Obrázky na stránke
[ocr errors]


port the “fez,” their universal national cap, They have been galling to her national pride, from Austria, and their Turkish bath towels have injured her prestige, and have sapped from England.

her economic strength and development. Such, then, are the Capitulations and treaty The United States has from time to time rights ” which Turkey has abrogated. They voluntarily yielded some of these extra-terriare privileges and exemptions which are not torial rights at the request of Turkey and as recognized by international law or by any a matter of fairness; but the European counPower as inherent rights either of subjects tries, as a rule, have been loth to release of a country or of aliens within its borders. Turkey from any of her engagements withThey were granted by Turkey under condi- out a substantial quid pro quo.

Often the tions that have largely changed, and for a 'quiddemanded in the shape of commergreat variety of reasons. Conditions of self- cial or diplomatic advantages has been worth interest at the time have doubtless been domi

more than the 56

quo.' nant in the minds of the Turks; but it is Such being the origin and character of the likewise true that many valuable concessions Capitulations, it is not hard to understand, have been given away because the Turks had and even to justify, the action of Turkey from no appreciation of their value.

the standpoint of a self-respecting sovereign Among the most important of the Capitu


She has undertaken to do at a stroke lations those which concern special of the pen what Japan secured through the franchises to religious communities and negotiation of new treaties after winning her orders, exempting their institutions from tax- spurs in the wars with China and with Russia. ation or even import duties, and granting to Turkey is not depending upon her spurs for ccclesiastics immunity of person, domicile, the success of this bold move so much as and exercise of functions. These religious upon the present pandemonium in Europe concessions have been based upon what was and the preoccupation of the Christian felt by the Turks themselves to be an internal Powers with their own troubles until she is necessity for a state founded upon the Koran, able to get on her feet. namely, the provision of a modus vivendi in The question arises whether this action of the presence of non-Moslems, for whom the Turkey will imperil the essential rights either Koran provided no legal status in keeping of her own non-Moslem subjects or of forwith the demands of progress and modern eigners in Turkey. Whether good or evil civilization. It has been maintained that the comes of it depends primarily on Turkey, but Koran prohibits peaceful relations between also on the treatment accorded to her, in this true believers and non-Mohammedans living crisis of her development, by other countries. on Moslem soil. The Turkish rulers, seeing The full exercise of sovereignty will throw the necessity of avoiding friction with their upon her full responsibility. The Ottoman Christian subjects and with foreign Powers, Government has accompanied the abrogation seem to have resorted to extra-territoriality as of the Capitulations with assurances to this a device for relieving their own consciences effect. in relaxing the severity of the Multeka or Pessimists may claim that there is no hope canon of Turkish law.

for Turkey because she is founded upon the It is true that many privileges which Tur- Koran, and the Koran is unchanged and unkey granted long years ago as a matter of changeable. While the Koran cannot change, expediency or in a spirit of liberality or in- its interpretation, like that of the Bible, can difference to their value have during her de- become more enlightened. That this has cline been incorporated as rights in treaties actually taken place is shown by the new with foreign governments. These treaties or Constitution adopted in 1908 by a bloodless diplomatic contracts were not infrequently revolution that commanded the admiration obtained from Turkey under duress by foreign of the world. This Constitution provides countries which did not scruple to turn her for a responsible Ministry, a Senate, a Chamweakness to selfish advantage. In 1830 the ber of Deputies, the right of public meeting, United States made its first treaty with Tur- freedom of the press, the appointment of key. This contained the “ favored nation" judges for life, compulsory education, religclause, and by it we obtained the same extra- ious liberty, and a long list of other rights territorial rights as the great European nations. and privileges belonging to an enlightened

For many years Turkey has been restive and free government. To this Constitution under these restrictions of her sovereignty. the Sultan swore fidelity upon the Koran

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]





itself, The Sheik-ul-Islam, the supreme high friendly.

friendly. As Talcott Williams has well said: priest of the Mohammedan faith, exhibited Many causes have combined, many factors to the people in Constantinople the book are present, many influences have turned upon which this oath was taken.

He even

the hearts of men through that Empire went so far as to declare officially that it is (Turkey); but if we ask ourselves what the the spirit of Islam to give the fullest religious governing and final factor is which has freedom to all subjects of the Empire, and brought about the first of the world's bloodto guarantee constitutional justice and liberty. less revolutions, which has seen a people The Young Turk movement (more properly divided and dissevered by creed, by race, by interpreted New Turk, for it contains many language, by every conceivable difference gray-haired patriots) brought in the new Con- which can separate the sons and daughters stitution, and this movement is now more of men, suddenly act together—we do ill if firmly established than ever before.

we forget that for eighty years the American It is only fair to the Young Turks to say missionaries have been laying the foundathat their progress in reform during the last tions and preaching the doctrine which makes six years would have been much greater if free government possible." as Turkey was rising to her feet she had not It would therefore seem that the policy to been knocked down, first by Austria, who be pursued by the United States, in view of seized Bosnia and Herzegovina, then by Italy, Turkey's action, should be, without waiving who tore away Tripoli, and lastly by the any treaty or other rights, to withhold protest Balkan States.

against Turkey's action, on condition that, There is no reason to fear that Turkey's and so long as, no essential rights of Ameraction means disaster or serious embarrass- icans are infringed. Turkey should be ment to the interests of Americans in Tur- plainly told that we will hold her up to giving key. These interests are primarily philan- full justice according to modern standards. thropic and educational, and the present We should demand the same treatment that Turkish leaders well understand that the our citizens receive in other countries and purpose of America is only disinterested and that we accord the Turks in our own.

The following letter states with great clcarness and force the objections to the abolition of the Capitulations. It comes from one who is familiar with the subject and is interested in and a friend of the work of the missionaries, educators, and physicians in Turkey.- THE EDITORS.

I am convinced that Turkey is not ready ened Mohammedans have repeatedly and to assume responsibility for the removal of with good reason declared : “We have no extra-territoriality, for the following, among government.' If Turkey's Moslem subjects

' other, reasons :

cry out against their own Government, how 1. Her laws are based upon the Koran, could others accept it as satisfactory ! which, in fact, is the last court of appeal. 6. The traditional animosities between MoThe law of the Koran is not accepted by hammedans, Armenians, and Greeks would Christian nations. Hence Turkey and the make the position of members of these ChrisChristians, and, for that matter, all other tian races, naturalized in other countries, innon-Moslem countries, would have no com- tolerable upon their return to Turkey. mon standard for adjusting differences.

7. No Mchammedan country has ever 2. The courts of Turkey are insufferably entered the sisterhood of nations, nor can it corrupt, controlled by bribes and terror- do so unless it abandons Islam as the founism.

dation of its law and order and adopts a 3. Her prisons are as bad as her courts. constitution that recognizes the equal rights

4. No Mohammedan-governed country of all, and demonstrates its ability to admincan recognize equal rights of Moslems and ister that constitution in accordance with the non-Moslems before the law.

traditions and laws of Christian nations. 5. Turkey has few trained and trustwor- Turkey is not ready to meet these conthy administrators even for the execution of ditions, and so is unprepared to assume Moslem law, as the inner history of the past responsibility for removing extra-territorial three years amply demonstrates. Enlight- privileges from citizens of other countries.



Drum and trumpet and banner, banner and trumpet and drum ! Tramp, tramp, through the city streets the new-listed armies

come. Song and laugh on the transports steaming under the stars, Wet eyes star-blind of those behind who pay for the nations'


(The women who pay and have paid, dear Lord, for imme

morial wars).

Cheers and shouts greet the headlines that tell of the battles


Who remembers the death-wrecked bodies motionless under the

sun ?

Victory stood to our banners, only a handful lost—" Only! We bore those bodies, and we know what bodies cost ! (Mothers and wives of the soldiers dead—who better can gauge

the cost ?)

Man is blinded by passion, by glory or gold or power.
Shall we not see more clearly when it comes to the woman's

hour ? Before we loose hell's lightning that shall prove a cause through

strife, Shall we not weigh the price we pay when the payment's in

human life? (Dear Lord, we know by each birth-throe the value of human


Counselors, kings, and rulers, ye take what ye cannot give.
Can ye say to the things in the trenches, Be whole, rise up

and live"? Do ye know—who have killed your thousands by a word from

a death-tipped penOne little pang of the cost to those who breed you your fighting

men ? (Who pays, dear Lord, for their bodies and souls but the mothers

and wives of men ?)

[graphic][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed]
[graphic][ocr errors][subsumed]
« PredošláPokračovať »