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TURKEY AS AN ENEMY., Issue 15685, 26 December 1914
TURKEY AS AN ENEMY.
I I [By E. L. Houies. in tin ''Argus.'J I Tho ontb'cting reporis that have aptpearxxl K ' in the war news from time to time re- ;• garding the advanc«.s ('.',) of the Turks t-o- ---» wards Egypt-, couphxl with the rumors i , tliat have. h>er* in circillation for the- last . ' few days, have made the question of tho . I Turk rather a. prominent, one, a-ud, having •. : recently rot.urned from a three years' stay j in Egypt uwl Turkey, if. has been im- - pressed upon me that any informa-tkm on - j the subject would Ik> welcome. t. i The. Turkish army, on paper, may brok ■ rather formidable, and the lighting of a- ' ' year or two ago against Italy, Gre.ee. and ' ; the Balkan S'.atcfi may be regarded by ■ j some afi being of exceptional merit, but a. i p.nsoiial view of the material places a dif--1 fer-: nt complexion upon it as a modern lighting force With tho exception of a :; 1.-w Turkish regulais, the \v;;r with Italy : was carried on by the Senussi AraVm. the virtual owners of Tripoli, in Africa, whom ; tho Turks had only been able to hold in '-. subjection by non-tarcatiun, absolute fi-ee-<lom. and relig .:;. With lirec<:o and the Balkans, Turk was. practically lighting : T'uik, lor the actual ir. tin- opposing forces was veiy trilling. More- ; ..-v.-r, this ligh.iing look place on fertile tjoil, and al no gjeai distance from Constantinople, a.nd witli go-xl communications. i Now, against Egypt. Turkey i<- faced ! wilh an entirely dilkrer.v proldcm. The ■ naarest military cent-re of any iii:- ( iOi tane'.* j is liama. ens, where very large barracks, I training grounds, and stables ixiist, all liiiik-r German instructors when 1 was there. Cowcripls aie draft.-d th<-re from all over Syria for training, and. from w ha-t • ' one of the German instructors told inc. . the work wa.s slow and diliicuit, for the- ; ! men never had any heart in the work. A.s- ---; ' sliming that a huge force has been got together, with animal transport —wheeled Ivcuiclv.-; aie unknown out ol the large ! town.---it would be necessary t> > use the ' single line to Mecca for a- distance of 300 ; to 400 miles, in ittself a. difficult, problem. ! but, doubiy <-lillicuJt when it is mn> inIvared that- this railway pos&..=.sa» hardly I sulhcient rolling fitoc.k to liandle the pilgrim traffic. Leaving this railway tne foro; v.ouid Ije faced witli a journey of nearly 10'J miles to the Egyptian frontier, then 'about miles to the, Suez C'anal, the wink: of this oistanie being llnoagli a illy and practically wateilc;s desert; in fact, Bir .\louktoiil is tho only known well ntween tlie Egyptian border and the canal, and there are also but two known caravan routes Tin difficulties, even with a highly eliuicnt and orgtmif-ed transport, 1 would 1:0 inim-ns.-, f<u' th.-re is no fodder , water —only .sand. Tho canal al.-o 1 would prove a. fatal ivi.rrie.r*. for this, being in French hands, could in patrolled by , the lugs of the Canal Company, a.nd any coneeniralion by 'links M.uld be sh'\!.d vt ry (jiiirMy, a n tho Egyptian State :a:i way inns parallel wi-h th,- eajiai f, r i.eailv 60 milei (l.'urt Said to lsmahaj. !he only other unaus of attack would U> by rail to .J;dV:i-. ai..i then along the coast, bid as ther-,- are ia> mads, and tho distance would be ;l i,out , 7 00 to -100 mi!--s, I am quite sure this would be <,m of th--question. T'he Turks hi'ing a uon-iini It In:.' |io'.vi-r. .Tress by water is hnpcr-.-o'iae. even if l.'cgh'cd and Franc- pi-rmit te I it. Rega.rdiiig the aH-impon-ani qmstion of : p'-rsonii'd ami communication?. T urk-y is lamentably weak. The, "Turk" is'un- : ke. -v.n o.it.shh- the rank of officer, the rai.k and I'.h, being compos-, d of Ara'e, S\i!,iic. Dnis-.s, Armini-iis, Kutds. ,-t'-. ail of wh'im are foi ee-:J t., sei \\- wiilu tie- ■ coh.rs. with ji small cate ef j ,.i\ - v.-hi, |. th.ey ne\"r by any chanc- receive Ail the j component parts of ihe p ..pul.i. i,.n oj Turkey having been groun<l «iown bit i ; y bit bv i -oi (predion, :a.\;'tio/i, etc.. the n. op.'-- ai--i always in a state of semi-star vat ion. with I ;< .•o:-,,.spoii(ii:ig <lei.rea.s-> in the standard iof men. -so that the ITnktsii armv is com- | ji-.se<! of small, und<--r-si/cd n on, of little | or no physique, and quit--- un.-.b!:- 10 stand | a.i.y givat strain. I ]ia-ve .•>••: n r< turning sol-liers landed at Ib-yrout and Al- x- . ai.di-cit.i. and it would b. diliicuit te imagine thai nxn coul.l h< ■■■ i:i su, hj aw. :! I wrecks. In rags, without ]•■ ~ts, iaagai g : wrapped rou.-.d tlie fe-'t- King '.hair <i,lv : prot- •<•>.! hi from the luTrd i,.ad. ai. I \-.i;:i • o;it a single piastre iu th--:r th-'ve. men w-.-r- lauded lik-a .-):,-p ;,ixl left-. ! They had to bog food r:ght iioiu the liriv llu-y la.iwlfd. .r.-.d many w-vi' ia,-,-.| witli a i jonrn.-y of 300 to 4CO miles io ih-ir I o.mes tin the im-rior. In the past the army his , been r-'.'iiiuod to the Mi>!»iii p-,Tiuiar: .-■ i for t!i<- Turk would not 1 ra.-t :)n Ch;. : - I tian popnlati.j'i with ilb-s. ba; lid- Jrei I latteTly been altered, and a wia-in mim- ! of Christians are forcu to .v rve. - I Bribery and corruption of On wonu tvpo exist throughout the whole- military f.wiem, ■ and. owing to tho general method oi com- ; tnaude. i .ng everything iu the way of camels, donkeys, an'! hoi-se.s in the' past without paynienf, it is diliicuit. now for tho | Turks io find transport an -i-Vs, the^e ■ being diiven off and hidden j n the mountains upi n the iirst waning of dang, r j Turkey if. sadly lacking in iai!v.i\s. I '".id rone connect Syna wit/i Asu M'li'r 'The line f;om Bc>ro;it to D i---a.se r, a: d i Alepp.. is French, and has bat-'. !y cm i-gh lOi'iiug itoek for or Unary tragic, ar.«l I ,'lm'H d t'ii- Fi.-nch officials b.e wiindr.iwi , II am snre there would bo serious tre-übl'>. I To Mir up the Tin');, as an cv.omy, can h<> | y carded v.'itli supreme contempt. j
TURKEY AS AN ENEMY., Issue 15685, 26 December 1914
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