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from their traditional policy of non-intervention in European affairs by meddling in the internal affairs of Turkey.”
Armenian Conspirators.-An extraordinary, not to say absolutely incredible, explanation of the Armenian massacres is given by the Constantinople correspondent of the New York Herald of November 10. No authority for the story is named; but already on November 1, in the same journal, F. Hopkinson Smith, an American artist, who has spent several years in Turkey, had given a like explanation. The Constantinople correspondent of the Herald, Mr. Whitman, lays the blame for all the atrocities on the Huntschagist society. The plan of the Huntschag is this:
"Provoke the Turks," says the society to its members, "so that they may attack you; escape if you can; but above all things offer no resistance. If you die you will be a martyr; you will have attracted the attention of Europe." But though the members were to let themselves be killed without resistance, they were never to harm a Turk. "Every Turk you kill is harm you do to the cause."
This recalls the doings of the Circumcelliones of the second century-fanatic sectaries of Northern Africa, who used to go about in search of a chance of martyrdom. But no one has ever charged the canny Armenians with such simplicity of devotion.
The society also labors to set the Turks against the American and European missionaries. The missionaries, according to the Herald's unnamed informant, do not incite the people to revolt; but the Armenians, whenever opportunity offered, asserted that it was the missionaries that had encouraged them to rise against their rulers.
"The Turks," writes the Herald's correspondent, "have over and over again asserted that in Asia Minor and elsewhere they have not been the aggressors, but that the Armenians have driven the people wild by their methods, and, finally, after setting fire to the villages, retired to the mountains, and there met death, when the infuriated Kurds came upon them, without resistance."
To this view of the methods of the Armenian revolutionists no little weight is given by a report of Dr. Cyrus Hamlin, founder of Roberts College, to the United States department of state. The Herald's correspondent calls the document in one place a "letter," in another a “report," and gives the date as "Lexington, December 23, 1893." Why Dr. Hamlin should "report" to the state department is not apparent. The Herald's other informant, Mr. Hopkinson Smith, quotes a communication, of purport similar to that of this "report;" but this communication is mentioned as a letter to the Congregational
ist newspaper of Boston, Mass. of Boston, Mass. In the so-called report occur these passages:
"An Armenian revolutionary party is causing great evil and suffering to missionary work, and to the whole of the Christian population of certain parts of the Turkish empire. It is a secret organization, and is managed with a skill and deceit which are known only in the East. * * *
"In Turkey the party aims to excite the Turks against Protestant missionaries and Protestant Armenians. All the troubles in Marsovan originated in their movements. They are cunning, unprincipled, and cruel. They terrorize their own people by demanding contributions of money under threat of assassination-a threat which has often been put into execution.
'Let all missionaries, home and foreign, denounce the movement. It is trying to enter every Sunday school and deceive and pervert the innocent and ignorant into supporters of this craft. We must be careful, therefore, that in befriending the Armenians we do nothing that can be construed as approval of this movement, which all should abhor. While yet we recognize the probability that some Armenians in this country, ignorant of the real objects and cruel designs of the Huntschagists, are led by patriotism to join with them, and while we sympathize with the sufferings of the Armenians at home, we must stand aloof from any such desperate attempts, which contemplate the destruction of Protestant missions, churches, schools, and Bible work, involving all in a common ruin that is diligently and craftily sought. Let all home and foreign missionaries beware of any alliance with or countenance of the Huntschagists."
The German ambassador to the Porte, in an interview published in the Lokalanzeiger, of Berlin, expresses with great unreserve his judgment of the Armenian people.
Their demands he pronounces "unjustifiable and impracticable." The Armenians enjoy great freedom of belief and of trade. their unscrupulous manner of trading, by which they prosper exceedingly. They have "no regard for anything or anybody:" they are usurers, and have plundered Turkey for centuries. The only wrong done by the Turks was in the manner of crushing the rebellion; they did not discriminate between the innocent and the guilty. In reality there was not more than one revolutionist among 1,000 of the people. The leaders of the revolt were for the most part students who had imbibed revolutionary ideas at Geneva.
Armenia in the French Chamber.-The Armenian situation was the subject of debate in the French chamber of deputies November 3. M. Denys, deputy for Cochin-China (other reports say M. Cochin of the Right) interpellated the government, demanding information as to the part France was to take in defense of the Armenians"a race whose sufferings were without a parallel in history." During the deputy's recital of the massacres the chamber was greatly agitated.
"The whole of civilized Europe," said the deputy, "is interested in the purification of Turkey, and France has a right to convoke her allies and all Europe to undertake the task."
The Count de Mun, the distinguished leader of the Church party, declared that sadder even than the Armenian atrocities was the inertia with which Europe tolerated such outrages. Though the massacres of August 26 in Constantinople were perpetrated under the very eyes of the officers of the foreign guardships and the passengers on board the French steamer Girondel, yet the authors of the atrocities had gone unpunished;
-nay, the fomenters of the outrages had been rewarded." These remarks were heartily approved and emphasized by other deputies; and then the minister of foreign affairs, M. Hanotaux, made reply to the interpellation.
The Armenian movement, he said, would not have taken upon itself such an intensity if contact with Europe had not imbued certain Armenians with a desire for independence. The excesses of the Ottoman government, he said, had furnished legitimate motives for complaint, and, when the question assumed an aspect of grave importance, England understood the danger of acting alone. France does not forget the traditions of the religious protectorate which she exercised in the Orient, nor the bonds which unite her to the Ottoman empire; but she must proportion her effort to the extent of all the tasks devolving upon her.
OF THE SULTAN.
The socialist deputy, M. Jaures, replying to the minister, said that the admonitions given to the sultan had no effect. M. Hanotaux's remarks, he said, left the whole question open. He rebuked the minister for endeavoring to render the Armenians alone answerable for the troubles, whereas the responsibility was shared by the European powers and the sultan.
The speech of M. Hanotaux appears to have had far greater effect abroad than at home. As soon as the sultan had received a telegraphic report of it, he sent a secretary to the French ambassador for some explanation which might quiet the alarm which M. Hanotaux's remarks had caused at the Porte. The next day the Turkish ambassador at Paris visited the foreign office and informed M. Hanotaux that the sultan had decided upon effecting widespread and radical reforms. Among the promises made by the sultan was one to dismiss the Vali of Diarbekr for the share he took in the disorders there; and this promise was promptly fulfilled. Telegrams were sent by
the Porte to all the military governors, informing them that they would be held answerable for any further bloodshed.
Lord Salisbury on Intervention.-At the Guildhall banquet in London, November 9, the Marquis of Salisbury made a speech setting forth the arguments against the policy of isolated action against the Porte:
If such action were to be taken by England, conscription would be unavoidable. Great Britain, he said, could not occupy the country with an army raised by voluntary enlistment. Only by concert of action between the six great powers could anything be done. The government had been urged by John Morley and others to abandon its policy of the past and renounce certain lands, in which case the other powers would accept England's policy. Lord Salisbury did not believe this. In any event he saw no cause to abandon the policy hitherto pursued, or to relinquish one acre of ground now occupied by the British. He warmly approved the sentiments and principles of M. Hanotaux's speech in the French chamber of deputies. France, he said, would not try to baffle the action of the European concert; as for the Triple Alliance, it had always been in sympathy with the British doctrines regarding the Eastern question. Nor was there necessary antagonism between England and Russia. Such an idea was "a
superstition of antiquated diplomacy;" and there was good ground for believing that Russia held the same views. He would not say there would be difficulty in concurring in any scheme to exercise force if the other powers agreed; but he did not know whether the use of force was meditated against Turkey. He referred to the latest promises of reform made by the sultan, and said that the future alone could determine how far even such humble promises as these would be realized. He hoped the powers would be able to convince Turkey that she was drifting in the current toward an abyss, and that they would succeed in diverting her before she arrived at the edge.
The Powers to the Porte.-A solution of Turkey's problems was offered to the Porte informally by M. Nelidoff, the Russian ambassador, December 19: the plan had the approval of the ambassadors of some of the powers, and the approval of the rest was confidently expected.
It proposes a reform of the finances and a reorganization of the administration of internal affairs. The financial scheme involves the revision of the entire Ottoman debt under a guarantee of the European powers signatory to the agreement The plan also contemplates the full control of the powers over the Turkish revenues, with allotment of a fixed sum for maintenance of the army and navy and for the sultan's privy purse. The sultan's ministers are to be appointed by him, but the appointments are to be subject to approval or veto by the ambassadors of the powers. No hint is given of any resort to force, though it is known that force alone, or menace of force, can induce the sultan to come to terms.
The concurrence of Germany with the powers is still in much doubt. Unofficial declarations of Germany's policy go to show that she is still firm to her old attitude, and contends that the sultan must not be threatened, and
that the Turkish empire must not be dismembered. When informed of the purpose of the powers to enforce the plan of reform in the empire, the sultan is reported to have answered: "I may perhaps be the last of the kaliphs, but I will never be a second khedive." His status, however, is a thing beyond his control; and, if ever the powers come to agreement about his affairs, his consent will hardly be asked whether he shall be kaliph or khedive.
The year, however, closed with the prospect of united action among the powers still remote, and no probability apparent that any one or any two or three of them would incur the awful risk attending intervention.
To an inquiry of Lord Salisbury as to the attitude which Italy would take toward intervention in Turkey by France, Russia, and England, the Italian premier replied, December 13, that his government would co-operate with those powers should they decide to intervene. A like question was addressed to the German government; but the answer, whatever it may have been, was not made public. It was believed that if Italy and Austria favored intervention, Germany would not withhold her approval.
The naval force of the United States at Smyrna was reduced, December 28, to two vessels-the Cincinnati, a small cruiser and the little Bancroft. On that day Admiral Selfridge departed on the flagship San Francisco for Genoa, and the Minnesota had already gone to Alexandretta. All this was taken to indicate an improved condition of affairs in the Turkish empire.
Reported Escape of ex-Sultan Murad.-Murad V., deposed sultan of Turkey, who has been kept in strict confinement since 1876, was reported, December 12, to have made his escape. But the rumor was false, being based only on the fact that the unfortunate prince had been transferred from the palace of Cheragan to the so-called Malta Kiosk in the grounds of the Yildiz Kiosk. The transfer was made by water in the night; and though every precaution was taken against discovery, Murad was seen as he passed in his caique by several foreigners. He is described as looking aged and haggard, yet not without some trace of majesty of mien. His partisans, members of the Young Turkey party, now declare that while Murad was confined in the Cheragan palace they contrived to maintain communication with him by means of the Taxim water supply. Letters in small rubber envelopes were thrown into the water, and were carried by the current to the palace. Murad's only companion is his wife, a woman of Belgian birth.