The Supervision of Prisons by the Allied Countries
Tülay Ali̇m Baran
Keywords: Allied Countries, Prisons, Supervision, Ottoman Empire
The time period starting with the signing of the Armistice of Mudros brought along many complications such as the invasion of Istanbul, the arbitrary) implementation of the clauses of Mudros and a complexity of authority and jurisdiction. One of the complexities derived from the fact that the Allied countries interpreted the fourth clause of Mudros, which was about the submission of war prisoners, according to their own understanding. Although the clause was clear about who would be treated within this framework, in practice there was no clear distinction about who would be subject to this specific clause. Thus, Ottoman citizens, citizens of countries that were still not officially founded, citizens of Greek origin or who claimed to be of Greek origin were set free. An arbitray practice of releasing prisoners including the criminal ones without order and proper work, had started. The Allied Countries' representatives created committees to inspect prisons and the problems envisaged in their reports were used as excuses to release or to take away prisoners. The conditions of the prisons were an opportunity for the Allies' criticism and intervention. But most importantly, the supervision of prisons by the Allied Countries, creted a chaos among the institutions of the Ottoman Empire and due to the release of prisoners at convenience, the authority of the state weakened immensely.