Liminal Loyalties: Ottomanism and Palestinian Responses to the Turkish War of Independence, 1919–22
Ottoman Palestine

The imposition of British rule in Palestine following World War I did not immediately supplant one imperial system with another or Ottoman identities with national ones. Examining Palestinian responses to the Turkish war of independence, this article argues that the 1917–22 period should be seen as a “liminal” era suspended between imperial systems. Both Kemalists and Palestinians employed a discourse of loyalty to the Ottoman dynasty, Muslim identity, and resistance to European rule to frame their goals. It was only after the creation of the Turkish Republic and the promulgation of the British Mandate, the author argues, that nationalist identities displaced Ottoman ones for both Turks and Palestinians.

Awad Halabi is an associate professor of history and religion at Wright State University. The author would like to thank the three anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments, Salim Tamari and Issam Nassar for their helpful suggestions, and the editorial staff of the Journal of Palestine Studies. All errors are the responsibility of the author.

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The Arab memory of nearly four hundred years of Ottoman rule has traversed a curious route. After the destruction of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, it was long presumed that an abrupt and decisive break took place, with Turkey and the Arab lands, now under European rule, shedding their Ottoman connections and pursuing nationalist futures. A more careful examination of the immediate postwar period, focusing on Palestinian understandings of the Turkish independence struggle, reveals that Ottoman and Islamic loyalties persisted among both Turks and Arabs, making such a sharp periodization unsustainable.


Following the end of World War I, Arab nationalist leaders and historians denigrated Ottoman rule. In the context of the Arab confrontation with European colonialism, the Ottoman period was depicted as four hundred years of Turkish oppression of the Arab nation, even though no Arab political nationalist movement had evinced any wide popularity before World War I. [1] Such works as George Antonius’s The Arab Awakening distorted the Ottoman legacy and exaggerated the degree of support for the wartime Arab Revolt of Sharif Husayn of Mecca. [2] A generation of Arab nationalist scholars regarded the Ottoman era as one of “unrelieved gloom.” [3] Europeans such as Palestine’s British rulers were eager to portray Ottoman rule as so destructive as to virtually invite Western colonialism to supplant “Turkish” despotism. [4]


These nationalistic and colonial narratives contrast with the work of a newer corps of historians who see the Ottoman Empire as integral to Arab identity up to and during World War I. [5] This Ottoman connection persisted even after Ottoman authority in the Arab provinces was eclipsed during World War I. Arabs maintained cultural, political, and religious links with Ottoman figures and the Turkish people, rather than earnestly seeking a divorce from their Ottoman heritage. As one historian observes, for many Arabs the war did more than just redraw lines on the map, it disconnected them from “the ideological and cultural networks binding them to the Ottoman center that had served as the basis for their identity and sense of self.” [6] An illustration of how Ottoman identity remained relevant to Arabs is the widespread support in Palestine for the 1919–22 Anatolian struggle against European armies later known as the Turkish War of Independence. Palestinians attentively followed the events of the Turkish War of Independence, conflating nationalist and religious images, personalities, and events and collapsing the Ottoman empire, the offices of the Sultan and Caliph, the resistance movement, and its leader, Mustafa Kemal, into one discursive field that expressed an identity rooted in Islam, the heritage of four centuries of Otoman rule, and shared opposition to European rule.


The Liminal Years, 1917–22


The years between 1917 and 1922, from the beginning of the British occupation of Palestine to the Kemalist military victory over the Greeks and the formal issuing of the Mandate for Palestine, are especially interesting for understanding how Arabs responded to the end of Ottoman rule. The establishment of the British Mandate in Palestine and the creation of the Turkish Republic were gradual processes, not an abrupt break between Ottoman rule and colonial or nationalist regimes. From the point of view of contemporary inhabitants of Palestine, Anatolia, and Thrace, this was a period when the wars’ outcomes were uncertain, when old loyalties overlapped with emergent competitors, and when the rearranging of the regional political order could have taken any of several possible forms. In short, these transitional years constituted a liminal period of suspension between political regimes. What the various subjects of the collapsing Ottoman Empire actually said and did during this liminal period contradicts and challenges nationalist narratives on the loyalties they supposedly offered immediately to their emerging nations.


In late 1917, Britain began to drive Ottoman forces from Palestine, shortly after the British pledge in the Balfour Declaration to support the establishment of a Jewish “National Home” in Palestine. In September 1918 Allied forces broke Ottoman resistance in Palestine and occupied the major cities of Ottoman Syria before an armistice at the end of October 1918 ended the fighting. The withdrawal of Ottoman forces from Syria was supervised by General Mustafa Kemal, the hero of Gallipoli and later the main leader of Ottoman resistance to the Allies’ postwar plans. Britain ruled Palestine under a military administration until the formation of a civil administration in July 1920. A similar administration in Damascus under the Hashemite Amir Faysal became a de facto Arab State; in March 1920 the General Syrian Congress (which first met in July 1919 and included former Palestinian members of the Ottoman parliament) proclaimed Faysal king of a united Syria, including Lebanon, Palestine, and Transjordan. In Palestine, opposition to British support for Zionism coalesced in the Palestinian Arab Congress in January 1919 and was expressed in civil disturbances in April 1920. That same month the San Remo conference made clear British and French intentions to rule the erstwhile Arab provinces as “Mandates” from the League of Nations, the British Mandate for Palestine incorporating the Balfour Declaration. By the summer, Britain and France cemented their rule, with Britain initiating the civil administration in Palestine and the French expelling Faysal from Syria in July 1920. Ottoman recognition of the San Remo terms was secured by the dictated Treaty of Sèvres the following month. [7]


Although Sèvres confirmed Allied control of the Arab provinces, by the time of its signature in August 1920 the victors’ diktat with respect to the rest of the Ottoman domains, which were to be parceled out among the Western Allies, the Greeks, and the Armenians, was already being reversed on the ground. Simultaneous with the Greek landing at İzmir (Smyrna) in May 1919, Mustafa Kemal was sent to demobilize Ottoman forces in Anatolia, but instead took a leading role in the nascent resistance. The resistance, taking the name “Association for the Defense of Rights of Anatolia and Rumelia,” expressed its goals in the “National Pact” at congresses held in Erzerum and Şivas during the summer of 1919. Adopted by the lower house of Ottoman parliament in January 1920, the pact renounced claims to the Arab provinces and called for plebiscites there while insisting on full independence for provinces with an “Ottoman Moslem” majority. [8] When the Allies formally occupied Istanbul in March 1920 (de facto occupation began in 1918) and dissolved the parliament, the deputies reconstituted themselves at Ankara as the Grand National Assembly and contended that they, not the government of the captive sultan, represented the Ottoman people. Under Kemal’s military and political leadership, the resistance defeated Armenia by the end of 1920, contracted a treaty with the Soviet Union in March 1921, compelled the Italians to withdraw and fought the Greeks to a standstill at Sakarya that summer, and in October forced a French withdrawal from Cilicia. In summer 1922 the Kemalists took the offensive against the Greeks, occupying İzmir in September and reaching armistices with Greece and Britain the following month. These victories required the Sèvres treaty to be renegotiated. When the British invited both Istanbul and Ankara to send representatives to the conference in Lausanne, the Grand National Assembly responded to this attempt to split the Ottoman delegation by abolishing the sultanate (November 1922). The Treaty of Lausanne, concluded in July 1923 largely on the Kemalists’ terms, was followed that October by the declaration of the Turkish Republic and the following March by abolition of the caliphate.


With the end of the Turkish War of Independence in 1922 and the ratification of the Lausanne treaty in 1924, the transformation of the Middle East from the Ottoman Empire to the new system of nation-states, some under Mandate, was complete. But during that transformation the peoples of the region asserted both old loyalties (Ottoman, Islamic) and new identities (principally nationalist) as they sought to make sense of the changing world around them. These years were a nebulous period in Palestine and the larger Arab East, not easily characterized by periodizing them as “Ottoman” or “British.” Salim Tamari describes this period as one of “cultural liminality,” when the “Ottoman system had collapsed militarily but the colonial system was not yet ushered in.” [9] The period may also be seen as politically liminal: British rule may have supplanted Ottoman authority, yet Palestinians remained connected to the Ottomans through powerful cultural and religious ties.


This liminality was manifested in the connections Palestinians maintained with the Ottoman empire: many Muslims continued to respect Ottoman religious authority as personified by the Sultan-Caliph. Palestinians also viewed Turks not as former oppressors but as fellow Muslims waging a similar struggle against European occupation, and held up Mustafa Kemal as a leader to emulate. This Palestinian identification with the Turks, support for the Kemalist movement, and continued regard for the Sultan-Caliph contradict later colonialist and nationalist framings. It cannot be irrelevant to this process that all Palestinians in a de jure sense, and many Palestinians in an affective sense, remained Ottoman subjects until a 1925 law incorporating the Lausanne provisions created Palestinian nationality. [10] This persistence of Ottoman and Islamic identities while new national identities were forming was manifested in Palestinian responses to the Kemalist movement, itself evolving from a campaign for the preservation of Ottoman rights into a secular, republican nationalism.


Palestinians and the Kemalist Movement


Palestinian support for the Ottomans and the Kemalist movement was manifested differently by different segments of the population. The popular classes—the urban and rural poor and middle classes—displayed solidarity with the Turks as fellow Muslims resisting European armies, often in spontaneous ways. The urban notables who constituted the Palestinian political elite responded in a more deliberate, expressly political manner as they pursued their own struggle with the British authorities. The themes stressed by the two groups differed and changed over time. While Palestinians evinced support for the Kemalists throughout the 1919–22 era (and even beyond), the clearest demonstrations come from the latter period of the war in Anatolia, after the battle of the Sakarya in summer 1921 turned the tide against the Greeks, with a peak of intensity in late summer and early autumn 1922 as the Kemalists decisively defeated the Greeks and confronted the Western Allies. During this latter phase the somewhat inchoate and religiously expressed popular support for the Turks was appropriated by elite Palestinian political leaders, particularly the Arab Executive Committee, [11] as a political tool in their own struggle with the British. The Kemalist military victory forced the Allies to renegotiate the Sèvres treaty, and the Palestinian leadership saw in the Lausanne conference an opportunity to reverse Sèvres’s endorsement of the Mandate. They therefore sought Turkish diplomatic support, tried to take advantage of Kemal’s international popularity to attract wider Muslim support for the Palestinian national cause, and incorporated the images and personalities of the Turkish resistance as part of an intra-elite conflict to control the nationalist movement.


Islamic Dimensions of the Turkish Struggle and the Palestinian Response


The aggressive secularism, nationalism, and republicanism of the post-1923 Turkish Republic has obscured the fact that the Kemalist movement presented itself as one for the defense of Ottoman legitimacy, Islamic identity, and Muslim solidarity. Its use of Ottoman-Islamic rhetoric, imagery, and symbols played a large role in mobilizing support in the Islamic and Arab worlds, including Palestine. The Muslim identity of the majority of Palestinians, the legitimacy of the Ottoman dynasty established by four hundred years of rule, Palestinians’ own search for Muslim support in their struggle with the British and the Zionists, and the military successes of the Anatolian resistance all contributed to Palestinian support for the Turks, especially at a popular level.


Ottoman legitimacy and the figure of the Sultan-Caliph


Although expressions of a specifically Turkish national identity were not lacking in Kemalist statements, the overwhelming emphasis was on the preservation of Ottoman and Muslim rights. The declaration of the Şivas congress of September 1919 and the National Pact both stressed as major goals the “conservation,” “safeguard[ing],” and “continued existence” of the sultanate and caliphate. [12] Mustafa Kemal himself specified the movement’s aims as maintaining the “territorial integrity of the Ottoman Fatherland” and defending the “rights of the Caliphate and throne.” [13] Even after the Istanbul government tried to undermine the Kemalists in April 1920 by having the Shaykh al-Islam issue a fatwa enjoining Muslims to oppose the “rebels,” the nationalists obtained their own fatwa declaring the cabinet traitors. Despite the hostility between Istanbul and Ankara (including a civil war in 1920), until late 1922 the Grand National Assembly recognized the Sultan-Caliph’s authority and stressed it was fighting to preserve the sultanate and caliphate, which was unable to act because of the Allied occupation of Istanbul.


Although the sultan had been reduced to a figurehead by the 1908 revolution and had no actual authority in Istanbul, much less in the severed Arab provinces, the Kemalists’ stress on Ottoman legitimacy resounded in Palestine, where the sultan in his capacity as caliph was a revered symbol of Muslim identity. [14] The sultan’s continued religious authority was reflected in the restored invocation of his name in the Friday prayers—a traditional Islamic marker of sovereignty—in Palestinian mosques from late 1920; for two years prayers had been held in the name of an anonymous amir al-mu’minin (Commander of the Faithful). [15] This public recognition of caliphal authority continued throughout this period. For example, the correspondent for the Times of London reported that “references to the Sultan-Caliph were cheered on several occasions” at the 1922 Nabi Musa (Prophet Moses) celebrations. [16] Palestinian respect for the Sultan-Caliph derived from his traditional status as head of the umma (the Muslim community), but he was also probably the beneficiary of enthusiasm for the Kemalists’ victories even though he had branded the nationalists as “rebels.” [17] At the popular level, devotion to the Sultan-Caliph persisted even after the abolition of the sultanate and, ultimately, the caliphate. Palestinians continued to show support for the Caliph ‘Abd al-Majid (appointed after the abolition of the sultanate in November 1922) against the claims of rival contenders from the Egyptian royal family and the Hashemites. [18] After the Turkish Republic abolished the caliphate and exiled ‘Abd al-Majid in March 1924, Palestinian Muslims vehemently rejected the claim of Sharif Husayn of Mecca, leader of the Arab Revolt, to the caliphate. When Husayn visited Majdal in southern Palestine, large crowds jeered him with cries of “Down with King Husayn! Long live Abd al-Majid living in India!” Worshippers threatened the mufti of Majdal after he invoked Husayn as caliph during prayers, warning him against repeating this claim. [19]


The Palestinian political leadership, mostly Muslim urban notables, also had recourse to the potent symbol of the Sultan-Caliph, recognizing the utility of framing their conflict with the British and Zionism as a religious struggle when Britain’s commitment to the Jewish National Home policy solidified. During the London talks (August 1921–July 1922) between British authorities and the First Palestinian Arab Delegation, a direct appeal to the Sultan-Caliph was made to substantiate Arab and Islamic claims to Palestine and undermine British support for Zionism. In an April 1922 telegram addressed to “His Majesty the Sultan-Caliph,” the delegation—which included several Christians and had been elected by the bi-confessional Fourth Palestinian Arab Congress—identified itself as having been dispatched by the “Muslims of Palestine,” a misrepresentation intended to highlight the Palestinian national movement’s Islamic character. The delegation stressed the threat to Muslims posed by the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine, which would destroy their independence and put into place the “Jews as masters in the Holy Land.” The delegation urged the Sultan-Caliph to intervene, stressing that “The wounded heart of Islam pleads for the mercy of your Majesty against ratifying this [agreement] in order not to make remedying this [problem] impossible.” [20] After the League of Nations approved the Mandate for Palestine, which included the Balfour Declaration, in July 1922, a different Palestinian Muslim “delegation” cabled the Sultan-Caliph as well as other Muslim leaders protesting Britain’s pro-Zionist policy. These elite appeals to the Ottoman Sultan-Caliph were at least implicitly designed to elicit anxiety among Palestine’s British rulers. As the correspondent for the New York Times opined, the latter appeal was an instrument “to inflame Moslem religious zeal against the Zionists” and to produce sentiments leading to a “fanatical outbreak.” [21]


The symbolic importance of the Sultan-Caliph was also exploited by Palestinian elite leaders in an effort to garner Muslim support in having the Palestine issue reopened at the Lausanne conference, discussed in more detail below. Indian Muslims, concerned with the fate of the Ottoman Caliph, organized in 1919 the “Khilafat movement” to protect the office’s survival. In May 1922, the Palestinian delegation in London contacted the “Central Indian Council for the Organization of the Islamic Caliphate,” most likely, as Yehoshua Porath speculates, to assist in currying favor with the Turks. Turkish leaders harbored suspicions of Arab intentions because of the wartime Arab revolt but not of Indian Muslims, who had not sympathized with Sharif Husayn and kept up good relations with the Turks. [22] The Arab delegation wrote a long missive stressing the imperative of Islamic unity, including quotations from the Qur’an and Hadith to provide theological ballast to their argument, ending with the appeal, “Allah is the power, and power is in unity, and unity is among the obligations of religion,” which will bring protection and success for countries. [23] The Palestinian delegation’s approach to the Khilafat movement reflected another Islamic dimension to the Turkish and Palestinian struggles, that of international Muslim solidarity.


Pan-Islamic aspects of the Turkish and Palestinian causes


A persistent sense of Ottoman legitimacy in Palestine and the studied ambiguity of the Kemalist movement toward the sultan’s government in Istanbul had combined to make the figure of the Sultan-Caliph an important symbol for both Palestinians and Turks. As the Palestinian delegation’s overture to the Indian Khilafatists indicates, there was another Islamic aspect to both struggles: the notion of pan-Islamic solidarity of the Muslim community, or umma. The late nineteenth century, when the Ottoman Empire was the only major Muslim power to evade European colonialism and the sultan had formally adopted the title of caliph, [24] had encouraged Muslims worldwide to look to Istanbul. In the aftermath of World War I, that the Kemalists were successfully resisting the imposition of non-Muslim rule over historically Muslim lands enhanced their reputation. Palestinian Muslims, custodians of the third-holiest city of Islam and engaged in a struggle against a Christian power intent on erecting a Jewish state in what they saw as a Muslim land, were prone to viewing the Turks largely as fellow Muslims waging a similar struggle against European occupation. This pan-Islamic aspect combined with persistent Ottomanism and generic anti-imperialism to serve as another point of connection between the Turkish and Palestinian causes during the early 1920s.


From the Kemalist side, appeals to Muslim and anti-imperial solidarity were key discursive elements in the movement’s internal and external policy and propaganda. The National Pact stressed the Muslim identity of the Anatolian population, referring to “an Ottoman Moslem majority, united in religion, in race and in aim” (thus eliding Turkish-Kurdish divisions), dealt with minorities on a religious rather than ethnic basis, and endorsed self-determination through plebiscite in the Arab provinces. [25] Kemal, who had served in the Ottoman war against Italy’s invasion of Libya (1911–12), maintained ties with the ongoing Libyan resistance to the Italians, holding up its exiled leader, Shaykh Ahmad al-Sharif al-Sanusi (d. 1933), as representative of the model Islamic fighter against colonialism. [26] In public messages to Arabs, Kemal referred to them as “Muslim compatriots” and called on them to wrest “Islamic lands” and “Islamic peoples” from foreign domination. [27] Fighters for the Kemalist forces were styled mücahits (Arabic mujahidun, Muslim fighters for jihad), and in one pamphlet Kemal pledged they would “join forces with their Arab brethren and would scatter the enemy,” declaring “the Muslims who love our Sultan, have a right to the Caliphate.” [28]


Kemalist support for Arabs resisting the imposition of British and French rule was practical as well as rhetorical. In the immediate postwar period, Kemal entertained the idea of an entente with Faysal in Syria and gave concrete support to the armed resistance to the French in northern Syria led by Ibrahim Hananu, a former Ottoman bureaucrat of Kurdish origin. The Kemalists, fighting their own war against the French in neighboring Cilicia and southern Anatolia, provided Hananu’s forces with military supplies and aid from summer 1920 until spring 1921. [29] Although material support to Arabs confronting British and French occupation farther afield was beyond the Kemalists’ capabilities, propaganda activity was not: as early as autumn 1919, when the Anatolian resistance was still coalescing, British officials claimed, albeit without corroboration, that Palestine was “infested” with Turkish agents spreading anti-British propaganda. [30] Whatever the truth of the report, progressive Turkish military successes against the British, French, and their clients helped turn the movement and especially its leader Mustafa Kemal into popular heroes in Palestine as well as in the wider Arab and Islamic worlds.


Mustafa Kemal as a Palestinian Popular Hero


Regardless of whether they were motivated by residual Ottoman loyalties, devotion to the Sultan-Caliph, a sense of Islamic solidarity, simple resentment against their British occupiers, or an amorphous combination of all, Palestinians of all classes seized upon the Turkish successes of 1919–22. The successful resistance was personified by Mustafa Kemal, who was the focus of popular adulation, as reflected in the press, public events, and the observations of British officials, who were deeply suspicious of the Kemalist appeal to Palestinians. That Palestinians collapsed the religious, anticolonial, and Ottoman elements of the Kemalist message into a single liminal discursive field is seen in the references by one Arabic newspaper to the Anatolian fighters as variously the “Ottoman army,” the “Turkish army,” and the “Kemalist army.” [31]


Typical of the mixed terms in which Kemal and his movement were perceived in Palestine were press commentaries on the Turkish victories in 1922. That spring, a writer for Mir’at al-Sharq embraced them as a “victory for the Eastern people,” arguing that no nation in the East did not support the Turks and wish them success and victory, because they were an “eastern nation” (umma sharqiyya) defending their “natural rights.” [32] That summer, the same paper framed the Turkish movement in Islamic terms in reporting on a political agreement between Istanbul and Ankara to found a “Great Islamic Kingdom” (Mamlaka Islamiyya Kabira). [33] Whether as an “Easterner” or a Muslim, Kemal was the militant hero to emulate: Haifa’s al-Karmil rhapsodized on the September defeat of the Greeks by urging its readers to “Learn from Kemal, follow in his footsteps and free yourselves of your illusions and your traditions. Make strong your will and keep up your activities if you wish to gain recognition.” [34]


Newspapers were not the only medium to laud Kemal. The memoirs of the Jerusalem musician Wasif Jawhariyyah note a 1921 performance by the Egyptian Jewish composer Zaki Murad of a poem that Jawhariyyah perhaps anachronistically recalled as titled “Ode to Ataturk.” [35] Palestinians adopted the song, originally composed by Ibrahim Qabbani for King Fu’ad of Egypt, as a tribute to Mustafa Kemal. It became so popular that the Abu Shanab music store in Damascus Gate had difficulty keeping up with demand. [36] Resembling the florid prose of medieval Islamic poetry written to praise a patron or ruler, the lyrics reveal how the reputation of Mustafa Kemal extended beyond Anatolia:


The heart beckons to you in adoration

And the eyes are cast towards your beauty

Royalty seeks your concord

The soul is enlivened by your presence . . .

Nobody is your equal

Nobody radiates in your brilliance. [37]


Adulation of Kemal was also expressed more directly in public events, most of them religious in nature, which framed Palestinian admiration for the Turkish leader in Islamic terms. Popular religious festivals attended by pilgrims from across the country were often venues for political expressions. Such manifestations concerned British officials, especially after violence had erupted in Jerusalem in April 1920 among pilgrims to the Nabi Musa festival. In October 1921 a British official in Jerusalem noted that Palestinian Muslims watched the Anatolian war with interest, “using it as a weapon,” as he claimed, to depict it as a battle of Christians against Muslims. [38] By September 1922, another British official remarked that Turkish victories had “excited the imagination of the Moslems,” with Mustafa Kemal acclaimed “as a new saviour of Islam.” Mustafa Kemal’s victories had stirred such excitement in Palestine that many Arabs “eagerly awaited” his arrival in Palestine. [39] That same month, one celebration honoring the Prophet Muhammad celebrated the Turkish victories. Alms were distributed in honor of the “souls of the martyrs [i.e.,Turkish soldiers]” and a telegram was sent to Ankara to “congratulate” the Gazi Mustafa Kemal Basha, “hero of the Ottoman east” (batl al-sharq al-uthmani) for these victories. The telegram informed Kemal that they had asked God to protect the Turks’ “spectacular” victory and provide them “support and success.” [40] The ceremony’s cynosure was the bonds of an Islamic identity, an Ottoman heritage, and the common experience of European occupation that the Palestinian participants—both Muslims and Christians—and Turks shared.


The Turkish victory in late summer 1922 occasioned widespread popular expressions of solidarity in Palestine. Gaza’s shops were decorated and minarets lit in honor of Mustafa Kemal; [41] in that city’s Great Mosque, £400 was raised to support the Turkish armies; while Gaza’s Zaytun quarter celebrated mounting Turkish victories against Greek forces by raising the Turkish flag during a political procession. [42] In Jaffa, the Muslim Committee raised £500, and prayers were offered for Mustafa Kemal at the city’s main mosque. [43] At the Haram al-Sharif, a religious service was held honoring the victorious Turkish forces, with donations collected for the Red Crescent Society. A wedding procession in Nablus became a spontaneous political demonstration, with many participants raising Turkish flags and shouting, “Down with Zionism, Great Britain, and the Balfour Declaration.” The wedding guests heard speeches in praise of the Turkish victories by youths hoisted on to the shoulders of their comrades. [45] In September 1923, at the annual Nabi Rubin (Prophet Reuben) festival in Jaffa, British officials noted the appearance of the Turkish flag during the procession of four thousand celebrants. [46] During the mawlid al-nabi (Birth of the Prophet Muhammad) ceremonies in Hebron in November 1922, shopkeepers shared this spirit of celebrating Turkish victories by hoisting Turkish flags in front of their shops. [47] It was not only Palestinians who celebrated in this way; Arabs from Morocco to Syria widely embraced the Turkish victories with great enthusiasm, hoisting Turkish flags, raising funds to assist the Turkish war effort, and convening prayers to honor the victories. [48]


The British regarded the sudden embrace of the Turkish flag in Palestine as a challenge to their authority and an unwelcome embrace of anticolonial militancy. Wherever Arabs hoisted the Turkish flag, the flags were confiscated and the bearers of the flags arrested. In Nablus a procession of small boys gathered to celebrate Turkish victories in the autumn of 1922 but dispersed upon the arrival of a contingent of Arab police. A plan to decorate the city in honor of Turkish forces was frustrated by the city’s Arab mayor. Residents had also hoped to organize a religious celebration, but local authorities canceled this event as well. [49] The display of the Turkish flag is an especially interesting example of liminality: the Kemalist flag and the Ottoman flag were identical, and those who flew it could have been honoring the Sultan-Caliph, Mustafa Kemal, both simultaneously, or some other mix of Ottoman and Islamic identities. But it also points to a final aspect of the Palestinian response to the Kemalist movement: the possibility of using the Turkish victory to upset the British Mandate entirely.


Autumn 1922: The Turkish Victory and the Palestinian Question at Lausanne


The Kemalist victory over the Greeks in September 1922 and the armistices the following month inspired Palestinians to speculate on the possibility of an impending Turkish military liberation of Palestine. The Turkish-British dispute over the status of Mosul led to suggestions that the Turks would liberate Iraq and then Palestine. On 3 October 1922, Filastin, in an article titled “Turkish Victories Frighten Jews over Palestine,” reported that the Jewish Chronicle had raised the question of whether Great Britain would intervene to prevent a Turkish move on Mosul. Filastin further speculated if, should Turkey capture Iraq, England would oppose attempts to be forcefully expelled from Palestine, intimating a Turkish military assault on Palestine. The Jewish people “are not ignorant” of the possibility, the Jaffa daily noted, which “worried them.” [50]


More realistically, the opening of the Lausanne conference to renegotiate the Treaty of Sèvres presented the possibility of Turkish diplomatic and political support for the Palestinian cause. In the eyes of the Palestinian leadership, Sèvres was the only legal basis for the British Mandate, approved by the League of Nations in July 1922. Palestinians reasoned that if Sèvres, which had put the Ottoman Arab provinces under European control, was to be renegotiated, then Palestine’s future would inevitably be revisited. [51] The Arab Executive therefore sought a voice at Lausanne and Turkish diplomatic support there, sending a delegation to Istanbul and Lausanne in November 1922.


Despite Kemalist rhetorical support for Arab self-determination, as expressed in article 1 of the National Pact, and Turkish popularity among Palestinians in the wake of the Kemalist victories, there were tensions between the two sides. Some Kemalists resented Arabs for the wartime Arab Revolt. An October 1922 editorial in Lisan al-’Arab claimed that Kemal, or someone close to him, had said, “You Arabs should not think that we forgot the treachery [sayyi’a] you committed against us.” Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Muzaffar, who would be the main contact between the Arab Executive and the Turks, responded in Filastin, challenging Lisan al-’Arab to provide more information on the quotation’s provenance, so he could “repudiate this fabricated incident. . . [and] lie.” [52] Some Palestinian national leaders had reason to doubt the Turkish commitment to Arab self-determination and Muslim solidarity. When the Palestinian delegation in London wrote to the Indian Khilafatists in May 1922, seeking the latter’s support (see above), the occasion had been a rumor that the Turks consented to the French occupation of “Islamic Syria” (bilad Suriyya al-Islamiyya) and would surrender control of “Holy Palestine” (Filastin al-muqaddasa) to the Zionists. The Palestinians sarcastically questioned how such a stand could come from a government that claimed to be the foundation of the caliphate, [53] predicted the decision would be met with outrage throughout the Islamic world, and accused Ankara of abandoning al-haram al-masjid al-aqsa (the sacred al-Aqsa mosque), the first qibla (direction of prayer) and third Noble Sanctuary. [54]


Despite these mutual suspicions, the Arab Executive appointed a delegation, comprising Musa Kazim al-Husayni, [55] Amin al-Tamimi, [56] and Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Muzaffar, to travel to Istanbul and Lausanne. Upon the delegation’s departure from Gaza, ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Muzaffar addressed a crowd of four to five hundred supporters with the grandiose promise of what Lausanne held for Palestinians, stating: “We shall meet Mustapha Kemal Pasha. We shall meet the Turks (repeated three times). We shall meet the Moslem world at large. We shall return with complete independence under the Turkish Mandate and with the Balfour Declaration repealed,” and called out “Down with Zionism, the elections and the Legislative Council.” [57] Arriving in Istanbul on 14 November 1922, the delegation met with Rafat Pasha, the governor of Istanbul, who promised that the Turks would insist that article 1 of the National Pact (Arab self-determination) be applied to Palestine. Leaving behind al-Muzaffar to continue soliciting Turkish support, Husayni and Tamimi departed for Lausanne, where they were joined by Shibli al-Jamal. [58]


‘Abd al-Qadir al-Muzaffar was delegated to remain in Turkey because of his defense of the Kemalists and because of the many ties he had forged with Turks through his service as a religious functionary in the Ottoman army and his political activism in Syria from 1918 to 1920. [59] Despite meeting delegates to the Grand National Assembly, writers, and jurists, some of whom wrote newspaper articles in favor of Palestinian demands, al-Muzaffar departed less enthusiastic, suspecting Turkish aims at the conference would trump Arab needs, compelling him to cut short his stay and forgo traveling to Ankara, as he had intended. [60]


Meanwhile in Lausanne, the Palestinian delegation met with İsmet Pasha, [61] head of the Turkish delegation. At the first meeting Ismet promised that Turkey would insist upon the Arabs’ right of self-determination and even said the Palestinian delegation should be permitted to address the conference. But Ismet evaded subsequent meetings with the Palestinians, and other members of the Turkish delegation made clear the Turks’ intention to accept the post–World War I status quo and article 95 of the Treaty of Sèvres, which authorized a Mandate for Palestine incorporating the Balfour Declaration. [62]


The Arab Executive downplayed this tepid Turkish response, highlighting instead the most positive statements. On his return to Palestine in December 1922, ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Muzaffar recounted his fruitful meetings with Turkish officials, conveying Mustafa Kemal’s greetings to all Palestinians and his promise not to “forsake them in their struggle for independence.” [63] In a speech, al-Muzaffar quoted the response the Turkish foreign minister gave to those who doubted Turkey’s commitment to Palestine:


You have annoyed us with Palestine, we have already a huge dossier about it. We often are interrupted in our most important meetings at the Parliament by a wire from the King of Afghanistan, Shah of Persia, Rajah. . . . These wires and protests are then discussed and raise the fanaticism of the Anatolian Sheikhs who start crying and urging us to help Palestine and to protect Masjed el Aksa and the Harem. We have great difficulty in convincing these people that we are helping and will help Palestine. [64]


When asked if Turkey would ratify a treaty recognizing the Mandates and in defiance of its pledge to support Arab self-determination, al-Muzaffar reassured his audience that the Turks “will never do it or they will never do it willingly.” He urged the population to “love the Turks, they are our brethren in Islam, our neighbours, and it is in our benefit to be on good terms with them.” [65]


It was not just the Husayni-controlled Arab Executive that saw a Turkish solution to the Palestine question, but also Palestinian notables hostile to the Husaynis’ dominance. Filastin published a letter calling for a Turkish Mandate over Palestine, whose signatories referred to themselves as “the people of Jerusalem” (ahl al-quds). Addressed to Mustafa Pasha Kemal, the “president of the Lausanne conference” (although he did not serve in this capacity), and to Ismet Pasha, the petition demanded the full independence of Palestine under a Mandate of the “Turkish Kemalist government” (intidab al-hakuma al-Turkiya al-Kamaliya). The signatories regarded Turks as fellow Muslims who resisted occupation and Turkey as far preferable to the British military forces currently occupying Palestine. [66]


The fourteen signatories represented such prominent Jerusalem ulama and ashraf families as the ‘Alamis, Dajanis, Khalidis, Nusaibis, and Nashashibis, all rivals of the Husayni family and opponents of its influence over the Arab Executive. They declared that if the Palestinian delegation opposed these demands, then it did not represent the “umma.” [67] By invoking the Islamic designation for nation, instead of the more secular term watan, the letter underscored the shared Islamic identity of the Arab and Turkish national movements. While the letter certainly suggests to us how some in Palestine believed the prospect of Turkish rule returning to Palestine to be a credible option, it should also highlight how different notable factions exploited the political capital of the Turkish War of Independence in their struggles over control of the Palestinian national movement. [68]




The appeal to the Turks at Lausanne failed to impede the progress of the British Mandate and its pro-Zionist policy, but for a time Mustafa Kemal and Turkey retained popularity in Palestine, although ties progressively frayed after the abolitions of the sultanate and the caliphate and Turkey’s reorientation toward Europe and away from its Middle Eastern neighbors and Ottoman past. In the mid-1920s, Mustafa Kemal, because of his anticolonial leadership, was approached as a candidate for the caliphate, despite his abolition of the office and secularizing reforms. [69] In Palestine Kemal’s name was sporadically invoked throughout the British Mandate, such as during the 1929 Nabi Musa processions in Jerusalem, when celebrants shouted, “Long live Mustafa Kemal Basha!” [70]


During the period discussed in this article, Palestinians confronted British colonialism and Zionism not exclusively through a nationalist prism but also through a continued reference to the Ottoman Empire, reverence for the Sultan-Caliph, and a regard for Mustafa Kemal and his movement as anticolonial heroes fighting for Ottoman rights, Muslim solidarity, and “Eastern” nations. Because of this liminal mix of loyalties and connections, Palestinians took seriously Turkish pledges of support for Arab self-determination and considered options as to how Turkey could assist in delivering them from British rule and Zionist infiltration. But after the disappointment of Lausanne, Palestinians and Turks grew estranged. As the new Turkish Republic abandoned its Ottoman past and Islamic identity, many Arabs looked askance. Turkey’s annexation of the sanjaq of Alexandretta from French-ruled Syria in 1938 was bitterly resented by many. [71] Turkey’s adherence to NATO and the Baghdad Pact during the cold war was the antithesis of Arab nationalists’ rejection of such alliances as extensions of European imperialism. [72] And Turkey’s close relationship with Israel only served to distance Arabs even further. The estrangement has only been ameliorated recently, since the Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) rose to power, forged closer economic and political ties with Arab states, and became critical of Israel, culminating in the Mavi Marmara incident of May 2010.


Arabs and Turks are both reevaluating their connections to each other and to their shared Ottoman past, in a process Esra Ozyürek calls a debate about “public memory,” which is the public arena of how historical events and personalities are debated to serve interests in the present. [73] And this reevaluation applies as well to the liminal period discussed here. A small example was the publication by the Turkish Islamist daily Akit on the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Turkish Republic’s founding of a photograph of Mustafa Kemal, one day after the republic’s declaration, praying alongside other religious men. Such a portrayal, subversive of Kemalist secular orthodoxy, is of course reflective of continued debates over the role of Islam in Turkish public life. [74] But it is also a hint that, for today’s Islamists—both Arabs and Turks—the Ottoman past is increasingly regarded as an exemplar of Islamic identity, [75] and this past will continue to be debated as long as both revisit the past to confront contemporary issues.



Awad Halabi is an associate professor of history and religion at Wright State University. The author would like to thank the three anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments, Salim Tamari and Issam Nassar for their helpful suggestions, and the editorial staff of the Journal of Palestine Studies. All errors are the responsibility of the author. 


1. L. Carl Brown, “The Setting: An Introduction,” in L. Carl Brown, ed., Imperial Legacy: The Ottoman Imprint on the Balkans and the Middle East (New York: Columbia University Press, 1996), p. 5.


2. George Antonius, The Arab Awakening: The Story of the Arab Nationalist Movement (London: H. Hamilton, 1938); Karl Barbir, “Memory, Heritage and History: The Ottoman Legacy in the Arab World,” in Brown, Imperial Legacy, pp. 105–7.


3. Rashid Khalidi, Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness (New York: Columbia University Press, 1997), pp. 64–65; see also Barbir, “Memory, Heritage and History,” p. 107, and Keith Watenpaugh, Being Modern in the Middle East: Revolution, Nationalism, Colonialism, and the Arab Middle Class (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006), pp. 134–59.


4. Ronald Storrs, Orientations (London: Nicholson and Watson, 1937), p. 436; Edward Keith-Roach, Pasha: Memoirs of a District Commissioner under the British Mandate (London: Radcliffe Press, 1994), p. 73.


5. Rashid Khalidi, “Ottomanism and Arabism in Syria before 1914: A Reassessment,” in Rashid Khalidi et al., eds., The Origins of Arab Nationalism (New York: Columbia University, 1991), pp. 50–69; C. Ernest Dawn, “The Origins of Arab Nationalism,” in Rashid Khalidi et al., eds., The Origins of Arab Nationalism, pp. 3–30; Salim Tamari, “City of Riffraff: Crowds, Public Space, and New Urban Sensibilities in WarTime Jerusalem, 1917–1921,” in Kamran Asdar Ali and Martina Rieker, eds., Comparing Cities: The Middle East and South Asia (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), pp. 23–48; Hasan Kayalı, Arabs and Young Turks: Ottomanism, Arabism, and Islamism in the Ottoman Empire, 1908–1918 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997).


6. Watenpaugh, Being Modern in the Middle East, p. 125. See also Michael Provence, “Ottoman Modernity, Colonialism, and Insurgency in the Interwar Arab East,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 43, no. 2 (May 2011), p. 214; William L. Cleveland, “Atatürk Viewed by His Arab Contemporaries: The Opinions of Sati’ al-Husri and Shakib Arslan,” International Journal of Turkish Studies 2, no. 2 (1981–82), p. 15


7. Text of the Treaty of Sèvres, in J. C. Hurewitz, ed., Diplomacy in the Near and Middle East: A Documentary Record, vol. II: 1914–1956 (Princeton: Van Nostrand, 1956), pp. 81–87.


8. Text in Hurewitz, Diplomacy, pp. 74–75; see also Erik J. Zürcher, Turkey: A Modern History (London: I. B. Tauris, 1997), p. 144.


9. Tamari, “City of Riffraff,” p. 35. Victor Turner described liminality as a condition “betwixt and between” different states or entities experienced in a ritual process. Victor Turner, The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure (New York: Aldine DeGruyter, 1969), p. 95.


10. See Mutaz Qafisheh, “The International Law Foundations of Palestinian Nationality: A Legal Examination of Palestinian Nationality under the British Rule,” Ph.D. dissertation, Université de Genève, 2007 (These no. 745).


11. On the Arab Executive, see Ann Mosely Lesch, Arab Politics in Palestine: 1917–1939: The Frustration of a Nationalist Movement (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1979), and Yehoshua Porath, The Emergence of the Palestinian-Arab National Movement 1918–1929 (London: Frank Cass, 1974).


12. “Declaration of the Congress of Sivas,” arts. II, V, in U.S. Department of State, Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States [FRUS] 1919 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1934), vol. 2, p. 887; National Pact, preamble, in Hurewitz, Diplomacy, p. 74.


13. “Condensed Memorandum concerning the Organization and Points of View of the League for the Defense of the Rights of Anatolia and Roumelia,” FRUS 1919, vol. 2, p. 878.


14. Articles 3 and 4 of Ottoman Constitution of 1876 officially titled the Sultan “Sultan-Caliph.” Text in Robert G. Landen, ed., The Emergence of the Modern Middle East: Selected Readings (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1970), pp. 98–106. See also Albert Hourani, Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age, 1798–1939 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1962, 2nd ed., 1983), p. 106.


15. The reinstatement of prayers in honor of the Ottoman dynasty lasted until the abolition of the Ottoman Caliphate in early 1924. In Porath, Emergence of the Palestinian-Arab National Movement, p. 160.


16. However, the name of Mustafa Kemal was heard only once; the loudest cry was for “God prosper Palestine and the Arabs!” In “Feast of the Prophet Moses: Arab Pilgrimage Passes Off Quietly,” Times of London, 11 April 1922, p. 13.


17. Zürcher, Turkey: A Modern History, p. 142.


18. See Elie Kedourie, “Egypt and the Caliphate,” in The Chatham House Version and Other Middle Eastern Studies (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 1970, 1984), pp. 182–88. One writer in La Palestine rejected Hashemites’ claims to the caliphate because they were “slaves to the foreign influences”; La Palestine, 15 December 1922, cited in “Political Report for the Month of December 1922,” cited in Robert L. Jarman, ed., Political Diaries of the Arab World: Palestine and Jordan, vol. I, 1920–1923 (London: Archives Edition Ltd., 2001), p. 343.


19. “Political Report for March 1924,” dated 18 April 1924, CO 20304, cited in Robert L. Jarman, ed., Political Diaries of the Arab World: Palestine and Jordan, vol. 2, 1924–1936, p. 28


20. “Telegram from the Arab Palestinian Delegation in London to the Sultan in Istanbul,” no. 120, dated 18 April 1922, in Bayan Nuwahid al-Hut, ed., Watha’iq al-Haraka alWataniyya al-Filastiniyya 1917–1939 min Awraq Akram Zu`aytir (Beirut: Institute of Palestine Studies, 1984), p. 231.


21. “Appeal to Moslem Rulers,” New York Times, 5 July 1922, p. 12. It is unclear who comprised this “delegation.”


22. Porath, Emergence of the Palestinian-Arab National Movement, pp. 162–96. On the Khilafat movement, see Gail Minault, The Khilafat Movement: Religious Symbolism and Political Mobilization in India (New York: Columbia University Press, 1982).


23. “Letter from the Arab Palestinian Delegation in London to the President of the Central Indian Council for the Organization of the Islamic Caliphate,” no. 130, dated 22 May 1922, in Al-Hut, ed., Watha’iq alHaraka, p. 249.


24. The title of Caliph first appears with the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarja (1774); see Hourani, Arabic Thought, p. 106.


25. National Pact, art. 1, in Hurewitz, Diplomacy, pp. 74–75.


26. Keddouri, “Egypt and the Caliphate,” pp. 189–90. See also Muhammad Khalil, “A Rise of the Sanusiyyah Order,” in M. M. Sharif, ed., A History of Muslim Philosophy (Pakistan Philosophical Congress, 2004), p. 1479; Odile Moreau, “Echoes of National Liberation: Turkey Viewed from the Maghrib in the 1920s,” in James McDougall, ed., Nation, Society and Culture in North Africa (London: Frank Cass, 2003), p. 68.


27. Moreau, “Echoes of National Liberation,” p. 62.


28. Salahi Ramsdan Sonyel, Turkish Diplomacy 1918–1923: Mustafa Kemal and the Turkish National Movement (London: Sage, 1975), p. 22; FO 406/41, no. 191, 2 December 1919, cited in Provence, “Ottoman Modernity,” p. 217.


29. Sonyel, Turkish Diplomacy, p. 22; Philip S. Khoury, Syria and the French Mandate: The Politics of Arab Nationalism 1920–1945 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987), pp. 102–10; Watenpaugh, Being Modern in the Middle East, p. 179 and pp. 174–84.


30. “Propaganda in Palestine,” New York Times, 25 October 1919, p. 9.


31. “The Fighting between the Turks and the Greeks,” Mir’at al-Sharq, 5 April 1921, p. 3; “The War in Anatolia,” Mir’at al-Sharq, 13 September 1922, p. 3; “The War in Anatolia,” Mir’at alSharq, 22 October 1921, p. 3.


32. “The Political Situation in Anatolia,” Mir’at al-Sharq, 13 April 1922, p. 2.


33. “Agreement of Turkish Parties and the New Political Plan,” Mir’at alSharq, 29 July 1922, p. 3.


34. Al-Karmil, 16 September 1922, quoted in Porath, Emergence of the Palestinian-Arab National Movement 1918–1929, p. 158.


35. Atatürk, “Father of the Turks,” was a surname bestowed on Kemal by the Grand National Assembly in 1935, but it is possible he was already referred to by this sobriquet as early as 1921.


36. Tamari, “City of Riffraff,” p. 17.


37. Translation by Tamari, “City of Riffraff,” p. 16.


38. “Report on the Political Situation in Palestine for the Month of October 1921,” CO 57017, dated 4 November 1921, p. 1, in Political Diaries, vol. I, p. 114.


39. “Political Report for September 1922,” CO 51515, dated 6 October 1922, in Political Diaries, vol. I, p. 289.


40. “The Celebration of the Blessed Birth for the Turkish Victories,” Filastin, 22 September 1922, p. 4. 


41. “Political Report for September 1922,” CO 51515, dated 6 October 1922, in Political Diaries, vol. I, p. 289.


42. “Political Report for September 1922,” CO 51515, dated 6 October 1922, in Political Diaries, vol. I, p. 289.


43. “Report on the Political Situation in Palestine for the Month of October 1922,” CO 57552, dated 10 November 1922, in Political Diaries, vol. I, p. 310.


44. Political Report for September 1922,” CO 51515, dated 6 October 1922, in Political Diaries, vol. I, p. 289.


45. “Political Report for September 1922,” CO 51515, dated 6 October 1922, in Political Diaries vol. I, p. 289.


46. “Political Report for September 1923,” CO 52408, dated 19 October 1923, cited in Political Diaries, vol. I, p. 703.


47. “Political Report for the Month of November 1922,” High Commissioner, Jerusalem, CO 63773, dated 15 December 1922, p. 2, in Political Diaries, vol. I, p. 323.


48. Moreau, “Echoes of National Liberation,” pp. 62–63; Watenpaugh, Being Modern in the Middle East, pp. 160–61.


49. “Political Report for the Month of November 1922,” High Commissioner, Jerusalem, CO 51515, dated 15 December 1922, p. 2, in Political Diaries, vol. I, p. 323.


50. Filastin, 3 October 1922, 1. The “Mosul Question,” as it was known, involved Turkish claims over Mosul, which was resolved through negotiations of the two sides at the League of Nations, leading to an agreement signed on 5 June 1926 and Turkey renouncing its claims over Mosul. See Sonyel, Turkish Diplomacy, pp. 22, 222.


51. Porath, Emergence of the Palestinian-Arab National Movement, p. 159.


52. “Statement” (Bayan), Filastin, 13 October 1922, p. 3. Shaykh Muzaffar claimed that the editorial appeared in Lisan al-‘Arab, no. 331.


53. Ferid Bek was cited as the source of these rumors and served as prominent policy maker for the Turkish government at Ankara. See “Kemal to Demand Allies Relinquish World War Gains,” New York Times, 10 November 1922, p. 1.


54. “Letter from the Arab Palestinian Delegation in London to the President of the Central Indian Council for the Organization of the Islamic Caliphate,” No. 130, dated 22 May 1922, in Ed. Bayan Nuwahid al-Hut, Watha’iq al-Haraka al-Wataniyya al-Filastiniyya 1917–1939 min Awraq Akram Zu’aytir (Beirut: Institute of Palestine Studies, 1984), p. 249


55. 1850 or 1853(?) –1934, mayor of Jerusalem 1918-20 and president of the Arab Executive from 1920.


56. From Nablus, Tamimi had been a member of Faysal’s government in Syria and retained strong Hashemite connections. He was later a member of the Palestinian delegation to the London conference of 1939.


57. “Political Report for the Month of November 1922,” High Commissioner, Jerusalem, CO 63773, dated 15 December 1922, p. 4, cited in Political Diaries, vol. I, p. 325.


58. Porath, Emergence of the Palestinian-Arab National Movement, p. 163


59. Porath, Emergence of the Palestinian-Arab National Movement, pp. 163–64


60. Porath, Emergence of the Palestinian-Arab National Movement, p. 164.


61. Later İsmet İnönü, Kemal’s righthand man and his successor as Turkish president.


62. Porath, Emergence of the Palestinian-Arab National Movement, p. 165.


63. “Political Report for the Month of December 1922,” CO 3863, dated 8 January 1923, in Political Diaries, vol. I, p. 337.


64. “Report on the Political Situation in Palestine and Trans-Jordan during the Month of January, 1923,” CO 8933, dated 7 February 1923, Appendix A, “Report of Speech by Abdul-Kader al-Muzaffar,” p. 2, in Political Diaries, vol. I, p. 432.


65. “Report on the Political Situation in Palestine and Trans-Jordan during the month of January, 1923,” CO 8933, dated 7 February 1923, Appendix A, “Report of Speech by Abdul-Kader alMuzaffar,” p. 2, in Political Diaries, Vol. I, 433.


66. The request appears in both Filastin, 8 December 1922, p. 3, and in ‘Abd al-Wahhab al-Kayyali, ed., Watha’iq al-Muqawima al-Filastin al-Arabi Didd al-Ihtilal al-Brtitani wa-l-Sahayuniah 1917–1939 (Beirut: Institute for Palestine Studies, 2d ed., 1988), pp. 66–67. Kayyali’s version of the request lists the letter as addressed to “Gazi Mustafa Kemal.” See also Porath, Emergence of the Palestinian, pp. 160–65.


67. The delegation, which departed to London on 19 July 1921 included Musa Kazim al-Husayni, Tawfiq Hamad, Muin al-Madi, and Ibrahim Shammas. See Lesch, Arab Politics in Palestine, p. 159, n. 11.


68. In a meeting of the Arab Executive, this letter was condemned as an attempt to undermine the delegates at Lausanne. “Political Report for the Month of December 1922,” High Commissioner, Jerusalem, CO 3863, dated 8 January 1923, p. 4, cited in Political Diaries, vol. I, p. 340.


69. Emine Evered and Kyle Evered, “Decolonization through Secularization: A Geopolitical Reframing of Turkey’s 1924 Abolition of the Caliphate,” The Arab World Geographer/Le Geographe du Monde Arabe 13, no. 1 (2010), p. 15. It is unclear if any of these appeals came from Palestine.


70. “The Prophet Moses Banner,” 30 April 1929, Filastin, p. 5.


71. On the Alexandretta dispute, see Andrew Mango, Ataturk (New York: Overlook Press, 2000), pp. 506-9; Khoury, Syria and the French Mandate, pp. 494–514; and Sarah D. Shields, Fezzes in the River: Identity Politics and European Diplomacy in the Middle East on the Eve of World War II (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011)


72. For Arab nationalist opposition to these pro-Western military alliances, see Salim Yaqub, Containing Arab Nationalism: The Eisenhower Doctrine and the Middle East (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004).


73. Esra Ozyürek, “Introduction,” in Esra Ozyürek, ed., The Politics of Public Memory in Turkey (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2007), p. 9.


74. Esra Ozyürek, “Public Memory as Political Battleground: Islamist Subversions of Republican Nostalgia,” in Politics of Public Memory, pp. 114–16.


75. Karl Barbir, “Memory, Heritage, and History: The Ottoman Legacy in the Arab World,” in Brown, Imperial Legacy, pp. 101–19.