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thised with the aspirations of those intensely patriotic men who shunned politics, declined interviews with the Press, and lived most frugal lives, while they devoted themselves with single-minded zeal to the cause. I may mention that since 1904 the officials of the Eastern Questions Association (which, I believe, has always held the view that a strong and independent Turkey is an essential factor in the polity of nations) have been on friendly terms with Ahmed Riza Bey, visited him in Paris, become strong supporters of the Young Turk party, and have vigorously denounced the crooked policy of Russia and Austria in Macedonia. The Young Turks thus came to an understanding with the Armenians, and later on it was arranged between them that when the time was ripe, and the Committee gave the word for the Mussulman revolt in Turkey, the Armenians should also rise; for it was realised that the Sultan would yield to nothing but force, and that only by means of an armed rebellion, and that possibly a very bloody one, could the liberators of Turkey effect their end. And now the Young Turks set themselves to win over to their cause the other non-Mussulman revolutionary Committees. With the Jews, as with the Armenians, they had relatively little difficulty, for the Jews were a people without a land, and therefore could entertain no schemes of national independence; their hope and interests lay in the good government of the Ottoman Empire. But with the Bulgarians, Greeks and Serbs of Macedonia, whose very last idea it was to become patriotic Ottomans, the Young Turks found the work of persuasion attended with almost insuperable difficulties. To these revolutionaries other forms of argument had to be applied. It was pointed out to them that, unassisted from outside, they could not hope to conquer their independence with the sword from the armies of the Sultan; that the mutually-jealous Great Powers, if they did intervene in Macedonia, were not in the least likely to favour the political aspirations of the Christian populations; that to appeal to foreign intervention was a very dangerous thing ; and that the annexation of the greater part of Macedonia to Austria-Hungary—in detestation of which Power all these Balkan races are united—might be the result of the state of anarchy in that region for which the revolutionary bands were responsible; in short, that it would be to the advantage of the Macedonian Christians to abandon their ideas of separation from the Ottoman Empire and to join cause with the Young Turks, whose aim it was to hold the Empire together and to give equal rights to all its peoples. Wonderful to say, the Macedonian Committees in Paris at last allowed themselves to be persuaded, and threw in their lot with the Young Turks, halfheartedly, perhaps, at first, and with mental reservations. They realised that they could hope for little help from Europe, and were willing to work with the Young Turks in upsetting the Hamidian régime. After a successful revolution something might turm up that would enable them to gain the national independence that they still had at heart; and even if that hope was destroyed, they would be able, having supported the Young Turks, to claim the equal rights which these had promised to them. But the conflict of interests that severed the various groups, and the anarchical principles that some of the revolutionary leaders professed, made the reconciliation of all these discordant elements a matter of great difficulty. The Congress held in Paris in 1902 had for its chief result the accentuation of schism; it was not till 1907 that the various Committees were able at last to arrange a programme that was acceptable to all; and by that time the Young Turks had established their secret society in Macedonia and had gained the allegiance of a considerable portion of that formidable Turkish army without whose co-operation, as the Christians in Macedonia knew well, no revolution had a chance of success. So in December 1907 a Congress of the Turkish revolutionaries met in Paris, at which were represented the Ottoman Committee of Union and Progress, the Armenian, Bulgarian, Jewish, Arab, Albanian and other Committees; and the delegates all agreed to accept the following principles:–The deposition of the Sultan Abdul Hamid. The maintenance of the integrity of the Ottoman Empire. Absolute equality in the eyes of the law of the various races and religions. The establishment of Parliamentary institutions on the lines of Midhat Pasha's Constitution. The “Ottoman Committee of Union and Progress,” as representing the dominant race and the fighting forces of the revolution, naturally now took the lead, and its members, of whom but a few were non-Mussulmans, became the organisers of the revolt and mandatories of the other Committees. It may be pointed out here that the resolutions of the Congress had no effect in pacifying Macedonia, where, indeed, the condition of affairs was ever becoming worse; for Greece and Bulgaria, still looking forward to the disruption of Turkey, were pouring into Macedonia their armed bands to “peg out claims” in the Greek and Bulgarian interest; and throughout all that region violence, murder and rapine prevailed. Of no more effect were the efforts of the great Powers, which, in 1907, issued a categorical declaration that no Macedonian race would be permitted to draw

any territorial advantage from the action of its bands.

CHAPTER VII

The revolutionary party make Macedonia their base—Dread of foreign intervention—Discontent in the army—Racial strife in Macedonia—Greeks and exarchists—Salonica is chosen as the headquarters of the secret society—Freemasonry in Salonica.

IN 1906 the Ottoman Committee of Union and Progress, considering that the time had come to transfer their organisation to the soil of Turkey itself, and there make the final preparations for their attack on the Despotism, selected Macedonia as the scene of their initial operations. There were good reasons for choosing this portion of Turkey as their strategic base. In the first place, it was here that the forces were chiefly at work which were threatening the speedy dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, and the Young Turks realised that unless they quickly came to the rescue it would be too late, and Macedonia would be lost. The terrible condition of the country, overrun as it was by murderous bands of political brigands supported by Turkey's enemies, had already drawn an interference in the internal affairs of Macedonia on the part of the Great Powers that was deeply humiliating to every patriotic Turk. The Powers had compelled

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