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was intolerable to him and to his family: the iniquitous custom grew up of keeping him with the army for several years after his term of service had legally expired; and the reservists also, when called out for their periodical training, were not infrequently carried off to remote parts of the Empire and compelled to resume their military service for an indefinite time. The worst lot of all was that of regiments ordered to the Hedjaz or the Yemen. In those wild regions the wretched troops, ill-equipped, with wholly inadequate transport, and therefore always short of food, and generally provided with insufficient ammunition, had to carry on long campaigns against the rebel Arabs. They thus suffered great privations, and were not seldom defeated and massacred in consequence of the criminal negligence of Turkey's rulers. Educated surgeons were rarely attached to these expeditions, and I have been assured by old soldiers who had served in Arabia, that if a man was sick or wounded, so that he was unable to march, there was little chance for him ; as there were no means for carrying him; and that in these circumstances the ignorant and ill-paid men who played the part of army doctors, after pretending to examine a man, would declare that he was in a dying condition, and had him buried in the sand while
yet alive. It often happened, too, that soldiers
in Arabia, when they did get their discharge— probably because they were unfit for further service—were refused transport back to Turkey on the Government ships, and, being penniless, had to remain in that alien land until charitable people, of whom there are happily plenty among the Turks, came to their rescue. A friend of mine, who was recently British consul in a Turkish port, after careful investigation in his particular district, found that not more than twenty per cent. of the soldiers who were sent to the Yemen returned to their homes. Whenever conscripts were carried away for service in that dreaded land there were piteous scenes, and crowds of wailing women would come to the ship's side to bid a last farewell to the relatives whom they never expected to see again, and already mourned as dead. Under this shocking system of military maladministration there was a great waste of Turkey's young manhood. The rate of mortality in the army was excessive, and this was one of the principal causes of the standstill in the numbers of this, the finest peasantry in Europe, as compared with the rapid increase of the exempted Christian population. These conscripts, when they were torn from their homes, often left behind them wives and families dependent on them, so the whole Mussulman people suffered greatly through the vile treatment of the army, that was the best part of itself and in which every one had relatives; and at last it came about that even the faithful peasantry lost its loyalty, and, like the Moslems of the higher classes, was ready to rise and sweep away the intolerable Despotism.
Nationalism in the East—Influence of Western ideas in Turkey —Turkish literature—The modernist movement in Turkey—Pan-Islamism—The awakening of Islam—The spread of education.
FoR the last few years—that is, ever since the victorious war waged by Japan against Russia demonstrated to the peoples of the East that an Oriental country could break away from the conservative traditions that oppose progress, and make itself respected as one of the great civilised powers of the world—a remarkable growth of nationalism throughout Asia has attracted the close attention of observers in Europe. The East that gave the West its early civilisation is now taking its political ideals from the West. In India, China, Persia and Egypt national parties have risen whose aim it is to free their countries either from native despotism or from European tutelage, and to introduce forms of self-government modelled on those of modern Europe. But though much has been written and said concerning the awakening of the populations of the abovementioned countries, it is curious that there was no talk of any political movement in Turkey, the nearest to us of the Eastern nations, until last July, when the world was suddenly amazed to learn that what appeared to be an unpremeditated military mutiny in Macedonia had compelled the Sultan to grant a Constitution to his country. This Moslem revolution, that had been so long preparing and was so well organised, came as a complete surprise even to such European residents as knew the country best, including the Ambassadors of the Powers in Constantinople and their Consular representatives throughout the Empire. None of these gave any warning to their respective Governments, of what was coming. None of the newspaper correspondents in Turkey, none of the globe-trotting M.P.s and members of the Balkan Committee who were seeking an understanding of Turkish affairs on the spot, had any inkling of the wide-spread conspiracy that was to upset the Despotism with its first blow. It had been long known, of course, that there existed a group of exiled politicians who called themselves the “Young Turkish Party.” But this party was not taken seriously, for its critics little knew that it represented all that was intelligent and enlightened in Turkey. It was regarded as a little band of mad anarchists, or at best of foolish visionaries. An ambassador described the movement as “innocuous,” while some regarded it as “bogus,” and denied even the virtue of sincerity