The Response to and Interpretation of the First Battle of Inönü by the Press in Anatolia, Istanbul and Abroad
Keywords: First Battle of Inönü, Anatolia, Istanbul, Ziraat Mektebi, Ankara Kongresi, Kuva-yı Milliye, Müdafaa-i Milliye, Regular Army
The characterization of the First Battle of Inönü as a "pitched battle" was adopted by the Ankara government and various contemporary newspapers. Commentary and interpretations appeared in the Anatolian press and certain Istanbul newspapers, while explanations were offered for the Greek defeat and reports included mention of spontaneous demonstrations of gladness and joy in various towns. Another aspect to which attention is here directed was the influence and impact of the Allied Powers and, in particular, that of English policy. One other noteworthy point discussed at the time was the comparative importance of this battle with other pitched battles in Turkish and world history. In order to understand the lack of positive response to the Battle of Inönü on the part of certain Istanbul newspapers, it is necessary to examine their attitude toward the National Liberation movement. An additional highlight of the present study is an inquiry into the reasons for the characterization by the Greeks of this battle as a "reconnaissance offensive" and a small-scale, localized conflict. Another aspect treated by the author is the fact that, for a time, the opinions of domestic newspapers published in Greek and certain newspapers in Athens reflected the official pronouncements of the Greek government. The deceptive error of these positions as confirmed by the news commentary appearing in the Turkish and foreign press is also pointed out in the present discussion. One other point disputed by the public was whether or not the Allied Powers had given Greece "authorization." Finally, one subject of debate then current among the public in Turkey and abroad was whether or not one of the chief factors in the engagement by Greece in this battle was an attempt to prove that it had the capacity to enforce the Treaty of Sevres.