Imagens da página

league with the brigands of Asia Minor; secret instructions were given for his arrest, and a steamer was sent to Smyrna to convey him as an exile to the island of Rhodes. Under the Despotism exiles died quickly, and Captain von Herbert, from whose description of the incident in the Fortnightly Review I have taken some of my facts, himself saw the canvas sack in which it was intended to drop Kiamil overboard during the voyage—the official account would doubtless have informed the world that the Pasha had died of sea-sickness. But fortunately Kiamil obtained knowledge of the order for his arrest, and on January 12 he hurried to the British Consulate at Smyrna, and there took refuge under the British flag. The Consul gladly received him, and got into telegraphic communication with London. Sir Edward Grey commanded that British protection should be extended to the Pasha, who as a native of Cyprus was technically entitled to claim it. The Consulate was surrounded by police and spies, the steamers in the port were closely watched; but, despite all the precautions that were taken, Kiamil was able to escape in the steam launch belonging to the wellknown banking firm of the Whittals, and got safely on board a German liner bound for Stamboul. The steamer duly arrived at her destination; the British Ambassador guaranteed that Kiamil should have interviews with the Sultan at which

none of the Camarilla would be present; and the Pasha landed in the capital, thus placing himself in the power of the Despot; which was a brave thing to do when one bears in mind the fate of Midhat and others. Kiamil had his private interviews with Abdul Hamid, and spoke to him boldly concerning the evils of his rule, the ruin that was threatening the Ottoman Empire, and the corruption and villainy of the Sovereign's entourage. But the Camarilla still remained to exercise its mischievous power until the very end, though apparently it dared not interfere with one still nominally under the protection of England; for Kiamil did not disappear mysteriously. He kept outside public affairs and dwelt quietly in his house in Constantinople—no doubt under the close surveillance of spies—until the successful revolution brought him once again to the head of affairs. During the first six months of the new régime that very critical period when the Constitution was menaced by foes within and without, and even the integrity of the Empire was at stake— Kiamil, as Grand Vizier, steered the ship of State safely through many dangers, and his shrewd and cautious diplomacy greatly strengthened the position of Turkey. His ministers, among whom were one Armenian and one Greek, were men whose characters were above reproach, and they did much to reform the machinery of their respective departments. Kiamil stood his country in good stead, and Turkey has good reason to be grateful to him; but he, too, after six months of office, had to resign, though with no loss of honour to himself, at the bidding of the Committee; and, as in the case of his predecessor Said Pasha, the question of the appointment of the Ministers of War and Marine was the immediate cause of the Cabinet crisis—a matter concerning which I shall say more in another chapter. Kiamil's successor to the Grand Vizierate, Hilmi Pasha, is another man of the old régime. I have already spoken of the part which he took in Salonica during the last days of the Despotism, when the Committee threatened him with death. Long before any one thought that there was a chance of Hilmi's becoming Grand Vizier, he was described to me as being an honest and able man of strong character, with a good record behind him, somewhat fanatical, and with little sympathy with the Christian elements of the population. As Inspector-General in Salonica before the revolution, he obeyed the instructions given to him by the Palace, and obstructed as much as possible the reforms in Macedonia—dictated by the Great Powers—which it was his ostensible duty to superintend. But to stand in the way of European intervention was no grave fault in the

eyes of the Young Turks. Though the officer of

KIAMIL PASHA. Turkey's veteran Statesman. He

was Grand Vizier under the new Constitutional regime until

February 13, 1909, when he resigned this office and was succeeded by Hilmi Pasha.

« AnteriorContinuar »