The war that was declared in 1912 against the Ottoman Empire by Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, and Greece brought many disasters with it. The cholera outbreak that started during the war proliferated rapidly among the Bulgarian Turks who were fleeing to Turkey, left the Ottoman Empire in a difficult position. In these difficult days the Red crescent came to their aid. The Indian Muslims sent the money they had collected to the red crescent.
The Indian Muslims felt so close and loved the Ottomans Turks so much that the students cut rations of their food and the women sold their gold and jewellery to help the Ottomans defend themselves. Just one of the donations that came from the Indian Muslims to the Ottoman Red crescent foundation was 185,000 Ottoman Lira.
The Indian Muslims who came to Istanbul along with the health staff gave excellent services. The help of the physician and statesmen Dr. Muhtar Ahmed Ensari Bey, who had fought for the independence of India, continued with his three teams at the front and behind the front lines. Together with Muhammad Ali and Zafer Khan, he created a project funded by the Indian Muslims that would create a place for the immigrants from Bulgaria to stay in Anatolia. The assistance of the Indian Muslims was not confined just to the Balkan war, but continued during the World War I and the War of Independence.
Some of the team consisted of young volunteers who were from rich families in India, and were studying in London. They paid for all their expenses including the costs of the Egyptian physician Selim Bey to come to Istanbul.
Source: Zuhal Ozaydin, 2003, Istanbul University CerrahPasa Medical School.
Md. Umar Ashraf is a Delhi based historian, who after pursuing a B.Tech (Civil Engineering) started heritagetimes.in to explore, and bring to the world, the less known historical accounts. Mr. Ashraf has been associated with the museums at Red Fort & National Library as a researcher. With a keen interest in Bihar and Muslim politics, Mr. Ashraf has brought out legacies of people like Hakim Kabeeruddin (in whose honour the government recently issued a stamp). Presently, he is pursuing a Masters from AJK Mass Communication Research Centre, JMI & manages heritagetimes.in.
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