According to a diplomatic document received by Sait Cetinoglu, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs and then Consul General of Beirut Fatin Ryushtu Zorlu took the initiative before the Lebanese government in 1944 against the newspaper ROJA NU, published in Beirut by Kamuran Ali Bedirhan.

Sait Cetinoglu

Armenians who miraculously escaped from the genocide organized by the Turkish Republic in the Middle East, forcibly or voluntarily displaced Kurds were always under control, in this regard, it is not surprising that the Turkish Republic is directly interested in the Middle East, especially the north of Syria. The subject of this article is a report submitted by the former Consul General of Beirut Fatin Ryushtu Zorlu on May 19, 1944, in which he focused on an article about Kurds in the Middle East published by the Beirut newspaper Le JOUR NOUVEAU /ROJA NU. His life was tragically cut short in Yasiada on the morning of September 16, 1961, when he became Minister of Foreign Affairs. The report is as detailed as other reports on Armenian-Kurdish issues. It is noteworthy that diplomats from other countries are being monitored based on the effectiveness of the report. The May 8, 1944 issue of Roja Nu magazine, which formed the basis of Zorlu’s report, was published in two languages: French and Kurdish. The article in the French section entitled Kurdistan examines in detail the Middle Eastern problems, which are presented as an eastern problem concerning the Kurds and the Kurdish question.

It is not strange that Zorlu does not like the mention of the Armenian massacre in the article; he fixes it as an unfriendly attitude towards Turkey. The parts of the report concerning the Kurds contain expressions of disrespect and slander, and the publishers are accused of corruption. One of the interesting paragraphs of the report is the accusation that a significant part of the Armenians and Kurds are under the control of British intelligence. Zorlu tries to increase the significance of his report, adding that the rumors about Novikov, the ambassador of the Soviet Union, are not without meaning. He tries to attach mysterious significance to the trips of the first secretary of the Soviet embassy in Ankara Mikhailov to Beirut, Palestine and Cairo. The topic of such reports, especially when it comes to the Middle East, is the consequences and dangers of communism. Stressing that “there are some Arab, Orthodox, Armenian-communist elements leaning towards the Soviets,” Zorlu drew attention to the possibility or danger of the masses whose dream of independence will soon come true.

    The Consul General (Fatin Ryushtu Zorlu) reports the situation to the relevant authorities, and makes a note: “I drew the attention of the “main delegation” and the Government of Lebanon to the aforementioned Kurdish newspaper, and they promised to take immediate action. The director of the Politburo of the general delegation said by phone today that censorship has been severely criticized, and the newspaper has been warned.”

    Analyzing the political climate in the Middle East at the end of World War II, a long and detailed article in the French section of the newspaper LE JOUR NOUVEAU/ROJA NU analyzes the political situation in the Middle East, discusses the approach of the Kurdish world to the interwar period. It is noteworthy that the article was written in the diplomatic language of that period, French, which was intended for diplomatic missions. The article is an important historical document. It would not be a mistake to say that it should be taken as a summary of the Kurdish issue. However, no matter how transparent the issue may be, it seems utopian to expect that the atmosphere created by the war can be a benefit for the Kurds, that these promises will be remembered.

[1] State Archive, Archive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, No. 571_35679-140791-119

Report by Fatin Ruishtu Zorlu

REPUBLIC OF TURKEY

Beirut – May 19 , 1944

Consul General of Beirut

No. 429/219/8, mainly some Kurdish newspapers published in Beirut.

To the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In the May 8 issue of the Kurdish newspaper Jour Nouveau – Roja NU, wanted by the General Directorate of Security, an article titled Kurdistan was published, which briefly states that the Kurdish issue was not resolved with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the territory of Kurdistan remained with Russia, Iran, Turkey, Iraq and Syria. 160 thousand, 3.5 million, 4 million, 1 million and 250 thousand Kurds live in all those settlements that have passed under the British and French mandates, respectively. However, Kurds in Turkey and Iran are constantly persecuted, and Turkey is called unfriendly. These Kurdish newspapers are always published irregularly and with little difficulty, they are delivered with great difficulty. The almost unreadable Kurdish newspapers, which are distributed only with the support of the Government at this time of paper shortage, are new evidence that some colonial States are turning the problems of national minorities into weapons against their neighbors.

    In fact, in Syria, Lebanon, the Kurdish-Armenian issue is always ignored, sometimes clarified and resolved in accordance with the situation of relations between different countries and the Republic of Turkey. In my opinion, the aforementioned propaganda presents two aspects. One of them is that some French political elements are trying to rely on the Russian government through their propaganda, according to which the Russians will come to this way of thinking by forming Armenia or Kurdistan, and then cooperate with the French against the Anglo-Saxons. As for the second version, it is controlled by British propaganda services so that Armenians and Kurds, who make up a significant mass in these countries, do not fall into the wrong hands. But do they understand that they will not go so far as to say that the provocation against our country, which is easy to ignite in the current situation, is more contrary to their public interests than ours? This is propaganda that has no factual basis that the Russians are creating a situation against us with their encouragement. With the above-mentioned proposals, I tried to imagine that this propaganda is intended to create the impression that England is going to make decisions against our country by cooperating with the aforementioned element (the Russians). I think this is not based on reality, but on words.

    In addition, I would like to record some rumors about the activities of the Soviet Ambassador Novikov in Cairo. A colleague who had just arrived from Cairo told me that Novikov and his wife were active among Armenians, both often attended Armenian meetings, and that there were rumors in Cairo that Soviet Russia would grant Russian citizenship to all Armenians. One of the rumors circulating here is that the Soviet Republic of Armenia will soon begin negotiations on sending an ambassador to Syria-Lebanon. Of course, Soviet Russia became more interested in the Middle East, communicating with various elements that it could use to its advantage. After sending Novikov to Egypt, they tried for some time to send an ambassador to Iraq, but, according to the Iraqi ambassador, the Iraqis did not approve. Finally, the departure of Sultanov, Secretary of the Embassy of the Soviet Union in Cairo, and the visit of the Secretary General of the Embassy of Ankara Mikhailov to Palestine, here (Beirut), clearly prove this fact. Although Mikhailov came to Beirut for the documents of the former tsarist Russia, he was very careful, but there is no doubt that he had some connections here. Moreover, the consul of the Netherlands, who worked with him on these archives, once called me and said that he had not been able to see Mikhailov in the hotel or anywhere else for 48 hours. Besides, as I have repeatedly mentioned, there are a number of Arab, Orthodox, Armenian-communist elements here who are really inclined to the Soviets. It is very likely that those who cherish the hope of independence will join these elements. Some colonial States are trying to oppress us for one purpose or another. The propaganda they conduct, seeking to take their place through Russia, is ultimately directed in favor of Russia.

With respect,

Consul General Fatin Ryushtu Zorlu

15.03.2021

By Decision 32383030 report confidentiality was removed

Source: “Yeni Yasham” newspaper