NEW APPROACHES TO THE SECOND BALKAN WAR: THE ORIGINS OF THE TEŞKILATI MAHSUSA (THE SPECIAL ORGANIZATION)


Yiğit Y.

Turkish Studies (Elektronik), vol.10, no.1, pp.825-837, 2015 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 10 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Journal Name: Turkish Studies (Elektronik)
  • Journal Indexes: TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.825-837
  • Police Academy Affiliated: Yes

Abstract

The Balkan Wars are undoubtedly one of the latest examples ofthe series of defeats of the Ottoman Army starting from the XVII centuryto XVIII century. The Ottoman Empire defeated by the four smallBalkan states at a very short time has been put into very serioustrouble. After the outbreak of the war, the Bulgarian Army reachednearby Istanbul in a very short time. Thus the Ottoman Army on theWest side has been forced to retreat without being able to manage todefend the land. It can be quite strange to find out that the OttomanArmy Chief of Staff Ahmet Izzet Pasha has been in Yemen, and the mostintelligent and active Ottoman Army officers such as Enver Bey,Mustafa Kemal, Fethi Okyar, Süleyman Askeri Bey and Nuri Conkerhave also been in Tripoli during the First Balkan War. The said peoplereturned home and subsequently participated in the war only prior tothe Second Balkan War. The Ottoman Empire soon suffered a majordefeat and was forced to withdraw back to Chatalca. With the fourBalkan States’ declaration of war against the Ottoman Empire at thefirst anniversary of the Italy’s occupation of Tripoli, the Ottoman Empirehad to concentrate its power and attention on the Balkan War bysigning hastely the Treaty of Ouchy 1912 with Italy. Thus weakenedresistance in Tripoli therefore Enver Bey initially returned to Istanbulthen including some other officers. The First Balkan War ended by 30May 1913 with the Treaty of London by agreeing on Midye-Enez line asfrontiers. The Ottoman Empire has lost its entire lands in the Balkansincluding its second capital city of Edirne. So the first round of theBalkan War had been finalised.The paper prepared by studying some secondary sources inaddition to the primary documents from the Prime Ministry OttomanArchives and the archives of the Army Command, presents operationsof the Special Organization in Western Thrace during the second BalkanWars and its contributions at the local level. The study also examinesthe type of establishement and organisation of the ProvisionalGovernment of Western Thrace founded by the voluntary troops andgangs. The model for resistance practiced by the qualified Ottomanarmy officers during the Trablusgarb war has also been applied withsome differences in the Western Thrace. The Ottoman Army, providedthe Maritsa River is accepted as border, fought with its military officerstowards the east of the river and, together with the volunteers andgangs such as Süleyman Askeri, Kuşcubaşı Eşref and so on, from theWest shore of the river. The Ottoman Special Organization foundedofficially in 1913, has kept operating through its local partners in theregion until the end of the first World War though the Western Thracewas lost. The name of the Special Organization has not officially existedduring the Balkan Wars, however, it is evident that its name hascontinued with different names in some memoirs. The relative successof this organization during the second Balkan Wars, has paved the wayto the establishment of the Organization before the first World War.Teşkilat-ı Mahsusa Bağlamında II. Balkan Savaşı’na Yaklaşımlar 827Turkish StudiesInternational Periodical For the Languages, Literature and History of Turkish or TurkicVolume 10/1 Winter 2015The Ottoman Empire which suffered a major defeat during thefirst Balkan war as a result of discord among the Ottoman officers likethe Unionist and the Entente supporters, has made up for its failureduring the Gallipoli and the Second Balkan war. The Ottoman Armywhich took a good advantage of the disagreement of the Balkan Statesarising out of benefits gained during the First Balkan war has operatedat a formal level by crossing over Midye-Enez line to the Maritsa River.But it has continued to re-establish its control with the militalia andvolunteer corps in the Western Tharace towards the west of the MaritsaRiver. The militia which have apparently broken its connection with theOttoman Capital established a short-lived government. The experienceof resistance in Tripoli against the desire of Italian occupation has beensuccessfully put into practice through voluntary associations also in theSecond Balkan war. Therefore the Unionist personnel have formallyestablished the Private Organization on 30 November 1913 basing uponthese two relative success before the First World War. A large part of theBalkan War militia is made up of volunteers. The war pattern appliedduring the Tripoli and the Second Balkan wars has emerged as similarpatterns in the Caucasus Front, Iraq and Iran during the First WorldWar. The great amount of militia has been composed of volunteers. Thebasic human resources of these volunteers have often been fromprisoners and criminals. The term “Establishing Gang” already used ina variety of sources before the name “the Special Organization” known,describes this process. In addition, the action of the gang leaders of theSpecial Organization on their own without taking orders from theirsuperiors of the command in line have been one of the main problems ofthe Organization. However this problem has not occured during theSecond Balkan War because Süleyman Askeri, Kuşcubaşı Eşref, FuatBalkan and İskeçeli Arif Bey have not acted without instructions given.The interest of the Special Organization in the The WesternThrace has continued though the existence of the TemporaryGovernment of Western Thrace ended. Fuat Balkan, Halim and DramalıCemal have been in close contact with the Organisation in order toguarantee the fundamental rights of the Muslims in the region. Theytried to shape the Ottoman policies regarding Western Thrace as aresult of direct instructions from the Organization. To this end, theytried to get some seats in the Bulgarian parliament by developing theirrelations with the parties in the Bulgarian Parliament. After the Treatyo
Başbakanlık Osmanlı ve Genelkurmay Başkanlığı Atase Arşivleri ile bazı ikinci dereceden kaynaklardan hazırlanan bu çalışma, Teşkilat-ı Mahsusa'nın II. Balkan Savaşı sırasında Batı Trakya'daki faaliyetlerini ve yerel düzeydeki katkılarını ortaya koymaktadır. Ayrıca gönüllü birlikler ve çeteler vasıtasıyla kurulan Garb-i Trakya Hükümet-i Muvakkatesi'nin kuruluş ve örgütlenme şekli de ele alınmaktadır. En nitelikli Osmanlı subaylarının, Trablusgarp Savaşı sırasındaki uyguladıkları direniş modeli bir takım farklılıklarla Batı Trakya'da da uygulanmıştır. Osmanlı Ordusu, Meriç Nehri'ni sınır kabul edersek şayet nehrin doğu kıyısına kadar resmi görevlileriyle; batı kıyısından itibaren Süleyman Askeri ve Kuşçubaşı Eşref Beyler gibi gönüllüler ve çeteler birlikte mücadele etmiştir.1913'te resmen kurulan Teşkilat-ı Mahsusa, her ne kadar Balkan Savaşı sonucunda Batı Trakya kaybedilmiş olsa dahi I. Dünya Savaşı sonuna kadar bölgedeki faaliyetlerini yerel partnerleri aracılığıyla devam ettirmiştir. Balkan Savaşları sırasında Teşkilat-ı Mahsusa ismi resmi olarak var olmamasına rağmen bazı hatıralarda değişik adlarla varlığını delillendirmektedir. Bu yapının II. Balkan Savaşı sırasındaki göreceli başarısı Teşkilatın I. Dünya Savaşı öncesi resmen kurulmasına kapı aralamıştır. Zira İttihat ve Terakki Cemiyeti'nin iktidara taşınmasında aktif rol almış birçok cemiyet üyesi, 1913'te kurulan Teşkilat-ı Mahsusa'nın kuruluşunda ve faaliyetlerinde rol almıştır. Örneğin II. Balkan Savaşı'nda görev alan Süleyman Askeri Bey, Teşkilat-ı Mahsusa'nın kurucu ilk başkanıdır. Yine Kuşçubaşı Eşref de I. Dünya Savaşı'nda ve sonrasında teşkilat adına birçok vazife almıştır. Esasında İttihat ve Terakki Cemiyeti'yle Teşkilat-ı Mahsusa, üye ve iş düzeyinde içiçe geçmiş bir bütünün iki parçasıdır