Turkey since June 1941 had signed a” pact of friendship ” with Nazi Germany, and a year later (June 1942) a trade agreement to supply the Nazi forces with the metals necessary for the manufacture of weapons (in particular chromium) Those who follow the course of Turkey over…
…time from the movement of the Young Turks (1908) to the present day, consider that all the timeless, decisive actions of Turkey have some special common characteristics: they are insidious (behind the back), methodical, brazen and are usually done from the safe within an…
…already formed framework which they consider to provide the “appropriate opportunity”.
If they fail, they have absolutely no problem doing a “180 degree turn” Ismet Inonu had already smelled the “right opportunity” in order to exterminate those Greeks, Armenians and Jews who had managed to survive in Constantinople and were still living in Turkey, just as a shark…
…smells human blood from a shipwreck. The whole planet was busy with World War II, Greece was at war, and Turkey, hidden behind the deft neutrality and the “pact of friendship” with Nazi Germany that was already ready by the beginning of 1941, had its hands untied.
So there was the ”right opportunity.” In May 1941, just a few weeks after the German invasion of Greece, which had begun on April 6, 1941, Turkey declared a general mobilization of non-Muslim youth between the ages of 20 and 45.
The cream of the non-Muslim youth of Constantinople was driven into the depths of the East with the aim of its physical annihilation.
The disagreement of the twin Inonou-Saratsoglou with Fevzi Tsakmak, who feared the possible consequences of a new genocide, did not allow the execution of the conscripts in cold blood, so the conscription was limited to the execution of forced works.
President Ismet Inonu, however, was not at all pleased.
He called PM Saratsoglou and entrusted him with the task of economic or physical extermination of non-Muslim populations with “weapon” an extraordinary property tax that would be so outrageous that first, the “debtors” would be unable to pay and then they would be given the
magnanimous “opportunity” to pay it with forced labor.
It is estimated that in order to pay the tax imposed on every Greek, Armenian or Jew but unable to pay it, forced labor of two to three hundred years was required in order to pay it!
The Turkish Prime Minister lost no time. He carefully planned the steps that were to be taken one by one: First it was necessary to prepare the appropriate climate in the interior of Turkey.
The Turkish press gradually began to unleash a campaign of hatred and fanaticism against non – Muslims-Greeks, Armenians, Jews. All of Turkey’s ills were laid on the backs of minorities, and of course on the economic prosperity they enjoyed.
Secondly, a law was drawn up by The Young Turks in 1914 for the “development of the Turkish economy” by looting the Christian possessions of Turkey. It was dusted, cleaned, supplemented and presented by Deputy Finance Minister Esaat Tekeli to Prime Minister Saratoglu.
The latter asked Fuat Agrali for massacres of civilians, the creation of a small Management Office that would implement the law.
Its members were Faik Ökte, (curator of Constantinople) and Mumtaz Tarham whom Fuat Agrali presented to the Turkish prime minister with the following words: “these two lads will apply our law in Istanbul and Izmir”.
The next step was the secret meeting of the ruling People’s Party, during which the Turkish Prime Minister gave guarantees that the new law on the extraordinary property tax,in practice will apply only to minorities.
He explained that there was to be, for the eyes, a tax on Turks, but it would be small and symbolic, so that the pretexts would be kept in order.
Soon after, the Turkish Parliament passed law 4305 with 17 articles in one session on November 12, 1942.
Law 4305 officially divided taxpayers into four categories: Muslims, Giaouris (Greeks, Armenians, Jews), those who changed their faith and became Muslims (Donme), and…
…finally all foreign nationals.
Committees with six members were established that set the amount of tax for each taxpayer separately (two tax officers, two local government members who were fanatical members of the people’s Party, and two Muslims – members of the Constantinople Chamber of Commerce).
In the book
…the calamity of the varliki tax (Varlık Vergisi Faciası) the Istanbul curator Faik Ökte describes how the amount of the tax was determined, after first examining the victim’s file and confirming his religion and nationality:
How much will he pay;
500,000 TL was proposed by a…
…member of the committee.
No, no. 1,000,000 TL, retorted another.
‘Say an intermediate sum,’ interposed a third.
If a Christian taxpayer was charged 5,000 TL tax on a small shop, the Muslim of the shop next door was charged only 5 lira tax.
The amount of tax levied was not amenable to any appeal. The payment deadline was set at 15 days. Any delay in payment for the first week meant a fine of 1%, for the second 2% and so on.
After the lapse of one month followed seizure of real estate, arrest and deportation to forced labor camps with a daily “pay” of 2 pounds which was “offset” with the debt of the displaced person.
The tax lists were published by the Turkish authorities on Christmas Eve 1942. The panic spread to the fearful minority that filled all the newspapers with ads selling real estate Greeks, Armenians and Jews.
According to Constantinople curator Faik Ökte’s records, at the end of 1942 sellers was desperately looking through newspapers to sell 8 factories, 7 arcades in central places, 80 apartment buildings, 230 houses, 97 shops and 190 plots!
Naturally, prices immediately plummeted, resulting in entire fortunes being sold off for a piece of bread.
Those who failed to pay the tax imposed on them by the Turkish authorities began to see, after 7 January 1943, their names in the newspapers.
Their property was confiscated and the” debtors ” were driven to forced labor in Askale, considered the Siberia of the East, to hasten their physical extermination from the weather and forced labor that began at 5 in the morning and finished at 7 in the afternoon.
In September 1943 The New York Times published an article on the backstabbing of Turkey, and the Turkish National Assembly, without delay, decided to immediately write off taxes that had not yet been collected.
Three months later (December 1943) it was decided to dissolve the working battalions and return the “debtors” to their homes. Those who endured the hardships and managed to return were literally unrecognizable.
Of the 1,229 wealthy minority who were unable to pay the excessive tax and found themselves in the Labour battalions, one in three failed to turn back.
Numerous testimonies record shocking details of yet another black page in the history of modern Turkey.
Law 4305 was finally repealed on March 15, 1944, when the Russian army arrived victorious at the Romanian border and Turkey tried to wipe out the traces of its heinous crime.
As soon as the defeat of the Germans became certain, Turkey rushed “to declare war on Germany” (February 23, 1945).