Слике страница

by a conviction of the superiority of the German arms, [he] was from the first a strong partisan of the German alliance.” 13

The press was also very hostile to the English. As the country was under martial law, the press was under a censorship, and, therefore, its utterances might be taken as an expression of the sentiments of the Government. Sir Louis Mallet, British ambassador at Constantinople, complained that not only was news in favor of the Allies suppressed, but that slander and vituperation against the Entente was indulged in without censorial restraint. The newspapers, not only of the capital but also of the provinces, were "enthusiastically pro-German.

The hostility of the Turkish press to the Entente powers was not, according to Ambassador Morgenthau, a reflection of public sentiment, for he is of the opinion that a majority of the people were more kindly disposed to England and France than to Germany. But Baron Wangenheim, by a judicious and unscrupulous use of money, had won over the press to the support of Germany. “A censorship was established in the interest of the Central Powers" and "all Turkish editors were ordered to write in Germany's favor." German agents were carrying on an unbridled propaganda

13 R. O. B. (2), 36; B. C. (14), p. 1.

through the press and other agencies against the Entente powers.14

The Germans were, of course, trying to do all they could to bring Turkey into the war on their side. In support of their propaganda, they used, according to the contention of Sir Louis Mallet, such arguments as the following:

German success in the European war was said to be assured. The perpetual menace to Turkey from Russia might, it was suggested, be averted by a timely alliance with Germany and Austria. Egypt might be recovered for the Empire. India and other Moslem countries represented as groaning under Christian rule might be kindled into a flame of infinite possibilities for the Caliphate of Constantinople. Turkey would emerge from the war the one great Power of the East, even as Germany would be the one great Power of the West. Such was the substance of German misrepresentations.15

14 B. C. (13), 147, enclosure 1; B. C. (13), p. 3; World's Work, June, 1918, p. 175.

The Russian ambassador at Constantinople said (September 14) that he had information to the effect that the leading papers of the Turkish capital were subsidized by Germany and Austria-Hungary. R. O. B._(2), 53.

15 B. C. (14), p. 1; R. O. B. (2), 75.

Mr. Morgenthau thinks that prior to the battle of the Marne Germany did not want Turkey to enter the war and quotes Ambassador Wangenheim as saying that his country preferred that Turkey remain neutral. The Germans were at that time counting on a short war and did not want to be hampered by obligations to the Porte. But after the battle of the Marne, when the Teutons had lost the hope of a speedy victory, they wanted the active help of the Ottoman Empire. Then it was that Baron Wangenheim used the power that he had built up in Constantinople in favor of enlisting the active support of the Ottoman Government on the side of the Teutonic Allies World's Work, June, 1918, 173–4, 178.

Great Britain, on the other hand, could not hold out such glowing prospects as an inducement for neutrality. In fact, it seems that the Entente powers made little or no effort at bargaining with the Porte. Besides, there seems to have been a fear on the part of the Turkish people that Britain had designs against the integrity and independence of their country. To alleviate these fears, Sir Edward Grey directed Sir Louis Mallet “to address the following communication to the Porte" "as soon as the French and Russian ambassadors have received similar instructions":

If the Turkish Government will repatriate immediately the German officers and crews of the Goeben and Breslau, will give a written assurance that all facilities shall be furnished for the peaceful and uninterrupted passage of merchant vessels, and that all the obligations of neutrality shall be observed by Turkey during the present war, the three allied Powers will in return agree, with regard to the Capitulations, to withdraw their extra-territorial jurisdiction as soon as a scheme of judicial administration, which will satisfy modern conditions, is set up.

They will further give a joint guarantee in writing that they will respect the independence and integrity of Turkey, and will engage that no conditions in the terms of peace at the end of the war shall prejudice this independence and integrity.

This communication was delivered by the ambassadors of all three of the Entente powers; but the Turkish Government, it seems,

"attached no importance to the statement." 16

On September 9 the Ottoman Government issued a statement to the powers declaring the Capitulations to be abolished after October 1.17 Thereupon, the ambassadors of the powers, including Austria-Hungary and Germany, “sent identic notes to the Sublime Porte stating that ... capitulary régime cannot be abolished without consent of contracting parties.” Therefore, “we cannot recognize executory force after that date (October 1) of unilateral decision of the Sublime Porte." Sir Edward Grey, however, said (September 16) that he was “prepared to consider reasonable concessions about Capitulations," as long as Turkey maintained neutrality. Russia was also willing to agree to concessions as to the Capitulations provided Turkey would demobilize and send away the German military officers.18

16 B. C. (13), 21, 27, 28, 64; R. O. B. (2), 35.

The Turkish cabinet seemed to put little faith in Entente pledges respecting the future integrity of the Ottoman Empire. În discussing these pledges with Ambassador Morgenthau, Talaat Pasha said: “They promised that we should not be dismembered after the Balkan wars, and see what happened to European Turkey then.” World's Work, June, 1918, p. 175.

17 The Capitulations were agreements that had been entered into by Turkey with the various European powers granting to the nationals of the latter who reside in the Ottoman dominions "liberty of residence and of travel, inviolability of domicile, freedom of religion, and, to a certain extent, the right to be tried by courts of their own nationality."--Inter. Year Book.

18 B. C. (13), 73, 77; R. O. B. (2), 55, 56.

England's forbearance toward Turkey continued despite the fact that the German crews still remained with the two vessels alleged to have been purchased from Germany, and also despite the fact that the British ambassador was satisfied that the so-called sale was fictitious. Besides, the Entente powers had other grievances against the Porte. English merchant ships had been illegally detained in the Dardanelles, 19 and a German ship “anchored opposite the German embassy at Therapia" had been used as a wireless station by the Teutons. 20

On September 27 Turkey committed a more important breach of neutrality. The Ottoman military authorities on that date closed the Dardanelles, giving as a reason that the “sudden actions of [the] British fleet had given rise to the belief that an immediate attack was contemplated." The Entente ambassadors at Constantinople protested to the grand vizier against this action and the English ambassador assured him that any such belief was unfounded and expressed the wish that the Dardanelles be opened at once.21 The grand vizier offered to reopen the straits if the British fleet would "move a little farther from the entrance to the

19 B. C. (13), 12, 26, 34.
20 B. C. (14), p. 2; World's Work, June, 1918, 158–160.
21 B. C. (13), 97; R. O. B. (2), 68.

« ПретходнаНастави »