Istanbul, the headquarter of the holy Muslim caliphate, was occupied officially and forcefully by controlling the Parliament and official and military institutions. In addition to the Ottoman sultanate, this occupation is related to the whole Muslim World that sees the caliphate as symbol of their freedom and independence. This act of occupation, which has been taken as a last resort by the Entente Powers in order to demoralize the Muslim forces resisting for freedom and independence with a prophet-like spirit in Asia and Africa, threatens the Muslim freedom that has stood for three centuries and will undoubtedly prevail eternally.

We have no doubt that this insulting and offensive act, which addresses to the more than thirty thousand martyrs of Egypt, thousands of self-sacrificing children of Syria and Iraq, the all common feelings of a deep enthusiasm and sensitivity of Azerbaijan, North Russia, Turkistan, Afghanistan, Iran, India, China and whole Africa and the whole East, will bring forth not a demoralization as hoped by the enemy but rather a development that will show miracles.

Since the day when the chains of conspiracies against the Ottoman national forces, the caliphate and the sultanate, the whole Muslim world have regarded the conditions with effort and steadiness in a genuine unity and cooperation. It also trusts that it receive holy blessing and success originating from effort and faith against the attacks of crusading forces, based on a shared feeling of resistance.

We ask from God to befriend to all of us in our holy war and succor our united institution relying on the prophet’s soul just as we believe that the recent wretched acts of the descendants of the Crusading forces that have been coming with brutality from the chivalric days of the middle ages to the present day’s alliances to revive a sense of united defense in the hearts of our Muslim brothers.

On behalf of The Committee of Defense of Rights

Mustafa Kemal


This is a declaration of Mustafa Kemal Pasha distributed on 17.3.1920 as one page and published on Hâkimiyet-i Milliye dated on 18 March 1336. This declaration is also given in the books reproducing Mustafa Kemal Pasha’s circular letters, telegrams and declarations

This article was translated from Turkish version of History of Istanbul with some editions to be published in a digitalized form in 2019.

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