Newspaper Page Text
Bag and Baggage1 " Out of Constantinople A Discussion From an English Viewpoint of What Should Be Done With the Turk Manchester, England, February, 1920 BTHE time these lines reach America' the" re , d Pans Conference may have decided what to be the future of the Turks and Turkey t the i tit there is no problem in the foreign field whn ;-es in England such interest and anxiety If any. had been asked during the war to name the bn attires of the settlement which would inevitably foil. i decisive victory of the Allies, he might have besil : about the prospective frontiers of Germany or tl . break-up of Austria, but one prophecy he wo! ve made as a matter of course l1ii,hI W2lW hj":said 'e Gladstone policy Will i filled. Bag and baggage the Turk will be gsl of Europe. The subject populations whether Chr n like the Armenian, the Greek or the Syrian, or M- n like the Arab, will be released from his op-pre- and he will no longer be left at Constanti noj.K -he greatest of the world's strategic centers, one y the worlds greatest emporia, the gateway to the Middle East and India, the stepping stone from Asia into I.urope, the diplomatic base from which he has so long played off against each other the rivalries of European Powers and so prolonged his life long after any virtue that he ever had, had deserted him." Twelve months ago we should all have said that and it the Allied and Associated Powers had begun their work Jo January, 1919, by carrying such a policy into immediate effect, scarcely a voice in the civilized world would have failed to approve. Turkey for the Tm-ks, by all means let it be. Let the Turk withdraw into the region of Anatolia which is genuinely his by test Oi race and sentiment. But the people who have demonstrated in every part of the Ottoman Empire their incapacity for every art but massacre, who have Bowed the fertile regions of Mesopotamia and Syria to wither and decay, who have murdered Greek Ar menian and Syrian not from caprice but from a settled Pan-Turkish policy whose object was to destroy all the non-Ottoman elements of their Empirethese have no title any longer to afflict the earth as a ruling power And so twelve months ago said all of us. But alas ! it is not so today. Today there is a sec tion of political opinion in France which is even dis posed to push back the wretched Armenian under some torm of Turkish sovereignty a scandal which would cry to heaven if jt were consummated and it is no toriously the policy of the French Gov trnmenl to maintain the Turk in power LOnstantinoMt, How far this is part of the web of world-diplomacy which France has so actively been weaving during the past year is yet uncertain. There are some who say that France desire to leave the Turk dominant in Const intinopk and strong in Asia Minor beca she wants a counterpoise to a rcv' ssia and to the Mediterranean jpwei but travelers just returned from Coasts tnoplc affirm that the motive Power met not so much from French dlP!' as from the French com- jnercir..; .nd financial interests. These h,avf been strong in Turkey and li they are able to work in a Constan tinoi .ich they have themselves pre server for their Turkish friends they can 1 ty look forward to a much richer irvett in the exploitation both Tur y and the countries to which it Kes , than if their activities have ? Dc icd on under the administra on ( international commission of ne 1 ' of Nations. For cither an Ilcn ! commission will be cold Wmj, rtial or it will mean the jealous mending Imperialistic Pow- earlv . -a- history of ES'P h the Fr u 1CS) and in cither case the 1 rencn mtrMM ...:n i Profitab' a ucn under th ld.m w.hlch to sow and reap as they would acr tn. continued rule of the Turk. By W. P. CROZIER great city and its waterway in the sole interest of the P op es of the city and the shores of the Black Sea and of civilization as a whole. i Jh".C objectio"s to this course, as to every other practice 7lCMm,STnS 1 "0t USUa"y work practice, especially when they are constituted by the great Powers of the world whose interests, everywhere conflictmg, nowhere conflict more often and mo e acutely than ,n the Xcar and Middle East. But 7 ! much the best solution. During the war the Czari Russia laid claim to Constantinople. But Bolshevik Russia has already disavowed that aim and there i no other Russia m existence that can be taken into ac- kolchak and Denikin had overthrown the Bolshevik and established themselves at Moscow, they would whirh F ! j r' reV'Ved ,he daim to Constantinople wh eh England, France and Italy acknowledged to be just ,n the famous "Secret Treaties." But Kolchak and Denikin are now with the snows of yester-year their unsubstantial dream has disappeared. England would never concede a mandate for Constantinople to France nor France to England-both of them rightly Greece has no real title beyond ancient history; and sentiment based on ancient history justly does not carry far in the school of Rcalfolitik. There remains, then, the international solution, which alone contains a prospect of a just and impartial ad ministration amid the conflicting influences from the various races of Turkey and the manifold peoples on the fringe of the Black Sea that center in the whirlpool of the capital. There is one other reason for desiring the international solution. The United States at pres ent stands outside the Peace Treaty. But we believe with confidence that sooner or latcr-and we hope soon er rather than later the United States will take her proper place as a member and leader in the League of Nations and when that day comes, if Constantinople be in the hands of the League, we shall have the United btates exercising her immense influence for efficiency honesty and justice in the ranks of the League Council and, as we trust and expect, on the governing interna tional commission. And that, in our view, is worth generations a political servitude under which an in ferior and declining power could at any moment bar to Both A, r SLTcS pened on the Mediterranean Both the United States and Britain, it is safe to say would never have rested until they had won the keys of economic freedom from the Turks. But what of Constantinople itself? What is th. reason why even in England there is a current of eaung the Turks with power and authority in Con- said, in the foreign office, and perhaps to its existence sdue the comparative leniency with which Turkey has Paer1lvrtheVVrn S,'nCVhe Cnclusio" of 'he armestfcS I- u u Jetmg ,s due ,0 the philo-Turk tradition which has lived on in England ever since he day, of Knjam"!Sraeli But much more it reflects the view which ,s held in the India office. The Sultan ot Turkey 2unthy rJ'r' r,U'er f ,he 0,(oman Empire He is also the Khahf, relig.ous head of the Moslems with h. seat at Constantinople and for some fa active agitation has been on foot among the British Moslems to oppose his removal from his ancient eat This ,s one of the elements in the prevailing unrest in India and as during the last year there was in India a" unprecedented co-operation between Moslem and Hindu the government of India and the India office in Lon don both look askance at the proposal to drive the Turk out of Constantinople. England, they sav. is the greatest K7r?7fT- uWha' effect U th expulsion of the Rhalif Jikely to have upon his faithful Moslem foU lowers in India and elsewhere? The French Z l?L have millions of Moslem subjects, have take T up the cry and add it to their armory of reasons againft the bag and baggage" policy. e I . A GENERAL VIEW OF CONSTANTINOPLE " The poaseaeton of thit city hat long been bone of contention. Many European statesmen have wanted to drive out the Turk bag and baggage, but there have alw.y. been ZZSuEECZ B real i 5? that consrations such as these are disci, OUghTnot openly, being brought to bear on thecomt I ' t'0IiS at 1ar,s' tnc more reason for hoping for leve the T feat.of any and evcy Policy which would capital I 1 WIth an inch of authority in his old a Przc to h r'hPrPerIy yarded, Constantinople is not he'd for '-"w vcr 10 any interested power normn.,. : exclusivk exploitation. It is a pis nor a CnormoiK cWUBITe exploitation. It is a place of the k?i ,,nPprtance for the prosperity and peace of vu wnnn ..i t ... . . 1 Dasis of , u Iull,re snouid De settled on tne faces t ! cl,crai good and the good of its various there L a trust m the hands of the Allies and if handeri - ne of them to whom as a trustee it can be v va vrT. I . . tes (to cre 18 none now that the United ard(ld as n -a sorrow) "as apparently to be re mti of j 'l,ts,ae the question then there should be a Porting to tH rTnat!0nal stcwards. appointed by and re c League of Nations, and administering the working and waiting for. That the Straits at least will be internationalized there can be no doubt at all. It would be intolerable that it should again be within the power of any one country, whether Turkey or not, at its own whim and pleasure to block the road between the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, to cut off the outer world from Russia. Roumania and the road to the Caspian and the East and to cut off these territories from all the world beyond the Straits. It was intolerable long ago that Turkey, whenever she went to war even with a single Power, great or small Italy, for instance, or Greece should not only have it in her power to bar the Darda nelles and the Bosphorus to the country with whom she was at war but also to impose the rigors and hard ships of a partial blockade on neutrals who had no interest in her quarrel. Americans and British, re flecting on their long coast-lines and the access to the open seas with which Nature has blessed them, cannot but wonder that Russia, so long without a single ice free port upon the ocean, should have tolerated for TSifVf TrSC' Ycrious da"ger in Moslem un i rest if it be widespread and deep-seated. India is full of combustIe materials, as last year's events proved m Sf u-5 T' threateniS a"d hostile; in India Mos mSL?L U ,nuEgyPt MS,em and Christian, are Dower TnH ;,!.thC,r rcsentment aai"t the British power And yet there are some signs that this Moslem agitation largely artificial. If the Moslems are s warmly devoted to the Khalif at Constantinople how came ,t that when he declared a Jehad, or Ho lv War against the infidel in 1915 so few of the Moslems of India and North Africa consented to listen." Certainlv nn u j um wuuiu 5up- pose from recent historv that the In dian Moslem cared much about the Knalif and his habitation and it may well be that his removal from Constanti nople would in the event disturb them as little as the overthrow of the Man chu dynasty disturbed the millions of Chinese. It was said at the time that after so many centuries of absolute despotism, the Chinese would never tolerate a republic, whereas in fact they continued cultivating their rice fields as though the republic was the onlv sys tem they had every known. The question is one that must be decided on broad principles of right and justice. The removal of the Khalif may cause embarrassment both to England and to France, but that possibility must not be allowed to obscure the greatest question of all. which is whether the absolute removal of the Turk as a ruling power from Constantinople is not es sential to the peaceful progress of a large part of the world. Nothing is more certain than that his continuance in the ancient seat of empire means the maintenance of the old intrigue and chicanery, the old corruption and the in- icriinnaDic struggle among the compet c i L mg ,Powers for the spoils of his estate o long as the Turk remains, the stronger Powers will quarrel for his inheritance and he will live bv usine one against the other. Expel him. replace him not by a single beneficiary but by a board of trustees and we gain at once a healthier and saner atmosphere. If at the finish it be thought necessarv to maintain in Constantinople the spiritual home of the Khalif then the suggestion has been made that the genuinely Turk ish quarter nf Stamboul might be left to the Turk as the Vatican is to the Pope, while the rest of the city passed beneath an international jurisdiction. Then the Moslems, if they chose, could still look to Constanti nople and the Khalif as Roman Catholics look to the Pope at Rome, but the Sultan would not exercise po litical authority nor would his young Turks longer have the power to set the world aflame, in order, not to magnify a religious faith which would be a creditable motive, but to gratify their personal and political ambitions.