The sultan was kept in the custody of the Allies to ensure the cooperation of an Ottomanadministration, which had effective jurisdiction only in Istanbul and part of northernAnatolia, while they disposed of the rest of his empire. At the same time, a Turkishnationalist movement was organized under Atatürk's leadership to resist thedismemberment of Turkish-speaking areas. Atatürk had been sent to eastern Anatolia asinspector general, ostensibly to supervise the demobilization of Ottoman forces and thedisposition of supplies, but more particularly to remove him from the capital after he hadexpressed opposition to the Allied occupation there. Upon his arrival at Samsun in May1919, Atatürk proceeded to rally support for the nationalist cause and to recruit anationalist army. Guerrilla warfare against the government gradually grew to full-fledgedcampaigns against the Greek army that threatened to involve the other Allied occupationforces.In July 1919, a nationalist congress met at Erzurum with Atatürk presiding to endorse aprotocol calling for an independent Turkish state. In September the congress reconvened atSivas. Although the delegates voiced their loyalty to the sultan-caliph, they also pledged tomaintain the integrity of the Turkish nation. The congress adopted the National Pact, whichdefined objectives of the nationalist movement that were not open to compromise. Amongits provisions were the renunciation of claims to the Arab provinces, the principle of theabsolute integrity of all remaining Ottoman territory inhabited by a Turkish Muslimmajority, a guarantee of minority rights, the retention of Istanbul and the straits, andrejection of any restriction on the political, judicial, and financial rights of the nation.Negotiations continued between the nationalist congress and the Ottoman government, butto no avail. Atatürk resigned from the army when relieved of his duties. The naming of achief minister in Istanbul considered sympathetic to the nationalist cause brought a brief improvement in relations, however, and the Ottoman parliament, which met in January1920, approved the National Pact. In reaction to these developments, Allied occupationforces seized public buildings and reinforced their positions in the capital, arrested anddeported numerous nationalist leaders, and had parliament dismissed.Allied actions brought a quick response from the nationalists. In April they convened theGrand National Assembly in Ankara, in defiance of the Ottoman regime, and electedAtatürk its president. The Law of Fundamental Organization (also known as the OrganicLaw) was adopted in January 1921. With this legislation, the nationalists proclaimed thatsovereignty belonged to the nation and was exercised on its behalf by the Grand NationalAssembly.
War of Independence
During the summer and fall of 1919, with authorization from the Supreme Allied WarCouncil, the Greeks occupied Edirne, Bursa, and Izmir. A landing was effected at the latterport under the protection of an Allied flotilla that included United States warships. TheGreeks soon moved as far as Usak, 175 kilometers inland from Izmir. Military actionbetween Turks and Greeks in Anatolia in 1920 was inconclusive, but the nationalist causewas strengthened the next year by a series of important victories. In January and again inApril, Ismet Pasha defeated the Greek army at Inönü, blocking its advance into the interiorof Anatolia. In July, in the face of a third offensive, the Turkish forces fell back in goodorder to the Sakarya River, eighty kilometers from Ankara, where Atatürk took personalcommand and decisively defeated the Greeks in a twenty-day battle.An improvement in Turkey's diplomatic situation accompanied its military success.Impressed by the viability of the nationalist forces, both France and Italy withdrew fromAnatolia by October 1921. Treaties were signed that year with Soviet Russia, the first