Constantinople (Dec. 4)
In reply to an urgent interpellation regarding the Moslem World Congress opening in Jerusalem, made in the National Assembly to-day, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Tewfik Rustu Bey, said that the Moslem Congress in Jerusalem has been convoked by the Mufti of Jerusalem.
The Turkish Government, when it received the news about the Congress, he continued, established contact with the interested Governments. Great Britain replied, he said, that she does not support the Congress, but that questions opposed to Turkish interests and the question of the Caliphate will not be raised at the Congress.
As a result of friendly negotiations with the Governments of Persia, Afghanistan, Albania, and Hedjaz, the Minister declared, it has become clear that these countries will not participate in any form in this Congress.
Iraq and Egypt, he proceeded, have replied that officially they will not be represented at the Congress, but that private individuals may participate.
Turkey has also received an invitation to the Congress, the Minister said, but, considering that the Congress is contrary to the interests of progress and civilisation, it is clear that Turkey cannot participate. It is obvious, be concluded, that the Congress will have a purely local and limited character.
Originally the purpose of the Congress was said to be to launch a movement for the restoration of the Congress was said to be to launch a movement for the restoration of the Caliphate, the Turkish ex-Sultan Abdel Kejid being mentioned as the Caliph, with Jerusalem as his seat. The Turkish Ambassador in London was reported in October to have made representations against any restoration of the ex-Caliph after the Turkish people had deposed him, and owing to these representations, it is believed, the Aga Khan and Shaukat Ali both issued statements in London at the time repudiating the movement, so far as the Indian Moslems are concerned, and describing any attempt to restore the Caliphate as “absurd”.