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Teşkilat-ı Mahsûsa (Ottoman Turkish: تشکیلات مخصوصه, meaning Special Organization) was an Ottoman imperial government special forces unit under the War Department, faithful to the Three Pashas.[1] As the progenitor of the National Security Service (Turkish: Milli Emniyet Hizmeti), it was used to suppress Arab separatism, to annihilate non-Muslim peoples (Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks) and Western imperialism.[2]

Contents

History

The first Turkish secret service was founded on the recommendation of the English ambassador Startfort Canning and the first head of the organization was a foreigner, Civinis Efendi, who had been in the service of Catherine II of Russia.[3]

The Teşkilât-ı Mahsûsa was established on 17 November 1913 by Enver Pasha, who placed Süleyman Askeri in charge of the organization.[4][5] After World War I, the organization was dismantled following a parliamentary debate and replaced by the Organisation of the Worldwide Islamic Revolt (Turkish: Umûm Âlem-i İslâm İhtilâl Teşkilâtı). This organization held its first meeting in Berlin. However, it was forced underground by the British, who refused to let these German allies operate.[3]

In 1921, Ataturk founded the another secret organization called the National Defense Society (Turkish: Müdafaa-i Milliye Cemiyeti), headed by the former chief of the Special Organization, Hüsamettin Ertürk.[3]

Members

Başıbozuk

Although the bulk of its thirty thousand members were drawn from trained specialists such as doctors, engineers, and journalists, the organization also employed criminals denoted başıbozuk, who had been released from prison in 1913 by amnesty.[4][3] One of the gang leaders was Bahattin Şakir, whom Sabancı University historian Halil Berktay likened to Abdullah Çatlı, a contract killer who was killed in the Susurluk car crash.[1]

The organization allegedly admitted the following notable members, according to an interview with its purported former leader Eşref Kuşçubaşı by U.S. INR officer Philip H. Stoddard:[4][6]

  • Enver Paşa
  • Binbaşı Süleyman Askeri
  • Eşref Kuşçubaşı
  • Rauf Orbay
  • Çerkes Ethem
  • Abdulaziz El Sinusi
  • Dr. Esat Işık Paşa
  • Hüsamettin Ertürk
  • Mehmet Akif Ersoy
  • Cezayirli Emir Ali
  • Myonlu Ali Çetinkaya
  • Ali Fethi Okyar
  • Binbaşı Mısırlı Aziz Ali Bey
  • Nuri Kıllıgil (Enver's brother; became an industrialist)
  • Major Fuat Bulca (THK chairman)
  • Lieutenant İslam Bey (Fuat Paşa's son)
  • Lieutenant Mustafa Kemal Bey (organized militias in the Italo-Turkish War)
  • Captain Manastırlı Nuri Conker (Ottoman parliamentarian)
  • Dr. Refik Saydam
  • Infantry captain Çerkes Reşit (Çerkes Ethem's brother)
  • Lieutenant Yakup Cemil (hanged in 1916 for high treason)
  • Dr. Bahattin Şakir
  • Mithat Şükrü Bleda
  • Ohrili Eyüb Sabri
  • Fuat Balkan
  • Lieutenant Hilmi Musallimi (Commander of the Kurdish forces during the 1915 Suez Canal Operation; Said Halim Paşa's secretary)
  • İsmail Canbulat (hanged in 1926 by the Independence Court)
  • Infantry officer Rasuhi (Atatürk's assistant)
  • Filibeli Hilmi Bey (İttihat Terakki inspector; hanged in 1926)
  • Şerif Burgiba (Habib Burgiba's father)
  • İbn ür Reşid

Stoddard's book has been criticized by historian Ahmet Efe, who has recently released a book of his own, based on archival research. Efe says that, for example, Kuşçubaşı's own history is inaccurate; he is said to be a graduate of Kuleli Military High School, and Harbiye. The former claim is not established, and the latter is refuted, therefore Kuşçubaşı is not a soldier of any rank. The archives of the Ministry of Defense and the Army Command have no record of Kuşçubaşı.[5]

Fevzi Çakmak's report on Eşref Kuşçubaşı.

Efe says that Chief of Staff intelligence reports write that Kuşçubaşı was a mole for the Greeks and the British. He was the 60th person among the 150 personae non gratae of Turkey.[7] Kuşçubaşı is instead said to be the leader of the Anatolia Ottoman Revolution Committee (Turkish: Anadolu Osmanlı İhtilâl Komitesi) which, with the help of British and Greek intelligence, repeatedly attempted to assassinate Atatürk. Kuşçubaşı's brother, Hacı Sami, also took part in a 1927 attempt.[8]

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Leadership

The first leader was Süleyman Askeri bey. After his death, he was replaced by Ali Bey Başhampa on 14 April 1915, who held the post until the Armistice of Mudros.[5]

During World War I Eşref Sencer Kuşçubası was allegedly the director of operations in Arabia, the Sinai, and North Africa.[9] He was captured at Yemen in early 1917 by the British military and was a POW in Malta until 1920 (cf. Malta tribunals.[5] Ahmet Efe says military archives have detailed information about the organization's personnel. He says Kuşçubası is not mentioned.[5]

The last director, Hüsamettin Ertürk, later worked as an agent in Istanbul of the Ankara government following the Armistice.[10] He also wrote a memoir called İki Devrin Perde Arkası (Behind the Scenes of Two Eras).[11]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Duzel, Neşe (2000-10-09). "Ermenileri özel örgüt öldürdü" (in Turkish). Radikal. http://www.radikal.com.tr/2000/10/09/insan/erm.shtml. Retrieved 2008-10-15. "Susurluk ile Hizbullah'ın bir karışımı olarak alın Teşkilat-ı Mahsusa'yı. Enver, Cemal ve Talat'a bağlı çalışan Teşkilat-ı Mahsusa'nın adamı Bahaittin Şakir'in bölgede özel ölüm timleri, fedailer organize ettiği anlaşılıyor...Bahaittin o günün tipik bir Yeşil'i ya da Çatlı'sıdır."  
  2. ^ "MIT, 'Turkey's CIA,' celebrates 80th anniversary". Turkish Daily News. 2007-01-07. http://arama.hurriyet.com.tr/arsivnews.aspx?id=-597142. Retrieved 2008-10-15. "...the new intelligence agency of the republic was in fact the continuation of the Ottoman Teşkilat-ı Mahsusa (Special Organization)"  
  3. ^ a b c d Bovenkerk, Frank; Yeşilgöz, Yücel (2004). "The Turkish Mafia and the State". in Cyrille Fijnaut, Letizia Paoli. Organized Crime in Europe: Concepts, Patterns and Control Policies in the European Union and Beyond. Springer. pp. 594–5. doi:10.1007/978-1-4020-2765-9. ISBN 1-4020-2615-3. http://igitur-archive.library.uu.nl/law/2006-0803-203021/Bovenkerk_04_OC_Turkey.pdf.  
  4. ^ a b c Eren, M. Ali (1995-11-11). "Cumhuriyeti Teşkilat-ı Mahsusa kurdu" (in Turkish). Aksiyon (Feza Gazetecilik A.Ş) 49. http://www.aksiyon.com.tr/detay.php?id=20339. Retrieved 2008-09-05.  
  5. ^ a b c d e Kilic, Ecevit (2007-12-17). "Türk istihbaratının kurucusu bir vatan haini miydi?" (in Turkish). Sabah. http://arsiv.sabah.com.tr/2007/12/17/haber,C80551BA35D54C84AC2338CCF411104D.html. Retrieved 2008-12-27.  
  6. ^ Parker, Richard Bordeaux (2001). The October War: A Retrospective. University Press of Florida. p. 126. ISBN 0813018536. http://books.google.com/books?id=U2Fg42KYia4C&pg=PA126&lpg=PA126&dq=Philip+Stoddard+Bureau+of+Intelligence+and+Research&source=web&ots=NQghXiSLoE&sig=XWNh0DiMnLy04K6MYyspAF68P_U&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result. Retrieved 2008-12-21. "I'm Phil Stoddard, who, at the time, was the deputy director of INR's Near East-South Asia Office."  
  7. ^ Kilic, Ecevit (2007-12-17). "Onun da yolu Susurluk'tan geçmiş" (in Turkish). Sabah. http://arsiv.sabah.com.tr/2007/12/17/haber,BF2458F5FAC94ADBB10973D3CE3F6572.html. Retrieved 2008-12-27.  
  8. ^ Kilic, Ecevit (2007-12-16). "Suikast örgütünün kurucusu" (in Turkish). Sabah. http://arsiv.sabah.com.tr/2007/12/17/haber,899057E0A7F946B0B01B1088F6084243.html. Retrieved 2008-12-27.  
  9. ^ Köker, Osman. "Kuşçubaşı Eşref’in Teşkilât-ı Mahsusa Anıları" (in Turkish). Virgul 2: 33. http://www.network54.com/Forum/121213/message/1028587101/Derin+Devlet.  
  10. ^ Berkes, Niyazi (1959-12-31). "2 Devrin Perde Arkası" (in Turkish). Oriens (BRILL) 12 (1/2): 202–202. doi:10.2307/1580200.  
  11. ^ Özbek, Öner (2008-09-13). "Yakup Cemil: Devlet içinde devlet olan adam" (in Turkish). Taraf. http://taraf.com.tr/haber.asp?id=16668. Retrieved 2008-09-13.  

Further reading

  • Stoddard, Philip Hendrick (1963). The Ottoman Government and the Arabs, 1911 to 1918: A Study of the Teskilat-i Mahsusa. Princeton University.   (unpublished PhD dissertation; available in Turkish)
  • Efe, Ahmet (2007). Efsaneden Gerçeğe Kuşçubaşı Eşref. Bengi Yayınevi. ISBN 978975011433.  


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