Primary Documents - Sultan Mohammed VI's Proclamation, 6 December 1918

Sultan Mehmed VI Following the British success in capturing Jerusalem in December 1917 further progress north was effectively stalled in the face of strengthened German forces until September 1918.  In part this was because troops had been hastily transferred to the Western Front in March 1918 to assist in the Allies' defence against the German Spring offensive.

Thus on 18 September Sir Edmund Allenby - British regional Commander-in-Chief launched the Battle of Megiddo at Rafat.  This set in trail an unbroken series of victories including those at Damascus and Beirut (the latter seized by a French fleet).  It was in light of these overwhelming victories that Turkey sued for an armistice of surrender, which was duly agreed on 30 October 1918 in Mudros.  British forces subsequently took possession of Constantinople on 10 November 1918.

Reproduced below is the proclamation of the newly appointed Sultan Mehmed VI in which he regretted Turkish crimes against the Armenians and promised a full investigation.

Click here to read an account of Turkey's fall by Germany's official observer, Gaston Bodart.  Click here to read a summary of Allenby's progress by W. T. Massey.  Click here to read Allenby's official report on fighting at Megiddo.  Click here to read a British eyewitness account of the surrender of the Gallipoli peninsular on 9 November; click here to read an account of the surrender of Constantinople on the following day by the official British observer G. Ward Price.

Sultan Mohammed VI's Proclamation of 6 December 1918

My sorrow is profound at the mistreatment of my Armenian subjects by certain political committees acting under my government.

Such misdeeds and the mutual slaughter of sons of the same fatherland have broken my heart.  I ordered an inquiry as soon as I came to the throne so that the fomenters might be severely punished, but various factors prevented my orders from being promptly carried out.

The matter is now being thoroughly investigated.  Justice will soon be done and we will never have a repetition of these ugly events.

Source: Source Records of the Great War, Vol. VI, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923

A "blimp" was a word applied to an observation balloon.

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Primary Docs