a decree to the commanders under him, wanted the necessary measures to be taken in order to prevent the application of articles of the Armistice to become heavier for us and reminding the gıeat strategical importance of Taurus Tunnels for Ottoman State, advised these tunnels to be kept in reserve and demobilizations to be delayed. Mustafa Kemal Pasha, Majör General, appointed to the Commandership of Lightning Army Group when the Armistice was signed, succeeded to withdraw to the north of Taurus Mountains after gathering these last remains of the army which executed Palestine Operation. These forces which Mustafa Kemal Pasha succeeded to withdraw to the north were the units which would form the cadre in the Southern front of Turkish War of Independence which would begin after a year, In this paper, after summarizing the foundation, the aim and the ac- tivities of Lightning Army Group, the signing of Mudros Armistice and the appointment of Mustafa Kemal Pasha to the Commandership of Lightning Army Group and his attitude against the Armistice will be explained