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Next morning a mounted messenger galloped in with despatched to the Pa'l Vall Gazetíe as a mere matter of a message from the Sultan summoning Mr. Cust at once courtesy to the Sultiin! This is surely the ultimate of to Yildiz. When he arrired there he found the Sultan irrational centralisation and imbecile vacillation. in deep cogitation over the telegram, which had not been despatched pending the Imperial pleasure. Would
“THE DEVIL'S CHARIOT.” Mr. Cust consent to some alteration in the telegram ? The Sultan has not the gift of alministrativo per“That depends," said Mr. Cust,“ upon what the altera- spective. He bothers himself about the veriest trifles, tion is.”
prohibiting bicycling in and near Constantinople as So the Sultan and his ministers set to work to re-draft immoral and “ dangerous to the State," and an officer of the telegram. After a time it was brought out. Would an Italian corvette was taken into custody for having Mr. Cust object to this form ? He glanced at it. been found riding a bicycle, or a "devil's chariot," as the The amended Imperially edited message began some- Turks name it No dictionary is allowed to circulate what like this: " Another proof of the beneficent containing such words as evolution, equality, liberty, goodness of His Imperial Majesty is," etc. “Non- insurrection, as such words are likely to "excite the
ense!” said Mr. Cust; "it would only make the Sultan minds” of people. Again, theatrical pieces such as ridiculous to publish such a telegram in London.” “Hamlet," " Macbeth," Victor Hugo's " Le Roi s'Amuse” So the message went back to the Sultan, The poor inan ("Rigoletto ") cannot be acted on any stage. “Othello" tried again; then came another draft. It was equally is allowed, but in a mutilated form. impossible. A third
Even the Bible time his advisers
must be expurgated laboured over the
to please his censors. redacting of this
The passages which telegram. A third
are particularly obtime their efforts
jected to are those were abortive. At it
relating to the rcthey went again,
storation of the Jews until at last, after
to Palestine, and to seven mortal hours
the Kingdom of of incessant lucubra
Christ. The phrases tion, the message
“Kingdom of came out in a form
Heaven," “ of God," which, although per
or" of Christ "inust fectly inane, was not
be omitted. The positively ludicrous.
words “Jew" and All the compliments
“Hebrew" must be were dropped, and
left out. The words the announcement
“According to the which was made of
law of the Jews" his good intentions
cannot be admitted, in the original tele
because the Jews gram was toned down
have no law separate to nothing. Mr. Cust,
from that of other who had only written
rayahs in the Ottothe telegram at first
man Empire. The thinking it would From Ulk.]
(November 29, 1895.
reference to the please the Sultan,
"Queen of the THE EXPEDITION TO THE EAST : A GERMAN VIEW. consented todespatch
South,” contained the finally revised
in Matthew xii. version, which represented the net result of seven hours' 42, is for some reason ordered to be left out altodeliberation. So he took it to the telegraph office and gether. And all the time when these momentous thought no more about it.
trivialities are being discussed whole provinces are Next morning, however, came another messenger from being desolated, and the great Empire is settling the Sultan. Again he had to go to Yildiz, this time to down to ruin. learn that the Sultan had delayed the despatch of the telegram in order that he might sleep upon it. He had
VI.--WHAT IS TO BE DONE? slept upon it, and the result of his meditations was that The atrocities which have recently startled the world he thought on the whole the telegram had better not in Armenia are nothing new. I doubt whether they be sent! Into the wastepaper basket therefore it went, should be regarded as a count in the indictment against and there was an end of it.
Abdul Hamid. He is simply doing as Turks always do. REDUCTIO AD ABSURDUM.
and always will do as long as the Ottoman Empire exists
It would be as absurd to complain of a dog for biting or But what a picture we have here of the irresoluto of a cat for mewing as to arraign the Grand Turk for fumbler who occupies the throne of Mohammed! For resorting to that which has been for centuries the these seven long hours the whole administrative machine reco:uised method of maintaining the State. of the Ottoman Empire was at a standstill, while Abdol Hamid and his Grand Vizier, with the aid of Osman the
"LET DOGS DELIGHT, ETC, FOR 'TIS THEIR NATURE TO." Victorious, and I know not how many pashas beside, No one knows this better than the Rer. Canon MacColl, concentrated their brains upon the momentous task of wlio in his la:est article expressly admits and asserts it iedrafting a trumpory telegram which was to be in the following passage, which is as truc as it is vivid
and powerful. After referring to the Saturnalia of horrors reported from Asia, the Canon says:
There is, however, nothing new in this exhibition of Turkish policy. These massacres of Christians are periodical in Turkey; and they are never the result of local fanaticism ; they are invariably organised and ordered by the Sultan and his ministers, for the purpose of keeping down the Christian population. Abject cowardice has made this Sultan more recklessly ferocious than his predecessors; that is all. The policy is the same, having at one time Greece for its theatre; then Syria; then Bulgaria and the Herzegovina; then Armenia. It is a deliberate system of pollarding the various Christian comniunities as each threatens to overtop its Mussulman neighbours in population and prosperity. As to “abject cowardice" and recklessness of ferocity, those are points on which it is permitted to differ from Mr. MacColl. The present Sultan is like his ancestors. As they did, so does he. The massacre of Scio was quite as horrible as those of Sasun, and the horrors of Batak throw those of Erzeroum into the shade.
THE SULTAN'S SHARE IN THE ATROCITIES. I am not wishing to defend the atrocities. They are damnable enough in all conscience. Nor do I for a moment wish to imply that Abdul Hamid is not responsible for them. He is as responsible for them as a tiger is for its stripes and its carnivorous appetite. These things are of the essence of Turkish rule. Mr. MacColl believes that the Sultan is directly personally responsible for the massacres. He says:
In my pamphlet on “England's Responsibility towards Armenia," and in an article in this month's Contemporary Review, I have proved, by an overwhelming mass of official evidence, that Abdul Hamid has been engaged for four years in carefully maturing his plans for the perpetration of the horrors which have lately roused the indignation of the civilised world. He it is who is responsible, not the Kurds and Turks, who have only been the instruments of his cruelty.
Possibly in the inner arcanum of his own conscience I doubt whether Abdul Hamid would even desire to repel this accusation. Probably he feels more chagrined at the incompleteness of his work, than grieved because of the blood already shed.
THE ARMING OF THE KURDS. There is little doubt but that in many cases the orders to kill emanated from the Sultan. But the worst sufferings inflicted upon the Armenians were due to the arming of the Kurds. Mr. Richard Davey, writing before the present outbreak, said of the Hamedyeh, as the Kurdish irregulars are named after the Sultan, their enrolment was one of the greatest mistakes ever made :
The Sultan doubtless had in his mind the success of the Russian Emperor with his Cossack regiments, when he gave permission for these barbarians to be supplied with uniforms und arms. The only distinction they obtained in the war of 1877 was for their blood-curdling atrocities on the poor wretches who fell into their hands, and their diabolical mutilation of the dead. Their headquarters are at Melaigerd, on the Eastern Euphrates, and there are about thirty regiments of them registered in the area of the plateau, each regiment consisting of from five hundred to six hundred men. They will not, and possibly cannot, accept discipline, and their natural savageness is rendered ten times more dreadful when they are provided with modern arms and ammunition and taught how to use them.
THE ACTION OF THE TURKISH SOLDIERY. These gentry are responsible for much. But some of the later massacres were the work of the Turkish soldiers. The Times correspondent in Erzeroum, writing after the Armenians had been slaughtered in that city, gave a very
vivid account of the matter-of-fact way in which the . massacre had been ordered and executed. He says:
The following is a conrersation I had with the Turkish soldier who was one of three guarding our door after the affair. “Where were you when this thing commenced ?” Answer: “In the barracks, playing cards. We were all called out by a signal from the bugle and drawn up in line. Our officer then said to us, ' Sharpen your swords; to-day you are to kill Armenians wherever you find them for six hours ; after that you are to stop, and the blood of any Armenian you kill after this is my blood; the Armenians have broken into the Serai. At the 'given signal, which was just after noon,” he said, “ the troops started for the Serai. We wondered how the Armenians could get into the Serai. When we arrived there we did not find any Armenians with arms, and I saw only one shot fired at us by an Armenian, We were ordered to kill every Armenian we saw, just as it was at Sasun," continued this soldier, who had been at Sasun; “if we tried to save any Armenian friend, our commanding officer ordered us to kill him; we were to spare no one." Other soldiers told pretty much the same story. The soldiers evidently had no great relish for their horrible work, but once begun they did it thoroughly and brutally.
Europe is of course horrified at this evidence of massacre organised as a Government department. But it is all in the regular way of business with the Turk. And England, who through Lord Beaconsfield and Lord Salisbury at Berlin in 1878, insisted upon intervening to save the Turk from the doom he so richly merited, is more guilty than the Sultan, who but acts according to his lights, and does as other Sultans have done before him.
THE UNHAPPY ARMENIANS. There is no need for me at this time of day to go over the dismal story of bloodshed and outrage with which we are all so painfully familiar through the newspapers and magazines. There is nothing new about them. To the unfortunate population most concerned it is a very old story. Here is what St. Chrysostom said of the Armenian massacres in his day, while the Turk as yet was not, and there was no Sultan to organise the Kurds into Hamedyeh :
Like ferocious beasis, they (the Kurds) fell upon the unhappy inhabitants of Armenia and devoured them. Trouble and disorder are everywhere. Hundreds of men, women and children have been massacred; others have been frozen to death. The towns and villages are desolated; everywhere you see blood ; everywhere you hear the groans of the dying, the shouts of the victors, and the sobs and the tears of the vanquished.
Yet for all that the Armenians, like Israel in Egypt, have proved to be more than a match for their would-be destroyers. A race as tough as the Armenian takes a good deal of killing. They are like the Irish in one respect, like the Jews in another. In the Caucasus, by sheer dint of breeding and of craft, they have converted Tiflis into an Armenian city, and rule it as the Irish rule New York. The Armenian, we may depend upon it, may be harried and massacred, but he cannot be exterminated. He is as indestructible as the Jew. We need have no fear as to bis disappearance from Western Asia.
THE SULTAN AS CHIEF CONSTABLE OF THE EAST, In dealing with these Eastern races we should never forget that the Sultan and the Turks, upon whose scimitars he relies, savages though they may be, are the only savages in Western Asia over whom we can exercise some degree of influence. The Sultan is a very poor policeman, but he is the only policeman there is. Granting that he is intrinsically as barbarous and ruthless at heart as any Kurdish chieftain whom he has enrolled in the Hamedyeh, Jie possesses three qualifications for the post of Constable of the East which no other savage in those parts can claim. First, he is the strongest; second, he is the easiest got at; and, third, he is in possession, Now we must either put some one else in his place or make the best of him. The great sin of England in the past has been that out of an insane jealousy of Russia she not only refused to put any one else in place of the Turk, but when, as in Macedonia and in Western Armenia, whole provinces were delivered from hier yoke, she made it a supreme oliject of her policy to restore the rule of the Turk in regions from which it had been ejected by the Russians. But even if England Jad taken tlie other line and had united with Russia
best available policeman for the lawless 'native tribes which inhabit the Ottoman Empire. But if the Powers had been more on the alert-if, without troubling themselves about the Sultan's ideas, they had adopted a definite and decided policy of their own—they might have kept him going as a tolerable Chief Constable, and have warned him off relapsing into the unregenerate ways of Amurath and Bajazet. For instance, if instead of pottering on about more or less fantastic schemes of reform, they bad adopted the line taken by M. Caulbon when the French Consulate was threatened at Diarbekir, the Armenian massacres would never have assumed the dimensions which they were permitted to attain. M. Caulbon sent word to the Sultan, that if the French Consulate were attacked he would demand the head of the Governor, and the French
MISERY LOVES COMPANY.
[Noveniber 6, 1895. THE SULTAX: "Allah be praised !-Now that they 've got another Sick Man' maybe they 'll let up on me a little !"
in narrowing down the area of Ottoman domination, there would still have remained a wide region within which the Turk was the only possible Chief Constable. The problem therefore would have been the same then as now, althongh it would have affected a smaller area of territory. That problem is in brief this. How far can Europe utilise a sovereign who regards himself as the Shadow of God on Earth and Commander of the Faithful, as Chief Constable of Christendom in Western Asia and Eastern Europe?
WHAT THE POWERS MIGHT HAVE DONE. If the Powers had frankly faced this question the Sultan would never have got so completely out of hand as he has done these last two years. Abdul Hamid, full of confidence in his position of Vicegerent of Allah, can never be got to recognise the fact that he is only allowed to rule because the infidels of Europe regard him as the
fleet would occupy Alexandria to await the arrival of that head. Within a few hours after the receipt of that ultimatum Diarbekir was as quiet as Bedford. That is the only kind of message the Sultan can understand. He is always trying it on, endeavouring to revert to the old massacring methods of his forebears, and he needs to be headed off with hot iron. In no other way can he be utilised as a possible Chief Constable.
THE ONLY SOUND POLICY. The main outlines of a sound policy in Turkey are quite clear. First, never lose any opportunity, whether by cession outright or by the evidence of autonomous provincial governments, to exclude as much territory and as many people as possible from the rule of the pashas; and, secondly, within the area which must perforce be left under their sway, keep them under constant surveillance, to check with peremptory pressure at Constanti
id Turkish Frontier caus В L A cЕК . Е А А EUROPEAN
doerbend D Adrianople
NIMRUD Trak Amar
kijFA L Arebi
i Ruined Cities w Port Said DEAD
Korna SEA 2 Turkish Empire
Wohamra cs. Turkey in Asia 1895
" . 1878
Railways Open (Principal lines)
Proposed Railways (Trib. to Turkey)
50 To ZOO MILES
Kuweiter THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE IN ASIA,