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cipitation of a general war whose effect upon the integrity of her dominions none could forecast.
It is noteworthy, however, that Russia, instead of gaining, is losing ground in that Balkan state which lies nearest to her own borders-Roumania. And Roumania is an important factor to be considered. She has begun to build a powerful navy. With the strategical advantages accruing from her possession of an impregnable rendezvous in the mouths of the Danube, she could no doubt do much to harass commerce and check the naval operations of any opposing power on the Black sea.
The Revolt in Crete.-The Cretan question has succeeded the Armenian question as a source of acute international apprehension. The dissatisfaction of the Christian subjects of the sultan in the island, has finally culminated in a renewal of revolt, which at the end of June is still in progress and contains possibilities of grave complications.
One cause of the trouble is found in the turbulent disposition of the Cretans themselves, whose restlessness, revengefulness, and mendacity are notorious, rendering them unfit for the self-government which for a time in their history they enjoyed.
To this cause of trouble is added the fruitful one of antagonism of creed. In Crete the ancient Candia-as in most of the Turkish islands, the population is mainly Christian, belonging to the Orthodox Greek Church: the Mussulmans comprise the garrisons and a few settlers around the chief towns. The Christian people in Crete are now said to number 270,000, while the Mussulmans number only about 70,000. The latter constitute the landed aristocracy of the island, and enjoy many privileges denied to the Christian population. They are, however, not of Turkish blood, but descended from Greek ancestors, who, when Crete was wrested from Venice in the seventeenth century, abjured the Christian faith and accepted that of the conquering Turks.
The Cretan Christians have long aspired to union with Greece, in which direction their natural affinities lie. Numerous attempts have been made to throw off the Turkish yoke-in 1821, in 1858, in 1866, and again in 1877-the uprisings being fomented by leaders of the Pan-Hellenist movement in Greece, and by foreign consuls in the island. The object of the Pan-Hellenist movement is the conquest of Macedonia and Albania, of Crete and the other Turkish islands, and even of the old Greek provinces of Asia Minor, and the re-establishment of a Greek dominion such as Athens had in the days of Pericles.
In 1867, at the instance of the powers, an "organic law," or con
stitution, was drawn up, under which Crete was endowed with nominal autonomy; and in 1878 the so called Halepa pact-an outcome of the Berlin congress-extended still more widely her powers of real self-government.
There was an elective assembly with fixed proportions of Christian and Mussulman members, though the latter were able to obstruct Christian legislation owing to a clause requiring a two-thirds vote in order to any enactment. Manhood suffrage and vote by ballot were conceded. The term of office of the governor was fixed at five years so as to save the island from a rapid succession of hungry pashas. It was also laid down as a general rule that every high administrative official should have an assistant of the rival creed.
In practice this liberal-spirited régime did not work well; and all the worst evils of party intrigue manifested themselves in the conduct of public affairs. When the so-called conservative party found themselves defeated at the elections in 1888, they got up a revolution in order to compel the sultan to send a strong governor of the old type. The result was the dispatch of Shakir Pasha, for many years Turkish envoy at St. Petersburg, with 20,000 men; the procla mation of a state of siege; and the withdrawal of most of the priv ileges conferred by the pact of Halepa. Chronic discontent has continued ever since. The question of finances is also a cause for complaint on the part of the Christians, for the larger portion of the taxes for the Vakoufs," or benevolent and religious societies, is diverted to the support of Mussulman institutions. Finally, the corps of gendarmerie, or military police, numbering 2,000 men, should be composed exclusively of natives, but it is now mainly composed of Albanese, sent to Crete by the Turkish government.
The immediate occasion of the present active outbreak seems to have been the recall, in the spring of this year, of the Christian governor, Caratheodory Pasha, and his replacement by a Mussulman, Turkhan Pasha, for many years ambassador of the Porte at Rome. Turkhan began his term with a decree of amnesty; but delayed the opening of the Cretan assembly, a measure against which the European consuls at Canea, the chief commercial city, protested. This was taken as an indication that Turkey was little disposed to restore the rights guaranteed by the Halepa convention; and the Christians took to arms.
As early as April 24 advices reported a bloody encounter at Episkopi, in which fifty persons were killed or wounded. On May 17 a Christian was shot by a Turkish soldier in Vamos, the result being a general uprising of the Christian populace, who besieged the Turkish garrison in that town. Reinforcements sent from Canea were met by the insurgents and defeated with considerable loss. It was not until near the end of May that Abdullah Pasha, military governor of the island, succeeded in relieving the garrison at Vamos, and then only after a bloody battle, in which he carried the town of Tsivara.
Serious fighting took place in Canea on May 24, 25, and
26. The cavasses of the Russian and Greek consuls were murdered by a Mohammedan crowd, who were angered, it is said, at the firing of a revolver by the Russian cavass, whereupon a mob of Mohammedans, soldiers and civilians, rushed into the town and began plundering the shops of Christians. A general mêlée ensued, in which seventeen Christians were killed and six wounded, the Mohammedan loss being three killed and six wounded. Desultory encounters with fatal results occurred on the 25th and 26th; but comparative quiet was restored on the arrival in the harbor of the British man-of-war Hood. Warships of other powers also were at once ordered to the disturbed scene. At Retimo, in the middle of June, desperate fighting was reported.
At the end of the quarter, general anarchy was said to be reigning in the island, with business completely paralyzed. The insurgents had taken to the mountains and proclaimed the union of Crete with Greece; and many Christian villages and centres of prosperity had been laid waste by the Turkish troops.
The aim of the Christians is to gain, if possible, complete autonomy, a union with Greece, or a protectorate under some other European power than Turkey. In spite of the efforts of the Greek government to observe its obligations of neutrality, there are many of the people of Greece who not only sympathize with the uprising, but have organized to give it aid and comfort. A Cretan committee was organized at Athens in June, which formulated demands including the economic independence of Crete, the island to receive half of the customs, which are now paid into the Turkish treasury, and also the nomination of a Christian governor with five-year term of office guaranteed by the powers.
As in the case of Armenia, there is reported a "concert" of the European powers against continuance of massacres in the island. Whether it will be more effective than in the earlier instance, remains to be seen. ever, even Russia, which is suspected of having, thwarted the scheme of international intervention in Armenia, is said to have been most emphatic in giving warning to the Porte. A similar warning was uttered by Count Goluchowski, foreign minister of Austria-Hungary, in his annual statement to the delegations at Buda-Pesth early in June. He reminded Turkey that unless she took such measures as would justify Europe in believing in her vitality, her best friends would be unable to prevent her fall.
In regard to Crete, it would be necessary, he said, to secure the enforcement of the convention of Halepa.
It is not probable that the present attitude of the powers comprises more than a general desire for the restoration of order in Crete, and the maintenance of the status quo. Mr. Curzon, under-secretary of the British foreign office, declared in the house of commons that England would not imperil the peace of Europe by taking isolated action, and would go only so far as the other powers were willing to go.
Toward the end of June, the Porte, responding to suggestions from the foreign representatives, recalled its Mohammedan governor of Crete; and appointed a Christian, Georgi Pasha, prince of Samos, in his place. This was followed by a proclamation offering amnesty to all insurgents who would lay down their arms, and inviting the Cretan assembly to formulate a statement of popular desires. The insurgents resolved to disregard the offer unless the reforms promised were solidly guaranteed by the powers.
THE FAR-EASTERN SITUATION.
Japan and Russia in Korea.-The developments of the past three months in the Hermit Kingdom have gone to confirm further the foothold which Russia secured as a result of the coup d'état of February 11 (p. 104). It will be remembered that after the murder of the queen in the uprising of October 8 last (Vol. 5, p. 826), a new ministry was organized under the Tai-Won-Kun, which secured recognition from the Japanese representative, Count Inouye. When this ministry was overthrown on February 11 of the present year, under the protection, if not with the connivance, of Russia, there were few who did not recognize in the fact a serious blow to the Japanese hopes of reform. The king, with his ministers and the crown prince, continued to remain at the Russian legation (where they still were at latest advices), and to administer from there all affairs of state. A semblance of order in the capital was preserved by the presence of detachments of Russian and other foreign troops; but collisions of Koreans and Japanese occurred at various points; and early in April it was announced that the Tai-Won-Kun, the king's father, had at last been murdered.
By this time all hopes of Japanese ascendancy in Korea as contemplated by Japan when she went to war with China, seem to have been abandoned. Negotiations were
begun between Japan and Russia, looking to joint action. of the two powers in administering the affairs of the kingdom, the chief points of discussion being the king's return to the palace from the Russian legation, upon which Japan insisted, the disposition of Japanese and Korean troops throughout Korea, and the transfer of the Japanese telegraph line from Seoul to Fusan to the Korean authorities.
About the middle of June the unofficial announcement was made that Field Marshal Yamagata, who represented the Mikado at the festivities connected with the coronation of the czar, had concluded an agreement with the Russian government.
The two powers were to act together to maintain order in Korea; each was to keep a small force, 500 troops, at Seoul, which force was not to be increased by either power except with the consent of the other, unless on occasions of sudden necessity, such as might render advisable the landing of detachments from warships.
A hopeful feature of the Korean situation is the prospect of extensive railroad development. In April the American Trading Company obtained a concession for the first railroad in Korea, between Seoul and Chemulpo, which will be about thirty miles long. A French company has also secured one for a road from Seoul to the mouth of the Yalu river; while still another road, from Fusan to Seoul, is contemplated.
The Che-Foo Incident.-Early in May an incident occurred at Che-Foo, a Chinese treaty port on the north side of the Shan-Tung promontory, which concerns Great Britain, Russia, and China. It seems that Russia had succeeded in obtaining from China a concession of lands at Che-Foo which were owned or occupied by British subjects, or in which British subjects had vested interests. The ascertained facts" are stated as follows in a Shanghai dispatch dated May 12:
"The Russian Steam Navigation Company secured a tract of foreshore belonging to the English firm of Fergusson at Che-Foo, and proposed to build a pier thereon. Other firms objected to the Russian company having possession of the property, whereupon the Russian government intervened and compelled the Chinese authorities to accede to the full transfer of the property to the Russian company."
There does not seem to be any doubt that China is within her legal rights in granting the concession to the Russian company. Evidently the British subjects whose rights are now infringed had been content to enjoy those rights under protection merely of the ordinary law of the