The Third Stage: The Young Turks.

In the first stage the subject peoples paid their tribute of children and were then left to themselves. In the second stage they were hounded on to destroy each other by the Machiavellian policy of Abd-ul-Hamid. The third stage has been introduced by the Young Turks, and they have been destroying the subject races by systematic government action—a government employing its resources in the murder of its own people. And this has been carried on with redoubled vigour and ruthlessness since the Turkish Government entered the War, and has been sure of Germany’s support in defying the civilised world.

The Young Turks are “Nationalists” who have learnt in the German and Magyar school. Their national idea is to impose their own nationality by force on others. When the Young Turks came into power in 1908 they announced a programme of “Ottomanisation.” Every language in the Empire but Turkish was to be driven off the field; Turkish was to be the sole language of government, and even of higher education. The non-Turkish majority was to be assimilated to the Turkish minority by coercion. The programme was copied from the “Prussianisation” of the Poles and “Magyarisation” of the Roumans, Slovaks and Southern Slavs in Hungary whom the Allies declare their intention of liberating likewise from foreign domination in another clause of their Note. But in their Nationalism, as in their Militarism, the Turks have gone to greater lengths than their European counterparts. The Prussians expropriate Polish landowners against the payment of a price for their land; the Turks drive forth Greeks and Bulgars destitute from their homes and possessions. The Magyars mobilise troops to terrorise Slovaks and Roumans at the elections; the Turks draft the criminals from their prisons into the Gendarmerie to exterminate the Armenian race. From the beginning of their régime the Young Turks have pursued their nationalistic programme by butchery. The Adana massacres of 1909, the most terrible slaughter of Armenians between the Hamidian massacres of 1895-6 and those at present in progress, occurred within a year of the proclamation of the Young Turk Constitution, which assured equal rights of citizenship to all inhabitants of the Empire. In 1913 the Turkish Army was engaged in exterminating the Albanians because they had an un-Ottoman national spirit of their own. This work was interrupted by the Balkan War, but the Turks revenged themselves for their defeat in this war, which liberated large Greek and Slav populations from their yoke, by exterminating all Greeks and Slavs left in the territory they still retained. They occupied themselves with this in the interval between the end of the Balkan and the beginning of the European War, and Greece was on the verge of war with Turkey again to protect the dwindling remnant of the Greeks in Turkey’s power, when the crisis was overtaken by the greater conflict. As soon as Turkey became Germany’s ally, Germany restrained the Young Turks from persecuting their Greek subjects, because it was not to Germany’s interest that Greece should be involved in the war on the side of the Entente. But she left them a free hand with their other subject peoples, and the result has been the Armenian and Arab atrocities, which began in 1915 and have gone on ever since.

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