Urla Clashes

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Coordinates: 38°19′N 26°45′E / 38.317°N 26.750°E / 38.317; 26.750

Urla clashes
Part of Greco-Turkish War
Greek occupation troops transferred from Smyrna.jpg
Greek soldiers disembarking in Smyrna (May 1919)
Date 16–17 May 1919
Location Urla
Result Decisive Greek victory. Greek army enters Urla
Belligerents
Kingdom of Greece Greece Kuva-yi Milliye
Commanders and leaders
Lieutenant colonel Kazım Bey¹
Strength
800 irregular Greeks[1]
2 Greek army companies[2]
25 soldiers and gendarmeries[2]
120 militia men[3]
Casualties and losses
soldiers and gendarmeries taken prisoner²
1: 173. regiment commander, 2: 173. regiment soldiers

Urla Clashes were a series of clashes in Urla (now a district center of İzmir Province, Turkey) during the Greco-Turkish War (1919–1922). After the Greek landing at İzmir, the Greek army advanced and occupied Bornova and Karşıyaka. After that it advanced to the Karaburun Peninsula where Urla was situated. According to the population statistics from 1914, the region had a Greek majority (24,711), with a minority of Turks (9,321).[citation needed]

Prelude[edit]

Incited by the Greek army's presence, about 800 armed local Greeks started to besiege and attack Turkish villages in Urla.[4] The villages of Kuşçular, Kızılcaköy, Devederesi were looted and burnt down.[5] Additionally, a Greek Evzones company, disembarking a torpedo boat, went ashore in Urla and started to occupy Urla.[5]

Clashes[edit]

At this time, the 173. infantry regiment of the Ottoman 56th division was stationed in Urla. The commander of the regiment was Lieutenant colonel Kazım Bey. The regiment consisted of 100 men, but most of them were scattered around Urla. Kazım Bey had only 25 soldiers and gendarmeries under his command when the attacks commenced. With these 25 men, he managed to repel the irregular Greek attacks.[3] As soon as the local Turkish population heard about these incidents, they entered the arms depot of the town and took the rifles and ammunition. With these rifles and ammunition they established the first Kuva-yi Milliye unit in western Anatolia, consisting of 120 men.[2] This militia unit joined Kazım Bey's forces. The clashes lasted from 16–17 May. A Greek battleship docked at the Urla pier and unloaded more Greek troops. The arrival of Greek troops, from Smyrna, accompanied by a British officer, ended the clashes at the evening of 17 May.

Aftermath[edit]

The surrendered Turkish soldiers and gendarmeries were disarmed and arrested.[6] On the other hand most of the 120 men strong militia unit retreated to the interior of Anatolia. It has been claimed that these clashes in Urla marked the first combined activity between Turkish irregular and regular units in the Greco-Turkish War (1919–1922).[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Oğuz Gülcan, 2007, page 178.
  2. ^ a b c d Baki Sarısakal: Belge ve tanıklarla Samsun'dan Ankara'ya: 19 Mayıs 1919 - 23 Nisan 1920, Issue 1, 2008, ISBN 9759229668, page 213.
  3. ^ a b Kadir Kasalak: Kuva-yı Milliye'nin Askeri Açıdan Etüdü, (Atatürk Research Center Journal, issue 42, Edition: XIV, November 1998, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti'nin 75. Yılı Özel Sayısı). (Turkish)
  4. ^ A. Munis Armağan: Bozmenderes'ten Bozdağlar'a Kuvayı Milliye, 2005, ISBN 9789759800116, page 52.
  5. ^ a b Celâl Bayar: Ben de yazdım, Baha Matbaası, 1968, page 1815.
  6. ^ Oğuz Gülcan, 2007, page 179.

Sources[edit]