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by the CEcumenical Patriarch, they demanded the maintenance of all the privileges that had been granted to them from the time of the Turkish conquest. The Moslems have had to give up their special rights, but the Greeks refused to surrender a single one of their privileges for the sake of Ottoman unity. The Greeks chatter about liberty, equality and fraternity, but their aim is to secure to themselves advantages over the other Christian peoples; and the Patriarchate, the most cruel and intolerant ecclesiastical tyranny remaining in the world, makes use of “liberty” to increase its persecutions of the exarchists and other schismatics. In the ranks of the reactionaries are to be found many Greeks who profited much by the Despotism whose parasites they were. A large number of the Greeks in Turkey still cling to their separatist aspirations. Even as I write this the Greeks in Macedonia are breaking the peace which the Young Turks brought to that long harassed land; for large Greek bands are once more in the field, with no shadow of a grievance as their excuse for brigandage this time, but agitating for various things, including the annexation of Crete to Greece. If the great Powers would act together and let it be clearly understood that under no conceivable circumstances will Greece be permitted to annex another
foot of Ottoman territory, the Greeks in Turkey might become the useful citizens of a united country; for they, like all the other peoples in European Turkey, would prefer even a Hamidian despotism to the domination of Germany, Austria or Russia.
The opening of Parliament—Internal dissensions—Criticisms of the Committee of Union and Progress—Resignation of Kiamil Pasha—Nationalist parties in Parliament—The Liberal Union—Ismail Kemal Bey—Campaign against the Committee—Reactionary intrigues—Corruption in Constantinople.
ON December 17 Abdul Hamid drove through the streets of his capital between cheering crowds to open the Turkish Parliament. The scene has been often described, and it is unnecessary here to relate again the events of that memorable day. That night I sailed through the Dardanelles, and on either side of me, on the shores of both Europe and Asia, every little town and village, and the anchored fleets of fishing craft in the harbours, were brightly illuminated; isolated farm houses on snowy hillsides had their windows full of lights; fires blazed on many a lonely peak; and so it was all along the shores of Turkey from the Adriatic and the AEgean to the Black Sea and the shores of the Persian Gulf. It was a day and a night of rejoicing, and so contagious was the sincere enthusiasm that even the most cynical foreigner in the land had not the heart to speak otherwise
than hopefully of the future of this freed country.
Some months have passed since that winter's day. As might have been expected, things have not gone altogether smoothly in Turkey, and there have been reports of internal dissension that have puzzled and alarmed the English well-wishers of the new régime. As regards the open rebellions against the Government that have occurred in various portions of the Empire, no one imagined that the proclamation of a Constitution would suddenly bring peace, once and for all, to restless races that have been fighting and raiding for centuries. The complete pacification of these regions cannot but be a work of time. The lawless Albanian tribes are again carrying on their organised brigandage, even in that Dibra district where Niazi Bey's propaganda had been so wholly successful; the Northern Albanians are agitating for autonomy, even as they were thirty years ago when I wandered through their highlands; Turkish troops, even as I am writing this, are defending Armenians against raiding Kurds;" risings of fanatical Arabs in Arabia are being suppressed ; and the Greek bands are once more troubling Macedonia. These are unfortunate happenings, but with a Government that combines firmness with justice and patience, this lawless state of things will disappear; and it must be remembered that sheer love of fighting and raiding rather than political disaffection is the cause of some of these disturbances. These revolts and raids had become almost chronic complaints under the old régime; the world is now watching Turkey; events that would have passed almost unnoticed a year ago are reported in the European Press, and their importance is naturally overrated by those who read of them. But the political dissensions among the Turks themselves—which have been much embittered of late—are more alarming to the friends of Turkey than are any of these risings of lawless peoples. This is no time for the patriotic element to be divided against itself, and it behoves the Young Turks to present a solid and united front to the many external and internal enemies of Turkey's liberty and the Empire's integrity. The Committee of Union and Progress, the deliverer of Turkey from the Despotism, has enemies in the land who are unsparing and unscrupulous in their attacks, and most cunning in their intriguings. The anomalous position of the organisation has naturally invited some honest criticism. Almost immediately after the proclamation of the Constitution, not only reactionary Turks and politicians jealous of the Young Turk party, but also European friends of Turkey, including certain British diplomatists and a section of the Press that voices their views, began to urge that the Committee,
* This was written before the counter-revolution and the terrible massacre of Armenians that followed it.