Turkey: A Past and a Future
Arnold Joseph Toynbee

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What is Turkey? It is a name which explains nothing, for no formula can
embrace the variety of the countries marked "Ottoman" on the map: the
High Yemen, with its monsoons and tropical cultivation; the tilted rim
of the Hedjaz, one desert in a desert zone that stretches from the
Sahara to Mongolia; the Mesopotamian rivers, breaking the desert with a
strip of green; the pine-covered mountain terraces of Kurdistan, which
gird in Mesopotamia as the hills of the North-West Frontier of India
gird the Plains; the Armenian highlands, bleak as the Pamirs, which feed
Mesopotamia with their snows and send it the soil they cannot keep
themselves; the Anatolian peninsula--an offshoot of Central Europe with
its rocks and fine timber and mountain streams, but nursing a steppe in
its heart more intractable than the Puszta of Hungary; the
coast-lands--Trebizond and Ismid and Smyrna clinging to the Anatolian
mainland and Syria interposing itself between the desert and the sea,
but all, with their vines and olives and sharp contours, keeping true to
the Mediterranean; and then the waterway of narrows and land-locked sea
and narrows again which links the Mediterranean with the Black Sea and
the Russian hinterland, and which has not its like in the world.

The cities of Turkey are as various as the climes, with the added
impress of many generations of men: Adrianople, set at a junction of
rivers within the circle of the Thracian downs, a fortress since its
foundation, well chosen for the tombs of the Ottoman conquerors;
Constantinople, capital of empires where races meet but never mix,
mistress of trade routes vital to the existence of vast regions beyond
her horizon--Central Europe trafficking south-eastward overland and
Russia south-westward by sea; Smyrna, the port by which men go up and
down between Anatolia and the Aegean, the foothold on the Asiatic
mainland which the Greeks have never lost; Konia, between the mountain
girdle and the central steppe, where native Anatolia has always stood at
bay, guarding her race and religion against the influences of the
coasts; Aleppo, where, if Turkey were a unity, the centre of Turkey
would be found, the city where, if anywhere, the races of the Near East
have mingled--building their courses into her fortress walls from the
polygonal work of the Hittite founders to the battlements that kept out
the Crusaders--and now the half-way point of a railway surveyed along an
immemorially ancient route, but unfinished like the history of Aleppo
herself; Van by its upland lake, overhanging the Mesopotamian lowlands
and with the writing of their culture graven on its cliffs, yet living a
life apart like some Swiss canton and half belonging to the infinite
north; Bagdad, the incarnation for the last millennium of an eternal
city that shifts its site as its rivers shift their beds--from Seleucia
to Bagdad, from Babylon to Seleucia, from Kish to Babylon--but which
always springs up again, like Delhi, within a few parasangs of its last
ruins, in an area that is an irresistible focus of population; Basra
amid its palm-groves, so far down stream that it belongs to the Indian
Ocean--the port from which Sinbad set sail for fairyland, and from which
less mythical Arab seamen spread their religion and civilisation far
over African coasts and Malayan Indies; these, and besides them almost
all the holy cities of mankind: Kerbela, between the Euphrates and the
desert, where, under Sunni rule, the Shias of Persia and India have
still visited the tombs of their saints and buried their dead;
Jerusalem, where Jew and Christian, Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant,
Armenian and Abyssinian, have their common shrines and separate
quarters; Mekka and Medina in the heart of the desert, beyond which
their fame would never have passed but for a well and a mart and a
precinct of idols and the Prophet who overthrew them; and there are the
cities on the Pilgrim Road (linked now by railway with Medina, the
nearer of the _Haramein_): Beirut the port, with its electric trams and
newspapers, the Smyrna of the Arab lands; and Damascus the oasis,
looking out over the desert instead of the sea, and harbour not of ships
but of camel-caravans.

The names of these cities call up, like an incantation, the memory of
the civilisations which grew in them to greatness and sank in them to
decay: Mesopotamia, a great heart of civilisation which is cold to-day,
but which beat so strongly for five thousand years that its pulses were
felt from Siberia to the Pillars of Hercules and influenced the taste
and technique of the Scandinavian bronze age; the Assyrians, who
extended the political marches of Mesopotamia towards the north, and
turned them into a military monarchy that devastated the motherland and
all other lands and peoples from the Tigris to the sea; the Hebrews,
discovering a world-religion in their hill-country overlooking the
coast; the Sabaeans, whose queen made the first pilgrimage to Jerusalem,
coming from Yemen across the Hedjaz when Mekka and Medina were still of
no account; the Philistines and Phoenicians of the Syrian sea-board, who
were discovering the Atlantic and were too busy to listen to the Hebrew
prophets in their hinterland; the Ionians, who opened up the Black Sea
and created a poetry, philosophy, science, and architecture which are
still the life-blood of ours, before they were overwhelmed, like the
Phoenicians before them, by a continental military power; the Hittites,
who first transmitted the fruitful influences of Mesopotamia to the
Ionian coasts--a people as mysterious to their contemporaries as to
ourselves, maturing unknown in the fastnesses of Anatolia, raising up a
sudden empire that raided Mesopotamia and colonised the Syrian valleys,
and then succumbing to waves of northern invasion. All these people rose
and fell within the boundaries of Turkey, held the stage of the world
for a time, and left their mark on its history. There is a romance about
their names, a wonderful variety and intensity in their vanished life;
yet they are not more diverse than their modern successors, in whose
veins flows their blood and whose possibilities are only dwarfed by
their achievements.

There were less than twenty million people in Turkey before the War, and
during it the Government has caused a million or so to perish by
massacre, starvation, or disease. Yet, in spite of this daemoniac effort
after uniformity, they are still the strangest congeries of racial and
social types that has ever been placed at a single Government's mercy.
The Ottoman Empire is named after the Osmanli, but you might search long
before you found one among its inhabitants. These Osmanlis are a
governing class, indigenous only in Constantinople and a few
neighbouring towns, but planted here and there, as officers and
officials, over the Ottoman territories. They come of a clan of Turkish
nomads, recruited since the thirteenth century by converts, forced or
voluntary, from most of Christendom, and crossed with the blood of
slave-women from all the world. They are hardly a race. Tradition
fortified by inertia makes them what they are, and also their Turkish
language, which serves them for business of state and for a literature,
though not without an infusion of Persian and Arabic idioms said to
amount to 95 per cent. of the vocabulary[1].

This artificial language is hardly a link between Osmanli officialdom
and the Turkish peasantry of Anatolia, which speaks Turkish dialects
derived from tribes that drifted in, some as late as the Osmanlis, some
two centuries before. Nor has this Turkish-speaking peasantry much in
common with the Turkish nomads who still wander over the central
Anatolian steppe and have kept their blood pure; for the peasantry has
reverted physically to the native stock, which held Anatolia from time
immemorial and absorbs all newcomers that mingle with it on its soil.
Thus there are three distinct "Turkish" elements in Turkey, divided by
blood and vocation and social type; and even if we reckon all who speak
some form of Turkish as one group, they only amount to 30 or 40 per
cent. of the whole population of the Empire.

The rest are alien to the Turks and to one another. Those who speak
Arabic are as strong numerically as the Turks, or stronger, but they too
are divided, and their unity is a problem of the future. There are
pure-bred Arab nomads of the desert; there are Arabs who have settled in
towns or on the land, some within the last generation, like the Muntefik
in Mesopotamia, some a millennium or two ago, like the Meccan Koreish,
but who still retain their tribal consciousness of race; there are Arabs
in name who have nothing Arabic about them but their language--most of
the peasantry of Syria are such, and the inhabitants of ancient centres
of population like Damascus or Bagdad; in Syria many of these "Arabs"
are Christians, and some Christians, though they speak Arabic, have
retained their separate sense of nationality--notably the Roman Catholic
Maronites of the Lebanon--and would hardly be considered as Arabs either
by themselves or by their neighbours. The same is true of the Druses,
another remnant of an earlier stock, which has preserved its identity
under the guise of Islam so heretically conceived as to rank as an
independent religion. As for the Yemenis--they will resent the
imputation, for no Arabs count up their genealogies so zealously as
they, but there is more East African than Semitic blood in their veins.
They are men of the moist, fertile tropics, brown of skin, and working
half naked in their fields, like the peoples of Southern India and
Bengal. And on the opposite fringes of the Arabic-speaking area there
are fragments of population whose language is Semitic but
pre-Arabic[2]--the Jacobite Christians of the Tor-Abdin, and the
Nestorians of the Upper Zab, who once, under the Caliphs, were the
industrious Christian peasantry of Mesopotamia, but now are shepherds
and hillmen among the Kurds. The Kurds themselves are more scattered
than any other stock in Turkey, and divided tribe against tribe, but
taken together they rank third in numerical strength, after the Arabs
and Turks. There are mountain Kurds and Kurds of the plain, husbandmen
and herdsmen, Kurds who have kept to their original homes along the
eastern frontier, and Kurds who, under Ottoman auspices, have spread
themselves over the Armenian plateau, the North Mesopotamian steppes,
the Taurus valleys, and the hinterland of the Black Sea.

The chief thing the Kurds have in common is the Persian dialect they
speak, but it is usual to class as Kurds any and every community in the
Kurdish area which is not Turkish or Arab and can by courtesy be called
Moslem (the Kurds, for that matter, are only Moslems skin-deep). Such
communities abound: the Dersim highlands, in particular, are an
ethnographical museum; "Kizil-Bashi" is a general name for their kind;
only the Yezidis, though they speak good Kurdish, are distinguished from
the rest for their idiosyncrasy of worshipping Satan under the form of a
peacock (Allah, they argue, is good-natured and does not need to be
propitiated) and they are repudiated with one accord by Moslem and

But not all the scattered elements in Turkey are isolated or primitive.
The Greeks and Armenians, for instance, are, or were, the most
energetic, intellectual, liberal elements in Turkey, the natural
intermediaries between the other races and western civilisation--"were"
rather than "are," because the Ottoman Government has taken ruthless
steps to eliminate just these two most valuable elements among its
subjects. The urban Greeks survive in centres like Smyrna and
Constantinople, but the Greek peasantry of Thrace and Anatolia has
mostly been driven over the frontier since the Second Balkan War. As for
the Armenians, the Government has been destroying them by massacre and
deportation since April, 1915--business and professional men, peasants
and shepherds, women and children--without discrimination or pity. A
third of the Ottoman Armenians may still survive; a tenth of them are
safe within the Russian and British lines. Fortunately half this nation,
and the majority of the Greeks, live outside the Ottoman frontiers, and
are beyond the Osmanli's power.

To compensate for its depopulation of the countries under its dominion,
the Ottoman Government, during the last fifty years, has been settling
them with Moslem immigrants from its own lost provinces or from other
Moslem lands that have changed their rulers. These "Mouhadjirs" are
reckoned, from first to last, at three-quarters of a million, drawn from
the most diverse stocks--Bosniaks and Pomaks and Albanians, Algerines
and Tripolitans, Tchetchens and Circassians. Numbers have been planted
recently on the lands of dispossessed Armenians and Greeks. They add
many more elements to the confusion of tongues, but they are probably
destined to be absorbed or to die out. The Circassians, in particular,
who are the most industrious (though most unruly) and preserve their
nationality best, also succumb most easily to transplantation, through
refusal to adapt their Caucasian clothes and habits to Anatolian or
Mesopotamian conditions of life.

All this is Turkey, and we come back to our original question: What
common factor accounts for the name? What has stained this coat of many
colours to one political hue? The answer is simple: Blood. Turkey, the
Ottoman state, is not a unity, climatic, geographical, racial, or
economic; it is a pretension, enforced by bloodshed and violence
whenever and wherever the Osmanli Government has power.

It is a complex pretension. The first impulse, and the traditional
method by which it has been given effect, came from a little tribe of
pagan, nomadic Turks who wandered into Anatolia from Central Asia in the
thirteenth century A.D. and were granted camping grounds by the reigning
Turkish Sultan of the country--for Anatolia was already Turkish two
centuries before the Osmanlis appeared on the scene. But to call them
Osmanlis is to anticipate the next stage in their history. They are
named after Osman, their first leader's son, and he after the third
successor of the Prophet--it was a good Moslem name, and he took it when
he was converted to Islam and organised his pagan tent-dwellers into a
settled Mohammedan State in the north-western hills of Anatolia, on the
borders of Christendom. A tribe had become a march, and the final stage
was from march to empire.

From this point onwards Ottoman history singularly resembles the history
of the Osmanlis' present allies. The March of Brandenburg, the March of
Austria, and the March of Osman--they were each founded as the outer
bulwarks of a civilisation, and all erected themselves into centres of
military ascendancy over their fellow-countrymen and co-religionists to
the rear as well as the strangers opposite their front. The Osmanlis may
have been more savage in their methods than the marchmen of
Germany--though hardly, perhaps, than the Teutonic Knights who prepared
the soil of Prussia for the Hohenzollerns. The Teutonic Knights
exterminated their victims; the Osmanlis drained theirs of their blood
by taking a tribute of their male children, educating them as Moslems,
and training them as recruits for an Ottoman standing army. Their first
expansion was forwards into Christian Europe; their capital shifted from
a village in the hills to the city of Brusa on the Asiatic shore of
Marmora, from Brusa across the Dardanelles to Adrianople, from
Adrianople to the imperial city on the Bosphorus; and, with the capture
of Constantinople, the Osmanli Sultans usurped the pretensions of East
Rome, as the Hapsburgs and Hohenzollerns the emblems of Charlemagne and
Caesar Augustus.

Byzantium has become a very potent element in the Osmanlis' character,
more potent than the habits of the march or the instinct of the steppes.
It has dictated their system of administration, dominated their outlook
on life, penetrated their blood. But the heritage of "Rum" is not the
final factor in the Ottoman Empire as it exists to-day; for after the
successors of Osman had founded their military monarchy with blood and
iron on the ruins of one-third of Europe, they turned eastwards, with a
genuinely Oriental gesture, and overran kingdoms and lands with the
apparently mechanical impetus of all Asiatic conquerors, from Sargon of
Akkad and Cyrus the Persian to Jenghis Khan and Timur. The stoutest
opponent of the Osmanlis in Asia was the Anatolian Sultanate of
Karaman--Moslem, Turkish, and the legitimate heir of those Seljuk
Turkish Sultans who had given Osman's father his first footing in the
land. Osmanli and Karamanli fought on equal terms, but when Karaman was
overthrown there was no power left in Asia that could stop the Osmanlis'
advance. The Egyptians and Persians had no more chance against Ottoman
discipline and artillery than the last Darius had against the
Macedonians. A campaign or two brought Sultan Selim the First from the
Taurus to Cairo; a few more campaigns at intervals during the sixteenth
and seventeenth centuries, when Ottoman armies could be spared from
Europe, drove the Persians successively out of Armenia and Mosul and
Bagdad. And thus, by accident, as it were, in the pursuit of more
coveted things, the Osmanlis acquired "Turkey-in-Asia," which is all
that remains to them now and all that concerns us here.

"Turkey-in-Asia" is a transitory phenomenon, a sort of chrysalis which
enshrouded the countries of Western Asia because they were exhausted and
needed torpor as a preliminary to recuperation. Many calamities had
fallen upon them during the five centuries before the chrysalis formed.
The break-up of the Arab Caliphate of Bagdad had led to an
interminable, meaningless conflict among a host of petty Moslem States;
the wearing struggle between Islam and Christendom had been intensified
by the Crusades; and waves of nomadic invaders, each more destructive
and more irresistible than the last, had swept over Moslem Asia out of
the steppes and deserts of the north-east. The most terrible were the
Mongols, who sacked Bagdad in 1258, and gave the _coup de grace_ to the
civilisation of Mesopotamia. And then, when the native productiveness of
the Near East was ruined, the transit trade between Europe and the
Indies, which had belonged to it from the earliest times and had been
the second source of its prosperity, was taken from it by the western
seafarers who discovered the ocean routes. The pall of Ottoman dominion
only descended when life was extinct.

The Osmanlis, whose nomadic forefathers had fled before the face of the
Mongols out of Central Asia, took the heritage which had slipped from
the Mongols' grasp, and gathered all threads of authority in Western
Asia into their hands. The most valuable spoil of their Asiatic
conquests was the Caliphate. Hulaku, the sacker of Bagdad, had put the
Caliph Mustasim to death, and the remnant of the Abbasids had kept up a
shadowy succession at Cairo, under the protection of the Sultan of
Egypt. Selim the Osmanli, when he entered Cairo as a conqueror in 1517,
caused the contemporary Abbasid to cede his title, for what it was
worth, to him and his successors. It was a doubtful title, scorned by
all Shias and regarded coldly by many Sunni rulers who were unwilling to
recognise a spiritual superior in their most formidable temporal rival.
But such as it was, it strengthened the Osmanli's hold on his dominions.
Caliph of Islam, victorious guardian of the Moslem marches, and heir by
conquest of imperial Rum, the Osmanli Sultan held his Asiatic provinces
with ease; but the best security for his tenure was the misery to which
they were reduced. Commerce and cultivation ebbed, population dwindled,
and nomads still drifted in upon what once had been settled lands. The
Ottoman Government, desiring a barrier against Persia, encouraged the
Kurds to spread themselves over Armenia; it welcomed less the Shammar
and Anazeh Arabs, who broke over the Euphrates about the year 1700 and
turned the last fields of Northern Mesopotamia to desolation; but it was
too impotent or indifferent to turn them out. Western Asia lay fallow
under the Ottoman cannon-wheels. There have been fallow periods before
in the slow rhythm of its life--under the Persians, for instance, who
overran all lands and peoples of the East in the sixth century B.C.,
overshadowed the Greeks for a moment, as the Osmanlis overshadowed
Europe, halted, too massive for offence but seemingly unassailable, and
then collapsed pitifully before the probing spears of Alexander.

The Osmanlis are passing at this moment as the Achaemenids passed then.
They lost the last of Europe in the Balkan War, and with it their
prestige as increasers of Islam; the growth of national consciousness
among their subjects, not least among the Turks themselves, has loosened
the foundations of their military empire, as of the other military
empires with which they are allied. They forfeited the Caliphate when
they proclaimed the Holy War against the Allied Powers--inciting Moslems
to join one Christian coalition against another, not in defence of their
religion, but for Ottoman political aggrandisement. They lost it morally
when this incitement was left unheeded by the Moslem world; they lost it
in deed when the Sherif of Mekka asserted his rights as the legitimate
guardian of the Holy Cities, drove out the Ottoman garrison from Mekka,
and allied himself with the other independent princes of Arabia. All the
props of Ottoman dominion in Asia have fallen away, but nothing dooms it
so surely as the breath of life that is stirring over the dormant lands
and peoples once more. The cutting of the Suez Canal has led the
highways of commerce back to the Nearer East; the democracy and
nationalism of Europe have been extending their influence over Asiatic
races. On whatever terms the War is concluded, one far-reaching result
is certain already: there will be a political and economic revival in
Western Asia, and the direction of this will not be in Ottoman hands.

We are thus witnessing the foundation of a new era as momentous, if not
as dramatic, as Alexander's passage of the Dardanelles. The Ottoman
vesture has waxed old, and something can be discerned of the new forms
that are emerging from beneath it; their outstanding features are worth
our attention.


The new Turkish Nationalism is the immediate factor to be reckoned
with. It is very new--newer than the Young Turks, and sharply opposed to
the original Young Turkish programme--but it has established its
ascendancy. It decided Turkey's entry into the War, and is the key to
the current policy of the Ottoman Government.

The Young Turks were not Nationalists from the beginning; the "Committee
of Union and Progress" was founded in good faith to liberate and
reconcile all the inhabitants of the Empire on the principles of the
French Revolution. At the Committee's congress in 1909 the Nationalists
were shouted down with the cry: "Our goal is organisation and nothing
else[3]." But Young Turkish ideals rapidly narrowed. Liberalism gave way
to Panislamism, Panislamism to Panturanianism, and the "Ottoman State
Idea" changed from "Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity" to the
Turkification of non-Turkish nationalities by force.

"The French Ideal," writes the Nationalist Tekin Alp in _Thoughts on the
Nature and Plan of a Greater Turkey_, "is in contradiction to the needs
and conditions of the age." By contrast, "the Turkish national movement
does not exhibit the failings of the earlier movements. It is in every
way adapted to the intellectual standard and feelings of the nation. It
also keeps pace with the ideas of the age, which have for some decades
centred round the principle of Nationality. In adopting Turkish
Nationalism as the basis of their national policy, the Turks have only
abandoned an abnormal state of affairs and thereby placed themselves on
a level with modern nations[4]."

The development of Nationalism among the Turks was a natural phenomenon.
Starting in the West, the movement has been spreading for a century
through Central Europe, Hungary, and the Balkans, till from the Turks'
former subjects it has passed to the Turks themselves. Chance played its
part. Dr. Nazim Bey, for instance, the General Secretary of the "Union
and Progress" Committee, is said to have been fired by a work of M. Leon
Cahun's on the early history of the Turks and Mongols, lent him by the
French Consul-General at Salonika, and the movement was, and still is,
confined to a small _intelligentsia_. But that is the case with other
national movements too, and does not hinder them from being powerful
forces. Turkish Nationalism was kept alive after 1909 by a small group
of enthusiasts at Salonika--their leader was Ziya Bey, who had come up
to the Young Turk Congress from Diarbekir, and was one of the first
converts to the new idea. It gained ground suddenly during, the Balkan
War. The shock of defeat produced a craving for regeneration; the final
loss of Europe turned the minds of the Osmanlis to the possibilities of
Asia, and they were struck by the action of several prominent Russian
subjects of Turco-Tatar nationality, who, out of racial sympathy, had
given their services to the Ottoman Government in this time of
adversity. As Tekin Alp expresses it:

"The Turks realised that, in order to live, they must become essentially
Turkish, become a nation, be themselves.... The Turkish nation turned
aside its gaze from the lost territory and looked instead upon Turania,
the ideal country of the future."

Two years later this "New Orientation" had so mastered the Ottoman
Government that it drew them into the European War.

There are many aims within the new Turkish horizon. Some of them are
negative and non-political, some practical and extremely aggressive.
Ziya Bey's adherents first took in hand the purification of the Turkish
language. A Turkish poet had endeavoured before to dispense with the 95
per cent. (?) of the vocabulary that was borrowed from Persian and
Arabic, and "his poetry had to be published in small provincial papers
because the important newspapers of the towns would not accept it." The
established writers in the traditional style made a hard fight, but
Tekin Alp claims that the _Yeni Lisan_ (New Language) "is to-day in
possession of an absolute and unlimited authority." Borrowed rhythms
have been banned as well as borrowed words, and there is even an
agitation to replace the Arabic script by a new Turkish alphabet--an
imitation of the Albanian movement which was opposed so fiercely by the
Turks themselves before the Balkan War. In 1913 the Government stepped
in with the foundation of a "Turkish Academy" (_Turk Bilgi Derneyi_),
and the Ministry of Education started an "Institute of Terminology,"
"Conservatoire," and "Writing and Translation Committee." The
translation of foreign masterpieces as an incentive to a new national
literature was in the programme of Ziya Bey's society, the _Yeni Hayat_
(New Life). Their most cherished plan was to translate the Koran and the
Friday Sermon, to have the Khutba (Prayer for the Caliph) recited in
Turkish, and to remove the Arabic texts from the walls of the mosques[5];
the eyes and ears of Turkish Moslems were to be saved from the
contamination of an anti-national language; but the campaign against
Arabic passed over into an attack upon Islam.

"The Turkish Nationalists," Tekin Alp explains, "have made great efforts
to nationalise religion itself, and to give it the impress of the
Turkish national spirit. This idea was zealously supported by a
fortnightly periodical, and one of the noblest tasks undertaken by it
has been the translation of the Koran into Turkish. This is a reform of
the greatest importance. It is well known that the translation of the
Koran has hitherto been considered a sin. The Nationalists have cut
themselves off from this superstitious prejudice and have had three
translations made, the above-mentioned and two others."

On this issue the Nationalists broke a lance with the _Islamjis_, or
"clericals," as Tekin Alp prefers to call them.

"Because it is written in the Koran that Islam knows no nationalities,
but only Believers, the _Islamjis_ thought that to occupy oneself with
national questions was to act against the interests and principles of
Islam itself.... According to the Nationalists, the pronouncement in the
Koran was directed exclusively against the very frequent dissensions of
clans and parties in the various Arab races." (A sneer which is meant to
have a modern application.) "Although the Nationalists proclaim
themselves the most zealous followers of Mohammed, nevertheless they do
not conceal the fact that their interpretation of Islam is not the same
as that of the Arabs. They maintain that the Turks cannot interpret the
Koran in the same manner as the Arabs.... Their idea of God is also

This amazing _Kulturkampf_ is quite possibly a reminiscence of
Bismarckian Germany, for Turkish Nationalism is saturated with forgotten
European moods, and its vein of Romanticism is as antiquated as the
Kaiser's. It has taken Attila to its heart, and rehabilitated Jenghis
Khan, Timur, Oghuz, and the rest with the erudition of a Turanian Walter

"My Attila, my Jenghis," sings Ziya Goek Alp, "these heroic figures,
which stand for the proud fame of my race, appear on the dry pages of
the history books as covered with shame and disgrace, while in reality
they are no less than Alexander and Caesar. Still better known to my
heart is Oghuz Khan[6]. In me he still lives in all his fame and
greatness. Oghuz Khan delights and inspires my heart and causes me to
sing psalms of gladness. The fatherland of the Turks is not Turkey or
Turkestan, but the broad eternal land of Turania."

The Ministry of _Evkaf_ (Religious Endowments) recently made a grant of
L50,000 (Turkish) towards the publication of works on these worthies;
the students at the Military College in Constantinople are alleged to
have been diverted from their studies by their devotion to such
literature, and on the eve of the War the Professor of Military
Education there is reported to have delivered the following address to
an instruction class of reserve officers:

"We are, gentlemen, before all, Turks. I wonder why we are called
Ottomans, for who is Osman after whom we are named? He is a Turk from
Altai, who overran this country with his Turkish Army. Therefore it is
more of an honour to us to be named after his origin than after himself.
We have so far been deceived by the ignorance of our forebears, and fie
on these forebears who made us forget our nationality.... Be sure that
Turkish nationality is better for us than Islam, and racial pride is one
of the greatest social virtues[7]."

These extravagances must not be taken too literally. The Young Turk
politicians, though they have embarked on a Nationalist policy, are not
so reckless as to break openly with Islam or to denounce the founder of
their State. They see clearly enough that Turkish Nationalism carried to
a logical extreme is incompatible with the Ottoman pretension, and they
favour the view, so severely criticised by Tekin Alp, "that all three
groups of ideas--Ottomanism, Islamism, and the Turkish Movement--should
work side by side and together." But, with this reservation, they follow
the doctrinaires, who on their part are quite ready to press Islam into
their service. Tekin Alp candidly admits that

"They sought after a judicious mingling of the religious and national
impulses. They realised only too clearly that the still abstract ideals
of Nationalism could not be expected to attract the masses, the lower
classes, composed of uneducated and illiterate people. It was found more
expedient to reach these classes under the flag of religion."

This sentence reveals in a flash one motive of the Armenian
"Deportations," which followed Turkey's intervention in the War; and a
celebrated German authority, in a memorial[8] written in 1916, gives
this very explanation of their origin.

"Turkey's entry into the War," he writes, "was unwelcome to Turkish
society in Constantinople, whose sympathies were with France, as well as
to the mass of the people, but the Panislamic propaganda and the
military dictatorship were able to stifle all opposition. The
proclamation of the 'Holy War' produced a general agitation of the
Mohammedan against the Christian elements in the Empire, and the
Christian nationalities had soon good reason to fear that Turkish
chauvinism would make use of Mohammedan fanaticism to make the War
popular with the mass of the Mohammedan population."

The evidence presented in the British Blue Book on the _Treatment of
Armenians in the Ottoman Empire_[9] shows that this explanation is
correct. The Armenians were not massacred spontaneously by the local
Moslems; the initiative came entirely from the Central Government at
Constantinople, which planned the systematic extermination of the
Armenian race in the Ottoman Empire, worked out a uniform method of
procedure, despatched simultaneous orders to the provincial officials
and gendarmerie to carry it into effect, and cashiered the few who
declined to obey. The Armenians were rounded up and deported by regular
troops and gendarmes; they were massacred on the road by bands of
_chettis_, consisting chiefly of criminals released from prison by the
Government for this work; when the Armenians were gone the Turkish
populace was encouraged to plunder their goods and houses, and as the
convoys of exiles passed through the villages the best-looking women and
children were sold cheap or even given away for nothing to the Turkish
peasantry. Naturally the Turkish people accepted the good things the
Government offered them, and naturally this reconciled them momentarily
to the War.

Thus in the Armenian atrocities the Young Turks made Panislamism and
Turkish Nationalism work together for their ends, but the development of
their policy shows the Islamic element receding and the Nationalist
gaining ground.

"After the deposition of Abd-ul-Hamid," writes the German authority
quoted above, "the Committee of Union and Progress reverted more and
more to the ex-Sultan's policy. To begin with, a rigorous party tyranny
was set up. A power behind the Government got the official executive
apparatus into its hand, and the elections to Parliament ceased to be
free. The appointment of the highest officials in the Empire and of all
the most important servants of the administration was settled by decrees
of the Committee. All bills had to be debated first by the Committee and
to receive its approval before they came before the Chamber. Public
policy was determined by two main considerations: (1) The centralistic
idea, which claimed for the Turkish race not merely preponderant but
exclusive power in the Empire, was to be carried to its logical
consequences; (2) The Empire was to be established on a purely Islamic
foundation. Turkish Nationalism and the Panislamic Idea precluded _a
priori_ any equality of treatment for the various races and religions of
the Empire, and any movement which looked for the salvation of the
Empire in the decentralisation or autonomy of its various parts was
branded as high treason. The nationalistic and centralistic tendency was
directed not merely against the various non-Mohammedan nationalities
--Greeks, Armenians, Syrians, and Jews--but also against the
non-Turkish Mohammedan nations--Arabs, Mohammedan Syrians, Kurds,
and the Shia element in the population. An idol of 'Pan-Turkism' was
erected, and all non-Turkish elements in the population were subjected
to the harshest measures. The rigorous action which this policy
prescribed against the Albanians, who were mostly Mohammedans and had
been thorough loyalists till then, led to the loss of almost the whole
of European Turkey. The same policy has provoked insurrections in the
Arab half of the Empire, which a series of campaigns has failed to
suppress. The conflict with the Arab element continues"--this was
written in 1916--"though the 'Holy War' has forced it to a certain
extent into the background."

"The conflict with the Arabs"--that has been the worst folly of the
Young Turkish politicians, and it will perhaps be the most powerful
solvent of the Empire which the Osmanlis have misgoverned so long. It is
the inevitable consequence of the camarilla government and the
Pan-Turkish chauvinism for which the Committee of Union and Progress has
come to stand.

The Committee consists by its statutes of Turks alone, and the election
even of one Arab was vetoed[10]. Tekin Alp informs us that

"The portfolio of the Minister of Trade and Agriculture, which has been
in the hands of Greeks and Armenians since the time of the Constitution,
and was lately given to a Christian Arab, has at last been handed over
to the Constantinople deputy Ahmed Nasimi Bey, who joined with Ziya Goek
Alp in laying the foundations of the Turkish Movement immediately after
the proclamation of the Constitution. With one exception the members of
the Cabinet are all imbued with the same ideas and principles."

The Armenian deportations gave the Committee an opportunity of
tightening its hold over the provincial officials as well. Valis who
refused to carry out the orders were superseded if they were
strong-minded enough to persist; but more often they were browbeaten by
the leaders of the local Young Turk organisations, or even by their own
subordinates, and let things go their way. Ways and means of packing the
administration with their own henchmen had been discussed by the
Committee already in their congress of October, 1911, and they had
defined their policy then in the following remarkable resolutions[11]:

"The formation of new parties in the Chamber or in the country must be
suppressed and the emergence of new 'liberal ideas' prevented. Turkey
must become a really Mohammedan country, and Moslem ideas and Moslem
influence must be preponderant. Every other religious propaganda must be
suppressed. The existence of the Empire depends on the strength of the
Young Turkish Party and the suppression of all antagonistic ideas....

"Sooner or later the complete Ottomanisation of all Turkish subjects
must be effected; it is clear, however, that this can never be attained
by persuasion, but that we must resort to armed force. The character of
the Empire must be Mohammedan, and respect must be secured for
Mohammedan institutions and traditions. Other nationalities must be
denied the right of organisation, for decentralisation and autonomy are
treason to the Turkish Empire. _The nationalities are a_ quantite
negligeable. _They can keep their religion but not their language. The
propagation of the Turkish language is one of the sovereign means of
confirming the Mohammedan supremacy and assimilating the other

The confusion of aims in these two paragraphs reveals the direction in
which Young Turkish policy has been travelling. Religion is now
secondary to language, and the precedence still given to the Islamic
formula is only in apparent contradiction to this, for Mohammedan
supremacy is equated with the Turkish National Idea. Such a version of
Panislamism leaves no room for an Arab race under Ottoman rule, and the
"Panturanian" address given by the Turkish Professor at the Military
College in Constantinople had a sequel which showed the Arabs what they,
too, had to expect from Turkey's entrance into the War.

There were Arabs among the officers whom the Professor was addressing,
and one of them ventured to protest.

"All Ottomans are not Turks," he said, "and if the Empire were to be
considered purely Turkish, then all the non-Turkish elements would be
foreign to it, instead of being living members of the political body
known as the Ottoman Empire, fighting the common fight for it and for

To this the Professor is reported to have replied:

"Although you are an Arab, yet you and your race are subject to Turkey.
Have not the Turks colonised your country, and have they not conquered
it by the sword? The Ottoman State, which you plead, is nothing but a
social trick, to which you resort in order to attain your ends. As to
religion, it has no connexion with politics. We shall soon march forward
in the name of Turkey and the Turkish flag, casting aside religion, as
it is only a personal and secondary question. You and your nation must
realise that you are Turks, and that there is no such thing as Arab
nationality and an Arab fatherland."

It is said that the Arab officers present handed in a joint protest to
the Minister of War, asking for the Professor's dismissal, and that
Enver Bey's answer was to have them all sent to the front-line trenches.

Certainly the Turkish Nationalists have not concealed their attitude
towards the Arabs since the War began.

"The Arab lands," writes Djelal Noury Bey in a recently-published work,
"and above all Irak[12] and Yemen, must become Turkish colonies in which
we shall spread our own language, so that at the right moment we may
make it the language of religion. It is a peculiarly imperious necessity
of our existence for us to Turkise the Arab lands, for the
particularistic idea of nationality is awaking among the younger
generation of Arabs, and already threatens us with a great catastrophe.
Against this we must be forearmed."

And Ahmed Sherif Bey, again, has written as follows in the _Tanin_:

"The Arabs speak their own language and are as ignorant of Turkish as if
their country were not a dependency of Turkey. It is the business of the
_Porte_ to make them forget their own language and to impose upon them
instead that of the nation which rules them. If the Porte loses sight of
this duty it will be digging its grave with its own hands, for if the
Arabs do not forget their language, their history, and their customs,
they will seek to restore their ancient empire on the ruins of
Ottomanism and of Turkish rule in Asia."

A Turkish pamphleteer wrote that "the Arabs have been a misfortune to
Turkey," and that "a Turkish conqueror's war-horse is better than the
Prophet of any other nation." This pamphlet was distributed in the
Caucasus at the Ottoman Government's expense as Turkish propaganda.

But the best proof of the Young Turks' intentions towards the Arabs is
their actual conduct in the Arab provinces of their Empire. In the
spring of 1916 an Arab who had escaped from Syria published some facts
in the Egyptian Press which the Turkish censorship had previously
managed to conceal[13]. Business was ruined, because the Turks had
confiscated all gold and forced the people to accept depreciated paper;
the population was starving, and the Turks had prohibited the American
colony at Beirut from organising relief; the national susceptibilities
of the inhabitants were outraged in petty ways--the railway tickets, for
instance, were no longer printed in Arabic, but only in Turkish and
German; and spies were active in denouncing the least manifestations of
disaffection. A Turkish court-martial was sitting in the Lebanon, and at
the time our informant left Syria it had 240 persons under arrest, 180
of them on political charges. These prisoners were the leading men of
Syria--Christians and Moslems without distinction; for in Syria, as in
Armenia, the Turks put the leaders out of the way before they attacked
the nation as a whole; most of the Syrian bishops had been deported or
driven into hiding; by the beginning of March, 1916, it was reckoned
that 816 Arabs in Syria and 117 in Mesopotamia had already been
condemned to death with the confiscation of their property. A Turkish
officer, taking our informant for a Turk too, remarked to him: "Those
Arabs wish to get rid of us and are secretly in sympathy with our
enemies, but we mean to get rid of them ourselves before they have any
chance of translating their sympathy into action." This caps what a
Turkish gendarme in Armenia said to a Danish sister serving with the
German Red Cross: "First we kill the Armenians, then the Greeks, then
the Kurds[14]." Every non-Turkish nationality in the Ottoman Empire is
threatened with extermination.

But the aims of Turkish Nationalists are not limited by the Ottoman
frontiers. If they are resolved to clear their Empire of every
non-Turkish element, that is only a step towards extending it over
everything Turkish that lies outside. The Turks have not only aliens to
get rid of, but an irredenta to win.

"The Ottoman Turks," Tekin Alp reminds his readers, "now only represent
a tenth of the whole Turkish nation. There are now sixty to seventy
million Turkish subjects of various states in the world, who should
succeed in giving the nation an important place among the other Powers.
Unfortunately, there is no connexion between the separate groups, which
are distributed over great tracts of land. Their aspirations and
national institutions still divide them.... Now that the Ottoman Turks
have awakened from their sleep of centuries they do not only think of
themselves, but hasten to save the other parts of their race who are
living in slavery or ignorance....

"Turkish irredentism may be directed towards material or moral reforms
according to circumstances. If the geographical position favours the
venture, the Turks can free their brothers from foreign rule. In the
other case, they can carry it on on moral or intellectual lines.

"Irredentism, which other nations may regard as a luxury--though often a
very terrible and costly one--is a political and social necessity for
the Turks.... If all the Turks in the world were welded into one huge
community, a strong nation would be formed, worthy to take an important
place among the other nations of the world[15]."

This may be a dream, but the Young Turks have used the political and
military resources of the Ottoman Empire to make it a reality. At the
congress of 1911 it was resolved that "immigration from the Caucasus and
Turkestan must be promoted, land found for the immigrants, and the
Christians hindered from acquiring real estate." Turkey was first to be
reinforced by the Turks abroad; in the European War she was to strike
out as their liberator. The day after their declaration of war the Young
Turkish Government issued a proclamation in which the following
sentences occur:

"Our participation in the world war represents the vindication of our
national ideal. The ideal of our nation and people leads us towards the
destruction of our Muscovite enemy, in order to obtain thereby a natural
frontier to our empire, which should include and unite all branches of
our race."

When war broke out the "Dashnaktzagan"--the Armenian parliamentary party
in the Ottoman Empire--were in congress at Erzerum. A deputation of
Young Turk propagandists[16] presented themselves, and urged the
Armenians to join them in raising a general insurrection in Caucasia.
They sketched their proposed partition of Russian territory; the Tatars
[17] were to have this, the Georgians that, the Armenians this other;
autonomy for the new provinces under Ottoman suzerainty was to be the
reward for co-operation. The Dasknaktzagan had always worked with the
Young Turks in internal politics, but they refused to join them in this
aggressive venture. The Ottoman Armenians, they said, would do their
duty as Ottoman subjects during the war, but they advised the Government
to preserve peace if that were still possible[18]. But the Turks were
past reason, and their Army was already on the move. The main body
crossed the Russian frontier; a second force invaded Northern Persia,
and penetrated as far as Tabriz. Tabriz is the capital of Azerbaijan, a
province where the majority of the population is Turkish by language;
and beyond, across the River Aras, lies the Russian province of Baku,
also containing a large Turkish-speaking population and the vital
oilfields. The Turkish plan of campaign was frustrated by the brilliant
Russian victory of Sarikamysh. By the end of January, 1915, the Turkish
Army was back within its own frontiers, and in this quarter it has not
again advanced beyond them. But the Young Turks' irredentist ambitions
have remained in being. During their brief occupation of Northern Persia
they did their best to wipe out the Syriac element in the
population--the Nestorian Christians of Urmia. Their plan was to get rid
of all the non-Turkish peoples which separate the Turks of Anatolia from
the Turks of Baku and Azerbaijan, and this was the second motive of the
Armenian deportations, which they put in hand a month or two after their
military projects had failed.

The Turkish Irredentists propose, in fact, to gain their ends by
bloodshed and terrorism. Tekin Alp (like most Turkish publicists and
politicians since 1908) is a Macedonian[19], and is profoundly impressed
by the methods which the other nationalities there employed to the
discomfiture of the Turks themselves.

"Observers," he writes, "who, like myself, are Macedonians, and, like
myself, had ample opportunity of gaining an intimate knowledge of the
irredentist propaganda of the Bulgars, Greeks, Serbs, and Vlachs, are
able to judge the significance of this striving after a national ideal,
and how sweet and inspiring it is to go through the greatest dangers for
such a cause. This is best illustrated by a few living examples" (which
he proceeds to give)....

Macedonia is soaked in blood. Atrocities were committed here the mere
thought of which makes one's hair stand on end. Nevertheless, the
leaders of robber bands and members of the terrible irredentist
organisations were not regarded by the public as wild robbers, but as
heroes fighting for the unity of the nation.

"Will the Young Turks emulate the self-sacrifice of these men?"

Russia and Persia are the fields marked out for such activity:

"In some places ordinary propaganda is sufficient, but in
hotly-contested territory recourse is to be had to the more violent
measures used in Macedonia. The neighbouring land of Persia is without
doubt the best of all countries with Turkish population for spreading
the new ideas, and it has been found that simple propaganda is amply
sufficient to produce a satisfactory effect on this fruitful soil."

In Persia, Tekin Alp reckons, one-third of the population is of Turkish
blood. He passes these Turkish elements in review, and concludes that
"the spirit of the administration is Turkish, and also the leading
spirit of Persian civilisation, even though these be clothed in Persian
guise"--for at present the tables are turned. "All those Turkish
warriors and heroes, Shahs and Grand Viziers, thinkers and scholars,
have lost their Turkish consciousness and have become assimilated to the
Persians in writing, speech, and literature." Even the compact two
millions and a half of Turkish-speaking Azerbaijanis will write letters
only in Persian, and will not read a Turkish newspaper. He omits the
most important fact--that these Turks of Persia are Shias like their
Persian fellow-countrymen, while the "Mohammedan institutions and
traditions" for which the Ottoman Turks are pledged by the Young Turk
Party to "secure respect" are those of the Sunni persuasion. But then
Turkish Nationalism depends upon ignoring religion. Tekin Alp sets out
confidently to give the Turks in Persia "a Turkish soul." His model is
the Rumanian propaganda among the Vlachs in Macedonia, and his
expectations are great:

"There is no power in Persia to put down such a movement, because it
could do no harm to anyone. The nationalisation of the Persian Turks
would even be a great and unexpected help to the Persian Government....
Persia would be situated with regard to the Turkish Government as
Bavaria towards Prussia."

And this is only a stage towards a higher goal:

"The united Turks should form the centre of gravity of the world of
Islam. The Arabs of Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia, the Persians, Afghans,
etc., must enjoy complete independence in their own affairs, but
outwardly the world of Islam must present a perfectly united front."

The Arabs of North Africa and the Shias of Iran can appraise the
"independence" held out to them by the "unity" which Turkish Nationalism
has been presenting already to Syria and Irak, the Yemen and the Hedjaz.

But Tekin Alp deals even less tenderly with Russia. In explaining the
bond of interest between Turkish Nationalism and Germany he remarks that

"The Pan-Turkish aspirations cannot come to their full development and
realisation until the Muscovite monster is crushed, because the very
districts which are the object of Turkish Irredentism--Siberia, the
Caucasus, the Crimea, Afghanistan, etc.--are still directly or
indirectly under Russian rule."

The "et cetera" proves to be nothing less than the province of Kazan:

"The alluvial plains of the Volga and the Kama, in European Russia, are
inhabited by four or five million Turks.... The Northern Turks are not
indeed superior to the Ottoman Turks, but must not therefore be
underrated. Their progressive economic and social organisation is in
every way a great help to the national movement.

"If," he concludes, "the Russian despotism is, as we hope, to be
destroyed by the brave German, Austrian, and Turkish Armies, thirty to
forty million Turks will receive their independence. With the ten
million Ottoman Turks this will form a nation of fifty million,
advancing towards a great civilisation which may perhaps be compared to
that of Germany, in that it will have the strength and energy to rise
ever higher. In some ways it will be even superior to the degenerate
French and English civilisations."

This Nationalism, which dominates Turkey's present, has also decided the
question of her future. If such a movement has taken possession of the
Osmanlis, the Osmanlis must lose possession of their Empire. Turkish
Nationalism now directs the Ottoman Government, wields its pretensions,
is master within its frontiers; and how does it use its mastery? To make
a hell of Armenia and Syria, and to plot out new Macedonias in Persia
and the heart of Russia. Thus Turkish Nationalism shows where the Turk
is intolerable and must go, but it also shows where he has some right to

There are innocent and constructive elements in it, as in all movements
of the kind. As in Europe, it has forced open the Dead Hand of the
Church. Under its influence the Ministry of _Evkaf_, which holds the
enormous religious endowments of Turkey in trust, has turned its funds
to the founding of a national bank and library, and the subsidising of a
national architecture. It has also started elementary schools, like the
voluntary schools supported by the Christian nationalities, in aid of
the Ministry of Education; and it has taken up the reform of the Moslem
seminaries (_Medresses_), which have been one of the strongholds of
Turkish reaction. The welfare of Turkish students is a concern of the
Nationalist society called _Turk Ujaghi_ (the Turkish Family), founded
in 1912, and now possessing sixteen branches in various provincial towns
of Anatolia--only Turks may be members--with affiliated societies in the
Caucasus and Turkestan. The _Turk Ujaghi_ organises lantern lectures,
lectures on mediaeval Anatolian art, and even lectures by a Turkish lady
on Panturanianism and woman's rights--she is said to have had
Khodjas[20] in her audience, and, if so, this certainly shows an
unheard-of openness to new ideas on the part of the "Islamji." Another
society, the _Turk Gueji_ (Turkish Strength), encourages physical culture
like the Slavonic _Sokols_, and there are _Izdjis_, or Turkish
Boy-Scouts, under Enver Bey's patronage, who take "Turanian"
scout-names, blazon the White Wolf of Turkish paganism on their flags,
and cheer, it is said, not for the "Caliph" or the "Padishah," but for
the "Khakan."

This jumble of efforts, half-admirable and half-absurd, will justify
Turkish Nationalism if it brings about the regeneration of the Anatolian
peasantry. The Anatolians have suffered as much from the Ottoman
dominion as any of the races which have come under its yoke. They have
paid for Ottoman Imperialism with their blood and physique; their
villages have been ravaged by the syphilis of the garrison towns, and
the wider the frontiers of the Empire the further from their homes the
Anatolian soldiers have died--in the Yemen, in Albania, in Irak, on the
snow-covered Armenian plateau. Two things are necessary for Anatolia's
salvation--the limitation of the Turkish State to the lands inhabited by
its Turkish-speaking population, and the replacement of the mongrel
Osmanli bureaucracy by a cleaner and more democratic political order. If
the Allies can compass this, they may claim without hypocrisy to have
liberated another nationality; for Anatolia will be reborn on the day of
its escape from the Ottoman chrysalis as truly as were Serbia and Greece
and Rumania and Bulgaria.

The beginnings will be difficult, as they have been in the Balkans.
Whatever frontiers a Turkish National State may receive, they cannot be
drawn without including non-Turkish elements--racial geography is
nowhere very simple between Bagdad and Vienna--and in view of what the
Turk's racial minorities have suffered during the War and before it,
those left to him hereafter must be safeguarded by stringent
guarantees--far more stringent than the Capitulations, which, for that
matter, protected none but the nationals of foreign Powers. The
Capitulations are a problem in themselves. They were repudiated by the
Young Turkish Government at the beginning of the War, as well as the
conventions regulating the customs tariff. It is difficult to see how
the Peace Conference can pass over flagrant violations of international
treaties, and the Nationalists' contention that Turkish justice has been
brought up to a European standard will not bear examination; on the
contrary, the Young Turkish congress of 1911 passed a resolution that
"the reorganisation of the administration of justice was less important
than the abolition of the Capitulations." These difficulties, however,
might be settled with a new and better Anatolian government; and as for
the racial question, with time and guaranteed tolerance for religion it
might solve itself, for there is a rude vitality in the Turkish
language, and the Greek and Armenian minorities in Central Anatolia have
been gradually adopting it in place of their native speech, though this
tendency is now being counteracted by the spread of national schools
among the scattered outposts of the two nationalities in the interior.


With these suggestions, Anatolia and Turkish Nationalism may be
dismissed from our survey. Shorn of their pretensions in Armenia and the
countries south of Taurus, the Turks may experiment in the art of
government without the tragedies which their present domination has
brought upon mankind. The other lands and peoples of Western Asia, when
they have ceased to be "Turkey," will be restored once more to the
civilised world. What forces will shape their growth? Not, even
indirectly, the discrowned Turk, for if he were not banned by his crimes
he would still be doomed by his incapacity.

The relative qualities of the different Near Eastern races are not in
doubt. A German teacher in the German Technical School at Aleppo, who
resigned his appointment as a protest against the Armenian atrocities in
1915, thus records his personal judgment in an open letter to the

"The Young Turk is afraid of the Christian nationalities--Armenians,
Syrians and Greeks--on account of their cultural and economic
superiority, and he sees in their religion a hindrance to Turkifying
them by peaceful means. They must therefore be exterminated or
converted to Islam by force. The Turks do not suspect that in so doing
they are sawing off the branch on which they are sitting themselves. Yet
who is to help Turkey forward if not the Greeks, Armenians, and Syrians,
who constitute more than a quarter of the population of the Empire? The
Turks, _the least gifted of the races living in Turkey_, are themselves
only a minority of the population, and are still far behind the Arabs in
culture. Where is there any Turkish trade, Turkish handicraft, Turkish
industry, Turkish art, Turkish science? They have even borrowed their
law and religion from the conquered Arabs, and their language, so far as
it has been given literary form.

"We teachers, who have been teaching Greeks, Armenians, Arabs, Turks,
and Jews in German schools in Turkey for years, can only pass judgment
that of all our pupils the pure Turks are the most unwilling and the
least talented. When for once in a way a Turk does achieve something,
one can be sure in nine cases out of ten that one is dealing with a
Circassian, an Albanian, or a Turk with Bulgarian blood in his veins.
From my personal experience I can only prophesy that the Turks proper
will never achieve anything in trade, industry, or science.

"We are told now in the German Press about the Turks' hunger for
education, and of how they are thronging eagerly to learn German. There
is even a report of language courses for adults which have been started
in Turkey. They have certainly been started, but with what result? One
reads of the language course at a technical school which began with
twelve Turkish teachers as pupils. Our informant forgets to add,
however, that after four lessons only six pupils presented themselves;
after five, five; after six, four; and after seven only three, so that
after eight lessons the course broke down, through the indolence of the
pupils, before it had properly commenced. If the pupils had been
Armenians they would have persevered till the end of the school year,
learnt industriously, and finished with a respectable mastery of the
German language."

From a German teacher who has worked in Turkey for three years this
verdict is crushing, and Tekin Alp himself virtually admits the charge.
"It is true," he writes, "that the Turkish character is usually lacking
in the qualities most essential to trade or economic undertakings, but
these may be acquired by a reasonable and methodical training and
organisation." The only "organisation" that seems to occur to him is the
Boycott, which has been popular with the Turks since the Revolution of

"The unaccommodating attitude of the Greek Government was sufficient
excuse," he remarks, in reference to the Boycott of 1912. "The real
motive, however, was the longing of the Turkish nation for independence
in their own country. The Boycott, which was at first directed solely
against the Greeks, was then extended to the Armenians and other
non-Mohammedan circles, and was carried out with undiminished energy.
This movement, which lasted in all its rigour for several months, caused
the ruin of hundreds of small Greek and Armenian tradesmen.... The
systematic and rigorous Boycott is now at an end, but the spirit it
created in the people still persists.... It can now be asserted that the
movement for restoring the economic life of Turkey is on the right

The real effects of the Boycott of 1912 are described by the German
authority whose memorial has several times been cited in this article.
He tells us how, under the patronage of the Young Turkish Government,
associations were formed which intimidated the Moslem peasants into
buying from them, when they came to market, instead of from the
Christians with whom they had formerly dealt.

"The peasants came to their old dealers," the memorial continues,
"lamented their fate, and asked their advice as to how they could save
themselves from the hands of their fellow-countrymen. They were
delighted when at last the Boycott came to an end and they could once
more buy from Greeks and Armenians, where they were well served and got
good value for their money."

If the Turkish Nationalists had confined themselves to economic weapons,
the Turks' economic ineptitude would have prevented them from doing
serious harm; but by abusing the political and military powers of the
Ottoman State to perpetrate the recent atrocities they have struck a
mortal blow at the prosperity of Western Asia.

"In the whole of Asia Minor, with perhaps one or two exceptions," the
same German authority states, "there is not a single pure Turkish firm
engaged in foreign trade.... The extermination of the Armenian
population means not only the loss of from 10 to 25 per cent. of the
total population of Anatolia[22], but, what is most serious, the
elimination of those elements in the population which are the most
highly developed economically and have the greatest capacity for

And this is the universal judgment of those in a position to know.

"The result of the deportations," the American Consul at Aleppo declares
in an official report[23], "is that, as 90 per cent. of the commerce of
the interior is in the hands of the Armenians, the country is facing
ruin. The great bulk of business being done on credit, hundreds of
prominent business men other than Armenians are facing bankruptcy. There
will not be left in the places evacuated a single tanner, moulder,
blacksmith, tailor, carpenter, clay-worker, weaver, shoemaker, jeweller,
pharmacist, doctor, lawyer, or any of the professional people or
tradesmen, with very few exceptions, and the country will be left in a
practically helpless state."

The German memorialist presses the indictment:

"You cannot become a merchant by murdering one. You cannot master a
handicraft if you smash its tools. A sparsely-populated country does not
become more productive if it destroys its most industrious population.
You do not advance the progress of civilisation if you drive into the
desert, as the scapegoat for decades and centuries of wasted
opportunities, the element in your population which shows the greatest
economic ability, the greatest progressiveness in education, and the
greatest energy in every respect, and which was fitted by nature to
build the bridge between East and West. You only corrupt your own sense
of right if you tread the rights of others under foot. The popularity of
an unpopular war may temporarily be promoted among the Turkish masses by
the destruction and spoliation of the non-Mohammedan elements--the
Armenians most of all, but also, in part, the Syrians, Greeks,
Maronites, and Jews--but thoughtful Mohammedans, when they realise the
whole damage which the Empire has sustained, will lament the economic
ruin of Turkey most bitterly, and will come to the conclusion that the
Turkish Government has lost infinitely more than it can ever win"--it is
a German writing--"by victories at the front."

"We may call it political necessity or what not," declared an American
travelling in Anatolia during the deportations of 1915, "but in essence
it is a nominally ruling class, jealous of a more progressive race,
striving by methods of primitive savagery to maintain the leading

What forces will be released in Western Asia when the Turk has met his
fate? Who will repair the ruin he leaves behind?

The Germans? They have been penetrating Turkey economically for the
last thirty years. They have organised regular steamship services
between German and Turkish ports, multiplied the volume of Turco-German
trade, and extended their capital investments, particularly in the
Ottoman Debt and the construction of railways. In 1881, when the Debt
was first placed under international administration, Germany held only
4.7 per cent., of it, and was the sixth in importance of Turkey's
creditors; by 1912 she held 20 per cent., and was second only to
France[25]. Her railway enterprises, more ambitious than those of any
other foreign Power, have brought valuable concessions in their
train--harbour works at Haidar Pasha and Alexandretta, irrigation works
in the Konia oasis and the Adana plain, and the prospect, when the
Bagdad Railway reaches the Tigris, of tapping the naphtha deposits of
Kerkuk[26]. Dr. Rohrbach, the German specialist on the Near East,
forecasts the profits of the Bagdad Railway from the results of Russian
railway-building in Central Asia. He prophesies the cultivation of
cotton, in the regions opened up by the line, on a scale which will
cover an appreciable part of the demands of German industry, and will
open a corresponding market for German wares among the new
cotton-growing population[27]. "Yet the decisive factor in the Bagdad
Railway," he counsels his German readers, "is not to be found in these
economic considerations but in another sphere."

Dr. Wiedenfeld drives this home.

"Germany's relation to Turkey," his monograph begins, "belies the
doctrine that all modern understandings and differences between nations
have an economic origin. We are certainly interested in the economic
advancement of Turkey ... but in setting ourselves to make Turkey strong
we have been influenced far more by our political interests as a State
among States (_das politische, das staatlich-machtliche Interesse_).
Even our economic activity has primarily served this aim, and has in
fact originated to a large extent in the purely politico-military
problems (_aus den unmittelbaren Machtaufgaben_) which confronted the
Turkish Government. Exclusively economic considerations play a very
subordinate part in Turco-German relations.... Our common political
aims, and Germany's interest in keeping open the land-route to the
Indian Ocean, will make it more than ever imperative for us to
strengthen Turkey economically with all our might, and to put her in a
position to build up, on independent economic foundations, a body
politic strong enough to withstand all external assaults. The means will
still be economic; the goal will be of a political order[28]."

And Dr. Rohrbach formulates the political goal with startling precision.
After twelve pages of disquisition on recent international diplomacy he
brings his thesis to this point: the Bagdad Railway links up with the
railways of Syria, and

"The importance of the Syrian railway system lies in this, that, if the
need arose, it would be the direct instrument for the exercise of
pressure upon England ... supposing that German-Austro-Turkish
co-operation became necessary in the direction of Egypt."

Written as it was in 1911, this is a remarkable anticipation of Turkish
strategic railway-building since the outbreak of war; but it is
infinitely remote in purpose from the economic regeneration of Western
Asia, and even when the German publicists reckon in economic values they
generally betray their political design.

"The special point for Germany," Dr. Wiedenfeld lays down, in discussing
the agricultural possibilities of the Ottoman territories, "is that to a
large extent crops can be grown here which supplement our own economic
resources in important respects.... In peace time, of course, no one
would think of transporting goods of such bulk as agricultural products
any way but by sea; but the War has impressed on us with brutal
clearness the value for us of being able on occasions of extreme
necessity to import cotton from Turkey by land."

Thus Germany's economic activity in Turkey has been not for prosperity
but for power, not for peace but for war. In developing Turkey, Germany
is simply developing the "Central Europe" scheme of a military combine
self-contained economically and challenging the world in arms[29].
Germany is concerned with Turkey, not for her splendid past and future,
but for her miserable present; for Turkey--as she is, and only as she
is--is a vital chequer on the chess-board where Germany has been playing
her game of world power, or "des staatlich-machtlichen Interessens," as
Dr. Wiedenfeld would say. Therefore Germany does not eye the lands and
peoples under Ottoman dominion with a view to their common advantage and
her own. She selects a "piece" among them which she can keep under her
thumb and so control the square. Abd-ul-Hamid was her first pawn, and
when the Young Turk Party swept him off the board she adopted them and
their colour[30]; for by hook or by crook, through this agency or that,
Turkey had to be commanded or Germany's play was spoilt.

Germany's control over Turkey depends upon the maintenance of a corrupt
minority in power--too weak and corrupt to remain in it without
Germany's guarantee, and corrupt enough, when secured in it, to put it
at Germany's disposal. A free hand at home in return for servitude in
diplomacy and war--the deal is called "Hegemony," and is as old as
Ancient Greece. By her hegemony over the Ottoman Government Germany
threatens the British and Russian Empires from all the Ottoman
frontiers; and with the free hand that is their price the Young Turks
inflict on all lands and peoples within those frontiers whatever evils
conduce to the maintenance of their pretensions.

As Rohrbach and Wiedenfeld point out, this political understanding
underlies all Germany's economic efforts in Western Asia, and we can see
how it has warped them from their proper ends. The track of the Bagdad
Railway, for example, has not been selected in the economic interests of
the lands and peoples which it ostensibly serves. Dr. Rohrbach himself
admits that

"The Anatolian section of the Bagdad Railway cannot be described as
properly paying its way. It is otherwise with the" (French) "line from
Smyrna to Afiun Kara Hissar, which links the Anatolian Railway with the
older railway system in the West.... The parts of Asia Minor which were
thickly populated and prosperous in antiquity lie mostly westward of
this first section of the Bagdad Railway, round the river-valleys and"
(French and English) "railways leading down to the Aegean."

"There are other once-flourishing parts of the peninsula," he continues,
"which the Bagdad Railway does not touch at all"--the Vilayet of Sivas
and the other Armenian provinces. The original German plan was to carry
the Railway through Armenia from Angora to Kharput, but Russia not
unnaturally vetoed the construction, so near her Caucasian frontiers, of
a line which, by the nature of the Turco-German understanding, must
primarily serve strategic ends[31], and the track was therefore
deflected to the south-east. This took it through the most barren parts
of Central Anatolia, and in the next section involved the slow and
costly work of tunnelling the Taurus and Amanus mountains.

"If merely economic and not political advantages were taken into
account," Dr. Rohrbach concedes, "the question might perhaps be raised
whether it would not be better to leave the Anatolian section alone
altogether and begin the Bagdad Railway from Seleucia" (on the Syrian
coast). "The future export trade in grain, wool, and cotton will in any
case do all it can to lengthen the cheap sea-passage and shorten
correspondingly the section on which it must pay railway freights. The
fact that the route connecting Bagdad with the Mediterranean coast in
the neighbourhood of Antioch is the oldest, greatest, and still most
promising trade-route of Western Asia is independent of all railway

It is worth remembering that a railway, following this route from the
Syrian coast to the Persian Gulf, has more than once been projected by
the British Government. As early as the thirties of last century Colonel
Chesney was sent out to examine the ground, and in 1867 the proposal was
considered by a Committee of the House of Commons. For the economic
development of Western Asia it is clearly a better plan, but then Dr.
Rohrbach bases the "necessity for the East Anatolian section of the
Bagdad Railway" on wholly different grounds.

"The necessity," he declares, "consists in Turkey's military interests,
which obviously would be very poorly served" (by German railway
enterprise) "if troops could not be transported by train without a break
from Bagdad and Mosul to the extremity of Anatolia, and _vice versa_."

The Bagdad Railway is thus acknowledged to be an instrument of strategy
for the Germans and for the Turks of domination--for "_vice versa_"
means that Turkish troops can be transported at a moment's notice
through the tunnels from Anatolia to enforce the Ottoman pretension over
the Arab lands. Militarily, these tunnels are the most valuable section
of the line; economically, they are the most costly and unremunerative.
And the second (and longer) tunnel could still have been dispensed with,
if, south of Taurus, the track had been led along the Syrian coast.
"Economic interests and considerations of expense," Wiedenfeld
concedes[32], "argued strongly for the latter course, but--fortunately,
as we must admit to-day--the military point of view prevailed." Thus the
Turco-German understanding prevented the Bagdad Railway first from
beginning at a port on the Mediterranean coast, and then from touching
the coast at all[33]. "The spine of Turkey," as German writers are fond
of calling it, distorts the natural articulation of Western Asia.

Nemesis has overtaken the Germans in the Armenian deportations--a
"political end" of Turkish Nationalism which swept away the "economic
means" towards Germany's subtler policy. A month or two before the
outbreak of war Dr. Rohrbach stated, in a public lecture, that

"Germany has an important interest in effecting and maintaining contact
with the Armenian nation. We have set before ourselves the necessary and
legitimate aim of spreading and enrooting German influence in Turkey,
not only by military missions and the construction of railways, but also
by the establishment of intellectual relations, by the work of German
_Kultur_--in a word, by moral conquests; and we are determined, by
pacific means, to reach an amicable understanding with the Turks and the
other nations in the Turkish Empire. Our ulterior object in this is to
strengthen the Turkish Empire internally with the aid of German science,
education, and training, and for this work the Armenians are

A few months later Germany, as part price of Turkey's intervention in
the War, had to leave the Young Turks a "free hand" to exterminate the
nation which was the indispensable instrument of her Turkish policy. On
the 9th August, 1915, the German Ambassador at Constantinople handed in
a formal protest against the deportations, in which his Government
"declined all responsibility for the consequences which might result."
On the 11th January, 1916, in the German Reichstag, the Chief of the
Political Department of the Foreign Office replied to a question from
Dr. Liebknecht that "an exchange of views about the reaction of these
measures upon the population was taking place," and that "further
information could not be given." And while Germany was maintaining this
"correct attitude" before the world, she was assisting in Turkey at the
destruction of her own work.

Even the atrocities of 1909 had damaged the economic prospects of the
Adapa district from which Dr. Rohrbach[34] hoped so much, for

"The first thing the Turkish peasants did was to destroy all the
steam-ploughs and nearly all the threshing machines (there were over a
hundred of them) which the Armenian villagers had imported for the
cultivation of the Civilian plain[35]."

By the atrocities of 1915 the economic life of Western Asia was
completely ruined, and the fruits of German enterprise were swept away
in the flood.

"I have before me," writes our German memorialised, "a list of the
customers of a single Constantinople firm of importers which places its
orders principally in Germany and Austria. The accounts which this firm
has outstanding amount to date to L13,922 (Turkish), owing from 378
customers in 42 towns of the interior. In consequence of the Armenian
deportations these debts are no longer recoverable. The 378 customers,
with all their employees, goods, and assets, have vanished from the face
of the earth. Any of the owners that are still alive are now beggars on
the borders of the Arabian desert."

At Urfa, after the atrocities of 1896, philanthropists of all nations
had founded orphanages and started native industries. Attached to the
German orphanage there was a carpet factory, with dyeing vats and a
spinnery, which Dr. Rohrbach[36], after personal investigation,
describes as "an institution to be welcomed as unreservedly from the
national as from the humanitarian point of view."

"The factory," he remarks, "not only provides work and bread for 400
persons, but has transplanted one of the most profitable and promising
industries of the East into the sphere traversed by the German Railway,
where German interests are predominant."

He prophesies that the whole carpet industry of Western Asia, "from
which English and other foreign firms in Smyrna now draw such enormous
profits," will soon be concentrated round Urfa in German hands. From
Armenia's evil, apparently, springs Germany's good--but in 1911 Dr.
Rohrbach did not foresee the catastrophe of 1915.

"For the rise of the carpet industry," our German memorialised writes,
"Turkey has to thank capitalists and exporters who are almost all
Armenians, Greeks, Jews, or Europeans. Like the cotton cultivation
introduced by Germany into Cilicia, this carpet industry, in the eastern
provinces, has been deprived of the hands essential to it by the
Armenian deportations."

Eye-witnesses at Urfa describe how the Armenian community there was
massacred in 1915--the third time in twenty years, and this time to
extinction--and it points the irony of the situation that the Turkish
guns were served by German artillerymen[37].

"I have nothing to say," writes Dr. Niepage, the German teacher from
Aleppo, "about the opinion of the German officers in Turkey. I often
noticed among them an ominous silence or a convulsive effort to change
the subject, when any German of warm feelings and independent judgment
talked in their presence of the fearful sufferings of the Armenians."

This moral bankruptcy is more fatal to the future of Germany in Western
Asia than all the material havoc which the Armenian deportations have
caused. For Dr. Niepage is convinced that the blood of the Armenians
will be on Germany's head:

"'The teaching of the Germans,' is the simple Turk's explanation, ...
and more sensitive Mohammedans, Turks and Arabs alike, cannot believe
that their own Government has ordered these horrors. They lay all
excesses at the Germans' door, for the Germans, during the War, are
regarded as Turkey's schoolmasters in everything. The mollahs declare in
the mosques that the German officers, and not the Sublime Porte, have
ordered the maltreatment and extermination of the Armenians.... Others
say: 'Perhaps the German Government has its hands tied by certain
agreements defining its powers, or perhaps it is not an opportune moment
for intervention.'

"Our presence had no ameliorating effect, and what we could do ourselves
was negligible.... The abusive epithet 'Giaur' is heard once more by
German ears....

"We think it our duty to draw attention to the fact that our educational
work in Turkey forfeits its moral basis and the natives' esteem, if the
German Government is not in a position to prevent the brutalities
inflicted here upon the wives and children of murdered Armenians.

"The writer considers it out of the question that the German Government,
if it seriously desired to stem the tide of destruction in this eleventh
hour, would find it impossible to bring the Turkish Government to

"If we persist in treating the massacres of Christians as an internal
affair of Turkey, which is only important to us because it ensures us
the Turks' friendship, then we must change the orientation of our German
_Kulturpolitik_. We must stop sending German teachers to Turkey, and we
teachers must give up telling our pupils in Turkey about German poets
and philosophers, German culture and German ideals, to say nothing of
German Christianity.

"Three years ago I was sent by the Foreign Office as higher-grade
teacher to the German Technical School at Aleppo. The Prussian
Provincial School Board at Magdeburg specially enjoined upon me, when I
went out, to show myself worthy of the confidence reposed in me in the
grant of furlough to take up this post. I should not be fulfilling my
duty as a German official and an accredited representative of German
culture, if I consented to keep silence in face of the atrocities of
which I was a witness, or to look on passively while the pupils
entrusted to my charge were driven out into the desert to die of

"The things of which everybody here has been a witness for months past
remain as a stain on Germany's shield in the minds of Oriental nations."

What will be left to Germany in Western Asia after the war? She may keep
her trade, though Wiedenfeld confesses that "the exchange of commodities
between Germany and Turkey has never attained any really considerable
dimensions," and that "the German export trade commands no really staple
article whatever of the kind exported by England, Austria, and
Russia"--unless we count as such munitions and other materials of
war[38]. Except for the last item, this German trade will probably
remain and grow; but the German hegemony, based on railway enterprise
and reinsured by "moral conquests," will scarcely survive the Ottoman

Happily there are other representatives of culture, other indigenous
nationalities, other possibilities of economic development, which will
remain in Western Asia when the Turk and German have gone, and which
may be equal to repairing the ruin they will leave behind.

For nearly a century now the American Evangelical Missions have been
doing work there which is the greatest conceivable contrast to the
German _Kulturpolitik_ of the last thirty years. A missionary, sent out
to relieve the first pioneers, was given the following instructions by
the American Board:

"The object of our missions to the Oriental Churches is, first, to
revive the knowledge and spirit of the Gospel among them, and, secondly,
by this means to operate upon the Mohammedans.

"The Oriental Churches need assistance from their brethren abroad. Our
object is not to subvert them: you are not sent among those Churches to
proselytise. Let the Armenian remain an Armenian if he will, the Greek a
Greek, the Nestorian a Nestorian, the Oriental an Oriental.

"Your great business is with the fundamental doctrines and duties of the

In this spirit the American missionaries have worked. They have had no
warships behind them, no diplomatic support, no political ambitions, no
economic concessions. As Evangelicals their first step was to translate
the Bible into all the living languages and current scripts of the
Nearer East. For the Bulgars and Armenians this was the beginning of
their modern literature, but the jealousy of the Orthodox and Gregorian
clergy was naturally aroused. Native Protestant Churches formed
themselves--not by the missionaries' initiative but on their own. They
were trained by the missionaries to self-government, and as they spread
from centre to centre they grouped themselves in unions, with annual
meetings to settle their common affairs. The missionaries also
encouraged them to be self-supporting, and in 1908 the contributions of
the Native Churches to the general expenses of the missions were twice
as large as those of the American Board[40]. The Ottoman Government
recognised its Protestant subjects as a religious corporation _(Millet)_
in 1853, and in spite of this the jealousy of the national Churches was
overcome. For the work of the Americans was not confined to the new
Protestant community. The translation of the Bible led them also into
educational work; they laid the foundations of secondary education in
Western Asia, and their schools and colleges--still the only
institutions of their kind--are attended by Gregorians as well as
Protestants, Moslems as well as Christians, Moslem girls as well as
boys. As they opened up remoter districts they added medicine to their
activities, and their hospitals, like their schools, have been the first
in the field. And all this has been built up so unassumingly that its
magnitude is hardly realised by the Americans themselves. In the three
Turkey Missions, which cover Anatolia and Armenia--the whole of Turkey
except the Arab lands--there were, on the eve of the War, 209 American
missionaries with 1,299 native helpers, 163 Protestant churches with
15,348 members, 450 schools with 25,922 pupils; Constantinople College
and 6 other colleges or high schools for girls; Robert College on the
Bosphorus and 9 other colleges for men or boys; and 11 hospitals.

The War, when it came, seemed to sweep away everything. The Protestant
Armenians, in spite of a nominal exemption, were deported and massacred
like their Gregorian fellow-countrymen; the boys and girls were carried
away from the American colleges, the nurses and patients from the
hospitals; the empty buildings were "requisitioned" by the Ottoman
authorities; the missionaries themselves, in their devoted efforts to
save a remnant from destruction, suffered as many casualties from typhus
and physical exhaustion as any proportionate body of workers on the
European battlefields. The Turkish Nationalists congratulated themselves
that the American work in Western Asia was destroyed. In praising a
lecture by a member of the German _Reichstag_, who had declared himself
"opposed to all missionary activities in the Turkish Empire," a
Constantinople newspaper[41] wrote:

"The suppression of the schools founded and directed by ecclesiastical
missions or by individuals belonging to enemy nations is as important a
measure as the abolition of the Capitulations. Thanks to their schools,
foreigners were able to exercise great moral influence over the young
men of the country, and they were virtually in charge of its spiritual
and intellectual guidance. By closing them the Government has put an end
to a situation as humiliating as it was dangerous."

But the missionaries' spirit was something they could not destroy.

"When they deported the Armenians," wrote a missionary, "and left us
without work and without friends, we decided to come home and get our
vacation and be ready to go wherever we could after the War[42]."

After the War the Turks in Anatolia may still be infatuated enough to
banish their best friends, but in Armenia, when the Turk has gone, the
Americans will find more than their former field; for, in one form or
another, Armenia is certain to rise again. The Turks have not succeeded
in exterminating the Armenian nation. Half of it lives in Russia, and
its colonies are scattered over the world from California to Singapore.
Even within the Ottoman frontiers the extermination is not complete, and
the Arabian deserts will yield up their living as well as the memory of
their dead. The relations of Armenia with the Russian democracy should
not be more difficult to settle than those of Finland and Poland; her
frontiers cannot be forecast, but they must include the Six Vilayets--so
often promised reforms by the Concert of Europe and so often abandoned
to the revenges of the Ottoman Government--as well as the Civilian
highlands and some outlet to the sea. One thing is certain, that,
whatever land is restored to them, the Armenians will turn its resources
to good account, for, while their town-dwellers are the merchants and
artisans of Western Asia, 80 per cent., of them are tillers of the soil.

What the Americans have done for Armenia has been done for Syria by the
French[43]. There are half a million Maronite Catholics in Syria, and
since the seventeenth century France has been the protectress of
Catholicism in the Near East. In 1864, when there was trouble in Syria
and the Maronites were being molested by the Ottoman Government, France
landed an army corps and secured autonomy for the Lebanon under a
Christian governor. But French influence is not limited to the Lebanon
province. All over Syria there are French clerical, secular, and Judaic
schools. Beirut and Damascus, Christian and Moslem--for there is more
religious tolerance in Syria than in most Near Eastern countries--are
equally under the spell of French civilisation; and France is the chief
economic power in the land, for French enterprise has built the Syrian
railways. The sufferings of Syria during the War have been described;
the Young Turks have confiscated the railways and deprived the Lebanon
of its autonomy; even Rohrbach deprecates the fact that "only a few of
the higher officials in Syria are chosen from among the natives of the
country, while almost all, from the Kaimakam upwards, are sent out from
Constantinople," and he attributes to this policy "the feeling against
the Turks, which is most acute in Damascus." This is Rohrbach's
periphrasis for Arab Nationalism, which will be master in its own house
when the Turk has been removed. The future status and boundaries of
Syria can no more be forecast than those of Armenia at the present stage
of the War; yet here, too, certain tendencies are clear. In some form or
other Arab Syria will retain her connection with France, and her growing
population will no longer be driven by misgovernment to emigration.

Syrians and Armenians have been emigrating for the last quarter of a
century, and during the same period the Jews, whose birthright in
Western Asia is as ancient as theirs, have been returning to their
native land--not because Ottoman dominion bore less hardly upon them
than upon other gifted races, but because nothing could well be worse
than the conditions they left behind. For these Jewish immigrants came
almost entirely from the Russian Pale, the hearth and hell of modern
Jewry. The movement really began after the assassination of Alexander
II. in 1881, which threw back reform in Russia for thirty-six years. The
Jews were the scapegoats of the reaction. New laws deprived them of
their last civil rights, _pogroms_ of life itself; they came to
Palestine as refugees, and between 1881 and 1914 their numbers there
increased from 25,000 to 120,000 souls.

The most remarkable result of this movement has been the foundation of
flourishing agricultural colonies. Their struggle for existence has been
hard; the pioneers were students or trades-folk of the Ghetto, unused to
outdoor life and ignorant of Near Eastern conditions; Baron Edmund de
Rothschild financed them from 1884 to 1899 at a loss; then they were
taken over by the "Palestine Colonisation Association," which discovered
the secrets of success in self-government and scientific methods.

Each colony is now governed by an elective council of inhabitants, with
committees for education, police, and the arbitration of disputes, and
they have organised co-operative unions which make them independent of
middlemen in the disposal of their produce. Their production has rapidly
risen in quantity and value, through the industry and intelligence of
the average Jewish settler, assisted latterly by an Agricultural
Experiment Station at Atlit, near Haifa, which improves the varieties of
indigenous crops and acclimatises others[44]. There is a "Palestine Land
Development Company" which buys land in big estates and resells it in
small lots to individual settlers, and an "Anglo-Palestine Bank" which
makes advances to the new settlers when they take up their holdings. As
a result of this enlightened policy the number of colonies has risen to
about forty, with 15,000 inhabitants in all and 110,000 acres of land,
and these figures do not do full justice to the importance of the
colonising movement. The 15,000 Jewish agriculturists are only 12-1/2
per cent. of the Jewish population in Palestine, and 2 per cent., of the
total population of the country; but they are the most active,
intelligent element, and the only element which is rapidly increasing.
Again, the land they own is only 2 per cent. of the total area of
Palestine; but it is between 8 and 14 per cent. of the area under
cultivation, and there are vast uncultivated tracts which the Jews can
and will reclaim, as their numbers grow--both by further colonisation
and by natural increase, for the first generation of colonists have
already proved their ability to multiply in the Promised Land. Under
this new Jewish husbandry Palestine has begun to recover its ancient
prosperity. The Jews have sunk artesian wells, built dams for water
storage, fought down malaria by drainage and eucalyptus planting, and
laid out many miles of roads. In 1890 an acre of irrigable land at
Petach-Tikweh, the earliest colony, was worth L3 12s., in 1914, L36, and
the annual trade of Jaffa rose from L760,000 to L2,080,000 between 1904
and 1912. "The impetus to agriculture is benefiting the whole economic
life of the country," wrote the German Vice-Counsul at Jaffa in his
report for 1912, and there is no fear that, as immigration increases,
the Arab element will be crowded to the wall. There are still only two
Jewish colonies beyond Jordan, where the Hauran--under the Roman Empire
a corn-land with a dozen cities--has been opened up by the railway and
is waiting again for the plough.

But will immigration continue now that the Jew of the Pale has been
turned at a stroke into the free citizen of a democratic country?
Probably it will actually increase, for the Pale has been ravaged as
well as liberated during the war, and the Jews of Germany have based an
ingenious policy on this prospect, which is expounded thus by Dr.
Davis-Trietsch of Berlin[45]:

"According to the most recent statistics about 12,900,000 out of the
14,300,000 Jews in the world speak German or Yiddish (_juedisch-deutsch_)
as their mother-tongue.... But its language, cultural orientation, and
business relations the Jewish element from Eastern Europe" (the Pale)
"is an asset to German influence.... In a certain sense the Jews are a
Near Eastern element in Germany and a German element in Turkey."

Germany may not relish her kinship with these lost Teutonic tribes, but
Dr. Davis-Trietsch makes a satirical exposure of such scruples:

"It used to be a stock argument against the Jews that 'all nations'
regarded them with equal hostility, but the War has brought upon the
Germans such a superabundance of almost universal execration that the
question which is the most despised of all nations--if one goes, not by
justice and equity, but by the violence and extensiveness of the
prejudice--might well now be altered to the Germans' disadvantage.

"In this unenviable competition for the prize of hate, Turkey, too, has
a word to say, for the unspeakable Turk' is a rhetorical commonplace of
English politics."

Having thus isolated the Jews from humanity and pilloried them with the
German and the Turk, the writer expounds their function in the
Turco-German system:

"Hitherto Germany has bothered herself very little about the Jewish
emigration from Eastern Europe. People in Germany hardly realised that,
through the annual exodus of about 100,000 German-speaking Jews to the
United States and England, the empire of the English language and the
economic system that goes with it is being enlarged, while a German
asset is being proportionately depreciated....

"The War found the Jewry of Eastern Europe in process of being uprooted,
and has enormously accelerated the catastrophe. Galicia and the western
provinces of Russia, which between them contain many more than half the
Jews in the world, have suffered more from the War than any other
region. Jewish homes have been broken up by hundreds of thousands, and
there is no doubt whatever that, as a result of the War, there will be
an emigration of East European Jews on an unprecedented scale....

"The disposal of the East European Jews will be a problem for
Germany.... It will no longer do simply to close the German frontiers to
them, and in view of the difficulties which would result from a
wholesale migration of Eastern Jews into Germany itself, Germans will
only be too glad to find a way out in the emigration of these Jews to
Turkey--a solution extraordinarily favourable to the interests of all
three parties concerned...."

And from this he passes to a wider vision:

"The German-speaking Jews abroad are a kind of German-speaking province
which is well worth cultivation. Nine-tenths of the Jewish world speak
German, and a good part of the remainder live in the Islamic world,
which is Germany's friend, so that there are grounds for talking of a
German protectorate over the whole of Jewry."

By this exploitation of aversions, Dr. Trietsch expects to deposit the
Jews of the Pale over Western Asia as "culture-manure" for a German
harvest; and if the Jewish migration to Palestine had remained nothing
more than a stream of refugees, he might possibly have succeeded in his
purpose. But in the last twenty years this Jewish movement has become a
positive thing--no longer a flight from the Pale but a remembrance of
Zion--and Zionism has already challenged and defeated the policy which
Dr. Trietsch represents. "The object of Zionism," it was announced in
the _Basle Programme_, drawn up by the first Zionist Congress in 1897,
"is to establish for the Jewish people a publicly and legally assured
home in Palestine." For the Zionists Jewry is a nation, and to become
like other nations it needs its Motherland. In the Jewish colonies in
Palestine they see not merely a successful social enterprise but the
visible symbol of a body politic. The foundation of a national
university in Jerusalem is as ultimate a goal for them as the economic
development of the land, and their greatest achievement has been the
revival of Hebrew as the living language of the Palestinian Jews. It was
this that brought them into conflict with the Germanising tendency. In
1907 a secondary school was successfully started at Jaffa, by the
initiative of Jewish teachers in Palestine, with Hebrew as the language
of instruction; but in 1914, when a Jewish Polytechnic was founded at
Haifa, the German-Jewish _Hilfsverein_, which had taken a leading part,
refused to follow this precedent, and insisted on certain subjects being
taught in German, not only in the Polytechnic, but in the
_Hilfsverein's_ other schools. The result was a secession of pupils and
teachers. Purely Hebrew schools were opened; the Zionist organisation
gave official support; and the Germanising party was compelled to accept
a compromise which was in effect a victory for the Hebrew language.

Dr. Trietsch himself accepts this settlement, but does not abandon his

"It was certainly impossible to expect the Spanish and Arabic-speaking
Jews[46] to submit in their own Jewish country to the hegemony of the
German language.... Only Hebrew could become the common vernacular
language of the scattered fragments of Jewry drifting back to Palestine
from all the countries of the world. But ... in addition to Hebrew, to
which they are more and more inclined, the Jews must have a
world-language _(Weltsprache),_ and this can only be German."

Anyone acquainted with the language-ordinances of Central Europe will
feel that this suggestion veils a threat. What has been happening in
Palestine during the War? Dr. Trietsch informs us that the Ottoman
Government has been proceeding with the "naturalisation" of the
Palestinian Jews, and that the "local execution of this measure has not
been effected without disturbances which are beyond the province of this
pamphlet." One significant consequence was the appearance in Egypt of
Palestinian refugees, who raised a Zion mule corps there and fought
through the Gallipoli campaign. What is the outlook for Palestine after
the War? If the Ottoman pretension survives, the menace from Turkish
Nationalism[47] and German resentment[48] is grave. But if Turk and
German go, there are Zionists who would like to see Palestine a British
Protectorate, with the prospect of growing into a British Dominion.
Certainly, if the Jewish colonies are to make progress, they must be
relieved of keeping their own police, building their own roads, and the
other burdens that fall on them under Ottoman government, and this can
only be secured by a better public administration. As for the British
side of the question, we may consult Dr. Trietsch.

"There are possibilities," he urges, "in a German protectorate over the
Jews as well as over Islam. Smaller national units than the 14 1-3
million Jews have been able to do Germany vital injury or service, and,
while the Jews have no national state, their dispersion over the whole
world, their high standard of culture, and their peculiar abilities
lend them a weight that is worth more in the balance than many larger
national masses which occupy a compact area of their own."

Other Powers than Germany may take these possibilities to heart.

Here, then, are peoples risen from the past to do what the Turks cannot
and the Germans will not in Western Asia. There is much to be
done--reform of justice, to obtain legal release from the Capitulations;
reform in the assessment and collection of the agricultural tithes,
which have been denounced for a century by every student of Ottoman
administration; agrarian reform, to save peasant proprietorship, which
in Syria, at any rate, is seriously in danger; genuine development of
economic resources; unsectarian and non-nationalistic advancement of
education. But the Jews, Syrians, and Armenians are equal to their task,
and, with the aid of the foreign nations on whom they can count, they
will certainly accomplish it. The future of Palestine, Syria, and
Armenia is thus assured; but there are other countries--once as fertile,
prosperous, and populous as they--which have lost not only their wealth
but their inhabitants under the Ottoman domination. These countries have
not the life left in them to reclaim themselves, and must look abroad
for reconstruction.

If you cross the Euphrates by the bridge that carries the Bagdad
Railway, you enter a vast landscape of steppes as virgin to the eye as
any prairie across the Mississippi. Only the _tells_ (mounds) with which
it is studded witness to the density of its ancient population--for
Northern Mesopotamia was once so populous and full of riches that Rome
and the rulers of Iran fought seven centuries for its possession, till
the Arabs conquered it from both.

The railway has now reached Nisibin, the Roman frontier fortress
heroically defended and ceded in bitterness of heart, and runs past
Dara, which the Persians never took. Westward lies Urfa--named Edessa by
Alexander's men after their Macedonian city of running waters[49]; later
the seat of a Christian Syriac culture whose missionaries were heard in
China and Travancore; still famous, under Arab dominion, for its
Veronica and 300 churches; and restored for a moment to Christendom as
the capital of a Crusader principality, till the Mongols trampled it
into oblivion and the Osmanlis made it a name for butchery.

From Urfa to Nisibin there can be fields again. The climate has not
changed, and wherever the Bedawi pitches his tents and scratches the
ground there is proof of the old fertility. Only anarchy has banished
cultivation; for, since the Ottoman pretension was established over the
land, it has been the battleground of brigand tribes--Kurds from the
hills and Arabs from the desert, skirmishing or herding their flocks,
making or breaking alliance, but always robbing any tiller of the land
of the fruits of his labour.

"If once," Dr. Rohrbach prophesies, "the peasant population were sure of
its life and property, it would joyfully expand, push out into the
desert, and bring new land under the plough; in a few years the villages
would spring up, not by dozens, but by hundreds."

At present cultivation is confined to the Armenian foot-hills--an
uncertain arc of green from Aleppo to Mosul. But the railway strikes
boldly into the deserted middle of the land, giving the arc a chord, and
when Turco-German strategic interests no longer debar it from being
linked up, through Aleppo, with a Syrian port, it will be the really
valuable section of the Bagdad system. The railway is the only capital
enterprise that Northern Mesopotamia requires, for there is rain
sufficient for the crops without artificial irrigation. Reservoirs of
population are the need. The Kurds who come for winter pasture may be
induced to stay--already they have been settling down in the western
districts, and have gained a reputation for industry; the Bedawin, more
fickle husbandmen, may settle southward along the Euphrates, and in time
there will be a surplus of peasantry from Armenia and Syria. These will
add field to field, but unless some stronger stream of immigration is
led into the land, it will take many generations to recover its ancient
prosperity; for in the ninth century A.D. Northern Mesopotamia paid
Harun-al-Rashid as great a revenue as Egypt, and its cotton commanded
the market of the world[50].

Southern Mesopotamia--the Irak of the Arabs and Babylonia of the
Greeks--lies desolate like the North, but is a contrast to it in every
other respect. Its aspect is towards the Persian Gulf, and Rohrbach
grudgingly admits[51] that down the Tigris to Basra, and not upstream to
Alexandretta, is the natural channel for its trade. It gets nothing from
the Mediterranean, neither trade nor rain, and every drop of water for
cultivation must be led out of the rivers; but the rivers in their
natural state are worse than the drought. Their discharge is extremely
variable--about eight times as great in April as in October; they are
always silting up their beds and scooping out others; and when there are
no men to interfere they leave half the country a desert and make the
other half a swamp. Yet the soil, when justly watered, is one of the
richest in the world; for Irak is an immense alluvial delta, more than
five hundred miles from end to end, which the Tigris and Euphrates have
deposited in what was originally the head of the Persian Gulf. The Arabs
call it the _Sawad_ or Black Land, and it is a striking change from the
bare ledges of Arabia and Iran which enclose its flanks, and from the
Northern steppe-land which it suddenly replaces--at Samarra, if you are
descending the Tigris, and on the Euphrates at Hit. The steppe cannot
compare with the _Sawad_ in fertility, but the _Sawad_ does not so
readily yield up its wealth. To become something better than a
wilderness of dust and slime it needs engineering on the grand scale and
a mighty population--immense forces working for immense returns. In a
strangely different environment it anticipated our modern rhythm of life
by four thousand years, and then went back to desolation five centuries
before Industrialism (which may repeople it) began.

The _Sawad_ was first reclaimed by men who had already a mastery of
metals, a system of writing, and a mature religion--less civilised men
would never have attempted the task. These Sumerians, in the fourth
millennium B.C., lived on _tells_ heaped up above flood-level, each
_tell_ a city-state with its separate government and gods, for
centralisation was the one thing needful to the country which the
Sumerians did not achieve. The centralisers were Semites from the
Arabian plateau. Sargon of Akkad and Naram Sin ruled the whole _Sawad_
as early as 2500 B.C.; Hammurabi, in 1900, already ruled it from
Babylon; and the capital has never shifted more than sixty miles since
then. Babylon on the Euphrates and Bagdad on the Tigris are the
alternative points from which the _Sawad_ can be controlled. Just above
them the first irrigation canals branch off from the rivers, and between
them the rivers approach within thirty-five miles of each other. It is
the point of vantage for government and engineering.

Here far-sighted engineers and stronghanded rulers turned the waters of
Babylon into waters of life, and the _Sawad_ became a great heart of
civilisation, breathing in man-power--Sumerians and Amorites and
Kassites and Aramaeans and Chaldeans and Persians and Greeks and
Arabs--and breathing out the works of man--grain and wool and Babylonish
garments, inventions still used in our machine-shops, and emotions still
felt in our religion.

"The land," writes Herodotus[52], who saw it in its prime, "has a little
rain, and this nourishes the corn at the root; but the crops are matured
and brought to harvest by water from the river--not, as in Egypt, by the
river flooding over the fields, but by human labour and _shadufs_[53]
For Babylonia, like Egypt, is one network of canals, the largest of
which is navigable. It is far the best corn-land of all the countries I
know. There is no attempt at arboriculture--figs or vines or olives--but
it is such superb corn-land that the average yield is two-hundredfold,
and three-hundredfold in the best years. The wheat and barley there are
a good four inches broad in the blade, and millet and sesame grow as big
as trees--but I will not state the dimensions I have ascertained,
because I know that, for anyone who has not visited Babylonia and
witnessed these facts about the crops for himself, they would be
altogether beyond belief."

Harnessed in the irrigation channels, the Tigris and Euphrates had
become as mighty forces of production as the Nile and the Ganges, the
Yangtse and the Hoang-Ho.

"This," Herodotus adds[54], "is the best demonstration I can give of the
wealth of the Babylonians: All the lands ruled by the King of Persia are
assessed, in addition to their taxes in money, for the maintenance of
the King's household and army in kind. Under this assessment the King is
maintained for four months out of the twelve by Babylonia, and for the
remaining eight by the rest of Asia together, so that in wealth the
Assyrian province is equivalent to a third of all Asia."

The "Asia" over which the Achaemenids ruled included Russian Central
Asia and Egypt as well as modern Turkey and Persia, and Egypt, under the
same assessment, merely maintained the local Persian garrison[55]. Its
money contribution was inferior too--700 talents as compared with
Assyria's 1,000; and though these figures may not be conclusive, because
the Persian "province of Assyria" probably extended over the northern
steppes as well as the _Sawad_, it is certain that under the Arab
Caliphate, when Irak and Egypt were provinces of one empire for the
second time in history, Irak by itself paid 135 million _dirhems_
(francs) annually into Harun-al-Rashid's treasury and Egypt no more than
65 million, so that a thousand years ago the productiveness of the
_Sawad_ was more than double that of the Nile.

Another measure of the land's capacity is the greatness of its cities.
Herodotus gives statistics[56] of Babylon in the fifth century
B.C.--walls 300 feet high, 75 feet broad, and 58 miles in circuit;
three- and four-storied houses laid out in blocks; broad straight streets
intersecting one another at regular intervals, at right angles or
parallel to the Euphrates. Any one who reads Herodotus' description of
Babylon or Ibn Serapion's of Bagdad, and considers that these vast urban
masses were merely centres of collection and distribution for the open
country, can infer the density of population and intensity of
cultivation over the face of the _Sawad_. When the Caliph Omar conquered
Irak from the Persians in the middle of the seventh century A.D., and
took an inventory of what he had acquired, he found that there were
5,000,000 hectares[57] of land under cultivation, and that the poll-tax
was paid by 550,000 householders, which implies a total population, in
town and country, of more than 5,000,000 souls, where a bare million and
a half maintains itself to-day in city alleys and nomads' tents.

And in Omar's time the _Sawad_ was no longer at its best, for, a few
years before the Arab conquest, abnormally high floods had burst the
dykes; from below Hilla to above Basra the Euphrates broadened into a
swamp, and the Tigris deserted its former (and present) bed for the
Shatt-el-Hai, leaving the Amara district a desert. The Persian
Government, locked in a suicidal struggle with Rome, was powerless to
make good the damage, and the shock of the Arab invasion made it
irreparable[58]. Under the Abbasid Caliphs of Bagdad the rest of the
country preserved its prosperity, but in the thirteenth century Hulaku
the Mongol finished the work of the floods, and under Ottoman dominion
the _Sawad_ has not recovered.

Can it still be reclaimed? Surveys have been taken by Sir William
Willcocks, as Adviser to the Ottoman Ministry of Public Works, and his
final conclusions and proposals are embodied in a report drawn up at
Bagdad in 1911[59].

"The Tigris-Euphrates delta," he writes, "may be classed as an arid
region of some 5,000,000 hectares.... All this land is capable of easy
levelling and reclamation. The presence of 15 per cent. lime in the soil
renders reclamation very easy compared with similar work in the dense
clays of Egypt. One is never far away from the giant banks of old canals
and the ruins of ancient towns."

But he does not expect to make all these 5,000,000 hectares productive
simultaneously, as they are said to have been when Omar took his
inventory. "It is water, not land, which measures production," and he
reckons that the average combined discharge of the rivers would irrigate
3,000,000 hectares in winter, and in summer 400,000 of rice or 1,250,000
of other crops. This is the eventual maximum; for immediate reclamation
he takes 1,410,000 hectares in hand. His project is practically to
restore, with technical improvements, the ancient system of canals and
drains, using the Euphrates water to irrigate everything west of the
Tigris (down to Kut) and the Shatt-el-Hai, and the water of the Tigris
and its tributaries for districts east of that line. Adding 33 per cent.
for contingencies to his estimate for cost of materials and rates of
labour, and doubling the total to cover interest on loans and subsequent
development, he arrives at L29,105,020 (Turkish)[60] as the cost, from
first to last, of irrigation and agricultural works together; and he
estimates that the 1,410,000 hectares reclaimed by this outlay will
produce crops to the value of L9,070,000 (Turkish) a year. In other
words, the annual return on the gross expenditure will be more than 31
per cent., and under the present tithe system L7,256,000 (Turkish) of
this will remain with the owners of the soil, while L1,814,000 will pass
to the Government. This will give the country itself a net return of
24.9 per cent. on the combined gross cost of irrigation and agricultural
works, while the Government, after paying away L443,000 (Turkish) out of
its tithes for maintenance charges, will still receive a clear 9 per
cent. per annum on the gross cost of irrigation, to which its share in
the outlay will be confined.

Unquestionably, therefore, the enterprise is exceedingly profitable to
all parties concerned. Looking further ahead, Sir William proposes to
supersede the navigation of the Tigris[61] by railways, and so set free
the whole discharge of the two rivers for irrigation. He contemplates
handling annually 375,000 tons of cereals and 1,250,000 cwt. of cotton,
and estimates the future by the effects of the Chenab Canal in Northern

"a canal traversing lands similar to those of Mesopotamia in their
climate and in the condition in which they found themselves before the
canal works were carried out.... In such a land, so like a great part of
Mesopotamia, canals have introduced in a few years nearly a million of
inhabitants, and the resurrection of the country has been so rapid that
its very success was jeopardised by a railway not being able to be made
quickly enough to transport the enormous produce."

"A million of inhabitants"--that is the crux of the problem. Labour is
as necessary as water for the raising of crops; Sir William's barrages
and canals without hands to turn them to account would be a dead loss
instead of a profitable investment; but from what reservoir of
population is this man-power to be introduced? The German economists are
baffled by the difficulty.

"It is useless," as Rohrbach puts it, "to sink from 150 to 600 million
marks in restoring the canal system, and then let the land lie idle,
with all its new dams and channels, for lack of cultivators. Yet Turkey
can never raise enough settlers for Irak by internal colonisation[62]."

She cannot raise them even for the minor enterprises at Konia and
Adapa[63], and evidently the _Sawad_ must draw its future cultivators
from somewhere beyond the bounds of Western Asia. From Germany, many
Germans have suggested; but German experts curtly dismiss the idea. The
first point Rohrbach makes in his book on the Bagdad Railway is that
German colonisation in Anatolia is impossible for political reasons. "No
worse service," he declares, "can be done to the German cause in the
East than the propagation of this idea," and the rise of Turkish
Nationalism has proved him right[64]. There remain the Arab lands;

"But even," he continues, "if the Turks thought of foreign colonisation
in Syria and Mesopotamia, to hold the Arabs in check" (the political
factor again), "that would be little help to us Germans, for only very
limited portions of those countries have a climate in which Germans can
work on the land or perform any kind of heavy manual labour."

And Germany herself is hard up for men.

"For all prospective developments in Turkey," writes Dr. Trietsch, "not
merely scientific knowledge, capital, and organisation are wanted, but
men, and Germany has no resources in men worth speaking of for opening
up the Islamic world."

It is one of his arguments for bringing in the Jews, but the
colonisation of Palestine will leave no Jews over for Irak. Rohrbach[65]
disposes of the Mouhadjirs--they are a drop in the bucket, and are no
more adapted to the climate than the Germans themselves. "There is
really nothing for it," he bursts out in despair, "but the introduction
of Mohammedans from other countries where the climatic conditions of
Irak prevail."

That narrows the field to India and Egypt, and drives Turco-German
policy upon the horns of a dilemma:

"The colonists must either remain subjects of a foreign Power, a
solution which could not be considered for an instant by any Turkish
Government, or else they must become Turkish subjects--"

a condition which, to Indians and Egyptians, as well as Germans, would
be prohibitive. No one who has known good government would exchange it
for Ottoman government without the Capitulations as a guarantee.

The Ottoman Government has its own characteristic view. In a memorandum
on railways and reclamation, published by the Ministry of Public Works
in 1909, a _resume_ is given of the Willcocks scheme.

"In due time," the memorandum proceeds, "a comprehensive scheme for the
whole of Mesopotamia must be carried out, but, apart from the question
of expense, it is clear that the public works involved will not be
justified until Turkey is in a position to colonise these extensive
districts, and this question cannot be considered till we have succeeded
in getting rid of the Capitulations."

This is the Ottoman pretension. Egypt, rid of the Osmanli, and India,
where he never ruled, have kept their ancient wealth of harvests and
population, and have man-power to spare for the reclamation of the
_Sawad_. All the means are at hand for bringing the land to life--the
water, the engineer, the capital, the labour; only the Ottoman
pretension stands in the way, and condemns the _Sawad_ to lie dead and
unharvested so long as it endures.

"The last voyage I made before coming to this country," wrote Sir
William Willcocks at Bagdad in 1911, "was up the Nile, from Khartum to
the great equatorial lakes. In this most desperate and forbidden region
I was filled with pride to think that I belonged to a race whose sons,
even in this inhospitable waste of waters, were struggling in the face
of a thousand discouragements to introduce new forest trees and new
agricultural products and ameliorate in some degree the conditions of
life of the naked and miserable inhabitants. How should I have felt if,
in traversing the deserts and swamps which to-day represent what was the
richest and most famous tract of the world, I had thought that I was a
scion of a race in whose hands God had placed, for hundreds of years,
the destinies of this great country, and that my countrymen could give
no better account of their stewardship than the exhibition of two mighty
rivers flowing between deserts to waste themselves in the sea for nine
months in the year, and desolating everything in their way for the
remaining three? No effort that Turkey can make"--she was then still
mistress of the _Sawad_--"can be too great to roll away the reproach of
these parched and weary lands, whose cry ascends to heaven."

Turkey, which claims the present in Western Asia, is nothing but an
overthrow of the past and an obstruction of the future.

[Footnote 1: Tekin Alp: "The Turkish and Pan-Turkish Ideal" (Weimar:
Gustav Kiepenheuer, 1915). The percentage is of course an exaggeration.]

[Footnote 2: In the sense of having preceded Arabic in this region, for
in itself, and in its original area, Arabic is as old a language an any
other variety of Semitic.]

[Footnote 3: "The Turkish and Pan-Turkish Ideal," by Tekin Alp.]

[Footnote 4: "The Turkish and Pan-Turkish Ideal," by Tekin Alp.]

[Footnote 5: _The Near East_, 30th March, 1917, p. 507; see also Tekin

[Footnote 6: The legendary ancestor of the Turkish race.]

[Footnote 7: _The Near East_, loc. cit.]

[Footnote 8: Which (for obvious reasons) was printed for private
circulation only.]

[Footnote 9: Miscellaneous No. 31 (1916).]

[Footnote 10: Memorial of the German authority cited above.]

[Footnote 11: Quoted by the German authority cited above.]

[Footnote 12: The Vilayets of Basra and Bagdad.]

[Footnote 13: See the journal _Al-Mokattam_ of Cairo, 30th March, 31st
March, 1st April, 1916 (English translation in the form of a pamphlet:
"Syria during March, 1916," printed by Sir Joseph Causton and Sons Ltd.,

[Footnote 14: Miscellaneous No. 31 (1916), p. 253.]

[Footnote 15: _Thoughts on the Nature and Plan of a Greater Turkey._]

[Footnote 16: Emir Hechmat, their chief, subsequently went to Hamadan in
Persia and organised guerilla bands there.]

[Footnote 17: _i.e._, the Turkish-speaking population in the Russian

[Footnote 18: Miscellaneous No. 31 (1916), p. 80.]

[Footnote 19: And, like other Young Turks, a Jew ("Tekin Alp" being a
_nom de plume_).]

[Footnote 20: Moslem _religieux_.]

[Footnote 21: Ein Wort an die Berufenen Vertreter des Deutschen Volkes:
Eindrucke eines deutschen Oberlehrers aus der Tuerkei, von Dr. Martin
Niepage, Oberlehrer an der deutschen Realschule zu Aleppo, z.Zt.
Wernigerode. (Printed in the second pamphlet issued by the Swiss
Committee for Armenian Relief at Basel; English translation, "The
Horrors of Aleppo." London, 1917: Hodder and Stoughton.)]

[Footnote 22: The writer includes Armenia under this term.]

[Footnote 23: Dated 3rd Aug., 1915: See Miscellaneous No. 31 (1916), p.

[Footnote 24: Miscellaneous No. 31 (1916), p. 413.]

[Footnote 25: "Die deutsch-tuerkeschen Wirtschaftsbeziehungen," by Dr.
Kurt Wiedenfeld, Professor of the Political Sciences at the University
of Halle. (Duncker and Humblot, 1915).]

[Footnote 26: "Die Bagdadbahn," by Dr. Paul Rohrbach (Berlin, 1911), pp.
43, 44.]

[Footnote 27: "Die Bagdadbahn," pp. 49, 50.]

[Footnote 28: The author rubs in his point in his concluding section:
"All economic measures we may take in Turkey are only a means to an end,
not an end in themselves" (p. 77).]

[Footnote 29: Wiedenfeld's monograph is a _sonderabdruck_ from the two
volumes of studies on the "Wirtschaftliche Annaherung zwischen dem
deutschen Reich u. seinen Verbundeten," edited by Heinrich Herkner and
published by the _Verein fur Sozialpolitik_, which preaches Naumann's

[Footnote 30: Just as, by a more gradual process, the Magyar Oligarchy,
rather than the Hapsburg Dynasty, has become the instrument of German
control over Austria-Hungary.]

[Footnote 31: "Die Bagdadbahn," pp. 29, 33.]

[Footnote 32: Page 23.]

[Footnote 33: Except by a branch line from Adana to Alexandretta,
Rohrbach (pp. 27, 36, 37) laments the economic drawbacks of this
strategic necessity.]

[Footnote 34: "Bagdadbahn," p.60.]

[Footnote 35: The German memorialised.]

[Footnote 36: "Bagdadbahn," pp. 39, 40.]

[Footnote 37: Miscellaneous No. 31 (1916), p. 530. Major Count Wolf von
Wolfskahl, who served as adjutant to Fakhri Pasha in the Turkish
"punitive expedition" against Urfa, is mentioned as particularly guilty
by a trustworthy neutral resident in Syria.]

[Footnote 38: On which Wiedenfeld lays stress, pp. 19, 22.]

[Footnote 39: "Leavening the Levant," by Rev. J. Greene, D.D. (Beston,
1916: The Pilgrim Press), p. 99.]

[Footnote 40: Excluding, of course, the hospital and educational
endowments, and the salaries of the missionaries themselves.]

[Footnote 41: _Hilal_, 4th April, 1916, quoted in Miscellaneous No. 31
(1916), pp. 654-6.]

[Footnote 42: Miscellaneous No. 31 (1916), p. 309.]

[Footnote 43: Though the work of the American Presbyterian Mission at
Beirut must not be forgotten.]

[Footnote 44: See "Zionism and the Jewish Future" (London, 1916: John
Murray), pp. 138-170; for the agricultural machinery on the Jewish
National Fund's Model Farm at Ben-Shamen, see the Report of the German
Vice-Consul at Jaffa for the year 1912.]

[Footnote 45: "Die Jueden der Tuerkei" (Leipzig, 1915: Veit u. Comp.).
Pamphlet No. 8 of the _Deutsches Vorderasienscomitee's_ series: "Laender
u. Voelker der Tuerkei."]

[Footnote 46: The Spanish-speaking Jews in Turkey are descended from
refugees to whom the Ottoman Government gave shelter in the sixteenth
century; the Arabic-speaking Jews have been introduced into Palestine
from the Yemen, by the Zionists, since 1908.]

[Footnote 47: Dr. Trietsch admits that Jewish colonisation in Palestine
was retarded because "the leading French and British Jews remained under
the impression of the Armenian massacres" (of 1895-7) "as presented by
the anti-Turkish, French and British Press.... In reality, the
butcheries of Armenians in Constantinople were a convincing proof that
the Jews in the Ottoman Empire were safe, for ... not a hair on a Jewish
head was touched." One wonders how he will exorcise the "impression" of

[Footnote 48: As early as 1912 the German Vice-Consul at Jaffa betrayed
his annoyance at the progress which Zionism was making. He admits indeed
that "the falling off in trade last year would have been greater still
than it was, if the economic penetration of Palestine were not
reinforced by an idealistic factor in the shape of Zionism;" but he is
piqued at the "Jewish national vanity" which makes it advisable for
German firms to display their advertisements in Palestine in the Hebrew
language and character.]

[Footnote 49: Edessa from Thracian [Greek: _bedu_] = Slavonic _voda._]

[Footnote 50: _Muslin_ is named after Mosul, and cotton itself (in
Greek, Latin, Arabic, and Turkish) _bombyx_ or _bambuk_, after Bambyke

[Footnote 51: "Bagdadbahn," p. 38.]

[Footnote 52: Book I., ch. 193.]

[Footnote 53: Cp. Sir William Willcocks. "The Irrigation of
Mesopotamia," p. 5 (London, 1911: Spon).]

[Footnote 54: Book I., ch. 192.]

[Footnote 55: Herodotus Book III., ch. 91.]

[Footnote 56: Book I., chs. 178-183.]

[Footnote 57: A hectare is approximately equal to two and a half acres.]

[Footnote 58: "The Lands of the Eastern Caliphate," by Guy le Strange
(Cambridge, 1905: at the University Press), pp. 25-9.]

[Footnote 59: "The Irrigation of Mesopotamia," by Sir William Willcocks,
K.C.M.G., F.R.G.S. (London, 1911: Spon). The report is dated Bagdad,
March 26th, 1911.]

[Footnote 60: L1.00 Turkish = approximately L0.90 sterling.]

[Footnote 61: In his immediate project he intends to keep the Tigris
navigable, and allots L48,350 (Turkish) for its improvement.]

[Footnote 62: Cp. Wiedenfeld, pp. 62-4.]

[Footnote 63: "Die Bagdadbahn," pp. 57, 61.]

[Footnote 64: Cp. Wiedenfeld, p. 64.]

[Footnote 65: "Bagdadbahn," p. 83; cp. Trietsch, p. 11.]


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