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cowardice, as is always the case, called in cruelty and oppression to protect itself. He subordinated the welfare of his country to his elaborate schemes for self-preservation. He deliberately weakened the Ottoman Empire, dividing it against itself, and demoralised his subjects so that there should be no element in the State or group of individuals strong enough to attempt his overthrow. Thus he stirred up strife between the different Christian sects and inflamed Mussulman fanaticism, so that populations which before his time had lived side by side in peace, tolerating, if not loving each other, fell upon each other with sword and fire; and when his oppressed subjects rebelled he quenched their spirit with dreadful massacres. So, too, was it in his dealings with individuals, in the selection of his creatures and in his treatment of them. A tyrant who is enslaving his country naturally looks upon honest patriots with suspicion as potential rebels. He cannot well employ the services of such men as his advisers and ministers. He also mistrusts ability, as giving a power to be dangerous. Thus Turkish gentlemen of the official class, who possessed distinction, brains and probity, had very little share in the administration. The Camarilla of the Sultan was mainly composed of base and illiterate though cunning people; avaricious and unscrupulous parasites, of whom the most influential were not Turks, but Syrians, Arabs, and Circassians; men

who, being devoid of true patriotism and having the attainment of wealth as their one aim, would have no reason for joining in a conspiracy against the Despotism. But the Sultan mistrusted even these ready instruments of his will. Having a profound knowledge of the evil side of human nature he played off one creature against the other, made them jealous of each other, paid them to spy upon each other, prevented any sort of friendship between them, and governed them by terror. The Camarilla, selling public appointments, spread the poison of corruption that threatened to demoralise a whole people. To quote the words of a Young Turk writer: “There was left in Turkey but one ideal, but one opening for those who aspired, and that was to amass riches and spend them in gross sensual amusement. But, for the attainment of this, one had to declare oneself the spy of the Palace, and to give proofs of one's servility by sacrificing father, mother, brother, friends, principles, conscience, all patriotic sentiments and all humanity.”

It is wonderful that there were any honest men holding high positions during this period, but such there undoubtedly were, though these were for the most part narrow-minded fanatics who favoured Abdul Hamid's Pan-Islamic schemes, and were pleased to co-operate with him in depriving the Christians of what liberties they possessed, and seizing pretexts to massacre them. But to the highest offices of the State, such as the Grand Vizierate, the Sultan found himself compelled at times, in self-defence, to appoint men of capacity and high character; especially so when, after happenings more iniquitous than usual, the relations between Turkey and the European Powers became dangerously strained. Thus Kiamil Pasha, concerning whose good work for his country I shall have to speak later, was several times Grand Vizier, to be deposed as soon as he could be dispensed with ; for he was not the man to be obsequious to the despot, and he was not afraid of uttering disagreeable truths. On the whole, however, conspicuous ability became a disqualification for office in Turkey; and for a public man to be popular was a crime. In order to insure their blind obedience to him as the Padisha, it was Abdul Hamid's aim to keep his Mussulman subjects in a state of ignorance. He knew that the liberal ideas of modern Europe had been planted in Turkey, and he determined to uproot them, or at any rate prevent their spread. He endeavoured, not without some success, to cut Turkey off from the influence of Western progress. His subjects, with certain exceptions, were not permitted to travel in foreign countries, and even their goings to and fro within the Empire were regarded with suspicion. It has been suggested that he allowed his navy to rot because he feared lest his sailors should be inoculated with ideas about liberty while visiting Western ports; at any rate, he appears to have connived at the embezzlement by his Minister of Marine of ten millions sterling, which were to have been devoted to naval expenditure. Realising, however, that the preservation of the Empire depended upon the reorganisation of his army, the Sultan was compelled to provide for the education of his officers, some of whom were sent to Germany and other foreign countries, while thousands were passed through the Turkish military schools in Turkey itself, where they were instructed by European teachers. Officers thus trained, however, were looked upon as somewhat dangerous, and were attached to the Army Corps in various parts of the Empire, but not to that portion of the Turkish army which guards Constantinople, the centre of the Despotism and the Sultan's person; for there the pampered fanatical troops, faithful to their master, were officered by men who had risen from the ranks, some of whom could not even read, but who could be relied upon to carry out the orders given to them by the Palace. All progress was paralysed by the fear that ruled at the Palace. The introduction of typewriters and telephones as being of possible use to conspirators was prohibited. The Press had no liberty; the strictest censorship was exercised over all printed matter that came into Turkey. To be found in possession of a work of Herbert Spencer's,

for example, would mean imprisonment. The censor would not consent to the production of Hamlet in the theatre, because in that play the killing of a monarch is represented on the stage. Under the Hamidian régime there was of course no recognition of the inviolability of the domicile. The houses of educated Turks were frequently broken into by the police in search of forbidden literature. To such an extent was the right of public meeting denied, that it was not safe for three or four friends to sit and chat together in a café. A Turk could not give a dinner-party in his own house without the permission of the authorities, and even if he obtained that permission, some police agent would as likely as not be sent to sit at his table, as an uninvited and most unwelcome guest, taking mental notes of the conversation and smelling out conspiracies. It was altogether a hideous system that naturally bred all manner of tyrants great and petty, who being the creatures of the Palace were enabled to oppress the people with impunity. There was, for example, the infamous Fehim Pasha, chief of the secret police, who abused his official authority to gratify his every whim and passion, plundering and blackmailing those whose possessions aroused his avarice, killing those who stood in his way, and, whenever his fancy was attracted, forcibly carrying off to his harem the wives and daughters of peaceable citizens—a wretch so hated that so soon as

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