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however cheaply they offered their goods. The rough and ignorant Kurds who do the coaling and also earn their living as lightermen and as porters in Galata, and the poor Jews who do the same work in Salonica, to a man enforced the boycott, though it meant for them a great falling off in their small wages, and short commons for their families. Thus no Constantinople boatman would take a passenger off to an Austrian steamer, or carry him on shore from it when he reached his destination. These steamers had to use their own launches for the embarkation and disembarkation of passengers; and the person who had sailed under this tabooed flag sometimes found himself in a sorry plight even after he had been landed on a Turkish quay, no porter being willing to carry his baggage. But in February last, so soon as the Governments of Turkey and Austria had arranged their differences, the Committee of Union and Progress gave the word that the boycott should cease: and cease it did within an hour of this order: the boatmen, porters, lightermen, and dock labourers in every port in Turkey coming out as one man to work again for the Austrians. In the cities and in the countryside all seemed to be going well with the cause of the Young Turks; but foreigners who observed this harmonious opening of the new régime and this extraordinary fraternisation of men of different races and creeds hitherto irreconcileable asked themselves how long this reign of universal friendship could last, and whether this falling into each other's arms of Turks, Armenians, Bulgarians and others, was due to any sentiment more deep and permanent than the joyous intoxication caused by this unaccustomed wine of liberty. Like other Englishmen in Turkey at that time, I came to the conclusion that the Young Turks were quite sincere; that they were honestly desirous to have done with internal strife, to give equality to all the elements of the population, and to live in peace and friendship with their nonMoslem fellow-countrymen. The Armenians and Jews have proved their sincerity by co-operating loyally with the Young Turks throughout the parliamentary elections and since. Of the Macedonian Christians the bulk had become weary of bloodshed and the internecine conflict that had brought nothing but suffering and ruin to the population; and there was no insincerity about the friendly relationship that sprang up between the sturdy Bulgarian leaders of fighting bands and their former foes, the Turkish officers, for they respected each other. The civil warfare in Macedonia had been deliberately fomented by the machinations of the Palace gang, to whom the doctrine of divide et impera was ideal statesmanship, and to the intrigues of Bulgaria, Servia
alone, these peoples might not dwell together in peace. A short time since a mollah, addressing the people, said, “Before the reign of Abdul Hamid the Moslem and Christian mothers used to nurse each other's children.” But will these Macedonian peoples be left alone by Palace agents of reaction, by those Great Powers whose interests are opposed to the creation of a strong and independent Turkey, and by the greedy little neighbouring states? It is, of course, too much to hope that constitutional government has put a sudden end to the religious and racial strife in Macedonia. The Greeks in the country have already demonstrated the illusiveness of such an expectation. The Greeks, like the others, welcomed the Constitution and fraternised with their Ottoman fellowcountrymen. Carried away by the enthusiasm of the moment they may have been sincere in their protestations of brotherhood, but one suspects that the mental reservations were at the back of their brains all the while. If one misjudges them in this, then their own actions and the utterances of their Press belie them. In the hour of national jubilation they supplied the one discordant note. One of the first uses that they made of the freedom which the Young Turks had won for them was to boycott and insult the Bulgarians in Salonica, and the news came that the Greek clergymen
in the interior were once more persecuting the
Bulgarian exarchists, and had drawn up prescription lists of the leading Bulgarians with a view to getting them assassinated. The Greek element of the population, as might be expected, was the first to express dissatisfaction with the policy and administration of the Young Turks. The intolerant and often mischievously active Greek Patriarchate in Constantinople, which denied the Bulgarians the use of their own language, supported the Greeks in clamouring for much more than was their due. Their idea of Ottoman citizenship, so far as themselves were concerned, was to avoid all the obligations of that citizenship, while enjoying all the rights conferred by it and retaining all their special privileges intact. They seemed to think that the government of Turkey should be in their hands. During the elections it was they alone who provoked rioting, and at Smyrna they created a dangerous disturbance with their armed mobs.
The interregnum—The Committee's measures to secure the Constitution—The army, the Mohammedan religion and the Press on the Committee's side—Dispersal of the Camarilla—Abandonment of the Anglo-Russian scheme—Retention of old officials—Said Pasha and Kiamil Pasha as Grand Viziers—Hilmi Pasha becomes Grand Vizier–European assistance welcomed by Turkey.
DURING the four months' interregnum between the granting of the Constitution and the opening of Parliament, the Committee of Union and Progress was the undisputed ruler of Turkey. It dictated to the monarch what his decrees should be, it moved armies, it removed and appointed ministers, governors of provinces, and other high officials. These untried young men who formed the Committee, while introducing a new order of things and protecting their country against the numerous dangers that threatened to destroy the newly gained liberty, displayed a wisdom, tact, moderation, shrewdness, and foresight that were astonishing to foreign observers. They maintained order with firmness, greatly assisted in this by the dignified self-control and patriotism of the people themselves. Though they and thousands of others had suffered much