Timeline of the Turkish War of Independence - 1918.
1918, Oct 30
Signing of the Armistice of Mudros,
i) opening up the Straits,
ii) guaranteeing access to the Black Sea,
iii) providing for Allied occupation of the fortresses along the Dardanelles and Bosphorus,
iv) foreseeing immediate demobilisation of Turkish troops, except where
necessary to preserve order,
v) placing Allies in control of all the railroads,
vi) Article VII: giving the Allies “the right to occupy any strategic
points in the event of any situation arising which threatens the security of
A French brigade enters
Istanbul to begin the Allied occupation of the city and its immediate
dependencies (the two opposite peninsulas). A fleet consisting of British, French,
Italian and Greek ships embarks additional troops the next day.
“Adana Association for
Defense of National Rights” is founded.
1918, Dec 23
French troops occupy Osmaniye and Islahiye in a move
that will extend till Pozantı in Gülek Pass (Cilicia Gates) on December 27, thus acquiring
control over Çukurova. In the
same days, British troops occupyBatum.
1918, Dec 30
Following a visit to Paris in
November to present Greece’s territorial claims to the Peace Conference to be
opened, Venizelos reasserts these claims in a memorandum addressed to the British
Premier, Lloyd George and covering
all of Western Anatolia, from
opposite Rhodes (or Castellorizo) to the Sea of Marmara.
November 4, 1915 - China Moves Towards Imperial Restoration
Pictured - Yuan Shikai, the Chinese general who went from republican president to emperor.
The Chinese Qing Empire was overthrown in 1911 in a revolution spearheaded by republican doctor Sun Yat-sen, who was then elected the first president of the Republic of China. The Chinese Revolution was the final boiling over of discontent caused by decades of imperial corruption and weakness in the face of Western imperialists. Sun and his party, the Kuomintang or KMT, followed a policy he called the Three Principles of the People: Western-style democracy, ethnic equality, and free-trade. But his new republic’s power was challenged and limited by generals who spread throughout China’s vast provinces, each controlling personal armies which they wielded in bids for power.
One of these warlords was Yuan Shikai. Politically astute but entirely self-serving, Yuan supplanted the militarily impotent Sun as President in 1912, and successfully moderated the other generals to keep a grip on power. Japan, however, was harder to keep on good terms, especially after the Japanese occupied the German port of Tsingtao in 1914. The Japanese immediately used their local power to bully more accommodations from China. In January 1915 they presented the Chinese a list of twenty-one demands, including a lease on Tsingtao, but most crucially several demands that would radically undermine Chinese sovereignty, including requiring Japanese advisers to serve over the Chinese army and police forces.
Shikai accommodated the Japanese and other foreigners. Knowing China’s weakness, Yuan played his limited diplomatic cards skillfully, leaking the demands to Westerners and dragging out negotiations as long as possible. In the meantime, he sought to increase his own power by becoming the head of a restored Chinese Empire. An electoral college of cronies approved of the measure in a vote, but the move alienated allies and the republicans. Yuan acceded to the throne in December as the first emperor of the new Empire of China, but lacking friends or much semblance of legality it tumbled back down in March of the next year. Yuan’s foolhardy scheme was part of what set back Chinese republicanism irreparably and doomed China to decades of warlordism, a Japanese invasion, and the eventual civil war