İstanbul, Türkiye

A French translation of an article published in Tevhid-i Efkâr (Union of Thoughts), strongly criticising the Ottoman Bank. 31 January, 1925


  • Title: Article
  • Date: 1925-01-31
  • Transcript:
    In this time of revolution we are in, is it not surprising that the most important institution of the country still bears the name Ottoman? The most striking point is that the name of this bank is not just Ottoman. It's official title of the company is still the ‘Imperial Ottoman Bank' and it is still engraved in gold letters on the façade of its central administration in Galata. When one thinks of the changes we have brought in the last two years, this name is a mockery and an astonishing provocation. Truly so, ever since we have destroyed the sultanate and instituted a government based on national sovereignty, we have erased all the memories referring to the ancien régime. Today the words sultanate, sultan, imperial have disappeared even from our textbooks. It is also impossible to come across these words in official letters and newspapers. The imperial domains have been replaced by the national domains, etc. These transformations were necessary due to the establishment of a republican government. However, we have exaggerated by applying them also to historical monuments and to institutions which had nothing to do with the sultanate. Thus, while we are making such modifications in our institutions, our monuments and our language, to harmonise them with the evolution witnessed, a foreign bank in Galata, together with all its branches, still bears the pompous name of ‘Imperial Ottoman Bank.' Could the bank have not modified this title? For example, the Ottoman National Credit which has found itself in the same situation erased from its title, the name Ottoman. One can see that the Ottoman Bank too, could have brought a modification to its title in order to satisfy the leaders of our revolution. That the Bank has not felt the need to make this small modification of minimal importance and that it still continues to spread its title of ‘Imperial Ottoman Bank' before our eyes constitutes, as we have said, a striking example of the power of money and of the sovereignty of capital and money. And this power is so great that the greatest revolutions and the strongest public opinion are helpless against it. The Turkish nation, state and government have also suffered much harm on every possible occasion at the hand of this bank whose entire staff is made of foreigners and local Christians. It is absolutely necessary to seriously examine all the irregularities, abuses and crimes committed by this institution to this day. And if from now on the bank takes the name Bank of Turkey, we must make sure that all its staff be Turkish.
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