Reaction in Istanbul to the Abolition of the Sultanate
Keywords: Sultanate, Istanbul, Ataturk
In the process that commenced with the Mondros Armistice following the First World War, a great struggle for independence under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk) took place in Anatolia; and, upon the driving out of the occupying imperialist powers, the foundations were laid for a new state based on the power of the people. This represented a struggle not only against the occupation forces, but also against the imperial government in Istanbul. In consequence, the Ottoman sultanate was abolished by the Turkish Grand Assembly on 1 November 1922, which constituted an important step on the path to national sovereignty. On the abolishment of the sultanate, the Istanbul government realized it would be unable to stay in power much longer and was forced to resign; and on 4 November 1922 government by the Turkish Grand National Assembly was established in Istanbul. With the peace treaty drawn up in Lozan, the occupation of Istanbul by the Allied Powers, which had begun on 16 March 1920 was ended and the occupational forces departed from Istanbul on 2 October 1923. This article focusses on the reaction in Istanbul to the abolishing of the sultanate. Here, an overview is provided of the response to this decision exhibited by the people of Istanbul, the imperial government, the sultan, and the Allied Powers. in addition, an outline is presented of the actions taken by Refet Pasha in Istanbul in regard to the subordination of the administration of Istanbul to the National Assembly, the policy followed by the government of the National Assembly, and the developments in this process.