The Ottoman Empire, which had ruled the world for hundreds of years, lost power over time and with the First World War, including the capital Istanbul, it began to be occupied every inch. Of course, the Turkish nation did not remain silent to this situation and organized to protect their own territories.These local organizations, which have many names, have been called national societies in the historical process.
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk brought these local organizations together, whose purpose was to protect their own regions, and started the War of Independence by gathering them under the name of Kuva-yi Milliye. The emergence of national societies all over Anatolia, which was occupied at that time In fact, it is the biggest indicator of the Turkish nation’s desire for independence. Bride, who played a great role in the salvation of our country to national societiesLet’s take a closer look and see its prominent features.
First of all, what is a national society?
After the occupation process of the Ottoman Empire started, they organized against the invaders in the regions they were in. structures established by local people who took to the defense with armed and unarmed methods called national societies. You may have seen these societies in history books as useful societies. National societies are called by this name because they contribute to the liberation of the country.
What are national societies?
Thrace – Pasaeli Ottoman Delegation:
The purpose of the Thrace-Pashaeli Delegation, which was established in Edirne on November 2, 1918, Against the risk of Edirne being given to Greece is to announce to the whole world that the Turkish and Muslim population in the region is more concentrated. The society, whose epicenter was Edirne, predicted the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and planned to establish a Turkish state covering Western and Eastern Thrace. Thrace – Pasaeli Heyet-i Osmaniyesi published the newspapers Ahali and Trakya Pasaeli.
Izmir Defense of Law Society of Osmaniye:
Izmir Defense-i Hukuk-u Osmaniye Society, founded on December 1, 1918, Against the risk of giving Izmir to Greece has emerged. They became one of the biggest supporters of the national struggle. Working in partnership with many different local secret organizations, they provided weapons and ammunition to different parts of Anatolia.
Izmir Redd-i Annexation Society:
Even though the İzmir Redd-i İlhak Cemiyeti is a structured organization based in Balıkesir, it has been established in a short time. spreading throughout the Aegean region He ensured that every society established in the region was called Redd-i İlhak. Redd-i İlhak societies were formed by those who opposed the occupation. They fought hand to hand against the occupation of Izmir by the Greek soldiers, and then they raised the awareness of the people by holding many congresses in the region.
Eastern Anatolian Defense of Law Society:
Established on December 4, 1918, based in Erzurum and Elazig, the Eastern Anatolia Defense of Law Society Against the risk of handing over the lands of the Eastern Anatolia region to the Armenians. has emerged. The Eastern Anatolian Defense of Rights Society showed an unexpected resistance by the occupation forces and the gangs they supported. Their main aim is to prevent a possible land division by showing that the Turks in the region are more than the Armenian population.
Society of Cilicians:
Adana region, especially Çukurova After the occupation by Armenian gangs and French soldiers The Cilicians Association, which emerged in December 1918, distributed numerous articles and leaflets. In the most well-known brochure published by the Cilicians Society, called the Feryatname, it is mentioned that only 64 thousand of the 426 thousand population in the region are Christians. The main purpose is to announce the real population number to the whole world.
National Congress Society:
When the Greeks organized in Istanbul within the scope of the occupation projects under the name of Megola-Idea, they opposed it. with the call of doctor Esat Pasha The National Congress was convened on 29 November 1918 with the participation of important organizations such as the Turkish Hearth, Bar Associations, Red Crescent, and Teachers’ Union. The main purpose of the society established with this congress is to show the real face of the occupation to the world. The National Congress Society was the first to use the name Kuvâ-yi Milliye.
Trabzon Conservation Law Society:
Trabzon Muhafaza-i Hukuk-u Milliye Cemiyeti, which was established against the invading Greek forces operating in the Black Sea, Although it is based in Trabzon It operated in all Black Sea cities where the gangs vomited blood. They played a major role in the National Struggle, as they ensured the security of communication between Anatolia and the countries bordering the Black Sea.
Anatolian Women’s Defense of the Homeland Association:
The Turkish nation resisted the occupation with all its might, regardless of men, women, or children. Founded in Sivas by women resisting the occupation. Anatolian Women’s Defense of the Vatan Society is the symbol of the awakening of women who were imprisoned at home until that day. After the association was founded, it was celebrated with a message sent by Mustafa Kemal himself.
Common features of national societies:
- Since national societies are local organizations, their main purpose is to protect the region they are in.
- They have always prioritized the interests of the Turkish people in order to protect their independence.
- The anti-occupation movements, which started with newspapers and declarations, turned into an armed struggle over time.
- They organized numerous meetings and congresses to raise awareness of the Turkish people against the occupation.
- They laid the foundations of the national struggle.
Why are national associations important?
After the occupation of Istanbul, the capital of the Ottoman Empire, The army had to lay down arms and the Ottoman parliament was dissolved. In other words, there is no official institution or power left to resist the occupation. Due to the decommissioning of official structures, the Turkish nation passed the civil defense system and had to protect itself.
The Turkish nation organized locally and established societies against the invading forces attacking their regions. The main purpose of associations is to to prove the numerical superiority of the Turkish and Muslim populations in the occupied regions.However, due to the bloodshed by the invading forces, these organizations turned into an armed struggle and hand-to-hand combat began.
Knowing the Turkish nation’s belief in independence, Mustafa Kemal communicated with all these regionally operating societies and has inflamed the nation’s total struggle.In other words, if the national societies had not established these local structures, neither the Kuva-yi Milliye units could have gathered so quickly nor the national struggle would have had such a successful result.
Beneficial societies that play the most important role in our country’s struggle for independence. What are national societies, what are their features? We answered the frequently asked questions and shared the details you need to know about the subject. We should not forget that we live freely in this land, thanks to our countless martyrs and veterans, most of whom we do not even know.