Here the description of the Turkish peasants and the bands of brigands, Tchetes, who go across Cilicie. I found it in the report on population (SHD 4H229). It has been written in January 1921.
Tchete [ the Turkish peasant ] readily formed part of a band whose he knows the chief, almost always peasant like him, unless this one is a gendarme deserter. The peasant becomes "Tchete" then, and he fights well. Very resistant, knowing the theatre of the operations perfectly, it does not need great means. A horse which he replaces at the following village when his mounting is tired, a rifle, cartridges in his belt which it rolls around his body and he is equipped. He has no need for cars, for mules of packsaddle, for food of the day or reserve. The "Tchete" is very mobile and it is what makes his principal force. He requisitions all which he needs, and often much more than he does need. He lost his honesty; he plunders the food, the money, the jewels, he burns the farms and kills the inhabitants if one resists to him. But the Turkish peasant does not resist Tchete, he helps him because one day he will be himself one of them. It is then the Christian peasant who is the victim; religious hatred never dies out in this country.
The information service publishes a report every week. At the beginning of January 1921, a Tchete deserter came to require asylum of French (SHD 4H216). What he tells is not very favorable to the Turks. He prefers to flatter those to which he entrusts himself. How he tells his story, however, reflects a time which can seem remote!
Appendix with the bulletin of information/N.5/January
Interrogation of Tchete deserter.
Named Bebek belonged, since November 20, 1920, to the band of GENISURAH ALI, (170 Tchetes touching no pay and badly equipped), established in reserve on Abadjilar, (on Tchakit- 20 Kms North-western of Adana). January 5, he was sent in connection with AGA DERVISH, chief of a band of 200 TSchetes, more solid that the preceding one, installed in Gueuk-Kouyou (5 Southern Kms of Abadjilar).
January 10, he deserted and joined his family, in Yenidge.
Bebek saw two short tube guns, approximately gauges 75 mm, supplied to 300 blows, in Ilandjilar. He heard that there were 2 machine-guns and 1 gun with Kilidji-Ijami (in the North of Tchakit).
The Kemaliste command then does not venture his guns for fear that, detected by our aviation, they have to do with the blows of our artillery initially, then with the attacks of our infantry.
Questioned on the attitude that take Tchetes when they are flown over by a plane, the deserter declared that the old bands, slightly framed, already put to the test of the bombardments, go under shelter and do not shoot, while the new formations, seriously framed, not having never been bombarded, carry out shootings on the plane, by order of the chiefs
It knows only one regular formation 500 soldiers approximately.December 10, this group which was moving of the West in the East, in the neighbourhood of Tepe-Tchailak, turned back and must now be installed in the West and the North of the agglomeration of Kara-Yaïla, (6 Kms N.N.O. of Yenidge), PC in Koum-Dere.
About the projects and fears of Tchetes, the deserter exposes thus that it follows the local opinion:
- not having been able to take again Adana nor Tarsous, Tchetes are determined to preserve Tchederli (Kara-Issalou) which they think threatened.
- the fate of Aïntab holds their attention: the imminence of the evacuation of the city by the French is announced daily.
- Mustapha Kemal organized a rigorous repression of plundering.
- Tchetes qualify the French organizations of "impregnable" : their effort of imagination, maintained by the lies of peasants, swells our defensive work at such point that it is hawked that we built a covered path from Yenidge to Naïl-Houriet and that all our stations are surrounded by a network of wire with 10 to 12 rows of pegs.
- all the inhabitants of the plain repeat to Tchetes that they have to congratulate on the tranquility that the French ensure them; this opinion worries the kemalist chiefs. Thus Kara-Kaya Mouktar, having received a letter from the captain Kalb, of Zeïtounli, brought by a spahi, was called as soon as possible close to GENISURAH ALI, at the end of December. The result of the interview remained unknown.