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File 3579/1916 'Turkey: the future of Constantinople' [‎121r] (250/530)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (259 folios). It was created in 5 Sep 1916-27 Mar 1919. It was written in English and French. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.


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liave staked everything on the result of the present war ” The District Magis
trate, Ludhiana—also a Muhammadan—reports “From what I have been
able to gather so far, I find that Mussalmans, although not elated at the
prospect, will be reconciled to the inevitable »; thougli he goes on to say that
the wisdom ot the step, in making Russia so powerful, is doubted in intelligent
quarters. Ibis in the Lieutenant-Governor’s opinion represents the general
view ot Muhammadans who take an interest in the political situation From
two districts it is reported that the news excites the less interest for the reason
that it is dependent on the collapse of Turkey, an achievement which has
still to be effected. And there is a general belief that Turkey is still playing
a great part in the war. r ^ o
The attitude of the people is everywhere reported to be good. The
Deputy Commissioner, Lahore, reports that the German offer of peace has borne
to the people greater conviction as to the ultimate result of the war than
anything which has gone before. The high prices prevailing are a matter of
more serious concern than the events in Europe. It is considered that they
are due to the war; and the people, in consequence, long for peace.
Enclosure No. 21.
Extract from a letter from Vie Chief Commissioner, Delhi, No. 13 {Home),
dated the 3rd January 1917.
1. Steps have, as requested by the Government of India, been taken
to prepare Muhammadan opinion for a declaration as to the intention
of the Allies in regard to Constantinople. The matter has not aroused
particular attention, and there have even been opinions expressed that
Constantinople seems in no particular danger of capture. It is unlikely that
when the declaration becomes public property it will attract increased notice.
» * * * * * * m
Enclosure No. 22.
Extract from a letter from the Government of Madras, No. 105-W. dated
the 17th January 1917.
3. The newspaper references to the agreement with respect to Constanti
nople have not created any stir amongst Muhammadans. The apparent indiffer
ence with which this community has received the news may be ascribed to a
popular belief that Turkey is going to win in the end and that the terms of the
agreement are never likely to be enforced. The announcement would have
provoked more comment, if, at the time that it was made, Turkey had been in
more imminent danger of defeat and disruption, for the idea that the defeat of |
Turkey means the fall of Islam has of late been sedulously disseminated
among Muhammadans in this Presidency by an emissary from "the Nadwar-ul-
Ulema (assembly of learned men) of Aligarh. This emissary, who is known
at the Moulvi Shamlavi, has gone back to North India to recruit his health
but is expected to return this month for a preaching tour in which he will be
assisted by Muhammadans possessing a knowledge of Tamil. He will be care
fully watched. Only one objectionable newspaper comment on the Constanti- 1
nople agreement has been noticed, this appeared in the issue of the New India,
dated the 6th January 1917, in the shape of a paragraph sneering at the action
of the Allies in granting to Russia a position on the Dardanelles desired for
“more than a hundred years,” which Great Britain had hitherto “stoutly
refused to concede at every crisis” in consequence of her policy of “fighting
for the principle of nationalities, small or great”. Those ardent souls who
believed that this principle would save Turkish independence were evidently

About this item


The volume contains papers regarding the future of Constantinople [Instanbul]. It includes: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. minute papers; copies of correspondence between the Foreign Office and Sir George Buchanan, HM Ambassador at Petrograd [St Petersburg], and other British diplomats; draft telegrams from the Secretary of State for India addressed to the Viceroy of India; correspondence between the India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. and the Foreign Office; and other papers. Some of the correspondence is in French.

Issues discussed in the papers include: whether the Constantinople Agreement, concluded between the British, French and Russian governments in March 1915 (under the terms of which Constantinople and the Straits of the Dardanelles would be annexed to the Russian Empire), should be made public; the possible effect upon Muslims in India of the announcement of the agreement; and the question of the re-conversion of the St Sophia [Hagia Sophia] mosque in Constantinople into a Christian church.

The volume includes a divider which gives the subject number, the year the subject file was opened, the subject heading, and a list of correspondence references by year. This is placed at the back of the correspondence.

Extent and format
1 volume (259 folios)

The subject 3579 (Turkey: the future of Constantinople) consists of one volume, IOR/L/PS/10/623.

The papers are arranged in approximate chronological order from the rear to the front of the volume.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence for this description commences at the first folio with 1, and terminates at the last folio with 259; these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and are located in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. side of each folio. The front and back covers, along with the two leading and two ending flyleaves have not been foliated.

Written in
English and French in Latin script
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File 3579/1916 'Turkey: the future of Constantinople' [‎121r] (250/530), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/10/623, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 18 November 2019]

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