Deportations Trips “Seferberlik”

Cries of Torment Have Placed Great Stress

on the Turkish “Serpent” Carriages

When the siege was tightened against Fakhri Pasha in Medina; He applied a very tough internal policy towards the people. As he did not take into account the situations of the people and did not show them mercy; instead, he ruthlessly sought to infuse them with kinds of torment, displacement, and hunger, as what was portrayed by contemporary historical sources that no mind could imagine it to come from a non-Muslim colonizer, rather than from a Muslim.
There are those who underestimate the tragedies and calamities that caused by Fakhri Pasha under the pretext that he was defending the Medina of the Messenger of God (PBUH); however, logic and reason cannot imagine this justification whatever arguments are made to support it. Because there are some people who died and were killed, families that were displaced, children who were orphaned, and sanctity that was violated near the tomb of our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). All this was due to the internal policy that pursued by Fakhri and his garrison.

After 13 centuries they applied "Martial" law in the land of prophecy.

Although the displacement was not Fakhri’s first severe policy in Medina, it was the most influential. During the period in which the siege was tightened on Medina, food security became threatened to both the garrison and the people; therefore, this affected the market value of goods, then the price increased, and out of which the diseases were inflicted among people.
The forced displacement process took place in phases and periods; the first one was in December (1916 AD), when he ordered to hang posters in the streets of Medina, declaring that the city became under Martial Administration, and anyone who violates the Ottoman State policy in any way would be punished. Accordingly, he assigned spies who spread denunciation among people, and followed all those who supported the Arab revolution or sympathized with it. People were suspected and cast into doubt, and he imprisoned almost 170 of the scholars and notables of Medina, then he ordered to exile them to the Levant to appear before Jamal Pasha. Of course, Fakhri’s aim was that Jamal to do with them what he did with the Arab revolutionaries that he executed in the Levantine squares. However, the Ottoman government only decided to exile and allocate them in Turkey and eastern Europe, far from the Levant.
The Ottomans did not care about the situations that would take place on the exiled people of Medina, who were like prisoners in countries they neither knew them nor knew their languages. They had no income that was parallel to what they were suffering from, e.g the forced estrangement and distress, where the Ottoman State allocated to the exiled people very low salaries that were not parallel to the situations of displacement in which they were suffering.
Only two months later, on January 1917) ,24 AD), Fakhri began to displace the people of Medina from their homes against their will for securing the soldiers’ food, without caring about the people’s unknown fate that was awaiting them and the calamities that would encounter them due to this arbitrary decision. So, for three days, he sent a caller in Medina to encourage the people to leave because of the upsurge of war, and to warn them of hunger. Most of the Medina’s people were forcibly deported.

Abd al-Haq Naqshbandi:

Abdul Haq bin Abdul Salam Al Naqshbandi was born in Medina in (1322 AH / 1904 AD). He was one of the most important authors in the modern era in Medina. He lived in the period in which Fakhri Pasha was appointed as a governor to Medina. Since he was between 12 and 16 years old, he was aware of the exact details of tragedies and events that had occurred in it.

Abdul-Haq Al-Naqshbandi, Our Recent History, “The Complete Works of the author Abdul-Haq Al-Naqshbandi” (Jeddah: Abdul Maksoud Khoja, 2005).

Abdul Haq al-Naqshbandi described the second displacement as follows: “And when supplies were scarce to Medina, Fakhri Pasha issued an order to evacuate people of Medina to the Levant and its outskirts. So the Medina’s people were ordered to leave in groups and batches by every train departed to the Levant”.
Fakhri wanted by evacuating Medina of its people to remain as a city where only the soldiers of his garrison lived, and to resist the siege with the supplies and food he had. While he did not think of the unknown fate to which he was leading the Medina of the Messenger (PBUH). As he deliberately neglected the fact that the people were Muslims and their lives and social conditions must be taken into account. Also, he disregarded that he was within the borders of Al-Haram Al-Sharif and did not consider the possible damages that might be caused to Medina. Rather, his primary concern was how to fight the Arab revolution and prove his militarism in the first place.
Not all residents of Medina responded to his calls for evacuation, so he ordered his garrison to go into streets, to arbitrarily arrest all of the people they encounter, and to not take into consideration in this regard whether the arrested was a woman, child, disabled person, or the head of a household. The tragedies that were told by the people of Medina about this incidence were numerous, several and that history cannot forgive what Fakhri who was full of his hatred to Arabs, did to the people of Medina. As we have saw, he only described them as traitors. He did not even have regard for Arab officers who were among the members of his garrison.
As a result of the arbitrariness practiced against the people of Medina, many of them carried tragic memories. No one of those who were arrested in the streets was given time to arrange their situations or inform their families; even a man who went out to get food for his wife to breastfeed her infant. Once he came out, he was arrested and sent by train and when his wife went out on his trail to seek food for her son, she was also arrested. As soon as she reached Levant, she died. Days later, her infant was found dead at their home from hunger and crying along with his young siblings. The people of Medina were displaced, their memories and emotions were spared. Those who witnessed this human catastrophe talked about their situations on trains, their relocation, their cries and their pleas. Where many died, more were lost, families were displaced and dispersed.

They displaced the "People of Medina" from Bosra to Bulgaria.

Turkish Gandemir described the situation in the railway station in which the people were preparing to leave on March 1917) ,14 AD); that it was exuding of pain. Where soldiers were cramming people into the train cars and beating the horses with whips. While the scene of mass crying was present among men, women and children; and expressions of farewell. Although he was one of the garrison, he was unable to bear the situation, and portray it as a heart-wrenching.

Most of the people of Medina became refugees in the Levant, Turkey, Eastern Europe, and other Hijaz cities and Medina was void from its origin people except for a few. Fakhri did not only evacuate people, but his soldiers also had looted and robbed the homes of people of Medina who were forced to leave and were unable to arrange their situations and possessions. In that case, Medina became permissible in every sense of the word, and the sanctities of the people were not observed by the army of Fakhri.

1. Mona Al Thabeta, “The Siege of Medina and Its Internal Reflections and the Position of the Ottoman Garrison 1337-1334 AH / 1919-1916 AD” (PhD Thesis, College of Arts and Education for Girls in Abha, King Khalid University, 2013). 

2. Ali Hamza, Administrative Control Powers in Exceptional Circumstances: A Comparative Study (Cairo: The Arab Center for Scientific Studies and Research, 2017).

3. Ali Hafez, Chapters from the History of Medina, 3rd Edition (D.M.: D.N, 1996)

4. Abdul Salam Hafez, Medina in History, 3rd Edition (Medina: The Literary and Cultural Club of Medina, 1982).