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Edwin Munsell Bliss

TURKEY AND THE ARMENIAN ATROCITIES


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[page 238]

CHAPTER XIV.

TREATIES OF PARIS AND BERLIN.

Influence of Lord Stratford — The Holy Places — Crimean War — Treaty of Paris — Abd-ul-Aziz — Extravagance — Influx of Europeans — Provincial Government — Accession of Abdul-Hamid II — Russo-Turkish War — Treaty of San Stephano — Treaty of Berlin —Cyprus Convention.

The success of Lord Stratford in establishing reforms in Turkey, and more than that in securing the cordial endorsement of the Sultan and of Reshid Pasha, occasioned great uneasiness in Russia. During the whole of Abd-ul-Medjid’s reign there had been continuous intrigue, especially in the Danubian Provinces and in Servia. This latter had been practically independent since 1830, but its independence was by no means a peaceable one. Its prince, the founder of the Obrenowitch line, was a tyrant who took advantage of every opportunity to fill his own private purse. There were risings of the people followed by firmans from Constantinople, which limited his rights, but still the general suzerainty of the Porte was acknowledged, and Servia was recognized as a Moslem State. Along the Danube there were similar occurrences following on the revolutions of 1848. The prince of Wallachia accepted a constitution and then fled, a provisional government being established. The movement spread to Moldavia and Russian troops occupied the provinces, resulting

[page 239] CLAIMS FOR THE HOLY PLACES

in an agreement between the Porte and Russia for a sort of mutual supervision. Similarly in Syria there had been trouble which called for the intervention of Europe for the protection of the Maronites against the Druzes. It was again, however, about the Holy Places in Jerusalem that the disturbance centered. During the reign of Mahmud II the Church of the Holy Sepulchre had been devasted by fire and the Greeks made the repairs, taking advantage of that to lay claim to the church, and consequently to all the Holy Places, thus superseding the French, who had the general primacy since the time of the Crusades. In 1851, the government of Louis Napoleon demanded and obtained from the Porte, on the basis of the capitulations of 1740, the formation of a mixed commission to look into the question of the possession of the Holy Places. France claimed (1) the monument of the Holy Sepulchre in the church of that name at Jerusalem; (2) the great cupola built above the Holy Sepulchre; (3) the stone of unction (this was not an exclusive claim); (4) the site of the tombs of the French kings in Adam’s Chapel under Calvary; (5) the seven arched vaults of the Virgin; (6) the Church of Gethsemane and the tomb of the Virgin; (7) the upper Church of Bethlehem with the gardens and sanctuaries dependent upon it; (8) the mixed possession of the altar of Calvary. While making these general claims for the Latins, she declared that particular concessions would be made to the other communions, but they must be renewed annually. To these claims Russia objected very strenuously. After considerable discussion the commission recognized the rights of France, but proposed that the situation remain as it was, except the admission of the Latins into the Sanctuary of the Virgin and the right of Greeks to enter that of the

[page 240] THE PORTE’S REPLY.

Ascension. France accepted this, but Russia objected, and this was followed by a special embassy to Constantinople to demand by virtue of the treaty of Kainardji the exclusive protection of all members of the Greek Church in Turkey, and the settlement of the question as to the Holy Places on terms granting the supremacy to the Greeks. This was in 1853. The Porte replied with moderation, stating its desire not to injure in any way the privileges of the various Christian subjects, and its wish to satisfy the demands of the Greek pilgrims and the Russian churches, but affirming that to accept the demands of Russia would be practically to destroy its own independence. The Russian ambassador, Menshikoff, renewed his demands, and said that further refusal would impose on his government the necessity of seeking it in its own power.

At this time Lord Stratford was absent. Ten years before he had met a somewhat similar difficulty by suggesting to the Porte that they make the repairs themselves, but now such a solution was no longer possible. It became evident that a crisis was at hand, and he was immediately ordered back from England. This was Lord Stratford’s fifth embassy to Constantinople, and marked a new phase in his policy. When first there, he had had a long struggle with France, in which at the close he found himself in alliance with Russia; in the second and third he had united with France and Russia in seeking the pacification of Greece; in the fourth, which covered the early part of Abd-ul-Medjid’s reign, there was no great difference between the Powers, and although his actions were looked upon with suspicion by Russia, he met with practically no interference in pressing for reform. Now, however, he found that the aggression of

[page 241] PROPOSALS OF PARTITION.

Russia was becoming threatening. In private interviews between the Czar and the British ambassador at St. Petersburg in the early part of 1853, the Russians had made known a definite proposal to England to join in winding up the bankrupt estate of the “ sick man.” Servia, the Danubian Principalities and Bulgaria were to be independent under Russian protection; if circumstances obliged the Czar to occupy Constantinople, it would be as trustee and not as proprietor, and England might be free to appropriate territories as she chose, provided she did not undertake to hold the capital. All this he thought might be accomplished by the two Powers, and if they agreed, it made very little difference what France and Austria thought. This, however, was strongly opposed to the whole British policy, and Lord Stratford, immediately upon the decisive action of Prince Menshikoff, called the other representatives of the great Powers and laid the foundation for the European alliance, which was from that time steadily opposed to Russian aggression.

Russia announced in May her proposal to enter the Danubian Provinces, and France and England answered by despatching their fleets to the Island of Tenedos at the mouth of the Dardanelles. A conference was proposed at Vienna, but Turkey took the initiative by attacking the Russians in the principalities. Russia retorted by the destruction of a Turkish fleet at Sinop. The English and French fleets entered the Black Sea and obliged the Russians to withdraw to their own ports. A last attempt at peace was made by France, but the publication of the English ambassador’s despatches at St. Petersburg stirred the indignation of France, Austria and Prussia, and the result was a general alliance of

[page 242] CONGRESS AT PARIS.

the four kingdoms with Turkey. To this afterwards Sardinia was admitted, and Italy first appeared in the general European concert.

The story of the Crimean War it is not necessary to repeat here. The mismanagement of the British army at its commencement and that of the French at its close amazed the world. At last England’s forces were well in hand and the possession of the Crimea was practically secured. Then France grew again suspicious of England’s power and sought to hold a balance between her and Russia. Sevastopol fell in September of 1855, but the Czar had just died in chagrin at the complete failure of his plans and the terrible injuries and sufferings inflicted upon his people. His army had failed to take Silistria, and although Kars had fallen, the general rout of the Russian arms was so complete as to have made it possible to have carried the day completely. Alexander II was willing to treat, and a Congress met at Paris on the 25th of February, 1856. In this, France, England, Austria, Prussia, Sardinia, Turkey and Russia appeared. Peace was signed on the 30th of March on the following basis:

1. Russia renounced her exclusive right of protection over the Danubian Principalities, and all interference with their internal affairs. 2. The free navigation of the Danube was to be effectually secured by the establishment of a commission, in which all the contracting parties should be represented. Each of them should have the right to station two sloops-of-war at the mouth of the river. Russia consented to a rectification of frontiers which should leave to Turkey and the Rumanian Principalities all the Danubian delta. 3. The Black Sea was made neutral; its waters, open to merchant ships of all nations, were forbidden to men-of-war, whether of

[page 243] RUSSIA’S LOSSES.

the Powers on the coasts or any others. No military or maritime arsenals were to be created there. Turkey and Russia could only maintain ten lightships to watch the coasts. 4. The Hatti Sherif by which Sultan Abd-ul-Medjid renewed the privileges of his non-Mussulman subjects was inserted in the treaty, but with the clause that the Powers could not quote this insertion as authorizing them to interfere between the Sultan and his subjects.

Russia thus lost both the domination of the Black Sea and the protectorate of the Eastern Christians; lost her fleets and naval arsenals on the Black Sea and the fortresses of the Crimea. The imprudent policy of Nicholas had destroyed the advantages gained by all the previous treaties. One clause, however, in the treaty was worth to her almost as much as these, and that was the one which prohibited the Powers from interfering between the Sultan and his subjects. Count Orloff with the aid of France proved more than a match for the rest. Something, however, was gained, and the treaty was scarcely signed when preparations were made, and soon after came the publication of the Hatti Humayoun, described in another chapter. Lord Stratford, when he heard of the treaty of Paris, said, “ I would rather have cut off my right hand than have signed that treaty.” In a letter written about that time he said:

“ How are the Sultan’s reforms to be carried through; the allied troops all gone and no power of foreign interference reserved? How is the country to be kept quiet if hopes and fears, equally excited in adverse quarters, have to find their own level ? What means shall we possess of allaying the discordant elements if our credit is to decline and our influence to be overlaid by the persevering artifices of a jealous

[page 244] SIR HENRY BULWER.

and artful ally? How can we hope to supply the usefulness derivable from our command of the Contingent and Irregulars, if they are to be given up ? In short, when I hear the politicians of the country remark that the troubles of Europe with respect to this empire are only beginning, I know not how to reply.”

Lord Stratford soon returned to England, but visited Constantinople again, only to realize in the presence there of his successor, Sir Henry Bulwer, that his great work for Turkey was finished, and that much that he had striven for and obtained would be abandoned. Sir Henry Bulwer was a man of great diplomatic craft, but of the vilest moral character. He commanded the respect of nobody. The best English families in the city refused to receive him into their houses. He was a giver and receiver of bribes, and it became notorious that whenever the Turkish Government, or indeed anybody else, wished to carry through a scheme that might be supposed to be hostile to English interests, all they had to do was to send a sum of money to the English palace or a pair of fine horses to its stables. He was at last recalled for receiving a bribe of $50,000. He did everything in his power to undo the work that Lord Stratford had done and to prejudice the Turks against the reforms which he had been instrumental in inaugurating. With this appointment of Sir Henry Bulwer commenced the decadence of English influence at Constantinople and that long series of diplomatic blunders that have resulted in the feeling on the part of every class of people in the Turkish Empire that England is a synonym for treachery and disgrace. There have been fine men in the English embassy: Lord Lyons, so well known in the diplomatic circles in Washington, was there for a time, and had he remained, it

[page 245] ATROCITIES IN SYRIA.

is probable that much of the lost ground would have been regained, but he was promoted to Paris; Lord Dufferin was there for a time and his well-known high character and great ability accomplished much, but his term was very short; Sir William White had a period of most successful conduct of English interests, but he was removed by death. Since 1857, the English embassy at Constantinople has been occupied the greater portion of the time by Sir Henry Bulwer, a man of great ability, but of the lowest character; Sir Henry Elliot, a man of high personal character, but of no diplomatic ability; Sir Austen Layard, not dissimilar to Sir Henry Elliott, and of late years by Sir Philip Currie, a man of ability and force of character, but hampered by his relations and not equipped by diplomatic tact and skill to meet the wiles of Russian diplomacy.

The next most important event after the treaty of Paris was the atrocities in Syria, where vast numbers of the Maronites were massacred by the Druzes. All Europe was filled with horror, and France sprang to the front to reassert her former supremacy. The French fleet anchored in front of Beirut; French troops held the road to Damascus, and Syria became for the time being a French colony. The influence of other powers, however, prevented her securing occupation and Fuad Pasha represented the Turkish Government with such success, in the quieting of the Moslem turmoil that the Sultan succeeded in preserving his hold upon that portion of his empire. This much, however, was gained; a reorganization of the government was secured and the province of Lebanon was established under a Christian governor, to be appointed with and not to be removed without the consent of European Powers. This proved a great

[page 246] ADVENT OF ABD-UL-AZIZ.

boon, and Syria was at peace as she had not been for centuries.

In 1861, Abd-ul-Medjid died and his brother Abd-ul-Aziz came to the throne. The new Sultan was a man of entirely different type from either of his predecessors; low-browed, coarse, sensual, given up to the gratification of personal passions and personal pique; caring for nothing except his personal comfort and the gratification of his personal pride; a coward, a tyrant, the tool of designing men, utterly weak for any good. At times strong men, like Fuad and Ali and Midhat and Ahmed Vefyk Pashas, succeeded in gaining a temporary power, but they could accomplish comparatively little for good, and the Turkish court from 1871 to 1876 was the scene of unbounded extravagance and corruption.

Outwardly the reign was one of great progress. The navy was built up and put on a footing which brought the Turkish Government on a reasonable par with the other Mediterranean Governments; the army was developed and its organization was brought into better shape than at any time previous; palaces and public buildings were erected. Up to the reign of Abd-ul-Medjid the Sultans had occupied the famous old palace of the Seraglio, but it was becoming out of date, and furthermore, there were so many traditions of violence and crime connected with it that there was a pall of superstition hanging over it. Abd-ul-Medjid built the palace of Dolma-Bagtche, which contains one of the finest throne-rooms in the world. It was sumptuously furnished and most beautifully decorated. When Abd-ul-Aziz came to the throne this was not sufficient and he put up the palace at Tcheragan, just above, with adornments even surpassing in beauty, in some respects, those of Dolma-Bagtche. Other old palaces

[page 247] IMPROVEMENTS.

were torn down and beautiful buildings erected in their place. There were new roads built and efforts to improve the general condition of the city. Constantinople itself has always suffered from fires; the crowded wooden buildings furnished the best possible food for conflagration, and the absolutely worthless fire department seemed to help on rather than hinder the flames. One great fire occurred in the latter part of the reign, and it was common report that under the Sultan’s special orders no efforts were made to stop it. It spread right through the city from the Golden Horn to the Marmora, and was checked only as it came up against the high walls of the Armenian Patriarchate. The generally understood reason for the action of the government was that it might build up this section again in more approved modern style. At any rate this was done, and the whole of that region to-day bears a far different appearance from other sections of the city. Wide streets took the place of the narrow lanes, and brick and stone houses replaced the wooden fire-traps. At the same time concessions were granted on every hand for improvements of all sorts. European speculators thronged in crowds around the offices of the Sublime Porte and the gateways of the palace. They paid heavy bribes and secured the most valuable subventions. Among the most notorious, and one which yet was a fair illustration of many others, was that for the railway extending from Constantinople to Adrianople. An Austrian financier secured the concession, and the contract awarded him so much for each kilometer. The result was that the road, by taking advantage of every possible turn, avoiding grades and bridges so far as possible, nearly doubled the distance in a straight line between the two cities. Care was taken also to have the different stations

[page 248] MORE FAVORABLE FEATURES.

at sufficient distance from the principal places on the route, apparently in order to provide additional income to those who wished to connect the cities with the railroad.. The whole matter was a “job” of the most stupendous character, and was a simple illustration of what was done all over the empire. The government borrowed money with absolute recklessness. Engagements were entered into without the slightest careful investigation as to the resources of the empire and extravagance ran riot.

At the same time there were more favorable features. It was during this period that Robert College in Constantinople, the Syrian Protestant College in Beirut, the Bible House in Constantinople and various other educational and philanthropic institutions were started. So long as the immediate interests of the more avaricious Turks were not interfered with, there was in a degree free hand for those who sought to improve the general condition of the people. Foreign influence was at its height and many a native, not merely Christian, but Turk, rejoiced in the support of those who sought not any sectarian advantage, but the general improvement of the country. In the administration of the government the offices were filled to a degree as had never before been known with Christians. There were large number of Europeans — English, German and French; and with all the bribery and extortion there was more of business enterprise than had been known during any of the preceding reigns. Armenians and Greeks also were pushed to the front. Their abilities were recognized by the heads of departments, and the pressure on every hand for the rapid accomplishment of enterprises, which called for more of energy than the average Turk was willing to exert, resulted in great opportunities for

[page 249] A NEW SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT.

those who were willing to work — and laziness has never been a general vice of any of the Christian populations of the Levant. This had its effect in ameliorating the condition of the Christians; at the same time, as is noticed in other chapters, this rapid improvement brought with it increasing information and still higher ideas. All of the Christian subjects of the Sultan began to feel still more restive under the Moslem tyranny, for that tyranny still existed. The absence of any genuine conception of reform or of good government in the Sultans inevitably affected the whole management of the empire, and taxation was scarcely less severe than it had been in the past, the chief improvement being in the freedom from certain other influences that worked heavily against the Christians. Thus it came about that there was perhaps more restiveness throughout the empire than there had been previously.

Soon after the disturbances in Syria, the Grand Vizier, Ali Pasha, made public a new system of provincial government in which each province was to have a Christian vice-governor and advisory council composed of Moslems and Christians, an independent judiciary and a complete police force. The first application of this was to the province of the Danube, including Bulgaria, which was placed under Mithad Pasha, perhaps the most aggressive of all the officials that Turkey has ever had. He carried it out there with great success, and in a year and a half brigandage was practically extinct in the province; several hundreds of miles of road had been built, and schools, city hospitals, banks and steam navigation companies had been established. In 1867 the system was ordered to be applied throughout the empire, and the foreign Powers acted as if they thought that the reorganization was

[page 250] MAHMUD NEDIM PASHA.

really going to be carried out. It seems scarcely possible that they should have been thoroughly deceived in this, for they knew perfectly well that the intricacy of the system offered abundant facility for corruption, and that the contempt felt by all Moslems for any laws not based upon the Koran would effectually check the application of the European code. As a matter of fact the whole system was lifeless from the beginning, and with the death of Ali Pasha all pretense of carrying it out disappeared. He, however, accomplished this much, that he warded off active interference on the part of Europe for fifteen years. He was followed by Mahmud Nedim Pasha, a man of strong individuality, who claimed that the Sultan could brook no interference of Europe in the internal affairs of Turkey, and announced his determination to govern upon the principle that Western civilization is inherently unfit for the needs of Eastern races. In this he had the cordial support of the Turks, and more significant still, of the Russian Ambassador at Constantinople, General Ignatief, probably the shrewdest representative that Russia ever had at the Sublime Porte, and one to whom perhaps more than to any one else has been due the policy which Russia has followed out unwaveringly, of opposing any active interference on the part of Europe in the internal management of the Ottoman Government. That this was prompted by any interest in Turkey no one will believe. It was simply the plan by which the situation was to grow worse and worse until it became inevitable for Russia herself to intervene and take what she desired.

The results of this were soon manifest. In the summer of 1875 commenced revolt in Herzegovina, extending to Bosnia. Already there had been disturbance in the Danubian Prov-

[page 251 - illustration]

Group of Armenian Young Men

[caption] GROUP OF ARMENIAN YOUNG MEN, students at the Euphrates College at Harput This is a good representative of the type of young men from that section. They are mostly from sixteen to twenty-five years of age, though occasionally one is found among them of advanced years taking the course in order to fit himself for special teaching or preaching.

[page 252 - illustration]

The City of Marsovan in Asia Minor

[caption] THE CITY OF MARSOVAN IN ASIA MINOR. The white houses are the buildings occupied by the American missionaries, also Anatolia College. The roofs of the houses are chiefly of curved tiles. The background furnishes a good idea of the general hill region of the country. Marsovan was the seat of some disturbances early in 1893.

[page 253] FRESH DISTURBANCES.

inces resulting in an increased independency; then came the famous Andrassy note, in which Austria demanded reforms in the Balkan Peninsula, opposed by the Turks as derogatory to their honor. Meanwhile Russian embassies were at work throughout the Balkan Peninsula, and Bulgarians on every hand were being roused to a pitch of intense hostility to Turkish rule. Then came Russian proposals skilfully arranged in such form as to arouse hostility rather than the support of the other Powers and also the fanaticism of the Turks. The result was a series of arbitrary arrests of Bulgarians, the sending of troops into Bulgaria and the providing of Moslems with arms for use in case of the arising of the Christians. Then came an outbreak in Salonica, when the European consuls were beaten to death by a fanatic mob, followed by a general movement throughout Bulgaria attended by an outbreak of Softas in Constantinople. The utter incapacity of Abd-ul-Aziz was more and more evident, and there was a revolt under the lead of Mithad Pasha. A fetvah was secured from the Sheik-ul-Islam, Abd-ul-Aziz was dethroned, and notwithstanding the intrigues that had been going on for several years in favor of his own son, the legal heir, Murad, his nephew and the son of Abd-ul-Medjid, became Sultan. Meanwhile the atrocities in Bulgaria continued and it became evident that Murad was unequal to the task. Abd-ul-Aziz had been assassinated, as was generally understood, as were also some of the ministers. The whole situation in Constantinople was chaos when Abd-ul-Hamid II came to the throne. At this time Servia declared war, and the situation throughout the empire became more and more serious. Abd-ul-Hamid banished Mithad Pasha and convened the first Turkish Parliament. For a while it

[page 254] RUSSIA DECLARES WAR.

seemed as if something were going to be done, but negotiations were followed by protocols, protocols by protests, and in April, 1887, Russia declared war, feeling that there would be no great opposition to the advance of her army which she had been massing in Bessarabia. The story of the war that followed, both in Eastern Turkey and on the Danube, is familiar. The determined opposition of the Turkish troops, the defense of Plevna, the storming of the Shipka Pass and the final advance through Bulgaria, until the Russian army had captured Adrianople and was massed on the very outskirts of Constantinople, formed a panorama of intense interest. All this was watched with great interest and some solicitude by Europe, which came to realize that Russia was on the point of securing the end that she had had in view for so long. England was the only power to act and her fleet was anchored in Besika Bay, just outside of the Dardanelles. The armistice and terms of peace between Turkey and Russia, forming the basis of the treaty of San Stephano, were signed at Adrianople January 31st; the treaty itself at San Stefano, within sight of Constantinople, March 3d, 1878. The conditions comprised the establishment of a principality of Bulgaria, the payment of a war indemnity or a territorial compensation; the independence of Rumania, Servia and Montenegro, with an increase of territory for each of the principalities, the introduction of reforms in Bosnia and Herzegovina and ulterior understanding between the Sultan and the Czar in regard to the Straits and the evacuation by the Turks of the fortresses of the Danube. As soon as this became known England was alarmed and the fleet was sent through the Dardanelles, and for the second time in history anchored at the Princes’ Islands.

[page 255] A HALT CALLED.

It has been a subject of much discussion, why Russia did not improve her opportunity, and seize Constantinople when it was in her power. She could have done this with comparative ease, at least so many think. Others claim that the Turks were in condition to offer considerable resistance still, and that Russia knew very well that Europe, especially England, would not permit her to carry out the plan without war. For this certainly she was not prepared. So also there were many questions in regard to partition of the empire which may well have made her hesitate, and of which mention will be made in a later chapter on the general question of the partition of the empire. Whatever were the reasons, a halt was called. Then came the field of diplomacy. England and Austria, through their Ambassadors at St. Petersburg and Constantinople, announced that they would refuse to recognize conditions of peace in contravention of the terms of the Treaty of Paris, except as Europe had an opportunity to consider them. Russia declared that all such terms would be submitted to a review by the Powers. Finally a Conference of the Powers was called, first at Vienna, then at Baden-Baden, and finally at Berlin. A difficulty arose in regard to the submission to the Conference of the entire treaty of San Stephano. This was demanded by England and refused by Russia. For a time it seemed as if war was imminent, but at last a general agreement having been reached by mutual conference between Russia, England and Austria, the representatives of England, Austria, Russia, France, Italy and Turkey met at Berlin in June, 1878, and remained one month, the Treaty being signed upon the 13th of July. Its main points may be summarized as follows:

1. Bulgaria, including Sophia, to be constituted a tributary

[page 256] POINTS OF THE BERLIN TREATY.

principality of the Sultan, ruled by a prince and an elected assembly, and to be organized under a Russian Commissary General assisted by delegates from the European Powers. The period of organization not to exceed nine months.

2. A province called Eastern Rumelia to be formed on the south of the Balkans, and to be governed by a Christian under the orders of the Sultan. The organization of this province to be under control of a commission appointed by the European Powers. Russian troops, not to exceed 50,000 in number, to occupy Bulgaria and Eastern Rumelia during nine months, and to fully evacuate both provinces within three
months after this period.

3. Administrative modifications promised in 1868 to be in troduced in the island of Crete. Similar modifications to be introduced in the administration of all the provinces of European Turkey which are not otherwise provided for. These details of this reorganization to be submitted to the European Commission charged with the organization of Eastern Rumelia.

4. If Greece and Turkey fail to agree upon the ratification of the frontier indicated in the proceedings of the Congress, the Powers reserve the right to offer mediation to the two parties.

5. Bosnia and Herzegovina to be occupied by Austria.

6. Montenegro to be constituted an independent principality, with enlargement of territory (equal in amount to its whole previous area), including the seaport of Antivari, but not to be allowed to hold either ships or flags of war, and its ports to be controlled by Austrian revenue cutters.

7. Servia to be constituted an independent principality, with large additions of territory on the south and east.

[page 257] BRITISH TREATY WITH THE PORTE.

8. Rumania to be constituted an independent principality, to cede to Russia the portion of Bessarabia taken from Russia by the Treaty of Paris of 1856, and to receive in exchange the district of the Dobruja.

9. Kars, Ardahan and Batum to be ceded by Turkey to Russia, and Katour to Persia.

10. The Turkish-Government to introduce without delay suitable measures of reform in all districts inhabited by Armenians.

11. Absolute religious liberty to exist in all the territories referred to above, including the whole Turkish Empire.

The gain of Turkey, by the substitution of the treaty of Berlin for that of San Stephano, was in the territories cut by this new treaty from the principalities erected by the older one, and in the substitution of a European supervision for a Russian supervision of the execution of the treaty.

Meanwhile other negotiations had been going on, and just before the close of the Congress the British Government announced a treaty concluded with the Porte consisting of the following Articles:

“Article I. If Batum, Ardahan, Kars, or any of them, shall be retained by Russia, and if any attempt shall be made at any future time by Russia to take possession of any further territories of his Imperial Majesty the Sultan in Asia, as fixed by the definitive treaty of peace, England engages to join his Imperial Majesty the Sultan in defending them by force of arms.

“ In return, his Imperial Majesty the Sultan promises to England to introduce necessary reforms, to be agreed upon later between the two Powers, into the government, and for the protection of the Christian and other subjects of the

[page 258] TURKISH CHRISTIANS JUBILANT.

Porte in these territories; and in order to enable England to make necessary provision for executing her engagement, his Imperial Majesty the Sultan further consents to assign the Island of Cyprus to be occupied and administered by England.

“Article II. The present convention shall be ratified, and the ratifications thereof shall be exchanged, within the space of one month, or sooner if possible.”

To all appearance England had triumphed. Not only had the treaty of San Stephano been set aside, but the Sultan had practically recognized her as his most potent and most influential ally. The prestige lost during twenty years of mismanagement had suddenly by a master stroke been regained, and all the Christians of Turkey were jubilant. The new Sultan was looked upon as a mild man thoroughly desirous of the good of his people, and there were the brightest anticipations of genuine reform. At this point it will be advantageous to look at the constitution of the Turkish Government.

 


Table of Contents | The Cover, Frontispiece, Title Page, Copyright Notice, etc.
Introduction | Preface | Turkey in Asia (map) | Table of Contents (as in the book)
List of Illustrations | 1. The Turkish Empire | 2. Population and Languages | 3. Religions
4. The Turks | 5. The Kurds | 6. The Armenians | 7. The Greeks | 8. Other Oriental Churches
9. Rise and Decline of Ottoman Power | 10. Turkey and Europe | 11. Russia and Turkey
12. Mahmud II | 13. Reform and Progress | 14. Treaties of Paris and Berlin
15. Condition of the Christians | 16. The Turkish Government | 17. Protestant Missions in Turkey
18. The Armenian Question | 19. General Situation in 1894 | 20. The Sassun Massacre
21. Politics and Massacre at Constantinople | 22. Massacres at Trebizond and Erzrum
23. Massacres in Harput District | 24. Aintab, Marash and Urfa | 25. Character of the Massacres
26. Religious Persecution | 27. Relief Work | 28. Partition of Turkey | 29. America and Turkey
30. General Survey | Alphabetical Index

Acknowledgements:

Source: Bliss, Rev. Edwin Munsell . Turkey and the Armenian Atrocities. Edgewood Publishing Company , 1896
Provided by: Aram Arkun, Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center
Scanned by: Karen Vrtanesyan
OCR: Irina Minasyan

See also:

J. Rendel Harris & B. Helen Harris, Letters from the Scenes of the Recent Massacres in Armenia
Helen Davenport Gibbons, The Red Rugs of Tarsus
Maj. General James G. Harbord Conditions in the Near East: Report of the American Military Mission to Armenia

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