The Italian Embassy to the
Department of State
In connection with the fulfillment of the clauses of the armistice
granted to Turkey, the Italian Government learns that the opinion is
being spread in Lybia that it is optional with the Turkish officers to
remain there under the orders of Ahmed, the former sheriff. It is also
reported that there recently arrived in Lybia a Turkish personage and
that there are reasons to suspect that he might be the famous Enver
Pasha.3 It is at any rate positive that a Turkish
superior officer landed at Tripoli and that he is endeavoring to
organize civilians and military men. He has offered the government of
the Ghebel to a Turkish general.
The Italian Government, moreover, is without any news as to the Italian
prisoners at Misurata. And a telegram addressed November 12th by the
Governor of Tripoli to the Italian Government states that the enemy, who
had been inactive for a long time, in the afternoon of the 11th,
subjected the Fort of Belal (which is one of the defenses of the city of
Tripoli) to an artillery fire with 37 millimeter guns for 45 minutes,
which was followed in the evening by rifle fire and caused the Italians
the loss of one dead and one wounded. It is to be remarked in this
connection that, as it is well known, the artillery in Tripoli is
directed by Turkish officers.
It is obvious that such an attack is a flagrant violation of the terms of
the armistice granted to Turkey. It is also obvious that [Page 274] the landing of a Turkish superior
officer is a violation of the terms of the armistice.
Sections 15 and 16 of the armistice, not to mention other ones, read in
fact as follows:
- Sec. 15: “Surrender of all Turkish officers in Tripoli and
Cyrenaiea to the nearest Italian garrison.”
- Sec. 16: “Surrender of all occupied ports in Tripoli and
Cyrenaiea, including Misurata, to the nearest Allied
And it is inconceivable that, while the whole world is being restored to
peace, fighting should continue in Tripoli.
The Italian Government has called the attention of the Allied Governments
to this unbearable situation, asking them, especially the British
Government, to take proper steps through their representatives at
Constantinople to put an end to it.
In view of the fact that the United States Government has not at present
its own representative at Constantinople, the Italian Embassy suggests,
and shall appreciate it if the State Department will approach the
British Government, pointing out to it the necessity for Turkey to keep
faith to her engagements, thus doing away with a state of affairs which
manifestly works to the prejudice of the Italian Nation, but could also
be freighted with dangers for the general peace.
, November 19,