[BULGARIAN FATHER OF THE UNITED NATIONS IDEAL / STAR OF THE CONSENT / ETÔILE DE LA CONCORDE] Müsalemet-i umûmiye için Cihan Divân-i Daimisi. Translated by Giridî Ahmed Saki
NIKOLA DIMKOF (1859-1937), Garoyan Matbaasi, Istanbul, 1917.
Original wrappers. Foolscap 8vo. (18,5 x 9,5 cm). In Ottoman script (Old Turkish with Arabic letters). 24 p. Internally well preserved, with occasional light discoloration, otherwise, a very good copy. The book was inscribed as “Muhterem Tasvîr-i Efkâr Gazetesi heyet-i tahrîriyesi müdiriyetine” [i.e., To the editorial board of “Tasvir-i Efkâr Newspaper”].
Exceedingly rare first and only Ottoman Turkish edition of the first study laying the intellectual foundations of the United Nations, written by the Bulgarian father of this idea, Nicolas Dymkoff (1859-1937).
This book was translated by Giridî Ahmed Saki (Ahmet Saki Derin) (1876-1944), who was an Ottoman law professor and French teacher. He was born in Crete where his nickname comes from (Giridî = Cretan). He was also the founding member of the Society of Turkish Education [Türk Maarif Cemiyeti]. He was known for his translations from Montesquieu.
"I am convinced that the Supreme Counsell and the Permanent World counsel, which only aim to take care of universal prosperity, will achieve their sacred goal before the end of this 20th century!" - these were the prophetic words of the Bulgarian engineer Nicolas Dymcoff, which were said in the first days of September 1918 in the capital Tzarigrad of the Turkish Empire in front of the editor of newspaper "Pharos" that was published there. The reason for the meeting and their whole conversation was written down by engineer Nicolas Dymcoff at the end of 1916 and the beginning of 1917 in the book "Star of the Consent" ("Etoile de la Concorde"), which represents an original and grounded project for the creation of a world organization for peace and cooperation between all states, nations, and religions. Nicolas Dymcoff published his project in French, German, Turkish, and Greek, and through the foreign embassies in Tzarigrad, he sent it to many state and governmental representatives, including the president of the USA at that time – Thomas Woodrow Wilson. This happened at the time when the USA still had not been involved in the First World War and the famous Wilson’s Fourteen Points for the post-war settlement of the world and the creation of the United Nations had still not existed. And the biographer of Thomas Wilson (Mr. Beker) later gave evidence that this idea was not of the president, but was loaned from others. In his project, Nicolas Dymcoff suggested the creation of a Permanent World Council that would examine “the means, needed for keeping peace and agreement between all nations in the world”. In an interview with the editor of the Greek newspaper “Pharos”, printed as a supplement to the Second edition of “The Star of Consent”, N. Dymcoff continued to develop his idea for the arrangement and the structure of the Permanent Council. Excluding the three main councils, the author suggested the council be subdivided into around twenty supreme bureaus, which would deal with the internal structure of the council, the world security and demilitarization, the relations between religions, the issues of the nation’s minorities, the world jurisdiction, education and culture, health services, agriculture, industry, trade, labor, and others. Even if these formulations are very cursorily compared to the statute of today’s United Nations, we could easily notice some remarkable similarities not only in the general idea but also in the concrete structure and function of the organization. The project of Nicolas Dymcoff is an impressive Bulgarian contribution to the creation and the work and activities of today’s world organization for peace and security. His ideas gained realization relatively recently when Europe and the world established a sincere desire for unity regarding any universal values and virtues.
Nicolas Dymcoff was born on the 6th of December 1859 in one big Bulgarian village in Sersko – Gorno Brodi, which at that time was still part of the Ottoman empire (today the village is called Ano Vrondy, Greece). Nicolas Dymcoff was the third child in the family of the eminent Dimko Halembakov, who was part of a prestigious Bulgarian national revival clan. Nicolas studied in his native village and in the high school in Plovdiv where he graduated with excellent marks. In 1880, he was sent by the director of the Plovdiv High School to study Engineering at the Supreme Technical Institute in Chalon Sur Mer, close to Paris. Even during the time, he was still a student, he received several patents for inventions. In 1883 he graduated from the institute for three years instead of the standard five years. His professors offered him to stay for science research at a university in Paris, but he refused to and returned to Bulgaria, which had just been liberated.
He settled in liberated Bulgaria and started work at the Bulgarian Ministry of Infrastructure and Electro-Communications as the Head of the Railway Directorate. Later he participated in the Parliamentary Commission for Negotiating the Delivery of Ships for the Bulgarian Navy. He was also part of a project for the connection of railway line Vienna – Tzarigrad between Vakarel and Belovo and during this project, Nicolas invented a special protection for the train workers. However, due to economic reasons at that time, his model for the protection of train workers was rejected, but in the next years, the invention was bought by many national and private firms and companies in Germany, UK, France, and Italy. Nicolas settled in Tzarigrad and he gained popularity with another project for automatic interconnection of shipping composition. This design was personally rejected by Sultan Abdul Hamid and Dymcoff had to be arrested. Thus, Dymcoff was supposed to hide for a long time among the Bulgarian community in the town, but after his design was bought by enterprising Europeans from the UK, Italy, and France, Dymcoff‘s name was finally cleaned.
The Bulgarians in Tzarigrad chose Dymcoff as an advisor of Exarch Joseph I and as a part of the Bulgarian Exarchate in Tzarigrad, Dymcoff actively participated in the life of the Bulgarian community there. He was proclaimed an honorary citizen of the Ottoman Empire. He got married in Tzarigrad to a woman from Skopje, whose name was Ekaterina Trajkova. (Source: GrandlodgeBulgaria).
Özege 14938, TBTK 8739, OCLC (1030877132) locates a sole copy in Turkey at Orient-Institut Library.