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THE NEAR EAST.

irt VIEWS OF GENERAL CHERIF

PASHA

PARTS, Dec. 2

The great Turkish reformer, General Clierif Pasha, who still remains an Jionorcd guest of the Frencli Republic, has been glad to express his views on the Eastern crisis to a representative of a leadingl American newspaper. The general, who is a recognised military expert, emphatically expressed his opinion, in face of much expert opinion to the contrary, that the final issue of the war would (necessarily be fought out in the Orient. Whoever hold Constantinople, he insists, would hold! the key of the whole world. If Germany sucjceeded in holding it, nothing could keep her from eventual world, dominion. Up to the present, the Holy War had, he said, been ineffectual, jin fact, quite an insignificant eleiinent, mainly for the reason that 'Germany had had no direct contact with the Mohammedan world, but if once- she was at Constantinople it would be quite a different matter, for then she could establish such a close and direct connection as would make available endless resources. The future of Turkey, General Cherif Pasha said, depended wholly upon the result of the war, for if Germany succeeded, Turkey, in spite of being at present Germany's ally, would become merely her vassal and therefore could look for no real independence. He himself hoped for the success of the Allies, for since the latter were fighting for the meals of liberty and national independence, these "would not be denied to Turkey either, and so the re-establishment 01 the Ottoman Empire in Asia Minor would be possible. The future of Turkey, in the latter event, woula depend upon herself, and as she still possessed the energy and vitality of a great nation, although these had fatterly lain dormant, proper organisation of the forces of the country would restore them to activity. j

LACK OF ORGANISATION

The long-continued lack of proper organisation lay at the bottom of Turkey's present troubles, and nothing short of radical reforms, based on justice and clean crovernment, could possibly restore the Ottoman Empire in any permanent manner. : European diplomacy had, the general said, made many mistakes. 'He himself had put forward! different views from those which had prevailed at the Treaty of London, when Europe turned her back upon Bulgaria and Turkey. The latter had proved a fatal mistake, for which the Allies were now paj'ing heavily. France had attached too great a value to the Russian force, which was, he said, really a fictitious force. It could not be compared to that of Turkey if the latter had been cultivated with equal energy and had been nurtured by reasonable finan T cial support. The consequence was that Turkey had been left to her worst enemies, who had pushed her into the open arms of Germany. .France to-day was totally mistaken in thinking that England was. not doing her full share in the war. She seemed to forget that England had not only fulfilled her promise to control the seas, Avhich Avas in itself an undertaking of a phenomenal character, but she had gone further, for she bad put an army of ■ 1,000.000 men into the field in France. This was nothing short of a marvel, in view of her military unpreparednesp/ England, in fact. had exceeded France's legitimate expectations, which was more than could be said of Russia.

THE ARMENIANS

The work of the Allies in the Orient would be gigantic 5/ Clierif Pasha said, and would require/2,000,----000 men to make it a success. This success, however, was indispensable in the interest of the freedom of the world. Questioned as to his views of the Armenian situation, the General said that he would like to take this opportunity of making a personal protest against the terrible action of the Committee of Union •and Progress, which in this twentieth !century had assumed the "right to.renew, a series of outrages which belonged only to an age of ignorance arid barbarism, and even surpassed in violence those of Djengais-Khari and Timour-Lina;. It must not he lost sight of that the origin of the Armenian massacres Was political, neither national nor religious. The civilised world had never, Cherif Pasha continued, realised the real object of the Committee of Union find Progress until they had declared themselves partisans of Germany, but for over six •veors have never ceased to publish in the French and English press warnings of the conspiracy that they were engaged in against tho Allies, and even against their own Ottoman nationalities, especially the Armenians. ■ , .

If there ever •exisjted a rac« that was closely attached to the Turks, by its fidelity, by its services rendered to its country, by its numbers of talented statesmen and officials and by the intelligence it had shown in every branch of commerce, manufacture, the sciences and art, that race was, above all others, the Armenian. They had introduced printing into Turkey and also dramatic art. Their poets," writers, and great financiers were innumerable. Many of them would have been honored even in the west, as, for instance, Moise de "Khorene, historian and poet. Arista che de Lasdiverde, who had been compared with Jeremiah, and in contemporary time; Earn Soundoukientze Chirvansade, Ahronian Teho-b-anian, Novavr, and dozens of others.

PROGRESSIVE PEOPLE

It was the Armenian Odian who was the collaborator of Midhat Pasha, the author of tin* Ottoman constitution. Ephrem Khan, the Garibaldi of the East and the great hero of the Persian revolution, gained his inspiration from another Armenian of the name of Mai-Khan. Moreover, in all .justice, they must recognise that the clesnotic regime in Turkey, as in Poreio., found its keenest opponents in thfv A'-menians, who hastened considerably the coming of a. constitutional regime. Th^re was1 not a single enlightened Tv.vk who would not subscribe to the opinion expressed thirteen vfors ago by his friend Lynch, a British mombesv 01 Parliament, to the effect that the Armenians were p.T-tlcularlv adapted to bo- the intermediaries of the rt"w civilisation. They were familiar with Turkey's highest ideals, and a^siinilat^d -nil the- now idrantages of European culture with an avidity nnd perfection that no other race had *vor shown itself capable of eonaling. Th« General went on to "ay that, the b^.rde^t lieart nmst soften at the tho"«xht fl'-Tt so r.nfto'l a -'conl^. who flight to hwn b^en the hrmpiest influence towards, the renovation of the

Ottoman Empire, wore on the point of disappearing from history. Not through being .subjugated as the* Jews wei-e by the Assyrians, but literally through destruction.

THE ARMENIAN MISTAKE.

Cherif Pasha said also that he would: like to say a word touching, not only the Armenian nation, but a few Armenian personalities and groups of propagandists who had so disastrously, during the last six years, been the defenders and apologists of the Committee of Union and Progress, the very authors of all these present troubles. Many a time he himself had warned the former against the bad faith of the Unionists, whose treachery and perversity he knew too well. Moreover, the massacre of Adana, which was secured by order, should have awakened them to the true facts. A few. through an idea of self-interest, and others inspired by bad political combinations, as for instance Zohrab E'flfsndi, the poor deputy for Constantinople, who had paid so dearly for his mistakes—almost rail the Armenian leaders, in fact, had, by uniting themselves with the Committee of Union and Progress, only compromised instead of serving the cause of their country. If instead of serving under the banner of this society, which was as pernicious as it was secret, they _ had frankly ranged themselves with the true Liberals who at the peril of their life had long ago denounced the danger, not only would they have remained1 true to their ideals, but they Would have saved their unfortunate brothers from persecution prior to the war, and their whole nation from the prospect of an extermination that would [be unique in the annals of history.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/MEX19160128.2.5

Bibliographic details

THE NEAR EAST., Marlborough Express, Volume L, Issue 23, 28 January 1916

Word Count
1,326

THE NEAR EAST. Marlborough Express, Volume L, Issue 23, 28 January 1916

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