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very sad. The Ottoman poets of to-day love chiefly to dwell upon such themes as a fading flower, or a girl dying of decline; and though admiration of a recent French school may have something to do with this, the fancy forces itself upon us, when we read those sweet and plaintive verses, that a brave but gentle-hearted people, looking forward to its future without fear, but without hope, may be seeking, perhaps unconsciously, to derive what sad comfort it may from the thought that all beautiful life must end in dismal death.” I have met some of these modern Turkish poets, very manly fellows, though their work has the melancholy tinge described above

for which, in my opinion, a long political exile in a foreign land and sorrows for the evil fortunes of their beloved country are largely responsible. But now the days of Turkey's mourning are over, and the more recent poems of these men, who are sturdy patriots and not decadents, are beginning to reflect the triumph, enthusiasm and hope which have characterised the Young Turks since their successful revolt against the despotism.


A maligned race—Atrocities—European sympathy with the

Ottoman Christians—The Moslems suffering in silence—

The “Bag-and-Baggage” policy. SUCH are the people who but recently were spoken of as the “unspeakable Turks.” For thirty years they have suffered from the cruelest of tyrannies and have met with but scant sympathy in Western Europe; for it was “their double misfortune,” to quote the words of a writer in the Times, “to be oppressed and to be compelled to bear the odium of the cruelty of the oppressor. Their fine qualities were obscured to the world. Their name was a byword for cruelty, violence and fanaticism.” In England, if one attempted to defend the Turk, one was regarded as a coldblooded villain by a great many good people. A considerable section of the English lost their sense of fair play so soon as the Turkish question became at the same time a pawn in our party politics and an excitant of religious bigotry; for one political party became avowedly anti-Turkish, while numbers of well-meaning but unjust Christian people approached the subject from the point of

view which made a Mussulman appear everything that is vile, and so espoused the cause of Turkey's Christian enemies as being of necessity the right one. It was the same sort of sectarian narrowmindedness that impelled well-known preachers— not members of our State Church—to pray from their pulpits for the success of the Americans in their war with Spain, because Spain was Catholic and the “land of the Inquisition.” Thus it came about when Turkey's Christian subjects rebelled in the seventies and the Russians came to their assistance, the Turks were held up to opprobrium as fiends in human shape, the murderers, violators and mutilators of the gentle Christians. Any piece of evidence, second-hand or third-hand, however extravagant, was implicitly believed by these people provided it was against the Turks, whereas whenever charges of committing atrocities were brought against Russians and Bulgarians by the most trustworthy eyewitnesses a very different standard of evidence was set up, and it was held to be incredible that Christians could do these things. Yet what were the facts? In the first place, there can be no doubt that Russia, bent on the destruction of Turkey and aggrandisement at her expense, had stirred the Bulgarians into rebellion by means of agents provocateurs. Travellers who visited Bulgaria in the years preceding the Russo-Turkish war state that the Bulgarian

peasantry were more prosperous than any in Turkey. It is unlikely that they would have risen of their own accord, seeing that they had good reason to be grateful to the Turks, who had come to their rescue when their persecuting Greek fellow-Christians had set themselves to exterminate the Bulgarian Church, language and nationality. In the next place, it is now realised that the Christians and not the Turks initiated the atrocities. The Bulgarians, when they rose, plundered and burnt the villages of the Turks, committed the most shocking cruelties, and massacred unarmed Moslem men, women and children. There is good evidence to show that the Turkish regular troops behaved with consideration to the Christian population until their passions were roused by the barbarities committed by the Bulgarians and Russian Cossacks; then indeed the Turks, exasperated by the sufferings of their co-religionists, engaged in terrible reprisals which aroused the indignation of the civilised world. Ferocious when provoked by the cruelty of others, the Turks are the last people to engage in wanton cruelty, and those who like myself have seen their armies in time of war can vouch for their humane treatment of prisoners and of the civil population in an enemy's country. It must be remembered, too, that the worst atrocities proved against the Turks in Bulgaria were committed not by Turkish regulars but by fanatical Circassians and by the

Bashi-Bazouks, ill-disciplined irregulars recruited from the criminals and neer-do-weels of many races, detested by the Turks themselves for their excesses. The evil name thus acquired by the Turk during the war with Russia stuck to him through the years that followed, and ignorant prejudice has been wont to put down to him all the cruel deeds committed by the Palace Camarilla, including the terrible Armenian massacres, which were perpetrated, not by the Turks—who regarded these crimes with loathing—but by the savage Kurds and Lazes, at the instigation of those who misruled the unfortunate country. In many ways the Turks have suffered more from the oppressive despotism than their Christian fellow-subjects, but all the sympathy of our humanitarians has been for the latter, and they had little pity or sympathy to spare for the Mussulman. Of late years the political intriguers in Athens, Sofia and Belgrade have been supporting bands of Christian brigands in Macedonia, with the object of forwarding the rival interests of the Greeks, Bulgarians and Servians, in anticipation of the scramble over the partition of that rich country on the breaking up of the Ottoman Empire. These bands have been burning villages and murdering women and children, their excesses being committed against both Christians and Turks. In April 1908, a Bulgarian band burnt a Greek

priest at the stake. The incident aroused no

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